It was bright and sunny this weekend, and Eliza wanted to go outside and play. We obliged, but only under the following conditions: she wore a ton of sunblock and some baby sunglasses. And let me tell you, she loved having them on (the glasses, not the sunblock). Although, it was a little weird trying to figure out if she was awake or not at times.
Daddy and Eliza hung out this afternoon, snapping photos of themselves together. She definitely likes the camera (especially the flash) even if she hasn’t fully realized what it’s for. As I lay there holding the camera above us, she kept shrieking and laughing until the flash came.
Eliza is living proof that “good things come in small packages” (and medium boxes). While we were getting dinner ready tonight, she was content to play in a big empty cardboard box for a few minutes, rather than her awesome exersaucer a few feet away. Crazy kid.
Eliza has a fancy, new hat that she wore out in the hot Southern sun today. Now that her first week is over, we’re gonna start putting all her awesome pictures into a new continually updated photo gallery (a link can also be found on the sidebar of this page).
“Kicky” was very well behaved at the doctor’s office on Thursday afternoon. She let the doctor and nurses poke at her, and all that she wanted in return was to be allowed to just kick the hell out of the sanitary paper covering the exam bed.
Here’s the vital stats:
Weight – 14lbs (20th percentile)
Length – 25 3/4 (67th percentile)
Full Name: Eliza Janay Watkins
Nicknames: “Kicky”, “Wormy” & “Squirmy”
Born: December 2nd, 2007 at 11:15 AM
Adopted: May 9th, 2008
Birthplace: Anniston, Alabama
Birth Weight: 4 pounds 8 ounces
Birth Length: 18”
5-Month Weight: 14lbs
Likes: Kicking legs, sucking on fingers and toes, cuddling and smiling
Dislikes: Prunes, poopy diapers
Adoption was a deliberate choice for us. Choosing to adopt Eliza was definitely one of the best decisions we’ve ever made. Because of KyAnn’s diabetes, we chose not to have a biological child. Pregnancy and childbirth carry complications that we just weren’t prepared to deal with.
But we always knew we wanted kids and that we wanted to adopt kids. After working in news for so many years, we knew there were many babies and children in need of loving parents. And you don’t have to look overseas to find these children. They’re right here in the United States.
So after months of talking about kids, we decided to adopt a child domestically. JL had the good fortune of working with a man who adopted two children. He told us about a wonderful woman named Carri. She runs Special Link, a non-profit organization that connects prospective parents with adoption agencies in the Southeast.
In early February, we attended the ACES Adoption Expo in Greenville to find out more about adoption. By March, we were approved to adopt. Getting approved means doing lots of paperwork including background checks and reference letters. It culminates in a home study, during which a social worker comes into your home and determines whether you’re fit to adopt a child. We then put together a portfolio telling birth mothers about us and sent it to Special Link. Several weeks later, on April 22nd, we got the call about Eliza.
Eliza was raised by her birthmother for the first four months of her life, and she loved her dearly. But ultimately she decided that adoption was the best choice for her daughter. Eliza’s birthmother said she “wanted her child to grow up with a family who will love and care for her and teach her what she wants to learn in life.”
That’s where we came in. We adopted Eliza through A Angel Adoptions in Alabama. They took excellent care of Eliza – and us – during the involved process. It took several days and lots of extra paperwork!
In the interim, Eliza stayed with a nice couple. Lola and Gary care for babies in transition. The Birmingham News featured them in a recent article. Eliza is the 51st baby mentioned at the end of the story. Here’s a link to some extra photos and a video narrated by Lola.
On May 9th, we drove from Greenville to Birmingham to meet our daughter. The four-hour drive was excruciating. It seemed like we were moving in slow motion. But we finally got there and it was a joyous event.
We held our little girl for the first time and we knew without question we’d made the right decision.
As Eliza grows up, she’ll always know about her birthmommy Jerrica and how much she loved her.