Friday, April 15, 2011

First Day Home: From April 9

As we are about to hit the one week home mark, I can finally say that today was the first day I didn't feel like the living dead. Three days without sleep followed by four with barely any was really tough, but I managed far better than I ever thought I would. I've remained patient and sane, though my brain could barely function. I can see the beginning foundations of a new routine being built and I felt like Mother-of-the-Year tonight when my little darling wanted third helpings of the Chinese mustard greens I made - for the first time!

My agency sent a "welcome home" packet that I opened tonight of paperwork and information and I'm so glad to say that I've not had a single bit of post-adoption blues or even an inkling of "what on earth have I done?" In fact, it's still going far better than I ever knew it could.

The hardest part of being home was being so tired. Actually, sleepy is a better word. I was falling asleep on my feet, for real.

The next hardest part has been going back to work so soon. If only I had any other option... Yes, yes, yes, I am know I'm lucky that I work at home, but how would you feel if you had to tell your child, only four days home to wait a moment while to tended to someone else's child? On our second day, I started a routine of mentioning all we'd do after the kids left for the day. She really does understand. I point to what we will do or make a motion to describe it, then say bye-bye and wave to all the daycare kids, then smile hugely and point to my daughter and myself and say the cheer she says in Mandarin, "Come on! Come on! Come on! Today was day three and after I told her we'd get her scooter out after bye-bye time, she confirmed it later in the day using the same signs I did. No camera, only she and I, went to the park tonight with her scooter and she had a GREAT time.

Jei Jei caught a cold. She played with a darling American girl a few days before we left and that child had a streaming cold. The cough began before we left China and for the last two days here Jei Jei's nose was running like crazy. Today she is almost better. What strong girl! Her nose blowing technique needs improvement. She blows as hard as she can right in front of me then points to it so that I can wipe it.

I ended up not having help here at home. A relative was going to meet me at the airport but became ill at the last minute so I didn't know and have time to email my back-up. Wide awake or not, the super market isn't the best place for a 7 year old at 2:30 in the morning! But...we did have a fun time and the stockist in the isle spoke Mandarin!

Best things? Everything! When I see her in her room or when I choose her clothes and remember how it felt getting it all ready for her, I'm in the clouds. I was dead-on with what looks good on her and her best colors. She loves her things and has a daily ritual of picking out her hair bows. She's very open to learning to match them to the outfit.

She loves her doll! I'm so glad. I had my doubts in China that's she'd like dolls, but it's the first thing she went to and she treats it so well. She pretends very well! She got the baby dressed this morning in three layers of clothes and dressed tonight in pajamas, like I've taught her. She made sure when dressing the doll to tell me which clothes were the first layer and the second layer and the third. She's named the doll Bao Bao, which is a common Chinese name. I took one video of her tucking her doll into bed, but the lighting is terrible so I'll try to take another.

Enough, right? You want to see these....

First sleep on our very first night home.
Henry has claimed her already.

I breathed a sign of relief when I pulled this out.
The strollers I borrowed in China were like pushing a 1000 pounds of rocks.

The sun was in her eyes so she wouldn't open them, but check out her eyelashes!

Does this smile say how much she loves the swing?

How about this one?

She was a little too small to make the step off the bars and onto the slide platform. Thankfully, mama was ready to pull her to safety.

Is this my child or what? Handstands in hotels, gymnastics on the grass... Yep, she's mine!

Yay! A tutu of her own and a shirt with sparkles!!!


Kim and Greg said...

I followed your journey in China (loved seeing where "Ann" lives! - cool!) and I'm so happy to see how well your daughter (and you!) are adjusting to life at home. She is a stunning little girl!! Enjoy every minute and congratulations!! We hope to travel in early June to bring home our little guy!

Anonymous said...

You sound like a proud mama and I'm thrilled that this has all happened for you. I'm so sorry you didn't have help when you first arrived home and I can't imagine going right back to work. The important thing is that you did it and in time it will be easier. Having your sweet daughter makes it all worth it.

China Dreams said...

Looks and sounds like a wonderful transition. Welcome home!


Anonymous said...

I'm so happy for you both!


Catherine said...

So happy that you're settling in well. Yes, being a Mommy is the best thing in the entire world even on the tiring and trying days!!

B said...

Exhaustion is the axiom of motherhood, whether you traveled to China or not. The transition sounds like it couldn't be more perfect. So glad you found each other at last. Can't wait to meet your precious gem.