We are The Poe's. Now a family of 5 through adoption. Here's a peek into our lives. Welcome!


Wednesday, September 29, 2010

It's about time...

...for an update, no?

Well, there hasn't been a whole lot to report on around the Poe household lately. I guess that's good, right? Does that mean that our lives are starting to feel more "normal"? ...Maybe.

Desi is doing great. She seems to be adjusting really well and seems totally at ease here with us. It's really amazing to look back at the past couple of months since we picked up this scared little baby from the orphanage and see how she has changed into a happy toddler!

I think she looks totally different! In the pictures of her the day we met her she seemed really small, she had NO HAIR and she had this stinky little scowl on her face. To compare that to the pictures of her now, smiling and happy with her little fro coming in...

...night and day, people, Night-And-Day!



She's still doing really well with the sleep too...takes a really good nap during the day and then at night she's going to bed willingly with little or no fussing and pretty much sleeping through the night...[most nights I do have to get up 1 or 2x when she fusses and lay her back down, but it only takes about a minute and then I am back to bed!]

Right now I think our biggest hurdle is communication. I think that her understanding of English is really coming along. When you talk to her or ask her to do something she really seems to understand. And although we haven't been teaching her a lot of sign language, I think that she understands the concept of signing to communicate. She's got "please" and "more" down pat. I'm also asking her to repeat my words back a lot. At first she was so stubborn....it drove me crazy! But now I am finding that she is making the effort...it doesn't usually sound anything like the English words, but I can really appreciate her effort to "speak" when mommy asks her to repeat or say something...its a step in the right direction!

Words that I'm pretty sure she saying...
  • Jakey
  • Cheese [as in "say cheese!" because I take so many pictures]
  • Mama
  • Dada [once in a while...]
  • More [it sounds more like "muh" and sometimes look like she's kissing the air...but I'll take it!]

Some cute things that she's learned to do....

  • wave goodbye
  • blow kisses
  • give kisses
  • dance and sing to music [she's got this arm pump thing that she does when she hears music...very cute!]
  • clean up [she's really good about cleaning up a mess that she makes or putting toys away at the end of the day...very different than Jake and Em, so I think it's cute!]
I might be willing to say that there is a little bit of progress in the girls' relationship...Em's baby stepping to getting along with her sister. There have been moments...glimmers of hope...where I thought things were looking up....these are usually short lived and followed up with some catty behavior on both sides. This relationship is definitely a work-in-progress...so I'll let you know as we make more progress!

We did have one big event...Em's 3rd Birthday! I can't believe that she's 3! This September has been unusually hot....exactly the way it was in 2007 when I was about to pop! We had a great celebration with the family [also celebrating the 4th birthday of Em's twin cousins, Lo and Jilli.] I channeled my inner Martha Stewart and crafted some fun and cute decorations and favors for the party...I hadn't been crafty in a really long time. It was fun! I might try to keep it going. Em got some really fun toys and adorable clothes for fall! I love dressing her up! Having little girls is so much fun!

Jake is really thriving and doing well in the 1st grade. I can't believe how well he reads! And his penmanship has improved by leaps and bounds! He seems to love it and is doing so great! I'm always so proud of him...such a smart boy! I must admit though, that by 2:45pm, I can hardly wait for the bus to pull up! I miss having him home during the day!

As for me and the hubs, we are good too. I'm back at work a few hours each week...easing back in. It's a nice break for me! Ryan's working from home during those times so he can stay with Desi...we're not far from being able to leave her at Sandy's house. She does really great over there and her bonding with Gam is going fantastically! Ryan's also getting started on his classwork to get his Masters of Social Work, so he's pretty busy.

I am so excited that it's fall! I love this season so so much! Can't wait to hit the pumpkin patches with the kids! I also love watching the Colts play!! The only thing I am not looking forward to about fall...raking the leaves! Last year was our first fall in a house with mature trees! The raking is crazy! Will you come and help? I would pay you in baked goods? Any takers???

This is one of my favorite pics from last fall's leaf raking...Em looks very helpful here!

Happy Fall my friends!

Sunday, September 12, 2010

The Moment.....

....I've been waiting for!

Last night I slept....IN MY BED!!!!!!



It was a risky move. Was it too soon???
[not for me! 6 1/2 weeks without a good night of sleep...need I say more?]

I took the plunge....
...and slept!!! Ahhh, glorious!

[The girls did wake up at 4:30 and I had to go in and tell them to go back to sleep...it only took a minute or two. They were up for good a 6:30...too early, but worth a night in my own personal paradise....my bed! ]

Saturday, September 11, 2010


Our adoption agency Bethany Christian Services has recently started offering an amazing service to adopting families....it's called a Lifebook. It's a set of 2 dvd that provides our family with valuable information about Desalee's past and chronicles our time in Ethiopia. We received this treasure while we were still in country, but hadn't really gotten around to viewing it until just yesterday.

I can only think of one word..WOW!

It was like opening a huge surprise gift that you had no idea you were getting! The first of the DVD's is really the kind of thing that you would share with your family and friends. It starts with some interesting information about Ethiopia and the culture. Then it gives more specific information about the area that Desi came from, followed by photos and footage of her in the orphanage. The videographer was there to document our first meeting [which is in reality kind of boring to watch because she was kind of catatonic!] and the farewell ceremony the day we took her from the orphanage. It will be great to show this to the important people in our lives and with Desi some day.

But the real treat was the 2nd DVD--her birth history. I blogged about our meeting the Desi's birth father [ here ]. We thought that we got all the info that this man was willing to give that day. It's really not that I felt like he was holding back, but in "the moment" it's hard to remember to ask all the questions. I spent the next couple of days thinking of things that I wished that I had asked and feeling disappointed that it was too late to ask if her mothers hair was soft or course? curly or straight? What was her birth like? Why did you give her that name?

This video stunned us with all that it held! And so many questions were answered! Thank God! We had no idea that we would have this to give her! I won't share the specifics because this treasure belongs to Desi and we will wait for the right moment to share it with her and allow her to decide who she will share it with.
I am so grateful that we were offered this service and resource.

I was skeptical at first as to whether it was worth the cost....

Tuesday, September 7, 2010

A Change of Seasons...

We have been home with Desalee for almost 5 weeks now! It's pretty hard for me to believe it! But the calendar doesn't lie. Summer is fading into fall and a new season is on the horizon. Something about the change from summer to autumn really inspires and invigorates me. I love how everything changes and kind of starts over, the world changes color, temperatures cool off, breezes start blowing. I love putting away all the summer clothes that I am so sick of wearing and getting out the snuggly warm stuff. Fall is my favorite season! I'm ready to cook chili and vegetable soup! Ready to watch football games with friends on Sunday afternoons! I want pumpkins in my yard and earthy, spicy candles burning on my mantle!

This summer was hurried by anticipation and it flew by for our family, it's really almost feels like it didn't happen! But that's okay with me. It's good to have it behind us. I always look forward to fall!

I'm starting to feel the seasons change in my life too. this "summer" has been uncomfortable...[you catch my drift?] I'm ready to be done with it. I'm starting to feel the next season moving in and I'm ready! I feel like I've been out of town for a really long time and am finally home! And home is definitely where my heart is! It's a good feeling to feel like yourself again.

I can tell you why it's getting easier and I'm feeling so much better....SLEEP! And I'm getting a lot more of it now! In the last week we've really turned a corner around here when it comes to sleeping! Desi's doing much better at night and we moved Emily back in to her bed. [that puts me on the trundle mattress on the floor in the girls' room.] We have our little slumber party every night...girls only! Hopefully as the girls get used to sleeping in the room with each other, it will provide me with the opportunity to get out of there and back to my bed!

Our nap time routine has improved as well. I am no longer rocking! I'm now able to put Desi down fully awake and wait for her to fall asleep. In fact, today, I stood in the hallway wit the door open a crack so that she could see me. She didn't cry. I was really proud of her!

It's really interesting for me to look back on the last few weeks...on one hand it feels like we're still right in the thick of the transition...we still have our share of daily challenges. But when I think of where we started, I can see how far we've come and it's pretty amazing. Honestly, I didn't know if I was going to make it there for a while! It seemed impossible! But now I realize that we did make it through what I think is the hardest part. [Thank goodness for the prayers of our friends and family!] She is such a different child than the one we met in an orphanage not so long ago...she's even a different child than the one we brought home to Indy.

Up next? Words. This kid needs to learn some ENGLISH! So, that's what we are going to work on. Sometimes I think working on something with measurable progress keeps me sane. So, here's hoping I'm blogging about all the words she's picking up very soon!

[hey if you like this hat, you can get one HERE. Proceeds support a family's Ethiopian adoption.]

Thursday, September 2, 2010

Sometimes a girl...

...just needs her momma! (and her daddy too!)

This past weekend/week I was so happy to have my mom and dad come for a visit. Some people reading this blog may not know that I am the only one in my family to permanently break away from the pack and move long distance [my sister, Kelly, ventured out for a few years but was drawn back in to the allure? of St. Jo Mo.] I will say that my family is alluring and each time we have a visit I do have that pang of homesickness. [but please don't tell my mom and dad this because their ultimate dream would be for us to move back and it's just not happening.]

So anyway, mom and dad drove out to visit us and meet Desalee for the very first time. I wasn't sure how Des would do....would she be freaked out by new faces or by my dad's wheelchair? [a wheelchair can be a very intimidating thing for a kid...and it also begs the obvious question of "why don't you walk, papaw?" to which his standard answer is "because I'm lazy." The humor is surely lost on a child, but we all think he's funny.]

As it turns out, Des warmed up faster than either Jake or Emily did at her age! She especially liked my dad and we joked that it was because he was brown and she might be thinking he looked familiar.... :)
[I know it's because he gave her a Famous Amos chocolate chip cookie!]

The first night of our visit was the first chance that I really had to sit face to face with my mom and talk about how hard this adoption transition has been for us. I'm not a big phone talker, so we really hadn't had a good conversation about it. It was so good to be able to pour out my heart and hear my mother's wisdom! Like I said, "sometimes a girl just needs her momma."

I think that this visit is just what I needed...it felt a little bit like a vacation, a break. The kids were more interested in getting the attention of Grandma and Papaw Vinny than mommy. We relaxed outside under the shade trees in the front yard while the kids played, made homemade salsa, ate, talked, skyped with my sister, etc. etc. It just felt so good! It felt so good, in fact, that it felt really hard to say goodbye this time. Harder than usual. I can't believe that I have to wait until Christmas to see them again... :(

While mom and dad were here Desi started a trend [I hope I don't jinx it by calling it a trend...it might be too early for that.] :she's really started to do better with sleep. I can almost always put her down in a drowsy, half-asleep state and get her to fall asleep. And in the night when she starts to wake up if I "ssshhh" at her from across the room she'll go back to sleep. This is great for me! A huge stride in the right direction. My presence in the room is apparently a very big deal to her because the times I've tried to leave while she's awake makes her go hysterical. Our next step will be to bring Emily back in and eventually I'll go back to sleeping in my bed....oh, that will be one glorious night!

She has now also mastered the sign for "more" and does it quite willingly. I dare say that I thought I even heard her say "more" today, but I'm not sure enough to declare it her first audible word. [I'm trying not to push to hard for her to speak english words yet...a session of trying to get her to say "mommy" left this mommy in a huff of frustration and her in a melt- down of tears the other day...choose your battles, Shannon, choose more wisely!] We are now working on the sign for "please" which should come more easily since I think she gets that when we're sitting in front of her pantomiming like fools that she's suppose to copy us!

Today I took Emily to the meet and greet/orientation at her new preschool...which just happens to be at Papaw's church and where Jakey went to preschool for 4 years. When we got there we met Aunt Jenni and the cousins walking in. It was so cute when Jilli and Lo each took Em's hands and they walked in together! I can't believe I missed that photo op! She did great meeting her teachers and new friends and I am excited for her to start next week. [I think it will give her something to focus on besides how much she dislikes her new sister. ;) We're still working on their relationship and looking forward to it becoming more of a friendship.]

So that's what we've been up to this past week....a wonderful time with my family and more progress in our journey back to a new normal. We are looking forward to the long weekend!

Happy Labor Day, friends!