After an amazing two weeks in the US we are back in Singapore. We went with many a concern, especially given the fact that we had just gone through an international move and the flight to the US from here is a very long one. We had no idea how Lexi would react to any of it ( our first long haul trip with her was a disaster but that goes with out saying as she had only been with us a few weeks) or how she would deal with being smothered by so many new aunts, uncles, cousins etc not to mention her beloved Mimi and Papa. Suffice to say the flight is not even worth mentioning, I mean really how could a 24 hour journey be good? But I try to think of it as just a part of it all and something that we need to accept while living abroad.
The meet and greet with the family went so much better then we could have ever hoped. Yes there were initial hesitations and extra clings to MaMa and BaBa but it really did not take long for Lexi to join in with all the fun. There was so much chaos around her most of the time that you would think it would be overwhelming but for some reason it created a soothing effect on her. Maybe because she was not the center of attention and she was able to blend in to it all. The beauty is that my family lives apart so when we come together for a reunion everyone is excited to see everyone and there is not one person who is the focal point and kudos to my family for not making Lexi feel like the center of it all (even if she was!).
Who knows maybe we have done the wrong thing these past 10 months trying to keep life simple and calm for her - maybe her first 2 years of life were much more active then we thought. We imagined life in her foster family as simple and quiet as she only lived with her foster Mom and Grandmother. For all we know there were people coming in and out daily and she thrived surrounded by action.
Nights were difficult the first week or so but nothing overly extreme. The expected fears and anxieties came into being when it was dark but how could this not be the case with all the change taking place. With every change, we - the core family unit - were there at her side. Really we have not been together as a family of four on such a consistent basis since we were in China when we became a forever family 10 months ago. I do believe having us all together provided the comfort and security that Lexi needs on a daily basis.
Our time in the US was wonderful and perhaps these photos give you a glimpse of the fun times....
Leaving after a quick two weeks was hard because the reality is that we will not see anyone again for a year unless someone decides to pay us a visit :) but we left with a big smile on our face and a huge sigh of relief because it was such a successful trip. Ella had a blast with her cousins and many of our friends and Lexi seemed to truly enjoy being a part of it all. We are so thankful that our entire Swiss and American family has been so accepting and welcoming of Lexi. She really does belong with us and fits in perfectly.
Lexi is doing so well and it is simply amazing to see and hear how she is progressing. She is very attached to us - still a bit anxiously attached to me but that is okay - and her speech is improving daily. She has weaned off all of her medications and we do believe that this is aiding in her progress as well. She has much more energy, expression and self control - all of which we felt were challenged with being so heavily medicated. We are in a bit of a wait and see mode now in terms of her Epilepsy, but having said that she has been seizure free for over two years so anxious to see if being off the medication has any effect. We are prepared for the fact that she may have another seizure and will deal with that when/if it happens but of course hope for the best.
People often comment to us about how lucky Lexi is to have us as a forever family. The truth is...we are the lucky ones!!!