Monday, May 28, 2012

May Update And New Adoption Video

A few exciting things have happened around here lately.  First, my husband put together another short video that you'll find at the bottom of this post.  The original video found in the February 27th post just captured her gotcha day, the new one is a before and after adoption snapshot with both photos and video clips.  Initially he put it together for me to show the wonderful ladies in my MOPS group, but then it was also shown during services at our church on Mother's Day.  Princess Petals has become a bit of a celebrity and it amazes me just how many people have opened up to me over the past few weeks that they have adoption in their hearts and want more information.  It never really occurred to me how much our adoption would impact the people around us.  It is truly an amazing thing and I hope more families step out in faith and follow their hearts.  There are so many children waiting to be loved both domestically and internationally.

So what else is new?  We celebrated Princess Petals' baptism on Mother's Day.  She looked to us for reassurance a few times after being handed over to our pastor, but overall she did great!
In other news, our little girl has started eating solids and almost completely ditched the baby food!  It is getting easier to feed her and she is also using utensils which just amazes me!  Her eye-hand coordination is just awesome!  We're keeping her on formula until she's two though to help her body deal with her intense growth spurts.  We just had her second Well Baby exam since coming home this past Friday.  In two and a half months since she's been home baby girl has gained 3 lbs and grown 2 1/2 inches!  She is still quite small, but seems to be growing at a very fast pace and has advanced on the growth charts from 3% to 7% for height and 1% to 10% for weight!  She has been trying out her running legs and climbing the stairs faster than I can believe.  She is laughing a lot and trying to talk more.  Her main sounds are "mama" and "dada" but they cover a myriad of things as she tries to communicate.  She points to herself in the mirror and excitedly squeals, "Dada!"  Daddy and her brother are also "dada."  The words "more," "kiss" and "meow" all have become, "ma!"  But "mama" is still just me and I love when she starts singing her "mama" song of saying my name over and over with different inflections.  She is just a little love bug and so very, very, very affectionate with us.  Hugs and kisses galore.  Even in the grocery cart she leans over and kisses my fingers as we stroll the aisles.

She does have some stranger anxiety and puts on a very serious face out in public when people talk to her or try to get her to smile which made getting pictures a little difficult, but overall she is doing spectacular. The stranger anxiety is actually a good thing in her case and although it has meant no babysitters or day care at church or the health club, we are just so happy at how well she has bonded with us and that she knows exactly who she belongs with.
My last note on this update focuses on her "special need."  Her limb difference was, admittedly, a big deal when we were first presented her file last September.  However, we reached out to some people we found online through the "Adopting Children With Limb Differences" and "Sammy's Friends" Yahoo Groups, and "The Lucky Fin Project" on Facebook and learned so much from them.  They kindly shared personal experiences and told us how their kids have adjusted to life with limb differences and really opened our eyes to a special need we had previously been a little nervous and uneducated about.  I am now amazed at how little I even think about it.  Lately as the weather has warmed and she's wearing short sleeves I suppose it is more noticeable to people because after two months of never hearing any comments about it out in public, it seems everyone is noticing now.  We are at a point of having to decide exactly how to handle the comments and questions in a way that doesn't embarrass Princess Petals or humiliate the earnest questioner.  Rude and intolerant remarks will of course be dealt with on a case by case basis by her overprotective parents.  Fortunately she is too young to understand right now so we have some time to figure it out.  Just today at the grocery store a woman remarked to me, "oh look, she is just so beautiful!" and I (beaming at the compliment) said "thank you!"  Then came the, "oh...and her poor little hand..." and with a sympathetic pat on my back, "...bless you, she is beautiful."  No we are not saints as her pat on the back implied, we are just a family who wanted another child and found acceptance with something that even we were leery about at first.  I know I can't educate every person I see about how amazing limb different kids are but, please, please, please, don't pity them.  They're gonna be just fine.

I can't wrap this post up without mentioning my son's friend, Z.  She and D were in the same preschool class and are now at the same school for Kindergarten.  Last week on the playground I overheard Z explaining to another little girl about Princess Petals' missing hand.  She was very matter-of-fact and even when the other little girl said, "well I'm glad I have two hands," Z replied, "but if you didn't you'd figure out how to do everything just like Princess Petals does."  It was obvious that a family discussion had taken place in their home.  It seriously warmed my heart and made me realize what a difference Princess Petals' adoption into our family is having on not only our lives, but everyone she comes into contact with.  I am so happy that we adopted and thankful that we were led to China's Waiting Children program.  We have been blessed beyond measure by all of our children, but Princess Petals has opened our eyes and our hearts to things we likely never would've known without her presences in our lives.

Without further ado, here is the new video.  After sorting through literally hundreds of pictures and several hours of video my amazing husband managed to capture Princess Petals' adoption story in just a little over 3 minutes.
If the video is loading slow on Blogger or you would just like a much better picture, please use the following link to Vimeo: