Sunday, September 30, 2012

Ever After

"It is only possible to live happily ever after on a day-to-day basis." - Margaret Bonnano

From Aug 28  (photos taken Aug 28, Sept 18, and Sept 24):

So, we've been home a month. I'd decided a while ago that today would be the day that I'd stop keeping the blog.   I've waited a while to write this, hoping that something eloquent from the heavens would fall straight down out of the sky and then right out of my mouth about this whole experience. Not so much.

I was rereading the blog recently and I was amazed. It happened TO ME but still I can't wrap my head around a lot of it. I am so glad that I put the time and the energy into the blog. One thing that I've learned since I gave birth the first time, 17 years ago, is that you forget. You think, How can I possibly forget this? I am knee-deep in diapers and whining and snot and toys, HOW could I forget? And, then you do. I am so glad that I wrote so much down about this process.

"You will survive. I promise you. It wasn't going to be easy. Deep down in your heart you knew that, even if you never admitted it to yourself. You are exhausted, stressed, jet lagged, adoption lagged, and coming off a year of adrenalin. And so is your daughter. Imagine being all of those things and not being able to communicate them to anyone. I would be cranky and difficult too!

It will pass. You will fix the medical problems. She will learn English. You will eventually not feel exhausted. Your new family dynamics will become the norm and not something you have to put any thought into. Then one day you will look around and realize that the worst has passed and things are going well. Until then, it is ok to be frazzled. Allow it. You don't have to be perfect. You don't have to make it perfect for everyone around you. You love Lyric with all your heart but you have to get to know her, which is a very different thing. It doesn't mean you don't love her, just that your souls have to learn how to talk to each other." -Best Barn Friend, Aug 3

I woke up this morning and, at one point, there were three little bodies in the bed with me. Lyric was snuggled into my side but the desperation was gone. There seemed to be only a deep want to be closer to me. She giggled and laid her forehead against mine. Middle Child reached his toe across my body to flirt with her and Wild Child initiated the "Uf!" game with her ((the "Op!" game has evolved into the "Uf!" game - same game, different sound.) I realized that we were a family.

It only lasted a few minutes and then they were arguing over the Leapster and she was hanging around my feet, crying, because I'd put the Ergo into the truck without her. "Baby, you are going." That's family, too.  (As of today, Sept 30, we hardly ever use the Ergo anymore. :) )

When I find myself sitting, staring at my living room wall, thinking, I don't think I am strong enough to do this, there is always that small voice in the back of my head that whispers back,  But, Honey? You are doing it.

That's life.

Life is gloriously imperfect, marvelously messy, and magnificently unpredictable.

For twenty-something years I listened for Lyric, I finally became proactive at listening for her, I heard her, we went and got her, and she's here now. We did it. I did it. She's real, she's mine, she's home. <smile>

As of this day, she's sleeping through the night, she loves her daddy, the boys love her, our trauma bond has completely transformed into something deeper and much more meaningful, she has an appointment Oct 1 to move the catheter, and then wait and see about removing it completely...we have a new normal.  Our souls are learning one another. And, it's a good thing.

We are home.

Yep, that's them...

...three normal American kids in a normal American family.

That's it.  Thanks for hanging out with us.

It was a true pleasure to share this bit of the road with you.

"Bye-bye, see ya!"

The End.


Saturday, September 29, 2012

Hey Party People!

Aug 30

"Shew....the last time I was THIS exhausted and my house was THIS out of control I had a newborn...oh yeah, right! hahahahaha"

Aug 31

("Tired = picking out a birthday card...for your anniversary.")

Seems she likes to have the boys over to "her place" to play.

K-Man and I met for lunch at the Botanical Gardens.


We got married here, nine years ago on this day.
K-Man reminded me that nine is the perfect number in China. :)


Sept 1

All my kids, together. This is about the best pic I can get. ;p

Lyric, at her Grammy's birthday party.

We went to Lyric's Grammy's birthday party this day and we left early so that I could put Lyric to bed.  Here is a story that my MIL told that happened after we left:

"After you left, a little girl from (another) group came over. (Grammy) said "Hi, Sweetheart." (Middle Child) then said."She's not your Sweetheart. Lyric just went home." (What a guy!)"

In fact, Middle Child is very protective of her ( Sept 23- I heard him on the playground telling a group of kids his age who were playing near Lyric, "Hey, that's my sister! Be careful with her!")

Wild Child has also really warmed up to her, he doesn't like for her to cry, "Momma, she needs you!" And, he often tries to help her find me, or come up the steps, or play with toys. (Sept 24 - Today, I came into the kitchen to find Wild Child feeding her her dinner with her spoon, at one point she was literally eating out of his hand. Awww.)

Sept 2

The boys were looking at a book of pirates and I heard Middle Child say, "No, those are Chinese pirates. They are the good guys." <smile>

Sept 3

We introduced Lyric to Horse and the barn dogs. She was "okay" (not really but she'd deal) until Horse moved too quickly. She started to fuss so I  took her out of the barn and put her in the Ergo. Better. Until one of the dogs touched her foot. She SCREAMED. Hmmm, seems the "paperwork" on Chinese orphans and animals was correct. :)  The consensus on that seems to be that in rural Chinese villages, dogs are not pets, they are used as guard dogs. The kids are taught to be afraid of them because they are, in fact, dangerous.

Sept 4

Trying to ride Step-Son's motorcycle.

"Oh, how I love her."

"Today, her head smelled so good!"

"I am FINALLY beginning to feel like my pre-China self, again."


Sept 5

"We got a good report today from the International Adoption doctor, her hearing is good, her labs are 'fantastic' and we're doing well developmentally - she's 6 months behind but 12 months behind is considered normal. She's more than 6 months behind verbally but  'I'm really impressed with all her babbling, when she gets it, she'll probably be speaking in paragraphs,' so said the occupational therapist."

"Next visit in 6 months."

Sept 6

This takes true talent.

"Alrighty, would someone please explain to my laundry that we only added one very small girl? It is totally overreacting to the situation."

Sept 7

Sept 8

Oldest Son and Q-Boo
Big brothers are FUNNY!


Sept 9

Lyric has been initiated into the Sunday "Going to Moe's Burritos" with Daddy.
(Before you freak out, the air bag is off.)

Sept 11

Q-Boo and her"bah-pac."   
(Still today, Sept 29) She'll tell me "shoes,bah-pac."
This means that she wants to go "bye-bye." 
She also has to wear it when we leave for school and
when we pick up the boys from school.
She wears it inside the school and everywhere that we go with the boys.

"Well, she likes Mellencamp, she rocks back and forth in her car seat and asks to hear it, little hand outstretched toward the stereo, whine, whine, whine, until I find the right song. She's one of the kids. I'm losing my mind but they're loving listening over and over and over and over and over and over..."

"So much has changed. In such subtle ways. Lyric LOVES her daddy, I can go do other things and leave her with her dad and when I come home, she is EXCITED to see me -laughs out loud and 'runs' across the room to me but no tears. She and Wild Child have become buddies, I knew it happened one day about a week ago when he asked to be held and then said, 'I want Lyric to see you holding me.'  I said, "(Wild Child,) don't pick at your sister." She looked at him like, Really? You're gonna have to do better than that, older brother.  He then sing-songed, "Lyric, Mommy is holding me." Oooooh! I put him down. hee hee hee We're 'there'-   no more hurt feelings, only a big brother picking on his little sister. "

"Lyric is much more stand-offish with people not in our family. Even with people that she half-way knows, after she warms up, she's still not so interested in them. Before, she'd warm up and then it was like Charming On Steroids, it was sorta creepy and definitely over the top. It's much more appropriate now, much more 'two yo,' much less 'Marilyn Monroe.' "

"She's wiggly. Like a two yo should be. Before, she'd stand very still (cry or not) while we gave her her 'shower' in the tub. Now, she's sitting in the water and playing with the toys. Before, she'd lie very still while we changed her diapers and treated her belly, now she's talking and wanting to get up and rolling and reaching for toys."

"She's finally gotten comfortable."

Sept 12

She loved Middle Child's Cozy Coupe Car.  They were all outside playing, Wild Child was in his black truck and I heard Middle Child run up to his car, see Q-Boo in it, and say,  "Oh, now I don't have a car!"  I smiled and said, "I bet, Santa will bring her her own pink car this Christmas." Somehow, I bet he will.


"Her hair is FINALLY long enough to use shampoo instead of soap.

Her fits are back but in a much more appropriate 'two yo' way and much less 'diva.'

I love how when she's taking her evening bottle and as she's falling asleep, she buries her face into my neck. It's as if she wants to be as close as possible to me, as if she wants to smell me, cuddle me, be surrounded by me.

I now know why, in her update pictures, it looked like she had a rash all along her hair line and down her arms. The bugs LOVE her. Between the mosquitoes and the no-see-ums, her face and body look like she has some dread disease."

(Sept 22, this is better. Her body has adjusted, somewhat.)

Sept 14


Sept 15

Time for her party!

"She did very well. When the party first started there where a lot of people coming and going out of the house and she freaked a tad. She was desperatly trying to get her dad to pick her up and he couldn't. So, I got the Ergo and put her on my back, she sat up there and giggled for a bit and then, when one of her favorite little girls from the boys' school came in, she gladly got down. She spent the next several hours happily playing with the kids inside and out of the house. She didn't become whiny again until it was time for her bedtime. And then, she wanted her daddy to pick her up and hold her. She rubbed her eyes and cried just a bit and we took her in, gave her a bath, put her down, and she went right to sleep."



"Bye-bye! Thanks for coming!"


(I was supposed to stop on Sept 15 but the days kept going by and cool stuff kept happening so here's a few more:)

Sept 17

"There's just something so cool about coming home from taking the boys to school to find your 6 ft husband sitting at the coffee table having 'tea' with your daughter, complete with a puppy dog and doll as guests."

After he left, she and I continued the party, I fed her doll and before long she was feeding her doll. Then, in between feeding her, Q also patted the doll on the head several times. It was such a small thing and SO HUGE all at the same time.  When she begins to nurture her toys then we'll know that we've come such a long, long, long way.

Sept 18

"Since 'Pretty Shoes' has such a back-story around here, it would be appropriate that  'shoes' would be one of Lyric's first TRUE English words (she mimics a lot and she reacts but there are very few that she truly understands and uses without my prompting.) I dressed her today, put on her hairband with bow, but didn't put on her shoes. She got in my lap with a book, took one look at her bare feet, and said, 'shoes.'  I put hers on her feet. A few minutes later, I took mine off, and she picked them up and handed them to me, 'shoes,'  she said (her other words are 'bye-bye,'  'mama,'  'dah-dee,' and 'bah-pac.') "

Sept 21


Sept 28

"She's past her initial grief about her foster family, we've looked at the picture together one or two other times, and she laughed and giggled the whole time. She took my finger and pointed it at all the people, while I named them. It was more about controlling my finger than the people in the picture (she did seem sorta fixated on 'baba' (daddy) and  'jia jia' (big sister) She's done it several times, since then, with a picture of us. She pointed at and called  K-Man "baba" when she first picked it up. But all giggles and grins the whole time."