Zoya has been demonstrating some orphanage behaviors too. She hits herself on the head, pulls her own hair, throws herself back and smacks her head off the floor, bites (ouch), grabs everything, and grinds her teeth. Some of these behaviors are sensory and impulse related, but most of them seem to be attention seeking behaviors. We are working with her to show her acceptable ways to gain our attention, but obviously at the orphanage, these other behaviors were the only way she got attention. We saw this first hand. She would pull the hair of the caregivers and they would laugh smile.
Eating is going better than I though it would and she has already gained one pound! We are feeding her soup, ground turkey, mashed potatoes, bananas, some baby food, chicken, and cheerios, to name a few things. She is learning to chew up small pieces of food pretty well. At the orphanage she didn't chew anything. Everything they gave her was the consistancy of baby food. I am trying to keep her diet pretty bland to make the diet change easier. She has had some pretty bad orphanage diapers that I later found our are pretty typical. We haven't started giving her any milk or milk products yet as this was not part of her diet in any way the the orphanage. I got some rice milk and heat that up and give it to her before bed. The rest of the day she drinks watered down apple juice or pedialyte. She doesn't like anything cold so we heat up all of her food and her drinks are either warm or room temperature. When she eats she is signing "more" on her own with a little prompting from me. She really learned that fast! She claps her hands together for more since she can't make her fingers work the right way to do the actual sign, but I know what she means!
Zoya is loving her Uncle Bub (my brother). He has been staying with us since we got home! Tonight he even cooked us dinner and played with Zoya while we ate...a much appreciated time to sit down and enjoy a meal. I said to Shawn tonight, "Do you think we will ever go out to eat again?" Haha. Anyway, she loves playing with her Bub and even said his name today! I knew when we met her that she would love his bald head! She slaps it and kisses it and it is so cute. She was getting some good PT by pulling herself up with the TV stand and then plopping into Bub's lap and doing it all over again!
Zoya in her Bumbo seat!!
Daddy and Zoya watching Mya play in the backyard.
Playing with some measuring cups.....like most kids her favorite toys aren't toys at all!
Mama and nakey Zoya before bed.
My absolute favorite time of the day is rocking her to sleep. She is so snuggly and cuddly and hugs me with all her might. I love listening to her breathe and feeling her chest rise and fall on mine. Her sweet little cheeks rest against mine and all is well in the world. I can't help but be sad to think that she has missed out on being loved on like this for almost 2 years. Every child deserves moments like this and love of a mama. Every child deserves to be hugged and snuggled and rocked to sleep every night. There are so many who will never know this love. But as for Zoya, she will never have to go to bed alone and without kisses and snuggles ever again. I hope she forgets her lonely nights and replaces those memories with the new memories we are making. I usually sit with Zoya long after she has fallen asleep and just enjoy the moment. This is becoming my time to talk to God about Zoya too. There are so many things I hope for her. I hope she can adjust well to all the changes, I hope she can feel safe and secure, I hope she can forgive me in my mistakes I make being a new mama, I hope she can bond well with us, I hope she can learn to love others like we love her....but above all else, I hope she is happy, simply happy. Nothing else matters as long as she is happy. Tonight while I was rocking with Zoya, I prayed that I could love Zoya in the same way God loves me. I know that is impossible, but it is a goal to strive for. I was (and still am sometimes) dirty, lost, sad, angry, throwing temper tantrums, distancing myself, running away, and demanding and God never stopped loving me. No matter what I do God will never change his feelings toward me. He will love me just as much from one happy moment to the next ugly moment. He doesn't get frustrated with me, he doesn't get mad at me, he is always just there, loving me. A humanly impossible unconditional love.
I also thought about how I would not be in that moment, rocking my sweet baby to sleep, if we had not taken this leap of faith and listened to God's call. We had every excuse in the book not to adopt Zoya. We convinced ourselves this couldn't be for us. Finances. Time. Travel. Work. Life. Comfort. You get the picture. Thinking about how close we were to choosing not to adopt her makes me sad. Rocking her to sleep, holding her in my arms, feeling her heart beat, overflowing with love and gratefulness....thinking this may not have been because we were afraid. It makes me wonder what I have missed out on in life due to fear, lack of faith, and selfishness. If you feel you are being called to do something, listen to the call, take the leap, jump out of the airplane, because you won't be left to crash to the ground....if you just believe. We are NOT great, wonderful, extraordinary people. We are average, weak, mistake-filled, every day people who chose to listen to God, listen to our hearts, push fear to the side, and take a leap of faith. The reward is great.