In the last month, we have learned a lot, but it feels like she has always been a part of our family. God is really, truly GOOD. He has just woven our stories together and bonded us from the start. If we didn’t have the language barrier and obvious orphan history, everything we are doing and going through would be the exact same as either of our boys at the toddler stage! She plays, she fights with her brothers, she loves sweets, fruits, and breads, and she loves being outside and playing in water.
Owen has done really well continuing on in his “big brother” role. He makes it his mission to take care of his siblings in the morning and get them breakfast and shows to watch as they slowly wake up. He protects Mia and tattles on Camden. Pretty normal, right? Mia, in turn, loves her brother, Owen. In fact, she calls both of them “Owen” quite often, and we have to remind her that Camden has his own name! It’s cute.
Camden and Mia have an interesting relationship. They love each other, but fight the most. I hear this is very common with the middle and youngest children. Sometimes they play really well together and Camden enjoys being a big brother, but most of the time he bosses Mia around and makes sure I know if she has done something wrong. Patience is not necessarily his strong suit at his tender five years of age. But really, they are doing pretty well. We had our first adventure with scissors this month, as Mia decided to play “beauty shop” with Camden, and he let her…
Miss Mia has settled into her role in our family quite nicely. She is learning the routine of the family and takes most of our verbal instruction really well. She can go get her shoes on, or pick out pajamas or sit down for dinner or a snack. She has no problems with sitting in her carseat, though she can get fussy and it is hard to understand what she wants on longer trips. The fussiness usually ends in a nap.
Speaking of naps, if we are out and about, Mia may not get a nap, except for whatever time she can rest in the car. This creates some problems with attitude and smacking her brothers if she doesn’t get her way. Sleep is important, but even if we are home, she doesn’t always take a long nap. In China, she would usually sleep between 1.5 and 2 hours from 12-1:30 or 2:00pm. In America, we are lucky to get her down at all, sometimes it takes as long as 20-30 minutes for her to fall asleep, and then she might sleep another hour at best.
Sleep has been our biggest struggle (aside from language). She understands what the bedtime routine is and anticipates each thing we do. She definitely thrives on routine…and don’t we all? We typically pray in Owen and Camden’s room in a circle on the floor and then give hugs and kisses. John and I say good-night to the boys and they settle down very quickly. Then, we go to Mia’s room with her and she wants us to pray with her again and will lay down if we give her a mint candy (the same ones from her pockets on Gotcha Day). We replaced the melatonin with the little candy instead (like the size of a Skittles) and the night terrors have seemed better. The thing about night time is that she wants BOTH John and I in the room with her until she falls asleep, which isn’t always possible, but we try if we are both home. I have put her to bed solo several times, but John has yet to do that task without me. We play soft baby classical music and she likes the inside of the seahorse toy that also plays music. We have a nightlight and fan on as well. It can take anywhere from 10 minutes to over an hour for her to fall asleep. And even then, she can wake up at any time and be inconsolable before we get her back to sleep again.
The good news is, we have had very few accidents at night in the last week or so! Yay! Mia does wake up anywhere from 1-4 times, and there is no consistency in that. I typically spend whatever hours she does sleep working until around midnight or 1am, and then she wakes up around 6am. Sleep is hard to come by! But, this is only one month into a very new routine, so any sleep is good!
I get a lot of questions about Mia’s medical condition and her history. I try to answer these questions as nicely as I can without delving into a lot of specifics. It’s hard because I know that we have been very forthcoming with the details of our process and the day-to-day while we were in China. Now that we are home, there are some things that we need to keep close to our family only. This is HER story, and it will be up to her in the future whether she wants to even know the details of that story or not. It will be up to her if she wants to share particulars of her past and her history. So, that being said, I think I will leave it up to what we have already shared in this blog and let that be that. If you have questions about the adoption process, our experience with our agency, traveling, or anything from OUR perspective, we would be happy to share. In fact, my passion is to HELP other families who would like to pursue adoption! But, things that are particular to Mia, should probably stay protected and close to our hearts.
Mia is our daughter. She is very loved and as much “ours” as Owen and Camden. Our family is complete for now, though we have not closed doors to what God may have for our future. I know that our job is to spread awareness of the need for families for orphans, but our daughter is an orphan no more! PRAISE GOD! We are so grateful to be parents to three beautiful children, all of whom are blessings from the Lord!
Thank you for your continued prayers for our family. Adjustment is not a one month process. It takes many months and even years! We certainly appreciate the love and support from our friends and family every step of the way!