Saturday, June 1, 2013

3 months home :)

May 20th marks 3 months home!  It seems like she's always been here with me :)  I was looking back on photos and found this one Munni right before she got her ears pierced again.  Her hair was so short!

In addition to her hair growing, she has endured 2 operations, many medical visits, finished kindergarten, had her very first birthday celebration, and many other "firsts."
Here are some other areas of growth:

- She has been on an aggressive treatment for her TB, which includes 5 pills a day.  She takes them like a champ :)  We met with the pulmonary doctor at her last visit and she said that it's very likely that the TB has attacked other organs since it is also in her eye.  She said we made the right decision to treat it as aggressively as possible.
- Her eyesight has IMPROVED!!!  This is a HUGE miracle because one of the drugs she is on has a serious side affect of vision loss.  She is taking a large dose, so it was a cost/benefit decision that I prayed wouldn't cost.  Originally, she was 20/80 in both eyes.  Now, she is 20/25!!!  This is a tremendous answer to prayer!
-  I found out that she has schistosomiasis.  What is that you ask?  It's considered one of the Neglected Tropical Diseases.  Again, I am SO thankful that I took her to the IAC or else I never would have found out that she has this until there were serious complications.  Even then, who knows how long it would take to diagnose?  Anyway, it explains some minor issues she was having and the treatment is easy-peasy-lemon-squeezy.
- She has grown 1 1/2 inches and gained 0 lbs.  Long and lean - unlike her mommy :)

- Every morning that I drop her off before school, I always tell her to be a good little monkey (she LOVES Curious George!) and that I love her.  About 2 weeks ago, she started telling me back that she loves me.  Melt my heart :)
-  She has opened up to me several times about her past.  The details she remembers are shocking and precise.  Even though it is so difficult to hear her recount these events, I know it is the healthiest thing for her.  I pray for her every day that she would be healed of the emotional injuries she sustained.
- Her meltdowns are now only happening during transition times- after school or if she's spent time at my mom's house. Not that being at my mom's house is bad!!  Being away from me for significant amounts of time has its toll.   It takes about an hour to work through it.  I'm learning better how to deal with them and I think that is helping her.  She needs lots of interaction and coddling from me during these times.  She is openly defiant and tests boundaries during these meltdowns.  Now that I have them pinpointed, it has helped me to not get emotionally involved in them and to handle them more like a police officer writing a ticket, in that I don't take it personally.  Sometimes this is harder if I've had a bad day :)

- Kindergarten has been great!  She made several good friends that she talked about constantly.  On the last day of her school, the teacher sent home pictures of her with these friends.  What a treat for me to see pictures of her with her classmates and during school.  She is BEAMING in every picture!
-  Her English is improving greatly!  Some of the things she says crack me up.  "Mom- every day me no practice cycle you!"  She got a bike for her birthday and she sweats me all the time about learning how to ride it!  As a second language teacher, I find it interesting the way she puts sentences together.    She is also still using 'me' as a subject pronoun.  "me likes bay-loons."  "Me no likes apples."  She still has a significant accent which I am secretly praying will never go away :)
- She played soccer for about 5 seconds.  I think it was a little much for her in terms of where she was physically fighting the TB and catching up growth wise.  During one practice, she puked after dribbling across the field.  That was pretty much the nail in the head.  I was sad because I was a soccer girl growing up and had visions of soccer greatness for Munni.  But then hope creeped back in when the school sent home a sign up sheet for lollipop fall soccer.  Munni wants to do it....
-  She has confidence in situations where she needs it and clings to me in situations where she should, like meeting a stranger.  Sometimes I forget the survival skills she learned in the orphanage, but this chica can hold her own when it comes to kids.
- She makes jokes.  And they are funny :)
- She understands everything that is said to her.
- We are still co-sleeping and will continue to do so until she is ready to be in her own room.  With what she shared about her past, this makes complete sense to me and I'm happy to do it.  She's a great snuggle bunny :)
- She loves the dogs....especially Simon :)
Ice cream for dinner to celebrate last day of kindergarten!

Some wonderful ladies I work with at school bought Munni a suitcase filled with dress up things.  Oh my goodness, this gift was a HUGE hit!!  Notice Simon was right in there with her!

This bag led to Munni dressing up for our nightly dog walk.  She was thrilled to be out walking in her new "outfit!"

Some very good friends came into town and we met at the local park.  This was Munni's first experience with a splash park.  She had so much fun!  

Our neighborhood pool was just renovated and now includes and awesome splash park.  She loves it!
She snapped this pic with the iPad.  Have I mentioned that she loves photography?

I couldn't resist this one.  She fell asleep with her headset on lol!
I have been growing too.  I'm learning about letting go of the mommy-guilt.  I'm learning how to structure my time better for the both of us.  I'm also learning that I have to make my time with the Lord in the morning.  When I do this, our day is so much better :)  I stumbled upon the Happy Herbivore which has made our mealtimes so much more pleasant!  I stink at meal planning and this literally has been a lifejacket for me.  I'm really, really looking forward to this summer.  When she first got home, almost all of my maternity leave was spent dealing with all of the medical issues.  I'm excited for summer to be able to just hang out and bond.  I have some fun staycation stuff planned and can't wait to make memories with Munni.  I love her so much!!!

All in all, I have to say that Munni is a pretty happy little girl.  I can't tell you the joy this brings me.  God has answered so many of my prayers for her.  His faithfulness is overwhelming!  He continues to move in my life and I'm super excited where he is leading us.  I hope to be able to share details by the end of summer :)

Thank you for all of your prayers and support- I am continually amazed by all the love!


  1. Wow - it seems like you guys have been home longer than 3 months! I thought from her pictures that she has grown in height!! So sweet!

  2. Wow - I never hear of anyone who knows of schisto! Friends of mine who live in Congo were home for months trying to figure out why they were so sick and that's what it ended up being. After doing the treatment and some follow up, they were well enough to return. Since they hadn't found out for a very long time, they were both very sick from it...but they live somewhere so remote it just wasn't the kind of thing they'd have even had the chance to get tested for.

    Praise God about her eyesight!

    How precious about her saying she loves you back, and it says a lot that she's verbalizing so much about what went on. I'll pray God continues to give you wisdom as you work with her during the meltdown times!

    Oh my gosh - that video! Her enthusiasm, trying to wear every accessory at once, all of it!

    And that picture out on the walk is a riot! You HAVE to save that one - that's like wedding slideshow material or something!

    I continue to pray for you guys, and I LOVE your updates with specifics of how to pray and all the fun stories and all you and Munni are experiencing together!

  3. What a blessing you are to one another! So happy for you both!

  4. This makes me happy. God Bless you both. I really can't wait til the end of the Summer for new updates though :)))) I hope your having a wonderful time!! Hugs

  5. Thank you for sharing. Her progress is amazing and a testament to your strength and dedication. I absolutely loved watching her unpack the suitcase. Her little exclamations and sheer joy was palpable. What an amazing and fun gift that will give her hours of enjoyment. I am also a teacher and in the process of adopting, now on hold due to a serious illness, I had read about life books. Don't know if you have heard about them but they are a way to work with your child to document there journey. At first I was all in to scrapbook ing it but after readin about life books see the merit in them. Beth O'Malley has a book and downloadable reports you can order. Here is a link to a blog from a family willing to share some of their pages. I really like the binder format. I still think I'd scrapbook for all the photos but was so looking forward to making a book for my N who despite literally being within arm's reach I had to give up. Thought I'd share the life book with you as it might give you a project to work on together during the summer.

  6. Sorry after posting the link my iPad wouldn't let me type any thing else!!!
    Keep up the amazing parenting. It is so wonderful to hear and read this amazing report. What a strong, determined and incredible little girl you must be so, so, proud to call your daughter.
    My hugs and love to you both,

  7. So many amazing things in such a short time! I am teary thinking of what she's survived already, and the safe haven she has now. And of your aching mama-heart, now filled with love and making memories with your daughter. Tears of joy for you both!