Can I brag about our baby girl for a minute? K, thanks.
She has comes leaps and bounds just in this past month and a half. I am so, so proud of her. You see, she turned 6 months right after she came to us. The night the kids arrived at our house, I was trying to sign a bazillion documents with my right hand while holding Sister on my lap with my left. The social worker that brought them said "You can put her down if that's easier." I got a quilt and put it on the floor by the table, set her down to sit and play a bit and...she fell over and bonked her head on the floor. I felt really bad and thought "well that's a bad first impression in front of the social worker" and also "I really thought 6 month old babies could sit up."
We took her to her 6 month checkup at age 7 months, after we got our act together and also after she got well from being rather sick when they came to us. Even a month after when she should have had the checkup, my answers to the nurse's 6 month questions were almost all "no, she's not doing that yet."
Is she sitting up?
Almost, but not really
Trying to crawl or getting on all fours and rocking back and forth?
Nope, not at all
Holds her bottle by herself?
Eating baby food?
Nu-uh, makes her gag and throw up.
Sleeps through the night?
Haha, funny joke.
Recognizes her name?
Ask me any of those same questions now and the answer is "Yes, with flying colors." The change in her and the amount of catching up she has done recently is amazing to me and I'm so proud of her.
I stressed a little during the catch-up time, not gonna lie. It just seemed to come up in conversation a whole lot, everything she was not doing yet. And the not sleeping through the night part of it of course took a bit of a toll on me, as I racked up the hours spent in her room awake when I would have otherwise been in my bed asleep. But even then, except for a couple mini breakdowns during a few especially sleepless spans of nights, it wasn't a big deal. Her not sleeping through the night was somehow not at all on the top of my worry list. I think there's one main reason for that.
She smiles in her sleep.
When I've just rocked her to sleep, either for the first time of the night or the fourth, and she's laying there in my arms, comfy and safe, and I'm staring at her little face and humming "Jesus Loves You" for the umpteenth time...she smiles.
Not always, but often.
Not for long, but enough to notice.
These sleepy smiles are gold to me. They let me know that she is happy. They let me know that she needed me in that moment to help her get back to sleep and therefore there is no other place I'd rather be, not even my own bed. They make my heart burst with joy and make me realize the honor and privilege of caring for this sweet little life, even just for a time.
They remind me why we are doing this.