Saturday, February 23, 2013

From the mouths of babes

The girls had a special dinner our with their daddy tonight at church. I was looking at the pictures to post on facebook and it just hit me... my "baby" girls are growing up! I always tell them "No matter how old you are, you'll always be my baby" and they just say "moooooom" but it's true. They will always be my babies.

I've jotted down a few fun things to remember about what they are saying right now at almost 7 and 4 years old. At times I have to stifle a laugh or be still my heart.

They both still mispronounce a few things including:
pu-sgetti (spaghetti)
han-atizer (hand sanitizer which is pretty smart)
smudge (fudge - Neil and I LOVE this one)
While driving to church and looking out the window:
"We're in a museum - an art museum"
"What do you mean?"
"Well, God is an artist and He made everything around us so we are always in an art museum"

That little stinker went through my jewelry box without me and what did she find? Her tooth that had been taken by the "tooth fairy". Mind you, this is the tooth that the "tooth fairy" forgot to get the first time and then magically left a note and the coins while Claire was eating her breakfast... according to Claire, I think she wants to switch her tooth fairy out for a new one. She was wondering how this happened so I had to think quick and the story was that the tooth fairy must have dropped her tooth. And maybe she wants me to keep Claire's tooth to remember... we're still figuring out how we're going to handle this.
But here is her CUTE letter all folded up:

Every week she asks when it will be Friday because she can't wait to go to 'nastics (gymnastics!) So sweet!

Last weekend we had a family lunch date at Arby's. Eden ate an entire Arby's melt roast beef sandwich! We were amazed and after I told her she must be a growing girl she said:
"Probably when I stand up, I'll be taller!"  with the widest eyes and hand as tall as she could reach!

The girls have been looking through our wedding album and even asked to watch our video.
 So the other day Eden said:
"Mom, I wanna marry Maverick"
"Because he's my best friend!"
Good to know they've been listening when we talk about marrying your best friend =)
Of course, we told her she has plenty of time for that.

They grow up too fast!

Friday, February 22, 2013

A week in pictures

As the days and weeks fly by, I love to look back at our pictures to remember and capture the everyday and special moments. This week was FULL of them so here is a week in pictures.

Sharing some love on Thursday, Feb 14th
peek-a-boo is a favorite game we play throughout every day
Friday, Feb. 15th - Girl Scout Cupcake Wars
Claire and I had a great night together trying cupcakes and making crafts galore
Saturday, Feb. 16th
Family day - got Claire's seeds planted for her science project
spent time with Grandma who is loving some more holding time with Halif
Dinner with the Miller's
Sunday, Feb. 17th
fun visit with Mimi and Poppa & dinner at Grandma and Grandpa's
Monday, Feb. 18th
Trip to Austin for Halif's Graduation Day from his Helmet!
Tuesday, Feb. 19th
Claire's first performance at school - Texas songs
Wednesday, Feb. 20th
Finally got our artwork from Ethiopia framed and on our wall - amazing how something can bring so much back from our trip! I LOVE to see it and remember so much of our time there
Thursday, Feb. 21st
A day with Halif - hanging out with each other and Rollo - one of Halif's favorites!
Friday, Feb. 22nd
OK - technically I guess this is more than a week but it's cool to see how much the seeds have grown! Each cup is being watered with a different water mixture (vinegar water, salt water, sugar water, pure water) All being done by Claire and she is loving watching what is happening. Her hypothesis was that the sugar water would grow best but today we see the pure water is getting the job done!

Love seeing new life pop up!!

Sunday, February 17, 2013


When I was growing up, my friends used to make fun of me because I was always looking forward to the next thing... when we would be in the 8th grade, when we'd be in high school, when we'd get our driver's license... I was always waiting for what was next.'s an interesting game. Always anticipating what you are longing for while trying to live in the present. I will be honest, I'm not the best at waiting but the Lord really worked on my heart as we stepped out in faith to start our journey to bringing Halif home. We waited by the mailbox for important documents and assigned appointments. We waited on others to finish our paperwork so we could finally get on the actual wait list. We then waited and waited...and waited 21 months to get our phone call to tell us who our son would be and let me tell you, that moment defined the cliche of "worth the wait"! And just as everyone said, the waiting got harder once we saw our son's face and waited to finally meet him. But wait!!! The HARDEST wait up to that point was by far the 8 weeks we waited to return to Ethiopia to bring him home. Once again, when you bring your sweet one home and you are finally reunited with your entire family, all the waiting becomes a distant memory and it's all worth the wait. (I promise I'm making a point...) And just as you thought the waiting was finally over, it's not.

We are in the next waiting phase and while no one really told us about this waiting, it makes sense. This is the waiting period that every family has when bringing in a new member of the family...waiting for a new normal. And in this case, bringing in an adoptive child adds a little more dimension as you not only wait for your new normal but you are waiting for your child to come to the realization that you are their home and family - not just a caretaker who they might be separated from. I've heard some people say it took 8 months, others say a year and yet others even say 2-3 years but I'm sure it's just a different wait for every family. I bet it's more of a lifetime process just as it is in many relationships where you are building love and trust. This current waiting period has come along with some beautiful blessings while we work through some really tough days, weeks and months. He is starting to crawl to our legs and tug for us to pick him up. He gives us hugs and kisses and spontaneous cuddles on our chest. He brightens up as soon as he sees one of us come home. But we will continue to wait for our amazing son to truly begin to trust, love and become bonded to us. This song has been a huge encouragement to me through all of these waiting stages as I come to Him with expectations and waiting for HIM with my hands lifted high...His faithfulness in every waiting stage has strengthened me like I hadn't quite imagined it would. Love it when the Lord blesses me beyond my belief.

Sunday, February 10, 2013

A lot going on...

SO much going on here lately so I'm just going to do a list with pics =) Learning how to do quick blogging so I don't get overwhelmed again and just not do it! Plus all the details are going in the actual scrapbooks and calendars!

- Halif has officially grown out of his helmet and is done wearing it! It was about 2 weeks earlier than they predicted (Feb. 14th) but we weren't going to get another. Our final appt. in Austin is Feb. 18th.  Of course my mommy eyes can tell that there is still a little mishape on his sweet noggin but it is SOOO much better! LOVE kissing my baby's head and not plastic =)

no more helmet!!
- Claire is deep into delivering cookies after selling 311 boxes...of course she had some help from mom and dad but she did most of it either going door to door or calling people who told me they wanted to place an order. I'm SUPER proud of her hard work and persistance. Eden already can't wait to be a girl scout

- Eden is LOVING her gymnastics and everyday asks me "when is it Friday?" Think we will be making her a calendar page on her eye level tomorrow so she can keep track! Last Friday morning she came into our room to wake us up already dressed in her leotard. She is doing so well trying new things that her coach asked if she could move to another class... we like to call her "Eager Eden" always wanting to go first and always wanting to do something new!

- We had Halif's baby blessing on Feb. 7th and we were SO blessed by our church family. We only had one little piece left of cake to take home because so many were there and our piggy bank gift was overwhelming. My sister, Neil's sister and my mom were also able to come celebrate with us which meant so much!

- We had our second post adoption home study on Thursday evening with our awesome social worker, Mary B. I just love her and her words of wisdom! She is such a special Christian woman, mom and adoption guru =) She was captivated by Halif and amazed at how advanced he is with his verbal and physical milestones. More importantly, she gave us a lot of encouragement about our bonding. She said we should continue to be selective in how much we go out, who holds him if anyone does, we should still be meeting all his needs (instead of others), we shouldn't be leaving him (but felt like our Tuesdays were ok) and that she sees more healthy attachment happening than not. I've been so concerned with how Halif has reached out to 3 strangers since we've been home - only one in the past 2 months - and his attachment to Neil being stronger than to me. She said he is still attached to me by all the things I described even if he does like to go to daddy when he gets home. Everything just reassured my heart and mind to keep pressing on and making decisions based on our son and not based on other people's feeling or comments. It was a wonderful visit! We will see her for the last time in August for our final post adoption home visit.

- On Tuesday, Feb 5th we had someone else watch Halif for the very first time and I had the hardest time! It's been 4.5 months and he's never not had either Neil or I with him. I decided to start teaching some of my students at the middle school I travel to so my dad and Neil's dad are taking turns watching him for only about 3.5 hours on Tuesdays at our house. He is sleeping about half that time so it's actually less time than that =) My dad said it went well...Halif just stared at my dad when he came into our room to get him out of the pack n play after nap. I was concerned H would be really excited to see my dad so hearing that he was cautious made me so happy =) It took awhile to warm up to my dad but he never showed fear or cried at all...just observed my dad with those big, round eyes. When I came home, my dad said Halif showed more excitement than the whole time they had been together although he didn't want me to hold him because he was so busy playing with a new toy (a plastic box of all things!) All in all, I think it went well!

And just for fun...Halif is a climber and soon to be walker at almost 11 months!! His new favorite place to climb? Into Eden's bed using her step stool grandpa built =) Eden thought it was great too!

Wednesday, February 6, 2013

Eden's 4 years old!

Our sweet, spunky, funny girl Eden turn 4 back on November 25th! She decided she wanted a butterfly birthday with cake and a pinata. To make it a classic we also had pin the tail on the donkey! We had it at our neighborhood park with friends from her school and church. It was such a special time to celebrate Eden and make it a special day for her! We love you Eden!
Halif & Everett chilling!

Standing in line for the pinata

We had a family dinner at my parents that evening and finally captured a picture of the 3 of us!