Monday, January 31, 2011

Eight Years

Eight years ago when we were pregnant with our first son we received many gifts, including this wonderful clock from my grandmother. When you push a button on the side, the clock plays a song and the front opens up and there are little figures that move around inside the clock. On January 30 we went to the doctors office for our 39 week appointment and found out that our son, Jack, that his heart was no longer beating and I delivered him on January 31. Coming home from the hospital without our son was beyond horrible and we mourned in the nursery we had set up for him. A year later when we had Nick and four years later when we had Noah we played the music from the clock for them each night before bed. And now, eight years later we play it for our beautiful new daughter. One child can never replace another but as I watch our daughter who we prayed for and has been such a blessing to our family watch the clock that was originally given to Jack, I get choked up every time.

Friday, January 21, 2011


While in some ways we can only imagine what Aliyah has seen and experienced, there are other things that we are reasonably confident are new experiences. One new experience last week was going to the zoo for the first time! Aliyah can name many of the animals in her books but I was excited to see her reaction when she saw a real elephant and that they aren't just drawings in a book. She has so much fun seeing all of the animals and we lucked out that it was a beautiful day. My favorite part was when we went to go see the monkeys and I asked her what the monkeys say. Her response was "no more monkeys jumping on the bed!" I laughed and was glad to see that she was making the connections as well as remembering one of her favorite books.

Wednesday, January 19, 2011

Ethiopia Playgroup

Aliyah getting her groove on.

Aliyah with her new friends.

I have been fortunate enough to meet three other moms of Ethiopian children in my area that are interested in having a regular monthly playdate. Last week was the first time that we met up since we brought Aliyah home and it was so fun for her to play with the other children. There are two girls and a boy who are all 3 and another little boy who just turned 1. All the moms agree that it is important for our children to know other families like theirs. I hope this is the beginning of some wonderful friendships for Aliyah. Oh, and the moms are pretty awesome themselves and I look forward to getting to know them better as well!

Monday, January 17, 2011

Post Adoption

Ethiopia requires a post adoption report at 3, 6 and 12 months and then annually until Aliyah turns 18. We are happy to send in these reports so that the Ethiopian government can follow what happens to the children who are adopted internationally. However, I have to be honest, that first three month report really snuck up on us! After all of the excitement of bringing Aliyah home and then the holidays we had to scramble to get our social worker visit scheduled in order to be able to turn our report in on time. We had the visit last week and it went great and now our report is on its way to our agency and then on to Ethiopia. Now that we have three months until the next report is due, I can tackle the question of readoption. We are not required to readopt in the US but there are certain benefits so I want to explore our options. Either way, it's become apparent that bringing Aliyah home was by no means the end of the paperwork required. One look at that beautiful smile though and it's clear, it's all worth it!

Tuesday, January 11, 2011

Creative Exercise

Pete and I are trying to go as long as possible without having anyone else watch Aliyah which means no babysitters and no gym daycare. However, if I don't exercise then I just don't feel good so I've had to get a little more creative. Luckily Aliyah likes the jogging stroller so that's been a good option. I've also tried doing yoga videos at home. Of course as soon as I pulled out my mat, the boys wanted to try it too. I thought they would lose interest and start goofing around but they stuck with it the entire 40 minute video. I was especially impressed by Noah who was really concentrating and trying to follow the instructor.

Sunday, January 9, 2011

Favorite Things

Aliyah is quickly adapting to life in the US and it's becoming apparent what she likes. Here are a few of her favorite things!

Aliyah loves to read! When we say it's time to go to sleep she immediately asks "Books!?" Some of her favorites are Bear on a Bike and Goodnight Moon. She's also getting pretty good at reciting "No more monkeys jumping on the bed!"

Aliyah loves shoes. She wants them on all the time, even when she's in pajamas. She's also at that stage where when you ask her to smile for the camera she gives a big cheesy smile. We have about two years of those types of photos from Noah so I'm imagining we are in for a long stretch of this.
Lollipops! Need I say more?

So far she likes playing with cars and balls more than dolls. Having two brothers might have something to do with that.

She loves going down the slide, or the "WEE!" as she calls it. Here Nick is giving her a push at the Childrens Museum in Stockton.

Aliyah also loves to dance and is often asking us to turn on music, or "somac" as she says it :) I will try to post a dancing video soon.

So far one of the best things about having Aliyah home is watching her joy and excitement over these childhood experiences that she is likely enjoying for the first time. We feel truly blessed to have her in our family.