Monday, May 30, 2011

Summer Kickoff Success

Here is the end result of a fabulous Memorial Day spent at my sister's house!  Thanks Sheila we all had a blast :)

Sunday, May 29, 2011

First Tastes

Elise having her first licks of brownie batter :) 

Yummy Brownie Batter

Friday, May 27, 2011

Adoption Gathering

I had a great time at our latest group gathering for our little Adoption Option folks.  It had been a while since our last event, so it was fun seeing how much all the kids have grown.  I believe we had the biggest turnout ever-about 70 folks!  Yes, they all squeezed into my little house and we survived. 
We had a few newbies there as well, I always enjoy meeting new adoption minded people.  I was able to spend the whole evening talking about my favorite subject...bringing kiddos home!  Oh and our little group is getting bigger.  There were SIX officially waiting families in attendance-Noreen, Angela, Robin, Heather, Cathy, and Tara.  I can't wait to see their new additions in a few months :)

Thursday, May 26, 2011

GA Adoption Credit

Got a little bit of our travel expenses reimbursed today from the great state of Georgia.  If you adopt internationally a "special needs" child, then Georgia will send you a one time $1500 reimbursement for some of your expenses.  Trick is that you have to apply for this credit BEFORE you ever travel.  So you better do your paperwork for DFACS earlier in your adoption process to qualify for this one!

Wednesday, May 25, 2011

End of an Era

These boys have been together for 6 years as best buds. They will be moving
their separate ways next year off to middle school...sniff sniff

Tuesday, May 24, 2011

Pre-K Graduate

I watched my beautiful and CONFIDENT daughter graduate from her little Pre-K class yesterday.  Talk about one proud mommy as my once "speech delayed" daughter spoke up and introduced the next class song to the entire audience solo.  Shelby sang as loud as she could through the whole program, and simply glowed with confidence!  Now that was worth every single tear she (and I) have ever shed through her speech journey the last three years.  You go baby girl!!

Oh and her teacher made an occupation guess for each child in the future.  According to Ms. Nora, my Shelby baby is destined to be a fabulous doctor :)


Friday, May 20, 2011

Celebrating Graduation

My 7lb, 8oz baby boy graduated elementary school today...sniff sniff.  What an honor it has been to get to be his mommy!  I am SO proud of the young man he is today.  We had a great time celebrating the last 6 years at his school.  Amazed that he is going off to middle school already-oh my!

Thursday, May 19, 2011

Uh-OH

The Accidental Adoption: 

Honey, sit down. I have some news for you.
What is it?
Well, I don't know how to say this, so I'll just come out with it. I went out to the mailbox today and ... well, we got an I-800A approval.
A what?!? An I-800A? As in, we're going to have another baby?!?
It looks that way.
But how? We've been so careful! I put away all the blank I-800A forms. Didn't you hide our homestudy update?
Of course I did. But don't forget, there was that one night...
What night? (pauses) Ohhh, that night. But it was only once. We were just messing around. I didn't print clearly. I didn't even use ink! (pauses again) But it was kind of fun.
(giggles) It was, wasn't it? I'll never forget how cute you looked getting your fingerprints.
So now we've got our approval, eh? But that doesn't always mean you'll adopt, does it? I mean, shouldn't you see the agency or something, make sure everything's okay?
I already did.
And?
I'm five documents along.
Five documents! And they're all notarized, certified and authenticated okay?
Just great. There was one small scare when the agency couldn't see the Notary's middle initial, but it showed up just fine under the magnifying glass.
Thank God. And you, honey? Are you feeling okay?
I'm feeling fine. As long as I know you're happy about this.
Happy? I'm thrilled! It's always a shock at first when something like this happens, but of course I'm happy.
'
Love this little story.  But no, it is NO accident that these little treasures are now little Straights!

Wednesday, May 18, 2011

Big and Little

Makes this mommy's heart sing :)

Monday, May 16, 2011

Famous Folks

I learn something new everyday!  More famous folk that just happen to be adopted on this link...

Friday, May 13, 2011

Big Brothers Rule

Only My Son...

Does this while the social worker is visiting!! LOL

Tinkerbell

Elise cracks me up as she is already my little drama queen.  Hollywood is in her future I do believe.  She brings me the costumes and always wants to play "dress up", she loves the torture hats, necklaces, and such that Shelby adds to her costumes.  Too cute!

Thursday, May 12, 2011

Nana's Dumplins

I am thinking she enjoyed her first taste of Nana's famous chicken and dumplings!

Tuesday, May 10, 2011

Caution-Attachment in Progress

Apparently I have made a HUGE mistake this time around (yeah you would think I would have it figured out by now)  in regards to Elise's attachment.  I got lazy and comfortable, and well I have done a disservice to my little girl. You see since we have been home, I haven't stepped up to the plate and told everyone "Hands Off" my baby girl.  With Shelby and Faith, I was pretty straight forward and was quick to intercept anyone who even looked like they were going to pick them up.  I guess this time I was just hoping that all the science and research was wrong.  Nope, I was wrong!

ImageChef.com - Custom comment codes for MySpace, Hi5, Friendster and more Elise has yet to form any real preference to me and CJ, much less any real beginnings of attachment.  Elise just likes to go and move on to do different things, so it "appears" she is happy to see us-but only because she knows she will get to go somewhere else or do something different than what she is currently doing.  Honestly, you could walk into my living room and she would smile at you, then if you walked to her and held your arms out...she would happily go home with YOU too!   NOT GOOD

So we will now be asking YOU (yes, I am talking to you) to please respect us on this one, and don't touch the baby.  I will let you know when you can in a few months, once her attachment to me and CJ is secured.  The only exceptions to this rule will have to be Elise's 2 caregivers (my mom and Carol), but other than that the only people who will be allowed to touch the baby will have to be me and CJ.  Please respect our decisions on this, as I have done a lot of reading and education on the subject (but unfortunately haven't been practicing it) and I believe it is for the best.  So for now please...Look but Don't Touch :)

Adoption Decal

 

I have had a few people ask me where I bought my little adoption stickers that are on my van.  Well here is the site you can order from.  Scroll down on right side to find it.  They are only $5.50 each and this amazing family is getting ready to go get TWO more treasures from China next week :)

Monday, May 9, 2011

Sink Baby

All my babies have had at least one good soaking in the sink, Elise is no exception.  I think she liked it!

O Yes She Can

video

Multi-Tasking

My stroller rocks!!  Elise and I went to Costco since I needed just a few things.  Elise decided she was more interested in sleeping than shopping, so we did both :)

Sunday, May 8, 2011

Happy Mother's Day

Before I was a Mom,
I never tripped over toys
or forgot words to a lullaby.
I didn't worry whether or not
my plants were poisonous.
I never thought about immunizations.
Before I was a Mom,
I had never been puked on.
Pooped on.
Chewed on.
Peed on.
I had complete control of my mind
and my thoughts.
I slept all night.
Before I was a Mom,
I never held down a screaming child
so doctors could do tests.
Or give shots.
I never looked into teary eyes and cried.
I never got gloriously happy over a simple grin.
I never sat up late hours at night
watching a baby sleep
Before I was a Mom,
I never held a sleeping baby just because
I didn't want to put her down.
I never felt my heart break into a million pieces
when I couldn't stop the hurt.
I never knew that something so small
could affect my life so much.
I never knew that I could love someone so much.
I never knew I would love being a Mom.
Before I was a Mom,
I didn't know the feeling of
having my heart outside my body.
I didn't know how special it could feel
to feed a hungry baby.
I didn't know that bond
between a mother and her child.
I didn't know that something so small
could make me feel so important and happy.
Before I was a Mom,
I had never gotten up in the middle of the night
every 10 minutes to make sure all was okay.
I had never known the warmth,
the joy,
the love,
the heartache,
the wonderment
or the satisfaction of being a Mom.
I didn't know I was capable of feeling so much,
before I was a Mom

3 Girls, 4 Mothers

Praying for the hearts of all birth-moms today...

Saturday, May 7, 2011

My Hero

I happen to be blessed with the best Moma in the world!  Here she is with all her "babies".  She is my hero and I am oh so grateful for having her set the example for me as a mommy.  Oh and to top it off she is of course one amazing Nana too :)  I love her dearly and very thankful that she only lives a few houses away.  I have no idea how I ever got so lucky to get such a wonderful mother (especially after what I put her through in my teen years!), but I am grateful to get to call her MY Moma.  Happy Mother's Day Moma, I love you!

Fuddruckers Fun

Thursday, May 5, 2011

The Front Porch

Just read this recent story from Hope for Orphans, just wanted to share...

Sunday was Easter. Two weeks ago yesterday, my 6-year-old grandson Benjamin woke up, ate breakfast with his sisters and brothers and then had a “cardiac event” as the medical folks call it. Less than 15 minutes later, he arrived at eternity’s shore and full of faith. Ben had told his family several weeks ago that he was ready to go see Jesus. You see, Ben was born with single ventricle and pulmonary atresia. Basically half of a normal heart. But, the really hard thing was Ben had been put into the care of an orphanage shortly after birth. Fortunately he was born in South Korea and he did have a foster family. But Benjamin was not going to live long in South Korea. His best chance for sustainable intervention was in America. It turns out that God’s plan for him to have a family was in America too.
Our daughter Elizabeth and her husband Mat heard about Ben. It was not the kind of adoption most families, even Christians, pursue. It was a choice to enter into pain and even suffering from the beginning. The doctor here told Elizabeth, “Best case he will live to about 20, and worst case he will make it only to 2.” For a military couple with a biological child with severe heart disease and another little boy, this was a big decision. But as they considered the Spirit’s leading, they came to believe that not only was Ben “theirs” but that if they walked away, he would still have to face this road alone. For him to face it with a family and be introduced to Jesus, was their privilege. Later the Lord brought two more biological children to Ben’s new family; one of these also had a severe heart problem.

So it was that little Ben joined our family 5 years ago. More than once we were told he would not survive for 30 days. The Lord did not read that memo and Ben was here for another Christmas and birthday and another. He was ours and we were his. Robin and I have watched as our daughter and son-in-law have entered into what the Bible calls sharing in the suffering of our Lord. Along the way of surgeries, oxygen tanks and wheelchairs, something remarkable happened…God gave this child faith along with a family.

Jesus said, “Let the little children come to me, and do not hinder them, for the kingdom of heaven belongs to such as these.” (Matthew 19:14)

Ben believed in Jesus. He understood that he would not live long. He had such faith that Jesus would take him home, he even told us once that He would pick him up in a red car. We laughed, but listen to Jesus’ words: “And he said: ‘Truly I tell you, unless you change and become like little children, you will never enter the kingdom of heaven.’” (Matthew 18:3)

I was there when Ben’s mom, my first little girl, whispered to him, “It’s ok…you can go see Jesus now,” and because he was a little boy who loved and trusted his mother, and more importantly believed in heaven…he obeyed and his breathing slowed down and he slipped away. The presence of the Lord was strong. The angels were in the room. And a little boy who had earlier been released at an orphanage, left his family to join the family of the Lamb in heaven.

At Ben’s funeral, one of the Pastors made a wonderful observation. He said that this life is like the front porch. It is not the whole house; it is not even inside the house. Once we have been inside, like Ben, for the first million years we will look back at our time on the front porch as so very short. But, important decisions are made on the front porch of life here on earth. Will you change and become like a little child? Will you be willing to join Jesus in His suffering when He calls you? Will you see the lives of orphans with special needs and even terminal conditions as lives worth living, lives worth grafting into your family? Mat and Elizabeth did through God’s grace. As a result, we had a wonderful grandson who taught us that life on the front porch is all about knowing who is going to pick you up and loving those whom you can hug today.

So in the end, Ben’s story was not an adoption story. It wasn’t really a story of heroism. It was about a little boy that was really ours, who taught us in a fresh way how Jesus loved us before we loved Him. How it pleased Him to make us His real children, when we had nothing to offer Him.--posted April 26, 2011 by Paul Pennington

New Toy

Shelby is really enjoying having her new "doll" in the house!


 

Tuesday, May 3, 2011

So SO True

David Platt says it so well:

Orphans are easier to ignore before you know their names.
They are easier to ignore before you see their faces.
It is easier to pretend they're not real before you hold them in your arms.
But once you do, everything changes.”

Baby Crocker

Nana Time

The time has officially come that my mom gets to "rottenize" baby Elise. I started back to work on a regular basis yesterday. I am working 3 half days, and 2 full days for the month of May. While I am at work, Elise will be spending alot of time with her Nana. I am missing Elise terribly today (my first full day back), but I know she is in good hands.  Nana has waiting on and prayed for our baby girl from the beginning. It is fine time that she gets to spoil her littlest grandbaby!!

Monday, May 2, 2011

That Silly Girl

video

Amazing

Ellen passed on this amazing story that was in her hometown newspaper today. I truly agree there are NO limits for my little Elise. We meet with the best hand surgeon in Atlanta in 3 weeks to see if he can do anything for Elise.

http://www.gwinnettdailypost.com/home/headlines/Girl_Scouts_create_prosthetic_for_Duluth_girl_win_award_121039739.html?storySection=story