Wednesday, March 17, 2010

One Year with Norah (part 4, the last post)

A turning point.
Norah and I were playing with dolls and Norah stops what she is doing looks up at me and signs “Daddy, I love you” out of the blue. I had not been signing it or talking about it, it just happened. By now I am 100% certain she knows what it means and has never said it to anyone not even her favorite person in the world Lori. I was so excited I called Lori at work. Within a couple of weeks she would tell Lori the same thing. I have worked hard to earn this spot in her heart. It was a labor of love that has payed off big time. Norah will go with me anywhere with excitement in her eyes to what the day holds for us. I have become her Dad not just a fun play mate. She now understands that her mom and I are there to help her as a team and I am not her competition for Lori’s time and love. She now is starting to get more and more expressive sign language to where she not only can ask for anything she wants, but now has started telling us about things on a two to four word level. If she see’s something in the store and tries to walk away we can call her name and sign for her to come back. That alone is huge. Being able to call her name even at home and have her look is such a big deal. Before we would have to always tap her to get her to look at us so we could sign to her. She hasn’t had a night terror in over 6 months, matter of fact now we hear her laughing in her sleep as she dreams. Her imagination with play is impressive to her new teachers. They say it is so detailed with the way she sets everything up. She now draws a picture of people and birds, ect instead of just scribbling all over the page. She has formed meaningful attachments with Lori and I not just survival attachment anymore. There is a full time calmness about her that up until the last three months wasn’t there before. When she wakes up in the morning, it is slowly, she may lay there for awhile and then she gets out of the bed and comes to see what’s for breakfast. No longer shocked awake by the panic that Lori and I are not in the room. She will now go to grammas and grandpas clapping and stay for an hour or two while I have to go to the Dr. Norah has always been a happy child from the day we got her. She has a way of putting a smile on the faces of people around her. Lori and I have said many times that we thought that until she can feel safe enough to let her guard down her language development will suffer (Maslows Hierachy of Needs). We have seen a big improvement in her signing ability. It has started to blossom in the last month and we expect this next year she will have a language explosion. I didn’t want this one year update to be so long and if you have made it to this point and are still reading, thank you. I just wanted to give an accurate account of Norah’s first year with us, and the things we had to help her work through. I look forword to see what this next year brings.


Kim R. said...

Thank you for walking us through your first year together. So many people forget that an adopted child needs time to "fall in love" and to trust, which is similar to a courtship between husband & wife. Your time, patient, and love are paying off!

Being the parent that is being rejected is hard to handle. I know, as I have been in your shoes! Some days we're okay with the rejection and don't take it to heart - our brain is in control, and other days, we're devastated when our child rejects us - our heart takes over. I hope others read your story and see that older child adoptions are do-able with time, dedication, love, and a sense of humor and understanding.

Happy First Forever Family Day!!!!

Karrie said...

AWESOME!!! Thanks so much for sharing all this with us. I am so happy to hear about Norah's attachment growth and cheering at each accomplishment. What a happy, sweet girl you have there!!!
Congrats on the wonderful progress!
And Happy 1 year as a family!