Miss Katya had her first trip to Kentucky yesterday! We got her up right around 6:45 AM to get dressed. Poor thing--she was sooo sleepy but tried hard to cooperate. She was in pretty good spirits all the way down, and considering how new and strange every thing was for her, did pretty good at first when we got there.
However, **HER** Mommy picking up cousin, Rebecca, and holding her for a bit, triggered deep anxiety and sobs, and Katya was not very comfortable or happy much of the time after that. Any time any of my sister's children came around, Katya was clearly upset and expecting the worst.
I did find it interesting that after Grandpa and Grandma walked in the door and spoke to her that she finally let out one of "tension releasing" sighs and then was finally willing soon thereafter for me to put her down for awhile.
With lots of holding and rocking, we got through the almost 5 hours we were there. Katya did have moments she enjoyed, but it was clear that her anxiety levels were high enough that we felt clear that making the decision to only stay for a few hours had certainly been in Katya's best interests! She warily watched all the farm activity from their high balcony type porch, but wanted nothing to do close-up with puppies, the horses, goats or chickens! Happily though, she not only tried to imitate the chickens, but she also tried to imitate the horse! So that was good.
While Katya played "Survey the Kingdom", Chad, Kristina and Charity had a fun time with playing with the animals, especially with the horses. Kristina was delighted that she was able to ride Grandpa's old horse, Justin, all on her own--a first for her! Chad absolutely adored all the little puppies, and was happy to hold the cat as well.
When we left around 5:45 with a packed supper in our cooler, Katya was clearly eager to head back home. She traveled well, listening to music, playing with her travel toys, and then finally using the IPad and some educational apps to keep herself occupied. She was still wide awake when we arrived back home soon after 10:00 PM and then after a fast shower and a bit of rocking from Mommy one last time for the day went happily off to her own bed.
We were glad we could go, even though it was a lot of driving for only such a short visit. However, making sure that Katya is eased into new situations and isn't re-traumatized is an important component to helping her heal, we believe.
So, the first big step--going to visit relatives--was accomplished!