I beseech you therefore, brethren, by the mercies of God, that ye present your bodies a living sacrifice, holy, acceptable unto God, which is your reasonable service. And be not conformed to this world: but be ye transformed by the renewing of your mind, that ye may prove what is that good, and acceptable, and perfect, will of God. Rom 12:1-2

Wednesday, February 20, 2013

First snow!

Today Baby Girl experienced her first snow!   She wasn't quite sure what to think of it all, but by the end of our time outside she was smiling and saying "hooray!"

What is this cold white stuff?

The sandbox bulldozer became a snowplow.

It was our cat Luthien's first snow, too.
The Philosopher and Little Pud enjoyed sledding.

Sleds are even fun on flat ground!  (Notice my daffodils coming up in the background.)
Luthien followed us around like a puppy dog.  Both snow first-timers later took long naps in the warm house.

Baby Girl was so bundled up, she could barely stand.
The Philosopher built her a tiny snow wall and lobbed tiny snowballs at her so she could experience her first "snowball fight."  He then helped her throw snowballs.

My only regret was that I had already taken Super-T to school by the time the snow started accumulating.  One benefit of homeschooling is the ability to take the morning for a snow day (it was really wet and rather warm so we knew it wouldn't stay long) and still get school done in the afternoon.  Unfortunately this afternoon Super-T had to be happy with just a short walk through the slushy snow.  His first snow experience was one to remember, though.  It happened just days after he got home.  Jet-lagged and stunned, he still enjoyed the white stuff.  Below are a couple of pictures since I wasn't blogging then.
What is that stuff falling from the sky?

January 29, 2010   Super-T had been home for two days. 

And now I am ready for SPRING!

Thursday, February 14, 2013

Two months home...

Please forgive my lack of posting.  Life with four children is busy.  Life with four children including a newly adopted toddler is super-busy!

I am not allowed to post pictures of Baby Girl's cute face until her adoption in finalized, so you'll have to be content with looking at the back of her head for a while.

Baby Girl has been home for two months now.  I wish I could say that everything has been completely rosy and that the transition was seamless, but I can't.  What I can say is that things are really good now and we are getting into a routine and I think the hardest parts of the transition are behind us.

The reality is that adoption is HARD.  Even when things go better than expected it is hard.  After all, you are bringing a new person into your family.  A new person that you love in pictures, but who you don't really know.  A new person that has no clue who you are or if they should trust you.  A new person who has experienced complete loss of everything familiar.

We had a lovely two week "honeymoon" with Baby Girl.  That was fortunate because we all got sick with a cold and it was Christmas and I was on a steep tube-feeding learning curve, so that two week period was pretty stressful even while "honeymooning."

Little Pud helped Baby Girl open her gifts on Christmas morning.

During that time Baby Girl thought life was a party.  She was funny, silly, slept like a champ, and I thought we had it made in the shade.  I knew she wasn't really bonding to me yet, but she liked me and didn't resist physical affection, in fact, she welcomed it.

Baby Girl and Super-T enjoyed their mega-blocks on Christmas.  It was the first time they played together.

Then the rug was pulled out.  Baby Girl got a low-grade fever and her cold got worse.  All of a sudden it was like she realized that she wasn't in her familiar surroundings and she cried and she Cried and she CRIED.  And she slept and she Slept and she SLEPT.  The sleeping was fortunate because it gave a break in the crying.  I did my best trying to help her feel better and trying to comfort her, but she would not be comforted much of the time.  After a few days I knew she was feeling better but she was still crying.  Finally I realized that it was grief.

If you have never seen a two year old grieve from the depths of her soul, be thankful.  It is a very painful experience.  On the other hand, if you have adopted a two year old, you want them to grieve.  As painful as it was, it was very good that she deal with her emotions.  I ended up making a stressed-out after-hours call to our adoption worker.  She was able to see us the next day and gave me great advice about facilitating Baby Girl's grief.  That day was the turning point.  We ended up watching Baby Girl's life video and the video that was made to introduce her to us after final matching approval several times.  The first time Baby Girl sobbed and SOBBED and reached out to her caregivers and friends in the video.  Absolutely heartrending.  By the third day we watched the video, Baby Girl smiled while watching and reached out as if to hug her caregiver, but there were no more tears.

Since that time, Baby Girl has been crying appropriately, but not incessantly.  She also has been sleeping appropriately (11-12 hours at night and usually a 1.5-2 hour nap) instead of sleeping 13 hours at night and taking two to three naps during the day.  It turns out, sleeping was a coping mechanism for her (one that likely saved my sanity...I have a new respect for moms of colicky babies).  Most of all, Baby Girl is BONDING with me, actually with all of us.  Her attachment (the single most important thing in adoption) is going really well and I am THRILLED!

We have now begun to discover the nuances of Baby Girl's personality and are really getting to know her. And we are learning to love each other.

She is funny and smart.  She loves books, music, and tickling.
We have LOTS of books!

She can be oppositional but is a fast learner.  She loves the sandbox, the great outdoors, and all of our pets.

Yippee for a warm day to play outside!

 Baby Girl is a perfect fit for our family and I am so thankful! 

Failed attempts at family pictures can be good ones for the blog.