A year ago, today, we took Geri to a doctor in Bulgaria to be cleared for entry to the U.S. It was something of a dog and pony show. He never took her height or weight, but he filled in those blanks. That sort of sums it up, right there.
Today, Geri saw Dr. Kim and he was amazed at her progress. He checked her thoroughly and declared her healthy and blooming. There are just too many health improvements to list. She was undernourished and stick skinny, today she's getting on the chunky side. She was ghostly pale, today she is pretty tanned. She was scared, withdrawn, unemotional, disengaged. Today, she was playing and laughing and climbing and interacting with everyone. Then, she was silent. Today, she was all chatter. She makes requests, comments, jokes. She pretends to be animals. She names her body parts and the sounds animals make. She counts to ten, although she tends to skip over some of the numbers here and there. She doesn't rock anymore. She's animated, lively, funny and sweet. He couldn't stop raving about how far she has come. Then he looked at me and said, "You look really beautiful, you are glowing. You seem full of joy." We all are. A year ago, I was overwhelmed and scared. I was jet-lagged and Nick and I both were surviving on Milka bars from the convenience store a couple of blocks over. We both felt like we had been run over by a bus and we were having a hard time seeing a future. We wondered, at times, what we had gotten ourselves into and felt totally inadequate for the task at hand. Today, I can safely say that we are all thriving and enjoying life again.
Another big difference - I gave the kids baths tonight. A year ago I tried to bathe her and found that Geri was terrified of the water. She screamed and cried in terror when we tried to put her in the tub. Showering her was no more successful. Hell, she was scared to death when we undressed her to change her clothes. Getting her naked and into the water was not happening. I recall being thrilled when we got her to sit in the water in her diaper and shirt. It only lasted about 20 seconds, and she ended up nigh hysterical afterwards, but I was proud of us all. Tonight, she kept saying "Bath! Bath!" and was excited about it. She cooperated with hair washing and played in the water, splashing up a storm and squealing joyfully. She played with cups and poured water and had a blast. Hell, she climbed into the tub on her own as soon as I turned the water on, before it really started to fill up. She sort of sat in it and looked around as if to say "Well? Get a move on!!!"
Funny, how this week has been mirroring that week one year ago. It's been totally unintentional, how things seem to be happening on the same days, in the same pattern. Perhaps God wanted to make sure I could make these comparisons and see just how far we've come.