Sky, Fire, Escher, and a Wookie

May 30, 2012

Sky is doing much better with Fire, and I think these two photos are my new favorites:

All Stressed up and Nowhere to Go

May 25, 2012

  I've been feeling like I want to pull my hair out this week, like I need to make big decisions and big changes and I don't know why.  First I wanted to completely reorganize our finances so that Skycould be back in full-time preschool.  Then I wanted to move to a house on the other end of the island.  D finally talked me down from my crazy tree by pointing out that we need to give Sky a little more time to adjust to the baby (her nanny, Florina, favors Fire over Sky and she's taking it hard and lashing out) and that I'm unbearable to live with during a move.  As usual, D is completely right.
  I've been trying to figure out why I want to make such big changes when we've just made one and are just getting back on our figurative feet from it and I think it all has to do with control.  I don't feel like I have a lot of control in my life right now, and I like control, even when it's imaginary.  I was in charge of Fire's adoption process- I did the paperwork, sent the emails and made all the plans.  We're home now and just living life and there's nothing left to manage there.  Sky is two so there's no real way to manage her these days, it's all moment by moment.   Fire is a baby and is in charge of his own schedule, which means that he takes control of my sleep schedule and  I've spent the last eight years coming to terms with the fact that I can't control D.   I don't have control of my house during the day because Florina is there, which means no more afternoon naps and no more leaving the house kind of messy.  I'm working on planning our family vacation back to the states but since it's based on a work trip for D, it's out of my hands as well.

How Are We Doing?

May 22, 2012

  I'm back at work part time and actually have a lot of work that I should be doing (why did every project become due while I was gone for three weeks?) so I'm going to blog instead.   "How are you doing" is the question we've been getting most often and the answer is usually somewhere between "Better" and "Really good".  The variation is mostly Sky-related: some days are better than others. 
  Sky has had a hard time accepting Fire and from everything we've read and been told, all her behaviors are completely normal.  I think that I'm actually having the hardest time with it because I wasn't expecting it.  We did everything we could to prepare her for the trip to Majuro and the new baby but I didn't really prepare myself to deal with bipolar toddler moods.  But it's getting better, and from what I've read, it's actually a good sign that Sky is having these problems because it means that she's really well attached to us. 
  It has really helped to be home and to get back to our old routine.  Sky thrives on a schedule and I think it reassures her that some things haven't changed.  I was off all last week to help get things in order and to spend specific time just with Sky and I think that helps to.  We've borrowed some books from school- the Mr Roger's book on new babies is THE BEST- and we go back and forth between treating Sky like a baby and treating her like a big girl, based on how she seems to be feeling at the time.  It's only really been about two weeks and I think things will keep getting better as time goes on.
  Fire is doing great.  He's still eating and sleeping really well and we think he's putting on a bit of weight already.  He's a very happy baby in general but will let you know if he's unhappy about something.
  D and I are doing okay- actually, we're doing really great.  Life is good for us right now.  And now, enough talking, time for pictures!

 Me, Sky, and Fire with Kathy and Greg Garvin before we headed to the airport.  Kathy and Greg are great friends and it was great to spend more time with them while were were in Majuro.

We're home

May 14, 2012

  I just wanted to let everyone know that we're home and settling in.  We only have dial-up at home so I probably won't be posting for another week or two until I start going back to work.

Majuro Pictures

May 11, 2012

  I think this is what's called a photo dump.  Sorry for mashing it all together but I wanted to make sure I got these pictures up before we get home and things get even crazier.  Enjoy!

One afternoon this week we walked over to Waan Aelon in Majol, also known asWAM.  They teach young Marshallese how to build and sail traditional Marshallese outriggers, as well as teaching them business and life skills.  We were able to get a ride on one of their outriggers.  If you're ever in Majuro and have the time, you should stop by- they're right next to the MIR.  The office staff even watched Fire and Sky for us and then gave Sky a ride when they were docking the boat.


May 7, 2012

  I thought I'd start you off with a pretty picture of the outriggers that were sailing around the lagoon on Constititution Day.  D's hoping to make it over to the outrigger training center here (WAM) but we'll have to see how this week goes.
  Things are going pretty well here for us.  Fire is adjusting to us really well.  He had a rough afternoon and night the day after court but he's getting us broken in and we're figuring things out too.  He's eating lots and sleeps through most of the night.  The first night he only woke up twice and last night he only woke up once, and Sky has been sleeping through all of it.  D and I are pretty happy about that since sleep was one of our big worries going into this.  Medically, Fire is great.  He's 26.5 inches long and weighs 13lbs, 1oz.  He has some baby acne, as well as cradle cap and thrush, but nothing serious.  Overall, he's a happy, healthy, baby boy.

Court Day

May 6, 2012

   We went to court to adopt fire on Friday.  This is our second time at an adoption hearing but it doesn't get any easier.  At least this time, we knew what kind of questions to expect from our lawyer and from the judge.  They harped on our education levels and how much money we make to the point that we were both really uncomfortable.  They also asked a lot about how long we hope to be on Kwaj and how the job situation is there.  We answered the best we could and then it was Fire's birth parent's turn.  It tore out my heart to hear them say that they agreed to the adoption.  I know they'd made up their minds to do it but ...  I've said before that I'd like to have three or four kids but I don't know that I can go through that again.
 Job and Elizabeth left shortly after court but they've been by twice since and are coming back again tomorrow.  I'm really glad they've come by, even though I can't imagine how hard this must be for them.

Marina (Elizabeth's aunt), Sky, Elizabeth, fire, and Job before court

Fire Took Us for a Test Drive

May 4, 2012

   Fire's birth parents brought him over this morning and he stayed with us all afternoon. His birth mother's aunt speaks English and came with them to translate. She works with the adoption program and really helped things go smoothly. This morning we got his passport photo taken and then took everyone out for lunch. Fire's birth parents seem like really nice people and great parents. They were wonderful with Sky, which says a lot to me.
   This afternoon we got to know our boy a bit better. He's a great eater (7oz at a go!) and is already in 3m clothes. He's mellow and a good sleeper. We also found out what a great sleeper Sky is when Fire woke up hungry during her nap- she slept right through.
   Sky is having some trouble adjusting to being a big sister and alternates between wanting to help and being pretty bad (for example, she swallowed bubble wrap today rather than spit it out when we told her to. At least she's original in her badness.). I think once we have Fire with us all the time and she gets used to the situation, things will improve. I know it would be better if we were at home and she were someplace she was comfortable.
We have court tomorrow morning and then we start the documentation race to try and get everything processed and approved before our flight home next Saturday.

Here's some pictures my friend Kathy took on her iphone. We'll start posting more pictures once things settle down a bit.

Meeting Fire

May 3, 2012

D here. I'm just quickly trying to spread the news. We have two sleeping babies in our midst. Here's a copy of the FB and email that I've sent out:

We've met the baby. He's beautiful. Huge eyes. His parents seem really great. We're spending the afternoon with him, and he'll spend the night before court back with them. A's really good with him. I'm working on it.

Sky is HUGELY jealous, but still often a really good girl. When not good, she's taking us to her new level of bad. Fun. How I ended up going from showing/inventoriying the diaper bag to helping Sky change a diaper with a full family and adoption agency audience on my first baby boy, I may never know, but all in all, I think we made a reasonable impression, despite how nervous I know I was.

And pics:

Apparently Kwaj is Understimulating

May 2, 2012

  Because Sky is constantly overstimulated here.  I will say that she's been going through the terrible twos lately but this sudden onslaught of motion and people and tv and people and stuff! is really setting her off.  She is constantly headed in three directions at once, all while jumping on the bed.
  I'm sure there are a lot of factors adding to it: seeing Agnes, being back on Majuro, and being out of her routine probably aren't helping things but I think the quiet, slow life of Kwaj has handicapped her for this place.  I know how she feels.  We were in the grocery store at lunch time yesterday and I suddenly couldn't take it anymore.  D and I call it a "Polie moment", when you've just been away from everything for so long that you just go into sensory overload and start to freak out.  I just felt surrounded by people and covered by noise. I managed to hold it together enough to get out of the store but it was hard.
  I wish there were someplace we could take her to just run off the energy.  We did that in Bangkok and it really helped.  I think we're going out for dinner tonight but we might go out for a walk afterward just acclimate ourselves, and Sky, a little more to all this.

We Made it to Majuro

May 1, 2012

  We're in Majuro and we've made it through our first day here.  Nothing has happened and so much has happened today.  Where to start....
  We haven't met Fire yet.  We're hoping to meet him soon.  Today was a national holiday, Constitution Day, so it's not too surprising that we haven't heard from the adoption ladies today. When we went by our lawyer's office, he told us that the family hasn't been by to pick up the food coupons that we've been paying for- I hope there's a good reason for that and that the family gets them soon.
  We met another adopting family today- they're here to adopt their daughter's biological brother.  It was great to connect with another adoptive mom and to hear about their experience.  Their son J is almost 8 weeks old, so our sons are almost the same age.  It is amazing to think that our son will be as tiny as theirs is!  Sky had a great time playing with M and we're hoping to see a lot more of them while we're here.
  I think the biggest news of the day is that Sky's aunt Agnes came over tonight.  We had already put Sky to bed and were sitting out on the porch when we got a phone call from the front desk saying that Agnes was in the lobby.  Earlier, at the supermarket, we'd met a woman who recognized Sky and said that she would tell Agnes where we were staying.  Agnes said that she had been getting our letters and pictures which is wonderful.  We'd never heard back about them and I hated the thought that she might not know how Sky was doing.  Our talking woke Sky up so Agnes got to talk to her a little bit, even though she was pretty groggy.  The fireworks for Constitution Day started and we all watched them from our balcony and then we had to ask Agnes to leave so that we could put Sky back to sleep.  We told her that we'll be here most of the time and that we'd really love for her to see Sky again.  Hopefully she'll come back soon.
  Off to bed, more tomorrow, hopefully with pictures if I can remember to pull out the camera.
Our Charmed Life. All rights reserved. © Maira Gall.