Thursday, May 21, 2009

Two Months Since Gotcha Day

Today marks the two month anniversary of our Gotcha Day. Wow!

What an amazing two months it's been. It's hard to believe that it's only been two months because it seems like Camille's been with us for such a long time. In fact, the other day, Lauren said that she doesn't feel like Camille's adopted. According to Lauren, it feels like she's always been part of the family. Amazing to think that just 90 days ago (which seems like a lifetime), we were frustrated beyond belief, unsure of when we were going to travel, etc. I guess it's true that once the baby is in your home, you forget about all the grief you went through to get to that point.

We continue to pray for all the families out there waiting to adopt.

Two months down, and a lifetime to go.

Saturday, May 16, 2009

Wednesday, May 13, 2009

First Post Placement Visit

Yesterday was our first post-placement visit by our social worker. Regina spent all day cleaning the house spic and span, and Camille was looking particularly adorable. The meeting last about 45 minutes. We discussed our trip to the PI, how Camille is adjusting, etc. We showed the social worker the Lifebook that was given to us by the orphanage, and she seemed very impressed by it. She asked a bunch of questions about where Camille sleeps, her health, her adjustment, etc. She also answered all our questions about the formal adoption process.

All in all, the meeting was very positive. I suppose we "passed" because our social worker left wiht a big smile on her face and a very upbeat attitude.

Successful post-placement visit + Laker 40 point victory = very happy family.

Monday, May 11, 2009

The Future of the Blog

As you can see, we haven't updated out blog in weeks. We'd like to update it regularly, but with five kids, we simply don't have the time. Instead, we've decided to post blogs and pictures about once a month in case anyone is still interested in our adoption journey.

Right now, we are frantically cleaning the house for our first "post placement" visit by our social worker. We will have three or four of these visits in the next six months. After each visit, our social worker will write a report to ICAB advising them of Camille's progress. If the reports are positive, ICAB will then give us their official consent to adopt Camille. We'll take that consent form and present it to the family court here in the States so that we can officially adopt Camille. Until then, we are her legal guardians, and her name is still the name that appears on her birth certificate. Sooooo ... if all goes well, she officially and legally and finally be adoption by the end of the year.

As for her adjustment, it's been great. In fact, the person with the biggest adjustment issue is 3-year old Kyle. Camille has replaced Kyle as the baby in the family, and Kyle has definitely noticed. For the first few weeks, he threw tantrums, crawled into our bed at night, and was always asking for his mommy. He's a little better now, but he's definitely still adjusting to NOT being the baby of the family.

Other things: At first, Camille was very, very particular about what she ate (and didn't eat). In fact, for the first few weeks, she'd only eat white rice. Yes, it was easy to feed her, but we were concerned about her lack of well round diet. Over time, her pickiness has gone away, and she's almost to the point where she'll eat anything in front of her. But, unlike our other kids, Camille definitely eats a lot. She eats often, a lot, and takes huge bites. Hopefully, she's just eating so she can "catch up" in size, since she was definitely on the smaller end of the height/weight charts at the doctor's office.

Camille used to afraid of swings, but now she loves them. When we first took her to the park, she freaked out when we put her on the swing. This happened two or three times. So we replaced our regular swing in the backyward with an infant-style swing shaped like a dolphin. She rode that for a while, and now we can't get her out of it. When she went to the park yesterday, she happily sat in the swing for almost the entire time!

Anyway, we have other observations that don't come to mind right now, but we'll be sure to include them in our next update. We'll also post some pictures really soon.

Thursday, April 23, 2009

We finally did it....

we traded in our truck for a suburban. Now we can finally fit a family of seven and also all the backpacks, sports gears, stroller, etc. Actually we can fit in a few more kids if we really wanted to. But the big question is, do we really want to? Mark is such a great sport for making our mini-van his commuter car. He's such a team player!

Wednesday, April 15, 2009

A Comic Strip Says It All

Found these comic strips ... thought they were pretty appropriate. If you have any you want to add, please comment to this post with the link to the comic strip/cartoon.

Saturday, April 11, 2009

Possible Breakthrough ...

For the past three weeks, we've been trying really, really hard and super-duper consistently to teach Camille to say "please". This has turned out to be a very frustrating task because until two days or so, she flat out refused to say "please". We're not sure if this was a language thing, a comprehension thing or what. We tried lots of different tricks. For example, we'd point to each kid one at at time and have them say "pleeeaaassseee". Then, we'd point to Camille hoping that she'd do the same. Nada. Sometimes even a shaking of her head as if to say, "No way, Jose!" We even bribed our kids, offering $1 to the one that could teach Camille to say "please". We even had to be kind of mean ... denying her whatever it was that she was asking for because she didn't say "please".

Well, today, we gave Lauren a dollar because Camille consistently said "please" when asked. She actually says, "eeaaasssee", ... but we think she gets the concept. We'll see if she continues this tomorrow and forever. We're crossing our fingers.

We also picked eggs at the local park and painted eggs at home. Today, she met Uncle Mel, and tomorrow, she'll meet lots more relatives while we celebrate Easter.

Happy Easter, everyone!


To celebrate Camille's first week in America, we decided to take her to the Happiest (and most expensive) place on Earth -- DISNEYLAND! Camille was a trooper the entire day ... never crying or getting overly restless. In fact, despite the crowds and long lines, all five kids were amazingly cooperative. We had two strollers, and at one point, we had two kids on each stroller while the fifth walked close by. Quite an adventure. Thanks to Ate Rowena for hookin' us up!

One cool thing that happened was that during the High School Musical 3 show, Lauren was chosen to dance with the performers. Since she LOVES HSM, she was clearly in heaven!

Here are some other cool pics: