Saturday, September 23, 2006

It really does get better!

I have been cleaning out my email inbox and went back to those desperate days in waiting for Miss EFP to arrive and I realized - I am not nor will I ever be able to forget the agony, but I don't feel as bad about it as I did a few months ago. It is true that a lot of the pain does evaporate right about the time someone hands you the child. I can read all about how upset (psychotic actually) I was when month after month went by and we did not get our referral. It was horrible. And the thing is people after us have waited so much LONGER even. I don't really know if I would have made it another 4 or 5 months on top of the 10 we were actively waiting. Of course we wouldn't have had a choice but it was so emotionally crazy - a real roller coaster. The other part of that is that I could never be 100% sure that a baby would actually be assigned to us, now I know better but at the time it seemed plausible that a letter could arrive at any time saying "No baby for you, one year - maybe never!"

I can laugh about it now that my darling is sleeping in the next room - but honestly the last few months of our wait were an ordeal I hope never to repeat. Every day brought some new humiliation or assault on my emotions - and believe it or not there were many people (not friends - just people I dealt with daily) who had no clue about (well, anything) what we were dealing with and so were insensitive to the point of rudeness. I don't mean the well-meaning or kind-hearted no matter what they said - knowing that they were interested and concerned was helpful. No, it was the ones who would say - "Are you sure you did all the paperwork right? Is there anyway You can expedite this? Hmm.... Doesn't seem like you know much about how this works - since you thought you would have your referral months ago.........." I mean come on - if anyone knows me they know the answers to those questions pretty easily.

We are here and the baby is sleeping.. she is all sideways in her crib under three blankets (she insisted!) with all her menagerie around her. Our nighttime process has gotten progressively more complicated recently. Here it is in steps:

1. Both parents head upstairs whoever has EFP has to 'hide' from the other parent
2. Change diaper and put on pjs, turn on CD player and heartbeat machine, pull shade
3. Drink of water & turn on humidifier Elephant
4. Make sure there are plenty of paceys (6) in the room
5. Get into rocking chair and Read Goodnight Moon
6. Read Goodnight Moon
7. Read Goodnight Moon
8. Read Goodnight Moon
9. Read Goodnight Moon
10. Read Goodnight Moon
10 a. Rock without reading
11. Place child in crib
12. Do you want Sleepy Blankie? Baby nods
13. Baby points to the other blankie hanging on end of crib
14. Do you want other Sleepy Blankie? Baby nods
15. Do you want Lovebug? Baby nods and gets kiss from Lovebug
16. MamaBug? nodding and kiss
17. BabyBug? nodding and kiss
18. Sleepy Teddy? nods and kiss
19. Silly Chicken (which is conveniently under the blankies and has to be found) more nods and kiss - plus two pulls on the chicken for clucking/shaking etc.
20. Daddy says night night My Angel - then leaves
21. Mommy kisses baby a bunch - pats her head, says have a good rest I will see you in the morning and Mommy Loves Baby - Night Night!!

This all takes approx 30 minutes between 7:15 and 7:45 or so each evening. She really gets annoyed if any step is skipped or happens out of order. And - to make matters that much more complicate - Daddy can not do these steps to her satisfaction. I mean of course he does them - she just don't like it! I have to travel for a few days in October - I am already freaking out.

Monday, September 18, 2006


That's right! Hugs and Kisses! Today EFP gave her Mommy BIG hugs and kisses!! Again and again and again! I think she likes me!! LOL I was laughing so hard - and she just kept hugging and kissing! Maybe she thought it was funny - but I was so happy. I had been near to tears all day. Struggling over the two pressing issues I am dealing with and honestly - though I was looking forward to getting home and seeing my little family, I had no idea what was waiting. My happy dirty baby - she had a great day playing in the playground at her center and was so full of dirt it was in her diapie! But she was soooo happy. She loves playing outside and it was a nice day for it today. But the truth is that her smile was enough - the rest is just icing. I worry so much. I want to leave here and take her somewhere safer. I need to do that - I am just so unsure where that is. or How. How do I do this? But then there are the hugs and kisses... how can I not move heaven and earth for this child. What will it mean... I wish I knew. I just want to deserve all the love she seems to have for me.

Friday, September 15, 2006

How much I love being EFP's Mommy!

Yesterday notwithstanding... I love being her Mommy so very very much! Her teacher admitted today that yesterday was, in fact, a banner bad day for my little cherub. I don't know why she didn't feel like saying that yesterday - but whatever. Today was a new day! EFP woke up happy and stayed happy all day. When I finally got home she was so happy to see me! I made dinner and we actually had a great time at dinner and the fork action continued.. nary a drop on the floor. I tell you I could cry - just thinking about how far she has come in such a short time. Looking at my friend's blog - while she is meeting her baby and having their first days together - brought back all the memories (harking all the way back 6 months, LOL) of how EFP was those first days in the hotel. No teeth, unable to sit, smiling but tentative and clingy. Okay - she did have the same voracious appetite - but she wasn't eating much more than noodles and congee (really mushy) though she liked fruit even then.

Now - I look at my baby. My Baby!!! She is such a wonder. Happy and healthy. Walking with a purpose and climbing with gusto. She is, rightly so, proud of her accomplishments - she practically demands an ovation for each forkful she maneuvers into her mouth - and truth be told I am all too willing to give it if it means no more mushy food all over the place. She has a strong voice and is pretty decided about her likes and dislikes. She still smiles a lot - and she still prefers Mommy to any other living creature - but Daddy will nearly always do. Tonight she decided she would catch as well as throw her ginormous ball and she did. She is making connections all the time and I can see that she has quite the analytical mind already. She accurately pointed to my ladybug socks and then to her ladybug chair. She understands that clouds on TV are like the clouds in her room - and can tell the difference between white puffy clouds and grey rain clouds. She prefers white and puffy!!

I know that this only seems like a miracle to me. All children must seem like miracles to their own parents - but I guess this seemed like a miracle I would never be a part of. Somehow - everyday reveals new wonders and a few steps more along a road that is so much more fun and more joyous than I ever expected to travel. We are so amazed by her everyday. Tonight she wanted extra rocking before she went to sleep. I happily complied and she hugged me tightly and patted me in that now familiar rhythm. I know that in my heart I am saying forever and ever... I hope that is what her heart is saying. That she is home here in my heart forever and ever.

Thursday, September 14, 2006

Hormonal or what?

This morning EFP was cranky from the getgo! I woke her and she was just in a crazy-bad mood all morning. Maybe its the weather I don't know - but she didn't improve much till I dropped her at the center. She was whiny but interested in what was going on. When I got home tonight - I was supposed to attend a workshop (sorry ladies) but she was cranked into high dudgeon and it was struggle just to get her to eat. Her teeth may be acting up again or she (definitely) has some ferocious gaseousness going on - but to be honest I was thinking she had a little jeckyl and hyde thing happening!! Crying hysterically one sec then giggling the next! I was going crazy!

For the last several evenings peace has prevailed here. She has calmly sat at the dinner table and eaten with a spoon and/or fork and not dropped so much as a morsel. The first night I thought it was a fluke - but then it kept happening. Last night she ate so well - I was just in awe! Then tonight - it was just a disaster. I mean it started out ok - I made parmesean chicken, broccoli and stringbeans. She loves all those things so this should have been easy. Well - at some point she decided she was not eating the string beans and went so far at to fling them off her fork, then she decided the chicken was for the cats - so you know where that went. Then finally the fork was thrown and I had to do the baby time out - I face her away from me for a few seconds. After that she calmed down and let me feed her - but then she went right back to her antics though screaming.... after we ate I took out the nice fresh fruit I got and she decided she wanted to eat fruit - but she had to pick it herself from the bowl - well that was fine till she shoved a whole grape in her mouth and I panicked till she swallowed it. Then (again alternating between crying and laughing) she threw watermelon (??!!) and melon all over and then dinner was over.

Putting her to bed was a little like herding the proverbial cats. She was so tired she bumped her head going up the stairs - and then did NOT want a clean diaper. I was getting more exasperated but I realized that she hadn't slept as well as I thought last night and so maybe she was uber-exhausted. Who knows!! Honestly the kids can really wear me out! At this point I am in for the evening - all my grand plans tossed aside and I am going to curl up with some vodka and wait for ER to come on. Please hope for better a day tomorrow!

Tuesday, September 12, 2006

A new little family!

Please go over and ooh aah over my friend Amy's new baby! They are in China now - same province as EFP and they got their little bundle a few hours ago! She is absolutely adorable and all appears to be well! Isn't it amazing how life's little twists and turns can grab your heart and pull!?

Big Congratulations to Amy, Darrin and little Raenen!

Saturday, September 09, 2006

Welcome Princess!

Hey - Who took my Newsweek?

Our Friend at Rebecca Knits was delivered of a 9lb 1 oz baby girl yesterday September 8, 2006 Mom and daughter are doing great - and we all thought she would be a he! Ha!! We are sooooo excited to welcome one more little royal one into the fold! Happy Birthday Princess!

We are utterly sunk today! Nothing I need to get done is getting done. Shocking lack of sitters and my own illness is forcing me to stay at home and rest. In a strange way it is good - EFP is in the midst of what surely will be a record setting nap 3.5 hours so far and I think it is the hectic week catching up to her. She woke on her own just once this week so I think she is feeling the effects of her new schedule as well as the increase in activity in her new room at the center. After labor day she moved up to the Toddler 2 room and has been outiside on all but the worst weather days. Her classmates are exactly the same as her former room mates as they pretty much moved up together. So she is back with the boys and the one little girl in the new room - though she does have a new teacher. She seems to be doing fine - though her tiredness today has me a little freaked out. I mean the kid is a champion sleeper - but a nearly 4 hour nap... though I guess the hour she was awake last night insisting on being rocked could also account for some of this as well as the increased tiredness.

We have a busy busy fall ahead with some kind of activity almost every weekend including a trip to Vermont in October. Our postplacement visit is Monday afternoon and I am looking forward to being done with all the reports and picture generating. I think there may be one more report in February or March for our year anniversary, but honestly these reports are a little tedious after the first one. Granted we have few, if any, issues so I have tried my best to merely chart her progress and continued happiness in our family. Could anything be better...

I have given some thought recently to the strange turn of events. For whatever reason we were meant to travel down this road and bring this child home, but bringing her home has added so much to our lives in ways I could never have predicted. Aside from the absolute angels I have become friends with that I could only have become friends with through the miracle of adoption, there are so many things I would not have understood are part and parcel of this process. How much more I appreciate all the many kindnesses shown our child and our family. It's true that I have always appreciated a good friend - but it means so much more now that friends seem willing to take her into their heart as well. It also means I appreciate the miracles that happen every day.. a quick conversation with a friend who has been on my mind.. and note that says I miss you too. A friend giving birth to yet another miracle and the circle that has been protecting all of us all along.

Perhaps I am a little inclined to meditate these days I think September has become an excellent time for us all to take stock of those intangibles and give thanks for those we have in our lives that make it special. It's probably also because some big changes are coming and while some may make us temporarily sad - knowing that our friends are happy and fulfilled, no matter where on earth, makes us happy also. I also know from personal experience that true and good friends are never more than a heartbeat or kind thought away.

Thursday, September 07, 2006

What goes around.............

................Actually ends up making me sick! I am down with bronchitis - though luckily it is a mild case caught early. I knew it was bad when I woke up yesterday with hardly any voice and then this morning sounding like a frog... So I took myself off to the MD for some antibiotics and sure enough... Bronchitis with sinusitis! oh joy! I am hoping to be up and around - I don't actually feel bad - just can't sleep and sound like I am coughing out a lung... yuck!

Miss EFP on the other hand is doing fine. Her little cold seems to have vanished and she is back to health. She is really going gangbusters with her attempt at conversation and has begun earnestly copying me. To night we had a great game of Moo Oink... I said one or the other and she copied me.. only moo sound smore like boo and oink... well sounds more like boink... LOL

I also realized she has been hugging back for a while now. She has always done the pat pat thing - when I rock her or I am holding her she pats my shoulder much like she used to pat my face when we shared a bed for sleeping. Now when I hug her she actually grabs my arms and hugs tighter. Also since DH has been the one to pick her up from daycare she has been so happy when I come home and she realizes it is me. I admit that it lights me up inside when I see her big smiley face when I get home from work. Then the fun starts... dinner. My poor cats!! They see the food being dropped on the floor and they want to eat it - but they rarely like what she drops... then the other night she bonked the one cat on the head with her sippy cup and there was a lot of juice in it. The cat seemed fine - but it was not funny in the least. tonight she seemed a little less interested in flinging - but not for long. She is doing better with her spoon and can really manage to get quite a bit of food into her mouth before she resorts to shoving it in her face like a cavechild!

The other goings on around here are too bizarre for words. I will save the saga of the satellite dish for another time.

Sunday, September 03, 2006

Then and Now.................

Then - the pic we received on 12/8/05 (taken 9/26/05)

Now - home six months

Rain Rain GO AWAY!!! No, Seriously get out of here!

Yea - it's been raining for 40 days and 40 nights and I could swear I saw a pair of elephants walking past the kitchen window... ba dump bump.

I am not sure if it is because I really was hoping to have some fun this weekend or if it is because you know who is sniffling... but I am really depressed about the weather. I can not stand when it is grey like this for so long and today was just miserable. But EFP has got some bug... the usual sniffling, coughing, puking. Though - to my credit I knew the puking was gonna happen and suggested giving her clear broth for dinner... and sure enough! Right in the middle of her soup! She does not have a fever though which could be a good thing, right?

We are on day three of Mom-Minivan and so far so good. I was the coolest mom at the daycare line! (NOT) I don't really care about that to be honest - it was my back that really made the difference. The new sliding doors have made my life a little more bearable since there is no bending and all with the van.

Otherwise life goes on here. Today we found out that we will be made an Aunt and Uncle again as our little nephew will have a sib for his birthday... well the due date is near enough anyway. Very exciting news!

Of course the topic of siblings has come up frequently here at the year-round-palace. We know we need to think about it. And we do. Though just now DH says he doesn't think he can love a second child as much as he loves our little Empress. I agree - but then I also know that it is possible to love two children at the same time with your whole heart. So on that score I am clear. I am not as clear as to the logistics. But I feel there is another child somewhere. In my heart I know there is another child. I just wish I didn't feel this pressure for a second before I get any longer in the tooth. Ah - well.

So I finally sat down and wrote my submission for Love with Boundaries new book Love's Journey 2. It's funny - I didn't realize myself all the weird little twists our journey took and how tangled the so-called Red Thread* got in our own journey to EFP. I managed to get pretty much all of it in there - except one. For years my sister and I have had a running joke about roosters. A long time ago - when Miss T was little we were shopping and there was an abundance of those over-the-top French rooster object d'art. I picked a small replica and said to my niece "your mom really likes these and she always wanted one just like this one - why don't you take this one to her!" Well - Miss T toddles over to where my sister is and hands her the offending object and says "Here is the one you always wanted!" and my sister is hard pressed to not laugh out loud at my niece's earnestness. But she tells my niece that she never wanted any such thing and Aunt Sissi is playing a joke. Well niece caught on and ever since it has been a running joke between us. Well - wouldn't you know instead of the Year of the Monkey child I had expected my own darling is a Year of the Rooster!

Well - it was nice to get it all down on paper actually. After I find out if it will make it into the publication I will put an alert here. Love without Boundaries is an amazing organization and I would be very happy to have my little story help in any way to support their good works. SO many children's lives are made better by the medical attention and other loving works they provide to the orphanages in China.

*Chinese legend that has been co-opted by the china adoption community that says "All those destined to be together are bound by a red thread - the thread may tangle and stretch but it will never break."

Empress Fussy Pants

Lilypie Kids Birthday tickers

Emperor Big Brother

Lilypie Next Birthday Ticker