Tuesday, June 9, 2009

Happy Two Months, Leah!

Dear Angel Daughter Leah Katherine,

You are now 2 months old and we still cannot believe what a miracle we have witnessed with you coming into our lives. The past month has seen you starting to see more, say more (cooing and babbling), and even stretching your muscles and playing on the floor. You spent one night with daddy all alone and you were so good and did not even so much as give a whimper. You also went up to Grammy and Grampy's in Rhode Island and were excellent the entire time, on the train and all. Auntie Paula and Auntie Ellen got their first chance to hold you and love you so much that they were fighting over which one would take care of you. You smiled for both Grammy
and Grampy, touching their hearts like never before. Uncle Mike and Aunt Lesley came up from Atlanta and got their first chance to take care of you and love you. Also, mom and dad had an open house for all of our friends to see you and everybody got the chance to hold, feed, and love you and were all touched by your beauty and cuteness. Mom also took you to the doctor, where you had some shots and of course were loved by everyone in the office. All through these times you were such a good, calm, and sweet little baby.

As of right now you are sleeping well at night, waking up only for food a couple times per night. Your screaming has diminished a bit, and you have started to be more aware of your surroundings. You still scream while in the car, and mommy and daddy understand that you don't like it, but you will get used to it as time goes on. Your new favorite positions are on daddy's knee facing the windows so that you can see the world, and up on the football chair in daddy's office. Mommy has also been playing with you on the floor and having you crawl to her. You're continuing to down every bottle that we give to you, making it very clear when you want some FOOD.

We love the little cooing noises that you make when you are eating your food, we love the way that you give a little whine when you aren't really upset but just want to let us know that you are there, and we love it when you breathe fast and get excited. Mommy and daddy love to sing to you, and daddy especially loves singing to you up in his office and listening to the Red Sox while he holds you, his own little angel, so close to him and protecting you. The gift of your love means more to us every day, and you will always be our little baby. We will always be there for you when you cry in the night, are upset, or need some love and support, no matter when or where that is. Taking care of you and watching you grow is the best job in the world, and you should never ever forget that we will always love you unconditionally. All of your special traits and little things that you do that we love so much make you the most wonderful daughter in the world.


Dad and Mom

Thursday, June 4, 2009

Considering Adoption?

I just received an email from Beth, our social worker, with some information about JFS's upcoming adoption seminars. If you are considering adoption and would like to know if it is right for you, I can't recommend these seminars enough. This time last year, we attended one, and less than a year later, our daughter was home!

Adoption with Love by JFS will host 3 workshops in July. The workshop will offer families considering adoption information on:

Adoption Homestudies
Birthparent counseling
Agency versus Parental Placement Adoption in Virginia
Transracial Adoption
The Advantages of Ongoing Contact with Birthparents
Tips for creating your Dear Birthmom Letter/Family Profile Book
Making Adoption Affordable
A Panel Discussion with Successful Adoptive Parents*

These workshops will be held at the JFS offices at 6718 Patterson Avenue, Richmond,
Virginia 23226.

Sunday, July 19, 2009 from 2:00 - 4:00 p.m.
Thursday, July 23, 2009 from 12:00 - 1:00 p.m.
Tuesday, July 28, 2009 from 5:30 - 7:30 p.m.

Please call (804) 282-5644 for more information or to reserve your spot!

*There will be no adoptive parent panel on July 23.

If you attend the seminar on July 28th, you will see some familiar faces ;-D

Tuesday, June 2, 2009

First Post-Placement Visit

Last Friday, the Kosior Three trooped down to Richmond to meet with Beth at JFS for our first post-placement meeting. We weren't sure what to expect, but it was a great meeting.

First off, it was exciting to introduce Leah to Beth. It's hard to believe, but it hasn't even been a year since we had our first meeting with her. Our adoption has gone so well that none of us can believe how quickly and smoothly it went.

The meeting was a mixture of checking in on Leah, checking in on us, and giving us advice and information about transracial adoption.

The Leah stuff was pretty straight forward--how much she weighs, how long she is, her head circumference, how she's been sleeping and eating, how she is interacting with us and with other people. Had we heard from Tasha, how that was going.

The us stuff was a little unexpected and gave me some things to think about! We talked about how adoptive families often don't feel they have the right to complain if they are tired or just having a bad day, because people say, "Well, this is what you wanted for so long, how can you complain about it?" I mentioned feeling pressure because I was aware of what Tasha had given up and how much faith and trust she was putting in us to raise Leah in her place. When things go wrong or not exactly as I had planned, I feel like I'm letting down everyone who believed in us as parents--the people who wrote us references, Tasha, Beth, Colleen, ourselves... But Beth helped me to put things into perspective and kind of admonished me not to be so hard on myself--which was a message I needed to hear!

We talked about transracial adoption a bit as well. Beth made a couple of recommendations for us--the DVD Adopted by Bob Lee and the book Beyond Good Intentions by Cheri Register. She had already given us some information from the Rainbow Kids website. It's hard to think of these types of issues popping up. When I look at Leah, I see Leah--I don't see black Leah and at this point, I don't think she sees white Mama. But we do have to be prepared because eventually the world will impress upon her the differences between us and better that she be ready and we be ready to help guide her through it. I've found a number of books, articles, and websites on transracial adoption and it looks like we've got an interesting road ahead of us, no matter if we have the best case scenario or the worst. Time to get ready for whatever comes our way!

So that was it! We set up our next appointment for August 29th at our house. When Beth was here last, there was a rabbit living in Leah's bedroom so it'll be nice to show her the new digs! (Hopefully Joe gets the mural painted before then.) I wasn't really nervous about it and now I'm glad I wasn't. It was like a conversation with a much wiser friend.

Reports from the Front

Last night, I went out to book club and I left Leah home with Michael. It was the first time I've left her with him and him alone for longer than a couple hours. I was delighted to return home to "The Little Baby Reports" in my email in box. Sounds like Leah went pretty easy on him!

The Little Baby Report #1 [18:00 - 19:30]

For the first 15 minutes or so I had her on her back on the football chair while I washed, checked e-mail, and read the news. Not ONE scream during this time, a little whimpering, but not one scream. From about 1820 to 1900, we listened to music with me holding her. No pacifier, no screaming, she was excellent.

Right now it is 1930, I have the Yankee game on, and she is safely lying on the football chair, on her stomach, with her pacifier in her mouth. Still, no screaming at all. I keep patting her and checking her every couple of minutes. Plan is still to feed/change her at 2000 and 2200.

The Little Baby Report #2 [19:30 - 21:15]

From 1930 to about 1945 she slept silently on the football chair with her pacifier inserted. She then woke up and started a little whimpering. I said “OK, I’ll go make you some food” and went down to make the bottle since I figured I’d better do it now while she was relatively quiet. She then proceeded to fall back asleep until around 2045, when she woke up whimpering. I then changed her, having no trouble at all, and then I fed her from 2050 to around 2105. She knocked the bottle out of her hands a couple of times, since she was waving her arms around, I dropped it on the floor and had to put her down. She didn’t like that, but she did NOT scream. It is now 2120 and I have her on her back again, she is kicking up a bit of a fuss, but not quite time yet to roll her over. I want her to have time and exercise on her back.

She has been wonderful. Most of the time on the football chair without even making a sound. I changed and fed her at 0850, and depending on when you get home will do it again if needed. The worries/nervousness has completely evaporated. I didn’t get frustrated at all and it was very nice.

Just a reminder to do the wax things for the hearing aides. I put the dirty bottles on the right-hand side of the sink, and I also emptied the trash. I hope that you had a wonderful time with the girls Suzin. I am enjoying my time here with her.