Tuesday, May 15, 2012

6 months home! (Summer)

Gee, has it really been that long?  In some ways, it seems like just yesterday.  In others, it seems like they've been here forever.  I figured I'd update on the before and after since these are older children we adopted and everyone always wonders.  How difficult, etc.  I will lay it all out so to speak as a lot happened in the past 25 weeks since they've been home.  A lot.  But that's a good thing.  This is going to be all words as truly, I've posted enough pics lately.  Okay, so a few may sneak in here.

Let's start with the youngest.  Ms. Summer.  Not sure if some of you recall or not but Summer wanted absolutely positively NOTHING to do with us when we met her.  We could not even touch her.  Try that one on for meeting your child.  So, we knew the second pick up trip was going to be torture.  We could hope for better but deep down inside, we knew.  We had to literally peel her out of there.  It continued for a few days.  she wanted nothing to do with us.  The screaming, the crying, it dragged on and on.  I really thought one day Reni would knock her to the moon.  But then, a break through.

This was taken by a friend of ours that was also on their pick up trip.  This shows the exact moment she actually let me hold her...

for the first time ever!  It was a breaking point for Summer.  Walls would have to come down further but this was the moment that did it.  This was the start.  The next few days we went to the park w/ Viviane and her family.  I will never forget the day Summer reached for me.  See, she had taken a liking to Viviane.  Great b/c at least we had some way to calm her.  But hard for mom(me) still.  The above though was it.  It did the trick for us.  

Once I knew Summer would be okay w/ that.  We tackled that all feared all dreaded bath.  They say shampooing a porcupine is impossible.  Well, it would have been easier than bathing Summer that week.  I made the agency call the orphanage to make sure they told me the truth about getting a bath.  It was clear she'd never had one.  They said "oh, she gets showers."  Umm, nope.  No go there either folks.  Makes you wonder a bit, doesn't it.  We decided for the sanity of us all that week, she could stink.  LOL.  No, we did bathe her, just not as often.  

But, I'm here to talk about her progress. Well, health wise, she's doing fantastic.  She is indeed missing her corpus callosum completely.  However, she does not come w/ many of the "side" issues that may arise w/ that.  She was cleared by ophthalmology, endocrinology, neurology(well, 9 month follow ups), and pediatrician.  She went from a size 3T in Bulgaria when we got her to a size 5/6 right now.  She's gained weight too b/c she's heavy!  She used to fall out of the van.  Off the dining room chair, no balance.  Couldn't run, let alone walk to well.  Now, she plays soccer.  

Summer, RUNNING after the ball w/out falling.  It's almost like watching a little miracle.  She was evaluated at a 2yo level in everything.  And I'm not talking the end of a 2yo level either.  It was recommended PT, OT, Speech, etc.  The works as I call it.  However, I never ever get them therapy until at least 6 months home.  I do a reeval then and see what they truly need.  

Summer could not dress herself, feed herself too well, drink w/out a lid or w/out spilling, etc.  She was NOT at all potty trained one bit.  Not...a...bit.  Nope.  She could not button, zip, etc.  Not tie her shoes, nothing.  Could barely hold a pencil.  Did I worry.  No.  She would be fine.  

I will not be getting Summer any therapies.  She is doing fantastic.  I'd say she's on par w/ her age group in many areas now.  Speech is coming along.  Part of that though is also learning another language.  And, having a deaf brother.  She dresses herself.  It's obvious but I let it go.  She can't button yet but she'll get there.  She feeds herself.  No lid needed.  She is potty trained w/ a few accidents here and there.  She wets the bed at night more often than she should but it's a learning thing.  She keeps up w/her brothers.  She has no fear.  She "owns" the dogs.  LOL.  She has spunk!  She's a live wire.  No one knows now that there is anything "wrong" with her.  She is appearing more and more like a typical 5yo.  She will be highly delayed academically.  that is very evident already w/ many developmental delays.  However, she has come exceedingly far for such a short time, we are on a wait and see approach. 

Emotionally, Summer came with quite a bit of baggage. The sad face.  The crying.  Would it ever end?  Well, what do you think?

Sun in her hair....smiling.  Smiling.  The first few weeks, it was all we could do to get a smile out of her.  So emotionally withdrawn.  Wanted nothing to do with us so much.  Was afraid to get too close.  She was terrified to go to bed.  And I mean terrified.  Not just normal orphanage scared either.  This was different.  Once she was reassured for a few days, it improved.  It is hard as a parent when you can't comfort it all away.  Somethings, they just have to work through.  I think the time I was most heartbroken was at soccer the one day.  I could not make it all better.  It started to rain.  She was frozen.  Blank stare.  The whole 9 yards. I'd realized, she'd probably never been caught in the rain before.  Nothing I could do that day made anything better.  Nothing.  She was lost in her own world.  She has now learned not to be afraid of rain or thunder or lightening.  She's willing to conquer her fears head on.  She's willing to walk away emotionally from whatever happened in the past.  We'll never know Summer's whole story.  Ever.  You have to remind her to eat.  This is common though w/ c-ACC kids.  When I'm angry w/ her, I must show it in my face so she can process that emotion.  When I'm happy w/ her, I must do the same.  Exaggerate somewhat more though so that she can differentiate between emotions.  Crazy, I know.  She has to learn emotions which can be tough.

Summer LOVES to sign.  She adores Nik and plays with him the most.  The feeling is mutual.  They have a wonderful bond and did need each other for sure.  Summer has come an incredibly long way in bonding, healing, learning and loving.  Just 6 short months.  Amazing.  

I know there's a ton I left out.  Can't write it all.  Just know, she's spoiled rotten.  My only regret with her is not getting her sooner!  LOL.  We love her to pieces.  More to come on the other two soon.  Lots going on here at Chaos Manor so other things to do this evening. 


  1. Sweet, sweet Summer... can't wait to see her again with her new self. I know she is totally a mommy's girl now, but do you think she still likes me a little? ;)

  2. great story! ...not to look up corpus callosum :O)