first day of the rest of our livesOctober 31, 2010
We picked Mara up at her foster family’s house at 4 this afternoon. We’ve been aiming for a bedtime between 8 and 8:30 eventually, but tonight’s 9:15 slide into snoozing was better than we’d hoped and several hours earlier than she’s used to.
What I’m basically saying is that she adapted to what we wanted way, way better than we’d ever even hoped. There was minimal clinginess once we got to our house and instead she explored and played. She really does seem to thrive on adult attention and we were willing to play along with her when she was singing, showing us various pieces from her set of plastic dinnerware, and so forth.
I gave her a little set of finger puppets and she said, “OH, THANK YOU!” in the most adorable and amazed voice. Although we’ve gone out of our way not to be overwhelming with birthday gifts, I imagine she’ll be pretty impressed with that celebration. And she’s still very particular about things; no one is allowed to put their fingers into her finger puppets, though scooping them out of a bowl with a spoon is fair game!
I imagine she’ll wake up scared and disoriented tomorrow (or tonight) but for today she was incredibly well-adjusted. I think that the transition plan did a very good job of helping her get comfortable with us and accept that her foster family trusted us too.
We haven’t yet gone through the things the foster family sent with her. I’m disappointed though not surprised that they never did anything toward making her a lifebook, though the foster mom offered to email me the photos she has with Mara in them so that I can make a lifebook myself. And it’s a good thing we bought some adorable little socks since she didn’t bring any except the ones she was wearing. But we’ll pull it all together and make things work, I know. I just can’t believe we’re off on such a strong first step. As she was snuggled in between Lee and me on the couch while I gently rocked her and Lee watched the football game, it was funny to see how complete we felt.
We’re working on introducing the dog, and Mara is comfortable petting her but not being licked. She’s very happy with the other two pets. Tomorrow we go to church (so she can see other little black girls) though we can leave if she’s uncomfortable, and the same holds true for trick-or-treat in the afternoon. We have a little ladybug costume for her if she’s interested, but we can also hang out here. We’re trying to build in a few things that will keep her engaged with the outside world but also bonding to us, but we’re mostly going to be making decisions based on what she seems to need.
This really does feel right, getting sleepy myself as a snoozy little girl snuggles up against me. I’m looking forward to my little stint at stay-at-home parenting and I’m interested to see how she responds and how she grows. I fully expect things to change any minute, but right now they’re absolutely perfect.