This month, Abby turned one year old. During that time, our posts have been few and far between. Have you noticed?
We went through droughts with nothing to say during our adoption process, usually when there wasn’t much happening. But this time is different.
Several weeks ago, Kristi and I started talking about the blog. How great of an experience it was and how amazed we were by the comments and clicks we received. This story was really told for the child we had not met yet, as well as our children who were living the experience. We aren’t good scrapbookers or videographers. And we quickly forget many of the good tales of parenthood as the years crash by. This was our way of capturing the experience.
But the more we talked about what to post next, the more we realized that Adding to the Family was finished. We are there now. We are a family. She is part of us and we are part of her, and now our stories are all wrapped up together.
Sure, we will have (and already are having) experiences unique to adoptive families. Everything from hair products to birth order issues to cultural celebrations to new support networks. But we feel that those are different stories, ones that we will leave to others to share.
So this will be our last significant blog post. The last chapter. The swan song.
Let us use this opportunity to update you on Abby. It’s no longer a baby announcement, but the introduction of our daughter.
She is growing.
In the first few months with us, she quickly moved from the 10th percentile in height and weight to the 40th in height and 80th in weight. Now she is up to the between 75th and 85th in these categories – on track to match her big American siblings. She loves her bottles, is experimenting with “big people” food, and has eaten lots and lots of the little “puffs” that she picks up and rolls around with her little pincer fingers. Speaking of puffy, her hair has gotten bigger and rounder, but still so soft that it’s hard not to touch. It takes a lot of care, but even she likes to bury a couple of fingers into it as she falls asleep. It’s heavenly.
She loves to be held (especially by Mom).
The Special Mothers at Hannah’s Hope in Ethiopia wrote this descriptor down in her paperwork. Part of our cocooning process has been to indulge her all the time – always be there for her so she knows she can rely on us. Well, it worked. She looks for us and smiles at us and we squeeze her even tighter. Don’t get me wrong – she has her time on the floor or in a seat, jumping and moving and rolling. But when her bursts of energy are spent, she wants to be in our arms.
She is loved.
Our kids can’t stay away, and even though it can be a problem, it’s a good problem. Neither can we. We try to catch her gaze in the room. We talk to her and sing to her. She stops strangers in their tracks, who want to see her up close and hear our story, which we love to tell. Her sleep/eat/play cycles blend with us, and we are starting to get out and do things as a family.
It’s easy to say that fresh air and American food make babies grow. But we suspect that love and stability have more to do with it. She is happy and thriving and so are we. The pictures below help tell the story.
Thanks to all of you who made this journey with us. Your comments and emails and prayers and advice lifted us up and kept us excited, even when it seemed like our girl was a long way off. You are now part of our family too.
Jesse, Kristi, Hannah, Elliot, Logan … and Abby
December 23, 2010