Tuesday, June 18, 2013

"is that your kid?"


we go a lot of places, but mostly hang out in our home town - near home base.  its hard to go too far working between naps, and daxton is a boy who cannot get off is schedule.  however, we've recently been jumping into action as soon as dax wakes up from one nap and going downtown to raleigh on the weekends to check out various things.  two weekends ago we went to see the food truck rodeo (hoping to expose dax to even more sights, sounds, smells, and flavors than he's seen/tasted so far) and then this past weekend we headed down to go to a large city owned park. 

while we are out and about we don't normally have people comment to us about dax being (clearly) adopted, but people do tend to smile a little longer than normal, look a little more tenderly than they previously did, and to exclaim how adorable they think dax is.  while we don't normally run into conversations directly related to race, we were certainly prepared that this day would come.

scene 1

cast of characters
kid (approximate age 7)

kid:  hey, is that your kid? (pointing to dax)
will: yes (thinking where is he going with this)
kid:  he's cute! (runs off)

scene 2

cast of characters
kid (approximate age 5)

kid:  what's wrong with his eye?
adri:  one of his eye lid muscles is too long so it won't lift his eyelid up like yours or mine.  when he's bigger he will have surgery to help lift it a little so it won't affect his sight.
kid:  okay (runs off)

i think both will and i were taken off guard to be having (seemingly (in our minds) heavy) conversations with these curious little minds, but also relieved that they didn't go much deeper than the visual surface.  the conversations were blunt and to the point.  the kids asked exactly what they needed to know without any hesitation. they were pure and innocent questions and had nothing behind them other than what was asked.  as kids grow they start to put two and two together and look for answers about why things are the way they are.  we were glad we could satisfy their curiosity enough that they both felt comfortable running off to continue playing with other kids, but hope that even in these brief interactions they were able to see that things and relationships being "different" are just 100% absolutely perfectly totally fine.

Wednesday, June 12, 2013

l o v e

love.  it's a beautiful thing.  it' more than a feeling, it's an action.  it's something we desire, something we long for, something we crave, something we need.  sometimes, as parents - and especially parents of children that did not grow in our tummies - it's a stronger longing than if we'd carried the child for nine months - just to have our child love us.  it's all we want.  and we wait for it to come for such a long time.  we think of it before the child even comes, before we've even done paperwork, had physicals, gone to appointments and seminars, and parenting classes - we're just thinking of the day when our child (wherever they are) will love us. 

will and i wanted that from our child - not only for them to love us, but to have them give us a physical reflection of their love.  how wonderful it would be if we knew of their love through their actions.  we both craved it and talked about it off and on as we planned our family and our future - how all we wanted to do was to provide a home that was full of love and a feeling of security for our children - so they would feel our love.  so, after dax came home we focused hard on making that a reality.  we make sure to be intentional about our love.  we make sure to tell dax every day how much he's loved and we pray together seeking the love of God every night.  we give him kisses and hugs and make sure we show him the love as much as we talk about it.

that's why it was a huge deal to us when a few weeks ago daxton started showing the love back.  now when you tell him you love him he will either say "la eww" or will put his flat palm to his lips and say "muuuuwaaaah" as he blows you a kiss.  if you ask him for a kiss he will give you a nice big wet one on the lips (usually open mouthed...) or he will blow a kiss at you.  this past week he has started putting his arm around our necks and resting his head on our shoulders while giving us kisses.  we're really feeling the love from him and we're treasuring every smooch.  it's so sweet and tender and pure and it's more than we ever dreamed it could be.

ah love - at last.

Saturday, June 8, 2013

19 months

daxton turned 19 months old today!  it's his last month in the "teens" before he heads into the "twenties"!

dax is growing rapidly and changing every day.  his running has opened up his curiosity and he's now interested in every single thing in his surroundings.  he's sly like a fox and watches our every move.  you can hardly sneak anything past him these days!  he will look up and give you this half sideways grin that says - "i saw you try to sneak a tortilla chip past me - and now you'll have to give me one too".  he never previously had any interest in climbing up on things, but in this past week he has decided that he should probably attempt a good climb at least once a day and we've caught him climbing on chairs in the living room, the couch in the tv room, his train table, and a patio chair.  we're trying to teach him how to "carefully" get down from each of these situations and that in each case once you climb up you need to be sitting on your bum, but this lesson is a hard one...
daxton is still being picky about what he ingests.  we're trying to expand his palate and recently we've gone to fixing him lots of raviolis.  we'll put spinach or other veggies in the sauce, or even have mushroom ravioli, and so far he has not turned one down.  he's still a huge fan of fruit and has not found one he does not like.  recently he got to have his first watermelon of the season and we know this is going to be a summer time favorite.  he's also happy about fresh strawberries that are available now and he's watching and waiting patiently for his beloved tomatoes to grow on the vines outside.  we recently took him to try indian food and he did taste chicken tikka masala, lime rice, naan, a mango lassi, and gulab jamun.  he liked the sweets, but was not a fan of anything else - but we'll keep trying.


daxton has still never met a stranger.  it never fails that in every establishment we enter dax will immediately greet everyone with a cheery "hi".  he gives big grins and keeps saying "hi" until he gets a response back.  it seems like he takes a little offense if he cannot get a response out of people.  earlier today when he kept saying "hi" to a lady in line in front of us at a store i spun his stroller around and said "hi, you sweet boy!" and he laughed and giggled.  then, when i spun him back around he continued to attempt to greet the lady.  finally she turned around to share in a conversation with him.  he's persistent.  usually he wins and gets a conversation going that we have to finish for him.  certainly helps us to be friendlier.

daxton's word bank is growing constantly.  pretty much anything you say to him now, he'll try to repeat.  he won't always get every word exactly right, but he certainly gets an A+ for effort.  he's amazed us recently with - again, more, get down, go, namaw, tomato (mato), banana (nana), i see, pool, cool, cheese, got you, owl, quack, and ow.  i am sure i could go on all night, but you get the idea.  he's catching on quickly and will surely be chatting up full on conversations in no time.


dax's favorite new hobby is dancing.  he likes it when mommy plays music in the kitchen and picks him up to dance ball room style.  i'll even give him a dip or spin him around.  he also loves that when i wake him up from naps i come in singing and dancing, and he dances in his crib with raffie until i pick him up.  we do some family style dancing every night after dinner once daddy's home and all sing and dance "the twist".  he has a singing monkey that sings the song and he'll bring it to you demanding you push the button "again"!  however, he really likes anything sung to the tune of twinkle, twinkle little star.  he'll make up all kinds of songs sung to this tune and then do his dancing to the music.  he will rock back and forth from one leg to the other - keeping his legs stiff (like a peg leg) and occasionally toss in an arm movement or a head twist.  i joked with someone earlier that he appears to be picking up dancing moves from us and that's probably not the best idea.  we'll hopefully all be working on our dance moves this summer and help him increase his mad dance skills.

* * * *

daxton's 19 month blog is dedicated to his favorite pup he dubbed "good girl" - the dog we formerly called amelia.  she's been in our family for 14 years and has recently come down with what we pray is idiomatic vestibular disease.  she's too old and frail to have an mri done since she has a pre-existing heart condition, but she presented with symptoms this past thursday that led me to believe she was living her last day.  i called will home from work and we took her fragile body into the vet.  it was a long car ride, even though it's only about 3 miles from our house.  when we got there the vet looked over her symptoms with her head pulling to the right, her eyes continuously twitching from side to side, her inability to stand without falling down, and her pupils not dilating.  the vet agreed to run a battery of tests, but asked that we leave good girl there and come back once the tests were done.  we both left feeling completely defeated as if we'd failed our sweet gal.  a good friend watched dax for us all day because we did not want him to see us in complete break down mode.  we could not imagine good girl never coming home again.  it was a very long morning, but we finally got the word from the doctor that they suspected she had this disease.  since she did not have the form caused by a visible ear infection - they suspect it's either idiomatic (unknown cause, which happens in "old dogs") or it is caused by a brain tumor.  since we cannot do further testing, we're treating for idiomatic and praying for the best.  the past 48 hours have been hard, but we do feel like she's making progress in the right direction.  thankfully we think daxton's got more time to spend with his good girl.

Tuesday, June 4, 2013

mia - and we're not talking miami

sorry we've been on a long hiatus here.  work has been crazy and dax and i have been adjusting to attempting a new work room set up so he'll be happier during the day times.  either way it's been long days (and nights - sometimes until 1am) and we're excited to be nearing the end of a very strenuous and overloaded work schedule.

because i've had a lot of work lately we've also been going full throttle on the weekends.  three weekends ago we finally took dax to get his big boy hair cut, and i finally have some post-hair cut pictures for those of you who've asked.

last weekend we headed to my parent's house to be in town for a family friend's funeral and made sure dax got to visit with about 25 family members.  we were hoping to sneak a dip in the lake in on this visit, but the water and weather were just too cold, so dax just got to spend time playing in the yard and running around.  i got to stay up until almost 3 am to chat with my big sissy.  it's been a while since we got to catch up and it was great to spend so much time with her.  we were glad to see everyone, but totally exhausted when we finally made it home and needed another holiday weekend just to recover from the long weekend.

then, this past weekend "we" (and i should say my super amazingly wonderful husband) built our new patio chairs and got everything set up on the deck so that we can finally eat dinner al fresco.  we've been contemplating a patio set for a number of years now, but i am rather picky and just finally found something i liked that i thought dax would be able to use his booster seat in.  hopefully now we'll be doing a lot more outdoor dining.

saturday afternoon before dax's nap we turned on a giant sprinkler ball to let dax run through the water.  it was hot and muggy outside and dax had been such a good fella with all of the trips to target and construction going on that we knew we could all use some down time.  we were not sure how he'd react to the icy cold water spraying out everywhere, but it really did not take him long to run at it full force and just stand there with water spraying right into his face!  he played in the sprinkler for a good thirty minutes until he was soaking wet and covered with grass clippings when we elected to shut 'er down and get him into a nice warm bath and into his bed.  i think he really enjoyed it and we will be doing more sprinkler times soon!

saturday night after we got the table put together and ate our dinner we had to cut up over 1200 pieces of bread for The Lord's Supper at church.  sunday morning (after a short night) we had to wake dax up at 6am to get ready to get to the church by 7:15 to get everything set up.  (we are not morning people - nobody in our family does 6am well.)  we did not get back to the nursery to pick him up until 12:30 and when we got to him, he was fast asleep in a care giver's arms.  by then he'd skipped his lunch and we'd never really been able to get him to eat his breakfast off schedule so he was having a really hard time.  we suffered through an attempt at lunch (which really tested our patience) and got him down for a nap.  unfortunately he could not sleep for long and woke up with bad allergies and a runny nose that just would not quit.  luckily after we got him some benadryl his neighbor friend dylan wanted to have dax over for a dip in the pool.  dax really enjoyed swimming for about two hours!  however, once he was done - he was done!  his entire routine was thrown off and he had trouble for the rest of the day/night and had a terrible time going to bed that night.  i think we will have to find an alternate solution to The Lord's Supper set up until he's older.

lately we've had some questions surrounding when we'll adopt again.  will and i have had discussions around this and really find our hearts torn at this point about what God's plan is for growing our family.  we're praying and considering adopting from africa, adopting a waiting child from foster care, or pursuing another domestic infant adoption.  right now we're just not sure where we're being called and we're completely fine with that.  we're discussing talking with our previous adoption agency about all options some time in 2014, so when we have progress there we'll keep you posted.  until then we're madly and deeply in love with our sweet boy and are treasuring every second that he's our only.