Monday, August 4, 2008

The First 3 Days

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.


Carrie J said...

Sounds like you both are adjusting well. I'm no expert, even though I have raised 4 kids, but if there is any questions feel free to ask. One thing I have found is that each baby is as different as different can be. Just when you think you have it figured out, you realize you don't! LOL. Lots of prayer and follow your heart.
My youngest daughter had real separation anxiety. She slept with my husband and I off and on until she was between 3 and 4. I finally put a twin mattress on our bedroom floor and moved her there and then on out to her own bedroom. She is 20 now and sleeps all alone. LOL. Actually we had some nights when the kids all slept in our bedroom floor just for fun. Can you imagine? 4 kids in sleeping bags. Good times.

Carrie J said...

I forgot to say that she is absolutely beautiful. What a cutie! Too bad about the family taking her things. I guess I can understand if they needed the money. She looks healthy and well taken care of. Has she gained much weight since you got her?

Carrie said...

She has grown so much since the last pics. All that beautiful hair.
As for the culturual differences, this is a major concern for me and my husband if and when we have children. He is all about giving a child what they want even if it is not good for them. He is starting to learning that is not best way to raise kids. I sure it will all work out when God gives us our own children.
I am so glad that you are home and getting settled in to your new role as Mommy.

Janie said...

She certainly is beautiful!! I read this post with great are dealing with things I never would have thought of....I had a more "Pollyanna" idea that you and Alan would pick up Alaina and waltz into the sunset and that would be it. Duh!!! I had forgotten that she was as old as she was, and that separation anxiety would be at it's height, not to mention the other issues of how her foster family had dealt with sleeping arrangements, etc I will pray that God gives you wisdom and that the bonding time will and Alan are doing a great job. I can't stress enough the role of music to calm a little one....hymns played before bed are great, and we also love Scripture Songs. I can't wait for more pictures....she is so cute! I would love one with all of you! So I take it you had to go buy her new clothes and sorry. Love and hugs!

Mrs. Happy Housewife said...

How much she's grown! She's lovely.

I know what you mean about the culture, as I married into a Puerto Rican family.

I'm so sorry to hear that the foster family stole from her. That's terrible.

My daughter hated to sleep alone (still does, really, at twelve). A crib tape player was our salvation. We had a few lullaby tapes we'd play when we put her down. After a minute or two, she'd stop crying and listen to the music.

Was there more to your adventure?

Rebecca said...

Thank you all for your kind comments. I brought down lots of new clothes for her and new toys. She does like music so I will try putting a cd player in her room and playing worship music, classical etc. Thanks for the tip. She has not gained any weight since I got her but in tomorrow's post you'll see why.