Tuesday, December 1, 2009
I have known my daughter, in person, for nine days. Nine days... it doesn't seem like a long time on paper, but it has been an amazing and life altering time for us both, I know.
I held Maeve in my arms for the first time on Sunday, November 22nd at approximately 2pm Addis Ababa time. I wondered, what would she look like after not seeing an updated photo of her for 3 1/2 months... I figured I'd recognize her, but how different would she be? Not different at all... Just a bigger, virtual version of my girl in photos, but with more hair. Yum. I could totally eat her up.
The whole time we were in Ethiopia, Maeve was just a doll. Almost literally. She would snuggle into me all the time, suck her thumb, smile with dimples, slept great, and would coo. Perfect. Although, I was so worried. I have heard that, as a mother, there is not much you can do about the baseline worry you have for your child... I did. Maeve, for all intents and purposes, was a bit of a floppy baby and also was unable to really grasp toys... It made me worry. But, what made me worry the most was the fact that she was "too good". She didn't fuss about anything. She would barely whimper when it was time for her bottle etc...
It is absolutely hysterical now to witness the evolution of Maeve. This, so-called doll, has an emerging personality. I look back and realize that she had totally shut down by the overwhelming change in her life. She coped by withdrawing and cuddling in. I think she also cuddled so much because she was unable to hold her head up very well... Well, with nine days of purposeful play and tummy time, this little girl has attained an amazing amount of strength. She is a whole new baby, in that regard. She is so much stronger and has realized the thrill of playing with her toys. Its super fun to see. (Side note -- the kids at Hannah's Hope are unbelieveably cared for, but you have to be a proactive baby to keep up with your milestones. All the kids get tummy time and toys to play with, but it would appear that tummy time for Maeve was another opportunity for her to relax and suck her thumb!... She truly is a member of my family..)
Also, Maeve has also started to figure out that I'm her one-person show. The children at Hannah's Hope have an amazing ability to self-sooth, be patient, and roll with the punches. They have to be... that's just how it goes when you live in a home with 68 other children. I think Maeve picked up a copy of how adoptive parents bond and attach with their new children. She practically loses her mind now if she sees her bottle and its not in her mouth instantaneously... ha. Its so funny, because she has the strength now to make a fuss. That being said, I want to state, that Maeve is absolutely an easy-going baby and I couldn't be more lucky. She is an absolute love and has the sweetest smile and giggle possible.
I love seeing my girl gain trust in me, as her mommy, to show me who she really is. And, who she really is, is pretty amazing.