Tuesday, May 26, 2009

Updates From Nanchang

I’m losing track of the days…I believe it’s Wed morning. Which would be our 3rd full day since Eme~Grace was placed in my arms. Since then she has mastered the snack trap penguin cup sent by Auntie K. She loves her cheerios and gerber puffs. On day 1, she could be barely use her little fingers to pick the cheerio up. Now she’s shoving them in by the hand fulls.

She is getting a little less wobbly, but honestly, the girl has zero butt and I would think that would be hard for sitting. She still falls over a lot, but not nearly as much as the 1st day. She’s babbling more and saying cute little things that we have no audible understanding of, but she’s opening up more. She’s also like my little parrot. I stuck out my tongue once and she found it hilarious and now will stare right at us and hold her mouth wide open and let her tongue hang out. She LOVES to look at herself in the mirror. She finds herself to be quite amusing and she is.

She also has these crazy long legs that she has absolutely no control over when we hold her standing. She has earned the nickname of “Crazy Legs.” Her feet are very long and she can do many tricks with them. She is part contortionist and part acrobat, it doesn’t look as though ballet is in her near future. ;0) Her Mongolian spots pretty much cover her entire tiny bum and we will have them logged at the doctors when we get home for her file. Her bottom certainly looks abused, but instead, they are just part of what makes her up. She also tinkles on whistle command in the potty and had her first official BM in the potty as well last night.

I could be naïve enough to say that she is bonding with me. But I know enough to know that bonding and attachment is a very long process and nothing comes quick from it. She gets very upset and begins this sad whine and you can see the anxiety in her face if I leave the room. I went to the potty once and she was a wreck. I'm trying to not make that mistake again. She has not warmed up to Daddy yet. She likes to play silly games with him if I am right there beside her and even then she will scoot closer or turn her back to him to grab me. She gets very nervous if Daddy holds her and is anxious to be returned to my arms. We are not pushing it, we know it will all come in time. So I wouldn’t call it bonding. I would say she is seeking me out as her comfort and support during this time in her life. She will allow me to kiss her while she holds her mouth wide open, but with Daddy, she turns her little head away. Daddy is okay with all of this because this is what we were prepared for and this is what is best for her at this time. She is not capable of bonding with 2 different people right now. She must secure herself with only one person before her heart can let anyone else in. We are meeting her on her terms.

Because of the separation anxiety she feels, I'd also like to accept the award for Hands Free Squat & Pee with a sleeping baby attached to my body... all while maintaining dry shoes. I have mastered the squatty potty!

I look at her sweet little face and I am in complete awe. I can not believe that this perfect precious child was left for me. She has the most beautiful almond shaped eyes and the biggest dimples on each side of her cheek. I wonder if those came from her birth Mother or Father. She is so perfect and it makes me wonder how we got so lucky to be chosen to be her parents. She is the crown jewel of China and they don’t even know it. They are letting us leave here with her and take her into our home far away.

The people of China are very friendly in one aspect and very rude in another way. They're also very curious about us and like to stare. In Wal-mart yesterday, Emerson was sleeping in the Ergo and I had the head covering up. They physically pulled it away to see if it was a girl or boy. They smile and they mean well, but I feel very protective and want to hide her away so they can’t take her back. She is just so sweet. She has still not cried for us and I’m thinking she just doesn’t feel safe enough to really let us in to all of her emotions. In time she will.

I have never used a baby carrier with my 3 boys and there is no better way here in China for the whole bonding process. She stares up at me, granted I am forcing her to, but she plays with my necklace and every time I reapply the burts bees chapstick, she must partake in the glamour as well. I am creating a chapstick addict. It’s so cute to see her hold her little lips still for me to apply it. Yesterday she began smacking her lips afterwards. She lays her head on my heart and when I hum, she listens carefully. She actually began the humming and when I heard her, I joined in. She got very quiet and just relaxed with her head on my heart and listened. These would all be missed moments of bonding if she were being pushed in a stroller and couldn’t even see me. The Ergo keeps her touching me and my arms constantly massaging her. I am so glad I have it and I thank all my girls for getting it for me. I plan on using it long after we return and thanks to Jennifer for the use of the other one, I now can always have one when the other one is being washed.

Emerson has been asleep for 11 hours. It’s time we wake her up and get our 3rd day going together. We also want to make the early shift breakfast while there is still French toast available and they don’t replace the pancakes with octopus tentacles…even though the tentacles looked as though they were mixed with salsa. Each day is a new adventure.


Pug Mama said...

I just sat here crying reading this post. It really touched home. You are doing everything exactly the way I plan on doing it.
I am so proud of you - Emerson is just as equally lucky to have YOU.
Soon we all will be sitting around the table with our coffee and our Burt's bees.........

Pug Mama said...

if you are wondering how I am LIGHTENING fast in my comments, it is because Auntie K gives us homies a heads up on when your post is about to go online!!!

Liz and Ava said...

Sounds like everythig is going smoothly. Emerson finding comfort in you so soon after joining your family is a good sign...the attachment will come with time...it sure sounds like you are doing everything right. In hind sight, wish I had only used the baby carrier rather than the stroller while I was in China.
Keep the pictures of your little cutie coming!

Luna said...

You're doing everything right, Mama. We're planning on using the baby carrier too....It's so important for them to feel close to you and to make eye contact.

I'm sure it won't be long before Eme takes to J too. Until then, he can be cheerio guy. BTW, what brand did you end up bringing? ;)

I'm sure enjoying your updates. Thanks to Auntie K for giving us the heads up too!!

Polar Bear said...

Never too soon to start a new Burt convert, IMHO! :o)

Thanks so much for taking the time to share your journey with us. I soak it all in for the future! I'm going to check into an ergo, for sure!!!

It sounds like you and E are making great strides. Woooooo HOOOOOOO! on mastering that squatty potty. That is a feat unto itself! :o)

When R and I were looking at the first pictures of E on Sunday he commented about her long legs. I thought that was interesting!

Enjoy the day! Hope you made it in time for French toast. That sounds a WHOLE lot better than octopus for breakfast! BLAH!! ;o)

Isabella's Mommy and Daddy said...

You are doing such a great job girly..
I am taking notes..
Sounds like Emerson has gotten the best parents and you and J have gotten the best little girl.. they say they always match the perfect babies to the perfect family..
Tooo cute on the burts bees.... she will be a chapstick baby...
Have a great day today.. and the tentacles is nasty...YUCK.. DH will love them...lol.
Can't wait for the next update...
What size is she wearing..???

M :-) said...

Aren't carriers the best?! I never used one with my boys, but did get one before we traveled to Korea. It was fabulous! The funniest thing - when we were in the airport (in Korea, you don't get your child until you are ready to leave for the airport) she kept looking at me, and then looking at my husband. (she was in the carrier) All of a sudden she took her hand and pinched my nose, and kept pinching it. I'm sure she was like "what is this thing?" ... since they all have such cute little flat noses! ;) She had never seen a caucasian nose before - ha!

Enjoy your French Toast! ;)

Colleen said...

Oh see? You are corrupting her already with the lip balm! LOL! I did with H too...its all good. :-)

I really REALLY wish I used my carrier more while in China. There are actually alot of things that I wish I did more of...you are doing it all right. She will come around to J...I know you both know that.

Tee-hee..."french toast". Just wait until you get to the WS for breakfast. Holy moly...did I eat!

Enjoy your time. Its so wierd to me that it is 9:00 at night here and I just got H to bed...I am going to have some wine...you are off and running with coffee.

She is a gift ... a true beautiful gift...as you both are to her.

sheryl said...

Oh she is so precious and so perfect! You are doing a fabulous job meeting her on her terms and it sounds like your bonding couldn't be going any better. My daughter was very much a velcro baby to me for the first year. Oh how I miss those velcro days! LOL You are so right that she can only let one person in at a time in the beginning. Daddy will be next, along with her brothers and all the other special people in her life. My daughter took a very long time to warm up to her daddy, but now, she is a "daddy's girl" all the way through. I am just so happy to see your dream fulfilled beyond anything you could have ever imagined.


Alyson and Ford said...

I've read this post twice now and I'm going back for a third time... Love it.

Life with JJ, Starr and Spice said...

Very cool update! You are right on target and handling it all so well. Your sweet daughter has all the right signs for good things to come. Looking to you for comfort first is BIG!

She sounds like such a precious child and I can't say it enough...I am really happy for you.

Stacy said...

Congrats on your sweetie! I only started following your blog a few weeks ago but am so happy for you! We met our sweetie last August. I just wanted to tell you to please let you husband know that I'm thinking of him and to hang in there! Our daughter completely rejected my husband for months (and he is a GREAT dad). Anyway, she adores him now and told me yesterday as we drove away while he was in the front yard "Mommy, that's MY Daddy". Our daughter was 2 1/2 when we met her and was almost comatose the entire time we were in China. I think you're much further ahead than we were and I know she'll be loving her Daddy in NO time! Congrats again!

Diana said...

You are a wonderful mom!! You are going about all of this SO right!!!
Congratulations on the Potty!!! I am IMPRESSED!!!

PIPO said...

Sounds like NOTHING could be going better at this point. Good news!

Oh, and by the end of the trip those tentacles may become more interesting to you. I am the food priss (only way I am a priss) and I was eating all kinds of weird stuff by the time I left China.

Enjoy another fine E Day :0)

Tiffany said...

I did the same exact thing with the carrier in China. I loved the carrier. In fact, I used it a ton when we got home. I think Eliza was 2 before I packed it away. Now I carry Solomon in it as well. Emmerson is so cute! I love you're updates! Congrats on that potty award!!!

Dawn and Dale said...

What a wonderful update!! She really is perfect!! God knows what He is doing!! :)

Charla was similar to E when we got her. She didn't want anything to do with Dale at all the week we were at the foster families house getting used to her to bring her home. Now....one year later...she is the HUGEST daddies girl ever!!! :D It really didn't take her too long at all to warm up to him!

Carys was quite opposite and LOVED Dale right away...which did Daddy's heart good!! lol :D

Praying for you guys and your boys at home!! Can't wait to see you all back together again!!

Janet said...

Oh, this post just made my heart sing! It was beautiful, and so touching! You will never regret writing down these things. You will read them over and over in the coming months (and years) and it will all come back to you!

Karen and Bob said...

Reading your post brings back so many memories. I have a video of us in China that is exactly what you wrote about the kiss...a sweet open mouthed kiss for mommy, but a shy turn of the head for daddy! If you ever get the time, I can send you a link to it. So many similarities. We used a carrier too, but my DH was the one who wore it when we were out. I carried her without one almost every minute of the day...till my back went out. I am loving reading your blog!

Catherine said...

What a precious gift to yourselves and Emerson to be able to capture this time in such great detail. She's doing so well. Love the descriptions of her listening to her mommy's heart and humming. Precious!!

So very happy for you friend!!

Buckeyes & Eggrolls said...

Isn't it just amazing how these sweet girls come to us and then trust in us! I know not everyone believes this but for us.. it truly was/is a God thing. Miss Eme will definitely come around to daddy, hopefully not at the expense of mommy. (our Maddy would only bond with one or the other at first but not both)

Congrats on mastering that squatty potty. Thank goodness I only had to use it once. That was certainly enough for me.

Can't wait to catch up tonight with everything that went on today.

Briana's Mom said...

What a great update! It makes me feel like I am there with you guys!

Briana lived in the hip hammock I brought to China with me. I even used it to comfort her when she sometimes woke up at night and I needed to walk the hotel halls with her. I am so glad I brought it.

Laughing that you call her "crazy legs"! Too funny!

Sandra said...

I am so impressed with everything you have done to prepare yourself and what you are doing now. I also love that you are not thinking that everything is all roses and sunshine and that it is going to stay that way.

Tahlia had a very difficult time warming up to Matt and it took her several months before turning into a major daddy's girl ;-)

I just loved carrying my girls around in the baby carrier; those are moments that meant so much while in China that I am sure laid the foundation of what was yet to come.

Liene said...

Glad things are going well for you. I've definitely been wondering how things have been going. Glad that J is hanging in there like a trooper. It definitely concerns me a bit that Lane will travel by himself and that Emi won't want to bond with me when he returns home because she will have been with him for 2 whole weeks.

Definitely make a note of those Mongolian spots. Eriks at 5 1/2 still has a very small one (very common in African American & bi-racial children) that when it was larger and darker worried me because I didn't want anyone thinking I was leaving those marks. I may be weird but I think they're cute.

Tentacles in salsa...I'll pass.

The photos are just lovely and she looks like such a smart & happy little girl.

Kristine said...

Love your post. Sounds very familiar to our experiences although it was Daddy who did the carrying. We never used a stroller until we came home and then a long time after. Yea, I have a Burt's Bees addict too, Annie gives a little giggle after I put it on her.
Congrats on a smooth transition so far- it is an incredibly hard but wonderful time that you will hold in your heart forever...

3 Peanuts said...

Oh T! Crying at this beautiful post. i LOVE reading every little detail of Eme~Grace. SHe sounds like such an angel. LOVEd reading about the humming. What a sweetie. YOU are a GREAT Mom. I am so glad you get it and are doing all the right things.


Meg said...

you are laying such important groundwork for a happy healthy loving relationship.....the ergo is amazing- we used ours for a long time after we were home- while I cooked, while we walked, everywhere......and Eva-Kate was 2 when we brought her home.....I loved it. congrats again on such a precious child-