Friday, January 31, 2014

Jude introduced the girls to finger-painting last week. Roxie was a bit more adventurous than Simone with the mess. The more we get the paints out, I think Simone will warm up to them!...





Jude randomly got a fever again this week, with it spiking each night. This was my first experience with a little boy that wanted to be cuddled all day, but 2 little peanuts still needing my attention. Interesting thing tho, because Jude was laying all day I was able to really see the girls explore and get into things on their own. It gave me a new glimpse into what they would get into without Jude's leadership. (Simone focused a lot on Legos and Roxie focused a lot on coloring.)

Oh boy. Today during nap time Roxie climbed into Simone's crib, thus ending any attempt at a nap. I'm really hoping this doesn't continue. There's really no other option to move the cribs in their room...

I'll leave you with a picture of Roxie and her awesome skills...

Monday, January 27, 2014


Post bath time cuties...

Getting some outdoor time in the negative degree weather...

Pigtails!...

My mom came for a visit! Can you tell we had fun? And she got a tiny glimpse of how full our arms and house are!...

Saturday morning snuggles...

The girls were invited to a cupcake decorating Birthday party. And they acted like cupcake pros!



Roxie's lower lip pushed out in concentration...

The girls (and Jude) like to play and jump and cuddle in their cribs after naps. Jude was out of the house on this afternoon with Daddy so I took advantage of having a bit less crazy and snapped some pictures...




Tuesday, January 21, 2014

Brave

For our family, our friends, and for all our adopting friends who want to know a bit of the details on our first 8 weeks together...

Nearly every moment since meeting our girls and taking them to our hotel in India one word has been reoccurring and dominant. Brave. Their bravery amazes and humbles me. Their bravery is admirable and almost indescribable. To think that two foreign-looking strangers walked into their life and took them to a hotel, then took them on airplanes for 20 hours, and then gave them an entirely new home with new smells, new toys, new weather, new rules, new clothes, new language, new expectations, new norms. Everything they knew about life was completely and entirely changed, and with remarkable courage they have taken on every new change. Their courage is simply breathtaking.

The whole adoption process from application to 'Gotcha Day' was exciting, long, and emotional. Some steps, and some parts of the waiting, were terribly dark and terribly painful. But for me, the scariest moment was 2 days after we returned home.  We were sitting in the doctor's office going through all their medical needs, and for me that was the pivotal moment we would discover how our lives would really change. The girls' medical records from India gave us a bit of information, but we still couldn't be entirely sure the diagnoses were correct...if the diagnosis was wrong for the better or for the worse....or if there would be new needs that were not documented or diagnosed by Indian doctors. As I sat in a dark room with Roxie on my lap and cords taped all over her chest and as a technician used her little wand to look at her heart (envision a pregnant mom and a sonogram...very similar) Looking at her heart up on the monitor, I was the most scared I had been in the whole adoption process. Simply scared to know that in the next few moments we would have an indication as to what our lives could possibly look like. ...in the next few minutes we would know an accurate and reliable prognosis.
(Not to be super elusive, but I don't feel comfortable sharing all the girls' personal medical information on the world wide web, but we were given a good prognosis on their hearts and a bit more scary information about another medical need. We have another big appointment on Valentine's Day to do further tests.)
Getting home with the girls, for me, kind of felt like entering rehab. I was on a mission. A mission I had prepared many, many, months for. I set up what seemed like endless doctor appointments and evaluations. It was lots of phone calls, lots of getting organized, lots of appointments and lots of getting chub on our malnourished little ones. Lots of cooking up fatty foods and red meat. Lots of focused attention and obsession with getting 24 ounces of whole milk a day down our itty-bitty princesses. Lots of medication and poop collecting and lab tests to get rid of several nasty parasites. (Still working on those dang parasites.)
Eight weeks in, and much of that has slowed down. Today, we have speech and physical therapy implemented, and some minor dental procedures scheduled for next week. We got home, and I just started triaging their physical/medical needs and checking them off one by one. And let me say this, our little adoption community we are a part of (basically a Facebook group with other families adopting from India) has truly been a gift. This Facebook community is rare and special. Since India only does special needs international adoptions, this community is unlike any other we've been a part of. A community in which deafness, HIV, spina-bifida, cerebral palsy, down syndrom, etc, are chosen, loved, and whole-heartedly pursued.  This community makes our doctor appointments much less scary and much more doable. It's a community that really feels like home and is really encouraging.
All that to say, our first few months together has had a lot of doctors appointments. :) And when I say the girls ate non-stop, that's what I really mean. Literally, they ate from the moment they woke up to the moment they went to sleep. (Our specialist told us to not withhold food or stop them from eating. He assured us they would stop before they would vomit. ...he was right.  But oh boy did they stuff themselves every second of every day.) It never stopped. They weighed 18.5 lbs and 20 lbs, and they ate like a grown man. Roxie, especially, really had a hard time when meals or snacks ended. She would scream and cry big crocodile tears. In the last 2 weeks that has really diminished, not entirely stopped, but definitely diminished.
I am so grateful and thank God they have had each other through all of this. I thank God in his providence, that they have had each other, that they are twins. A small example: we have their cribs side by side in their room and at night they reach their arms through the slats and hold hands to fall asleep. God is good.
Oh and they sleep amazingly. Way, way, way, better than their brother ever has. They go to sleep around 6:30 in the evening and sleep till 6:30 or 7:30 in the morning...then take a 1-2 hour nap each day. I know they're growing as they sleep because each time they wake up they're a bit bigger! :)

We still don't know without a doubt that they're identical. I know that's crazy, but we're hoping we can get DNA testing at the appointment in February. To tell them a part we kept a white bracelet on Roxie that she wore from the orphanage. It was actually a bit too small and kind of stuck on her, so that bracelet was our life line to differentiate them. We realized it was just about exactly 6 weeks in that they no longer looked alike to us. It took 6 weeks, but from that point on, they no longer looked identical.


They hated baths in the beginning. Like, the entire first month. But now they love it.

Roxie gives kisses by sticking out her bottom lip.

Simone is loud. She likes to be loud.

Simone will mimic almost any word, phrase, or sentence.

I think they both have about 10-15 English words.

It's pretty obvious now that just about all their Malayalam words are gone.

They love to look at magazines and big novels rather than picture books.

Their fine motor skills are super advanced: eating with utensils, coloring, beading necklaces, etc.

They lost their ability to fold towels. How is that possible? I live in NYC, we drop off all our laundry. Kinda sad.

Just a few weeks home and they lost their adorable Indian head bob.

They love to have their toe nails painted.

They love clothes and accessories. Basically all my dreams coming true. :) They love headbands, and barrettes, and scarves, and dresses, and tights, and necklaces. They love it! They beg and whine for accessories. ...and with my whole heart I oblige. :)

Their fingers are long and elegant. I can't get over how pretty their nails are. They're just so different than little boys. Their nails are kinda beautiful.

They really take care of each other. Many times at meals, they take turns feeding each other and wiping each other's faces. And if one of them falls, or cries, or gets upset in the other room, the other comes running, consoling and mothering the other.

They're not terrific at sharing. Actually they're really terrible, but better than 8 weeks ago. Every food item, toy, or accessory has to be identical. Before they were home, I had envisioned them sitting on my lap, reading books, or sitting on the floor working on puzzles together. Nope. We are really working on it, and it's taking lots of screaming, but we're all getting better.

And I don't think I need to say this, but I'll just put it out there. I purposefully don't really write about the nitty-gritty, tough, exhausting kind of stuff.
Because, it's obvious. Right?
If I had given birth to these twinnies, I don't think I would be weekly writing about how I am waking up every hour to nurse them? Right? It's obvious. A mom fresh at home from the hospital with twins, is not sleeping, is exhausted, is screwing up, is having a few meltdowns, is figuring out her crazy new life. Welp....that's what we're doing. We have a lot of crazy days. I've had a few overwhelming, lock myself in the bathroom, I  need to cry just for 3 minutes, then I can get my act together moments. But honestly I don't think much has to do with adoption. Yes, our girls eat a lot, and scream a lot after meals, and we're dealing with some nasty parasites, but all in all our life is crazy because we have 3 kids. Oh and we live in a 700 sq ft NY apartment and we're having a bitter cold winter. So enjoy this long blog post with lots of words, and enjoy all the adorable pictures in the future. I won't photograph my their meltdowns.


Monday, January 20, 2014

8 Weeks Together

We've been together as a family of 5 for 8 weeks! 

Basically this is a phone dump of some recent pictures for your enjoyment. More narrative will come shortly, (I promise!) But still, dumping photos is just easier than going into life details. In a few short words, our life is fun, loud, chaotic, crazy, loud, and fun! Amidst all the challenges of transitions, doctors, and new beginnings, we are really, really, thankful and really, really, having a good time. 

The early morning cup of cheerios so Mommy can get thru one cup of coffee before standing in front of the stove to herd starving munchkins...







We dressed up the girls to meet Grandma and Jude said, "I am the King and these are my princesses."

We managed an early dinner out for Mexican and the girlies love them some spicy salsa. Enjoy some of Roxie's expressions...





Sunday, January 12, 2014

Brett's mom came for a visit this week and filled our house with lots of yummy baking and lots of pretty singing! 
A few pictures from our week:


The girls love dressing up. ...they love any and every kind of accessory (especially my scarves.) And they love to leave the room blowing kisses, and saying "bye-bye" very loudly!
(Roxie)...


Simone is especially loud when she says "bye-bye"...

Oh and cute...

There was lots and lots of baking going on this week...

Jude likes to have "sleepovers" with his sisters where he gets them to squash on the couch under a blanket with him for cuddles and pretend sleep. Usually only Simone will sit still long enough to oblige...

Jude got a haircut (and a sucker and a doughnut and a goodie bag.) Whatever it takes!...



Jude learned how to take selfies with my phone...


And then my mother-in-law nearly had a heart attack over the stress of watching batman bonding with his sisters. Over and over and over again...

Saturday, January 11, 2014

Par-tay!

We met up with some friends at Chuck E Cheese for some pizza, cake, and games today to celebrate Jude's 4th Birthday. I feel like this is the first year he truly understands what's going on with the whole Birthday thing and could really grasp that we were celebrating how special he is to us. Amidst all the changes over the last few weeks and the expansion of our family, I was grateful that we could spend a few hours really devoted to him and the things that make him happy. 
And the kids had fun running from game to game and stuffing their faces!


 Jude's favorite presents were his Transformers from his friends...(He went to sleep tonight cuddling one of them.)



Simone didn't play many of the games, but rather ate pizza at her leisure...


My goofy kids...



Roxie liked to wander around carrying her little cup of tokens and loved the games with big buttons...

Jude said his favorite game was, "The train that had smoke come out of it."

Jude holding up his Transformers...




I hate that Kidist's face is cut off in the next picture. But still, I love it!...


These two little buddies played their games individually until the last 20 minutes.
Wiped out little kiddoes enjoying the only game with a t.v. monitor and no required involvement from the participants... except laying down...