April 19, 2010


What does a secure attachment look like, in terms of parenting an adopted child? We have read books, participated in online forums, sought out advice from experts and experienced adoptive parents and prayed for a secure attachment with Marley. Attachment is not something that just happens over night, well for the adopted child anyway. We, as adoptive parents, can be attached to our child and feel fully bonded before he or she even comes home. We build a bond with an idea of a child, not knowing who she is or if she is even born yet. The picture comes and we study every detail, trying to put that deep love we have for this child with the picture. Trying to bond with the face of a child we have never seen. Months go by and the love that we have for her grows and grows to a profound level. Only adoptive parents really understand this. We see her for the first time she is placed in our arms and we melt, it's a secure attachment, for us anyways.
For the adoptive child, of various ages, it's a tramatic experience. She was with her birth family for however long, abandoned or taken to an orphanage. Then picked up by an agency and assigned to a family. That family knows who she is, but she doesn't know who they are. She lays in a box or sleeps with 20 other children two or three to a bed. She has nannies coming and going. They hold her or they don't. They prop up a bottle with a pillow and move on to the next crying baby. She doesn't know that their is a family for her, just her. That loves her unconditionally, regardless of her past, color, illness or age. They are attached to her.
For the adoptive child, when they are placed in our arms, they may feel confused and be afraid. Who are these people that don't look like or talk like me? They may push you away, or cling to you in shock. They are not bonded or securely attached. As much as we like to convince ourselves that our story was different, it's not. Adoptive children need to bond and attach to their parents.
Marley was all smiles when she was placed in our arms. She talked and laughed at us. It was amazing! But she wouldn't let us comfort her. She would push herself away when we held her to our chest. It was unfamiliar to her. I don't believe she was really held or formed a bond with any person. A smiling baby is what most people saw when we brought her home. I saw a child that was craving attention and a baby that didn't want to attach to me. I loved this little baby with an unexplainable about of love. I was so securely attached to her, how could she not be to me?
For months, I held her...when she didn't want to be held. I rocked her to sleep. I ran to her at every little cry. I carried her in the sling all day long. I never left her. She started forming an attachment. I could see it! I would let close friends and family hold her and she'd look back to me for reassurance. What a milestone! Then she started crying when I would hand her to someone. Oh what a sweet sound! I believe attachment is a process, that happens over time. There are days that I feel that she is securely attached and am ready to blog about it. Then there are days that I feel that I have done something wrong and have to go back to square one.
This past weekend we were at church. Marley was in her sling, like she always is. We lead a greeting team at church and I slipped away, letting Brandon take the lead, to hear the worship music. I sang loudly, because no one could hear me. I swayed back and forth with my babe on my chest. I could feel the vibrations of her singing on my chest and on my hand covering her cheek. She was singing with me. I sang four songs, rocking back and forth. I felt her singing stop and looked down and sweet Marley had fallen asleep on my chest, gripping my hand. That is attachment for us!
She loves us. While there are days that I feel so confident that this little girl is so secure in her attachment to us, there are also days that I feel that she just sees us at the people who feed her. Those are the days that I put her in that sling and sing, sing loud and sway back and forth.

April 14, 2010

One Year Ago Today

One year ago today, my Daddy went home. He battled various illnesses for years and it was his time to be at peace and out of pain. It was difficult. He was just 60, and I was just 32. My brother was 27. That is too young to lose a parent. I know there are people who lose parents much earlier, and I feel for them. I had envisioned a life where my parents would live long lives and watch our children enter high school, go to college, get married and have children of their own.
This past year has been a lot easier than I thought. I suppose it is because I had been grieving the loss of my father for about 10 years. His first sign of failed health was an emergency heart valve replacement. That was shortly before Brandon and I got married. I remember the surgeon coming out into the waiting room and telling us that he would be surprised if my Dad made it through the night. His aortic chamber had torn during surgery, due to an enlarged heart, and they had to repair it with graphing. I was just 23 and my brother 18. I'm so thankful we had my Dad for almost 10 more years, but his health never fully returned after that. For years he battled with things like Parkinson's Disease and COPD. So for about 10 years, I cringed at every late night phone call from my mother. I jumped on planes and drove home when I thought it was his time. I can't count how many times I packed that black dress. My brother and my mother saw me as negative, I'm sure. I thought it was just being real. It was going to happen, whether I wanted it to or not.
During those 10 years, I got to talk to my Daddy on the phone a lot. He'd always end our conversation with, "Daddy loves you princess." He always, ALWAYS told me how much he was proud of me. He loved Miles so much and couldn't wait to get to meet Marley. Brandon was his son, from the beginning. Brandon would call him Mr. B. And my dad would love to chat about anything Aggie's, baseball or jazz with Brandon. Some of my favorite memories are of my dad and Brandon playing sax and trombone together. We always talked about the trio they would be when Miles would join with his trumpet.
The last time I saw my dad was about a month before he passed away. He was on a ventilator and various other machines. He couldn't talk, but tried so hard. He was there. His eyes trying so hard to communicate. I knew all he wanted to say was "Daddy loves you princess." I held his hand and asked him if he felt confident that he would be joining our Lord in heaven one day. He looked into my eyes and nodded yes, very calmly, like he knew it was coming. This wasn't something I doubted, but I felt like I needed to know.
Today, I am remembering my Dad. The great father he was to me. Oh Daddy, I miss you so much!

April 13, 2010

What a Steal!

I'm a coupon mom. It is not something that happened over night, it's been a gradual work in progress. I am still learning and every month I am saving more and more due to coupons. As of lately, my average monthly savings due to coupons has been about $170. This is in addition to store sales. This is only coupons, on average, about 100 coupons worth. When I come up to the register, the sales person usually sighs. LOL!
I had to share my most recent deal! I'm sure you all have heard of the Walgreen's and CVS shopping deals. There entire blogs dedicated to the researching and deals that can be found at these stores. You'll hear terms such as money makers or free. So, I'm not quite there yet. I spend a lot of time on my coupon sorting and organizing. I haven't yet graduated to the research of sales from various stores, price comparisons,
Register Rewards, EBC's, etc.. But I couldn't resist it when I saw that Walgreen's had Pampers boxes on sale for $18.99 and were giving $4.00 Register Rewards (RR) for each box purchased. The sign said it was like paying $14.99 per box. Well that's an okay deal, but not great. BUT I have some pretty AWESOME Pampers coupons from the manufacturer. I emailed Pampers about some leaky diapers and they sent me some $10 off coupons. As a matter of fact, every time I have even the smallest problem with any diaper or product, off to that products website I go, to complain. I have, in my current stock, about $100 worth of Pampers coupons. So back to my deal of the month! After I handed one of my $10 Pamper coupons to the cashier, my total per box was $4.99! That comes out to $.08 a diaper! Holy Cow! So here is my loot! I got all six of these boxes for just $30!And just because this is too freaking funny, a picture of Marley after Miles had colored on her with a purple maker!

April 7, 2010

New Tricks

The other day, I put Marley down for a nap. It was the usual routine, feed her a bottle, put her to bed, give her a binky and slip out of her room and shut the door. She goes straight to sleep. She slept about an hour and then it was not so much the usual wake up. She normally coos and talks for awhile until I go get her. This time she was screaming. I went in to see what on earth this girl was so upset about and this is what I saw.
She was scared and couldn't figure out how to get down...lol! Silly girl! After about three days of this, she has it down! She's all over the place pulling herself up and showing off! I love it, no I LOVE IT! It is a time of celebration! She is so quickly reaching all of her milestones and we are so proud of her!

April 1, 2010

Marley at 10 Months

Miss Marley is more of a joy everyday! I love to wake to her calling out Mama and to see her excited face when I walk in her room. I love how she smothers me with baby kisses. I love how she lays on my chest for comfort and I LOVE when she turns to me when strangers approach her. She's my baby girl!
At 10 Months Miss Marley :
  • Is scooting all over the house! (She gets up on all fours and rocks)
  • Is starting to eat more solid foods
  • Waves Bye Bye
  • Blows Kisses
  • Points to her nose on command
  • Shakes her booty on command (I know, crazy!)
  • Knows signs for eat, more, all done, water, milk, bath
  • Is taking swimming lessons and learning to float on her back
  • SHE WEIGHS 18 LBS! This is up to the 20th percentile!!! (she was in the 3rd percentile in November)