Tuesday, 7 May 2013

One year Gotcha Day Anniversary!

Today was a very special day.  It is the one year anniversary of our Gotcha Day with Li Lin.  Also known as Forever Family Day in the adoption world.  Li Lin heard our alarm this morning and came into our room.  As if on cue, she said, "Can I see the box on the dresser?"
Yesterday she had spotted this new box on the dresser and asked what it was.  I had told her it held a special gift to celebrate her being in our family for one year and that she could open it tomorrow.  Like most kids, she didn't forget the gift.  Inside the box was a hardcover book entitled, Li Lin's Adoption from China, containing all the blog posts and pictures of our trip to China.  We also included copies of her referral pictures, a copy of the letter we sent to her while she was still in China, and some other pictures marking "firsts": Christmas, Valentine's Day, birthday, Chinese New Year, etc. It is so awesome to have this all in a book form.  This book will likely be something she will treasure in the years to come.

In the afternoon, I took some casual pictures of Li Lin enjoying the flowers and just generally relaxing.  When I looked at the pictures in her memory book I am struck by how understandably serious and stressed she appears in many of the photos.  Today's pictures capture a much happier and more relaxed little girl.

This evening after Hudson and Li Lin's swimming lessons we headed out to one of our favourite Chinese restaurants for a celebratory supper.  Grand-maman came along  to help us commemorate this special day.  Although I am not quite sure how much Li Lin understands about the concept of a one year gotcha day celebration she obviously understood somewhat.  At one point during the supper, she put her arm around Steph and said, "Daddy, you are the best daddy in the world!"

Next, she put her arm around me and said, "Mommy, you are the best mommy in the world!"

A few minutes later she said the same thing to Steph again.  Then she moved her chair really close to me and promptly asked Steph to move his chair closer to her.  She then put an arm around both Steph and I.  She was even starting to ask for the rest of the group to move their chairs closer too.   

After returning home I decided to do an impromptu photo session with the four kids.  It is not often that we get all of them together for a picture.  Shortly thereafter, once the kids were in bed I took a moment to reflect on the past year.  To sum it all up in one word... THANKFUL!  God has blessed me with a fantastic husband, four amazing kids, and a wonderful circle of family and friends.  I also want to shout out a  big thank you to all of you who have prayed for us especially during the first few hours, days, weeks and months after Li Lin's adoption.  We are grateful for all the love and prayers sent on our behalf.  We know it made a difference. 

Monday, 6 May 2013

Li Lin's latest medical update

Today as I picked Li Lin up from her preschool she said, "Am I going to get any needles today?"
"I'm not sure," I replied.
"If I have to get a needle and I am a good girl can I get a special surprise like candy?" she questioned.
"Sounds like a good idea."

We drove downtown in summer conditions and arrived at a cheery mural filled genetics clinic.  We had a consultation with a very friendly medical doctor who specializes in genetic diseases.  We had been referred to her as part of the routine protocol of the Cleft Lip and Palate Program.  I am happy to report Dr. B. did not see any reason to even do bloodwork.  After assessing Li Lin, Dr. B. was confident that Li Lin has an isolated cleft lip and palate problem.  In other words, this is not part of a syndrome or disease.  We are thankful.

As part of the physician's assessment of her, Li Lin was measured.  She is very tiny for her age.  According to the doctor, she is on the 3rd percentile for her height.  As many of my fellow adoptive moms of Chinese children know, a more accurate assessment of height is best done on the Asian growth charts.  She is near the 15th percentile on those charts. :)

We left the office and headed to the vehicle with a somewhat disappointed but apparently healthy little girl.  "Were you hoping for a needle?", I asked.
"Yes.", she replied, then quickly added, "Can I get a special treat anyway?"