Not flesh of my flesh
nor bone of my bone
but still miraculously my own.

Never forget for a single minute
you didn't grow under my heart
but in it!

Saturday, September 27, 2008

One Month Ago Today...

One month ago today, Norma, Sandy, and Daniel brought Gabriella to me at the hotel in Guatemala. Gabriella and I have officially been together one whole month. She has changed so much in only one month. It is amazing how she seems to be transforming from a baby into a little girl. Yesterday at the Little Gym, Miss Lisa commented that Gabriella looks happier and happier each week. I agree. Every day Gabriella is getting more and more confident and visibly appears happier and more content. It is so wonderful. She is getting more comfortable at day care and is bonding with the teachers and wants to play more with the other children.

Gabriella had the remainder of her physical with the pediatrician yesterday. There was a lot to cover so they had split it up over two visits. The doctor gave her a clean bill of health. She gained five ounces since her first doctor's visit on September 9th. She now weighs 19 pounds 5 ounces. Her appetite seems to be tapering off a bit. She still eats great, but just not the enormous amounts of food she was eating during the first few weeks. Gabriella had to have five vaccinations at the end of the physical in her little thighs. Four of them were to catch her up with the typical vaccination schedule and one of them was a flu shot. Gabriella did much better at this visit. She fussed, but nothing like the first visit. She obviously cried much louder when they were giving her the vaccines, but that is to be expected.

Gabriella still had the blisters on the back of her throat from the Coxsackie virus. The doctor said that they would last for about one week. Gabriella also has a cold. Her nose was running a lot yesterday, but has tapered off considerably today. I guess this is to be expected with being around so many other children at day care. Despite all this, she is back to sleeping pretty much through the whole night; Saturday, Sunday, and Monday nights were pretty miserable and she had been sleeping back in my bed since last Saturday. She slept in the pack and play last night and made it until 4 AM in there.

As of yesterday, we have transitioned Gabriella from soy milk to whole lactose-based milk. She was being transitioned to regular milk while she was in Guatemala but when I got her home and she began to have messy diapers we decided to hold off until all of her medical testing came back. The doctor wanted to rule out any parasites until we officially made the transition. Since all testing came back negative he said we should try again.

I applied for Gabriella's Social Security number yesterday. We will begin the re-adoption proceedings soon as well. This will involve three social worker visits and they typically commence one month after being home. Once this is complete her name will officially be changed to Gabriella Astrid from Astrid Mariela. It is very confusing since right now everything is listed under her legal name, Astrid Mariela. For example, she is listed as Astrid on her health insurance card and so she is known as Astrid at the doctor's office.

The first month has been wonderful. Time is flying and we are having a blast!

Thursday, September 25, 2008

Gabriella's First Hair Cut

Gabriella got her first hair cut this evening. My hairdresser has been waiting to cut Gabriella's hair from the time I told her I was adopting! I went in thinking we would just do a trim to freshen it up, but we went a bit more dramatic than I had planned. We gave her a "Dora" style bob cut. It looks cute. I am going to try to grow her bangs out.

She did much better than I had expected. She fussed a bit and wiggled a bit, but not the screaming that I had expected.

I took a few photos and then my camera battery died...of all times! Luckily one of the hairstylists got photos of the actual cutting, but I have to wait to receive those photos by e-mail.

"May I Please Speak to Gabriella?"

Gabriella received her first phone call last night! The caller said, "Hello, may I please speak to Gabriella?" I laughed knowing that it must be the hair salon calling to confirm her appointment for her first haircut (which is scheduled for 6PM tonight!). I explained that Gabriella is a baby and I am her mom and we will be there for the appointment. It was funny to hear and gave me an indication of what I will probably begin hearing a lot of in about eleven years! Hopefully the callers will all be female until she turns thirty!

Wednesday, September 24, 2008

Professional Photos Taken on September 16th

Photos from Gabriella's Welcome Home Party

Waking up on the morning of her party
Gabriella with Grampy
Gabriella with Grammy
Gabriella with Tia Candace
Gabriella with Tio Michael
Gabriella and me with Michelle and Eliana who came home from Guatemala in December, 2007
Gabriella took a much needed nap during her party
Gabriella and me with my best friend, Aunt Danie
Gia translated for me during my conversations with Gabriella's foster family throughout the process. This was their first opportunity to finally meet!
Gabriella devouring a chicken tender and french fries with Grandma Floyd
Gabriella with Tia Abuelas Trisha and Mary
Gabriella in her pretty party dress
Isabella giving Gabriella a welcome home kiss
We even had some great karaoke entertainment

Miscellaneous Photos from Gabriella's First Two Weeks Home

Gabriella with Grandma and Grandpa Floyd
Gabriella with Great Grandpa
Ken is a UNC Tarheel fan and is trying very hard to ensure that Gabby follows in his footsteps...
...but, Gabby's Aunt Donna is a NC State Wolfpack fan! I think this will be a fun battle for many years to come!
Gabriella and her Tia Abuela Trisha!
Gabriella recently discovered the sensation of her bottom teeth on her top lip! It is so cute! Walking the Cape Cod Canal