first day of the rest of our lives

October 31, 2010

We picked Mara up at her foster family’s house at 4 this afternoon. We’ve been aiming for a bedtime between 8 and 8:30 eventually, but tonight’s 9:15 slide into snoozing was better than we’d hoped and several hours earlier than she’s used to.

What I’m basically saying is that she adapted to what we wanted way, way better than we’d ever even hoped. There was minimal clinginess once we got to our house and instead she explored and played. She really does seem to thrive on adult attention and we were willing to play along with her when she was singing, showing us various pieces from her set of plastic dinnerware, and so forth.

I gave her a little set of finger puppets and she said, “OH, THANK YOU!” in the most adorable and amazed voice. Although we’ve gone out of our way not to be overwhelming with birthday gifts, I imagine she’ll be pretty impressed with that celebration. And she’s still very particular about things; no one is allowed to put their fingers into her finger puppets, though scooping them out of a bowl with a spoon is fair game!

I imagine she’ll wake up scared and disoriented tomorrow (or tonight) but for today she was incredibly well-adjusted. I think that the transition plan did a very good job of helping her get comfortable with us and accept that her foster family trusted us too.

We haven’t yet gone through the things the foster family sent with her. I’m disappointed though not surprised that they never did anything toward making her a lifebook, though the foster mom offered to email me the photos she has with Mara in them so that I can make a lifebook myself. And it’s a good thing we bought some adorable little socks since she didn’t bring any except the ones she was wearing. But we’ll pull it all together and make things work, I know. I just can’t believe we’re off on such a strong first step. As she was snuggled in between Lee and me on the couch while I gently rocked her and Lee watched the football game, it was funny to see how complete we felt.

We’re working on introducing the dog, and Mara is comfortable petting her but not being licked. She’s very happy with the other two pets. Tomorrow we go to church (so she can see other little black girls) though we can leave if she’s uncomfortable, and the same holds true for trick-or-treat in the afternoon. We have a little ladybug costume for her if she’s interested, but we can also hang out here. We’re trying to build in a few things that will keep her engaged with the outside world but also bonding to us, but we’re mostly going to be making decisions based on what she seems to need.

This really does feel right, getting sleepy myself as a snoozy little girl snuggles up against me. I’m looking forward to my little stint at stay-at-home parenting and I’m interested to see how she responds and how she grows. I fully expect things to change any minute, but right now they’re absolutely perfect.

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  1. I’m kind of tearing up a little bit here in Georgia. So happy for all three of you.

  2. Long time lurker, lots of prayers for your new little one and you both as you all adjust. You will do a great job!

  3. Lovely :)

  4. Happiness! Love it.

  5. Fabulous to hear that you’re all home together :) Looking forward to the other days of your lives that you decide to share with us.

  6. Congratulations on such a sweet and comfortable beginning. So lovely.

  7. It all sounds so good (besides the foster family stuff). I’m so happy for you.

  8. Beauty. So glad for you three. =)

  9. Congratulations to all three of you. And snuggly and easy as she is now, I’d be looking forward to when she starts being three-year-old difficult; that seems likely to be one of the ways you’ll know she really feels home and safe.

  10. WOW! Congratulations!! Enjoy.

  11. Awesome. I’m really really happy for you!

  12. I am ECSTATIC for your family. It’s amazing how things work out. Enjoy parenting and feel free to reach out with questions. Our almost two year old is a ball of…um… fun, yeah I’ll stick with that word ;)

  13. Enjoy!

  14. wonderful!

  15. Aww. Tearing up here too. I so clearly recall the joys of toddlers — some 30+ years after mine were. And you have a community of people to support you. Though I sense that the two of you know what you’re doing and that Mara senses that too — and so is relaxed with you. All the best.

  16. More happy teary reading from my neck of the woods. I’m so happy for all of you.

  17. Love. Love to you all.

  18. Celebrating with you ~ congratulations!

  19. I was thinking of you this morning, as I sat in Meeting with several other families that look like yours. :)

    We had such a fun morning — it was a special “family” meeting where the young people were welcome for the whole service (instead of coming in for the last 15 minutes as they often do). An unusual number of songs, comments, memories, etc.

    Am glad and excited for Mara that she has you and Lee, and looking forward to hearing each new chapter!

  20. Yeah!!!! Welcome home Miss Mara and Mommies… Welcome home.

  21. [...] was only eighteen months ago that we picked Mara up from her prior foster family’s house and brought her home. In the 18 months prior to that, she had moved from her mother’s care to her aunt [...]

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