Why?

September 30th, 2010

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Can you guess Ami’s most recent (intelligible) word?  “Why?” I guess that’s one disadvantage to having an older sibling.  I don’t know if I’m ready for hearing this from both of them!  At least the first word she learned from us was “please“.  And, of course, her most frequently used word is “no“.  This little girl is becoming quite the talker, and seems to be putting sentences together.  Alas, we just can’t understand them.

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Miah continues to amuse us with her use of the English language.  After talking with Mommy about needing new batteries for her toy kitten ↓, she walks into the other room and tearfully blurts out, “Dad, my kitty died!”

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Another time I’m in the kitchen cleaning up while the girls finish their lunch at the table.  Ami is trying to watch me.  I overhear Miah saying, “Turn around, Ami, Mommy doesn’t want to look at your dirty face.”  Girls, I’m happy to look at your dirty faces anytime.  That doesn’t mean I won’t wash them, but I certainly don’t mind looking at them!

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Faces from Our Daughters’ Country of Birth

September 27th, 2010

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We have so many photos from our China trip that we didn’t share earlier, so I thought I’d post a few now.  These ladies outside the Forbidden City were very interested in Miah, and seemed pleased to have their picture taken with her.  Not wanting to be intrusive, we didn’t take as many “people shots” as we would have liked.  But these should give you a little flavor of our experience.

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These are from Tienanmen Square in Beijing,

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And The Forbidden City.

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The park near our hotel in Guangzhou was a great place for people watching.

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We saw a lot of wedding photography at this park and also on Shamian Island, where this was taken.

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I guess not all of these are “faces”.

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Happy to see Ami again at our visit to the orphanage.

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Is This Attachment?

September 24th, 2010

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We’re now beyond the six-week-home milestone, and I think bonding and attachment have gone well.  Looking back, we can see the progressive steps Ami has made.  Initially she would easily go to anyone, then she became more selective, depending on her mood and surroundings.  I can now say she’s formed a healthy attachment to us.  Here’s my proof:  this week at C*stco, while I walked on one side of the cash register to pay, an employee pulled the cart (with my two girls in the seats) on the other side.  Ami began to cry!  Her sobs stopped when I quickly retrieved the loaded cart.  This reaction had never happened prior, and although to some people this may sound like regression, I call it success!  Coming from an orphanage setting with multiple caregivers, attachment to a family doesn’t come automatically.  It has to be fostered.

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We also noticed progress at the birthday party the girls attended a couple weeks ago.  Unlike her older sister was at this age, Ami is eager to climb all over the play equipment.  It was nice to see that she frequently came running back to one of us to be picked up.  At home she’s also “checking-in” more often.  Where Miah was my “velcro-baby” (not leaving my side), Ami has progressed from playing in a room oblivious to us, to now wanting to be in the same room with us.  (For example, bringing her toys into the kitchen to play, when that is where I am.)  I’m glad that she now claims us as her “Na-na” (“Mama” – M is hard with a cleft lip),  ”La-la” (“Dada” – D is hard, too), and “Mee-ah” (“Miah” – M is easier followed by an “ee” than an “a”).

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Sleep

September 17th, 2010

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Ami slept all through the night last night.  For the first time since she has joined our family 52 days ago.  She didn’t wake up crying once.  I’m not naive enough to think it might happen again anytime soon.  We usually have a minimum of three wake-ups (by Ami) a night.  In fact, Warren went to console her just now.  She was early tonight – maybe Miah falling out of bed in the room above her had something to do with it.  (Yes, I’m serious.  This is the second time this week.)  And Ami sleeping through the night didn’t mean that Miah slept through the night.  So I wasn’t able to either.  But only assisting one child once during the night is a coveted accomplishment around here.

Ami has had some other Firsts this week, as well.  For the past two days, she has played/sang in her crib before nap without crying.  She didn’t actually fall asleep until I returned and held her, but allowing me to walk away from the crib without her crying (and not eventually stopping) is a big step.  We also started Bible Study Fellowship today.  Once she saw the toys in her class, it was fine for Mommy to go.  So this was her first time without either Mommy or Daddy since Gotcha.  They said she did well, but when I came to pick her up, she burst into tears.  Lots of tears.  You wonder what goes through their little minds after all they’ve been through!  Next week will either be easier or harder!

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Ami’s First Mountain Experience

September 14th, 2010

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A week ago we took Ami on her first hike in the mountains.  It was also her first time 4-wheeling (to get there).  Being a bit chilly, we didn’t hike far.

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We also found a few huckleberries.  (Notice, we brought buckets along this time.  Last year when we hiked into Lake Josephine, we hadn’t expected huckleberries, so we used our empty water bottles as receptacles.)

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In her third year of berry picking at multiple locations, Miah has become a pro.  Here’s a flashback to her first experience.

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Miah at 24 months old

And now her little sister’s first experience at nearly 23 months of age.

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Like a mother birdie feeding her baby!  Miah takes such good care of Ami … at times.

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You just can’t beat the views we have around these parts.

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