a bundle of firsts

I know we all continue to experience firsts throughout our lives. Over the past 10 months, with my kids, I have tried to document every first that I notice so that I can make up a little for the undocumented firsts of their past lives. I know that it won’t be enough, but I am hoping that when the day comes that each child starts to mourn the holes and gaps in their early lives that they will be at least a little comforted by the documentation that I have kept for them. I want to leave the impression that from the time I took charge they were loved with the greatest love possible.

I know how much I long to know about their past lives–I can only imagine what the wondering will one day be like for each nino. I long to know what their toddler years were like, who watched them take their first steps, who was there in those beginning weeks to see them smile and coo for the first time, who changed their diapers and perhaps rocked them to sleep. I long to know if they were adored, merely tolerated, or somewhere inbetween. I would give anything to know where all of the nics and scars on the boys’ bodies came from. Whenever I trace their skin, I think of that. I wonder who the first person was to truly bond to each nino. Were they read to, were they bathed regularly, were they soothed when hurting, were they truly loved?

But for now, and maybe forever, all I have are the firsts that we create together.


1. So the other day, Ezzy came out of the shower very perplexed. I asked her what was wrong, and she said, “Mom, I was in the shower and I looked down and my feet were white (pointing to my skin) but my legs were brown.” She was laughing with delight, and then I started laughing because I realized that she had never had a tan line before. We talked for a few minutes about what a tan line is and how the sun makes our skin darker. She thought it was the weirdest coolest thing ever. She spent the next few minutes checking out her bathing suit tan lines in the mirror. Apparently, the girl had never before worn a swimsuit, let alone been out in the sun long enough to notice her skin color changing. Can you imagine? AMAZING. She is eight years old now, and loving her variety of swimwear. 🙂

2. Wompy learned how to read his first few words this week including “I” and “see.”

3. Last week, the ocean was a huge first, which I blogged about on the family blog. I still can’t get over the wonder of it all. I mean, I know there are lots of people who don’t see the ocean until they are much older, but it is different because these kids never had any expectation about ever seeing something so amazing. In fact, they didn’t even really know what it was until I explained it to them the week before. Imagine?

4. Yesterday, I taught the kids Yahtzee for the first time. And they did surprisingly well. In fact, Wompy kicked our butts. Danny really gets it, and I was able to see their different mathematical skill levels come out as we played the game. Although they’ve been taught Chutes and Ladders, Candy Land, etc…this is their first “real” game that I took the time to teach. And now, they are begging to play again. YES!

5. DICE–when we were playing Yahtzee I realized that the kids had never actually played with dice before. We take for granted that the dotted symbols on the dice are known by everyone. I don’t remember having to “learn” what the number on each dice looked like because I had watched my parents play boardgames from the time I was born. Just another little thing I never thought would be a first. And just in one day, Ezzy and Danny know what the numbers are without having to count the dots. Nikki is getting there. Wompy decided to play with blocks instead. 🙂 

6. First Fruit Pizza–Wompy’s birthday on Monday night.


  1. I love firsts too and love hearing about all of their’s it is truly amazing that even though you didn’t get to experience the baby/toddler firsts you still have soooo many to share w/them that they in any other situation would of already experienced so there is a silver lining in all of that I guess 🙂 love you sis!

  2. Hi guys. My name is Erin, I’m from Australia. My husband and I are hoping to adopt a Columbian sibling group and your website has been a source of invaluable information for me. The kids are beautiful and you must feel so lucky. I will keep looking out for your blogs, they make me laugh and cry (happy) all at the same time.

    You are amazing, keep up the good work mami and Papi!!!!

  3. Hello,
    In your blog you mentioned to talk to you about getting in touch with Wynette and Jairo. Would you try an independent adoption if you were to do it again? Is that primarily for financial reasons? Do you have any idea how much that would cost? Do you know anyone who has done an independent adoption from Columbia?

    I just found your blog yesterday and read the whole thing in one night. It is very informative and enjoyable.


  4. Clearly I can see those kids are meant to come to you. Whether through the womb or not. They are such great kids and I can feel your love for them. I couldn’t have kids for 7 years. I remember applying for the adoptions and saying any sex any age and any color. We have such an overwhealming desire to nurture inate. Though you have been robbed of some firsts I promise you that you will feel the firsts to come even more than most mothers because of your sacrifice. I felt love at first sight when I met them. You knowd they will see themselves through your eyes from now on. They will know they are unique and treasured. WAY TO GO!
    Karma Earl

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