Thursday, December 28, 2006

Nova Scotia Christmas with Family

Here we are in Nova Scotia with all of our family. My brother Daryl and his wife Julie flew in from Pennsylvania to meet AnnaLeisa and we all spent a wonderful Christmas together with my parents and with Colin's brothers. It was all a big hit as AnnaLeisa entertained us all with her antics and in the moment wonder. She certainly has a large spirit and capacity for laughter and for love.
Here are the two of us on Christmas day and it is our first. She loved the balls on the tree and all of the teddy bears around the house and in various boxes she opened. Especially the one made by her cousins Colin, Derek and Brett as it says "I love you" when you squeeze the little paw. Roughhousing with her adolescent male cousins is also a big hit and all in all I think all the love she received is settling deeply into her little body.
Christmas and family... can't go wrong. Wishing everyone a good season and a peaceful New Year. May your dreams come true as mine has!

Sunday, December 03, 2006

I am learning all about Christmas!

My goodness life has been full for me... today I met Santa... did not go near him but did see him from afar. Red is what I remember! I stuck close to Mom just to be sure. And then that big bag full of toys, books and stuffed animals. I could not get enough out of it. I put everything back in it too. Just wanted to touch everything.
And the food ... well I could not sign to my Mom fast enough to try all those goodies. "More, more, more" I kept signing. Good thing she listens.
And then there was the dancing. Three of us little ones entertained all the adults with our moves. It looks as though I have a little heart for the arts as I keep noticing music, dance, artwork and just all around have pretty good taste.
That was the party, as for other news. Mom plunked me in the crib finally. And now I can sleep. I did not like it at first but she stayed close, touched and talked to me. She also keeps that nice Celtic lullaby on so that I can sing a bit. It is not bad and I do not keep trying to get hugs all night now. That was fun!
So talk to you soon.
time for bed - says Mom.

Saturday, November 25, 2006

It's all about sleep!

And a lack thereof... this is my girl settling and relaxing taking time to rejuventate. And me ...well last night we woke twice and I felt as though I had my best sleep yet. And for the first time since I was about 8 years old I am in bed and asleep by 0900 hoping to get 6 consecutive hours of deep sleep. AnnaLeisa wakes frequently through the night in our bed to open her little arms and ask for a cuddle. I invite her into my arms only to have her promptly fall asleep with an elbow in my trachea ... or to roll off and to ask again with open arms for me to enfold her. Well what can one say! It has been a process of me allowing her and also very very gently saying no and letting her settle next to me versus on!
We are getting there... little cherub wakes in the middle of the night to give kisses either to myself or to the teddy.

Last night I snuggled into bed next to her and listened to her soft breathing and marveled that she was to me. It really can move you to wonder and love so quickly. AnnaLeisa being trusting and being cozy to the extent that she can at this point in time. Really I still marvel. The days can be long and somewhat housebound in minus 28 degrees C but all in all we are great. She is here .... and she is sleeping and soon I will get more.

Friday, November 10, 2006

Home Three weeks today!

Whew... Time has an amazing way of changing and moving and standing still.... Really three weeks!
Mom has now returned to Nova Scotia with a full heart and many photos of our girl. And I miss our tag-team venture. Gary, my brother and Colin's father has also come and had AnnaLeisa giggling most of the time. They had quite a time connecting with many laughs. I had a shower and a nap!
And I am now alone with her in our little abode with dogs and much snow. Today I caught her feeding Lola and Kirby from her booster chair. Now they love her!!
We are still getting to know each other and every now and then I can see a question in her eyes as to whether I am staying....
It has been a significant shift for both of us to be together and we are taking day by day in terms of finding a routine. We still do not quite have our groove.....
Last week we went to two playgroups as I love to get out, to not be housebound in the winter snow.

I was an elderly woman in the first and felt quite conspicuous. AnnaLeisa was also somewhat tentative but then quickly warmed up to all the push toys.
Then the next day we trouped off to a Mandarin speaking playgroup for Chinese students and their families. I loved it and will go regularly. I know it to be good for AnnaLeisa to have exposure to her culture and I loved the women's genuine kindness. It was so cute to see AnnaLeisa at the table eating with all the children. Next time I will bring a camera.....
So we are well enjoying our friends who drop by and sometimes with wonderful thoughtful food....
Thank you.....

Friday, October 27, 2006

We're home a week today!

My dear angel... you change and grow each day with such vigour... and I marvel. You are now asleep upstairs in our bed and I have the Beijing lullabies playing near the remote. It has been a week since our time in China and I cannot believe you are in our home. And what has it meant for you to leave your land? It seems a massive transition and I see somehow you are capable of great transformation and adaptation. You are an outgoing and vivacious little girl who has already captivated hearts with your way. Each time I take a moment to be with you and to let myself really meet you and who you are heart bursts....
Grandma is still here and it has been a very tough week for us in terms of sleep and all of being sick with something or other...?
soon this phase will be over too and we will then have a simple routine. I must include children in your life AnnaLeisa as you really are an extrovert and thrive in the world of people.
Sweet dreams my love....

Wednesday, October 18, 2006

off to our new hotel!

Here is G'ma and G'pa with AnnaLeisa! We are all pretty tight now. AnnaLeisa is sick today with a cold and constipation so not so happy and we have to check out at noon and not get to our new hotel until this evening. Not a good day all in all and tomorrow the dreaded flight. Wish us luck. We are all tired and ready to come home. Except Colin... he is having a blast and I am happy about that.
so until Canada our love.

She is great and matching us in our fatigue.

home sweet home....
how cold is it?

Tuesday, October 17, 2006

Seems I might have been able to post a photo of my newphew Colin and AnnaLeisa from this morning. She is so sweet to play with... giggles and really just curious and making leaps and bounds daily in her learning curve and her experience of her very changed world. Colin has been extraordinary with helping the two of us. I could not have done it without he and my folks.
AnnaLeisa went to Grandpa today and hugged him spontaneously and that is big! She will play with all three and is more than happy to be with us all but to me for the 'Mothering' things. It is nice. Noone could have prepared me for this trip and for motherhood. My goodness it is all much in terms of my learning curve too.
So we are well and this part of the journey is fast ending. I expect that Mom and I will take time to settle AnnaLeisa with the jetlag shift but my girl is an extrovert and I think we can have visitors soon upon our return.
I cannot wait for everyone to meet her!
I am sure she will change your world too.
The five of us shopped today and had a blast at a local market.
Again much love.

AnnaLeisa dear you are a little flower and everyday I get to know you more. You are a wide range of much my angel and my only plan is to help you grow and broaden into all that you can be. You light up the room with your delighted smile and you throaty laugh.
night all
see you soon!

Sunday, October 15, 2006

The Great Wall and AnnaLeisa

It is now Sunday evening and I cannot begin to relay everything has been so much!
Today we traveled to the Great Wall and had a great time. AnnaLeisa is a combination of many things.... she loves to be engaged and to connect so is best outdoors and being with life ... and she is very shy to strangers also. So we trooped with her in my snuggly and wandered amidst many many people.
She is a real delight and is so connected to me it is amazing. We are a team already. At this point she will go to noone else so my shoulders and body are aching as she is strong and very very active. And I love having her close.
And I think she is the only one I have met who chortles. Really her giggle is so infectious. Everyone is tired but good and all the babies and parents are adjusting.

Tomorrow I am up early in the am to take her to the medical appointment and I am sure she will pass with gold stars.
Mom, Dad and Colin are brilliant and such a help. Tomorrow they go to the Beijing Zoo and to the Chinese Acrobats and I will stay home to relax.
I cannot believe we leave Fri.
I send my love and then some....
It is a wonder to see these girls flower ...
I feel such a love for this little girl and we are still learning about each other and have not yet been together a week!
Last night she slept her first night through with only waking once for consoling and I think she is starting to relax and to settle a little bit.

Thursday, October 12, 2006

Wednesday, October 11, 2006

A lazy day in Guangzhou....

Seems I have finally figured out my blog while here... could not locate my username and password as I linked it at home! Details seem so important now. Thanks for all the notes!

AnnaLeisa is beside me now sound asleep in a very very vibrant green stroller. We just walked the pearl river wall in the heat of noon and she loved the cobblestones bumping her.

We had a rough night as she cried for 2 1/2 hours ....inconsolable and I could see I was not quite doing what was familier. I can imagine her waking in the night to such strangeness.. even A/C. So I had to bounce and walk and eventually she fell asleep on my chest. Was not having the crib dispite 2 nights of sleeping in it. She is exposed to so much right now and it is rightfully overwhelming. At first glance or attemtp to master anything or to be exposed to anything she is frustrated but quickly moves to mastery. She is now pulling everything down from everywhere and walking all around the room. She is a delight. Shocking how much they change every day. Everyone in the group is fairing well and I must say Yulin from our Agency is marvelous.... could not imagine this without her.

Mom Dad and Colin went to a group breakfast and then to a city tour of Guangzhou. I wanted us to be quiet and to just have an easy day. It was nice to walk.

Colin helped me all night and is learning much fast.... AnnaLeisa is ticklish and giggles outloud when he plays with her... which he truly enjoys. The girls here are noticing my handsome newphew....He is also my coffee runner.

Again much love and if I can this evening I will post photos... if not wonderfully sleeping. We may have more luck in Beijing and we go there tomorrow. Cannot believe how fast this is all going....too fast really.

Again all my love and then some from us both...
my goodness she is perfect.
Karla and AnnaLeisa
Mom Dad and Colin

Wow it has been almost three days together!

I cannot believe I have been unable to post until now.... I have met my girl and she is everything I imagined and more! I am a very busy and active mother of a delightful and very personable girl.
We met on Monday and as we went to the civic affairs office at the top of the stairs suddenly there were Chinese women with babies in their arms and the first one was AnnaLeisa. I knew her immediately and we both looked directly in each others eyes. It was her chin I knew! I broke down sobbing and could do so now again. I had to then go in a room with the other parents and wait. I knew she was across the hall so tried to catch glimpses but alas had to wait. And then she arrived... howling and screaming there was as much tears as snot... gosh she went for it.
I was able to take her into the nannies and have them hold her again and the head one must have had a connection with AnnaLeisa as she would hold her and speak very loudly and rock her vigorously.... Like I will never be able to...
She then gradually pointed to me and said Mama Mama and would touch me and bring her close to me. It was like the kindest most gradual transfers. One could see AnnaLeisa knew what was going on and she fought tooth and nail... Strong nature this little girl.
Then we hung around amidst wailing babies and parents. So great Mom and Dad and Colin were here and to share. They were very moved.
After awhile we went on the bus and AnnaLeisa slept. Once her and I were in the room alone awhile she sat and played with a single toy for a long time. I did get a smile or two out of her... it was a very sweet time together and as long as I provide some curiousity for distraction she shifts her emotion.
She slept from 8-7 am and soundly too.....
(Her mom on the other hand has not been sleeping since Edmonton Yikes).
The next day was overwhelming paper work at the Civic Affairs office and really hard acutally. AnnaLeisa did have more time with her nanny and again another transferring so to speak. Broke my heart to see her reaching for the women she knew so well...
And today she is really blossoming... smiling and laughing and all round just curious. It is now 10 pm on Wed and just before bed she decided she could walk so she is into and throwing everything. All new behavour and a true testament to resilience.
I love her... she called me Moma on the second day.... (thanks to the Nanny). And she really does know who I am to her. She comes to me for everything and I console and love her as much as possible. I am singing to her and somehow imagining wings from my heart that emerge from my chest to cacoon and to hold her and that she feels this support completely.
good night....
Karla and AnnaLeisa....
we'll see about some photos soon. Hard here as very busy.

Sunday, October 01, 2006

China bound.

I am now packing... and packing and then some. AnnaLeisa I meet you a week tomorrow on Thanksgiving day. I am now washing the dogs, washing your linen for your crib, clearing space for Gramma's clothes (she is staying for 2 weeks here in Edmonton) and getting sooo many hugs from everyone who wishes us well. Dear heart when I think of the changes you will experience I am packing only to make that all easier for you. It is big honey! New food, new smells, new language; and a big change in the way of relating. And as much as I am excited and preparing you are living your life as before. Do you hear my heartbeat....? The thread is about to draw closer.

I leave on Tues the 3rd of Oct and fly to Vancouver to see Sean, Sarah and of course Laurie. Then Gramma flies from Nova Scotia to meet me in Vancouver. Her and I then jaunt to Hong Kong to get over jetlag and shop for you. Maybe in Kowloon? On Sun Grampa and cousin Colin arrive to have a quick supper and then a lesson in how to use the DVD for the next day when we meet you. Darling Darling ... I am practising lullabies... singing in my heart to you. Little diddies and soft soothing songs for you to settle.
Are you waking up now. Is the orphanage also preparing? A faster beat of anticipation. Tender touches to you my dear all along a moonbeam.

Saturday, September 23, 2006

Dearest Daughter

Dearest Daughter...
I cannot believe we will meet soon. I am so excited I cannot sleep and everyday imagine our first glimpse of each other. I know it will be a big day for you, a long bus ride and all strange. Then somehow you will be plunked into my arms in the midst of chaos. Other babies, cameras flashing and an overall hubbub. I will be quiet in the midst of it all and just be with you so gently. Quiet, gentle time AnnaLeisa. And maybe in that you will be consoled in your transition time. I hope so honey. I am there for you... and will trust you will communicate what you need and that somehow I will muddle through to understanding.
I love you... It is a clear night and soon I will tuck you in.... soon.

Sunday, September 17, 2006

AnnaLeisa's "Welcoming"

Look at the beautiful Cake from Auntie Praveeta and the cookies ... both with hearts for you!
Auntie Gretchen hosted a party in your honor... One where we all came together and shared a loving space for you to enter.....
We all quietly mingled and said your name. Wait until you meet each one as they are unique and special.
All of our friends came together and bought us a DVD camcorder! That is for you so you can look back and see yourself and enjoy many images growing up! Firstly we will film when we meet for the first time while we are in China. (P.S. Very very soon)
Gretchen also organized for everyone to paint their own special wooden heart to go an a larger heart shape and then it will be hung in your bedroom.... they were wonderfully unique hearts and I can tell you who made each one!
It was a wonderful kind, loving and embracing. We are a lucky duet my dear. The power of the combined heart is only magical. And here is your picture in the center of it all!

Monday, September 04, 2006

Your quilting aunties!

These are some of your quilting aunties...!
Rochelle and I thought ages ago it would be nice for you to have a quilt with fabrics from all of the family and friends who are part of your life. We thought the love in the fabrics would be nice for you to feel. So people sent fabrics from far and wide. And soooo many colors.
Then we found out it is a tradition in China for the village women to hand stitch quilts for newborns. And then we found out that the adoptive community also makes what is called a "hundred good wishes quilt" for adoptive children. Everyone sending good wishes! So a year ago we started! This picture is of Praveeta, Zizi, Marina and Gretchen hand stitching the hearts with red thread. Rochelle is the quilter extra -ordinaire ... you have yet to meet her in the photos.

We had a lovely evening.... weaving you into the fabric of our lives.... each one with a little special flare or stitch. Each auntie will bring you different treasures of the heart... different gifts.

Saturday, August 19, 2006

Anna Leisa

I so love connecting with you this way! My heart sings with writing to you and imagining you hear my words in your heart..
It is thundering now and always this will connect me to you. In that place where thunder rocks you in the chest with deep reverberations; a chesty song that roars with life.
I have your name now.... Anna Leisa Lei Jin Fu Sonnichsen. We will call you "Leisa" with the memory of thunder in your world.
I love you dear ... and in these days I also miss you!

Thursday, August 17, 2006

Meeting You!

Dr. Aung, our local traditional Chinese doctor who also practices western medicine met you( He was so happy to see your face and to learn your very very good name. He wants to meet with you some day and said he wants to tell you how "interesting you are". He is such a kind and compassionate man and in his Buddhist teachings understood you and I to be very good together. We will go and see him one day and you will see he is very very wise. He said your name is good: Lei is 'thunder' and gives you strength, Jin is 'scholastic and earthly , and Fu is 'good fortune'. He says it means you will have hardship but that you will come up from that. He meditated on us that night and I know a meeting in the spirit occurred. Soon I will know your western name.

Wednesday, August 02, 2006

Little tremblings....

I think honey our little house shook yesterday... There was so much energy in our little home that the walls jiggled and the roof popped off a couple of times. I think there was so much happening right here that you probably felt it there? A little tremble of love. We had so many visitors and calls and emails and well wishes. Everyone thought you were beautiful, well cared for and healthy....wise and in general just perfect. We all welcome you.
I am so happy. Carrying your picture with me everywhere....

Tuesday, August 01, 2006

Referral Day!!!!

We are all soooo excited today my love!! You are now in all of my pores! We are bonded now and all it takes is a few weeks and I'll be there to take your hand.

You have a secret on your lips in the baby bald picture. One I will playfully coax our of you daily. It is your little smile that the other two photos don't show. You are a little shy and timid I think. But you will know me and trust me soon and we'll walk together..... Gently at first and then surely.

Gramma cried when she saw you and it is Granpa's birthday and he could not get a better present.

I sit now at Alberta Children's services waiting for your file and writing to you of my love.

You are perfect!

Jin Fu Lei
June 28, 2005
Leizhou, Guongdong
17 lbs and 27"at 10 months of age
4 teeth

Wednesday, July 26, 2006

Hi honey.... are you up now? In some kind of morning routine.... eating, sleeping, playing and hopefully some cuddling?

It is gently raining here and it feels so quiet as I think of you. Today I found out your files have left China and I imagine them on a plane being transported through the skies. I have to keep reminding myself it is not you! I think you are coming. And I am so excited. So the next little wait may be awhile.

Here are Gramma and Granpa. Tonight I called them in Nova Scotia and they were watching a movie on Beijing. They think I need to tie a rope to them so they do not get lost. Imagine!

Monday, July 24, 2006

We are still waiting.... quietly and joyfully

Well there has been a delay but I wanted you to know that on the 15th of July I knew we were matched... I could feel you in my chest! I knew as I beamed with it! And since then I have relaxed into our permanence. Yahhh! And now I hear your photo may arrive early next week.
Are these the two cutest dogs in the world. They are ours.... and they are in for a big surprise when you arrive. Kirby and Lola will adore you! Night sweetie.

Wednesday, July 19, 2006

Referrals are coming!

Hi again little girl....
I just read that the CCAA is sending referrals as planned and I may see your darling little face in the next week. I am soooo excited. It looks as thought Grandma and Grandpa and your cousin Colin are all coming to greet you.
Sometime in September we will arrive and then see you in person .....and hold you.
I can't wait to start to learn who you are
what makes you giggle ... and smile... and content.
to get to know your rhythms.
Soon you and I will have time to develop a beat together.
It will take a little time but what a team we will make
much love my girl.
we are closer

Tuesday, July 04, 2006

Hi Little one!

Well ... it has been one year today since I was logged in to China's files. I thought I would be expecting a referral in Jan. and then meeting you in March! It has been a long wait and with many ups and downs. I have read and read and read and met with other adoptive parents and their children. I have finished your room and only today went to frame some of Sean's painting for your walls.

Last night I tossed and turned wondering if we were being matched today. Has the thread been tied? Seems like something has changed?

I love you .... do you know the possibility of attaching at this point. Do you know that one person can love you? Like the Little Prince and his Rose?

I am here.

the matching month

Hi You!

Here I am in the hot July heat and wondering if you are sleeping and hot too? It is the matching month and I wonder how it is done? Sometime this month someone in a china office will know to match me with you. Will they look in my eyes and see you? Or will they, as the rumours say, go by the bone structure from my face ? I acutally see some kind of logic in that. Some kind of Chinese understanding of the rhythms of generations and how we pass on stories through our bodies. How is the matching done? And in the moment that we are matched will I know? Will you?

Soon we are to meet.

I feel my little thin thread loosely floating from my heart... an unconnected heart string. Patiently waiting and occassionally flapping. Is it red? I think so. The Chinese myth of two who are destined having red threads that eventually meet each and then they are connected... to never part. Do you feel yours?

It is late as I again contemplate names? More roll of my tongue and I wait for the matching date. The time when I see your face and hear the name that you are hearing every day. The one rolling off of caretakers tongues.... shall we keep it?


Monday, June 26, 2006

Hello little one!

Hi dear heart... I am sitting under a darkening sky with the stars aglow and wondering where you are. I have been waiting for you and soon we will meet far from here.. in your land.

I kiss you gently this night.... in my mind....softly on your cheek.. and wonder if you feel a light brushing across your skin?