Tuesday, September 30, 2008

16 months old

Eli is 16 months old today! It's hard to believe he's that old already. The time has just flown by. I went to the doctor today, and there was a woman there with a 7 week old baby boy. Every time I see a baby boy, I think about Eli at that age, and the fact that we weren't together. I wish that Eli could have been with us when he was that young. I wish we could have loved and held him every single day since he was born.

Attachment is going very well. He has been home 5 1/2 months now, and in the last 2 weeks, we've really noticed a change. He and I have built a relationship. We have gotten to know each other, and have a genuine bond now. He'll put his head on my chest and snuggle against me. When I carry him, he'll hold on to my arm. He'll cry and put his arms out for me, wanting me (and not just anyone) to hold him. Because it didn't happen instantly, I think it means more to me. It is so special.

He was so traumatized when we first brought him home, so afraid and unsure. Now his real personality has emerged, and he is an absolutely amazing boy, a true delight and joy. He is loving, gentle, mellow, smart, and overall, happy. He smiles and laughs often, and has a great sense of humor. Considering what he has been through - 3 months in the hospital and almost 8 months in the orphanage - there is no reason for him to be any of those things. God was with him, and now we feel so blessed to be his parents.

I had a 2nd ultrasound today. The doctor was concerned that the baby might be big, because my uterus measured larger than it should have. Turns out she is fine. They estimate she weighs 3 lbs 12 oz, which is 45th percentile for her weight for this stage of pregnancy. (I'm 32 weeks now.) The reason my uterus was larger is because I have more amniotic fluid. I'm still in the normal range, but at the upper end. (21, and anything over 25 is a problem). It happens when there is gestational diabetes, but I don't have that, so they're not sure what the cause is. Since I'm 43, it could just be my age. The extra fluid explains why I felt so huge for the last few weeks, and also the swelling in my feet and ankles.

My blood pressure was still low, 102/60. Otherwise, the baby is healthy, and the doctors think we're doing fine, thank God.

Most of today's ultrasound was done in the regular 2D, but the tech did a short 3D segment at the end of our session, and we got some fabulous pictures of our daughter's face:

She is so beautiful, and the Lord has blessed us beyond belief.

Saturday, September 27, 2008

thanks, sbp

This is my 150th post! Amazing! Eli spent the day with his grandmama, and had a wonderful time playing outside and getting muddy. R and I actually went to the movies. We saw Fireproof, and it was awesome! We highly recommend it. We completely enjoyed it, especially since we hadn't been to the theater in several years. We even splurged and got popcorn, sodas, and raisinets, which we never do, and that was fun. The baby was very active during the movie. The sound was loud, and I think she was responding to that. After the movie was over, we had an early dinner of Greek food. Yummy! We had a nice Saturday.

And thanks for the card, secret blog pal! :)

Friday, September 19, 2008

post placement report #1

We had our visit with our social worker this morning. She reminded me that it had been almost a year since she came to our house for the first visit for our home study. Our lives have completely changed in a year's time!

She thought Eli was just adorable and beautiful (which he is), and she also thought he looked healthy. Normally Eli doesn't like strangers, but he didn't cry today when our s.w. talked to him. She asked her secretary to come in and see how cute he is, as well as the 2 women who work in the office next door and a man who works in an office down the hall! The proud parents didn't mind showing off our beautiful and amazing son at all either, especially since he wasn't upset by the attention as he usually is.

We were only in her office for 20 minutes. We gave her the labeled pictures, and a check for $500. That was not fun. After all the money we've already spent on his adoption, I would much rather have been able to spend that $500 on things for Eli to enjoy, and not on MORE paperwork! She gave us the information on how to file the paperwork for the domestication of foreign adoption, so we can obtain a birth certificate for him in English. She told us where to get the forms and how to file them ourselves with the family court. That will save us some $$$. She also gave us the name of a lawyer, who is familiar with the process, but I think we're going to try to do it ourselves first. She also reminded us that we need to get his social security number.

She was surprised by my pregnancy, but gave us lots of congratulations. She said the same thing had happened recently to another one of her clients. She said I looked great, which made me feel good because I've been feeling huge lately!

It feels good to have that first post placement report done and out of the way. It didn't take as much time as I expected.

Here are some of the photos from our report. He smiles so much more than he did 6 months ago.

Friday, September 5, 2008

visits to the doctor for everyone

Eli had his 15 month checkup on Tuesday. He received the Hib and the DTaP shots, and now he is caught up with his immunizations. I am so thankful that he won't need more shots for a while. It is so scary for him. He spent the 1st 3 months of his life in the hospital before he was transferred to the orphanage, and we wonder if going to the doctor reminds him of that time. He always gets so upset. He cried and cried, and didn't stop until we were almost back home.

He is doing well. He is 24.5 lbs and 32" tall. He has grown 2"! He is still around the 50% percentile for height and weight, which is fine.

Then the next day, I had my checkup. I'm 28 weeks now. The baby's heartbeat was strong and regular, and the uterus was the right size, so she's growing. She is very active now, especially at the end of the day. I am so thankful she seems healthy.

It has been challenging for me. My feet and ankles are very swollen, and I'm exhausted all the time. If the timing had been up to me, I would have chosen to be pregnant after Eli had been home for at least a year. Being pregnant for the 1st time and not feeling well physically at the same time as bringing him home and adjusting to being a new mom has been the hardest thing I have ever done. When we started our adoption process, I had a different vision of our 1st months at home. The only thing that has gotten me through is the knowledge that this is God's plan, and I trust that He knows what is ultimately best for us. Right now, I don't know why this was His plan, but someday I will fully understand why things happened this way.

Then R goes to the doctor next week, and hopefully, his checkup will go well too.