Friday, May 25, 2012

One Year Later

My life was completely changed on May 25, 2011. A man in Nanchang, China handed me a baby and suddenly my dreams of becoming a mother had come true.
I can't believe it's been a year since I met my daughter. I remember that day like it was yesterday. And yet, it feels like Mia has been with me forever. Such a strange contradiction.

You always hear adoptive families say that somehow a perfect match was made and I am no different. She is my perfect daughter. Perfectly matched to me. We are so much alike. Which is sometimes good and sometimes bad. 

This last year has been full of new experiences for the both of us as we've grown into our roles as mother and daughter. It wasn't always easy. But I can honestly say that now , a year later, we're two peas in a pod. She knows me as well as I know her.

I'm a much more comfortable, relaxed and confident mom than I was a year ago. And Mia... wow. She's amazing. Every day she changes. She's so incredibly smart. She's happy, warm and affectionate. She's stubborn and strong willed. She's the sunshine in my life. 

I loved her the moment I made the decision to adopt. I loved her when I first saw her photo. I loved her on the day she was finally placed in my arms. After a year with this wonderful, beautiful girl... that love has grown and blossomed and wound it's way into every ounce of my being. I can't imagine a life without her.

Every day together is a blessing. Even the tough ones. I can't wait to see what this next year brings.

Sunday, May 13, 2012

Happy Mother's Day!

Today marks the seventh Mother's Day since I started out on the long and winding road to motherhood. I finally reached the destination.... my beautiful daughter. She's the only gift I'll ever need.

Friday, May 4, 2012

And Speaking of ... Speaking

As I mentioned, Mia's speech has really taken off. She's in a huge repeating stage right now. But these are the words she knows and uses consistently all on her own. Feel free to scroll down. This is just for me to look back on and remember some day.
goggy = doggy
bir = bird
ot = hot
peas = please
anchoo = thank you
dink = drink
mulk = milk
wa wa = water
jew = juice
cracka = cracker
nana = banana
chee = cheese
bed = bread
elp = help
teev = teeth
no and shakes her head "no"
bah = ball
Melmo = Elmo
mingk = bink (pacifier)
sooz = shoes
at = hat
ewww = at appropriately icky things
ow = when she bumps her head or gets some other boo boo
die = dry
bye bye
no = nose
cuck cuck = what a chicken says
kack kack = what a duck says
awf awf = what a dog says
mmmm = what a cow says
Nita = Anita (her babysitter)
Nattie = Maddie (Anita's daughter)
Mo-Mo = Morgan (Mia's daycare BFF)
mm mm mm = kinda like the Campbell's soup slogan. Used when she's enjoying something tasty. And it comes with it's own sassy little slow head shake back and forth for emphasis. LOL!

This one technically doesn't count yet cuz she just repeated me. But earlier this week as I was putting her in her car seat to go to the sitter's I said "I love you" and got "mulm oo" as a response. My heart melted into a puddle right there in the driveway. :)

The signing really helps me understand her better. Cuz just like you'll see in this video, I may not catch what she's saying. But when she combines it with a sign... I usually get it. I was desperately trying to get her to do the "mmmm" cow noise she does. Cuz it's so dang adorable. And I accidentally and unexpectedly got her speaking and signing "help" for the very first time. I didn't even know she knew either one.
Her toys are in that trunk and she wanted them. When she gets frustrated because she can't do something I'm always asking her "Do you need help? Do you want momma to help you?" and I sign help. I guess she listened... cuz on this day (which was back in mid-March) she actually gave it back to me. Although she didn't get the sign just right but I figured it out regardless. I love how when I finally understand what she's saying she signs "thank you". Like she's acknowledging "yes momma I need help."

Have I mentioned how much I love the Baby Signing Times DVD's? Only a thousand times, you say? LOL! 

One of the things she does now is to raise her arms in the "I don't know" fashion, furrow her brow quizzically and ask "go?" which is her shortened version of "where did he/she/it go?". And she does it All The Time. When the dog leaves the room, when whoever is near her walks away, when a bird flies by, when she drops her cup, when a school bus passes us in the car. 

Her receptive language is amazing. She really understands so much and it baffles me.

I tell her to go find her sippy cup and she starts looking for it.

I tell her to pick a book for me to read her at night and she goes right to the bookshelf, gets a book... or three, walks over to me sitting in the big upholstered chair and lifts her arms so I can scoop her up into my lap.

I keep her bib draped over the back of her high chair. Recently, a few bites into dinner I said to myself, but out loud, that "momma should have put a bib on her". Mia turned and started reaching for the bib on the back of her chair. But it wasn't there. She spotted it on the counter and started pointing at it.

I tell her it's time to get ready for bed and she starts heading for the stairs. Or time to brush her teeth and she makes a beeline for the bathroom.

I'm constantly amazed at how smart she is, how much she understands, and how well she communicates. And I'm one proud momma...