Thursday, June 3, 2010

One Month with Molly

It really is hard to believe, but I have had Molly in my arms for one month now.  Wow!  What a journey it has been!!  I can honestly say that I have loved my first month of motherhood.  This process has been so long and drawn out, it was easy to let doubt, fear, and questions enter my mind about if I was doing the right thing or not.  This is the best decision I have ever made in life!  Molly has given me life like I never knew before, but had always dreamed of having.  I feel like she was created just for me, it sounds a bit selfish to say that b/c in reality all children are created for their biological parents, but she is mine and I love her with a love like I've never known before.

Usually {ideally} parenthood comes to people after they have fallen in love with their spouse.  I've never known that kind of love...romantic love...falling in love with someone over time??  It's just never happened for me.  But I feel like if you can love your spouse with a selfless love you also can love your child.  I have to admit that before I met Molly I worried if I would feel like her parent?  Would I love her automatically?  I've never given birth.  I've never been solely responsible for someone.  It's always been just me, and that can be a selfish and a lonely way to live.  Don't get me wrong, I have a GREAT family and we all love each other.  But that is a different kind of love.  I've known them every minute of my life and so it's so within me, it isn't even a choice.  I just honestly did not know how this role of "mother" would play out for me.  I felt like I could and should be able to do it.  But then I would get scared off.  Even on my way to China, I was thinking...what am I doing???

Then on May 3, 2010 I became a real life mom to a real life daughter and...she didn't like it at all for about 2 hours!  She cried,  fought, pushed away, and tried to run out of the hotel room door!  I was so focused in on her that I didn't even have time to be emotional about it.  I was studying her every movement, watching her grieve.  I knew it was a sad, but necessary process for her to go through.  I held her and she held on to my own baby Koala bear she didn't let go for about two weeks!  She was attached and I loved it...although I was exhausted.  I didn't even have time to think about my emotions or how I was feeling during this time.  But now, looking back I can see we were both figuring each other out...learning to love each other as mother and daughter.

My time in China was hard.  I knew it would be hard and it was!  I'm such a homebody...take  me thousands of miles away in a foreign land and it's not really a good thing.  But I was on a mission and it is only with Molly in mind that I could have made that trip!  Many of you had commented on how great my brother, Eddie was to go with me to China and you are not kidding!!!  I could not have done it without his help!  And, I don't know if I mentioned this, but in Guangzhou he even babysat Molly so I could get a pedicure at the hotel!!!  That is a pretty good guy, don't you think??

I digress...why was China so's such a combination of things.  Let's start with the day of travel.  How hard is it to be on a plane for 12 hours?  Really difficult!  How hard is it to be traveling for 20 hours?  Really, really difficult!  There is just no easy way to it.  Then, after you are there you are filled with such wonder about what you are about to experience, questions about what to expect, and worry about if it will all go as planned.  Combine nerves, stress, worry, 20 hours of travel, foreign food, bad water, no a/c, and you can see where this is leading...a bad stomach/digestive system for two solid weeks!  Both Eddie and I passed around the Imodium and Pepto between each other throughout the trip.  Thankfully we were not full on sick as some people did get, but we were just "woozy" the whole time.  When the time came to do the standard "sight seeing" my heart wasn't really into it.  I mean I was totally focused on what "Molly Day" would be like...and I was also a bit focused on how miserably hot we were!  ha!!  I was sort of in a 'trance' like state during that time...just biding my time until I could get Molly home.

What a wonderful, joyous day it was to hear the pilot say we had landed in Nashville!  Praise Jesus!  We had a wonderful welcoming crew at the airport and at my house when we arrived.  I was exhausted, but so happy to see everyone and to finally be in my house.  I knew Molly would love it and she did...and does!  She walked into her home and has never looked back. So many people did really nice things for us in order to make coming home more special and I thank you all for that!  (Mom, Judy, Ambre, Nancy and all the people who greeted us at home or at the airport)

Since coming home we have  been to several doctors appointments for Molly and she is scheduled to have surgery on her two hands and one foot on July 9th.  She is healthy in every way.  She has seen an Occupational Therapist who was amazed at how well adjusted she is and how well she uses her hands and truly does not stop her from anything.

We have also seen most of my family who live here in Middle Tennessee and have been to visit my school.  Everyone just is amazed at her and so happy she is finally here!  We have been shopping quite a bit and Molly immediately takes notice of any children around.  She is usually friendly to people and will say "hi" as we pass them.  We have been to several restaurants and left a nice toddler mess for the poor waiters.  She has visited several neighbors and is usually looking for someone to wave to when she is outside.  She is always looking for our neighbors cat also and when she sees him she is ready to cross the street {on her own} to go over and pull his tail pet him.  She loves the daycare and we have visited several times for short periods.

Molly makes me laugh out loud throughout the day!  She makes cute faces and continues to do something when she knows I'm laughing at her.  She runs to me holding her shirt up so I will blow on her belly and make noises!  She "pretends" to get stuck in a corner or "pretends" to get her foot caught in something and sort of whimpers to see if I will come and help her.  She loves to look at books, listen to music, and sing.  She loves the outside and would stay outside all day I think.  She loves water of any kind...bath, pool, rain, etc.  She is saying Mama, Bye bye, hi, ta-da, and uh-oh very clearly but is carefully watching my mouth and tries her best to repeat my words also.  She loves for me to blow bubbles with bubble gum and to whistle.  She is content playing on her own in the house and will keep herself busy for a long time, but will come and check on me if I'm not within eyesight.

I feel like she has attached/is attaching to me very well.  She prefers me to hold her when we are with a group of people, but has also gone to Ambre, mom, Judy, and our neighbor Nancy very willingly recently.  She also has called them all "mama", but I think that is sort of a developmental thing since she can't pronounce all of their names yet.  She hugs and kisses me each morning and will also come up to me if I'm on the couch and rub/pat my arm...sort of an affectionate thing to do for such a little one.  She is very concerned about my" boo boos" and will rub and/or kiss them.  ( I burned my arm on the iron and she can see the burn/scab)

She loves the stroller, highchair, and car seat now...hated them the first time.  She drinks whole milk or water out of a sippy cup.  She prefers to eat scrambled eggs, toddler oatmeal or rice cereal, jello, pancakes, yogurt, rice, or pasta.  She will not eat any fruit, fruit juice, meat, or vegetables for me yet.  We are still working on that.

Her sleep is great now that we've been home a while.  She goes to bed between 7:30-8:00 p.m.  and wakes about 12 hours later.  Sometimes she cries or whimpers in her sleep, but I haven't had to go in to her to calm her down it is just a couple times.  When she wakes, she stands in her bed and calls for "mama" and is so happy when I come in!  She does cry when it is bedtime still, but it has gotten a lot better.  I started to hold her to read books and sing then put her in the bed.  Then I sit in her room and sing a little more and this keeps her calm.  Sometimes she will go to sleep before I leave and sometimes I walk out and she cries just for a couple minutes.  She naps for about 2 hours in the afternoon.  I hope we can keep this schedule up for a while because it is certainly nice to have a couple hours at night and in the morning to myself before all the fun begins!!

I guess I can say things have gone better than I ever expected them to go!  I tried to prepare myself for the worst and I think I got the best which is such a huge blessing!  I know it won't always be easy.  And it's not always fun to pick up the same toy 10 times a day.  It will be hard when I have to start back to work in August.  But, when I look at my house now and things are completely scattered around like a tornado I am so happy and content!  I love watching her learn, grow, and figure things out.  I'm sure I will not like playing with a toddler everyday for the next 8 weeks, but right now I am amazed by her!  I am just soaking her in and it feels so good to me.

I look forward to all of the months and years to come.  I am already planning her second birthday party in September!  I look forward to celebrating all of the milestones, seasons, and holidays with my own daughter.  It's really been an 'amazeing journey' afterall!!


Danielle Moss said...

Congrats on a whole month with Molly!!! Amazing that she has already been with you a month! These photos are so sweet! Congrats Amy. So so happy for you both!

Becky said...

You are doing so well with her! One thing you said did surprise me - she didn't care for fruits and veggies. My daughter-in-law has always given their kids a lot of fruits and veggies because she says they are so plentiful in China, and also something generally considered safe even in the countryside. Maybe they are too expensive for orphanages to provide?

Keep up the great work and enjoy these lazy Summer days......

Shauna and MacLean said...

Wow I am so moved at your honesty in that last post. I too had a very easy going child who displayed many of the same things. Being a mom is the best thing in the whole wide world. You are truly blessed to have been matched together! Take care and enjoy. I have two days left of school before I go on a leave for surgery to my arm. I have a three month holiday this year and will be enjoying each and every moment.
take care and chat soon.

KatieB. said...

You just brought tears to my eyes. I have been wondering your thoughts as a new mom and how you're adjusting. I believe that God bring children and parents together in all kids of ways and that Molly was 100% made for you. She's precious and so blessed to have you as her mom.

Amy @ said...

Amy, you are both doing so well!

Love for Lilly Yin said...

I hate to say I told you so....but I told you so! LOL! I remember your first post on RQ, and even though I don't know you, I just had a feeling about you and your Molly. Its a wonderful thing, isn't it?

caryn said...

Great post, so happy for both of you! Truly a match made in heven!

caryn said...

Please excuse the typo's in my comment!!! I have a two year old that was pulling the lap top, no time to proof read!

Lauren said...

This whole thing was just beautiful!!!!! What a journey and there’s a whole journey ahead! Enjoy the ride!!! :)

Dan and Karen said...

This is all so fun and wonderful to read! Molly truly fits perfectly into your life and it is very obvious from the pictures that you two are amazing together.

Oh, I have to admit, I'm VERY jealous of the sleeping well thing. I've been up since 2 a.m. with my little ray of sunshine. :)

Enjoy every day! Blessings and hugs to you!


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