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Friday, October 25, 2013

One short year ago....

Exactly one year ago today, we met our precious baby girl for the first time.

I was a weepy mess today.

Thinking of how far we've come in a year, our first reactions to each other, the many milestones we've hit.  Yes, it was love at first sight.

Underweight, bedhead, a dress about 4 sizes too big, and clunky shoes.  We loved her instantly. Then she opened her mouth for our first conversation together.  It only got better.

We looked at her welcome home book together to introduce her to us, let her ask us questions, asked her a few related questions and 15 minutes later, our first introduction was over and we had to leave her.

I knew instantly we'd see her again soon, that we'd made that first connection that would be the first building block to our becoming a family.

So daggone cute today, we told her happy anniversary, we went out to dinner to celebrate (well, really, we got out every Friday night, but she said it was to celebrate) and she changed clothes and fixed her hair real cute because it was a special occassion.

Yes, it certainly was.  No longer underweight, beautiful hair that has grown beyond believe, cute clothes that fit perfectly and while all that is superficial stuff, it's just a mark of how our love has grown and how she's thrived. I had the hardest time not crying as I looked at her today, seeing how quickly our baby is growing up and being so proud of her!!

I never knew we'd fall this head over heels in love. Suspected, yes, knew, nope.
She was so worth the wait!

Monday, October 21, 2013

so much going on.....

In the midst of all the excitement and craziness with the adoption finalization, we got sad news.  Our Princess's sister is NOT going to be adopted by her current foster family after all. Apparently she's too much for them.  My crazy antenna went off before the SW called though. Prophetic dreams, gotta love them.  (always have had crazy nightmares about specific people right before something major and negative happened, but only if they were really close to me, I guess my closeness with C spilled over to her sister in my dream abilities)

I dread breaking the news to our Princess. This close to our finalization I don't really have a choice but to wait before telling her so she doesn't spend the next 2 1/2 weeks stressing and worrying we'll change our mind. At the same time, we can't wait too long, because we have to let her know before finalization so she'll either 1) understand why S is there with somebody other than the family we thought would adopt her or 2) isn't there at all.  S is still coming IF she's placed elsewhere by then and her new family can bring her, but they will not be bringing her if she's with the current family to not put them all in the uncomfortable position of talking about her upcoming adoption that is not happening.  I think it could be good for her to see her big sis happy and see a forever family is possible, but I do NOT want her to have to go thru that if she's with a family that has already decided not to proceed and her feel jealous and left out. :(

For now, she's still in that family while they look for a therapeutic foster home (and preferrably an adoptive setting) for her to move to.

Princess C got a letter in the mail from S today, along with a framed school pic of her. S's letter was too sad and sweet. It said she misses her super much and wants to see her really bad and for her to please remember all their good times together.

I suspect S is having second thoughts about this only child thing.

The SW is trying to find a home closer to us for S, so the girls can spend more time together. I hope that happens, but most importantly a happy, healthy, safe home that she can thrive in and be as cherished and loved as our little Princess is here.

I felt very flattered that the SW asked if I had any leads of good families that S could go too, but very disturbed that I honestly couldn't think of a good match for her. :(

I'm keeping my eyes and ears open though.

On a lighter and more positive note, reports cards came out today. With all the struggles and wondering if she'd pass 5th grade last year, her first middle school report card: 2 A's, 3 B's, 1 C. I'm so super proud of how much better she's doing this year and how well she's adapted.

Guess we'll be broke. After the grades of 5th grade, we really tossed the incentive out there to get her work done and do her best.  She rose to the challenge. Maybe this will give her a good taste of success and keep her working hard. I hope so, at least.

Smart girl said she's saving the money for adoption weekend when we're off in the big cities so she can spend it there instead.

LOVE THAT GIRL!!

Sunday, October 20, 2013

the pre-adopt jitters

Kiddo is back to her binging. She said she's worried that M (her SW) will change her mind at the last minute.  I'm pretty sure that's not what she's worried about, but I told her at this late date 1) M can NOT change her mind, papers have already been sent to judge approving it, but in addition to that 2) that WE couldn't even change our mind at this point (not that we'd want to) and to talk to us instead of sneaking in the kitchen after night.

It was a big trigger for her daddy since they have a similar background, but fortunately he was pretty calm.  We talked thru it, left it alone and went back to it later. We came up with a solution together that when she does that, she has to pay us back twice what the item cost from her allowance that week if it wasn't in "her" drawer of stuff that was put together.  1) paying twice will hopefully make her think about it before she acts and 2) most importantly, thinking about it will give her time to think of another coping skill that she can use instead of an unhealthy coping mechanism.

Her file says her last family put locks on the fridge. We are dead set against that, but laying in bed, we were brainstorming and decided we'll put a baby monitor in the kitchen. That way we can hear when she sneaks into the kitchen at night and one of us can get up and comfort her without her needing to take our meals.

We continue to not have the right ingredients for a full meal and eat very odd combinations because of her hoarding and binging.  There is always plenty of food, but our plans change last second way too often because of food missing.

I wish so bad that our baby didn't struggle so much with that.  I want her to be able to remember that she's out of her past situations and it's not going to be repeated.  I know there is nothing that can be "said" to make her know that and only time and appropriate interventions can help her heal from this.  Still though....would totally love to wave a magic wand and make things all better for her.

I think this is perplexing to me because I can't resolve my own eating issues, how will I ever help her with her eating issues? I said I couldn't figure out where mine came from, since I had a healthy, happy childhood, but my husband hit the nail on the head and figured it out.  We all have scars I suppose.


Saturday, October 12, 2013

Maintaining Connections

Finalization has been set for November. Of course it's in National Adoption Month.  I genuinelly think that's why the delay.

We invited the babys birth sister and her new family to come. They've discussed it with her therapist and decided that that would be good for everybody.

so, YAY, the baby sis is coming.

I know this is going to be so great for our baby, she really misses her sis.  It's also going to be great for her sister because she's been struggling horribly lately.  Partially missing her sister, partially her normal struggles, but in August she moved into her new home and she said prior to that she doesn't want to be adopted, that she can't count on anybody to keep her, so why bother.

Really heartbreaking. Her new family is trying super hard to get her secure. We're hoping that when she comes to finalization and sees that over a year after we met C, that she's still happy, healthier than ever and see's the excitement with the adoption, that S will relax a little and let herself enjoy her new family.  (they have not signed any adoption papers and will not until S is ready, they are currently her foster family)

We applied for the 2 of them initially, even though we also initially said we only wanted 1 child. The little one decided she'd rather they be separated. I suspect it's because she wanted to give our baby a chance and maybe felt one of them was messing up their placements and maybe if they were separated, at least one of them would find their forever home.

So glad our baby WANTED so badly to be adopted into a healthy, happy family with pets.  Yep, pets was a requirement.

I'm amazed at how as our relationship with our baby has grown, our compassion for those important to her has also grown.  I'm super excited her little monster sister gets to come to finalization.

Hoping it'll be a happy and stress free day for ALL involved.

We've made reservations near the courthouse for our hotel and going to The Melting Pot the night before for dinner, waking up and going to court in our matching shoes for the ceremony. After the ceremony we will be letting the girls play together until lunchtime, have lunch together and then we're off to VA Beach for one night. C has never been to VA Beach and she loved our beach trip to OBX this summer. Since VA Beach is only a couple hours away from court, we thought we'd just celebrate all day at the beach, have a nice dinner at the beach and come back home the next morning.

I'm so super excited. Have I said that lately?