We experience God's grace when we see Him go beyond what He has promised, to give us gifts that we could never have created, earned, or deserved. Our children are two of those gifts of grace.

Thursday, March 25, 2010

"I'm a Big Sister Now!"

Many people have asked us how Meredith has responded to Lucas. In a personal sense, she doesn't mind him and seems to like him all right -- she gives him a little pat on the tummy or on the head sometimes, and even a little kiss now and then. The issues she has with him are more indirect - she does not like it when he cries, and is gradually learning not to burst into tears herself every time he does. And when one of us is holding him - especially feeding him - she wants to also sit in the chair or in our lap so as not to lose out on our attention. In general, she has also been acting up some, but this had started before Lucas arrived....the terrible 2s have come late, or the terrible 3s have come early!

Meredith has a "big sister" book that a friend gave us, and it has a page where the big sister helps with feeding her brother and states "I can help. I'm a big sister now!". Yesterday, Meredith wanted to help hold the bottle for Lucas while I fed him. Great! Then as soon as she had her hand on the bottle she looked at me and said, "I can help. I'm a big sister now! Like in the book! 'I can help! I'm a big sister now!' 'I can help! I'm a big sister now!' " She said it probably 8 times in a row, very impressed with the connection she had made. I'm so glad the book has managed to help her understand reality with a brother!

Here are a few pictures featuring both kids....we'll start with their first meeting in person (not counting through the nursery windows). When Lucas was discharged, according to hospital protocol, we needed to be wheeled out of the hospital. How do I look for a woman with a 3 day old baby? Got rid of that baby bump real quick, eh?

Meredith was already in her carseat, so I put Lucas in his and then managed to squeeze in between the two of them, anticipating that the ride home could be a little rough.

Little did I know how excited the kids would be to meet each other. Within about 5 minutes here's what I had next to me:

When we got home, Meredith was awake again and now ready to really meet Lucas. She gave him a gift and we think he liked it (he also gave her a little duckie that she enjoys).

Then she got a chance to hold him!

What a proud big sister!

The next day, we went out for a family stroll, with Lucas in his new (read: used) Cadillac stroller. Don't worry, we kept him more shaded after the photo op.

Hope you enjoyed these pics!

As a bonus, I need to post a few pics that I hadn't yet gotten to on Meredith's blog, that I can't bear for you to miss. I did not yet post the photos from Sunday Feb 28, at which time I was at our baby shower and Rob and Meredith were...well....you get the picture.

You can now find her waving her little Canadian flag (thanks, Kyle and Robin!) and saying "A Canada flag! Not a American flag, a Canada flag!", and then, in the tune of the national anthem, she will sing, "O Canada!" We still have to figure out if she is technically a Canadian citizen (as well as American and Russian), but either way it's pretty clear that she is Canadian at heart.

Tuesday, March 16, 2010

New Beginnings

Welcome to our new blog! This should be our permanent family blog - the original "Hamersma Adoption" blog and the "Magnificent Meredith" blog are officially retired.

The impetus for this new blog was the arrival of our son, Lucas Simon, last week. Since his name isn't Meredith, the blog bearing Meredith's name didn't seem like the right place to write about him! This also illustrates the transition Meredith must endure in real life - a movement from the limelight to a shared stage with another child.

Here are a few pictures to get us started, and we will plan to update as regularly as we can. Right now we're feeling a little sleep-deprived (though better than expected) so please be patient!

Below are some pictures from the hospital where Lucas was born on Monday, March 8, to his birthmother and birthfather. On Thursday, we brought him home from the hospital to join our family. The transition was very smooth, and I think that having 4 actively involved parents for his first few days of life was a luxury few children enjoy! (We will have photos of his birthparents in his baby book for him (and others) to see, but I avoid posting photos of other people online, so the photos below only include our family).

Here are some photos from the day Lucas was born. He was adorable and alert from the very beginning!

Sometime soon we'll start posting photos from home, but for now this is all we have time for. The bed is calling! Thanks for reading.