Saturday, October 31, 2009

Happy Halloween from our little pumpkin!

Thursday, October 29, 2009

Happy Birthday to my sweet boy

Happy Birthday C0le.
We love you more today than we ever have before &
we are so proud of the little man you are becoming.

Wednesday, October 28, 2009

Kids: just for fun

Friday, October 23, 2009


Yesterday we had Eme's in depth eval for all areas, including cognitive, motor, speech & physical. She scored above and beyond any child her age. 4 months ago she was failure to thrive and at a 6 month level and just look at her now=0)
However my concerns for her hip area are still there and very valid. There was a team of 4 doing her eval yesterday and after I stripped her naked and had her move from point A to point B they finally saw my concerns and gave her history more power and has set us up for some therapy to do core strengthening.
Eme doesn't squat like a normal child and her flexibility is a problem. She has low muscle tone in her southern region and needs some help learning to distribute the weight differently. They don't evaluate the quality of her movement, just that she can do it.
When we arrived to pick her up in China, her legs automatically fell to the side by her ears and she could maintain that pose. She had zero muscle tone and it was obvious that her legs were used to being separated. Her ligature marks from her time served in the potty chair were placed right below her knees, thus creating this wide spread and causing the problems that she has today. When she learned to crawl, she crawled that funky monkey kinda crawl and her legs always swung out. She walks flat footed, not the heel to toe proper walk and she can not walk without falling down or running into something and she does not have the muscle skills to change terrain. I loved that the therapist took all my concerns seriously and regraded her to qualify her for some therapy. Her history was extensively documented in order for her to qualify and we have some exercises that we will be working on at home with a therapy ball.
Since we've come home from NC, she has been repeating sounds and words more often. She can put 3-4 signs together like: (want more water please) or (want more milk please), but now she is beginning to add the words to them. She doesn't just sign eat, she says the word along with many other words. Up till now, she's been pretty slow to speak clearly, but instead took her shot at a parrot squawk. My girls is catching up at a fabulous rate and I'm really glad that I didn't bring her home and throw her into all the therapies that were requested of me by her pediatrician. All she needed was time. We chose to steer clear of everything until her anxiety levels were down and her trust in us was strong enough to move forward and now we don't have to spend all that time around strangers trying to catch her up because she did it on her own.
They also spoke very highly of her attachment, but let's be honest...a PT, OT & Speech pathologist really have no knowledge on the bonding and attachment process in the high risk child, that is not their field of expertise and I took their thoughts with a grain of salt. Just because my girl knows exactly who Mommy & Daddy are and is quite affectionate and acts just like a normal child, doesn't mean that I don't see a few holes in her attachment that still need to be plugged. We're getting there, but it's all a journey that we are traveling together.
& a big congrats to all the new parents (Dan & Doris)!!! So happy for you!

Tuesday, October 20, 2009

Girls Weekend in chilly North Carolina!

We had a fabulous time at the cute little Lake House that Mare was able to snag! This was the only group photo taken and the fabulous Heather & Georgia were napping while it was all going down, but they were there and I can attest that Ms. G is one of the best babies I have ever had the pleasure of meeting. She's so sweet and extremely smart, her Mama sure knows how to raise em' right! Our girls played like nobody's business and we pretended to not be tired at nap time when it was time to lay our girls down...getting old is a bitch. Just a few random photos that I found irresistible.
I hope we are all able to maintain the connection for our girls sake. I think it will serve as a valuable tool in their life as they grow older. It was so nice to enjoy this time watching our girls play and I especially loved the beautiful fall weather!

A super cute cake made by Robin to celebrate them all~!

The little girls loved feeding the fish & the big girls were afraid their tots were going to take a dive, thus why we are sitting on top of them.
Can you feel the love???
Gracious look at all that foliage in the background! This beach girl is not used to that & I really loved it!

My 'naughty very much' girl...=0)

It was a beautiful weekend and I'm so thankful for these gals. They really do add lots of spice in my life and though the connection used to be about adoption, it has grown into something completely different. Our lives are not about adoption anymore, but instead they are filled with enjoying the now and living in the moment. I thank each of them for who they are and look forward to the next time!

Wednesday, October 14, 2009

Weekend getaway with a VERY over the top busy girl that can't wait to meet up with all her Chinese sisters...

Instead of waking up at 5 to go to the gym, I'll be heading to the airport to for a fun, relaxing, wear your really crappy clothes and don't bother with hair product kinda weekend. I have no idea where the final destination is, because I just don't really care. I've heard it's chilly and I've packed socks. She will be picking me up and we will be meeting up with her, her, her, her, her and sadly missing 3 other homegirls. I'm so excited to see all of them, but yet I'm t.e.r.r.i.f.i.e.d to travel with my over hyper, can not sit still child.
So in a great effort to pass the time quietly without totally annoying the entire airplane, I have LOADED up the big bag in order to pass the time. I am going carry on only (naturally) & I'm using my entire purse to entertain my child. I thought I was packed today, but decided to make a quick trip to the store to pick up a "few" more entertainment items.
Look at the crap my girl has packed.....
I find this funny for no good reason, other than the fact that her Mama is terrified to fly with her.
The contents of this D0ra lunchbox is filled with lots of little chocking hazards puppies on the bottom, books, light up button pushing things, a princess camera that won't stop talking no matter which position I place it in, 1 princess cell phone, a blinged out phone that talks and will annoy any passenger beside us, & some baby snap together toys and a whole big baggie of snacks! Can't go anywhere without Eme's snacks.

Also included in this trip of fun is a cd player with some music, new headphones because she couldn't deal well with the iphone headphones from our last plane trip, a dvd player with movies and some snap together toys that Daddy thought she needed.

We will be breaking the *** 'No TV' rule this weekend and seeing if she will sit still for a movie....though I doubt it, but I'm holding out hope.

& the pile of stuff all put together nicely to make ONE LARGE BAG, that needs to go underneath my seat....gawd help me.
The below pictures are crappy because we took them with our tiny point and
shoot POC (piece of crap)...
This is Eme, in her daily naughtiness routine. She knows not to dance on the tables, but she just can't help herself. Every single day we remove her from this same table a dozen times a day.
Last weekend we went to a wedding of an old neighbor friend of ours and her bridesmaid was one of our precious foster daughters many years ago. She was 11 when she lived with us and has blossomed into a beautiful 20 year old girl that lives out west. It was so sweet to see her all grown up. We had a lovely time catching up on her life and remember her childhood.
Have a great weekend folks....I know we will!
***The No TV rule is part of attachment therapy for at least one year. It has a lot to do with how fast the TV moves and changes scenes and their little brains can't catch up with it AND it's the prime place for high risk children to zone out of the 'real' world that they are living in and ignore their reality. We want Eme to live in her reality and adjust to it.

Tuesday, October 13, 2009

Digital Fun pages

Monday, October 12, 2009

Happy Fall Ya'll

(checking on her belly button again....)

Thursday, October 8, 2009

claiming the unknown

With all the talk going on about corruption in China's IA program, I can not help to have all this *stuff* swirling in my head. I'm usually pretty honest with the stuff I blog about because well, that's just me. I process information by acknowledging it, talking about it and then compartmentalizing it. I know this is subject that many do not want to talk about, that by not acknowledging it, keeps it out of their minds...sort of the ignorance is bliss mentality & though I agree with that, I just can't help but go there. I've tried to not think about it and I still do. The list of orphanages with high probability of the buy/sell baby program is shocking and large and I'm just having a really difficult time coming to grips with the unknown. I haven't processed the information yet and I'm still uncertain how this weaves into the history of my daughter, if at all.
I've had a range of emotions in the past week. I feel guilty, as if in some way I contributed to the corruption by signing up and waiting the 3+ years for a healthy baby girl. What is my responsibility in helping to *fix* this problem, if any at all? In part I believe the scandals could ultimately end the IA program. I know we signed up for an honest process and we can only hope and pray that that is what we got. However, I am seriously jaded by the information or lack there of.... For the most part I don't believe a damn thing in her paperwork. We as ooey gooey bright eye adoptive Moms want to hang on all the cute little things that the paperwork says make up the person that we are in love with. For us Moms, all the fluffy stuff they say about our child is the only thing we have on them, so it's natural to hang on to it as if it's the gospel. For the majority, if not all of us in our group, the paperwork was bullshit. Which makes it even harder to untangle the mess of her past. It is a beautifully f*cked up past.
I'm not sure how I will one day present her story to her or answer the questions that she may have. I seriously don't know. I do know that she may be annoyed with the constant answering of "I don't know" but that is the only truth that I have now. I don't think it's fair to pass on my fears & thoughts to her, but if she turns out to be anything like her Mom, then she will have a deep yearning for the truth.
How far is to far to dig to find truth?
How much is truth worth?
I can only hope that my daughter is secure enough in her own being to accept the unknown of her history. After talking to Mare about a 'claiming story' I believe that is something I need to look in to. She needs a story for the toddlerhood questions that might arise, before the age of understanding the truth. She has 3 brothers that have a marvelously documented history, how will it make her feel to not have anything but her Mama saying "I don't know"...
I will never water down her history or paint it something that it is or isn't. The truth is the truth, no matter how made up it is. I will walk through any door with her that she chooses to open. I only hope I am prepared for the duty when it calls.

Monday, October 5, 2009

Hanging out in the gulf...the water is PeR~~FeCt!

I'm hoping to will some fall weather this way, I have completely fallerized our home and I even found a spunky little possum playing in my bails of hay this morning when I woke up at 5:00AM to head out for the gym, not what I was hoping to see as I stepped out the door.
Eme had her evaluation check this morning and she is completely up to par on all areas, borderline up to par on a few, so we are going ahead with a more thorough evaluation later this month to determine if she will need any therapy.
On June 10, my daughter was diagnosed as 'failure to thrive', we opted to not rock her world anymore with doctor visits and therapies and decided to give her the time that she needed to catch up and then have her evaluated after the kids all returned to school. I knew my girl would catch up and with a little bit of time she has. I still have a few concerns with her balance and coordination, so that is why we are going ahead with the more in depth eval. She might be a natural born clutz, or there could be something more to it. Currently the only graceful thing about her is her middle name!

Sunday, October 4, 2009

3 words

Dear China,

It's wrong.
Three Word Sunday - Sum up your week in three little words. You can sing it, you can say it, you can write it, you can draw it. It can be funny or sad or poignant as long as it’s honest. Click here to see last week's video.

Thursday, October 1, 2009

my baby girl

While sorting through the mound of paperwork from China, I came across these photos of my baby girl that were attached to her foster care reports. I had totally forgotten about them since returning from China. We feel so lucky to have a few extra photos as we piece together her history.