May 31, 2013

5 Months.


  Oh little Vi, you are such a joy.

You’re not really very little for your age.  You are in the 75% for weight and 90% for height!  Weighing in at 14 1/2 pounds, you are definitely not struggling for growth!  I love your roly poly little body.


  What defines you is your smile.  Pretty cool thing to be defined by, eh?  You have a smile for anyone, anytime.  You give them away freely, and they are beautiful and full of joy!  It fills my heart to bursting every time you smile at me.  You are a gift from God.



  You make lots of noise, talking and jabbering with your sisters, or giggling at something silly they’re doing.  Your signature sound is this little chuckle that you let loose at anything reasonably funny.  Any time you get excited you start your “huhuhuhuhuhuh” laugh, and we can’t help but smile!  You jabber all the time – and you’re LOUD!



  You’re in a hurry to get moving, just like Sylvia was.  You’re rolling all over the place, front to back and back to front.  I can’t keep you on a blanket, so I just gave up and you roll all over on the floor.  Even though you know how to roll, your favorite position right now is standing.  If you’re being held, you like to be standing.  I’m afraid this is a sign of early walking.  No need for that.  Immobile is good. (This should be your mantra.)  You’ve started playing with toys, and you’ll even try to scoot to get to them.  Your working hard to catch up with your sisters, and I’m sure it won’t be any time at all before you’re running around with them, just as crazy as they are.



  You’re a big time thumb sucker.  This is new in our family.  You love. your. thumb.  Which I’m pretty ok with.  You put yourself to sleep with your thumb and in general are pretty happy as long as you have it.  And you can’t drop it.  It’s great.

  You are SUPER ticklish.  It’s very fun.  I can tickle you and easily get a belly laugh, which is all I need to brighten my day.  It makes you happy too.  I’m not torturing you for my pleasure or anything.



  You’re such a happy baby.  We trekked you all over Disney World for five days and didn’t hear a peep out of you unless you were hungry.  You’re a trooper.  It’s good.  You’re number five.  Happy is good.



  Your sisters love you.  Bella loves to hold you and sing to you.  She asks to hold you all the time.  When you’re unhappy she gets you toys, she picks out your clothes.  She just loves you.  She’s going to be your protector. She’ll be by your side, and she’ll have your back.  She’s a good big sister.

  Naomi laughs and giggles anytime she sees you.  She gives you kisses all. the. time. and she loves to snuggle you.  She sings to you in the car, and hugs you when you’re sad.  I think you two are going to be good buddies.  Naomi can hold her own, and I think she’ll stand her ground for you too.  You’ll never have to worry about having someone there to watch out for you.

  Sylvia is still your biggest fan.  You look so much like her I can hardly tell your pictures apart – it’s crazy.  She loves to snuggle you.  Loves it.  She’ll do anything to make you smile and laugh – which is why half the time I’m holding you, Sylvia is in front of me making funny faces and dancing.  She just loves to hear you laugh. 

  Tootaw loves you so much.  She loves to hold you.  She loves to ‘read you books’.  I think she’ll be the first to teach you to do really dangerous things.  Everyone needs a sibling to teach them to do dangerous things.

  Your sisters love you – but that doesn’t always equate with them being gentle with you.  But they love you, I promise.  Someday you may have anxiety at the feeling of being squished, but it was all in the name of being loved.



  You’re still great at nursing.  I recently started teaching a MAPP class, and your Daddy has kept you those nights.  You take a bottle like a pro, even though you hadn’t seen a bottle once until you were four and a half months old.  When I lay you down in my bed at night to go to sleep you giggle, because you know I’m about to nurse you and then snuggle you all night.  I love it too.  We love to snuggle.  Of course, as much as I love to snuggle you, you’re not really snuggly unless you are nursing.  Other than that, you like to be facing outward taking in the world.  You are interested in everything and loving life.






  I can’t imagine life without you.  Not even close.  You bring me joy even when I am at my wits end and completely frustrated.  I love your snuggles, I love your kisses, I love your smiles, I love your giggles, I love seeing your sisters love you.  You are a gift.  I love you.  So. So. Much.


Love you, love you, love you,


May 23, 2013




Well.  I’d love to be posting more often.  I miss it, and I hope that this blog will also be a way for me to look back at a rough overview of the important times in our lives. 

But, the whole five very small children thing…ya know?  It takes time!  Who’d have thought.  Maybe soon I’ll get a post up about Disney.  Maybe.

May 1, 2013




Today was the conclusion of the termination of parental rights trial for Bella and Tootaw.  All so very bittersweet.  I was anxious going into it.  I don’t think I was anxious as much about the outcome (it was fairly obvious what was going to happen) as I was about having to sit in the court room again with their parents and listen all day to all the things they screwed up. 

If you find it impossible to have compassion for birth parents in a situation like this – if you just can’t connect with them and empathize – go to a termination trial.

They are just people.
Thrown into the pool of life in the deep end, head first.
Usually with no support system.
Usually having grown up without role models.

A life most of us cannot even relate to.

So, I was not looking forward to sitting in the court room with them all day while they were trampled in all the muck they have left in their wake the last two years.


We got there and made small talk with their parents.  We’ve worked hard to develop and maintain a relationship with them and regardless of the outcome today, I wanted them to know that we still aren’t against them we are just for the best interest of the girls.

It took them a long time before they even started telling people they could come in the courtroom – attorneys in and out, lots of hushed talking.

Finally, the state’s attorney asked me to come into the courtroom.  Mom and Dad were considering relinquishing their rights and wanted to know if there was any way we would maintain contact.  Brian and I had already had conversations about this, I had discussed it with the girls therapist, and we knew that if possible, we did want to maintain contact to some degree.  Both their therapist and Brian and I agreed that initially it would be better to maintain contact through e-mail or P.O. Box.  We were hoping for an open adoption to some degree and to maintain as many ties to their past as possible.  Both for the sake of the girls and their family.


I left the courtroom to find their parents crying in the hallway.  The caseworker had just let them know that we were willing to maintain contact and Dad leaned forward and said thank you.  I wasn’t sure what I was going to say, but I walked over. 

We had a conversation about their fears.  I promised that the girls would never forget them and would always know that they love them.  My heart was breaking for them.  It was excruciating to be a part of.

I am thankful that this is how it all happened if it had to.  I felt assured through our conversations today that their Mom and Dad knew that we weren’t against them,  that they trust us to care for their girls, and that we love the girls and will forever.  We were able to offer support in such an awful time.  I felt like it was the fruit of working so hard to maintain a relationship.  Now, in the midst of such pain, they knew they could trust us, they knew we would not give up, they knew that all we wanted was what is best for the girls.  And in the midst of all that, it laid a foundation for continued contact.


It was excruciating to watch.
We hurt because they hurt.
We hurt because of the loss that this day signified for our girls.
So much brokenness.


All this will take a lot of processing.  I’m sure that I will post more on it as it all settles.  I wish it could just be a celebration, and celebrate we will when we get to our adoption day – but for now it is bittersweet.  So much hurt that is so visceral right now.

The sweet in all of this?  Right now I am looking at my girls.  My girls who will be my daughters forever.  My sweet babies that I will love and cuddle.  I will watch them graduate.  I will watch them walk down the aisle.  I will watch them pursue their dreams.  I will watch them heal and grow and flourish.


And, I guess, that’s the end.


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