Maddie Rae Gotcha Day

Monday, March 3, 2008


I realized the other day that we have now had Maddie Rae for 4 months. In some ways, it feels like forever ago that they handed me a tiny terrified little girl, and in other ways it feels like it was just yesterday. When I think of all she has overcome and accomplished in the last 4 months, I can't help but be proud of my brave girl. After all, she has endured more trauma in her first year and a half of life than we ever want our children to experience in their lifetime, and yet she has come out on the other end a beautiful, cherished, and spunky little girl. In honor of her 4 months with us, I will post a little rundown of just how far she's come.

Attachment: When we first brought Maddie Rae home, she would only let me hold her and she would not let me out of her sight. If I went, she went. If I moved, she moved. I had my very own little shadow. She didn't want to sit in a high chair, sit in a stroller, or heaven forbid...sit with Daddy! While she is still very much a momma's girl, she will now hold her arms up for Daddy to pick her up and she is slowly warming up to the idea of other people holding her. I used to put her down outside and talk to my friends knowing that she would only go a few steps away from me. Not anymore! Just today she took off exploring and went so far that she couldn't see me anymore. As she feels more and more secure with her new family, she is busting out of her fear and exploring her world. She has always made great eye contact, and she will feed herself or sometimes hand me the food because she wants me to feed her (feeding is a big attachment activity). What a joy to see her blossom and feel secure!

Sleep: Maddie Rae goes to sleep around 8 and sleeps for 12-13 hours. She takes an afternoon nap that lasts anywhere from 2-3 hours. This is a gift from God to this sleep-lovin' mama!

Eating: Gone are the days when she would shove anything and everything in her mouth like she had never seen food before. She seemed to realize after about the first month home that the food was going to keep coming and that she wasn't going to be hungry anymore. She is still a great eater, but she has started refusing food and telling me when she's "all done". If we have a fit or a communication problem, it's usually over food. I think it goes back to not being fed enough in the orphanage.

Growth: By my very unscientific calculations, I think she has grown an inch or two and put on a pound or two. Clothes are starting to be too short, she can no longer clear the dining room table, and everyone keeps saying how BIG she's getting. All that food is doing it's job!

Personality: Maddie Rae is absolutely adorable, if I do say so myself. She loves to be outside exploring, and she can entertain herself very well. She loves her kitchen and her babies. I tell her to give her baby a hug or her Nala a kiss, and she does so very lovingly. She will give kisses, hugs, and snuggles, and she loves to put her cheek against my cheek. She has started teasing and thinks that's really funny, and she's quite a daredevil. She loves to climb up my legs while holding my hands and do a flip and she loves to fall straight forward on our bed. She is an absolute delight to watch and play with, and she has the cutest little low-pitched laugh.

Speech: I have a feeling this area will be one that is an ongoing work in progress due to her cleft palate. She can say a few words, "Nala", "Mama", "Dada", "Jonah", "Uh Oh", "Oh no", "Eye", and "Muhhhh" (when she gives a kiss). We will start her in speech therapy as soon as her palate is completely repaired and we are back in the US this July. She does know several signs that help us to communicate such as "more", "drink", "all done", "please", "thank you", "help", "milk", and "banana."

Before we got Maddie Rae, a good friend of mine told me that when they adopted their daughter from Russia, it was obvious from going through the whole process that God meant for kids to be in families. As I have watched Maddie Rae go from a scared little girl who had never known the love of a family to a happy, bright little girl who lights up around us, I couldn't agree more. We are so blessed to love her as our daughter and sister. We love you, Maddie Rae!


Michelle said...

Maddie Rae is becoming such a beautiful little girl!!! I really enjoyed reading about her progress in her new family...such a Blessing!

Oh, and Sophie at the age of 3 is STILL a great sleeper, so that gives you lots of encouragement for the future. She sleeps 12 hours at night with a 2-3 hour nap. Yay!

Your new blog look is great!