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Archive for the ‘Photographs’ Category

We saw the first pictures of our first baby (or the #1 baby as she frequently reminds Merry).

From this:

To this:

 

I have no idea how that happened. Seven years has gone by SO FAST!

And today – 7 years to the day we first saw her pictures and signed our Letter of Acceptance – Ava came home from school asking me to explain again what adoption really means because some kids have been asking her at school. She asked me if I would have rather she had been in my tummy (I said no, because then she wouldn’t be Ava) and she asked me some questions about her birth mom.

You know, it is freaking PAINful to look at your tiny little #1 baby/7 year old and tell her you don’t know anything about her birth mom. Don’t know who she is, where she is, got zip, zero, nada, nothing. And if it’s this painful to me then it shatters me to think of what she is going to have to process in her heart and psyche – and now I know it’s going to begin sooner rather than later.

Of course she also asked me if she had to get married and seemed delighted when I told her no and explained that she had a choice on who she could/would marry, when she could get married, or even to choose not to get married at all. Not quite sure where that one came from…

So. Halloween.

As you can tell from the pictures I posted earlier I really planned out the costumes that Ava and Merry would be wearing. Ava agreed to the Little Miss Muffet and her spider concept (even though she wanted to be the spider) and I spent a ridiculous amount of money on the two costumes. I figured they would get several wearings out of them since Merry had a daycare event, Ava had a school event, we had photographs taken (thanks to a cheap Groupon) and finally culminating in the big event – trick or treating.

We had the photographs taken on the Saturday prior to Halloween. This was also the Saturday prior to Hurricane Sandy potentially flooding our area beginning Saturday night. The Saturday we had to meet with our social worker for our second post-placement visit at the last minute since we were scheduled for Sunday AM, by which time we knew we would be flooding. This was also the Saturday that Merry suddenly – after all of that and seemingly out of nowhere – didn’t eat dinner (unheard of for her) and spiked a 103.6 fever.

I’ll spare you the long story of the miserable weekend and Monday that we were basically flooded into our house while my child’s fever raged on and just say that there was an ER visit, a chest x-ray, and a diagnosis of we’re not going to call this pneumonia but it is and that’s what we’re treating her for – which all means that Merry didn’t get to go trick-or-treating because she was pretty darn sick.

I was sad. I had to miss taking Ava trick-or-treating. I had to miss taking Merry out to see all the neighbors. I had to miss parading them around in those ridiculously expensive yet totally awesome costumes. And it’s not like I could send Ava out dressed like that without a spider (well, and it was super muddy thanks to all the rain so yeah, no). So after all that planning she went as Batgirl – in a cheap polyester costume I picked up at 90% off from last year’s Target clearance sale.

(Look – she still had all her teeth!)

This is when I asked her to look fierce. (Maybe she thought I said mental.)

And J kindly snapped a picture of her by our neighbor’s fence where we take a picture every year.

She had fun. J dressed up with her and off they went to hunt and gather some Dots (at which they failed miserably) before coming home to hand out candy at our house. Honestly, I think she enjoyed that as much as she did trick-or-treating. Our neighbors were delighted to see Ava, disappointed to not see Merry, and kindly sent home candy for me her so she wouldn’t miss out on anything. We have about 10 Frosty certificates to use and Ava ate herself silly on Skittles while Merry sorted the candy. She spent ages moving it into piles and dumping and replacing it in the pumpkin.

(Our Halloween rules: Ava can eat all the candy she wants on Halloween night. All Dots and Almond Joys belong to Mama and Tootsie Rolls go to Daddy. The candy is out and fully accessible to Ava for about 3 days at which time the rationing begins – although honestly, she’s mostly lost interest by then anyway.)

P.S. She’s getting wise to us. She hid the pumpkin from us the second night. I think she noticed the decrease in Reese’s and Kit-Kats.

Annnndddd 5 years ago today we crossed the water and headed down to see our baby’s face for the first time. I barely remember the drive down and have no idea what we did afterwards – but I remember every single minute that we were inside that office. I didn’t think I would cry but I started tearing up when our social worker handed me the envelope and burst out into full on happy tears as soon as I saw Ava’s face.

We signed the paperwork immediately and handed it back – yes, we accepted Qi Xiao Bei, age 7 months, as our daughter. Without even a moments hesitation.

I can’t believe that was 5 years ago. A lifetime. But it was only yesterday, right?

CCAI, our fabulous adoption agency, ran a fun little Halloween costume contest on Facebook today and guess who won?

Yeah, that’s right. LIttle Miss Muffet and the spider who sat down beside her.

Thanks to all my friends and family who voted and shared the photo on FB. We won a signed copy of the book written by Lily – one of the co-founders of the agency – and have requested a special inscription for Merry. Lily and Josh met Merry at her SWI just a day or two before our Gotcha Day so I’m hoping they might have a little memory of her or of their trip to share with us. We also won a gift pack from CCAI but I have no idea what that might include.

And here’s another just because I think they are beautiful.

Oh, and yeah. Neither of these costumes were worn for trick or treating.

This one loves Elmo even more than Ava did – if that’s even possible. (This is Ava’s old Elmo that she decided to give to her baby sister.)

Photo date: 8/24/12