Monday, December 1, 2008
What a difference a couple of weeks can make. Two weeks ago we picked up a little girl from an orphanage. In that time we have been to Rwanda, Ethiopia, our home, and then on vacation in northern Michigan and then Lapeer, and now back home again. Where we have been is less important than what Aliya has already become. Two weeks ago Aliya was quite expressionless. When I received her referral pictures I began to fret over the somber face staring back at me. In all four photos, Aliya was serious somber. Not all the babies in her room were so serious. My friend is adopting a little girl that I had the privilege of meeting and cuddling for a few minutes two weeks ago this morning. She needed little encouragement to spread out a wide gummy smile. But Aliya was stone faced. We remarked at what a good baby she was, never crying, never fussing. I remember her first half hearted cry. I was pleased she began to understand that she could communicate and express needs to me. Today, she fusses and cries to show her displeasure. Her first smiles were tentative and quick. Now, her smile lights up her face. She needs precious little encouragement to flash her adorable dimples your way. She didn't ever squirm, not in diaper changes, not in face washings, not in nose wipings. Now I practically need a harness to hold her still long enough to change her diaper. I remember her first sounds. She hasn't made them quite the same way as she did the first couple of days she learned she had a voice. I don't know if she couldn't quite hear her own voice before, or if she didn't bother much with it before we met her. But there was a definite voice learning time. She would open her mouth to its widest "o" position (and that was considerable might I add:)) and make the smallest little "aaaaaaaaaaaahhhhhhhhhhhhhh" babble. Last night at dinner we all laughed at her and told her she was making far too much noise as she was chattering away. She says "dadadada" with great skill. We are working on "mamama". I think the first few days were overwhelming to her. That is understandable. She was minding her own business when all of a sudden two strange faces came and swooped her away. She entered a world of new sights and sounds and feels. She was captured by the enormity of it all. She is doing phenomenally well. Aliya Grace seems to have been a Farrand for quite some time, but when I look at the calendar it tries to convince me that it has only been two weeks.
Recorded by Julie at 10:48 PM