Sunday, August 30, 2009


I found the blog of the mother who has found her adopted son's birth parents in China. You can read about their amazing story here! I wrote about his story a few posts below. WOW! It is great to see China coming around and offering a way for parents to find their lost children with the Baby Come Home organization. I SO hope that one day maybe a DNA database would be established to help more kids find their birth parents?!

Friday, August 28, 2009

Cleft Repairs thru Pics

Pictures start with Shelby's open palate. She had her first surgery on her palate in April 2008. We are now approaching her second surgery that will be a p-flap around Thanksgiving this year. Just wanted to show the progressions her palate has made in the past year and a half...

This last picture is a current picture taken this month. As you can see her uvula that was created for her has split which "appears" to look like a hole now. The flap of skin from the back of the throat will be cut and attached to where this "hole" is now.

Turkey Loo Hoo

Yes, that is what I call my Shelby baby all the time...Turkey Loo-Hoo! What a big girl Shelby is these days. She is doing GREAT at school this year. No tears at all, just excitement! If you have followed our journey, then you know how miraculous this is for her. She went right off to school the first day all excited!! Ms. Libby (principal at her school) reminded the other day when we were talking about Faith and how her adjustment was going. Libby said, "Well you do remember that Shelby cried for a whole straight month!". Oh my yes I do remember :( Well look at my big girl now. Who would have thought?!?!

Shelby did have her big cleft team appointment and it was decided that she does need to have the full p-flap surgery done. Basically they will cut out a piece of skin from the back of her throat and then attach that to the end of her palate (uvula) to create an extra barrier that will keep air from flowing straight up through her nose. I know that isn't "exactly" what they are doing, but that is the surgery in a nutshell. SO hopefully once she has healed from the surgery, she will start making more consonant sounds. Right now she only has a few consonants that she can say like M, N, L, H. Unfortunately the surgery is supposed to be a very painful one :(

I will keep everyone posted as to when we schedule the p-flap. I am hoping to do it around Thanksgiving time so the boys will be home to "entertain" away the pain a bit. My Turkey Loo Hoo is such a beautiful blessing!

Thursday, August 27, 2009


Ever feel like you are meant to do MORE??! I just seem to have that feeling that I need to do more for the glory of God. Not really sure what that means, but just have that feeling. Anybody else ever get that feeling?

Tuesday, August 25, 2009

Attachment is Work

Just saw this article posted by another adoptive mom and wanted to share it. I like to advocate for adoption anytime, anywhere it presents a moment for me to do so. I even had some business cards printed up with my name, number, and my blog address on them. I give them out freely to anyone who inquires about adoption. I really hope to help one child (or 2 or 3 or 4) children find their way to their forever homes.

Now it wouldn't be fair for me to only post about the "good stuff" surrounding adoption. And I don't really hold back on my blog, so that is why this article struck me as something I needed to post here. Fortunately I haven't had many attachment issues with the girls so far. I pray that I don't in the future. But the main point here is that not all adoptions go so rosy. Attachment by the parent and attachment from the child takes work...a LOT of work. You have to do your homework before you bring these kids home, and you have to practice what you learned once they are home. So if you are in the process of adopting or just interested in adoption, please take a moment to read this article. You may one day need some of these tips listed in there.

Monday, August 24, 2009

Getting Better

Faith has been brushing up on her shopping skills since she thought Sheila was dissappointed with my last shopping post...

Maybe she will be up for a special Kohl's moment with her aunt soon!

Friday, August 21, 2009

PreSchool Updates

Well Faith went off to her new school on Wednesday just fine. Well for a little while at least. Faith was OK the first hour which is when she is in the same room with Shelby. But once it was time for them to go to their own classrooms...Faith freaked on them. After all was said and done, Faith cried HARD for about an hour, then tapered off from there. She did survive and lots of credit goes out to her teachers since they knew that they could call in the "911 Nana Call" to come rescue her at anytime. But her teachers persevered and made it through until noon!

Now this morning was her second day at school and she knew what was up today. So unfortunately Ms. Libby had to chase her all around inside the car this morning to get her out :( She was no happy camper being taken into the school. I told my sister this morning, that my prayer for Faith even before she came home was for her to be able to "attach" to me since she grew up in an orphanage. Well as Sheila said..."Did you have to pray so hard about that?!" Obviously Faith has attached to me now and doesn't want to let go! That is a good thing.

I have faith that my little Faith will survive and thrive at her new preschool soon!!

Tuesday, August 18, 2009

Open House

I am about to leave to take Shelby to her preschool today to meet her new teachers. Shelby and Faith will both start "school" tomorrow. They will both be going 3 days a week from 8-12pm. Shelby is excited, Faith doesn't have a clue! Fortunately Shelby has come full circle and is excited about school now-YEAH!! Unfortunately Faith is just now starting her school experience, and I have a feeling it isn't going to set too well with her :(

I am so hoping that Faith isn't terrified like Shelby was when she first started. Hopefully Faith will be comforted by having Shelby there with her at least in the morning and seeing her a little throughout the day. I just dread the thought of Faith thinking her mommy has abandoned her :( Dropping your child off at daycare/school for the first time has a whole NEW meaning when you are dealing with adopted children. Remember at one time they were "dropped off", and never returned to their "home". I just pray that little Faith will somehow understand that Mommy is coming back...Mommy will always come back!

Monday, August 17, 2009

Tunnel Vision

Stuck in a tunnel these days only able to focus on a few things at once. But hoping to be out of my blogging rut soon...

Wednesday, August 12, 2009

Real Pictures

Here are a few of the final pics from that we did on our re-takes. I think we got some good shots for sure. Unfortunately Faith did not cooperate this time around so we weren't able to get any "great" family pictures with all of us in them. Faith screamed her head off almost all night, so it is a miracle that Debbie was able to get anything! Love looking at my family and still amazed that this really is MY family!!

Monday, August 10, 2009

First Day of School

Yes, today was the first day of school for the kids! Caleb started 4th grade, Travis started 1st grade, and Shelby started back her public school speech classes. As you can see, they weren't too thrilled about getting up early. We had a later than planned evening since we did our re-take of our photos last night. BTW-Faith was terrible last night! She did not cooperate at all for the pics, so it will be interesting to see what all turned out. Oh well such is life. I told CJ on the way over to the shoot that we should of just all rolled around in the mud first, that would of probably been a more "real pic" of the Straights ;)

Anyway here are the pics from the morning on their first day! And yes, I even cooked them breakfast :) Now they didn't really eat it, but I did cook it. My mom told me the girls were already taking their naps this morning at 10AM. Sure hope we get into bed earlier tonight.

Friday, August 7, 2009

Making Plans to Meet Him

Yes, you all may remember this post about finding my brother. Well the time has come to finally get to meet him live and in person! Me, Sheila, and Mom are going to be flying out to Texas in October to visit with him and his family over a long weekend. We are all really looking forward to it. Oh and yes, I will be traveling with NO kids ;) Never done that before so this should be a new adventure.

My brother and I have shared a few emails back and forth over the last year. Nothing dramatic or overly personable, just trying to get to know each other a little at a time. He is an only child, so being handed now not one but two new sisters is probably a bit much to take in all at once. Good thing he landed the best 2 sisters he could get-HA! So this person to person reunion is going to be a brand new experience for him for sure.

Now my mom....this is going to be a LIFETIME experience for her. I can only imagine how long she has prayed and prayed for this reunion! Seeing her son finally after all these years is going to be pretty incredible I am sure. I may just have to sedate her to get her there all in one piece ;) Oh and I sure hope we live up to the expectations my brother has in his head. I believe all adoptees "dream up" their birth family. Not so sure we are what he "dreamed" about but oh well ready or not here we come!!
Oh and I get to meet my cutie patootie adorable nephew too! He is so darn cute and still amazing to me that he looks so much like my daughters ;) God really does know what he is doing, doesn't he?!?!
For I know the plans I have for you, "declares the Lord, "plans to prosper you and not to harm you, plans to give you hope and a future.- Jeremiah 29:11

Wednesday, August 5, 2009

Photo Shoot Preview

Well after a few "rain delay" cancellations, we finally were able to have our PFP photo shoot last night. The kids did GREAT! I couldn't believe how well they did. We were in and out in only 30 minutes. Debbie was terrific with the kids and got them to do just as she asked. Well except Faith of course who was doing her own thing most of the time.

Anyhow after the relief of that being over, Debbie just called me to tell me that all of the pics have some crazy red line going down the middle of them. OMGoodness, now we get to do it all over again! We are going to try for tonight if the rain holds off. I sure hope my kids cooperate once again for Ms. Debbie. Her pictures are amazing and she did manage to get a couple of shots put together after editing out the line. Here are my beautiful children...

Tuesday, August 4, 2009

Sister Love

It has been a lot of fun watching Shelby blossom as a big sister. She has done amazingly well with the addition of Faith. Faith absolutely loves to follow Shelby around and do everything she is doing. Oh don't get me wrong, Faith absolutely loves to be "mean" to Shelby too! Faith's favorite thing to do to aggravate Shelby is to snatch her RED and run with it-HA! Didn't take Faith long to figure out how to irritate her sister ;)

Anyhow, they really are good sisters and play well together. It still amazes me how perfect they "fit together". I am enjoying watching their friendship grow each and every day. Man, God really does know what He is doing!!

Monday, August 3, 2009

World of Unknown

If you don't believe adoption is a true Leap of this poor family's blog! They are stuck (well their new child is stuck) in China for 2-6 months!! She tested positive for TB and the US won't allow her into the states?!!? I know crazy as you would naturally assume this had to be China's fault-wrong. Our friends responsible for the Hague rules here in the US have really put up some crazy barriers for honest, well meaning, hard working adoptive parents who follow ALL the stinkin rules the US demands us to do. All they want to do is add a child to their family and love them forever!!