We always knew that Chloe had good balance, but this is a little ridiculous! Yes those are roller blades on my 3 year old. She and Greg were playing in the basement and the next thing I knew, here came Chloe with roller blades on. She's been scooting around in the pink plastic Barbie ones with the training wheel, but this is a whole different ball game. Do you think we should purchase the Aflac Accident policy for next year? With stitches and a dislocation this year, I wonder what next year might hold.
Chloe has slowly but surely come out of regression. I heard, "I love you, Mommy" for the first time again this week. I didn't realize just how long it had been missing. We are working on making her bedroom a fun place to be and giving Chloe some ownership of it. Up to this point it was always just her sister's room that she was joining. We put a sign on the door with her name on it, moved some books upstairs, and moved her clothes from our bathroom to her bedroom. This all made Chloe quite angry and she still refuses to call it her bedroom. Obviously, we still have some work to do. She still sneaks into our bed at night when I'm sleeping too hard to notice. Otherwise, I carry her back to her own bed typically twice a night.
In other family news, if you know anyone interested a Bichon Frise, we are looking for a new home for our Nilla. She is a 4 1/2yr old registered female that has been fixed, has all her shots, and is house trained. She needs a new home, because we just don't give her the attention she deserves with our busy lives. Having an inside dog is much like having another child and we just need to simplify. Please feel free to email any questions to: email@example.com
Yesterday morning we made a quick trip to the doctor. Chloe woke up not using her right arm at all. The night before, I had picked her up by her wrists with her arms extended straight to hug her goodnight. She told Greg at bedtime that I had squeezed her arm too tight. There were no tears. During the night she cried and was kind of in distress, but no mention of pain. Two x-rays later, she was diagnosed with a dislocated radius and it was still out of place. A wiggle and a twist later, it was back in place and by afternoon she was using it again. At no point would Chloe actually tell us she was in pain! I can't believe she was walking around with her arm out of place of place and not screaming.
At therapy last night, I asked Arleta if this was common and she said it's sensory issue. Many kids who have been in an orphanage do not have a good sense of their body. They can be in really severe pain and yet pretend everything is okay. Occupational therapy can address this issue and we will be looking into this in the future.
It has taken a long time for Chloe's social development to catch up with her age. In Sept. we started taking her to Sunday School and she has really enjoyed it. This is the first classroom setting she has experienced, so she's learning to stay in her chair and listen to the teacher, etc. Chloe has always loved singing, so it was right up her ally to sing in church. She wasn't intimidated in least :)
I've been doing a lot of Christmas shopping online this year. Greg made a great 2 story club house for Chloe and her kitties out of some of the boxes. She's been playing in it for weeks.
A quick update on Chloe's regression. We had therapy this past Sat. and Chloe experienced new waves of grief. It was so sad to watch as emotions rolled over her and rocked her. As Arleta talked through her life story this time, fear was the emotion Chloe was feeling. In the past, the emotion associated with her history was sadness. Another layer has came off and now it is fear she is working through. The fear is from being abandoned in a crowd, from not recognizing any faces around her at the police station, new sounds, new smells, hunger, etc. As Arleta described what Chloe must have been feeling as an infant through those experiences, I could watch Chloe's face and see an emotion get triggered that she had experienced. Then the tears would come. Thankfully, as she cried, the emotion was released and she no longer has to carry it with her anymore. Although, we still see regression in Chloe, her eyes are "smiling" again and we know working through these newly uncovered emotions is the key to her moving forward. Sleeping and separation anxiety and still a struggle, but we will continue to tow the line and know that this too will pass.
It been a long time since my last post, so I'll try to get you caught up on the Beach family today. With school going, I have truly become a "soccer mom" again, transporting and cheering. Homework has taken it's toll on family time and added much stress. We have struggled with one of our girls in the public school system, so that has taken a lot of our time and attention. So much of this blog has focused on Miss Chloe and her transition to attachment in our family. The reality is, she is but 1 of my 4 beautiful daughters.
We celebrated my 40th birthday (don't worry, no tears were shed) at the Millennium Theater in Lancaster, PA last weekend. The story of Joseph was amazing and inspiring.
Tom Sharpes, a friend of Greg's from college, has been acting at the theater since 1994. He played Jacob, Joseph's father in the show. We had the special privilege of going back stage and talking to him for a few minutes between shows.
Sunday, we stopped in Hershey, PA on our way home and got our chocolate fix. The girls enjoyed the tour of how chocolate is made.
Unfortunately, this little angry face below has become all too common right now.
Regression has officially hit as a result of Chloe move out of our bedroom. She had been doing so well, but we knew it was a little too good to be true. It was obvious that regression would come and we saw little hints of it. Now it has arrived with all it's vengeance. Chloe is angry and disobedient. She is kicking and hitting her sisters again, throwing fits, crying like an infant, and struggling to control her emotions. Even Chloe's language has regressed. It is difficult to understand her again and her speaking is back to that "sing-songy" Asian feel. Chloe's sleep is very restless. Her therapist said her brain still thinks it's in the orphanage at night when she is alone in her bed. We hear her talking in her sleep and crying out. Sometimes she will kick and thrash around. Last Thurs., she called out and thrashed around 6 times between 12:30 and 3:00am. The lack of sleep isn't helping my ability to cope with it either. Thank the Lord this regression is only temporary and that there is a sweet, happy little girl under all of that trauma. I can't wait to see her again.
If any of you are struggling with attachment or behavioral issues and could use a listening ear, please feel free to email me directly: firstname.lastname@example.org
"Come to me, all you who are weary and burdened, and I will give you rest." Matt. 11:28
This day has been a long-time coming! After 2 1/2yrs., I am thrilled to say that Chloe has moved to her own bed out of our room. Saturday night was her first night sleeping upstairs in her sister's room and she did great. We are seeing the expected daytime regression. I asked Chloe how she liked sleeping upstairs and she said, "I don't like it. I need my mommy." Up to this point, she has been able to just open her eyes at night and be assured that I have not abandoned her. It takes a lot a trust to believe I will still be there if she can't see me. Thankfully, she has recently recovered pretty quickly from regressions and this is the last big hurdle we had to face in her healing.
This beautiful butterfly came out of its chrysalis today and Chloe had fun holding it while its wings dried.
I just had to take this picture. Chloe is giving her constant companion, Toby a ride in the back of her car.
Chloe had a chance to help her great grandma celebrate her 86th birthday this month.
As I look back over the passed year of therapy, I am reminded just how far Chloe has come. We started with a 2 yr old who wasn't sleeping, couldn't leave my side, was biting, hitting and screaming, had no emotional regulation, lived as independently as possible, and kept her loving, forever family at arms length out of fear.
Here's a link to a post at the beginning of our attachment journey:
Chloe did really well on vacation. We thought maybe she would have trouble with regression, but things went really smoothly. It was obvious when she was uncomfortable, but instead of just acting out, Chloe was able to tell us she was scared when asked and then we held her for a while. Crowds were the biggest struggle. It's a leftover from her abandonment sight that was a crowded public place. The next step is moving her out of our room and upstairs to her sister's room. We've juggle the other girls around and now that it's done, Chloe can begin napping in her new bed. Unfortunately, she has already started acting out as a result of her fear and we've only talked about her sleeping somewhere else. It promises to be a difficult transition, but thankfully this will be the last one. Sept. will be 2 1/2yrs that she's been sleeping in our room.
I haven't spoken very much about Chloe's relationship to her dad, because it's normal for an attachment kid to attach to their new mom first and then once that relationship is established, to move on to Dad attachment. It's the same pattern a newborn would follow. Chloe's relationship with Greg has been a rocky one. Though we've seen great strides in her behavior and attachment to me, she has kept her dad at arms length. She tolerates him because she has too, but Greg has put up with a lot of rejection from Chloe. Since our last therapy session 2 wks ago, Chloe has made great strides and truly has been the happiest, sweetest, girl we have seen yet.
The girls and I spent 4 days at a basketball tournament this week and Greg had to work. When we arrived home, she gave him an amazing reception. Chloe hugged his neck and said, "I missed you Daddy! I love you!" for the first time showing spontaneous affection to him.
Times of hardship help us to appreciate small blessings and we thank God for the continued healing of Chloe's heart.
No, that is not just marker on Chloe's forehead. She fell against the cement step in the garage and made a crater. Screaming child, gushing blood, it was quite a seen. We were just about to head for therapy, but instead we headed for ER. Chloe ended up with 2 internal stitches and 9 on top. She was a real trooper though. The real surprise came when she tore them open again the next day doing a somersault off the recliner and had to be restitched. That was almost too much for Chloe and Mom. I was in tears too by the time she was done screaming.
Thankfully, we kept her still enough until her stitches came out yesterday. That was no small task I might add. I didn't realize how much she loves to climb, jump, run, spin and tear around.
Chloe's stitches were just the end of a long line of events that began shortly after Labor Day weekend at our house. Our well pressure tank had to be replaced, the girls had a 4-wheeler accident (they are fine, but Chloe went to ER to get her leg checked out), our septic system backed up into basement soaking 1/4 of our finished basement, and after 5 inches of rain in an hour, our basement, rental property, and family business were all flooded. Thankfully, we are on the recovering side of things. We have learned a lot about ourselves and how to depend upon God through trauma and financial insecurity. Our basement is getting back to normal (minus a bunch of carpet), the business office is finally back on track this week with the cabinets back in place, drywalling done and new carpet installed Final repairs to our rental also happened this week. I feel like just shaking my head and saying, "Did that all really just happen to us?" But honestly, there were blessing all along the way and I'm thankful for God's noticeable presence through each trial.
"Because of the Lord's great love we are not consumed, for His compassions never fail. They are new every morning; great is your faithfulness." Lam. 3:22-23
We are remodeling at our house and Chloe got in the action to help scrape wallpaper off the walls.
Once again the on-going saga of moving Chloe further from our bed has caused quite a commotion. She is still sleeping in our room, but she can't see us. Night time has been quiet, but Chloe has shown her disapproval during the day. She is as contrary as possible. Everything Chloe knows she is not supposed to do has appeared. In this regression, however, the screaming and biting has not come back like it did last time. This falls right in line with the premise that she will regress, but each time not regress as far, come out of it more quickly, and move further ahead once she has come through. So even in this regression, we see "progress." Please continue to pray for our sanity. It's hard to make your kids take "medicine" they need when it makes them grouchy all day.
Chloe is still playing with our 4 kittens. She has become so attached to them and they have become very calm kittties. This one is just watching her play DS.
This time I just wanted to post some "regular" playtime pictures of Chloe. It's so much fun to see how her little mind works now that she's pretending.
Chloe is showing off her huge stack of duplos. She had to get a stool to reach the top.
We had 4 kittens born in our garage the day before Easter and Chloe has been mothering them daily.
We thought this would be a good place for Chloe to hang out - dare devil that she is.
Last night the girls were playing hair salon and Chloe got "hilites" from her sisters.
We had a great day with Alexandria's family from Pittsburgh. She and Chloe had cribs next to each other in the orphanage and are still buddies.
One of the girls was sick last week and had a nest on the couch. Chloe thought this looked like a good idea and made one for herself too on the recliner. She set it all up herself and layed down to play with her Leapster.
It is a pleasure to share all these normal 2 yr old play ideas. We don't take "normal" for granted. I should however add, that there are still many peculiar things thrown in the mix also. One day I had heard the washing machine stop and when I went to put the towels in the dryer, I found Chloe pulling the towels out of the washer and putting them in the dryer. She then proceeded to empty the lint from the dryer, close the door and turn it to the right setting. It just makes me shake my head to think what all she notices. Her lack of trust still motivates her to new levels of independence. Now that she's older, it just appears in funny places.