Grace has had a big week. Much to my chagrin, she has learned to climb up on the couch all by herself. She loves to play with the wood blinds and bang on the frame of the painting above the couch. I am really grateful that she is too short to reach the actual painting. She looks so pleased with herself when she is up there. Her heart breaks right in two each, and every time we have to get her down. I guess we. Just. Don't. Understand. Of course, she doesn't seem to understand that she hasn't figured out how to get down yet.
We have tried to be very careful to respond to Grace's every cry or call since she came home in April. For the sake of forming a solid bond and attachment, this was super important. It was also SUPER exhausting sometimes. I mean, the girl would get up four times or more in a night sometimes. Her Dad, who was kind enough to take on night duty, was turning into a walking zombie. I am pleased to say that a switch must have flipped inside Grace about a week ago. She is sleeping through the night!! I have been watching closely for some sign that she is missing the night time attention. Clinginess, fussiness, etc. Guess what? Nada!!!
Grace gave us a big surprise at church on Sunday. It's fine for us to have her with us in the sanctuary during the worship (singing), but she is not one that is content to sit or play quietly for very long, so she has to go out during the sermon. For the last couple of weeks, we have taken turns sitting with her in the nursery. This week, I stayed home from church sick, so Will was on his own with all 5 kids. He took a shot leaving her in the nursery, with strict instructions to let him know if there was even a hint of a problem. She did great! Not even one fuss.
Grace is also talking and interacting with all of us more and more everyday. If I call one of the older kids, you can bet you are going to hear her little voice calling their name right after me. She loves to go in with Dad to sing bedtime songs to Justin before he gets tucked in to bed at night. She stands next to the bed and dances along to the singing. Then she climbs into Justin's bed to give him a hug and kiss (or 6). She loves to "help" anytime one of the big kids is doing a chore. She is completely certain that she is just as capable of unloading the dishwasher, emptying the trash vacuuming the floor, etc. as any of them. Her assistance makes the time to complete the job a fair amount longer, but it is awfully cute!
My favorite new phrase is, "I uv oo". That's right! My girl has started saying "I love you". Usually followed by a wet, sloppy kiss. I'm glad she doesn't know that we would let her do just about anything she wanted to right after she says those words. Things might get kind of crazy around here.
Grace is 14 months old now. She has been with us as long as she lived in Ethiopia. The changes, growth and bonding that have happened in the last 7 months amaze me. A day has not passed yet, when I don't think about all that it took to get her here, and the fact that I would do it all five times over again just to have her as part of our family. She is the perfect fit, and I love her with all of my heart!