We were the closest family possible. Our world was turned upside down on 05/03/09 when my best friend, the person I love most next only to our children, my sister Trina was diagnosed with stage IV breast cancer. Her body gave out on her on 01/09/10 but she will ALWAYS be a part of our daily life and will continue to be in my posts. I started my blog to chronicle our daughter's international adoption from Guatemala and have continued to use it as a journal.
What you will find is my family trying to adapt to our new lives that were handed to us.
Eight years ago today we got "the call". It was one of the happiest days of my life. I'll never forget what a gamut of emotions I went through that day. At first I was happy to have Asa for the day but then I was sad because I didn't have a baby of my own. I was frustrated at waiting for a baby and tired of being patient. I went shopping with sissy and Asa later that day and when I got home I had a message on my voice mail. Our adoption agency was in Boston so I thought for sure I was going to have to wait to get back to them and it was the Friday before a long weekend. When I saw the voice mail I didn't think for one minute that it was going to be "the call". When I called the woman back she broke the news to me. We had opted to not request a boy or girl, we were taking first available which meant our chances were much, much higher for a boy. I planned on a boy. We had a name picked out for a boy. I had the nursery planned for a boy. IT WAS A GIRL! Sissy was convinced we were going to have a girl. She wanted a nice so badly. She couldn't wait to spoil a girl. She couldn't wait to play fashion with a girl. She was so excited to have her girl home. Valentina is very into fashion and has been for a while. I know sissy would have been having a ball with her Vali and they would be scouring fashion magazines, experimenting with clothes, playing dress up.
Eight years ago today, around 3 pm, my life changed forever, for the better.
Thank you Valentina, for being born into our family today.
Last Saturday Valentina had her "kid" birthday party. Every year I tell the kids they can either have a birthday party and a small gift or they can have lots of money and no party. I've tried to make them realize that birthday parties are expensive and is part of their birthday gift. This year I kind of pushed Valentina into having a small party with her classmates. She is very timid and shy at school and my therapist told me that having play dates the friends that she trusts might help her come out of her shell. The thing is, Valentina is the most confident girl around adults but when it comes to her peers she's almost withdrawn. Since I strongly encouraged her to have a party I told her she could have some extra money but not the full amount I set aside for them. Valentina was fine with that. She picked the theme of Parisian Fashion. The gift boxes she picked out were pretty cute. I didn't get a picture of them but they were filled with necklaces, stickers, a bracelet, blow out and a stuffed poodle. I say this was her 3rd party because we did a small gift exchange on her legal birthday (January 14th), a party with Norm's side of the family after that and then her school party. We're also going to do a few things this weekend since it's her birthday weekend (her celebratory birthday is February 16).
For her party Valentina chose to invite only her two best friends from school. I know one of them and she is quiet and shy too but Valentina said the other girl she invited is even more withdrawn. I tried to prep Valentina in case neither one of them showed up but she adamant that they would both be here. A half hour after the party was supposed to start nobody had shown up. Valentina ran into my room and cried. It broke my heart and ripped it out. I had told her if she didn't have any guests then I would fill in and eat at the table, play with her and do the crafts we had planned. I stepped in and took over the role of guest and after a while she bucked up a bit. A half hour before the party was scheduled to end one of the girls showed up!!!! We were all happy and relieved. So all in all it turned out to be a good party. We found out later that the other girl who had been invited wasn't able to come because her sister got sick.
So here are the pictures!
The colors were black, white, pink and gray. I made these poufs out of tissue paper and hung them from the ceiling around the house.
Some of the balloons that were placed around the house.
The table. Valentina set the entire table and chose where to put everything and where everyone was going to sit. There were four settings, one for Valentina, one for each of the girls and one for Asa :)
The cupcake tower.
The birthday girl!
The table again.....
..... and again. I think she did a fabulous job!
The place settings.
Wearing the crown she decorated.
All in all it turned out fine. Tonight we are having pizza (she gets to pick out from where) and watching "Mr. Peabody and Sherman" (she got to pick out the movie). My girl is so special and I'm so thankful for her. I will never forget the day we got "the call" on February 16, 2007. The woman with our adoption agency called me and her exact words were "Well, it's been a long road. You have a baby and it's a girl!" It was one of the happiest days of my life and I'm so thankful for her.
----Disclaimer: I just want to get this posted so I didn't bother with proof reading this post. I apologize for any grammatical errors and misspelled words.-----
Asa had a field trip last week to the local utilities building. One of the chaperons had to pull out that morning so it was just the teacher and myself herding 20+ fourth graders. The teacher let Asa pick six students to go with him so I was in charge of 7 kids. I'm horrible with names and matching names to people. Horrible. I joke that I forget anything that was told to me more than an hour ago but it really is true. Give me a list of names and try to match them to faces and I'm completely lost. I studied for 5-10 minutes before we left trying to memorize the names and kids I was going to be in charge of. I still managed to screw them up. I've been to a few field trips so I've learned the best way to keep an eye on my kids is to be really bossy. And loud. Basically I'm just myself. I'm proud to say I managed my kids......until the end. I lost a kid. Again. Yes, I this was not a first time occurrence. It was at the end and I was trying to get my kids lined up to leave and get on the bus when I realized I couldn't find the only girl in my group. The teacher asked me if I had everyone and I had to admit that I was short one student. Luckily she hadn't gone far and the teacher was able to find her. It turns out she was just outside the room we were in and she was already lined up, waiting for the rest of us. It wasn't as bad as the other time I lost a kid. We were in a giant science museum and they decided it was time for a fire drill. As we were filing out of the museum I realized I was short one child. I told my teacher and she freaked out. Of course it wasn't helpful that another mom lost one of her kids also. She had lost her own son! After about 10 minutes an employee came out with the two lost kids. Mine was ok, I'm not sure he even knew he had been lost but the other kid was crying, poor thing. So yes, I'm an expert at losing kids at field trips. After all of that Asa told me he thought it was boring. Oh, and one of the kids (not mine) threw up on the bus one the way back to the school. I have a thing about vomit. I hate it. I'm really, really adverse to vomit. Of course Asa always throws up when he's sick. He can have a simple cold and he still vomits.I am lucky in that all I had to do was walk past the spot where the kid hacked up. It was still gross to me.
Plus I have Valentina's field trip coming up to look forward to! Yay! I'll just try not to lose my daughter.
Speaking of Valentina, she had a panic attack last night. My poor daughter has inherited my anxiety. I was always scared of having bio kids for fear of passing on my screwed up mental problems to them. Once I realized we were going to adopt one of the greatest things was thinking about how I was going to have a mentally "normal" child. I knew there might be attachment problems but when you're paper chasing none of that stuff comes into your mind. All you can think about is "this is it! I'm a mom! I want my baby. NOW!" I never once thought that her attachment could manifest itself into anxiety when she was older. Actually I take that back. I know that mental problems are something that you are born with. It is not a nature vs. nurture, it's all nature. Does her attachment have anything to do with her anxiety? It might. Will I ever know? No. All I know for sure is that Valentina has anxiety and gets panic attacks. It just slays me because I know what it is like to have them. I feel so bad for her. Last night her stomach was grumbling and she got scared thinking she was going to get sick. Valentina hates getting sick as much as I hate vomit. I explained to her that it was just her tummy growling (she said she was hungry just before bed but I told her it was too late, I'm such a bad mom but I wasn't going to give her ANOTHER dinner when it was after 9:30 pm) but she was already going off the deep end. She cried and told me she was panicking. I did my best to calm her down but it's horrible watching your child go through something that you know feels crappy. She eventually calmed down enough to go to sleep but it was waaaaay past her bedtime.
So that's about it. That's what we've been up to. Or at least all that I want to talk about right now. I have been inspired to make a dessert for Valentine's Day (thanks Jen) so we'll see if that works out. If it does I'll be sure to post photos of my attempt at dessert. I'm sure it will go great with our dinner.....Papa Murphy's.