Wednesday, May 18, 2011

Praying For Cupcakes!

Playing fort at Oma's house

For those who know our story, there is no need to expound on the huge changes our family has endured in the last couple of years as we have prepared our hearts and home for another sibling. I would be lying if I said that this process is easy and the transition smooth. Naturally, our first adoption was most difficult on Pat and I, as we learned our roles as mommy and daddy to Devi and found that place of comfort in our own new identities. As Treya entered our home, the one who has had the roughest time is Devi. As adults, we tend to hold these confusing thoughts and emotions inside, perhaps sorting through them while driving, or having quiet time. For a child of 4, these emotions are expressed outwardly. Navigating her way amongst the joy, silliness, compassion and love, we also see anger, tears, frustration and misbehavior. Being a big sister is really hard, is an expression we have heard from Devi more than once. While Pat and I feel that our family, in the few short months we’ve been together, is gelling in a most remarkable way, there are moments, when things are simply...hard.

Dancing at the Farmers' Market

In our nightly ritual of combing out Devi’s hair and braiding it for a night of sleep, she looked into the mirror and caught my eyes in the reflection and said, “I don’t love, Treya”. At first, I was cross with her for saying such a hurtful thing, but then realized that little kids make these attention-getting comments all the time. This seemed a bit different, however. So I asked Devi to join me for a little quiet time to talk about this. (Yes, most likely a stalling technique before bedtime, but sometimes they are necessary).

When Treya first came home, Devi, in not so many words, expressed her concern that there wasn’t enough love to go around. I explained that when God and her birth mommy found daddy and I, He put a cupcake of love in our hearts just for loving her. Boy, what a cupcake! It was pink and purple, with lots of swirly icing and tons of sprinkles and tasted delicious. When Treya came, God didn’t cut that cupcake in half. Instead he put another cupcake of love in my heart for Treya. I went on to explain, that God put cupcakes in her heart too so that there would always be enough love to go around and our love would always be so sweet.

Treya's first time riding in the bike trailer
and out first outing of the season!

Tonight she told me she did not feel her cupcake inside. She was clutching her chest and rubbing it, but said she just didn’t feel the cupcakes in there. So we talked about the difference between loving someone, and liking one’s behavior. This is a tough concept at 4, but I tried to let her know that while we love each other no matter what, sometimes we don’t care for the behavior someone is displaying. In fact, sometimes mommy does not even like daddy’s behavior, and sometimes daddy does not like what mommy has said or done, but that does not mean that the cupcakes of love in our heart are no longer there.

Thats when it came out....a flood of, “Well, I don’t like it when Treya does_________ (fill in the blank).” It was quite a long rant, but apparently, the final straw was when Treya took Devi’s baby doll out of her bed (unbeknownst to us it was staged and ready for night night) and put the doll away. Pat and I praised Treya for cleaning up. Devi blew a gasket over her ruined bed and the fact that we told Treya she had done something good! To make matters worse, we corrected Devi’s irratic behavior. Oops...guess we didn’t get all the facts.

Our sensitive girl

After carefully sorting out that snarl, we finally found a state of calm and cuddled for a few more minutes. I suggested that it was time for bed and she asked for one more thing...

“Momma, can we pray for my cupcakes?”

Absolutely darlin', absolutely!

We have not introduced Treya to many because she was so very shy in the beginning. My grandmother, the mother of 7 children, was anxious as ever to meet our newest addition. We could not have asked for a nicer meeting. Treya climbed right up into her lap, but I suppose with credentials like her's everyone feels comfortable.

We got the okay to travel to India at about the same time that a friend, Cheryl and I were going to begin a project - making matching quilts for the girl's twin beds. (Treya is still in the crib, but one day, we hope she will hold still enough while sleeping to graduate into a big girl bed like Devi) Not too little girly, and use all colors , were the only bits of guidance I gave and turned Cheryl loose to pick fabrics, bat, and sew. This is the finished product. Devi is delighted, as am I. They are beautiful. Thank you so much Cheryl!

Monday, May 09, 2011

Post Placement and Poop

Wednesday, for me, began as any other day...up at 4:30am and out the door around 5 for work. While quietly tiptoeing in the darkness past the girls’ room, my nose took notice of a sharp scent, and I made a mental note that we should empty and freshen the diaper genie before our social worker arrived that afternoon for post placement visit #2.

Normally around 8:30am or so I receive a daily phone call or email from Pat describing how his morning went with the girls - were there any meltdowns, did he get them dressed and out the door okay, and we discuss any special things or appointments that may be scheduled for that day. More than an hour early, my in box “dinged” indicating that my morning “D & T update” had arrived. My eyes widened as I glanced at the subject line which read, “Treya and poop”.

The short two or three lines indicated that a small disaster had occurred in the night, and daddy was a little frazzled this morning. When it comes to poop, daddy tends to be a bit dramatic, so I picked up the phone to give a bit of moral support. Much to his disapproval, his report had me belly laughing with nothing but breathy bursts and squeaks coming through the receiver on his end, albeit at his and Treya’s expense. Some help I was!

Apparently, at some point during the night, most likely soon after the lights went out, Treya pooped in her diaper. Feeling a little uncomfortable and in a semi conscience state, she decided to remedy the situation. This child is a SOUND and ACTIVE sleeper, so it is of no surprise that she did not wake herself as she somehow managed to take off her jammies and her full diaper and snuggle back down into a deep slumber.

Nearly 12 hours of ACTIVE and SOUND sleep later, Devi went to wake her little sister. Poor Pat was startled awake by the sound of padded running feet and a near hysterical Devi screaming, “Daddy, daddy, I went to wake Treya and...come, come!”

Donning his CSI cap, daddy puzzled together the crime scene. Most likely the full diaper was trapped for a time under Treya’s belly, but she must have freed herself pushing it south, only to have it catch on her legs and feet, one of which is still in a cast. Not to be contained, she wriggled her legs back and forth, possibly turning over several times before settling into the crease where the mattress and bumper meet. Here she went pee pee, poor child, which managed to be wicked onto the carpet via the crib skirt. Through it all, her hands and hair managed to stay clean.

In full on “Big Sister” mode, Dev grabbed the wipes and together, she and daddy tackled the crusty mess that encased Treya’s body, described as plaster, by daddy. Daddy said in mommy’s absence, Devi was instrumental in this project. After scrubbing Treya, starting a load of laundry, and doing a bit of carpet cleaning, what was left to contend with was a pink and brown stinky cast. How does one clean a cast? Blazing a trail like a pioneer, daddy tried soap, water, toilet brush- somehow appropriate, resolve carpet cleaner, febreeze, and hydrogen peroxide to no avail. With time running out, he put a sock over the cast to muffle the stench and off to daycare and work they went.

At 3:30, our social worker pulled into the driveway, just as we all arrived home from work for our post placement visit. All was going along well, Treya was engaging (not hiding under the table), and we happily answered all of her questions about all of our family’s progress. Then she asked to see Treya’s cast. Without a second thought, I whipped the sock off instantly releasing the most foul odor causing us all to gasp, our lungs clinging to the last molecules of fresh air left in the room. Even Treya turned up her nose. I couldn’t have been more embarrassed, thankful, however, that we have a good relationship with our social worker, who never wavered once with thoughts that perhaps our parenting plan does not include bathing! In the end, she gave a glowing report and got a chuckle or two out of the story. Phew!

Treya is back into straight jacket jammies (they snap in the back) and we are not looking forward to the next two weeks of a cow spotted cast that smells, but at least we’ve improved on the scent. If ever in this predicament....bleach water does the trick! A suggestion taken from my chiropractor’s office.

Wednesday, May 04, 2011

Progress in Peampt

Tea party in the backyard

As bath time approached the other night, the girls became eerily quiet causing this mom’s internal alarm system to sound. With the water running, I abandoning the filling tub and sink shouting, “Girls?” “In here....momma” , Devi’s voice floated through the open door to their bedroom. Spying a heap of shed clothing, I entered the room and found them lying naked side by side, each clutching a baby doll, all cuddled under the covers of Devi’s bed, with both their heads sharing her single pillow. “Can we have some privacy, mom? We are having some girl talk”, Devi said. Suppressing my laughter, I muttered an “Oh ya...sure” and backed just out of view and quietly stood to eavesdrop. The conversation went like this.

D: Treya, who are you going to marry?

T: da da da (babble)

D: could marry baby Harrison. (while she subconsciously considered candidates)

T: bababab (babble)

D: He is the right age for you and you see him everyday.

T: da da da (babble)

D: You would have to be a nymph...not a princess. I’m gonna be a duchess, but we could both wear crowns.

It was so darling, but I finally had to break it up for bath time. Funny how they manage to communicate somehow even though Treya still struggles with language. Her latest words are “bop” which means stop; “bip” which means dip; and “af tine” meaning bath time. What makes her speech so funny is that if you don’t understand what she is trying to say, she will repeat herself again and again adding a little more emphasis each time until exasperated will flip her hands over; pumping them up and down with each loud syllable she is uttering. The biggest broad smile comes over her face, followed by her Indian head bobble, when we finally guess it right.

Yesterday was another “casting” day for our Miss T. She was fine with the saw, until the power switch was depressed, beginning her wailing session giving the noise of the whirling blade competition in the open room housing six full gurney’s of onlooking young patients. We’ve noticed in our 3 short months together that Treya’s tears don’t gently run down her cheeks like most children, rather they spout out of her tear ducts, almost as if her eyes are spitting. It is a rather remarkable talent, but one that I wish we did not have to upset her so to witness. It is also rather humorous that while crying, you can ask her questions and she will answer willingly through the sobs without missing a beat, giving an Indian head bobble replying “dood”, when asked “How are you today?”

With the shell of the cast removed, Dr. Mosca put her little chubby foot through it’s paces, and announced that he sees tremendous progress yet again. More mobility, better shape, better placement - all good signs; largely due to the previous club foot treatment she received in India. After his scrutiny, he announced that the cast applied yesterday, which will be worn for two weeks, will be her last, completing the transformation in 3 rather than the predicted 6 castings. After that, she will wear corrective shoes attached to a metal bar, holding her feet in the correct position at night. Dr. Mosca is hopeful that this final effort will complete the task, avoiding the tendon transfer surgery on the top of her foot.

Oh, and it is Peampt again!