Friday, March 26, 2010
Something no one told me about adoption that took me a little by surprise was the fog that I entered after bringing Bella home. It is not too dissimilar from the one I entered when I brought my older three newborns home. Life was so crazy before Bella came home, from the preparation of paperwork, appts with social workers and doctors, preparation of Bella's room, packing, gathering of humanitarian aid, and preparation for a new member. Then she is suddenly there (although, it did not feel so sudden.) Life comes to a stand still in some ways and then picks up speed in others. One of the things that fell to the wayside is a concrete morning ritual. I don't think that I exercised or really read a book for 5 months. For two weeks I have been reestablishing my morning ritual. I can feel my mind and body reawakening. Even though I am waking up 45 minutes earlier than I was...I feel more directed, rested, alive, nurtured, patient, and grounded. Just putting it out there for whoever may be tired and feel like there is just enough time in the day...
This is what my routine looks like:
5:45 get out of bed to do a yoga routine, followed by my coffee in a special mug (see above-enjoying it on so many levels), bible study/daily devotional/prayer, and journal writing. I usually have time to get a sandwich or two prepared for lunch and even share a few words over a cup of coffee with Andrew before he is out the door. By the time Bella is up, I am ready to be fully present for her. Okay, maybe not fully present...but I am working on that :) On the weekends, my peaceful time alone is actually lnger because the teens are in bed until later.
Monday, March 22, 2010
Bella woke up to her room filled with balloons on her birthday. She loved the princess balloon the most. The following pics were from a picnic dinner at the harbor. She loved throwing rocks in the water and playing soccer and lacrosse with the older kids.
I can't believe it has been 6m. Bella turned 3 about a week ago, too. Truly, it is as if she has been with us forever...mostly (I'll get to that in a moment.) We had our 6m post placement visit, too. Our SW is shocked and amazed at how well she is doing...in language, in development, in attachment, and in confidence. All good news. A Bella story: When asked what time she goes to bed...Bella answered before I could. "After, American Idol." Oh well, I asked the SW can you lie and say 8? :)
Now keeping it real...there are small reminders that if fact she did not come to us without some wounds. When I leave her with Jason or the kids...she still asks me..."but you are my mommy, right?" It is as if she is making sure we aren't going to have a shift change. Then last night, I left her with Jason. they were having a ball running errands and just hanging around. Out of the blue, (so out of the blue that Jason thought she was kidding at first) she gets up in her chair at the table and puts her head down and starts to wail for me. Tears running down her face asking Jason get me. She has never done this before. Did she think I wasn't coming home? I don't know but she is def processing something. While she has been sleeping the whole night in her bed...the past several nights she has been coming in with us. It serves as a good reminder to me that while she is doing so well...there is an unknown. There is a hurt that will need to heal. She will come to trust that we are going nowhere. That in fact we are her mommy and daddy. How will we know that she knows. I don't know. Maybe she will stop asking before one of us is leaving her. Maybe we will just know. Or maybe not. i do know that when I start to get impatient with her because she is taking so long to get in her car seat, or my back is killing me because 30lbs is alot to carry...I think back to a year ago when we knew her but had never held her. What I would have given to have an aching back, then! What I would have given to be waiting for her to climb in her seat instead of on a court date! So, I am enjoying the waiting and the aching, now. I trust she won't want me to carry her when she is 100lbs:)
Six months home. She is doing much better than I imagined. She is doing better than the SW could have imagined. I have to give credit where it is due. I truly believe that she is doing as well as she is for a few reasons. 1. pure blessing 2. who she is 3. what she experienced at Gladney (there almost exactly one year) and 4. what she experienced with her ET family.
Wednesday, March 10, 2010
We are on the eve of a big first. Bella's first birthday home. Bella Zenash will be 3 tomorrow. Tomorrow is also the first day we saw our sweet girls face. A year ago we got her referral. She has been home for almost 6 months.
Here are some other firsts:
First time she has been sick...double pneumonia.
First time she went on vacation with us as a family of six.3
First time she played in the sand at a beach.
First time she surfed:).
First time she met one of her poppies.
First time she went swimming (and she LOVES it).
First time she slept away from her bed.
There are too many to list. All the more reason to adopt a toddler...so many firsts even when they come home at 2 1/2. The more time she is home the more we get to know this little girl. She is confident, she is loving, she is pretty easy going, she loves to sing and dance, she loves to swim, she loves to try new things. She is so much a part of who we are that we can't imagine what life would be like if we had not adopted.
I seem to have trouble uploading images... once figure it all out I will post pics. Meanwhile I will post on facebook.