Monday, March 31, 2008

I won't take credit...

but tonight while surfing a blog of another adoptive family, I just loved this and wanted to share it.

"Adoption feels like genetic connection because it links you directly not only
to your own gene pool but to the genes of all humanity, all the way to the roots
from which we all originated....Adoption carries the added dimension of
connection not only to your own tribe but beyond, widening the scope of what
constitutes love, ties, and family. It is a larger embrace." (Isabella

Friday, March 28, 2008

Friday, March 21, 2008

Happy Easter Part One

Putting eggs in the basket

Taking eggs out of the basket

Happy it's over

Snacks with the other kids (Sophie's leg wouldn't fit in the table so she got her own "special seat")

I am sure I will have lots more pictures after our church's Easter Egg Hunt, but here are a few from Sophie's preschool Hunt. Maybe being castless will make it easier to pick up the eggs!

Another look at bonding

Ever have one of those moments where you are just realize something all of a sudden? Where you aren't even in a mood to try to evaluate life or love or anything, but bam! there it is.

This happened to me this morning at 4 am, and I have not been able to stop thinking about it.

I woke up because I was cold. Apparently the temperature had dropped overnight (which is impossible to predict right now living in Memphis due to the craziest weather I can remember) and the layers I had on weren't enough. Anyway, so I woke up. Almost simultaneously I had these two thoughts in no particular order: (1) I want to put some socks on and (2) I need to go make sure Sophie is covered up well.

I got up and checked on her. She did feel a little bit cold so I covered her up, turned up the heat and went back to bed.

So, what, you are thinking is keeping Brooke from sleeping on this morning? As I laid down, I couldn't stop thinking about bonding. If you have read my blog much, you know that one of our biggest goals as we set out on this adoption journey was to do everything we could to help Sophie bond to us. To show her that we were her parents and that we were never going away. We didn't let people hold her for weeks at first, and even now, we prefer to be the ones to put her to bed, to feed her, and to provide her basic needs. I did all these things at first because I had read and been told that these things would facilitate her attachment to us.

And to an extent I think they worked... bonding is continual, so we aren't at the end of that road, but I do feel that Sophie loves us and desires to be with us. The thing I didn't count on was that I would become so bonded to HER.

Somewhere along the way I started to feel like Sophie was an extension of me. Somewhere along the way I began to be some empathetic to her needs that I almost feel them too. Somewhere along the way I started thinking of her needs at almost the same time I thought of my own.

One of my biggest fears about being a parent was that I knew that at times, lots of times, you would have to put your own needs aside to tend to your child. I feared that I would somehow resent that. I am a selfish person. Who isn't, really? I'm not saying I don't need a break sometimes, of course I do; but generally I feel that this part of parenting has come more easily than I thought.

In being fearful, I didn't count that a miracle of attachment would happen to ME along the way. I didn't know that when Sophie cries, I literally would feel like it was me crying and want more than anything to find the comfort, or love, or bottle, or whatever she needed. I didn't know that it would become completely automatic to think of her as a part of me. Its like I'm now not just Brooke, but Brooke Plus One. (Reference to Jon and Kate Plus 8, yes I must admit that I love it)

My mother used to tell me and show me by her actions that when I was hurting, she was too. I remember so many times I would be telling her a story or about something that I was struggling with, and I would be crying. She cried too! At the time I think I just didn't realize how she wasn't just being a good empathetic listener... she was feeling my pain in a way that has to be unique to the parent-child relationship.

Most of our moments so far in our nine months together have been regarding some basic need she has had. She's hungry, she's tired, she's sick, etc. And I feel those things along with her, and seek to satisfy them as I would my own... But I imagine that won't even come close to what it feels like when Sophie's needs are more abstract. When she comes to me someday, crying about how someone words have hurt her, about how the boy she likes doesn't like her back, about how she feels insecure, something hard... well, I know that I won't be able to just go cover her up with a blanket for those things. But oh, I'll wish I could.

Ironic, isn't it, that today is Good Friday. And I can't help but think of Mary. Sure this day is about God, about Jesus, about his ultimate sacrifice...that's what it's all about. 

But today I can begin to start to imagine what it might have been like to sit by and watch your son hurt. That day thousands of years ago, Mary felt his pain, she must have! She must have felt so helpless. Even if she believed Jesus that this was something he had to go through, even if she remembered Jesus always had a higher purpose here on earth... she would've wished she could stop it! How she must have cried out WHY to God, like most any parent who loses a child. They were bonded in a unique way, mother Mary to the human child Jesus.

Blessings this weekend to you all who celebrate the resurrection of Jesus. 

p.s. Sophie got her cast off yesterday! Pictures to follow.

Saturday, March 08, 2008

More snow day fun

Well, Sophie wasn't the hugest fan of the snow this time. I think it actually had something to do with the fact that she was in a bad mood anyway. I couldn't really let her waller around in it because of her cast... is waller a real word? I just sat her on a rainjacket and handed her snow.
We did manage to get a few pictures though! How weird does my phone look in this picture. Too bad I didn't take that off.

She didn't really like touching the snow

Uncle Jon throwing a snowball at Mimi and Sophie

Mimi and Sophie

Sophie and Uncle Jon
It snowed! And it actually stuck overnight! Its a memphis miracle!

Tuesday, March 04, 2008

Battle Wounds and Other News

Sophie has had a bit of a hard week... last Thursday at Mother's Day Out a little boy scratched her face up with his nails, then Saturday she had a little fall at her Mimi's house and ended up with a fractured leg! Mimi of course felt terrible, but it could have happened at any of our houses. Sophie is a fast mover these days! (Not for the next few weeks however...she will be in this walking cast)

Otherwise, we are all doing pretty well. We got to see our friends the Smiths a couple of weeks ago. Their daughter Shaye is about the same age as Sophie, so we got numerous pictures of them together. Pretty cute buddies!

Here are a few other pictures from the last few weeks. I have noticed that I almost all the recent pictures of Sophie are of our living room. I can't wait until spring so we can get out a little more!