Sunday, August 12, 2007

Ramblings and Lucy-isms

If you haven't been following this discussion already, I suggest you go to Pho for Four and read the talk about gender selection in adoption. This is a hot button in the adoption world for many, largely because the majority of people adopting request a female infant. We are in the majority who requested a healthy female as young as possible. Laurie has a great take on the topic, and so do many of her commenters. I put my opinion in her comments section, so feel free to read it in more detail there. I want to make it perfectly clear that we made our decision based on personal circumstances and reasons, not because we wanted a "China doll", a snuggly little girl, a child who was easier to raise, or any other petty reason such as these. I do not feel comfortable sharing every detail of our lives and why we felt a girl would be best for us at this time because quite frankly, I do not know who all is reading this and the entire world is not open to our personal life. I probably share too much as it is. I will say that we are not a "typical" family in many ways and many factors played into our decision. About the as young as possible part, I will say with confidence that we chose that because this was our first child and we wanted to experience as many firsts as possible. We also wanted to be as careful as you can be with the whole issue of attachment. And about the healthy part, lets face it, in international adoption you have VERY limited information about the health of the child. There is a big possibility that there are health issues that are unknown. We were aware of that and prepared to deal with what was dealt to us. As far as major health concerns, due to things such as health insurance and our ability to handle different situations, we went with what we felt most comfortable with at this time. I do not think it is my place to judge others as to why they chose a boy or a girl if they made the decision to do so. I greatly respect those who go into adoption saying we are open to either gender and special needs. You are wonderful people. I am grateful that there are so many people who do just that. I am no less grateful to someone who requests a boy or a girl, as long as it is for rational reasons and as long as the child's interests are put first. To me, the purpose of adoption is to find a home for a child who needs a loving home, whether the child is a boy or a girl. Every child deserves to be in a home where they will be loved and cherished. Enough on this. I would love to hear from you all if you want to chime in here. I think that a lot of people are hesitant to comment on other blogs because they chose a girl, like us, and feel as though you are being looked down upon for doing so. I value the opinions of others on this topic and thanks to Laurie and Jena for bringing it up again. It really makes you think and that is something we should all enjoy doing.

On a MUCH lighter note, I thought I would share some things that I call Lucy-isms. They are the things that make her our daughter and the things that only the people very closest in her life would know. They are cute and I love every one of them.

1. She loves her blankee like no other. I know I have commented on this before, but she now does this thing when she is almost asleep in my arms where she will move around until both of her hands can find the satin edge of the blankee. She rubs the satin in her sleep. She also likes to rub the satin on her closed eyes. It is really sweet. I have sisters who are still addicted to their blankets and they each do little things like this with them and they do it in their sleep. Lucy is the same way.

2. She is obsessed with books - one plastic book in particular. When given a big basket of toys, she will search out the only book, bring it over to me, and crawl in my lap. We read the same books about 100 times a day. Every time she crawls in my lap my heart melts. She started this a couple of months ago. She absolutely HAS to be in a lap to look at a book.

3. She still thinks that if she is squatting, no one can see her. Probably because when she squats and I can tell she wants to play the where's Lucy game, I won't look at her when she is squatting. I just keep asking Where's Lucy? Has anyone seen Lucy? And look all around the room. All of the sudden she will pop up with the biggest grin and I can just tell that she wants to say HERE I AM!!!!

4. She studies strangers with great intensity. Most of the time to a point that the other person starts to feel a bit uncomfortable. I swear she sizes up every person that she comes in contact with. She is becoming more and more social, but it is still something she struggles with sometimes. While she is warming up to a new situation, she is VERY clingy to me. I just try and stay close to her and make her as comfortable as I can.

5. She has very little time for eating. I have found the trick to getting her to eat though. She does not think she has time for eating, so if I can distract her with something more interesting, she will eat without really realizing she is eating. I always keep a stash of random things close to her high chair to occupy her with. For instance, a necklace with a lot of beads will keep her attention for a while and I can shovel many bites in. Once she is tired of the object she has been looking at, she is done eating again. However, if I have something else that will catch her eye for a while longer, she will continue eating. It works pretty well and I can get some veggies in her tummy!!

6. She likes the same bedtime routine every night. We say a prayer while she drinks her bottle (thanks for that great idea Sherri) and then I sing her the same 9 songs every night. Even though I am the worst singer ever, she seems to like it and it is soothing to her. We do play a CD in the background. Right now she is listening to the most awesome lullaby CD I have found yet. It is Coldplay songs that they made baby friendly. Love it and so does she.

That is it for today. As a side note, for the past 5 nights she has really struggled with going down at night time. Naps are still fine, but bedtime has become a problem. I have no idea why this has started, but it is frustrating to both me and her. It is frustrating to me because I am having a difficult time comforting her. I know she is very tired, but she is fighting sleep with all she has in her. Any ideas why this would be starting all of the sudden and only at night? And finally, here are some really cute pix from this week.


Kristin said...

Such cute pictures! You really have a talente for catching great shots of her.

On the gender selection issue, I just read your comment on Laurie's blog, and I L-O-V-E it! I couldn't have said it better...

Brave China Doll said...

Great pictures and I loved reading your post on gender selection! Thanks again for all your help with my agency questions.

Take care!

jenn said...

I think the sleep thing has something to do with the age as Aubrey has been going through this for a good 2 weeks now...not fun. It is getting better though. What I eventually did was set in their room and read until she was asleep. I couldn't hold her until she goes to sleep as it seemed to be making the situation worse and if I was in the room she seemed ok (not happy, but not screaming.) I really think it is just a security thing, and think my other two (bio) went through a similar stage at about one year.
On gender selection, to each his own. Plainly put: you know what your family can handle, you know what will fit your family, others don't. Why everyone has to get on a high and mighty horse about what everyone else is doing is beyond me. Perhaps if someone took a walk in your shoes for awhile, lived the life you live. There will always be those, though, that think they have all the answers and that their way is the only way...sad, really.

Jenny said...

We actually have an i-home and i-pod for the girls and we have beatles lullaby and the coldplay and radiohead. They love them. I would recommend the beatles as it is very rhythmic.

Cammie is the same at night-time and hate to say it we have to let her cry. It sucks. But she is soo tired and just won't sleep unless she cries for 5-10 minutes and then she is out. Good luck.

Sherri said...

So many topics! But before I offer my opinions (I always have one)love the pictures. What a sweet smile and the one with the water hose is priceless.

Gender selection - I agree with you. It's all about knowing what is right for your family. I am single and Gracie has no Daddy (even though she continues to say the word). I feel better equipped to raise a daughter.

Sleeping-Grace is better than she was. I think the yelling and waking in the night was due to all the excitement. But if I try and lay her down before she is asleep or she wakes as I lay her down, you better watch out.

Eating-my little piggy doesn't like for me to feed her anymore. She will take the occasional bite from a spoon, but for the most part she refuses. She wants her food on her tray so she can feed herself. I am working on teaching her to hold the spoon, but that usually gets thrown down. What a mess, but she prefers it and it allows me to eat too.

Give Lucy a big hug from me!

Jen said...


I commented on Laurie's blog as well...but agree w/you. It is a personal issue and it is not for any other family to decide what works for them.

Our agency doesn't allow us to choose gender, so it isn't a big deal...but we likely would have asked for a girl if given the choice.

As for Lucy's new bed time problems, maybe looking at the bedtime ritual and making it a little longer--like a warm bath, low lights, you've already got the soft music and lullabies...she may just be getting a bit older and realizing that she wants you with her for security. Hope it gets better!

Laurie said...

Hey Kell, thanks for the publicity and the comment on my blog. I really value and appreciate your perspective. I'm actually pretty happy about the discussion that ensued. Sometimes it takes an inflammatory post, but it got a lot of people thinking and talking, which was my intent. Unfortunately, some missed out on the intellectual debate because they saw it as "sad," interpreting that I think I have all the answers and my way is the only way. Definitely not the case, but intellegent, heated debates aren't for everyone. Thanks for articulating your point of view so well and perpetuating the discussion.

About the sleeping thing...Jackson seems to finally have gotten past his night time fits and is no longer a bear to put down, usually anyway. I don't think there was anything special we did to change him, he just finally grew out of it and we were persistent in holding him until he fell asleep. I think the suggestion to draw out the bedtime routine is a smart idea. We incorporated bathtime into ours too, and it helps to calm him down. We also have a routine where the parent who is not putting him to bed that night sits down and reads to him for 20-30 minutes before the other one brings him to his room. We call it a "forced hold" before bed, where we don't let him walk or crawl. We just hold him in our arms listening to music, or sit with him in our laps to read. Seems to help him because he has a really difficult time calming down. Good luck! It is SO hard to stay patient sometimes when the end of the day nears, you're exhausted, you know your kid is exhausted, but they fight sleep like crazy. Jackson would scratch himself, shake his head back and forth...anything to keep from drifting to sleep! Not an easy thing.

Nicki said...

Oh my gosh, Lucy sounds soooo much like Addy. Addy does that same staring people down thing. how funny!

As for the nighttime stuff, I think this frequently happens to babies on the verge of some big developmental leap. Maybe she is getting ready to really have a talking spurt or new teeth or some other big thing? Their minds are racing, their bodies are racing and the transition is just soooo hard. I am sure its a passing phase - hang in there!

Stacy said...

I love the Lucy-isms! And thanks for the heads-up on the Coldplay lullabies, I am playing the samples of it off Amazon right now and will definitely have to get it!

Mrs.B said...

Great post! and I always enjoy the pictures of Lucy. I really enjoy reading your blog!

Jen said...

I totally agree with the age and health stipulations. We felt the same; being our first child we do selfishly want to experience as much baby time as possible. And health status, well, that will always be a bit of a gamble.

Sara said...

I still have to read Laurie's blog on this, but here are my thoughts. I don't think anyone should judge an adoptive parent's decision to choose a particular gender and to say they want a healthy baby. I am not an adoptive parent, and I readily admit that I wanted my first child to be a girl (which I got!). And you can ask practically any pregnant woman whether she'd prefer a healthy baby or a non-healthy baby and she'd choose healthy. There is nothing wrong with this in the bio-parenting world, so why is there something "wrong" with it in the adoptive parenting world? I don't think that just because someone is choosing adoption, they must also choose to take on a child with special needs that their family is not equipped to deal with. You are right, Kelly, that those people who choose this are absolutely amazing and should be commened. A child, whether biological or adopted, can develop a health problem at any time (God forbid) and we all know there are "no guarentees." But I don't think that means there is anything wrong with requesting a healthy child. Heck, many pregnant women go through extensive prenatal testing so that they can know what they are dealing with in terms of their baby's health. And almost no one criticizes that! As for the gender-choosing issue, the way I see it is that adoptive parents have so little control over the process as it is, this is really one amazing way that parents can have a bit of a choice in the process.

Kelly, I think that you and Justin are AMAZING people for choosing the journey you have and also for putting some parameters on what worked best for both of you. I love the latest on Lucy and can't wait to see her again!


Shawna said...

I love all you insights Kel...I feel like the more I read, the more I get to know Miss Lucy, and you as a momma. Can't wait to see you girls again this weekend.

Oh also, Marissa and Lindann called this weekend to brag that Lucy went straight to them...very jealous!!

Jacob, Angie, Dakota, and Austin said...

I have been reading your blog on a regular basis. I was wondering where you get your daughters bows. our daughter is now getting hair and we would like to get her some but we have not had any luck. thank you for your time


Lynn said...

Lucy is just the cutest little baby! I enjoy reading your blog, and seeing all the sweet pictures.

On the gender issue, you had the ability to choose, you made your choice, and it's no one's business.

Take care, and keep those adorable pictures coming!

Jo said...

First I'll start out by say I got Cami some Lucy style hair bows!!!! She does not have the hair for them yet but, one day she will!

As for the gender selection issue, every family knows what is best for them. My husband had his heart set on a girl since there are no girls in his family (youngest is my 55 y.o. MIL). Would I have it any other way? Heck no, I love my little girl.

With us, we requested a girl 0-24 months and we were open to a few minor SNs, we happen to get matched with a healthy baby girl. Was I expecting a healthy 6 month old baby? No, I firgured we would get a little girl close to 2 and with one of the SNs we were open to.

That just goes to show that even if you put open to some SNs does not mean you are going to get that as a referral.

When we got our referral call I asked what SNs she had and our coordinator said none, she is very healthy.

I truly believe that you get matched with the child that is supposed to be yours.

Susan said...

As always, the photos are great. Miss Lucy is getting to be such a big girl. I can't wait to see y'all again.

About the gender selection issue, I think I can understand both sides of the debate. Having said that, I simply don't feel I need to justify my decision to anyone. Until you walk a mile...

Ruth said...

Great pictures!!!! She is absolutely beautiful. As far as picking a gender, people have their reasons...I have 3 biological boys, am approaching 40, can't have anymore children and even if I could I am sure they it would be a boy. I love my boys but simply want a daughter. There are so many different circumstances as to why people pick a certain gender...I wanted a healthy as possible infant for the same reasons as you. I am so thrilled that there are families that can handle special needs...we will handle what comes our way but I think people know their limitations and choose accordingly. Girl, boy, healthy or unhealthy all of these children need homes and I can't wait to get a travel date to bring ours home.
Take care,

Heather said...

Hey Kelly! Unrelated to the post, I just want to say that Lucy's birthday pictures are so awesome. Your photographer is so talented and creative. Hope all your travels were fun. I'm sure it is nice to be home again, though. Take care.

Julie said...

Thanks for writing this post. I think you are right that many of us that did decide to choose a gender find it difficult to talk about. I agree with you that this is personal decision, and that only you can know what is best for your family and situation.

mam said...

When I read about your Coldplay lullaby CD I was jealous, and just today I was in a new cool baby store and found the line yours must be from -- we got The Cure, but The Ramones were pretty hard to pass up too. How cool! I didn't see Coldplay in our display, but will be on the lookout for it, as well.

Shamay said...

On the Gender issue, I agree with you that adoption is a beautiful thing for any family that wishes to give any child a secure and happy home. I am so disturbed lately at all critical and even AP bashing posts from some sites like the one you mentioned. It seems that many people can't see past their own viewpoints/research/background and feel obliged to criticize others who are walking the same journey that they are. I think that the "china doll" and "easy/snuggly child" and all the other guesses people have been making are just assumptions people make to try to rationalize something they don't understand. We too requested a girl for very personal reasons. We have two beautiful children (a girl and a boy), who are very well loved, respected, wanted and cared for. Isn't that the goal; growing families extending their love to someone else - unconditionally? Yet we can't respect/love each other within the same community? Adoption and childbirth are raw and emotional experiences. I have learned to respect others and the diversity of this world more, not less during this process.

Just my two cents worth. I'm so disappointed the personal agenda passed off as 'educational' that some blogs try to push. The intended message is nearly always lost in the criticism and the opinions that are presented as the only rational/reasonable choice a person could make.

The Spencer's said...

Lucy is so beautiful! I love your blog and it was/is such a bright spot for me before we went to get Caroline. I really loved what you posted about gender selection...I feel the same way.

BTW we are having Sam and Caroline's picture made in Ft Smith by Mika Beth next week. I am excited since Lucy's were SOO good. I hope we get some good ones too! Thanks for the blog...I love IT! Amber

Kathy said...

It was so great to see you and Lucy this weekend! She is such a sweetie and I'm so glad we got to spend some time with you guys. Hope to see you soon! Love and miss, Kathy

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