Saturday, July 31, 2010

Settling In

Today has been a much better day for Miss Lily. After a good night's sleep, Lily and I laid in bed this morning for about an hour while I ran my fingers through her hair (she LOVES this) and snuggled.

Loved walking into our hotel room this afternoon and seeing our pillows lined up!

While Richard went downstairs to get breakfast for us, I gave Lily a bubble bath. At first she was not quite sure about it, but after about a minute she sat down and started splashing and playing with the bubbles until they all disappeared.

After baths and breakfast we decided to take Lily for a walk. She was thrilled to ride in the stroller and to finally be outside. We walked down to see some of the historical sites (Alexander Nevsky Cathedral, Russian Church, etc.), then grabbed some lunch at McDonalds (we generally try to avoid McDonalds and enjoy the local cuisine when we are in other countries, but, because food is an issue for Lily and we knew she would eat the fries, we decided to stick with what we knew she would eat) and then walked to a local park to enjoy our lunch. The park was alive with families enjoying the beautiful weather and there was even a group of musicians/storytellers there to entertain the children. It turned out to be a wonderful family outing.

Mommy and Lily in front of the Russian Church (it wasn't until we got back to the hotel that we realized this was the only picture we had taken! Oops!)

We kept the afternoon very low key and spent the rest of the day in our hotel room. Lily was not a big fan of that plan and just wanted to get back into the stroller and go, but eventually she accepted just sitting in front of the window in the stroller and watching the hustle and bustle from there.

Thank goodness for a room with a view!

She is definitely still mourning the loss of life as she has always known it and I know that this will be the case for quite some time. She spent a good portion of the day looking through the photo album of her friends and caretakers and went to bed tonight with the album turned to her favorite picture, tucked in beside her. Though she is obviously still hopeful that, at some point, we will get back into the car and take her back to the orphanage, she has stopped fighting and is content to be here with us and to allow us to love and comfort her. She enjoys having me close by and especially loves to have her back rubbed or for me to run my fingers through her hair, but every now and then she needs her space and we give it to her. This is an enormous change for her and very traumatic and she needs time to process and grieve.

Sitting in the stroller with the bag she packed (with her bear, photo album, clothes and shoes) in front of the window.

Like most children her age, she wants what she wants when she wants it and there has definitely been some testing of boundaries, especially where food is concerned. If she had it her way, she would eat french fries and juice for every meal. Due to the current condition of her palate (it has been "repaired" but there is still a fairly significant crevice as well as a small hole) her diet is limited to mostly soft foods like yogurt, soup, banana's, bread, etc. Though she often puts up a fight when presented with these foods, she is quickly learning that, if she wants to eat, she will have to eat what she is given (and, thanks to her caregivers, we know exactly what her diet normally consists of and this is what we offer).

She has also had some trouble with the potty. She is potty trained but she has always used a "pot" rather than a regular toilet and, at this point, she has refused to sit on the toilet. She has had an upset stomach (diarrhea) since we left the orphanage and, after going through several pairs of underwear within the first few hours of arriving in Sofia, we decided to put her in pull ups for the time being. With her upset stomach and the trauma of leaving everything familiar behind, this is simply a battle that we feel will be better fought at home once she has had some time to adjust.

Again, I am very grateful that we are able to spend the weekend focusing on Lily and helping her to process through this traumatic time before bringing Alayna into the mix. It is absolutely what she needed and I have little doubt that the timing of things was absolutely orchestrated by a loving Heavenly Father who already knew just what she would need.

We thank you all for your prayers and support. We know that they are heard and we feel the effects of each and every one of them. What a blessing it has been to know that there are so many people praying for us and for our sweet little girl.


Grandma DD said...

thanks Val for the thoughtful entry about your first day alone with Lilly -- your past experiences inform you well how to handle various issues (like food --- Evan --- ) -- I'm so glad you could take a walk in the park. Remember, you can either be the actor OR the photographer, but it is hard to be both :-) Let me know if you got the photos I sent of the kids at the park with Lauren and Ben.

Jill said...

I am glad that little Lily is settling in. You certainly understand what she is going through more than I did when I brought home our twins. :D

Mom 2 six said...

Every day is a baby step. I am so glad you have this special time too-

Angelea said...

My thoughts and prayers are with you on this journey that you are taking.

Anonymous said...

I'm so happy things are getting a little better. I know she is in the BEST hands (and hearts) around.

Barry, Donna, and Tam said...

I so appreciate you sharing these details with us. I am so glad to see Lily changes before your eyes.

QuilterBee said...

Wow, I found your blog through another blog, can't remember which, lol. I am in awe of your patience, your mommy instinct and the size of your heart to take these children. Awesome! Can't wait to see how your girls do when they all settle in. Hugs Amie in Tn.