The Pipsqueak changed from "baby" to "toddler" very shortly after we met her. Now she's really leaving toddlerhood behind and is well along the road to becoming a little girl. The changes include a whole new way of interacting with other people outside the family.
The most telling difference is how she reacts to strangers... especially those in the medical field. During the adoption exam at the clinic in Guangzhou, she was yowling so loudly that AJ and the doctor had to lean within a few inches of each other, and AJ could still barely hear the poor man. (All the noise was due to nothing more painful than being measured, weighed, or made to sit up or lay down when she wanted to do the opposite.) Stateside, things weren't much better; she was so bad at her first visit to the opthalmologist that the poor guy actually walked out of the exam room and then came back in through another door without his lab coat on in an effort to get Miri to cool down a bit -- all in vain,
Well, the much-dreaded (by Mommy, and possibly the doctor) 6-month follow-up opthalmology visit was this week... And the Pipsqueak had a surprise for everybody: happy cooperation! She was cheerful, she reacted to the doctor, she let him cover alternating eyes, the whole schmear -- all that was missing was the eye drops, which the (probably shocked) opthalmologist said he'd hold until the next visit in another 6 months. [The added bonus was an "all good!" verdict from the doc.]
I've seen something like this with just about everybody the Pipsqueak encounters. Oh, yeah, she's fast to run to Mommy for reassurance & protection if she doesn't like what she sees, but there's often a loud "HI!" and an engaging look for anyone who we seem to be friendly with. (Dude, she's almost at the point where she'll have to be taught to be careful around strangers.... Yeah, man, I hear ya...) Of course, if she doesn't get what she considers a proper response after two or three increasingly loud "HI!" calls, there will invariably be an unhappy "Mommy!"with a demand to retreat to the safe haven of AJ's arms.
Still, it's really neat to see the emerging personality; my niece not only has left the quiet, almost bald little baby behind, she's well on the way to becoming an outgoing, engaging little girl sure enough of herself to challenge strangers to deal with her on her own terms.
My niece joined the family on July 12th, 2010. This special young lady's mother is my younger sister, which in classic Chinese culture makes me her Jiu Jiu (舅舅-- thus the title of this blog. Here I intend to semi-regularly post reflections, thoughts, stories, and assorted whathaveyous pertaining to our trip to China, adoption in general, and (mostly) watching my niece grow up. Since the web is a very public place, I will attempt to maintain my family's privacy while telling the story... but I invite you to follow the blog and come along for the adventure!