I'll never forget how scared you were, and actually, looking back at the photos I can realize now that you were even more scared than we thought, the day we first met you.
Your head recently shaved, in red corduroy overalls and blue sandals with a broken strap. You did not want to be anywhere near me. You didn't want the nannies to leave your side. Eyes so wide... you clung on to the hem of your Carer.
It wasn't until your older friends came home from school, that you found the courage to come close to me, claiming my special little toy (iphone) as your own to show off to your friends. They provided comfort to you. They were the one consistent thing in your life. For 2 years, they were always by your side.
Here are your referral photos taken by the agency's social worker.
So scared and unsure of what was going on. The Social worker later told us that she was worried about you, because you were so unlike any other child in the orphanage. Your were quiet, reserved and scared. The other children were always all over us, seeking love and attention. You were simply protecting yourself. Our Canadian social worker says this is actually a sign of intelligence, not opening up to anyone and everyone. We know now that your hesitation and reservations were symptomatic of child who attaches very well.
Look at you now!!
|So happy and confident!|
Your transition has been nothing short of amazing. You once were such a frightened little girl, who disassociated (zoned out) in any new or uncomfortable experience, to now being able to express your opinions and take risks to try new things.
This was your first bath in our house. We saw this look every time we bathed you in the orphanage. This was you 'checking out'. Eyes glassy, and you would look down at your hands. You tuned everything out and would take awhile to come to. You never had a Mommy or Daddy to trust to keep you safe, so sometimes things overwhelmed you. This was your defense mechanism to protect yourself from anything that was too much to bare. We saw this look a lot in the orphanage and in the first couple weeks your were with us.
|We thought bubbles on your head may be 'fun'... you didn't even notice.|
I am happy to report, that I have not seen this look for a VERY long time!
|Now you LOVE your baths, and bubbles on your head.|
We took you home on October 30th, 2012. 6 days after we first met you. For 2 months, you only wanted 'Mommy'. The only interaction you wanted to have with Daddy was to allow him to wash your hands.
|The first time you acknowledged Daddy. Day 3 - you took trains from his hands. He was so happy.|
You now are very attached to Daddy, asking him for shoulder rides, story time, and to talk to him on the phone when he isn't home. You love Daddy very much.
You spoke very little when we first met you. A few words of Kiswhali and Kikuyo. The first word you said to me was 'We, we'. (You). You could also say 'God' in Kikuyo, and 'take' in Kiswahili. A few words would pop up here and there.... such as 'Bug' and 'Eat'. It didn't long before you started to speak English. You called your brother 'Toto' for the first few weeks... teasing him. Soon after you were calling him 'Geeya', and now 'Ceeda'. Ryley was 'Gyley' and now 'Ryley'. You called Daddy, 'Daddy' from the start, but I was always 'We We' (You. - pronounced 'Way, way'). A few weeks home, and you finally started to call me Mommy. I was so happy to hear that for the first time. You now also call me 'Mamoo' and even sometimes 'Jolene' to get my attention.
You are also starting to form sentences in broken English. The latest thing you said, made us all laugh. The wind had slammed the balcony door shut, and the key fell out on the floor. We all sat around in the living room, but you thought this was something that Daddy needed to attend to. You yelled to him from across the apartment, 'Daddy! Door - key - fell - floor. Come!'
6 months ago, you went from having a smooth, hairless head...
To having hair long enough to sport some extensions, which you love by the way!
You went from diapers...
To being fully potty trained... You don't even need diapers at night anymore! Amazing!!
|Yes, I am that Mother who posts 'potty' photos.|
You went from having no control in your daily fashion...
To such a big girl, who loves to express herself by dressing up - no accessories spared. You have even learned how to dress yourself!
You have gained 4 lbs, and 2 cm's. You are learning your colours, songs, 123's and ABC's.
Every day you amaze us in so many new ways. We love watching you blossom! We have come to learn that you are funny, you love to joke around, tease and be silly. We especially love watching you be silly.
It brings us so much happiness to know that you feel safe and secure enough to open yourself up to be vulnerable and have fun. You are no longer reserved and quiet. You love to dance, run, play and to have your picture taken. You are super helpful and love to be given small chores. If we allowed you, you would do dishes all day long.
We have all come to love you so much baby girl.
It breaks my heart to think of you spending your first 2 years without a forever family, but I am so grateful that we have found you and that you will forever be ours.
We needed you just as much as you needed us.
You are such a blessing to us.
You have made our family complete.
Love, your Mommy, Daddy, Sister and Brother.