I'm late on posting this, as the 22nd was the 4 month anniversary of Hannah arriving at her new home in Texas. Three kids makes you adopt a "better late than never" policy -- so here ya go.
When we got Hannah in China she was 22.5 lbs and 29.5 inches tall. After being home for 4 months, she is now 26 lbs and 32.5 inches. The first night I rocked Hannah to sleep in Zhengzhou she was in a size 12 month footed sleeper. She now easily wears a size 24 month sleeper-- probably because she is 3 inches taller!
Hannah is starting to say more and more words, although she mostly says the first sound of the word and not the last. She also continues to use baby sign language to get her point across. Her receptive language is great-- she can follow directions and clearly understands almost everything being said to her. While I'm sure she is technically speech delayed compared to her peers, we know it is because she heard Mandarin for the first 18 months of her life and her little brain is still sorting things out. If she is still behind next spring, we will look to speech therapy then. Our focus right now is family + attachment, and our focus in the fall will be on casting and surgery for her legs.
Here she is at a friend's Memorial Day BBQ signing "horse" when she saw the horse and other animals they have on their property!
Little Sister has more than enough personality to go around! She has certainly found her place in our family and feels quite comfortable to show her funny, silly, and sometimes dramatic side! Hannah is so much fun and we laugh at her antics every single day. She's a born nurturer, fiercely independent, spunky and sweet all at the same time. When we were matched with Hannah other AMC parents told us that she would have an amazing personality-- and boy were they right!
Siblings & Attachment:
Hannah has bonded so well to us as parents. She clearly sees us as Mama and Daddy and we have had no concerns about her attachment. What a blessing! I feel confident that her ability to bond to us was directly related to the loving care she received from Little Flower & Eagles Wings foster homes in China. Her heart knew love and quickly remembered how to do it once we became family. She loves to be held and rocked, is easily comforted by us, but also confident enough to play on her own and explore our home.
Being silly with Joshua
Playing with Caleb while I put Joshua to bed
Enjoying a "pizza picnic" and a movie in the living room with her big brothers while Daddy works
Trying on our costumes for Pine Cove
Hannah loves her big brother Joshua!
Playing Angry Birds with big brothers
One big development is that we have started taking Hannah to the church nursery. We are blessed that they allow me to come into the classroom with Hannah so she will feel secure. I stayed the whole time on her first experience in the nursery and left for the last 10 minutes on her second visit to the nursery. I hope to slowly decrease the amount of time I stay in the room with her. She seems to enjoy being there- especially playing on the slide and snack time. Like most kids her age she is not great at sharing but we will work on that!
"Hannah's Special Hands & Feet":
As a family we refer to Hannah's AMC as her 'special hands & feet'. It is an easy way for the boys to talk about her medical condition and not have to learn how to say "arthrogryposis" just yet. Hannah made tons of progress in the past month. She grew more accustomed to her AFOs and was able to wear them for longer stretches of time. Hannah began to take independent steps in her AFOs and was so thrilled with herself!
Hannah continues to impress us with the use of her hands. She eats very, very well with a fork and spoon for a child her age and can also drink from an open cup. I was so proud when she managed to put Cheerios on a piece of dried spaghetti as a little 'at home occupational therapy' exercise. Most of all, she enjoyed eating the Cheerios!
This continues to be our biggest challenge. Hannah continues to sleep in her room upstairs but we rarely have her sleep all night without waking up and needing comfort. Some nights I have the will power to rock her back to sleep upstairs and other nights I give in and just bring her to our bed. She still seems to need to be close to me on some nights. I can't find a pattern to explain the good vs bad nights. We just continue to focus on meeting her needs and know that in time sleep will improve. Hannah still loves to take a bottle at bedtime and to be rocked to sleep. She has fallen asleep on her own in her bed several times but still prefers to be rocked by Mommy or Daddy.
Hannah is a good napper- typically sleeping from 1:30-3:30 or later each afternoon. I'm thankful for that time when things are 'easier' with just 2 kids for a few hours!
There is nothing better than a sweet, clean baby right out of the tub and in their pajamas!
Hannah, we adore everything about you and love watching your joy for life. It is clear that God hand-picked you for our family; He always writes the very best stories! We are honored and blessed to be your Mommy & Daddy. We can't wait to see all that you will accomplish and the life that God has planned for you!