Christmas 2010!

It has been interesting, to say the least! I’m so tired. After the week of the adoption roller coaster I didn’t feel completely ready for Christmas and didn’t get everything done that I wanted. The show must go on though! It all came together in the end 🙂

Christmas eve we celebrated with my side of the family. It is tradition with us that we have fruit crepes with whip cream for Christmas morning breakfast. Since we were celebrating in the evening I did them for anyone who could be there by 3pm. We did Livi and Maggy’s presents around 5, hoping that Vanessa’s husband would be able to join us for adult gifts after supper. I love seeing Livi and Maggy so excited! They have such wonder for everything. It is so precious. As usual, Livi got spoiled by her Marmee and Aunties. I think her favorite gifts were her baby doll and stroller from Auntie Sessa, her purse where she is now keeping all her jewelry from Auntie Liz, and the tea set from her Marmee! I have already enjoyed many delicious cups of make-believe tea 🙂

Loving her tea set. 
Apparently I carried a tea set around with me when I was a kid.
 Auntie Sessa brought Disney Princess Christmas Crackers.

We went to my mom’s church’s Christmas eve service. The most perfect part of that experience was when Livi was feeling left out from not being able to be on stage with the other kids and not knowing any of the songs they were singing, during a silent, somber part of the service she yelled out at the top of her lungs “LET’S SING POKER FACE!” People on the other side of the auditorium heard her. It was hilarious! I laughed so hard I was crying!

We went home and put our exhausted child to bed then went upstairs for our Turkey dinner! Delicious as usual! We were still holding out hope that Josh, Vanessa’s RCMP husband would get there but apparently he was in the middle of an arrest and couldn’t get away early as he was hoping. Lame! The life of a cops family though 😦 So, we opened the adult presents with out him and since we couldn’t get a hold of Sean on skype from China, he wasn’t there either. For the first time in three Christmases my sister Liz was there though! It felt really nice to finally have her for a Christmas with Livi. I’m so thankful that we are all starting to heal. It felt right to have her there again 🙂

 Vanessa made the Martha Stewart-esque Turkey!

After a long evening we finally went to bed only to be woken up by Livi having her first official asthma attack! Jon’s never seen an asthma attack so he was pretty nervous. Livi was scared too. She kept wheezing and crying which scared her more and made her wheeze more. Thankfully, we had some asthma puffers on hand, even though we’ve never used them. The aero-chamber just made Livi more upset though… and she then threw up. Poor baby! Even through her screams we did get some of the medicine in her and she started breathing better and settled down. It was a rough night though. I think Jon and I were on edge that she’d have another attack and Livi was over tired and feeling crumby herself so we were all up about four or five more times. Christmas day night wasn’t any better. She had a few asthma episodes that night. I lost count of how many times we were up. We tried to have her sleep in our bed, we took turns sleeping with her. Livi was more aware that crying made her breathing worse though and tried to calm herself and called us before she got too scared.

Christmas Day was very busy, all the more on no sleep! Jon and I had exchanged presents the night before (I got a pair of designer jeans that I love but could never bring myself to buy and Jon got a DVD series of the old BBC Sherlock Holmes that he had mentioned he wanted.) We just watched Livi open her gifts; a dump truck and bull dozer/digger (we got two so the girls could take them outside in the summer and each have one), and the “prized” gift of a microphone! It has a disco ball on the stand with buttons for applause and drums! She has carried it anywhere we will let her since.
 Seeing the presents!
Playing with the microphone

As soon as we could get ready, we hit the road! Our first stop was the Abbotsford Hospital to welcome baby Iris! Our friends the BK’s had a baby sister for Jude! Livi was so cute and concerned for the baby. I can’t wait to see her as a big sister! It was so fun seeing little Iris. She looks so much like Jude did as a new born… only a little plumper. It brought back so many great memories too and even Jon said it made him want to have another birth child!

Livi’s newest soon-to-be play mate!

We then went on to celebrate Christmas with Jon’s family. We opened presents in the morning. Livi got a ton of various art supplies which she is really excited to use… although she may not know it yet 🙂  We tried to put Livi down for a nap, but I guess her stomach was a little upset from the change in routine and all the extra food she’s been eating. She had a pretty amazing diaper surprise for me after only an hour of sleeping. She wouldn’t go back to sleep, so we played and visited for a little while until I took her back upstairs to try for another nap. I slept with her this time and we both got an hour of rest in. We both REALLY needed it. We had yet another delicious meal and made it home before it got too late.

Livi was trying to help with the family tradition of 
reading the Christmas Story before presents.
Opening a Christmas magnet for her knew magnetic art board!

On Boxing day, we had one more family gathering. My Mom’s side of the family got together for food and fun! Livi was so tired by this point and had big bags under her eyes, so we just stayed for over two hours. It was good that we did go though because my Grandpa, Livi’s Opa, was able to come and was in really good spirits. It was nice to see! His health has been really deteriorating and very unpredictable.

Christmas is over and we are thinking of taking down the tree as soon as possible because of Livi’s asthma attacks. We are thinking that maybe that will help. We are very tired and hoping Livi sleeps better tonight! It was a great weekend though and we can’t wait for next year when we’ll have two little ones to enjoy!

Not For the Weak of Heart!

I’ve heard it joked about that adoption is the easy way out… HA! That is sooo very wrong! What a roller coaster!

I’ll start with updating you on our Citizenship issue. We got word from our MP office on Tuesday that our application was found, had not been lost, and been approved! We should receive the confirmation in the mail soon! Fabulous! This feels slightly bittersweet. I’m so relieved that everything worked out but we shouldn’t have been put through that worry in the first place. An 8 week wait jumping to a 27 week wait without notice is absurd, then to be told our file doesn’t exist was ridiculous! I shouldn’t have been told that to begin with. I should have just received the approval on time. The Citizenship office gave the MP the excuse of poor workers with a high turn over rate at the call center where I got my information. This is completely unacceptable! If they have people working for them, they need to train them properly and put in some sort of process to talk with a superior or complaint center!

The same day we got the phone call about our good citizenship news, we also got a picture of Sofie! We were so excited! I had to hold my emotions back a little bit because there were some in-discrepancies with the birth date and age of the child in the picture.

Originally, when we first got the two mini-referrals of two little girls in November, we were told we could review both files without pictures and choose from there. The next day we were told we had to choose one girl to adopt from the small amount of info provided on the mini-referrals. I was happy to not have to read both files. Making that kind of choice is just so difficult! From the minimal info we had, we chose to go ahead with the girl that we had more info on and trust that we would get the girl we were meant to get. On Tuesday we got her picture… but it wasn’t for the girl we had originally requested. This didn’t deter us at all… It doesn’t matter which  little girl is ours, we just want to make sure that there are no issues with the paper work. We want to ensure the paper work matches the child we bring home.

After a few phone calls and emails between our agency and the Bulgarian agency, we found out what’s going on. Basically the Bulgarian MOJ and agency think we are crazy for doing a blind adoption for a child with Down syndrome. They also found out we are planning to skip the first trip to meet our daughter, which is extra crazy to them! The first trip is only put in place for the parents protection. The MOJ wants the parents to feel as confident as possible that they know what child they are adopting, in hopes to avoid adoption disruptions. We feel very confident that we are in for some really amazing and difficult times with our new daughter and we know this is what we should be doing. Adoption disruption is not an option, so the first trip seems like an emotional (because we’d have to leave her in the orphanage), expensive, and unnecessary trip that we can avoid.

Because they don’t understand how we can blindly want this child, they want us to thoroughly review all the information they can get us on both girls and choose from that. They are sending us both files, all the pictures they can get, past and present, and updated videos. They want us to read and watch everything before with actually commit. I’m really excited to get so much information on my daughter before I meet her but how do we take one child over the other?! We wouldn’t get to pick if she was our birth child! This is crazy. Plus, it pushes our time line back a little bit. We won’t have all the information on both girls until mid January. Which means we can’t commit until the end of January, which means we can’t start all the paperwork until after that. I was hoping to have started it all by now. I’m still hoping to bring her home in the spring but it will probably be the end of spring now, instead of the beginning.

The girl who we have the pictures and video of right now is already working her way in to my heart. I don’t know exactly how this is going to play out but right now we are thinking that she is our Sofie. Before we found out all about this, we announced her in our Christmas cards as our daughter. She very likely is our daughter… this is just very confusing. I’m trusting that God knows how this is supposed to work out and will get Sofie to us soon, even with all this little bumps in the road. 

Privatizing Until She is Ours

Now that we have Sofie’s picture we’ve been warned not to share any info on her as to not cause any “scandals”. International adoption is so political. We don’t want to create any un-needed problems with anything I write in here. I think we are going to privatize our blog just until she is legally ours. You’ll need an invitation from me to continue reading this for the next few months… but I’ll make it public as soon as she is legally ours!