Tuesday, May 8, 2018

9 months!

We've been home with Lily Grace for 9 whole months!  Seems crazy to think about.  It feels like she just got here at times and at the same time it also feels like she's been here all along.  We are busy busy busy with this little girl and her big sisters!  She has definitely moved out of the baby stage and onto toddlerhood. . . lookout!  This sassy, strong willed girl is almost TWO!  She still has such a vivacious personality for such a tiny little thing.  I tell people all the time, when she's happy, she's super happy and when she's mad, she's super mad!  ;)  Sounds pretty familiar to most of us with toddlers.  I will say though, Lily Grace's has a little more gusto than the average little one. She will certainly be living life to it's fullest.  We have no concerns that she has not come out of her shell!

She LOVES wearing her sisters shoes, especially their boots!

She is developmentally right on track, or even farther along than we would have expected.  A couple of weeks ago she was tested for Speech Intervention.  I'm happy to report, Lily Grace is not only on track, but AHEAD of where she should be developmentally at this age.  When compared to other children her age, she tested at about a 2 1/2 year level and she wasn't quite two when she took the test!  This coming from a girl who just heard the English language 8 1/2 months earlier.  We are so proud of the huge strides she has made!!! The Lord has be gracious to allow her mind to soak up everything around her!  As many have said, having two older (and very verbal) sisters has certainly helped her along the way!  She is a busy bee and seeking to show her independent side.  She still wants to have us around but usually she wants down to walk or she wants to open her own item, etc.  She is also learning to work the sibling system.  ;)  She will refuse to let me carry her or pick her up and then she will hear Madelyn ask me to hold her and immediately Lily Grace will run over to me with her hands up asking me to hold her instead.  She is definitely mischievous!  Matt says we should get Maddie on our side to play this against her when we need to carry her for various reasons and she's refusing.  Already trying to outsmart her at 2. . .

Thank you Epcot for giving us a little "China feel"! 

Medically she's great!  No major issues to report.  She still has some swallowing issues that will work themselves out over time.  We will try to wean her from her liquid thickener and see how that goes.  We expect she may need another injection or two for the laryngeal cleft contributing to her swallowing problems.  But for now, no major concerns.  Her PE tubes in her ears are still there. .  kind of.  The left one is trying to come out, right seems to be ok.  Hopefully she will just hang like that and avoid any major ear infections.  The main reason they were placed was for fluid in her middle ear causing her to fail hearing tests, and this has resolved so we are grateful for this!  She's still a peanut of a thing.  I suspect this will always be the case.   We are so happy she is eating well and all of the GI drama has seemed to clear up.  

The most exciting part of this last month was our time at Disney!  We have Matt's and all the girls birthdays within 2 1/2 weeks of each other, so it's a birthday extravaganza!  We left the day after Matt's birthday. . . also known as Madelyn's birthday. . . for DISNEY!!! And we stayed a week and were there to celebrate Taylor's 6th birthday as well!  We had a great time.  It was fun.  It was busy.  It was tiring.  It was great.  And I'm pretty sure Lily Grace was thinking, "Where have you people taken me?!?" But she loved it!  She was also a little over the craziness towards the end.  Taylor was up for any and every roller coaster she could possibly ride.  Madelyn on the other hand did not share her sentiments.  She was not into any crazy rides, including the Splash Mountain ride she attempted after a last minute ditch the day before.  She also didn't like many of the characters aside from the princesses and Minnie.  Something about those large heads freaked her out.  Lily Grace was extremely intrigued with the characters and loved touching their faces, whiskers, noses, hair, badges, anything she could get her hands on!  One of my favorite parts of our time was sitting in rides with the girls and watching their awe.  It really is magical!  Lily Grace would start off sitting next to me, and when anything would get dark or scary sounding she would pop up and head straight for my lap.  It made my heart so happy that she saw me as a safe place.  These are things I would take for granted with my big girls, but with Lily Grace I know she had to learn that I (and Matt) are safe and will take care of her.  It just melts me every time.

Our church has started an adoptive moms support group and I am so grateful to be apart of this.  The Lord orchestrated this amazing group of women to help walk this journey with me and share their stories and listen to ours.  It is so nice to be heard and understood from others who have and are walking the same or similar paths.  I feel beyond blessed to have met so many amazing people throughout our adoption journey from all over the US and even the world.  I often feel unworthy to be in the same group as many of these people.  They inspire me.  They push me.  They grow me in my walk with the Lord.  I am not the same person I was and my heart is completely wrecked (in the best way possible) from entering this adoption journey.  Once you see the stories and faces and people and children, there is just no way for your heart to not be changed.

We are so grateful for you Lily Grace YaXuan!  You are so loved and chosen!

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