Thursday, September 18, 2008

She's Walking Hand In Hand With Mama!

As good as yesterday afternoon was, last night was just the opposite. Simply put, last night was not a good one to say the least. We crave sleep :)
Alyzabeth woke up crying last night and again very early this morning. Nothing was able to calm her, not even walking the halls so all Aly could do was hold her and sing to her without a break from the crying. In fact, last night could have been a case of the night terrors. We fixed her a bottle but it wasn't hunger driving her distress. There are those times when all we can do is be there with her and for her all the while knowing we can't take away all the pain.

And still, there are highlights to share. Happy times. Good times. HUGE strides in gaining Alyzabeth's trust began yesterday afternoon after returning from our visit to the Chongqing zoo.

Where we were:
Alyzabeth would cry anytime she was in our room. (We switched rooms but little help)
She had to be held by Aly at all times. Not just most the time. All the time.
She would not walk.
She would not play.
She would not smile.
She cried if Aly sat down with her.
She cried with a diaper change.
She would let me feed her but nothing else. (I'm cheerio dad and watermelon man)
She would only drink from a bottle.
In short. She cried. A lot. A whole lot. About anything and everything. And was very unhappy.

Where we are now:
Alyzabeth does not cry each time we go back to the room.
She takes her mother's hand and walks with her in the hotel hallways.
She has waved twice when prompted to wave goodbye.
Aly can sit down while holding her without her crying every now and then.
We had our first diaper change without tears. Whimpers. But no tears.
She is drinking from a sippy cup.
She is beginning to play with her toys and baba.
When asked where is baba, she pointed to me. Twice :)
She has smiled at Aly and now me.
She reaches up to touch her mother's face.
She had her first drink of whole milk.
She had her first taste of oatmeal.
In short. She is crying less frequently. Is starting to play and smile. Acknowledges baba and is developing a huge amount of trust in mama. Now if she would just sleep through the night and take naps! :)
She is also catching a cold... Oh well, there's a surprise - Not :)

And how are we?
Thankful for the moments of peace and quiet.
Over the moon happy to see her smile and HOPEFUL that her gains in trusting us will progress today and in the days to follow.

Today's only scheduled morning activity is a shopping trip but we may decide to skip on it. We all could use the down time. Tonight we will be attending a big outdoor stage event next to our hotel.
Yesterday, we gave Anita (one of our CCAI guides) the two cameras from our Care Package to have developed that the orphanage returned to us . We're hoping to get them back this afternoon sometime.

The video clip shows our daughter holding her mom's hand while they take a walk together. I wish you all could have been here to see them walk out of the room hand in hand for the first time. Some things earn the title "Special". That was truly special and will without a doubt, forever be a Special Memory... And I've also added a short clip from our trip to the Zoo.

Life is good. We're doing fine and thank everyone for the prayers and good wishes and WORDS OF WISDOM AND SUPPORT!
(and just to prove it wasn't a fluke - aa gave us another BM!!! man, the things you won't celebrate on this journey :)
peace
ac & fm & aa



50 comments:

rubyiscoming said...

TOO COOL!!!! You guys must be beaming!!!!!!!

Truly Blessed said...

Bravo for the HUGE strides Alyzabeth has made today. I know it sounds cliche, but every day does get a little better and a little easier. Alyzabeth is doing GREAT -- she's a very stable little walker (way better than my 22 month old, that's for sure!).

It looks like you guys are having a memorable trip -- we are enjoying the videos, the journaling and the pictures.

Remember to sleep when Alyzabeth does!

Suzie said...

AMEN!!! I love watching your videos and seeing Alyzabeth's slow but sure transformation to trusting you. Thanks for sharing your journey with all of us (especially those of us still waiting!)

Suzie
LID 9/4/2006

Heather J. said...

Wow, amazing. Simply amazing.

Johnny said...

Good! Good! Good!

Isabella's Mommy and Daddy said...

YEAH!!!!!
Looks like a wonderful day..
Today will be filled with many more special memories..
Thanks for the update..
can't wait to hear more..

Kelly And Allison said...

So happy she is making progress. She is beautiful. Love the video. My older one was the same one for the first week. Never smiled. Will not let me hold her, only daddy. Wouldn't even look at me. By the time we were back home. She wouldn't leave me alone. Alyzabeth will get there.

Tina.

Cora said...

Love to hear about the small milestones!
She is so sweet before you know it you will be seeing smiles all the time.

Half Gaelic, Half Garlic! said...

I am glad to hear she is making progress....everyday will get better and better!!

I can't get enough of her sweet little face....I am sure you are tired and living on sheer adrenaline right now...try to get some rest...and thank you for the video....it gives us hope!!!

Hoping you have a better night!

Tammie said...

something you might try at night is if there is a fan in the room leave it running just to make "white noise". sometimes waking up and its quiet might be scary as she was probably use to noise with all the other kids in the orphanage.

love your posts- she is just precious. you all are bonding leaps and bonds every day and its only been 4 days WOW

Rhonda said...

You probably don't remember us, but two and half years ago we were in China adopting our daughter Lizzie and you left us a comment. I've been lurking every few months or so since. Anyway, at the time Lizzie was acting just like Alyzabeth. She also had been fostered and was very bonded to her family. It brings back so many memories to read your posts. My DH, Jeff, had to wait in the bathroom the first two nights until I could get Lizzie asleep because just the sight of him distressed her. We walked, and walked and walked the halls...it seemed endlessly. He could only feed her from my lap and she wanted to be held constantly, endlessly, without stop. She also hated our room and cried whenever we entered. She was so distressed and I wondered if we would ever get her over the grief, but have faith because today Lizzie is a smiling, little spitfire that runs our house. Alyzabeth is doing beautifully and you and Alyson are amazing parents. Hang on and hang in...it only gets better.

Rhonda

Don and Be said...

I feel like I'm living her pain. JM behaved similiarly whenever we approached our room - it became Crying Time. Ford, I'm right there with you on the playing and the feeding - I almost feel like we wrote each other's posts, they're so similar. Aly, JM would eat only if Be held her - no high chair for her. This too shall pass.
Hang in there - our very wise Chinese agency representative told us "Above all, have patience with your children." No truer words could have been spoken - patience is one of the virtues JM taught us to improve.
We love your posts - we check several times daily, forgetting about what time it is in China.
We love y'all.
D, B & JM

BTW - at 57 years of age, I also celebrate when I have a good BM !!!!

KHM said...

Hang in, it is getting better.

Isn't day 3 supposed to be the magic day?

Anyway, she is just beautiful

Dita said...

You two are doing wonderfully and it shows in your daughter's trust. Thank you for the wonderful video and sharing each day with us.

Dana said...

Alyson and Ford,

I'm so happy to see things are progressing. I feel for all of you. I know you all must be exhausted. Here's hoping for a full night of sleep soon! Remember lots of people are keeping you in their thoughts and prayers.

Dana

OziMum said...

Unfortunately... it was bound to happen! The good thing is, that with every day - she WILL trust you more, and know that you will always be there for her.

Hang in there! Its great that you are documenting it all... weeks will turn into months and months into years in the blink of an eye!

Catherine said...

Yay!! What a huge milestone!! Way to go Alyzabeth An!

Love and prayers for all!

Norma said...

all three of you look exhausted!!!!i wish for eight or nine or more hours of sleep for you all.

Briana's Mom said...

She sounds like she is really progressing amazingly well. Just take it one day at a time! Praying for you all!

Dannye said...

sounds like things are getting a little better, that's great....

I spoke with a friend of mine last night who has BTDT...when Dawn and Jacob were in China getting Lily she said Lily would cry every time they were in their room and would be quite content when down eating, so they started ordering some room service and eating some in their room, this seemed to work for Lily, the crying in the room seemed to slow then stop....thought I would share their experience with you, in case....

Hugs and kisses.
-Dannye

Anonymous said...

So glad Alyzabeth is doing better. My daughter grieved very hard too. Our room gave her fits and all she did was cry so needless to say we spent a lot of time away from the room. Avari also would not go to my husband for 3 days and I had to hold her when she was awake. Very sad baby. Day 3 seems to be the magic day for most babies. Your daughter is lovely. Congrats.

Andrea

Andrea

Fliss and Mike Adventures said...

That is great that Alyzabeth is coping alot better... poor little poppet... am glad that she is trusting more... hugs to you all...

Anonymous said...

You know kids love music. It can be entertaining and often calming. A Beatles tune holds a lot of magic for many. cc

PIPO said...

Great strides!

Thank you for doing such a great job keeping us all up-to-date on your journey.

Kelly (Mike and Zane) said...

So happy to know she is making progress. It must really rock a 2 year old's world! Hang in there and I pray for sleep for you both. If it makes you feel any better, I still can't change my 11 month old w/o him screaming and I've had him since he was born! Oh yeah, and haven't had 8 straight hours of sleep in 11 months either! Welcome back to parenthood! I know she sees your love. Hang in there! Love to hear the joy through the exhaustion.

Dori's Mommy (Diana) said...

You are making wonderful progress! Keep up the good work. It's going to pay off in the long run!

Billy and Maggie said...

So happy to see Alyzabeth making some strides. Shes so beautiful.

Perrin said...

Oh she's making progress and will be running happily throughout your house in no time at all...although I'm sure that seems like a lifetime away now...sleep deprivation is brutal. Hang in there, she looks like she is making huge progress!

Mike and Rhonda said...

I am so glad that you guys are making progress. What huge hearts you both have and what a precious little girl you have.

I just went to an IA seminar last weekend and the peditrician talked about the highly traumatized child. She had twins that were adopted from China and were both highly traumatized. She suggested small doses of Benedryl on occassion.

Just remember that it can cause irratation in some children so don't do it like for a plain trip without first trying in the room.

a Tonggu Momma said...

I always found that celebrating the little milestones kept me going. Y'all are so, so blessed. This transition time will end. You are blessed to parent her... and she is blessed to have such patient and loving parents.

Daniella said...

Awesome video - I had chills and tears watching it. She is making huge strides in such a short time. I truly am grateful to be able to follow your journey - we too have petitioned for a toddler so it's going to be so helpful to have your wisdom of the been there done that when our turn finally comes. Look forward to the next video.

FinsUp said...

She can feel your patience and love. You're doing such a great job!

Leslie

Nina said...

What significant changes in just a few days!! Your patience, understanding and attunement is really working its magic... My heart breaks for Alyzabeth An, but again, she could not have lovelier or more loving parents to help her through this transition!

I hope you (all) get some sleep tonight!!

Anne Marie said...

Your daughter is just wonderful! I'm so happy that she is becoming more comfortable!

This "advice" may be completely unwanted, so do with it what you will: When our son came home from Taiwan, he would often wake crying uncontrollably, and we could not calm him for over an hour. Finally, we figured out two things: 1) while grieving was part of it, it was also a result of being overtired and when he naps better, he wakes up crying less, and 2) watching a Baby Einstein video for 15-20 min snaps him out of it and calms him enough so that he can go back to sleep. If anyone has a portable DVD player you can borrow, it might be worth a try (or it might be worthless...)

Sammi said...

WOW! What a difference a day makes and each day will get better and better. Alyzabeth An is just simply beautiful! She is so lucky to have the two of you, as you are to have her. I was able to spot the director of Nanchuan SWI in your video clip at the Civil Affairs Office. She was wearing the same colorful, striped shirt as she was the day she handed us Karsynn. Your beautiful journey is so heartwarming for me. It stirs up so many precious memories for me. We'll be watching and praying that everyday improves.

Sophia's Mama said...

You all are doing a wonderful job. Alyzabeth is also doing a great job. The progress is slow but it is there and before you know it she will be smiling. I would bet by the time you leave for GZ you will see a big change. Everyone told me that GZ would be like a vacation and they were right. Sophia was like a different child when we go there. Sophia also hated to be in our room in Nanchang. We think it is because it was the first place we took her. Sometimes the change is a good thing when you leave for GZ. Just keep doing what you are doing and she will respond....

Much love
The Rizzo's

Kristin said...

There is so much love and compassion in your posts for your daughter and what this change and process means to her... it is wonderful.

AA is nothing but sugar...

redmaryjanes said...

She is absolutely darling. I am so happy to hear that she is adjusting. Poor little pip, if she only knew the amazing life that lies ahead of her.

sea star said...

Such small steps and yet so large!

Beverly said...

yes celebrate the small stuff. time will help too.

Rosie said...

Thank you for sharing.She is so beautiful.Hugs.

Vivian M said...

Baby steps. Lots of them! Enjoy the down time and try to get as much sleep as you can. You both are doing a wonderful job. Patience will pay off.
I can't wait to see Alyzabeth ssmile and laugh. Soon, it will happen!

Ava Baby said...

She is such a beautiful little girl and I'm sure it must be so hard to see her grieving. I'm sure it won't take her long to feel all the love your family is sending her way. Enjoy the rest of your stay in China!

Doreen said...

Wonderful! Every day will be baby steps to seeing the REAL princess' personality.
You blog is the first one I hook up with to make sure you're all doing well.
Doreen in Montreal single Mom to Faith-Jiangxi & Mia-Sichuan

Dawn said...

Congratulations on all of the little victories! What wonderful video of Alyzabeth walking hand-in-hand with her Mama! Glad to hear that she waves and points to Baba too!!!!

By the way, the 3 of you make the most beautiful family! Can't wait to see those first pics of Alyzabeth with Salty Dog!!

~Dawn

Melissa said...

As this will arrive to you on your time Saturday Sept 20th, HAPPY HAPPY HAPPY 2nd BIRTHDAY to ALYZABETH AN!!!!
Love your own personal Aunti M in Maine

Your Organizing Guru said...

Delight in the journey. You will not want to forget a second!

Michelle said...

Congratulations!! I have been without power for a few days and I missed Gotcha Day. Alyzabeth An is such a beautiful girl!! Just breathtaking.

Shane & Irma said...

This is some amazing updates.. I can't wait to hear more and see more.

God Bless you and good day!

Alyson, the 3 P's Mama said...

O HUGE strides in a short time! Aren;t these angels amazing at how they can adapt? Kudos to Mama for surviving and to Daddy for being such awesome support!!