It has been 2 years since we adopted Katie. She has come a long way and we try to focus on the positives and not worry about the rest. After a year of speech therapy services, we were not satisfied with the progress (or lack thereof) so we switched her to another therapy organization where the philosophy is around more of a holistic view of the child, where gross motor is connected to fine motor as well as speech. Over the summer, we ramped up to 3 days a week of speech, physical, and occupational therapy. In the last few months we are seeing progress in Katie's speech. She is still pretty "floppy" but I think her core strength is improving with summer swimming and riding her tricycle, as well as everyday activities like having her climb into her car seat. She started a new preschool program and we are hoping this environment will also stimulate and reinforce what she is learning in therapy.
Potty training is a challenge! We have been working on it for a few months and #1 is going well but #2 is not! God must be teaching us to be very patient as we try to avoid #2 accidents at home. She doesn't like to tell us when she needs to go so this has been a project. Hopefully someday we can look at this and laugh...not yet though, ack.
I still am amazed at how well the older kids are doing with Katie. It was a natural fit from the day we came back with her and I know they cannot imagine life without her. She is being so much better about not whacking her siblings and she is also calling their names and trying to help them out by doing things like bringing them their shoes when it is time to leave the house. It's pretty cute I must say.
Adoption is the hardest thing I have ever been through from start to now - from paperwork, home studies, travel, more paperwork, adaptation at home, and continued challenges where you wonder what is normal and what is more of an issue that you have to deal with in the future. I find myself in a constant state of worry about what long term concerns may exist that I am not even aware of. I did not realize Katie would need all the therapy she has or have reactions to dairy and sometimes other foods. I didn't know she wouldn't sleep through the night for a year, I thought that was just my newborns. Adoption is not for the faint of heart. And I am not discouraging anyone from adoption because I have no regrets. It is both a selfish (I want more kids) and selfless (I am giving myself to you) act. You have to go into it with eyes wide open. It won't be easy. You accept what is unknown and you have faith and patience. You may have many, many sleepless nights and poopy diapers and be trying to teach a big child how to walk and talk and eat solid foods after being constantly rejected. You see other kids her age and fight not to compare her to other kids her age, because it's not fair to her. You give and give despite the temper tantrums. You watch your child run to strangers and get scared she won't attach. Then you notice she hovers near you, it just kind of sneaks up on you one day when you realize it. Then there are the cuddles, she plays with your hair, and she smiles a ton. Wow, this kid is...happy! There is that day, 2 years after going to court and promising to take good care of your daughter, that she looks at you and utters the magical words, "Mommy, I love you." Yep, Katie said that to me today. I am feeling like one proud mom who is blessed and loved. Yes, it is hard. Yes, it is worth it.