So, let's talk about the girl of the hour. Last night, right before bedtime, Liana was grieving. It started when I changed her diaper and started to get her ready for bedtime. I think maybe she realized then that she wasn't going back to the orphanage and she just cried and cried and then she wailed. I couldn't get her to calm down so I handed her to Erik and after just a little while, she stopped. Then I cried. My heart hurt that this little girl that I love so much and have worked so long to get her in our arms didn't want me and wouldn't be comforted by me. I'm not sure if it was because I was the one who had started the evil task of getting her ready for bed or if it was just the whole thing about Daddy being a man. What happened to all the fun we had all day? What happened to the smiles and the cuddles? I don't know but I felt awful. I've heard of this so many times and read about it in so many blogs and I always knew that I would not handle that rejection well and I did not handle it well at all. This morning though, when she woke up, I was quick to be the one to rescue her from her crib and she cuddled me like a little koala bear. She has seriously been perfect all day! The only times that Liana has had a hard time are when I've changed her diaper or her clothes. I didn't even end up putting her in her jammies last night because she clearly didn't want to be changed. So she slept in her clothes. Today, she started to get upset when I started to take off her shirt but I started acting silly with her and made it a game and we got through it. She does not want to wear any shoes but the ones that she came to us with. Socks are okay though, so she just wore socks today and that was fine with me.
Some progress that we made was the bottle. They give bottles to the kiddos in orphanages here much longer than we do in the U.S. so she has one 3 times a day still. We are happy with this because giving an adopted child a bottle is supposed to be a great way to bond with them. But she wouldn't take one from us for anything yesterday. We tried all the tricks that help adoptive parents with kids from China...heating it up warmer than what we're used to, making the hole in the nipple huge...nothing helped. But this morning when I tried, she chugged that thing down faster than I thought possible. She eats well but she holds a bite in her mouth forever. I think that it's because she hasn't always been given food whenever she was hungry so having food in her mouth is comforting to her. When Erik put her down for bed, she clung to a piece of rice cookie and fell asleep with it in her hand. Food issues like this are very common for children who have lived in an orphanage and can actually last into adulthood. So if we need to always have food with us to reassure our little girl, we can do that.
The orphanage director was there with us today and she clearly loves Liana. We were told again how much everyone loved our little girl. I had a good moment. Liana was sitting on my lap and the orphanage director was saying her Chinese name, trying to get her attention and she turned to my guide and they started speaking in Chinese, clearly about me because they kept looking at me. Alice, our guide, said that the orphanage director said that she can tell that Jiejing really likes me because she was so happy just sitting there on my lap, even though someone from her orphanage that has been around her and known her all this time was there calling her name. That made me so happy, especially after last night's rejection.
Everyone is napping right now so the day isn't over but this is the best time to blog. So far, our day has been wonderful. Ethan even got her first giggles when he ripped a toy out of her hand. I guess she thought it was a fun game. Ethan was thrilled so what wasn't exactly meant to be nice did end up being a funny little game. Oh, and today was the first time she let her feet touch the ground and we got to see her walk! Poor little thing has felt so insecure that she hasn't let us put her feet on the floor. She will sit in the middle of the bed and play all day. But today, during one of our long waits, she saw her other Shanghai buddies that were being adopted also today, playing around and she climbed out of my lap and very carefully, walked around. I get the feeling it might be a while before we discover her true personality. I know the "honeymoon" of her being perfect will wear off eventually and I can't wait until she feels secure enough with us to join in the fun and start racing around with her brother and sister. She still has a lot of grieving to do and we're learning as we go but whatever she throws at us, we'll get through it.
Sorry if that was too much rambling. I want everything written down to remember it later because I know all too well how quickly things from your kids are forgotten. Now, onto the pics!
I look terrible but I love the way she was cuddling me
Erik cut a sleeve off of his t-shirt to keep a bandage on Ethan's head so that's what the blue thing is
Look at those beautiful, mournful eyes
Finally braving it and walking around
Liana with the orphanage director
Oh my, look at that grin!