I arrived in Guatemala on June 23. The next day the foster mother brought Alaina to me. She told me that they spoiled her and they don't care if we are upset by it because she is their last foster child. What they didn't tell me but I did discover was that they had stolen all of her stuff. All of the clothes we had given her and even her toys. She was 9.5 months old and they had sold her formula and bought her powdered milk keeping the difference in money. I was really unhappy about all of this but didn't see any point in saying anything as nothing could change what had already happened. I did however get rid of the powdered milk and put her back on formula. It was 2 days before I was able to do that, but I noticed when I did that she drank the formula with gusto. She hadn't been too interested in the milk.
Alaina grieved their loss for about 3 days. Just cried and cried. At least she wasn't afraid of me. She just wanted to be held while she cried. Alaina has and outstanding pair of lungs. She is quite possibly the loudest baby I have ever heard. It turns out that there were 7 adults and no children in her foster home. Therefore she was held 24 hours a day. Literally. I do realize that it is the culture for the children to be in charge. They hold them all the time and whatever the child wants is done immediately. Alaina was used to grunting and having her wishes granted. The foster father even held her while she slept. We had asked them not to do this so as to make it easier for Alaina to adapt to us especially in light of the fact that she has so many things to adjust to that could not be helped. But no. The entire time we were in Guatemala we did what we had to to keep her quiet at night for the sake of the other guests. Now however she is having to adjust to sleeping in her bed and not being held while she does it. Please pray for her that she adjusts soon and for me that I make it through this. We do give her lots of love and holding during the day and we are there at night. We just don't pick her up. When she wakes up crying we tell her we love her and we are there for her etc.
In other news. When I got her then she was barely crawling. In the 6 weeks that followed, I gave her lots of floor time and some walker time and by the time we came home she was walking around furniture. Today she took her first 2 steps in her crib by herself. She stood alone in her crib and then a few weeks later she was able to stand alone in her crib so I think it wont be long until she is taking her first steps on the floor.
These are pictures of Alaina the first 3 days.