I have spent the past few nights sifting through pictures, blog posts, e-mails, and old chat room/forum discussions in preparation for this blog post. It’s been a year, friends. A whole year since we met our daughter, the little Sproutlet. It was nice to reminisce over the “Steps to TA” (travel approval) on CHAT and re-read all the little emails from adoptive mamas cheering each other on and providing support when something backfired or got held up in process. I read some of YOUR lovely emails and Facebook notes of love and support, and smiled over each one of them. You are part of our story, in the preparation and the arrival, so before I go further-give yourself a big squeeze from me. If you are around someone you love, go hug them, too. Even if you never uttered word to me, consider yourself part of our story, as well. Know that I am grateful for every prayer, positive and healing thought, and deed. We would not have gotten through any of this without the Holy Spirit moving some feet and hands. 

This year has been full of challenges and successes with our Sproutlet. She’s a spry, vibrant little force to be reckoned with. She is smart and eager to learn and so proud of herself when she accomplishes something. It takes a little (or a lot) of prodding, but to hear her say, “I DID IT!” in that sweet little voice, fills me up. She’s an amazing little girl and every night when I tuck her into bed, I always tell her how thankful I am that she is in our lives (and how much I love her, of course!) God was certainly good to us when our red threads were knit together. It’s a kind gift, the gift of adoption, one that should be given the utmost care and attention. The road is often long and hard, with happy, scenic pit stops along the way. We are blessed with this gift of a child who has not had the greatest of beginnings and we try keep her safe and loved through her life’s journey. We keep our faith and wits about us; and keep moving on. It’s a challenge that requires God and community among us. That’s why it’s especially important for me to say thank you, tonight. 

As I mentioned there have been big challenges to overcome. First were those of her sweet little ears and her hearing. To make a long story short, we spent the first six months fighting an ear infection that would not go away in her right ear. After treatment at Duke gave us the right antibiotic and ear irrigation, she was in the clear. Until the next ear infection surfaced. Thankfully, the latter infections have all been treatable with standard antibiotics, so no more Duke trips. We have to pay extra care with water now. No lake swimming, ocean swimming, or river swimming until the perforations are closed. Ear plugs, no matter how fancy have simply not worked. So far, the left ear perforation is closing up nicely. The right one has been a little slow going. This has all affected her hearing, thus the use of the hearing aids. She’s finally adjusted to wearing them, and I’m pretty sure we’re over the “let’s take these things apart” phase. Her hearing has improved a smidge, but until everything is healed up, we won’t be able to fully grasp her loss.  For now, her loss has been explained as though she’s hearing us underwater. She can hear but it’s muffled and certain consonants, letter blends and frequencies are troublesome.

The girl has compensated for it, though. It really doesn’t slow her down too much. When children ask me about what is in her ears, or I notice their curiosity-the best thing I have found to model for Sproutlet is honesty and explain that her aids are like glasses-they are tools to help her. Glasses help you see better, hearing aids help you hear better! It seems to be enough for her and Big E’s peers. While the overall process has been challenging, the comfort and ease of her transition I count as a success. 

Another big success overall this year was her gross motor development. She can jump like a frog, alternate feet going up and down stairs, run (oh my gosh, that’s the cutest thing, ever!) and jump. What’s the big deal? She’s 3 ½. Most kids are well on their way to doing this or mastered these skills. It has also helped that her big brother is part Mexican Jumping Bean. Or perhaps Vietnamese Jumping Bean. 😉

Other milestones:

-Sproutlet was Baptised this year in the Episcopal church that I grew up in and by the Priest who assisted in my Baptism when I was a child.  We were surrounded by family and friends and her God Families.

-She likes Little Einsteins, Doc McStuffins, Minnie Mouse (and Mickey Mouse Clubhouse)- she calls out “Oh Tooooodles” when Mickey asks.

-She like purple and dressing up in anything and everything. I have a picture of her in a Bumblebee Transformers mask, pink tutu/leotard, holding a toy power drill. She is obsessed with purses already, namely one her GodMama gave us while we were waiting for Big E to come home.

-She enjoys her Burt’s Bee’s “chappick”

-And she’s particularly bossy to her big brother, which we’ve had to regulate a little. (But I’ll -be honest, sometimes it’s nice to save my breath because I know “lil mama” has it handled) 😉

-She likes playing with messy stuff, but she DOES NOT like getting food on her fingers at dinnertime and will cry out for a “nakkin, pleeease!” And while she loves our dogs, she does not like them kissing on her or getting near her in the morning. She’s a morning girl, with limits!

-She has the brightest smile. And I adore her face when something surprises her or captures her attention.

I think I could go on and on but rather I’ll post the pictures you’ve been waiting to see. One from March 2011 (from our referral packet), March 5th 2012 (our “metcha” day), and then today (well, it was from the 3rd, but close enough!)



Sproutlet 2011Metcha Day 2012Big E, Fergus, and Sproutlet 2013

I have the best family, ever.

May you and yours be blessed and strengthened everyday.

With love,