Saturday, October 16, 2010

Oh Baby, Baby

Autumn’s real gotcha day outfit...


Last spring when Andrea from Reece’s Rainbow emailed me about a six month old cardiac baby, nicknamed Peach, who needed a family ASAP, I was excited. It is almost impossible to adopt a child under the age of one from Eastern Europe and I felt blessed to have the opportunity.

As the adoption process moved slowly along, I struggled with the feelings of losing her... the real chance of it due to her heart and the fact that her babyhood was slipping by week by week. Our infant would be ten months old by the time we got to her.


But when they brought her to me for the first time, both sides of that fear melted away. She was so tiny, almost bald like all my other babies, and light as a kitten. But she was strong. She could hold herself up steady and grab onto fingers and toys. She could vocalize several consonant sounds, and would smile at will.

(In Kyiv, her bed was the stroller...)

She can roll over and push herself up on her forearms. She likes to sing and will take turns “talking” with me. She blows raspberries. She watches me and tries to get me to look at her when I am going by. If I do look at her, she cracks a huge smile and then cries if I don’t pick her up.

(because we found out soon enough that this floor bed couldn’t contain her.)

She is a thumb sucker and a belly sleeper. She loves hair and will chew on mine whenever she gets the chance. She is a good eater and so far has tried rice cereal, banana, pumpkin/banana, and prune baby food, and a few bites of a sryupless pancake. When we got her, she was a big puker but now she is keeping down her food quite well, thanks to all the great ideas my FB friends shared with me about smaller portions and thickening, and of course holding her up endlessly, lol.

Autumn had a cold and was hospitalized right before we picked her up. She has been to see the pediatrician who put her on antibiotics and eye drops. He listened to her heart and lungs and said she sounds good. In a couple weeks she will visit the cardiologist for a follow-up echocardiogram.


She is enjoying her role as the family baby, basking in adoration from her brother Jade who can’t keep his hands off her. Of course, Kimani is not impressed by her and thinks the tuft of hair on her head is a convenient handle. Masha, my mini-me, mothers her... she brings her toys, tries to clean her face, helps me change her diapers, and pats her along with me when I burp her. Gecko thinks she is cute and loves the fact that “she is so tiny.”


She is a beautiful baby. I look at her and wonder... isn’t it amazing that she is mine?


Friday, October 8, 2010

More Masha

Ok, before I post more about Masha let me just say that yes, Autumn is doing fine. She is healthy and happy and has a post of her own coming up soon.

My first attempt at making Russian salad (for Masha)


Tasting the ingredients...


Testing the final product...


“I think it needs some salt, mom”


Can this be the same girl who stood trembling with fear when her feet first touched the water?


Masha loves how high and fast her new swing is...


My four year old Jade took pictures of us :-)


We were so blessed to meet Masha’s grandparents. They took us out to dinner at TGIF’s. They shared so much precious information about Masha, and all that went into the decisions that were made concerning her. It was clear to us that they love her very much and we have promised to stay in touch with them.


Wednesday, October 6, 2010

The Incredible Masha Grace

This first week with Masha has been, what’s the word... impressive? eye-opening? heart-warming? Fascinating, actually.


Masha is a copycat. If you do it, she can do it. The first night we had her, she refused to let me brush her teeth... she clamped her jaws shut tight and made horrifically loud, throaty protests. The next morning I brushed my teeth in front of her and she indicated that she wanted my toothbrush, so I gave her hers. She proceeded to start brushing her tongue. I crouched down next to her and made a big show of brushing my teeth and she began to brush hers, side to side, up and down. Now she is a pro.

Masha can talk. She can say “kitty”, “water”, “give it to me”, “it fell”, “no no no”, “yes”, “poo/ garbage”, “mama”, and “its raining”. She probably says more than that but my Russian is pretty much non-existent, so I don’t know... you should hear her chat on the phone though, lol! On the first day she learned to sign “more” and “eat”.

Masha feeds herself with a spoon and can drink from an open cup. She sits at the table and has wonderful manners. When she is done, she hands me her plate and cup, and then wipes herself clean. If she drops something, she picks it up and calls out to me, “ka ka”. If she doesn’t like the taste of something, she gently pushes her bowl out of her reach.


Masha can dress and undress herself. If she sees me putting on my shoes or a coat, she runs and gets on her shoes and coat, and climbs into her stroller, or stands at the door. But when we were getting ready to go to the airport I told her we were going “paka paka, home” and two minutes later she was completely undressed. I redressed her and continued packing up. She undressed herself again. Then it hit me, she thought we were taking her back or leaving without her. I explained that mama, papa, and Masha were going home, going bye bye and then she stayed dressed.

Masha is gentle with Autumn and lets me know when Autumn is upset (as if I can’t hear her bawling her head off, lol) She pets Autumn, and “grooms” her, and brings her toys.


Masha likes to sing and dance. She likes to play with her tea set and will make me a cup and bring it to me. Masha loves books, especially when she is sitting on the potty. She loves to sweep, and will pick up any papers or crumbs off the floor and bring them to me for the garbage. She helps to load the dishwasher and puts her clothes in the hamper.

Masha’s gross motor skills are off the charts. She can climb into her stroller and out of the playpen. She can climb up into her car seat and down from her booster seat at the kitchen table. She can jump up off the ground with both feet together. She has strong arms and can hang from the door handles and pull her legs up off the floor. She has learned very quickly how to go up and down staircases with little support. She is tough enough to push her bigger 4 year old brother around when they both want the same thing.

Masha is affectionate. She runs to me with a huge smile, hugs me, and gives me kisses. She shares her toys and food with me. She comforts herself by putting her head in my lap or climbing up on me to put her head on my shoulder. She follows me around. She holds my hand.


Masha, Masha, Masha... I am so glad she’s mine.

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