Thursday, April 8, 2010

One Year Letter

Dear Angel Doll Leah Katherine,

It was one year ago today that I held you in my arms for the first time, felt your soft little hands, and smelled your wonderful scent. When I first felt you in your little small blanket in Baltimore at 0420, I knew that you were special. I knew that you were meant to be our daughter, and the wonderful gift that Tasha has given us was a gift from god that was supposed to happen. I did not know how much I would come to love such a special child, and your mommy and I love you more and more every day. This year has been the best year of our lives, our family is now one, and we are both very lucky to be your parents.

The happiness and joy that you have brought to my life is so strong that I always feel it, whether I am at work or I am at home with you. When I get home in the evening after a stressful and busy day, holding you in my arms and singing to you makes everything better. Hearing you make the gratifying noise when you are falling asleep in my arms takes my breath away and often moves me to tears of happiness. It is this special feeling and bond that is love, and is something that every child should feel every day. If there is one thing that you have learned over the last year, it is that you will always be loved, no matter what.

Over the last month you have been eating much more "regular" food, have learned to be very good for daddy while mommy is away with her girlfriends, and have started to drink milk instead of your normal baby formula. You've let daddy put you down downstairs and played with your toys, for 2 whole hours the other night without as much as a sound. Daddy was glad that he was with you during the terrible thunderstorm on Monday night, you were crying and scared but he held you and comforted you until you went to sleep nice. One of your favorites games is to play with the telephone buttons when mommy is on the phone, sometimes even hanging up on people!!! Daddy has been letting you play with his badges if he sees you in the mornings before he goes to work. You've had a wonderful time with the other little kids, playing with Daniel, and crawling around with everybody on Easter when everybody came over.

Leah, every day when I wake up, the first thing I think about is you, my little princess, and how lucky I am to be your daddy. There are many times that I'd just love to come into your room and hold you and kiss you all over, but you are asleep so nice and cuddly. I think about the last year and how many nights that mommy and I were up with you, feeding you, taking care of you, or consoling you. None of it matters, it doesn't matter that it was 0100 and I had to work the next day, it doesn't matter that I had to get up many times during the night or mommy didn't get a nap on a certain day, what matters is that we have you, our wonderful precious daughter and that we love you unconditionally, forever. Some day, when you are older and you've had a bad day, things aren't going right, or you need some support, I want you to read any of these 13 letters and always remember what is in them. Keep them around and read them as many times as you need to, and then come give mommy and daddy a nice big hug, because we will always be there for you. It is you who makes the day better, it is you who came to us, and it is you who always shines like the sun through our windows. We love you sweet darling, and happy birthday.


Daddy and Mommy

Tuesday, March 30, 2010

Vote For Leah!

I entered Leah in the American Baby cover model contest.  Her photo was selected for voting.  If you’d like to vote for her, please visit  You can vote for her as many times as you have computers, once per computer per day.  We are currently in 9th place.  Please post to your blogs, email, Twitter, Facebook, MySpace, etc.  We could win a trip to NYC :-)


Monday, March 8, 2010

Another Monthaversary

Dear Leah:

It is almost impossible to admit that this very day eleven months ago, nurses laid you in my arms for the very first time, and in an instant I fell completely in love with someone, hopelessly and irretrievably, forever.  In the eleven months that have passed, my love for you has only grown stronger every day, and every day you seem to give us new and wonderful reasons to love you.

You have had a very busy month indeed.  You survived yet another blizzard, and another trip.  This month we added North Carolina to your list of places to call visited, and you charmed every single person you met there, from waitresses to authors, young and old.  You were the absolute hit of the weekend.  It was wonderful to watch you put your new skill of waving into action, and how everyone responded to you, which of course only encouraged you further. 

You also took major steps towards independence this month.  When I took you to the mall, for the very first time, you voluntarily left my side to go see what other kids were doing in the play park.  To say I was nervous and a bit sad is an understatement, but I was also proud of you, so I hid my tears.

You are now pulling yourself up and will walk while you hold onto whatever it is you’ve pulled up on: the couch, the fireplace, a table, my leg.  You are not real skilled when on hardwood or linoleum floors yet, but when you are on carpet, you are ready for action!  I’m sure it won’t be long now before you are walking.  You continue to be an absolute speed demon when you are crawling around, especially when you get your eye on something you want, and even more especially when you aren’t supposed to have whatever it is!  You make it very difficult for us to say “No!” because you smile up at me and bat your eyelashes, and all I can do is laugh while attempting to maintain a firm tone of voice.

You have also developed a cheesy grin—you will crawl up to me, get right in my face and grab my cheeks with both hands, and smile a huge, toothy grin.  It is so cute—I hope to get a picture of it, but I’m afraid the camera will make you stop, and I don’t want you to stop.  It’s a few seconds of sunshine that I don’t have to share with anyone but you, and just one of a thousand miracles we share every day.

Your favorite things to play with this month are your sound stage (Daddy and I made a good investment in that thing!), people’s drinks (you love to go fishing for ice cubes!), silverware that’s in the dishwasher (you scatter it everywhere!), and blocks and puzzles in your room (as long as I build a tower for you to destroy or put the puzzles together so you can fling the pieces all over the place!). 

You have been eating many more solid foods too.  Your favorites remain pickles and cucumbers (your aunt would be proud) and french fries, but you have developed an affinity for Cool Whip, noodles, and squash.  You absolutely hate tomato sauce and decline any pasta or bread with tomato sauce on it.  You are also quite adept at spitting out the chunks in the stage 3 foods we’ve gotten for you;  I guess you’re not big on texture!  We have been working to convert you from bottles to sippy cups, but you’re not too excited about that change either.  We will continue to persevere.

You have had a hard time sleeping in the past few weeks, getting us up every single morning between 4:45 and 5:30AM.  This is very difficult on me, but Daddy has been filling in, which is hard on you!  We did have you sleeping through the night, but you haven’t been too interested in that lately.  We are going to go back to sleep training as soon as you get over this latest cold you have.

You also have a new pediatrician now, and charmed the office there when we took you for a cold earlier in the month.  You’ve had 2 colds this month, but it seems you’re getting good at battling them.

We finally gave in and I put away all your 6 month clothes.  They still fit, but I was determined to at least have you in 9 month clothes by your first birthday.  You are growing taller and taller, but haven’t gotten chubby, so the smaller sizes have still fit.  It was hard to admit that I could go up a size, even if the clothes are a bit big on you, but Daddy finally convinced me to do it, and I’m glad.  It is crazy to think that you are growing and growing from that sweet little bundle that I held 11 months ago into this growing, crawling mass of arms and legs and personality that lights the lives of everyone she touches.  You make me so proud to be your mama and I will endeavor to make you proud to be my daughter.

Your favorite friends continue to be Quintienn and Elizabeth and Alex.  We see them a time or two a week.  You love to be around kids, and had a great time with Nicolas when you went and spent a day with him and his mom so Mommy could get some sleep.  You are looking forward to a visit from Kai this week and perhaps we’ll be able to start walking with Daniel again soon as the weather gets nicer and nicer.  You got to enjoy time at the Playroom this month with Ada and Willa too, which was lots of fun for you. 

I’ll close here for another month, and next month will be your last letter, so this is the last one I’ll write for you, at least in this context.  Perhaps I’ll continue the tradition off-line as something for you to take with you someday.  I am working on a scrapbook for you about your adoption, and then will start one about your first year of life.  It is hard to believe, but we’ll be sending out invitations to your birthday party this week. 

Stay sweet, little angel.  We love you more than words can say.

Mama and Daddy

Friday, February 26, 2010

Siberian Adoption Story

Yesterday, I was flipping through the channels and found a 90 minute special on Discovery Health called “Siberian Adoption Story”.  It detailed the journeys of two families who had decided to travel to Siberia to adopt infants.  One was a single mom from Virginia who wanted to adopt a baby girl and she was slated to travel with a couple from, I presume, California who also wanted to adopt a baby girl.  I missed the first part of the show, so I’m not entirely sure that they are from California, but I dubbed them Malibu Ken and Barbie in my mind, so California it is.

Never in my life has an adoption show pissed me off more.  Honestly.  And it wasn’t the show, it was Ken and Barbie.  And mostly Barbie.  What an obnoxious BITCH. 

Again, since I missed out on the first part of the show, I’m not entirely sure what their motivation for adopting was, although during their rehearsals for the court proceeding Ken mentioned that Barbie had had 4 miscarriages, so that may have had something to do with it.  I came in where they were traveling to Siberia for the first time.

When they arrive at the orphanage, they are greeted by a translator and a social worker, and apparently Barbie is obsessed with the possibility that the baby has been exposed to alcohol in utero and might have Fetal Alcohol Syndrome.  Consequently, she has hired Dr. Jane Aronson, who advises her of some pictures she would like to see of the baby so she can try to analyze if the baby was exposed to alcohol in the womb or not.  So they sit down with the social worker, and Barbie demands to know if the baby’s mother was a prostitute.  The social worker and the translator were like, “We cannot say, the baby was abandoned".  I mean, what the hell kind of question is that?  And why does it matter?  Is it going to affect your love of that baby?

So then they go in to meet the baby for the first time, what a sweet little thing she was, too!  They spent the entire time taking the pictures for Dr. Aronson and not really bonding with the baby.  Barbie kept saying, “This doesn’t feel the same as when I gave birth, this is much harder than I thought it would be, I don’t know how I feel about this”.  Then she comes out with the real kicker, “Well, maybe her hair will be blonder when she’s out in the sun.”  Apparently, they only wanted a blonde baby!  JEEZ!  I mean, it was clear that they had no intention of hiding from the baby that they had adopted her—they even talked about bringing her back to Siberia to visit someday—but somehow her hair color matters?  Cripes.

Meanwhile, the mom from Virginia decided that even if her baby was exposed to alcohol and had some issues, she didn’t care, she knew that baby needed her and was meant to be hers.  She fell in love instantly and she and her son were devastated when the hour was up and they had to leave baby Maddie behind.

Ken and Barbie hauled ass back to an internet cafe and sent pictures off to the doctor.  Single Mom asked them what they were going to do, and they said they didn’t know, they weren’t sure, everything was so unexpected and they didn’t know what to do about the whole thing.  Finally Dr. Aronson said that from the pictures the little girl appeared healthy and didn’t have any signs of FAS, so they decided to proceed with the adoption.

Single Mom meanwhile ponders if she would be able to find Maddie’s birthmother while she is there.  She would like to thank her and let her know that her little girl will be well taken care of and loved. Ken and Barbie are horror-stricken.  Their opinion?  “We don’t even want a picture.  That is opening a whole can of worms that when she is fifteen she will turn against us and say, “You’re not my real parents!” and decide to move back to Siberia.”  HELLO!!!!  You’re going to let your 15-year-old up and move to Siberia?  That’s one hell of a teenage rebellion and some kind of permissive parenting.  Not to mention, I’d be willing to bet that 99% of adopted kids try that “You’re not my real parents!” crap at least once.  I fully expect Leah will and we’re ready for it.  So prepare yourselves, Ken and Barbie.  Just because you don’t have a picture of this woman, who you’ve already decided is an alcoholic prostitute drug addict doesn’t mean your child won’t try the “you’re not my real parents!” routine at least once.  And just because you know the birthmother and can answer some totally normal questions we all have about “where we came from” for your daughter doesn’t mean she’s going “to turn against you”.  Ugh.

Fast forward, and we see Ken and Barbie preparing to return to Siberia.  While Single Mom and her son are having bake sales to fund their adoption, Ken and Barbie decide to sell off their extra house to pay for it.  BREAK MY HEART.

Then they get on a plane to go back to pick up the babies, and they are talking to other adoptive parents on the plane and what came out of Barbie’s mouth made me want to absolutely put my foot through my own TV set.  She said, “You can’t adopt babies who look American in America any more.  You have to go to Siberia to get babies who look American.”

Pardon my French, but: Fuck you, bitch.  Let me show you what an American baby looks like:


I was furious.  I mean, don’t get me wrong, I have no problem with people going overseas to adopt, some of my best friends have done it.  But Barbie was clearly in it for some sort of designer baby that fit the mold of what precisely she wanted.  And considering that America is the great melting pot of the world, there isn’t a baby on Earth who doesn’t “look American.”  Oh, that really rubbed my fur wrong.  I grabbed Leah and I held her and I cried.  This is the kind of small-minded idiot Leah is going to have to deal with her entire life.  And I bet if you asked Barbie, she’d consider herself just as liberal and open-minded as they come.

So they get back to Siberia, they get baby Ava, they take her for her medical exam and the first thing out of Barbie’s mouth to the doctor is, “Has she been exposed to heroin? Can you tell?”  This woman is obsessed with this poor child’s medical history, which is UNKNOWN.  The birth mother is UNKNOWN.  You are taking your chances here to an extent.  What concerns me is that if little Ava displays any sort of behavior that is not in the Ken and Barbie mold, Barbie is going to be determined that it’s to do with her pre-natal experience and that she was surely addicted to something before she was born, and there will probably be all kinds of recriminations.

What also breaks my heart is that Ava, that unspoiled innocent little babe, is probably going to grow up to be a pretentious little snot like her mother.  Look at the example she’ll have to follow.

I don’t know if those two ever intend to adopt again, but I hope and pray to God there’s not a social worker in the world who would touch them with a 10 foot pole.  I hope there’s not an adoption agency or a country that would accept them again.  I feel terribly judgmental even writing or thinking that, but frankly, I have never been more offended by a person in my entire life (Ken was pretty much on the sidelines, I will say, much like the real Ken who got tired of Barbie and broke up with her a few years ago, his job appeared to be to look pretty, flash his veneers, and let Barbie run the show).  I watch Adoption Stories every single day—I could probably recite them by heart at this point, and every last one makes me cry ever single time I watch it.  No matter where the couple comes from, no matter what their story is, where their child/ren come from, every story is beautiful. 

Siberian Adoption Story absolutely infuriated me.  I hope Single Mom here in Virginia is doing well with baby Maddie, and I pray little Ava will grow up to tell her mother exactly where to stick it.

Tuesday, February 23, 2010

Save the Date

I can't believe we are already thinking about this, but Leah's first birthday party will be on Saturday, April 10, 2009 sometime in the afternoon. Hope to see lots of sunny faces there to celebrate our little angel's special day.

Friday, February 12, 2010

Ten Months Already!

Dear Leah Katherine,

                It is now 10 months since we first held you in that little blanket in Baltimore at 0420 AM, which began our family.  You have made lots of progress this month, mainly you’ve started crawling more, babbling more (mostly saying “dah dah dah” and “iiiiiiya iiiiya iiiiya.”)  You have also learned to sit down all by yourself after holding on to the couch or whatever you are trying to get to.  You’ve lately been sleeping all night, lately your wake-up time has been around 0600. 

                This month you went to Atlanta and spent a few days with Uncle Mike and Auntie Lesley, where you were spoiled and you were introduced to your teapot.  Grandma and Grandpa from Rhode Island also came down to see you and even watched you while we went out for dinner.  You also went with us for dinner a couple of times with Uncle Landry and Auntie Meredith, where you were excellent the entire time.  You went and spent the day with Auntie Melissa while mom and dad were away all day with Cioci giving birth to your second cousin, William George.  You’ve been enjoying spending lots of time with Nana, as we have had so much snow that we haven’t been really able to leave the house for days.  You have been keeping us entertained with your babbling and climbing all over your mommy, and even being good for daddy while mommy went out to shovel and to the grocery store.

                You’ve really started to babble a lot more, be a bit more mobile, and have become more and more curious of what is around you.  Mommy has been still experimenting with real food to give you, and lately your favorite is sweet potatoes.  Daddy likes that you are up at 0600, since most of the time he can spend a few minutes with you and mommy before he goes to work.  Mommy also cut most of your hair off this month in an attempt to get it more under control, and everybody thinks that you look so cute.  Of course we already knew that, but it’s great to hear it from everyone else.

                Leah when we hold you in our arms it is the most special feeling in the world.  When daddy brings you up to his office and sings to you, with you falling asleep in his arms, it brings him to tears that he is so lucky to have you and be your daddy.  When mommy snuggles with you during the day and feels you on her shoulder, she feels like a million dollars to know that she is the lucky one who has the privilege to stay at home and raise you.  In the mornings we listen for the “ih, ih” and realize how thankful we are to have our daughter to love and take care of, forever and ever.  As you will learn more when you get older, there is lots of love in the Kosior house, and that you will always feel and carry with you wherever you go.  We love you darling daughter, and your progress this month is just the beginning of a life-long list of achievements that we can be proud of.


Daddy and mommy

Monday, January 11, 2010

Nine Months

Dear Leah:

You are now nine months old, and have spent as much time in the world as you spent preparing to make your debut.  Every day now we have had you a little bit longer than you birthmother did, and we think of her a lot and with gratitude for the wonderful little gift she gave us: you.

What a month you have had!  You have been extremely busy.  Each day I wake up and I think, “I wonder what Leah will learn today?” and you never fail to surprise me.  You said your first words this month, “Mama” and “Papa” and seemed to know exactly what you were talking about with each of them.  The random babbling has at least two elements that are special and mean us!  What joy that brought to us.

You also started to crawl this month.  You are getting stronger and better at it every day, and I have to control the impulse to still pick you up and put you next to whatever it is you are indicating that you want.  You know very well how to get there on your own, even if it is sometimes easier just to scream while we try to figure it out.

You also grew 3 new teeth!  WOW!  And they all came in at once.  You have two on the top and four on the bottom now.  It’s amazing.  For a while we thought maybe you’d just have 3 teeth forever, but now you’ve doubled the number!  It was rough going, but you managed.

This month also marked your first Christmas.  You had lots of visitors and lots of presents and made the time a lot of fun.  Thanks to your Cioci, we were able to make prints of your feet, so we will always be able to look back on how small you were, even though right now you seem to be growing like a weed!  Some of your favorite Christmas presents were the sound stage (you gaze at yourself adoringly in the mirror, it’s so cute!), the xylophone, and all your pretty new clothes.  You also received a special ornament from Nana, the first in what will be a collection.  It is hard to imagine that someday you will leave us to have your own Christmas celebrations, but you will be able to take your ornaments with you for your own tree and each one will be a special memory.

You also got a taste of the snow this past month when we had a big blizzard.  We were trapped in the house for 2 days, but you were a constant source of entertainment.  We strapped you into your snowsuit and put you out in the snow to see what you’d do, but you didn’t appear to like it!  Then we took you around with us to see all the neighbors and give out Christmas treats.  You loved absolutely everyone, playing with adults and kids alike, and so many people since have told us what a good little angel you are.  We know, but it’s sure nice to hear it from other people!

We’ve also let you try lots of different foods this month and you are certainly very adventurous when it comes to eating.  Your current favorites seem to be pickles and celery, although you are also fond of lemons.  Jarred food is OK, although you get mad because I won’t let you play in it up to your elbows.  You still love sweet potatoes and applesauce, but have started trying some meat and like beef and turkey just fine.  You still hate green beans.  You are also not terribly fond of the pasta blends.  It’s OK, you take after your father in that regard!

Leah, I wish I could put into words how much we love you.  There are days we look at you and our eyes just well with tears about how fortunate we are to have you in our lives.  You are a ray of sunshine on a cloudy day, a true joy to all who know you, our every hope and wish come true.  I wish I could hold you forever in my arms, sweet girl, you are exactly the child we dreamed of when we decided to adopt.  You are growing so fast, it’s impossible to believe how quickly all this growing is taking place!  Looking back on old photos, I can’t believe that baby is now the baby in front of me.  We’re with you every step of the way, from here to forever.

All our love,

Mama and Papa