Well, here we are at four months into our adoption journey. Life definitely has settled down but we still hit lots of bumps in the road. Our biggest struggle is the toilet and still deal with accidents every week. On the other hand, we have been amazed at how quickly she picks up music and how she is starting to communicate with us about what she sees. (Okay, so it's just when she sees an airplane, but we're on the right track! Somehow, that sign just really stuck with her.) It gives us hope that one day she will be able to tell us what she's thinking. Anah's first Christmas with us was a non-eventful one. I wish I was able to do more, but I was feeling rather burned out so we kept it very simple. She definitely knows how to open presents and wanted to open everyone else's for them. Like most two-year-olds, it was the paper and ribbon that was more interesting than the toys. We also had an opportunity to light our church's Christmas Eve advent candles as a family and she did very well with that too.
She has been a great sport with all the doctors' appointments that she has every week. Her thyroid condition is stabilizing and as a result, she has gained several pounds since she arrived in September. She definitely has a little belly, and her face is getting rounder. She has also been having physical therapy appointments about every two weeks. She is very cautious and careful and doesn't like the stairs unless she is holding onto someone's finger. If that is not available, she is clinging to the wall or stair rail or slides up/scoots down on them. Anything that is at all risky or scary or requires her to stand on one foot makes her nervous. We are hoping that she will learn to feel confident soon.
As for us, we have had our ups and downs too. The things that were cute when we first met her can be downright annoying now. Like any kid, she has her opinions on things and would much rather do her own thing. But we are starting school activities with her and her day usually involves storytime, physical exercise, music, desk work, playtime with her siblings, and independent work. It is a challenge for me to juggle all four of the kids, but we are figuring things out a little at a time.
Last weekend, my husband and I had our first ministry event together since Anah joined us. We loaded up all our kids and headed out to Ventura and the beach. It was very life-giving for me, as it allowed me to talk with other adults and do something that I really enjoyed. Even though it was a lot of work and it took me awhile to catch up last week, it was one of those things that I was so glad that we were able to do.
I can't say that things are settled yet. I am realizing that this is not going to just take a month. It's going to take a long time. There are times a despair. Then there are moments of hope. But I suppose that is probably more common that I realize. It is a good thing that the God who called us to do this is the same and always with us. I don't think we'd make it without Him.