Monday, February 28, 2011

Perfect Moment Monday - First Smiles

What could be more perfect than a sweet baby's first smiles? Carrot graced us with his first smiles recently and it is so wonderful to see his little eyes and face light up. He has even started to squeal! We stopped everything we were doing to soak in these precious first moments. Such a joy!

I just had to include this adorable tongue shot!! So cute!

Check out more Perfect Moment Monday at Write Mind, Open Heart HERE.

Thursday, February 24, 2011

Highs and with a preschooler

Let's face with a preschooler is both extremely fun and extremely frustrating! And, sometimes all in the same moment. On one hand, I LOVE this age! Pea is so full of energy, imagination, curiousity, and he is hilarious! On the other hand, he can also drive me CRAZY!

The fun side:

  • Pea talks NONSTOP (okay, this could arguably be on the not-so-fun side, too!). He loves to tell stories and they are full of all kinds of adventures involving baracudas, sharks, whales, anglerfish, snakes, monsters, and the occasional fire truck and police car.
  • Pea also tells stories involving his imaginary friends. You may remember he had an imaginary friend he referred to as his brother. Well, since carrot came home, his imaginary friend is now his sister. Hmmm...most recently another friend has joined his club: Me-me. I have no idea where Me-me came from, but Me-me sometimes sits at our table and sleeps with pea, but Me-me does not live with us. Like Pea's sister, Me-me seems to be a world traveler! Somedays he lives down the street from us, somedays he lives on a boat, and some days he even lives on another planet as an alien! Me-me and sister seem to find a way into almost every story. It really is fun listening to the tales pea weaves and hearing where his imagination takes him.
    Pea decided to dump all the laundry and jump into it.
  • As you may have guessed, pea is just a little obsessed with sea creatures...specifically barracudas, sharks, anglerfish, and whales. He would much rather watch National Geographical and NGWild than any other TV show. And, he would much rather look at "real" books about sea life than storybooks. At the library, he immediately runs to the science section to find books about various animals. He can name and identify several different whales, sharks, fish, and more. And, he requested a barracuda cake for his birthday. Yikes. I swear this kid is WAY smarter than me. It is a little scary!
  • I love that pea can create fun in almost any situation. This week, our living room became the beach and he was running around in his bathing suit, all while it snowed like crazy outside! Hangers become swords, laser beams, and guns (ugh).

But, alas, there are also times that his little preschooler ways drive me NUTS!
  • Pea can flip his attitude like a switch and he is so mouthy! He is definitely testing the boundaries right now. He says the craziest things when he is mad. "I want to kick all the people out of this house." "I don't want to look at you, mommy." "You are making me ANGRY, mommy." "You can't come to my (or his sister's or Me-me's) birthday party." Admittedly, sometimes it is hard not to laugh.
  • Pea is a very HIGH energy little boy (which I love), but he also gets into EVERYTHING. He always has. It drives me crazy when I have to tell him 5 times to put something down, don't touch that, etc, etc.

  • Pea talks NONSTOP. And he is LOUD. Even his whispering is loud. I swear he doesn't take a breath when he is talking. Forget trying to talk on the phone or watch a TV show with him around.

Well, I am sure you noticed that the fun list is definitely bigger than the not-so-fun list! In spite of all of the things that turn me into crazy mama, pea is such a fun, loving, smart, and easy going little boy and I love everything about him!! Every stage is definitely a new adventure.

Sunday, February 13, 2011

Open Adoption...What I have learned so far, Part I

Open adoption is not that scary! I admit, a few years ago the idea of an open adoption really freaked me out. I wasn't sure that it was something I could handle, for many reasons. But, fast forward several years and now openness feels perfectly right. Normal in a sense, even though it is still a very new concept for us. As you know,a couple months ago, we opened our hearts to pea's birth family and now have a connection and a commitment to them. Of course, having an open international adoption is very difficult due to the boundaries of culture, language, distance, etc. But, it is possible it it's own unique way. It is just a matter understanding that openness looks different in every situation. Not to mention that technology and some pretty amazing people makes it possible for us to have this connection. It is incredible. Most international adoptees have very little to no information regarding their birth family so it feels especially miraculous to know we have found pea's birth family and plan to have regular contact with them, which includes meeting them the next time we travel to Guatemala (hopefully in 2 years). At this point, we plan to have contact with every 3-4 months thanks  to Victor!

A couple weeks ago, we received even more pictures of pea's birth family and we now have a picture of one of his aunts! Pea was actually very excited to look at all of the pictures we have received, especially pictures of his brother. His face lit up and he said

"this is so cool, mom! he looks like me!"

That alone makes it all worth it. Pea is now very proud that he has a little brother AND a big brother. What a gift!

As I wrote earlier, we had always intended to search for pea's birth family, though we had planned to wait a little longer. But, it happened when we least expected and the timing was perfect. Isn't that always the case in life?!?! For awhile, we debated on whether or not to wait and allow pea to decide when he is older if he wants to search. After much thought, we decided that finding them was not just about pea, but also about us. We wanted to make that connection for our own personal reasons as well.

There are still questions we will never have the answers to, there are limits to our relationship with pea's birth family, and we don't know how this relationship will evolve, but it is a huge weight lifted knowing we have found them, that we have pictures and more information than before and knowing that this will help to fill in the gaps to pea's story.

Coming next...Part 2, Meeting carrot's birth mother