Saturday, October 20, 2007

Our Little Jack-O-Lantern

Just in time for Halloween, Abby is now sporting the Jack-O-Lantern look! She lost her very first tooth yesterday after school. I'm pretty sure she reached this milestone at a younger age than her older brother and sister. She's not even 6 and a half, which I know is plenty old enough to lose teeth, but our other kids were much later.

Abby really worked hard the past week or so since she noticed it was wiggly. Her dad taught her the "floss technique" and she wound the floss around her tooth, I gave a little tug, and out it came! She was so very excited! She called Granny and said, "You have to guess at some news about something that happened in my mouth..." Abby got a surprised look on her face and said, "Wow! You guessed it!" Granny is so smart. She should have guessed tounge piercing.
The big kids had play practice tonight so we did a little lost tooth celebration and took the little girls to eat at Red Robin. While we were there, a family snagged a stuffed bat from the claw machine and since it terrified their toddler son, they offered it to Abby. Abby was VERY appreciative and felt like the whole night was indeed a great celebration!

In case you're wondering why I haven't posted many photos lately, this is the reason. Maya is in constant motion and this is the type of picture I usually get. She is so funny. She still sleeps an amazing amount (about a 3-4 hour nap in the morning from 9:30-1:00, and then a nap from 4:00-5:30, and then about 11 hours at night), but when she's awake, she's a GO-er! She's loves to jump and does these short, quick, turbo-jumps that are pretty entertaining. She runs and marches and dances and spins through her waking hours. She always wants her shoes on and frequently says, "I'm ready to go!", just in case an adventure is to be had.

We're amazed at her growing vocabulary especially considering the fact that she sleeps most of the time. We feel like we can completely communicate with her now and she just amazes us.
I have a rather sad, very sticky story to tell. Yesterday morning Maya was at the table finishing her breakfast and I had gone upstairs to check on Abby. As I was coming back downstairs I became concerned when I heard Maya say, "I did the juice MYSELF!" Oh dear. Yes indeed, she had done it HERSELF! She spilled a full container of grape juice (yes, it had to be grape juice!) all over the table and floor. Dishes and scriptures were floating on a purple lake. Unfortunately, at this sight I exclaimed, "Oh no, Maya! Look at this mess!" I'm sure I didn't sound pleased. Poor Maya got such a sad look on her face and with a pathetic pout said, "Mama, look. I did it myself." She hung her little head and held out her cup--with about an inch of grape juice at the bottom. Poor girl. I think she really was proud. It just had gone badly. Very, very badly. I had to mop the floor twice. We've since talked about it and she's agreed that she needs to be a little bigger before she takes on the juice pouring job. Lyle wants to make her some colored rice to practice her pouring technique! I'm sure it's not easy to be 2!

On another note, we have some adorable pictures of the girls which will soon be heading on their way to Grannys and Grandpas. Unfortunately, there will be no school picture of Adam this year. I did indeed write him a check and fill out an order form. Unfortunately, he's not sure what became of it. I guess we will not be doing the "watch me grow" framed picture with the slots for kindergarten through graduation. There will be a big blank hole for 8th grade! I may call the school Monday and find out if we can still order pictures. He's pretty sure a picture was taken! Madeline's picture looks so grown-up it almost makes me want to cry. She's not a little kid anymore, well on her way to young lady! Abby looks adorable in her first grade picture and Maya's J.C. Penny's pictures turned out just beautifully.

On the day she had her picture taken, we were walking through the mall and got lunch at a Chinese food counter. The Chinese man there excitedly asked if Maya was Chinese. When I told him she is, he said he needed to talk to me. He asked in whispered tones, "Do you know people who will adopt Chinese children?" I told him that I know many people who have adopted from China. Through broken English he told me that he has friends in China who are very poor and are no longer able to care for their 3 year-old daughter. He said that the girl is very smart and pretty and the parents want her to be adopted by a family in the United States. He asked if I knew someone who could help them.

I had certainly not prepared for this type of conversation as I left that morning for the mall. I felt so sorry for his friends. I tried to tell him that the problem wouldn't be finding a family willing to adopt the little girl. The problem is that there is no legal way in China for a family to place their child up for adoption. I know it sounds ridiculous, but it's true. He asked me how Maya's birth parents had found us. I explained that she was abandoned and that we have no information on her birth parents. No one who's adopted from China knows their child's birth parents. They're all abandonded, usually with absolutely no information. The man seemed shocked at this. I felt like I should offer something, so I gave him the phone number and e-mail of our adoption agency and told him that they have a representative in China who may know of something that could help this family. What a terribly sad situation.

Maya was looking so adorable that day for her picture and was in such a happy mood. She was strutting through the mall like she KNEW she was adorable and we got lots of smiles and "what a sweet girl" types of comments. Before I talked to this man, the thought had crossed my mind that her birth parents were missing this. This encounter reminded me that in China, there is no other option. I like to think that her parents loved her and for whatever reason, they couldn't care for her. Leaving her at the gate of an orphanage that is known for supporting international adoption was as much of an adoption plan as they could make. I hope Maya is now living the life they envisioned for her.

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