Archive for 'Adventure'
You slept late this morning and when I ventured into your room a little after 9, you were still curled up all cozy and adorable in your crib. Sometimes you take a while to uncurl yourself from your sleepy cocoon and need a little cuddle time before you face the rest of the world. Other days you pop right up with a huge smile as soon as we walk through the door. I’m not sure which days I like better.
Once you’re awake, we go right to the window to look out at the day ahead of us. Today, as always, you banged your hand on the glass and made all kinds of sweet baby sounds as you looked out at the grass and trees and blowing leaves. You love windows of all kinds and smartie pants that you are, already figured out how to climb up on the heat registers so you can look out the windows downstairs. You also figured out how to safely get back down when you’re done peering out — it took Anni a lot longer to work that one out. She used to just stand there and yell for us when she wanted to get down. :)
You say dada, mama, and today you said poppoppoppoppop, while we were visiting PopPop, which he was just tickled about. Sometimes you yell rigdig-rigdig! We don’t know what it means, but we really like it. You want so badly to eat food like the rest of us, but at one year old you are still a toothless wonder! We’ve been joking for a while that we might have to invest in baby dentures. We sit you in a booster seat at the table with us while we eat and you are so excited to be eating meals with everyone like a big boy. You smile and laugh and dance and make adorable, irresistible faces. We give you tiny mushy bits of food and you gobble them and smear them and throw them in all directions and if anyone is sitting next to you, you snuggle that person in between bites. It’s the best seat in the house, right next to you. We’ve been extra vigilant, waiting anxiously for these missing teeth that we know are on their way. Last night we finally saw the tip of one tiny white tooth poking through. We’re so excited for you and all of the food you’ll finally be able to chew very soon, but we kind of selfishly love that we got to enjoy your gummy little baby grins for so long.
You have a hundred and one nicknames. Z. Zavi. Z-man. Zavi J. Zeebeedoos. Baby. Baby Z. Z-pack. Big Z. Baby Oliver. Zeke. Zippitydoo. Everyone loves to make little names up for you, and you don’t mind one bit. Yet.
You love clapping, snuggling your yellow blanket, feeding time, and the Foo Fighters (you’re SOOOOoooo one of us). You’re not so fond of green veggies, being upside down, or light-up toys in your crib at night. Luckily your sister likes all of those, so it works out.
You just started taking your first steps over the last few days, and you’ve been totally thrilled about it. Usually you dance around a little bit before daring to throw your feet out a step or two, and we remember that Anni did the same thing. We love that even though you’re not biologically related, you’re absolutely, totally, no doubt about it brother and sister. When we give you your last bottle before bed, Annika always asks for her milk and snuggles right up next to you on the floor where you both get all milky and sleepy-eyed and cozy together. Before bed every night, she insists on kissing you goodnight. Sometimes you go all giggly-pants and hysterical at her smooches. Sometimes you just lean in over and over for more kisses and can’t get enough. Either way, she loves it, and we think you do, too.
You’re only 1 and she’s only 2 1/2 and you already team up to cook up trouble. You’ve created this awesome game together where Anni pulls all the cushions off the couch which makes it low enough for you to climb up on, and you both get up there and jump around and laugh like crazy at yourselves. Last night there was a new version of the game where you stood on the couch and waited for Anni to come racing around the corner, at which point you both screamed, she gave you a little shove, and you bounced down to your bum, giggling like mad and scrambling to get back up and do it all over again. I was worried you might hurt yourself or fall off the couch, so I piled cushions up below and hovered nearby waiting to catch you just in case, but after a little while I realized you knew exactly what you were doing and how much tumbling was just enough. You never fell once. But I still waited in the back to catch you, just in case.
I always will.
There are so many things that we love about adopting — and this is one of them: the fact that your adoption gives us not just one short day to celebrate your birth, but five amazing, fun, memory-filled days.
First: The day you were born. Of course. Even though we didn’t get to celebrate it the first time around….
Second: Two days later — October 17th. When we got a phone call out of the blue telling us that we had been chosen specially by your birth mama to complete this amazing thing she had started … the loving and feeding and nurturing and teaching and cuddling and growing of YOU. Is there any greater honor in the world than being trusted with all of that? We’re pretty sure there’s not.
Third: Two MORE days later — October 19th. The day we were finally able to see you and hold you and breathe you. I remember watching Daddy crouch down at your car seat, saying his first words to you, and watching as he fell instantly in love with you. I remember wondering how, at 4 days old, you had already traveled so far, met so many people, and been through so much, all on your own. In that moment, I knew you were already wiser than anyone I would ever meet, and a survivor. You had touched so many lives on your journey to us and we could tell right away that you had charmed them all. You were such a super handsome little dude, but seemed so serious. We hoped a little of our goofiness would rub off on you. Daddy and I love to tell people that we could never have created such beautiful kiddos with our own DNA. We’re also sure we could not have created good singers, dancers, or basketball players, among other things. We can’t wait to see how you both surprise us with your talents. :)
Fourth: One week later — October 25th. The day we boarded our first plane together and brought you home. That was the day you and Annika first met. In true big-sisterly fashion, we set you down at the airport and told her you were her little brother, and she yelled out “NO!” and ran away. (In her defense, she wasn’t even 2 yet, and had just learned the word “no”. The next morning when she found your tiny little self sleeping in the moses basket next to our bed, I heard her whisper baby so softly, and then she put her favorite toy in the basket next to you and looked down at you like you were the best present the world had ever given her. And to be honest, you were. We couldn’t possibly top you.)
And fifth: seven months later — May 11th. When we stood in a courtroom in Fort Worth, Texas, holding you so tight, and listening to the judge declare what had always been. That you were ours and we were yours forever.
Happy birthday sweet boy. We’re so in love with you. We can’t wait to celebrate all five of your special days for a million years to come.
mama + daddy
I was in East Hampton this weekend to photograph the exact moment when Edward and Lily became officially entangled in love. More on that very soon.
The night before their big day, we took our giddy selves on a late night camera adventure.
It was dark. Really, incredibly, can’t see 12 inches away from you dark. These were taken shortly after 10 pm at and around Louse Point, East Hampton, NY, on the eve of the harvest moon (which was….of course….entirely obstructed by a thick layer of cloud).
This is the church where Ed and Lily got married the next day. So sweet and unassuming and absolutely perfect for their wedding.
Huge thanks to my amazing friend/assistant/camera-caddy/animal house roommate/best person ever, Jessica, who was by my side all weekend long. She answered to the affectionate nickname “Friend” for 3 days without complaint, happily pushed foreign little camera buttons in complete and utter darkness, and sang Salt-N-Pepa songs at all the right times.
Friend is such a shameful understatement for you, but the right word hasn’t been invented yet. It’s something with lots of capitals and exclamation points and smiley faces. Once it is invented, I will use it endlessly and much to everyone’s embarrassment. I can’t wait.
Two days ago at this time, we thought we’d wait a year for our next baby.
Two days ago at this time, Annika was upstairs napping, I was sitting at my desk editing some images, and Jed was just finishing up at work….when the phone rang.
Two days ago at this time, we found out that a birthmom had made the hardest decision of her life, choosing us to raise her beautiful, sweet, loved baby boy — to give him the life she couldn’t.
Two days ago at this time, our world expanded exponentially and our hearts got even fuller (if that is possible).
Yesterday at this time, we were racing to catch a plane to Texas. We caught it, with 4 minutes to spare.
Today, right now, we are sitting in a hotel room in Houston, holding our gorgeous little boy. He is four days old, but we feel like he’s been in our hearts forever.
We’re still processing the whirlwind that was the last 48 hours. We had just filled out our final paperwork to become active with our adoption agency 18 days ago. We thought we’d wait about a year. Instead we waited two and a half weeks before we got a call telling us our son had already been born & when could we come get him? It still sounds so wild. We can hardly believe it’s all real, but here we are with this tiny little man, and he’s ours. All ours. We are absolutely, undeniably, screaming from the rooftops, jumping up and down, overjoyed at this incredible surprise!
Into the universe we release a trillion and more thank yous to his precious birthmama for giving him life, for protecting and nurturing him over the last 9 months, for trusting us to care for him and raise him the way that she hoped, and last but never ever least — for giving him his beautiful middle name.
Without further ado, we introduce our newest family member, and Annika’s baby brother, Zavier Jordan.
Welcome to the world sweet boy! We feel so lucky that out of all the parents in all the universe — you chose us. We’re already head over heels.
Have I mentioned lately that this child is my stars, my moon, my light in the dark? I feel like she was hand picked for us. Seriously, just plucked out of a universe full of babies by the wisest hand anyone has ever known.
I spend a good part of each night laying in bed just before I fall asleep, wondering at how terribly clumsy each step felt on the way to her, but how exactly right it all looks in hindsight….as if each bumbling move was orchestrated to come together into this sweet symphony of family, and every measure led us directly to her.
How lucky are we to have found each other? That question occupies a little part of the back of my brain…pretty much all day, every day.
But especially when I find her wandering around the house, giggling, with a sweater pulled over her head.
We got Annika a baby bike helmet.
No, she doesn’t bike yet.
But she definitely needed it….
You’re finally here.
We’ve been waiting for you for so, so, SO long.
And now you’re here.
And we’re never going inside again.
We’re even shampooing our hair outside, by the hose, in the driveway.
With all of our clothes on.
That’s how much we’re not going inside.
At least, not until dinnertime.