Friday, December 26, 2014

Adoption Day and Rose's First Christmas!

Adoption Day and First Christmas!

I feel poorly that I haven't written in a long while.  So much has happened since my last post.  Here's a bit of a catch up.  Rose is now almost 10 months old.  She's doing so well!  She's crawling, pulling herself up, and standing.  We had a tough month when teething threw a wrench into our sleep.  Our champ sleeper was waking up crying and upset.  Her first two bottom teeth are now in and she's resumed her champ sleeping habits!  I unfortunately can not remember who gifted it to her, but she has a cloth doll that I finally dug out of the toy bin in her closet.  For a few nights and naps she was crawling off of her low mattress on the floor to the shelf and getting her doll.  We decided that she was trying to tell us that she wanted to sleep with the doll, so we now put her down to sleep for naps and the night with the doll.  She's getting into things she shouldn't, lights up our days with her smiles and laughter, and is a beautiful, happy, strong, smart, sweet, and determined baby.

The biggest event was the finalization of Rose's Adoption.  The finalization of Rose's adoption took place on Thursday, November 6th, the day she turned eight months old.  My parents and Mike's mother were here for the occasion.  I was frustrated because the court changed the time of the hearing and then the night before, I received an e-mail wanting to change the time yet again.  I had people to coordinate with, rides and cars to organize, and the court was not right around the corner.  When to leave, getting there, etc. was going to take some planning.  OK, I admit it; I am a planner.  I was so incredibly anxious with the multiple and last minute change of time.

The actual hearing took about 5 minutes.  I remember feeling so incredibly disappointed with the brevity of the event.  It just did not at all seem to reflect the importance and sentiment of the occasion.  Yet, it happened, and that is the important part.

11/6/2014: Rose's adoption day!

The day after the finalization I was absolutely EXHAUSTED!  I believe it was the fact that this day was the culmination of a five year journey to become parents, including fostering Little D. and a failed adoption and losing Russell.  Too, the stress of the changing time and organizing the day wiped me out.

That weekend we hosted an open house party in celebration of Rose's adoption and her baptism, which was set for the following day.  Our house was filled with people who have loved us and seen us through this journey.  I felt incredibly blessed!

Later that month we celebrated Thanksgiving with my aunt, uncle, and two cousins.  We had so much to be grateful for!


As is our tradition, Mike and I made and decorated some homemade sugar cookies.  I remember three years ago, I had an emergency appendectomy on December 15th.  I was not up to making sugar cookies that year.  Mike, missing the tradition (and the cookies), went and picked up a bag mix of sugar cookies.  He mixed them up and we sat on the couch with a table in front of us and A Christmas Story on tv and decorated cookies.  He then announced that they were nothing compared to my yummy homemade cookies.  So, we make it a point to make homemade sugar cookies every year.  As you can see, Rose was more interested in the clicking of the camera timer than helping to cut out cookies.  ;)

Yesterday we celebrated Rose's first Christmas!  What a wonderful day!  We celebrated at home, just the three of us that morning, opening gifts and just being together.  Rose received gifts from us, her grandparents, aunts and uncles, and her birth family.  Here are some picture highlights.

 Here is a photo of Rose inspecting the box of Christmas prezzies from her birth mother and family.

 I waited so long to be able to hang our child's stocking for Christmas.  My mom made these stockings for all of us and Rose was gifted another stocking by a friend of mine.

 One of the gifts in Rose's stocking was a cloth photo album including photos of our family and Rose's birth family.

 I know the photo's blurry, but I love the smile on Rose's face as she holds a stuffed owl from her birth aunt.
A family Christmas photo
My aunt and uncle who live nearby came over for Christmas dinner.  Our dinner included homemade sourdough rolls.  Moving to higher altitude of Colorado has thrown a wrench in some of my baking, but I got this recipe from a high altitude baking cookbook my mom gifted me a couple years ago.  I started the process three days before Christmas with the yeast starter.

Growing up, Mike and his family had several  afghans.  One of them was quite large.  They began referring to the large one as a wholeghan and the smaller ones as halfghans.  A few years ago he asked me to crochet him a wholeghan.  I dragged him to the store with me to choose the colors.  Well, three years in the making, I furiously worked to finish his wholeghan for his Christmas gift this year.  I did it!  Here is a photo of my very tall hubby wrapped up in his wholeghan.
We did get a white Christmas this year!  It started snowing around 3 p.m.  It was beautiful to be warm inside with the Christmas lights, warm drink and food, and the snow falling.  It did take my aunt and uncle a while to get home though because of the slick roads.  We don't usually get enough here where it accumulates or sticks around long enough.  We have a south facing driveway, so we don't often have to shovel, but we got enough snow and are expecting cold and even negative temps in the next few days that Mike shoveled the driveway this afternoon.
Playing games is a big tradition of ours every holiday.  This year Mike gave me the game of Mancala for Christmas.  After the dishes were washed and put away, the kitchen cleaned up, and Rose was in bed, Mike and I sat by the fire and played some Mancala.  We had actually seen Rose's birth mother and sister playing the game the last time we video chatted with them a couple weeks ago.  It's a fun game.  In this pic, Mike was winning!
We hope for you that this holiday season and new year are filled with love, joy, and peace.  Merry Christmas and Happy New Year!  I will try to post more often as we approach Rose's first birthday in March.