Caroline says something about five times a day. She looks at me and says "My momma, right there" and points to me. She says the same to Grandma, and to our doggie Higgins. She also says, "my home." Caroline seems to gain great pleasure in affirming this on a daily basis. She absolutely warms my heart.
The moment that I held Caroline for the very first time.
Overcome with emotion
And, one year later!
Momma and Caroline
Grandma and Caroline
Our wonderful friends celebrating at Hong Kong Restaurant
We had a wonderful celebration of our Gotcha Day. I can't believe it has been one year since I adopted my beautiful daughter Caroline on Sept 21, 2009. I've posted a picture of that day, and also pictures of our Gotcha Day celebration with our friends. What a magificent day Sept 21, 2009 was! That day was surreal. I was meeting my daughter for the very first time. I had dreamed of that day for such a long time.....lived in my dreams so many times. It was better that I had dreamed. Caroline is the joy of my life and can't imagine life without her.
The crib was set up in our room when we arrived *tears*
One year ago at this moment, Mom and I were sitting at the Chicago O'Hare airport gate waiting for our flight to Seoul, South Korea, then on to Guangzhou. I was experiencing so many emotions that night....excitement, fear, disbelief that it was really happening....and probably a bit of fear. It is interesting that I am experiencing these same emotions all over again as I re-live the experience. That trip was the most important trip that I have ever taken in my life; it changed my world in the most wonderful way. I love Caroline more than anything in this world and my heart is full.
Last Friday was our final post-adoption home visit for Caroline. I wasn't the least bit worried....not because I'm such a confident mom, but because our social worker makes us feel so at ease. I just love him. He played with Caroline - mainly letting her trace his hand on paper and watched her 'write' our names on paper. He also played ball with her a little bit, and he asked me several questions about her progress. It went fine! Then, he gave me a stack of paperwork to do for the the new homestudy for adoption no. 2. I'm not quite so stressed about it this time around. It will still require several hours of work but I've done it before so I can do it again. Also, I will be starting a new blog for daughter no. 2, who shall be named Claudia Ashlyn (insert African name) Lessly. I will be adopting my second daughter from the Democratic Republic of Congo in Central Africa. I'm very excited about this next step in my life's journey. I believe that this is what God wants me to do. He has opened more than one door for this to happen. It was also nice to hear my social worker agree that it is a 'good thing' and thinks this will be great for Caroline.
In two days time we have visited a pediatric dentist and a nurse practitioner.
Previous visits to the doctor have been somewhat traumatic for Caroline. I'm sure that it has to do with the fact that she spent the first two months of her life in a hospital. At previous visits to the pediatrician, Caroline has clung to me and become almost hysterical. But, I think we've turned a corner. Our visit to the new dentist and to the new nurse practitioner were painless and almost fun. It also helps that in both situations, the doctor and practitioner made an effort to get to know Caroline before an examination. This was such a relief to me. It just makes sense that a pediatric health care provider would know to get acquainted and make Caroline feel more comfortable. Thank you, God, for these two professionals who provided such a safe and comfortable environment for Caroline.
Caroline is the first one to say 'pray' when we sit down to eat. She has been saying the prayer on occasion and this morning she said the prayer for breakfast. Normally, all we could understand was 'God" and 'Amen" but today she spoke more clearly. Her words were "Dear God, eat our food, amen." I think she was trying to say, Dear God, thank you for this food that we are about to eat." She amazes me every day.
Caroline's preschool teacher has told me that Caroline has 'tried' the potty.....taking her diaper off and actually sitting on the potty chair while at preschool. Up to now, Caroline wouldn't go near the potty chair at home and would cry. But tonight, she actually took her diaper off and sat on the potty chair here at home! Now, she didn't 'do' anything on the chair, but this is HUGE progress.
Yesterday, as we were sitting around the table, Caroline says, "I happy." We asked again, because we had not heard her say the word 'happy' before. I said, "are you saying the word happy?" Caroline shakes her head yes. She says, "I happy. Momma happy (touching me on the shoulder). Nai-Nai (grandma) happy (touching her on the shoulder)." What precious words to hear. Also, almost daily she has said "My home. Momma home. Nai-Nai home. My home." And lastly, she says almost daily, "My momma. My Nai-Nai." Yes, Caroline, we are totally yours.
Caroline is ready for her first day back to Westminster Preschool
There's the smile!
Here is evidence of two 'boy bites'. Bless her heart.
So we ended the day with some wonderful corn-on-the-cob and homegrown tomatoes.
Today would have been a great first day of preschool.....great teacher.....great activities.....lots of learning....but apparently, Caroline's arm got in the way of a little boy's teeth during playtime. Preschool can be dangerous. After the teacher showed me the 'accident report' and profusely apologized, she said that Caroline was a little trooper and after the initial cry, she was fine. That's my girl. And that little boy better leave my little girl alone :)
Caroline is learning and growing so much. I couldn't be more pleased with her progress. I think the only thing that I wish for is a smoother 'potty-training' process. But, she's only 2 1/2 so I'm not going to sweat it. This week Caroline is in vacation bible school and loving it. She is a social butterfly, very inquisitive, her english improves and expands every day, and she is a happy girl. What more could I ask for?
We just completed a week at the World Music Drumming Workshop in Oconomowoc, Wisconsin. I have been attending this workshop for the past 10 years and I was FINALLY able to take my daughter .... everyone has known about the adoption process and each year would ask, "when will you get Caroline?" This year, Caroline (and Grandma) went with me. She is now part of the drumming family and had a terrific time. So did Momma.
Yesterday when I picked Caroline up from preschool, her teacher stopped me and wanted to tell me about 'what happened.' She started to tear up as she began to tell me....... As a classmate of Caroline's was on the floor (he must have fallen and must have been crying), she went over to him, touched him on the shoulder, got on her knees, put her hands in a praying posture and began an audible prayer. The teacher said that she didn't understand any of the words except for 'amen' at the end. Then, Caroline got up and resumed playing. I'm constantly amazed at this blessing of a daughter. I had to shed a tear, too, when I heard the story.
Last night was a tough night for Caroline. She finally fell asleep (after rocking and bottle) at around 10:30 p.m.....trust me, that is really late for her. Then, at around 12:30 a.m., she woke up crying. Unfortunately, I had not gone to bed yet and as soon as I heard her I went to her room. When I looked down at her I got the very strong feeling that she had a bad dream, OR....perhaps she was dreaming about her life before she became my baby girl. This was a different cry, a sad cry. So, I picked her up and just rocked her for a long time. I repeatedly told her how much I loved her and that she was safe with Momma. At those moments she just looked at me and nodded her head in approval. I tried putting her in bed with me but she was SO restless. Finally, at 3:15 am she decided that she wanted to get back in her bed. This morning she was fine. Oh, to know what's going on in that precious little head of hers.