What is 6 months? For most of us it's the equivalent of two seasons, one which we hardly get a chance to notice and the other lasting longer than we want. Whether that's a fall/winter or a spring/summer, it measures pretty small in the vastness of our lifetime. For a baby 6 months is a little more recognizable. Going from birth to half a year old brings some defining moments that can be rather significant to their little persons. And of course then there is a young child, for most of them a few months becomes a very important part of their age. They are no longer 5 but 5 and a 1/2! And this 1/2 must accompany any inquiry of age, for it signifies only six more months till they will turn that all important next number.
But nothing compares to another kind of 6 months. The transformation of a child who has gone from living life on her own in the midst of a crowd, fighting for sufficient food everyday, and looking for comfort and love out of every smile to the beautiful rest found in a family. It is more immense than any time frame of months I've ever witnessed.
Annika is not the same little girl that we held for the first time 6 months ago today. Her once frail body that barely allowed her to walk for extended amounts of time without becoming tired is now strong and active, running and jumping and climbing everywhere. The expression of aggression that we first saw wanting to control in order to get what she thought she needed has now smoothed into a quiet confidence of knowing she is thought of and included in all circumstances. And a girl who performed with smiles and clung to every craving to be held is now joyfully content to simply be saturated in the atmosphere of those who continually shower her with love and grace. Annika is not just another nameless child among those we call orphans anymore she is a daughter, a sister, and an Orlando. We have known this for awhile but its so very different when they know it too.
Milestones to date
:: Loves to sing her "ABC's" and "Twinkle, Twinkle" and I love hearing it.
:: Carries full thoughts into how she communicates, connecting many words together to make sure we understand!
:: Aware of things that are hers...and things that are not. ahem.
:: Jumps, jumps, jumps. And pulls a few dance moves with her brothers. Kung-fu/rap style. It's all her own.
:: Writes with her left hand - always. Now I have two!
:: Knows all her basic colors and can count to 10...sometimes skipping 3 & 4. Oh well, just don't ask her her age.
:: Has long enough hair to wear pigtails all day without them falling out!
:: Wore size 12- 18 months and size 5 shoes in August. Now is growing out of size 7 shoes and I wouldn't buy anything less then a 3T in shirt and pants!
:: Weight 31.5 lbs (from 21 lbs) / Height 37 in.(from 33.5in) amazing.
:: Goes to class at church and has a great time but I have to sneak out when I leave and she yells "mama" when I arrive! Major strides for attachment. I love it.
:: Dresses herself all the way to her socks and shoes - although pretty fond of mama still doing for her.
:: Still naps from 2-4. Hallelujah! Mama is allowed to hold out as long as possible with the 4th kiddo.
:: Never once has awakened through the night - strange indeed but I'll take it! Sleeps from 8:30 - 7:30am.
:: Slowly understanding that you can't walk in when the door is closed. oops.
:: Loves Charlie & Lola. Really, who doesn't?
:: Always repeats after you if you mention China or Beijing. As in a question, are we going?
:: Always repeats "what?" 5x after every answer you give her. She knows she's pulling my leg. stinker.
:: Loves it when her and I look in the mirror together and I say, "you're my daughter". priceless.
:: Beijing, China - August 24th 2009 :: Orlando Home - February 24th 2010