November 30, 2009

Two Months

Today Nora is a big two month old. Time has gone quickly but also very slowly. It seems like eons ago that we brought her home from the hospital since our lives have changed so much. But, it also feels like she's changing so much each day and time is just slipping away. (Especially as the end of my maternity leave is now on the horizon).

She truly does change so much every day. A few days ago she started grabbing her toes. Today I was grabbing my coffee in the kitchen and heard funny clicking noises and realized that Nora had learned to make clicking noises with her mouth and was entertaining herself. I was a little surprised because we've never made clicking noises with her. (Then again I haven't rolled around on the floor grabbing my toes either). She has so much personality and so much energy. She's a little girl with places to go and things to do. She doesn't like to be held unless she is in the right mood. If she's in an active mood she'll scream if you try to hold her. She doesn't want to be restrained. Of course, when she's eating or sleepy she's fine with cuddling up.

She had her two month check up today and everything checked out. She's quite the charmer with the men and tends to smile more at men and is a real chatty pants. She "talked" through our entire hour long appointment. She's also really a wiggle worm - especially at 3 am when she squirms while I'm changing her and gives me the most endearing smiles. So, in honor of her active little baby self, I'm posting another video (that is sideways and I can't fix) and a photo of her charming her daddy.


video

November 26, 2009

Happy Thanksgiving



I have much to be thankful for this year but not many brain cells to articulate it. The gift for which I am most thankful had me awake much of the night so I'm going to let a picture be worth about two paragraphs. Happy Thanksgiving everyone!!!!

November 24, 2009

Paperwork Signed and More Shower Fun

Yesterday my co-workers threw Nora a lovely baby shower. (I know I'm very spoiled by many kind people). I returned back to work for her celebration and a co-celebration with another colleague who is on my team whose little boy is due any day now! We have had a baby boom in our department in the last three months. The shower was beautiful and the menu was amazing: Italian deli meats, cheeses, crackers and amazing cupcakes. It was such a sweet shower and it was so nice to see how excited everyone was to meet Nora. She was even awake for the beginning of the celebration. It was so nice to see everyone and to catch up. I'm so lucky to work with so many fantastic people.

While I was getting ready to leave the house for the shower, which requires a couple of hours of planning and some serious strategy, I checked my email. Our caseworker had emailed me and let me know that the judge has signed our paperwork so our "legal risk" is over. It's funny that this milestone didn't really matter to me and it hasn't really even been in the back of my mind. Once we took Nora home from the hospital that day I knew she was home to stay. I think if we had had a different relationship with C and J or if circumstances were different I would have been counting down the days for this paperwork to be signed. However, this news didn't really make any difference to me and for that I'm thankful. Now we are just waiting for our court date which will likely be in the spring. I already feel official but I'm looking forward to being "paper official" and being able to leave the country. Hooray!

November 23, 2009

Amazing Friends Welcoming Nora

My good friends threw me the nicest "Welcome Nora" party yesterday. So many people had already met her and brought us gifts that I didn't want to have a baby shower per se. Instead, we had a lovely champagne brunch open house. Joel cold smoked some salmon and we had bagels, quiche, fruit, cupcakes and mimosas. (I love food - listing the menu is very important).

We had so many of our close friends come by and it was so fun to see all those who have supported us through our journey celebrate the conclusion of our journey and the welcoming of Nora. We're so blessed to be surrounded by so many amazing people and so many people who care for Nora.

P.S. Since I want to respect the privacy of my friends, I've posted a photo of the crazy contraption my savvy husband rigged to cold smoke salmon. It involved a smoker, cardboard boxes, wood planks, meat thermometer and a computer fan. The salmon was AMAZING!

November 20, 2009

We're Lucky: Good Comments

We went to the police station yesterday to get finger printed (again) to finalize our adoption. The woman finger printing us asked if we were doing it for an adoption since we had Nora with us. She was covered up in her car seat (because we don't want anyone sneezing on her:) so she couldn't see her. The finger printer was Vietnamese and I think she sees a lot of international adoptions so she was talking a bit about how with Asian adoptions the babies can't know their birthparents etc and her experiences in Vietnam.

We told her that she was from Colorado and she would know her birthparents. She said "oh that's very good." Then she told us, "You are very lucky". Yes we are. This woman totally got adoption and was so great. It always surprises me who will make positive or negative comments regarding adoption. It was so nice for someone to affirm how lucky we are.

November 18, 2009

Gratitude

It's been a very busy week for me. We've had lots of visitors and celebrated our 7th wedding anniversary. I've wanted to write a post for the last couple of days about how grateful I am right now.

Joel and I had a great day on Saturday. My parents came over to watch Nora while we attended a baptism class and then celebrated our anniversary with a lunch and a little time together. (We've determined time during the day is so much more enjoyable than going out at night when we are dead tired). It was nice to wander around downtown together and visit gourmet food stores and our favorite book store. It was particularly nice because it was cold so there weren't many people out wandering around.

Saturday night I was supposed to attend a going away party for a very close friend but the snow began to fall and the party was a 45 min. drive away so we decided to stay in with Nora. I made homemade chicken soup and we spent a great evening together as the snow began to fall. I felt so grateful to have such a great husband and now, father, a beautiful daughter, a new house in a neighborhood that we love and awesome parents who are already so involved with Nora. It was one of those moments where everything was so perfect and I felt so grateful. I've had a lot of struggles over the last year and a half and I feel so grateful to have those moments where everything in life seems right.

November 12, 2009

Firsts

Nora turned six weeks old yesterday and this past week she has begun to smile more and more. Over the last two days we have begun to get very real smiles when she sees us and it is the most incredible experience in the world. Tuesday as I was holding her and talking to her, per usual, she just began to smile and smile and look right up at me. I began sobbing because I have waited so long for this very experience. Yes, I have waited forever (it seems like) for a baby. But, I've actually waited more precisely for the moment when I can gaze into my child's eyes and she recognizes me and smiles back. This moment melted me and made me feel like a real mom. I couldn't wait for Joel to get home. I asked him to go see her and she smiled on cue when he walked over. He picked her up and started talking to her and she was just beaming at her daddy. Again, I cried on cue. There is really nothing that compares to your baby smiling at you for the first time. For some reason, she seems so real to me now.

I am getting ready to go out with a friend. (I know it seems like I go out all the time but I really don't, it's just momentous so I write about it). I had Nora in the sling as I was getting ready and putting on makeup. (If you follow my blog, you know this is the time when I think about adoption and babies and usually have a revelation or break down). It was really profound to be singing songs to her and putting on makeup and then looking in the mirror and realizing I had Nora in a sling and I wasn't thinking about adoption or what life was going to be like with a baby. This is what life is like with a baby- singing "Going to California" (because I know no child appropriate songs) and looking at us both in the mirror.

November 11, 2009

Baby Shower

My family threw me the nicest baby shower on Sunday. It was so fun to get together and see everyone and so sweet of them to throw a shower to welcome Nora. Of course, everyone was a little bit disappointed when I showed up alone but I assured them that Joel was coming later with Nora. The shower was so sweet. One thing that was interesting is that for some reason I've been calling Nora "Nora Bear". I really have no idea why- sleep deprivation? However, most of the cute little outfits she received had bears on them and my sister made her a bear blanket. I found that so interesting and appropriate.

The funniest part of the shower was when Joel arrived. He knew he would be entering a room full of 30 women and so he came prepared. He had Nora on him in a sling and when she finally was brought out of the sling he had a 32 oz bottle of hand sanitizer that he set on the table. Too cute. He's such a good, protective dad.

November 5, 2009

Work

Since I've been on maternity leave, I haven't thought about work too much (or at least as much as I had thought - thank you great team!). I have thought about what it's going to be like going back to work. How did I feel about going back? What will be the effect on Nora? What will be the effect on me? It doesn't really matter either way because not going back isn't an option (please see adoption and new house:). However, I got my answer yesterday.

There was an inaugural event at my work and despite being on maternity leave, I really wanted to see the event unfold so that I had a sense of what it would be like next year. I went to work for a little bit yesterday and it was so fantastic. It was so nice to catch up with all of my colleagues and to watch an event that benefits children unfold and come to fruition. I left the event feeling really energized and remembered how much I love my job. I'm so glad that I was able to work yesterday and have the piece of mind that, while going back to work will be extremely difficult, it is something that also brings me joy and satisfaction in addition to a paycheck. I have a great job that helps kids and I get to work with truly amazing people. I'm so grateful for that experience yesterday to put my mind and heart at ease.

November 3, 2009

Talking About Adoption

I've been thinking a lot about how to tell Nora her story. I've been practicing telling it to her but I fumble through it every time. I know it's not a one time conversation that I have to get perfect but I'm really trying to feel somewhat prepared. I assumed that our daughter would not be Caucasian (because of our previous match, I suppose) and so I just assumed adoption would come up a bit more since it would be more apparent that we did not look alike and unfortunately, ignorant outsiders would likely point this out beginning at birth. I now feel like I need to really make an effort to make her story an integral part of her life. This is causing me a bit of consternation. My mom is babysitting this Friday so I think I'm going to go on the hunt for some good adoption children's books. (Please leave me a comment if you have any favorites).

On this very topic, I also wanted to include a link to Lori at Weebles Wobblog's post today. She is such a pro at open adoption and I think her post is so worth reading if you don't already follow her blog: http://www.weebleswobblog.com/2009/11/moments-in-open-adoption-parenting-part.html. I only hope that I can be this together when the many adoption conversations arise.