Tuesday, September 29, 2009

The Advantages of Being an Older, More Experienced Mother

You maybe one of those few people I see on the street who give me funny looks probably wondering if Sophie's my granddaughter. Or like many family and friends who boldly ask "Why I would want to start all over and raise a baby?" Here are a few of the answers:
1. Ever since I was a young girl, I've always felt God giving me the desire to adopt a little girl from Asia. I'd see an adorable little girl and my heartstrings would be tugged or Frank would come home and tell me about a broadcast he heard about adoption and say we needed to consider it for our family. Little signs along the way of our lives would occur here and there, over and over, always leading us on the same path of adoption. We were following a leading that God had placed in our hearts. I'm am sure of this like nothing else in my life, that adopting is definitely a "God thing".

2. Besides the fact that we were following God's plan for our lives, we can truthfully say that we've been there and done that (BTDT, affectionately referred to as in the adoption community). I know what to expect and have the experience to deal with temper tantrums, potty training issues, spilt milk all over the floor, and how important it is to play with her.

3. I have two, terrifically loving teenagers at home who enjoy giving her a bath, taking her to the park, playing with her while I cook, putting her down for her nap, and babysitting so I can run a few errands. Without Courtney and Josh this would be a different story. They are exceptional teenagers who continue to amaze me with their thoughtfulness, caring attitude, and gentle ways. They are being trained as parents and I know they are benefitting from all this practice, they've said so themselves!

4. Also, I actually ENJOY changing diapers, cleaning sticky fingerprints off the sliding glass doors, watching silly kid videos, reading wonderful children's books with lots of pictures, teaching Sophie all about the world and seeing her eyes light up in excitement, dancing with her in my arms to Steven Curtis Chapman's song "Cinderella", laying on the floor doing puzzles for the hundredth time, and building towers out of blocks only to let her knock them over.

5. She has caused me to slow down and enjoy life. I'm not working at this time so I can focus on being the best mommie I can be and I'm loving it. The entire family is reaping the benefits as well. Frank has been such an awesome father and provider allowing me to stay home indefinitely to be there for my kids. I appreciate all he does for our family. Having a Godly husband is a great advantage!

6. One of the best parts is I get one more chance to get tight, squeezy hugs; wet, slobbery kisses, and hear that oh-so-sweet voice calling out "Mama". I still get to see my sweet baby's eyes as she drifts off to sleep, or she stops playing for a minute-looks up at me-and smiles. I love it when she wants me to carry her everywhere, knowing that I'm the only mama she's ever had that would value her so much as to care for everyone of her needs. My heart is constantly being melted by this little miracle, God's miracle in our lives.
7. I now have the wisdom (and finances) to realize that hiring a babysitter is very cost effective, giving me a much needed break, allowing me to have dates with my husband of almost 25 years, and giving Sophie someone new to play and interact with. And...I don't feel guilty about leaving her. Now that's definitely an advantage!

So you see, it's not all that bad being a mama in my late 40's. It's a blessing really. Don't feel sorry for me. Be happy for me that I've heard God's voice, followed His lead, and have finally found my purpose in life. Adopting a baby is the biggest blessing of my life and I wouldn't have it any other way. Thanks for listening!

Friday, September 18, 2009

Beautiful Life Friday

Well, this old Mama is learning something new! Without any idea of starting to potty train on my part, 3 days ago Sophie signed that she had a dirty diaper. This was a new thing. So I followed her lead and took her to sit on the potty like a big girl. Lo and behold she went #2!!!! I was blown away. She actually had some control and knew what she was doing. How did that happen overnight? So for 3 days she's been going on the potty like a big girl at her request. She thinks she is so grown up and gets a big kick out of her own abilities. I know that she'll probably tire of the novelty of it all and go back to her normal diapering routine, but for now, we're going with it. I've stocked up my supply of M&M's (one of the few words she can actually say with clarity), bought a Winnie the Pooh potty seat and we're ready to go.
On the downside of all this "growing up" is the fact that I'm beginning to mourn the loss of an oh-too-short babyhood. I never minded diapering her, giving her a bottle, picking up the spilt milk (well, that one I did get annoyed with too often), or all the things that came with having a baby in the house. Rather, I enjoyed it immensely, savoring every moment of it. So now that she's entering toddlerhood in full force, I'm missing the cute little baby face, the fact that she loved to please me, that I could help her with everything. Now, she's telling me at every turn "I do" with her words and sign language. I guess this is to be expected and yes it goes by too fast, even more so with an adopted child that I've only had since she was 1 year old. I missed a year of her babyhood. I'm sad. But, I rejoice in things to come. I know God has a plan for this little spitfire's life and I'm excited to see how it all unfolds.

Thursday, September 17, 2009

Can't You Just Stay Little Until Your Carters Wear Out?

Cluck cluck!
this is one overstuffed chick!

Trying to fly to no avail

Our little sweetpea will be a chick for Halloween

This is my favorite pose

Sophie's wearing her new hat (notice plastic tag thingy still on top) not caring that it clashes with her bib and shirt

Look at the delicate way she handles her "oh-so-precious" cupcake

As I was rocking Sophie before naptime, a tear formed in the corner of my eye. I realized my little baby was growing up way too fast! I must admit that I enjoyed changing her diapers, giving her a bottle as I cuddled her in my arms at night, watching all those Baby Einstein videos explaining what all the animals and shapes were, just basically doing all the baby stuff with my little cutie pie. Everyone knows that I've been loving her as much as possible and trying to catch her up on all she missed by living in an orphange, but all of a sudden it seems that she instantly turned into a toddler.

Her face looks more mature today. Her hair is longer, her body is leaner and taller. Her 18th month clothes are snug and most of her 12 month clothes don't fit anymore.

The biggest deal though is that for the last 3 days she's told me she has to go potty with her sign language. The first time this happened, not believing that she could possibly know what her body needed, I cheerfully sat her on the toilet for a little pretending. Well, much to my astonishment, she went #2! Now some might say it's a fluke but she has done this for 3 days now. I'm still thinking that the novelty will wear off soon and we'll be back to doing her business in the corner of the living room, but still...I am quickly realizing that she's growing up more and more each day. I'm not ready!!!! It wasn't my idea to start potty training. What's up with a little baby telling their mom that they're ready to grow up?
I'm really OK with waiting on the potty training thing until she's 3...it's fine to be a cute little complacent child who wants nothing more than to please her mommie. The terrible twos and threes are creeping up on me and I'm grieving for the loss of babyhood. God give me patience!