Monday, May 2, 2016

Home Sweet Home...update! (originally posted on Facebook)

Fort Family of 5! 
Airport reunion--after nearly two weeks in India, the whole family is now together!
There's no place like home!
We've been home 3 days now and are settling into our "new normal" pretty well so far. 
Both Derek and I are still recuperating from the BIGGEST, most STRESSFUL, yet most EXHILARATING thing we've ever done in our lives and are feeling like we can begin to breathe again. 
I have adapted back to Georgia time much more easily than Derek, mostly because I hardly ever slept in India. Derek is suffering from some jet lag; SO grateful he has this week off to rest and also to be a part of the cocooning stage--trying to keep Pearl's world small as she learns to live with us as her new family. 

Cabin fever got the best of us tonight though, so we ventured out for a quick drive to the library to return some books. Short and simple, but at least Pearl got to take her first trip in our van and in her new car seat. She did fabulously well! Good thing...because we have to take her out again tomorrow for her first doctor's appt. 

Speaking of Pearl, we think she is totally rockin' it! With the numerous changes in her little life, she is demonstrating overwhelming resiliency to it all. Of course we've had some trying moments, but honestly, we can't complain. In so many ways, her merging with us has been so much better than so many cases we've heard/read about. As we suspected she would, she LOVES her sisters--easily entertained by them and learning so much from them. She has said both of their names already, which Grace and Gloria love. She is always reaching for their hands and is very interested in what they are doing.

Derek and Pearl are making positive strides in their relationship also. He has been taking her out for walks in the evenings and is still feeding her for the most part. She loves for him to do, "This little piggy" with her feet. Cracks us up how she will voluntarily lift up her feet to him so he can "wee, wee, wee all the way home." She also loves to give him high fives. Those are their special things right now. 

Through all the struggles Derek has experienced with gaining Pearl's trust and love, God has been painting a pristinely clear picture of His abundant, never-ceasing, always patient, always pursuing love for us. Sometimes I'm speechless when I watch how Derek models Jesus to Pearl. She will more than likely never understand the magnitude or the extent Derek (and I) went to to get her, the sacrifices, all the work. But it doesn't matter. Christ did all He did for us and we will never fully "get" all He did either. 
We continuously choose and constantly prefer so many other interests other than Him, even though He is always present and ready to extend His love to us. We will never fully comprehend all He did to save us, ransom us and make a way for us to be adopted into His family. 

Though her reactions are not always consistent, Pearl still turns away from Derek sometimes and doesn't like to be taken from me or be away from me. She prefers that I pick her up, be there when she wakes up, and console her when she's upset. She's still sleeping with us--part of that trust-based parenting and attachment necessary for her well-being right now. I have to be honest though...I will be very glad when she transitions to her crib. Hope that doesn't sound bad--just would love to have the extra space back in our bed!

The first two days we were home, we struggled to get Pearl to eat. In India, she developed quite the sweet tooth. For example, one of the main dishes she ate was white rice, whole milk and sugar. Yep. She also likes just about any kind of bread and dessert. We went with it there in India because we were just in survival mode, but have been trying to rectify her diet since we've been home. I was pretty worried about her lack of nutrition last night and sent a message out to my fabulous India group here on FB. They came back with some various options--some which I'd already thought to try. I'm happy to say, we had some great success today! And I couldn't have done it without my Ninja blender! It helped me be sneaky with our little one's meals. 

Whatever weight Derek and I lost in India (and we did lose quite a few pounds), we are gaining back in spades because of all the meals coming our way each evening. We are so richly blessed to have such amazing friends/family who are bringing us dinner, who have cut our grass, filled our fridge with groceries, placed fresh flowers around the house, made a welcome banner, put a huge pink bow on our mailbox (which has all our neighbors perplexed) given gift cards, purchased precious new outfits for Pearl, took amazing care of and loved on our girls while we were gone, and so on, and so on. We can't say enough about the abundant generosity that has been shown to us. We are just so incredibly grateful and in awe of all the love and prayers!! THANK YOU!

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