Friday, February 27, 2009

Crazy Little Thing Called Love

Since this blog was originally created to encourage adoptive families, it seems like I post way more things about the girls than I do Ryan. Rest assured though that he is one loved little fella too. After posting the pictures yesterday from his last ball game I couldn't help but just sit and think about him for a few minutes. He is truly a sweet little guy and is full of affection for me and is the best little snuggler that ever existed. I'm not sure if I somehow caused it or not, but when he was a baby it seems like I would sit and rock him forever. Even when I went back to work after being on maternity leave, I would stop every morning on my way out the door and just sit and rock him and pray with him. He's pretty much been a little snuggler since the day he was born.

I had a really bad cold last week and was just not feeling well at all. There was one evening that I went to bed early not just because I was tired but because I was so cold and couldn't seem to get warm and I hurt, even my face hurt. I felt awful. Ryan found me laying in bed and wanted to snuggle but I told him that I didn't want him to catch the awful cold. As he was leaving the room I told him how cold I was. The sweet little guy turned around, found one of his dad's jackets and layed it over the covers that were already on top of me. My eyes brimmed with tears, that one little act of kindess and love, and was an absolute mirror of something his dad would do - was something that made me fill loved from my head to my toes. Sometimes we just need a little dose of love medicine for the heart.

Thank you Father for the blessings of such sweet and loving children. May they always have love and compassion in their little hearts.

Thursday, February 26, 2009

Basketball Season

Ryan's basketball season has finally wrapped up and while this is my favorite sport of his to watch, I'm glad it's finally over. They had a perfect season, they lost every game :-( It was a long season to say the least, but I still enjoyed watching him. His true love is baseball but I think he does a good job with basketball too.

His own personal cheerleaders, respendent in gold.

Friday, February 20, 2009

Chinese New Year Celebration

I suppose these are better late than never ... we attended our local FCC's Chinese New Year celebration a few weeks ago here in the 'Ville. The girls looked just too cute in their outfits we bought for them in China but I had a hard time catching good pictures of both of them.

This is about all I caught.

Friday, February 13, 2009

Happy Valentine's Day

Happy Valentine's Day from our happy to home to yours!
I can't get over how well the girls get along, how well they've adapted and how Rebecca is an absolute perfect fit for this imperfect family.
The Lord is Good and His Mercy Endures Forever!!!

Wednesday, February 11, 2009

One Month Ago ...

It's hard to believe that it was one month ago that Rebecca came into our lives forever. She's adapted so easily in this last month that it's hard to believe that she hasn't always been with us.

Her favorite things are playing with Emma and Ryan, playing with her baby dolls and also with the toy kitchen that Santa brought. She also LOVES a leap frog magnet thing that has been on our fridge forever that has the alphabet with it and it makes the sound of the letters as they are placed in it. It tickles me that she plays with toys much more than Emma did/does ... but now that Rebecca is showing attention to those things that Emma has ignored for 3 years, well - they are now all of a sudden Emma's most special toy(s). They do play well together, so it's pretty easy to be forgiving towards Miz Divine being a little stinker from time to time.

I took Rebecca on a big outing of doctors appointments the other day. The pediatrician says she looks great! The funny thing is, she and Emma weigh the exact same weight! However, Emma is 1" taller than Bex. We also had an appointment with the heart doctor and he said everything looks great. There is a small amount of leakage between the two chambers but he said it is not enough to worry about. He told us there are no restrictions on her activity & that he'll see her in a year. He mentioned several times that they did a great job on her surgery in China. The visit to the dentist wasn't as good though, she has some decay on some of her front teeth. I really thought the teeth were broken but no, it is decay that I'm sure came from being put down with a bottle. In defense of that though, I know the home was not setup to take care of 3 year old children so I'm sure they did what they could to take care of everyone. The rest of her teeth looked great though so that was a relief. The dentist doesn't want to fill them yet because she doesn't want to scare Rebecca so we'll just wait a few months and let her get even more comfortable with us.

As far as other things with Bex:
  • Baby girl LOVES to eat. Subsequently, she fits right in with this family.
  • She still calls Ryan "Ry-ah" but it sounds so cute that I can't bring myself to correct her.
  • She loves to play patty-cake and smiles the biggest smile while we're doing it. Then she wants everyone else to paht-eee cake too.
  • She loves to play rock-a-bye baby with her papa but she calls it "rock a baby". Then she'll do the same thing with her baby dolls, it's really cute.
  • She is the easiest child in the world to get along with. We had so many people warn us of her strong personality/strong will, which she does have. However, she is very easily redirected and when you do use a more stern voice with her, she listens. Unlike someone else who shall rename nameless at this point.
  • She is VERY compassionate towards others, especially if she thinks you are sad. She lets us know when someone is crying (the same one who shall remain nameless) or if she thinks someone is sad about something.
  • She is also very loving and cuddly, which we all enjoy. She likes to snuggle with all of us and it just melts my heart when she and Emma are snuggled up together and then they hug and kiss each other. It also melts my heart when she crawls up in Ryan's lap and loves on him. Which reminds me, I need to get a picture of both of the girls snuggled up with Brian in his chair. It is a site to behold!
  • Her favorite question is "Mama - What dis?", there's no telling how many times a day I hear that but I'm overjoyed that she loves to learn and loves to ask questions. Now we just need to work on pronouncing "this"!

My apologies for the lack of pictures. I still can't believe I didn't take my camera for her checkup. With that said though, I'll have to confess - I must be either STUPID or CRAZY for thinking it would be no big deal to take 3 children to the pediatrician's office and all of us wait in one little tee-tiny room while the most wonderful doctor in the world checks two of them and attempts to carry on a conversation with me. She kept telling me that when you work in pediatrics, you are used to chaos. Rethinking that day I have to wonder - was she trying to convince me or herself :-) ... I told the receptionist as I was leaving that if I ever try to make multiple appointments at one time again to remind me of the appointments on Jan 9, 09. Goodness I was ready to get out of there!

Thursday, February 5, 2009

The Ryan Effect

Thank goodness for children that crack me up. Emma has always gotten a big kick out of Ryan dressing her up in his clothes and it looks like little Bex is going to enjoy that as much as M does.

They were all playing together the other night and the next thing I saw were two little dumplings dressed in brothers clothes! Nothing like giggles, sweatshirts and ballcaps.

Monday, February 2, 2009

The Flower Girl

Ok, back to things other than my job. Or lack thereof. Thanks to all of you who sent such kind and supportive notes both on the blog and to my email address. It's helped so much knowing you guys care and that many of you have been through similar trials. I know I'll make it through this and am so thankful to have such kind friends, such a loving family and kiddos that love to throw their arms around me and give me great big hugs one minute and then have me laughing like crazy the next. So ... on to other things.

Miss Emma was in a wedding the weekend we returned from China and was the absolute cutest flower girl ever! Of course I'm not biased one iota.
Here's Emma & Rebecca with Luke, the bride's brother:
Emma and the handsome groom. I didn't even know until the rehearsal that he's a Texan. No wonder we hit it off so well with him. We found out that his favorite chips are those from Julio's. Made my mouth water for some TexMex from Ft Worth when I heard that.

These two pictures make me cry. Not only is Alison beautiful on the outside, but she has the loveliest spirit and loves the Lord our God with all her heart. Emma has held Alison in high esteem for the longest time and it warms my heart that she has picked a young lady such as this as a role model. What more could a mother possibly ask for?

I can't remember if I have shared this story or not, but Alison sings like an angel and Emma has often said that she hopes she can sing as pretty as Alison. One night after we had finished her bath she was standing up on the counter in the bathroom with not a single stitch of clothing, she had her arms raised to heaven and she was singing loud praises to God. Then she stopped, turned around to look at me and with the sweetest little grin said "I'm Alison"! I still smile every time I think of that.

Sunday, February 1, 2009

A Place To Fall Apart

Let me get this out of the way & then I can move on. People respond differently to stress and crisis. I've pretty much always been the kind who does the jump right in and take care of business thing and then later have some sort of release. Thankfully I've only really had to deal with two major losses in my life and then two or three times I would label as times of crisis.

For the losses, one was my very best friend. One of those friends who knows all about you but loves you anyway. She died in a terrible car accident which just so happened to be on her birthday. My dad had to call me at work, over two hours away from "home" to tell me the news. One of the hardest days of my life.

The second loss was the death of my father who lost his battle with cancer. On both of these terrible occassions, I jumped in and did whatever was necessary to help either my friend's family or in the case of my dad - my family. For both, the grief hit me much later. Weeks after Lila's death I was heading south on I-35 toward Ft Worth when sobs just overtook me. I remember pulling over and crying my eyes out and letting all that grief escape. My place to fall apart.

I was in Oregon on business a couple of months after my dad passed away and had gone a day early in order to spend some time seeing an area I had never been to. Driving down hwy 1 along the coast, I drove up into a scenic area and found a beautiful water fall ... and that's when the same grief hit again. My place to fall apart.

It's been pretty much the same with crisis. I deal best by determining what the fix is and then making a list and start crossing things off. Then later I find some place, off by myself - a place to fall part. This right now is more of a loss right now than it is a crisis, maybe that feeling will come in time. The problem though is that for some reason, maybe jet lag - maybe just needing to be a mom right now and not wanting the kids to see me being emotional, but for some reason I don't have the answer this time. I don't have the list. I don't even have it in me to even make a list right now. All I have is faith that it will all work out. But I'm feeling that need to find my place to fall apart. A chance to get it all out so I can get back to normal.

So Many Changes ...

I started this blog a while back to able to share our adoption journey. When we traveled to get Emma we used a hosted site and all of our friends and family loved being able to follow along on our journey. What I didn't know when I started this blog is that it was going to be such a long time between when we started and when we would finally be bringing our daughter home. So in the meantime I shared about Emma and Ryan and various other things but I really never have talked about my job or really even that much about me and Brian. I would venture to say that most people who stop by here are looking for news on the kiddos ... if that's you, you may want to skip today's post.

I have shared that we relocated from Texas to Louisville. The reason for the relocation was for my job. Well, that job is no more. We arrived home late on Thursday the 22nd and on that Friday I had a call from my employer with the news that my position had been eliminated. It would have been nice to have been given the chance to get over jet lag, but I suppose that just wasn't on their list of priorities. Lots of people were affected but most had found out back in November with our group being notified in January. Another group will find out in March. Career has always been something very important to me. I worked for a good company that I cared about and on a great team that worked so well together. I had a great job, great boss that I respected, cared for, enjoyed ... all that stuff. But, it just wasn't to be. Months away from my 10 year anniversary with my plan being there until retirement but my plan wasn't their plan.

Then this week we were hit with a terrible ice storm that took out the power. Thankfully we have lots of friends who love and care for us and we had several offers of a place to stay. We ended up staying with the friends who were the ones who first invited us to the church we still attend. Even under the bad circumstances, we had the best time visiting with them and they seemed to enjoy having us and especially having a chance to play with the kids. My friend Angie let the girls help her cook and let them pretend to wash dishes - they had a blast! We had tried toughing it out a few days but it was just too cold, especially for the little ones.

So, even with the bad times ... they are made much easier with the help of friends and faith in God. I truly trust and believe that all will work out in time and with His help. Our trust is truly in Him.

Adonai-Jehovah -- The Lord our Sovereign
El-Elyon -- The Lord Most High
El-Olam -- The Everlasting God
El-Shaddai -- The God Who is Sufficient for the Needs of His People
Jehovah-Jireh -- The Lord our Provider
Jehovah-Shalom -- The Lord our Peace
Jehovah-Shammah -- The Lord is Present
Jehovah-Rohi -- The Lord our Shepherd
Jehovah-Hoseenu -- The Lord our Maker