Wednesday, December 25, 2013

Some Random Thoughts about Kayleigh and Zoe

As I sat rubbing Kayleigh's back to get her to sleep today, I thought about Kayleigh and Zoe - how quite frankly, adopting internationally is a crap shoot. I hope you don't think that is too crass, but it is the absolute truth.

When you get a child's referral, you hope and pray that what you read in the referral is accurate.  Usually, it's about half true, if that much. Of course, you also have to understand that the referral you get may be about a child who is much younger than the child you actually bring home. And there is the fact that you are, literally, ripping them from the only life they have ever known and whisking them away from their country, their language, their "familiar."

For Kayleigh, her referral did prove to be mostly accurate. Her only known need was her left eye.  When we got her, she was healthy and had been well taken care of and had no serious deficiencies.   Because she was in the orphanage, I think she developed her survival instinct.  Although that instinct doesn't come in to play in our daily lives, her fierce independence as a result of that instinct does. I hear a million times a day (and I'm not exaggerating) "I can do it." "Let me do it." "I want to do it." "I don't want to." (and the list goes on.) Kayleigh is very clingy to me. She has always been so, but has gotten more so since Zoe dropped in her life and started taking my time. I am the only one she will let do some things for her, and she has cried more in the last 2 1/2 weeks as a result of not getting to be with me, beside me, near me, etc. Kayleigh seemed to learn early on that we were her parents and bonded to me very easily and to Jeff later. She never seemed to look back or grieve over the loss of her "life". Kayleigh takes great naps. She will ask me if it is time to go night night and tell me she is tired. She gets her sleep so she can get back on the go after that.

Zoe, on the other hand, has not proven true to her referral. The only known need was her right hand. As you all know from previous posts, she is not walking, talking, or eating solid food. Zoe does not seem to have the independence that Kayleigh has. She sort of watches the world go by and then decides if she wants to jump in. I think that is exactly what happened to her in the foster home. Since she is a content to watch the world go by, that's exactly what the foster mother let happen. And while the world passed by, Zoe did not learn to walk, talk, or eat. Zoe went into shut down mode when we got her. For the first few days, she was mostly unresponsive to much that we did. Although she did give us smiles at times, it seemed to be more a smile because we expected it.  Zoe is not a clingy child. She will go just as easily to others as she will to Jeff and me.  We are having to work harder to make sure she understands that we are her parents. As far as naps, I just have watched Zoe babble non-stop for over an hour and then eventually make her way out of Jeff's lap to the floor to play. She refuses to take a nap (even though her referral information said she takes a 2 hour nap each day). It is almost as if she knows she has a lot to catch up on and a lot to do, so she doesn't want to take a nap.

Kayleigh, home for over 2 1/2 years now, still amazes us with how quickly she picks up things and learns things, and she still makes us laugh often. We call her our "funny monkey."  Zoe, only with us for 2 1/2 weeks, is still revealing herself to us. We have a lot to learn about her in the next few weeks and months.

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