Archive for November, 2012

27
Nov
12

big chickens and baby cows

The first time we went to Uncle Erick’s, aka Big Chicken, (there’s a whole big chicken/little chicken thing Keta and Francine have with Uncle Erick, not sure why or how it all started) the baby cows at his dairy were a bit scary and the “big mama cows” were really scary.  I don’t think I explained it all that well that the little baby cows were, in fact, quite large.  Keta and Francine were excited to see them, but were scared and I’m guessing a little surprised and disappointed not to be able to hold the little baby cows in their very own little baby hands.

We spent Thanksgiving with Uncle Erick and Keta asked to visit the baby cows each day we were there.  After just a bit of encouraging and some very friendly big chicken/little chicken name calling, she and Francine both allowed Erick to hold them in the pen with the older babies.  They both even let the tiny babies lick their fingers, or kiss, if Keta’s telling the story.

“Thank you for the milk big mama cows!”

26
Nov
12

books

When I first met Keta and Francine they had never seen a book before.  They had no idea what to do with the ten or so that I took to DRC.  After about five weeks, they were starting to catch on.  Favorites were the two versions of a baby’s first 100 words picture books and a close second was the Dr. Suess ABC book.  We read them hundreds of times, daily.  They were the most chosen books at nap time and again at bedtime.  They were the most chosen books for morning cuddle and the most chosen books for all other times as well.  At one point, I hid them.  Awful, I know, but my eagerness was slipping away every time, after the first 1,000 or so times, I had to enthusiastically “read” a book consisting only of photos of simple objects.  Sure, I was thankful the book thing was sinking in and the girls were learning English, and I was thankful they liked to cuddle close to hear the gripping tale of ball, tree, duck, baby, spoon and dog endlessly, but please not that same book again.  I was thrilled to get home to our larger library where the most chosen books were the Dr. Suess ABC book (the larger version someone had been kind enough to buy us) and the baby’s first 100 words picture books.  Of course we had to read at Granddad’s house too, where the most chosen book was the Dr. Suess ABC book.  I could not escape it.  We (I) had to make a rule that I got to pick the book for nap time so that I had at least one shot at something new and different.  The girls love books so much now that we’ve (I’ve) had to make a rule that they can read to me anytime of the day, all day long, whatever books they choose, but I get to read the books at bedtime.  They get stuck on a favorite now and then like all kids do, but are excited to read new books and revisit old favorites.  They love to read to me, to each other, and to themselves.  I’m amazed how well they are able to remember words even if we’ve only read the book a few times or the last time was a few weeks ago.  Keta can get most of the wording right, even in books about Gaks and Wumps with humps, and a guy called Ish with a dish used for wishing for fish.  Francine loves the characters.  She wasn’t happy to discover bacon comes from pigs.  She didn’t want to eat Olivia.  She seems pretty sure she and Fancy Nancy could be best friends, and duck might cause trouble for Farmer Brown every once in a while, but he’s hilarious.  She’s sad about the pigeon not getting to drive the bus and understands about Llama llama not liking school at first.

I’m glad we’ve moved past those picture books and I’m so glad they both really love to read.  I’ve started a list of chapter books for us to read together, which I realize will be quite a long list by next summer, when they’ll be ready for chapter books. 😉

25
Nov
12

thanksgiving

19
Nov
12

thankful, part 3

I have the most amazing family.

I’ve brought these two strangers into the mix, these two girls with a past, with a whole previous life.  We don’t match these girls and we didn’t get to see them all cute and chubby and tiny brand new.  They have different hair and a different culture and they started out speaking a different language.  All of that added up to absolutely no. big. deal.  These two strangers have not only been accepted as family, they’ve been embraced with such wonderful ease and enthusiasm.  I’m in awe of how perfectly and naturally ours Keta and Francine are.  They’ve been my daughters since I first saw their pictures.  They’ve been granddaughters and nieces and cousins since then too.  I fully expected them to be family just like if I had given birth to them, but seeing my family, our family, love them so completely and without hesitation or question is pretty great.

19
Nov
12

finger painting

Didn’t know they would take me so literally.

17
Nov
12

thankful, part 2

There’s a totally different response to bringing home two toddlers than there is to bringing home two newborns.  I can’t imagine two just adopted toddlers require much less hands-on attention and time than two newborn babies.  Lots of people said they’d like to do stuff for us, help out in some way, make some kind of gesture of congratulations, but most didn’t.  That’s fine.  We were in a hunker down period and not too receptive to company.  I’m thankful for the people who did it anyway.  I’m thankful for the person who sent me a bath pillow and body scrub and I’m thankful for the person who called on the way to the grocery store to see what she could pick up for me.  I’m thankful for the people who just drop off groceries.  I’m thankful for the neighbor who dropped off a basket of fruit and some goodies for the girls after we’d been home a few months.  I’m thankful for the family down the street that wrote a note of congratulations and just left it, along with some toys for Keta and Francine, at the front door after we’d been home just a few days.  I’m thankful for homemade banana bread and hot chocolate mix left at my house.  I’m thankful that someone other than me mows my lawn.  There’s no possible way to cover all that my family has done to help, but I’m thankful for them too, everyday.  Yep, people have been good to us.  I’m thankful.

14
Nov
12

thankful, part 1

I’m not sure how many parts there will be, but here’s part 1.

Last year at this time I had just lost a referral for one baby girl and got the referral for Keta.  I was hoping that travel to meet and bring home my girls was imminent.  Each and every day was another day without my kids, another day they got older without a family.  It was another day they were half way around the world in a country not known for safety, security and healthy kids.  It was another day with them in unknown conditions being cared for (I hoped) by strangers.  Were they eating daily, were they safe?  Were they sick with one of the many deadly diseases common in that part of the world?  Were they scared at night?  Did they know family was on the way, doing everything as quickly as possible hoping everyone along the way was doing the same?  Were they developing normally?  Did they laugh?  Did someone tuck them in at night, give them a hug?  Were they being hurt? Were my girls alright?  Were they going to be alright until I finally was able to bring them home?  How were they going to react to the trauma of adoption and how would they cope with a new home in a new country?  How long would it take for us to be a family?  What was I going to do if it was another month, and then another, and another after that, before I saw a photo or had an update?  I could go on and on about the misery and torture, the awful anxiety that is the every moment of every prospective adoptive parent waiting to bring his or her kids home, but I won’t.  I’ll just say I’m thankful (so, so thankful) Keta and Francine are here and that they’re alright.