Tuesday, June 28, 2011

Allie Turns 1

June 28th, 2011 Allie Turns One!!! Happy Birthday Allie!!! Daddy took the day off and we enjoyed the day together. Went to the park for a while, but spent most of it hanging out at home. They were repaving our street, which was major excitement. Notice the picture of my 3 shirt-less kids eating popsciles while watching the dump trucks and equipment.

Monday, June 20, 2011

Healthy Baby, Happy Baby

Great news today. Allie had her appointment at the International Adoption Clinic at Children's Hospital today. They do a full evaluation, checking her physically, behaviorally, developmentally... nothing but good news! She's healthy and happy, we are so blessed.

Happy Father's Day!!!


Just had to share the trouble makers... now on to Allie's recent firsts.
First ball game (Go Ethan!).

First trip to the park.
First ride in the bike trailer (she clapped a good part of the ride).

Friday, June 17, 2011

Baby Love

One week ago today, we were on our way back home from the airport with our girl! Seems like she's always been with us. She's doing great, she gets more relaxed every day. Nighttime sleep is still an issue. She wakes up for hours at night and just can't calm down. A 13 hour time difference and total life change will do that to ya, I guess! She'll get there in her own time. We're still trying to keep things low key for her, sticking close to home. She does love to take walks and seems to like meeting new people in small groups. She had her first checkup at the pediatrician and passed with flying colors. She's very tall and doing great developmentally. Ben and Sam just LOVE her, and have been helping with her bottles and baby food. Although, I think the baby food phase isn't going to last long. The girl can EAT and she loves just about any kind of table food I give her. Jeremy is off work through next Wednesday, so we are just enjoying these lazy days getting to know our girl.

Wednesday, June 15, 2011

Smiles, Kisses and Sleep Deprivation

Life with Allie is good. Really good. We are having so much fun getting to know our little girl. She is still very clingy to me, but is finally willing to let Daddy hold her a little more the past day or so. As long as she is very near to me, so is happy. She laughs and shows her 8 little teeth, and her whole face lights up. She's even started to give us kisses. So far she's a fabulous eater., taking 5-6 bottles of formula a day, plus some baby food and a lot of table food. She's going to give Sam a run for his money in the eating department! The scale agrees: At her first checkup we found out she's 21.8 lb which is 65th percentile! She's also very tall, almost off the charts, which is surprising. She got a clean bill of health and our pediatrician was very impressed with how on target she is developmentally. She's walking great, uses a spoon and fork some, mimics sounds... of course we think she's a genius. :)
Sleeping is not her forte so far. She is up a lot at night, although she is slowly improving. Nighttime is when she grieves as if she's realizing all she's lost. She cries and just is so sad and can't relax enough to sleep. It breaks out heart. So we hold her and rock her and reassure her we're not going anywhere. Time will help. We continue to "cocoon" around her some and plan to continue this until she seems completely safe and secure. Our only outing so far has been for her checkup! We're totally enjoying our time at home to just hang out and be together. If only Jeremy could quit his job! We are so incredibly proud of the boys and how they take care of and love on their baby sister!
Here's more homecoming pictures. Our good friend Leigh was generous enough to take some of the airport photos, all while carrying her brand new baby in a front carrier! Her baby Evie is just a little younger than Allie and we just know they'll have a lifelong friendship having embarked on this incredible journey from Korea together.

Sunday, June 12, 2011

Day 2

Hi Everyone!
Well, we are exhausted but doing well. Allie has bonded to me to the point that she literally doesn't want me to put her down--which is a good thing! I literally can't go to the bathroom without her. She is not used to men, as in the Korean culture men often don't play a role in helping with the kids. So she has not taken to Jeremy yet, which of course is killing him. So far, I am holding/sitting with her whenever she is awake and taking care of all her needs. And Jer is on Ben-Sam duty and taking care of the house, cooking, etc. I'm also sleeping on a mattress in her room to help her through the night. She has her nights and days all mixed up, so she literally wants to sleep the day away and play at night. Last night she was awake quite a bit, and she sat next to me on the mattress clapping happily while I tried to doze! We've been told that'll take a few weeks to adjust.
She's eating great, a mixture of table food and baby food. She didn't want a bottle at first, but we've figured out the right type of nipple she likes, so she doing that pretty well too. We have a feeling that once she's more adjusted to us she's going to be a social butterfly. She loves to clap and smile and make sure all eyes are on her (well, except mens' eyes!). Boys are doing GREAT, they love her and kiss her and help take care of her. And they are loving that Daddy is home for almost two weeks.
The airport experience was amazing. While we were waiting for her to come through customs, there was some military men and women returning from duty over seas, so it set a very emotional tone. Then out she came, and she reached right for me. The boys couldn't get enough of her and it was just wonderful. Her escort said she did great on the plane, slept a lot and was pretty social. After a few brief instructions from the escort, she was ours forever. It was a glorious feeling walking out of the airport with her. All 3 kids slept on the ride home from Detroit and so began our life as a family of 5.
We have so many pictures and video to sort through, but they are coming! By the way, she is walking, has 8 teeth and a crazy mop-top of hair! We are smitten already.

Saturday, June 11, 2011

We've FINALLY Got Our Girl!!!

Yesterday went more perfectly than we could have imagined. Boys did so amazingly well in the car ride to Detroit, flight was early, and Allie is phenominal. She's walking, smiling, laughing, playing peek-a-boo and just all around perfection. Pictures and more details to come! See the previous blog for details on how we're going to handle the next few weeks as we bond with her!

Wednesday, June 1, 2011

Allie's Homecoming!!!

Allison Hee Young Coleman

Born: June 28, 2010, Seoul, South Korea

Homecoming: Friday, June 10th, 2011

Dear Friends & Family,

Wonderful news! Allie is FINALLY scheduled to come home next Friday, June 10th!! As we prepare for Allie's joyful homecoming, we wanted to share with you some of what we can expect in the coming weeks. This will be a time of adjustment for our family as we help her adjust to life with us. Bringing home an 11 month old baby is very different from having a newborn join the family!

In Allie's short life, she will have gone through more life changes than most adults coudl handle. She will experience immense loss and feelings of grief. She experienced the loss of her birth family, as well as the caretakers at the orphanages where she lived for her first 2 months. She will experience the loss of her foster family, who has cared for her for the last 9 months. The sights, smells, tastes, sounds and language of her birth country will change overnight. She will also be dealing with a 14 hour time difference and a very long flight with a stranger!

Our social worker has shared with us that while the day we meet Allie at the airport will be one of the best days of our lives, it will be one of the most difficult days of her life. She will be grieving for the life she has lost. We won't know what she likes to eat, how she sleeps, what her favorite toys are, etc. We'll be starting fresh with this little baby who has already had 11 months to develop her own likes, dislikes and preferences, only to have that be completely taken away from her.

The best way for us to form a bond with her is for us to have the time and privacy to hold, snuggle, soothe and feed her. Over time, she will learn that we are safe to trust and to love. Although it may appear that we are over-protecting her, please know that these decisions are thoughtfully made choices based on our training and advice from trusted adoption mentors. We plan to "cocoon" around her and spend time alone at home as a family. This may take weeks or months, not days.

We want nothing more than to have Allie cuddled and cherished by ALL of you, but until she has a firm understanding of our family, we would be so grateful if you would allow us time to bond as a family. The timeline is different for every child. We will follow her lead and trust our instincts as her parents. Of course, we also have 2 very active boys, ages 3 and 5, so we will strive for a balance for all our kids.

That being said, we've decided to follow these guidelines when Allie comes home:
-Only immediate family members will meet her at the airport.

-No initial welcoming parties in an effort to avoid an overwhelming situation.

-Limited visitors for at least the first few weeks to allow her to bond with us. Once she's ready, we'd love you to come here to meet her in small groups.

-Avoiding outings and errands as much as possible at first.

-Even after her initial period of adjustment, we'll continue to be cautious about any situation with large groups of people or traveling long distances.

You can help by giving us your prayers and patience! We'll keep everyone updated through our blog with lots of pictures and details on how she's doing, so check back often!

We have every confidence that she will adapt and become a part of our family in her own time. We are so grateful to have your support, patience and understanding! we know Allie will grow to love each and every one of you as we do!

With love,

The Coleman Family

Jeremy, Jen, Ben, Sam and Allie