It is crazy to think that Ruth has been home with us for three whole months. But, even crazier is the progress that she’s made in this very short time! Here is what she’s up to these days.
Ruth still goes to school a couple days a week. She loves school and has a handful of friends there- she doesn’t just play with Allen! She is learning her colors and shapes and making progress with the primary level topics. We are still working on counting, but have also seen some improvement there as well. She loves to do anything arts and crafts related, and she has lots of opportunities to do that at school and church!
She is still sleeping great. Part of me thinks she is catching up on all the quality sleep that she missed out on over the past couple years. She is still greatly in need of a nap, but sleeps 12+ hours a night all alone in her own bed in her own room like a big girl! She has never cried out at night since the first week after we were home- I don’t even understand how that’s possible! I hope it’s because she feels safe and there was less trauma in her past than we guessed, at least related to nighttime and sleeping. And potty training is complete, except for at nighttime. She has got it down!
She is also really starting to “feel her oats,” as her physical therapist put it one day during her session. She is developing quite the ornery streak! She is now disobeying at times to get a laugh or a rise out of her mommy and daddy, or Allen! She is also my little foodie- it’s just the funniest thing to see her try a new food that she doesn’t like! The list of foods she doesn’t like is pretty short, but so far broccoli, potato salad, blueberries, and oatmeal as well as anything too bready or sugary make up the list. However, she loves meat (especially chicken), beans, ANYTHING spicy and even coffee! She is much more adventurous than Allen and will try just about anything. She is also physically more adventurous than Allen- we may have a little bit of a dare devil on our hands! Hoping that in the future we can channel that into something a little more safe than her borderline dangerous antics on the playground!
Her personality type is shining through these days. For example, I’ll ask the kids to clean up before we eat and this is the typical scenario: Allen runs into the kitchen screaming, “I’m ready to eat!” I show myself to his room that he has promised is clean (cue eye roll). It is most definitely not clean, just toys rearranged so there is an empty circle in the middle of his floor. Then, I’ll go ask Ruth if her room is clean and she will say yes, grab my hand and pull me into her spotless room as she raises her arms in front of her, palms to the sky as if to say, “God has finally blessed you with an organized child: rejoice, mommy!” as I weep tears of joy. Just kidding about the weeping! But I am super thrilled she’s a neat freak! She will also “mother” people by fixing their hair, buttoning buttons and zipping up zippers- regardless of how well she knows them. She knows things need to be a certain way and she wants to make it so! Just a little bit of OCD in her blood, I think.
She is just the most resilient human being I’ve ever known. She went from being abandoned on the street to a large orphanage- already a tough transition, but at least she was safe and surrounded by loving, caring people who were familiar looking. She adapted to survive and had a new home for 16 months. Then, she was suddenly thrust into a family who was unfamiliar. They talked, acted and ate differently than she did and she had to adapt to survive once again. But the changes didn’t stop there. Soon, she had a new home, and even though it was with the same people (who were still new and under strict scrutiny), it was a foreign world. Oklahoma was cold where Lagos was warm. There were no people on the streets, just open spaces and cars, and animals living IN the house! And if that isn’t enough, there are about a hundred more things we just don’t even know she went through. Things that altered her brain, ways she evolved to survive and sacrifices she was forced to make that- if we truly understood- would bring us to our knees in grief.
But God! God has been preparing Ruth for incredible things. He blessed her with a family, but more importantly He blessed a family with her. She is a living testament to the unfailing love of God. He has sheltered her from the worst of all scenarios, and I am in awe of the girl she is today. She is not cowering in a corner. She is not reserved, constantly retreating into herself. She is not broken beyond repair and just existing. She is thriving! Ruth is a wonder of grace- and God has chosen her daddy, brother and I to have a front row seat to the role she has to play in the kingdom!
Ruth is teaching me more about love than I ever knew possible. I have failed so often with her, but it’s as if she doesn’t even notice. Loving her is different than loving Allen- but different doesn’t mean less. As Ruth and I grow closer, I’m convinced she really doesn’t need me as much as I thought she did prior to bringing her home. She is so independent, a fast learner and capable of doing many things on her own. And her confidence will only get stronger as she grows older. Ruth will stop needing her mommy long before most kids, but I will be there for her always.
You are beautiful and so strong, Ruthie. Your daddy and I are already so proud of you. Your brother literally ADORES you. You are fierce and feminine, and I consider myself so privileged to be called your mother.