Sunday, April 24, 2011

Caitlin's First Easter

Here are some pictures from Caitlin's first Easter:

Easter egg hunt; we just did one in our back yard this year, since it's Caitlin's first time and we didn't know how she would take it. Turns out, she LOVED it!

Examining her "loot;" Caitlin got stickers, animal crackers, raisins, fruit snacks and Goldfish crackers:

Going through her goodies Easter morning:

Posing in her Easter dress:

Thursday, April 21, 2011

One Year Ago Today...

...We saw our daughter's face for the first time.

Referral picture, April 21, 2010:
April 21, 2011:
Wow. What a difference a year makes. One year ago today I was running all over town, completing paperwork and getting answers while my head was spinning. I had waited so long to finally know who Caitlin, my DAUGHTER, was, and yet now that it was actually happening, it just didn't seem real. It was like a dream- a wonderful, amazing dream!

From the phone call that woke me up from a deep sleep early that morning (our agency is 3 time zones ahead of us) when I heard the words "We matched you with a beautiful baby girl last night!", to that night when I finally fell into bed, exhausted, the entire day was surreal. I remember only bits and pieces of it, like driving up to drop off paperwork with our social worker while listening to my "Mama Mia" CD, and crying- sobbing- at the song "Slipping Through My Fingers" (a song about a mother wondering where all the time had gone, as she was helping her daughter get ready for her wedding). I just kept telling myself "I have a daughter!," but it just wouldn't sink in.

Now, one year later, Caitlin is home. She's settled in with her family, where she belongs. She's happy and confident- a totally different child from the one we saw in those first pictures. She is no longer a dream; she is as much a part of my life as my right arm. I honestly cannot imagine my life without her.

I admit, I still get a thrill anytime I say "my daughter;" I hope that thrill never wears off. And I hope I never forget that amazing day when I first saw my daughter's face.

Sunday, April 10, 2011

6 Months a Family!

Six months ago today, our lives were forever changed and we became a family. I am amazed when I think about how far Caitlin has come since those first days. She is thriving- happy, independent, active- and smart as a whip! She keeps me busy and constantly challenged, but I cannot imagine my life without her. She is such a blessing and I am so thankful for the past 6 months... and I look forward to the lifetime we still have before us!

It has been a crazy month since our last update! We are getting settled into our new home after moving 9 hours away, and looking forward to our 2 years here. We are all in love with San Diego and our new house! We now have a big back yard for Caitlin and Libby to run and play in, and the house is bigger than our old house, meaning more room for "the girls" to play inside, too!

Caitlin will be starting "school" soon; we have found a preschool right down the road from our house that seems to offer an excellent program. Caitlin will go for a few hours a day, twice a week, as a chance to socialize with other kids her age. She goes on Thursday for a trial period to see how she likes it, and if all goes well, she will start next week!

We also met with Caitlin's new pediatrician last week, who is going to give us the referrals we need to get her started with her specialists here. Her doctors at Stanford gave us recommendations of colleagues down here, so we will be able to just pick up where we left off- a major blessing as we won't have to lose any time starting from scratch! I am eager to get her speech therapy started as soon as possible.

Here are some pictures from the past month:

Giving her "Lala" lots of hugs (her favorite pastime!):

Caitlin is still happiest when eating!
First ice cream (frozen yogurt, actually):
First spaghetti:
First time eating with a real (full-sized) fork- and she did great... until she put about 7 carrots in her mouth in one bite!

Caitlin loves ladybugs ("bug bugs," as she calls them)! Here she is playing "dress-up" in her ladybug costume:

Posing in the cactus garden at her daddy's school:

At the beach, tyring to catch the wind with her tongue:

These pictures are from today:
Heading to church in style!
Posing outside the restaurant where we went for lunch to celebrate our "Gotcha-versary":

Caitlin loved watching the koi fish: