Saturday, January 19, 2013

Apple is a Go!


After 6 years of waiting, I can finally take another step in Apple's adoption! Last Tuesday, the social worker came over to do the two older girls 6 months post-placement visits and to access where we are as a family. You see, I'm a single women who had brought home three children in 17 months and they were, understandably, cautious about me taking on too much at once. Well, here is what my agency had to say after speaking with the social worker after her visit here:

The social worker, "...was thoroughly impressed with your family and ... is unreservedly in support of the next adoption!"

Sissy is doing great! She had a huge break-through. She was able to explain why she did what she did. It had nothing to do with her sisters and everything to do with she and I way back in China. I offended her so greatly by being the very first adult in her life to make her comply (go here and there, have her hair combed neatly, wear certain clothes, etc...) that she took revenge on me since she didn't have the language or ability to communicate her feelings any other way. She is making great leaps in attachment now. Even calling saying, "My mommy," now, which is claiming me - finally - as her mom.

So, the next step is to send my new dossier, which is ready to go, along with a letter from my agency making sure that China will uphold their end of the bargain. Remember, they used Apple's dossier for Jie Jie, by mistake, and lost Jie Jie's, so I'm in a gray area right now. I'm hoping it all works out because the new list of waiting children comes out next week.

Sunday, January 13, 2013

Guess Who Cried?


I told the girls I'd like to go out again and guess who cried? Sissy! She didn't want me, "to go bye-bye" because she'll miss me. She is making a lot of progress lately. She still has a long way to go, but she is moving forward a little faster now, for which I'm very grateful. I'll be talking to her a lot about me leaving and coming back, missing someone because you love them vs. missing them because you're afraid they won't come back.

Saturday, January 12, 2013

Mom's Night Out


I went out last night: ice skating and to a movie. I put the girls in bed first, but let them know that their babysitter was coming ahead of time and they were still awake when she arrived. They were good and stayed in bed. They had incentive - special breakfast.

I got to the little outdoor holiday rink and promptly used my first aid to help a 12 year-old who had fallen and broken her leg, just above the ankle. I got a free pass to skate again for helping.

I even got to flirt a little, quite harmlessly, with a single dad who was there with his three girls and their two friends. He was good looking, fun, and seemed like a good dad, so we talked a little and caught each other "looking" a few times. It was fun and not something I've done in a long time.

Winky


On occasion, people have winked at my girls and they've been fascinated by what that meant. I've done it myself to them, when I catch their eye, and still they wonder what it means. So, I told them it's another way to say hi or I love you. Today, we met with our attachment specialist again and Blossom popped out of the kids' room to check in with me and on her way back in, she winked at med! It was so cute because she can't quite get it so it took her a few tries. She also flashed a super cute grin because she was so happy to be flirting with her mama.

This up-coming week is huge for my little family. We will meet with the social worker for the girls' six months post-placement visits and she will decide whether or not she thinks it's a good time to proceed with Apple's adoption. One of the things they wanted was to speak with the attachment specialist. I was opposed to this, wanting one place in my mothering life that was off-limits to the prying adoption process, but I don't get that luxury. I, too, though, wanted to know what the attachment specialist thought about it in relation to the impact it would have on my girls, Sissy in particular.

To my utmost happiness, she said, "Your family is doing very well! Now is the perfect time! Assembling your entire family now and growing as a unit is best. It would be very beneficial for your older girls to watch you meet the needs of your baby as a baby's needs should be met by a mother and it will bring up questions and issues of their own, such as, I wish someone did that for me when I was a baby."

It felt so good to have a professional whose opinion I respect agree with my thoughts and feelings as to what is best for my family.

This week's other highlights include the fact that we now have a higher ratio of good days vs. hard days, meaning no one has an issue, meltdown, crying, defiance/disobedience over something important like school work, etc...

Jie Jie is facing some realities of her own. She let me know with sad tears that she doesn't like being the only member of our family that doesn't have a healthy body. I was able to talk to her about the future of medical research and nerve regeneration work occurring right now and how it shapes some of the decisions I make for her care in order to preserve certain things because this technology can realistically be developed during her lifetime. I was also able to tell her that shao mei mei, as we call Apple, will also have something different about her body and that Sissy may seem to have a healthy body, but that the part of her where her feelings are isn't healthy. I was also able to tell her that it's good that she can have surgery to help her body. She's been worried a lot about surgery even though, or especially because, she's had two or three already in China. As we talked about it helping her, she seemed to feel more positive about it.

There are some families facing some serious things right now and who need your prayers, Baby Ivy is headed into open heart surgery again tomorrow, her 5th, I believe, in under a year. Adeye is heading to Bulgaria to bring home Hasya, who has lived 15 years in a crib, along with her new son, who has lived in an orphanage from a nightmare, a friend who left for China today to bring home her new daughter, and I am trying to get onto a new type of insurance program, still with Kaiser because the surgeon we need is in Kaiser LA, unless he thinks we need to go to Cincinatti. I'm praying for all of you, too, because we each have a very special load, our children who came to us through adoption, which makes them all children with a very special need, and that need is to feel loved and wanted and special even though their most primal bond was broken.

Thursday, January 10, 2013

I Didn't Kiss Her


At dinner tonight, Blossom announced to me, "You not kiss me today." I said, "Don't worry, I'll kiss you when I tuck you in. But I can also kiss you right now, too."

She was out of her chair and leaning across the table in a flash for her "right now" kiss.

Earlier today, I separated the girls at different tables for their school work and Sissy ended up all alone downstairs when my assistant took the daycare kids outside to play and I was upstairs in the kitchen preparing lunch. I went down to get her and tell her she could move upstairs and share a table with Jie Jie and I kissed the top of her head like I uaually do as I passed by her. I felt her arms brush my sides and fall back down again and realized instantly that she'd wanted to hug me, but she missed the moment since I was too quick. I stopped moving and said, "I'll stop for a hug any time. I love when you hug me and I can hug you, too." Not only did she hug me, but she laid her head on me, too. This is GREAT progress because we were alone. She wasn't modeling her sisters' behaviors, I didn't hug her first, she INITIATED the hug. It wasn't the first time, but it came out-of-the-blue, which means it came from FEELINGS!

Wednesday, January 9, 2013

Another Good Day


Look at this, another really good day! Good days means that my girls were very good. They did all their school without being told and they followed all the rules of the house, they obeyed me, treated each other well, played happily and went to bed happy. It means that they have been exceptional!

Sissy is also making good progress. She is really trying and, in many ways, succeeding. She is opening up. A lot of her issues seem to be things that happened to her in Guangzhou during her adoption trip. Seems she was very offended that I made her comply with my wishes, regardless of what they were, like buying her shoes that fit, walking, keeping appointments. I can imagine what that must have been like for her now that I've learned how indulged she was at her SWI.

Tonight we talked about why I made her walk with me and keep up while we were in China. She was taught in China not to accept food from strangers due to the risk of malintent on the stranger's part. She also had an inkling of kidnapping. Tonight was the second time we talked about the risk of her getting lost in Guangzhou and the risk of malintent on the part of strangers, such as kidnapping. She brought up how I told everyone she was my daughter and how proud and happy I was because of that. It made her feel good to remember that. I don't think she connects the fact that I was in China SOLEY to adopt HER yet, but she's going to understand that very soon, I think. Tonight she started to understand that I did what I did because I love her and wanted her to be safe. She is definitely making progress!

Monday, January 7, 2013

What a Good Day!


Today my girls behaved as perfect as kids can. They got up, got ready for the day, sat down at their school table and homeschooled themselves all day long! They even said they were having a good day, a fun day and Blossom even ran up and said, "I kiss you," which means I need to bend down so she can plant a kiss on my cheek.

To top it off, I had dinner ready, and even did some decluttering. The older girls had kung fu, which they love, and they were tucked in bed at 8:30pm sharp, lights out, and the kitchen sink is clean!