Friday, October 19, 2012

Favortie Photo Friday

Often my favorite photo is not my best photo.  
I'd rather capture real moments than perfect moments as we are not a perfect family.  (If I could always capture real moments with perfect technique, I'd be okay with that, but alas sometimes the real moments pass too quick and I'm too slow.)

But that is okay, my boy has my back.  He always shows me real.
This real moment brought to you by the fact that "she ruined our shot, Mom!"

It's okay, SnapDragon.  How else are we to know that we were on our way home from picking blackberries?
the long road  

Sunday, October 14, 2012

Sunday SnapShot

Tomorrow is our 6 month post-placement visit.  Sweet Pea has only been here a little less than 5 months, but the social worker visit has to occur now.  It is astonishing to me that given how many pictures I have it is hard to find a good cross-section to give to the social worker (she needs 8-10 photos that shows Sweet Pea doing things or with her family.)  Oak thinks I'm over-thinking it.  Perhaps he is right, but Sweet Pea agrees with me.
It requires some concentration.

After all...she has a lot of family...

All of whom love her very, very much...
And one of whom is not often in the photos...
And then how to pick from the hundreds and hundreds adorable shots of our beautiful, fun, amazing Sweet Pea?

Altogether I sent 16 photos to be printed.  Oak can narrow it down from there!
Ni Hao Yall

Tuesday, October 9, 2012

The Book of Sunflower

Sunflower is as beautiful, loving, and funny as ever.
She is enjoying preschool, though she is home sick today.  Yesterday she said she was too sick to go, but she didn't actually have any "leave your kid at home" symptoms so I took her anyway.  Her teacher said they had a very sleepy and angry day.  Today we kept her home.

The day before she started preschool she put her hands on my cheeks and said, "Mom, look me in the eyes.  I want you to know that when I'm at school, I will miss you, very, very much."  Somedays she still says she didn't like school because she missed me too much but then she tells me about all her new friends and how much fun she had.  When we get there each morning she waves enthusiastically at each child, "Hi, friend!"
For the most part she is back to being the Sunflower we left behind when we went to China.  I am so very, very glad.  Even if she does say things like, "I am Mom's boss."

Me: "Do you know what a boss is?  It is the one in charge who tells you what to do."

Sunflower: "Yep.  That's me.  I'm in charge of you." 
We are a little concerned about her theology.  The other day she informed me that, "Jesus died, turned into a girl, and rose again."  I think that has something to do with the pictures of Jesus in white flowing robes and long hair...but I'm not sure.
I think she'll get it straight eventually...but today wasn't a good sign.  

Sunflower: God!
Me: Why did you just say God out of the blue?
Sunflower: He kicked me.
Me: God kicked you?
Sunflower:  Yes.  Now He did it again!
On the flip side, most of the time she does get along with God.  She has a corner of her blanket that she always chews on...and she calls it her chew.

Sunflower:  Where is my chew?
Me:  I don't know.
Sunflower: Mom, I wasn't talking to you.  I was asking God where it was.  There it is.  Thanks.
 This girl brings us so much joy.

Sunday, October 7, 2012

One of Each

I really do have four children, and except for school, we usually do spend most of our time together as a family...though I had the blessing misfortune of missing the last Costco trip.  Oak said it all went just fine.

But I still do not have a decent photo of the four of them together...even if we were all at the same park.

Sweet Pea:

 (What?  You don't all wear your Chinese outfits to a random afternoon at the park?)


You may be able to guess the main culprit of why our group shots have not been panning out.  I didn't even attempt it this time.  Maybe next time.

Ni Hao Yall 

Thursday, October 4, 2012

Our First Day with Sweet Pea

For 6 years I had watched people's videos of meeting their child.  I envisioned the chaos, the crying, lots of families...and someone video taping it for us.  It didn't go that way.  I had been planning to have Huckleberry video record with the point and shoot, but the early morning and the unexpected knowledge that she was waiting for us already at the hotel put that out the window.  So no "Metcha Day Video".  But I have finally gotten around to reviewing the rest of the photos from our first meetingIt is way more photo documentation than I have of my first day with any of our other children. 

So without any more babble here are the other pictures from that day.
Sweet Pea, the SWI Director and Assistant Director waited for us across the lobby while our guide checked us in.  Then our guide gestured to them and they followed us down a hall to a room behind the lobby.  I slowed down to keep pace with Sweet Pea.
Oak took this picture within the first few minutes of Sweet Pea coming into my arms.
Once we were in the room, before anyone sat down, and possibly before we even exchanged greetings or hellos, the Assistant Director handed me Sweet Pea.  She didn't really fuss.
 Then the photos with the Director and Assistant Director.
Not the best picture One of the worst pictures that I'm keeping...but the only one with both SWI Directors.  It does show that Sweet Pea wasn't completely shut-down since she was exploring my face.
Then they made me hand her off to Oak to get a picture with him.  No one seemed to want to try their hand at my fancy camera and take a group shot.  Then once we'd taken the photos they had planned, they handed us an album, had us take a picture of some things they had brought that we couldn't keep just see, gave us a box and left.
Do you see the napkin packet Sweet Pea is clutching?  (Though China napkins are more like tissue paper.)
Our guide said, go to your room.  She planned to meet us there after helping the other family who was sharing our guide and meeting their son in the next hour.  So we did.  It was so fast.
We fed her.  Changed her diaper.  Talked to the kids back home via FaceTime.  When our guide came, we signed paper after paper including the red photos were taken at this time.  Then we got ready for our afternoon of appointments.
 Waiting in the lobby for the other family.  Note the napkins.
The civil affairs office where we had a picture taken for her redbook (our only "family" photo from the day), an interview with the officials, and paid our fees.  Here I also saw the Assistant Director again and our guide arranged that we would be able to go visit the SWI.
More and more waiting.  At 3...per her schedule, she fell into a deep sleep in my arms.  This is when she let go of the napkins and didn't request them back.  We had two more places to visit...the notary and the visa photo office.  I don't remember exactly, but I know we took her visa photo at 3:30 because she was in the middle of her nap and it was almost impossible to wake her up.  Apparently eyes closed was not an option.  People were rattling things at her and jiggling her and talking, talking, talking.  If I had been sleeping, I would have screamed...but she just fussed for a second and opened her eyes enough for the photo.
We spent the rest of the evening in our hotel room getting to know our baby...and it was quite fun to get some smiles and giggles from her that very first it has been every day since.