Thursday, November 29, 2007

Paige 21 months

Paige 21 months

I'm learning how to post video here. I took this yesterday as a practice since everything else I had was pretty outdated! Let me know what you think!

Wednesday, November 28, 2007

Did You Know; Shift Happens

I thought this was pretty amazing.

Sunday, November 25, 2007

Midwest weather men, can't predict a thing!

Abby and Allie (in the street) came over to play. Kaitlyn (pink boots) and Brandon (red coat) joined us from next door and Casey (green coat) is Caden's buddy from down the street.

We were supposed to get 3 inches on Thanksgiving - but about 9pm Thanksgiving night they finally decided we wouldn't. Then they said we'd get a few flurries possibly Monday night. These pictures were taken Sunday afternoon. Needless to say the kids were extatic and drug out all the snow gear which is now strewn throughout my house! Rick was less than thrilled as he was attempting to re-create the Christmas light display from last year in the freezing temperatures!

Friday, November 23, 2007

Gobble, gobble, gobble

We had a very laid back Thanksgiving this year. Originally the plan was to spend the day with our neighbors but things changed and we were on our own. So we rented some movies, fixed dinner and just hung out together. Caden had a lesson in turkey carving 101 with Daddy. Trace helped me get out our good china for the first time ever. It has been on our closet shelf (one after the other) since the day we got married and never used! I decided that I couldn't figure out what I was saving it for so out it came to make our day special. Of course with all the "must-have" foods we had more than two families of five could have eaten, but everyone had a favorite and I didn't want to skimp just because we were by ourselves.

Trace has been dying all week to go shopping Friday morning. I think he was convinced maybe they'd be giving away PS2 games or something. He managed to talk me into going out but not before 7am! There is nothing I wanted that badly! We managed to get Paige's large item and I told Trace he can't mention it to Caden because I might be helping Santa out by getting it. That confused him a little as to why Santa would need my help and how he talked to me. I just gave him my standard answer, "I don't know, some things we don't ask questions about." I also managed to get a few other items including a big one for Rick and one Trace has wanted for quite a while that was a really good deal. Rick went back out with the boys a little bit ago and I think I'm going to put Paige down for a nap and start putting up decorations. Next weekend we'll probably be getting the tree up! 'Tis the season, only 31(?) days left until Christmas.

Tuesday, November 20, 2007

The "Playroom"

When I get tired of cleaning I tend to just re-arrange. So yesterday, tired of living in a "show" house and tired of cleaning I decided to get creative. The hard part is that there is no wall between our "family" room and "living" room, it is just one long room with two separate carpet squares. Well now we have all the furniture on one side and toys on the other. It might look strange but at least we all have a seat now to watch tv and Paige now has toys to keep her entertained.
Trace and I spent Sunday afternoon in the emergency room. I wasn't able to find an urgent care and the hospital has something similar attached to their ER. So we sat there for what seemed like forever to find out that yes, he has a horrible case of strep throat. No school for 48 hours! Yes, 48! Ugh. Since there is no school Wednesday that means he is out of school for a whole week! Again, ugh. It is going to be a long week since it is too cold/wet to be outside and they are predicting snow for Thanksgiving day. Isn't motherhood fun?

Friday, November 16, 2007


Sandy and Hannah are on their way home! Apparently Condeleesa Rice and Sandy's senator were instrumental in getting it taken care of. Isn't it amazing what a few thousand prayers and almost as many phone calls can do?

Thursday, November 15, 2007

Urgent Prayer Request

I wanted to leave our anniversary post at the top but this situation is far more important right now. Please spread this to anyone you can.

A family left for China a over a week ago to adopt their new daughter. After the adoption was complete the father passed away unexpectedly of complications from diabetes. Normally all this family would have left to do is pick up the child's visa and return home. However since the mother's "marital status" has changed the US Consulate is refusing to issue the child's visa. They are telling her she must re-apply - a process that can take months. In the meantime this child has nowhere to go. This mother is from Michigan if you feel led to write/call her senators or representatives. Condeleesa Rice's office has been notified and are aware of the situation as well. Please send up your prayers for intervention on this mother's behalf. She is going through so much right now and just needs to get home with her family. Tell all the prayer warriors you know about this situation and let's bring Hannah home!

Monday, November 12, 2007

One Year.

One year. One year. Already? Our final post placement visit is scheduled for Wednesday. Final. That's it. Done. Wow!

Someone recently asked me what the best part about adopting has been. I didn't know how to answer right away. Adopting is such an amazing and sureal experience and for a long time that was my focus. I loved "showing off" my beautiful baby girl and dressing her all up. I loved that we had "adopted" and was so proud of it. I still am. But I find myself beginning to realize what so many in the adoption community have said all along. This is just our family. Paige was adopted as in past tense. Adoption is a verb not a adjective. It is a one time act, not a description of someone. How she joined our family is special, but no more special than how her brothers joined our family. We are a family, complete. Two boys and a girl.

The day Paige was handed to us I remember thinking all day long how I wanted to remember every second. I wanted to make it last as long as possible. I knew it was finally our moment. We were handed an overdressed little bundle whose lip quivered a tad. Moments later her daddy won her first big smile! When we were back in our room and just looking at her on the bed (wondering what to do) Rick said in his best sing-song baby voice, "what was I thinking? Why did I want another baby?". Paige looked up at him and gave him her biggest, cheesiest grin yet. And he simply said, "that's why." Yes, that is why. Why we filled out paper after paper, and went through one background check after another. Why we endured the long wait that we never thought would end. Why we traveled half way around the world to love a baby we'd only seen a picture of and who needed us as much as we needed her. Those smiles that melt your heart, listening to her babbling in her crib in the morning, watching her play with Daddy, seeing her grow and change right before our eyes! That's why.

I prayed for Paige long before she was born. I still pray for her. She will have challenges to face in her life that I can't imagine. I know she will also wonder about her birth and the circumstances surounding it. I pray that she won't feel an emptiness inside but that she will know without any doubt that she is right where God wanted her to be all along.

There is an ancient Chinese proverb that is frequently used in the adoption community. " An invisible red thread connects those who are destined to meet regardless of time or place or circumstance. The thread may streach or tangle but will never break." I've finally decided though that our red thread doesn't go directly from Paige's heart to ours because God is holding it tightly in the middle! Our beautiful baby girl has changed our lives and we will never be the same again.


"Never doubt, for one single minute

You didn't grow under my heart but

in it."

Friday, November 09, 2007

Just Reflecting a Little...

I've spent a lot of time in the last couple of weeks reflecting on where we were exactly a year ago. In fact one year ago today we were on an airplane bound for Beijing and our baby girl! I can't begin to describe the feelings it stirs up. In some ways it is just like your child's first birthday and it makes you long to do it all again. It goes by too fast! One year. In that time she has left the only home she ever knew, and all that was familiar. She has learned to trust new people, speak a new language (quite well), and adapt to new surroundings. She's gone from loving congee and steamed egg to loving chicken nuggets and scrambled eggs! Paige's language has exploded, she's learned to walk and run and she's traveled the United States. So much has changed and yet so much hasn't. Paige is still our happy little girl. The one everyone in China referred to as "Happy Paige". She is still tiny - wearing 12 month clothes at 20 months! And she still has the most mischievous and beautiful brown eyes I've ever seen! Will we do it again? Sadly, no. The wait time for a healthy baby has increased to nearly 4 years right now with no sign of it lowering any time in the foreseeable future. Financially it isn't feasible. But most importantly, our family is complete and we know it. Would I recommend adoption to anyone considering it? ABSOLUTELY, POSITIVELY!!! YES! I wish we had done it sooner. It changed our lives and it changed who we are. We have got to be the luckiest parents ever. I'll have more to post on Tuesday - our one year celebration of completing our family!

Fun with the neighbors

Last Sunday Jordan had his birthday party. They had over 20 kids in the backyard and the flag football game spilled over into our yard too. Jordan's dad was a riot in his referee jersey and whistle (which prooved a valuable tool when trying to maintain control of that many boys!). Fortunately it was a beautiful day - clear and crisp. Later that evening we went over to watch Meet the Robinsons. Paige and Brandon look nice and cozy on the little princess couch! I think Santa might bring one for Paige. We will miss having friends live next door if our house ever sells. I love having our yards open and all the kids running around. One afternoon I looked out and there were nine or ten kids in my backyard. I could name all but one though! Just couldn't tell you where they all live.

Little Miss Muffit

These are just a couple of cute ones of Paige. In the first one she is eating raisins out of Rick's old Navy hat. When she asked for the raisins I went to get a bowl but she held the hat up. I had just washed it so why not? Lucy is watching over her in the background. In the other it is pretty obvious! Just too tired to finish that mac-n-cheese, and it was only 11:00!

Halloween Fun

We had a pretty uneventful Halloween around here. As mid-west custom dictates we trick-or-treated between the hours of 4 & 7. Paige was pretty brave at first but as soon as she realized what was in the bag she didn't want to go to the doors anymore. She just wanted to sit in the stroller with a death grip on that bag! It was hysterical! Caden made it twice as far this year as he did last year - thank you therapy! When all was said and done they made a haul big enough for ten kids! I still managed to have them in bed by 8:00 too.