Archive for January, 2010

January 1, 2010

Friday, January 1st, 2010

Happy New Year from the Fisk family! Since my last post, we’ve added another person to the family. Baby boy Fisk, or Jackson Scott, was born November 12th. His arrival has made me wonder if I should recreate this blog, and if so, how. It’s certainly grown beyond an adoption blog. The “Our Journey to Kazakhstan” part of the title is no longer appropriate. — although, to give Scott credit, he did include “. . . and back.” And, boy, a lot has happened since we’ve been “back.”

And a lot has happened since my last July post. On August 16th, Arina started kindergarten and on August 19th, she turned 5 years old. It’s hard to imagine a child who loves school more than Arina. She insists on being at school at 7:00am so that she can eat breakfast with George and friends. At first, we didn’t know about her little breakfast club. We only knew that she liked getting to school early and that money was draining way too quickly from the automatic draft system we set up for her lunch money. Upon further investigation, we discovered that she was eating a second breakfast every day. — one at home and one at school. The first featured photo is from Arina’s 5 year old birthday dinner at MeMe and PaPa Fisk’s house. In the photo gallery, you’ll find Arina’s “first day of school” shot.

At the end of August, we visited friends Shawn and Amy Reeves in Beaufort, SC. Arina had tons of fun playing with their children, Atticus and Amelia. We spent the weekend strolling through downtown Beaufort — Arina’s favorite stop was a candy store next to a playground — and then we visited historic sites, such as the Chapel of Ease. The next featured photo is of me, very pregnant, at the Chapel of Ease.

We were thinking the baby would arrive before or on Halloween. So, Arina spent Halloween weekend with Mom and Dad and trick-or-treated in McBee, while Scott and I walked the neighborhood, ate spicy food, and tried everything else we could think of to hurry Baby Jack along. I have to admit that I was disappointed when he decided to spend Halloween in utero; I was planning on penciling a lightening bolt onto his forehead and trick-or-treating with him as Harry Potter, “the boy who lived,” on the maternity ward.

He finally made his appearance, with a little prodding (i.e. Pitocin), on November 12th at 3:44pm after 6 1/2 hours of completely drug-free labor (how much of a rock star am I?). He weighed 7 lbs. 8 ozs. and was 20.25 inches long.

A couple of people have expressed interest in the fact that I’m now a mother through both adoption and biology and have asked how the two experiences compare. I’ll admit that, at the moment, I’m very into my boy. I’m on a post-pregnancy high, and although I had a miserable first trimester (b/c of morning sickness) and second trimester (b/c of a never-ending cold), I’ve fantasized about having a second biological child because of him. But, I can remember being similarly into my girl and being on such a post-adoption high that I actually filled out a second application to adopt the November after we got back from Kazakhstan in August! So, my reaction to both experiences was exactly the same.

As for differences, I was definitely more anxious during my pregnancy. I would, for example, have to find the cure for amniotic fluid embolism before a second pregnancy in order to have any peace of mind. And I find that I’m much more anxious about and protective of Jackson’s health; I’ve never worried about Arina’s. After all, Arina spent a year and a half of her life in an orphanage with 100+ kids and has the immune system of a superhero as a result. When she started going to nursery school, she’d bring home germs. — but they’d affect us, not her. She’s only vomited twice since we’ve known her, for goodness sake. Jackson, on the other hand, came home with jaundice and has already been hospitalized (albeit briefly) for RSV. The next featured photo is of sweet baby Jackson seeming vulnerable, although whether he’s really being vulnerable or mad is up for debate.

I suppose the best and most honest response to those who have questioned the adoptive vs. biological child connection is to say that I’m confident I have the kids I’m meant to have, regardless of how they got here, and that I feel incredibly lucky to have had both the adoption and birth experience.

As for Arina, she adores her baby brother. I honestly have not detected an ounce of jealousy. For Christmas, she wrote a letter to Santa for him so that he’d get presents too, and I know that she’ll gladly share this blog with him. And I have to say that he reminds me so much of her, young as he is. He’s tough. — a “pistol,” one nurse said, after receiving various punches and kicks when trying to administer an unwanted breathing treatment. But he’s also incredibly laid back. — he rarely cries (even when sick and/or tired) and practically sleeps through the night at 7 weeks old. So an appropriate final photo, I think, is big sister Arina’s first glimpse at her new baby brother.

Happy New Year Arina and Jack. We love you.

One more thing: I’m going to try to update this blog more often. After Arina’s “birth” into our family, I blogged nearly every day from mid June until early August. I want to try and chronicle Jackson’s first few months in a similar fashion (sadly, I’m already a month behind). I won’t be able to update every day, simply because I don’t have the downtime that I had between orphanage visits in Kazakhstan, but I’m going to make a valiant effort to update once a week.

Part of those updates, though, will include what I call Arina-isms. — funny things that only Arina could come up with. Some examples and early favorites are as follows:

1) Arina responds to the “What does your Mommy do?” question with “She’s a doctor of books.”

2) During my pregnancy, Arina observed, “Wow, Mom. You tell me what to do and Daddy what to do, and we do it! You’re like a queen!”

3) My favorite Arina-prayer before dinner: “Dear God. Thank you for our food. It looks tasty. I wish we could eat it. But we can’t. Because we’re praying.”

4) My favorite Arina-bedtime prayer, after she was told that she needs to pray to God, not Santa: “Dear God, please tell Santa . . .”

5) Arina complained that she had bitten her nail to the quick. I said, “I told you not to bite your nails.” She said, “Sorry, Mom. My ears just shrink sometimes.”

6) I complained about a headache. Arina said, “I have a lot of headaches, because of all the ideas I have in there.” Scott responded, “Your ideas make my head hurt too, Arina.”

7) Arina’s response to Uncle Tom giving Jack a Christmas present: “Wow! That’s great, Uncle Tom! I didn’t know you liked my baby brother!”