Wednesday, July 18, 2007

Six SHORT Weeks

Today marks Oakley's sixth week being home. Home, where she has three adoring brothers and constant companions; home, where she is safe, loved and cherished; home, where she is growing, learning and thriving every day.

We are SO BLESSED. I know I sound repetitive sometimes, but when I reflect on our experience there is no other word that can adequately describe it. I love this little girl with all my heart and being, and she is grounded already so deeply in our family -- I cannot begin to imagine life without her.

She's smart, smart, smart and is picking up the English language at record speed; she's already putting together three word combinations with great animation. She's funny and playful and shares her sense of humor readily. She loves music, blocks, books, bracelets, baths, hair bows, shoes, her tea set and her Barbie Jeep (THANK YOU SPENCER!).

Her manners have improved greatly and she now covers her mouth when she sneezes or coughs, uses "excuse me" and "I'm sorry" appropriately, and will fetch a tissue BEFORE she begins to blow her nose.

Everything she does, she does with great exuberance. She seldom just walks through the house; she usually skips, jumps, hops and sashays! She's affectionate and she loves to cuddle, hold hands, hug and kiss and she's very compassionate and considerate of other's feelings. She's the first to comfort Sullivan if he's feeling sad or upset.

She's a champion eater (seriously) and goes to bed easily for naps and nighttime. With only a prayer, hugs, kisses, an I love you, a goodnight and a see-you-later (repeated in succession even as I am exiting her room) she sleeps soundly with her little blanket tucked beside her face. She loves playing with her dolls but refuses to allow them or her teddy bear to sleep in her bed. She's funny!

She still won't come out of her room when she awakens in the morning, but she now opens her door and waits for me to come up and get her. I'm generally up before she is and I listen for her to arise. She greets me every single morning with arms open wide, a huge smile and an I Love You. Her transition has been remarkable.

This week we had our follow-up appointment with her pediatrician and discovered that she's gained 2 pounds since our first meeting with her. She's more than doubled her vocabulary, has just about mastered the ABC song, can count to 7, knows her colors and her body parts, and recognizes and repeats the letter "O" for Oakley!

Unfortunately, we are having to repeat most all of her vaccinations because despite the records we have from China, her blood work labs did not show antibodies for the majority of her immunizations. She left her appointment on Wednesday with a band-aid on her arm and four on her little legs. She cried briefly (but mightily) until I assured her that we were "all done." She left the office pitifully muttering "all done, all done," but stopped on the way out to say thank you to the nurse who inflicted the harm. She has a heart of gold, I tell you. It was a long afternoon of sympathetic "I knows", and she limped around the house stiff-legged all afternoon like a little 90-year-old woman. But after a dose of Motrin, a nap, and an afternoon snack, she was as good as new!

I love this little girl ... love, love, love her!! And it makes my heart sing when we pull up to our neighborhood and she shouts happily, "We're home!"


Leslie said...

Yes, sweet baby girl, you are home now.


Beckyb said...

I TOTALLY agree -nothing better than when my little one looks at me and says, "I love my mommy." I just love to see our BIG GOD work!!! His plans are SO good!!! Rejoicing with you!!! She is beautiful!

Francie said...

Jana, I can't believe it's been six weeks. I was reading the blog tonight and Justin looked at the "yellow sweater" picture, and then a Barbie Jeep picture, and said "OMG, look at the difference!" He's so right. If I didn't know better, I would never believe it was the same little girl. Love does amazing things :)

Lisa Porter said...

I didn't think you could "get to me" again but this is a BEAUTIFUL blog. Tears and goosebumps! I am SOOO happy Oakley has adapted so well and is such a delight.

When I first heard about so many people adopting from China, I wasn't sure how I felt about it. Over the years, I have gradually realized that it is truly WONDERFUL. What a tragedy it would have been for this wonderful child, full of love and joy, to spend her life in an institution.

My heartfelt admiration to your family and to all the other families who find the love in their hearts to become adopters. It is truly an act of God's Love.


Jennifer said...

Jana -

What a beautiful entry...
She has changed so much. Isn't it amazing how these little ones get under your skin and set your heart on fire?
It's been so much fun to watch your family on this incrfedible journey!

Anonymous said...


Oakley is such a BEAUTIFUL girl! It is truly amazing to see the joy that comes from her smile!What a transformation! I think she is looking like you! What a gift that you have eachother! God is so good! I brought Esther to the computer to see Oakley's picture and I told her that they had been friends in China. Esther smiled and tried to copy what Oakley was doing in the picture. Please give her a kiss from Esther. We send our love to you and your beautiful family.

Love Sarah Strand

Anonymous said...

Ya know....with every entry, every story, every photo, this little child becomes more and more like her mommy! She dresses cute, she smiles readily, she has an awesome set of wheels, ....THIS IS YOUR BABY!!!
I am MOST excited for you all! Oakley obviously is home where she belongs and I love following the stories! Thanks for sharing and holler at me soon so we can do lunch (or a tea party)!

hogs and quiches,
Leigh Reed

Nicole said...

I love your baby girl! Beautiful Mommy, beautiful baby! Can't wait to play again. Love you both!

Lila said...

What a PRECIOUS little one!!!!!! I lovelovelove the last picture. She is a beauty queen!!

Lori said...

Oh my, how blessed you are.
She does have a heart of gold and I'm glad she's HOME!! :D