Saturday, February 8, 2014

Making gains

We had our first doctor appointment with Kavya on Tuesday, and were happy to see that she's gained nearly two pounds since we met her on January 9.  She was still hovering just under 20 pounds, but she's now at 7% on the US growth charts for both height and weight.

We will go back this week for a few more tests -- a repeated TB test (the one in-country wasn't injected correctly), and blood titers to see if her previous immunizations were effective.  We will also be testing for vitamin D levels, and some other nutritional things -- as long as we're have to draw blood, we will make the most of it.  I am so sad for Kavya, though -- she will also be getting two shots. That's a lot of pokes in one day.

She continues to settle in well, and has a such a great sense of humor. That seems like a funny thing to say, but it's true.  She loves to laugh, and loves to find funny things to do to make us laugh too.  She also discovered the piano this week, and loves to "play" her own compositions.


We have seen some signs that she's relaxing a little bit.  Last weekend, she was having a lot of fun with the whole family after dinner.  Anya and Nathan were pushing her around in a laundry basket, and she was having a ball . . . so when bedtime came, she wanted no part of it!  She kept pointing at the bedroom door, and had her first real 2-year-old tantrum.  While those aren't fun, we were relieved to see that she's feeling at home enough to 'let it all hang out' with us. 

Many families see grief behavior with their new children, and we have too -- the unusual thing for Kavya is that it only seems to happen in the night.  We've had five nights (she's been home 3 weeks now) where she's woken up crying. It is truly heartbreaking -- she is inconsolable when it happens.  It doesn't last long . . . usually less than 30 minutes.  Different things have helped her out of those moments -- just holding her and talking softly, taking her down to the basement (she loves going down by the laundry machines), and giving her hot chocolate have all helped bring her out of her sadness.

I wish she could tell us what brings on the grief.  I wonder if she's dreaming about the Sisters, Sumi or the orphanage, or if she's disoriented when she wakes up? It does seem to happen when something new is introduced -- for example, Peter and the boys had to go away for a retreat one weekend, and she woke up both nights crying.  And we had Anya's 1st grade winter concert last Thursday. We really wanted to go, and took separate vehicles so I could leave with Kavya after the kindergarteners and first graders finished -- but being inside the school in a tangle of people for even that short time was enough to make her have a hard time falling asleep, and then wake up at 11:00 p.m. crying.

It's a good reminder that, no matter how well she's doing by day, or how outgoing and funny she is, we must still keep her world small during these first weeks and months.  Our only visitors have been people bringing meals (and my friend Kathy bringing me Starbucks!).  We have been SO blessed by friends, family, and church family bringing us dinners three nights a week!  Kavya really loves to be held (REALLY loves it!), so I'm doing many things one-handed, and the help with meals has been a lifesaver.

Her grandparents have each stopped by twice for short visits.  They are just thrilled with her, and can't wait until we are out of the "cocoon" phase. Kavya is so smart -- she already remembers the words "grandma" and "grandpa."

Her language is coming along well too! New words this week are "good job," "okay," "monkey," "come on," "pencil" (pen-see), "bunny," "hop," "chicken," "cupcake" (cup-cup), and "thank you" (dank goo). 


We continue to be surprised by some things she knows or doesn't know. For example, it seems as though she's never been read to.  She would barely be interested in any book at first, and the only time I could read was when we waited for the kids after school in our van.  (She was strapped in her car seat, so she didn't have much choice in the matter!) She did enjoy one large book with pictures of babies and toddlers, and would kiss them.

Finally this week, she has a favorite book: Five Little Monkeys Jumping on the Bed. She LOVES the rhythm of this book, and also likes The Lady With the Alligator Purse.  She also likes Elmo's Puppy Book (what is it about Elmo??).  As she understands more English, I'm sure she will gradually enjoy books more.

Meanwhile, we are hoping my sister can come visit soon. She hurt her knee skiing, and hasn't been able to make the 2-hour drive. We're hoping to see her next weekend -- it will be interesting to see how Kavya reacts to seeing her again.  She has talked to Alicia on the phone since our trip, but it will be great to have her here in person.


Lucy said...

Great to see an update. Thanks for the details about how your transition is going. I know this will be helpful to me in the future! I'm glad you are all doing well.

MiaMyIndianAngel said...

I love hearing all the things Kavya is doing because it's in line with what I'm seeing with Ryan, except the night waking isn' t a real issue. The nap waking is. :) And he love Five little monkeys, too. The rhyme must be similar to one they both heard at their orphanages. It sounds like sweet Kavya just lights up her family. How precious!!

Julie & Patrick said...

Such a good update about your sweetie pie. Again, so much of what you share is reminiscent of our time with Trey. No books were obviously read to her either. I am so glad to hear that she is "letting it all hang out"...such a good way of putting that for sure! Hope the appts go well and you hear good news about all the tests too.


Sangi said...

Great going, you all!

Was wondering if you'd like some books from India to read out to her/give her a sense of comfort, stuff she's seen around?

Would love to send a package over - my email is Do give me your address for this, please?