Saturday, June 15, 2013
We had some professional graduation photos done of Abigail by a local photographer who I love.
Melissa Raimondi takes the most beautiful and romantic photos and is always so sweet to work with. A lot of her photography is boudoir, but she does all kinds of photography and it is always stunning.
The day that Melissa took these photos, people would stop in the park and stare and tell Abby she was so beautiful. The most precious moment was when a little girl came up to Abby with her Grandma in awe.
Thursday, June 13, 2013
Our little girls have been sharing a room since Zoe came home. Zoe really needed this, coming from an orphanage where she was used to being in a room with many other children. She hated being in a room alone.
But every single night was a struggle.
Every single morning was a struggle.
The girls would not go to sleep. They would get out of bed, they would talk and laugh. They would get toys and books to play with. And they were never quiet about it. We tried everything. Nothing worked. We had to go up many many times each night and we were getting very frustrated. I like my children to go to bed happy and that was not happening.
Then they would wake up very early. Who ever was awake first would wake the other. And then the noise and stomping would start again and they would proceed to wake up every one else in the house. Usually, by six a.m. We could see that they weren't getting enough sleep. And we would have to deal with their exhaustion though out the day.
Their sleeping patterns do not match.
So finally, we decided we were done. It was time to do a major bedroom shuffle in our house. We lost our guest bedroom in the process. Eli moved to the basement, so now that is the teenage boy area. Micah and Silas share a room and were in the smallest bedroom in our house, so they were moved to Eli's old room. And Lilah was moved back into the small bedroom, which was her room when she first came home. It was a ridiculous amount of work, but works so much better! And Lilah was very excited to move and have her own room, in the colours that SHE loves.
And I was excited to decorate it. I did a bird on a wire theme. I went to Bouclair and found everything I wanted in the exact right colours. Bouclair is a store that organizes all of their items by room and by style. You find what you want and they have everything in one spot. The matching drapes, throw pillows, blankets, art, accessories, lamps, etc. and the prices are very reasonable. I lucked out, knowing I wanted lime green and aqua. And it even came with the artwork with a bird on a wire. I painted some old furniture (from out guest room) white to match her bed and made an old chenille bedspread into a duvet cover for her.
They now go to sleep with no issues. They do not get out of their rooms in the morning until told, they read books quietly. And the rest of the house gets to sleep.
It was the best move ever.
Saturday, June 8, 2013
Tonight, Lilah had her very first violin recital.
It was held at a local church and Lilah was third from last. It was slightly frustrating as everyone left as their kids finished their pieces, so there were very few people there by the time that Lilah played.
She did great and got some hoots and hollers from the crowd.
Sunday, June 2, 2013
I love having little girls. This time is so precious. I love watching them dance. I love dressing them up, as much as they love to be dressed up.
I only took photos of them in their ballet costumes. By the time we got home last night, it was 9 pm and time for bed!
These photos of Lilah are her in her "new" bedroom. That will be another post!
But these girls are so, so pretty. As you will see in the ballet video below... Lilah stole the hearts of the audience. She has overcome any fear she used to have when trying new things and now will give 110%.
Zoe LOVES to dance. She dances in our house all the time. She is constantly asking for music to be put on... preferably Disney Princess music.
The girls were given single roses during the finale, while some speeches were being made. I wish I had a photo of Zoe at the end with her rose. She broke it in two places and was standing there with it hanging upside down.
The quality of these videos isn't great... but enjoy!
Wednesday, May 29, 2013
Spirit of Adoption Alberta is excited to be planning our very first fundraiser. This year it will take place in Edmonton.
If you live in Alberta and would like to join us for a family walk and picnic, we would love to have you join us! There will be some great raffles prizes to help support Christian Adoption Services and 100% of all pledges will go towards financial grants by SOAA.
You can register on our Spirit of Adoption Alberta website.
Saturday, May 25, 2013
Emotional Literacy is made up of ‘the ability to understand your emotions, the ability to listen to others and empathise with their emotions, and the ability to express emotions productively. To be emotionally literate is to be able to handle emotions in a way that improves your personal power and improves the quality of life around you. Emotional literacy improves relationships, creates loving possibilities between people, makes co-operative work possible, and facilitates the feeling of community.
*taken from Wikipedia
Lilah went to see our Psychologist again.
It had been three months since the doctor had seen her. She was very impressed with the improvements that Lilah has made in this time.
Lilah now seems to understand who her immediate family is and that this is where she belongs. When asked questions about what she had chosen to put into the sand table, Lilah explained that it was our house in Phoenix and that it was a very fun place to go. She smiled when she said that in Phoenix, she could swim in the pool everyday. She laughed when the doctor asked if mommy liked to go in the pool too... Lilah knows that I will only go in the pool if it is very, very hot outside.
She understood that our family is a unit that sticks together. We travel together, but we are always together, because we are a family. And she belongs here with us. Forever.
This is, of course, something that we need to continue to work on. We need to continue our therapy at home in order to keep her anxiety down. She is doing much better with her anxiety... but we do still have our moments. The Psychologist said that this typically takes about three years to achieve.
And she will likely always be a somewhat anxious child. She just needs to learn how to recognize it and deal with it when it does arise.
I am learning about myself throughout this process as well. I am a fairly anxious person. I know what I can handle and what I can't and when things spiral out of control, my heart rate rises and my anxiety goes up. I was thinking some deep breathing and yoga would've have been good for me this past week!
The Psychologist had Lilah and I dance around a little bit together... Lilah could handle a little bit of eye contact with me and then she would look away. She could handle dancing near me a little bit, and would then back away a bit. I had told the doctor that we are not fully attached yet (this has a lot to do with me ... even after four years together). I had explained that Lilah shows very little remorse for other peoples feelings and will say some very blunt and rude things to other kids, and then not understand why that would hurt their feelings. She can hurt someone here at home, get in trouble for something, say that she is sorry -- because that is what is expected -- but there is no remorse and she will run off and play like nothing happened.
By continuing our therapies (yoga, massage, deep breathing, exercise) and by spending more time one on one together, we should be able to change this in her as well. But it again, will take a lot of time.
It is very frustrating trying to explain to someone that you are upset or that one of her siblings is upset and she doesn't get it. It seems like an impossible thing to change. But Lilah has improved by leaps and bounds and we pray that God will continue to heal her heart and the trauma that she has been though... we will continue to do our best for her.
Thursday, May 23, 2013
Everyday, this little one picks me bouquets of dandelions.
Today, we headed to the river valley to take some photos amongst the cherry trees and when we were done, Zoe ran around gathering the dandelions.
It took my breath away watching her.
She finds such joy in the little things.
While my other kids are begging to go home... they are so bored... this one makes the most of every moment.
As long as she doesn't see a bug of any kind, she is good! Otherwise, you will find her running and screaming in sheer panic!
Is a dandelion a clever yellow flower that turns into a galaxy of silvery stars or a weed?
~A. A. Milne, Eeyore from Winnie the Pooh