Thursday, August 2, 2012


I had really planned on posting here more often...but for some reason I forget what it is like adding a new child to the family!  However, as much work as it has been, and as tired as we have been, this has been an amazing first month home with Hannah.  She shows us more and more of her personality all the time and we are constantly amazed at just how perfect she is for our family!  Here are some highlights:

1. Hannah was not sleeping well when we first got home.  Not only was she in a whole new place with new people, new sights, new smells, new language...she had never slept in a room alone before.  We spent many hours in her room at night sitting next to her crib so she could calm down.  Now, we put her down for bed after a night bottle, and she sleeps for 10 hours! She still is a bit frantic when she is up for the morning and doesn't calm down until we come get her, but she is feeling more and more secure!
Her first week home - enjoying all the new toys!

2. Regardless of all we heard about kids who have been in an orphanage, Hannah is the most picky eater! This is actually the area in which we battle most.  She likes all carbs, especially sweets, but will not eat meat or many veggies.  She also was not introduced to many textures, so if it isn't pureed or really soft, she is not a fan. When she came home, she was still on 4 bottles of formula a day! We have her down to 3 and have switched her to whole milk, but I think it is going to take a while to get her off of those completely.
Hannah is also a very messy eater...  After this snack, she fell fast asleep in her chair!

Aaron and Hannah have a special bond.

3. This child is super smart!  Hannah already understands so much English it is scary! We have also been able to teach her to make different, distinguishable sounds for Mama, Aaron, brother, Grandma, and up.  None of it (except for Mama) sounds like you might think because of her cleft, but she is trying like crazy! She also has signs for ceiling fan, please, thank you, more, eat, milk, and all done.
Playing with fridge magnets.
Pointing to the ceiling fan.  Hannah *loves* fans!

4. Hannah has always wanted to be held and carried, but she struggled to be truly affectionate or completely relax in our arms or during a bottle feeding.  This is rapidly changing! She seeks out affection from all of us, gives kisses and hugs, and snuggles like nobody's business! The first time she truly relaxed and let herself fall fully asleep curled up in my arms with her head on my chest was magical.  When she also then trusted me enough to transition to her crib without jerking herself awake with fright was also amazing.

Ethan, making Hannah giggle with tummy rubs!

Watching Dora with Andrew!

5. Hannah *loves* her brothers! Andrew is a great playmate and is always bringing her toys.  Ethan is so goofy with her and always trying to make her laugh or imitate him! Aaron is absolutely wonderful with Hannah.  He comforts her when she is upset, carries her around, wrestles with her, and can make her laugh and laugh!

6.  Hannah is a girly-girl.  She loves dresses, shoes (even has favorites), bows in her hair, and dolls.  Even so, she is a daddy's girl BIG TIME and loves to wrestle, climb, spin, be upside-down and anything else she can convince her daddy to do with her! What a great combo!
Clinging to Daddy!

As you can tell, we are smitten!  As for Hannah's future health-wise, we have taken her to see a doctor in the cleft palate team and although her palate repair was done very well, it didn't close completely (something that is expected with the type she had) and her lip repair was cosmetic only so the muscles in her upper lip are not attached. This causes a lot of problems, especially with speech development since she cannot move her upper lip to make certain noises.  She is scheduled for surgery in January to re-do her lip repair, and then in December of 2013 to finish closing her palate and lengthen part of her nose to give her better ability to breathe.  She also has to have ear tubes replaced this month and we are seeing a pediatric dentist next month to deal with several rotten teeth.  I hate that she has to go through these things, but she handles them all like a trooper!
Family of 6. Love.


Joanna said...

Love! But...ceiling fan? She knows a sign for ceiling fan? ROTFL!

Stacey said...

I loved reading this - and the pictures are wonderful. So happy for you all.

Jenny said...

Oh girl...Hannanh is just precious and I'm so glad the transition to a family of 6 is going well. In so many ways, I feel like I could have written this post. We have experienced SO many of the same things you have written about...from the sleeping, to the bottles, to the picky eating thing...we've had it all too;) But like your Hannah, Addy-Kate has transitioned so wonderfully too. It's just amazing to see these precious girls settle into their new lives. God is soooooo good;)

Elspeth @ Breathing Grace said...

What a lovely family, Johanna.

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