Here I was feeding her - see my fake smile? Actually, I was very happy because she took food from me for the first time! Yay!
Notice the only happy pictures of her were in our room - she loves Barbie which I have since re-named to "Bedhead Barbie". Once Tessa got hold of this doll it was all over for her hair, poor Barbie! We have new black Barbie's at home!
After getting ready to go downstairs for the ceremony and goodbye's she conked out on me!
This is the packed they gave us at the ceremony and you can see on my face how emotional it all was. The nannies from the big kid house came over with many of the children and sang songs etc... I so wish I could show a little video of Tessa's goodbye song (they sang it before handing her over to my arms)... it was gut wrenching. After the ceremony we zipped our bags and had a light dinner with the group, then Mulat came to bring us to the airport. Many of the folks walked out the front door and waved as we got situated in the van and drove off. This moment scared the crap out of me - we were completely 100% her parents and caregivers ALL THE TIME from here on out! Yikes, we were leaving for all kinds of travel with a complete stranger! After we settled in at the airport I noticed she was fine, not just OK, but fine! The trip home was a joy and so is our new life! Something overcame her when we were at the airport, like God waved his hand over her body and mind and put her at ease. She knew what we represented from the moment she saw us and that's why she fought us. I think she decided that life would be ok with us and she just instantly changed... I don't know how to describe it, the fear, anger, attitude all literally washed out of her face and it hasn't resurfaced one time! Not one! Don't get me wrong, she's withdrawn a few times when confused or scared but is nothing like she was there. She is our miracle girl, so strong and sweet and full of grace. She's fragile and trusting of us, it's wonderful.
It feels like it was yesterday but even more it feels like it was eons ago, it's all so fresh and all so foggy at the same time -
AND HERE WE ARE - NOW A WONDERFUL AND HAPPY FAMILY OF FOUR!
We are so blessed and we love her very much, she is a joy to be with and I can't say enough about her. Nick is having a tough time but he's dealing ok, he's been a real pain in the butt (not including my busted tail bone)! Here are a few of the things I've learned about Tessa since I've known her...
Our daughter is:
FUNNY (thank you God - I so wanted a funny girl)- she's hysterical and her timing is dead on!
SWEET - she is SO cuddly and kisses me ALL DAY LONG out of nowhere! Her accent is too much!
GENEROUS - she shares so well with Nicholas and is always trying to give things to people.
PATIENT - she doesn't get frustrated when trying to do things, she takes her time
CONTENT - I can put her on the counter while I'm cooking (for an hour and a half one day) and she's content just watching me or playing with a doll, she doesn't WHINE EVER
AGREEABLE - no tantrums, meltdowns, or hissy fits if she doesn't get something she wants. The most I've seen her do is get a serious face and look upset (but I've figured out that humor quickly gets her out of her mood - All I have to do is make a funny face at her and she cracks up)
Sad - this one I hate because I can't change it, she's still in our room at night and cries/moans/screams/and get's very worked up into a sob on most nights - asleep all the time, she never wakes up. She's comforted within a minute or two until the next memory or dream an hour or so later that rocks her night... it's getting less and less, it's so sad. She wakes up beaming and is beaming and gitty almost all day.
BRAVE - she's been out and about with us since day one (which we didn't plan on) and is cool with everything we've done. She's just now doing good with house visitors and I've lifted the moratorium on house visits from friends. She's realizing that immediate family poses no threat to her new happy life and is very loving to them!
TINY - still in 18-24 months and barely into 2T! She's so petite!
STUNNING - beyond what the pictures convey she's stunning from the inside out!
She spontaneously throws her arms around me/MP when she sees a camera pointed our way for a photograph!
Just looking at this picture I want to squeeze her - hard!
And she LOVES spicy food, she tries to eat salsa like it's a stew or main dish! :) And she's my only child who goes banana's for my meatballs!!! I've already made two more batches!
And my guy - he's so handsome!