Five, but really…

24 Apr

When children spend their beginning years in an orphanage, they will likely have some typical orphanage delays. Cora’s orphanage, especially her caretakers, was amazing. Cora received lots of attention and love on a daily basis, but there is something to be said about the difference between a family with parents directly 100% involved with a small number of children and a setting where caretakers rotate in on a shift-basis and have a lot of children to care for.

Today I put the word out that we were looking for a stroller. A stroller! I’ve been pushing her a bit in an umbrella stroller, and she likes it, and I like getting the fresh air and with the boys being in school all day, we’ll have plenty of time to walk to the parks.  But she’s 5! My older boys would never have ridden in a stroller at age 5.  There is a night/day difference between my boys and my girl.

I can only speculate, but I am not positive that Cora got much large motor development in her daily life.  She lived in a home with many children having special needs, some in wheel chairs, etc…We know that Cora helped feed some of the children and her fine motor skills show that she she was definitely challenged in those skills.

She can cut better than Miles and she colors so well.  She can write letters and numbers (Hangul and English) and can zip and button and snap.  She does her shoes by herself and can dress herself w/o problem.  Bathroom and teeth brushing are 100% independent.  So is folding clothes, cleaning up spills, wiping up faces and taking over dishes.  She was trained to be independent.

How I wish she’d let us help her more with things, but she is adamant that she do it.  Or at least give it her all, all, all until she realizes she needs a little help. Of course when there are 50 children, independence is necessary.  But oh how my mommy heart longs to have her realize that it’s OK if she can’t “do it” – whatever it is – and that mom and appa can! And that’s OK!

She is just a peanut.  Look at her sneaking pineapple from Appa.  (HUGE developments happening on the appa front, btw!) Maybe you can see just how little she is here.  Though I gave away all of my size 3 pants, Ido believe that is what she would fit perfectly in.  We have to roll up the 4’s. She can’t even get in the van w/o a boost up!

Today we were at the park and a 2 1/2 year old was playing with her in the sandbox and was only slightly smaller than she was. (Though her Grandpa told me time and time again she was big for her age. 😉 )  So when we have this little peanut who is starting fresh, the classes tell us that we need to look at her not by her chronological age, but her “family age”.  So, while Cora is 5, she’s been with us for 1 week, so she needs as much attention as a 1 week old baby.  And that’s just about right!

When she starts to shut down, typically when the kids go to school, sooner or later she’ll find her way into my arms and I’ll be doing the baby dance/sway in the kitchen to my music for 30-45 minutes while she just holds on and likely processes. (Thankful for her peanut self then!)  She has only walked up or down the stairs maybe 3 times w/o me right next to her. She’s not your typical 5 year old.  Oh, but she will be!

Statistics say that many of the typical orphanage delays can diminish very quickly with the right support. Mostly they are motor and speech related and a huge percentage of children with these delays are caught up w/in a year. So what does that mean for us?  First and foremost, Cora is SO SUPER Smart! The girl has a memory and is picking up so much english it’s not even funny!  We have no concerns about that what-so-ever.  But, she is a bit….clunky.  It’s the word that seems to fit her. Lovingly, of course.

If you run into us at the park, right now we’re swinging in the baby swing. A: because she fits. B: because she’s safe and C: because she LOOOVES it!  We’re 5 and buying used strollers.  She’s in my arms constantly. She’s so happy digging in the sandbox.  She can’t quite figure out the scooter yet, and we’re not ready to try a bike at all.  She can’t outrun us, but today she was jumping off the ottoman in the livingroom. HUGE!!

Her brothers are huge helpers and the smooches and hugs they get in return are good payment. 😉

But when we look in these eyes, we see what she’s overcome, where she’s come thus far and where she’s going to go – no matter where that is and we are so proud of her!!  We are blessed to raise this miracle all of her days and forever be mom and dad.

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3 Responses to “Five, but really…”

  1. Stephanie April 24, 2012 at 2:01 pm #

    Seriously loving your updates. She is PERFECT and you all are doing SO WELL! She’s got a good momma, you know. 🙂

  2. Yvonne April 24, 2012 at 5:19 pm #

    Have you thought about an ergo? They hold children up at 40 pounds or more and they are great for bonding/attachment because the ergo holds the child right next to you – there isn’t anything between the two of you. My 4 year old (who is wearing 3T clothes, by the way – another peanut!) still asks to be in the ergo when she needs some one-on-one time or just feels overwhelmed. Anyway, just an idea if it appeals. So glad to see that she is making progress in so many areas and that you recognize that her family age is what matters most right now.

  3. Michelle Rutta Wahe April 25, 2012 at 2:05 pm #

    I’m so happy when I see pictures of Cora! Glad to hear you guys have come so far, from just 2 weeks ago. Yes….jumping off the hassock is huge!

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