1. When I leave the room and then return, she squeals with excitement, as if I had been gone for hours.
2. The way that she comes to me and asks for 'ca' (cuddles).
3. That she loves her big sister and big brother so very much.
4. The way that she shrugs her shoulders up and down really quickly when I catch her doing something she isn't meant to.
5. Her incredibly cheeky and bubbly personality.
6. The way she covers her face with her 'ba' (blankie) when she sleeps, gently stroking it on her cheek.
7. Her incredibly inquisitive nature and curious mind.
8. The way she says ''love ya' when I tell her how much I love her.
9. Her strength, resilience and bravery.
10. Her gorgeous smile!
Oh, just in case you were wondering, Alice doesn't spend all her life in the high chair. It's just the easiest place to take photos of her as she won't stay still otherwise!!
Tuesday, July 29
29th July, 2008 - a very special day in our household. Why, you may ask??? Well, today marks the day that Alice has been with us longer than she lived in China! As of today, she has been with us for nine months, one week and one day. When we met her on October 21st, she was exactly nine months and one week old, so it is a real milestone for us as a family, to have had the opportunity to nurture our sweet Alice longer than she was cared for in China. In celebration of this event, here are some pictures taken just a few minutes ago. Please note the all-Australian Vegemite smeared around her face, and the completely inappropriate (not to mention out of season) bib!! Oh, and she also has an AWFUL cold so is not looking her best....
Friday, July 25
Yesterday Alice and I saw our therapist again, the first time since our initial consult back in March, when Alice was diagnosed with some pretty significant attachment issues. I am utterly thrilled to say that after our consult yesterday, Deb (our wonderful therapist) thinks that Alice is now pretty much a normal 18 month old, with only a few 'residual' attachment-related issues. Yay!!! All that carrying and therapy seems to have paid off big time. I was pretty sure myself that she had made some very significant improvements, but it was fabulous to get professional confirmation of this. It's funny - just the past week or so Alice seems to have attached to me even more strongly, wanting me to pick her up more frequently, asking for cuddles LOTS and seeking me out when she is tired, distressed, or just wanting someone to hold her. It is so very wonderful to have my little girl need me - I am a very lucky mama indeed!!!
Sunday, July 20
Tuesday, July 15
Yes, these are from yesterday (the 14th) even though they say the 13th. Once my camera finally decided to work again, it had lost a day somehow. Go figure....BTW, the group photo was from a couple of weeks ago, but it is the first pic we have had of Alice with all her (girl) cousins. Sasha and Mia live in Melbourne and we don't see them very often, so it was nice to finally get them all together. In the picture there is (L-R) Sasha, Katie, Mia, my big DD and Alice.
Monday, July 14
Today my sweet little Alice Xiao Ying turns 18 months old. I can hardly believe that time has passed so quickly. It seems like such a short time ago that she was a tiny, waif-like little 9 month old, scared out of her wits at the hand that life had dealt her. Who could blame her??? She had been taken from the only family she had ever known, and given to these strange-looking foreigners, who smelled weird, looked even weirder and sounded like nothing she had EVER heard before. The nine months which have passed since then have been truly amazing - difficult at times, yet still incredible. I have watched this sad, withdrawn and attachment-disordered little baby become a more secure, happy, confident and bubbly little person. She laughs so much, loves to be tickled, runs to me for hugs, and kisses me goodnight. She loves her big sis and big brother so very much, and watching the three of them play together is pure joy. So happy 18 months Alice Xiao Ying - you have blessed me more than I could ever have imagined....
Saturday, July 12
Wow the week sure does fly. I can hardly believe how long it has been since I last posted!! Things have definitely improved with Alice since I last wrote, although we are nowhere near what I would call 'healed' (if attachment disordered children can, in fact, BE healed). It is amazing how quickly she now responds to an increase in the holding time sessions we have. Last night saw another first - a holding time session with Daddy. Boy was she unhappy about it at first!! Fortunately she didn't take too long to figure out that it was OK for Dad to hold her, and he is a pretty cool singer as well, so the screaming wasn't too hideous. She raged with me again today too, but it was pretty half-hearted compared to some of the rages I have experienced. It is now more about control I think than fear of intimacy. If she wants to get down, she expects me to comply. Unfortunately for Alice, I am rather a stubborn and bloody-minded person, so it is a real battle of wills at times. I think that she will eventually come to realise that she isn't the one in charge and she has to comply with my wishes for the time being. We are seeing the attachment therapist again on July 21st or 22nd, and I am sure she will notice some HUGE differences in Alice. As for the rest of the week - we were in Launceston Monday for DS's appointment with the allergy specialist, Simmons Plains on Wednesday for the state Cross-Country championships (DD got 42nd out of a field of 169) and the rest of the week passed in a blur of kung fu lessons, holding time and just being full time at home Mum. Will try and post some more pics when I work out why my camera has decided to freeze and not do anything that I want it too!! Bye for now xxx
Tuesday, July 1
Alice's progress with regard to attachment and bonding has taken a few steps backwards the last fortnight or so. We have been very busy, routines have been altered and I am finding that this all impacts upon her behaviour and attachment. She became quite disregulated by Sunday, so I have had to ramp up the holding therapy, and throw in a bit more sling time just for good measure. So far so good - she has responded well to the increase in therapy and her behaviour is coming back to within the realms of normal. So what do I mean by disregulated?? Tantrums, lack of eye contact, raging when held, etc Basically reverting to the behaviours which had alerted me to the fact that she had an attachment disorder in the first place. The more I parent Alice, the more I realise that attachment and attachment-related issues will probably be a constant thing in our lives. Whilst she responds well to the therapy, it doesn't take much to set her off (in a bad way) and the good work comes undone. Do I think that she will ever be 'cured'?? I honestly don't know. What I do know is that she is much healthier than she was a few months ago, and I pray that she continues, over time, to improve. Whatever the case may be, she is my daughter, and I love her to bits. Every smile and hug is worth the effort!!!
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