Wednesday, October 21, 2009

Week Four

Bella discovers the rocking horse in the attic and the helmets in her room. Eliza is so excited there may be another rider in the family.

Bella's first ice cream. It was a hit.

Life is settling into a new normal. It is a bit less busy in one regard, because taking a two year old out to board meetings just does not work. So my schedule has opened up. Also, lunch with friends at local haunts has been limited because I am trying to keep Bella's nap schedule a little inflexible. Other than that my friends have been wonderful. They meet me for coffee or bring lunch.

Her transition has been seamless. We do talk about the notorious honeymoon period and wonder if we are in one. Some of parenting her is soooo different than parenting our older ones.

1. When she first came home...she would not cry if she fell. We would have encouraged the behavior in the older ones. Not so in her...we made a huge fuss with her and with anyone of the olders that got bumped (comical really). She now comes to us for a kiss on her boo boo. She also cries appropriately when she gets bumped badly.

2. I never allowed the olders to watch videos...and at the time, cars did not have DVD players in them. Now, when driving the olders to their activities....Bella occasionally watches Baby Einstein and Veggie tales. She loves them both. Einstein has helped with word acquisition. She loves the music in Veggie Tales.

3. Oh my goodness, my house is driving me crazy but I am okay with it, for the moment. It is unorganized (check out the drawers in my kitchen) and toys have no home. I am okay with it. This would have made me crazy but for now....I am just enjoying Bella.

4. Each week we try or tackle something new. This week we started a Mommy and Me music class. She was quiet and hung on tight to me but she was taking it all in. After class she sang the songs and did the finger play but during class she appeared uninterested. We are learning about her as much as she is learning about our world. She sits back and observes the "rules of engagement." I am curious to see how much more open she will be next week.

Tuesday, October 20, 2009

Zach Attack turns 11

The eleven things that I love about you:
1. You are so passionate about, play, watch, know soccer.
2. You are a gifted player...God made you to play soccer.
3. You pray every night for a list of people. Once you make it on Zach's are there for good. God listens to those prayers, too.
4. You have a heart of love so completely. "I love her (Bella) already." (the day after our referral).
5. You believe that you can do anything. "I am going to be the first person to play both soccer and lacrosse for UVA."
6. You love fishing.
7. You have the heart of a prankster.
8. You still want me and dad to kiss you goodnight. (Please don't ever get too old for that."
9. You love spending time with your, reading, watching soccer.
10. You have one eye that is both blue and brown. So special.
11. You have the most laid back personality-think, surfer or Jimmy Buffet.

There is so much more....

Happy Birthday Z!

**Please pray for this family...that tomorrow is their day to bring home their beautiful boy.

Saturday, October 10, 2009

Three weeks

Home for 3 weeks.

Can't believe she has not been with our family forever. She is unbelievable. She is so funny and fun. She is actually small for her age, although very healthy. She is right on target for her age developmentally. She did have some catching up to do with some of the things US kids are expected to do...stairs...but 2 weeks in she had them down.

Sleeping is okay. She is in a crib but I don't let her cry. She is held or rocked until she is sleepy and then she holds my hand until she is asleep. We have not mastered the sleep thing, but we are making progress.

Eating. She does not eat veggies or any fruit but bananas and applesauce. She loves bagels, meat, coffee, tea, orange juice, spaghetti sauce on spaghetti. She is not a great eater. She has actually lost several pounds from the last update we got before we got her. I have Ethiopian food for her, too.

Safety. Cars. She has no fear of moving cars and had no concept of sidewalk v. street. I have nightmares about this one.

Bonding. This child (as all deserve to be) is wired to be cherished. This is just one way she shows it....she had a scratch on her nose. Like I do or did with my older kids...I went to put neosporin on it and you would think that she had been handed a wrapped gift. She hugged and kissed me so tightly that you could forget that she is a two year old. She then proceeded to show me her other little marks/scars so I could put some on them. It is now part of our bed time routine. Bonding is a process, but we are so much further than I expected. She is on my hip but venturing out. For those of you reading books....she is social referencing. She is absolutely snugly and loves being rocked and held and cooed too.

Siblings. She loves her siblings. She runs to them when they walk in the door. She loves to do anything to get them to laugh. See video below.

Daddy. the first week she had very little to do with Jason. I think it hurt his feelings because truly he is the FUN parent. He has a great way with little ones. He coaches and is very involved. She still needs me to be around but she is sooo excited when she hears his car pull in.

Toddler adoption. Do it. Is it work? Yes. Is it worth it? So.

This is a hard thing for me to write about because sometimes it is really hard...the adjustment and the bonding. I mean really hard. I lived it. My sister was adopted as a toddler (even younger toddler than Bella) 35 years ago. Before the books. Before the therapists. Before the studies. She had/has severe bonding issues. There in lies the need to tell you that not all toddler adoption is hard. is hard. Going from 0-2 overnight. Hard. Lifting the 30lbs. Hard. Sleep deprivation. Hard. Going back to diapers. Yucky. Occasional tantrums. Inconvenient. Loving this child. Not hard.