Sunday, March 29, 2009

Already at home!

Can you tell my little boy is already feeling at home?  Here he is in a little baseball outfit, playing with his sissy's Nintendo DS.  I think he is holding it steady with his big toe! Who knows.  He fits in that way too, since all of us in our family have long toes. :)  

For a quick update...Micah is quickly learning and copying everything.
  • He took his first steps this week without holding on!  Of course now he won't do it again, but we must be getting close.  
  • He is eating everything in sight, and I mean everything.  If he can reach it, it goes in his mouth.  I'm having to baby proof again.  The only food he has not been fond of was strawberries and mandarin oranges...I guess they are kind of sour. 
  • He likes to ride in the stroller and has gotten used to his carseat really quickly.  In fact, he usually falls asleep almost immediately when we head somewhere.
  • He has figured out what a cell phone is for and will hold ours up to his ear every chance he gets.
  • He no longer screams and cries when we change his diaper or his clothes...we never figured that one out.
  • He is still fighting me when it comes time for naps and bedtime, but not nearly as badly and I am figuring out a system.  I may still end up with a busted lip or broken nose from being butted with his head, but I guess that is a small price to pay. :)
  • He LOVES bath time now!  If there is water running, he wants in.  He will climb all over Nathan to get the water spout when they are taking a bath.  Then he will do everything he can to climb in the tub with Emma, jammies and all.   After that, he'll stand there getting sprayed with the water while Hallie takes a shower!
  • He loves seeing himself in the mirror and will just coo and kiss his reflection forever.
  • He is a very social little boy and will go to almost anyone.  However, after just a few minutes, he looks around for Mommy or Daddy and wants to come back.  Of course I love that!
Such a sweetie!  We are all relishing in this Springtime of getting to know each other and watching Micah bloom!


Friday, March 27, 2009

Giving Birth and Adoption

Yesterday in the van my girls were having a conversation in the back seat about how they came from my tummy, but Micah didn't.  I gave them the typical answer you always hear..."I carried you in my tummy and Micah in my heart."  Later though, after analyzing things as I do, I regretted saying that.  :)  Really, I carried them ALL in my heart long before I knew them.  I guess it got me to thinking about the similarities between a pregnancy and an adoption even though the majority of people think they are worlds apart. 

  1. THE DECISION - Before trying to get pregnant, you usually have conversations like, "Are we ready to have a baby?"  "Can we do this financially?"  "Is this the right time to expand our family?"  "How will it affect our lives as we know it?"  These are some of the same questions you ask yourselves as you are starting on the paperwork trail in adoption.
  2. ITS POSITIVE - Pretty self-explanatory...the positive pregnancy turning back.  This was kind of how I felt when we went on the waiting list for a referral.  We made it, we're here now, no turning back.
  3. THE WAIT - There is the wait till 20 weeks when you can find out the sex of the baby, or in adoption, the wait for the referral...who is my child going to be?  Then there is the next phase of waiting for the birth, and for adopting families, the wait to travel and pick up your child.
  4. PHOTO - Every pregnant mom remembers their first ultrasound.  Wow, baby's first photo...even though it doesn't do our beautiful baby justice. :)  The referral photo is just like that.  Our first glimpse of our beautiful baby...and it doesn't do them justice as anyone can tell from looking back at referral photos. :)
  5. THE UNKNOWN - Not knowing details about what your baby is going to be like and not knowing full details about their health is scary.  Doctors run all sorts of tests on mom and baby and can scare you with the possibilities of things that could go wrong.  The occasional medical reports or updates from your child's birth country can also be very intimidating.
  6. THE LAST MONTH - This is a miserable time for any mom. :)  Your baby could arrive any day, or it could still be 4 weeks away.  You are so anxious for the baby to arrive, and yet don't have everything ready yet.  That last minute wait for passports or permission to travel is a killer.
  7. THE TRIP - This is something every pregnant mom and every adoptive mom fantasize about the whole journey.  What is my experience going to be like?  The trip to the hospital and the trip to the orphanage can be the longest trip you have ever taken in your life!
  8. THE GIFT - Your baby!  Whether the baby comes out of your tummy, or out of another mom's tummy, the result is the same!  You are suddenly handed a beautiful gift, created completely and totally by God!  You are overwhelmed with love and emotion, exhaustion and uncertainty, thankfulness and joy!
What an amazing journey we make to our families!

Tuesday, March 24, 2009

Compassion East India

I have not gone into much detail about our visit to the Compassion East India office while we were in Kolkata, so I thought that I would share our story.  It is full of little "God things" as was our whole adoption journey, so I want to share it.

We had decided that we would go by the Compassion office the day before we left India.  First, we called my friend, Janie, who is a Compassion advocate, to get the address.  Imagine our amazement when we found out that the office was only about 8 minutes away from the hotel where we were staying in Kolkata!  We had brought a backpack of stuff from my friend Jenny's family for a little boy they sponsor who attends one of the projects there.  When we arrived at the office and walked in, we stood in the lobby for a minute and then a man walked around the corner and asked if he could help us.  I showed him a piece a paper with a man's name on it and told him we had come to see the director Devasagayam Jebaraj.  He said that was him!  He took us back to his office so that he could hear why we had come.  We shared our story and he shared with us his vision for reaching more children there in the 5 states they serve.  He was very excited that we were there.  He said he was supposed to be in a meeting, but something, or "Someone" had prompted him to walk to the lobby, even though he had no reason for going there! :)  He felt like God had brought us together that day!  

We were introduced to his assitant, Ratna, and she showed us around the offices.  We got to see where they process the letters from sponsors, translate them, and send out the letters from the children, etc.  We also got to meet some of the employees and talk with them.  They all loved Micah of course and everyone wanted to hold him.  As the employees began coming back from a meeting, we noticed several Americans...the first we'd seen in Kolkata.  We began talking with them and found out that they were there from the main office in Colorado Springs to lead some training courses!  We had such a good time talking with them and hope to see them again if we ever get to visit the headquarters in Colorado.  

While we were there, I mentioned that I had also brought a back-pack of stuff for the little girl that we sponsor in southern India.  We were not able to work it out for us to visit her, but we wondered if they could mail or transport the backpack somehow to the southern office in Chennai so that she could get it.  Jebaraj said, "Oh, yes!"  We actually have a delegation from the Chennai office here for our meetings this week.  They are leaving in 3 days and can take it back with them!"  How cool is that? :)  After chatting with everyone, Jebaraj, asked us to stay and eat lunch with them.  This was our first taste of "authentic" Indian cuisine, and I must say it was very delicious, but very spicy!  We had such a fun time.  I would have to say that our visit to the Compassion office was one of the highlights of our trip to India!

Sunday, March 15, 2009

Musings of a 4-year old!

Well, Micah has been home for 2 1/2 weeks.  He is doing well, but it has not all been a bed of roses.  I like to write the good stuff, but the reality of the hard stuff is there lurking in the background.  We have found out that Micah didn't really have much of a sleeping schedule in the orphanage...not really a surprise.  How can you get all the babies to sleep at the same time?  So, our biggest issue right now is getting Micah to go to sleep for his nap and bedtime.  Once asleep, he will stay asleep usually, but getting him to go down can be an hour long process of crying, screaming, pulling hair, thrashing around on the bed...and that's just me. :)  Just kidding.  I am exhausted though.

The girls have been so wonderful with Micah.  It seems like Hallie grew up so much just in the  10 days we were gone.  She is such a big helper to me with Micah.  I don't know what I'd do without her!  Emma is good with him, but gets side-tracked a little more easily. :)  Nathan is having to adjust the most I think.  After all, he was my only baby boy.  He has done remarkably well and loves Micah.  He likes being the big brother and having Micah sleep in his room.  He does not like, however, that Micah screams at him and tries to grab his cereal, etc.   He hasn't said alot, but I know that his little mind is processing stuff all the time.  I wanted to write it down before I forgot two of the conversations we've had during the last 2 weeks.

The first was on the way to church and just out of the blue...
"Mom, does Micah have a family?"
"Yes, Nathan, we are his family."
"No.  I mean does he have a family like him at the airport?"
"Yes, he does, but they couldn't take care of him and help him to grow big and strong."
"So they gave him to another family?"
"Yes, they gave him to us so that we could take care of him and he could be part of our family."

The second was after I came home from the doctors visit with Micah and he had a band-aid...
"What is that for?"
"Micah got kind of like a shot.  They took some of his blood to check it."
"Is his blood brown?"
"No, his skin is brown, but his blood is red, just like yours."

Wow...the musings of a 4-year old.  I didn't realize all that was going on inside his head, but I'm glad that he just takes it all in and moves on, ok with the answers I have given.  He is such a sweetie.  I'm glad that he will have 1 more year at home with me and Micah before he heads off to Kindergarten.  I'm loving watching my little boy grow up.

Thursday, March 12, 2009

A perfect fit!

I took this photo last night and just had to share it. My sister bought the jammies for my kids at Christmas and had purchased one for Micah also even though he was not home yet.  They are a perfect fit, and so is he!  He looks right at home sitting there with my other 3.  A teacher friend commented to my husband that he looks like Nathan with a good tan! :)  Of course, he and Nathan are already acting like brothers do I guess...pushing each other around, stealing toys from each other, competing for mommy's attention. :)  The girls however, are competing with each other over who gets to hold and take care of Micah.  We'll see how long that lasts. :)

Monday, March 9, 2009

Colors of Compassion

In my most recent Compassion News Magazine, I read about a new line of cards that have just come out.  The ones I have seen are beautiful and have great messages of hope and encouragement.  These cards could be given to anyone who needs to be encouraged...youth, sponsored children, women friends, etc.  The added bonus is that you get to encourage someone while at the same time help Compassion help children all over the world!  I found a brief description of the cards online and I have included it below.  Happy shopping!

DaySpring is partnering with Compassion International to offer Colors of Compassion cards.  You can help make a difference in the lives of children in need around the world by purchasing these cards.  DaySpring will donate 6% of net wholesale sales of every “Colors of Compassion” card directly to Compassion International to help provide immunizations and other urgent medical care for children in need. 

When you purchase greeting cards, please consider purchasing the Colors of Compassion cards.  It’s a small way to help a child in need.

Happy Birthday, Micah!

We survived our first birthday party with Micah!  Everything went smoothly.  He was a little overwhelmed in the beginning as everyone started showing up at our house, but he did well.  We had him wearing his "Little Brother" t-shirt and Nathan wore his "Big Brother" t-shirt.  We thought this might help Nathan feel more special while we celebrated Micah. :)  

He wasn't sure what to do with the birthday cake, but did enjoy it once daddy started giving him some bites of it.  The gifts didn't really phase him...his favorite was the curly ribbon bow. :)  We did enjoy ourselves and we were happy to show Micah off to some of David's extended family and my sister, Chandra, who had never met him before.

Of course, on Sunday morning, Micah threw up and had diarrhea and slept till about noon.  I thought he might have a virus, but he has been fine ever since.  Maybe his little stomach just couldn't handle the birthday cake and all the excitement.  Whatever the case, we are excited that our little boy got to celebrate his 1st birthday at home!

Thursday, March 5, 2009

Officially home for 1 week...Happy First Birthday!

Micah has been officially "home" for 1 week, and what a week it has been.  He has been such a little trooper.  He must be exhausted.  One day this week I was printing off some papers in another room and when I walked back in the kitchen, I found Micah fast asleep on the dining room floor, sucking his little fingers (he sucks on the 3rd and 4th fingers to go to sleep!)  How tired do you have to be to fall asleep on tile? :)

Besides meeting all the new relatives, and getting used to crawling all over the house, we also had our first doctors visits.  First we did the well checks.  He is just 15 lbs at a year old, but he looks great the doc said.  His developmental stuff seems to be on track too.  He is crawling all over, and he pulls to stand.  He wants to walk so badly and it's the cutest thing ever.  He walks sideways.  Even if you are holding his fingers and trying to walk forward, he takes side steps.  The only thing we can figure is that he has never walked forward.  He is just used to walking sideways along the length and width of the crib he was in.  :)  He also copies everything we do...especially the shapes and sounds we do with our mouth and tongue.  He can do whatever we do.  And, speaking of mouth, this little kiddo loves food.  He gets so excited when he sees his bottle or food of some sort.  He starts waving his hands and saying, "Ni, ni, ni!"  I don't know if that is a Bengali word for food or if he is just making it up, but he says the same thing every time.  Our second visit was to the children's hospital to do all the lab work to make sure that he is healthy on the inside.  We are still waiting to hear back.

We also had our first post-placement visit this week with Amy, our social worker who did our home study.  Everything went well and she loved Micah!  Of course my kiddos were excited to share what they thought about having a new little brother too.  Hallie likes having a little brother with brown skin, Emma likes having someone else to play with, and Nathan is not too sure that he likes this little boy who hits him and tries to steal his cereal. :)

To top off the week, today Micah turns 1!  It seems kind of anti-climactic since we will be doing his little birthday party on Saturday night, but I am just so glad that we get to celebrate with him at home.  We are going to have a small party here at the house with David's family and two of my sisters coming over.  Emma was a bit worried about deciding the "theme" since we don't know what Micah likes, but I think a balloon and cake with a big "1" on it will be enjoyed just as much!  I'll try to post pics on Sunday of the birthday boy!

Sunday, March 1, 2009

All the new stuff!

Well, we've had Micah just over 1 week now and he has experienced a lot of firsts.  He has had his first bath, his first plane ride, his first spaghetti and Rice Krispies (not at the same time).  He has taken all of them in stride and keeps going.  I must admit that I find this little boy of ours adorable! :)  He definitely has a temper, just like Anju, the orphanage director, said, but who can resist that amazing little grin that just lights up his face?!  Can't wait for his first birthday coming up this week!