Thursday, June 30, 2011

Joyful Day!

Nine months ago God placed this tiny wisp of a child into our arms and our hearts...
and last Friday we were blessed to officially welcome Rebekah Vivien into our family!
Energy levels were high as the big kids excitedly waited for the adoption ceremony to begin.
We came prepared with stickers and snacks and managed to keep the kiddos relatively quiet during the ceremony.  In a matter of moments, our family was made complete!
After the ceremony Adrian took advantage of a brief moment of freedom to take off running through the crowd of people gathering to pose for pictures with the judge.  When I finally cornered him at the back of the room, I saw where he was headed:  the table of cupcakes and candy!  I really can't blame him, now can I?
Speaking of the cupcakes...oh dear, let's just move on.
After the ceremony we were joined by a small group of friends and family for a celebration lunch.  Adrian had a power nap between the ceremony and lunch, so he was fully recharged and ready for action.  Thank goodness Aunt Deb was there to take control of the little guy for us!
While waiting for our meal, Joe was introduced to the world of Angry Birds.  
And here we have the star of the show, all pooped out from the excitement of her big day.
Relief, joy, gratitude.  That pretty much sums up our emotions for the day!  Thank you, God, for bringing sweet Rebekah into our lives and allowing us to become her Forever Family!

Saturday, June 11, 2011

Scavenger Hunt Hike

Our first hike of the summer!  And this wasn't just any hike, it was a Scavenger Hunt Hike.  I made a list of items for the kids to find (3 different kind of tree leaves, 2 insects, a tree root, pink flower, etc.) to give a little more purpose and direction to the hike.
The kids were quite observant, stopping frequently to ask questions and give commentary on what they found.  For example, when Dan came across this plant with drooping leaves he announced, "This plant is sad."
Mikea noticed the holes in the leaves of another plant and when I asked what she thought made the holes,  she explained, "A cata-pitter."
Joe discovered sinewy tree roots criss-crossing our path.  Very cool!
And Adrian got to pose with the amazing heart rock we found!
All of the kids had lots of great questions about this fallen tree.
Then Dad showed them how to coax antlions out of their dens. 
Speaking of dens, Daniel and Mikea discovered a small hole in this tree trunk, and began feverishly filing it with dry leaves because they were convinced a bear lived inside and they didn't want it to get out.
We didn't find everything on our list, but the fun was in the hunting.  Our biggest surprise was an armadillo who scurried across the road as we were leaving!  I'll have to add that to the list for next time.

Tuesday, June 7, 2011

Summer Kick-Off

The "Fummer of Sun" has begun!  Oh, I mean "Summer of Fun".  Yikes.  Listen,  I had to get up 6 times between midnight and 6 this morning, so my brain's a little foggy.  Three times were for Joe (he needed a tissue, then he lost his tissue in bed, then he was scared to go to the bathroom), two times were to feed Rebekah, and the sixth time was a false alarm when I thought I heard a little voice calling out, "Mom".

Anyway, now that school's out for the summer I have two whole months to enjoy with my husband at home.  Obviously I'm relieved to have the extra help with the kiddos, but I also just love having my best friend with me all day long.  We've got tons of fun activities and outings planned for the family this summer and we kicked things off Saturday night with a birthday celebration for Nana!  Nana is the children's great-grandmother and she is one amazing lady.  We were honored to celebrate her special day with her!

Then on Monday we celebrated Uncle Nate's birthday and the children met many of their cousins for the first time.  For some reason my camera refused to work so there are no shots of the glorious occasion.  But after consuming inordinate quantities of ice cream, candy, cake, and Slim Jims (ok, Mikea was the only one who ate the Slim Jims), the kids were moving so fast the camera probably wouldn't even have captured them.  You think I'm kidding, but just ask anyone who was there.

These two birthday celebrations were a great reminder of how blessed we are by our families.  Our children were surrounded with loving, warm, and fun individuals who are true gifts to us.  We love you,  Extended Family Members!!!

Saturday, June 4, 2011

A Little Disappointment

Monday was supposed to be Rebekah's adoption day.  The i's were dotted and t's crossed, or so we thought, until about 2:00 yesterday afternoon when we learned we can't complete the adoption until Billy and I get updated fingerprints for a background check.  We submitted fingerprints 4 years ago when we were in the process of becoming verified for foster care, but our attorney said the judge will probably want a more recent submission.  (I'd like to ask them how, with all these kids, they think I've had time to commit any crimes??) We'd never heard of this any of the other 3 times we've adopted and really don't understand why we didn't find out about it until the last day before the adoption was scheduled.  We've spent some time trying to figure out who was to blame, but sooner or later you realize it doesn't really matter and it's pointless to dwell on being angry. We're disappointed, but the bottom line is we're still going to adopt Rebekah, we just have to wait a few more weeks . 

Our little girl has been doing great!  She's 8 months old now and received an excellent report from the developmental specialists who saw her earlier this week.  We've got a few exercises to do with her for some stiffness in her neck and to encourage rolling over.  We were also instructed to reduce the calorie mix of her formula - apparently she's getting a little too chunky!  Rebekah's adored by her siblings and her favorite person in the house is Daddy, of course. She showers him with smiles and wiggles in delight whenever he's around. 
So as you can see, we have an abundance of blessings to be thankful for and will continue on in faith and trust that God's timing, not ours, is what is best for us.