Friday, August 24, 2012

One Year Ago Today

One year and one week ago today, these are the beautiful eyes that jumped straight through the computer screen and stole our hearts. One year ago, we were anxiously awaiting the phone call to hear that we had been chosen to be her parents. On this day, our lives were forever changed. This picture, this child, has changed every aspect of how we view this world. Saying "Yes" to this sweet face was one of the best decisions that we have ever made as a family. When I look at K's eyes in this photo now, I see more than ever before, a baby orphan full of life and potential. She was alone and had no family to call her own. No warm home, no princess pj's to prance around in, no warm bed to snuggle, no parents to comfort her when she was scared. This is a picture of a little girl that longed for a mommy to gently kiss her, read her stories, and sing her songs to bed. This is the face of a child, a child of God, that needed so much to have a daddy hold her tight and tell her that she was safe and secure. This child, our daughter, is a miracle and every day we feel blessed to get to be a part of her story.

Thank you, our tenacious daughter, for showing us God's definition of love. Thank you for sharing your strong will, big personality, and courageous heart with our family. Thank you for allowing us to be part of who you are and for dynamically altering the course of our lives. We are so proud of the progress that you have made since we saw your beautiful face in this picture. We knew from the moment that we saw you that God was going to give us the privilege of being your parents. We remember having so many questions about your medical needs but feeling such deep peace from God that He was going to heal you to His liking. You weren't walking or speaking in this photo. We didn't know if you could hear or if you would ever be potty trained. But it didn't matter. We knew that you were ours and that in God's hands, He would continue to mold you into the beautiful child that you are today - perfect to His plan. He has healed your legs and you run and dance. He has given you the gift of hearing and you talk a mile a minute - like most other girls your age. You learned how to use the potty in less than a week. Your hair has grown and you now have cute chubby cheeks. You have been made new from the inside out. When I look at you now, your eyes sparkle and all of the potential that you held inside is blossoming more each day!

Lord, we praise your great name! You have expanded our hearts and whispered truth into our lives. You have shown us that you create miracles every day if we are willing to sync our heart with yours. Thank you for this little girl and for the joy that you continually pour into her life. Thank you that you love us and want to restore all scars from our past. Thank you that it's not always physical, but in you Lord, you bring restoration in every single part of our soul. You seek out the broken and make us new. You tear the shackles of our worn hearts and call us redeemed. You know our sins and say forgiven. You seek out the lost and give them hope. You understand our pain and you, heavenly father, take it away. It can sometimes be hard to surrender to what we can't see, but through faith, you bring healing and joy. Beauty out of ashes. Art out of chaos. Life out of death. Freedom to grow, change and to know your will for our lives. In your name Jesus. Amen.

Friday, August 17, 2012

County Fair

God, thank you for these sweet boys that we get the honor of raising. We know how important it is to have individual time with each one and appreciate the opportunity to have special "date nights" with them. Tonight, we were able to enjoy the county fair - a first for our family. The boys loved looking at the farm animals, trying snow cone treats, and riding the train. But their favorite part of the evening was spending time with daddy winning Green Lantern super heroes! Thank you Lord for all of our many blessings, especially the quality time that we get to spend together!

C & Q trying a snow cone

C enjoying the train ride

Q blowing the train whistle

Doctor Day

C and M had a special day together learning about doctors at the hospital. Words cannot express how excited he was to hang out with his daddy {notice the gloves, pin, and stethoscope}. He was able to attend a meeting, go to the office, and even got a special treat - chocolate pudding with whipped cream - in the cafeteria. Thanks to everyone who made him feel so special! Several people stopped to say hi and even invited him to join in surgeries, procedures, and deliveries. Thankfully, none of this worked out with his busy schedule. Maybe next time!

Lord, thank you for the gift of C. He is so much fun and full of love. We are grateful for each memory that we get to make together. Thank you for M and his desire to be a strong role model. Thank you that he takes extra time out of his day to make our each one of our children feel special. What a wonderful blessing to have a strong leader for a daddy and a husband. Kisses and hugs boys!

Thursday, August 16, 2012

A Break Through

"Consider it pure joy, my brothers and sisters, whenever you face trials of many kinds, because you know that the testing of your faith produces perseverance." James 1:2-3

Adoption is wonderful, it's unique...and sometimes difficult. There is often an adjustment phase, just like having a newborn. Our sensitive little C has probably had the hardest time. Overall, he has done amazing, but there have been days that he has asked the tough questions.  Questions such as, "Why is her skin darker than mine"or "Why doesn't she speak the same language" or "Is she really staying forever"? These questions are normal and in fact, I welcome them. I want him to be able to verbalize to us his thoughts and feelings. I remember when S was born and he stood in the corner of the room crying, "NO baby." He didn't talk to me for days. But then the adjustment came and C loves S whole heartedly. Here is a break through moment for them both. We are on a walk and this is what I turn around to find. The two of them holding hands.

This isn't an issue about skin color or language. This is about adjustment and learning to love. It's about gently guiding our children to show them that we can pray about concerns and get through transitions together. It's about educating them that God made us each perfect according to His plan, no matter our skin color, language, disability, religion, gender, or place of birth. Learning to accept someone new doesn't always come quickly. It can be scary. It often takes time, patience, and practice.  It takes an open mind and lots of love. But through God's grace, we can learn to see each other through His lens, not that of our world.

Thank you Lord for giving us the gift of trials in our lives. In these moments, we remember that it's not how we start, but how we finish. There are lessons of love to be learned along the way. You didn't say if, but when we face trials of many kinds. And then You promise the gift of perseverance. Even for our children, you Lord, want to strengthen their faith and show unconditional love. I consider it a joy to get to experience Your life lessons and almighty love. Amen

Wednesday, August 15, 2012

Little Star

Our sweet little S man in the back yard enjoying a beautiful day! He loves to swing and act silly together! Ahhh, I just love these moments! Thank you Lord, for your beautiful days and our fun memories together!

Off to Kindergaten

Q is off to kindergarten! Look at this sweet face. He is so excited to go to school! How clearly we can remember holding this handsome little guy with big blue eyes and dark hair in my arms while he looked up so intently into my eyes. It's been almost 6 years since our first born arrived into our world and he is off to his first big year of school. We are thrilled that he is reaching this milestone and we know that he is going to do awesome! So while he is off to discuss with his friends the fact that orion is a prominent constellation located on the celestial equator, or that dinosaurs first appeared during the triassic period millions of years ago, and why the uvula is a hanging ball located under your soft palate, we are going to smile proudly and wish him the best of luck. We love you sooooo much Bubba! Yes this much! {arms stretched as wide as possible with lots of hugs and kisses to follow}

Lord, thank you for Q. He is so special and fun to be around. Thank you that he loves to read and learn. Please bless over his first day at school and help him to make new friends easily. We are proud of all that he has become and look forward to many more years of great memories together! Amen

Friday, August 10, 2012

C's 4th Birthday

We love, love, love this little boy! We just fall head over heals with you all over each day. Several times during the day I will look at you and think that you remind me so much of myself. Your mannerisms and personality favor me, though you also have many of daddy's traits too. You are loving, compassionate, trust worthy, genuine, active, and funny. You love to laugh (the cutest laugh ever) and it's contagious with those around you. C, you have a heart of gold that radiates through every part of who you are. Making friends comes easy to you and you enjoy being hospitable. You are well balanced and smart. You are enjoying preschool and love your teachers. You dream of being a super hero and love to use your imagination. You like to play "tricks" on us and enjoy hiding only to be easily found so that you can be showered with extra hugs, kisses, and tickles. Being active and involved is just part of who you are. We can often find you climbing, jumping, wrestling, or daring to try something new. You are going to be a great athlete and love going for runs with your mama. Your favorite times are on-the-go at the zoo, Children's museum, or right in the backyard playing sports. With all of your extra energy out, you will still wrestle your siblings for a spot next to us in order to cuddle on the couch. You love close contact and any extra love that you can give is a great joy.

Our sweet, Mr. C (AKA: sweet potato pumpkin pie cuddle bug or cuddle bug for short), we are so proud of you! You love God and are our little evangelist. You are the first to request prayers and help us to always remember how important it is that we trust God's will. During play last week, I heard you shout with enthusiasm, "He did it mom! God healed my owie"! You are proud that God gave you "red & orange" hair and know that it fits your personality well. You are one of a kind, buddy, and we love that you are so comfortable and confident in all that God has created you to be.

Four years ago, shortly before your birth, I was resting in bed as I watched your strong legs push your feet against the wall of my belly. You were constantly active, training for the Olympics we thought, while you were growing inside my tummy. You rolled up on your side at 2 weeks and were rolling over before 1 month. God has blessed you with great strength, inside and out. When we held you for the first time, we knew that God had created you to stand out, to be a courageous leader in life. He has great opportunities in store for you and we are ecstatic to watch your story unfold. He loves your zest for life and your enthusiasm planted in faith. You are simply an amazing child of God and we are proud to get to direct you through your journey in life.

God, thank you for this incredible little boy that you have given us the opportunity to parent. We are just in awe of his love. He is a blessing to us and to others around him. We pray that you continue to overflow his cup with joy and laughter. Please send your bountiful blessings to him and keep him safe and healthy. Please help guide us to be the parents that he deserves. Thank you for your generous support and for always being the best example of what being a Father, a leader, really involves. Amen.

Monday, August 6, 2012

Two Peas In A Pod

Seriously, look at these two! M sent these pics to me earlier and my heart skipped a beat with joy! They are so sweet and are loving each others company! Lord thank you, thank you, thank you! We are so blessed!!