Last Monday marked one year ago that Tatiana and I arrived safely at home in the United States with our trustful escort “Aunt Whonda”. I know, I know – I’m just writing about it 4 full days later? Well, that’s life as a parent, right?
I cannot believe it’s been a year. I can remember all the details from that crazy trip, as if it happened last week. I remember the Russian woman who thought she’d talk to Tati on the flight from Seoul to Chicago – and Tatiana screaming bloody murder. I remember desperately wanting to sleep, but Tatiana was too keyed up to want to sleep. And I also remember finally getting her to sleep in a home made tent of airline blankets on the floor in our bulkhead row, only to have to wake her up (much to my dismay) 40 minutes later when we hit turbulence.
I also remember wondering during our first couple weeks home how long it would take until she was as comfortable in the US as some of the other kids of bloggers that I followed. I knew I COULDN’T compare – every child is different – but I couldn’t help it!
Back in Russia during my 10 day wait I was told that the doctor thought she “cried for no reason – out of the blue – often”, and that she likely had ADD. Looking back, she fully understood the Russian language and everything that was being said to her, but she was really only speaking about 5-10 words max (and one of them was English!). She was scared of the dogs and the cats on the playground at the baby home (and eventually around the Vlad Inn). And when she came to stay with me at the hotel she was very scared at night. In order for her to go to bed, she had to cry. And cry. And cry. Oh. And rock. Not violently, but pretty steady. And if I tried to hold her and comfort her, it would only make her cry harder.
So where are we now? WOW… where do I start? As far as crying – sure, she cries now and then, but no more than any toddler trying to get her point across. Typically, when she’s crying there is a REASON. She’s also a very sensitive little girl. She doesn’t like to be “yelled” at – and if you yell too sharply to get her to stop doing something (say that might hurt her, etc), she’ll probably get her feelings hurt and cry. She also doesn’t like seeing other kids cry. It’s very sweet.
ADD? Who knows. She doesn’t seem any more hyper than any other typical 3 year old. She likes to jump and dance and run around, but she’ll sit for hours and color (“do crayons” as she would say), and if Dora or Yo Gabba Gabba are on – all bets are off. She’s GLUED.
Language? You can’t stop this girl from talking! She’s quite the motor mouth (unless she’s being shy). Each night when she goes to sleep (no crying, not for a long time, unless there is something wrong), she still rocks a little bit – but she says good night to everything under the sun. The best way to describe it is she’s running through her day in her head and saying good night to all the highlights. It’s a great way to tell what she really enjoyed! Horribly cute. She knows all her ABCs – saying and recognizing and is counting up to 15 or so. She’ll tell you what ANY animal will say - with the exception of the Giraffe. If you ask her what a Giraffe SAYS – she’ll promptly tell you “ he doesn’t talk”. But if you ask her what NOISE he makes – she’ll tell you he bleats. Like a sheep. Hysterical.
Speaking of animals – she LOVES her kitties. She has a specific “sound” for all 3 when asked what they say. She’s also fascinated by dogs, but yet still scared. Her relationship with the 3 dogs next door to us is close to stalker-ville, she talks about them 24/7. However, when it comes time to pet/touch them. NO WAY.
I don’t know what it is about the wait BEFORE you meet your child and the wait between trip #1 and trip #2 (horrid), but man does time FLY when you get home. I was so impatient during my process to adopt her. I didn’t know then – but I had a reason to be – she’s incredibly cool and my life is so much better with her in it!