"What lies behind us, and what lies before us are small matters
compared to what lies within us."
- Ralph Waldo Emerson

Thursday, November 3, 2011

Step by Step

Some of us still think it is Halloween!

Francesca is doing well, though she is still pretty swollen and she can only see out of one eye. Most of the time, she is a happy camper. The big change in her is that she only wants me all the time.

Nothing slows her down at all!!! She thinks she can do everything her sisters can!

Victoria is healing well and she doesn't seem to be in pain, but I am worried that she is still pretty stressed from surgery. She has been really fussy.

Sometimes she seems so distant. I am worried about her having autism. I will call her name and she will just stare. She doesn't like to make eye contact and I can't get her to mimic me, like with waving or clapping hands. I know it has only been 4 months and she has been though a lot, but I still worry!!!

Precious angels!! I'm so glad Victoria is eating again. Francesca, of course, never stopped eating!


  1. friend... I know you are concerned about Victoria... but look at how she follows you with eye contact in these photos! Many children with autism don't give ANY eye contact. The greatest thing, is knowing that she will be just as God has created her to be, now that she's with you guys :)

  2. Catherine,
    Don't worry. :) She was so adorable in the back seat blowing bubbles and laughing. She was most likely VERY stressed from surgery and not understanding what was going on...seeing caregivers again. I bet it scared her to death! Francesca didn't see what Victoria saw, because she couldn't see! She'll come around again. And yes, it has only been a few months.
    FWIW- our son (the one that teaches school) was considered Autistic when he was between 18 months and 4. I'm so glad I didn't believe a word of it.
    He is certainly NOT autistic. :) HUGS!

  3. I would research Cortical Visual Impairments (CVI) in your spare time. This is where there are differences in the processing between the eye and the brain. It is very possible that is causing the problems with eye contact. Vision with CVI changes minute to minute.

  4. Your beautiful girls will grow up to be everything God intends them to be because of your LOVE. No worries mama!


  5. Ah these kids bring a smile to my face everytime I open your blog! Victoria looks just like my Lucy to me. Prayers for healing physically and heart-wise for the girls :)
    They've come a LONG way!

  6. Maybe a long shot but my mom drug me to hearing test after hearing test as a child because 'sometimes she would call my name and I just would stare'. In third grade I was pulled out for testing for autism and it was that grade that I really got more aware of 'it' (all the testing going on). I remember sitting in MD and mom saying how sometimes she can yell my name over and over and I just don't hear her. I wanted to tell her the truth (but didn't because for some reason I was embarassed to correct her). The truth was 'i went away'. At age 12 I was diagnosed with pet mal seizures after having on in MD office and subsequently many rounds of testing.

  7. Hi Catherine!

    I wanted to share this post with you:

    It's from another RR adoptive family's blog. Their little girl also seems to space out and won't respond sometimes when her name is called. They thought she was having seizures, but it would appear that this is not the case -- she's "shutting out" the world for brief periods as a coping mechanism.

    I've also seen this in my own children (adopted, from traumatic situations). So it's not uncommon. I'd say that if Victoria is interacting, making eye contact, you're on a good path! Certainly, she could still be on the autism spectrum, but from what you describe, it sounds like she'd be toward the higher functioning end. Many high-functioning autistic individuals live very fulfilling, rich lives.

    I look at Victoria and it seems like she's come so far in such a brief period of time. I'm sure she has so much more potential that has yet to be unlocked!

    I view it like this: it took years for Victoria to become who she is. It will take at least that long (usually twice as long) to undo the damage that was done as a result of neglect and perhaps even abuse. And even then, she will always bear the scars from her ordeal. You can stitch torn fabric or patch it, but that scar always remains visible to some degree.

    I'm glad to hear that little miss Francesca has bonded to you so well! That's just wonderful!
    I'm surprised at how swollen she still is! Poor kid! I'm just like Francesca; I swell a *lot* and stay swollen for a long time thereafter!

    If you don't mind me asking, what happened to her forehead? Did the skin start to split due to the swelling?

    I also wanted to ask: Did you ever find a home (or make an enclosure) for your kitties? We also rescue cats and dogs; I know how hard it can be to re-home them; I always worry that they won't be as loved or as well cared for as they would be with me. I hope you were able to keep them or you were able to find a good home that made you feel comfortable with re-homing them. :-)


  8. I love following your blog and the girls progress. Victoria just looks like one of those kids who is saying "yeah, I hear you, I'm just choosing not to respond right now." Just remember you have a ton of people praying and cheering you guys on. May I ask what happened to Great's face?



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