Exactly one year ago we were in China- eating the most delicious noodles we’ve ever had, smelling all the interesting smells of the streets, and loving and learning our new daughter.
I can’t believe it’s been a year- and all the same, I totally can. God has kept every promise He’s ever made to us in this adoption journey. I knew we’d be in this side of things eventually- but after that 5 year wait and unexpected bout of infertility, whew…it feels really, really good to just BE. With all 3 kids, here in our home.
Truthfully, that’s about all we’ve been able to do- survive! Ha. When people ask us how Lucy’s transition has been, we usually respond, “excellent! Ours as parents however, eeeeshhhhhhh”. With 3 kids now, we are definitely outnumbered and feeling it.
Lucy, though. What a wonderful gift she is.
I do feel that now we have a much better grasp on her personality. For many months, I didn’t want to make any judgments about it due to the fact that she’d endured so much and that trauma can materialize in a variety of ways. But you guys, Lucy is just as sweet as we thought she was. :)
Lucy’s physical health is great. I had a moment yesterday where I was reminded that we could have very easily been going through heart surgery with her. It’s a miracle we aren’t. We have had zero health issues.
We did have concerns about her teeth and underbite, and finally got all 3 kids in to see the dentist. I was expecting Lucy to have the most complications of all of our kids, but surprisingly the dentist wasn’t concerned about her at all (the two older kids, however…cavity city! eeek.). Lucy will likely wear some corrective gear for her underbite at night, and we will begin it as soon as she will tolerate it- likely 1-2 years from now.
Lucy’s language had continued to improve and impress us. Her vocabulary grows every day and she is speaking full sentences in English. We have some pretty good conversations with our sassy little girl. Her enunciation isn’t great, but she’s 3, and if we end up doing some speech therapy, that will be just fine. :)
Language seems to be the thing we are asked about most- and let me tell you, it has been such a non-issue for us. Speech therapists have told us that 2-3 years old is the perfect age to learn a new language and she’s amazed all of us.
Lucy is a great sleeper. When she first came home, I insisted on rocking with her in order to aid attachment, which led to a lot of resistance from her. I finally had to give that expectation and desire up. She will still rock with me at naptime occasionally, but at night, she prefers to be put to bed exactly like Liv. (Read a book, lay down, pray, fall asleep on her own). Because most of her transition has been watching and copying Liv, doing what Liv is doing for bedtime routine gives her more security than rocking with me did. It makes me sad, but at least I know she CAN rock with me and fall asleep. Overall, though, she sleeps really well and this has been a blessing.
She still loves to dance and listen to music. She’ll sing to herself and play pretend with her dolls or stuffed animals. She’s realized that tickling is fun and we love to see her huge smile and laugh (that has been there since day 1). I am excited that she is our “clean” kid. She isn’t afraid to get dirty but doesn’t get super messy and prefers to keep things tidy. She is also particular about random things which make us laugh. Bugs. Stuffed animals. Jewelry. She definitely has her preferences on how she likes things. She doesn’t forget easily and likes to hear about what is coming up, so we spend a good amount of time talking about plans.
Lucy is a great eater. She is a bit more skeptical of foods than our other two, but once she sees that another kid is eating it, she’ll join in. Since day 1 she has eaten everything we do, so she has a typical American kid diet. I will say that I am making Asian food more often these days because we’ve discovered it’s something all of our kids will devour without complaint!
Transition and Siblings:
Lucy’s transition is as complete as it can be right now. There are still new experiences all the time, but all kids are experiencing new things at age 3. It has been a lot of fun to watch Lucy face new challenges and places, animals and people. There have been times we have realized that her anxiety might be adoption-related and have been able to respond with what she needs, but other times it’s just her/her personality and preferences. Bugs, for instance. Girl is NOT a fan of bugs, haha…with the exception of ladybugs- those are ok. :)
Knox and Liv have been amazing. Liv has clearly enjoyed having another playmate and girl around. They do argue/get jealous but it is just the same as any other sibling relationship. They all need time apart and individual time with us parents. Knox and Lucy have a special relationship too and it’s clear that Lucy really loves and looks up to her big brother. They can be really sweet together.
Sometimes I can’t believe we are a party of 5 but other times it’s like it’s always been that way. We went out a couple of weeks ago to celebrate 1 year home and it was really special. We went to P.F. Changs and as I was taking photos Shawn spontaneously fed Lucy a dumpling which I captured on camera. Then, I remembered I had the same photo of them in China, so this will have to be a new tradition for them!
Thank you to all of our friends and family who have prayed, given, and cared so much for our adoption journey. It’s been a tough road at times but what we are living right now is so sweet and we are overwhelmed with gratefulness. Lucy is truly such a gift to us (as are all of our children), and I hope you can see the beauty of what God has done in our family’s life.
If you are just tuning in, you can check out all my other adoption-related posts here: