It's been awhile since I've given an update on Kemeri Abigail's progress since coming home. Can you believe she's been home a year and a half now? Me neither!
Kemeri has experienced becoming a daughter, sister, granddaughter, & friend, a major surgery, many doctor appointments, lots (& lots) of firsts, & starting preschool.
One of Kemeri's favorite things to do is play dress-up. Constantly. She has even started venturing into Kaya's drawers when the normal dress-up clothes selection becomes boring. It's no wonder all I do is laundry! She also loves doing her hair & mine (this does not hurt my feelings!). It is amazing to see what she CAN do with her little hand, which includes putting a rubberband in her own hair as well as mine. As a matter of fact, this morning she proudly came out with her hair in a ponytail for preschool, complete with a headband, so you better believe I let her sport her original look to preschool. Here is yet another of her original looks:
She adores spending time with extended family.
She also adores her siblings, but Kendi is more than that...they are best friends. I'm not just saying that because it's what I had hoped for them. It is even more than what I had hoped for. They play together all the time. Recently, Kemmy had to "take a break" because she was having some attitude issues. After a few minutes, Kendi came to me and said, "Mom, can Kemeri just say she's sorry?" Somebody was looking to bust her buddy out of solitairy.
The way they play pretend is so cute, & considering that Kemeri had very little experience with play in her orphanage setting, it makes me smile all the more. One thing they dreamed up all on their own is what they call "Mama/Shelby". One of them is the mommy & the other is Shelby (I guess they just like this name??). Many times I hear, "Mommy!", & when I answer, they promptly inform me I am NOT a part of their game. My bad. And they wear each other out.
Kemeri has come a long, long way in a lot of areas. Once we got through the initial medical stuff, we realized she was delayed in many areas. We began in the early intervention program, & once she turned 3, she received an IEP (individulized education plan) & started preschool, where she receives therapies in speech as well as fine/gross motor skills. In all of these areas, speech has probably been the biggest hurdle. Words do not come easily, & when they do, it's typically one or two at a time, so imagine my elation yesterday when I heard, "Mommy, I can't find my shoes!" A WHOLE sentence, plain as day!!! I can't say that I've ever been so happy about missing shoes! Her teacher even made a special trip to the car today to tell me that they are seeing such progress in her communication at school. I am so happy for her since this has been a point of frustration for her (I mean, seriously, when you're 3 years old, you have lots of opinions that need expressing!).
Her attachment has been good. As with any attachment journey, there are different bumps in the road. Thankfully, hers have been relatively minor, but for a long time she struggled with me being gone, especially at bedtime. She still struggles with this at times (& when I say struggle, I mean full-out meltdown), but I have found that if I tell her I am leaving but will be back, she seems to handle it much better. I think the area we have seen the most growth is in her relationship with Daddy. She has gotten so she asks specifically for Joe during the day, & has started taking initiative with affection (hugs & "I love you, Daddy").
Kemeri, Kendi, & friend, Colby
It's hard to believe Kemeri will be turning 4 years old in six short months. I'm looking forward to seeing her continue to blossom & watch her determined little self conquer obstacles.