Francesca is our third child, but this is the first Second Birthday we have celebrated with any of our children. Sure, we celebrated when Emmie and Rosie turned two, but they were still in China. We were half a world away, brokenhearted, and wishing we could blow out their candles with them. I remember singing happy birthday through tears. But this is the first 2nd birthday we have been able to celebrate as a family. In person. Not missing the person being celebrated. It actually feels a little weird. Adoption is funny like that.
To say that we are loving having Frannie in our family is such an understatement. As much as we loved adopting Emmie and Rosie at the age of two, it has been really fun for us to have a baby. We have all watched in wide-eyed wonderment at the sometimes adorable, sometimes gross things babies do. Before Frannie, I thought all kids started at the age of two. It's been so fun to experience her babyish-ness. Wobbly walking, teething, babbling, and all of that baby stuff that we missed with our first two daughters...Frannie has shared all of that with us.
|Not sure what Curious George did to get handcuffed here.|
|"Maybe they don't see me sneaking this pepperoni|
that I'm supposed to be putting on the pizza."
Frannie is bright and continues to imitate everything her sisters do...good or bad! She is gaining lots of words and phrases, and understands nearly everything we say to her. Her eating hasn't slowed down a bit. She loves to eat and her chubby little thighs show it. (She's shorter than Rosie, but she weighs more!) She likes to play dress-up and "restaurant". At the start of the summer she was afraid of the sprinkler but now she giggles the loudest when we go to the spray park. She loves the beach but is still a little nervous of the big ocean. She enjoys many rides at the amusement park...it's funny how she likes spinning fast in the teacups, but is skittish when it comes to the carousel.
|Picking blueberries, or eating blueberries?|
While she seems happy and comfortable with her family, she is still pretty...stingy, shall we say, with the affection. She comes to us if she is hurt, she comes to us for help, she comes to us for food, she comes to us to play, but she is still very reserved with her affection, and with her ability to accept affection. Sometimes my caress is met with her hand pushing mine away. Sometimes when we lean in to kiss her, she just turns her head. "So, that thing I said about Frannie feeling affectionate towards us by Labor Day? Let's go with New Year's. Day, not Eve. New Year's Day. Give it until then," Patrick said after he was rejected yet again when it was time for the goodnight kiss. Maybe she needs more time, maybe she's just not an affectionate kid. I'd be lying if I didn't say that it's hard when you have a little bundle of cuddly joy that you want to be smothering with love constantly, but we're being patient and showing her love in every way we can.
Affectionate or not, Frannie is such a fun little member of our family. She is beyond adorable, funny, playful, and smart. She looks up to her big sisters, and of course they are wonderful role models for her. (OK, most of the time they are.) We are so lucky to be her family, and we feel extra blessed to be able to spend her second birthday with her.
So, Happy Birthday, to our sweet little Frannie. It has been so wonderful sharing these past 8 months together, and we can't wait to grow even closer as a family with you! We know this is all still so new to you, and we thank you a million times for opening up your heart to us and letting us have the honor of loving you and being your parents. We love you a million times!!!