One month (or so) home

I realized today at our one month post-placement visit that the blog has been a little thin on posts about how the new girls are doing and adjusting. One reason is that there is just so much else going on in my head that I'm not thinking entirely straight these days. The other reason is that R.'s and Y.'s transitions have been pretty easy all things considered. Part of this is due to the girls themselves. Though each has her moments, both of them are just naturally sunny. Even after the worst upset, it is difficult for either of them to stay unhappy for very long. The other part is that by adoption #4 and #5, J. and I have very few expectations as to how these transitions go. We have learned everything shakes out in the end and there is no point to rushing or feel as though we have to tackle every little thing. We've been pretty relaxed, therefore the girls have been feeling pretty relaxed.

Of course, that doesn't mean that we aren't gently beginning to work on a couple of things to help them acclimate to their new home. For instance, yes, we do knock on doors before we open them and walk in. We do have to sit next to a sibling our place has been set next to at dinner even if we would rather not. We do have to use soap when we wash our hands. That kind of stuff.

As I think I've mentioned before, while the rest of the children are back at the schoolbooks, I'm holding off on Y. and R. They both play with the firefly and Y. does some math when she is feeling up to it. I get out the preschool activity boxes and they have enjoyed playing with those. Y. has now taught herself to write the alphabet (and clearly has been watching her siblings because she then taped it up on her wall above her bed) and this afternoon she came over and showed me she had written her name using English letters. Too bad I'm not teaching her anything, huh?

R. has also been learning. I have been a little hesitant to really write about R. and her needs here. She is sweetheart and has an amazing gift for faces and names, but I also know how people view those with significant learning issues. I don't want people to think of R.'s needs first and the person second. I wonder how to write about struggles and her successes while keeping the person in the forefront. How to be honest and yet avoid the "poor child" syndrome? I don't actually know.

Probably the best thing I can do is show you R.'s success for the morning. Pattern blocks are a favorite around here for all ages and that was the box that R. chose to work with this morning. So I pulled out a card where you put the pattern blocks inside the marked spaces and make a picture. It is something that G. and L. have been doing for ages and ages.

I knew from previous efforts that this was right up at the top of R.'s ability and was even a bit of a stretch. I let her work on her own for a while as I was working with other people, and then I came and sat next to her. Forty-five minutes later, with a lot of help from me in the form of showing her where the block did not fit inside the given space, she did this.

For her to manage this (with me merely pointing and not actually moving the blocks) was a pretty big deal and she was quite happy to let me take a picture of her work. I know that R. managing this is equivalent to Y. writing the entire alphabet after being home just a month. It's just a little bit more difficult to communicate that to the wider world.


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