We have been home now for two months as of yesterday. I guess somewhere between week 6-8 English just erupted ten-fold. We now have many complete sentences such as “Can I try?”, “Arabelle pushed me”, “Are you ok?”, and her go-to when she has nothing else to say “What are you doing?”. Many more that I can’t think of at the moment. I don’t think I’ve heard her speak Malayalam in about two weeks now and I’m now hoping I have videos of it from our first month together. I think I do, again the past two months have been a bit of a blur so going back through pictures and files will be fun one day in the near future. We have our first post-placement social worker visit in two weeks which I still can’t believe we’re here. We went to the International Adoption Clinic several weeks ago and got good reports on attachment, overall health, and her growth! Based on her measurements at referral last year she was barely on the growth charts here in the U.S. topping the charts at the 3rd percentile. At the clinic a few weeks ago she came in at the 50th and 25th percentiles for height and weight or head circumference (for some reason I can’t remember exactly). But point is, she’s growing beautifully and they were amazed and quite pleased with her progress. Also, after we first got home we had a visit to the cardiologist to evaluate her heart condition. Based on the diagnosis since she was a year old, there was a 33% chance her heart function would improve, 33% chance it would remain the same (below normal), and 33% chance it would deteriorate further to a potential transplant in the future. Well, such a blessing, her heart function improved and is in the “absolutely normal” (yes, that’s a medical term) category. Her function was perfect!! Such an amazing answered prayer. The doctor said he saw no reason to restrict her from any activities and didn’t need to see her again for a year. He said he could tell she had troubles in the past but there were no signs of any complications and he didn’t expect any either. Really since after her referral and signing our acceptance I didn’t really think about what this could mean. I researched and talked to people with children with similar conditions and then prayed about it and let it go. But once we were sitting there waiting for the test, for a few mins a little fear creeped it’s way in and I thought, “What we are about to hear could completely alter so many things in our lives”. And we got great news and I felt such relief that I didn’t know I needed. So all in all things are moving along with adjustments and doctor reports at this time. We have more appointments coming up so hopefully praying the good reports continue.
Sunday was Anjali’s 3rd birthday! She was so excited. For about 5 days all we heard was “Anju Happy Birthday?” over and over. Now she has moved on to “Arabelle Happy Birthday?”. But Sunday was her day and we celebrated. A few weeks ago Arabelle asked to look at the photo album of when she was born. So we flipped through it and pointed at my huge belly and then her first pictures and named all the people that came to see her. While looking through that book with both of them pointing, it became so real that our sweet Anjali had no one at the hospital when she was born excited to be the first one to hold her and take pictures and smile and rejoice. She had a birth Mom though that thankfully chose to give birth and a chance at life and she had a nun who took her in and took the best care of her that she could until her forever family could bring her home. But it made me so sad to think about the thoughts that will run through her head when she gets older and sees that same scene for Arabelle and wonder why she didn’t have that. I told her on her birthday that all the people here at our house are the people that would have been there had I birthed her myself. I didn’t say it in those words to her but I guess more to me. So we’ll use her first birthday home with her family as her “welcome to the world” photos that Arabelle has. 🙂 On a happier note, she loved the party, she was all dressed up and our theme was My Little Pony. Saturday they both helped make the cake and loved licking the bowl! Then Saturday night and Sunday after church we decorated. Such fun!
More fun, Arabelle had her very first tee ball practice tonight with Daddy as coach. She’s been so looking forward to it and she looked so cute in her cleats and hat. It was a bit cold and practice was from 6:00-7:30 which is a late by the time you get home for four year olds. But it was the first one so it lasted the whole allotted time. John had fun exercises for them to learn to catch and throw and they were all so cute out there and it took almost all the Dads to corral the kids into each practice session. It started with just the three coach Dads and then slowly all of them ended up out there helping out, man-to-man coverage is the only way to go for 4-year old tee ball. Arabelle was super excited and said she loved it afterwards. So happy, I was nervous she wouldn’t do well with Dad as coach but since all the others chipped in she listened just fine and even practiced grounders which I haven’t been able to get her to do at home.
Pictures of all of the above below….