Sunday, February 28, 2010

Family Fun Day!!!

I love large families. I love that a last minute plan on Friday to have a play date for our dog can turn into 25+ family members at my home. There is food, laughter, and good times for all. The women talk, the kids play, and the men- well they play too!!!
I feel so blessed to have been born into such a tight-knit family. I guess I should really thank my Grandparents on my mother's side who had 8 children. Those 8 children added 25+ grandchildren. And, those grandchildren (so far) have added 12 great grandchildren. My grandparents, parents, aunts and uncles all made family a number one priority during my childhood, and now that I am grown and have children of my own I get to pass on that same lesson about cherishing family. We are made up of different personalities, different colors, and different views on life but we are generations bound by family ties and LOVE!!!
I can't wait to share all of this with my Sweet Sweet M*!!!

Thursday, February 25, 2010

Room Re-Model!!!

Tomorrow morning the wall is coming down. Yes, we are going forward with the room re-model thanks to the kindness of my uncle who is a contractor two of our kid rooms are going to joined together into one large shared room for all 4 of our kiddos.
We went furniture shopping last weekend to find a second bunkbed, since Bombay kids is no more ;( And, we were pleasantly surprised. I don't know when furniture stores turned into carnivals, but let me tell you that was some of the easiest and pleasant shopping I have done with 3 kids in a long long time. Between two stores they received toys, got their faces painted, ate fresh baked cookies, and could have had more if I let them. It was hilarious. Anyhoo, I highly recommend it.
On the adoption front we are still waiting for our court date. We have been getting our travel shots and doing a lot of reading on attachment. But, mostly we are getting excited b/c in just a few months we will bring our little boy home!!!

Sunday, February 21, 2010

Young Love

How cute are these two???

Wednesday, February 17, 2010


One week ago we learned our sweet boys story and saw his face for the first time... I am still overwhelmed with joy.

It is amazing how much I love my sweet boy already. Especially, when I think back to the weekend before my referral when I was stressing over the what if's... like what if I don't feel love when I see his picture? The truth is I don't think I did feel love when I saw his picture. I saw an adorable little boy, I was told a sad story and I was all over the place with my emotions. I did not anticipate all of the mixed emotions this awaited call would bring. The whole referral call is such a weird experience. I felt like I was dreaming or like I was watching myself go through it but it did not feel like I was actually there. I suppose it's uncharted territory... even though you know what is going to happen it feels so unreal when it finally happens to you.

For those of you waiting and worrying about the what if's I will say that the first night I don't think it was LOVE that I felt... it was just too overwhelming. However, when I woke up not only was I in LOVE, but I missed my boy. It felt like he had always been here, but he was away and I was awaiting his return. I know weird right?

My husband described it best he said... when we sit down to eat together it feels odd now- someone else belongs at our table. And, it is not just us that feels this way... on Saturday we were getting ready to go to Disneyland and Belle said "not without my M*"... I explained that it is still going to be awhile until he comes home and then she said, "okay M* is in the car?" ugh... This wait is going to be tough.

So, what are we doing??? Well today we finally received our official referral package so we rushed around getting stuff signed and notarized. We made it to Fedex so it will be in WACAP's hands tomorrow. We were excited bc we had a short video clip that was included with the package. Really it is only like 10 seconds, but I am grateful for any glimpse of M*'s current life.

Today we also got a few pricks in our arms in preparations for traveling to Ethiopia. We will still have to get a few more. And, as you see above we also were able to put together M*'s care package. YIPEEE!!!!! It was harder than I thought it would be to squeeze the items into the required gallon ziplock baggie. Let me tell you-- a gallon baggie is so much smaller than you would think... ugh!!! I am hoping some travelling families will be kind enough to take a few other little items in the next weeks to come. (wink** wink**)

So, what did I include in the care package...
Well, my kids really like themes, so the boys chose a Cars theme (the movie). M*'s going to get a little Cars t-shirt, a few toy cars, a plush Lightning McQueen, some Lightning McQueen lollipop's, and Cars stickers.

I also put together a photo album with lots of pictures. I put pictures of M*, of us holding his picture, and a lot of different pictures of us, our home, and the kids. I hope that by seeing so many pictures he can kind of get an idea of who we are. I can't imagine how a child absorbs this process. I labeled the pictures and WACAP says they will have someone sit with M* and explain the pictures to him. I hope he likes it??? I also was excited b/c I found a card at Hallmark that allows you to record a message so we recorded a little message for him so he can hear our voices. The song also plays the Jackson 5- I'll be there song which seemed fitting. It was harder than I expected to put the care package together though bc I'm so worried about what his first impression of us will be. I hope it puts a smile on his face. I can't wait to hear that he has received it.

Thursday, February 11, 2010

The CALL!!!!!

Tuesday night we received the call of a life time. Well actually we missed it, and had to call back (but details sheeshmells)...
He is 2 years and 8 months old. He has the biggest brown eyes, pouty lips and adorable toddler hands. He is perfect in every way. And, exactly who we were waiting for!!!
We are over the moon excited and oh, so in love. I have waited for this day but never imagined the pure bliss that I feel right now. I had been told by those who went through this process before that at just the right time the child that was meant to be yours will enter your life- but I did not believe them until Tuesday evening.
Here are a few pictures from the evening... (courtesy of my sweetest friend in the world H and her family- seriously what would we do without you guys???)

I had no idea how the kiddos would react... yes we prepared them for this day, but kids can react funny in these types of situations. I could not have asked for better responses. Captain ran in the house to click on sweet M*'s picture on the computer and begged me to chase down his teacher in the parking lot to show her a picture yesterday. Cuddlebear is going through his drawers trying to find clothes that he can pass down to his brother and Belle told me tonight that she is going to protect her sweet M* in case he is scared (and if you knew his name and could have heard Ella say it trust me it would have melted your heart).

We are so excited and can't wait to bring our boy home!!!!!

Sunday, February 7, 2010

Lovin' Sunday Morning

Don't worry- she is not deprived of girly pj's. She just enjoys wearing brothers old truck pjs more ;) This one will have some adjusting to do when there is actually a little boy who fits in these pjs in our house... ha!!!

Friday, February 5, 2010

So Proud!!!

I had the privilege of taking my eldest son out to lunch yesterday. I cannot express how much I love getting one on one time with my kids. Captain Crazy amazed me as usual. His conversations are funny, intelligent and oh so honest. He was so excited to have me to himself he could not stop smiling, hugging me, and then telling me he loved me. I have to admit 2 years ago Captain and I were not as close. I think that as a parent sometimes you forget how to transition your relationship as your children grow. Or at least that is what happened with Captain and I. Two years ago I was dealing with a difficult toddler and a new baby all while I was trying hard to get my business to grow. I expected to much from Captain (b/c after all he was the oldest- so I told myself) and I did not love on him nearly as much as he needed. I did not understand why when I picked him up from my moms he seemed to want to stay and on the weekends he would ask to go to grandma's. I was crushed but did not know where to turn.

You know what saved us? Adoption. Crazy thought but it is true. I did not see my relationship with my son as a problem back then at all. And, we were already looking into adopting our 4th. Then in blog world I kept running into this book...

And, this book saved my relationship with Captain. In blogland people were mentioning it for parents that were adopting b/c it is all about attachment therapy. Well, turns out it is for any parent. The thanks I owe to the author of this book because after I read this book my life changed. I see parenting in a new light and the reward (my new relationship with each one of my children) is priceless. If you have not read this book please do. You owe it to your kids!!!

Now moving on... Captain also had open house at school last night. He was so excited to show us all the fantastic projects he had been working on. Captain is an amazing student. He is a grade ahead in math (and is the only student to still have 100% on every one of his math tests), he comes home with 100% on the majority of his spelling and vocab tests, and he goes to a Classical Charter School that is known in the area for their tough curriculum. Besides his main studies his art, music and french are all coming along wonderfully too and he is trying to convince me to let him add theater next year. Proud does not do my feelings of amazement about my son justice. And, to top it off his teacher pulled me aside last night to tell me (as she often does) how pleased she is with Captain and what a fantastic student he is. But, this time she also told me that when the class gets in trouble she can't even look at Captain b/c she knows he never has anything to do with it. I am so blessed to be this boys mama. And, I am also blessed to have these other two cuties too!!!!

Thursday, February 4, 2010

Sweet Sleep!

Sharing a room has been working out great. I have not made any permanent changes yet because I don't know how old our new son will be when he comes home. Belle actually has a crib mattress on the ground because I need to go buy another set of bunk beds, but last night when I went to tuck them in I noticed that she was snuggled in bed with her biggest brother- too sweet!!!
I think that sharing a room has already helped all 3 of them form a closer bond. And, Hubby and I are able to fit in some exercise (I have lost 3 pounds in fact!)
I wanted to say thank you to those of you that wrote in ideas or comments about room sharing. And, it was neat to hear memories of those of you that shared a room when you were little.
Did you notice that all 3 of my kiddos were asleep with the same right arm up by their heads. I found that funny. And, I hope you looked past the Christmas sheets. The flannel is so much warmer.
Have a Happy Thursday!!!

Wednesday, February 3, 2010

Toddler Adoption

I started reading the above book yesterday (and I am pretty sure I will be done with it tonight) it is such a great read. But, I am looking for advice. Some of the information seems relevant and some I am not sure about.

I would love to hear from those of you who have adopted toddlers (12-36 months) specifically from Ethiopia. I would love any tips, advice, precautions you are willing to dish out.