Saturday, December 29, 2012

Amazing Nannies and Claire's Hair

There are so many ways that Claire's nanny's poured love into her life. They are truly amazing. But, this week, I am simply astounded by the fact that they let her hair grow long. 

Claire has very limited self-care skills for an 8 year old. 

She can  dress herself  IF I lay the clothes out in a particular configuration and there are no buttons, zippers, or snaps.

She can brush her teeth IF I put the toothpaste on the brush--and then only the two front ones and the lower left side.   She can't figure out how to turn the brush to get at any of the other teeth.  She mostly just sucks on the toothbrush.

She is making progress in potty training.  She recognizes her need and makes it to the bathroom in time.  She can wipe after urination--except when she gets in a rush and wipes before she stops wetting.  But, she rarely hops off the pot while still going.  I haven't had to mop up puddles for awhile. Hurray!
Frequent loose bowel movements throughout the day still require intervention from an adult to avoid a mess.

She can wash her hands all by herself.  Water, soap, and dry! 

Brushing her hair is still completely out of the question.  When she tries, the brush and comb just end up in a total tangle.  And her sense of style can be pretty...ahh...interesting.

Washing hair is a real pain.  And it must be done daily.
She has large patches of oily, flaky skin that piles up and fills her hair with  sticky "snow" that won't brush out.  She has alopecia areata.  That's an immune disease where the body attacks the hair follicles and makes the hair fall out in circles.  The medicine for it also leaves her hair goopy.

We have given up washing in the bath.  She hates water on her face and struggles to tip her head up extending her neck. 

So, each day, she climbs the stepladder and gets on the kitchen counter.  She lays down while I wash her hair with the sprayer in the kitchen sink. Then we dry, comb, and style.  It takes nearly an hour.

I admit that there are days when I'd like to make her cut it off.  She doesn't hold  still for combing or styling and is very particular about what type of ponytail she will wear. 
Just a tiny trim to remove the split ends.

But, her patient nannies, who let her grow it long and kept it beautiful, inspire me to keep on taking care of Claire's long hair and working to style it so the bald patches aren't visible. 

So beautiful.

She loves on loose ponytail with lots of clips to hold all the stray hairs in place.

While I surely  hope she will learn to do her own hair someday soon, I am also thankful for the hours we spend doing hair.  I couldn't ask for a better bonding opportunity. 


  1. They did indeed spend a lot of time working on her hair. It's a great way to spend breathing treatments, I think!

    I think that her hair is even more beautiful now. At least, it looks silkier in the pictures!

    1. Hannah,
      Thankfully, we have not had any breathing treatments since coming home. We have done several tests that show there is no difference in her lung function after receiving a breathing treatment. Our pulmonologist says her lungs are healthy and that she has about 70% of normal capacity. She just needs to exercise to build stamina.
      And, I do think her hair has gotten a lot softer and is more shiny since we have been home. Maybe our water agrees with her hair type? As Claire would say, "I dun no--is okay." I think this means that the results are good so the reason doesn't matter. :-)

  2. Rebecca,
    I was on New Day's website and found a link to your blog. A year and a half ago, I spent two weeks at New Day with much of my time in the Foster home. I lead a group of young women from Sterling College in Kansas. Anyway, I just wanted to let you know that the moment we met Claire, we knew she was very special. In her beautifully quiet way, she drew others to herself. And we couldn't get enough of watching her, teaching her, praying for her. I am so happy to see her with you. God knew all along. Blessings. - Joellen Maurer

  3. Joellen,
    Thank you for loving my precious girl before I even knew she existed. I'm continually amazed by the number of people who have cared about and prayed for Claire. God has used you to make a difference in her life.