This is our last day here. We are taking it easy, laying low, and preparing for our journey home. Finally... finally my little Sweet Pea is asleep.
While she has done remarkably well with all the adjustments she has been going through, I know that there is so much loss she is experiencing.
She is one tough little girl.
All these years of being abandoned and then neglected in the orphanage she came up with many ways to cope, comfort, and stimulate herself.
Bless her heart. Just when I think I have seen it all, she pulls a new stim out of her bag.
She will shove her whole hand into her mouth and bite it.
She sucks her fingers till they are raw and calloused.
Her fingers have these little scabs on them. I rub almond oil on them every time I remember and that seems to be helping.
She rocks-- two or three different ways.
She will lay on her tummy and arch her back and head way back and gently bounce.
She tilts her head as far as it will go to one side. When she sits in the high chair or stroller she nearly hangs off to one side. I just have her sit up until she does it again.
She likes to put things into her mouth as far in as they will go and make herself gag on them.
She puts her hand up to her face and fixates her eyes a certain way.
And she swallows air. Lots of it. On purpose. Gulps it actually.
Till her tummy is huge.
Even when she has a tummy full of food.
It breaks my heart.
And makes me angry that this is what she learned to do in order to survive to not just completely shut down and waste away in her bed in the orphanage.
She should've been held. Rocked. Kissed. Smiled at. Sang to. Played with. Hugged. Tickled. Adored.
I look at her sleeping in her crib that I have right next to my bed and see an angel.
Every time she stims, I replace what she is doing by trying to meet that need for her.
When she puts her hands in her mouth, I give her a pacifier or offer her food and drink.
When she rocks, I pat her bottom or rock her or rub her back.
It is working a lot of time, but not always.
It is going to take time.
Lots of time.
Lots of love.
What is really wonderful, is that she has my heart and I think she knows it.
And tomorrow she is going home to her family that will surround her with even more love and nurturing than she can imagine.
My heart is full.
So what is the plan once we get home?
Well I'm sure we'll be dealing with jet lag and overstimulation for the first few days, but I hope to get her into a routine so that she can feel safe.
I hope I can get her to start enjoying her bath instead of crying the whole time.
I can't wait to see her exploring her new world.
The following Monday she will see our pediatrician.
I think she will be referred to a cardiologist right off the bat.
And probably an ophthalmologist.
I am not sure what she has going on with her eyes.
One moment her left eye is turning inward.
Then a minute later her right eye is turning inward.
And then the next minute she looks fine.
I would also like to get her x-rayed for AAI (atlantoaxial instability), and possibly see a gastroenterologist if our pediatrician thinks we should. Oh, and then there is the ENT.
And after the holidays once Natalie has been home a few months, I will get her started with speech and occupational therapy.