Monthly Archives: July 2011

Out and About With Davy

So we have been going out a bunch with our girl. She is doing great, we limit it to a trip a day otherwise she gets over tired and refuses to sleep. We have been getting our first taste of what it’s like to be a transracial family. Mostly people look at her, look at us, then look at her. Many many many people comment on how beautiful she is, cause she is indeed a beauty. Sometimes if there is one of us, they automatically assume that one of us is African American and look a little suprised when me or Andy show up. Sometimes people do say boneheaded things- but mostly its because they don’t quite know how to ask the question in a PC way. My favorite has been “where did you get her” I of coarse answered sarcastically “either Wal-Mart or Target- I forgot which one”.

I have a friend- with a very Jewish-sounding name who is an adoptee from Ecuador. People ask her all the time where she is from-her response is consistently “Long Island”. If they press she will say “Massapequa”. She has no shame about where she is from, it’s a game she likes to play. Just because people ask- doesn’t mean you have to tell them.

This weekend we went to the Portland Museum of Art. There is an antique car show going on there and Andy really wanted to see it. I- on the other hand- referred to it as a very expensive diaper change- because Davy had a blow out and I spent a long time in the bathroom trying to wipe poop up from every surface imaginable. It was a very nice bathroom though. Anyway we got lots of the looks, looking at Davy, smiling, looking at us, smiling. I don’t for a second believe that all these stares are negative, just curious. I always notice transracial families when I am out. I would smile. It’s really okay. When we were at the museum an older woman came up to me and said the most beautiful thing- she just said “well she must be just the biggest blessing to your family”. The way she said it gave me goosebumps. She really really meant it and could tell that we felt that she is indeed a blessing.


Davy 2.5

We have been home almost 3 weeks with our wee girl. Things are progressing nicely. The bonding thing is going better then I could have expected. The one consistency in Davy’s life was that she experienced love- so it is easy for her to accept it and give it. I am not kidding myself that our attaching is “done”, but it is going better then expected. She smiles when she sees us. She looks for us across the room. She is throwing tantrums. All good signs. We are also attaching to her. I am not going to lie when I say its harder then I thought. I think it’s better to be honest about it. People come back from adoption and refuse to admit how hard it can really be. We have waited, longed, sobbed for this little being for so long- that we hate to admit that its hard. But guess what? All major life changes are hard! These little beings come to us as mostly formed human beings, with their own quirks and personalities. They aren’t blank slates. We are all figuring each other out. It’s a fun/exhausting puzzle.

We have been taking Davy out more. We have met friends, gone for dinner, play dates and to the park. It has been great. Andy and I are not the “stay at home” kind of people so its good to finally bring her a long. She has been great. One of the things that I like most about our girl- and ironically the thing I was most worried about- is that she is a little shy. It takes her a while to warm up to people- to show them her crinkly nosed smile. I like that she has to suss people out. I like that she is secure enough not to be needy.

This week we went on a play date with Sophia Zimmerman. Sophia is Davy’s buddy from her care center in Durame. Actually her best buddy. Sophia’s parents met Davy before we did. Their court trip was about a month before ours. Sophia wasn’t warming up to Toby (her dad), so the nannies brought Davy out to make Sophia jealous.It totally worked and Sophia warmed right up to her papa. The nannies couldn’t believe that these little girls would grow up together since they did everything together. They were besties. I love that they knew each other before they even knew us. So this week we went to Forest Grove to see Sophia. Did they remember each other? I don’t know. All I DO know is that they saw each other- Sophia immediately ripped the binky out of Davy’s mouth and Davy hit her. So maybe they did. There was something familiar and primal about that little interaction.

Also Davy has been spending oodles of time with my mom. Davy is mom’s first grandchild and I think its love at first sight for those too. Mom and Davy make quite the pair and she is SUCH a proud grandma. I love watching them together.

Finally- the thing that has been hardest is that I haveen’t had much of a creative outlet since we got home. I have seriously knit a half of hat. I did make Davy a few nifty little things (now that we are on a “nap” schedule.) I say “nap” because it is just that a “nap”. She is usually down for 45 minutes. I did manage to whip out a few little headbands and a little neck hanky that catches her copious amount of drool. She is wearing that in the photo with Sophia. It feels really really good to make stuff and Davy is quite the little fashionista.
So far week 2.5 has been really really fun.

Parenting Thoughts at 4:00 a.m. I Am No Expert

It’s 4:55 a.m. I just finished giving Davy her bottle and rocking her to sleep. I used to think 4 a.m. was on of the cruelest hours on the clock, neither morning or night, now i am starting to think of it as a dear friend.

Things are going well. This parenting thing has a huge learning curve. I am starting to realize that really, you can’t screw your kid up in a single moment. More of a series of let downs. So today, I took Davy to the library, which was too much for our little bit. I rushed home, cradled her to sleep. Snuggled and cooed to her. We were okay with each other once again. It’s the big gestures and the small mixed together. Not to toot my own horn, but I think I am better at raising this little being than I thought. I was worried. I was worried that I would never feel relaxed around her enough to get her to sleep, or that I would have to keep up the energy play until my batteries ran low. I was worried I would suck at this new experience. I am a pessimist by nature, so the fact that I enjoy it so much, love her more then I could ever imagine, can entertain her to the point when she laughs so hard, she squinches up her perfect nose truly feels like a blessing to me. I know it sounds strange that I would be worried after all I we have been through to get her here, but I am a worrier nonetheless.

This morning I was rocking her and I was stuck by how much she looked like her birthparent. Same angular jaw, same high cheekbones, full eyebrows and tiny nose. We believe that Davy’s birth story is her own to tell, so I am going to keep the gender of her birthparent neutral. I am going to refer to her/him as both him and her. She has one birthparent, this is a grammatical conundrum so try to keep up. I have mentioned before that I am an ambivalent believer in God. There are times in the process that have made me question my faithless faith and meeting her birthparent is one of those moments. Davy’s birthparent lives in rural Ethiopia. When we asked what her hopes and dreams for his daughter are, the answer was “to grow, get an education and become an intellectual”. Although we have never articulated it that way, we share the same hopes and dreams. Davy’s birthparent loves her beyond measure. So do we. We now love her birthparent beyond measure. Meeting Davy’s birthparent somehow enabled us to love her even more. We have to love her for three parents not just for two. We have a responsibility to make sure she was loved, to make sure she knows that in Ethiopia she has a parent who loved her selflessly enough to make sure that her for dreams could come to fruition. There are moments when adoption is ugly, sad, bureaucratic, unfair and horrible. There are moments when adoption is beautiful beyond anyones expectations. Now that this process is over, the beauty of this creature, her history and life have made up for the ugly times.

Every night we give Davy three kisses, one for each of her parents. For she is loved beyond continents, cultures, families, race and religion. If that ain’t going to shake your faith a little, I don’t know what would. I love you little Davy Dinkenish Beach. You are rocking my world little one, now please, go to sleep.

One Week

One week ago we took custody of our Davy. What a week it has been! We have been on 3 different airplanes, experienced 4 take off and landings. This week she has slept at the her care center in Addis, the guest house in Addis, an airplane from Addis to Washington DC, DC to Denver, the Denver Airport, and finally PDX. Our girl has been on a bus, a tram, an elevator, and escalator and a car seat. She has been to Target. She has met her grandmother. She has pet a cat and two dogs. This has been a big week for her indeed. Us too. Prior to taking custody I had never given a baby a bath, changed a diaper or fed a baby a bottle. I have no idea what rock I have been living under, but this new momma has a huge learning curve.

So how is it going? We are doing pretty well! Fortunately we were granted the most chilled out baby on the planet. She has had a few really bad moments (I was actually relieved when they happened, I was starting to get worried that maybe she was TOO chill). Mostly, she is pretty happy and easy going. The bonding and attaching thing is coming a long. I am not going to kid myself that we are there yet- this stuff takes time- but so far we all really like each other. She is happy when she sees us and lets us sooth her. If we are with a bunch of other adults- she still doesn’t quite gravitate towards us, but we know it’s just a matter of time. She will get there. So will we.

This week has been a big week for all of us. We are looking forward to being mellow and just chilling out over the next while. We are totally without any routine. We are all jetlagged and have our nights and days mixed up. Again, this will just take time, I am not worried about it. Here are some photos from Davy’s first big week with us:

at the Care Center in Addis. Since taking custody she has gained weight, started crawling and is cutting 4 teeth.

She is already SO over us.

my favorite

she loves this

you can get one of these at the apple store

I love the nose wrinkle

this is why I have her cold

traveling with a baby really isn’t that hard

airport in Addis

Enroute Addis to DC

DC Airport Bus

DC to Denver

Denver to PDX

Mt Hood

Finally Home…oh wait that’s not Davy.