I've been waiting...

Tuesday, October 30, 2012


After reading the comments, I thought I should add an update to Sunday's post.  I just want to be clear, I don't actually feel judged by anyone, I have great supportive friends.  I just wanted to take an opportunity to explain to people who may not know, why I do things the way I do and that my approach may look different than the normal approach to parenting.  People have been great and I actually appreciate the advice given, even if it doesn't end up applying to my situation so keep it coming!  I also know I can find a middle ground when it comes to the bonding process.  I have no problem allowing my family to hold Grace and play with her and my mom has done some of the feeding, etc.  However, I do know that I need to limit having everyone hold and care for her, mostly because she does not want that quite yet.  She'll come around, she is a VERY sociable little girl (who does that sound like??!!)  
Double Trouble!  Grace giving herself a high five!
Thought I'd add a picture just because she's so darn cute!

Saturday, October 27, 2012

Learning to Be Parented

A conversation online with some single parent friends and a visit from a friend this week got me thinking.  Online, I communicate with other single mothers by choice and we are arranging a holiday get together where everyone will meet Grace for the first time.  They have all offered to "hold" her at the party to give me a break and be able to chat.  As well, I had a visit from a friend this week and while we were chatting in the living room Grace played around us, pulling herself up, holding onto the coffee table, etc.  She lost her balance and fell, bumping, but not really hurting her head on the couch.  Grace sort of looked stunned and was not sure whether she wanted to cry or not, and my friend, a dear one, distracted Grace by smiling and turning it into a game/ fun thing, something you might naturally do with a toddler who has been born to you.  It got me thinking though that I could write about some of the things I've learned about parenting a child who is new to being parented.  I don't mean this post to sound preachy or know-it-all and I have no criticism at all for any of my generous friends' offers and advice, but there are some definite differences between parenting a baby who has been born and bonded with you since birth and one that is just now forming attachment at 14 months old.  I have had advice about everything from let her "cry it out" to put in ear plugs and go to bed, to have her sleep with me in my bed to just put her down on the floor and let her be.  I have had generous and kind hearted friends offer to take Grace for a while so that I can get things done or have a break, etc.  You have no idea how much I appreciate that offer and will eventually take you up on it so please keep asking.  Right now, my parents are the only ones she feels truly comfortable with away from me.  It may seem right now to some that I am "spoiling" my child.  I attend to her every need and want as best I can.  I go into her room at night every time she wakes up and yes, sometimes she sleeps with me in my bed.  I pick up and hold her A LOT and appreciate when others don't insist on holding her because she is still too anxious to go to them.  However, Grace is learning every day that I will be there for her, that I will always try to make her feel better and satisfy her hunger or soothe her pain or thirst or whatever it is she needs at that moment.  It may seem like I "over-react" to her bumps or cries, soothing her with hugs and cuddles when a simple pat on the head will do but children who have grown up without a constant caregiver have learned not to cry when they get hurt, not to look for soothing from anyone and I need to teach her to look to me for those things, and right now that means every time they happen, no matter how minor.  So yes, I'm still exhausted from going into her room several times a night, from carrying her everywhere and playing with her instead of cleaning the house or relaxing, but I constantly try to remember this time is about her, not me.  I'm not always successful at remembering this, sometimes I feel selfish, sometimes I even break down and cry because it's just so darn hard, but I carry on because I know she needs to see me as her one and only caregiver right now.  Like I said, I will definitely take up people on their offers of a break, so thank you for being patient with Grace as she explores what it means to be a daughter to someone and to have a mother who is always there for her.  She may still need some time to develop the confidence she needs to go to others but it will happen, I am sure of it.   

Tuesday, October 23, 2012

A New Toy

Hey, who knew.....  a plastic bag really is a toy!

For those of you freaking out right now, don't worry, I didn't let her play with it for long!  But she does love the crinkly sound plastic makes and will get her hands on it every chance she gets!

Tuesday, October 16, 2012

On Third Thought....

I had my first post placement meeting/report today with my social worker and it got me thinking.  A lot has changed in the past month.  
I was trying to be coy in my writing yesterday on our one month anniversary, trying to imply that even though I am still exhausted, still unsure about how to do everything to care for my little girl, still overwhelmed by the importance of my job of being Grace's mother, that even though I still feel all those things, I wouldn't trade it for anything!  
However, speaking to my social worker today made me think, so much has changed in the past month.  
My life is almost unrecognizable from what it was before Grace and I love it.  She has found a special place in my heart that has more love in it than I could have ever imagined.  Love that lets me get up several times each night to soothe her back to sleep and to lie on a mattress on the floor next to her crib, chop up fruit and veggies into tiny pieces, make bottle after bottle of warm milk and formula.  Love that makes me smile as I do yet another load of laundry and love that makes just going for a walk in the stroller an amazing experience.  Grace has shown so so much growth, both physically and emotionally.  She readily comes to me to be picked up and wants me to soothe her when she bumps, she talks to me in "Grace talk" (only her and I understand it, and maybe a little bit by Grandma!!LOL) she smiles and laughs out loud when  I play with her and sing to her and encourages me to chase her around the living room by taking off and looking back to see if I am following.  Grace has gone from barely sitting up a month ago to almost standing by herself.  She's eating solid food and is beginning to pick up pieces to feed herself.  She's learned some tricks these past couple of days too which I will save for a post later this week.  They are so cute to watch on video.  
She's done amazing in this one month and I hope she thinks I have too.  

Grace and I out on Thanksgiving Day

Grace wearing her Fashion hat.  She's cool like that!

Sunday, October 14, 2012

On Second Thought...

Ok, this is actually the same sort of post as the previous one.  I was posting on Facebook and I kind of liked this version better, so here it is on the blog.  Enjoy!
One month ago I stepped off a plane feeling exhausted, scared and completely overwhelmed by what lied ahead of me as a mother to a newly adopted Chinese daughter. One month later, not much has changed. I'm still exhausted, scared, and completely overwhelmed most days. What has changed is that my daughter now has a forever family, a mom who loves her and a whole lot of people who have welcomed her to Canada! Thanks everyone!

One Month Later....

One month ago today I came home with my new baby daughter.  I stepped off the plane exhausted, scared, completely overwhelmed and in love with a little girl I was just getting to know.  I think Grace felt the same way.  Today, one month later, I am still exhausted, scared, overwhelmed and in love with that little girl I am still getting to know.  I think Grace feels the same way.
Welcome to Canada Grace!! You certainly were worth the wait!

Grace giving her mom a big wet kiss on Thanksgiving

Tuesday, October 9, 2012

So Much to Be Thankful For...

I've been putting off writing this post because I feel like simple words won't do justice to the feelings I have this Thanksgiving.  I love to write and I can usually find the words to express what I want to say, but these past two days, I can't seem to find the right words.  So much to be thankful for...  A great family, good friends, a great place to live in a beautiful country, the blessing of a new nephew, a good job and a warm house with everything I need, but most of all, a beautiful daughter who has brought joy to my day every day for a month now, has made me laugh and cry and giggle and crawl around on the living room carpet after her.  She's given me a chance to share all the love I have inside me with someone who really needs it and for that I'm so thankful.  Happy Thanksgiving everyone!

Wednesday, October 3, 2012

One Month

One month ago today Grace was placed in my arms for the first time, crying, looking terrified and wanting nothing to do with me.  What a change I've seen in just one short month.  She doesn't want me out of her sight for even a minute and when I hold her she touches my face with her hand, gently, just to keep me close and let me know she needs me.  Our love for each other grows stronger every day and it's hard to believe I can feel more joy at being her mom today than I did even yesterday!

Tuesday, October 2, 2012

Happy Autumn Moon!

Happy Autumn Moon Festival everyone!  Grace and I attended our first Autumn Moon get together as a family on Sunday.  I was blessed enough to have a good friend Marianne host an Autumn Moon party in my honour.  It was great to see the other families and to finally be able to introduce Grace to everyone there.  I've been attending Autumn Moon and Chinese New Year get togethers with a group of families, all who have adopted from China,  for 6 years now.  I was so thrilled to finally be able to bring Grace!  

Grace sharing dinner with Grandma

Her lovely Autumn Moon dress.  It took 6 shots to get  her to stand still long enough for this photo!!!!