Friday, March 6, 2015
Apple is getting more and more confident and adventurous as she grows taller and her center of gravity changes and she becomes more stable. She's been walking for a year now! She's been with me longer than she lived in her orphanage. She's been surgery-free for 9 months now. Without the pain and trauma of surgery, blood work, imaging scans, etc., her personality is exploding and she's joyful, animated and absolutely delightful! Everyone is commenting on how happy she is. Best of all, she is SUPER attached and bonded to me and I to her. What a difference lack of trauma makes. I grieve more deeply for my older girls who lived for so long in their orphanages. I love it when she looks back for me or chooses to stay with me, imitates me, shares food with me, comes into the kitchen to see what I'm doing then I see her imitating it with her toys. She's starting to play with other children her size, and play with her sisters in more complicated, deeper and more meaningful play, she loves to color with crayons and often sits at her little table and colors when her sisters are at their desks doing their school work. Though her hands will always have very limited mobility, she is finding ways to make the most of what she's got and her dexterity has taken a mighty leap in the last couple of weeks.
She has gained weight well since healing from her last surgery and I love her rounded toddler belly. She looks so normal and healthy now, not a trace of the starved baby bird in her at all. Even her hair is finally growing!
Now that she's got a few words to say, she's out of diapers. She's been potty-trained since before I adopted her, but she couldn't talk to tell me when she had to go and now she can, so she ditched her daytime diapers in a day the minute she could say the word "pah-ee." Today she put her underpants on all by herself and got them pulled all the way up. Not easy at all when your fingers can't bend and are very, very short.
Talking is still difficult for her - it appears to be motor issues most of all - but she makes progress almost daily and she's working hard. I love listening to her practice speaking on her own after I put her in bed. One of her favorite and best words to say just happens to be apple!
She has taken some spills lately, too, not related to being adventurous, but due to repeated carelessness on the part of one sister not securing her highchair tray properly and the other due to slippery church shoes, hence the two lovely bruises on her forehead. So, I kept the shoes off of her while in the house and her sister is no longer allowed to put the highchair tray on.