Ready for Thailand!

August 31, 2011



Who needs guide books?

Rockin' with Mama

August 30, 2011



Verdict: Loves Shakira, not so sure about Panic At The Disco

Party Pics

Sky trying out a pudding tart before the party

Six Months as a Family of Three

August 29, 2011

  Wow, it's been six months already.  While there were times when each day seemed to last forever, over all it has flown by.  On the other hand, it seems like it was yesterday that the judge granted our adoption.  Of all the things I've done in my life so far, I think being a mom is the thing I'm most proud of and the thing I'm happiest I've decided to do.  While D and I had a great life before we decided to try to adopt, in retrospect, it was pretty boring and that's something our lives will never be again.
  To wrap up our first six months:
-our first meeting with Sky went really well and our court hearing went really smoothly.  Then came the bad news: a doctor had diagnosed Sky with TB.  D and I went into "deal with it" mode.  We took her to doctors and to the hospital in Majuro and then heard from Kwaj that she couldn't come back here.  We decided to head back to our family in the states and to see doctors there.  I dealt with the travel arrangements and kept the Bates train on the tracks and since Sky had bonded so quickly to D, he took care her.
-we got back to D's wonderful family in Kansas and began seeing doctors- a pediatrician, then a pediatric infectious disease specialist, then a pediatric hematologist.  All of them agreed that if Sky had ever had TB, it was latent rather than active, but there was no real way to prove it and none of them were willing to go over the initial diagnosis.  So Sky began taking her TB medicine and we began hassling with Kwaj about when we could bring her home.  In the meantime, we spent a lot of time playing and eating and working through colds and visiting family.  We spent a lot of time just getting to know Sky and getting to know ourselves as Mommy and Daddy.  Sky began to attach to me after being in Kansas for about two weeks, which was so wonderful.

Big Girl!

August 21, 2011

 Guess who got new shoes this week? 

Now pretend you're a mushroom!  Great job!

We're Having a Party!

August 19, 2011




  We're having a party!  Our neighbors had originally planned to throw us a Welcome Home party when we came back from Majuro in March... but we never came home!  When we did finally get back to Kwaj, things were pretty crazy while we were getting settled in and used to life at home.   Now that things are feeling pretty normal, it's time for a party.  Hope you can come!

Comparisons

 There's another family up the street that has adopted a Marshallese baby.  J was adopted by the family when she was two weeks old and is now six months old.  I stopped by to see them the other day and J's father told me that she now weighs 16 pounds.  As I was walking back home, it smacked me in the head- Sky was 14 months old and weighed 17 pounds when she came to us.  Sky lived in a loving family that cherished her and took great care of her, but when it comes down to it she was under nourished.  (I'll put in the caveat here, she was under nourished by American standards.  She was probably pretty similar to other Marshallese children of the same age).  The difference made by having parents that could afford good (expensive) formula and clean water just amazed me.  I looked it up on an internet calculator and Sky was in the 0th percentile for weight while J is in the 50th. 
  I'm reading a book about race and interracial adoption and maybe that's what got me thinking about this.  D will probably say that I'm over-analyzing things but I wonder about the comparisons we make, like the one I made the other day between Sky and J regarding their weight.  Because we live in the Marshall Islands, Sky will always be interacting with other Marshallese children,  kids raised in Marshallese families with a Marshallese cultural influence.  I know Sky is unique and because she was adopted she is even more unique.  I know that because of that uniqueness, I shouldn't be comparing her to those other Marshallese children, but it's human nature to do so, and part of my nature in particular.  And I think Sky will make those comparisons herself as well.  She is the same as the other Marshallese children, but not.  What measuring stick will Sky use to measure herself and others?  How much will it be affected by her adoption and proximity to her birth race and culture?  How do we raise her with the best of both her worlds?  I think it will be like most other things in parenting, stabbing in the dark and hoping you get as close to the target as possible.

A Pretty Great Weekend!

August 17, 2011

  This was a pretty great weekend for the us!  On Sunday I went to early church and Sky stayed home with D and helped (should that be "helped"?) him put a new seat and backrest on his chopper bike.  Sky loves tools and will grab any that you leave lying around and pretend to use them.  When D is working on something he will get the wrench or screwdriver set up and have her come and turn it.  We keep intending to get her play tools but so far, she's having lots of fun with the real ones. 
  Later that morning Sky and I delivered a few invites to her Welcome Home party and after her nap, we all went to the beach.  We met some friends there and had lots of fun playing in the water and with the sand.  That night we had some new friends over for dinner and had lots of great conversation.
  On Monday, D and I went for a long run (over 4 miles!) and Sky rode along in her stroller.  Sky was pretty bored by the end of the run so we treated her to cinnamon rolls for breakfast and then took her to play at her best friends house.  She had so much fun playing with P that she fell asleep as soon as we got home.  We tried to wake her up to eat but she just pushed her food away and went back to sleep!   
  Monday afternoon was kind of grey and rainy so we stayed in and watched "Finding Nemo".  After the movie, I started on dinner (lentil and mushroom pot pies, yum!) and D and Sky played on the back porch.  Sky was pretty fussy that evening so she played in her room while I sat with her and read until she was feeling a little better and then we went for a ride to try out D's new bike seat and to see the sunset.  After Sky went to bed, D and I sat out on the back porch and I read a sailing magazine while he had a cigar.  I wish all our weekends could be that good!



 Playing in Mama's skirt

Flashback?

August 15, 2011

  Something interesting happened this weekend.  When Sky woke up from her nap on Monday, I brought her into our room where D and I were reading in bed.  We were tickling her and playing "Where's Sky?" with the sheets and she was laughing and having fun.  She started snuggling into me after a little while and D started singing "Go To Sleep, Little Baby", and she burst into tears!  She just started crying like her heart was breaking and didn't stop until I picked her up and started rocking her on my shoulder.  D and I just looked at each other, both thinking "What was that?!".
  The song, "Go To Sleep, Little Baby" was one that D used to sing to Sky a lot when she first came to us but hasn't been singing much recently.  He thinks she might have had a flashback, that the song might have reminded her of how she felt when he sang it before, when she was missing her aunt and I think he's right.  D stopped singing the song as soon as Sky started crying and I don't know if he should try it again sometime or just remove it from the song list.  If he sings it and she crys again, is it helping her to work through the sadness, or should we just leave it be?  Thoughts?

Picture Post

August 13, 2011


Of Course, Things Went Fine

August 11, 2011

In case any of you are wondering, things went fine with D and I working overnight and people staying with Sky.  I was pretty worried about it (We'll See How This Goes) and left copious notes for each of the three wonderful women who stayed with her.  D and I ended up home at 3:30AM two of the mornings and at 5:30AM this morning, so Sky never even knew we were gone.  Crisis averted.
  But I'm still curious- would there have been a crisis?  Sky hasn't shown any signs of attachment problems. She warmed up to D right away and then to me after about two weeks.  She's still a little shy around new people but does just fine when we leave her with a sitter.  She's been with us for almost 6 months, so we're past any kind of "honeymoon" period and so far, all the behavioral problems we've had have been age-related (like teething) or change-related (like starting daycare).
  Believe me,we know that problems may still pop up, but for now we're counting our blessings that we have such a wonderful daughter.

If anyone is curious, this is what kept us up all night: http://www.darpa.mil/Our_Work/TTO/Programs/Falcon_HTV-2/Falcon_HTV-2.aspx

Where Children Sleep

August 8, 2011

This website was posted on a blog that I follow: http://lens.blogs.nytimes.com/2011/08/04/where-children-sleep/

I think the pictures say enough but I'll add one more- the below picture is where Sky lived before she came to us.



Welcome to the World!

August 5, 2011



World, I'd like to introduce my new nephew!

Congratulations J and L!  He's beautiful and we can't wait to meet him!

We'll See How This Goes

August 4, 2011

  Given the nature of mine and D's jobs and the fact that we work for the same company, we sometimes need to work at night and for long periods of time.  Sometime in the near future we will both need to be at work while Sky is sleeping and may not get back until after she wakes up.  I know this would be upsetting for most kids, to be put to bed by their parents but to wake up with someone else but in an adoption it can be really upsetting.  We went through it a few times when Sky's aunt would put her down for a nap and then wasn't there when Sky woke up.  She was devastated. 
  Sky has been with us for almost six months and has bonded and attached to us really well and I'm not anticipating any big problems with this.  On the two nights that we will both have to work we have really great people staying at the house.  Both of them have lots of experience with small children and love Sky to pieces.  She knows them and likes spending time with them and has spent time alone with them before. 
  But because everything I've read about adoption, and specifically toddler adoption, recommends the exact oppsite of this, I'm pretty nervous.  How will she do when someone other than Mama and Daddy wakes her up and makes her breakfast and takes her to pre-school?  Will there be any fall out? 
  I can hear D now, saying that she'll be fine, she's been fine with the sitters that we've had and we haven't had any issues afterward.  But I worry.
  I'll let you know how it goes.
Our Charmed Life. All rights reserved. © Maira Gall.