Tuesday, November 27, 2012


It has been a crazy few weeks.  Katie had a welcome shower last Saturday, hosted by my good friends. Unfortunately, I have no pictures to show and I missed the first half of the event.  The morning of the party, I tore my calf muscle playing tennis and wound up at urgent care in a wheelchair!  Thankfully, my mom and mother in law took Katie to enjoy her party and later Mike drove me to the party and literally carried me inside.  I can say that the last half of the event was lovely!  My good friend Joanna is from Poland and her mom made many Polish favorites of mine.  It was good social time for the 3 Polish women there as well as me and my friends.  And Katie had a great time too.   It was so nice of my friends to recognize Katie's arrival with her own special shower.

Another first: Katie's first illness.  Somehow we didn't get sick in Poland, even though we were exposed to a nasty cold that most of my relatives had.  Katie wound up getting the stomach bug right before Thanksgiving, and the illness spread like wildfire.  Every single one of us got it, except Mike, and unfortunately many extended family members got it too.  Quite the welcome to Thanksgiving for Katie, being in a petri dish of stomach bug!  Yuck!

Now we are all on the mend.  I am off crutches and able to putter around the house.  I recently worked on cleaning up our adoption paperwork.  I am not joking when I state that I filled an entire garbage bag with paperwork related to adoption.  We researched so many programs and agencies that I have paperwork and articles about everything you can think of.  And of course, there is the documentation you have to get together for your homestudy, dossier, and agency.  Looking at the pile gave me pause to reflect on how much we did to get to this point - yet, I don't think of it that way.  I can't believe that God blessed us with her.  It was worth every piece of paperwork to have her here.  Ours forever!  

Sunday, November 11, 2012


Today, Katie was baptized! One of the questions I had on our first trip to Poland was whether Katie had been baptized, and I was surprised to find out that she was not. This was something that we wanted to do but we also wanted to give Katie enough time to get used to her new environment. So at 18 months of age, after being with us for three months, Katie was baptized in our church. We decided to baptize her at our home church, rather than the church where we got married and where our other two children had been baptized. We have been going to the same church now for 12 years, and seen lots of baptism masses, and it felt right to have Katie join our Catholic community as part of the parish that we regularly attend. We went to the parent preparation classes just like we did when we started baptizing our kids, but for me I had more anxiety about baptizing Katie than I ever did before. I was very nervous about how Katie was going to do, because she is a toddler and a pretty opinionated one at that! Then on Friday, we found out that Katie was the only child being baptized at the mass we had chosen. The other two masses of the weekend were apparently full of babies being baptized, but at our mass it would only be our baby.

This wound up to be quite the blessing. Katie did great. At the beginning of mass, Katie was blessed by Father Pete with the sign of the cross, and she kept trying to bat away his hand. He then joked that "I have a feeling that this one is going to give me a run for my money!". She was squirming on our laps up through the homily, and then it was time to go to the baptismal font.  At our parish, they do a full immersion rather than trickling water on your forehead.  So before mass, the sacristan gave us a robe for Katie to wear for the baptism, and we brought an outfit to put her in for afterwards. Our family gathered around the baptismal font and Mike held Katie and dipped her into it.  She looked pretty relaxed and happy at this point. Then Father Pete took his hands, dipped them in the baptismal font, and poured the water over Katie's head. She got three pours as he baptized her in the name of the Father, Son, and Holy Spirit. I gasped inside, waiting for the screams. They never came! I couldn't believe it, but Katie still looked pretty happy! After she got pulled out I was holding a towel that we wrapped around her and then we walked to the front of the altar and Katie received the oils (she smelled so good all day after that!). Then Father Pete took her from me and announced her to the parish community and everyone clapped as we walked in a circle around the altar. Katie really enjoyed that part. I guess she really likes being the center of attention.   The other cute part was at the end of mass when the candle is lit and I was holding her and once again, Father Pete asks everyone to show their recognition for Katie.  When everyone started clapping, Katie smiled and started clapping her hands too.  Ha ha.  Oh, and the other funny part was standing up before the lighting of the candle.  Mike told me we wouldn't have to stand, so I thought I was ok to sit with Katie and let her go nuts on a container of puffs.  Well, we were called to stand and I had to quickly seal off the puffs and stand up and as I stood the puffs went all over the floor!  A few parishioners seemed to get a chuckle out of that.

 The last 4 weeks have been full of milestones for Katie. She weaned herself off the bottle and drinks exclusively from a sippy cup. She is walking and rarely crawls. She doesn't eat any baby food anymore and I am impressed with the finger food she is willing to eat. She babbles like crazy and we are able to make out "ma ma" and "da da" so far.  She is all toddler now!    The best part of the last couple of weeks in particular is seeing how much she smiles.  She is such a happy little girl.  It is so thrilling to see.

In the baptismal font, getting the Holy Water
After getting the oils and drying her up, here is Katie's cute baptismal outfit!  Welcome to the church!