Another great day! Elliana is just wonderful. Something we have discovered today though, is that Elliana really likes to be held and definitely doesn't nap. We are SO happy that she likes to be held, because actually, we thought it would be the opposite. Since she has not been held or given the sense of physical touch as a baby should, we expected that she would not like to be held and that she may fight our touch. We are so thankful that she is not showing signs of this! But, at the same time, we know that we can't train her to always be held and never nap. We are enjoying holding and rocking her as much as possible though:)
We weren't sure how to handle when she would cry. We know that we need to parent certain things differently than a biological child, so we thought this would be one area. We didn't want her to cry at all because we wanted her to associate us as her comfort. If she was unhappy, we wanted to fix it! But, this is very difficult when you have two other littles in the home and we also don't want her to think the world revolves around her. So, today was a day of learning and trying to figure her out.
Our agency had emailed us to say congrats and check in on us. I replied asking for some resources and help with this situation.
Can I just shout it from the rooftops how much we LOVE West Sands Adoption Agency?! At 6:45 pm on a Saturday night, our agency calls us. They just don't stop working! Sheila, our program director, had us on a conference call with someone who is head of another agency and has also adopted from Ethiopia. She was SO helpful. She encouraged us to set healthy boundaries and let her a cry a bit. Everything she said to do was basically exactly what we did with the other two kids. She said to rub her belly, talk to her, or distract her to calm her down. She said not to pick her up every time right away because we would do exactly what we feared we would--train her to know crying means getting picked up. She said to let her cry a little bit then pick her up and when she was calm to lay her back down. We were so relieved! Because this is what we wanted to do, but didn't want to 'do it wrong!' Our parenting style is not the type that doesn't let a baby fuss or cry--but we just thought maybe that was what we needed to do this time around.
We also know that we need to treat her as a newborn, because that is what she is to us. We must think of her in family age as well as chronological age. To us, she is only 2 days old in this family, even though she is almost 8 months old chronologically. It is advised to think this way so we remember to treat her younger than she is. We need to allow her to regress in order to become dependent on us. This will then foster a healthy independence. We learned this from our online classes we took through our agency.
As I mentioned, we were surprised she likes the physical touch so much. The woman I spoke with said it is probably because she has never had that attention in her life and now she is getting it and doesn't want it to go away. So that's great! We are so happy and encouraged.
We are going to continue to keep close to home and keep mommy and daddy as the sole care providers to continue to establish our role to her and form a bond and attachment. Please pray that God would give us wisdom in this and our actions will bring glory to Him.
So, reverse back to the morning....Auntie Dre and Adele came over to swim in the morning with Declan and Raelynn. Then Mimi and Papa brought In n Out for lunch--what a treat!!! :)
|love this! and they even match!|
All the big kids went down for a nap so mommy and daddy gave Elliana a bath:) Auntie Dre was the designated photographer and got it all on video, too.
(And, as you can see from the picture....we didn't want her to cry!! I prefaced the post with all that information because our day was full of just trying to not let her cry....but now we know how to move forward)
After her bath, mommy had fun trying out new hair products:) We brushed with a wide tooth comb, put hair milk on her hair and then spritzed it with some shea butter spray. Not sure it made a difference--while I was brushing Brent said I was actually making a fro...I have some learning to do:)
Declan woke up so they had play time together and we tried Elliana in the discovery center for the first time. When we hold her up, she doesn't put her feet on the ground and try to push up, so we are hoping this will help develop that.
We were really trying all day to get Elliana to nap somewhere other than on us (crib or pack n play). Brent had her asleep in his arms and put her in the crib. She fussed, but he laid on the floor and they both fell asleep:)
|Elliana is so flexible!|
Mimi dropped off dinner for us again--such a huge help!! We appreciate the meals so much. She also brought me some paper plates:)
As I mentioned before, we got the phone call during dinner from our agency. After dinner we did baths for the big kids and then bottles and bed.
It was a hard night again because Elliana is waking a lot and we tried not to pick her up immediately. We did eventually pick her up each time and I think there was one time that Brent was able to just hold her and she went back to sleep. But it's all such a blur in the middle of the night! Elliana will be 8 months old this week, but it is like having a newborn home. So needless to say, we are pretty exhausted. But it's a fun learning experience and oh so worth it. She is adjusting so well.