Sunday, August 30, 2009
Saturday, August 29, 2009
And then there's the whole climbing thing... And, yes, the fantastic great big bowl of water right on her level!
I'm all about letting Gianna explore her world even if it means a little extra work for me. One thing I have been a stickler about, however, is the doggy door. There are two doors: one that goes from the kitchen into the sunroom and one that goes from the sunroom to the outside. As persistent as she has been over the last four months, I have managed to keep my curious toddler at bay.
I was doing something in the kitchen and she was playing nearby the fridge (by the doggy door). I heard it open and close, but then saw Max. (it's got little magnetic strips so you can hear all the movement.) No worries. Then I heard it open --- but it didn't close. I turned around to catch a glimpse of the cute little polka-dotted bottom of find my brave little monkey fearlessly forging through the doggy door to explore new territories. So, as any good and discipline-minded mother would do, I grabbed my camera and got these shots.
Thursday, August 27, 2009
It seems there is no seat for you: You'll have to wait for the next flight. Impatient, but anticipating a wonderful trip, you wait - and wait - and wait. Flights to Australia continue to come and go. People say silly things like, "Relax, you'll get on a flight soon." Other people actually get on a plane and then cancel their trip, to which you cry, "It's not fair!" After a long time the ticket agent tells you, "I'm sorry, we're not going to be able to get you on a plane to Australia. Perhaps you should think about going by boat."
It's a long trip, many months over many rough seas. No one pampers you. You wonder if you will ever see Australia. Meanwhile, your friends have flown back and forth to Australia two or three more times, marveling about each trip.
Then one glorious day, the boat docks in Australia. It is more exquisite than you ever imagined, and the beauty is magnified by your long days at sea. You have made many friends during your voyage, and you find yourself comparing stories with others who also traveled by sea rather than air. People continue to fly to Australia as often as they like, but you are able to travel only once, perhaps twice. Some say things like, "Oh, be glad you didn't fly. My flight was horrible: traveling by sea is so easy."
You will always wonder what it would have been like to fly to Australia.
Still, you know God blessed you with a special appreciation of Australia, and the beauty of Australia is not in the way you got there, but in the place itself.
By: Diane Armitage (inspired by the story: “Welcome to Holland” - a great read for those who have been blessed with children who have any kind of challenges or special needs)
Dedicated to all my friends who are planning their "trips to Australia" - just unsure of the method of transportation.
Wednesday, August 26, 2009
What could this precious cherub possibility be doing to have her mother so frazzled? Well, don't let those pillowy dimpled cheeks, dreamy blue eyes and squishy little body fool you. This conniving little toddler has been yanking every one of our chains.
For starters, she has been hoarse for the last 7 days. Because she's been sick? No, because she's been screaming like a wild banshee for just about any reason she can come up with: not getting her way & waking up in the middle of the night just wanting a little company top the list. I'm not talking "fussing" here, I'm talking...top of her lungs, sounds like she's being tortured screams.
She had her first ear infection a couple of weeks ago, so I thought maybe it returned and she was in pain. (She'd been swatting at her ears for days.) To be sure, I took her into the Children's Clinic. Ears were as clear as crystal. Doctor said, "Maria, it could just be teething." (Dear heavens...how many more teeth do we have left?) After the doctor visit --- the jig was up for the monkey. I had her number, now. (I know, don't I sound like a real tough cookie?) Tough love, here we come....and go.........and come...........and go. Consistency in discipline is great in theory, but isn't everything?
In the past when little "phases" occurred of behavioral/sleeping/eating issues - it would usually return to some state of normalcy within 3 or 4 days. Holy Cannoli. This go-round had me shaking in my boots. She was going strong for over a week. I guess the grunt-fest was a cake walk. And what gets me is that she can turn it on and off like a light switch. She can be in full-on melt-down and catch a glimpse of her Elmo doll or book, and sweetly and excitedly exclaim, "Eh woh." Same goes for the words outside, bye bye, car, milk. etc. She can turn on a dime.
I'm trying not to get bent out of shape about anything, because she's exhibiting qualities that will serve her well as she grows up (not so much the hitting, but the confidence, determination and quick mind.) It's just a season, and seasons come and go. Even though most of these antics are frustrating, we do find ourselves turning our heads to laugh with some of the stuff she's pulling lately. If we are correcting a behavior she's turn her head and do the sign for "all done." Sometimes, after one of her swatting attempts, she'll kiss us before we have a chance to respond. Quick little thinker, eh? Truth be told, I'm happy to be blogging about parenting challenges instead of wondering if and when we would ever become parents.
Tuesday, August 25, 2009
Thanks to BooMama for the heads up.
Monday, August 24, 2009
Friday, August 21, 2009
Thursday, August 20, 2009
I'm linking this post to Kelly's Korner where she is sponsoring a Baby Shower tour of blogs! :)
(Gianna on her Placement Day) Then, there's a YEAR LONG waiting period. Most people get nervous when I tell them this, with their first question being, "Is there a chance you could lose her?" (That's an understandable thought - especially after we survived a previous horrible court experience losing the two children that we parented for six weeks.)
The answer is no. They state really is making sure WE are wanting to do this and are committed to this child forever and ever. Amen. Basically, it's just a formality and the year is a customary waiting period for all adoptive families in our state. We are not on trial nor do we have to jump through hoops to try and "keep" her. All the hoop jumping is done prior to children coming into the home. (I take that back, we have to endure another home study - this time by OCS.)
If you aren't aware of all the prep-work involved in becoming "approved" and acquiring a home study...let me just say that it's quite an undertaking. The paperwork and home study part of the process is grueling, intense, somewhat lengthy, exposing all vulnerability.
You are subject to intense examination of your home, your marriage, your medical history, relationship histories, family histories, financial situation, educational background, mental/emotional state, reason for choosing adoption, infertility journey (if applicable), parenting philosophies, strengths and weaknesses about ourselves and our spouse, opinions about various kinds of adoptions and what type of children we are open to parenting, and things you never thought you'd share with anyone other than your spouse.
You must have references, reference checks, background checks, fingerprints sent to local, state and federal government, medical exams, pages and pages of paper work, hours and hours of inquisition (home study visits). We had to write our autobiography (ours was 50 pages typed - single space - I'm sure everyone isn't as wordy as me.) We were questioned on all this information as a couple and separately by a social worker (than heavens ours was a dream - and now a friend.) And then we have to wait for a report on our "readiness" which is shared with the attorney or adoption agency and the judge hearing the case. Yep, even more people to be "all up in your business."
Several people, in an effort to give me support/comfort, have told me, "You are so lucky you didn't have to go through labor." I know they meant well, but there is a lot that they may not have considered. In many cases, the road to DECIDE to adopt is filled with difficulty, pain and uncertainty. If infertility was an issue - that is a consuming experience that is full of pain, questions, frustrations, etc. If miscarriage, ectopic pregnancy, still birth, infant death, failed adoption(s) etc. were issues - the pain attached to those experiences is enormous.
Once the decision is made to adopt, then the labor really begins. Filling out the paperwork and autobiography was mentally exhausting. I told my social worker that if would be happy if I never had to write or read anything about myself ever ahead. (And here I am typing a blog post. Isn't life funny.) I can't even begin to describe what the "waiting" is like....wondering when (and many times IF) that call would ever come. And, of course, with domestic adoption there's that ever-present fear that you'll deal with a birthmother who changes her mind either before, at birth or after the child's been in your home and part of your family.
In just a few weeks. (September 14, 2009) we will be heading back to family court for the Finalization of Gianna's Adoption. Here name will legally be the one we gave her...."Gianna Elyse." (Now, it is the one her birthmother gave her.) A new birth certificate will be issued with our names as her parents. (Can you believe we don't have a birth certificate?) That will allow us to apply for a social security card. Who would have ever thought that a birth certificate and social security card would mean so much?
The only real disappointment attached to this exciting upcoming court experience is that we have to go before the judge who presided over the unjust adoption nightmare we endured earlier last year. It was very messy and, without going into details, very much of a legal and moral outrage. We couldn't get a different judge due to some technical complications. So, for whatever prayers you can offer our way, we'd be most grateful. I'm just going to have to put on my "big girl panties" and hold my head high and make the day a memorable one for my daughter and family (without being held in contempt of court.) :)
(The judge who presided over our placement hearing last year. I actually went to high school with her. I WISH we had her this go 'round.)
We feel blessed to have been gifted with this journey toward adoption.
Looking forward to September 14th, Baby Girl!
* My prayers go out to all those women/couples out there who are journeying toward parenthood and who are enduring decisions, frustations and waiting.