Jude has been home for a week now. The progress has been astounding. She has gained about 1 pound since pickup 2.5 weeks ago. She no longer screams bloody murder in the tub, it has become the normal fun thing to do (as it should be at 2). In fact over the past 3 days it has been something she has been looking forward to. She no longer requires the TV to fall asleep (which is good since we essentially don’t have TV, only Netflix) instead about 5 minutes of rocking does the trick. Usually (more on this in a minute). She is making healthier food choices. At pickup we really could only consistently get chips and pretzel sticks into her. Now: Cheerios, Low Sodium V8, Peanut Butter, Mozzarella Cheese, Pasta, Chicken, and Applesauce are all safe bets. The chickenpox are healing. She will finally take her multivitamin everyday. And biggest of all: The past two days she has been shy around strangers (adoptive parents know how huge this is). She will want to be picked up, hold my hand or hide behind me if she meets someone new.
We are still facing challenges: Everytime I brush her teeth one would think I was water boarding a cat. It’s not pretty. I’m so totally pumped for the dentist next week. Not. Diaper change is only slightly less torturous for both of us. I simply cannot wait until she learns enough English to express her needs because potty training is the first thing on that list to save everyone’s sanity.
While nap time is easy. Jude has a disorder that I had been warned that many children with it have sleep disturbances. I didn’t see anything too unusual in Sofia except that she doesn’t sleep but 8 hours a night. Well it would seem that now that her nutrition is better it sometimes takes 90 minutes for her to fall asleep at night and she is only sleeping 6-8 hours. Oi vey. Tried melatonin as suggested by one of the doctors but after 3 nights I noted nightmares so that will be a no-go. And while Benadryl did make her sleepy…it only worked for 4 hours. I guess we will just suffer through. I am hoping that over the long term maybe she will chill and settle in more and her sleep will improve some.
So what preparation did I find helpful so far? The Attachment Parenting Book by William Sears, Toddler Adoption a Weaver’s Craft by Mary Hopkins-Best, The Happiest Toddler on The Block by Harvey Karp, Bringing up Bebe, and Simplicity Parenting by Kim John Payne and yes oddly enough only one of those books was specifically about adoption.
Some weird things I have noticed so far. Jude is not a fan of anything really sweet. She much prefers vegetables to fruit and will frequently turn down a cookie or a cupcake for a tomato or something with peanut butter.
It took about a week to get Jude used to not wearing multiple layers of clothing. She was wearing 3 at pickup.