I loved reading this and looking at the pictures. Our little Starfish Alumni is doing so well. I am so grateful for all the joy that Flower has brougt to her family and the fact they love her so much. We have all been blessed. I could not have asked for any more than having a forever family of your very own. I am so grateful for everyone that helped me to take care of Flower and I am so grateful to Dr Lazareff and his team who did her spina bifida surgery. That was the first time I went on a medical trip and since then we have done 10 spina bifida surgeries. Dr Bao told me I will need to start learning how to do surgeries soon. I might just take him up on that!!! LOL. Anyway back to Flower's update:
Let's take a trip down memory lane! It is so amazing to look back over the last year and reflect on all the changes in our lives. I still remember vividly the long plane ride and then stepping off the plane to our family and friends. It warmed my heart to know that they were going to love her and cherish her as though we had given birth to her. Everyone around us welcomed her with open arms. It has been amazing how some relationships have even deepened because of her. We could not be more grateful for the love, compassion and respect that our friends and family have had through this process, giving us time to bond and and never questioning our decisions when it came to her attachment. We are truly blessed.Here we are in February, everything so brand new.
She loved to eat all the new foods we were giving her! The Valentine's photo was our first real outing. We delivered Valentine's to grandparents and cousins at school. They were all so proud to tell their classes about their new cousin.
In March we ventured out a bit more.
We went to the park several times and she loved the slides but HATED the swings! We also went to a baby shower. She was still so knew that it was fun to watch everyone's reactions to her, just watching with interest. She was so excited to give her gift.
April brought the first big holiday, Easter.
She dove right in and didn't miss a beat with all the action! She dyed her first eggs and ran around, as fast as her little feet would carry her, looking for eggs! She also had her first birthday as part of our family, she turned 2 years old. We had an enjoyable afternoon in the park with friends and family.
Here we are in May.
As you can see with several food photos, the girl still loves to eat. She truly enjoys her food! We haven't had one food argument yet and I am so thrilled with that! In this house I am the picky eater. She is always willing to try something new.
June brought with it her growing personality!
She started developing her own sense of fashion. I loved to see what she would come up with! We also started potty training that month. We had the poop thing down the day we got home because I just don't do poopy diapers! Whenever she made "the face" I'd rip the diaper off and set her on the pot. :) The pee part is what we had to work on. She loved her little potty and would always make herself very comfortable to do her business!
July kicked off several months of lots of travel time.
She is the best traveler! We are pretty dang happy about that too since we pretty much don't stay home in the summer. These photos are of our trip to Utah for her first family reunion of the summer...there was four. This was a 10 hour road trip and you never would have known she was a toddler! Excellent! She also took advantage of the long drive by learning how to wink.
August brought a new bus which she loves as much as I do!
She has her very own sleeping spot way at the top when we go camping. She loves it! She also loves helping me with my church calling. Going to the church on Thursday nights, with Flower in tow, is something I've come to enjoy. She is great at stacking the bulletins so neatly.
September she got to visit another state.
We went camping in Oregon with our good friends. It was also a month I had looked forward to since the previous September. She was able to participate in her fist 'Girl's Nights' with my mom and sisters. Then the next day most of us did a fitness walk together. I just loved that my next generation was added to our girl time together! She also graduated to only wearing diapers at night!
October brought with it our love for Halloween.
We were surprised at how much she really understood it and just had a ball! We did various activities throughout the month to celebrate. She spent the day at my brothers house making sugar cookies and then got to participate in their trunk-or-treat. We also took her to Boo at the Zoo. She was so excited to wear her costume and her picture ended up in the local news paper the next day! It's our favorite holiday so it's nice that she loves it as much as we do! She also traveled to more States including Nevada and Arizona, all driving...she's a champ!
November included lots of out door play time for just the two of us.
We spent a lot of time on our favorite swing set. We also enjoyed a couple of hikes in the hills! She is the best little hiking buddy and can go quite a ways before she gets tired!
She also traveled to yet another state, Washington. She loved the huge jacuzzi tub in the hotel room! November was also the month that we got rid of diapers completely!
December was an amazing month!
It was so fun to include her in our traditions, teaching her about Christmas and decorating! She loved it all and I was so impressed that she wasn't ripping it all down and trying to get into the gifts! She also had her first meeting with Santa and was only a little nervous which I was actually happy about! :) It shows she has bonded to us and is aware of strangers. It was such an amazing Christmas, especially since we'd hoped to have her by Christmas last year, and how peaceful this year felt now that she was finally here!
January just reminds me of how much she's changed!
The physical transformation is shocking. She has grown several inches taller and lost several pounds. Yes, even with her love of food, she has still lost weight. I was just noticing yesterday that the last little roll on her legs are almost gone. She has lost her chubby little belly and chubby cheeks. I'm a little sad about it. She is just looking more like a pretty little girl instead of a cute little toddler. Just this month she went up a size in shoes. Her hair is so long and she is just beautiful! The other changes are just spectacular! She talks in full sentences and is very articulate. She knows her abc's, both verbal and sign language, and can count to 20. She loves to sing and dance and participates in gymnastics. Sometimes she is a little too understanding of things going on around her and and is very aware of feelings, especially in other people. She is very compassionate. She has a great love for everyone! She charms everyone she's around. People are just drawn to her! I am just really fascinated by her and feel so blessed to be her mom. I marvel at the fact that she indeed was meant to be in our family and just took a different route getting here. She fits right in and loves to do everything that we do, which means our life hasn't changed much, it's just been extremely enriched. Every activity or adventure is that much better. She has slipped right in and found her niche in our family and we are so grateful for the miracle of adoption! With the transformation that she has made this past year, I look forward to the coming year with excitement. Thank you to all who have been a part of our lives this past year. Thank you for loving us during this transition!
Life, Love and Laughter,
Starfish Foster Home