Giving the "evil eye"
I knew it would happen eventually. I correctly assumed it would move me to tears when it did. I didn't think it would happen at less than 2 1/2 years of age. She noticed it. And it BOTHERED her.
It happened a couple of weeks ago when Mikaela, Maimie, and I were shopping for some jeans and a dress for Mikaela. We were in the Kohls try on rooms when it happened. Maimie was looking in the full length mirror like she has a million other times. She was up way close--she even licked it, to my horror! Then Maimie got a concerned look on her face and started making a little noise. Maimie, still looking at herself in the mirror, had begun to rub and pick at her scar. She had a frustrated look on her face and worked harder and harder at her lip/nose area. Mikaela and I looked at each other and realized what was happening. We both got choked up and teary as we tried to soothe Maimie into leaving her scar alone. Since that day, there have been several reoccurrences.
When Maimie was seen at the cleft lip/cleft palate clinic this week, I was told most children don't notice their scar until a little older usually. Her teeth, as we have known for some time, are a complete train wreck. She not only has teeth coming out of the roof of her mouth and crooked teeth everywhere, but also some incompletely formed teeth that were referred to as "pegs". Fortunately, with the number of teeth she has, there seems to be a good amount of bone available for later orthodontic work. This may eliminate the need for a bone graft in repairing her mouth in the future. All in all the clinic went well, and I feel confident that Maimie is in good hands with the team of doctors/professionals who are following her progress.
Another discovery that was made recently relates to Maimie's past in the SWI (social welfare institute). While Maimie's life in China isn't a current issue to her, we want to have as much information and connections as possible for her should she desire to know more about her life in China someday. I have been part of an online group for her SWI since we received her referral in November of 2006. I have learned more about the care given to the children, the surroundings at the SWI, seen photos of the building itself, photos of the man who found her, photos of the place she was found, photos of the other girls who shared their time with her there. I recently learned from a mom of one of the girls who had the same caretaker as Maimie that her daughter recognized the photo of the caretaker and called her "Fay Fay". I didn't know if Maimie recognized her or remembered her name. Then tonight we were looking at the many photos in a collage on Mikaela's bulletin board. When we pointed to the caretaker's photo and asked who she was, Maimie said her name, but not making clear "f"s, we were unsure if she had said the correct name. Then we asked Maimie to identify different people among the many photos in the collage. She correctly pointed out her siblings, Mikaela's friends Selah and Hannah, and a few others. Then we asked her to find "Fay Fay". She pointed right at the photo of her caretaker. It was truly a wonderfully touching moment to realize that even though Maimie has comfortably settled into our family, she still remembers at least some parts of her past.