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Almost a milestone

The Kid and I were playing on the floor when she handed me a book that was in with the toys.  I started reading it and she stopped what she was doing to listen.  She's got this little noise she makes when she wants something, so I started reading again.  When I was finished, she stood up next to me, using my knee to balance and I handed her the book.

She let go.  She didn't fall and she stood there for what seemed to be a few minutes, although I'm sure it was just a few seconds. It was the first time she stood on her own without leaning on something or having furniture nearby to grab.  She was actually standing without help! 

Sure, it wasn't her first step but we missed a lot of her first so I get excited when we get to see the first of anything.  I'm sure she didn't understand why Gladys and I were staring at her until she sat down, then started yelling, "Good Job!" and hugging her.  But it was our first first and hopefully not our last. 

A few ot…

Why don't people adopt locally?

A friend of mine posted this on Facebook a few days ago in response to the recent kerfuffle between the United States and the Russian governments:

People are up in arms over Russia's new adoption policy banning Americans from adopting. How about looking at adopting the millions of kids that are in our own foster care system & in need?
The response to her post was mostly positive, with me throwing in my current favorite phrase on to use on Facebook, all the likes (thanks Ryan!).  But a few of the responses showed pretty clearly that there is a bias against adopting kids who are currently in foster care.  On the surface, I know the negative comes from ignorance about how the system works.  But how much of that is willful ignorance as a way to avoid the idea of adopting a kid of another race?

The first negative response was just imbecilic, stating that it's much easier to adopt a kid internationally.  While I can only speak our personal experience; I would have to say the…

A note to The Kid from our dog Barney

One year ago on the day after Christmas, my Mommy and Papa came to the Michigan Humane Society to adopt me.  Mommy saw me on a website (I still don't know what that is), thought I was cute and they came to meet me.  I was so nervous, I peed a little on the floor when they met me.  But they must have thought I was cute, because I went home with them that day.

When Mommy and Papa told me they were adopting a human puppy, I thought they were going to come right home with you.  Instead, they came home crying.  I thought they were sad, they said they were happy.

When they brought you home the first time, I thought you were a little strange.  You didn't have much hair (I don't know how you stay warm!).  You walked on all four legs like I thought you would but you didn't go outside to pee.  You had this thing on they called a diaper so you wouldn't have to go outside.  And just as I was getting use to you, they took you away.  You came back to visit a lot so I could st…

Curious about curiosity

I know all kids put things in their mouth in an effort to figure out what something is, but The Kid is just a little different (I'm sure this belief has something to do with my personal bias).  They day we met her, I wore a button down shirt.  She had never seen a button before and spent a good chunk of our visit trying to figure out what buttons were.  She pulled and stared at them before she put one in her mouth.

She is not content until she figures out what something is, or at least that's what it seems like.  Since The Kid speaks more Wookie than she does English or Spanish, I'm not quite sure what she is thinking when she spends time studying things but I am darn sure it is fun to watch.
We've spent considerable time rubbing the decals on the wall above her changing table, noticing the difference in texture between the decal and the wall.  The baby in the mirror provides for countless hours of mirth, even though she can't figure out why the baby doesn't …

Can I shield The Kid from everything?

I couldn't help myself.  I got back from a walk with The Kid and our dog, took her out of the backpack carrier and shed a few tears as I hugged her.

My intent was to work from home today, although I was able to accomplish very little because the events in Connecticut felt like they happened right in our backyard, not 700 miles from our home in Detroit.  (For the record, I'm pretty sure my boss reads this blog and I will assure him that I'll make up for the time soon.) 

Being a new father, I was overcome with the knowledge that I as much as I want to protect The Kid from all harm, I can't.  As much as I want to be there to scare off every bully, tell each teenage boy to step off or shield her from an attacker, there will be times that I can't.  Ultimately, all Gladys and I can do is give her a loving home, arm her with as much knowledge as possible and pray.

We want her to be a loving, warm, respectful child.  A child who is curious about the world, who values l…

Lessons learned and remembered

We are just putting the wraps on our second weekend as The Kid's parents.  Getting her ready for bed seems to be taking longer lately, mostly because I think she's afraid she is going to be missing something if she closes her eyes.  So I had a little more time to reflect on what I've learned about her since she came home and some of the things I've remembered from all the time I spent with my cousins when they were born.
Little ones, especially when they are under a year old, feed off of the emotions of the people around them.  My cousin Logan seemed to know when I was frustrated and tired, which would upset him, making my night longer.The Kid has a different cry for every occasion.  There is the, "how dare you take that from me, I wanted it," cry.  There is the, "I'm so mad, if I knew how to speak, I'd curse you out," cry.  And there is the heartbreaking thermonuclear cry, when she's so tired and upset that she just can't be comforte…

Hey man, that's a good look

Our dog Barney is partially responsible for me losing 15 pounds in the past year.  He's done this by making sure I get a daily walk.  Usually we go across Jefferson Avenue to Indian Village so I can wonder and dream about what life in Detroit must have been like in the 1910's.

During one of The Kid's first long visits, I decided she should partake in this ritual the dog and I have started.  So I bundled her up, put her in her stroller and began the delicate task of pushing a stroller while hanging on to the leash with Barney attached to the other end, a nonplussed Barney at that.

As we were walking across the crosswalk on Jefferson, headed back home, a guy waiting at the light rolled down his window and said, "Hey man.  That's a good look."

A big smile came across my face and I said a grateful thank you to him.  It was the first time a stranger said anything to me assuming I was a father, and hearing those words just affirmed that my wife and I are right in…

Welcome to your forever home Kid

Your Momma called me Thursday, November 29, 2012 about 11:30 a.m. to tell me the good news, we were named your legal guardians.  It's one step closer us becoming your adoptive parents but you're home now.  As our dog Barney would tell you, this is your forever home.

For you, the process has been pretty quick.  You've known us for a few months.  For us, we've been waiting a lifetime for you.  I can't speak for Momma, but the past few months have been some of the longest months of my life because I couldn't wait to be able to call you my daughter.  The day we met you and you fell asleep on Momma's shoulder, I knew you would capture my heart as my daughter. 

Now that Momma and I are your guardians, there are a few things you should know.

There is a difference between a house and a home.  A house is a location, a home is a place where you will always find people who love you.  This is your home.

Your Papa isn't a perfect person.  I will never claim to be …

More time to think

The Kid has been on a series of visits with us the past few months that will culminate in Gladys and I being named her legal guardians soon.  Starting with our first meeting at Catholic Social Services, our visits have increased from one hour supervised to having The Kid for the entire Thanksgiving holiday weekend.

She is just discovering her feet and exactly how useful feet can be in personal mobility.  Until now, crawling was a significant advancement in her pursuit of finding things to get into and it is a skill that she is quite adept at.  Given her mobility and her penchant for doing cute things, it might strike you as odd that I feel like I have more time to think and reflect, but I do.

I love bedtime.  The Kid and I have begun establishing our own routine where Papa (that's me) reads a few stories, then the white noise machine is turned on and the projector on the machine rotates a cow jumping over the moon, which is reading a book and sheep floating so it is easily counte…

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