Adoption Interview

Adoption Bloggers Interview Project 2012

Wednesday, September 28, 2011

Flower Girl

Last week we traveled back home to Indiana to attend my brother-in-law's wedding. Both Kyle and Hannah were in the wedding-Kyle as the best man and Hannah as the flower girl. I was nervous about this trip for several reasons. First, we were driving. It's a long drive, at least 9 hours, and we intended to drive straight through overnight leaving as soon as Hannah got out of school. Second, it was a Catholic ceremony which meant it would be LONG and Hannah would need to participate the entire time. Third, there would be late nights and long days with no predictable schedule. Fourth, we were driving home the very next day after the wedding on little sleep and with impending sugar high crashes.

I should not have worried. Hannah did brilliantly in all aspects of the trip. She rocked the ceremony, the reception, and both the drives out and back. I was SO PROUD of her. Never in a million years would I have expected our trip to go as smoothly as it did. It truly was amazing. AND since it was so amazing I'm going to regale you all with the play by play of the ENTIRE weekend. Feel free to simply skip all the words and just look at the pictures!

Thursday I picked Hannah up from school and while walking home she crashed face first into the sidewalk and got some pretty spectacular looking scrapes-two on her arms, one on her leg, and one on her nose. Just what we needed two days before having to wear a white dress for the wedding. We eventually made it home and then waited for Kyle to get home from work so we could leave. We hit the road at around 5:00pm which was a little later than we expected, but not too horribly bad. The plan was to drive straight through to Indiana and arrive at the hotel around 3:00am. Well, that didn't happen. We hit some horrible fog that slowed us down dramatically and made Kyle super sleepy. We pulled off at a rest stop and took a little nap to perk ourselves up. While Kyle and I slept for an hour and a half Hannah sat quietly and read! I could not believe it. She won't even let us sleep in on the weekends! She really behaved brilliantly on the trip and we rolled into the hotel at 6:00am local time on Friday morning. Oh, and I almost forgot, we also found out on the drive that Hannah was about to lose a tooth and it was bleeding. Another thing involving blood that we did not need paired with a white dress!

Upon arriving we found that the hotel had given away our room because we did not check in at the appropriate time. I was about to panic since we were pretty much dead on our feet, but the lady at the front desk worked her magic and found us a room that we could have for our entire stay and didn't even charge us for the night we missed or for early check in. I think they must have felt sorry for us because we looked terrible. Once up in the room Kyle and I crashed and slept until 11:00 while Hannah happily watched cartoons. That kid had probably 5 or 6 hours sleep total and she didn't even nap! We then headed out for lunch and errands before the rehearsal. While waiting at the church for the rehearsal to start Hannah happily ran around the sanctuary and played in the holy water of the baptismal. Try as I might I COULD NOT keep her out of that darn water. It became the bane of my existence. After rehearsal we headed to the rehearsal dinner where Hannah got a little wild, but managed to hold it together mostly. At this point it was 9pm and she'd been up since who knows when. She crashed so hard on the way back to the hotel that I was able to get her out of the car, carry/drag her up to the room and take off her clothes and drop her in bed all without her waking up. I haven't been able to manhandle her like that while she was asleep since she was a toddler.

Saturday morning we slept in a bit and then got up and went swimming at the pool. Hannah had a blast and made friends with another little girl who was swimming that was also adopted. While the girls played, I enjoyed chatting with her mama about adoption. After swimming we headed out to get lunch and take it to the church. There we ate and got all gussied up for the wedding. Hannah LOVED being in her dress and holding her basket of flowers. At one point there was a minor crises where she began picking some of her scabs and made herself bleed, but the blood was kept off the white dress thank heavens. And of course there was that darn holy water I had to keep her out of only this time not only was she splashing in it, but she was also dropping flower petals into it! During the ceremony I left her in the charge of one of the bridesmaids and took my seat. She handled the ceremony like a pro and even managed to get a little chuckle out of the audience when she flashed everyone the thumbs up sign as she took her place at the front of the church. It was quite cute watching her sashe down the aisle acting like she owned the place. All eyes were on her and she was in heaven. She managed to stay mostly still and quiet the entire ceremony and stand up and sit down with the rest of the girls at all the appropriate times. I was quite proud of her.

At the reception she was the life of the party. She charmed every person that would look her way. She skillfully made her rounds to all the tables collecting the beanie baby dogs the bride and groom had at each seat for guest favors. She managed to charm her way into the possession of six of those dogs! It was pretty amazing to watch her work. There was a chocolate fountain for dipping fruit and other deserts in and Hannah was in heaven. I'm not sure how it was possible, but from the several gallons of melted chocolate she consumed, only two tiny drops of it manage to make their way onto her dress. Once the dancing began Hannah launched herself onto the floor and danced every single song she was there for. She danced alone or with anyone who would dance with her. She had quite the audience. While at the reception I received several compliments on what a wonderful little girl I had and how she behaved just like a mini adult. If they only knew!

Around 9pm I took Hannah back to the hotel and met up with her birthmom and siblings to swim again. The kids had a blast swimming for about an hour and a half and then we headed back up to our room for some snacks and visiting. We ended up visiting until 1:00am! Hannah was BEAT, but I was so thankful for the opportunity to spend some unexpected time with Tiffany and the twins. Now that we are so far away we have to make the most of every opportunity we get.

Sunday morning we were loaded up and on the road by 10:00am and this time we did manage to drive straight through and got home at about 8:00pm. On the drive home Hannah read an entire chapter book to herself in one sitting, colored about a million pictures, and quietly watched a few movies. She dealt with the boredom like a champ. Really the whole trip she handled like a champ. I couldn't have been happier.

Tuesday, September 20, 2011


Well, we had possibly the quickest and least traumatic trip to the ER ever in the history of man this morning! Yesterday at recess Hannah fell off of the top of the slide. Apparently it was quite the fall and when I got to school to pick her up the nurse brought her out to me and explained what she knew. Hannah was complaining of pain, but there was no bruising or swelling anywhere on her arm and she had full functional mobility of it. I gave her some tylenol and hoped she'd sleep it off. This morning the first words out of her mouth were that her arm hurt so I decided I'd take her to urgent care before school. When we got to urgent care at 7:30am I found out that it didn't open until 9:00am so I took her around to the ER instead. There was absolutely no one in the waiting room and they called us back to a room before I could even break out our insurance card. The doctor examined her, sent her for x-rays, and then examined the x-rays and released us in under an hour. I left the house at 7:30am and Hannah was at school and I was back at home by 8:30am! AMAZING!!!! I LOVE small towns. Everyone was so nice and professional too. I didn't feel like we were rushed and they listened to what I had to say. The verdict was that Hannah had most likely dislocated her elbow when she fell and because she's so loosey goosey from her Ehler's Danlos it popped itself back in on it's own. There was a small amount of excess fluid on her elbow, but basically it checked out fine with no breaks. They discharged us with the instructions to keep an eye on it. Use Tylenol for any pain. Prevent her from falling on it again soon because it's vulnerable to another dislocation soon after this first one. AND to bring her back in a few days for another x-ray if the pain doesn't go away. I'm so happy that it wasn't broken and that she had no serious injury and I'm glad that I got to check out the ER during a non stressful situation so that if we ever end up there in the middle of the night I'll know the routine!

Photo Notes: These were taken this summer by my friend Kristie when we took them to the Omaha Zoo. Hannah enjoyed cheesing it up for the camera for Kristie!

Friday, September 16, 2011

The Honeymoon is Over

Well, the honeymoon is over for kindergarten. Hannah called another student stupid today and then grabbed her and held onto her so that she couldn't go tell the teacher. She did take her time-out quietly, but the aftermath here at home has not been so pretty. There have been persons in the past who questioned why Hannah needed an IEP when her intelligence and academic achievement are so far above normal. In fact the school district in RI refused to qualify (or even meet with us for that matter) her for one because they insisted that her social and behavioral challenges would not and did not affect her academic learning. The problem with that is that in many areas Hannah could go YEARS without making ANY progress academically and still not be considered behind or at risk. It was faulty thinking on their part, but anyway. . . . I'm so grateful that the school district here recognized that Hannah's social and behavioral challenges do indeed affect her academic learning and that she needs support to be successful. We were lucky to have gone into the school year with an IEP and had already had meetings to inform those who would be working with Hannah what to expect so that when her challenges did rear their ugly heads no one would be shocked and most importantly, Hannah would not be written off as simply a troublemaker. From talking to her teacher after this latest incident it's looking more and more like we'll be having an ADHD reeval sooner rather than later. I'm sure I'll learn more at conferences on Wednesday, but it sounds like regardless of how much she enjoys the task, her teacher is having to redirect her significantly more often than a typical kindergartner to begin and complete her work. It's just fortunate that at the moment Hannah is able to quickly and easily complete the tasks with little effort otherwise this would be a huge problem. If her work was actually challenging she'd be falling behind or at the very least struggling to keep up already.

Tuesday, September 13, 2011

New Do!

Someone in our house got a new hair-do last week and this time it wasn't Hannah! For the first time since January 2009 I got my hair cut. I hadn't even had a trim since we moved from Indiana. I wondered how Hannah would react-if she would hate it or if it would spur jealousy on her part and cause her to cut her own hair again just a week away from school pictures. She did great however. She knew I was getting it cut and when I arrived at school to pick her up she burst out of the door screaming, "Mommy! You look beautiful!" She's pretty stingy with the appearance compliments so I was quite pleased by her appraisal. Today I sent my two pony tails off to locks of love. If you've never heard of them, they are a wonderful organization that uses real human hair to make wigs for children and adults who have no hair for various medical conditions. These aren't like the temporary wigs that a cancer patient might wear until their hair grows back. These are serious long term wigs for people who will never have (or have again) hair. The salon actually ended up giving me a free cut because I was donating to Locks of Love and put before and after pictures on their facebook page. I'll try to post the pictures on here too so you can all see my new hair!

School continues to go well for Hannah. She's had a few minor time outs, but nothing too serious. There's been no physical or verbal aggression, just some defiance and sneakiness so I'm counting that as a success. Her teacher seems awesome. I really think she's got Hannah under her thumb and isn't about to let her get away with anything, but at the same time she knows what battles to fight and what ones to just let go. We did find out that on her way to the resource room each day she's been taking a major detour into the second grade wing to spy on her crush Jayden. They're about to put a stop to that! That kinda makes me laugh though. My girl and her boys. Heaven help us when she gets older! Next week will be a jam packed week. We have Hannah's parent teacher conference on Wednesday, we leave for the drive back to Indiana on Thursday after school, Friday is the rehearsal and rehearsal dinner for Kyle's brother's wedding, and Saturday is the wedding! To cap things off, we drive back to Nebraska Sunday morning! We are going to be exhausted. I hope Hannah can make it through the day on Monday at school.

I'm quite interested to see what the teacher has to say about Hannah's progress so far this year when we have conferences. We'll only have 15 minutes with her so that's not much time, but hopefully she'll have some useful information to share with us.