It's been one year this week since our beautiful baby granddaughter came to live with us.
Summer was 5 1/2 months old when we became her kinship carers, and then a month later we became her special guardians.
For the transfer from foster carer to coming to live with us, there was a 10 day introductory transition where I worked closely with Summer's foster carer to introduce her firstly to Paul and I, then the boys and finally our home (her new home). I felt the 10 day transition period did help make it easier for Summer and also for us, it commenced with small visits, where I would visit Summer at the foster carers home, and spend a couple of hours with her, I did this for a couple of days, then it progressed to half a day. Then we switched and the foster carer started to bring Summer to our home, and she would leave her here for a couple of hours, and we built it up like that until it was a whole day visit. Then after the 10 days, we drove to the foster carers home, picked Summer up and drove her home.
She was living with us now, which we were really thrilled about, however we really did not know what to expect, we were nervous and anxious (our baby granddaughter had been through alot and she was so young). We assumed she would cry a lot for her foster carer (who she had lived with since she was 3/4 weeks old), we expected her to be scared, unsettled, confused, and we had no idea how long it would take for her to finally settle in with us and be happy. We did everything possible to make her feel loved, secure and settled (we still do). We all showered her with loads of cuddles and tons of love.
At first we found she was a content baby, but she rarely giggled as a baby should, and she just wanted to cuddle with me and hubby. However after all the worry, she did quickly settle in, and quickly built a very close, loving/affectionate relationship with hubby, myself and the boys and we could see her grow in confidence, and what was most rewarding is she grew into becoming a very happy baby.
She quickly became a very happy, very affectionate, and a very active little girl.
(lots of laughter and screams of delight every day)
It's been a great 12 months, watching her grow, develop and experience all her milestones: weaning, crawling, walking, teething, talking and saying new words, and all the other little things, along with watching her personality come out over the months. She is a beautiful little delight.
What she enjoys:
Her cuddles, she is so very cuddly, and we will sit there for ages just cuddling up. She also gets jealous when Jacob cuddles me, so we have group cuddles, Jacob, Summer and me.
She loves books - I read to her a lot (and if I read to Jacob she will join in as well) She sits on my lap and listens and claps loving the stories I read to her.
She loves dancing, she makes me, or hubby get up and we dance around the lounge together. Or she will dance with Jacob they hold hands as they dance around together - she laughs in such glee when he dances with her.
She enjoys to draw, when Jacob draws, she will sit next to him with a crayon and scribble away. (and the on the walls -sigh).
Enjoys playing with her toys (Little people) or with Jacob's imaginext, or cars and the wooden kitchen.
When the boys play around on the floor, rolling on each other, and generally being silly (as boys do) she loves getting involved, she gets on top of them, jumps on them, and doesn't mind the playful rough and tumble with them.
Bathtime, playing with the toys, splashing about and playing with the bubbles.
Loves being outdoors, running around, on the swings, splashing in puddles and climbing.
Finally, she adored teddies, all sorts and any - and she has a lot!