Tuesday, October 31, 2006

And again......

After some input from some friends and family, I have struck a compromise.....So the FINAL new title will be....(See above)

Let's try this again

A reader wrote to me and gently broke the news...Ladybugs and Dragonflies already exists as a blog title. Serves me right for only following about 5 blogs in the blogging world.

So it was back the drawing board......after some thought, I have gone with a sentiment that seems to sum up the adoption experience, "From Here to There".

The journey to adoption begins with a single phone call. It continues with the completion of stacks of forms, countless requests for documentation, multiple meetings with a social worker, doctors appointments and finger printing. Then there is the seemingly endless wait. Most of this is forgotten when the referral is received and Gotcha Day arrives (that is, until the journey to the next adoption starts and it all comes roaring back.) Once home, the journey evolves and changes as life moves forward and a family gradually emerges.

We started out one place and we have arrived somewhere else. The journey will continue to unfold and when we look back, there will always be a here and a there. We are grateful to the 'there' and the 'here' we have experienced thus far and look forward to next journey full of more moments of 'here' and 'there'.

Monday, October 30, 2006

Ladybugs and Dragonflies

I waited to address this issue until we had completed our home study and sent off our forms to the USCIS seeking approval to adopt a foreign child. That day has finally come and Sophia even helped me put it in the mail.

So here was my dilemma, such as it is. In the grand scheme of things, it can hardly even be classified as a true dilemma. I have been debating whether to construct a new blog for our journey to Keenan or to simply add on to this one. After careful consideration, I decided that there is really no way to separate these two events. We are a family, and when Keenan joins us, we are just going to be a bigger family. As special as each of our children are or will be to us, our lives are intertwined and I think one blog will have more continuity than two.

Now, the question remained, what do we now call the blog? The URL will remain the same, www.ourjourneytosophia.blogspot.com , but I have been trying to figure out what the new title should be. I'm not sure why, but "Journey to Sophia and Keenan" just didn't feel right to me. So here is what I came up with, and why....

For me, when I think of our journey to Sophia and China, I think Ladybugs. It is such a common symbol for families adopting from China. And Sophia is, after all, a little ladybug. While we were waiting, I obsessively bought every outfit that had ladybugs on it. I looked at every real ladybug as some kind of sign that our referral was on it's way. I never did see any ladybugs right before we got our referral, but somehow, looking for them just made me feel better. Therefore, I have concluded that ladybugs should be in the title.

Now, to figure out something that represents Keenan. I have been fascinated with dragonflies since I was a little girl. When my sister would sing to me Joanie Mitchell's song, "Circle Game", I loved the line "yesterday, a child came out to wonder, caught a dragonfly inside a jar, frightened when the sky was full of thunder, and tearful at the falling of a star." I think my infatuation with the little insect began then. I always look for them and while we were waiting for Sophia, I had a magical visit from two of the little guys while I was riding my horse one morning. They circled around Mambo's ears and stuck with us for over 15 minutes as I road him around the arena. Then in September, Colin and I were on the beach, standing at the base of some Michigan dunes, and we were treated to an amazing show as a whole slew of dragonflies made their way across the sand and the grass. Yup, I think dragonflies will be a perfect representation of our journey to Keenan.

So meet our new blog name, "Ladybugs and Dragonflies." While I realize this does not qualify as earth shattering news, it makes this new journey seem a little more real.

24 Hours in Chicago

Colin has been working so much lately that Sophia and I thought we would give him a commuting break. So we threw some clothes and diapers in a bag, hopped a plane, and met him in Chicago while he was in between trips.

Sophia is already a fairly seasoned traveler and she did great....right up until we put her in the hotel crib. The tears and wails flowed freely and she was not easily calmed or comforted. One hour after she finally drifted off the sleep, she woke up screaming and would not open her eyes, no matter how much we tried to wake her up. I was really worried that something was seriously wrong with her. I checked to see if she had a fever and she was cool as a cucumber. I was just on the verge of total panic when I remembered that she had done this once before when we were in China. It happened a couple of days after Gotcha Day and we had concluded that she had a night terror.

During this night terror, Colin had enough common sense to take her out into the crisp night air and it was cold enough to wake her out of her private nightmare. It took her the better part of a hour to calm her down and get her back to sleep. She woke up a mere six hours later and, boy, were we whooped! All three of us.

Wanting to salvage something of our trip, we took the El downtown. Without going into great detail, we chose to take a train on one of the few times that the CTA had an operational meltdown. A journey that normally takes 45 minutes took more like 90 minutes. We did not have a lot of time to go to Colin's old neighborhood, but we did have a lovely walk down State St. and Michigan Avenue. And lo and behold, we came across a Halloween Haunted house. We didn't go inside, but Kat...I mean, Sophia, loved looking at the pumpkins.

Sunglass photo challenge

Donna, of 'Double Happiness' http://2happy.typepad.com/ fame, issued a new photo challenge. This week the theme is sunglasses. I didn't have to run out and take any new photos since I had some ones that I took this summer that fit the bill perfectly.

Sunday, October 22, 2006

The Halloween Party at the Barn

At the party, there was a balloon race. Sophia was mesmerized by the balloons, at least until one popped in her hands. By the end of the party, she was no longer bothered by the sounds of balloons popping. She had a wonderful time and all the kids were so tolerant of having a really little one in their midst.

Prepping for the Halloween Party

We were invited to attend the Halloween party at the barn Kat keeps her horse at. Kat wasted no time zipping Sophia in her dreaded ladybug outfit. Much to our surprise, she did not object to the hood and kept it on the entire time. We also dusted off Marz's devil outfit and dressed him up to. He looked less than thrilled.

Sophia gave Marz some treats to make up for his humiliation.

Saturday, October 21, 2006

Not quite there yet

A couple of weeks ago, I mentioned we were getting close to completing our home study for Sophia's brother. I guess it all depends on how you define close. I am hoping we are coming down to the home stretch here because some administrative glitches have inserted themselves into our diligent preparation. The best laid plans of mice and men, as it were.......

Oh well, I'm sure it will all fall into place and in the meantime, Sophia has been a little charmer, and it is difficult to stay in a rotten mood when she is around. And besides, all good things come to those who wait, right? All I have to do is look at Sophia, and I think "Heck yeah!"

We actually have a pair of mittens that fit Sophia. I had shed my mittens to play ball with her and she triumphantly picked them up off the ground and tried to put them on. We figured we would help her out and she thought that wearing them was hysterical, at least for the first 10 minutes or so.

Sunday, October 15, 2006

Family gathering

One of the nice things about being near family is that family dinners are a tad easier to arrange. Kat's brother and his family joined us, Oompa, and Nana for a pizza dinner. Sophia loved to playing with her extended family and I haven't seen her laugh that much since she was in California.

Thursday, October 12, 2006

A flashback on anticipation

On Donna's wonderful Blog, Double Happiness, http://2happy.typepad.com/ she posed the challenge for other bloggers to post weekly photos with a certain theme. This week, her theme was "Anticipation".

I dug up these two photos. In the first photo, taken just minutes from 'Gotcha', Kimberley's expression spoke volumes about what she was feeling waiting for her daughter, I just sat there looking giddy. The second photo, shows Colin and I mere seconds before Sophia entered the room. I can remember that my body felt like jelly and I could scarcely breathe. It felt surreal. Sometimes, it still does.

On the topic of anticipation, we no longer need to anticipate winter. It has arrived (days before Fall has even officially arrived). The wind has been roaring, bringing with it snow and a chill that cuts through all clothes and quickly seeps into the bones. Sophia wasn't quite sure of what to make the white stuff. It wasn't sticking to the ground. It will be interesting to see her reaction to a few inches of it.

Wednesday, October 11, 2006

Here we go.......

Last night we had our last visit from the social worker for our next adoption adventure. It feels like we have just got on the roller coaster again. Translation? I'm feeling excited, nervous and a little scared. We hope it all goes well and most of all, hope that Sophia and her little brother (or sister) love each other.

Look out Vietnam and Keenan, here we come!


Monday, October 09, 2006

Prepping for Halloween

Kat's all time favorite holiday is Halloween. She couldn't wait to take Sophia pumpking shopping.

Wednesday, October 04, 2006

A little brother for Sophia?

It's true, we have almost completed our second homestudy. We still have some hoops to jump through, but if things go as planned, we will be submitting our application to request permission to adopt a boy from Vietnam.

Once we have completed our dossier (hopefully no later than the end of the year), we will post more on this latest development. It is our hope that we will be hopping a plane to Vietnam and embarking on this next journey in May of 2007.

We just might have to change the blog name to Journey to Sophia and Keanan (or Keenan)(not sure about the spelling yet). Stay tuned......

The moments that make it all worth while

Sophia had her 15 month well check today. To say she was one unhappy girl would be an understatement, to say the least.

She is now just shy of 18 pounds and is 28.5 inches tall. She isn't quite keeping up with her personal growth curve, but she seems happy and healthy, so I won't freak out quite yet.

I can't believe that we have been a family for almost 5 months. At times, it seems were in China only weeks ago, and at other times, it feels like we have been a family forever.

Yesterday, I had one of those moments that truly do make it all worthwhile. Sophia and Colin stayed home while I went grocery shopping. I returned home and had knelt down to put away some items. I could hear her run down the hall. When she turned the corner, she saw me and her eyes lit up, she held out her arms for a hug and launched herself into my arms. Now Sophia has been hugging me for quite some time now, but this was the FIRST time that she initiated the hug. I nearly cried.