Friday, November 12, 2010

the every day...

I sat down today...not knowing exactly what I would want to say. Not that I had planned to write on my blog today. But, as life rocks and rolls us...I want to be real and share my life.

Life is full of ups and downs. I always thought our life with Caate after bringing her home would be a lot of downs, to tell you the truth. So many people said that the first months could be very very difficult for our family. We knew some things about Caate that lead us to believe that the first 3 months in particular could be hard for us. Well, it's really been nothing but incredible with her up til now. 3 months of amazing connection and love. We've really had a blast. But just over this past week or so, as we've let our guard down a bit with her ( and not intentionally) that we've seen some things that remind us all over again that she did not grow up in our house for the last 3 1/2 years, but only for the last 3 months. Attachment is probably one of the most important topics in the adoption world. It's the one thing I read about the most before adopting. It's a scary thing, because it is soo essential to having healthy relationships in life.

As life has gone on...Caate has done well with attaching to us. But, we knew that it would take a lot of time, many months and years before we could really know how well she is attached to us. It takes a lot of time and intentional actions on our part to make sure we are doing things to promote attachment. For those of you who don't know much about adoption. This would be all foreign to you. With our own biological kids...the bonding starts in the womb...and then continues as we hold them, feed them, and snuggle them as babies. It's something we don't have to think about doing...we just do it every minute of every day. Well, Caate's history of all of this is unknown to us. We know she has lived in many places...and so we know she has been neglected and most likely passed from one person to the next.

Why would she think at this point that we are her parents for life, her family for life....if everyone else has thrown her away? So, we have to intentionally take the extra time she needs every day to tell her we love her, smoother her with kisses and hugs, and tell her we will never leave her. Plus spend lots of hands on time with her...and that means neglecting my house work (which some days isn't so hard to do! LOL!), not keeping up with the laundry, and having less of "me" time. So, if you come by my house on any given day during the is not all cleaned and's most likely a little messy and not as clean as it was last year.

Last year I had 3 full days to myself. I got my toes painted, I got my hair cut and dyed regularly, and played a lot more soccer, I shopped by myself, and I even remember that I vacuumed the entryway almost every day cause the grass and dirt bugged me (I have a hard time actually believing I did that!!). To the onlooker and acquaintances, they probably don't understand the stresses of being an adoptive parent. Caate looks all too connected with us and is loving life. How hard could it be? Well, it definitely different than parenting biological kids and takes more time mentally and emotionally. But, she is so incredible I couldn't imagine life without my Caate, my daughter. She is worth it a million times over! I know that if we put in the time now, we will reap the rewards later as we look at her develop relationships and be able to trust. It's like we are trying to play catch-up on the 3 1/2 years we weren't able to love her. I believe God wrapped his arms around her during those 3 1/2 years that we weren't able to be a part of her life. So, I don't want to worry about what all happened to my daughter while I wasn't there. All I know, is that I want to do what I can to be the best mama that I can be for her. I will neglect the rest of my life temporarily so I can concentrate on my daughter and what she has missed out of with me in the 3 1/2 years of her little life. I know there also needs to be a bit more of balance in my life. I do need to have a little more "me" time, I need to get my hair cut more than every 6 months, I need to take care of me.

And, so....I am in the process of doing that. Tonight is the 3rd game of soccer this week. Soccer is late at the kids are fast a sleep while I'm playing. It just means I'm a little more tired the next day cause I didn't get to sleep until after mid-night. But, I need this for me. And so, once in a while I take a nap while Caate is napping and I don't get as much house cleaning done. It's not going to kill anyone. :-) And, mama will be happy, and healthy and ready to be a great mom to my kids...all of them! :-)

So, to every adoptive mom (and dad) out there....know that we all go through struggles and it's a good thing to talk about it! The faster we can figure out these struggles the better parents we can be! I am also thankful for all our friends that support us, even if they don't understand. You guys are amazing!

With much love,

Thursday, November 4, 2010

3 Months Since Gotcha Day!

What is Caate doing these days:

*she counts 1-2-3-4-8-82! (LOVE her counting)
*she knows her colors...sometimes she gets them right, sometimes not.
*She wrote her first letters yesterday! the Letter "A" and "C" and "E" and "T" (the letters of her name)
*she only has a handful of Russian words left (such a happy/sad thing)
*she is LOVING gymnastics - it took til just last week to want it every day! It's hard to tell a 3 year old that you don't get gymnastics every day!
*She is a "normal" 3 year old more this month than the 2 previous months.
*She eats pretty much anything...especially loving bananas and watermelon...and chocolate (of course!)
*She wishes she could go to school. She will start her in January at the same preschool that her friend Corbin(also adopted from Russia) is going to.
*She is putting together 3 and 4 word sentenses.
*She understand pretty much everything we say
*She LOVES her extended family! (we got to see some at a family wedding)
*She loves her grandma and Grandpa.
*She LOVES to color. She colors in the lines too!
*She loves music!
*She loves going on adventures, be it hiking in the mountains or driving somewhere in the truck

I'm sure I missed a bunch of things...but there's a little bit about our little Caate! She is 3 years and 9 months....hard to believe in another 3 months it will be her birthday!

There's another monthly update! Crazy how times just slips away. Soon it will be Christmas! Well, until the next one...