Thursday, July 31, 2008

Still Waiting....

I've used that title before. If I'm honest I am anxious. We have yet to have a clear MRI report. The initial scan in December showed the tumor pre-surgery. The post-op scan showed the remaining tumor cells. Would really love to hear that the scan is clean. I called twice today (I've got some stalking skills). The Dr. was in surgery all day. Hopefully, we will hear tomorrow. Thanks for those of you who've called or checked on us. I try not to be dramatic about it, but I think it weighs on me more than I will admit.

*FYI - The red pillow is where the patients head would be. The table raises up and the patient is moved into the circle.

Makenzie took some Valium initially and was going to try to do the scan w/o and other meds. She said that she got into the tube and started yelling "Sedate me, Get me out of here". Gotta love an 11 year old that yells "Sedate me"!

Wednesday, July 30, 2008

MRI recollections from the other side

She's pretty loopy. Last time she saw 3 of Dan - she called them Dan, Dan-O and Danny. We're improving - only double this time.

I know it seems mean, but we need some levity.

Monday, July 28, 2008

Blog Buzz (again)

Here is one of the questions this week:

How did attachment go during your first year? Describe what you did to prepare for attachment as well as the joys and challenges of attachment during your first year home.

One of my favorite topics. I did a good bit of research on attachment after adoption. This is one of my favorite resources.

This is a long article, but it really gave me some great perspective.

We wrote a letter to our family when we were travelling outlining some of our boundaries and what we thought would help us bond best with Sophie. For the most part, our wishes were respected. We had an incident or two that I still struggle with internally. I am working out our plan for our return from Ethiopia, but I imagine the boundaries will be very similar. For some people, this would be way too strict and not "fun". We have received some flack, but I feel like our obligation is to our children not to the people who want to hold a baby. Here are a few of our requests.
  • No overnight guests for family visiting out of town. We wanted it to be clear who her immediate family was - we had some trouble with this one.
  • Dan and I would be the only ones to hold Sophie - this lasted for a few weeks
  • We would be the only ones to feed her a bottle - there were only a few exceptions for awhile on that one.
  • If Sophie wanted someone else to hold her, we asked that people lovingly directed her back to us. I don't think that ever happened, so it wasn't an issue.
  • We also explained that while Sophie was 14 months when we travelled to bring her home we would still be giving her bottles to promote attachment.

Saturday, July 26, 2008

Fun Day

Thanks to GG we can go to Greenfield Village for free. We rode the carosel and had ice cream. It was a great time all around.

-Seth was encouraging his pig to go faster.

Friday, July 25, 2008

Family Movie Night

Seth picked August Rush for tonight. We saw it in the theater and really liked it. And not just cuz I like some big hair (Kerri Russell). Seth fell asleep. I love it when he does that. He is so me!

Wednesday, July 23, 2008

Date Night

Our 14th anniversary was on July 9. My sister was in from NC and then life was just busy so we didn't go out until tonight. We spent our evening with Roscoe. I found a cool Ethiopian cross/Star of David design that I wanted to get on my foot. Roscoe says and I quote "I'm not going to tattoo your foot or anyone else's foot". Well then.
Dan's is Chinese characters for son, brother, husband, father. I think it's pretty cool.

Thursday, July 17, 2008

Cutie Kids

  • We have an ongoing battle about who says what on the bus. I think it's mean that the mom is the one saying "shhh shh" and the dad gets to be all lovey with "I love you". Sophie loves to hear us respond to her versions. They change daily.
  • Ignore our random talking in the background

The Many Faces of Sophie

Taking care of Nathan

Every visit to the Dr., every trip to the grocery store, every snack, every drink -- Sophie mentions Nathan. "Lollipop and sticker or Nay-Nay" "Nay-Nay sit here (patting the cart next to her)" I came downstairs today and Sophie had opened a new package of sheets and made 2 beds - one for Nay-Nay and one for Caleb. Each one had a sheet, blanket and pillow. She is taking a picture of it while I do.

New rooms

It's harder to capture Kenzie's room and neither of them are quite done yet. Seth seems to really be enjoying his new bachelor pad. I just ordered Micah's bedding. Pictures to follow soon.

Wednesday, July 16, 2008

Kicking butt and taking names...

This article by Tom Davis on is awesome.

This sums it all up for me:

When Christians care about their political views, what sexual preference someone has, or their bank account more than they care about the millions of people who die in the world because they don’t have five dollars to buy the medicine that would cure them, something has gone drastically wrong.

These kinds of Christians s**k.

What can we do to stop s**king? I think the answer is relatively simple. It's found in the Bible: “Do not merely listen to the Word, and so deceive yourselves. Do what it says” (James 1:22).

Give away material possessions to those in need, love the unlovely, take care of the widow and orphan. This is not rocket science. It just takes a heart committed to doing the things God said to do.

Want ten simple steps? You got it.

Christians, listen up: People are tired of being criticized, judged, and listening to the lip service we are so great at giving. Instead, why don’t we commit to making the changes we can make?

Christianity needs a renewal of the principles that made it great. It needs to be more like Jesus—compassionate, self-sacrificial, unconditionally loving, and caring for those who are most in need.

That kind of lifestyle allowed twelve men to change the world. It will help you change yours, too.

Go Tom! I am so sick of hearing Christians (myself included) rant about politics and how our country is being mistreated or run by idiots. We are the idiots sitting around ignoring the other half of the world.

Tuesday, July 15, 2008

Little girl, big bed

We've been making room for #4! Did some room makeovers - I'll show those later. Sophie got a big girl bed. We will slowly move to sleeping there all the time. Today was her first nap there.

Saturday, July 12, 2008

will i always wonder?

Sophie has had some crazy virus all week. Some vomiting, sore throat, bloody noses (not sure it that is related or not), and mostly just MISERABLE! For the first few days, there were really no other symptoms except whining, crying and crankiness. The last few weeks have been a little hectic with my sister moving and our room makeovers making room for one more. She just hasn't been herself. In the back of my head there are always questions about if she is experiencing some residual trauma from her first 14 months of life. I don't know if that ever goes away. Will I always wonder?

Wednesday, July 2, 2008

Blog Buzz

Here is this month's blog buzz question.

Do you have any tips / advice / suggestions for your “Gotcha Day” for people preparing to travel to pick up their little one. . .This could include things that made your day special, an easier transition at home, etc. Tell us what worked (and what didn’t) for you.

This isn't a tip persay, just an observation from my experience. I wasn't ready for how surreal it would be. I spend the entire time in China in a fog. I would love to go back sometime. I just felt like I was so worried and consumed with Sophie that I couldn't take in anything around me. I felt like it was silly to be touring around the city when I had a 14 month to bond with. I was very aware that she was so unfamiliar with all of it that it was hard for me to embrace it. I have been thinking a lot about how to be more present during our visit to Ethiopia.

We travelled with our 2 older kids also. I loved having them with us, but it was also really hard to have them adjusting to everything as well. Seth, who will eat anything - ate nothing but watermelon. Makenzie was TERRIFIED of the drivers there. Anytime we would walk outside, she would cling to us. A very well-founded fear for the record!

Our social worker gave us a great tip before travelling. She said to resist the urge to bath your new child and change their clothes immediately. They need those very few familiar things close to them during the transition. We went as long as we could, but Sophie wet through her diaper within a few hours all over her clothes. I still smell China on the clothes she was wearing when we met here.