Weston & Mali, one year ago.
Final 2008 sunset
A lot of time was spent enjoying the company of girlfriends. & I had a birthday where I turned another year older and a wee bit wiser....or so I'd like to think.
We even had a weekly date night because our husbands all went out for poker night. I spent a whole lot of Feb & March stressing over the never ending paperwork fiasco when Homeland Security managed to leave our I-700 paperwork in a very unsecured location TWICE. Needless to say, I don't miss the paperwork headache of adoption....though I still need to take care of the readoption process. Ugh. I also decided that my dear husband held a deep desire to be the secretary of a Board of Directors for the cranky neighborhood we live in. & I sent his cute mug to every mailbox to be re-elected. I annoy him. & in Feb, I was introduced to the RQ underground which becomes greatly entertaining when you are on the cusp of referral & all your favorite buds are down under with secret little names. Shamefully, I admit I spent a few to many hours searching for rumors. On a perfectly chilly weekend, at the end of Feb, a few of my bestest girls came for a visit, where I introduced them to "bullshit cold paradise." ;0)PugMama and I continued our quest to find one single rumor that would tell us if our 7th & 8th LID's would be included in the batch of referrals that were due to arrive. Photographic proof of our obsession with the RQ underground during that time of our life. I haven't been back to the underground since China either.
The disappointment of knowing we had missed the cutoff by one day was quickly gone by knowing that our March 7th LID would be next without a shadow of doubt. Half the stress was wondering if we were or weren't in. I was so giddy with joy in knowing that we would be next!
& on March 7, 2009, we were the first group of waiting families to hit the 3 year mark that many doubted would ever happen, we also knew it would be our last referral countdown of chalk in the road that had become a monthly tradition for 3 LONG years.... I found myself with many overwhelming feelings and was happy to accept the invite to my friends lake house for the weekend with my family to decompress my brain.
~~~It was fab~U~lous~~~ When the relaxation of that trip had worn off in about 10 seconds, I ate my way through the rest of March... ...and enjoyed a lot of cocktails on my favorite island with some really dear friends.
I was 'Storkin' It' the entire month of March and my brain was not fully inside my head. My friends agree=0) At the end of March, I decided to say goodbye to my first home in cyber world where I spent 3 years rambling about BOD drama behind the gated community of hell where I reside, my gyno hygiene regiment and the sexual assertiveness of ducks. It was time for me to bring the blog up to a G rating...or at least strive for something obtainable, like PG-13.
So my sassy friend M created 'Adding a Sister' for me to call home.
It was the oddest, most overwhelming feeling to know that my family file was being dusted off after years of sitting on a shelf to be examined for the perfect little girl for our family. I was overwhelmed with emotions, knowing she & I were both existing on opposite sides of the world.
April arrived with much anticipation and anxiety, where the rumors were running really thick about referrals being held until after the Swine Flu epidemic was over. It was almost more than the human heart could bear when hearing one rumor (from a really shitty agency) that referrals would be held for at least 6 months until the flu situation could be assessed better. Knowing that we had already been matched left me with a heavy heart and a huge headache.
We saw our daughters face for the first time and fell completely head over heels in love.
There she was, our Emerson Grace. My favorite quote in life proved to be true again,
I'm sure that deep within the dictionary there is a word for what I felt on April 3, 2009...but I have no idea what it would possibly be. My heart was overflowing with joy and our 3 sons could not have been more proud to have a face to go with their dreams of having a sister.
We danced, we sang on the dock of the bay, we showed everyone the face of Eme Grace and we popped the cork of champagne as we celebrated, VIP style, every.where.we.went.
We relaxed in the pool and my dh was feeding me his lovely concoction of the paradise drink. I blame him for my 10 lb weight gain prior to China.
On May 8th our TA arrived along with some special friends to celebrate Eme Grace at a party my dear friend had organized.
and managed to find a wine tasting event in a local grocery within an hour after getting to the hotel.
to which he responded, "That really did happen."
On June 2, Eme Grace became an American citizen and was introduced to another whole world with a homecoming that was emotional and sweet. I missed my sons so much and couldn't wait for them to meet their sister. They were smitten the moment they saw her.... and on that night, my whole heart was home.
Our family was complete. June was super difficult. I lived much of it in a fog. Eme was super stressed with her new life and terrified to detach herself from me long enough for me to pee. I struggled with jet lag, 3 energetic boys, laundry, dishes, cooking, shopping and cleaning. June flew by in an exhausted sort of way. We watched Eme struggle with her Daddy. She was terrified of him in China, but her fear only worsened after coming home.
In the midst of our fog, my son became a teenager. He is a boy who makes us proud and he was a tremendous amount of help with Eme. She would only let him hold her besides me. Eme experienced a lot of firsts in June.
She ate her first icecream cone!
She enjoyed her first swim in the pool!
She took her first float in the beautiful Gulf of Mexico! She took her first boat ride!
And she went on her first bike ride!
& on June 20, just in time for Father's Day, Daddy had his first breakthrough moment with his daughter in the pool. She opened up her heart just a wee bit to allow him in... By the end of June, we were still struggling with a scared little girl that was slowly adjusting to her bright new world.
Emerson learned to move her arms and feet in a bear like crawl to get to where she wanted to go. This is a prime example of 'how not to crawl' =0) & though she figured out how to move, it also spoke volumes to us and validated many concerns. AND, before I receive a hundred emails that your child or your friends child learned to crawl this way, please remember that Eme spent the first 15 months of her life as an institutionalized child being tied to that damn potty chair.
Cole started his 5th grade year, his last year in elementary...
Eme was introduced to her first Halloween where she quickly got the hang of asking for candy from strangers;0)