Wednesday, January 16, 2013

First Presents

I have spent the last week or so tormented over the first gift. I always do this for an adoption. I feel that when our children are given to us, I should have something very special for them. Something they will remember and we can see in their room for years to come and say, there is the first thing I ever gave you. This is such a tall task. For Katya it was a little doll dressed in blue with yellow yarn hair. For Zachary, it was a stacking toy I bought in a Russian toy store, and on from there. I guess people are just used to babies coming with "stuff". Like a blankie or a toy or a pacifier. International adoption is not that way. In the past, I pulled clothes out and changed them into stuff I brought right in the orphanage. Literally, they were naked when we got them. These children have never owned anything. They have never had a toy that was theirs or a favorite shirt. So, the first possession I give seems to carry a lot of significance.

I have scoured the Internet, considering this and that for each. Finally, the gifts are bought. For Grace I bought the American Girl Itty Bitty Baby. I think the initial reaction I get when I tell people this is that perhaps I am spoiling her. OK, I would agree to a certain extent, however, the doll is black. It has hair like hers and dark eyes. She comes with a book about her homecoming we can write in and lots of outfits are available for her. Grace is easily overwhelmed in new situations. I have two sets of grandparents dying to see her. So, both sets plan to bring outfits for her baby. They will come to visit Grace's baby with clothes. The thinking being if we made the visits about her baby she would be less overwhelmed. As for Alex, I had to get him a lion. I cannot explain it, but he seemed to just quite a lion. Perhaps I considered Alexander the Great, or the king of the jungle, nonetheless, something to signify his very important station in this family. I found a two foot tall fleece lion that is made of striped fleece. It is soft, fuzzy and snuggle able. After turning two earlier this week, my baby just may need something to snuggle with. Yes, I realize a two foot lion transporting to Haiti may be a bit difficult, but we are taking it nonetheless.

As I sat back completely satisfied with completing this very difficult decision, I found I could not rest long....I had forgotten something important. Something vital to the adoption process when you have multiple children...there is the issue of what Grace and Alex will bring their new siblings. I think this especially applies to Zachary. He needs to feel important too!  So, back to the drawing board I go!

Saturday, January 5, 2013

The Color is Chosen...

Yesterday, I blogged about trying to figure out a good playroom color. Fortunately today I had two very solid advisors with excellent track records. First, I had Jack. He is 16 and loves to paint. We moved into this house three years ago and has painted his room twice. Then, there is Zachary, age 7. One of the players for the play room. After much careful consideration, we selected blue. Not just any blue a dreamy bright yet muted blue somewhere between sky blue and periwinkle. Yes, it has one of those fancy paint names, but somehow ocean mist just does not describe it enough for me.

As I stood in the new playroom tonight looking at those blue walls, Zachary was rolling on the now clean floor in his Angry Bird jammies. He was singing and chattering away. I tried to imagine this combined with Grace's singing in creole as she loves to do, oh yes, quite a beautiful chorus was forming in my head. I saw Zachary with his Darth Vader busy marrying Grace's Princess Tiana under a beautiful blue sky instead of a plain wall. I see Alex quietly playing with Elmo and drawing looking up every once in a while taking in his sister with a look on his face that tells me he clearly thinks she is crazy, something he likes to do. I kinda think this look will come in handy for Zachary too.  Somehow that bright blue is the perfect backdrop to this expression. Yes, we did it. We captured the perfect Summers family playtime. Up next?  The perfect Princess Grace room.

Friday, January 4, 2013

Nesting...for real

It seems like I have written many blogs about nesting. Early on I characterized nesting by buying sippie cups. Later it was clothes and a blankie for Alex.  I have bought room decorations, but today I took the plunge. Paint. I started in what will be our guest room. I Painted the top half of the room a cement gray and the bottom a deep mauve with glitter mixed in. The glitter is very subtle, you can only catch a glimpse at certain angles. Anyway, I put my praise music on and sang along and realized this is real.  I allowed my mind to wander and think about, what next. Grace's room?  I made a list in my head of what I needed. Pink paint. Lots of pink paint. I would do the glitter thing but take it up a notch. I thought about her playing dress up today and even found a trunk to start putting those close in. I made a list of what she needed...frilly dresses, long gloves, hats, many beads, a tiara,,,good thing the trunk was big!  And so the day went. Painting, planning, singing and happily nesting.

Tonight, I finally am sitting in my favorite chair, with my heated blanket, dried paint on me despite the shower mulling over a new dilemma. What color?  I finally decided next I would do the playroom, and save Grace's room for last. Our living room is two stories. There is a staircase that goes up to a bonus space that overlooks the living room. This is our new playroom, currently it is empty. The main wall is shared with the living room so i do not want to change the color, the living room leads to the dining room and open to the kitchen. I would be painting the whole first floor!  Anyway, I want to do an accent wall. I need a color that is not too outrageous as the space is open and visible from the living room, however, I want something fun. As I mull this over my mind wanders to what will go on in that room. I picture Zachary, age 7 playing Star Wars, Grace age 3  playing princess, maybe a tea party and Alex enjoying Elmo. Do you suppose Home Depot has a color that says, the marriage of Darth Vader to Princess Tiana with a tea party featuring the guest of honor Elmo?