Sunday, August 30, 2009

2 month Anniversary

Friday it was 2 months since Gotcha Day. Her she is just one day after meeting us. She doesn't even look like Elizabeth we know now. Grief is just as physical as it is emotional.

It was a much different day than June 28th.......

We took Mac to school and came home and just had a nice day at home. Langley and I did homeschooling while Gray and Elizabeth played in the playroom. We actually got most of our lessons done before lunch! Elizabeth had her usual lunch of PB&J's, yogurt, banana, and pretzels. Then she took a nice long nap while Langley and I organized her room.

I had to wake her up to go pick Mac up from his first full day of school. We then went to my sister's house and played for a little while. And my nephew came home with us for a sleepover. We had dinner, read stories, bath and then bedtime.

Much, much different than June 28th. That day was precious, but that day was HARD, especially for Elizabeth. I'm so glad to be at this stage....settled in and enjoying life as a family.

Elizabeth loves playing outside with her siblings. She gets upset if they are outside and she's not. She'll go find her shoes, bring them to me and say "sh, sh, sh", trying to say "shoe" to convince me to take her outside. Its pretty cute. 

And over the past few days we've had a major milestone.....Elizabeth is walking in grass!!! She couldn't stand not be able to keep up with the big kids in the backyard. So she had to give up her grass avoidance and leave the patio! She especially loves riding in the John Deere motorized car. She loves it when her brothers drive.....they drive "wildly".

Health wise she is also doing great. She gained 1 lb 12 oz in only 5 weeks! She grew 1/4 inch. Our pediatrician was kind of "giddy" with joy that she was doing so well. We have an appt with a neurologist this week to start discussing treatment for her BPI. I'm very excited to see how we can help improve her least therapy will help her contractures.

Tonight we had an early fall type weather. It was cool & crisp so we had a fire in our patio firepit. After dinner we made smores by the fire. Elizabeth wanted to sit in a chair in front of the fire like the big kids. We roasted marshmellows and really enjoyed our family time. It does seem like Elizabeth has been with us so much longer than 2 months. She has blessed us all.

Making Smores!

Tuesday, August 25, 2009


Just a quick story from Sunday at church......

Elizabeth has been going to church with us....meaning worship service....and usually by the time the sermon starts John or I have to step out with her. She isn't fussy, just a regular toddler and is distracting in the service.

I have a few meetings coming up and childcare is provided at those. But we haven't tried any childcare expect leaving Elizabeth with her grandparents for a very short period of time.

So this past Sunday we thought we'd see how it would go taking her to the church nursery. She is very well attached to us so I felt she was ready in that sense. But she is WELL attached to us and expected her to not do so well in being left.

I filled out the enrollment paperwork....I hadn't even "enrolled" her at church yet : ) And I was so blessed that the lady working that table had a daughter adopted from Korea. So I didn't have to do much explaining at all. I asked her to page me immediately if Elizabeth cried b/c I wanted her to know I would return. This mom completely understood where I was coming from!

So I took Elizabeth to her room and the children were having lots of fun. She hesitantly let me hand her off to the nursery worker (with pacifier & blankie in full use!) She whimpered a bit but was interested in looking at the other children. So I headed off to church. The tears welled up in my eyes and heart. Oh my hurt to leave really, really did. I was so afraid she would feel "left". Then God calmed my heart and told me it was a new opportunity to show her I WOULD come back. That helped me keep walking away from the nursery wing.

I enjoyed a few worship songs and then on the monitor FLASHED her number.

Honestly......I was relieved to see it! I was wondering how she was doing. Also I still need to feel reassured knowing she is attached strongly to me. Attachment is so important for these kiddos and it can be so complicated and challenging. It is very, very serious. God has performed a miracle in her heart in her ability to connect to us. We are so grateful.

I quickly got to her room. I scooped her up and said over and over "momma always comes back".  After that she wouldn't let me out of her sight. So we sat in the nursery together. I was hoping to show her that it was a nice, fun place to hang out. Not sure she was really buying into that idea! We'll keep trying the nursery and see if she gets more comfortable.

But I would say that Sunday's experience was a HUGE success. Elizabeth showed me that she is progressing well with normal toddler attachment & separation anxiety. And I got the opportunity to show her that "momma always comes back". 

Wednesday, August 19, 2009

Starting the school year

We have "officially" started our school year for Langley. She is my 4th grader whom I am homeschooling. This is a first for me! It has taken about a week to figure out our system....well I had a plan but then had to readjust as dictated by how Elizabeth responded. So as for now we are doing most of our actual one on one teaching time during naptime. Elizabeth doesn't really play independently. She LOVES her siblings, especially Langley and wants to be with her or me at all times. That doesn't really work when Langley and I both need to concentrate on a lesson.

So Langley does her independent work in the morning. I think as Elizabeth settles a little more I can get a lesson or two done during the morning hours as well. Then we have lunch and E takes a nap. That is when Langley and I both can really concentrate on the more intense work.

Mac starts school next week and I'm excited to see how much he's going to learn in 1st grade. What a fun grade! We are working on his summer reading project still. Its due next Thursday so we are finishing that.

Gray heads to preschool in early September and Langley will go to "homeschool school" the two days Gray is at preschool. So that gives Elizabeth some undivided time with me twice a week.

We also started back our music lessons this week and the sports start next week. Elizabeth is about to experience her family in a new pace now. Thankfully her personality is pretty laid back and I think she enjoys the activity (chaos) of a busy family.

Elizabeth is still doing really well in all areas. She still SCREAMS at me when she is in her highchair as I'm frantically gathering a thanksgiving meal worth of food for her at EACH meal! Its great that she is a good eater but jeesh its alot of pressure to keep her satisfied! She eats breakfast at 8:30, snack at 10 and she is screaming for lunch by 10:30! And you BETTER be feeding her dinner by 5:00pm! Her thighs and belly are OBVIOUSLY bigger.....maybe she'll show up on the growth chart soon. We go back to the pediatrician next week and she has her assessment this week for physical therapy. I bet she has gained at least a pound in a month!

I also wanted to post the quilt squares that have arrived. We still need more!!! We are over 1/2 way there but would love for friends and family to still send them if you haven't already.

#54 From my dear friend Kirsten and her family. We have been friends since we were 15 yrs old! PHOTO COMING

#55 This is from my sweet friend Elizabeth who I always share my dreams with! She has always supported me and shared a heart for adoption. PHOTO COMING

#56 This square is from my nieces, Charlotte & Caroline's grandparents, Fred & Carol. It is fabric that has been in both the girls nurseries....isn't that sweet! PHOTO COMING

We are so loving being in our new house. Elizabeth enjoys being outside, going for walks, and just watching her siblings. She still has huge aversion to grass....she just hates the feel of it and cries when we stand her in it....sorry but it kind of make me laugh watching her face :) 

We had some family portaits done this week. I'll see if I can upload a few of those. They were done by Joe Hendricks at  He and his wife Rhonda are awesome to work with!

Sunday, August 9, 2009

Please Help this Family

I have been following a family who has been caught in a horrible situation while adopting their daughter from China.

Its complicated but basically a new law went into effect on July 1st that adopted children over 2 yrs old must go through TB testing before receiving their Visa to immigrate to the USA. The adoptive community has known it was a matter of time before this was going to create a devastating situation....and now it has.

The Scruggs family adopted their daughter Harper. She tested positive for TB (but has been on medications for 2 months, and various experts say she is not contagious). They petitioned and pulled who knows how many strings to get a waiver for her Visa. But end the end the CDC said NO and this family had to ABANDON their new daughter in China and return to the US. This little girl has been abandoned for the 4 time in her 4 years of life! Here's one part that just P**es me off! If Harper were a "natural born" child of the Scruggs she would not go through all of this. She is being DISCRIMINATED against because she is adopted. She is a child of US citizens but is not being given the same rights.

Please, please help this family and the many others who will be effected if the laws don't change. There are several people in government who could fix this quickly.....we need someone with REAL leadership to step up and fix this injustice! Anyone, anyone???

Please read their website as it explains things much better than I have. Also please watch their video when they had to leave their is awful, terrible and will prompt us all to get up and DO something as they have requested.

This should be the link for their Goodbye with Harper

Friday, August 7, 2009

Swimming & girls night

Elizabeth is still doing amazingly well. She is eating & sleeping well, and is completely at ease with all of us. Not only the immediate family but also the extended family. She particularly knows who her grandparents are. But she is also spending time around cousins, aunts, & uncles. She LOVES playing with all the kids!

I continue to be amazed that regardless of how chaotic it gets around her (and its still pretty chaotic at times with new move in stuff) this little girl just rolls with it! She lets us know when she is stretched beyond her comfort zone and we retreat.

She seems to be understanding alot of English. Tonight I pointed to her shoes and told her to take them to her room....and well.....she did! Tonight she clearly said "eat" and "bath". But she is a pretty quiet kid...not alot of talking, mostly babble.

We did have a special outing today. We joined my sister and her children and went SWIMMING!! My older kids really needed this! I wasn't sure how Elizabeth would take to the pool and all the activity. But of course she did great! She really loved swimming. She wanted to "jump in" to me over and over again until my arms were worn out. She loved sitting on the side pouring water from one cup to another. She was just a joy to see at the pool. The cousins & siblings played with her and at one point they were all pouring water on her. Most kids I would think wouldn't like this but she sat there just laughing and laughing. Again, she is just sooooo laid back!

My sister and I had planned for tonight to be a "girls night/boys night" slumber party. She has my two and her two boys at her house. I have my girls and my niece here at my house. I definately got the easier side of this deal! The girls have been very fun & sweet. Langley is running with the "queen bee" role in this family, especially since Elizabeth came home. Tonight we have played school, dressed  up, danced, and they are watching a princess movie right now. We still have fingernails to paint and ice cream with lots of sprinkles to eat. Elizabeth joined in on the dress up & the dancing. We had a Hollywood Dance contest. We must have very talented girls because they all "made it to hollywood!" 

Enjoy the photos!

Theses are from the "dance contest"....all made it to Hollywood!

Playing Dress up