We’re making progress slowly. In the daily grind it’s easy to lose sight of that, but when I realize that Leeza has only been home about 3 weeks I can see that it’s getting better. The number of times she wakes up at night screaming is decreasing and it’s turned more into being mad that she has to stay in bed than fear. She still hates nap time, but is becoming resigned to the fact that she’s going to have a quiet time every day with the rest of us. It still surprises me that she reacts so violently to ‘spat’ (nap/bedtime) and I can’t help but wonder if she somehow thought she wouldn’t have to sleep anymore when she came home. Sorry, sweetie!

The clinginess and lost look on her face is easing some as she is learning the routine here and she’s even started looking at an occasional book or watching a minute or two of TV when the other kids get to watch Curious George. Even though there were a few toys around the orphanage the kids didn’t play with them much and I noticed they were usually kept out of reach in her room anyway. She likes the idea of toys and is interested in them when a new one is introduced, but has no clue what to actually DO with one. The same with crayons or markers. Josiah and I have been trying to work with her on how to play with toys each day and hopefully it will start to make some sense soon. We’re continuing to work through the concept of possessions. She spends huge parts of the day scooting around the house asking who each item belongs to. Trying to fold laundry with her can be exhausting because she keeps grabbing each piece of clothing (even if it’s already folded) so she can guess whose it is. Again, she likes the idea of having her own possessions, but doesn’t yet know how to take pride in taking care of something that is hers.

But in the midst of all this I’m seeing change. During school time she’s trying to be engaged and even learned how to cut with scissors this week (and did really well!). She’s trying new foods and has decided that cheese and chocolate are not disgusting and she LOVES squash. She watches over Kasia and helps her when she falls or drops something. She’s learning to take turns and how to say ‘thank you.’ And the biggest change yet….as I’ve been writing this she crawled into bed during nap time and fell sleep for the first time ever! :)

PS Totally unrelated, but these are a couple questions that I’ve gotten several times lately.

“So, what did they send her home with? Does she have a wheelchair?” No chair, no equipment, no clothes. The kids leave in the clothes that you bring and any equipment they had stays for other children.

“Is the adoption process all over?” Yes and no. She was officially adopted and is legally a Dean. However, we are choosing to re-adopt in the US so she will have a SS# and US passport. It doesn’t really change anything except that it could save her a lot of headaches if she ever chooses to leave the country when she grows up. She will be a legal citizen of both countries.

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