Tuesday, September 29, 2009

Gotcha Day – One Year Later

Wow! We can’t believe that it has been a year! Greg and I have to be the two luckiest people in the whole world. Grace is amazing! That sums it up!

I remember September 29, 2008 so vividly. The director of the baby home was out for the morning, so we couldn’t go there until late afternoon. When you know it’s your Gotcha Day, all you want is to get to the baby home and hold that baby safely in your arms forever! I remember walking into the baby home with all the cakes and the flowers. Then things were a blur for awhile. We gave Grace’s clothes to the caregivers and we were ushered into the Director’s office. We met with the doctor for the last time. The caregiver brought Grace in to us. Pictures were snapped with their camera as well as ours. Then we left! I remember holding Grace so tightly. I remember walking really fast on the baby home sidewalk to get to the car as fast as I could. I remember that first night at the Korvet, she slept in the crib right next to our bed. She slept the whole night through. I didn’t sleep one wink! I kept getting up and just standing there, staring at her. She is so beautiful!

Here is the photo from the Director’s Office on Gotcha Day next to one we took today at home exactly a year later. Can you even believe the difference?

We were so blessed that Grace was so young (eleven months old). We have experienced so many firsts with her. Her first steps. Her first words. No more bottles. All the teeth! She has come so far. She is excelling at everything! She is easily speaking in three word sentences. She is even trying some four word sentences. Two weeks ago, we were in the kitchen getting dinner ready. Greg always sits in the same spot at the kitchen table. Well, Grace wanted to sit in his spot instead of in her highchair. She said, “I sit Daddy’s seat.” The next day Grace and I were in her room getting dressed for the day. She saw her binky (pacifier) in her bed and asked me for it. She only gets the binky at bedtime and she puts it down before she gets up. (I know, it’s time to think about getting rid of it altogether!) Anyways, I told her that she knew the binky was only for sleep time. This logic didn’t seem to work for her, because she kept asking me for it. Greg walked into her room and Grace said, “Daddy get me binky.” Another four word sentence! Since then, there have been several more!

We have so much to celebrate this time of year. September 18 was our one year court date anniversary. September 29 was our one year Gotcha Day anniversary. October 8 will be Grace’s second birthday! We can’t believe she is going to be two. Boy, time is sure flying by.
Here is one more photo taken today.

Thursday, September 10, 2009

Well, summer has come to an end. We’ve had an awesome summer together. I started back to work last Tuesday and students start this Tuesday. Here are some highlights of our last month and a half of summer.

We took Grace to Lake Michigan. We stayed in the Pentwater–Ludington area. We did a lot of hiking in the sand dunes. That’s a chore on its own, but with Grace on my back, I really got my exercise!

Grace loved playing on the beaches of Lake Michigan. She filled her buckets with sand and then emptied them over and over again. When we finally were able to tear her away from the beach, she was covered head to toe with sand.

We had a bit of a traumatic moment a couple of weeks ago. Grace and I were going to go into my classroom to get things set up. My car was in the garage. I opened the garage door and was starting to load up my car. Grace was waiting for me by the entry door (I thought). While I was in the garage, Grace was able to get my car keys. (I keep them in a dish on a table in the foyer. I didn’t think she could reach them!) Anyway, she brought the keys out into the garage and pressed the alarm button on my car. Well, the alarm went off (very loudly when inside the garage)! It scared Grace and car keys went flying through the air and landed behind a shelving unit in the garage. Grace was crying and shaking. I ran and picked her up, took her in the house and closed the door to try to deafen the sound a little bit. I was trying to calm her down. In the meantime, I’m crying because she is so upset. After calming her down a bit, I ran out to the garage to find the keys. I finally find the keys and then I realize that I don’t know how to shut the alarm off. I fumble to get the manual out of the car glove box. I brought the manual back into the house and finally figure out how to shut the alarm off. Meanwhile, Grace and I are still crying! With the alarm finally off, I just held Grace as close as I could and rocked her back and forth on the couch. When we had settled down enough, we went out to the garage to leave for my school. Grace pointed at my car and said “Beep, beep, beep! Loud!” Poor baby!

Last week we met with our social worker for our one year post-placement report. Yes, one year! Can you believe it???!!! When we look over the last year, we realize more and more how blessed we are!

I had to go to our pediatrician’s office to pick up the medical form for our post-placement report. Grace had a mosquito bite by her eye and it looked just awful. It was very red and her eye was swollen. I didn’t have an appointment, but I asked the receptionist about it. She went and got a nurse. The nurse came out to the waiting room to take a look. (I had never met this nurse before). She took a look at Grace’s mosquito bite and then she looked at me to tell me there was nothing we could do except wait it out. Then the nurse said, “Wow, she sure looks like you!” Greg and I looked at each other and started laughing. I said, “Thank you! It’s funny since Grace was adopted from Russia!” The nurse couldn’t believe it!