Monday, June 25, 2012

Doesn't everyone wear swim goggles as a necklace and carry oyster crackers and a toy missile in your snack trap?

Thursday, June 21, 2012

My Quirky Girl

Dear Mia
There are so many things I love about you. Far too many to list. But these are a few of the quirks and habits of your 20 month old self that I want to make sure I never forget.

I love the way you hurry to the bathroom and look up at the sink waiting for your toothbrush when I tell you it's time to brush teeth.

I love how your whole face crinkles up when you sign "brush teeth".

I love that you insist on holding the tube of toothpaste in your free hand while you brush.

I love how, after you fall down, you come to me to lay your head on my shoulder when I ask if you need a hug to feel better.

I love that you laugh hysterically if I tickle you using only my toes. Every single time.

I love how you have to have the purple binky that lives in your crib... and only THAT purple binky.... as part of your bedtime routine. And will switch out even if you already have a different binky in your mouth when we walk in your bedroom.
I love that after our bedtime routine is done and I lay you in bed to go to sleep not only do I have to give you one last kiss but you also hold up "Mr Giraffe" and make me kiss him. Then you hand me "Binky" from your mouth and make me kiss it, too, before I can make my exit.

I love that when given the choice to pick a book for mommy to read you at bedtime, 95% of the time you choose "Goodnight Gorilla". It's clearly your favorite.

I love that sometimes I'll catch you reading "Goodnight Gorilla" all by yourself. You flip through the book, stopping to point at every page and say "nigh-night".

I love that you've discovered the joy in spinning yourself dizzy. And how you giggle, stumbling around like a drunk person until you say "whoa" and fall on the floor.

I love the way you cross your feet at your ankles. In your sleep, in the bathtub, in your car seat, in your highchair, when you sit on my lap while I read to you. It makes me wonder if your feet were crossed like that when you were in the womb. 
I love our morning drives to the sitter. I turn off the radio so it's just you and me chattering away while you eat your dry Cheerios out of your snack trap and point out all the buses. You love the buses.

I love how sometimes we sing during our morning drives and all I hear from the backseat is your baby language gibberish ....but in a singing voice and completely off the melody. It makes me smile every time.

I love that you finally let me put bows in your hair again. In fact, you now ask for them. While dressing in the morning, you point to the bow holder hanging on the wall next to the changing table and then grab a handful of your hair. Sometimes just to make sure I get the point you say "hair" and/or "pretty" (which comes out hey-ya and pay-ee but don't worry... momma understands your language). Momma has a bad habit of calling your bows, barrettes and clips "Hair Pretties". That's where you picked it up.
I love watching you develop your personality. I'm having so much fun discovering the little person you're becoming. Even on the not so good days when we butt heads and you drive me a little crazy. And I can't wait to see what age 2 brings to the table as you continue to grow and blossom.

I love you with all my heart and soul, my little snickerdoodle.

Friday, June 15, 2012

Project Tonggu

The Tonggu Social Welfare Institution is very near and dear to my heart. They were responsible for the care of my daughter for the first 7 1/2 months of her life. And because they did such an amazing job, my job was made easier. 
Because of these two wonderful, kind, loving foster parents, Mia was handed to me a happy and healthy baby, capable of allowing herself to trust and be loved. They didn't just take care of her because it was their job. They played with her, talked to her, held her, rocked her and without a doubt.... loved her.
This is a photo of Mr Guo, the director of the Tonggu SWI, and Mia. It was taken on the day we were lucky enough to visit the orphanage and meet Mia's foster mother. On our Gotcha Day, he was the person who held her for the 4 hour drive to Nanchang and then handed her to me in the conference room at the Galactic Peace Hotel.
For all of these people and for this place, I'm so very grateful. I could never truly repay them for all they did to help shape this amazing little person who is now my daughter. But I can help.
For several years before Mia arrived I sponsored a child through a charitable organization called Half the Sky. But this year I decided to use that money to help support Mia's orphanage instead.

Another Tonggu adoptive parent coordinates an annual fundraiser for Tonggu SWI that ends this Sunday June 17th. They are in need of formula, a washer/dryer, an air conditioning unit, and a TV for the children's playroom.

If you've been touched in some way by adoption, or by my daughter and our story, or you just have a generous heart and want to do some good in the world, I ask that you consider giving to this place that means so much to me.  

A tax deductible donation can be made online using This Form. Just be sure to write "Project Tonggu" in the project box to specify that is what you want the donation earmarked for.

On behalf of all the children in Tonggu SWI still waiting for a family..... Mia and I thank you.

Monday, June 4, 2012

Dinner Conversations with Mia

Mia was wound up tonight. She was pretty funny during dinner so I started taping her. I wish I'd grabbed my Flip camera instead of my I-Phone. I hate how the phone makes the videos so skinny.
We were having chicken. But she insists all white meat is turkey. No matter what.
She knows her name. But is sassy about repeating it when I ask. I especially love when she refuses to eat any more broccoli.
My funny girl. She's so smart. At the end she signs book which is her way of asking me to read to her.
And of course, I did.