Thursday, August 28, 2008

The Business of Parenting

I gotta tell you, I feel good today. While it wasn't easy to tackle that first attachment book, I feel better prepared and my romantic idea of adoption is being replaced by an informed, mature parenting outlook. I am thinking positive, but understanding that my daughter may have special needs and concerns. I feel more armed and ready to handle anything she may need from us. Started another book written by an adult adoptee "Twenty Things Adoptive Kids Wish Their Adoptive Parents Knew". Really good so far. Some is common sense to me, but there is MUCH to gain from the adoptee's perspective.
I think of all this as getting down to the business of parenting. Of course, this is just what I THINK is the business of parenting since I am a complete newbie. Surely, there will be many things we will learn by experience and our interactions with our daughter. We are planning to move to FL in the next year or so, but not until our daughter is home awhile and adjusted. Then we will visit FL a few times and let her see her new room before making the jump.

So, for now, I am gathering information for both states. I have talked to and found two amazing Pre-K Montessori schools. LOVE the Montessori platform! One down the road from our PA house (in case we are still here) and one 5 minutes from the development in Boca that we like. Both teachers are warm and wonderful, taking the time to talk to me for nearly an hour. Both schools have a diverse group of kids including others that were adopted and of varied ethnicity. They are used to language barriers (should there be any). They promote individuality and let the child work at his or her pace. They teach culture, art, music, character building, daily living, peace, and kindess along with the regular academics. It couldn't be more perfect for what we want for our daughter. I am so happy to have found these loving, family style schools.

I am also finding adoption doctors and pediatricians in both locations. Thrilled to have CHOP (Childrens Hospital of Philadelphia) in our backyard. They are excellent and have a whole International Adoption Health Center. Registered with them already and had a nice talk with the director. Still researching the docs in FL, but got some great suggestions from fellow adoptive Mom's off the FL adopt groups. Going to add to my list all the support groups I find or have found in each city, Mommy & Me yoga, and in FL I found a real loving swim class for toddlers.
Come on home, Ruby! We're ready!

Sunday, August 24, 2008

Great Family Weekend

What a weekend we had! Drove my Mom and brother David to the beach. It was SO nice! Great weather, nice walks & talks. Really such a great time. So great to see my Mom relaxing and enjoying herself so much. And Dave did such a good job! So proud of him. He is autistic and has made such progress through the years. I just love him to death. So cute! Jeff got back from his business trip too late to go with us, but he got to spend some good quality time with his family, too. His cousin Doug had a party and I understand a great time was had by all. Too bad I had already booked the trip for the same weekend. By the time I realized they were the same weekend, it was too late. Next year we will have to plan ahead. We'll want to take our daughter to BOTH outings!
As you can tell, I am having fun playing with my iPhoto and iPages programs. I have been taking classes at the Apple store once a week and learning to do all kinds of fun things. Not a pro yet, but maybe with more practice! My first collage (the children below) was fun to do. And gosh, how cute are they? I did a google search for images of Thai children and Asian children and found so many beautiful faces it was hard to choose! Can't wait till I can put my own beautiful baby's pics together! Maybe I will be real good at it by then. :) Going to get a camcorder soon and learn how to make movies next. If you double click on the collages you can view them bigger.

Thursday, August 21, 2008

Beautiful Children

While browsing the internet for entirely too long today, I found all these wonderful photos of Thai children. Couldn't resist making a collage of them!

Tuesday, August 19, 2008

Thank God for Friends!

Sherry, Me, Kimi, Tammy, & Elizabeth
Kimi, Tammy, & Sherry looking at Ruby's pictures.

Been riding the roller coaster of emotions lately. Reading a pretty heavy book on attachment which is feeding those emotions. It's a very good, informative book (Becoming a Family by Lark Eshleman, PhD) and I'm learning some good tips, but I am also not sleeping so well. I so ache to hold my daughter and let her know I am here and she will never be without a mother again. That it will be okay and we will work through any fears or issues she has. That we will be there for her through thick and thin and love her with all our hearts! In general, I try to stay upbeat and positive about the whole thing. I know we will bring her home when it is meant to be. But sometimes -try as I might - the feelings just take me over. The busy work and distractions help, but my thoughts are never far from that beautiful little girl in Thailand that stole my heart. When will I see her? Hold her? Is she walking yet? Talking? Some days it's just so hard to not know.

Anyway, I REALLY needed a little pick-me-up this week. Thank God for my friends! Took a train up to NYC today to have lunch with four of my very best friends. We've shared so much over the years. Sometimes it is a great effort to get all of us in the city at the same time as schedules are crazy and involve kids, work, travel, and a few of us in different locations. Still, we are all always glad we made the effort. It was such a beautiful sunny day and we caught up over a nice leisurely 3 hour lunch at Bryant Park. Really a perfect afternoon with some wonderful friends. Thanks, girls! I really needed that! Had a great lunch with Kimi last week, too, and a fun, nice long lunch with my dear friend Susan the week before. We had dinner with our great friends Charlsey & John for her birthday a couple weeks ago, too. I feel so lucky to have such good friends and more time lately to see everyone!

Sunday, August 17, 2008

Weekly Inspiration

Love is the golden thread that ties our hearts and souls together.
Mother Theresa

Thursday, August 14, 2008

Thai Mother's Day

Happy Belated Mother's Day to all those Mom's out there! I am late in posting this, but Thai's celebrate Mother's Day on the August 12th, the Queen of Thailand's Birthday. The Queen is very well loved and considered to be the Mother of all Thai people.To quote a fellow adoptive Mom and blogger - since we have to wait so long for our chance at Motherhood, there is no reason we shouldn't celebrate it twice! I couldn't agree more!

Thursday, August 7, 2008

Weekly Inspiration

Giving thanks is the expression of gratefulness and faith in God. It is the very opposite of fear or complaining. Giving of thanks expresses appreciation for what God has done, what He has promised, and the confidence that He is always with us, guiding our life.

Wednesday, August 6, 2008

A Room Fit For A Queen

...or just a little Thai Princess!

Well, here it is! Our daughter's room is complete! Butterflies & flowers were hung. The rug laid down. Her name is on the wall. Oh, yea, now might be a good time to tell those of you that don't know that we decided her name will be Ruby! We will have "Ruby Kate" as a first name (Kate comes from my beautiful Gram that passed away last year) and then add her Thai name as a middle name. Throw our last name in there and you have one rather long name! That's okay, it makes it all the more Thai, as their names tend to be a little longer and then they have a "short name" or nickname.
It feels so good to walk in her room and see where she will be sleeping. Sometimes I go up there and just look through her things and think about her. The other day Jeff came in and saw me and was like, yea, I was just in here too. We can't wait to bring her home. Then it really WILL be a fairy tale room.

Friday, August 1, 2008

Singing For My Baby

Well, I went into the studio yesterday to record songs for our angel. We did 5 songs, both lullabies and sweet kids songs. They are:
1. Twinkle Twinkle Little Star/ABC Song
2. Somewhere Over The Rainbow
3. Baby Mine
4. Hush-A-Bye Baby (Rock-A-Bye Baby)
5. Brahms Lullaby
It was both fun to be in the studio creating again and emotional to be singing songs I knew I'd be sending to our daughter in Thailand. My uncle (Bob Kimmel) is a producer and really did such a great job with the recording and mix. He called in a friend - a brilliant piano player, George Mesterhazy - to accompany me. George is an incredible musician and a super nice guy to boot! He came into the project with excitement and all these great ideas, as if we were producing a major record not just a Mom's personal CD for daughter. Together, we created some real magic. I had her picture in front of me as I sang and it was sometimes hard to not get choked up looking into those big brown eyes. We did everything in one take (to save time and money) so it is surely not my best vocal performance. It is my most heartfelt, though. I am just hoping that enough love and feeling got across that maybe, just maybe, she will feel it when she hears it.