Last Sunday was Isabelle and Hallie's first Easter, and it was probably the nicest holiday we have had since the girls came home. I have mentioned in earlier posts that Isabelle struggles with a lot of stress. She gets stressed if she feels like we don't approve of her. She gets stressed if she feels like mealtime is going to be late. She gets stressed if other people get second helpings before she does. Or if she is the last one to get her shoes on in the morning. Or if Greg steps outside and she can't see him. Unfortunately, she spends a lot of her time stressed. We have seen a lot of improvement in this area in the last few months, but one thing that has still caused lots of anxiety for her is any deviation from our normal routine. Even if it is a fun change, she ends up distressed and unhappy. I don't think she enjoyed anything about Christmas this year. Decorating cookies made her stressed. Cutting down the tree made her stressed. And so did decorating the tree. And opening presents. And visiting with family. Everything about it was different than her normal routine, and she did not like it. Valentine's Day was a little better, just because it is a lower-key holiday, but she still didn't enjoy it. When I tried to help her decorate her Valentine's bag, she just wrung her hands and shredded stickers all over the table. I wasn't expecting Easter to go well, but to my surprise, she did great! She is really learning to trust us for her stability, instead of needing such a strict routine, and it is exciting to watch that happen.
She loved dying Easter eggs with the Rosenow kids.
She loved her new Easter Dress! As soon as she saw it, she began clapping her hands and trying to jump up and down (still doesn't quite have the coordination for that yet), and told me, "Oh cute!"
She even enjoyed the Easter egg hunt, although her poor vision made it difficult for her to find very many.
Hallie has always been more relaxed about holidays than Isabelle, and she did great, just like we expected. She wasn't crazy about dying the eggs, though, because she is still really funny about touching food of any kind. You can tell by the look on her face that she thought we were crazy for expecting her to touch the egg in the strange-looking liquid.
She also looked super cute in her "Easter dress," which some of you may recognize as the same dress she was wearing last year in Guangzhou. It was too cute not to use again.
She didn't really want to look for Easter eggs during the hunt, but she had a wonderful time playing on the swing while the other kids hunted.
And finally one group shot of all the kids. Gabriela looks like she is crying, but she promised me that she wasn't sad; the sun was just in her eyes.