26 November 2010

When in Minnesota, Get Out and Play

When in Rome, Do As The Romans Do. Heck, it's a balmy 13 degrees. Bundle up the baby in a down bunting and insert your toddler into a fleece-lined snowsuit. Add two dogs that love to run through the snow and find a field where all four can explore the winter wonderland. There is no bad weather, just bad clothes (so add some layers, bundle up, and head out the door):

25 November 2010

Is Tupelo's Heart Healing?

Well, her lip is healing very well--we can see that. Look at her precious hands.

Her heart seems wide open for love and learning, eating and playing, cuddling and crankiness--during the day. It is at night when her grief emerges (at least that is what we think is happening). She might be having bad dreams, or just awaking, but she starts crying in the wee hours and is fairly inconsolable. She usually just wants to cry, and resists our flawed attempts at holding/loving/cuddling her; she used to calm down when we took her into bed with us, but not anymore. These episodes don't seem like night terrors, per se, rather just "I feel scared and sad and leave me alone!" episodes). Not uncommon for a child who, we assume, spent most of her nights without anyone to comfort her. She lacks the skills for self-soothing that most of us develop (e.g., I hold my childhood teddy bear when the night demons keep me awake).

Adoption experts (post-adoption social workers) speculate the cause is fear of losing their new lives, homes, and families, an inability to self-soothe (they never learned how), and general, heartwrenching grief that needs to come out. Poor baby. When will our love finally heal your soul?

21 November 2010

Weeks 1 and 2, Post Surgery (and other random pics)

During our hospital visit, one week post surgery, the doctor was silent for a moment upon looking at his patient: Whoa. That looks really good ... if I do say so myself.


Interesting egg showed up in my carton. Round, with linear grooves. Do you think it might have been a dragon?:

Looking Back: Tupelo, Weeks 0 through 8

05 November 2010

November 1: Tupelo's Lip Adhesion Surgery

Surgery went great (lip adhesion and ear tubes). Healing continues to go well (today is day 5, post surgery), but we need to watch her like a hawk (she climbs, falls, and bonks her head dozens of times in a normal day). So far, one tiny face-plant outside, in some leaves (even though I was holding her arm as she was walking); no damage, thank God.
Below is a small pre-op ward. This was the exact same room we waited in with Willow for her lip surgery. The blankets are made for each patient by volunteers:

Just before entering the operating room. Chris took Tupelo in, and held her as they administered the anesthesia, until she was alseep:

In the recovery room, immediately post-surgery:

Sleeping soundly in her hospital room--didn't last long. She woke up, and stayed awake, until about 9:30 pm that night. I feel strongly that she was so disconcerted, she remained hypervigilant and didn't dare give in to her profoundly sleepy body. Until the following day, she barely cried (a result of shock, fear, anesthesia, and baby morphine, no doubt).

The next day she looked quite puffy and disoriented (we spent only one night in the hospital):