What an incredible journey into motherhood this has been! On January 8th we celebrated our first Gotcha/Family Day...on January 18th, Keira celebrated her second birthday. I am blessed beyond measure that this precious little girl is my daughter. For those still checking in on the blog every now and then, enjoy!
|United at last - January 8, 2012. Keira might not have been impressed right away, but her mommy was over over the moon!|
|January 20th, after many hours and two flights, we arrived at the airport to friends and family.|
|Keira turned a year old on January 18th, two days before we left China. We celebrated at home with family on January 29th when we weren't quite so jet lagged.|
Keira is a thinker...she looks, watches, and takes everything in. Gradually the scowl and semi-frown that would frequent her brow turned into a grin, a smile, and full out laughter. When the giggling begins, it's contagious! She came through the front door in the wee hours of the morning on January 21 and literally appeared to breathe a sigh of relief. She belonged, pets and all. It was as though she had always been here. Keira was finally home.
|Celebrating Mommy's birthday with immediate family the beginning of February|
|Happy Valentine's Day!|
|She figured out all too quickly what a telephone was all about...look out teenage years!|
|This child LOVES to be outside.|
|Happy Canada Day!|
|Love, love, love the swing!!!|
|First bike ride!|
|Keira would practise walking every chance she got.|
|We took Mom and Tot swimming lessons for two weeks in July. Keira was a "Duck".|
On August 15th, Keira took her first solo steps. She hasn't looked back since! She was also quite excited when her baby cousin arrived. We took advantage of the nice summer weather and went on a mini road trip to Niagara Falls and visited friends in Burlington. We ended up coming home with a new kitten, Rain, adopted from the Burlington Humane Society. She is a cutie and settled nicely into our household, following Keira around wherever she goes!
|First trip to a zoo. The kid (as in baby goat) decided to join Keira while she snacked on some blueberries. His choice of fine dining was the zoo map!|
|Saying hello to one of our friend's cats...she has five plus was fostering a mom and her kittens. Busy household!|
|True tourists visiting the Falls|
|Hello baby! Meeting her cousin for the first time.|
September was a quiet month. It was the month I was supposed to go back to work however, the months since coming home had passed by far too quickly. I was so not ready to go back to work and leave my little one in childcare (I'm still not!), so I extended my leave until mid March, the longest I could go without losing right of return to my position. We returned to our routine of weekly playgroup and Kindermusik, and we took advantage of the beautiful weather by getting outside as much as possible.
|Mommy and I took Oma and my cousin on the annual AdoptWalk. It would be nice to make this an annual tradition.|
|First pony ride!|
The month of Thanksgiving and Halloween! We certainly had a lot to be thankful this year! Keira also became a citizen on the 24th of the month, although we didn't find out until mid November. Yes, we certainly did have a lot to be thankful for!
|Waiting patiently for dessert to arrive after Thanksgiving dinner.|
|The hat lasted all of two minutes! ;-)|
One year ago on the first of this month, I saw Keira's precious face for the first time. One year ago on the first of this month, I had a face to the name I had chosen so long ago. One year ago on the first of this month, I became a mom....a mom to a beautiful baby girl I could only see in a picture. I had to wait another two months to hold her however, after waiting almost seven years, two months was nothing! It literally flew by. Upon seeing her face, the years of waiting melted away and my focus switched to preparing for the BIG trip...truly the trip of a lifetime. A journey that would bring me to her. A journey that would bring her home. In November Keira's citizenship arrived in the mail. The official date was in October, but the documents arrived in mid November. How appropriate given November was our referral anniversary month.
|Is that really me?|
|Visiting Oma in hospital after she broke her foot and had to have surgery.|
|November 15 - the day my citizenship arrived in the mail!|
|Helping Mommy clean up in prep for winter.|
Well, we all know what December brings! And no, I'm not just referring to snow. Our first visit with Santa, our first outing to a children's version of the Nutcracker (Max and Ruby - even though Keira has no idea who they are!) and, of course, our first Christmas together! And yes, we did indeed end up getting our first snowfall and since then it hasn't let up!
|Day One of the Advent Calendar...it became an obsession! Someone still had bed head!|
|Showing off a special parcel that arrived in the mail. This doll was picked out by friends who traveled to Germany. They also sent Keira slippers from Holland. Keira LOVES getting mail!|
|December 6th - still snow free!|
|Dressed up and ready to go to our first big show - a children's Max and Ruby version of The Nutcracker . Keira was still a tad young, but it was extremely well done and her four year old cousin loved it!|
|Christmas Day - always the character!|
|Caught in thought on New Year's Eve during the day.|