Friday, October 23, 2015


It's been one month since we first laid eyes on our girl. I can't believe it! It would be the equivalent of someone giving birth then realizing their child is a month old already. How things can change in just a few short weeks. Ella has totally opened up to us and we can tell she feels right at home. We are getting to a place where we couldn't imagine life without her. It takes time to feel like a family when you add a member, but we are getting there. Isaac is opening up more to her and he is letting me back in. I'm so grateful we are all settling in this quickly, we are truly blessed. Yesterday I went for a run (cause all we do is eat) during the kids naps and I found myself excited for when Ella wakes up so I could see her again. I know that may sound silly, but this was a big moment for me. I'm feeling like she is mine. You know that ferocious mama love? The kind you feel when you first look into your child's eyes...sometimes that love can take a little time. But I am feeling it. I'm starting to walk around with my girl strapped to my chest and pride in my heart as the world smiles at her sweet face. There are so many aspects to adoption...attachment playing a huge roll. We carry our children, rock them to sleep, sleep beside them, feed them, dote on them, play silly games and don't let them wonder further than a foot from us at all times. This isn't just for them, but for us too. The more time Ella spends on me, the more I feel attached to her and her to me. It's different for everyone but this is how it is happening for us. We are so amazed how God, once again, knew the exact child He would place in our family and how perfect we would be for each other. I'm not saying we are all perfect and every moment is perfect...but the big picture and story is only one God could write. We are increasingly astonished how we are moulding together. We are so blessed to have each other.

Saturday, October 10, 2015

Brother and Sister

I didn't think a lot about the dynamics between Ella and Isaac, I mean you can't really prepare for their reactions to each other until they are actually together. Isaac was excited for his sister and we did the best to prepare him, talking about her and talking about what it means to be a big brother, but its hard to go any further than that. Isaac did such an amazing job when he met her, he walked right up to her and kissed her. He didn't want her to stay at the orphanage when we had to bring her back at night and could hardly wait until we could keep her with us forever. He really has been amazing. We are two weeks in and we are seeing some dynamics play out. In some ways we are happy to see that Isaac is clinging to his Dad and that he is struggling to share him, this means he is attached to him. While he loves his sister, he is struggling to share his toys and sometimes she hits at him which has also been hard for him. But here is where grace is given. Adoption is hard, it is right for us, but it is still hard at times. No one ever said it was easy, we were not told this at any point of our journey...because it's not easy. There is a reason there will be few people who ever do it, it's costly on every front...the question was never "will this be easy?" but always "is this right for us?" We know, without a doubt, that this is right and so we tread lightly. We give ourselves grace and now we are understanding that the same grace is to be extended to our son. It's not easy to suddenly share your life, your parents, your toys, your space. Ella is not a newborn who eats and sleeps all day, she is 14 months and loves to play! She is fun, adventurous and has a playful spirit, which means Isaac has to share a lot more than if she were a newborn. So we are taking this in stride. We are so proud of him when he loves on her and we are not disappointed when he has moments of struggle. Isaac is a fun, loud, caring and playful soul. He loves people and kids, he loves us and his sister...but sometimes love grows. Its the same for us, we love our girl from the bottom of our hearts...but attachment takes time. It will take time for the two to be attached to each other. We want to be gracious about that. We knew it would take time. I'll admit, I was hoping they would be best friends off the hop, but let's be realistic...these thins take time. We pray for them daily, that God would bind their hearts together. There is only so much we can do as their parents, and then God picks up the pieces. What we do know, is that we are called to faithfully love God, each other and our children and that leading by example is the best teacher.
Yesterday, our sweet son said this, "I'm going to protect Ella. I'm not going to let her walk to anyone, because she's ours!" He gets it, he knows she belongs to us, he gets the attachment process. I was floored, he has been listening to our conversations about not letting others hold her, meeting all her needs, and keeping her close to us. If only she didn't bite his chest hours later hahahaha.... and that is reality my friends. Forgiveness, grace, gentleness, kindness and self control all taught through life. This part is hard but so worth it. Please pray for us as we lead and teach.

Thursday, October 8, 2015

our girl- 14 months

It's been almost two weeks together and there is so much we have learned about our daughter...and there is so much we still have yet to learn! We are falling more and more in love with her everyday as we continue to pray for God to bond us together. Isaac has gone through some changes as I mentioned in the last post but we are also seeing him warm up to Ella and begin to come back to me! Here is what we know so far:
Our girl is happy. She didn't show us this at first, she was in a bit of shock and therefore was way more reserved. We have seen this girl open up in just this short time and really start to show us her true colors! She loves play time and she loves being thrown around. Arnie will throw her in the air and she loves it, she is always squealing and laughing when he plays with her. She also loves to cuddle...this is such a gift to me. She will play with Daddy then come to me for a quick hug. She loves sucking her middle two fingers and with the other hand playing with a handful of my hair. She will even pull a chunk out of my pony tail creating a hot looking rat tail :( I've joked about putting in a braided rat tail extension for her! She likes her brother and loves when he plays with her.
What she eats:
she will eat most foods but dislikes mushy things like bananas, we are still trying to figure her out as sometimes she will eat something the 2nd or 3rd time it is offered to her. She likes carbs but dislikes yogurt! She loves eggs and sausage for breakfast and eats whatever we eat for lunch and dinner. She really has won over Arnie's heart with her love for food and eating most of what we serve to her. She will still sometimes overeat and have a huge swollen belly after meals so we are trying to do more meals of smaller quantity.
How she sleeps:
Well, not hard to guess, but she sleeps in the middle of our bed. Most nights she will sleep a solid 12 hours without any fuss and then about every 5th day she will have a rough sleep where she tosses and turns for half the night. We are still trying to figure this out and reminding ourselves that this is all still so new for everyone. She loves to sleep in the carrier if we are out and has given us no grief with falling asleep on our chest. She takes two naps whether we are at home in the bed or out in the carrier. We are so blessed by her (mostly) easy going spirit...and it's ok to have a few sleepless nights anyhow, it reminds us we have a baby :)
What she weighs:
Ella was a premie, we have mixed messaged on how premature she actually was but she was born at 3lbs so we know she was early. She is still small weighing in at 17lbs as the banana scale at the local Spar tells me! She wears 6-12 months but I put some 12-18 on her too even though it is a bit big. The coolest part about this, is that she is so close to what Isaac weighed at this time!

We are always comparing Ella to how Isaac was and we are so amazed at the differences. Isaac was so advanced with speech and understanding but emotionally and physically behind. He would be fine being handed to a stranger and rarely made a fuss over anything. He didn't know how to cuddle and very rarely would lay his head on your shoulder. Ella seems a bit behind in speech but has clung to us. Many people have reached to hold her but she always turns from them and grabs me. This is amazing for us as we don't have to try to get her back if someone has taken her. A lady in the child room in a restaurant tried to put her on her lap, not only did she wriggle out of her arms but she came running straight for me! We are so amazed by this and thank God she is beginning to understand to trust us.

We went to Marine World the other day and had an amazing time! We are really enjoying our family time and are starting to settle in.