Wednesday, July 1, 2009

Happy American Birthday Rita and Racheal!



When you adopt, I feel there are several important and very specials dates that keep track of - just like a pregnancy.

There is the day (comparing it to pregnancy):

* you decide to decide to get pregnant
* a day you have your get the news you are pregnant
* a day you get your hear the baby's heart beat for the first time
* you go to get your first ultra sound
* you make your first take the birthing class
* you make your second trip with taking day
* a day you are home.......a day you are home

Throughout the adoption process we went through last year, I would refer it as a pregnancy. The concept and experience was pretty much the same. The only difference is my babies came out to be 8 years old.

Today is a very special day for our family. It's the day year ago....the girls came home forever. Our other children finally got to meet them and we were united as a family of 7.

WOW! We did it! We made it through the first year. I have been told and I have read about how the first year is the hardest. As I look back, I can't say it was the hardest but it was a challenge. I think the challenge came more from me. If there was anything I could change about this would be taking the full 6 weeks off to adjust. I made the mistake of taking only 3 weeks off and then I went back to work full time. As I look back, I was exhausted for 2 of those weeks just from the trip. Then getting all the kids to adjust to this new transition and getting ready for school was just to much. I think if I would have taken the other 3weeks off, then I would have been able to get the girls adjusted to school and give myself time to adjust to this new family. I had the most challenging class this year and I should have taken the extra time. My thoughts were.....they are older so I wouldn't need to take the time off like you would with a baby. That was the mistake I made. They were like a baby emotionally and needed the extra time with me. Other than that, I feel like we had a good year. I am sure if I were to really think about it, I could find other mistakes that I did as a parent. But, that will go with every situation. Parenting is hard, but it so worth it!

The girls have grown emotionally and physically. Both girls have grown 6 inches and gained 12-14 pounds. YUM - that American food! They have learned to read, write and swim. They have also learned how to be in social situations like birthday parties and family gatherings. These have been there accomplishments so far and I am so proud of them. I know I say it a lot, but for them to come to our family and join in their role of being sisters i truly amazing!

The most important accomplishment they have taken on this year is finally understanding they were adopted and what that means. We have had lots of conversations about it and now they understand. One of the amazing things is that they said they want to go back to Africa and adopt a child. That completely threw me for a loop when they said that....Karleigh said the same thing. She actually told me she doesn't want to have a child of her own, she wants to adopt. My dream for them has been planted. I have secretly wanted all my children to be open to adopting and just by conversations, they are planning it. Amazing and I am so thankful to God for doing all of this for our family.

Well, Happy America Birthday Girls! We love you so much!