Thursday, February 28, 2008

I've Been Here For 6 Months!

For some reason, I wrote this entry, then left it as a 'draft'. Since Feb. 25th, 3 days ago, was her 1 year "Gotcha Day", it seems fitting that I post this one!! Look for her 1 year update in the next few days! :)

As of September 7th,2007, Kate has been here for 6 months! She has put on 4 pounds, grown 3 inches, and has outgrown a 4 1/2, 5, 5 1/2 shoe and is about ready to outgrow a size 6 shoe!

Her hair has grown and has gotten shiny. I told Kevin, I don't remember her hair this silky & shiny when we first got her. She also has this cute patch of brand new hair on the top of her head about 3 inches long. When you put her hair in a pony tail, it works it's way out and leaves her looking like a little dandelion.

Most people ask me if she talks yet, to which I answer no, not really. She seems to understand pretty much everything we say to her, but still speaks about like an 11 month old. She says Mama, or Mommeeee, and once in a while will say 'go'. She can say no-no, and light (ligh). Murphy is something like on-hee and she will pat Murph at the same time. Ryan is y-an, Brendan she does not even attempt but holds a sign language 'B' up to her cheek. She still signs 'father/Dad' for Kevin, and as Colton is her security buddy, she will sign a 'C' up to her cheek, but it's usually more franticly done because she really wants him!

She signs to get her basic needs met: water, milk, owie!, hungry, thirsty, hot/cold, sign (meaning put on my sign language dvd), shower, bath, more, please, doll and baby. Oh, and I almost forgot, read and book. She loves books! and cat and dog. She tries to 'meow' when she signs cat...pretty funny. We are in the process of getting her signed up for speech therapy, and when she is 3, we will go through the school district.

We will go back to the surgeon in a couple weeks to see when Kate will go back for surgery to close up the opening in her palate. She still has a small area in the shape of a paisley behind her front teeth that is open, and the small hole in the middle, back, is trying hard to close itself up. Aside from her palate, she has been very healthy, and is a great sleeper. She is quite a bit more rambunctious than we had thought, and is very smart. I wish I could be her for a while and see what she's thinking.

Thursday, February 21, 2008

Not feeling too hot

Did the flu hit your house? Well, it definitely made the rounds at our house! First one down was Colton, then Kate, then it hit Mommy. Yikes!! It was the ol' fever-and-you-feel-like-you've-been-run-over-by-a-truck, kinda flu, with a terrible cough. Once hit, you were down for a good 5 days.

I gave Kate lunch and turned on Dora the Explorer for her. I went to make Ryan's lunch, and came back to Kate asleep, with her forehead resting on a banana.

Coming to momentarily...

...and, then...out again.

Thursday, February 14, 2008

Happy Valentine's Day!

We saved her 'Cutie Pie' outfit for Valentine's Day, and she looked very cheerful & festive as we dropped off Ryan at preschool! Mommy was wondering who had been dipping into the bowl of Reeses Peanut Butter cups on the table, wrapped in red and gold foil...Hmmmm.....

Taking Ryan's "ride" for a spin...

Wednesday, February 13, 2008

Last Post-Placement Visit....Whew!

This past Saturday, our social worker, Loren, came to the house to complete our last post-placement visit. For China, you need a homestudy (pre-adpotion), and two post-placement visits. After the visit, the social worker writes up a report including such things as Kate's recent height & weight, her upcoming surgery, any milestones, changes in the family or our living conditions, etc., and 6 pictures from us. One of the reports goes to All God's Children in Portland, one to us, and the last is sent to the CCAA (China Center of Adoption Affairs). The social worker tries to "paint a picture" of how Kate is doing and her life here.

Rumor has it that they aren't there to see how clean the house is, but I still feel obligated to make sure we put our best foot forward, so spring cleaning ensues! From what I remember, each postplacement visit & report costs 250.00, which needed to be paid before the adoption took place. China is very adamant about the postplacement adoption reports being done and in on a timely basis, and understandably so. They do want to make sure that these children are being well taken care of. If people fail to get the post-adoption reports done, it could affect future adoptions from China, and that's not fair to those people adopting, who don't have their little one yet.

It feels good to have completed this last post-adoption visit, and passed that benchmark! Kate is taking a nap as I write this.

Sunday, February 10, 2008

Chinese New Year - in February

On Sunday afternoon we celebrated Chinese New Year at our friend Lisa's house down the street. She and her husband have two beautiful daughters from China. It was a potluck buffet, and there was so much good food, I'm sure I came home weighing a couple pounds more than when I had left our house.

I think there was probably 15 little Chinese girls there, only 1 or 2 of which actually had Chinese parents! Most little girls (and a few of the parents) were decked out in traditional Chinese dresses, and looked very sweet. (Kate being the cutest, of course!) Chinese music played in the house. Did I mention there was a ton of great food?? It was a very happy, cheerful environment, and felt like a celebration of these beautiful girls in our lives.

Kevin plays a game with Kate and Ryan...he hugs them and when they try to walk away, he grabs them and pulls them close again, as they giggle. Then to shake things up a bit, after a few times of this, he lets them get a bit away, and they will turn around to look at him, like, aren't you going to grab me?? which he does as they squeal with laughter.

Kate feels secure when the boys hold her, and goes to them when she's tired or needs comfort. This is Kate with Brendan.

The two giggle boxes with Dad "trying" to get away. I love the look on Kate's face in both these pictures.

Ryan talked Kate into climbing up the ladder and going down the slide, assuring her that he would help her. "Come on Kate!"

Naked feet on the grass...It's been a busy year!

As the afternoon went on, shoes and socks came off, pigtails began to droop, and her shirt with it's traditional closures refused to stay "buttoned".

I think this is one of my favorite pictures of the day.

My mommy says I'm 'very 2 1/2!'

It's a good day when you're with your big brother, and you know he loves you.