Sunday, August 30, 2009

Three Word Sunday!


For more 3 word Sunday fun - link over to Pug Mama's site.

Thursday, August 27, 2009

Blog Name Change.....open for suggestions.

First, let me drop a little "belle face" on ya and then I need you to do a little work for me. (We ventured out today to our favourite park and the air and nature did us all some good. We're showing signs of improvement in the security department and if Milana gets any cuter, I may have to eat her (along with her big sister).
OK, so here's the thing. At Last...Milana's comin home is done. The girl IS indeed home.

And as Donna
from Double Happiness so aptly put it - I need to change the name of this blog. When I started this, it was for the purposes of keeping family and friends in the loop as we came into the home stretch of the wait for Milana and I had no idea that so many people would be that interested (in little old us) or that I would enjoy it so much. But I'm hooked now and I love the idea of having a lasting journal for the girls (still can't quite believe I'm speaking in the plural tense).

So, here's what I'm thinking.

"At Last...we are Family !"

or

"At Last...we're home !"

Feel free to vote for your favourite or make some suggestions in the comments section or e-mail me. I really would love to hear what y'all think. I have so appreciated your support and love through the comments you've left and through the many private e-mails I received and I'm excited to hear what you think.

So....fire away!!

(and...ahem........thanks in advance.)

:)

Monday, August 24, 2009

More adjusting - but we ARE home !




It's less than 48 hours since we finally arrived home and we're are in another adjustment period. Milana is clinging to me for dear life. (Read - I can't go to the bathroom without her or a crisis.)

This too shall pass (quoting my dear Joanne here) but today was pretty rough. I am again "air" for Milana and if I turned my back or even moved slightly away from her, she freaked. Hoping tomorrow will show signs of improvement.

While Milana napped, Dahlia and I did get out today for a girls lunch (her fav thing to do with Mommy) and we grocery shopped together. It's odd how much she has grown up in the past two weeks. A few weeks ago she was my baby and now - she's like almost a teenager. Well, I'm pushing it a bit but she does seem to be so mature. Of course, only until she does something....umm....shall we say.....un-comely, which quickly brings me back to reality. This getting a sister thing has been really tough on her and she runs the gamut between being a real trooper and really being angry and hurt with all the attention she is losing. Nothing unusual there - it's just hard to see your "baby" hurting and I've lost it a few times with her behavior.

But we will muttle through. Meanwhile - I've just given myself a gentle reminder of how far we have already come by the pictures above.

Sunday, August 23, 2009

HOME....

.....at Last !!

Shhhhh.....everyone is sleeping

....and I'm going back to bed.

My soft, soft, mushy, pillowy, feathery, dreamy, glorious


bed !

Friday, August 21, 2009

Our Last Night in China !!


I almost can’t see the keyboard in the darkness of our room as three sleepy-heads are drifting off to dreamland (or exhaustion). I don’t mind being alone here as the noise and rush and crush of people (ever shopped the silk alley?…oh man) can make you crave silence.

But as I sit here in the dark, my mind is on other things. Tomorrow, my children will leave their homeland for perhaps the last time. My heart aches a little for them because who they are will be forever changed. We will try and honour their heritage but their home will be Canada. China has given us an incomparable gift and I pray for guidance to always give them the best that we can.

OK, so now I really can’t see….my contacts are all fogged up..

Most of our group left today – we leave tomorrow and we went to the Hard Rock CafĂ© for our final dinner last night. Here are some pictures of a family who are enjoying being just that – a family!

When I get home (and feel human again after that flight and jet lag) I’ll go through my pictures and share some of the events of the past two weeks. I know some of you haven’t been able to leave a comment on my posts. Sorry about that – it’s a google thing and very erratic. Meanwhile, I’m so grateful to Doris for posting everything for me during this time. I look forward to seeing all the posts and pictures when I get home – not to mention catching up on all my favourite blogs. I haven’t had access to anything while here ( not that I’ve been sitting around with nothing to do – haha.)

And so - now I can really say -




At Last…Milana’s comin’ home!

Thursday, August 20, 2009

A Picture is Worth a Thousand Words!

Just look at that face. Milana has come a long way in such a short time. She is really coming out of her shell now in every way. Once she realized she was mobile - there's no stopping her now. The plane ride home should be interesting.
She has, of course, totally captured my heart. The thing that gets me the most about her is she seems so in tune with me. She stares into my eyes (I can't see my previous posts so forgive me I repeat myself which I'm sure I am) for the longest time and then breaks out into this laugh and giggles and winks and then reaches up and touches my face so softly with her little hands. She roams around my face and hair with her fingers, touching and exploring and then smiles like she's saying "so, this is you, my mama, who I waited so long for - cool, you're ok". I'm really not used to all the eye contact. It's rather unusual for these children (forgive the generalization) and Dahlia still has some trouble with eye contact. So, I'm lovin' it!

So, we visited the Summer Palace, which is lovely, though the day was very overcast. I'll wait till I'm home to post a whack of pictures. Yesterday we shopped and shopped and shopped and Danny stayed at the hotel with the girls. (Feel free to read between the lines there.) This proved a good move from all sides. One, I was completely unencombered to do my thing (ahem) and Danny finally had some good bonding time, especially with Milana which worked out well. Initial attachment (not the long term stuff - that takes much longer and a lot more work) usually is with one parent at first so Milana wasn't taking to Danny but they worked it out and she's much better with him now. Dahlia is finding more things that are neat about her little sister who is watching her every move now (no pressure there, kid).

Today, we went to Tian'an men for a group picture. Oh my soul - the people - just masses of them - all with umbrellas,shielding them from a brutally hot sun. My little Dahlia suffers so much in the sun and her head sweats whenever she's a bit hot. And guess what? So does Milana. Another thing they share. And it's not just me - everyone says they looks litke sisters.

We're going to lay low now for some quiet time. It's hot out and we're pooped and in 2 days we fly home.

Ahhh........










Sunday, August 16, 2009

The Great Wall

is pretty awesome, even when it’s the second time you’ve seen it and it’s stinkin’ hot out and you only got about 5 hours of sleep ‘cause your throat is killing you – it really is an amazing site. Even on a smoggy (or foggy, not sure) day when, despite the family pressure to sit this one out, I knew we would regret it if we didn’t go. I really wanted Danny to see it this time and to have a picture memory of it for the girls. We’ll skip the Forbidden City (as incredible as it is) because I know I can’t carry this sweet (read sweet yet amazingly heavy) up and down those stairs for hours. Nope, can’t do it. As it is, my left arm is throbbing most of the time. I brought a snugly (thanks Nicki) but sweet Milana doesn’t like it (me thinks she was tethered too many times) and it’s too hot to insist, so carry her I will. We brought the double stroller but it is huge and heavy and really only good for walks and the airports (which would be impossible without it).

Things are better every hour and every day, thank God! Milana is really coming out of her shell and Dahlia is enjoying her new role more too. Of course, having her BF Angel here has really helped too.

We went to the Pearl factory and the CloisonnĂ© factory where I was reasonable (ahem – ok, I sent Danny out with the baby because it was just too hot for her ya now and she was sleeping so I didn’t want any questionable purchasing to disturb him…I mean her). J I did get the little pearl bracelets that I didn’t pick up the last time (duh, I’m not sure why). So now each girl will have one. Huh….ok, the 3 of us then!

Here are a few pix. I’m off to bed. (Oh bed, you glorious thing. Although, if you’ve never been to China, you don’t know what a hard bed is. Both hips hurt from sleeping on my side, and I have padding built in. Nonetheless – it still will be glorious – I just popped a Gravol.)

Zzzzzzzzzzzzzzzz





Saturday, August 15, 2009

IT’S A NEW DAY!!


We’re are in Beijing and things are better and better. Milana is now really coming out of her shell and we are so in love with this little dolly. She really has the sweetest, softest spirit. And we just can’t get over how much she and Dahlia look alike. It’s uncanny. She’s just stares for the longest time into my eyes and then sticks her tongue out or cocks her head to one side, trying to get me to imitate her. And then when I do, she throws her head back and laughs and shows this most beautiful smile with huge teeth and lots of them. Oh, I could eat her up.

And she sleeps beautifully. I lay her down and she just smiles and nods off. (What? Yeah, sorry – I think I hit the loto twice.) I could go on and on but I need sleep. We were up at 5 this morning to catch our flight. And I’m fighting a cold or whatever. My throat is seizing up (visions of China 2005 are flooding my mind again – though I came armed this time. I could open a pharmacy with what I brought this time.)

Going to bed now. Oh, our reunion with Helen, Angelo, Angel and Georgia was such a highlight. We really missed each other and have so much to share now. They are such a blessing! Actually our whole group are really great.

Blah,blah,blah…..I need that bed. Oh, BTW – I can’t read any of these posts (Doris is posting for me through my e-mails to her) so you need to e-mail me if you want me to hear you. And this server is not my home one so my address book is not with me so I can’t write to anyone unless you write me first. So, if you’re wondering why you haven’t
gotten a personal e-mail, it’s because of that – not because I don’t love you. ‘K!

Nitey-nite,

Friday, August 14, 2009

Family of Four…..at Last !

Our official family picture. It’s official (ya know….there’s official and then there’s official….).

Things are getting better. Milana is coming around, she’s getting stronger and responding more. Getting some food into her and she’s “exporting” well. (Oh yeah…a little too well lol.)
She thrilled us by taking a few steps ( I almost cried – I thought, what the heck, let’s just try out those legs and sure enough, she wobbled along with support.) She obviously isn’t much use to it so we’ll be practicing that to get those leg muscles strengthened. I think she never really crawled either so when we get home, we’ll be doing some crawling around together. Brain doesn’t work properly unless we crawl first, right? So, I’m carrying her a lot and my arms are killing me. (The good kind of pain, ya know.) It is a lot of things to keep your arms and eyes on and no matter how organized I was/am, I still am spending far too much time searching for things. Ahh…but that’s just part of the package of this incomparable adventure.

Oh, I haven’t even mentioned the heat. It’s hot! Yeah, really hot – the wet kind. Like you’re never really dry – so best to give it up and forget about it (say that with an Italian accent).

We are all doing better. We finally did take that 6 hours bus ride (each way) down to Wenzhou (another incredible city, very modern and wealthy – a commercial center, but a small city in comparison – only 2 million. A tiny village. A gruelling 2 days of travel and red tape. This was after a 10 hour train ride the babies took on Monday to get up to us. We visited Milana’s SWI (orphanage) in Wenzhou and I may never be the same. I’ll wait till we get home to elaborate on that (!). I was able to speak with the Director about Milana’s condition and she added a few details which were not in her health and progress report which we received at referral. Milana is withdrawn and more frail than some of the others and considered more delayed. As long as I know what we’re looking at – I can work with that. We’ll just have to work a little to catch her up. Massage, rocking, bouncing, lovin, lovin, lovin and lots of interaction will do wonders, I know. She’s already responding really well. She’s very attached to me (I’m air for her right now) and I’m just lovin on her as much as my other sweetie (little D) will allow (!??#!). It’s an interesting (mild choice of words) tightrope we walk – trying to balance the yin and the yang.

Just took a little break to give Milana her bottle and I must say. She gives me these little gifts every once and a while. I do something like let the little blankie fall on her face and pull it off quickly and she opens up and giggles. She has such a sweet personality when she shows it and a lovely smile. Her face just lights up – I just can’t get it and the camera in one place. But I will. Working with Dahlia for the past almost 5 years has taught me a few tricks. She will be mine HAHA!

We were just told that the baby’s passports have been expedited and arrived. This is such good news as the possibility of a delay which seemed inevitable would have delayed us a week and we would have had to stay. So, we’re back on schedule – thank you God!

Time to go. Milana is almost napping and Dahlia and I have a date. There’s a little art gallery downstairs with our name on it.

Ciao!


Wednesday, August 12, 2009

Day Two - Survivor


We are surviving – not yet thriving. We all slept fairly well last night and got out for a walk this morning. Finally started Milana on some medication and hoping it will do the trick. Danny is typing this as I try to get this tincture into her. Dahlia is enjoying her new role as big sister more and more.

Hangzhou is incredibly beautiful. It has not yet been decided when we will travel south to Wenzhou as the roads have been affected by the typhoon. We will just have to see how this works out.

So… how are you all doing? (Had to say that … it makes me feel like everything is normal and well with the world. Thanks.)

Later.

Monday, August 10, 2009

GOTCHA DAY …AT LAST !!

Well……….we finally have Milana. After waiting so long – the moment passed so fast, it was almost unreal. Gotcha moments are always unpredictable and ours was a bit rock n roll this time.

Poor Milana was thrust into my arms so fast, none of knew what hit us. She’d been eating banana and the Nanny just threw her at me with her mouth full and of course, she was terrified and choking on a mouthful of banana and couldn’t breath and went hysterical. Poor sweet thing. I was like a monster to her – Danny was immediately taken away to do the paperwork and poor Dahlia was in a daze. We finally settled down after about 20 minutes of some pretty rough stuff.

Know what finally calmed her down? Same thing that worked on Dahlia. Singing in her ear did the trick. I had written a special song for Dahlia that has become our song of course, and I did the same for Milana. So when my brain finally kicked into gear and I began her song, she calmed right down. Well, within a half hour she was clinging to me and no one else could get near her. Dahlia had a pretty rough time of it too. When we got back to our room, we all had a good cry (and I mean all) and we broke through and settled into a better rhythm.

We will all be fine but Milana has shut down (some of you know what I mean). I’m guessing she’ll need that 3 days to come out but right now she is in a strange place and I can only hold her till she gets through it. Poor sweet thing – it’s a heart breaker. We were suppose to leave tomorrow for a 6 hour bus ride down to Wenzhou and her orphanage for a night and return the next day but the typhoons are still around so it’s too dangerous for us to leave. We are obligated to go though so our whole trip may be affected by this. More rock and roll.

I’m having trouble with my e-mail and can only send out 1 picture at a time for the moment but in a few days I`m confident that things will smoothen out (is that even a word…I’m so tired and I wrenched my back today so I’m kind in agony right now).

Lots more details to come. Right now, there are three people in dreamland and there ought to be four!

WE MADE IT !!


WE MADE IT !!

Here we are at the airport, leaving Montreal….finally. We arrived in Beijing from an overnighter and on to Hangzhou the next morning. Pretty bumpy flying through a Typhoon – not so fun! But, we made it!

Next stop – get that baby already!

Later………

Thursday, August 6, 2009

Last night...............here we go!

It really is time for me to go to bed.

I can hear the gentle breathing of Dahlia and the slightly heavier version of Danny as I sit here at my desk and try and drink in the last moments here.

All day long (as I've scrambled to finish up all the packing, closing up the house and gardens, double checking everything we need to bring............) I've tried to register what is really happening. Today is the last day in our home, as a family of three. When we walk through those doors again - we will be four.

And I will be the mother of two (that's 2) children. WOW!

The house is very quiet now (they've gone off to REM now, I guess - or have they stopped breathing?...........no, they're breathing). And I am alone, alone and almost overwhelmed by the awesome event that will take place. A child (someone else's child) is to be given to me - to our family. And we will love her and care for her and be forever grateful for this amazing opportunity.

And so.......I have to stop myself now - 'cause I really don't want puffy eyes in the morning - ya know! And besides......they'll be a whole lot more waterworks in the days forthcoming.

While we're in China, I'll be e-mailing my blogging buddy Doris from 3D and she's been sweet enough to agree to post them to my blog along with some pictures. Google (and Facebook and Tweeter and almost everything) is blocked in China now so we're going to try it this way. So check in often, as I'm planning to record every moment...well...............many of them!
So, if anyone has something they want to say to me - you can leave a comment (I'll read them all when I get back, if I can't access them there) or you can e-mail me - wandamalfara@ca.inter.net. I'll have access to my e-mails all the time while we're there.

Meanwhile.........wish us well, as we finally embark on the second chapter of this most incredible adventure.
See ya on the flip side!

Monday, August 3, 2009

Milana's Nursery




(at night, the light makes it peach.....it's really....ahem.......pink!)






I am amazed when I walk into this nursery - just like Dahlia's room - a hush comes over it. It's like there are fairies (or angels) silently flapping their wings so as not to disturb the peace of the forthcoming event.



A new baby!




It's a tiny room really. We built it into a corner of the loft (which is a third floor we added on just before we got Dahlia). It was to be mostly a creative space (about 600 sq. ft.) for our music equipement and my art studio with a huge 10 foot cathedral skylight.



Well, my art studio is now shoved into one corner (I still get good light), the music equipement is all behind closet doors and the loft has now surrendered itself to Dahlia's playroom (and soon to be Milana's too).



So we built a tiny bedroom so Milana will have a space of her own because I think it's so important that we all have a place where we can close the door and call our own - even if she hops into Dahlia's or Mommy's and Daddy's bed from time to time.

Sweet face!



A tiny room calls for tiny rockers. One for mama and baby, one for big sister!



This little bunny says that sweet prayer when you pinch it's leg. "Now I lay me down to sleep........". Dahlia has a similar one she got from her Godmother (my beloved Tash) - and we listen everynight as the last thing just before our final kiss.



Soon, my darling, very soon you will be home Milana.....at last.

In 7 days......

Milana will be in our arms.....her forever family.......right where she belongs.
Amazing how one little week can make such a difference.
Just
seven
more
days.
That's all!
(just needed to say that out loud.......'k?)

Sunday, August 2, 2009

Three Word Sunday!


This segment is the inspiration of Pugmama. Check out the other 3 word Sunday entries.