Tuesday, April 14, 2009

First Day with Kate

So, we promised another post on our first impressions of and interactions with Kate, but were so exhausted last night that we collapsed after Kate went to bed.

Of the four babies adopted from Kate's orphanage, none reacted by crying or being visibly upset, which surprised us as it was not the normal response for children being taken from the nannies and other babies with whom they are familiar and given to families they have never seen (or smelled) before. We may be wrong, but several of the families have reached the conclusion that the babies never had a chance to bond and attach to any of the caregivers in the orphanage, and they show more developmental delays than the group of babies we saw when we adopted Sydney. Sydney and her group were about 6 weeks older, but there is more than six weeks of difference between these babies and those. I won't speculate as to the cause of the differences.

Kate smiles for us when we go to pick her up, but most of the time is pretty stoic. Amy keeps saying "there is a baby in there that needs to wake up and get out!" Kate adores Sydney, and smiles and laughs when she does some of her antics like flopping onto the bed where Kate is sitting or having tummy-time. She takes a bottle reasonably well, though she has to be coaxed to get it started. Once she starts, though, she'll drink to the last drop (as long as she doesn't forget to come up for air and release the vacuum in the bottle...)

Despite reports from the orphanage that she was regularly eating rice congee (a rice soup or porridge) and some noodles, etc, it is pretty clear to us that she has no idea what to do with solid foods. Her bottles are a mixture of formula and rice cereal, so we'll just stick with those and slowly introduce some other baby foods to see how she does.

She is able to roll from her tummy to her back and vice versa, though we have to give her a pretty compelling reason (i.e.- a fun toy) or she won't bother. She had a great hour and a half of tummy time, today, though, in which she showed a lot of what you look for in a baby to see if they are responding and getting comfortable. She loved the toys, and loved being played with. She was able to push up for long periods of time, so her muscles are fine, even if they need some encouragement to catch up with where babies "should be" for this age. She seems to enjoy being carried in the snuggli, and spends most of her time looking up at the face of the person carrying her. We were told she wakes up at 7 and goes to bed at 9:30pm, with just one hour-and-a-half nap in between, but she has fallen asleep several times for 45-minute naps after bottles for us (in addition to a mid-day nap), so that may not have been completely accurate. We're still working to figure out what her schedule is at this time so we know how to help her get the sleep and nutrition she needs.

All in all, she is a sweet little girl, and our hearts break thinking about the fact that she may not have ever bonded with anyone before now. We pray that she adjusts and bonds with us over the next days and weeks and does not show any long-term detriment. We are glad we got to adopt her now, at this age, and pour out the love and affection that she needs to grow and thrive.

It is a joy to be part of this travel group. There are five other families, two of whose babies were from another orphanage in this municipality. Two of the families have older adopted girls traveling with them, and Sydney has loved spending time with the 6 year-old and the 7 year-old. The couple next door to our room are missionaries in Peru whose three older children are with family in Tennessee during this trip, and it has been great to get to know them and encourage each other. Sydney loves "Miss Marti", and would drag her along on every excursion for food, etc, if she could. On the other side of us is the family with the 7 year-old.

Our part of the paperwork is now done until we get to Guangzhou, we just have to wait for the various agencies to do their part and get our documents back to us before we can leave the city and fly to Guangzhou. As a result, we'll be taking a few little tours and trips, starting with a journey to the Chongqing zoo tomorrow to see a panda. That's about all I know at the moment, but I'm sure we'll get more information and lots of pictures tomorrow.

A doctor just left, having examined Kate to make sure there are no obvious problems. This was set up by our agency, and was obviously unnecessary for us, our good doctor having already examined Kate for 24 hours now.

Here are a few more photos from our first 24 hours with Kate:

First, just let me say... "Skype ROCKS!" We've talked to Peter three or four times already, and it is priceless to hear him tell us about his days with his grandmother and all the fun things they are doing!

Live long and prosper. Sorry, couldn't resist...

Cool toys, guys!

First back zerbert EVER!

Kate listens and smiles while Daddy reviews Sydney's Catechism questions. Hope Peter is not getting rusty on his first three questions while we're in China... :-)

Girl talk...


Anonymous said...

Thank you for being so open in sharing this process. It ministers to our hearts to see a glimpse of God's master plan for sweet Kate. We are enjoying your updates and praying for each of your family. Katie Sandoval

Anonymous said...

Hey Bredenbergs, we are rejoicing wih you and can not wait to hold baby Kate. Lots of 'luv to the four of you! Mary Jo

Melissa S. said...

I've been thinking of you and praying for you lots. Thank you so much for the updates. I'm eating up every word! Congratulations!!!

Anonymous said...

Congratulations Amy and Rollin! Kate is beautiful - what a wonderful addition to your family! I wish you the best in the rest of your trip back home, enjoy her! Love Amy Melita