There are some things to keep in mind when adopting an older child. The first is that they have experiences and fears that you know nothing about. Our Lera is terrified of thunder and lightening. This was a bit of a surprise. Not much seems to phase her in general - she takes new experiences with a quick look at Mama, Daddy, Michael or Caelia and dives right in. Storms upset her very much. She kept saying "Molnya" over and over. Our best translation is that this is "lightening". I wonder what they did during storms in her orphanage? Did she sit by herself or hide under the blankets?
The second thing to remember is that no matter how nice the orphanage is or how helpful the staff is - they don't tell you things like "she's afraid of storms" or "yes, she does suck her thumb" - even when asked. I think they are afraid that it may just be the thing that makes you reject her. Down Syndrome, fine. Heart condition, fine. Mental retardation, fine - but wait! She sucks her thumb?! Sorry, just can't deal with that. I still don't get it.
My newest daughter does have her idiosyncrasies, in case you thought we just adored EVERYTHING about her. The first is that she spits. Don't know why. But she adores spitting - mostly at windows. Michael has started calling her a Llama. Any suggestions or thoughts on why she does this would be greatly appreciated. :)
The other habit that we need to address is nakedness. I walked out on the porch today to discover 2 gigling girls, dancing around on the porch - naked. They had thrown their pretty sundresses and their pull-ups over the porch rail and were having a great time in the wind and the breeze. This is not the first time or even the first time today that this has happened. Warm weather must equate to ditch the clothes as fast as possible!