Wednesday, May 23, 2012

family age

Family Age

Today Tizri Sparrow is 2 weeks old: Family age that is.

The book Parenting Your Internationally Adopted Child (totally recommended) refers to the concept of family age.

How the child revs up and clams herself down, is all dependent on the length of time she have been in our home, with us as parents. So Tizri has been with us 2 weeks, that means her emotions (crying, fussing, how she expects her needs to be met) might be on par with an actually 2-week-old biologically born baby. In ways this has been very true! As soon as she feels hungry, she whines and cries until the food is literally in her mouth. We are trying to teach her to watch us prepare it, so she knows that that means soon the food will be in her tummy. A biological 1 year old will know that when mommy gets the cereal box out or the baby food jar, it is a matter of time before they get fed. This curbs (I am sure not always) the unsure feeling of wondering IF they will get their hunger need met.

This knowledge has been so comforting to me in the past few days, just remembering she is trying to figure us out, her new world out, and all the changes out! Not only does family age apply to food, revving up / calming down, but it also has to do with learning appropriate behavior, whom to trust and rely on, as well as many other things. These things will take time, extra care and compassion for her to learn.

I am sure that all the adopted parents out there can give us advice on this stuff (which we welcome!!) and how their own child adapted.

Our baby has been teething (2 upper front teeth), been spitting up a lot more than she did a week ago, has been fighting bronchitis, anemia, stomach worms (and maybe other infection?) and head fungus, not to mention the constipations trading off with diarrhea! We have all had our good days and bad.

She is crawling (mostly the army crawl, not using her knees much) all over the place. She is saying new sounds everyday. Today she started crying/waking up after she has been asleep on us and we try to put her down. She is stretching boundaries and figuring out what she likes from us, from others (this one is a bit harder, more confusing for her I think) what she likes in terms of food, being held and rocked, how much she sleeps and when. She has had no routine until the last few days, some days she sleeps a lot others only a little.

Her birthday was Saturday, or what we will celebrate as her birthday. So our baby is one.
She mimics everything we do. Peek-a-boo is her favorite. She will blow kisses, dance with her arms, mock sneeze, make a really funny scrunched up face while sniffing in and out really loudly. She loves it when Jeremiah dances her around. She now let the dogs lick her, and will grab their fur. (The dogs just like the chance to lick all the splattered food off of her!) She is so stinking determined! She gets her mind set on something and it is very hard to distract her! She loves plastic bags (we are always taking them away!) and the tops to her bottles.

We marvel at how she has changed in just over 2 weeks. She interacts so much and is learning to come to us. She laughs and plays and teases all the time. We are so blessed to call this baby ours!

Thursday, May 17, 2012

New foods
Lots of poos
Doctor’s visits
Pee and poo samples (multiple times, because the lab lost the first one!)
Meeting new friends
Playing with new toys
Responding to her own name (still working on that one)
Learning who mama and dada are (also still a work in progress)

Tizri has had so many changes in the last week!

We have been trying to be extremely aware of her feelings and emotions. She now tells us through whining when something is wrong. We know if she is whinny that she needs a diaper change or is hungry or tired. Besides these times she is very happy. We are teaching her to play close to us, and playing lots of back and forth games to encourage eye contact, mimicking and over all dependence on us. She is coming along, as are we.

There are days I get so discouraged, wondering if she will ever know me, or look to me for ultimate comfort and love. A very wise woman just wrote me (she has also adopted, her daughter is now a young adult) and said;

I think of it as a progression.  Children have to be dependent before they can be independent and independent before they can be interdependent.”

For adopted children this is not a natural thing like it is with biological kids. Tizri has been in an orphanage, under stimulated for the last 10 months. The orphanage did the best job they possibly could! And to them we are so grateful, they saved her life and gave us the opportunity to find her.

She has had 5 major transitions that each included a new primary caregiver. Not to mention that in the orphanage alone she has 11 different mama’s caring for her at any given time (in the above number the orphanage is only one of those 5). While they were all nice, caring, and did the best they could, this has essentially taught her that people will leave her. She has come to expect change and transition.

So because of this, and many other changes and traumas she has experienced in her short life, we are trying to teach her we are her primary care givers. So we haven’t let others hold her, feed her, change her, or bathe her. Basically we are with her 24/7. This is a bit exhausting, but it is worth it for her to see us and her mom and dad, who she can trust, rely on and go to when she has needs.

She turns one year old on Saturday. And I think of all the hours a biological child has had to cuddle connect laugh play and grow with their biological parents by the time they turn one year.  She has missed out on those thousands of hours. So we are so happy we get to be intentional about her knowing us, now. We can’t get those months back but we can work to win her over now.

We still have no clue on the time frame of when the adoption will be complete and we can travel home. Please pray that the paper work the is not really moving right now, would be able to get to the right people and that they would move things along quickly. (Although that would be a miracle, but we believe God works miracles!)

Adoption is beautiful, and lots of work, and so rewarding. She is the picture of perfection to us! We are so content in the little one God has allowed us to raise. We are privileged to get to love her and call her our own.

Thursday, May 10, 2012

day 3

poop, lots of it
baby laughter, lots of it
sleep, not much of it
contented feelings, overwhelmingly many
Showers, what shower?

we took her to the "high cost clinic" at the hospital yesterday (the name cracks us up, opposite ideas about marketing from where we come from!) it cost her $15 dollars to be seen (actual cost not a co-pay). she has bronchitis, a scalp fungus, stomach worms... and that is all before we had a chance to get them her urine and poo sample. (by the way, anyone have any idea how to get a urine sample from an infant in diapers?!)
so now she is on lots of drugs. she is so very happy. we have taken her out 2 times now. (that is 2 times more than the last 10 months combined,  she has only been in her little room at the orphanage) so it seems a bit overwhelming for her. but she is a trooper. we are mostly staying in and spending lots of time playing, cuddling and eating. and of course cleaning. (how quickly everything becomes a mess!)

we say her name a lot so she will begin to recognize it more. we are giving her opportunities to need us. she doesn't know English, doesn't crawl, or yet respond to her name. but we cant wait to write all those mile stones. we have seen her today need us to help her fall asleep. instead of just laying down (if we are playing on the bed) she whines until one of us holds her, and then immediately falls asleep on our chest. she struggles to breath while laying down and coughs a lot. hoping the medicine will help that quickly.

we are in heaven. so ready for this, these changes feel so normal, and for that we are so grateful. we are also grateful we got to spend so many months getting to know her before now. Jeremiah was just reminding me of when we first met her, and in the first few times we visited her, how she didn't want to look at him. (I'm sure something to do with him being male) but now, oh man, he is already the favorite! (OK i am sure he would disagree) but she loves him, and is always looking for him if i am holding her. sigh, it make me melt. all these moments we are treasuring.
she is a perfect gift, and we are so blessed.

tha hardest part has honestly been feeling so far away from our family and friends. this is something we want so badly to share. i am glad we have concentrated time to bond with her. to be the only ones to hold and feed and change her. but on our hearts, it is hard. we miss those closest to us, people who have been through this journey with us from across the ocean. we miss them (you) so much more now, than we ever imagined. looking forward to that day we step off the plane.

a blessing we didn't know how much we would need is our friends jonathan and sofia morgan being here with a team. God has given us a real gift in them. they are like family to us. they went with us to pick up Tizri and bring her home. they made us meals on their day off so we wouldn't have to worry about cooking this next week. they are spending 5 days of the week in the village so we are cherishing our days we have together in town. we are already grieving the day we have to say by. but we will enjoy them while they are with us.

Tuesday, May 8, 2012


Yesterday, our baby girl came home.
May 7, 2012
 we are adjusting, as is she. but she is doing amazingly well. she slept great (hopefully we will now too!) getting used to life with poopy diapers (already had 3), bottles, baby food, laughing, crying, and just genreally more noise. we are overwhelmed with gratitude. to God, to our prayer warriors, our supporters, our loved ones, the people here who gave so much, to help us. we now have to zambian process of adoption to go through. we will keep you posted on how things are progressing! but she is with us.

Tizri Sparrow Weismann Born (near) May 19, 2011
Brought home on May 7, 2012

Tizri - Hebrew word (spelling changed) meaning New Beginning
Sparrow - Psalm 84: 3 Even the sparrow finds a home, and the       swallow builds her nest and raises her young at a place near your altar, O Lord of Heaven’s Armies, my King and my God!

Thursday, May 3, 2012

Whirl Wind

We spent a whirl wind 2 days last week with Tizri Sparrows relatives working to get the FAther signature. and in the end it happened! we are thrilled, and now working to get her home. here are some thoughts on those 2 crazy days! we are in utter shock to say the least! elated, happy, relieved, counting the miracles and situations we never could have worked out on our own! we fell in love with her family in all this. they were and are such a gift to us. we are so glad we got the opportunity to know them. we have some really funny stories from the 2 days one that includes jeremiah buys one of the uncles (who didn't own pants only shorts) women's pants! another where the grandmother pulls out a cigarette (so random! i was about to ask her if i could have a puff! man the stress was so great!) another when i gave the grandmother a Craisin and she ate it then spit it out because it was sour, but then ate it anyway because she didn't want to offend me! and of course i couldn't communicate i didn't care! we took many photos, and they loved it! Tizri Sparrow will be able to have her family (even if just in photos) for years to come. (not pictured in this blog) 2 of them had never even been to Livingstone (small town to us, big city to them) , they had barely left the village.. they cant read, write, in their own language let alone english. they speak little to no English. the truth is what we saw in those 2 days was God using the weak, the poor, the vulnerable, the oppressed to speak up to see justice happen. they spoke up for the life of a little one who had no other options in life. she would have been raised in the orphanage, but they stepped up and fought for her. Without them, we would never be able to call our little Sparrow our legal daughter. But because of them, her life will be changed. isnt this just God's way?! he uses those the world writes off. they have given us the biggest gift of our lives. so now we are waiting until the social workers file paper work with a judge next week. then we will be given a committal order for us to legal take her home. we will foster her for 3 months in Zambia then we will go back to court for the adoption to be finalized!!