I had read somewhere in my hours of adoption reading that it took the little one you adopt as long as they had lived in the orphanage to forget their lives there and to fully integrate into your home. That 3 years is almost here for Kara. I have been watching her pretty closely the last few weeks, something changed in her, she seemed to have a serenity I did not notice before, a certainty that she was part of us, a Levario for good. Do I think she contemplates that, no, but I think in her little girl way she knows.
She is a dreamer. Though I do not know yet what she dreams about? Likely yummy food right now. She still loves to eat though she has become a picky eater, I never thought that would ever happen with her.
Kara seems like such a serious little girl, she can stare at you with the saddest brown eyes and make you wonder if she has sorrow in her little heart you cannot reach. Then like someone flipped a switch she will tilt her head to the side, get a quiver in her lip and jump at you in a fierce hug, giggling in happiness. She has the most adorable and contagious giggle. This is a favorite game of hers, trying to look non-chalant but unable to control her little face, and POUNCE. We play this game after I change her diaper. After the 2nd or 3rd time Meghan and Amanda are right there jumping with Kara. Kara is not a fan of sharing her mama. Amanda is not a fan of it either, they are possessive of my attention and time. I guess I would be too if I never had a mama before?
I think Kara does think of me as her Mama completely now, there were times when I felt like she just thought I was a person who got her food, but she is learning what moms and dads do. She makes herself cry so we will come to her side, and she sobs into our necks, and then there goes that switch, she smiles, wipes away the tears and goes about her business. I know that there were two women in her orphanage that may have answered her cries, but I also sat and heard infants hiccuping sobs in the back while I played with Kara in the front room. So I am sure there were plenty of times that our daughter cried out in pain or loneliness and no one was there to kiss her tears away.
I am glad I stayed in Ukraine the entire 6 weeks to bond with Kara, it was sometimes unbearably lonely especially in the middle of the night with no TV to watch or Internet to surf. I think it was important to bond as much as I could with little Kara and lay a foundation for our future as mother and daughter.
It has not been a walk in the park. Kara was a daredevil with destructive tendencies and impulsivity usually aimed at Meghan. Hair pulling, scratching, pinching, biting, things a toddler may do, and Kara was much like a 8 or 9 month old when we brought her home.
There were so many days I could not wait for nap time so Meghan and I could spend quiet time together, I think it was hardest for her to share me with Kara. It was also hard for Julia, as I could not jump in a car and take her things to school or take her places because Kara napped 2-3 hours every afternoon. There were times when I felt like I was babysitting her, especially those first 6 months home. Bringing Amanda home 9 months after Kara also made things hard for Kara and set us back quite a bit in bonding, she was green-eyed with jealousy and so mad at me.
Little by little I adjusted to Kara being my daughter, and Kara learned to be a member of a family. She and Meghan play so well together now, with minimal hair pulling. In the morning Meghan will search out clothes for Kara, help her dress, put on her shoes and take her hand and say; "Come on Kara" and Kara follows her outside. They tour the back yard and watch cars drive by and then come back in ready for breakfast.
When I saw Reece's Rainbow the first time, all I could think about was how sad it was that so many children were left in a hospital, alone and cold, while their parents carried on with their lives (I do not think it was easy for them). I had a dream of a little girl being a sister to Meghan and them bonding for life. I think that magic has happened for those two. Since Amanda is still so much like a baby, they kind of ignore her, she does get into the mix many times, and she is one determined little girl herself. I am sure as soon as she is walking all the time they will begin to include her in more things.
Kara went from a little baby to a girl in the last three years, at age 6 she is very much like a two year old, things will likely move slower for Kara, but she is progressing and that is what is important. She is consistently using three sign "sentences" with prompting, and is vocalizing more and more.
Maybe in three years she will talk my ear off? I sure hope so.