Home 2 months (yeah we’re still here)

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I picked up Gabriel 2 months ago today.
She is doing really, quite well.
So what in the heck happened with the updating? “Theories and Research in Nursing 401.” OH MY GAWD!!! Started this awesomeness 4 days before my last post and right now I am in severe writer’s block for finals week. It has kicked my ass. I think my brain has been put in the blender. The “e” on my keyboard is gonna die like any day so I also have my first new computer in 10 years and OH MY GAWD Windows 10 is no Windows Vista and it took like a day just for me to figure out where to find basic things.
Lesson: too much for me with new kid. Dropped some things in life. Like blogging, top sheets (take up way too much time making the bed), litter pans (bought one of those self-cleaning situations {NEW MOMS MUST DO THIS}, and 1/2 of the physically going into the grocery store (they have online shopping and drive-up service!!!). I am going to pick up blogging but I think that the others are a permanent change.
Christmas went really well this year. It was quiet. I intentionally kept it low key and we had no major tantrums from anyone.
I went back to work on January 4th. Jude was VERY VERY ready for me to go back. She missed going to Grandma’s every day. Gabriel has been doing OK with the change.
We have had a few doctors appointments.
Jude saw neurology, endocrinology, and ophthalmology. Her neurologist is pleased with her progress with Speech and OT. Despite our inability (so far) to locate a pediatric PT that would be able to accommodate Jude’s past trauma issues she has made some gains there with what I know. Endocrinology was something I had been putting off since she came home. I finally relented as we had the time and am pleased (that I was right) and we will not have to ever see them again. They were lovely, but Jude has no needs through them. What did surprise us all is how deficient Jude’s vision in her left eye is. Jude had (yes past tense) strabismus when she came home in that eye that the doctor felt would resolve just with everyday exposure to varying visual fields (ie strabismus related to neglect). She was right. Jude has been doing a fabulous job identifying letters and numbers, coloring, drawing, etc. that we had no indication of her visual acuity in that eye. She now has glasses (which she loves) and I get a giant smile every morning when I put them on her. We were also able to wrap up all the immunizations she should need until she is a pre-teen. Oh, and she has gained 2 more pounds!
Gabriel has been to the doctor several times. We will be playing immunization catch up well into this summer. She has gained 1 inch and 5 pounds since pick up. When I picked up Gabriel I was given her glasses by the orphanage. This was the first time I was told that she had them despite her getting them the Friday before we visited her for Trip 1. Amongst her medical records was a translated ophthalmology exam. Our ophthalmologist couldn’t reproduce anything found on that exam. The RX written for her glasses did not match what was made (they can read the glasses themselves), but by some miracle the RX she has is exactly what she needs. Gabriel was listed as having asthma that had “resolved.” I have learned in many years of nursing that it is something that doesn’t simply magically go away. Indeed, at pickup we were given an asthma medication for her take. She saw an allergist who confirmed that she has moderate asthma. She has obviously ben treated for it as she knew exactly what to do the first time with the inhaler/facemask we were given. She breathes correctly without any instruction from me. She has several pending appointments with specialist over the course of the next month to finish up her initial exams.
Gabriel has a full understanding of English. She speaks more English home two months than Jude was speaking just this past summer. Gabriel does still speak Bulgarian. Specifically, she can swear LIKE A PIRATE in Bulgarian. I was not prepared for that development (at just age 3), but whatever. Thankfully, Jude hasn’t relearned any of it.
Co-sleeping is going really well with Gabriel because she sleeps. Unlike Jude. Also, thankfully, she does not experience nightmares like Jude did. She will wake briefly and look for me and fall right back asleep, but that is it. Even the cats are brave enough to sleep with us.
Gabriel has a lot of post-institutional behaviors. We saw the “rocking” when we visited her. She will not rock if we have her engaged in an activity, but she will rock, at rest, almost any other time: sitting, standing, even when she sleeps she will automatically get up on elbows and knees and rock herself to sleep. At night, I have been able to help by actually rocking her, which she prefers, and is finally starting to ask for. During the day she may rock herself (even bang her head) for long periods of time. Gabriel is also a near-constant thumb-sucker. Again, we have been working on keeping her engaged and preoccupied to keep the rocking and the thumbsucking at bay. We will not actively stop her if she engages in it.
Gabriel has finally learned to be “easy” with the cat. Pippen adores her. She hasn’t learned to be quite so easy on Jude. Exacerbating the issue is if Gabriel (or Jude) forgets the no hitting/no kicking rule. The other typically responds with vicious revenge, which appears to be learned behavior from both girls. Otherwise they love each other, giggle, have fun and get along.
The spitting and biting that we saw with Gabriel at pickup has all but resolved completely. My bruises have not.
Following our arrival home I registered both girls with the Bulgarian Embassy in DC. I have received confirmation of their registration there. We are still waiting for Gabriel’s certificate of citizenship to arrive. We will need it to complete Gabriel’s adoption here in Maine, and obtain a passport for her this Spring because…
WE ARE FINALLY GOING BACK TO CANADA!
I got a ton of camping supplies for Christmas and it is back to PEI National Park we go this summer!
The girls have already been educated on Cow’s Ice Cream and decide daily what flavors/colors they want to try.
In the meantime…I will finish up the most work-intensive nursing term by Tuesday night and hope that next term has less homework.

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One response »

  1. Yikes 2 kids, work and school! More power to you. I started to old and only have my one.
    Are you getting BSN, MSN or further onward to a specialty? Sorry I am a nurse as well.
    Pat

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