3rd_birthday.jpg

A Final Blog Post, a Long List of Julia-isms, and New Adoption Adventure Ahead

We celebrated one year as a family, Julia turns three, and we set off on a new international adoption. What a year 2015 has been so far, but it will likely pale in comparison to 2016.

While it’s a bit sad to be making the final post on this blog (a special connection point for us the last two years during the greatest adventure of our lives), first thing’s first. We have a couple of milestones to commemorate.

On April 14, we celebrated one year as a family! Following our usual wedding anniversary tradition (which is April 17), we visited a national park… this time, three of them in South Florida and for the first time, with a little one in tow. Julia loved the alligators and a return trip to the ocean, and was a real champ as we traversed a lot of highways and byways for a full week straight. The night of our “family day” anniversary, we enjoyed a special dinner at one of Key West’s quirky favorites, we took a photo to replicate our first pic together, and when the sun set, we lit a candle below the moon and said a prayer of thanks across the night sky to China.

10410457_10155394375070654_5794598947297298572_n.jpg

And today, Julia is somehow three years old! What can we say, other than: time flies and it’s been a heck of a year. We wouldn’t change a thing. Today, our family got together for an intimate back-yard birthday party, complete with a homemade, dairy-free birthday cake that the Bee absolutely devoured. We’re blessed.

So that leaves us with this: for those of you who don’t know, we’ve started our second adoption adventure! Yep, within about a year’s time Julia will have a little sister from Uganda. We’re excited about growing our family, and funny enough, through our recent conversations about it, Julia seems to be starting to “get it”. She’s going to be a big sister, and loves repeating “sih sih” when asked. We envision the two girls running around this house together and it gives us chills of joyous anticipation. We can’t wait.

So with our second adoption underway, we bring this first adoption blog to a close. This website was started as a gift to our first child, as a baby book of sorts. And it also served as a way to keep family and friends up to speed on our incredible journey. Since it was intended to be about our adoption adventure and never meant to be a blog about a three-year-old kid – sure, we think she’s special too… but does anyone care to read about what she ate for breakfast this morning? – it felt apropos to wind things up at OurLittleLotus.com.

If we haven’t said it enough times throughout the last two years – thank you, thank you, thank you for reading, supporting, following along, loving, donating, sharing, connecting, and everything else you’ve done as part of our path to become a family of three. We can’t wait to bring you along as we become a family of four.

Before we go, we’d like to share for you, Julia, a list your Mama and I made on the car ride home from Michigan recently. We started talking about all the little things that make you, you. Or “Julia-isms”. We have loved nothing more than to watch you come into your own this last year, morphing from a quiet, timid little lotus into the spirited, rambunctious three-year-old you are today. You’re a lovable, quirky, funny, and fun-loving little being and we adore you with every inch of our souls.

Here it is: an incomplete list of some of our favorite Julia-isms from year one, written in short-hand that only your loving parents would understand. We’ll explain one day.

  • Playing with coffee stir sticks in China.
  • Saying “guay guay guay” as a precursor to whining.
  • Obsessing over glasses and keys.
  • Being afraid of your bare feet in the grass.
  • Playing endlessly in the Tupperware drawer.
  • Saying "uhhhh" right in our faces when asking us to sing.
  • Learning the non-official sign for “family” over Christmas and using it to this day.
  • Repeating “hiya hiya hiya”.
  • Knocking on EVERYTHING.
  • Tapping on EVERYTHING.
  • Making us say, “What's at the bottom of the bowl? You have to eat to find out.” during every meal.
  • Saying “mama” at least 600 times a day.
  • Being fascinated with Auntcie, then Gram, but still Auntcie.
  • Drawing library puppets. A lot.
  • Yelling “Mama!” at the window at Gram’s house.
  • Wearing your warmest, fur coat inside and out, non stop, until Auntcie bought you a fur sleeveless vest.
  • Obsessing over library cards.
  • Holding up your two pointer fingers for “two”.
  • Kissing us like a cat, and squinting in agony when we kiss you.
  • Shaking and squeezing your little body to make us dance while holding you. Man, you love to dance.
  • Saying “awwww!” about baby chickens, then ultimately about anything cute or little.
  • Backing it up to get into your seat at the dinner table.
  • Obsessing over trains (and golf carts, and shopping carts, and anything remotely resembling a train).
  • Pointing directly at people and saying "nuh nuh" for man.
  • Standing like a flamingo (kind of).
  • Stumbling through your first words (#1, mama, #2 nanubuh, #3 geegee for “daddy”).
  • Hiding your face when you want something to hide/play peekaboo.
  • Asking to be carried upside down like a bat.
  • Sitting in the dark asking for “tih tih” super softly.
  • Moving around your little Kristen Wiig arm at bedtime.
  • Waking up with the most epic bed head. And being grumpy almost every time.
  • Screaming "buh!" for boo. Quietly.
  • Extending your arms and waving your feet and legs with excitement while looking upward.
  • Rubbing your stomach to sign “sorry” even when its not relevant.
  • Saying “yeah yeah yeah!” when you first learned how to confirm a yes.
  • Trying to figure out that you were born in “Chuh” and your baby sister lives in “Guh”.
  • Taking something – anything – with you in your hand every car, stroller or wagon ride.
  • Saying "moe" instead of "no" while giving us sneaky eyes.
  • Faking a cough to indicate you want a napkin.
  • Answering "luh luh" for "love" when we ask, "You know what?"
  • Probably most of all, we love the way you showcase those amazingly cute little chiclets every time you smile.
  • And the list goes on and on. Dad gum you’re cute.

With that, we now turn our attention to bringing this second beautiful child home. This time, just a bit further south and west of China, in the land of Uganda. Here we go again!

IMG_7370-3_MED.jpg

"I am a lotus flower – delicate, fragile, yet strong... floating, unfolding, and blossoming into the life where I belong.”