Here Gerri is ready to go show off her feet at school on Wednesday!!
This picture all gives you an idea of how tiny she is! Gerri will be7 in a couple of weeks and Victoria is 4!!
Showing off :)
Yes, Victoria is in pj's still - she doesn't go to cubbies for 1 1/2 hours
As I took her out to the bus I could hear the kids on the bus all yelling at her!! They were ALL so excited about her sneakers!
She had a great day and was very happy when she got home.
Thursday morning she wore her second pair of shoes. She was very quiet in the am and when I kept asking what was going on she said nothing. I asked why she was sad and she said she didn't know. She got ready to go and headed off to school.
15 minutes after she left on the bus we got a phone call from the school nurse. She said the bust aide called to say Gerri was in tears and her feet hurt. She said once she got to school they would bring her to the clinic and she would let me know what was going on.
So a half hour later the nurse called. She had loosened Gerri's shoes and Gerri got on the phone to tell me she was ok. I asked her why she didn't tell us at home taht her feet hurt and she said they were ok.
An hour later I got a phone call from Gerri's teacher saying Gerri was fighting tears and obviously in pain. She wanted to be able to take Gerri's shoes off if that was ok. I told her it was ok. Gerri was sitting on the floor cause her feet hurt less. I asked the teacher to let me know if it didn't help and I would come get her.
In the mean time I called the ortho dr's asst and left a message that something was wrong with the AFO's.
An hour later her teacher called again to say Gerri was saying she was ok but the teacher could tell she was not. Gerri was insistent that I not come get her. She even asked the teacher to lie and say she was ok!
I told the teacher that I was at W*lm*rt and as soon as I could check out I would be down there to get her. I also asked her not to tell Gerri I was coming so I could see what was going on.
They were heading off to lunch so I finished up and drove to the school. I waited in the classroom for them to come back from lunch.
Gerri just looked at me and I could tell by her face that she was in pain. I held her hands and asked her if her feet hurt. Gerri looked me in the eyes and said "no". I tried to talk to her for a couple of minutes but she would not open up to me. The class was very distracted by me being there so I told the teacher we were going to head home and I was trying to get her into the ortho clinic. On our way out I called the asst again and got voice mail so I switched to the operator and asked her to hand deliver a message to her.
Gerri got hysterical as we left the classroom. I got her to the car and picked her up and hugged her and asked her what was going on. She still could not tell me. She kept saying she wanted to stay in school.
Once home I took her AFO's and socks off and she had big red indentations on her feet. I gave her some medicine for the pain. She was still upset and seemed mad at me. I just sat and rubbed her feet. I told her that I was so sad that she was hurting and she didn't tell me. I told her that mommie's and daddie's take care of their kids when they hurt. I then asked her when her feet started hurting and she said last night! She said that is why she was sad this morning. I tried to explain that I would have given her medicine this morning if she had told me. I explained that I was so sad that she was hurting. Once again we reminded her that we can't help her if she doesn't tell us. She looked SO miserable!
Luckily I then got a phone call from the ortho asst saying the AFO guy was in today and could we come right down! absolutely!! Dan had to stay home because he had to pick up Ms V from school and then wait on Danny's bus. Gerri was still sad on the way, but the pain meds seemed to help.
While we waited to be called back I explained to her that we were seeing the guy that made the splints and he was going to fix them. She asked how do they do that and I said I didn't know, but I am sure it is pretty simple. She then said how will they cut them? and I turned and said what?? She said how will they cut my feet? while she was crying :( I looked at her and suddenly realized what she was saying! (big lightbulb goes on) I explained to her that they were not going to cut her feet!! just the splints! She cried more and said "will it hurt?" (another light bulb) and I said oh honey!! we will take them off while he fixes them!! It never even dawned on us that she would think this!!
Here we are thinking this is a bonding issue, not telling us she is hurting, not complaining, not asking for help! Turning to her bus aide and teacher and not us! Turns out she was terrifed that the pain meant she would have to have surgery again!!! She figured as long as mommy and daddy didn't know it wouldn't happen.
I am SO happy that I was able to figure it out! It was really eating at me that she didn't trust me to tell me she hurt! Now I look at the picture from the start of the day and can see that she is not smiling but grimacing! We are SO busy in the morning that I could not see it.
Gerri is so smart and so verbal that when she shuts down it is SO frustrating cause you don't know what she is thinking. She has been home 8 months now and we still deal with this a lot. It is SO hard to get her to be real about her feelings. She can be so bubbly, but it is not always real. We keep trying to tell her that it is ok to be mad, sad, happy whatever. The last 4 months have focused on her feet and taken away her independence. I really think she is depressed. Gerri thought once her casts were off she would just get up and walk. I kept telling her that it would take work, but she didn't believe it. I could tell she has been mad at me and assume it is cause of her feet but of course she won't tell me :(
Poor Bob, the AFO guy, came out to see the 2 of us hugging and crying in the lobby :) He thought Gerri was crying because of her feet hurting and I had to explain that it was because she thought I was taking her to the dr for surgery.
He was absolutely amazing though! He took one look at each AFO, made some marks, ran off for 20 minutes and came back with modified AFO's that fit SO much better. He also took the hard plastic front piece off and gave us a soft piece in its place.
Here is a much happier Gerri!! And with her shoes back on!
The kids colored some pictures that Auntie sent
the boys had to go to cub scouts, they were singing carols at the new veterans home :)
Danny is middle back row
They got to decorate cookies and eat them!
While the boys were out, us girls took a nice long tub together.
It also gave me a chance to talk to Gerri again.
I asked her if the medicine I gave her helped her feel better, she said yes.
I asked her if the medicine I gave her was yucky, she said no.
I asked her if mommy or daddy got mad at her for hurting, she said no.
I asked her if mommy came to get her when I heard she was hurting, she said yes.
I asked her if mommy and daddy helped her get better, she said yes.
I asked if we let the doctor hurt her, she said no.
I asked her if we told her what was going on so she would know, she said yes.
I asked her if her feet still hurt, she said no.
I asked her if she now understands that mommies and daddies take care of their kids, especially when they hurt! and she very softly said yes.
I asked her if mommies and daddies can help their kids booboos if they don't know about them, she said no.
So I tried to wrap it up with a lesson.
She hugged me and kissed me and told me she loved me :)
I could tell she was exhausted so we all laid down to watch a holiday movie.
Older child adoption is SO different than adopting a young child. In some ways it is easier and in some ways it is so much harder. It has been harder to bond with Gerri, just being honest. She can be very moody, she is hard to read, she is SO closed up. I had a very hard night last night. I was so sad to realize that we still had so far to go till she really trusts us. I was SO hurt that she could not tell me she was hurting, but told pretty much everyone else at school. I thought it was a reflection on us :(
These past 3 weeks have been tough on all of us. I am SO glad we are getting past the physical part of it. This pain she has been in has really closed her off to all of us. I just did not see it coming. We tried to explain to her that this would be part of a bigger plan, getting her more mobile. But 4 months is a long time to a year old and we do understand that. But because she doesn't complain you tend to forget.
Now if we could just get that darn walker so she can get more mobile I think she would feel SO much better!
She did sleep well last night and was in a much better mood today. I had her wear slipper boots to school instead of shoes to give her feet a break. She came home happy :)
I asked her how her feet were and she said much better. I did check them to make sure the red puffiness was gone and it is!
The kids were so happy to go swimming! This is Gerri's first time all in and standing in a long time!!!
I think I finally see the twinkle coming back!