Today makes one month since Makenna became part of our family. It is hard to believe that in the past year we have done all the paperwork, went to China for over 3 weeks, and have been home a little over 2 weeks. It seemed at times we would never get here, then other times it has gone by so quickly!
We are finding our new "normal." Once we recovered from jet lag, we needed to get back into a routine and get used to having a toddler in the house again. It has been 15 years since this family has had a toddler in it! The house is full of toys and baby supplies and the crumbs are everywhere, but we are all loving every minute of it. Each day I try and get one major thing accomplished. Today I was able to get 2 bathrooms cleaned and Carl's work clothes washed and ironed. I am starting to feel more like my old self again. For me, I have had to learn to overlook the dust, the dirty carpets, the laundry piling up. I went from having all day to myself, to having a velcro baby attached to me 24/7. Considering that we haven't even been home 3 weeks yet, I think we are moving in the right direction!
Now onto Makenna! We really did hit the jackpot! That is how we feel about her, and maybe that is how it is when you adopt a younger child, but Makena is absolutely amazing! We just love her so much! She is so loving and has the best personality. She sings and talks non-stop. It is still in Mandarin, but she is mimicking us and is speaking a few English words. When Carl leaves for the day, she waves at him and says, "see ya later" and "love you." She follows him all the way to the garage. When he comes home she runs and yells, "daddy, or baba." Carl is absolutely smitten with her, and it is so good to see him be so gentle with his little girl. I have had to remind him a few times to please let's keep her sweet and girlie, so no roughhousing with her. They both love to go on a bike ride to the park, she rides in the baby bike seat and she loves the swings, and sometimes Natalie will join them. Luckily Makenna still loves her dresses and bows!
Makenna is still all about her ge ge's. As soon as she hears Matt or Andrew, she is running straight for them. Matt is equally excited to see her and spends hours playing with her. Andrew's last day of school was yesterday, so hopefully he will get to know her better. Today they got to spend some time having fun together. He thinks she is so funny, and she him, but they haven't had a lot of time together yet.
Natlaie is happy to be a big sister, and she is learning how to play and interact with a 2 year old. She hasn't been around many younger children, so she really doesn't know what to do with her. We are trying to help her connect with Makenna.
Makenna seems so smart to us! Most children coming from China arrive with delays, but not her. She is singing her ABC's, counting to 5 and I taught her to sing Happy Birthday to Andrew last week. She was so funny, when everyone else would sing Happy Birthday, she would shout "tooo yoouuu!" She enjoyed helping Andrew celebrate his 17th birthday.
Makenna also loves her toys and has a great imagination. This too was a surprise. Natalie had no idea what to do with toys, but Makenna dove right in and has been playing non-stop since we got home. She loves it all, puzzles, dolls, play kitchen, and most of all, books. She loves pop-ups and lift the flap books and will look at them over and over.
Makenna is sleeping in our room with us. We did this because we did not want her upstairs, and our guest room is on the other side of our house. We have a toddler bed in our room, but because she kept rolling out of it, we put her mattress on our carpet. Well she rolls off of that too. We never know how we will find her! I have posted some pictures of her crazy sleeping!
Next week we start physical therapy and will soon see the first of many specialists. I am still so fearful of her getting hurt. When she first came to us she could not walk very well, and fell over often. We don't think she had much opportunity to get steady on her feet. She is now running all over the house, but she does tumble often. That would be okay if she could catch herself, but because of her arm she cannot. The other day she slipped in the tub and her arm gave out, and she hit her face right into the side of the tub. She is tough though, and doesn't cry for very long.
Makenna has adjusted well so far, but she does need Carl, Matt or me nearby all the time. She will scream if we leave the room, or if she cannot see us. She doesn't play by herself yet, so if we leave the room, she has to follow. Considering we took her away from everything familiar, this is a small inconvienience. I have waited so long for her, and the boys grew up so fast at this age, I am just trying to spend as much time with her as I can.
We are still working hard on attachment. Even though she has attached to us, we are still doing some basic things. We are staying home as often as possible, we are not letting other people hold her, and we are making sure that all of her basic needs, food, comfort, come only from us.
I can't say enough about how much this little girl has changed our lives. With the other kids getting older, and not home as much, Makenna has brought so much joy into this once quiet house. We laugh and have so much fun with her every day. She is so loving and wants to kiss and cuddle often. This adoption has been one of the best things we have ever done. She was meant for our family, and we thank God every day for bringing her into our lives.