Monday, September 23, 2013


We are getting ready to have our 26-month-old daughter come home! We've been to the travel clinic -- and somehow, I was the only one who required vaccinations.  (How did that happen?)  The booster chair is in place at our kitchen table, bins of girl clothes are being sorted in the family room, and there is a suitcase for Kavya in the living room.  We've put the child-proof locks on the kitchen and bathroom cabinets, and I bought diapers and wipes for the first time in years.  Kavya, you are one joyfully anticipated little girl!

We also did a family game/experiment on Saturday to help our older kids understand a little bit how confusing things will seem for Kavya when she first arrives.  This is something I thought up in the early morning hours.  I don't know about other soon-to-travel moms, but I have woken up at 4:30 or 5:00 a.m. a few times in the past week, thinking of many trip-related, daughter-related things.

So here is the game I dreamed up: we had the kids do a chore, but all of the parental instructions/talking was in gibberish.  When I told Peter about it, he was a great sport, but I could tell he kind of thought I was losing my mind!  :) 

We have talked a lot with the kids about how confusing and scary everything will likely seem to Kavya, but we wanted to bring the discussions a little closer to home.  We wanted them to feel confused, and be able to empathize with how strange it would be to not understand anything we were saying.  We also wanted them to see how much our tone of voice will speak to Kavya -- that how we sound can really help her feel safer.

The chore we did was taking the old felt chair pads off our kitchen chairs, and replacing them with new ones.  Then we filled a bucket and scrubbed the floor (full disclosure -- the chair pads took a while, and so Peter ended up doing the scrubbing to save time, and to save my back).

It was HILARIOUS.  Peter was awesome at improvising and speaking gibberish, and I ended up using lots of (very bad) French because I'm not quite as silly and creative on the fly as Peter is.  We explained the basic idea to our kids, but they didn't know what the chore would be -- so they really had to work hard at first to understand what we were asking them to do.  And when the kids banged a knee or scraped a finger, they could see how our consoling tone and kind touches conveyed love and concern . . . mission accomplished!

After the game was over, we debriefed a little with them, and talked about how they felt throughout the game.  It was a fun way to make all the discussion about Kavya's first days with us much more tangible for our kids.

In other travel preparations, I'm going to the chiropractor again today.  Although I continue to have painful days, I am on a slow but steady path toward healing.  I continue to have trouble sitting in chairs -- unless it's in my straight-back wooden chairs at home, or on the edge of a firm chair.  Thank you, everyone, for praying for me . . . and please keep on praying for continued healing.

Tuesday, September 17, 2013

A bump in the road -- please pray

Last week, I injured my back.  It's not a new thing for me -- I have lots of back issues, including  scoliosis, a separated pelvis during my second pregnancy, an SI joint that doesn't stay how it's supposed to, etc.

Usually, working out faithfully at Strength Class keeps my back healthy, but every couple of years it gets tweaked just the wrong way, resulting in excruciating pain.  As in, worse-than-either-of-my-unmedicated-labors kind of pain.

So for the past week, I've been icing my lower back, going to the chiropractor, etc. I am slowly seeing some improvement, but the thought of those upcoming flights to India fills me with dread.  And even more -- the thought that I might not be able to pick up or carry Kavya?  That is my worst fear.

In the midst of it, Peter has been wonderful, taking on many extra "mom" duties.  And family and friends have pitched in and brought meals, or stayed with me in case I got "stuck" again and couldn't move.  I've been so, so grateful for them.

But that travel deadline (the one we are SO looking forward to!) is looming large for me.  Would you please pray for me?  Please pray that my back would be healed, and that I will be able to tolerate the flights, and hold my daughter.

Wednesday, September 4, 2013

Her name, and her lovely face!

Late last week, we received the news that our written court order has been signed by the judge!  We are now officially K's parents! 

The signed court order means that many things can now happen.  Our adoption has been officially registered in-country, and our orphanage can apply for her passport.  We've been told that her application will be sent in this week, and we will be waiting 4-8 weeks for for it to be completed.

Then when her passport is finished, we can book our flights to India!  After 4 1/2 years, I can't believe we are just weeks away from traveling to meet her!

That court order also means that we can share more details about her, and post her photo online! 

First, we are happy to announce that K's name is Kavya.  We plan to name her Kavya Monika Ann.  Like we did with our daughter Anya, we chose an Indian name and a family name for her, and kept the first name she was given.  "Kavya" means "poem."  "Monika" means "wise counselor," and I know two moms named Monika.  "Ann" is part of Peter's mom's name, and he has a sister named Anne, which means "gracious." 

Second, we are thrilled to finally share her lovely face with you!  This is the first photo we saw of her, taken when she was 10 months old.  As you can imagine, we fell in love with those huge, expressive eyes . . .

(We have two more pictures from last December, but are having trouble converting them to a format that this blog template will allow.  We may try to post those on F*cebook.)
We have a few more details about her that we will share here:  she was 5 pounds, 10 ounces when she was born, and weighed 14 pounds, 10 ounces when this picture was taken.  That is smaller than any of our other children at the same age.  Since we don't have a current weight or height, we will be guessing about what size clothing and diapers to bring.  But we don't even care about that -- we are just so excited that it's time to think about packing things for her!
We are thrilled to have Kavya make her "debut" here, and even more thrilled to be so close to seeing her in person! Every night finds us praying that God will prepare her heart and mind for the enormous change coming her way, and that He will keep her safe and well during these last few weeks.  We are coming soon, dear Kavya!