We're home, and all is well. Alli's transition continues to go so much better than we could have imagined. We have read books, taken classes on line, and talked to other adoptive parents. We were prepared for so many issues that we are not dealing with.
When we arrived at the airport, several family members and friends were there to greet us. Of course, Andrew, Baily, and Michael were the first ones. They climbed the stairs as we were coming down, and we all just meet there in one big hug. It is so good to be back with them and have our whole family together.
Alli did great at the airport. She stayed in mine or Stephen's arms, but she did not cry and allowed others to hug and greet her. When we got home she was a little timid, but came out of that quickly. For the first 30 minutes, we sat on the floor and the children, grandparents, Aunt Leigh, and cousin Hiley would get down on her level to talk. By the time we walked everyone out to their cars, Alli was running around the yard playing with the other kids. We all stayed home Sunday and Monday which was wonderful. Andrew, Bailey, and Michael enjoyed time with their new sister, and Stephen and I enjoyed time with the kids again. 16 days is a very long time to be away from young children. By Sunday afternoon, Alli was calling her brothers and sister by name and giving them kisses. Bailey is extremely attentive to her. They have been playing "Polly Pockets" together, and Bailey is quite the little mother to her. Bailey even allowed Alli to brush her hair and put barrettes in it! For those of you who know Bailey well, that is a miracle!
Alli's one difficulty still seems to be sleeping. As I say that, I realize that is a relative statement. Many children who are adopted at her age do not sleep through the night for months. Alli is sleeping 11-12 hours at night. But she wakes up a couple of times and seems really afraid. I have been sleeping with her in her bed. Or maybe a more accurate statement is I have been laying with her while she sleeps. Even as I type this, I am sitting in the floor of the girls' room, hoping Alli doesn't wake up!
Life is very busy with 4 children. Stephen had a late evening tonight, so it was just me and the 4 kids this afternoon and evening. The older ones are a huge help and of course want to do whatever they can for their sister. Alli is beginning to pick up a little English, and we are recognizing a few phrases that she says. In addition to "I want that", we can also recognize the phrase that tells us she needs to go to the bathroom. She has even picked up a few lines of "Jesus Loves Me" and sings while she's playing. I'm thinking this is a pretty good deal. We have a beautiful, precious daughter with no labor pains, no potty training, and she's sleeping through the night!
Alli visits the pediatrician tomorrow. I am anxious to hear her report of Alli's health as well as her comments regarding Alli's growth. I will be surprised if she even makes the normal growth curve for her age. She's eating American food well though, so it shouldn't be long before she grows those Mauney cheeks that the other 3have!
I will try to load some pictures to the site tonight. If you don't see them, check back tomorrow when Stephen (who is much more tech savvy than me) can help.
Good night from a very blessed, thankful, and tired Mommy!