It occured to me that I haven't given an update about Clarissa on my blog lately! I've had so much to talk about with all that is going on here these days that I haven't talked about what this blog was intended to be about in the first place.
Everything is going absolutely amazing with Clarissa! I feel so blessed to have her in our family. As far as the adjustment to our family, she's done amazing, the only issue she still struggles with is sleeping. She sleeps fine as long as someone is sleeping next to her on the floor. At some point we need to address that, but for the moment we're just having a nightly slumber party with her. With my other kids at this age I would be OK with letting them cry it out for very short periods and get used to sleeping alone, but I just can't do that with Clarissa! Every time I think about it I wory that she's going to think that another set of parents have left her. I'm WAY overthinking it, but Clarissa pretty much has me wrapped around her finger. :) Surely she's not going to be going off to college with us still sleeping on the floor by her at night, right?!
Other than that, she's really not showing any sign of attachment issues, she's bonding with us really well and is showing all the signs of healthy attachment that I obsessively studied before she got here and continue to go over.
I've started putting her hair in pig tails every day and I love it. I'm having a ball having a little girl in the house! All the cute clothes and the hair things and all of that are way fun and until now I didn't think I was a girly girl, lol. It's been really fun to have Melissa in the house because she gets all excited about it with me. We both have a good time picking out Clarissa's clothes in the morning.
Clarissa is growing more each day and it's really fun to watch her hit new milestones and learn new things. She is pulling herself up on furniture now and walks around holding onto things, but it looks like she's probably still at least a month or more away from walking. I've caught her standing without holding on to anything for very short times when she doesn't realize that she's doing it, but if I try to practice that with her she suddenly gets jello legs and doesn't want to play, lol.
She's starting to say a few words, but you kind of have to know that she's saying it in order to understand it. For instance, she says the word "kitty", and I know she's saying kitty because she points and makes the same sound every time she sees the cat, and it sounds sort of like "keeey", but if you weren't used to hearing it and didn't know that's what she's saying, you probably wouldn't recognize it as kitty. She also says "Josh" (her favorite person in the world!) but it sounds sort of like "eeesh" and you wouldn't recognize it unless you saw her point at Josh and say it a hundred times. She's starting to copy sounds that we make and it's fun to watch her try out new words. She waves and says "hi!", which I love! She likes to wave to people.
One thing I've noticed about having a daughter as opposed to having boys is that they play with toys differently. Our boys had some stuffed animals when they were Clarissa's age and they would chew on them and throw them and play rough with them. Clarissa has a couple of dolls and a teddy bear and she'll pick them up and hug them and pat their backs. She's so gentle with them. It's so sweet, I love to watch her play with her dolls.
I haven't posted many pictures of her lately because it's seriously impossible to take that kids picture these days! She is obsessed with my camera and every time she sees it she wants to grab it. So I have all sorts of photos of her crawling towards me with her hand out trying to get my camera and that's pretty much it! Every time I see her doing something cute I try to quietly get the camera and take a photo and she catches me every time. I'm actually going to take her to my photography teacher and have him do some professional photos of her because I think she'll sit still better if I'm not the one behind the camera. She clams up a little when there are strangers around, so I don't think she'll try to crawl into his lap and grab his camera! :)
Sometimes I still can't believe that we went to Korea three months ago and came home with a baby!! We waited for so long and for so long I would just ache to have her home. I remember all the days I sat in her bedroom and folded and refolded her clothes and tried to imagine what it would be like to have her home. After a while it seemed like it was never actually going to happen, like it was just a story I made up or something. But now that she's here it's almost the opposite-it feels like all that waiting was just a dream. It feels like she's been here forever.
I know without a doubt that Clarissa was meant to join our family. I know that it was God's plan that we were put together, and I'm grateful for her every single day. It's still amazing to me that we went halfway around the world and came back with the person who fits our family perfectly. I don't believe that it was random. Clarissa belongs with us.
Last Christmas when I was taking the boys Christmas Eve photo I remember looking at the two of them and just feeling so strongly that there was someone missing. Our family was wonderful before Clarissa arrived but I always had the feeling that there was a missing piece. This Christmas when I was taking the Christmas Eve photo and there were three beautiful children sitting there I looked at them and my heart was so full. My family feels whole now and that's a beautiful feeling.