Monday, May 18, 2009

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One Year Ago....

I cannot believe that we left for Uganda a year ago. We met Masey for the first time one year ago yesterday. The time has flown by and to be honest I am really glad to be through with those first few months. She is now a happy, vibrant, very strong-willed, chatty little two-year old. Her language is amazing and she loves to talk all the time about how she feels such as "I am happy now mom, I'm not crying." She also says things like "I don't know how to say that word" when asked what something is that she doesn't know the word for. She is a great little sister and though they bug eachother a lot, she and Kaya are best friends and one of my greatest joys comes from seeing them play together. I don't know what Kaya ever did without her. We still deal with jealousy and fighting over mom but great strides have been made. She is very healthy now and other than some extensive dental work, we haven't been to the doctor for quite some time. We will continue to have her knee checked every few months. It is straightening great and she can run and jump and only very occasionally has any sort of a limp. My gratitude for Western medicine cannot fully be expressed. People have been wonderful and very supportive through this whole process and we have been lucky to only deal with a few ignorant comments every now and then. We are thankful beyond measure that we were able to expand our family through adoption.

Sunday, February 22, 2009

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Finally, here's some pictures of the cuties!
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Tuesday, February 17, 2009

figuring it out

Kaya in the tub : "Mom, I think my skin is turning a little bit brown"
Kaya two minutes later: "Mom, was Masey's skin black in Uganda?"
I find comments like that so adorable. Kaya has never mentioned that Masey's skin is black except one previous time before this when she just randomly in the car said that she wished she had brown skin like Masey's. I always explain how Heavely Father makes us all different colors and that Masey's tummy mom had black skin and so she does too. On the first day of preschool, I was talking to her teacher who told me that she immediately was drawn to a black little girl in her preschool class and wanted to play with her and sit by her. Another time, she went to a birthday party and again sought out the only African American child in the group. Later she told me that Masey would have liked to have been friends with that girl. When I asked why, she just smiled and said I don't know. I love the innocence of children and find it incredibally sad that intolerance is fostered by adults and passed on to their kids. How much more peaceful and loving would our world be if we viewed skin color through the eyes of a 3 year old?

Sunday, January 25, 2009


I've been wanting for some time to write about the various adjustments we have gone through following the adoption. Maybe it's being a psychologist, but I find it pretty fascinating and it was one of my biggest concerns with adopting a child. The most difficult part for all of us was leaving Kaya for such an extended period of time. I was only gone for 10 days but Derrick was gone for 5 weeks. Not easy for a little sweetie who is use to having her mom and dad around all the time. I would say that Kaya had almost as much difficulty adjusting as Masey. She started throwing tantrums the day after I got home. She would just go into a rage over something little. She was never a tantrum thrower before thank heavens. Several times I would just hold her after she calmed down and she would cry and cry until she fell asleep. Very, very sad for me. I think she could also feel my stress over the situation and didn't understand why dad wasn't coming home.
She became extremely clingy to me and wouldn't let me out of her sight. She would want to retrace steps like going back up the stairs to help her down them even if I was already at the bottom or going back to the car if I hadn't walked her into the house. This continued long after Derrick came home and it took some time to rebuild the close relationship that they had. She is still a very mommy clingy girl but no more than before now :) One thing that I have loved is that Masey has always been an extremely loving girl with me. I was always petrified of having a child with RAD so this has been quite a relief. She and I bonded quickly in Africa and she immediately took to me once she came home. A little too much... She is my little shadow and for some time viewed Kaya as competition to that. She also displayed very typical attachment issues for a toddler. While in the hospital, she would want random people to hold her. Someone would walk in the room and she would hold out her arms to them. She became overwhelmed in the first few weeks if we went places with lots of people. She cried a lot and couldn't stand for me to be out of her sight. I think her being so sick in Uganda and then in the hospital and having surgeries here compounded the difficulty of the situation. One of the hardest parts for all of us has been that she became so attached to me and very unattached to Derrick. I really believe that she viewed Derrick as someone who takes her away from people she loves. He was the one who had to be with her during all the horrible medical stuff in Uganda and then he took her from Africa and brought her to a completely new life. She would have a panic response if I tried to hand her to Derrick. She would cling to me and scream. If she was downstairs with Derrick and would hear me upstairs she would get hysterical until he brought her to me. On the other hand, I could take her to church nursery and she would walk in and not look back. One Sunday, Derrick had to give her to our friends to make her stop crying when I was in a separate class. Their relationship has gradually gotten better over the past months but it has taken a lot of effort. She is now doing fantastic and has been for the past few months. She is a very typical two year old who is very strong-willed and knows exactly what she wants and never fails to let us know what that is. I have read several blogs where the families were blessed to have toddlers and children that adjusted very quickly and easily so I hope that this helps those that have had a more difficult time. Most importantly, having Masey in our family is just so right. I don't have words to express the love and gratitude I feel to have been able to bring her home. My heart goes out to families that are still waiting. It can feel like such a long journey. Sometimes I just sit and think I can't believe we really did it. We really went to Africa, adopted a child, and now she is a part of our family forever. Amazing.

Friday, January 23, 2009

I realize it has been five months since I have blogged and considered either starting a new blog or making this one private. I still haven't been able to go back and read all the posts of when we were in Uganda. It was an amazing but extremely difficult and emotional time and it was the only way that Derrick and I communicated with eachother. So it seems quite personal to have anybody be able to read it. However, I love being able to read other's adoption experiences and it is what allowed me to know better what we were in for so I think I will leave it how it is for now. Now to updating...
We officially adopted Masey (new spelling, same girl :) on Dec. 3rd. We now pronounce it like Macey but in Uganda it would still be Mah-say. She is doing fantastic. Shortly after our last post, she started walking and her leg continues to get progressively better. We are hopeful that she won't require any more surgeries. She went to the doctor yesterday and she nows weighs 26 lbs!!! She started out at 18 lbs. so no wonder my arms are getting tired. She celebrated her 2nd birthday last week and has so much personality. She is a little chatterbox and talks so well and so much. She has the infectious little laugh that I just can't get enough of. After some not very fun adjustment issues with Kaya, they are now best friends and cute as can be. I have to say that one of my very favorite things is seeing them together, laughing and playing and just loving eachother. Part of the reason I wanted to blog is when I realized the other day that I was forgetting little things about when Masey first came home and how nice it would be to have it written down and realize how far we've come as a family. I also wanted to write down the different adjustment issues and behaviors that happened during the first few months. It is nice when I read other blogs and realize it wasn't smooth sailing for them either. Maybe if I get really brave, I will actually post pictures.