Saturday, January 31, 2015

3 years!

Jan 30th, 2015 marked 3 years with our littlest family member!
Forever Family Day #3 with Miss Louisa Margaret 

We had a celebration breakfast together as a family.
(cause that was the only time of day we would all be together)

This looks quite different than 3 years ago.

A scared, angry, spunky and TINY little bundle was placed in our arms.
All she ever knew was changed in an instant.
A strange looking group of people suddenly surrounding her.
She went into survival mode.
She fought with all she had.
Then she gave up.

She shut down.
No noises
No expressions
No eye contact

So heartbreaking.
 Adoption is a beautiful thing but it is also carries great loss.

Slowly she began to warm to us and we got our first smile.

I would like to say from this point on all was bliss.
No, she continued to fight us and tantrum like crazy.
But we also began to see some of her true personality.
Funny, spunky, fiesty, loving, smart and brave
Over time she adjusted to her new life quite well.

3 years later this beautiful little girl is our beloved daughter and sister.
We can't imagine our family without her.
She is still a tiny little thing with a BIG personality.
She adores her siblings and prefers to be close by one of them.
Her favorite place is in my arms.
(A far cry from that first hard day when she bit me to get away from the strange blond haired lady!)

As I watched her walk into pre-school yesterday after giving me a huge hug, my eyes filled with tears.
What a difference in this child's life.

The first 20 months of her life were spent here

Never leaving the building.
20-22 hrs a day in her crib.
This is no life.

Thank you Lord for nudging my heart
Thank you Lord for giving us the courage to adopt one last time.
The joy we would have missed had we not taken that step.
You are a true delight and we adore you.

Louisa Margaret
Our Lulu
Our spunky litte firecracker
We love you beyond words
Happy Forever  sweet baby!
LOVE sure does look good on you!

Friday, January 23, 2015

Our sweet Charlotte

The precious baby Julia fell in love with in China in the summer of 2013 is with her forever family!
Yes, she has a mommy, a daddy, a brother and a sister!
She has a family and we are praising God!
She lives in the Netherlands.
We are hoping the family will get in touch with us as we desperately want to tell them their daughter's miraculous story!
And share many photos and videos!
May God continue to shower you with His Mercy and cover you with His infinite love!
We pray a rich and full life for you.
Happy Forever sweet Charlotte!
You will always hold a special place in our hearts!

Monday, January 12, 2015

The Joys of a 4 Year Old

Being an older parent to a little one could seem daunting.
She is pure joy!
She makes me smile.
Amid AR reading tests, spelling words, times tables,  science fair projects, middle school drama, puberty, travel soccer, varied other sports, high school drama, AP tests, ACT tests, SAT tests, college recruiting, etc.....
my littlest, well, her "big" issues.....trying to get her "heavy" lunch box into her too high cubby hole at school and remembering to bring in a pair of mittens on "Winter Clothing Day"
It is so refreshing. 
 I am treasuring every moment of being her Mommy.
Here are a few "Luluisms" that are too cute not to write down!

"Hey Mommy! Look! There is an American-go-round like the one we went on at the zoo!"

"I am not going to be 5 I think. Cause then I be big and can't suck my thumb. I really like my thumb. So I not going to be big Mommy."

Running to me with her little arms in the air, "I need Mama love." (that means she wants me to hold her). She does this ALL THE TIME! The other day she did this and I held her and hugged her for a minute or two and then something made me have to put her down. About 10 minutes later she looked at me and said, " I need more Mama love cause that other one was just a half a Mama love. It too short."

She was quiet in the car for a few minutes so I glanced back at her and asked if she was ok. "Yes, I just sucking my favorite thumb." I asked her which one it was. She held up the right one and said,
"This one cause it tastes soooo good. It my best thumb!"

"I sometimes don't really like calendar time at school cause it a little bit boring." Why, I asked. "Cause you have to sit and be really quiet."

"Mommy? Why we call it "Mama love". Where did we get that???" eyes rolling and heading cocking 

"I not play house today because I not want to be the baby. Nadia and Scout ALWAYS be the Mommy and I ALWAYS be the baby!" Well, what did you play then, I ask? "I don't remember." :)

"Lulu, what letter is this?" as I hold up the letter "c". "Seven"....oh my!

"On those long days when I don't go to school, can you PLEEEEEASE play with me?"

Oh sweet baby! Thank you for granting me the pure pleasure of being your Mommy!
I am blessed by you!

Monday, January 5, 2015

Christmas and New Years 2014

A recap of our holidays as I sent all off to school and work today
It went toooo fast!

Christmas party at Pre-school for Lulu

Dress as your favorite character party for Jaida and Xin at school.
Fancy Nancy

Cool China dragon suit for Xin

Finals finished for the "Bigs" and school out!!!
We then attended a short basketball tournament for Julia Friday and Saturday about an hour away.
The "Bigs" then went home with my parents for their annual Christmas visit and Will and I enjoyed time with the "Littles" alone for dinner and a movie.
And a little gingerbread aka graham cracker house making!

We picked the Bigs up and had dinner at my parents.

Christmas Eve arrived!

With the annual reading of "Twas the Night before Christmas"

We said goodbye to Coco as he awaited the arrival of Santa in Sam's stocking.

And the looooong awaited morning!!! 

They must wait on the stairs until we check to see if Santa came!
Excitement overflowing!!!!

My parents then come over for dinner and more presents.

Our new tradition

The next morning we then headed to Will's parents in Statesboro for Christmas with his family.

Then the next morning Julia, Sam and I departed early to pick Julia's best friend Haley up from the airport in Atlanta.
These two have been friends since birth! Such a special and dear friendship!

We visited the Columbia Zoo Christmas Lights, which was a long standing tradition with Haley's family before they moved.

We did the Swiss Raclette grill one night...always fun and oh so yummy!

Sadly, we had to say goodbye to Haley way too soon because Julia was invited to play in the Disney College Showcase soccer tournament in Orlando FL with a team from Atlanta. Julia's teammate was also invited to play so she came with us.
We were able to do a little sightseeing and braved the rain to go to the Disney Boardwalk.

Playing at the ESPN Wide World of Sports complex was an amazing opportunity!
They had over 50 college coaches at their game against the #1 team from Rhode Island.

We took in a movie in groups. Little girls to Annie, boys to Harry Potter and big girls to Unbroken.

On the last day of play a rainbow appeared over the soccer fields!

We then crammed into the car for a 7 hour trip home.

Of course waiting for us were all the holiday decorations that needed to be put away, a mound of laundry, trip to the grocery store and filling out the 2015 calendar!
Today all are back in school and work and the house is quiet.
I miss them all!
All the craziness!
Hope your holidays were wonderful!
Blessings in 2015!