Monday, March 10, 2014

One Month Since Gotcha Day

Today marks one month since Hannah was placed in our arms in the Civil Affairs Office in Zhengzhou.  Many people in our travel group agreed today that it feels like we were in China years ago.  The time has passed quickly and so much has changed in our lives and in Hannah's life since that special day.
Hannah in the orphanage (left) and Hannah today (right)

I wanted to document how Hannah is doing and the progress she's made since she became our daughter.  She has been through so much change in the past month.  We truly admire how resilient, brave and strong she is!

We had some rough nights when we first got back from China.  Hannah would sleep for a couple hours (thinking it was her afternoon nap) then be awake from midnight until 4 or 5am before we could get her back to sleep.  It was pretty exhausting since the boys were not jet lagged and would still wake us up at 6 or 7am!  We have definitely turned a corner in the past week.  Hannah is now consistently sleeping from 8:30pm-6am without getting up in the night.  She is napping from 1pm til 3 or 4pm most afternoons as well.

We have also transitioned to a new routine for falling asleep.  When we first got home she would only fall asleep while I was holding her, often while standing and swaying back and forth.  Anytime I tried to set her down (even in the bed snuggled up next to me) she would cry.  It was exhausting for all of us.  Our new routine is for her to drink her bottle while being rocked and then after a little more rocking/cuddle time I put her in the crib in our room and either sit or lay beside the crib so she knows I'm there.  She fusses a little sometimes but I always reassure her I'm still with her by singing to her, patting her bottom, etc.  Hannah can fall asleep "on her own" this way with me present.

Hannah has been a pretty good eater from day one!  We have added two bottles/day to her eating- not for nutritional purposes - but really more for bonding and attachment.  She LOVES her bottle and loves being held to receive it.

In China, Hannah preferred carbs and meat.  We have added in some fruits (bananas and oranges) and vegetables (she loves broccoli and will eat veggies if they are in soup).  She still turns down most new foods but we continue to offer them.  Hannah loves yogurt and any kind of warm, broth foods like soup.  She loved the chicken tortilla soup and chili that friends brought us for dinner and also loved chicken noodle soup at Panera!

Hannah is very interested in feeding herself with a fork/spoon so we are giving her plenty of opportunities to practice.  She also has started to drink from a sippy cup and cup with a straw some.  In China she would only drink from a bottle so we are making progress!

Hannah doesn't have any spoken words at this point which doesn't surprise or concern us.  She has heard Mandarin (and some English) for most of her life so it will take her awhile to sort things out and speak in English.

We have been working on baby sign language for key words and she is doing great! In the two weeks we have been home she has learned the following signs:  more, eat, drink, mommy, daddy, dog, thank you, milk and cracker.   Tonight she even signed "Daddy eat" when Bryan sat down with his food!  Yay Hannah!

We prayed and prayed that Hannah would bond to us and are so thankful we have seen that happen.  She is kind of like velcro to me on many days but has really opened up to Bryan since we have been home.  She loves to play and be rowdy with Bryan and the boys.  Hannah willingly gives hugs and kisses to us and gladly receives comfort from us when she is upset.  She still seems to prefer me for comfort but definitely loves her Daddy too!

Big Brothers
Hannah loves to watch her big brothers play and be wild! She laughed and laughed today as they ran during our family walk.   Both of the boys interact with her and play with her in their own ways.  Joshua and Hannah are closer in age obviously and have more common interests.  Joshua has enjoyed playing Disney Princess castle with Hannah :)

Hannah really struggles when I show any affection to the boys or give them attention over her.  If I have Joshua in my lap she will fall apart crying, crawl over to me and try to shove her way into my lap and push Joshua out of the way.  I'm doing my best to meet everyone's needs but it seems that with 3 someone is always out of sorts!  I know with time and consistency Hannah will realize I can be Mommy to all 3 of them... she was just convinced in China that she was an only child! :)

Hannah loves to play with toys, and we have been impressed that she seemed to know how to play from the first day we met her.  Many kids who have been in orphanages do not understand how to play with toys.  Hannah's time at Little Flower and Eagles Wings certainly gave her plenty of opportunity to play and she hasn't forgotten it!

Hannah's favorite things are stacking cups and any kind of musical toy.  She has some pretty sweet dance moves and if the song is rather dramatic, she will close her eyes, sway back and forth with an anguished look on her face and try to sing along.  It is hysterical.   Hannah really seems to love Disney princess songs-- more proof that she was destined to be in our family and be Joshua's sister :)

One thing about Hannah's play that has changed is how she plays with dolls.  In China she didn't understand what she was supposed to do with a doll.  Now she loves to feed her baby, rock her baby, carry it on her shoulder while she scoots around on her bottom, and cover up her baby with a blankie.  She is such a little mommy and it is so fun to watch!

And now for the best part --- pictures of Hannah over the past two weeks since we got home.  If you are friends with me on Facebook you may have seen most of these but since this blog is like our family photo album/scrapbook they need to find their place here, too!

My first trip to Target

Happy girl learning how to use a sippy cup 

Loves to offer us bites of real and pretend food 

Getting into trouble with my brother 

Jet lag is no joke 

"Now listen, baby.  You need to stay in this stroller even though I screamed bloody murder in my stroller in China."

"Joshua, you've got a little cowlick here in the front.  Let me help you out." 

First trip to the pediatrician
 Hannah was 23.5 lbs and I think 32 inches long
She cried a few times but overall she did great!

Hannah's first time to go to church. 
She loved the music- closed her eyes, 'sang along' and took everything in.  I was in tears knowing that my daughter was participating in worship for the first time in her life. 

Happy girl! 

Having her temperature taken by Dr. Joshua with the Doc McStuffins thermometer

Hannah is starting to enjoy swinging!

 Feeding herself chicken & rice soup with a spoon.  She has incredible use of her hands! 

Girlie loves bath time now too!  Hiking her leg up to try to climb in with clothes on!

Hannah thinks the car seat is for sleeping.  She falls asleep 99% of the time when we drive somewhere. 

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