Tuesday, March 22, 2011

5 Months Home Today

The Good
  • Her thick stone walls are slowly coming down.
  • She asked if she could put the boys' backpacks in the car this AM.
  • Her English is super.  She has trouble pronouncing certain sounds - but she tries very hard.
  • The MAJOR meltdowns are no longer frequent.
  • This morning she said:  'I want to be nice', and she does want to be, and is slowly learning what this means.
  • She 'enjoyed' a hike this weekend.
  • She recently asked if she could join me outside.  This is HUGE.  She made herself vulnerable by asking if she could be with me (the answer was YES)!
  • She is sleeping through the night
  • She is engaging with the boys occasionally.
  • She does enjoy physical touch and snuggles.
  • She enjoys her dance and gymnastics classes.
  • She loves school, and despite her disassociation she is learning her letters, numbers and shapes.
  • She is learning to ride her scooter.
  • She has been healthy.
  • She has a good heart under all her fear, anger and sadness.
  • She recently started joining the boys with knock, knock jokes.
  • She must have known I was 'talking' about her - she just said 'I no like this'.  This is the 1st time she has said she does not like a food/drink (it was OJ).
    • We could server a plate of cauliflower and liver and she would say it is great!
  • Lying is constant - although ridiculous. Here are some samples:
    • Mom:  What is that yellow on your face?
    • Lexa:  There no yellow on face.
    • Mom:  You just had snack at church
    • Lexa:  I no have snack at church (as she eats Goldfish from church)
  • She really struggles to make eye contact with me.
  • She is obsessed with food, and it is one of the few things in which she finds joy.
  • She either doesn't know herself or doesn't share herself.  She says she likes everything or nothing.  There is little authenticity.
  • She tries to control almost everything.
    • This ranges from refusing to put socks, walking VERY slowly, to crazy questions.  This has to be one of the hardest challenges.  Her attempts at control are insidious and subtle.
    • Control can seem so innocent, but in an attachment challenge child it must be addressed and broken with love. 
  • Much of the time she is hyper-vigilant, withdrawn and emotionally shutdown.
  • She continues to struggle with depression.
    • She has trouble expressing any feelings other than sad and happy.
    • She really struggles to express frustration/anger, so she turns in inward, hence the depression.
  • Her go to response with me is a blank stare without saying a word.
  • She displays excitement and affection to strangers/friends, but not to her family - well sometimes to Dad and the boys, but not to me.
  • She struggles to play alone or entertain herself.
Our Journey as a Family
  • Adopting a girl has been a blessing to the boys.
  • I am learning a new level of acceptance, one I never thought possible (but I can't say I always like it).
  • I am a much better Mom than I was this time last year, gone are my days of YELLING.
  • I LOVE having 3 kids.
  • Our family feels complete (although despite the tough times, I dream of a 4th).
  • I have faith more than ever before.  I know this will be really good one day.
  • I am trying to slow down.
  • I have had to face, and continue to, some ugly parts of who I am. It is hard to admit, but the growth she forces is a good thing.
  • I am so thankful for the good in our lives - good jobs, health, friends, times.
  • I have learned I can't 'fix' Alexa (or anyone else), but I can do my best to provide an environment for healing. friends
  • I have learning how true it is - that I can only change/control myself.
  • I feel I have a very blessed life, and for that I am truly grateful!

5 Months Ago Today

and our family today .....

Enjoying the 1st Day of Spring.

Mom and Lex - Notice her Fake Smile.

He would NOT give a 'good' smile.

Thanks to our photographer Adam.