Friday, November 17, 2006

Six Months

On Thanksgiving, it will have been six months since we saw this sweet baby's face for the first time. It was absolutely love at first sight. We read and reread every tiny bit of information we had, practiced pronouncing her name, researched Guiping, bought baby supplies, and very impatiently waited until we could bring her home.

We loved all 3 pictures of Jin Qiu Ju, but none of them showed her smiling. She looked so alert and responsive though that we just knew a smile was lurking inside.

And of course, it was! She is such a happy baby. She has also grown up so much in the past few months. She's gone from the 5th percentile in weight up to about the 40th, she's learned to pick up food and feed herself (it's amazing to remember that she really couldn't do that when we met her!), she can now walk, she's gone from 6 teeth to 14, she's learned to hug, kiss, and be comforted, she can tell you what a doggie says and what a lizard does (cute little lizard tongue action), she's learned to love books, knows what "no" means but thinks it's funny, and can say about 25 English words (when she's in the mood).

She loves her blankie and her bottle, loves to be carried around, thinks the Wiggles are great, and likes to wear tupperware on her head. Mostly, she's just really happy.....

...except when she's not, and then she's really really not! We've never seen a baby who can so instantly produce tears. There is absolutely no work-up time between pouting and gushing. Fluids just spontaneously shoot out of every facial orifice. It's really something to see. Thankfully, she's not too hard to comfort!

"Happy Qiu" we met almost immediately when we got to China, "Sad Qiu" we got our first glimpse of on about day 3 with her, but it really hasn't been too long since we've met and embraced "Silly Qiu". It's been so fun to see her personality emerge! Surprisingly, considering her happy little self, she still rarely laughs. Maybe that's just her nature, or maybe that's a side of her personality we'll see later, or.... maybe we're just not that funny!

The other day at the library, Maya was walking around with her Chinese squeaky shoes when we heard what sounded like an echo squeak. We realized there was another little baby with the exact same shoes! Her mom told us they had just returned from China only 6 days before!

I totally felt like I did when I had my biological kids and they were a few months old and I'd see a mom with a newborn and think how cute the new baby was. But, then I'd notice the mom sitting gingerly and remember the multiple late-night cry fests and the extreme tiredness and I'd be so thankful I was a few months past that!

It's the same with international adoption. This little cutie and her mom looked jet-lagged and tired. Her daughter was still getting used to her crib and high chair, American foods, her new routine, etc. Yes, I'm so glad to be at the point we are now!

Have you ever seen a cuter profile?

This little girl has been such a blessing in our lives. She's brought so much fun and laughter into our home. She's taught the older kids how to take care of a baby. She's helped us to love and embrace another culture. She's taught us to be more open and accepting. She's shown us resilience and strength. She's brought us to a deeper knowledge of Heavenly Father's love for all of his children. On this first Thanksgiving with Maya Qiuju, we are thankful beyond words that she's a part of our family.

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