Wednesday, November 2, 2011

Four Months Home and Questions

Lily has been home four months today! Here is a short list of things she's learned to do since coming home:

  • Stand and cruise
  • Help put on her shoes and shirt
  • Say "Ma-ma" and mean me
  • Say "Ba-ba" and mean bottle
  • Shake her head "no" (but without the meaning behind it...yet)
  • Wave her hands
  • Occasionally tolerate getting her teeth brushed
  • Climb onto things, especially stairs and boxes
  • Shake toys to make noise
  • Bang toys on the table to make noise
  • Scribble with a marker (with some guiding)
  • Touch her lips to any food we offer her
  • Drink things that are cold
  • Occasionally swallow some solid baby food from a spoon
  • Smile and giggle
  • "Dance" by bending and straightening her knees repeatedly
  • Turn pages of a book
  • Sign "eat", usually with help
  • Understand "more"
  • Touch everyone's nose
  • Fuss when things don't go her way :)
Today we went to a new playgroup and met several other moms & their kids. This is one of the few times that I've gone somewhere with Lily where the people I was with didn't know her story or anything about her. It was my first experience fielding a few hard questions. I know these moms didn't have any malice behind their questions, they are just uneducated. Here were their questions and my answers...I hope I did ok.

  1. "Is your daughter mentally handicapped?"~~ My answer to this was just, "She has Down Syndrome".
  2. "Her face looks funny" (from a 3-year-old)~~ In response I said, in a silly voice, "Well YOUR face looks funny!" and they all giggled. I'm pretty proud of how I handled that one :)
  3. "Did she cost less to adopt because of her disability?"~~ I explained that *she* didn't "cost" anything, the money went to other expenses. I also explained how children with special needs are not usually adopted in their own country, so it is "easier" to adopt a special needs child (usually), especially if you want a young child.
  4. This was more of a comment: "I saw a documentary on kids in orphanages in Romania and I thought, 'Wow, I could give love to a child like that', and here you are living it!" I didn't quite know how to respond to this, but as I thought about it later (and if we'd not been in a cramped living room full of loud adults & children) I was surprised by what I would have told her: I would say, "Adoption is a huge blessing and a challenge, but it's not for everyone. Before you commit to adopt, please do a lot of research and reading about what it's like to parent an internationally adopted child". So now I'm ready for next time :)


Ashley said...

wow...I've never thought about how I'd answer those questions to people who don't know Carter's history! Well done, though!

And I love your list of what Lily is doing! It makes me wonder what Carter will be doing in 4 months!

Lisa said...

great post, Jess. I love hearing how Lily is doing, and how YOU are doing! and hooray for playdates and mommy groups:)

Rachel said...

I think you did very well with the questions! I am never good at on the spot things like that, I always seem to prepare myself for the wrong things, in any situation :) Good for you! I'm so happy to see her doing so well, she is beautiful!

Rachel said...

Just wanted to say "Hi" from After the Rainbow. If you need anything or just want to talk to other families who have "been there", please don't hesitate to contact me or to post on the After the Rainbow Yahoo Group (shoot me an email if you're not a member yet).

Rachel Whitmire
Post-Adoption Care Coordinator
Reece's Rainbow Down Syndrome Adoption Ministry

Erik and Ashley said...

hey! i think you did great with your answers!! no doubt it won't be the last time, so i'm sure you'll have plenty of chances to refine and improve as you see fit. ;) but i think you have gotten off to a great start!

it's hard to field those questions yourself, but when lily is older and able to understand some of the questions, that is when it might get really hard, because you will want to protect her from malice and ignorance. but i can see lily will learn from the best on how to respond, based on these examples! :)