Friday, July 13, 2012

Evolution of Grace

I began teaching Gianna the tradional Catholic Grace before meals when she was a baby.  Occasionally I'd video her attempts.  I'm so glad I did.

Tuesday, July 10, 2012

Florida Family VIsit

Iain's parents recently moved to Tampa and his brother and family live near St. Petersburg.  After our Disney trip, we made our way to visit with them all. It wasn't even a year ago that we had come here with Iain. 

It was on this beach that I took this picture last year....

...and this one...

The irony and significance is amazing.

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Here are some shots from the same beach in May 2012. 

 Gianna's little cousin, Maddie, was 18 months when we went.  Maddie is almost as polar opposite as you can get from Gianna in almost every way.  I think Gianna may have rocked her world for a few days, but they got along very well and I think were both amused with each other.  They are the only two female cousins, so we certainly want to keep them close.

Monday, July 09, 2012

Swimmer Extraordinaire

My Little Swimmer
She's always been a water baby.  Last year we tried swimming lessons for the first time. We LOVED Gianna's instructor and he got quite a kick out of her.  She was a good sport, but I spent a lot of money on gummy treats trying to bribe her to put her face/head in the water. 

This year, we were packing and moving at the start of summer so there was no time for lessons.  We moved in with my parents (temporarily) and they happen to have a pool.  After 2 and a half  weeks of swimming every day, this is what we got....

I am still impressed. She does more and better every day. I'm thinking we may forego traditional swimming lessons this year. Maybe we will do like my friend who has her kids take lessons in the winter/early spring. And maybe not. Her PePaw bought her an olympic swimmer shirt.

Well-deserved Gianna.

Tuesday, July 03, 2012

Gotcha Day!

So, today is Gianna's Gotcha Day.  It's hard to believe that four years ago today, we didn't even KNOW about her existence...and then at 6pm we got 'the call' that would change our lives.

As soon as she awoke one year ago (freshly three years old), I chronicled the events of that first "Gotcha Day" for her. Her eyes brightened and her sweet puffy morning face errupted into a smile. "Oh, thank you , Mommy!.....for Gotcha me."  (Melt my heart.)

Today, I think of and remember Gianna's birthmother - who may not have the same happy thoughts attached to this day.  I pray that there is a calming peace in her heart - even though she can only wonder about the rest of the story.  Maybe one day, we can embrace and we can fill in the blanks for each other.  I would love for that to happen.  Until then, I just offer prayers of thanksgiving for the selfless decision she made and gift she gave on that day four years ago.

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When I look back at the posts of this blog and the memories that they hold, I'm so grateful for having taken the time to record them.  I've written about funny moments, developmental milestones, little field trips and friendships, but many times I write about the struggles, pitfalls, and challenges I've encountered as I've parented this precious child.  Most of the latter is my method of processing and my attempt to be authentic as I share my parenting tales.  I don't want my child to ever think that I thought parenting was a breeze or that I always had a plan or knew what to do in any given situation. Sometimes I'm at my witt's end....fairly regularly, I would say.

But I want to be sure on THIS day to share how special I think our little girl is.

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When she was only four days old, we had to drive with her to the Sherrif's Department in order for Iain and I to be fingerprinted for a 4th background check. (Adoption requirement.)
She was five pounds of a whisper and we toted her along in her carrier as we waited for the preoccupied deputy to help us.

The poor deputy must've had a long day because she seemed frustrated and simply outdone. Even though we were very friendly to her, she hadn't even raised her eyes to make contact with us. As she  lifted her head to invite us back to the fingerprint area, she finally noticed us -- and Gianna.  We told her about our surprise miracle and her face (and her heart) seemed to soften. At one point, she stared at our new baby for what seemed to be a long time.  She slowly raised her head and looked at Iain and I with intensity and said with such seriousness,
"This is a special child.  There is something about her that is different and....very special."

I totally believed her.  I was just surprised a total stranger saw it too.

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This gotcha day is a little different as it's the first one that we won't share with her daddy.  Iain and I always said we'd share her birthday with our family and friends, but her Gotcha Day would be for the three of us.  *sigh*  Now the two of us.  Only Iain experienced the special miracle of that day in the same way I did.  I miss not having him to share that memory with.  Now, it's my job to share it with Gianna. 

Sunday, July 01, 2012


Wow.  Gianna turned four today. No more baby here!
Just had a small family dinner and a simple little box cake.

She didn't mind.  She was super excited.

She's been into mermaids lately, so she nearly blew out our eardrums when she opened her mermaid outfit and "Ariel wig" which is really a Merida wig from Brave.   

 We couldn't stop laughing.
Happy Birthday, Gianna. 
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