I haven't added anything to this blog since June. Life has just been so busy and we have just been enjoying life rather than writing about it. We have settled into a routine now and can't remember a time when Katie wasn't with us. A friend, who is a fellow adopter, asked me if I had stopped feeling like a long term babysitter yet. When she asked me I wasn't quite sure whether I had, but I've noticed over the past few weeks that I no longer feel that way at all anymore. There are so many anxieties, particularly before all the legal paperwork is completed, that remind you that you are caring for this little person without all the rights that a normal parent would have. You have to tell Children's Services if you want to have a holiday. You can't leave the country. You have to inform them if your child has an accident. I can't explain how awful it was to have to email our Social Workers to inform them that Katie had a black eye from falling off the lounge coffee table. Yes, it was a typical toddler accident, and yes, she knows she shouldn't be climbing on the table! It made me feel like I had personally hurt my child when I had to email our Social Workers to tell them. I felt so guilty, like I wasn't able to take care of her properly. We have been so lucky with our Social Workers, they are wonderful and have never made me feel guilty. They responded to say they hoped she was ok. No blame, no recriminations, but parents don't usually have to tell someone when their child has a typical toddler accident. Little reminders all the time. Imagine how I felt when I had to email them again two days later to say that she had added to the black eye by falling down some stairs!!
Aside from those sorts of things, life just can't get any better. Katie is so loving and tender and boisterous and beautiful and cheeky and funny and precocious and hectic and intelligent, all within a 5 minute time span. I love just hanging out with her all day. I miss her when she is at pre-school two mornings a week now. We had planned for her to start going three mornings a week from January but I don't feel that I can share her for any more than two mornings a week for the time being so I think we will delay that until next year now. It is so hard fitting in fun things to do when she is at pre-school. I wanted her to start gymnastics but all the classes clash with pre-school or swimming for her age range! We will rearrange things for next September I think and she can start gymnastics then. Most of her peer-group will be starting school a year earlier than her because she is younger by only a few months but those months are after the school year cut off. I think she will miss seeing her friends over that year so we will need to build in some new and exciting things to do in 2011/12 I think.
Katie has developed and matured at an amazing rate over the past 6 months. I can't believe she has been with us 6 months now. She has grown a huge amount both in height and her feet. She no longer looks like a toddler but more like a young child. Her favourite word at the moment is "Why?". She can keen asking why for a never ending proportion of time! She is curious about everything and sees things that I haven't even noticed. It's amazing and I have found I am slowing down a bit and sharing more and more of this with her. It's hard though. As an adult we are conditioned to be running at 100 miles per hour to keep up with all the things we need to do. I am getting better at letting some things slide and trying not to worry about them too much. We are going to Center Parks next weekend for our first family trip away, just the three of us. Katie is very excited that she will meet Rupert the Bear for a picnic. I am hoping and praying she isn't terrified of him. I am also looking forward to the treat of two spa treatments that my wonderful husband has given me. I am needing a bit of "me" time and have only had one massage in 6 months, which was previously unheard of. I am trying to fit in more yoga but it is sporadic at best. Physically I need to do it to stop myself stiffening up but I've found it hard to motivate myself at the times that I do have available to do it.
Katie had a hearing test recently which revealed that she has slight hearing loss in her right ear from repeated ear infections when she was younger. We will review it again in six months time and see how she is doing. We could see during the test how bright and clever she is but could also see how quickly she stopped paying attention once she couldn't hear properly. I am trying to work on getting her to look at me when we are speaking - no mean feat with a nearly 3 year old though!!
It's not long now until we have our court hearing for the legal adoption of Katie. I can't wait for this side of things to be over. Several friends have had complications recently with their legalities and it brings it home that things can become more complicated and stressful. It doesn't look likely in our case that that will happen but until it is all signed, sealed and delivered, I can't quite relax. I am looking forward to legally being a regular, normal mum. I am looking forward to being able to book an overseas holiday for next year. I will however miss seeing our Social Workers. They have all been wonderful wonderful people. I won't miss them having the share in the parental responsibility but I will miss them. I hope they will stay in touch.