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Lilypie Kids birthday Ticker
Saturday, January 17, 2009
Beneath the Surface
I've been living a risky life. All of our pictures and videos of Sera are on my laptop. I've burned the China photos to a dvd, but hadn't done the others. I also didn't have a good backup system in place. Talk about living on the edge. I'd noticed the last few months that my laptop had gotten slower and slower, but didn't really think about it. A few weeks ago, it was annoying me enough that I decided to do a disk cleanup. I couldn't remember the last time I had. Imagine how startled I was when I got a message that my hard drive was too full to defrag. Yikes!

I decided it was time to get smart and bought an external hard drive. A 1 terabyte hard drive at that. Our good friend, Eric, came over and set it up on our network. It now holds the backups for both our computers, plus it's the new home for my media files. I'm going to burn dvds, too, but I'm in a whole lot better shape. I've already released over 18 gb of information from my laptop.

Last night I was copying over videos and watched the one where Sera was placed in our arms for the first time. The emotions that popped to the surface were overwhelming. I remembered the joy of the moment for me, but I could see the terror of the moment on Sera's face.

Sera loves seeing herself in pictures and in videos. This afternoon we showed her this one.

Part of our nightly routine (on my nights) is telling her story. I've read I Love You Like Crazy Cakes to her for well over a year. A month or two ago, I put the book down and started telling her her own story, but I paced it like the book. She recognized the familiar parts, but now it's personalized to reflect our story.

This afternoon, I pulled her on my lap and asked her if she wanted to see the video from the day we got her. She was very excited and loved watching it. She commented on the crying baby in the background, pointed out daddy, pointed out mommy, and pointed out the baby. We talked about the baby being Sera. She was laughing and loving the video. As each clip ended, she asked for more. I kept clicking on the next one. About five or six clips in we got to the one where our local guide was asking the SWI ayis my questions. Jim was videotaping because we knew neither of us would remember anything they said in the emotion of the day.

I had been watching Sera watch these videos, so I noticed right away that this video was different. She was staring intently with her eyes glued to the laptop. Her thumb slid into her mouth. After a few minutes, she scampered up and turned around so that I was holding her to me instead of her just sitting on my lap. I closed the clip and went to the ones from later in the day. Ones that showed just the three of us playing and laughing. She turned back around and started laughing again. After a few minutes, I ended the videos completely. I had wanted to end them on a happier note.

After this, she spent the rest of the afternoon glued to my side. We did a lot of mommy/baby play, switching roles at her request often. She kept patting my face and hair and saying things like my mommy or that she was baby mommy. Her way of saying she is mommy's baby. I just cuddled and snuggled and kept reassuring her that I was her mommy.

She likes to put her hands on my face and stare at me. Sometimes we roll our foreheads back and forth, sometimes we rub noses, and sometimes we steal kisses. Today, she looked in my eyes and said they were blue. Jim asked her what color eyes he had, and she said blue. I asked her what color eyes she had, and she said blue. I told her that she had beautiful brown eyes, just like chocolate. Chocolate is a very good thing in her world, and mine. She pointed to Shadow and noted he had brown eyes, too and a brown nose. Since the eye observation was made before she watched the video, I know it wasn't related. I do realize, though, that she is starting to notice the differences between us. I just hope I don't screw this up. I want her to love who she is. I want her to be happy with her life.

I've read before about children reacting to pictures, videos, Asian people, or hearing Mandarin, but this is the first time I've seen it in Sera. It's a sobering moment.

If that wasn't enough to knock me off my feet, she then shocked us both. While Sera and I were playing on the couch, Jim was channel surfing. He turned to the local news channel as we're very interested in the weather reports right now. Sera looked up when they displayed a picture of Barack Obama. They were doing a story on the upcoming inauguration. She looked at the screen, and I very clearly heard her say, "Barack Obama." I said, "yes, you're right. That is Barack Obama." Jim gave me a look like I was crazy and just thought I'd heard her say that. So he asked her what she had said, and she repeated it. I asked her who had taught her his name. She gave me a big grin and said, "ME."

Sera has loved her kitchen, and this play pizza, so much that tonight we made our own pizzas for dinner. They were, to quote a certain someone, tasty.

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Blogger a Tonggu Momma said...

It is sobering, isn't it? I'll never forget the first time the Tongginator reacted to her lifebook. She got really, really quiet while we were reading about her first parents and wouldn't allow me to turn the page. I finally asked her if she missed them. She said, "No. I don't think about them. I miss my Abu." That's what she called her foster mother in China. She was just-turned-three when we had this conversation.

Blogger Jacquie said...

So there we were, the three of us waiting on an elevator, and up walks a young Asian woman who was smilling and talking to Lily. Lily was answering, but being a young girl she hadn't a clue to most of what Lily was saying. And then Lily says....... "You from China too, like me!" Holy crap, that caught me off-guard.

Blogger PIPO said...

I am already playing these moments through in my mind. SO much for us to comprehend as adults, I can't begin to imagine how hard certain times will be for our little ones.

On a lighter note, I hope my PIPA enjoys her kitchen as much as Sera enjoys hers.

Anonymous Anonymous said...

Jane does not give many clues to what she recalls yet. This was a very sobering post!

Blogger Wendi said...

Wow! We haven't been there yet, but I am sure it will happen very soon. Lots to think about.

Blogger Jo said...

Oh my, Sera is just adorable.

Blogger Barb said...

I'm living on the same edge and I know I need to do something about it, now. That's the one downside to digital photography, I think. It's all on the computer - the computer that could crash, leaving you with no photos.

I really, really need to do this.

I love all the emotions you expressed in this post. She's so adorable and looks so happy.

Blogger Meg Wolff said...

OMG! What a precious picture!

Blogger Kiy said...

I know we are about a year or so behind you, so am already starting to wonder (and yes, worry) about how I will handle her questions. I too don't want to screw it up, and stress that I will. We read and read about how to and what to but, are we really ever ready? Sort of makes worrying about the birds and the bees talk pale in comparison. Until it's time for that one. :)

Good job mom, hope I can do as well as you are. Please, keep sharing all this with us, I am soaking it all up!


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