3 Months. 3 Months this little gift from God has been part of our family. I cannot imagine a day without her. She has woven her way into the hearts of our family in a way I didn't know was possible.
3 Months ago today a quiet little girl walked right into my arms and I am forever changed. It sounds corny, but it is the truth. She didn't know us, she was too young to comprehend the enourmous change that was about to happen, but she trusted us, and allowed us to love her, and love her we have.
Makenna Cate is amazing! She has settled right into our family and is excited every day to be here. She is joyful, playful, and so loving. She loves going bye-bye and is warming the hearts of everyone who meets her. Just today when I entered the grocery store the manager came right up to me and asked where she was. I told her she was in the car with her brothers and sister and the manager was dissapointed she didn't get to see her!
Makenna is like a little parrot. She never stops talking and is using her Chinglish (Chinese and English) all day long. Some of the things she says are, "Ma, I do it", "Ma, I go put it away." "What you doing?" Today Matt was running around in her hooded towel and she yelled at him, "don't put on my towel!" I can't believe the English she is speaking after only 3 months. She is very animated too. She will tell me a 15 minute story with hand and face gestures even though I have no idea what she is saying. She sings all day too. She loves to sing the Barney song, but her version is, "I love me, you love me, we're a happy family!" She sings the song Soft Kitty from The Big Bang Theory too. She loves for us to sing together. She has also developed a few words of her own. Sunglasses are called galacticas. Why? We have no idea! Ice pops or ice cream bars are ladybops. Matt is still called GuGu, the Chinese word for brother. Matt has no desire to correct her either. Andrew is IAndrew. She can say Natalie perfectly and breaks it down into 3 syllables when she says it. Na-Ta-Lie. I am mommy and Carl is daddy. As soon as Makenna hears the garage door open she is running for her daddy. She throws herself around him and kisses and hugs him and follows him around for the rest of the night. She says, "wheee" to him and that means she wants to go play on the swings.
We have been working hard on learning manners. Makenna now chews with her mouth closed, at least most of the time. She also says thank you all the time. She is actually so polite and says, "thank you mommy".
Makenna is much more mobile now than when she first came home. She is running full speed ahead, jumping with two feet, climbing the stairs, and climbing all over the furniture. She is still the same weight as she was when we got her, and we can tell that she has slimmed down and her muscles are much stronger. When we first got her, she was so round in the belly, it actually hung over her clothes. The pediatrician said she had no core strength and that was part of the reason. She is seeing a specialist for her arm on Friday. She has not had any improvement with her arm yet, but we are working on teaching her to compensate with it. She already was able to do so much on her own, but now I am working with her on getting herself dressed. I am working on putting her good arm through the sleeve and then taking that arm and using the good arm to pull her weak arm through. She can almost do it by herself with her nightgown, but that is all. We are not sure if she will actually get any more use out of her arm, but we are hopeful. We have taken her to the pool, but even in a lifevest she cannot keep herself afloat. Because of her lack of muscle tone, and no use from her arm, she rolls over and cannot support herself yet. She still falls down alot and hits her head because she cannot brace herself with the arm.
Makenna is really attached to us, and especially to me. It has been an adjustment for me to always have someone attached to me, but I am trying to enjoy every second because I know it will not last forever. If we are in the family room and she is deeply engrossed in play, she will immediately stop as soon as I stand up and off she is, to follow me, even if I am only going to the kitchen. Her orphanage had over 500 children in it, and her foster home that she went to at night was full, so she has probably never been alone in a room before.
She is eager to help me around the house too. She helps put the clothes in the wash and takes them out of the dryer. She pushes the laundry baskets to where they need to go. She loves to use the Swiffer on the floors, and will help me unload the dishwasher. Since she is always next to me, I give her little chores to do, and at least she is helping and not just in the way! Well it isn't always helpful, but I am hoping she will continue helping me as she gets older!
Makenna is on target for her age, which is a little abnormal considering where she came from. She can do puzzles by herself, she colors, and is learning animals and colors. She is also a typical 2 year old. One of her favorite words is No! She can throw a pretty good tantrum too. She is funny though, because if I scold her, she will run up to me and throw her arms around me as if to say, "I'm sorry mommy!"
We haven't ventured out much this summer, Carl and I wanted to make sure she had a firm attachment to us first. You want to make sure your child can pick you out in a lineup and know who mom and dad are! I have spent more time in the house than I ever have, but it was well worth it. We are now starting to do more than grocery shop. Makenna is very friendly, but she clearly knows I am mom and that is what we needed.
As far as the rest of the family, everyone is doing well. Matt finished coaching swim, Andrew and Natalie finished the season with best times, and Andrew won River City Championships for his age group. He will start his senior year next week, and will be one of their top swimmers. Natalie will head to 5th grade next week and is looking forward to school starting. Matt will head back to the University of Central Florida next week for his 3rd year. This summer he had the opportunity to watch several surgeries and to follow at our Children's hospital. It is going to be so hard on Makenna to see him leave. She asks about all three siblings all day long.
I am going to post several photo's because Makenna is just so photogenic! (As all my kiddo's are!) Enjoy and thanks for following along, another update soon!