11:21 AM

Happy Birthday Baby Girl

You are the best adventure.

We reached many milestones in Elora's life this year.  She has now been with us longer then without us.  She talks in complete sentences, telling long winded detailed stories of her days, to any one who will listen.  She runs, jumps, walks a balance beam, climbs and could likely fly if she put her mind to it.  She has over come sensory issues with sand, water and grass and thoroughly enjoyed her summer outside this year. Her manners are improving and her concentration skills too.  We had a very successful seven hour road trip and she watched a whole movie at the theater! I know I tend to underestimate her, and to hover, so I am learning to let her try more, to be braver, because she can do anything, and even if she can't it's okay to fail.

We recently had a month where she was grieving a lot.  Now we are on the other side of that and I can see that during that time she transitioned from grieving the loss of her nanny to now grieving the loss of her first family.  She first mentioned her birth family during a swaddle, and for a while it seemed she could only talk about them when she was in that safe spot.  Recently however, talk of them has come up more and more. She has asked me to invite her China family to her birthday party.  I have tried to explain that I can not because I don't know where they are.  Each day she comes to me with a new proposed solution for getting them an invitation.  "How 'bout call China family?"  "How 'bout ask nanny call them?" "How 'bout when I grow up bigger can they come?" "Ask them on computer?".
Then yesterday at McDonalds she found an Asian man hugged him and invited him to her party with great joy!  We had to have a talk that night again about the fact that even though we do not know where China Baba is we can be very sure he is not at our McDonalds.  It's just heart breaking.  She just can not quite understand how they could be her family but not reachable.  I worry about her party this weekend when the cold hard reality will come crashing down on her, I think she still expects that they will come.

When I look back on this year, I think I will remember most how much she gained this year in accomplishments but also that she first realized what it is she lost so long ago.  She is so much more grown up then three in that way.  She seems to me to have become a very old soul this year.  Although she is full of joy and love and light, I can see that she knows things, has begun to understand things that have robbed her of her innocence.  I am very, very sad that I can not shield her from this knowledge.  I wish I could do more to make it easier.

This is her birthday video, an annual tradition in our family to sum up the year on each birthday.  It is set to the song Candle on the Water.  Once upon a time, I used to think of my some-day-soon future daughter and how I would light her way home to us.  Recently though I now think of how she is the true candle on the water for me when I am lost and drifting, her smile lifts all the clouds away, she guides me and shows me life's purpose and the meaning of fresh starts, determination and transformations.  The light of our lives.  Elora.

5:08 PM

Connect-a-kid Adoptee mentoring

We just signed up our daughter for Connect-A-Kid mentoring! We need more Canadian families signed up to create chapters in our major cities. If you think your child could benefit please sign up on their website.

Connect-A-Kid provides post-adoption services to adopted children and their families in the form of a mentorship program. We utilize a facilitated group-mentoring platform for two main purposes:

- It allows for the children to have multiple adult adoptee mentors

- It fosters interaction amongst other adopted children in the area

The group-mentoring approach will help ensure a safe and interactive experience for each child. Children will benefit not only from the mentors, but also from their peers in their group. We believe each group offers a diverse and culturally rich dynamic that will help your child to view adoption as nothing else but normal.