Gigi has been home for all of 36 hours and it’s CHRISTMAS! For any of you who have adopted a preschooler, this is like the perfect storm. For anyone who has adopted a deaf/visually impaired preschooler, this is TERRIFYING. Gigi is easily overstimulated. She gets excited and overwhelmed pretty easily. The idea of so much stimulation, excitement and craziness had my poor jet lagged self dreading today.
Gigi didn’t go to bed until 1am on Christmas Eve. Her days and nights are miserably mixed up. The other kids were in our room exactly at 6am, the time we told them they could come in. Gigi was still looking a little rough. But, she was up for whatever adventure was coming.
I needed coffee before we got this party started. Joe was kind enough to oblige. I hung out, listening to all the chatter while he made us a pot.
Pretty soon we made it to the tree.
And started opening.
The kids are always so excited about the little things.
Gigi hung close to Cam, her security blanket, and watched it all unfold. We take our cues from her, so we just had her watch a few of the kids open gifts first.
Pretty soon she wanted to try it. We started with something not overly exciting. Fleece leggings, so she can wear layers, just the way she is used to. In China, they bundle their babies.
Pretty soon she felt confident enough to roam around. We showed her the sign for gift and let her help pass out one or two.
She liked the boxes and paper A LOT.
She is working on learning how to play. This isn’t something she has done a whole lot of. Don’t worry, she has lots of people to teach her how.
In the aftermath of all the hustle and bustle, with my transpacific hangover in full force, I know we made the right choice to keep this as low key as possible for the family of 13. Again, I try to be respectful of Gigi and not say too much about how this adjustment is going for her. This journey is hers. From a mother’s perspective, it is a roller coaster. One minute she is kissing me, the next, she’s hitting me. All this is so normal, but she has begun to bond with Joe in a way she hasn’t yet with me. It’s not uncommon for a child who has been cared for by women all her life to reject the woman who took her away from them. In her head, maybe men our now the safer option? After all, they haven’t left her, or made her leave. I’m tired, I’m emotional, and I’m sad.
I need to hold on and remember that this ride will come with ups and downs. This was the ride we chose. Had we wanted safe, or easy, we would have chosen to ride the merry-go-round.
–FullPlateMom, who doesn’t do boring.