This Site is Rarely Updated.

This is the story of our first adoption. Feel free to read then visit our other sites.
Click on the pictures to go to our different sites.

Thursday, March 29, 2007

A Birthday!! :o)

In just a few minutes, my baby turns 9. I'm not quite sure where the time went. I just finished his cake and cupcakes. Its Lightening McQueen. I'll post more pictures of the day and the party later this weekend.

Tuesday, March 27, 2007

Sorry to be so Glum :o)

I just wanted to post a couple pictures and show everyone how beautiful my princess is. All of the pain I described in my previous post is gone. Now we deal with the day to day reality of finally having Ananya. We are planning Anthony's birthday party on Friday evening. He is going to be 9. I can't believe how time has flown. I'll say it again. Anthony is the greatest big brother. He loves his sister so much. He is always giving her kisses and hugs. He like to hold her and carry her around. He is the greatest. His grades have improved greatly since we got home. It seems that he takes his new responsibilities very seriously. I will post more after the party. We are having company for the weekend as well. Grammy (Ananya's Great-grandma) and Pa-Paw (Ananya's grandfather) are coming to visit for the weekend. We can't wait to see them.

Sunday, March 25, 2007

A Look Back At 2006

I feel the need to journal here what has been going through my mind for at least a week. One of my new "blogger friends" did something similar and it gave me the courage to put this in writing.

2006 was "The Year Of The Adoption" for my family. We started in 2005. I never thought during our homestudy (October to January) that we were weeks away from seeing our daughter's picture. I wasn't prepared to start waiting for her. January 23rd 2006 was the day that we saw Ananya's picture. We even decided to keep her orphanage name. We dropped our choice of Alexis quickly. Ananya was our daughter and that was her name. The problem became that our homestudy hadn't been approved yet. We couldn't just sign the papers and wait for the courts. We still had paper gathering to do. Once we finally started, I couldn't seem to get all the papers together to send them. I went to 6 different counties to get documents certified. This is no small task when you work 2 nights during the work week. 2 of the counties were over an hour away. The others were in all different directions. It didn't help that I was overwhelmed by the amount of things I had to gather. I wasn't prepared. It was "baptism by fire". Next time I'll be more prepared. I looked at Ananya's picture everyday and it made it harder to work. So early in the year my mood started to fall.

FINALLY in May we were ready to sign our acceptance papers. The beginning of June we started our wait for the Indian government. I thought we should have her for Christmas. I didn't let my heart get set on a date though. We went on vacation a couple weeks later. It was simply torture for me. I didn't want to do anything without my daughter. It started to get harder to enjoy my son. Looking back I feel terrible. I was so closed off that at times, my precious boy couldn't bring me back out. I was so focused on my daughter. It was unfair. The middle of July we got word that the first part of the process was approved. I couldn't be happier. We should have been able to travel in about 3 months. We should have gotten Ananya in October. I had many days to work past the anger in not having her when I thought we should have. It was not an easy leap to realize that God showed us Ananya when we were to see her and and He gave her to us when we were supposed to hold her. I fought my way through Halloween. I had bought a t-shirt for her. I fought my way through Thanksgiving, we didn't take our normal trip to Pennsylvania because we could be leaving soon. I missed my Dad and my Grammy and my aunt Carol's stuffing balls. I missed my family that day. I'm so used to having Thanksgiving with about 40 people. It was me and Patrick and my friend Teena. It wasn't right. So we continued to live each day hoping for word that we could leave soon. It never came. We got court dates that meant nothing. There came a point when I didn't cry. Those who know me know I'm an emotional person always. Not anymore. I didn't feel. Christmas was coming. I did my shopping. Got Anthony his favorite things. I baked my usual cookies. I hated it. It wasn't right. I didn't have much left in me. I couldn't sleep. At 3 in the morning I would be awake praying that my daughter knew I was coming. That she was getting hugs and kisses. That she wasn't lonely. Somewhere along the way God made the wait alittle easier. He gave me strength to look at my husband and my son and realize they were my gifts as well. In the last year, I have pulled away from them more than I ever care to admit. I spent alot of time sleeping. What else could I do. When I was awake, it was always right there. Breaking my heart alittle more at a time. I stuggled through this with 3 other friends. I could hear my emotions in their voices. I prayed for their children to come home almost more than for us to get Ananya.

Before Christmas, we were finally granted guardianship and only had to wait on passport. I never got the relief I would have expected. I still almost couldn't function on a daily basis. I went to work and did what I absolutely had to. Nothing more. We ran into delays with the passport process too. I finally just had to laugh when the passport office actually caught fire. I think it was the day we had to decide if we would buy our tickets. The freaking office caught on fire. What could I do but laugh. We proceed with plans anyway. Nothing would stop us at that point. Patrick made the decision. I couldn't.

Now we have our daughter. I'm so happy. I love everyday. My children are a gift and I love my family. We have all grown from our trip. Anthony's teacher has seen changes in his work. She said he is doing much better and focusing. I'm still struggling alittle. It wasn't the instant change that I expected. It didn't get better overnight. Mostly I'm still trying to figure out what to do with myself.

As for what I would do differently. That is a hard call. I announced so early that we were doing this. I won't do that again. I wanted to actually hit people by November when they asked questions. Of course some were phrased as "well she's going to be grown (or in college) before you get her" I hated that. To me it was the least sympathetic and most hurtful thing anyone could say. I lived each day for an email. Praying that today would bring news that our case was heard. My personal decisions are going to be kept more of a secret. People will know early if I think they will be supportive. These will most likely be the people who aren't going to ask everytime I see them what is going on. I don't want to defend the process again. It is what it is. India is not full of horrible people who just want to keep my baby away from me. I'm not going to try and explain that nearly as much. I'm going to journal more (sorry to those of you who read regularly). I'm going to enjoy my life as God has made it and anticipate the day when it gets better. My family is a gift and I don't want to take them for granted. I've learned to love each moment. I don't know that anyone can fully understand what I'm saying until you have lived it. I felt like my child was being held hostage. I didn't know for sure if she was sick (rationally I know they would have told me). I didn't know if she was having a bad day. I had to learn to trust God to look after my entire family. I can't control everything. I had to change my view. I had to depend on God for support. He brought me this far. He will finish the journey. He knows the ending.

I wrote this mostly for myself. I needed to let it out. I wrote it partly for someone else. I don't know if they will read it. You said I never talked about the adoption with you. Well here is the reason for so much of what you saw. I don't know that you'll accept it as a reason but there it is anyways. I hope you can see where I've been and how hard it was for me.

Monday, March 19, 2007

Pictures :o)

Hi. We're still around. I'm posting more pictures. Ananya is growing everyday. She is getting stronger and learning new things. We love having her around. We have been to the neurologist. He agrees with our plan. We met with our coordinator from the Childrens Development Center. We are hoping to start therapy in the next week or so. We are scheduled for our formal evaluation on April 18th. We are waiting for the Pediatrician to get back from her honeymoon to schedule our next doctor visit. This next one isn't going to be fun. They have to draw blood.

Ananya has her ears pierced now. She only cried for a minute (literally). She even smiled for the lady that pierced her ears after it was over. The sales clerk then started asking us about ou agency and such. She is looking into adoption.

I can't believe how often just telling our story gets other people thinking. I love to tell others about Ananya, and about Dillon, and about all the children that are waiting. I know that everyone reading this already knows how I feel but I'll say it again. I LOVE ADOPTION!! It has brought us the greatest gift. It has given us incite. We enjoy every day.

Ananya got her own swing for her brothers swing set today. She likes to sit in it and look around with mommy pushing her. She doesn't mind being in the backyard with the dogs barking. She likes the animals. We played with bubbles today. I don't think she paid much attention to them. She likes being on the trampoline. Her favorite game is "bouncy". On the trampoline she can stand with me and bounce.

Well, we have had a long day and I'm going to bed. Here are some pictures from the last week.

Wednesday, March 14, 2007

The Last Few Days

My 2 wonders actually like each other. And this is what happens when daddy dresses the baby. Her tights are on her head.
Tuesday was a busy day for us. Ananya and Mommy drove to Winston-Salem (about an hour and 15 minutes away) to visit the neurologist. In doing this we missed our initial appointment with the Child Development Center. I still have to reschedule that appointment, but the woman doing the evaluation lives close by and can easily come by on her way home. The neurologist looked at the records and agrees with the treatment plan so we came back home. No new tests ordered. YEAH!! We ran lots of errands on the way home as well.

Ananya has now decided that she doesn't want to go to sleep at night. We do ok at naptime, but at bedtime it is a struggle. The last 3 nights have been terrible. We spend about 2 hours trying to get her to sleep. She is still really attached to me and threw a fit Sunday night when Daddy tried to put her to sleep. We have tried a playpen to give her space and that doesn't work either. Oh well, we just keep going and hope that it changes.

Today, she was all smiles and giggles. She ate all of her breakfast (boy can this girl eat). She woke up from her nap and started giving me kisses. It is so wonderful to wake up to a 2 year old giving you kisses. She has started giving kisses now and will kiss her dolls, but she usually gives them when asked to and not at will. It was wonderful.

Anthony continues to be a great big brother. He is getting ready for his first sleepover birthday party this weekend. I think he is excited. We are also planning his 9th birthday party. We are going the same place we went last year. He really enjoyed laser tag and so we will do it again. We are going to have his party during the week just because the place is less crowded and so his guests can roam more free. I can't believe that my baby is about to turn 9. He is getting so big. I don't know where the time has gone.

Today, a big story in the news is that Angelina Jolie is adopting a son from Vietnam. I normally could careless what Hollywood does but this is close to home. I think alot of Angelina because I believe she spends a portion of her life trying to make the lives of others better. I would love to be able to do only a portion of the mission work that she is able to do. I find it amazing that people think that she is just "shopping" for children, when anyone who I know that adopts children internationally is told what a wonderful thing they are doing. To beat all, most of the news stories are not from the person herself but because people have been asking very personal questions about her life. Most of the interviews that I have read, Angelina talks about her experiences, about the people who still are in need. I know that most of you could care less about this, this story means alot to me. It feels close to home. I defend her actions because we have this one thing in common. Adoption rules my life. I happen to think it is the greatest thing God has put in my heart. The entire experience has grown my family. My son has experienced another culture in the process to get his sister. My eyes are open and I want to help others so much more now. I love all of these children and would love to personally find homes for all of them. Sorry, that is my little soap box. My second time today on it. I posted a comment on the MSN discussion board.

Anyways. The days are speeding by. I want it to slow down so we have more time to enjoy Ananya and Anthony. The journey of parenting is amazing. I enjoy everyday of it.

Saturday, March 10, 2007

Our First Family Picture

Here we are together in India.

Thursday, March 08, 2007

Pictures :o)

Just the 4 of Us :o)

After 3 weeks, we have settled into a routine (most of the time). We had a really busy week here in the Phillips' household. We started with a visit from our local social worker on Monday morning. She enjoyed finally seeing the baby and we went through all the standard questions. We spent the day with Daddy. I went to the doctor (just a normal checkup as well as my ears have been bothering me since we got back). Ananya had her nap in the waiting room with Daddy while I saw the doctor. On Tuesday, Ananya had her first doctors visit with our pediatrician. She now weighs 16 pounds and 3 ounces. She is 31 1/2 inches tall. This is why all of her cloths don't fit. She wears 18 months in length and 6-9 around the waist. We didn't do anything traumatic yet but boy did she scream. We will go back in a couple of months to get blood drawn and such. Joy, Joy. We got referrals for a child development center and the pediatric neurologist and orthopedist. We will probably see them in the next few months. Wednesday we got all off schedule for no apparent reason. I'm hoping tomorrow will allow us to follow the plan and get back on schedule.

Ananya is doing wonderfully. She still cries for me when she is tired or hungry. She has let a couple of people hold her for a minute or 2 while I'm there. She has started to reach for more of her toys, and moving around more on the rug in the living room. She has started to vocalize more sounds. She has learned how to give kisses (they are the open mouth baby ones). She will pet (slap and pull fur) one of our dogs and one of our cats at times. Peanut (Patrick's little dog) actually just moves closer and lets Ananya poke her in the eye more. Some days it is hard to see progress. Other moments, I can look back and see the things that she is doing now that she wasn't doing 3 weeks ago. It is just incredible to watch.

Anthony has handled the transition well. He finished the last of his school work today that he missed while we were gone. He finished all the tests in like 3 days. He is getting back into the groove of school. He is transitioning into being the most awesome big brother. He just walks up to Ananya and tries to make her smile and he likes to give her random kisses. If she is crying, he first tries to calm her down by stopping what he is doing to play with her. If that doesn't work, he picks her up to bring her to me. He even supports her head while carrying her because he knows she will throw herself backwards if she is really upset. Last night, Anthony laid down on the floor next to Ananya and was telling her how much he loves her. The adoration really goes both ways though. Every night at dinner, Ananya looks over at Anthony and starts hollering at him. She knows already that he will holler right back. Pretty soon everyone at the table is yelling just for fun.

I'm enjoying my time at home. This really is a first for me to just stay home and be Mom. I kind of miss work. I just like having that time where I'm really a grown up. I miss taking care of patients alittle. I love being a nurse. I also know that because I only work at night, I won't miss too much. This time at home though has been good for all of us. I have just realized in the last few days the true extent of the last year on me as a person. I have changed. I was depressed during all this waiting. I really couldn't see it, but before we left it was so hard to just work up a smile. I'm sorry that Anthony had to deal with that. I'm glad that it is over now. I have part of my life back that I never knew that I was missing. The empty space inside me is filled. My family doesn't have a hole in it anymore.

As you can tell, I'm completely caught up in the wonder of this little girl (and her brother). They are amazing. I wake up in the morning and see Ananya sleeping next to me. She is beautiful. Next, I go wake Anthony up (after taking a second to brush my teeth, anyone else forget to shower when they spend all day staring at the baby). I brushed his hair back this morning and realized how big he has gotten. I carried him to bed last week and almost dropped him. He weighs almost 60lbs now. I'm not quite sure where my baby boy went. We will be getting family portraits taken for Easter in the next couple weeks. I'll share those pictures with everyone.

I wanted to let everyone know how much we appreciate all the support, prayers, and gifts we have received in the last year. There are so many people we have leaned on when the journey was its hardest. You all made the wait so bearable.

To those who are waiting, enjoy everyday. I know that seems like a crazy thought. While you are waiting for a referral, you may want the days to speed by. Enjoy life. Once you have your child, it is harder to slow back down and enjoy everyday. Having a 9 year old, I realize how much you should enjoy everyday. You turn around and they are doing word problems. The day will come sooner than you could realize when you can bearly remember these feelings. The love you will feel overcomes all the heartache. This time is wonderful.

I will add more pictures soon, but it is not letting me attach them to this post.