Thursday, July 23, 2009

What? Me Worry?

Before we left for China, I was worried about everything. I was worried about the trip itself. I was worried about how Madeleine would react to us. I was worried about her physical health and mobility. I was worried we wouldn't sleep for months after getting home. I was worried my two daughters would hate each other, and I'd have to deal with girl fights on a daily basis. I was worried I wouldn't love Maddie as much as I love Isabel or that I wouldn't love her right away. What can I say? I am a worrier. If only I would have known that all my fears were unfounded.

Maddie has now been with us for three and a half weeks and home for just twelve days, and honestly, I did not expect to be where we are until months down the line. I figured we wouldn't be leaving the house for awhile so that we could establish a routine. I assumed we wouldn't be able to have people over to meet Maddie because she'd be too frightened of strangers or worse indiscriminately affectionate. I surmised that we wouldn't be eating in a restaurant for awhile or going on playdates. We've done all those things and more. I cannot believe how seamlessly Maddie has transitioned into our family. What a remarkable, resilient girl. To what can I attribute her easy transition? Probably a combination of factors...certainly her personality and temperment, definitely the care and love that she received in her orphanage, the fact that she came from such a small orphanage played no small part, possibly her age, having a sister to bond to especially when she was so close to one other child her age at the SWI, the two weeks Richard and I had to focus on her alone...all these factors combined have certainly made a difference. Oh, and don't forget the divine intervention. There had to be some of that.

There are moments when I watch Ibby and Maddie chasing each other around the house or when I hear them screaming and giggling when they're playing with Daddy or when the two of them will sit in my lap for a story, and this complete sense of joy washes over me. Truly, I didn't think life could get much better, but it has.

We're not kidding ourselves that Maddie is completely bonded to us already, but we are certain that she feels safe and secure and happy, and that's a good start. The only issue with which we're dealing regards food. She is not a hoarder. It's just that she could eat all day long, so we're trying to draw a balance between making sure she knows that she will always have enough food but also trying to transition her to a meal and snack schedule. It's been tricky, but the last couple of days have been much better. Oh, and one more thing. Maddie does not let us know when she's awake. I supposed she is used to being placed in her crib and just waiting until someone came to get her. We just have to keep checking on her in the morning and after naptime to see when she awakens.

As for her limb deficiency, she gets around amazingly well...even outside...though we did buy some knee pads for her to provide some cushioning when we're outside on hard surfaces. Maddie has been accepted by Shriners Hospital in Minneapolis, and we will have our first appointment with a pediatric orthopedic specialist on August 31. At that point, we'll know more about her prognosis and our options. I don't see how they can do anything but amputate, but we'll see what the doctor has to say.

I'll admit that we've been so busy that I am not taking nearly as many pictures as I should but here are a few that highlight the personality of our newest girl.

Maddie loves to wear sunglasses...even indoors!

Ugly bench left by former owner of our house...who knew it would become a seating area for Maddie?

Daddy and his girls...shortly after Isabel stopped crying after hitting her head on the bench.


Lynn said...

Oh, Pam, it brings me sincere happiness to read how well things are going for you. Your girls are gifts from God and they are blessed with amazing parents. What a great combination. Kiss the girls for me.

Cynthia said...

What wonderful news that Maddie's transition is going so smoothly. I am thrilled for you. The pictures are wonderful. How lucky and fortunate you all are. xxoo

Sherry said...

Love the update and of course the pictures. And I'm so very happy that Maddie is fitting in so well at home -- just like she was always there. I'd love to hear sister giggles -- and I truly believe that having a buddy makes the transition easier on the second child. At least I'm hoping for that. :) And yes, God did match you with the two girls you were suppose to have. It gives me chills when I think about how perfect all our kids are for us. There is no way this could have happened without Him. Cassie also goes to the cleft dr on 8/31 so I'll be saying lots of prayers for our girls that their appts go well.

Love you guys,

eebss said...

I've been craving an update! Thank you! I love Maddie even though I have not met her yet...I can't wait!

Lesa said...

Pam, I'm so happy things are working out so well for you all. I have been wondering myself how Wendy would react to a sister coming in and maybe even one close to her own age.
I just love seeing her and Ibby with their lovely smiles. Great photo of the two of them with Richard!!

Oh, that bench isn't ugly. Ha

Melissa said...

Sorry it has taken me so long to catch up on your blog. I am so happy to hear that things are going better than expected. They look like 2 little peas in a pod. I love all the pictures.

3peas1pod said...

I am now just catching up on your travels. My internet access this summer has been hit or miss. Maddie is absolutely beautiful. Looks like you had a great trip. I am glad to hear that everyone is settling in. THere's nothing like 2 sweet sisters to brighten your day! You have been truly blessed. Congratulations my friend.