Sunday, June 8, 2008

I miss Armenia

Rita laying a flower at the Genocide Muesum
A memorial to over 1 million Armenians that were murdered by a corupt Turkish goverment over 90 years ago.
Armenian American teenagers visiting the memorial. There were about 50 kids saying the same prayer and Rita jump right in and recited the prayer along with them. It was a very moving moment.
Rita's last bubble bath in Yerevan. She LOVED taking bubble baths!!!!!!!
Well, we've been home for 2 and a half weeks already. As I look through our pictures I have great memories of Armenia. I can't wait to take Rita back to her beautiful homeland someday. Of course I miss the peace and quiet that we had in Armenia too. You know us mom's are never happy....when we're with our kids they drive us crazy and when we're away from them we miss them like crazy!!!! Speaking of crazy...that is the best word to describe our household right now. Rita is an absolute sweetheart but I never fully anticipated how delayed her maturity would be. I had read in all of the adoption books that you should expect any child that has been institutionalized to delayed in all areas. That you could expect their maturity level to be about half of their actual chronological age. Even though Rita is doing amazingly well considering all of the major changes she has went through her behavior is very similar to Paul's. Cries at the drop of a hat, doesn't listen, pouts, has no fear of danger (like running across the road). I had been so upset over the last few months that our adoption had been delayed because I felt like the sooner we got Rita home the better. Now, I understand that God's timing is always best. I couldn't imagine Rita going to school right now. Getting her home at the beginning of the summer so she could adjust to our family, the new language and the grief of loosing her past life, is most definitely the best thing for her right now. I don't want anyone to think that I am complaining at all!!! Yes...adopting an older child has been more challenging BUT it has also been more rewarding. Audrey came home at 14 months and Paul at 20 months. They were babies who, after a few days of adjusting fell in to loving us just like we had always been together. They couldn't verbalize "I love mom or I love dad" until many, many months of being home. Here Rita is already 7 years old and has lived almost half of her childhood in an orphanage but she is still this amazing creature who has so much love to give. She melts my heart every single time that she says "I love you mom." She totally understands when she is aggravating me or showing bad behavior and 5 minutes later she comes to me and say "Mom, Rita sorry, Rita no listen, I love you mom" and she always gives a huge hug and a kiss. Even today my dad and grandma came to visit. Unfortunately as they were ready to leave anyways, Rita through a huge tantrum. It had nothing to do with their visit or them leaving, she was just mad because I told her "No" (the girl hates the word NO). Dad and Grandma tried to say good-bye to Rita but she was inconsolable. Not 5 minutes after they left, Rita wanted to call "Grandpa and Great-Grandma" to say that "Rita sorry, Rita mad, Rita cry, Rita big, big sorry" even though her tantrums drive us insane at times I think she'll get over them soon because she realizes so quickly that she is making a big deal out of nothing.

Rita's English is totally unbelievable. People who meet her can't believe that she has only been speaking English for 3 weeks. She is so funny because she goes around saying tons of phrases that she has either heard from one of us or off of one of her ABC or 123 videos. One of my favorites is "Ice cream, Ice cream we all scream for Ice cream." She speaks almost no Armenian which is sad but unfortunately her reality. Even today she was doing the parts of the face in Armenian and English. For eyes she said "Hyedan, eyes....English, eyes" I said "no Hyedan eyes" then she did her tapping of her temple routine that she does when she is thinking, just to remember the Armenian word for eyes.

We took Rita to both the family doctor and the eye doctor this week. She did great at both appointments. She was so worried about getting shots at both places but she was quite the trooper. The family doctor is sending us to Children's in Dayton to see an orthopedic specialist. We think she possibly has Poland's Syndrome, which is where the chest muscle doesn't develop and depending on the severity of it the deformity goes into the arm of the same side. The MD says that she is most definitely missing muscles in her chest and back. If she has Poland's syndrome there are different surgeries that are required as the child grows depending on the severity. Then the optometrist gave us good news and bad news. The good news is that her vision is almost perfect but the bad news is that she has "bilateral something, something" I didn't catch his diagnoses but basically her eyes are not working together. They are great individually but she doesn't have normal "binocular vision" as he said. So he is also sending us to Children's in Dayton for eye surgery. I haven't been to Children's since Luke died there. I was hoping never to go back but........

The rest of the family is staying busy as usual. Andrew is about half of the way through his baseball season. Natalie is staying busy being mom's lifesaver, Audrey continues to watch Mulan 12 times a day and is excited about going to preschool. My baby boy Paul is refusing to potty train. Little does he know that we going to hit the potty training hard this week. After 10 years of changing diapers I am so ready to be done!!!!!!!!!!


Sam said...

So glad to hear things are going so well!!! Please let me know when you will be at Children's! I'll come keep you company!


YvetteC said...

Alison I have just now caught up on your trip to Armenia blog posts!! What an amazing family you have and you are an amazing woman! Truly Christ-like and inspiring I'm so glad to know your story. Please keep posting updates!

Kathy said...

Hang in there, Alison!! Here is a quote to keep you going! "Energy and persistence conquer all things.” - Benjamin Franklin

Kikilia said...

Would vision therapy help Rita's eyes or is surgery the only option?

Tenneh said...

Aren't these older kids fantastic!? Our son from China was 5 1/2 when he came home and our son from Guatemala was 6 1/2 at homecoming (well everything thinks he is actually 1-2 years older but on paper he's 7!). They learn so quickly, it's amazing. Rita is a doll!!