We have been home with Maggie 15 months now.
I've thought about this number, and about this time, even before we boarded a plane for China.
While there is a buffer in place to give some privacy to Maggie's story and to account for my terrible math skills, we have reached the point of having Maggie in her forever home that same amount of time that she was in an orphanage. Half of her life.
We've had her for half of her life.
What a beautiful gift we have been given.
Maggie has known a family for half of her life and we have known her joyful laugh and spunky spirit.
15 month update:
Maggie has been doing well!
Food and Growth:
No real issues here anymore. She is eating well and will drink from cups now. She likes to snack a lot and likes to eat whatever anyone else is eating. She is just barely getting into 2T clothing, so she is still pretty tiny, but she is growing and that is most important.
She likes her family and she likes people. At home, she always wants to be held, on a lap or involved in everything.
In public she is very outgoing and likes to say Hi and Bye to everyone. She thinks that everyone needs to acknowledge her. She likes to give fist bumps and high fives, or tease you and not give you anything. You never quite know what you will get!
Speech is our biggest obstacle right now. She has really started to add more voluntary words in the last few weeks, but it has been S L O W. She will repeat words (when she feels like it) but she does not add them to her vocabulary as often as we would like. She is in speech therapy every week and we are working on it, but the process has been much slower than I had expected.
Her fine and gross motor skills are almost up to par. She is still not proficient at stairs and doesn't want to even try them. In her defense, we have zero stairs in our house, so the only chance we have to practice is when we visit someone who does have stairs. All of the houses we will visit this holiday season have stairs...so we will get to have LOTS of practice, whether she likes it or not!
Speech and communication is our number one goal
right now. She has been adding more 2 and sometimes 3 word phrases, but they are not really clear or as often as we would like.
So, having Maggie be able to clearly communicate to us is most important.
While we know that Maggie was loved and adored in her orphanage home for those 15 months, she still was without a mother and a father, brothers and sister. She was without a family. I am still completely humbled that we were chosen to be her family. We get to experience all of the joys and laughter and stubbornness that is wrapped up into Maggie Li Ya. We are so very blessed.
November is National Adoption Awareness month. If adoption or the plight of the orphan lays heavy on your heart, I encourage you to take that first step. Maybe it is diving into our Foster Care system, maybe it is domestic and working with birth moms. Maybe it is in family preservation. Maybe it is international adoption, where children still live in mass orphanages. Whatever pulls at your heart, whatever you can't seem to get out of our head, I encourage you to make that first move. Take that first step. Make that call.
Adoption is like a giant funnel. It is wide and open with thousands of options, but I promise you, once you start the process it will narrow, every question and phone call will bring the next step and you will be closer to the end result.
It is worth it, friends. Kids need families.