I say all this knowing that she has special needs that have contributed to her delays. She has been taken from her familiar surroundings and been placed into a world so completely different. I understand the emotional and physical delays. What I have had to do, though, is remind myself frequently that she is not a toddler. I have an 18 month old at home. I know what a typical toddler can and should do. I cannot expect Isabel to be anything like that.
So, I treat Isabel like a new baby home from the hospital. I love on her a lot. I am not bothered by the frequent nighttime wakings that she started shortly before leaving China. She needs lots of comforting and assurance, like a new baby. When I see Isabel like that baby, it is easier to understand her. If I expect her to be a toddler, I can get frustrated. Just like coming home from the hospital, I have to take it easy myself. I cannot jump back into my daily routine. Isabel needs me... a lot. We have been blessed with meals. Thank you to all who have brought us a meal and are scheduled to. It is incredibly helpful and takes a lot of stress off of me at this important time!
This is a whole new world for me and our family. Going through a few hours of training and reading books are good, but do not replace real life experience. This is it for us. Real life.
I share this not in a disappointed tone... not at all. Isabel is a doll. We are SO incredibly happy to have her home with us and love her completely. I share this because we have had to change our expectation. When we were told that you have to be very flexible to adopt, they weren't kidding. And I think we have had it pretty easy, comparatively. Still, it is different and hard, but it's ok. Does this make sense? Or is it jet-lag rambling?
It's all good and I'm sure Isabel will be running around the house with a self-confident stride in no time!
|This picture was taken just before she burst out in tears because I moved a couple feet away from her.|