Friday, November 06, 2009

My Baby Is Still a Baby!!!

I cried huge tears of joy when I received Hannah's referral call in August and at the time she was only 5 1/2 months old. Fast forward 10 1/2 weeks and a beautiful BABY was placed in my arms!!

Some wonderful things about my sweetie that I don't want to forget!

- although 8 months, 1 week old, my little sweetie's muscles are not very strong and she finds it difficult to sit alone. I put pillows behind her for support or if she tumbles backwards/sideways. That being said she has still managed a face plant into her play mat forward before I could reach out to her!

- even though she is 'older' her favourite position to be held is my very favourite to hold a baby! Her beautiful little head tucked into the crook of my left arm and her little body across mine. If she's awake we can easily gaze into one another's eyes. If she's tired, when I put her into this position she will fall asleep within moments, often singing sweet songs to herself. Beyond cute!

- the first day we met, when I fed her her bottle her little legs were rigid and she'd pull away if I tried to touch her little hands. By day 2 her legs were relaxed, she allowed me to hold her hands and sometimes would even put her little fingers in my mouth as a game.

- she loves, loves, loves to smile!!! I am blessed beyond measure to have such a happy little girl!

- she doesn't really feed herself yet but I'm only too happy to oblige! She lets me hold her bottle and also feed her from a baby spoon or my fingers. Such wonderful bonding opportunities and I'm so thankful for these.

- the way she holds her little hands she has her thumb tucked under, sticking out between her pointer and her middle finger. Too cute!!! Baby hands!!! Even if she's holding a stacking cup she often still has her little thumbs tucked under

- she's still not crazy about how mommy is making her bottles but we're getting closer. Warmer/hotter than I'd imagined. Also, when i shake them up I need to shake and shake and then shake some more. Sometimes finding clumpy bits in the bottom which might be why she doesn't drink as much as I thought she would. Oops!

- once my girly mastered her first poop she has proved to be a pro! 2-4 messy diapers a day which makes mommy very, very happy! Who knew poop could be so exciting??

- my sweet Hannah is what I would say is a typical baby who has spent and extended amount of time in an orphanage. Although I firmly believe that she had great, amazing, loving care, I don't believe she got the 'normal' amount of stimulation. Because of this she is developmentally in some ways younger than her chronological age. They say that for every three months a baby is in an orphanage, be prepared for them to be 1 month delayed. I feel this is Hannah's situation but that is totally ok with me and I know she will catch up quickly. Although 8 1/2 months chronologically she acts more like a 6 month old. Still pretty wobbly sitting but getting stronger every, single day. She does not really sit up from a lying position on her own although even in the past 2 days, if I have pillows behind her and she falls back she will attempt and occasionally succeed as getting herself into a sitting position. She does not crawl yet but that just means it's something exciting that we get to learn together!!

- when she gets going into a 'good cry' she squeeks a little like a mouse although even today that was missing. Hope it's not gone for long as it's kinda cute.

- she is an amazing sleeper and she has quickly taught mommy how to best meet her needs. She still naps twice a day but with our crazy, wonderful schedule here in China she is proving to be very adaptable and quite happy to sleep on the go. Movement of a taxi or bus will often bring on sleep. Another awesome thing is that once asleep, I can easily move her and she stays asleep. So thankful! Once again, one of those crazy things I prayed for and God answered.

- I am very thankful that her crib is in my room at home!! She wakes sometimes and I see those little eyes look for me, catch mine and then she drifts back to sleep quite contentedly.

- I hate to put her to bed at night as my arms feel empty without her. I look forward to the time she wakes each morning for our early morning snuggle and first bottle of the day

- she doesn't suck her thumb or any fingers going to sleep but when upset she chews and sucks on the pointer finger on her left hand and it has a tiny callouse on it from doing this.

- even though she is used to it, I cannot wait to let my baby sleep in her crib. We're staying at an amazing 5 star hotel and the 'mattress' on her crib is still a wooden board with a folded towel and sheet on it. That's it! She does have a beautiful baby duvet to sleep under and I'd like to keep my eyes open in the market and possibly purchase one of those.

- when she gets too warm sleeping, her little legs kick together and in about 3 kics the duvet is off. So cute!!

- the first night Hannah slept very soundly and truly never moved. Since then she's had one super restless night and now 2 pretty normal ones. It will be interesting to see what her true sleeping habits are like once she's more settled.

- although I have looked closely it appears my baby girl does not have any mongolian spots. I was surprised by this as I thought most Asian babies had them but I guess not all do. She's currently sporting a tiny bruise on her right cheek from a little tumble at the orphanage before we met and also a mosquito bite above her left eye that she got our 2nd night together.

- there is nothing as precious and amazing as the feeling of my sweet daughter reaching up from her carrier and placimg her hands on my cheeks or running them through my hair.

Have I mentioned lately.........I LOVE HER!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!

There is so much more but I'll send this off now with a couple of cute pics!


  1. Catherine,
    I have been following your blog since before you got your referral. Your Hannah is just the most adorable little baby girl I have ever seen! You are so blessed.

  2. Catherine,
    I am so glad to finally see your post. I have checked back all morning over and over.
    Your little Hannah is so cute and I love your descriptions of her. She sounds like a normal child who needed stimulation to help her growth. I am so glad you see her learning skills as an opportunity for both of you to enjoy her progress. What a lucky child to have you as her mom. Keep enjoying her fun and smiles. I am so glad I found your blog so I can watch this little one grow.

  3. Catherine,
    Our Ellie Lu was 9 months old on gotcha and didn't really have any mongolian spots appear until say after 15-17 months and very faintly. She is fair and I think that has something to do with it...just keep an eye out.

  4. Your experience so far sounds as blissful as possible. What a blessing for both of you! I can imagine how magical it must be to feel your baby's hands on your cheeks and your love for her over-flowing.

    She sure is beautiful, too!

  5. She is so beautiful!! I'm so thankful to God for the way he's orchestrated this first week of yours together!!! PERFECT!!! LOVE you!! Thanks for sharing! Been praying lot's for you guys!

  6. She is just beautiful! I get teary eyed with every post I read from you.

  7. I absolutely LOVE all the tiny details. It brings back many, many memories for me. Looking at your daughter with awe, wondering what you will learn about her today. It's such an amazing experience.

  8. Precious Precious Precious...a little angel, so glad for the both of you, it sure seems like you have to offer exactly what that little one needs...unconditionally loved by only what a Mother can do. You will be a wonderful Mother, you can tell by your blogs, i am so happy for the both of you, and only wish that every little orphaned child could have this, so you Did make a difference to one special little girl, a blessing from God.

  9. Hannah is so beautiful!! I love hearing all the little details:-)

  10. Those eyes kill me! She has the most gorgeous big brown eyes! You guys sound like you are doing a great job
    bonding, of corse it also sounded like you did SO much research about bonding so that's a good thing :) thanks for the update, I love hearing about your little cutie!

  11. GORGEOUS!! I love the way you write and what a adorable baby girl you have.

    Tara Polra
    (Calgary Alberta)

  12. You are definitely a momma now!!! Only we can get excited about poop!
    Congrats, she is gorgeous!

  13. I've been following along and am delurking to say CONGRATULATIONS! she is a beauty and you are blessed beyond measure! enjoy every minute-

  14. Ah, the joys of new motherhood. You two have so many years of happiness in your futures. This is just the beginning. I know you are savoring every single minute.

  15. Oh Cathy...she's sooooo sweet. Thanks for sharing so much of your journey with us. I just love her to pieces!!!!!


  16. Glad to hear that all is going so well. My Sophie had poor muscle tone when we adopted her at 9 mos. But it's amazing how quickly she caught up. By the time we left China she could put all of her weight on her legs and stand with help. We had her evaluated by Early Intervention about 2 wks after we were home, and they thought she was behind on some things (crawling), but ahead on others (could turn pgs in a book). She, too, tucked her thumbs in. They noticed that and told me to hand her objects in a specific way that she had to grab with her thumb. They wanted to keep an eye on that, because it's important for self-feeding small things like Cheerios. They asked if she was able to self-feed and I said no way! She could pick up a cheerio with a tucked thumb, but couldn't get it in her mouth easily. Honestly, one week later, she was pinching them with her thumb and shoving them into her mouth! It truly is amazing how quickly they bounce back!

  17. Sarah, and I (and even Andy!) love the first picture. Sooooo cute! A little frustrated with how your posts are now less frequent! I can't imagine why!?? You're blog is the first thing I check in the morning and every time I sit down at my laptop I check again to see if there is anything new. The last few days there has been less activity. Could you step it up a bit please!!
    jks! So enjoying being invited into your adventure. x0x0 (that's for Hannah)

  18. I've been following your blog for a while, and am totally enjoying all your posts from China! Your baby is beautiful! I'm a mom of 4 & one piece of baby equipment I recommend is a bumbo seat! It is so handy & really helps develope the muscles for for sitting up.

  19. Hannah is so beautiful and I am loving your posts. You are so beautiful together-Mommy and daughter.:)
    When we got our first little one at 4 1/2 months, she couldn't even hold up her head. It would fall to the side, but with love and stimulation and the whle family playing with her, she soon caught up. I'm sure this will be the case with sweet Hannah.

  20. Catherine:

    There is nothing more deeply satisfying than being a mom. You were born to be one. And Hannah was born to be your precious baby.

    It is witnessing a miracle to follow along with your journey. Thank you.

  21. Oh Catherine! She is breathtaking. I could just eat her up!

    Yay! You got a sleeper! Briana would zonk the minute the bus started moving. And I can still transfer her from the car to the bed to this day! :)

    Lovin' all these posts!

  22. Catherine,
    First and foremost - congratulations! I am delighted for you and for Hannah. But secondly, thank you so much for sharing this journey. I'm a fellow "Marching Panda" who met our wonderful daughter in the Hunan Province back in March. Seeing the room where you met Hannah and seeing you at the Dolton is bringing back some of the most joyous (challenging - but joyous) days of my life. My daughter was just one month older than Hannah when we met and she was in very similar shape to Hannah in terms of her development (unable to sit on her own, unable to crawl, not eating on her own). It does not sound like you need any reassurance on these issues though as you are already so in tune with what to expect, but for what it is worth, our Lily did take her own time in crawling, walking and eating, but is now on the run and eating more (with a spoon!) than her peers!
    I know it is such a cliche - but time flies so enjoy each and every moment with your precious daughter. Even the difficult moments become part of the treasured time of your becoming mother and daughter.
    Best wishes,

  23. She's a sweetheart! I love how she sucks on her lower lip. Simply adorable!

    You're very lucky to have been referred a really young baby. When we got Gwen's referral, we couldn't help but be disappointed because we thought we might have missed her entire babyhood and all of her milestones. But even though I wish with all of my heart that I'd known my baby six months earlier, I can honestly say that she was still a baby at the age of 14 months. She had four teeth and could barely walk and when she did, she had that incredibly adorable baby wobble. Warms my heart just thinking about it! Now she's five years old and still loves being held like a baby with her head in the crook of my arm. Of course, I have to sit on the floor to hold her this way because she's HUGE!

    I'm lovin' your updates. This journal of your first days together will be priceless as you tell Hannah her story over and over again through the years.


    Our Blog: Double Happiness!

  24. I love all the points you have made.

    I love the pictures of her sucking on her bottom lip!!

    I am so enjoying reading everything as you write it.

    Can't wait to meet Hannah!!

  25. The best bullet post ever!! I'm so glad you are both are doing so well and just enjoying every first moment together.

  26. I have been following your trip and oh is that baby cute. You are such a natural and I am so happy you finally got your baby and she you. You nailed on the head when you said God brought you together.

    God Bless you and Hannah.
    Thanks for sharing all your joys! It is bringing back so many memories from when we brought our Lily home from China.

    Lisa in Denver
    Mother of Jack and Lily

  27. Catherine,
    She is beautiful! Congratulations on your Gotcha Day Moment! Enjoy China!


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