August 31, 2004


Filed under: Fundraising Efforts — Tamra @ 10:08 pm

Now that Rani’s home, I’ve decided to do a little fundraiser. We used a home equity loan to pay for the adoption and I’d really like to get some of it paid off. Especially so we can make room for future adoptions.

I and 9 of my friends are putting together a cookbook. Friends and family have submitted 400 recipes and they are from many regions of the country. There are also some recipes from our children’s countries as well! The cookbook is called “Recipes From Growing Families” and we are very excited about it.

The cost for the cookbook is $15.00+2.00 shipping.

If you are interested in pre-ordering a cookbook to help me meet my minimum that would be so great!!! Just post a comment here and I’ll send you the details!

August 26, 2004

Life is good…

Filed under: Becoming her mom — Tamra @ 4:08 pm

I can’t believe how “back to normal” I allready feel. Rani has fit into our family like she has always been here and we are in love. I still can’t believe this is the same little girl we met at the orphanage. She is so different now! When I watch the video of the trip I am amazed at how much she has changed.

Her English is really coming along. But sadly that means her Oriya is going quickly. She sings in English most of the time now. She understands almost 75% of what I say to her now. She is also speaking about 30 words well. My favorite Raniism is “owlie” when she’s hurt she says she has an owlie! It is so cute!!!

We are having one issue though and that is with the potty. Rani wants to be 100% independent with the potty. But the fact is…she just isn’t able to 100% of the time. The problem is, she won’t ask for help when she needs it and that results in one big mess! If she does poop in her pullup she tries to clean it up herself. If she poops on the floor she tries to clean it up herself. I have to watch her like a hawk to “catch” her going to use the bathroom. Mostly all I do is watch her and offer help if she needs it. But she really hates it. She cries when she sees that I’ve “caught” her going. It really upsets her, but I CAN’T have poop all over my(and my friends’) bathrooms. Or the bedrooms, gazebo, or the various other places I have found it. *sigh* she doesn’t seem to be doing it on purpose out of anger or anything. She really is just having accidents and trying to be responsible for it herself.

But hey, I figure if that’s all we’re dealing with we’re doing AWESOME!!! :highfive

August 20, 2004

The Terrible Twosome…

Filed under: Becoming her mom — Tamra @ 5:08 pm

I’m starting to think I liked it better when Oliver and Rani were fighting. Now that they are becoming friends it’s like a destructo duo! Nothing is safe and that means Mom has no alone time at all. I used to have nice baths in the morning before the kids got up, but I swear that Rani has Mommy radar because she pops up the second I start filling the tub! My house looks just plain awful and I’m finding it difficult to keep up.

The good thing is, I know this is a normal toddler phase and “it too shall pass.” In the meantime I’m off to hide all my soaps and lotions from curious fingers! :wink

August 16, 2004

Quick post

Filed under: Becoming her mom — Tamra @ 5:08 pm

:duckI don’t have a lot of time, but I just wanted to post that things are still going well here. Even nighttime is improving! She is at the point now that she doesn’t cry before bed and she holds my hand to fall asleep. Last night she put her lips on my arm while she sucked her tongue! It was so sweet! Felt just as nice as nursing my babies!

The kids were goofing on my bed today and I had to take a picture. I thought you’d get a kick out of it too.

And another one from the other day with my boy in their Kurtis.

August 13, 2004

Ah Sweet Daddy bliss…

Filed under: Becoming her mom — Tamra @ 12:08 am

No tears at bedtime tonight. It was Daddy’s day off and he is now snuggled up with the little sweetheart on his chest. What a beautiful site.

I’m falling in love with this little sprite from the other side of the world. She’s adorable and funny and just plain sweet. She takes in the world with two open arms and doesn’t look back. She is resilient and beautiful and is doing so well now. She is so happy! I think she has realized that having a mommy, daddy, and brothers who love her and think she is the center of the universe is a wonderful thing!

She is also so healthy! Her cold that she had when we took her from the orphanage is gone; Her diarreah has cleared up; and her eyes are bright and joyful. She has become quite independent with toileting. I got her a stool to use to climb up and she has mastered the western toilets with a determination that is uncanny. This girl has no fears now. She even takes a bath with no trouble at all. I think it has helped her to see me do these things with Oliver. The carseat, the toilet, the bath etc. She sees Ollie doing it so it must be OK.

Tonight she got dressed up in her first very fancy dress for a wedding reception. She was a little nervous tonight and displayed her very first shyness/stranger anxiety! YAY! This means she is really starting to attach to us as her parents and is shying away from strangers. We didn’t stay long as we didn’t want her to get overstimulated, but she went GAGA over my cousins wedding dress. She loves all things girlie—dresses, hats, bangles, bindis, ruffly socks, shoes, you name it she loves it!

Here are some more pictures since I know you love them. The first is her very first bath. The others are from tonight in the outfits they wore to the wedding reception. The boys are all in their Kurta Pajama suits! 🙂

August 12, 2004

She called for me!

Filed under: Becoming her mom — Tamra @ 1:08 pm

Last night when she started to wake she didn’t scream for daddy! She called for me. And when I patted her back and said “It’s OK mommy’s here. Go back to sleep.” She did and she slept the whole night! :pray

August 11, 2004

By Jove I think she likes me!

Filed under: Becoming her mom — Tamra @ 9:08 pm

Rani is really starting to attach to me now. She is really starting to be physically affectionate with me. We’ve been playing games like patty cake and rolling a ball back and forth; she loves bubbles and we gave her a spillproof bottle and let her blow them all over the house. When she gets hurt she puts on a big show but when she sees me coming she tries to hide a smile. She likes me to pick her up and kiss her booboos just like I do my other kids.

Today I was reading Toddler Adoption: The Weaver’s Craft and it was really helping me put things in perspective. The chapter on grieving was especially helpful. I realized that my ignoring Shanti’s presence, never saying her name, and not getting out the pictures was selfish on my part. I asked Rani today if she misses Shanti and she got pretty sad. No crying really but she just wanted to lay on my shoulder and be rocked for a while. After that though she was all smiles and I pulled out the scrapbook I’ve made for her and she was so excited! She was practically jumping up and down while looking through the pictures. When she got to the first picture of Shanti I held my breath, but all she said was “Shanti Mola” with a big smile. 🙂 She is definately feeling good. She LOVES my boys especially Sullivan my 5yo. She is coming around to my 2yo as well though.

Bedtime is still a struggle. I have no idea what she is used to at bedtime and nothing I’m doing is helping it seems. She really likes to sleep with my DH. Maybe she feels safer that way? The problem is, he works two jobs and he is usually only home between 5 and 9PM. He leaves just before I get her ready for bed. If he puts her to sleep before he leaves, she wakes at 11PM screaming for him. She has to get used to me putting her to sleep. Here’s what we did tonight.

First I got her undressed and gave her a full body massage with lotion. She massaged me too. Then I got her pajamas on, took out her hairclips, and brushed her hair. After that we read two stories, had family prayers and then I asked her if she wants to sleep with me or with Ollie(my 2yo who is in a twin bed directly next to my bed) She said Ollie, but when I layed her down she just started crying. So I picked her up and held her while she cried. I told her I know she misses Shanti and Saila and all her friends. I would be sad too. I’m so sorry. Not that she understands a word except Shanti’s name. But it helped me to focus on her grief and feel for her rather than fear it. After about 15 minutes she signed that she needed to use the toilet(crying always does that to her) and I took her. Then she pointed, basically saying she wants to go back to Shanti. I took her to the front door and said “I’m sorry honey. We are far away in America. I can’t take you to Shanti. We can say I love you and miss you Shanti! Bye Bye Shanti!” Then I closed the door. I sat down and held her while she cried for another 10 minutes then she asked to sleep with Ollie. I layed her down next to him and asked her if she wanted me to go. She shook her head so I lay down on my bed and about five minutes of sniffles later she fell asleep.

I’m sure she’ll wake in an hour or so and scream for Daddy as she always does and we’ll repeat the process. Anyone with experience want to let me know if I’m doing what I should be or if there’s something I’m doing wrong? I don’t expect everything to be perfect for a long long while, but I want to make sure that what I’m doing is positive and not making it worse in the long run.:meditate

August 10, 2004

Too good to be true?

Filed under: Becoming her mom — Tamra @ 9:08 pm

This little girl is so happy today! She has been singing a little Oriya tune all day but each time I try to get it on video she runs to me and gives me a huge hug! She has been hugging me a lot today and even let me rock her a bit. I keep waiting for “bomb” to drop. I’ve been so nervous about bedtime too, but she passed out on the couch a few minutes ago. I’m kind of afraid to just enjoy it. I’m so afraid it will be fleeting. Am I crazy?

August 9, 2004

I bet you’re wondering how we are doing…

Filed under: Becoming her mom — Tamra @ 3:08 pm

I guess we’re doing as well as can be expected under the circumstances. We are feeling the jet lag HARD and all our muscles are shaky and unresponsive. Rani really likes the boys, almost too much actually. She and Sully have become quite enamored of each other, but I had to put my foot down when she wanted Sully to put her to sleep last night. I told her that Sully is not her mommy, I am her mommy and I put her to sleep. I got her in her PJs, we had family prayer, and I just held her while she cried herself to sleep. She didn’t want my hands to touch her, but she did lay on my arm. She didn’t try to get away either. But at 3AM she wanted Dad to hold her again.

I am dragging this kid out of bed at noon and she’s still so sleepy. I hope we can get over the jet lag soon. I’m so exhausted! This morning she let me feed her breakfast and watched TV with me for a while. She watched while I nursed Ollie and smiled when I was playing games with him. She even danced a little on my lap while we watched the wiggles.

After that I’ve just left her on her own with the boys. She doesn’t like me to give her too much attention. I’ve made sure that the boys aren’t feeding her at all and they tell me when she looks interested in a food and I give it to her.

We’re trying to figure out what exactly to do about getting her a social security number. We have to have one to get her on our insurance within 30 days. It’s so hard for me to deal with this when I’m so tired.

August 8, 2004

We’re Home!

Filed under: The Journey — Tamra @ 1:08 am

We’re home a day early oops! I’m so sorry to those of you who were hoping to be at the airport and were unable to be. I miscalculated because of the date line and we ended up arriving on Saturday instead of Sunday. I hope all of you get this message!

The plane trip was OK. The first trip was seven hours and was pretty uneventful. She slept through most of it. The 12 hour trip was going very well. She even wanted me to hold her for a while at the beginning of the trip. She had watched the takeoff and it had made her nervous. About 5-6 hours into the trip it got very turbulent. I was so worried that she would get hurt so we decided to put her into a seatbelt. She freaked! We kept her in the belt and hugged her and rubbed her until both she and the plane were quiet and then brought her out. She fell asleep on Dave but 10 minutes later she started screaming bloody murder for “Mo Mola” and “Saila” again. She was acting crazy and Dave couldn’t even get her to lay down on him. So I took her to the bathroom and sat in there with her. She started screaming for “mo Daddylo!” I spent about 30 minutes telling her if she could “no cry” we would go to Daddy. All of a sudden she started grabbing my head and pulling it, then pulling at the bodice of her dress, all the while looking me in the eye and saying something in Oriya. I told her I didn’t understand her. After about two minutes she got frantic, right before she pooped in her pants. She was telling me to move because she had to use the bathroom! I felt so bad! I got her cleaned up and then asked her if she could no cry so we could go see Daddy. She seemed to agree, so that’s what we did. I gave her to Daddy and every time she started whimpering I’d take her hand as if I wanted her to go with me to the restroom and she’d stop. Finally she fell asleep and slept the entire rest of the trip.

The dealing with immigration and customs in LAX was a joke! It took us three hours and we almost missed our flight. During that time she would have nothing to do with me again so I was the bag lugger.

The flight to SLC from LAX was ok. She slept for the first half and whimpered for the second half. When we got off the plain we started talking about “the brothers” and she seemed really excited. The sad thing is, there was no one there to greet us. It didn’t take us long to realize that it was Saturday and we had posted the wrong day! We called our family and a few family and friends came to greet us and brought our boys!

It was a tearful yet joyful reunion and I was so thrilled to see my guys. I had forgotten how big my baby is! Wat a chunk, and oh so heavy! And guess what, he nursed right away no problem! Oh that was sooooo very nice.

Rani had a blast with all the kids at the airport. She was hugging everyone and running after them. We were worried after the seatbelt incident on the plane that she would cry in her carseat all the way home. She didn’t cry at all thank goodness and even fell asleep.

We fed her her first fast food tonight. Probably not a good idea because she still has diarreah. She loved the fries and the nuggets and that made me relieved because she hadn’t eaten much in a while and I thought she might refuse to eat them too.

The hardest thing is we can’t get her to bed. It’s 1:18 AM and she’s probably not very tired after all that sleep on the plane and in the car. DH is holding her and watching TV. I hope he’s chosen a good program.

I still feel wierd around her. Like I’m not sure what to do for her….*sigh* I hope we figure things out quick because I sure hate feeling like this. I’ll upload some pics of our airport greeting as soon as I get a chance. But for now I think I’m going to bed.

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