June 29, 2012



Last night Callie Beth had a major meltdown.  She screamed at the top of her lungs and sobbed uncontrollably for almost an hour.  There was no consoling her.  This is very typical for adopted children.  Molly Kate didn't have any episodes like this while we were in China, but after we were home, she had night terrors several times, with the same uncontrollable crying.  There seemed to be no comforting her, so we would put her in her bed, and I would lie beside it, telling her over and over she would be okay and that I loved her.  Eventually, she would fall asleep.  That's what I had to eventually do with Callie Beth last night. 

We learned a lot from our visit to the Show Hope Center in the orphanage where Callie Beth lived.  As I told you the other day, the nurses and nannies there were WONDERFUL.  They were all SO sweet, and it was obvious they were crazy about Callie Beth.  From what we saw, though, Callie Beth was one of the older children in the unit, and by far, one of the more advanced.  However, due to the severity of some of the medical conditions of the children there (children who need HOMES and FOREVER FAMILIES to love and nurture them) ,I saw no children from whom she might pattern "typical" three-year-old behaviors.  Since her English is limited----Mama, water, and milk----the only way she knows to communicate when she has a need is to groan loudly or scream.   She sometimes bangs on things, but does so in a playful way, because she always smiles really big when she does it.  We know this will change with time, but for right now, it is a reality we are having to patiently work with. She does understand what "NO" means, and obeys when we give her that command.  We have no concerns about her intelligence.  She was playing on our friend's I-Pad the other night and immediately understood what to do to change from one icon to the other. 

We also don't know the extent of Callie Beth's congenital vision problem.  It is obvious that she is constantly struggling to focus both of her eyes at the same time, due to what appears to be strabismus.  Her teacher in the orphanage said she didn't think she could see colors, and that she had very poor vision in the dark.  I don't think, though, her eyes have ever been examined by a specialist.  I truly believe when we get the strabismus under control, it will make a MAJOR difference for her.  There is no discoloration in her eyes, though----they are beautiful and have quite a sparkle to them!!!!

The best news for us is that the surgery Callie Beth had at age one month for the biliary atresia was successful.  She has quite a scar from the surgery, but there is NO DOUBTS that she is physically healthy!!!  She is quite a chubby chunk, and eats like a horse!!!  This is a blessing beyond words, because not all children with this condition are so lucky.  We will be taking her to a pediatric gastroenterologist as soon as we get home because this is a condition we will need to keep an eye on, but our pediatrician told us since she has gone this long without complications, it is very likely she will never have any further problems with it.  I want to hear that from a specialist, though!!!!

I guess I'm sharing all of this because I don't want any of you to be expecting to see a 3 year old who is like most other typical three year olds, because right now, she's not.  She behaves like a child who has been institutionalized all her life, which she has, and who can't communicate verbally because she doesn't know our language and we don't know hers.  She is maybe functioning on the emotional level of an 18 month old.  She has a lot to learn, but with the love and patience and support of family and friends, she will be fine, just like Molly Kate is now.  It's not fair to compare her to Molly Kate in any way, because there situations are totally different.  Molly Kate has now spent almost half her life in a normal (well, I'm not sure you would call our home NORMAL) family life, with constant love, attention, and nurturing.  While Callie Beth has had plenty of love and attention, it hasn't been a HOME or with a FAMILY.

I can also tell you, though, that Callie Beth is a BEAUTIFUL little girl whom we love with all our hearts and souls.  We have no doubts WHATSOEVER that God matched her with us to be her Mama and Daddy, and we are going to give our all to give her the good life that Molly Kate and our boys have.  She is PERFECT for our family, too!!!!

We appreciate the prayers from all of you.  Taking care of two toddlers is not always easy.....but then, I knew that from the beginning.  The REWARDS, though FAR OUTWEIGH the stress.  The girls are SO precious together, and I have no doubts that they will become best friends.  They have both already shown a deep compassion toward each other.

As I read back over this entry, it seems I've painted quite a bleak picture of our new daughter.  Actually, she is happy, sweet, and cooperative, 95% of the time.  We have been out and about constantly since we got her on Monday, and she has done fine.  She especially likes to ride in the stroller and go for walks, just like Molly Kate does.  I think she's going to be an athlete, because she can throw a ball like a pro already.  She hangs on to me like a leech, but then, that's just fine.  I love the knowledge that I am a comfort to her.  She plays rough and tough----part of the survival of the fittest in her past life, I'm sure!!!!  I have a feeling Molly Kate is going to learn just as much from her as she learns from Molly Kate!!!!!

Thanks for taking time to read my daily posts.  I know I'm quite long-winded.  It is very special to me, though, to get to share this WONDERFUL special event in our life with you!!!!!

Vicki :)

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