Saturday, March 6, 2010

My Healthy Girl

I took Hannah to an International Adoption Clinic yesterday and got a great report. Actually they were just able to confirm what I already know. Hannah is very healthy with no obvious problems. She has no indications of malnutrition and the doctor confirmed that she looks like she has been very well cared for. She is almost 50% for both height and weight and they told me to expect her to grow more.
Developmentally she is doing well also--there are a few gaps with some knowledge but they suspect that is due to lack of exposure. Her fine motor and gross motor skills are good.
She was so good through the whole visit and did not even make a sound during her ppd test--just put her mouth in an O shape when the needle went in. She was very cooperative with everything they wanted her to do but she was totally quiet--she did not utter a word until her and I were in the room alone.
The doctor noticed signs of attachment to me developing but gave me tips for continuing to work on that. Again it was things that I already know but was good to hear it from a professional. Attachment and bonding are the most important things to work on now and everything else should come after that.
The tips they gave me go along with what I have read and are many things that I am doing already so that was good to hear. I will list them here just in case they can help anyone else as I know that I have learned so much from other blogs.
Keep your world boring and routine as much as possible
Do not go on trips unless you have to and try to only do day trips--it is best if she only sleeps in her own home for the first 6 months. I already missed on this one but don’t have any more overnight travel planned for a long time.
Do not let anyone else hold her, feed her, dress her, comfort her, or meet any of her needs--ideally for at least 6 months
If other people are around , they always need to redirect her to Mom if she wants or needs anything
They were very happy that I was co sleeping and recommend that for as long as we both are okay with it.
Keep the bedtime routines very consistent--this I have been good at and tonight when I told her it was time for bed, she started the ritual so I think it is working.
Make a picture chart of the schedule for the day so she can see what is coming up
Work on simple education for now--letters, shapes, counting, using scissors, etc.
Do not get involved in any outside activities for a few months--it is too much right now to introduce coaches, teachers, other mom’s yet.
As a single mom I do have to return to work and have Hannah attend daycare-that will start in one month.
Their suggestions were to slowly transition to that--stay with her the first couple days, etc. They also emphasize the importance of getting there on time to pick her and never let her be the last kid picked up for the day--it may make her feel like she is being left. They also recommended having a picture of me in her cubby at daycare and that I try to go with when they have field trips at first. The other important thing is to make sure the day care provider fully understands that Hannah does have appropriate stranger or situation fear and she will need to be watched very closely.
In three months we will go back and that time will also see the International child Psychologist to assess bonding. They said that after watching us they expect it to be going good but if it has not progressed, they will give me some specific exercises to work on it.
I have to brag and include that the doctor told me that the referral pictures she got of Hannah were the cutest she has ever seen. Of course I think so but it was very nice to hear.
My sister lives near the clinic and I had planned to stay and visit her for the weekend but the doctor really confirmed that we should go home to our own house so we did.

The appt and the report were both very good. Hannah and I are doing great. The interesting thing is that when I tell my friends and family (that aren’t involved in adoption) the suggestions of the doctor they respond like it means something is wrong. I get responses like “ I am sure that everything will work itself out”, “ You and Hannah will get used to each other and find your groove”, “We are certainly praying for you” “Just hang in there--it will all come”. I know they mean only the best but I want to shout--”Nothing is wrong, this is normal for International Adoption and we are doing great already.” but I don’t (except to my closest friends). Instead I just say “thanks”.

We had a great day today and a great bedtime tonight. I am having a really good spell right now which makes me extremely happy. I have also managed to actually feel calm throughout the bedtime routine even if Hannah isn’t and that seems to help her get calm quicker.

Thanks to everyone who commented on my last post--the support and suggestions are always welcome and appreciated.


Tammy said...

Glad bedtime went better last night and hopefully she will continue to let you help her in calming down.

People outside the adoption world just don't get it. I was talking a co worker the other day about needing to find a new day care and was listing some of the reasons why and she about flipped out. When I told her that his attachment issues were to be expected because of his history, she looked at me like I had grown a second head and was totally minimizing everything. She just didn't get anything I was saying and I decided I was not in the mood to educate her.

BTW - I referenced yours last post on my blog. I hope you don't mind.

Kelly and Sne said...

Glad to hear that Hannah is healthy and progressing well. Keep up the good work! We are (finally) finishing up our adoptive parent education for our 2nd process. I don't want to alarm you but wanted to make you aware of one part that explained that some kids exhibit "disassociative" behaviors (e.g., they "check out" or don't react when they should) when their "internal alarm" is going off. So, if Hannah is not reacting to a shot, perhaps you should assume for now that she is scared or alarmed and comfort her accordingly. That was like a lightbulb to me as Miras has a 'deer in the headlights' reaction when he is scared or out of his comfort zone. Great advice from the Dr. - it DOES take time and effort. But I got a great big holding-my-face and staring-into-my-eyes "I love you Mommy" tonight at bedtime from my boy which makes it all worth it!

Cameron and Kyle said...

Thanks for sharing the advice you got from the doctor. All things I have known but always good to reread and attempt to burn it all into my brain. Happy to hear the appt went well and that she is healthy. Love the new photos!

Irishdrums said...

Hi Mary,
Hope you and Hannah have had a fun weekend! Your posts have been very interesting. Sad to hear how difficult everything can be, but then the difficulties make the good stuff seem even better, right? You're doing a wonderful job! *virtual pat on back*

We're thinking of you both often. We're bummed we can't arrange to come and visit you and meet her like so many other family members have. She must have loved Kasey and Kayla visiting.

Have found some fun things to Hannah for her upcoming birthday. Little girl toys are so fun!

Happy St.Patrick's Day!

Kristin (& Dan)

Margaret and Tom said...

So glad Hannah is so happy and healthy, everything sounds as if it is going great! I love your tips for glad you included them, a great reminder for ME!!!

Misty Clark said...

I'm so glad Hannah received a healthy report. Sounds like you're a natural Mom and doing everything you're supposed to. Good job Mary! Glad things are going well and they'll continue to get better too.