Sunday, February 15, 2015

How is Vivian?

How is Vivian?  That is a question I keep getting and so I thought it was about time to do a quick update.  Get ready for tons of pictures:)

Vivian is great.  In January we celebrated 18 months together.  Hard to believe it has been 18 months. The last 6 months have been much different than the first 12 months.  The first year with Vivian was so packed full of "firsts" it was quite the roller coaster of emotions.  Some of those firsts brought so much joy, while others brought fear and anxiety.  The last few months have been much different.  We see a much more confident and secure child now. While those first few months were "rocky", the last few months have felt like smooth sailing.  I can't believe I am writing these words, but things these days feel ... easy!

Vivian started back to preschool in the fall.  Last year, her first few weeks of preschool were very rough on both of us.  Lots of tears and fear and resistance.  She did eventually come to love school but after taking the summer off I wasn't so sure how she would do.  Turns out, she did awesome.  She absolutely LOVES school this year.  She has the sweetest teachers and she is thriving.  It is so wonderful to drop her off and know she is happy while I am gone.

first day of preschool
She has jumped back into her activities and she is quite the busy 4 year old.  She LOVES her gymnastics and ballet classes.  She also takes an art class with her cousin and loves that.  She now joins the big kids as they run around to different neighbors houses after school and there are times I find myself ALONE at home (thank you Laura and Ashley!!).  Vivian actually gets excited now when a babysitter is coming over.  She LOVES anyone that will give her one on one attention.  She soaks it up like a sponge.  So she basically pushes me out the door if a sitter is here b/c she knows she is going to get tons of attention.  She has even gone on a few playdates WITHOUT me!!  This is huge:)  

on a playdate on her own
She thoroughly enjoyed the holidays this year -- we had a wonderful Thanksgiving and Christmas.  Vivian loves spending time with all her grandparents and cousins.


She and her sister continue to grow their relationship and it is so sweet to watch.  They spend almost all of their time together.  They love playing at parks, spending the night together on the weekends, going to gymnastics, playing all kinds of pretend games around the house, and taking bubble baths.  And yes, they fight.  Not a lot, but they do.  They love to fight over who gets to pick what to play on my ipad:)

She's still got the boys wrapped around her finger, too.   My oldest continues to be more a caretaker to Vivian, while my second is much more of a playmate.  And yes, she fights with the boys, too. Mostly when they don't do exactly what she tells them to.

At the beginning of the year we started speech therapy for Vivian.  Most people put their children in speech therapy almost immediately, but we felt Vivian needed more time to adjust and attach before she would be ready to do this.  For us, this turned out to be a great decision because she LOVES going to speech.  She works with a really sweet therapist and Vivian has quickly realized she gets her full attention for 45 minutes, so she is in heaven.  She looks forward to going every week so far and we are hopeful this will give her more confidence.

I hope this will encourage anyone who has recently returned home with their child.  If you are struggling, if they are struggling, hang in there.  

We are so proud of Vivian.  When we watch her, Rob and I can't help but reflect on the kind of life she led for almost 3 years and the huge transition she has made.  We can't help but be amazed at the way she came through all of this with such a joyful and beautiful spirit.

I shared this on FB when we celebrated our 18 month milestone and I wanted to share it here, also, because this quote seemed made for Vivian:
“The most beautiful people we have known are those who have known defeat, known suffering, known struggle, known loss, and have found their way out of the depths. 

 These persons have an appreciation, a sensitivity, and an understanding of life that fills them with compassion, gentleness, and a deep loving concern. Beautiful people do not just happen." -elisabeth kubler-ross

(photo by L Hoke