Saturday, December 24, 2011

100 Posts...9 Months and Merry Christmas!

Merry Christmas. What an amazing time we are having with family, here in California. I was really nervous to take E. on an airplane again...9 months ago our trip home was rough! But she is an amazing little traveler this time.
We have been enjoying the 70 degree weather...especially since we left 10 inches of snow on the ground on Thursday. We took a hike, walked on the Huntington Beach pier, met lots of cousins and Aunts and Uncles. E. is the belle of the ball here.
Loving all the presents and love.
It's hard to believe it's only and already been 9 months together.
Pictures soon...

Wednesday, December 7, 2011

One Year Ago Today....

...I woke up in a Moscow airport aerotel.
...I anxiously waited in the lobby for my driver.
...Dimitri met me in the lobby and helped me into his black Ford Expedition -it was very comfy. I was so surprised since my agency told me to expect small cars and long drives.
...I took lots of deep breaths as we drove away from Moscow - telling myself that surely this was the right car to be in. Dimitri spoke very little English and I was very surprised that my coordinator Tania was not with him. They hadn't told me that she would not be with me on the drive from Moscow. Dimitri must have sensed I was anxious because he shuffled some papers and handed me one that said my agency's name and my last name on it. Whew! I wasn't being whisked away to somewhere scary :)
...I sent instant messages via Yahoo with my dear friend Ann in Pennsylvania. It was so comforting to be able to chat with her on that 4 hour car ride to Vladimir. What a truly small world we lived in.
...I watched the countryside through the window - it was frigid that day about 4 degrees Fahrenheit. When the sun finally came up around 10:30am the sky was cloudy and the ground was covered in snow.
...I experienced the peace that only Jesus can bring. Knowing that I was in Vladimir at His direction...under His meet the child He intended for me.
...I drove into Vladimir City for the very first time. What a beautiful place. The city you lived in for the first three years of your life. The city I can't wait to return to someday with you.
...I met the doctors and caregivers who loved and provided for you for those first years. Such sweet women...I have no doubt they cared deeply for you and gave you the best life they needed a family though. toddled into the music room, holding Lydia's hand...looking down...close to tears...shy...sweet...precious.
...I will never forget that moment. We were both nervous and uncertain. Meeting for the very first time...and yet I were my daughter!
...I wrote in my journal that my heart was full.
...I thanked the Lord for giving me the strength and courage not to give up - four years of waiting to meet was a long journey and I'm so grateful I didn't miss it!

Thursday, November 24, 2011

Happy Thanksgiving

So much to be grateful for...sweet E. home forever is number one on the list. Add to that a personal relationship with Jesus, loving friends and family, a warm house, a job, yummy dinner, my furry kids - Lucy and Cleo. What more could one girl ask for?
I just booked tickets for Christmas in California - going to visit family and friends. The anticipation continues!

Wednesday, November 23, 2011


Today marks eight months together. Tonight E. wanted to look at pictures from Russia. As we looked at our time together there, I was struck by how much she has grown and changed in these eight months. It's truly remarkable. Not just external changes, but internal ones too. On the outside she is 3 inches taller and has tons more hair, her skin looks healthier and she has a glow about her. But inside the changes seem more profound. She is settled, happy, peaceful and seemingly aware of those things. She smiles and laughs often - two things I rarely saw her do during my three "pre-gotcha" visit trips. She is a chatter box - often telling me "know what, Mama?" and then chattering away about something that sometimes I understand every word of and others I have no idea what she is talking about. E. loves her friends and they love her. Abby, who is two and the other little girl at day care, told her mom - "E. is my best friend". This past weekend we went to our first birthday party. E. was invited to her buddy Weston's fourth birthday. The morning of the party she told me she wanted to stay home - I'm guessing she was uncertain what to expect and that was a bit overwhelming to her - we went ahead to the party and she had a blast. It was so fun to watch her with her buddies. E. loves music and singing. She loves to pray - I don't know how much she understands, but she is clearly drawn to all things Spiritual and often asks to pray. She will bow her head and say "Dear Jesus" - precious girl. E. is a helper by nature. She will see something out of place and put it back, pick up trash, put things in the sink, wipe up a spill. E. is incredibly observant in so many ways. When we drive somewhere she will point out the direction we should go or say "church" as she is pointing in the direction of church. Most times she is right on.
As we enter into this holiday season I realized that I have spent the past 4 years dreading this season - another season waiting for a child. Perhaps that has become a bit of a habit and a bit unconscious. I have so much to be grateful for this year and I want to savor the anticipation of the season. I want to enjoy every moment of life with E. each and every day. I am praying that I can see the holidays through her eyes and with her joy. Tonight as we were driving home I was talking with her about Thanksgiving and what it means. I asked her what she was thankful for? "pizza and cheese" was her answer. This made me giggle. We talked some more - I told her I was so thankful I was able to adopt her and be her second Mama. Thank you Lord for the gift of E. Silly, joyful, kind-hearted, adventurous, sweet E.

Monday, October 31, 2011

Fall Fun

Papa and his girls
I love you Papa.

Carving Pumpkins- I love pumpkin seeds - I really dislike gutting the pumpkin - slimey - eeeeewwwww - gross! E, and Syd absolutely loved it and it was so fun to watch. Syd and E love their Papa too and he came over for the fun.

My little giraffe. I loved Halloween as a kid - not so much since about college. I don't like scarey stuff and I really dislike the evil that seems to be a part of the holiday. But I really wanted E. to have the chance to enjoy dressing up and trick or treating. I was dreading it, but it was so fun. I found the giraffe costume at a thrift store for $3 yay! And she had so much fun at the 10 or so houses we went to.

Waiting for the trick-or-treaters - she loved giving out the candy almost as much as she enjoyed eating it :)

Ready to hit the town.

Wednesday, October 26, 2011

Applying for a Social Security Number

Today I went to the dreaded social security office. It's one of those necessary tasks that I've put off...I've had all the necessary paperwork for a couple of months, but just didn't want to hang out at the social security office for an hour or more for my turn. So, today I made the drive and waited for my turn. I was pleasantly surprised that the whole application process took less than a half hour. Woo the interesting part was all of the questions the agent felt free to ask me. So odd the questions people feel it's OK to ask. He wanted to know, "why did you go all the way to Russia?" and "there is no father? just you?" and "does she have family in Russia?" and "so, you've never been married?" I mean, really? I'm sure he was just curious, but really, people you've just met and aren't entering into a friendship with - ought to be a bit more sensitive. Don't ya think?
Oh's done.

Sunday, October 23, 2011

Seven Months

Another month together. E. is learning so many things...she talks up a storm, she runs and jumps and climbs - what a monkey! She loves to be tickled. She loves to sing and read books and color. She absolutely loves to get dirty - thank you Lord for Emily who doesn't mind mud and other types of gooey messy stuff.
When we pray...she starts listing all of the people she loves and who she knows love her is very sweet. My friend Lesa, who runs the kids ministry at church, says, "she's the belle of the ball every week". All of the kids who waited and prayed for her to get home now look forward to seeing her each week. She is smart as a whip and knows who belongs with who....I mention one member of a family and she lists everyone else in the clan.
Overall....she is thriving.

Sunday, October 16, 2011

Happy Fall

Today we spent the day at Anderson Farms with Becky and Kelly. We had such a blast. Here are is a slide show of the photos.

Wednesday, October 12, 2011

Getting to the Good Stuff

I don't know how else to say it, the first few months home were just plain hard! So much to learn about each other. So many new things to learn about being a mommy....about being a daughter...not that we don't both still have much to learn, but it really feels like we are getting to the good stuff!
I was laying next to E. this evening and I realized that I find myself laughing more, smiling more, relaxing more, just enjoying her company more.
I don't think I had fairy tale views of what being a family formed by adoption would be like, but I don't think I expected it to be so hard to fall in love. I thought it would just happen....quickly. I loved E. in a commitment sense from day one! The kind of love that says no matter what, I'm here. No matter what, I won't give up. No matter what, I'm in this forever. But the mushy part - the googly eyed love part - that has been slow to develop. I guess because, well - I don't really know why. But, in all honesty it has.
Well, I'm happy to say that it's here. I get all teary when she smiles at me...when she calls me mommy....when she squeezes my neck and hugs me as tight as she can....whenever she giggles....when she asks me to "kickle me"(aka tickle me)....what a sweet life. I am so grateful I didn't miss out on this!

Friday, September 23, 2011

Six Months

Amazing.....together six months. I truly never thought I'd get to write those words. I savor them now. Knowing that I am on the other side of the journey to adoption and living the journey of an adoptive family.
On Tuesday night at church we will baptize E. and Mike has asked me to share about what God has taught me on this journey. To prepare I've spent time going back through my blogs and my journal to remember all that God has done. It truly was an encouraging endeavor.
E. you have been prayed for since before you were born. God clearly intended for us to be a family and I feel so grateful.
Happy six months together! Whee! What an amazing ride!

Wednesday, August 31, 2011

E's Mommy

E. is very adamant that I am HER mommy - as opposed to anyone else's, I suppose. My friend Becky watched E. for me on Sunday and she mentioned that after I left E. told her over and over again that I am her mommy. Today, when I dropped her off at Emily's, I heard her telling the other kids and Emily - "E.'s Mommy" multiple times.
I have to wonder if she isn't just so thrilled to have her own mommy - she doesn't have to share. I wonder if she is reminding herself when she says it over and over again - "that's my mom....mine!" What must it have been like to spend her first almost three years without this? Oh, how I wish I could have brought you home forever the day you were born.
Yes, E., I am YOUR forever mommy. Forever! And I'm mighty proud of it.

Monday, August 22, 2011

Words That End in "A" and Other Such Silliness

Where does the time go? Tomorrow E. and I have been together 5 months! Crazy how the time flies.
She is learning so much - this morning while I was getting breakfast ready she started counting....she has not done this before at all...two, three, four, five....funny that she starts at two - I think that is her favorite number. She is always telling me "Look-a mama, two..." and she holds up two fingers and shows me two dogs, two balloons, two crackers, two whatever.
E. adds the letter "A" to many of the words she knows...she uses the short "a" sound. I want to remember this so I'm sharing it here. It's really very cute.
It really is added to so many of her words...too cute.
We have also been on a progression from using the word "Da" (Russian for Yes) to "Yes" - just this weekend she started saying "Yes" very emphatically. She definitely was only using Da when she was first home, and then for quite awhile she was saying "Yah" for yes...natural progression. I have to admit it's kind of sad to say goodbye to "Da" in her vocabulary.
There are a couple of Russian words (or at least E's Russian) she still uses - "sheesa" for bath and "adoot-koo" for excuse me. It cracks me up when she tells Cleo or Lucy (my furry children) "adoot-koo Cleo" or "adoot-koo Lucy" when she wants them to get out of her way.
Here are a few pictures from a day at the children's museum with Emily.

So high!

My little flower...

Composing a master piece, of course :)

Sunday, July 17, 2011

I Know

On Friday E. and I were in the car. I told her, in Russian, "I love you". She got this big grin on her face and she said, "I know!"
Warms my heart!
Yesterday, also in the car, she spontaneously told me, "Mama, I love you" in English. That's the first time she has said it first :)
Life is good!

Tuesday, July 5, 2011

Happy 14 weeks home....and 4th of July

Sigh...where does the time go? I can't believe Miss E has been home for 14 weeks - over three months.
Right now she is laying on her bed next to me fighting going to she is making her mama a bit crazy! Oh those busy hands and toes - even when there is nothing in your bed but a pillow and some soft blankies you can find ways to entertain yourself with fingers and toes. Sweet girl - I know that is leftover from nights in the baby house, and partly it's just being three, so I try to stay patient and compassionate about it.
It is amazing how many new words she has and how strong she is getting - hanging from anything that will hold her weight (and some things that won't, ha!)jumping like crazy, riding her tricycle (I wish I could write out how she says this word it's really cute, but I'm not sure what letters to use.) When we went to Child Find (Colorado's early intervention program) back in late April, two of the skills they wanted her to work on were jumping and riding a tricycle - she has both of those down! Our dear friend, Kelly, fixed up her trike with pink streamers and a Princess water bottle holder - she is just tickled with the results.
E. enjoyed her first home-made vanilla ice cream yesterday along with some BBQ ribs - I think she is officially "American". We talked quite a bit about how it was America's birthday and we were celebrating. My sister is quite the "pyro" so we had a bit of our own fireworks extravaganza in the front yard - E. was pretty nervous about the loud sounds. But the firework in the shape of a chicken that blew a balloon out it's butt was a big hit - I don't know how to explain it better than that.
Swimming continues to be a favorite for the little Pixie - in fact tonight she was pretending that mama's bed and bedroom were the swimming pool and she was making all her best swimming motions including counting to jump off the side. Too cute.
Some of the latest photos...
"Really, Mom?"
Happiness is being outside, hanging around in your swimsuit.
Watching the sea lions at the zoo.
Cheese....she finally smiles both spontaneously and for photos!
On your mark, get set.....
Holding hands with sweet.
Jumping on the trampoline....with water! What more could a girl ask for?
Maybe a sprinkler, too? Emily, you rock!

Saturday, June 11, 2011

Eleven Weeks

Home eleven is that even possible? Summer is full swing around here and we've enjoyed a day at the zoo, days at the pool, lots of water play. E. loves to be outside so rainy days are tricky. Thankfully we've had some more sunny days this past week. One day it was raining and she told me - "all done rain" Too funny. She is learning tons of new words, understanding more each day, she is just a delightful little girl. I'm so grateful I get to be her mom!
I love this photo - it really shows what a joyful little heart she has.

Her little legs are getting so strong - she can actually ride the trike! Love the ladybug glasses too - Auntie bought those.

My little water baby.

This bird cracked her up. Silly bird!

Fun at the zoo - she loved the zebras - they are way in the background.

The carousel was a big hit - she's looking back at Becky and Kelly in this one.

More fun on the carousel


Thursday, June 2, 2011


I have so many things I'd like to share about here on E.'s blog, but I have to admit to being pooped by the time I get her into bed at night. Whew! I often find myself feeling as sleepy as she looks in the picture above. This was taken after a wonderful day at the zoo with Syd and friends Becky and Kelly. We really had a blast, but she was out for the car ride home. I promise to catch up more soon with lots of pictures.

Sunday, May 8, 2011

Words, Words, Words

Before I forget them all I want to capture some of the words E. has learned and some of the "Russian" words she uses.
English words she says spontaneously and in the correct context
Doggie - with our dogs as well as calls out the word when she hears other dogs barking - she sometimes still says "babachka" which is the Russian word for a female dog.
"Tay" - she drops the "s" - I must say this often to the dogs because she is always telling them to stay and she puts her hand out to stop them too.
Birdie (she points to them on our walks)
Cold - she definitely lets me know when she is cold it's too cute really
Hot - she says this about food and the oven and the microwave both the ones inside the kitchen and in her kitchen outside on the deck. She also says this about the bath water - the girl likes lukewarm baths - yuck! But I bet she was used to cold ones so anything above cold feels hot to her! She also uses her own Russian word - "harachi".
Book - finally - she loves reading books - I've been waiting for this. I love reading books and she has not been even remotely interested until now.
Yogart - also known as yogurt to the rest of us. She does love yogurt.
Apple - she uses both the sign and the word for this. I've been teaching her some sign language too.
More - mostly comes out moy, moy - but she signs more when she says this so I know that's what she is trying to say.
All done - this gets used frequently :)
"Dink" - she doesn't quite get the dr in drink. She also says "peach" not sure if that's the Russian word for drink or not?
"Anana" - she drops the B - she also uses the sign for Banana :)
"peeping" - she drops the "SL" so it comes out peeping, but she definitely means sleeping
"Tash" - this is trash - and she loves to pick it up and throw it away for mama - you gotta love this - unless you're trying to get the girl to focus on something else :)
Sock - this is one of the first words she learned - she understood it right away - I would say "let's go get some socks" and she would run into her room to the sock drawer - I wish I could remember her Russian word for it - she doesn't say it any more :(
Shoes - another first word - and she had a Russian word too that I already can't remember - bummer.
Cereal - she asks for this every morning and knows the sign for it too.
Cookie - she learned the sign for this one from a kids DVD on signing we watched twice - she hadn't ever even eaten a cookie at the time - but of course it's one of the signs and words she remembers :)
Yucky - I love her facial expression when she says this one
And of course, the word every toddler knows - No! She still uses nyet sometimes and her version of this which is "nay", but she definitely knows the English counterpart as well :)

E's "Russian" Words
"Shee-sah" - her favorite - the bath - she also sometimes says "bap" which I think is her way of tryign to say bath.
"Bwa-na-na" - my interpretation of this word is "there it is!" or "I found it" she is always really excited and pointing at what she was looking for when she says this.
"Net-toe" - this is the opposite of Bwa-na-na - means I can't find it - it's not here
"A-ko-chee" - I'm pretty sure this one is swing - she waves her arms up and down like she's on the swing at the park when she says this one.
"Babachka" - doggie
"A-doot-koo" - pillow
"e-cok" or "a-cok" - both mean help me
"a-mom" - definitely means "I do it!" she is very emphatic about this one sometimes!
"a-cheena" - she still uses this one for car - she will repeat the word car when I say it, but she never spontaneously says car - always acheena
"Paka" - bye bye - she says bye bye much more often than paka now
"pick" - jump - she jumps when she says this - it's really cute and good since the Child Find folks say I need to work with her on jumping and increasing her stability when she does jump - just wish I could get the monkey to stop jumping on the bed :)
"nee-ko-chee" - I don't want that! Said with a bit of a yell and a whine! Whatever "that" happens to be - sometimes it is neekochee yogart or neekochee turkey or neekochee bedtime!

Monday, May 2, 2011

May, Already?

May is here and Miss E. is finally home to enjoy Spring (I have been waiting for this for four Spring times)It's slow to warm up here in the Rocky Mountains, but the tulips are in bloom and the snow we get doesn't stick :)
We had a fun week - with our first trip to the pool (indoor of course). My little pixie is absolutely fearless - she loves the water. I can't believe I forgot the camera - need to remedy that quick.
We played at Emily's house and even went to a super cool park with them. Emily has an amazing back yard too with all kinds of fun toys to climb on, push around and slide down. E. loved the slide into the ball pit!

Not surprisingly, at bedtime that night she looked like this....

E. also loved our trip to the rec center where they open their gymnastics area to toddlers twice a week. We went with our friends Melissa and Jaedyn (who is two :) She loved the balance beam, long trampoline to run on, bounce house, and uneven bars. It was fun to watch her run and jump and explore.

Wednesday, April 20, 2011

Four Weeks and an Update

I think awhile back I mentioned that time both "flies" and "crawls". I can't believe we've been together four weeks. One of my commitments to my little pixie was to keep her world super small during our first month together - to focus on our attachment. I remember asking my friend Lesa before I left on E's gotcha trip to keep me accountable to that commitment, because I knew it would be hard for me. I have many dear friends and I knew I would want them to meet her right away. And here we are, one month in! I am so very glad that I stuck with it and did keep things very small for her - I really feel like we are making strides in our mutual attachment to one another. Our biggest struggle is bedtime - I think it must have been a very scary time for her.

A couple of weeks ago my Auntie Jan (my mom's twin sister) and my cousin Karri came for a visit. It was so special to me. My mom passed away seven years ago - I miss her terribly. She would have just adored E. and I know she would have been here with me during these first few weeks. It meant the world to me that Jan and Karri would fly out to be with us so quickly - it felt a bit like having mom around.
We had a blast and my little pixie just loved them.
Auntie Jan taught E. how to walk on top of her feet - this produced squeals of delight.

Auntie Jan and Karri bought E. an "acheena" and Karri most graciously put it together - 37 steps! Good grief! Here's the success!

Pixie and Syd had a ball playing in the box the Cozy Coupe came in

Since E's birthday happened during the first month she was home I kept her "party" really small - Auntie (my sister) and Syd of course and then Papa (my dad) and Becky (who traveled to Russia with me on the "gotcha trip") and her husband Kelly. We had a great time and E. was so surprised by gifts, and cupcakes. She really didn't know what to think when we sang happy birthday to her - she got this really confused look on her face - it was too cute. Here are some pix - I realized I didn't get a picture of E. with Auntie (or Teetee as E. says) we need to fix that!
Pixie and Papa

Becky and Kelly (or Kewwwie as E. calls him) with E.

E.'s very first cupcake - yummy!

Tuesday, April 19, 2011

Humility and Sacrifice

If you had asked me before E. came home if I struggle with pride or selfishness I probably would have said no - I'm a pretty humble person and in general pretty generous. Four weeks later and ask me again - my answer - uh huh! Yeah, I do. The Lord is definitely working humility and servanthood or sacrifice into my heart in all kinds of new ways. This little person who has just uprooted herself and moved half way around the world is undeniably, all-consuming and understandably, one big ball of need. Even with all of my training and experience there are so many times when I just don't know what to do or how to help her. My internal reactions sometimes feel selfish and stingy. And there are parts of me (the prideful ones) that just don't want to admit that I don't know what to do or that I feel this selfish. The ugly parts of yourself show up when you parent, don't they? And so, I felt compelled to mention it here....confession is good for the soul.
I really wouldn't have expected this and definitely wouldn't ask to learn these lessons, but I'm also really grateful for God's kindness, patience and mercy toward me as I grow in humility and willingness to sacrifice.

Friday, April 15, 2011

Happy Birthday!

E. turned three today. Happy, happy birthday sweet girl. I am so happy you celebrated at home. Tomorrow night Papa (my dad) and friends Becky (who traveled with me to bring E. home) and her hubby Kelly will come over for a birthday dinner complete with cupcakes :)
I pray, on this day, for your birth mama - I pray for her health and her heart - it must hurt on a day like today - she gave you life and she will always be a part of you. So I pray that the Lord will bless her and keep her safe - that He would bring hope and healing to her heart.

Wednesday, April 13, 2011

What does E. Love?

She loves to help unload and load the dishwasher...although we still haven't quite gotten the idea that you shouldn't lick every item you put in or take out of the dishwasher....yucky on both accounts!
She loves her bath...sheeesha (not sure if that is even remotely close to the Russian word for bath, but that is what she calls it. She can hardly contain herself.
She loves looking at typically toddler and maybe little girl too? Wherever she catches a glimpse of her reflection (the fridge, the oven door, the bathroom mirror, the light fixture over our kitchen table, even the drain plug in the bath tub) she is enamored :)
She loves to pray....this one just makes my heart sing....she reminds me if it seems like I might forget at nap or bedtime and she bows her little head right along with us at the dinner table. Thank You Lord, that even though she doesn't understand one word she knows there is peace in prayer and it draws her in.
She loves going outside and especially to the park. I am amazed at her fearlessness climbing ladders I'd rather she avoid :)
She loves Sydney and asks about her all day long while she is at school. I love that she does this and it is truly an answer to prayer that they enjoy each other so much.
We've been together three weeks today - so amazing all the things I am learning about her each and every day.

Saturday, April 9, 2011

Home Two Weeks

During the day time seems to crawl and then I look at the calendar and realize that E. has been at home for two weeks. That is really amazing! I think after four years on the road to being a mom, honestly, I am still holding back a bit - waiting for the other shoe to drop - I've been protecting my heart for so long - not allowing myself to get my hopes up too high for fear they would be dashed again. And now, she's home and it's really an interesting experience....I'm not even sure I can put it into words, but it seems I need to make a conscious moment by moment decision to celebrate, to find joy in E. and how well she is doing - to find joy in being her mama.
I asked Syd and my sister tonight what changes they've noticed in two weeks and this is the list we came up with...
Her hair is already getting thicker and longer.
She is open to more new foods and will at least try new things. At first she was, understandably, resistant.
Her skin is full of color and her cheeks are fuller (and not only when they are stuffed with food.)
Her receptive language is already growing. I will say to her, "let's go get some socks" and she runs to her dresser and the sock drawer to pick them out.
She smiles more.
Syd says she is much more animated, and I agree.
E. your family adores you!

Wednesday, April 6, 2011

As promised...

More pictures :)
E. and I have been a family for 2 weeks :) Amazing! I still cannot believe it. So what have we been up to?

Driving around in my Cozy Coupe that Auntie Jan bought me :) The Russian word for car is Machina (not sure of the spelling), but she says it "acheena"

Loving taking a bath with Syd. This is the only picture of Syd in the bath I'm allowed to post :)

Climbing the stairs to the slide at our local park. I cannot believe how fearless she is - she will try anything and she is getting stronger every time we play at the park.

And wearing my bunny hat and Auntie Kristen's sunglasses. My future's so bright I gotta wear shades :)

Sunday, April 3, 2011

Learning to Stay Present

Staying present seems to be an ongoing lesson of mine to learn. Professionally, I am a trained counselor and have worked with many families who struggle with attachment challenges. Perhaps similar to a doctor or nurse who brings a child into their home, I find myself "knowing" too much about attachment issues and as a result, I'm constantly looking for signs that issues are there. UGH! This is not helpful.

This week I was reading in Matthew chapter 6 in The Message version and these verses hit me square between the eyes!

Your eyes are windows into your body. If you open your eyes wide in wonder and belief, your body fills up with light. If you live squinty-eyed in greed and distrust, your body is a dank cellar. If you pull the blinds on your windows, what a dark life you will have!
Give your entire attention to what God is doing right now, and don't get worked up about what may or may not happen tomorrow. God will help you deal with whatever hard things come up when the time comes.

I realize the context of this passage is about money, but I so clearly felt the Lord saying to me "watch E. unfold with wide eyed wonder and belief in what I am doing in both of you! Don't live squinty eyed looking for problems! Allow me to fill you up with my light." And also, asking me to "give my full attention to what He is doing right here, right now in our lives and not worry about the next ten steps on our journey - focus right here, right now!"

So this has been my prayer this week - to live in wide eyed wonder, staying present to each moment as it unfolds.

Saturday, April 2, 2011

Home One Week

One week ago tonight we arrived home. After a 24+ journey we made it. It seems like ages ago. E. has been with me for one and half weeks and already I see her blossoming into her own little person. It is really delightful and sometimes incredibly frustrating (she's two after all :)

Things I've noticed...
In all of the three visit trips she rarely spoke - to me or her caregivers - here at home she is a chatterbox - she sings little songs out loud, she chats away to all of us and to her dolly - so very sweet - I need to figure out how to upload a video from my camera and I'll share one of her sweet little songs. I have to say the music teacher, Tatiana, at the Vladimir Baby House ROCKS in my book!

She is holding far less food in her mouth for lengthy periods of time - at the hotel in Moscow, Becky and I noticed quite often that she would still have food in her mouth an hour or more after we had eaten - sadly, I think she unconsciously was storing up in case she didn't get more. This has subsided quite a bit.

Her attention span is about as long as a flea's - or at least what I would imagine a flea's might be :) and oh my this is exhausting - all the moms of toddlers probably completely understand this. This morning we had play-doh'd, puzzled, colored, played this little piggy and danced around and it was only 9:30am - how in the world will I make it 'till nap time?

She doesn't push me away as often, she comes over to sit on my lap or right next to me more and more often. Thank you, Lord, our bond is growing.

We are finally getting over jetlag! Woo hoo!

I have to admit, while I thought I was prepared for how difficult this would be,
I wasn't...
It has been a long week
Adoption is messy...
language barriers...
getting to know each other...
me learning how to be a mom to a toddler right out of the gate...
E. learning how to live in a family...
grieving the loss of her life at the orphanage - not consciously, but grieving nonetheless,
yes, it's messy
and painful
I promise, more pictures soon...for now, good night.

Tuesday, March 29, 2011

A Day In the Life of E.

Taking a Bath
Watching the dogs eat...fascinating
Climbing into a bag of favorite one must be in here somewhere.

Playing the artist is born
It's good to look at these pictures because this afternoon and evening were tough! She only got about a 40 minute nap - jetlag. This led to multiple meltdowns this afternoon and evening....sigh. Poor girl - it must be frustrating not to be understood and not to understand everyone who is speaking to you.