February 21, 2014
But the last 5 months together - fast!
So how are things after being home now 5 months?
Well I would say -great! But I know that one word ties everything up in a pretty bow and that isn't the full picture right?
To some people I probably only post the good and warm and fuzzy stuff
-Yes! I prefer to share the great memories we are making together for my friends & family to see .
-we are private people in regards to a lot about our family.
-honestly it's going well in regards to attachment & bonding with lil bit
- there are some things I TRULY want to share but I have NOT gotten a warm reception from the people around us to even discuss it much less lay it all out here.
(That's for another day & another post- but you know so many people would rather live in a bubble than dig deep into heart/gut wrenching topics like adoption issues and orphan care
And that bothers me - ALOT!!! But again, another day)
I can not begin to say enough great things about our adoption agency (GWCA) and would recommend them to anyone exploring intl adoption.
Ok so our lil bit:
Our biggest struggle has been and still is : SLEEP
We currently have her mattress in our room beside our bed and then she co-sleeps with us when she wakes up in the night - which is often! As in 3-5 times a night.
Understandable she went from sleeping in a dim room of about 15 other toddlers with all the beds connected and 2 toddlers to a bed to just us. She also has extreme separation anxiety - also very understandable.
She knows loss
She knows change
She knows the whole world can completely change on you
And I know those fears play out at night for her.
At first it was jet lag
Then night terrors
Now I don't know
She just doesn't allow herself to calm and be vulnerable enough to sleep thru the night. ;(
We did try a couple nights in her own room with me sleeping on the floor beside her - but that proved to be too soon to make a change so we went back to our room.
So while we are in full newborn sleep deprived mode we are doing ok.
Health wise - overall she is doing great!
Her special need was not something that ended up being on-going health wise. We are so grateful for that and I know MANY MANY families deal with on going or results of health issues in their precious lil ones daily lives.
I pray for those that I know of regularly and realize each child and each family has a different journey.
She has had a few minor issues in regards to infections/rashes from being in an institutionalized environment and drinking the water in China.
She has had her ear pit surgery
she will also be getting glasses soon.
Separation anxiety is still in full force at home
Which means we do everything together - and switch off when a shower is needed :)
Behavior wise she is a normal 2 yo - which means very she is active, joyful, silly, sassy& throws tantrums, and saying NO a lot. :)
She does NOT like to play on her own, she will refuse to play with her toys if she could instead be in our laps at.all.times. Sometimes she will even crawl on top of our backs to make sure she is indeed attached and no one is leaving.
Oh my poor sweet lil bit. We love you so much and you can have all the time in the world to adjust and feel safe and protected and be assured you do have a permanency in our hearts and home!!!
Developmentally - she is right on track! She loves puzzles, books, stacking blocks, eating cheerios, drinking from a sippy cup, Mickey Mouse, dancing to music, stringing beads, yogurt and donuts :), cheese sticks & graham crackers, bath time, jazz music, going outside, playing with her brothers and the dog & cat.
She is learning her colors and counting to 5 (repeating us)
She is beginning to put together 2-4 words for sentences and likes to talk a lot.
mama/baba/daddy/gaga or ge ge/Iain
calls herself "nanny" for Madeline (??)
I want more
More / I want more
I take bath
I am hoping to start her life book for all her photos from the orphanage and our journey for her to be able to look through and to keep it all together. We have showed her photos of the kids from her orphanage we took while there and of her nanny. She told me when I asked her who the nanny was she answered "nai" which is short for grandma which is what they called her older nanny we were told. But she never said that again and never cried for her- so sad when that was her mother figure for an entire year- I can't even begin to imagine how those precious nannies give so much care and so much love and then the relationship ends so abruptly at adoption.
We plan to send her nanny some photos and a card and update her
We know she loved our sweet lil bit-
We saw it when we visited the orphanage and we know that lil bit receives our love so well that she knew what it was to be so loved and cared for already. She knew affection, touch, comfort and JOY!!!
I pray for her nai and the nannies there everyday and all the precious kids that still wait for the comfort/security/permanence of a forcer family.
We also started her in a class at church but so far I have stayed with her the entire time and tonight we are trying to go to dinner and will leave her with my sister - a first for all of us. But after 5 months I know she will be ok for 2-3 hrs (right?!?!)
I wondered as we were waiting to adopt how Our journey might look / would our child have scary health issues, would she attach to us, were we strong enough to handle all this but our faith grew SO MUCH there this journey - our faith that God is so much bigger than we could ever imagine!
I'm reminded that EVERY ONES journey looks different, every child is different - biological or adopted!
I know Some adoptions don't go well at all, some struggle, others come easily, some kiddos have extreme health issues, daily/wkly therapy, others transition well, some parents stay home full time with their kiddos, some work outside the home and do daycare, some would never recommend adoption, others adopt several times over just like everything in life
Each persons journey is unique!
Wow! That's a lot in one blog post!
On an emotional/spiritual aspect - adoption has been so much to us to sum it up here, right now
It has been for us:
All in one
And we know we aren't done
For us & lil bit, adoption will be a life long subject
We are still serving on our church orphan ministry
And we hope to adopt again
And we plan to go back to her birth country for more than just adoption
We want to help
We want to sponsor children
We want to go to orphanages and hold and love on kiddos
We want to make a difference!
I don't know in my sleep deprived mode what all that means but with God, thru prayer and staying aware and not choosing to stay in a bubble we hope to figure it out!
This year we were a family of 5 and although we are all still learning the customs and traditions of the CNY we wanted to make it a special time. We were hoping to join some friends (also adoptive parents from China) for dinner at their home but we were passing around cold symptoms and the timing just wasn't right for it all and not getting others sick.
So instead we celebrated later with attending a local adoption group meet up a few days after the Friday holiday and when we were all feeling much better. We were invited by our friends from church. This is a local group in our area with children adopted from China, Taiwan and South Korea. It was a great time and so nice to meet other families in our area that share similar experiences. They had crafts, a super cool dragon cake, the kids participated in a dragon dance and they gave out red envelops with chocolate coins to the kiddos. Lil bits big brothers also helped enjoy the event helping her craft and enjoy the festivities.
We also were able to meet some new friends that hopefully we will be able to build connections with for our little Asian babies.
At home - Instead of going out to eat this year, I also decided to decorate at home and cook some favorites. I channeled Sandra Lee (semi-homemade) ;) haha and steamed pre-frozen buns I picked up at the Asian market and then also served fried rice, and made a veggie/tofu stirfry, and then we had Mandarin oranges and cupcakes for dessert! You know cupcakes are universal ;)
We have so much to learn & share with lil bit about her birth country & culture & we are so excited to have these memories as a start!
February 6, 2014
February 5, 2014
1 Corinthians 13:7
1 Corinthians 13:4-8 (NIV)
February 4, 2014
I was going through and organizing the keepsakes we bought in China for lil bit ~ some adoptive families give their child a keepsake from their birth country every year either on their Gotcha/Forever family day or birthdays. It seems about half and half wether or not other people I've met do this - but I thought it might be fun to show what we got - not to "show it off" but for those waiting to travel it might be a neat distraction to think of what you might want to get your future little one if you do wanna do this.
(We didn't spend a lot honestly her jade and pearls were the most and really not that much either)
Our keepsakes include:
*A sunny pair of squeaky shoes (prob will take out squeaky as they won't fit her till she's 3 or4 yo)
*a panda rattle drum toy
*puzzle of China
*hand-painted scroll with her name from the Chen-Clan Academy
*silk dress (size 8)
*handcraved & painted lady comb
*a vintage Chinese postcard
*2 mirror compacts (one she picked up in Hong Kong and wouldn't put down)
*panda and hello kitty glass charms
*bamboo coaster set (you know for a future apartment )
*pearl studs from the pearl market
*jade rabbit (her year) pendant
*hand painted bookmark
*crystal butterfly pendant from the China Hotel jewelry store (she's always a butterfly girl to me)
*jade teardrop pendant from the Jade factory in Beijing
And lastly her wedding pearls