Saturday, April 23, 2016

Day 5: Adventures in the Neighborhood

Our day started off with a pediatrician visit.  What a wonderful and amazing doctor she was!  When our in-country representative told us the doctor would see us on Saturday morning, I assumed it would be regular office hours like home.  She came to the office just to see us! And was so helpful and kind not just to Violet but to all of us.  She hugged all 5 of us as we left.  What a better world it would be if more doctors were like her.  (Actually, more people in general!)

We were then able to come back to the apartment for a little bit of down time and some lunch, and Violet had her nap.  In the middle of the afternoon, we decided to take her for her first family stroll and walk a few blocks through our the neighborhood.  We stopped at a market and then at a shop to get arepas-- a Colombian staple-- and some sort of delicious looking jam-filled pastry with cinnamon on top.  I couldn't try that one, but it looked so good! Then we headed back here for the rest of the day.

It was interesting to watch our sweet girl interact as we walked around today.  She got very quiet after awhile--I'm not sure what she thought about all of the activity.  She perked right back up when we came back here, though, so she is definitely getting comfortable with us and with the routines we are trying to keep for her.

Food has been the most active issue for me.  I have simply forgotten how much preparation there is to feed a toddler and also just how often you need to be ready to feed them!  All of those are good things--they just take some retraining for us.  Right now we can't just feed her pizza!  It requires some thought and planning which we will readjust to soon enough.  That being said, she'd eat pizza if we let her!  She loves her food, so that makes it fun.

Bedtime for the past two nights has been the hardest part of our day.  When she takes a nap, she goes down just fine.  The first night she was with us, she also went right to sleep immediately.  Now there is something about bedtime that is hard.  We asked at our encuentro meeting if there was a specific routine or something they say or do at the orphanage at bedtime for the children, but were told not really.  They just know it's bedtime!  We may ask one of her specific caregivers at our meeting on Monday if she can think of anything that would help.  There is obviously something for her that is missing, other than all of the obvious things with such a big change in her little life.  If we can do something to make that easier, we want to know what it is.  Does she need a light on?  Is it too loud? Is there something we need to say or sing or know to do?  She was used to very specific routines, and a family routine is a bit different even though we are trying to keep her schedule the same for now as that is better for her.  That's the hard part--we don't know what her little mind and heart is needing, but we can give her all of the love that we can.  So tonight we sang, we rocked, we had some milk, we rocked some more.  I have done all sorts of reading and training and know all of the 'appropriate' things to do for this situation, but nothing prepares you for what it does in your heart when you are actually right there in the middle of it. To know your baby is hurting and you cannot fill that place yet.  So we also prayed.  Sometimes the very best lullabies are worship songs that lead you in prayer. There is joy is the journey of adoption--so much joy!  But their is also loss and pain and a little heart that is probably very confused.  And so we walk through it together, as a family.  She is sleeping now, and tomorrow is a new day.  We are thankful for this one and for all the ones ahead of us.

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