Thursday, May 26, 2011

Bath Time

When Aliyah still had Giardia and her mollescums, we tried very hard to keep these infections from spreading to the boys which included making sure she used separate towels and never having the kids take a bath together. Last night I got ready to give Aliyah a bath and next thing I know, Noah is taking off his clothes and saying that he needs a bath also. Actually wanting to take a bath is not a usual thing in our household so I was happy that I was able to tell him that he was welcome to join in with Aliyah. They had so much fun playing and squirting each other. I couldn't find the camera, hence the grainy phone pictures, but we are so happy to have these infections behind us!

Monday, May 16, 2011


It would be very easy to spoil an adopted child. In Aliyah's case, she had 16 months in two different orphanages where her basic needs for food and shelter were met but may of her other needs were often unmet due to sheer numbers of children vs caregivers. When we were at the transition home we were amazed by how quiet it was. There were forty children at this home and it was quiet. If a child cries and nobody attends to their needs then the child will eventually learn to not cry. On our first trip to Ethiopia, Aliyah was non responsive to our attempts to interact with her for the first three days. Twice she cried but the only sign was a tear falling from her eye, she didn't make a sound.

So now we are home and we can meet her needs. So you could see that it would be very easy to spoil her and for the first few months that is exactly what we did. But then we realized that it would be easy to go too far. We have other responsibilities as her parents to set guidelines for expected behavior. Yes, we will pick you up when you want to be held and we will read you another bedtime story. But no, you can't hit your sibling or rip pages out of a book. So now we have tantrums. On a typical day I would say she has between 2-4 tantrums and when she gets going, she doesn't stop! When she has these tantrums we just hold her and try to comfort her until she calms down. We are trying to find that balance between her feeling loved and secure and not leading her to believe that the world revolves around her. Our social worker complemented us on recognizing this early on but it's definitely easier said than done.

We try to look at it that it's a good sign that she feels comfortable enough with us to act like this. She hasn't cried at school yet. We went through something similar with Noah where he would never act out at school and then would have a meltdown on the way home. It's good that Aliyah is bonded enough to know that she can show her emotions and we will still love her unconditionally. Now that all sounds honky-dory but it's a little harder to have that "gee isn't this so great" perspective when you are holding a child who is wailing on and on for 15 minutes.

I love how she gets both the furrowed brow AND the pouty lip. I showed her this picture this morning and she laughed and said "Aliyah cries" and then proceeded to reenact this event from yesterday.

Wednesday, May 11, 2011

Sunday, May 8, 2011

Mother's Day

Mother's Day brings up a lot of mixed emotions for me. Of course I am grateful for the three wonderful children that I am blessed to have call me Mommy, Mom, Mama and sometimes MOMMMM! But for some reason this year I started thinking of the past. I thought about eight years ago when I was a childless mother, mourning the loss of Jack that previous January. Then I thought about two years ago when we had just completed our adoption paperwork and had started the wait for a referral. We didn't know it then but Aliyah was likely still with her birth mother as I celebrated Mother's Day with the boys. Then last year, we still hadn't seen Aliyah's picture yet but we were growing anxious as we waited for our referral which we would receive just a few weeks after Mother's Day. It is a wonderful feeling to have all of our children at home and healthy and thriving. However, I can't help but think of our little girl's birth mother who made the difficult decision to have someone else raise her child. I know she must think of her baby girl every day and miss her, how could she not? I wish I could tell her that her daughter, our daughter, is very much loved and cherished and that we have not forgotten her sacrifice.

The picture above is Aliyah decorating a potted plant at preschool that was my Mother's Day gift from her. I love the concentration as she glues on the little pieces of tissue paper. The teacher said that once she finished that she went around and helped the other children to finish their presents as well.

I also received an adorable hand painted mug from Noah and breakfast in a bag with a great card from Nick. Nick was so excited about his gift that he was standing next to my bed with it at 6:15 on Sunday morning! I was equally excited about it after I'd had my cup of coffee :)

Thursday, May 5, 2011


This last weekend Pete rode in the Tour de Cure in Napa which is a 100 mile bike ride to raise money for diabetes. He was riding in the event with about 20 people from his cycling group so many of them went up the night before with their families.
Here is Aliyah with dad on a walk through the vineyards after dinner.

Me and Aliyah with a view of the hotel pool in the background.
The cyclists. Some more came up the morning of the ride.

While Pete was riding on Sunday morning I took the kids to a local park and they had fun exploring.

I LOVE this picture of Aliyah. I think it's my new favorite.

Pete finishing the ride. The weekend also happened to be Nick's seventh birthday and my last weekend before returning to work after my leave which made the weekend away a little extra special.

Wednesday, May 4, 2011

Good Riddance!

After almost six months we are finally free of all medical conditions that Aliyah came home with! Her last mollescum on her chin finally cleared up and I just got a call from the doctor that the third round of medicine worked and the Giardia is finally gone. If the medicine hadn't worked then we would have had to go see an infectious disease specialist so this is great news!