August 14 was Sofie's one year home anniversary! We got home late that night one year ago, so I kind of count the morning we woke up as a family and crawled in to bed together for snuggles as our real day to celebrate! Really the whole first two weeks of August are a celebration of thankfulness with Sofie.
August 1 is the day we met Sofie for the first time! August 4th is Gotchya Day when we took Sofie out of the orphanage forever! August 14 is when we got home to Canada and our beds! August 15th is when we woke up for our first family snuggles. It was such an incredible, humbling, stressful, thankful two weeks. And now looking back at the past year is so much has happened this year! I can't even imagine where our family would be if we had not adopted Sofie when we did.
I tried to think of some profound post to commemorate today but I can't. I think Sofie is profound enough. Adoption is amazing. Seriously. Before I go in to all the updates on Sofie I do want to encourage any and all of you readers to seriously consider adoption. There are so many innocent children in every country that need a family. Why not yours? Truly. Why not? Money, birth children, hardships, etc..., just aren't good enough reasons not to adopt to me anymore. I've looked in to the eyes of children who are waiting. They wanted to be held and played with. They were broken. Children under 3, broken. Ignored. Dying. Forgotten. Can you imagine?
I don't think that I usually get on my soap box about adoption but it really is something that is very close to my heart. There is no reason to have a handful of birth children anymore. The world is overpopulated. There is birth control options. There are over a million orphans waiting, available, needing families. And don't even get me started on the idea that it is more important and special to have a birth child “of your own”... That is crap and a damaging view to hold.
Back to my own amazing daughter!
She is flourishing! She is a different kid from a year ago. She is alive now! We literally got to see Sofie break out of her shell. I didn't really know what that statement really meant until I got to walk along with Sofie as she broke free.
One year ago Sofie was a shadow. She cried and complained so quietly. She rocked (self-stimulated) ALL THE TIME! She woke up crying numerous times a week and was inconsolable. Truly inconsolable and writhing. She barely drank. Her eyes had dark circles under them. Her hair was life less and mousy. She had a bald spot on the back of head from rocking. She was 19 lbs and just under 32 inches tall. She was skin and bones. She had a terrible rash on her bum that was raw and open.
When she got home she pulled hair. It hurt and even made me cry. She hit. She threw everything and held nothing. She didn't know how to play... at all. She just didn't explore her surroundings but just sat and watched. She couldn't handle new experiences like grass and large groups.
Now? Wow. She jumps in to new surroundings, unless there are tons of people, then she stays close to Mommy or Daddy, which is awesome by the way! She is fully attached to us, but still fearless. She doesn't pull hair anymore although I am still watching for it. She still hits a lot but it is more behavioural than instinctive. She still throws a lot but not as much. She holds things now, examines them and plays with things! She has even lined her toys up in a row... which is huge! She doesn't really play with other kids but she will play beside them and parallel play, which if I remember right is pretty on par for the 18 month developmental level I think she is at. She still doesn't love grass and large groups but doesn't let that stop her from exploring and doing what she wants.
She cries now, loudly, and makes her frustration known... to everyone! She rocks rarely, only when she has had an extremely overstimulating day, like spending all day at the PNE, and even then only for a few seconds. It used to be hours at a time. No more dark circles, unless she ids really tired. Her hair is full, shiny and perfect! She has chubby cheeks and squishy thighs. She is still hanging around 27 lbs but she did grow! She is 34 inches now!!!!
Sofie has many new accomplishments too. She now sings along with songs regularly. She does somersaults. She tells me she loves me, even unprompted! She can close doors from the outside now and is getting dangerously close to opening them. I am not looking forward to when she masters this! She has begun throwing temper tantrums which may not be a desirable accomplishment but it is a developmental one that is very noteworthy. She is SO close to jumping. Sofie babbles and talks so much now too. I'm sure she thinks she is talking English to us and sometimes I'm sure she actually is... I just can't always understand it. She still uses some signs but words are definitely replacing them rapidly.
Things Sofie Likes:
Music! Particularly fast and loud!
So You Think You Can Dance and her play list on YouTube. Sofie will sit and watch these over and over if I let her.
Dancing. This kid is so touched by music.
Wiping things. She likes to wipe her mouth while she eats and is great at cleaning my shower doors and bath tub!
Water! Sofie is a water baby. She dunks herself and plays under water with out a second thought. Splashing is one of her favourite pastimes too.
Cuddles. She loves to sit with Mommy on the arm of the couch or with Daddy in bed under the covers and just cuddle.
Being able to keep up with her sister. This does frequently lead to frustration if she can't keep up with Livi but when she can she is in heaven.
Things Sofie Hates:
Not getting her way. She is very controlling and demands things the way she likes. We are working on this.
Fruit. She doesn't like the wet texture of fresh fruit. I have to cook them or hide them well.
Bedtime. She isn't terribly difficult to get to put to bed she just fights us the whole way.
Below is a comparison of "then and now" pictures almost exactly one year apart. I am so amazed how much healthier and alive she looks....
Sofie - You are incredible. You have already impacted so many peoples lives and are going to continue to amaze everyone. You have crashed down walls and broken stereotypes just by being you. Never stop being you! We are so thankful to be your parents. You inspire us. You are beautiful. You are perfect and we love you.
A year in pictures :)