Saturday, December 25, 2010

Merry Christmas and Happy Birthday Jesus!!!


(Where are Ava's arms? Behind her holding onto my skirt. ha)

Thursday, December 2, 2010

Over 1 month with Gemma!!

Cant believe Gemma has been with us for over a month now!! That paper chase is a very distant memory. Gemma was so happy to get off those planes and see her forever home. We walked through the front door and she walked right in and plopped down on and couch and said Awwwwwwwww!! After resting for a few minutes she wanted the grand tour of her new home.

All her siblings have been so excited and have welcomed Gemma with open arms. If anyone is having a little bit of a hard time it is Ava. Not so much because of Gemma but just missing us so much when we were gone, it was very hard on her.

Watching Chinese cartoons with Gemma

Two days after coming home we made a trip to the dentist. Normally I would not have done that so soon. But Gemma had been complaining of her teeth hurting in China and asked to see a dentist. I could tell she had some major rot and abscessed teeth. She also had 5 broken adult teeth from a fall at school earlier in the year. She did get a little nervous not sure what was going to happen. We had a dear friend of ours explain it to her in Mandarin. They did an exam and cleaning and she did great!! She did give my hand a big squeeze a few times but she was very brave. Well the verdict was 12 cavities, 2 teeth to be removed, 3 root canals, and 5 broken teeth that need major reconstruction. The day we left China Gemma starting throwing up a couple times a day, then we thought it was nerves but now we know it was from the infections in her mouth. She continued to throw up until we got her on antibiotics for the abscessed teeth.

She has had half the work done already on her teeth and she is very happy. We are taking a month break then in January we will start the reconstruction of the broken teeth. She is such a brave girl and we are very proud of her.

Gemma has been a very obedient little girl. She has said NO a few times but I believe it was just a little testing in the beginning and there have been a few times she was not happy with me and gave me ugly looks. Overall she seems to be very happy in her new family. She loves giving hugs and tells us Thank you and love you often. Language has not been a problem at all, this girl is an expert at charades and the translator on the ipod has helped too. Like I said before we also have a couple of good friends that speak Mandarin that have been a great help too. Not just with translating when needed but with teaching me how to cook some of Gemma's favorite Chinese food.

One week after being home Gemma also started a local Sunday Chinese language school. It is 2 hours every Sunday and she loves it and looks forward to it every week. It is very important to us that she keeps her native language and we hope this helps.

Gemma has also been begging to go to school with her brothers. We have not decided when that will happen but I think she would thrive in it and it is what she is use to. In china she attend a private school and was in 3rd grade. She was a very good student and loves school.

The hardest thing so far for Gemma is driving in a car. She hates it. We live way out in the country and it is 7 miles just to the nearest store. So we spend a lot of time in the car every day.

She has enjoyed Skyping with her friend Faith from China that was adopted at the same time. Gemma also used QQ to talk with her older foster brother in China.

About 2 weeks after being home she begged to get her ears pierced. So she has some pretty flower earrings in her ears and loves them.

We just cant believe how well things have gone. We have not had any meltdowns or any major challenges. Thank God!!! I know it is still early but I would be surprised if serious issues started now.

I will say we had some tears last night. She became sad and got in a funk for a few hours. I ask her why she was sad and she said she missed Chinese food. She was downstairs crying and I did not know because I was cooking dinner. Keaton came up and told me Gemma was crying. I think it did not help because my husband left on his first business trip after coming home and I think it hit Gemma hard to have him gone. Momma gave lots of hugs and told her to talk to me so I can help her. Told her I loved her and wanted her to be happy in her new family. She was good to go after that!

She eats everything we serve and always clears her plate and asks for more. Gemma loved our Thanksgiving feast she was very curious as Sean and I cooked and prepared in the kitchen. She had seconds on mashed potatoes and gravy and many leftovers for days! ha Thanksgiving was just the 8 of us. When we were done eating Gemma ask when the party was starting and when family and friends would be coming! ha I told her not this year it was just us, she was a little disappointed.

Helping with Thanksgiving dinner and enjoying the meal

The cold is also another thing she is not happy about. She hates being cold but loves to watch the snow through the window and gets very excited. She did go out in it once but it lasted less than 5 minutes!

I can honestly say the hardest thing since being back is Ava. She missed us so much when we were gone. All her nighttime issues have come back full force. She will all the sudden start crying and say she is glad we are back and does not want us to ever leave again. Her anxiety is off the charts with us leaving a room or going anywhere. The night waking is back to 2 plus times a night and has been very draining on us. It was very traumatic for her having us gone. There is no way we could have taken her, she cant even handle a 1 hour flight to Phoenix let alone 15 hrs to China. We made the best decision at the time and hopefully we can get her broken heart through this process.

Tonight a got another amazing hairdo that out did the one in China!! Compliments of Gemma, Keaton and Ava, this one truly should win an award!!

Gemma will sit for hours doing her barbies hair. I think a nice big doll with long hair will be on the list for Santa! She loves to draw and watch her Chinese cartoons too.

I will also honestly say it has been a little hard on me. I did not realize how much I would miss not having the cuddly little baby or toddler like with Ava. You have to be much more creative with starting attachment and bonding. Luckily Gemma does let me do everything for her so we are on the right track!

I hope I did not bore you to tears and sorry it was all over the place. This is why it took me so long to do an update, my thoughts are just all over the place and major Mommy brain these days!! We are so blessed with our new daughter/sister.

Ava and the outfit she picked for the day!!

Update coming soon!!

Sorry for the delay. I have sat down many times to write an update and then stop. Im a horrible writer and I get intimidated. It does not come natural like it does with my hubby. He did such an awesome job on the travel blog!!

Everything is going very well and Gemma is such a sweet brave girl. I will try to sit down tonight and do an update. Thanks.

© Mei Meis and Mayhem