Posts Tagged ‘gotcha day’

My Little Girl

December 15, 2013

Nora -12

For Nora’s third Gotcha Day (celebrating the day we adopted her) we asked a friend to take a photo shoot of our sweet little girl.  We met in a gated community just before sundown and Nora could not figure out why we wanted her to sit in the weeds!  Hahahaha!  On a blustery Wednesday a week later we met in Target parking lot to exchange the goods.  When the CD went into the home computer and we admired each scene… each smile… each dimple… I realized my little girl isn’t going to be little for much longer.  Seriously, it was the first time I thought those thoughts.  Her face is thinning out.  Her big teeth have almost all shown up for the party.  And she does her own hair now.  Our time with our kids is so short!  And when they arrive at your heart’s door at seven years old, it is entirely too swift of a time until they leave home!

This picture is my favorite of all of them because she is laughing, truly laughing and it shows in her eyes.  It’s so sweet.  Then I took a long swallow and realized that she looks at her Daddy with these loving eyes and that cheery smile, but only for a little while longer.  My stomach did a flip flop and sank as I realized this smile and adoring look will be aimed at her next Knight in Shining Armor in as little as TEN YEARS!  WHAT!  Stop the bus!

Well, she did tell us that she’s not getting married until she’s 35, so we have a few more years than most.  :o)

Hug and kiss your kids!  And make them sit in the weeds!

My Heart is STILL in Colombia!

November 24, 2012

It’s true.  We have been home from Cali, Colombia for 23 months with our little Colombian princess.  The adoption journey has had bumps and twists that we didn’t expect, but it has been so wonderful and rewarding.

Tomorrow is GOTCHA DAY number two!

TWO YEARS!!!  Hard to believe it has gone by so fast.  Sometimes our month in Colombia seems like forever ago… and sometimes it seems like last week.  I miss the lush greenness of Cali, the vast array of mystery fruits that were scrumptiously yummy, the glimpses of the Andes when the fog lifted, the bamboo forest we drove by to our villa, the coconut ice cream bars, the afternoon rain showers, the neighborhood boys who would come and ask,  “Is Austin Rick’s son?”, the sweet smell of the flowers, arepas filled white cheese, the stickiness of the night air and the pee-po pee-po LOUD evening serenade of the coqui frogs.

People often ask “Why Colombia?”  Quite a few factors lead us to the beautiful and tropical South American country.

1.) My husband, Rick, went to Valledupar, Colombia for a summer to build a church when he was 17-years-old.  He grew to love the warm-hearted people and the countryside teeming with unknown vegetation, never imagining that he would return to meet his daughter twenty-something years later.

2.) We have three bio kids who do not look like Rick AT ALL.  Ok, one does a little, but I was expecting little chubby, black-haired Indian babies when I married a Cree Indian.  Didn’t happen.  The Irish and Finnish genes dominated and we got two blonde-haired, blue-eyed kids and another slightly darker. So, when we had chosen an adoption agency, I looked through the pages for the countries they worked in….   I held up the two pages and announced to Rick, “El Salvador and Colombia are where the kids look like you.”  “Colombia,” he replied.  And it was a done deal.

3.) Not that I was anywhere near proficient, but I thoroughly enjoyed taking Spanish… back in the day.  Larisa also had Spanish courses and was mastering her second language quite nicely.  So a country in South America seemed familiar… somehow.  (Not distant in my mind, like, say, Kazakhstan… or China.) I related to Ellie from the movie UP…. her dream was to visit South America.  She tore pictures right out of a library book of the fascinating country.

I am as American as you could get.  I LOVE my country… the anthem brings me to tears.  Studying and teaching the history of our great land is a deep passion of mine.  But I have to say that my heart beats in thirds… a third for the USA, a third for Canada, where I spent my college years and the first 10 years of marriage, and now a third for Colombia where I fell in love with my daughter’s people and homeland.  My heart is still in Colombia. <3

“Watch and Learn”

October 1, 2012

This is the new one liner our little Colombian princess is repeating… and repeating … and repeating.  “Watch and learn!”  We’re not sure where it came from? (Austin?)

Just another few factoids of folly from her today as well:  We have friends who are Anglo-Saxon (do they still call us white folk Anglo-Saxon?), with 2 bio kids and four adopted kids, one of whom is from Korea.  Nora asked me today if their family does “Gotchya Day”.  “I’m not sure if they do, but they would have a lot if they did!” and I named the four adopted kids.  Nora was astonished that the 13-year-old from Korea (in the family of 7 other white people) was adopted.  She amazes me sometimes.

Later this afternoon, I witnessed her parade to and from the bathroom and her bedroom…. a few too many times for normal wear and tear.  The following conversation followed.

Me:  “Nora, what are you doing?”

N:  “Playing”

Me: “What are you playing?”

N:  “I made some food for my dolls.”  Carrying a little sauce pan to the bathroom again.

Me:  “What did you make for them?”

N:  “Soup.”

Me:  “What is in the soup?”

N:  “Water.”

I looked into the pot…. it was a milky white substance with chunks.

Me:  “What else did you put in the soup?”

N:  “Paper and glue.”

Me:  “Where in the world did you get that idea?”

N:  “From George.”

Me:  “Who is George?”

N:  “That little monkey.”

(Curious George!!!!)

Me:  “Don’t EVER do anything that George does!”

:o)

 

Gotcha Day is Fast Approaching!

October 26, 2011

Hard to believe!  November 25th we will have had our sweet Nora for a YEAR!  Twelve whole months!  I can’t believe how fast it has flown by…. on the other hand, it seems like she’s been here much longer than that.  She has fit into her forever family better than I could have ever hoped for.  All those scary “preparation” stories from our training never materialized at all.  God picked us to be her family from the beginning!  I have no doubts now.  She is doing so well… with everything!  I have to remind myself that she has only been speaking English for six months!  Amazing how God made youngsters’ brains to absorb languages so quickly.

Here we were sitting in ICBF only a half hour before Nora had a forever family.  So many emotions that day!

So, we know we are ordering Domino’s Pizza, because that’s where we ate in Cali, Colombia the very first night we had the Colombian princess.  Other than that….. I’m looking for ideas and suggestions.  What did you, fellow adoptive parents, do on your first Gotcha Day?  What do you keep doing every year?  Is it a BIG Colombian fiesta with salsa dancing until the wee hours? Or something a little more calm?  Please let me know…. I have a month to plan!

We all need Girlfriends!

May 18, 2011

We have almost been home with Nora for five month now.  Time has FLOWN by!  Most of that time she has spent playing with us or her cousin, Luke, who lives across the street.  She has gone once to another friend’s house for the day.  But today she had girlfriends over to play for the first time.  Two sisters, one is 1.5 years older than Nora and one is 1.5 years younger.  When we picked them up, they were all timid and shy with one another as they were almost strangers.  They have met on two or three occasions, but never played together… hard!  As soon as we arrived home, they all went out to the trampoline and the laughter and squealing began.  It continued for hours.  Sweet music to my ears!

I packed snacks and juice in Nora’s little picnic basket and they had tea on the little yellow picnic table in the backyard as the wind blew their hair all wild.  And they talked non-stop.  Like girlfriends do.  At one point, the dog was bugging them, so Nora came and put her in the house.  She poked her head inside the back door, and upon seeing me looking at her, Nora said excitedly, “This is SO fun!”   “I know!” I responded, because I DO know!  Why didn’t I get her with girlfriends sooner????

(Disclaimer: Nora dressed herself:)

Half way through the play time, I packed the three little girls into the back seat of the van so I could pick up Larisa from work. (Yes, she works now… but that’s another blog.) On the drive home, Larisa and I just sat and smiled as we listened to Nora tell the entire story of the day she got a family.  It was so sweet.  She didn’t miss a thing!  “Mommy way crying.  Daddy was crying.  Larisa was really hard crying.  Keeve was crying.  They crying because they so happy.  Austin no did crying. And I run to Mommy and kiss her and give her stuffs I make. She hug me. Daddy hug me.  I was so happy, but I did no crying.”  Melts my heart!  It’s the first time I heard her tell the story!  She was so proud!

Again I say, we ALL need girlfriends!  They simply bring out the best in us!

November 3rd has Come and Gone {sigh}

November 3, 2009

If you have followed our eternal adoption saga, you know that I’m a tad sad today.  November 3rd is the last day of the year 2009 that a referral call can be received from Bogota… and your child can be home by Christmas.  Our call did not come today.  This will be Christmas #3 without our baby girl looking wide-eyed at her first glistening Christmas tree, or having a family to gather with and sing carols in a strange language, or making Sugar cookies in the shapes of stars, candy canes and snowmen with sprinkles.  I don’t know if I can stand to put the baby ornaments on the tree this year.

When I think of the life Zaza is most likely living right now… down in Colombia… it makes my heart sad.  We pray for her every single day to be cared for, warm, fed and loved.  I know it will be the shock of her life to leave all that is familiar to her… food, weather, friends, home, caretakers, clothes, smells, Spanish, songs and games.  I’m glad that we stay in Colombia for a month to get used to each other in her surroundings.  But I honestly cannot wait to shower her in love and kisses.  To bring her to her own home and show Zaza her darling yellow room with the purple bed.  Her very own room!  With butterflies, dragonflies, flowers and the sun painted in bright colors and glitter dancing around the tops of her walls.  Her own curvy mirror to look in, comb her black hair that is just like her daddy’s and admire her beautiful clothes.  I can’t wait to hear squealing in our home again, high-pitched laughter and giggling.  We haven’t had princess tea parties in many years around here.  And dancing.  Yes, we will dance with Zaza.

We started a unit with the boys today on patience and plant growth.  As I read the definition “patience is waiting without complaining” I realized why God planned for us to start the unit today… Nov. 3rd.   I plan my homeschool year in early June, when I wasn’t aware of the Nov. 3rd cut off date.  And of course it would be patience out of all the character traits that it could be.  HE knew!  So we planted grass and flowers and herbs and vegetables today.  Of course I thought of doing all this with Zaza by my side making a mess next year.  I pray she loves gardening even half as much as I do.  We’ll have great fun together with the dirt, water, seeds and rocks.  I’ve been eyeing the little gardening gloves, rubber boots and color coordinated kid-sized garden tools at JoAnns.  I LOVE those!  A must have.

The courts in Bogota are closed from Dec. 15 to Jan. 15th, so there will be no action at all until after that. {sigh} The good news of Nov. 3rd being over is that the holidays are spent focussing on the family that is here, the few years we have left together, and making memories that will last. 

Seed Is a Promise

I read the book A Seed is a Promise today…. and it is, whether it is an actual plant seed, or the seed of a child born in your heart.  It is a promise.  A promise that will come true… if we have patience (and wait without complaining!)