Saturday, July 13, 2013

Two Months Home

So I haven't written in exactly one month.  I guess that alone shows how busy it has been since our return from China.

I want to faithfully update this blog, but then I remember I'm human and not Mrs. Incredible or Wonder Woman or even a great manager of my once a month is what you get, for now.

As for what the past month has brought in changes, well there are many that I want to mention and probably a few I will forget to mention.  But I'll try my best because she continues to amaze us and I want to document her progress along the way, even if only once per month.

So today marks exactly two months to the day since we held Mercy in our arms for the first time.  I still am nothing short of amazed at this little girl and how much we love her and how perfect she is for our family.  Trusting in the Lord has never been an easy thing for me, especially as He called us to adoption and specifically this little one.  But I'm hear to tell you if you struggle to trust in God take that step of faith that He is asking of you, whatever that may be, and watch and see how great and mighty and trustworthy He is!!!  It will change you and it will change the way you see God and it will change your relationship with God.

As for little Miss Mercy.  She is defying all odds.  Here are a few things that she has accomplished in the past four weeks since my last update.  She is speaking more words and starting to sing a few songs.  She is also putting three sign language signs together such as "more cookie please."  She has added a few new signs such as help, book and open.  That brings her to a total of eight, that equals a new one a week!  Signing has definitely been a great from of communication for her to get her basic needs met.  She has begun speech therapy and the therapist has encouraged as to keep adding more even while working on her speech.

Mercy is walking!  She is still wobbly and falls, but when she wants to get somewhere she chooses her feet over her knees these days.  She is more willing to walk outside on uneven surfaces too as long as she is holding your hand.  She has finally stepped barefoot in the grass, but she will not sit down and cries if she falls.

Mercy is SLEEPING THROUGH THE NIGHT!!!  This is by far one of my favorite milestones.  We have an occasional night with a night terror or interruption, but they are few and far between at this point.  She is also now willing to let Scott put her to bed.  Last month I posted that we transitioned her from our bed to a mattress on the floor.  Well as our little courageous one has become more mobile and comfortable in her new home she has also become a little dare devil.  One morning we woke up to no Mercy on her mattress or any where in our room.  As I rushed downstairs I found her sitting in the kitchen by her high chair.  When she saw me she signed "eat."  That little stinker climbed off her mattress, which is wedges and has a bedrail again the open side of it and she managed to climb down an entire flight of stairs without anyone hearing a peep out of her.  That evening we broke out our pack n' play and she has been sleeping in it ever since.  I am hoping the next sleeptime transition we make will be a big girl bed in her bedroom, but I'm thinking it might be awhile.  So along with walking and sleeping through the night she has also mastered going up and down all steps.

She is playing by herself more often and I am able to be in another room away from her for longer periods of time without her fussing.  She is also doing new things with the toys that she plays with.  She can now stack the rings on her stacking toy and throw a ball.  I know these may seem like puny steps for a 27 month old, but for us (and her) they are huge.  Many of her delays are either stemming from lack of experience and exposure due to living in an orphanage and then there are those that stem from her lack of vision.  We have had a vision therapist from the Overbrook School for the Blind coming weekly to work with us and Mercy.  She has been a wealth of knowledge and has helped us adapt some things in our home, as well as some of Mercy's toys to better suit her vision impairment. 

Mercy has also begun occupational therapy.  This has also been such a great source of help for us.  We are seeing progress in her ability to feed herself with a spoon and fork.  She still has a ways to go, but she is trying.  It is fascinating to learn how a child's brain develops and what seems like something she should pick up rather quickly is taking longer to grasp.  She is lacking in things that I would never have considered like the ability to suck from a straw, scoop up something with a spoon or poke with a fork.  She struggles to just get the spoon already full of food to her mouth let alone be able to scoop the food herself.

I think it is safe to say she has adjusted to her new role of being a baby sister.  She shows affection for all three of her siblings and she calls them by name, gives them hugs and kisses and wants to be where they are much of the time.  She even shows trust in them as they take turns holding her in the pool, at least the two older ones.  And I just want to mention Michaela has such an amazing gift to nurture and tenderly care for her little sister.  I love watching them together and I see in Michaela these little glimpses of a wonderful mother in the making.  Michaela has even changed a few dirty diapers! 

In the past few days we have seen some new things that are telling us the "honeymoon" phase is coming to an end.  Mercy is testing us in just about everything.  She use to eat anything you put in front of her, but as she begins to realize that there are options and there will always be "more" she is turning food down and making it very clear when she doesn't like something.  She is throwing herself down on the floor in little temper tantrums when she isn't getting her way and she is telling us NO when she doesn't like something.  She is testing boundaries within the house and getting into more.  I will say that her tempter tantrums are super super cute and make me laugh, sometimes out loud, which isn't helpful.  I think it's partially because of her flexibility.  When she throws herself down her legs nearly do a split as she is face down on the floor screaming.  I'll have to try and video tape it sometime.

I know I have said it before but we really do have an easy job when it comes to loving this little girl.  She is a delight and joy to us and we cannot imagine life without her.  I have had a few very emotional moments in the past four weeks when I think about her birth mommy.  If she cared for Mercy those first 10 months of life before she entered the orphanage then she must miss her greatly because I have only had her in my arms for 8 weeks and I can't imagine a day without her.  I find myself praying for her often and other times I can't let my mind wonder there because it breaks my heart both for Mercy and for her birth mother.

As for continued prayers for us.  Please pray that bonding continues to strengthen and progress.  While Mercy has found her place in our family and will go to any one of the five of us, she still struggles to let us comfort her when she is upset.  I know in my heart this will come with trust and time, but pray for her.  Pray she begins to understand that she doesn't need to struggle with things "alone" because she has a family that wants to help her.  Also pray for her upcoming Opthamology Appointment at CHOP.  It is Friday, July 19th.  This appointment is one we have anticipated because we want to know what her vision really is and how we can best improve it and help her.  Pray that the doctor can get an acuity despite her young age and just that he has some wisdom and understands the visual needs of a child with Albinism.

I will leave you with a few recent pictures.

She put her sunglasses on herself, can you tell?


Playdough fun

Her sassy smirk

No need for words!  I LOVE THESE TWO.

And these two!

Temper tantrum, check out her legs!  


  1. Has she worn the same outfit twice yet? She is so super cute, and we just continue to praise God!!! for her abilities, her growth and development, her learning, amazing!! Bless your family...

  2. Wow 2 months already!!! Can't believe you have been home that long!!! I look forward to reading your posts and super excited to join you in the new mommy world soon. We are finally at article 5 stage and the consolute is closed for 2 weeks so that means another delay...ugh. With all the extra time we have had we have done many more home projects we hadn't planned on doing. :-) I am reading constantly too and love to read all about little Mercy! Funny thing is I don't have a blog and never will...I have never done texting, got rid of cable Tv permanently awhile back, and no longer use a computer ever and my cell phone is a pay plan, I don't and never will do Facebook, etc. I use my hubby's old I-phone to read or research something so believe me when I say YOU ARE a superwoman, because I would never be able to do it at all!!!! I have chosen a simpler life because sadly I LOVE a clean house and lots of time with my kids and homeschool so not being hi tech has been great for my extremely organized home and life... :-). So again the fact you blog as often as you do and have a blog at all is amazing to me... Because I am a big time talker I would never stop and it would be a huge amount of time that I couldn't then keep what I truly LOVE in my life at the level I do now.ugh... Thanks for your update on your little girl, our girl is 34 months old now so it's fun to hear about your daughter to catch me up on what I
    Kids do as my youngest is almost 15.... :-). So I am out of the loop. Will continue to pray for your precious girl as she is adorable and so loved!!!

    God Bless
    Lisa and Family

  3. My girls wanted to check in on Mercy!! They loved the first photo of the upside down sunglasses.

    Great reading updates... I love reading and seeing her growth and bonding so well with everyone. Naturally. The way it was meant to be. ;)

    Hope all goes well in your day, today.