A year ago today we received the call that we could come meet and bring home our precious baby boy. I remember having a multitude of feelings skittering around my mind and heart that entire day. What if I didn't love this baby? What if I hated being a Mom? What if I was so exhausted that I didn't enjoy it? What if my baby cried all the time? What would happen if I couldn't soothe him? How would my relationship with Brian change? What if this baby had colic? And in rapid succesion these kind of questions flew through my mind...and yet I was excited and confident that this was God's plan...that He would equip me with everything I need...that everything would be just fine.
Fine...it's been much more than fine...it's been absolutely wonderful! As I reflect on the past year here are some things I take with me.
1. Adoption is just magical. Being a part of God taking someone's mistake and turn it into someone else's greatest blessing is inspiring and humbling.
2. The book BabyWise and the principles in it work...I think every new parent should not only read this book, but implement the ideas in it. It's not always easy, but it works. I believe that a huge part of Karsten's happy, content disposition and healthy sleep habits have been molded by the implementation of these principles. Now I need to get Toddler Wise.
3. Although I miss Karsten being a newborn he really is becoming more and more fun as his personality develops.
4. I did remarkably well with less sleep than normal in the early months.
5. Brian and I make a great team and see eye to eye on most things.
6. Brian is an unbelieveably fantastic Daddy. I knew he would be great, but he finds such joy in being a Daddy and he loves playing with Karsten.
7. Without a doubt I will be the disciplinarian.
8. Karsten makes parenting easy, so far....we'll see how I feel next year!
9. Naptime and Baby Einstein are worth gold.
10. I have a love for Karsten that knows no boundaries.
11. I have become much more sentimental this past year.
12. I'm much more relaxed about things than I thought I'd be. I feel I have a good balance of being in a routine and being flexible.
13. Because Karsten is so easy going it's easy to push him too far when running errands.
14. I am the biggest fan of pacifiers and dread the day when it's time to take it away.
15. As someone who always saw herself being a Momma to a girl, I now cannot imagine not being a Momma to a boy. I love being Karsten's Mom and wouldn't trade it for anything.
16. We are completely content with Karsten being an only child, but if God moves us to adopt again we will follow.
17. The thought of adopting again scares me to death. Karsten has spoiled me...and I know it!
18. I really treasure my Mom friends, one in particular, who has been there for me since the very beginning and is always willing to listen and give advice. Since I have become a Mom, the two of us have become really close friends and have realized just how similar we are in most areas of our lives. You know who you are :)
19. Much of my daily life revolves around Karsten, but I feel like I have a healthy balance of allowing him to play independently and getting things done around the house. I continue to pursue my own activities and have identity away from him.
20. Brian and I love being his parents. There is nothing we enjoy more than going for walks as a family and playing with him...BUT...we know that keeping our relationship intact and thriving is very important for his development and security.
Here are some fun comparison photos:
our first family photo, taken a year ago today
and our most recent family photo...taken on his birthday
His first car ride
A car ride on his birthday
Aunt Shanda holding him on his first Easter
Aunt Shanda holding him on his first Birthday
Auntie Jessica holding Karsten for the first time
Auntie Jessica "Yissy" holding Karsten on his first birthday
Brian holding him for the first time
Brian holding him on his birthday
**If you're new to the blog and haven't read the long detailed story of Karten's journey to us click here**