I put it out there for those who might be in our shoes next.
I mean very hard.
So much harder than Tess or Jude ever did.
Harder than the other babies in our group.
So much harder than I imagined possible.
But I heard someone say one of the most important things to remember in international adoption is to expect the unexpected.
---She is almost always silent. Unless she is weeping. It isn't a scream. It's more like weeping that comes from deep within her.
---Any attempt to change any part of her clothing, (remove a shirt, take off a shoe, put on a jacket. close a button...) throws her instantly back to her grief. So we let her remain in what she is wearing until it's just so dirty I can't take it. She spent a good 2 hours of today with only one arm in her jacket, the other end dangling, as I could get her to take it off. If it weren't for the sweat rolling off her, I would have let her wear it to bed.
---Leaving the hotel room throws her spinning back to grief. So does a knock on doors, entering and exiting elevators, and entering/leaving buildings.
---She will not nap. Except for cat naps minutes at a time when I carry her.
---Entering into or out of most all buildings trigger her.
---She is hoarding all she can in her tiny fists.
---Diaper changes lead to instant screaming.
---Riding in cars scare her. But we have appointments to keep.
---The scratching continues anywhere she can reach. We are re-directing with toys and find the advantage to the aforementioned hoarding. It's hard to scratch when your hands are full of stuff.
---She will not let herself lay down. So she falls asleep each time sitting up. Then I lay her down.
---She has only had about 2-3 ounces of water since we got her. No formula at all even though we were told she takes two full bottles a day.
---She is attaching very very well. To me. But won't have anything to do with Papa. I am sad for him as this rejection would be hard on any father. He loves her so very much. It's hard for him. I've seen first hand what good attachment looks like and what poor attachment looks like. And sweet Mimi's attachment so far has been so much better than we could have hoped for. A huge blessing that makes the grief more bearable.
---Her appetite is healthy. She's picky as all get out, but when we find the right foods, she gets her fill. She especially likes congee, steamed bun, tangerines, noodles, bananas, and yogurt.
---I don't think she has/had scabies. Rather eczema and she allows me apply liberal coats of Aquaphore and lotion several times a day, as long as I don't attempt to unbutton, unsnap, or remove any article of clothing. Coupled with the constant sweat from being "bundled" the Chinese way, she and her clothing are filthy.
---She has slept well each night. Which isn't that surprising seeing as how much work the grief is all day long. Co-sleeping is working well for us both.