Two Years Later

These two weeks are filled with celebrations in our family. The most ongoing is Sofie’s Two Years home! August 1 marks the day we first met Sofie. August 4 is our Gotchya day. The day we took Sofie out of the orphanage and in to our arms forever. August 14 is when we arrived in Canada and the 15th is when we woke up all together as a family!

Two years later she is flourishing. Our social worker comes for her final update to send back to Bulgaria in a few days. I’m excited for her to see the change in her. Sofie is so much more than the shadow of the child that we met two years ago. I was reading back in this blog from our first weeks with our second daughter…. (Check out my archives from August and September 2011)

Then:
Sofie is developmentally at a 9-12 month old baby with a 3 year olds strength and agility. She hits and pulls hair.
Now:
Sofie is developmentally around 2 year old with the strength of a 4 year old. She still hits a bit but knows she shouldn’t and understands it hurts. She no longer pulls hair.

Then:
She still prefers baby pablum cereal but we are pushing other food and this morning discovered she loves mushed up banana and Cheerios! We even got a few sips of chocolate milk in her!
Now:
She will eat anything but does not like raw veggies or fruit much. I have to work to get that in her. She LOVES chocolate covered almonds though! She feeds herself and drinks out of a normal cup, though she can be pretty messy with it.

Then:
She is really starting to understand the signs for ‘more’ and ‘all done’ and uses them correctly when it suits her….. We’ve really only heard “aaaahhhh’s” from her but today she whipped out a few “bababa’s” and even a few “mamama’s”!
Now:
Sofie understands most of what we say and can say or sign well over 100 words. Not everyone can understand them but she is saying them! She communicates making her choices known. She has choices.

Then:  
She does do some self stimulating rocking thing on her back. It looks like it is a symptom for being bored at the institution
Now:
She still rocks, but only when she listens to music. She doesn’t click her teeth anymore like she used to either.

Then:
Right now she is the top of a 12 month old and the waist of a 9 month old… I think she is too tall for 9 month pants though.
Now:
She is comfortably in size 4! Still skinny but she weighs 32 lbs, up for 19.5lbs when we first got her!

Then:

Now:

Sofie has come such a long way. When she first came to us she was just surviving. Just existing. She sat, still. Like she was in a cocoon. I literally watched the child inside her break free and take over the shell it was hidden in. She grew from the inside out. She emerged. It was a long process and there is still some remnants of her past but she is alive now.

She has experienced trauma. Real, gut-wrenching, how-can-there-be-people-who-would-do-that-to-a-child trauma. Neglect. Starvation. All types of abuse. We don’t know everything. I’m not sure she will ever fully be free of the effects of some of it but she is a conqueror. We are winning the battle the against the hurt. Together.

She knows love now.
She knows Mommy and Daddy.
She knows family.
She trusts.
She laughs.
She cries.
She moves.
She eats.
She sings.
She dances.
She is alive.

Sofie is our monkey. She grabs a hold of us with her whole body to give the best hugs. She is silly. She likes to climb. She wants to do everything her ‘big’ sister does. She makes her wants and choices known. She adores her sisters. She loves music. She loves to dance. She loves to be with people. She is smart and knows when to make her DS work for her! She loves the water. She loves the feeling of being thrown up in the air. She loves the trampoline. Sofie likes babies. She loves chocolate. She likes tickles. She likes to bake. She loves to hug. Sofie is a free spirit.

We Love Sofie to the moon and back. I can’t imagine life with out her! She keeps us on our toes and shows us what love can really accomplish. We are so blessed to love her.

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