Sunday, June 12, 2011

From my babies...

He may or may not have any idea what he's doing, but he hits on my friends. Tommy's friends. His friends. Judah explained the situation to me, "I need my girls."
Yes. I'm afraid for our future. Very afraid.
Yesterday's example:

to a very pretty friend (who happens to be in her thirties), "I want to comb your hair in the bath."

Judah says incredibly sweet things also:

Last night before bed, "Daddy, lie on my pillow because I want it to smell like you."

I feel like a broken record, but she really is the most generous person on earth.
Friday was her birthday.

while insisting I take her last bite of birthday cookie/ice cream,
"mama PLEASE try"
Aster, it's YOUR birthday. You already gave me lots of bites. I want you to eat it. We are celebrating you. I want you to be happy.
"but mama, I'm already sooo happy!"

She's also very funny. Both intentionally and not.

With a very disgusted look on her face, "I don't want to eat frog" (after thinking we said "froggies" instead of "pierogies").

Saturday, June 11, 2011

If she's so easy, why is it so hard?

I'm not positive.

It may be because, as a parent, you feel all of your children's problems. If Judah skins his knee, I have to suck air through my teeth and feel it in my stomach. I'd much rather have the skinned knee. Every mama would.

Mamas worry about their children's problems. Even the little ones.

There are at least 10 major life events that very easily could have destroyed my daughter. Yet, she is not destroyed. She is beautiful and strong. I am clearly not as strong. I don't know how to feel these hurts. Hurts my brain can't even comprehend. Not individually. Not all at once. When I let myself think about any single one, even for a minute, I feel destroyed.

It's the litte/huge things. Aster hand feeds me like I'm a queen. She is a little bit obssessed with me eating and is stern if I decline. Yes, she has noticed my curves-a-plenty- which is another story completely.

She loves me. I am her mama. Therefore she needs to keep me. Alive.

Deep breaths.

Aster is very generous and kind. I love her. Completely. She has no extreme behaviors. Not even medium sized ones. I believe our attachment is going very well. Despite her huge dose of pure fabulousness,

adopting an older child is hard.

I'm grateful and just feel extremely lucky. I don't think I've ever laughed as hard as I do these days. One day in the future, when I look back at my life, I believe these will have to be the best days, because life just doesn't get any better than this. But,

this is very hard stuff.

I often think that I'm just unworthy. I read the books and still, I just don't get what to say or what to do. Ever. All I know is that even though I'm clueless in general, I love my babies so much I'm in a constant state of feeling as though I could burst. I hope that makes it a tiny bit better for them, because

well, this is hard, damn it.

Jump Rope.

Aster is very giving.

In December, she put part of a broken sparkly jump rope handle in our backpack. It was clearly a gift. It was all she owned. All that was just hers. She gave it to us.
She's amazing that way.

I was just watching her. Jumping with her brand new jump rope. I just realized it's the same one. The same handle. I'm positive she has noticed that it's the same one too.
She's amazing that way.

My daughter is a princess

Aster is the most beautiful girl in the world. A very wise woman said so and she knows stuff. At this point it's no longer subjective.

Aster is a 6 year old girl. She doesn't know how good and beautiful she is. In every way possible. It's heartbreaking.

Whenever someone referred to Aster as "beautiful" or a "princess" she would vehemently deny it. Then it got worse. She'd get angry and watery eyes.

Yes. We tried to refrain from talking about "beautiful" or "princess" crap.

Aster told me that I was a princess because I have "big hair"
and she told me that she was not.

Then she cried for an hour.

I made a hair appointment for the next day, cut off about a foot of hair (I have it in a bag to send away for donation- win!win!) and got an asymmetrical purple bob.

It's short hair for both of us. "Big" hair is definitely overrated.

I feel like I'm placing mini-sized useless bandaids on gaping wounds, just hoping for one to stick.

A few moments

Our first night, falling asleep next to Aster in the hotel, she carefully pulled my shirt so that the little space between by pajama top and bottoms was together. I loved that there is no cool breeze on my lower back. No one has ever done that for me before.

Later that night, I woke up and had a good cry in the middle of the night (because I needed to). Right when I got to the ugly part, Aster giggled in her sleep. She pulled me right out of the cry and reminded me how much joy was there.

During a parenting low, when I started crying in the middle of her grief, she looked at me- wiped my tears and said, "I love you mama. Ok."

She initially let me do every little bit of care taking for her, even though we both know how capable and smart she is. She'd look at me with smiley eyes because she knew what we both needed.

Every morning, she crawls right onto my belly, tucks in carefully and we both fall back to sleep.

Discovering ice in her water. The squealed and laughed until it dissolved.

The look of disgust when given a new food. The laughter two minutes later when she realizes she loves it.

Laughing so hard she's silent when we read our little I Make the World Better book to her in Amharic. She repeated the correct pronunciation, then laughed again at our hardly improved accent.

Her sense of humor. Walking into the kitchen first thing in the morning, hugging me and saying, "Good morning mama." Then glancing at Tommy with a smirk, walking by him without stopping and saying, "Stop it daddy."

How hard she laughs at herself. Every time she trips, when she says no to a sweatshirt - then wears mine because she's cold, whenever she does something new, or tries...

The soft whimpers to let us know that there needs to be one more song performed during a family dance party. Being so breezy, that she's always happy after the "one more."

Freezing in her tracks on Mother's Day (one day after she came home), because she was one bracelet short in Mother's Day gifts (grandmas, great-grandma). Immediately going inside and making one more...

Judah wanting to be taller and her indicating that it's ok, if he really wants to be.

Aster matching Judah's T-Rex with her own very ferocious lion.

and so many, many more...


Aster is the most compassionate, lovely person. I am not.

During an episode of grief, while holding her baby style, I found myself crying right along with her. Not proud. It was the first time that it just seemed too much for me to keep in. I'm not strong.
Noticing that I was crying, she rubbed my arm gently, looked in my eyes and in her typical generous way said, "I love you mama."

This morning I made pancakes for breakfast. Since I multi-task and am easily distracted, I repetitively under and over cook them. I sneaky eat those.

I put the plate of edible pancakes out. Aster asks for 3 (I squeal with delight, she's starting to fill out those 2T undies!). Judah takes 2, Tommy takes 3. There's one left for me (I'm full, but want to join in). Aster eyes me and instantly walks around the table with one of hers, insisting that I take it. I have to convince her that I'm full.

I am very attached to my little girl. Aster loves for me to take care of her and I love each moment that she lets me. I'm so glad she gives me that, because in every other way, I'm the one that needs to learn and grow.

Home for One Week

I already feel like I have too much to say. The last two weeks have been some of the best of my life. I am on a honeymoon. So completely in love with each member of my family. Even the ones that aren't at their most lovable.

Enough about me.
Let me get started on talking about the one. The one that looks like a super model yet seems to carry all the wisdom of the universe. Oh, yes. That one. Not the one that recently was referred to as the PreK class clown.

I have heard so many things about how differently children behave when they get home. All I truly knew about Aster was how she was reacting or my interpretation of how she was reacing in a certain environment (the orphanage). I just reread what I have written and what others have written about her.
Same. All of it's the same.
Now she's just a lot lot happier. That's the short answer.

Aster is the most beautiful soul in the world. She is thoughtful and compassionate and sweet and loving and fun. Oh, and my favorite part. Here it comes. Wait for it. Please be excited for me. Aster. is. a. mommy's. girl! I know. It's really, really good. I knew you wouldn't be disappointed.

I can say, and truly mean, with all of my heart, that I love Aster as much as I love Judah. It takes all of my strength not to chew them up. Yes, she is more chicken wing and he is more pudding pie, but both are just too delicious. Now, everyone that has even briefly met me, knows how much I love Judah. I'm obsessively in love with him. Therefore, this next statement I've questioned sharing. I only share this because I know other adoption mamas might find it interesting. My attachment to Aster is much quicker and easier than it was with Judah. Judah and I are in a very good place, but his attachment to me is something I continue to work on.

Not that it's easy breezy with Aster. Nope. There is true and significant grief. There is fear. There are places that I'm just starting to be allowed to see. There is much I don't understand and just hope I someday may. But...

I'm completely in love with my magical girl.