Friday, January 27, 2012

The Topic Of Transition

I can't even begin to capture all that the past two weeks have entailed in this brief summary on my blog, but oh how I want to try.  I want to remember every moment of it!

Alethia has only been home for 2 weeks and 2 days, yet sometimes it feels like she has been here all along.

How is she doing?  How is the adjustment and transition?  How are your other children handling it?

These are the most common questions that we are receiving and they are easily answered in one wonderful word...GREAT!

We couldn't have asked for everything to go smoother, really!

I feel like the hardest transitions that we faced, as we got to know this new little addition to our family, were ironed out in Uganda.  I truly believe that our time in Uganda has made this transition for all of us practically seamless.  I also feel as though having our kids there made a world of difference to her feeling at home when she got here to America.  She already knew her siblings and knew how to interact with each one of them from living with us in Uganda for so long.  And that's just one blessing for all the delays we encountered while overseas:)

SLEEPING - From day one Alethia has been sleeping great!  She begins asking, "Mommy, nite-nite? Mommy, nite-nite?" as soon as the sun begins to go down.  We'll here that same repeated question over a dozen times throughout the evening while playing because her routine while living in Uganda was to go to bed right after the sun goes down.  I mean, what else is there to do in the dark, ha!  It is so funny to see her perplexed expression at the fact that it isn't bed time and that we still get to play for another couple of hours!  Her and Areyna share a bed and really this has been the only consistent "issue" for her.  She gets her feelings hurt if she wiggles over on Areyna's side of the bed, leaving little to no room for Areyna to sleep.  We'll gently place her back on her side of the bed and then the whaling begins.  It could last for up to an hour until she cries herself into exhaustion.  One night Areyna had had enough, as Alethia kicked her way to Areyna's side of the bed, so Areyna pulled a blanket down and slept on the floor.  That did NOT make Alethia happy, ha!  But, besides that, she sleeps through the night, no nightmares to speak of and she stays in bed with Rainy until the "green sign" goes under the door at 9am!

POTTY-TRAINING - She has not digressed at all in this area.  She wears a pull-up during naptime and at night, but other than that she stays completely dry.  She even got brave enough to go all by herself, without any help from me or Areyna after about 3 days.

EATING - She has gone through the stage of eating EVERYTHING I place in front of her to only eating the things she likes, but she will try anything and food really hasn't been much of an issue at all.  I can tell you that she'll do anything for one of Zeke's homemade Oatmeal cookies though:)

Alethia and Areyna are like long lost sisters!  They work on projects together, put makeup on each other and play VERY well together.  Again, the only real kink in their relationship is the bedtime issue.  We may be looking at getting another set of bunkbeds in the very near future.  Areyna helps her pick out her clothes in the mornings and is a HUGE help in every other area as I learn to juggle 4 kids by myself.
Alethia and Zeke are very similar in their bond.  They play very well together and you can tell that Zeke treasures his new little sister.  I know that this phrase will become old hat very soon, but he still has the mentality that he "will share my toys with Alethia because she didn't have any in Africa".  We wants to give her everything:)
 Alethia and Micaiah just picked up their relationship where they left off in Uganda.  It's a love/hate relationship with the emphasis on the "love".  They are like two peas in a pod.  They frequently fight over toys, which leaves Alethia crying.  (We've got to toughen her up!)  He eventually gets bored with the activity and gently hands it back to Alethia, which then wants nothing to do with it, as she is mad because he took it away in the first place.  I'm telling you, this girl is sensitive...  They copy everything each other does!  School time has been very pleasant as they keep each other occupied, for the most part, so I can work with Rainy and Zeke.  Cai and Alethia play "family" and "kitchen".  It's so cute:)
A Little Game They Like To Call "Crazy Undies"...don't ask:)

ON BEING LEFT BEHIND - Alethia made it through a complete service at church in her class last week!  She did GREAT!  We have left her for small group and did amazing.  Josh and I even went on a date this week and she was totally fine!  She knows her brothers and sister are still with her and she sees that mommy and daddy ALWAYS come back for her!

INTRODUCTIONS - It's interesting to see the people she warms up to verses shy's away from.  Most of the time though, if you are visiting in our home she will run up and give you a big hug and want to show you around HER house and give you a tour...especially of her room.  I LOVE IT!

AROUND THE HOUSE - We have been working hard on maintaining order in our house.  When a meal is done the trash goes in the trashcan and the dishes go in the sink.  If you finish playing with a set of toys you clean it up before moving on to the next.  She is NO slacker in this area.  I'd even go as far to say that she does a better job at this than the rest of the kids!

HEALTH - She had no health transitions to speak of until this past Sunday.  Within an hour she went from just acting tired (with little to no fever) to having a 104.4 fever.  We automatically though, Malaria, as she had just gotten over it in the babies home before Josh went to pick her up.  After about 12 hours in the ER and several traumatic events with needles, IV's and X-rays it was confirmed.  There are 4 main strains of Malaria and hers landed smack dab in the middle of intensity.  Thankfully the type that she had is not known for fatalities!  She is bouncing back like a pro.  She also has a UTI so she is on meds for that as well.  She begins her 2nd type of Malaria treatment, which is supposed to put her Malaria "on hold" until the medication she really needs becomes available and then she'll be on that medication for several weeks.  Other than that she is doing great!

AS FOR MOM AND DAD - We are adjusting well.  I've only had a few breakdowns, but I'd say they were mainly due to exhaustion from being so pregnant.  I'm in full waddle mode and totally ready to get this baby thing moving!  Josh is getting into the swing of things at work, which is good, considering our total lack of motivation while we were in the holding pattern just a month ago.  I will say that getting everyone dressed and out the door leaves me with little patience if I'm not careful, and if I don't get up early enough in the morning to "gather myself" and spend time with Jesus it is way more transparent to my kids, as well as everyone else around me, than I'd ever want it to be.

So, we're learning, and will continue to, as our children and our family grow.  We thank God for his consistent grace that He gives us and for the blessing of these little lives which we have been entrusted with.
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