Hi everybody! It was a rainy day here where I live, so I couldn’t go outside. Daddy planned a day trip for my brothers and sisters for almost every afternoon this week. He took all my brothers and sisters to a museum today, so it was very quiet in our house. I miss them, but I decided to make my own fun by trying to sit up all by myself, and pull myself up on the outside of my Nap Nanny. I can tell I’m making Mama very proud! I just LOVE it when she gets all excited about something I did! And it makes me want to try again and work all the harder!
Mama has lots of pictures and not many deep thoughts right now. She told me it’s my turn to blog for a change. I can’t talk yet, but I want to tell you the story of my first Christmas, so Mama’s going to write it down for me.
I stayed up waaaaaay too late on Christmas Eve. No, my family didn’t keep me up past my bedtime! Mama tucked me into my own bed as usual, and I listened to Bach cello suites. I love that music! I feel at home in my own crib now, and am ready to go there at eight o’clock every night.
That night I think it was all the excitement my family was spreading around the place. I didn’t fall asleep until my biggest brothers went to bed. That’s late!
So on Christmas Sunday morning, I stayed sound asleep when everyone else woke up, and my family let me sleep in. They wanted me to be fresh and bright for my big outing. Mama made sure I got some Christmas breakfast later. I really like all the food Mama feeds me, but that was ‘specially good.
Did you know my sister Verity is eighteen months old now? I don’t play with her much yet, because she’s such a busy girl, but I will. Mama forgot to tell everyone what Verity learned to do right before Daddy and Mama came to get me last month! On the very last day before they all said goodbye, Verity crawled up the stairs all by herself for the first time! My family cheered for her just like they cheer for me!
I’ve been loving my life with my family so much, and handling company so well, that they thought I was ready to go to a Sunday meeting. (We’ve had a small but steady supply of company, just the way my family likes it, and I have even smiled at some of them.)
So anyway, they thought I was ready for an outing, but they were wrong!
Once I realized that Mama was not taking me right back out of that strange place full of strange people, I was very upset!
So we waited out the rest of the meeting in the little nursery room, Mama and I. But even though Mama spoke calmly to me, and I heard big brother Joseph and big sister Laura’s familiar piano music over the intercom, I was barely holding it together.
Big sister Laura took this picture before we put coats on and went outside to our van. I was still distressed, but I’m learning to talk to Mama about it instead of biting my wrist!
They got the point and brought me back HOME again!
Once I was sure that all the people who came in the house with me were MY people, I was happy again, like nothing had ever been wrong. Even when Mama kept taking pictures of Verity and me before she changed us out of our special clothes. [Thank you, L, they are beautiful!]
I love to be home with all my busy, noisy family around me. I am happiest when I am right in the middle of everything! Mama just told me that after we got home on Sunday, she realized that the only new place she’s ever taken me where I felt completely comfortable from the start was–my home!
Anyway, Daddy and Mama acted very silly, trying to get us both to smile at them at the same time! And they think we’re a pair of characters!
After a while, they were laughing so hard at us falling over one way and then the other, and making funny faces, that Mama gave up trying to take our pictures and just kissed us instead!
After I was changed, Jane held me for a little while. The other day, Jane said to Mama, “I can smell Katie in our room now.” Mama asked if I needed a diaper change. And Jane answered, “No, she has a sweet little Katie smell.”
Anyway, our house smelled very good, like roast beef, hazelnut creme coffee, Clementines, and homemade pecan sticky buns, and it was making us hungrier than ever! I like the way our house smells!
Daddy read from Isaiah, and we all had our Christmas lunch. It makes me so happy when all my family is together in one room. I look around at all their faces and smile and laugh!
We listened to Handel’s Messiah while we ate. I just love how much music there is in my home!
Then we gathered in the living room, all together. Mama, Verity and I snuggled together on our rocking chair and watched everyone else. It was past Verity’s nap time, and she was sleepy.
See this face? This is Mama, enjoying the true reality. Mama told me this afternoon that the only thing–the only thing–about adopting me that makes her heart sad is when people look at me and see a scary burden instead of the true reality. They really think that if they had a child like me that they would be sorry instead of, well, like what you see on Mama’s face. She wishes she could find the right words to help those people grasp the true reality, that the work and the joy occupy the same space, except that the joy is so huge that it makes the work joyful, too! Mama loves to take care of me! There is no drudgery when the love and joy are so huge! She wants to know how to say this to get past the blocks in people’s minds, and she wants it so much it makes her cry sometimes.
My family gives individual gifts on birthdays, and shared gifts at Christmas time. We don’t open all the gifts on Christmas Day. So there are still enough gifts under our pretty tree to last the rest of the week. Verity and I received some shared gifts–books and developmental toys that will encourage us to learn new skills!
Before we open gifts, we always sing some carols together first. I love it when my family sings! It sometimes seems to them like I am trying hard to sing with them. All my family singing around me makes me feel like I am in heaven, and Mama sometimes has to calm me down because I am laughing so hard!
Here is some of my family getting ready to sing.
Laura always moves closer to Mama so she can learn the alto part. Laura is a good sister to me! She loves me soooo much, and said that when she grows up, she won’t marry any man unless he wants to adopt many children with special needs.
Daddy and Mommy always give the children small treasures in their stockings. My four younger brothers liked their flashlights best.
A kind friend from our church fellowship blessed each of us with a gift. John Michael received this animal puppet. When Mama looks at this picture, she says the best kind of gift is the boy with the smile. [And the nice haircut! Thank you again, T!]
The shared gifts for my younger brothers are supplies for table time activities. Our stock was running low and the boys have outgrown some of the ideas. Mama plans to completely reorganize them before the New Year! You can see my brothers working together to open that day’s gift.
I didn’t snuggle with Mama the whole time, you know. She makes me work sometimes, too. See me sitting and holding my head up? When Daddy and Mama first got me, I refused to sit up, and pushed myself backward right away. When Mama looks at this picture, her heart swells up with pride. I’m her little Katie-bird, and she is proud of me! And I know it!
Sometimes she asks me to do work that isn’t my favorite, but I am getting better at that, too. Here she is giving input to my legs and feet. You can see from my face how I feel about this, but I tolerate it longer and better than I used to. She is telling me how well I am doing!
After a little Christmas supper, Daddy gave me one of my very favorite gifts! He held me in his arms for a while before Mama took me upstairs to wash me up for bed! I never, ever get tired of being with Daddy! Daddy loves me!
So, everyone, if you read the story I just told you about my first Christmas Day with my family, now you know what I love best. Mama wants me to tell you that to see how perfectly God matched me to my family, you should read what she wrote about our family way back last spring for the Ministry of Justice in my birth country.
This year, my family celebrated because God sent His Son Jesus to earth, and because He always does everything perfectly right.