Sunday, February 28, 2010

Happy 2nd Birthday! photos to come

Thursday, February 25, 2010

1 year referral anniversary

This day, one year ago, started out like any other day really. I got up, got ready, kissed my husband of 12 years good bye and headed to work.

Wait. Let me back up a bit first and give a little of the back story to our journey. I've always, always wanted to be a Mom, more than anything else really. But, as in almost everything in my life, nothing happens quite the same way as it does for most others. We ended up having roadblocks and obstacles, and we tried to remove/get around them medically, but deep down I felt God was whispering "Wait. I have a plan, this isn't it". I think Doug felt it too. But I found it hard to listen in my growing frustration and impatience. Then in March of 2007, we attended an adoption conference. We were both instantly drawn to the China program, and in Sept 2007 we were logged in and began waiting....more waiting. For the first time it felt like we were going down the right path. It felt right, but still not "quite" right, somehow. I kept finding myself drawn more and more toward the "special needs" program. I think deep down, I felt from the start that it's where we would end up. I had been waiting for Doug to feel the same way, without any prodding from me. Then sometime around November 2008, he started bringing up the idea and I immediately agreed, we had a homestudy coming up soon anyway. So on December 13 of last year we handed Beth, our agency's homestudy provider, the list of all of the special needs we felt capable of accepting. It felt...completely..right. For the first time, I felt a weight was lifted, as if God was saying " Thank I'll take over from here". I knew he was in control, and I had a hunch that things would happen quickly, and I felt that SHE was already born. I don't remember sharing this with anyone, I guess I didn't want to get my hopes up.
Anyway , 2 1/2 months later, February 27th, started out like any other day plugging along through the morning at work. Until a co-worker informed me that I had a call on line 4.... from my adoption agency. Cue the sound of a needle scratching across a record. Everything seemed to stop. In nanoseconds I went through a mental checklist of the possible reasons why she would me calling me. Any paperwork or other updates due? No. Have we called with any questions recently? No. Any fees owed? No. That left one reason why she would be calling me, at work, on a weekday morning. So I took a deep breath, picked up the phone, and the conversation went something like this.

"Hi, this is Dana from A Helping Hand"

"Hi." (my voice was already shaking by this time)

"How are you?"

"I'm fine, how are you?" (please get to the point before I fall apart )

"Well, I think we found a baby for you last night"

"Oh, my gosh" (is this really happening?)

"She has a VSD, she turns one year old tomorrow, and she's really cute"

"Oh my gosh" ( this IS really happening!)

After finishing our conversation and hanging up the phone I immediately called Doug and told him to "wake up" (he works nights), "they have a baby for us, I'm on my way home, get the computer turned on" It took me about 8 1/2 minutes to get home. Doug was wide awake by now and met me at the door. We went downstairs to open the e-mail and saw HER face for the first time..

I believe the first words out if my mouth were "oh my gosh! Are you kidding me?!" I couldn't get over how adorable and healthy and bright she looked.

Then we opened the second photo, and fell even harder for her.

And her "mug shot" just cracked us up.

I remember looking at these precious pictures and thinking we might "have our hands full" with this little one. (This was the first thing my friend, Jess said, too.) There was something about the glint in her eyes and the look of, I don't know, awareness... intelligence. And she was just over 4 1/2 months in these photos. Let me tell you, I had copies in practically every room but the bathroom. And I never left home without them in my purse. I read, and re-read the referral information countless times looking for clues into her personality and character. Looking back, I'm struck by how similar the way she was described then is to how she still "is" now.

  • upon admission at 2 days of age: "cry aloud, suck powerfully"...She still eats and drinks...and cries... with gusto.

  • at 2 months: "mental develop fast, facial expression became more and more"...Yep, our girl is quick as a whip.

  • at 3 months: "she babbled, know anger, grief, joy, and happiness. Know how to use smile and cry to express her feeling"....Yeeeeahh, this was an understatement. This girl has no problem expressing herself =).

  • at 4 months: "fond of playing outdoors. Stare at the car passing by and the dog in the lawn for a long time"...She loves being outside, taking walks, or just looking out the window.

  • "kick her feet and jump when standing with help"....she is CONSTANTLY jumping around or hopping in place, or dancing around doing her "happy feet" routine.

  • "She likes listening to the music"....Check.

  • "She is tender, not shy" ...Check and double check.

  • "like clean"...She HATES to have dirty hands.

  • "She has a round face, big eyes, and that make her lovely and adorable"...We couldn't agree more =).

We love our Ker-Bear so much, and we are so blessed to have her in our lives... one year later.

Monday, February 22, 2010

Just because I can't stop snapping pictures of this little sweet-pea

This one cracks me up..

Last night I found her watching Kai-L*n while feeding her baby doll. They learn to multi-task so early. Now, if only I could get her to help me fold socks while she watches tv.

And I just had to take this one to document her preferred sleeping position before she grows out of it. Is there really anything cuter than toddler in footied jammies sleeping with their little diapered tush in the air? And, yes, that is "robe" that she's got a death grip on.

Sunday, February 21, 2010

Still enjoying the warm(er) weather =).

Saturday, February 20, 2010

It got to around 50 today and the sun was shining so we took the opportunity to get out and take a walk. Kerry was so excited. She's gone out in the snow a few times over the past couple of weeks but it's been only briefly and I'm not sure how much she enjoyed it. I think she was getting as tired of the snow as the rest of us were. But, as you can see, it's melting quickly.

We walked to the nearby Feeder's S*pply so she could look at the fish.
We did manage to keep Kerry occupied while we were snowed in. I decided to let Kerry help me make sugar cookies for the very first time one evening.
She had a great time helping mix the dough..

And cutting out the shapes..
( I just love those baby cheeks that she's still holding on to)

And decorating them with sprinkles..

She just about ate her weight in sugar cookies that night =).

She's also taken a new interest in play-do*gh lately. Actually it's kind of a love/hate relationship, I think. She likes trying to roll it out and she likes using the tools and cookie cutter shapes but she doesn't like actually touching the play-do*gh itself.

Monday, February 15, 2010

Note to self

Pay much closer attention to what your 23 month old is doing with the remote while you're on the phone. Oh, and don't forget to call the cable company first thing in the morning to see if they would be kind enough to remove "Hard C*re Cougars" from our playlist and bill.

and just because I can't post without photos.

Sunday, February 14, 2010

Happy Valentine's Day
Xin Nian Kuai Le

Kerry seemed to enjoy her first Valentine's day. She got a new Kai-L*n movie, M&M's, and bubbles (three of her absolute favorite things). We didn't get to celebrate Chinese New Year as much as we had hoped to. We did find a CNY celebration that was took place last weekend at a local Chinese Christian church, but Kerry had such a long and busy day with only a brief nap, so by that evening she was exhausted so we didn't stay for the whole program. We have a Chinese restaurant that we frequent A LOT near our house, and we're pretty friendly with the nice woman who seems to "run the place". Let me tell you, she keeps those guys in the kitchen hoppin'. She's always so sweet to Kerry and fusses over her and gives her fists full of fortune cookies just because she knows she likes them. So I found a nice CNY coloring page on line and let Kerry "decorate" it, then pasted it onto larger piece of red construction paper, and let Kerry give it to her. She loved it!

Saturday, February 13, 2010

Thanks for the encouraging comments, everyone. It's good to know that we're not the only ones who've experienced this. Like I said, these episodes are very very rare now, and she does want to be held and comforted afterwards, which is a good sign. Most of the time she really is a happy, bubbly, affectionate girl who shows all the signs of being firmly attached to us. I have now doubt about that. She has always preferred us over all others, she gives me the best hugs and kisses and has no probem being held or cuddled. She initiates kisses and hugs and punctuates them with an "awww" and she pats my back while hugging, its so sweet. She just has these puzzling episodes once in a while. Luckily they seem to be fading with time. We love her more than life itself, though, and wouldn't have her any other way.

Tuesday, February 9, 2010

any advice?

I can hardly believe that my girl is almost 2 years old. She seems to grow and change by the day. Yet there are so many things about her that I think will always be part of her personality and character. She is bold, brave, and adventurous in most situations, and I think she always will be. The only thing really seems to make her insecure is if I try to leave or step out of sight when we're with people she views as strangers. I can't blame her really. I mean, she's been through several "abandonments" in her short life. At birth of course, then at almost 5 months when she was moved from the "old folks home" where she was being fostered into the main orphanage, then at 15 months when she was handed to a couple of strangers (us) and her life was once again turned upside down. On Sundays we try to let her stay in the nursery for the 1 1/2 hour service. a few times she's been kind of okay with me leaving..I guess the stars were lined up just right. Most of the time she cries when I try to leave. Not just a normal "I want mama" cry, its a panicked, gut wrenching cry that seems to say "oh no, not again!" I won't let her go through that, so of course I immediately step back in and hang out while she plays with the toys and other kids, or take her into church with me. But sometimes she'll let me step out with few tears. Luckily, they have a two-way mirror so you can check on your little one without them seeing you, so I can watch for a few minutes to make sure she's okay and to see if she calms down and starts playing. We've also noticed that she does better if Doug drops her off in the nursery than if I do.
Another thing that seems to possibly be a residual effect of her orphanage days only occurs around sleep, either before going to sleep, waking from sleep, or if sleep is delayed. It starts out like a normal "toddler who needs a nap" type crankiness but very quickly escalates into something much more dramatic. She stiffens up and cries/screams and thrashes about, sometimes saying "no, no, no" repeatedly. Her eyes are usually shut tight and she can't be calmed with touch or words, in fact she shoves you away. Even her beloved robe gets pushed away. She usually ends up in a corner or against a wall, and you can do little to help her. And when she comes out of it, she's been known to say "hi" as if she just realized you were there, and then she wants to be hugged or held. The only thing I can attribute it to is some sort of night terror (although they don't just occur after she's fallen asleep) or some sort of panic attack. She did this several times in China and in our first days back home. In fact, we've been known to refer to them as her "China fits". Luckily they are very rare these days. As I've said many times , I do believe her orphange was one of the better ones, and that she must have been cared for, as evidenced by the photos two posts ago, and her good health and development when we got her, but it was still an insitutional setting. And all it takes is one less than nice caretaker to infict trauma. I'll never know "the whole story". I know I tend to focus on the cute, happy, positive things with this blog, and honestly, that really is our life, and our Kerry, most of the time. But I would love to know if any of you have experienced anything similar.

And now for some cute, happy, and silly photos. Cuz that's just how she rolls most of the time =).

This is what I get now if I ask her to smile.

We've had some snow lately. Nothing compared to a lot of the country, but enough for Kerry to have some fun.

Kerry was invited to attend her very first birthday party. The adorable Miss Makenna, who you may remember from several previous posts, turned 2 and had her party at a local play place, the same place Kerry is having her party at at the end of this month. They had lots of fun climbing and sliding.

And they completely ignored the giant doll houses and played with this race track for ages, instead.

Kerry loooooved the cupcakes. She kept yelling "nummm" between every bite.

The adorable Birthday Girl =)

My photo
I've been happily married to my wonderful husband for 15 years. Two year ago we were blessed to welcome our first child, a Daughter from China and are absolutely in love with her.

Blog Archive