Tuesday, November 26, 2013

First Dresses

Our Sunday weigh in at 6 weeks showed that Sophia now weighs 8 pounds, 2 ounces (3.7 kilos)!! Since newborn size diapers are starting to be snug, I tried some of her "next size up" clothes and these two dresses fit, yeah!

The first little dress she wore, on November 23:

 
 Her hair is CRAZY CRAZY here. This is thanks to how her dad "fixed it" after her last bath!!




 (Remember whose daughter she is?!)  

 
 
And yesterday, November 25, wearing her second new dress! At first I wasn't sure I liked the bright colors, but by the end of the day I decided it was a favorite.
 
(Truth be told, I've actually loved how she looks in ANY color she's worn: white, pink, pale yellow, peach, light blue, purple...)
 

Spunky Sophia!!

 Lest you have the impression that she's always a peaceful little angel...
 
Love the hair bow!!

(Note: Her dad says her hair looks weird here. We were heading out the door right then and it was still wet from a wash.)

 


And speaking of light blue clothes, I couldn't resist buying this for her last week when we just happened to pass by a baby store downtown.
 
I suppose that eventually I'll stop taking a picture of her EVERY time she wears a new outfit! :)

 
She's starting to smile more and more!!

Saturday, November 23, 2013

These pictures are for Tia Heather!

After Sophia's bath a few nights ago, Jake found a hair clip that was just perfect.


 
 
 Doesn't she look more grown up here?!



TOOO cute!!





Thanks for thinking of our hair accessories!! :)

Sunday, November 17, 2013

Paperwork and Adoption Update

On October 13, we took baby Sophia back to Bolivia Immigration and applied for her Bolivian passport! It was a pretty smooth deal. And since we got to the point of making the payment, normally done in a bank, just minutes after said bank would have closed, we were allowed to pay right there at immigration. Cool!

And most amazing of all, we got the baby's passport picture within a minute! ONE minute! This time I fed her while we waited and then got her awake. We learned something from our ID card experience!! Unfortunately, she came out rather cross-eyed, but the second lady helping us had to run back to her station ASAP and she said to leave it at that, that the picture was good enough. Jake was sputtering about it, but no one paid us any attention... Oh well!

There are problems with immigration's new passport system so they said it will take 3-4 weeks to process. Good thing we're not trying to travel right now!

Adoption News:

Our first court hearing for the boys was possibly going to be the first week of November, but our judge's father passed away so she took several days off. Then the lawyer said everything was on track again for the second week of November, but she had to travel to Sucre and had all of her client hearings postponed. So now we'll see what happens this week! Casa de Amor staff was contacted by social services to bring in papers that the court had ordered them to present for the adoption, so that was one more step in the right direction.

The time between the first and second hearing is used for a full on "get to know each other" period for the new family. In this case we already know and spend time together, but it will be different after telling them that WE are their family! I imagine we'll bring them to the apartment, show them their new bedroom, share meals together, go to parks, maybe shop for more clothes for them, etc.

Jake and I are starting to get antsy to just get the process going! I am, however, grateful for the chance to more fully recover physically before being very active and busy with the boys. When they say six weeks postpartum recovery time, wow - they mean SIX WEEKS recovery time!! (Sophia is five weeks today!)

It's also good timing in that the kids are almost done with the school year. All year, I had hoped that they would finish before we got them, just for a sense of closure and so that they officially graduate their current grade, even though we'll have them at home next year. They were supposedly finished on Friday but now they are being called back for one more week. (The Bolivia school system runs February through November.)

God knows!!

Yesterday we heard via a volunteer that Marcus has guessed that we are the family they are waiting for! The other two boys told him they didn't think so. I love it that the youngest guessed right! :)


Anddd because any good post must include pictures:


One of Sophia's favorite hang out spots: Daddy's pillow!!
 
Sure helped today while we got ready for church.

 
This past week has been full of good nights! She really has her nights and days straightened out right now, at least for the moment. She has very long awake periods during the day, and nurses and goes right back to sleep at night. Yay!!
 
 
My big-eyed baby!

 

Friday, November 15, 2013

Baby Sophia - video!

I took this on November 13, when I was taking one month pictures of Sophia. We'll see if it actually works! I want Thompson and Beaty relatives to be able to see her in action. :)


video

Wednesday, November 13, 2013

Happy One Month!

Our baby has been with us one month today!! In some ways it seems like forever, but on the other hand it seems amazing we've already reached this mark.


 
She loves hanging out in the sling Linda Baker made for us.



She also likes the baby seat volunteer Kaley brought us.
 

 
She's still tiny but sometimes I worry her lusty screams will bring the apartment neighbors to our door!! I was shocked today when our next door neighbor acted surprised that she was already born, as she said she never hears her. "She looks so tranquila, does she never cry?!" she asked, and I thought "REALLY??" (Grateful for neighbors who must be nearly deaf...?!) 


 
Baby Houdini - she often works her cute little hands out of the swaddling blanket!
 
 
We've now been on a consistent daytime schedule for 2 1/2 weeks. Or at least I have been. :) I'd been told this would lead to her quite naturally falling into a good schedule at night, which made sense. WELL........ Not so much with us. Or not yet anyway. I'm sure she'll be a very organized and punctual person when she grows up (and/or a genius, according to my mom) and not believe me, but right now she demonstrates an astonishing amount of resistance to any sort of routine in our day or night!! 
 
Once I began, I realized how desperately I wanted a schedule to go by as I've started to need to run errands again, make dinner, and tend to pressing Casa de Amor matters. Not to mention imagining the three boys with us soon and all of their activities - most likely in the next couple of weeks!!
 
So I've persevered with the schedule - namely, nursing at regular three hour intervals throughout the day and whenever she's hungry at night (times vary wildly) - even though she's often sound asleep at feeding time because it's taken her 1-2 hours to settle down and fall back asleep after the last feeding! I'll struggle to nurse her for 30, 45 minutes, finally lay her down hoping that she got enough, and then 5 or 10 minutes later she comes fully awake and starts crying and rooting around for food! What now?!
 
Except for the times when she wakes up screaming one hour early.
 
And every day the times when she does either of these is totally different.

At night, she has slept for 6 or 7 hours at a stretch maybe 4 times now? But there are also nights where she wants to eat every two hours!!
 
DEEP BREATH.
 
I know it will get better. She's definitely gotten better at being both awake AND happy since the first weeks!
 
It's a good thing she's so cute. :)
 
Oh, and that her daddy tells me I'm a good mother. Those words are balm to my soul as baby and I continue this process of getting to know one other. :)
 
 
 
Wake up, Sleeping Beauty, it's time for chow!
 

Saturday, November 9, 2013

More fun with Daddy!!

 
 
 
 
Some recent daddy funnies:
 
  • Since her very first days, when she's really worked up and screaming, Jake calls her the "White Squall". The white squall that takes down sailors, and their ships, he says...!!
 
  • In fact, Jake has given Sophia quite a few nicknames beginning with "S". There's scoundrel, scallywag, silly, stinky... 
 
  • Sophia loves being wrapped up tight in special swaddling blankets. As it looks quite like a straight jacket, Jake has told her she would do great in a mental facility. "You're the smallest mental patient I know, baby!" he coos to her as he wraps her up.
 
  • Jake will regularly say "You're the loudest baby I've ever known", or "the most confusing", or whatever the case may be. Pretty funny seeing as it's the FIRST baby he's known. Pretty funny that I can often say the same, and she's most definitely NOT the first baby I've known!!
 
  • While Jake and I were simultaneously filling out baby's paperwork for the US Consulate, Jake came to the blank "Occupation". He suggested putting "Sucker"...
 
  • When she spits a little milk or dirty diaper - even a wet one - Jake calls her a "NAAASTY baby". You'd just have to hear the way he says nasty. :)
 
  • More than once getting her to sleep he tells this story in a soft singsong voice, "You're a little baby in a little rowboat, floating in the middle of the water...just go to sleep...drifting quietly and slowly...and here comes a waterfall!!" and so on it goes. I tell him that's a terrifying image, and he counters with "Well it's no worse than 'rock-a-bye-baby'!!" He has a point there.
 
  • When screaming for milk an hour early, "Now baby, I want you to get some perspective. Keep your eyes on Jesus, okay? That's what you need to do." And another day: "Baby, life is good for you right now! You don't even know how good you have it. You need an attitude adjustment!"
 
If any of this doesn't make sense, maybe you just had to be there!! It's all said with the utmost love and kindness, even the "nasty baby" line. :)
 
 
And a few pictures of what Jake and baby have been up to... 
 
 

Papa Kangaroo!!
 

 
Jake's mom bought him this green aguayo and the girls at Casa de Amor III taught him how to use it.
 
I loved their help in the kitchen :) 
 
 
And.....
 


Daddy's little helper!!


 
(We love the baby seat from Tia Kaley!!)
 

Thursday, November 7, 2013

A LOT of paperwork for a LITTLE baby...

A neat thing about having our baby in Bolivia is that she has dual citizenship! It's pretty funny to realize that our pale faced baby is Bolivian! But it's not without it's share of TRAMITES (paperwork).

About a month before she was born, I contacted our local US consulate to inquire what was needed to obtain the US birth certificate. I thought my mom could bring down any missing documents when she visited. Amazingly, we already had everything we needed from the US because of getting multiple copies of documents for the adoption: my certified birth certificate, Jake's certified birth certificate, and an original marriage certificate.

Once the baby was born we had to make an appointment with the US Consular Agency of Cochabamba. The first date available was 15 days later! Then we got word that the consulate was closing for the first 15 days of November. Sigh. I emailed and called, trying to find out if our appointment would be changed, but no one responded. When I received a confirmation email on Monday, two days before our appointment, we scrambled to get the baby's Bolivian birth certificate, gather our documents, and fill out pages and pages of forms until midnight the night before..... Only to go and find out... Yep, the office was closed! Good thing I already made another appointment, just in case, for November 20. (Wednesdays are the only day they work afternoons, which is when we need to go because of Jake's work.)

Check out the amount of paperwork for one little baby!!

For Sophia's documents in BOLIVIA:
live birth certificate from doctor (check)
birth certificate from a Registro Civil (check)
ID card from SEGIP (check)
passport from immigration (will do next week)

For Sophia's US documents:
social security number
birth certificate
passport

(We'll apply for all of this on November 20 at the consulate.)


Yesterday when we realized the consulate was indeed closed, we instead went to immigration to ask about Jake's visa renewal and also the process to get Sophia's Bolivian passport. Two different police officers directed us to the foreigner office, even though I tried to explain that our baby is actually Bolivian, even if she has foreigner parents! Sure enough, once we waited in that long line, the employee asked why we'd been sent to him. He escorted us to another office where the man was a little befuddled as to how our baby could be Bolivian. "She was born HERE?" Yes. "Oh, you adopted her!!" he exclaimed, like he'd finally figured it out.

We learned that Jake's renewal process will be pretty simple, and that Sophia needed her Bolivian "cedula de identidad" (ID card) to get a passport. We knew that SEGIP (the ID authority here in Bolivia) would already be closed for the day, but we went by to check the wall outside for requirements.

So today I went to the bank to pay for the ID card first, then Jake came straight from work and we started the process. It was amazingly quick! There was an extra step because Jake and I are not Bolivians, but people were very helpful. I really liked their new offices. When they were downtown, I'd wait at least 3 hours minimum with street kids, and we'd have to start off super early in the morning to be assured a "number".

It would have been a piece of cake, except for...

THE PICTURE

Oh, the picture!! In Round 1, Jake and I woke a very sleepy baby and propped her against my body (draped with a white blanket for the background) and tried to keep her awake while the lady tried for a proper picture. People were standing and craning their heads in the waiting area to ooh and ahh at the cute little baby.

In Round 2, we laid her down on a white backdrop and a folded white blanket on top of another desk and FOUR of us tried to get her picture. Unfortunately the employee hadn't entered the data into the computer yet to get to the picture taking stage in the program, and by the time she had, we had one thoroughly mad baby (not to mention that feeding time had come and gone!). It was suggested that I nurse her.

In Round 3, Jake and I were now hot and bothered (how hard is it to immediately take a picture when the baby was actually still and looking the right direction?!) but at least the baby was overall calmer. This time Jake took over the camera aiming while the lady was poised at the computer to click the picture taking button. I manned the baby to keep her somewhat squared up with the camera while keeping both her hands and mine free of the picture area, and another employee shaded her from the bright sunlight and shook a jar of paper clips to direct her gaze!!

Then, of all things, they deleted a perfectly good picture, thinking that we could get one better. AHHHH, seriously?!?! We finally did, but boy it took some work.

I didn't notice (didn't WANT to notice) if by this point the others waiting (and now stacking up behind us) were still amused or wishing we would just hurry up!! I mean, how hard can it be to get a tiny baby to look straight at the camera, both eyes open, both ears visible, not crying, no funny faces, and no hands in the picture.

Apparently, very hard!

We came home and took a nap. The three of us! :)

Success!!!


It's fun though to be going through the checklist for our own baby. I've named babies before but this is the first one with my/our last name. That's pretty special! :)

(And she does officially have my last name in the country of Bolivia: Sophia Katherine Beaty Thompson. One of the forms we'll present at the consulate appointment is for a name change so that her US documents come back with just one last name.)

 
 Most of the paperwork we'll present at the US Consulate on November 20. We had to read/fill out over 25 pages of forms.

Wednesday, November 6, 2013

The Mad Scientist

After showing these pictures to volunteers, I was told that they should be posted here for all to see. :)

This is how Jake went to school on November 1...


The funny thing is, it's not too far of a stretch from who he really is, deep down inside! It's not hard for him to play the part of a geeky science nerd... :)
 
 
 
Look, a baby! "I'm good at biology", says the new father.
 



His pockets were stuffed with papers filled with science formulas. Love it!

 
 


Sunday, November 3, 2013

Baby Sophia!!

Presenting the photo shoot pictures of our beautiful baby Sophia!!! She was 10 days "old" here.

It was hard to choose my favorites for the blog, but here are the Top 20. :)


LOVE these!!




 
Elena did such a great job setting up our living room for the photo shoot!
 

Love the coloring of this one!


Tooo cute, says her daddy!


Looks like she's playing peek-a-boo


So sweet!


This was her daddy's quilt when he was little


Our Bolivian baby!







Baby toes


 
Love these, with my wedding veil




I love how Elena caught so many of her different expressions.
 




Princess Sophia




My sister Emma will especially appreciate these. There's another Baby Bear in the family!!





Elena crocheted the hat and paws the night before!





First smile caught on camera!
 
This bead necklace from Africa was a gift to me from repeat CDA volunteer Savannah. Doesn't she look international?!



You might recognize the necklace, Jake's Christmas gift to me, from the maternity photo session.