Friday, July 29, 2011

Baby blessing!

Heehee, first let me tell you how absolutely THRILLED I am that my sweet hubby knew that we were to OLD to adopt a baby!

Now I love ALL babies, I worked as a maternal child nurse for years! But it is so thrilling to add a baby to the family!

Isn't he just delicious! So sweet and big at 8 lbs with the longest fingers ever!!

And my sweet princess definately has inheritated a heart for babies!

BUT, it has been a tough week.  Such an immence rollercoaster of emotions of great highs and deep, deep lows.

My brother announced they were expecting this precious little guy the same week we announced we were adopting Feifei.  He is here, and we continue to wait - for atleast 4 more months.  This sweet little guy will be sitting before my precious little ones come home.  THis is in no way a negative but just a reminder of how long the adoption process can be.

I thought going from 1 to 2 was the hardest step in our family.  
My bits of advice -

1.  Error on the side of the oldest
2.  Never say "My Child will NEVER do ...."  
3.  Enjoy every little bit, little cry, wrinkle, etc.  Time is short and life is precious.

Saying Goodbye

It has been a rough week and yesterday was the memorial service for Laurel and her girls. I am so glad I went. One gift Laurel gave our family was another fmaily jsut like us - 3 kids, adopting 2, and the kids go to school with my kiddos. Anyhow, we went to the memorial service together. We oohed and aahed over the pictures of the girls, the gorgeous paper laterns and umbrellas.

I think 8 people spoke about Laurel and the girls, sharing their antics, their lives and the everlasting impact they have had on this world.

However, the most important was the symbolism of rainbows. THey had 3 pictures the girls had drawn, all of rainbows. Half the sky's new program is the Rainbow program, and little Zoey - well she was an orange loving little girl. I jsut smiled because this is what we saw the evening before!!

When we got home my dear friend found her I800-A approval in the mail. We are all sure that Laurel is still with us every step of the way!

Monday, July 25, 2011

Postcards from Holland

I was thrilled to find the entry of Postcards from Holland on the blog below. It has been a very interesting time of reflection. Not only did we lose our beloved social worker (previous post) but our little man will be five . . . YES 5 next week! We found out about his dwarfism 5 hours before he was born. Welcome to Holland has been a fabulous poem for us. Now five years later I still sometimes feel the heartache of his diagnosis, especially on his painful days. But how much have we grown, as a mom, as a family. Most importantly, without his diagnosis, we would NEVER have found us on the journey to our other 2 children.

If 5 years ago today - while I was still pregnant with all 5lb 11 oz of him, that THIS was where our journey would take us, I would have laughed. In addition, our relationship with God is SOOO much stronger and brighter. It is amazing and we feel so blessed, all due to a tiny little one born to us the beginning of August.

Postcards from Holland

It has been a fabulous ride!

Wednesday, July 20, 2011

Heartbreak and joy

It has been a tough 24 hours.

Our beloved social worker died in a freak accident with her 3 sweet little girls.

I still laugh when I think of the fear we felt before meeting the "social worker" the first time. Now, we are your run of the mill family. We would rather play then clean - not saying it is filthy or even dirty on most days, just cluttered and disorganized. Add to the equation that we had moved 4 months before, and we were really worried. I fretted over the visits, the house, the kids. Then Laurel agreed to come to our home on a Sunday (my husbands only day off,) after church. Her first visit was Feb 6th and she was like a breathe of fresh air, quickly putting everyone at ease.

She knew I was a little freaked over the dossier to China within 6 months, and so she quickly scheduled our visits, and did our paperwork. Besides a quick homestudy, Laurel also gave us the confidence that we were 'good enough' to adopt. The extra gift she gave us . . . she approved us for 2 children when we were sure that we were only bringing FeiFei home.

When we met to sign the homestudy, she brought along her youngest, Lucy. She was amazing and sealed any reservations that we could love a child not born to us. Lucy was a gem, and little man quickly showed his 'big brother' skills with her - eventhough Lucy was atleast his size and probably outweighed him by five pounds.

When we found Cavanaugh, Laurel just smiled and gladly filled out the concurrent adoption paperwork for us. Sadly, we were supposed to meet this summer to establish a game plan for Cavanaugh's surgeries and bonding - summer just got away from us.

I am absolutely heartbroken for her husband Alex, for the whole situation. We feel so blessed to have had Laurel in our life, and as a guide on this journey.

The joy - we received notice today of our LID (lock in date). We were LID yesterday 7/19/11 - the day we lost Laurel and her girls. Knowing her, she wanted to make sure we continued on our journey to FeiFei and Cav.

Lastly, dad has set up a memorial fund and asked that donations be sent to - this is the phenomenal organization that FeiFei is lucky enough to be part of.

Please pray for her husband and family, I can not even imagine.

Monday, July 18, 2011

Back together and lessons learned from Stampin Up!

Heehee couldn't help the blog post title, but bear with me and I hope I can express my thoughts.

First of all it is so wonderful to be back together as a family!  It has been over 2 weeks and everyone has gone in different directions.

I have missed my boys fighting ;0)  Ok little man trying to beat the crude out of his BIG brother. 

I have missed the noise, the squabbles and the talking.  Did I jsut type that for real?

Seriously, our home is jsut that HOME, it is comfortable, it is what we have both created and been provided.  I feel blessed that by being good stewards of God's money we live in such a peaceful place.

If you follow along, then you will remember the big kids went to away camp the week of the fourth - it was a sale so they both went.  I explicitly made arrangements for this past week as I was going . . . gasp . . . out of town!  Long story short, I went to the Stampin Up Convention in Salt Lake City.  It was four days away from home and an airplane flight!

Now I know a lot of parents that vacation, or travel for business, but I am not one of them.  I hold the fort down at home.  This WAS A TRUE LUXURY, which I considered cancelling many times.  My sweet husband on the other hand insisted I go. 

So our big boy was signed up for all day basketball camp, our princess went to another away camp (both church so still pretty inexpensive) with her friends, and little man - he had daddy time.

I went to my first Stampin Up Convention with friends who have been for many years - so they knew the ropes.  Stampin Up is my one vice in life . . besides chocolate but that's really a need!  I love their products, and being a demonstrator has afforded me the ability to work from home.  In addition, having a blog allows me to reach out to many people near and far.  They can shop directly through my blog AND get a discount.  But I regress that's NOT what this post is about.

It is about the experiences and 'ME' time that I so often forget.  It was so interesting to be able to connect with others who have adopted or are adopting.  It felt good to answer - 5 kids when people asked how many children we had.  It was fabulous to sit down with complete strangers and be able to share God's plan and especially Cavanaugh's story. 

I'll post in the next few days about a few other major impacts this trip had, but for now I'll leave it that my sweet husband has a new understanding for my job!  He now referrs to spending days with little man like having your head in a blender! 

But most importantly, we are all home together, everyone has a renewed sense of the importance all members play in our family.  And perhaps most importantly, we feel refreshed for the arrival of our final members.  Our heart still aches to have them here but we know that soon they will be home.

Monday, July 11, 2011

An eye on the prize!

I know kind of an odd title, but as I was going through pictures, I jsut loved the ones that I took on the 4th of little man practicing catching a ball.  When I first became a parent I had no idea how much I would learn from my children.  This little man is inspiration to me everyday.  The sad part of his type of dwarfism is the pain he has in his joints.  His left hip is . . . well crap.  Summer days are better but we have been experiencing a lot of afternoon storms and just like a grandpa he feels the barometric pressure.

But he still goes on.  Some days he will ask to be carried, some days we just have sprout days (tv station) but he almost never complains.  Instead he is my sport kid.  He lives for sports, he spends hours practicing his different sports and he is a pretty great little athlete.

When we first got his diagnosis and the Dr's told us all of the things he shouldn't be doing we really tried to restrict his activities.  Finally we realized that sports are almost as important to him as food and water.  SOOOO, we will let him play for as long as his little body will hold up.  We pray that God has a plan for him, and we have given our heartbreak to Him.  I don't know if his sports 'career' will peak at 7 or 9 years of age but we pray that something will enter little man's life to replace his passion for sports.

Friday, July 8, 2011

Yeah. . . we're finally DTC!!

You say what!

Our dossier - all of the paperwork mom's been working on since we found FeiFei in January.  

It is finally on the way to China!!

OK, I don't have a picture of a fedex plane so I figured a picture of our beloved thunderbirds and the AFA from graduation in May!  

Thursday, July 7, 2011

Life with just one!

Well, our week of having an only child at home is almost over.  It's kind of fun to remember what it was like with one preschooler at home.  It's been 10 years!   Little man got to go to the $1 store twice picking out guns, bow & arrow, and ax LOL!!  I loved watching him run in with his little hand tightly grasping 2 one dollar bills.

We practiced golfing.

Played some baseball

We took care of the bunnies & chickens.  Played on the trampoline and playset.

We got stuck in a huge rainstorm, and spent the afternoon dressing up and playing pretend

Do I dare say we got caught up on laundry!!

And we really missed our big kids!!  

I also realized that this will be the last time little man and I will be alone together.  Next time this year we will have 2 four year olds and a five year old - and of course our two big kids when they aren't visiting away camp!!

Tuesday, July 5, 2011

Happy Fourth America!!

We had a low key Independence day with our fabulous little guy!  You see Away camp had a SALE!! for this week.  What's a momma to do - send the two oldest.  Now mind you I believe I registered them during an especially rough evening.  Now my kids are pretty good, but there are days . . . especially during the summer.  Anyhow, the church bulletin mentioned that this week was on sale at the camp they LOVE!!  It's about 2 hours away so I wasn't going to take jsut one - so both big kids went to camp this week.

Our big guy was in a cabin of only four kids!!  He is at such a funny stage in life - 12 1/2.  He tells me 'Love you mom' more often than in previous years.  He came to give me a side hug while I was at the princess's cabin.  This was his only chance at away camp this summer so I was thrilled we were able to figure out a time for him to go.  He wore dirty jean shorts and brought jsut one more pair for the week LOL.  Boys will be boys, but atleast I don't have to be with him!!

Princess at her cabin!  She of course packed a ton of clothes.  We couldn't check into camp until 3:45 pm but she was ready to go at about 9 am.  Last time we went we were late, and she had to settle for a bottom bunk.  This year she made sure she got a top bunk (much to her momma's detriment!!)  Even at 9 she is already sowing her oats, and quickly rushed me on my way!!  Girls, and boys are sure different little gcreatures.  Of course, the fact she has been going to this camp since she was 7 helps with her independence!!  I sure hope they have a wonderful time!!

As for the fourth, little man and I went to the parade.  Daddy decided to drop us off at the last minute so we wouldn't have to wait in line for the bus etc.   We were lucky enough to find some friends in the crowd and got front row seats!  Now little man draws a crowd where ever we go, and the parade was no exception.  Some of our big guys friends saw him and gave him high 5's and everyone else fell in love with his infectious personality!!  He was  a candy collecting,  clapping fool!

Of course his faux hawk decorated with colored hair gels didn't hurt!!  Designed by little man himself with jsut a little help from momma!

Saturday, July 2, 2011

HIS timing is perfect

Have I mentioned that patience is NOT my gift!   So we thought and really tried to have out DTC by yesterday (Friday) which is the day our agency sends them to China as a group.  I finally emailed at 3:30 pm to see if we made it since I hadn't heard anything.  Apparently, the Chinese Consulate didn't like how our I-800A was notarized . . . let me tell you about that!

When I went to Denver last Friday, I had to leave really early so I could be back to get the big kids to play practice at 1pm.  Of course, the bank doesn't open until 9 am so we could get the copy notarized.  On the way up to Denver (at castle rock) I saw a Key Bank and decided that I would get the document notarized there and then I wouldn't have to worry about finding a place in Denver.  Easy, peasy she notarized the paper our agency gave us, basically stating this was a copy and we possessed the original.  I got to the SOS about 10:30 am.  THank goodness for the mapquest on my iPhone!

Unfortunately, they couldn't find the notaries name in their computer and wouldn't authenticate it!?!  The lady was super nice and told me to go down to Wells Fargo which is in the same building.  Now mind you, this was after getting lost, driving in traffic, dealing with one way streets and the building is smack dab in downtown Denver.  I luckily had extra copies of everything.  Added more money to the meter, grabbed my copies and went into Wells Fargo.  Again a very nice lady but she had her own way of notarizing the copy.  She made her own copy (thankfully I had the original) and stamped the back stating  basically the same thing that the agencies letter said.  Got this authenticated and called the agency to make sure this would work before heading over to Fedex.  "Yes, no problem blah, blah, blah".

WELL, apparently, the Chinese Consulate had a fit about the notary and wasn't going to ok it :(  Luckily, the courier was able to work their magic and get it all signed off on but this delayed sending it - missing the Friday ship date!  They should have it Tues or Weds (due to the holiday) and will go out July 5th.

Now, to say I was hot would be an understatement.  We paid extra for overnights, courier etc so it would be in this Fridays packet, but what could I do - but look up and realize that the costs were my costs to learn the lesson that God's timing is forever perfect.  If I could jsut learn this LOL!!

I do love how He confirms our lessons.  When I got on rumor queen ( this morning I saw a post about travel timing questions.  As I was reading I realized God's timing and this is why our DTC missed last week!  You see my DH is in retail and Christmas is almost impossible for him to get away but there is a 'sweet' spot in early Dec where the after Thanksgiving shoppers have bought but the last minute shoppers are waiting.  Never in my wildest dreams wold I have tried to manuever dates down to a very small time period, but God is defiantely good.   Check out the post below, I could just cry!

"If you travel in Dec you would want TA by Dec 8.  The average time from LOA to TA is 75 days so you would want LOA by SEPT 23rd.  The average from LID to LOA is 50 days  so you would want LID by Aug 3rd.  The average time from DTC to LID is 18 days so you would want to be DTC on July 15th!"

Sooo, I am feeling so less anxious.  I have given this to God's timing.  In doing that, I am also giving Cavanaugh's health to Him.  Of course, I will continue to worry about him, but also trusting that with God's will he will be ok.