Monday, February 28, 2011
Exciting stuff! We just can't wait to get all this paperwork stuff done and get on the wait list for our little one. Heck, we just can't wait to get out little one home with us! And now we're just a few steps closer!
Sunday, February 27, 2011
Thursday, February 24, 2011
A few weeks ago friends of ours approached us with an extraordinarily generous gift; it took a while for me to even be able to wrap my mind around their generosity. And to wrap my mind around the wonders of how God works.
Let me digress for a moment. Matt and I have decided, and our agency has said that the courts will most likely allow it, that only I will travel to Ethiopia. Because of Gabe and his diagnosis and needs, we feel that it would be detrimental to him for both of his parents to be away from him for any extended period of time. And while we know the importance of initial bonding and have big plans for Matt to attach, bond and cocoon with our next baby, for our family as a whole it will be best to take place at our home.
That being said I was planning on going for our court date by myself and having Sondra (my dearest friend and Gabe's 'auntie') accompany me on the second trip. Matt was not fond of this idea and we eventually decided that it would be better for numerous reasons if someone came with me. Luckily my sister-in-law agreed to come for me as well.
But then we went from having to buy 3 round-trip tickets to Addis Ababa to 4 tickets. Which in turn means spending more money on airfare.
In walks our friends. Days after we made the decision for me not to travel by myself, they offered to provide us with a round-trip plane ticket to Addis Ababa.
Tom Brokaw once said "It's easy to make a buck. It's a lot tougher to make a difference." Thank you dear friends for making a difference.
Wednesday, February 23, 2011
Tuesday, February 22, 2011
Gabe and my cousin Buzzy (Derrick)
please note the miniature Chihuahua named Riley - Gabe loved her! Hmm...
And of course, Gabe was able to reunite with GAK. She loves him so, and while he likes her now, one day I'm certain he'll adore her as much as I do.
Leaving is never easy but we can't wait to see everyone again! And on the way home, while the bad weather slowed us down quite a bit, we didn't get stuck for hours and hours like some other Ohioans.
Friday, February 18, 2011
- Every morning you wake up with a smile. The most cherub-ly cute smile.
- You eat anything and everything! You love fruit, veggies, pasta, chicken, turkey, taco's, meatballs, yogurt, cheese, waffles, oatmeal... you haven't met a food you didn't like.
- Bottles are a thing of the past (and have been since before Christmas) and gave them up all on your own. You love to drink milk and water from a sippy cup and have absolutely no interest in juice.
- Balls, cars and blocks are your favorite toys, although causing the rocking chair to rock is one of your favorite activities.
- You go to physical therapy and occupational therapy each week and you finally love it! You get so excited when I ask if you want to go see Ms KC or Ms Danielle and work so hard while you're there.
- While your still a mama's boy, you're a daddy's boy anytime he's around. You pretty much think your daddy is the bees-knees; just how it's supposed to be.
- Nonny and Sam are 2 of your favorite people! You practically leap out of my arms when we pick Sam up at school on Thursdays :) And Nonny and Popo are the only people you'll stay with for any extended amount of time.
- You've started doing a modified army crawl which is super cute. Rolling is still your fastest way to get from point A to point B.
- Lefty is no longer your enemy and you're starting to use it a little bit more each day. We are so proud of you!
- You love to talk and while you only say a few words intentionally (mama, dada, ball), you are never quiet. I can't wait to hear what you have to say once it's in English.
- Books are one of your favorite things. But not only do you like when being read to, you also enjoy paging through books by yourself. I love coming upon you hearing you babble as you read aloud.
We love, cherish and adore you sweet boy and can't wait t see where this big world takes you!
And Gabe today!
Thursday, February 17, 2011
Tuesday Gabriel had his weekly physical therapy appointment. Gabe has one-on-one physical therapy with Ms. KC but there are also other children around him. Amazingly there are 3 little girls right around Gabe's age that have therapy at the same time. They're all developing differently and I've loved watching these 4 little ones (especially Gabe, of course) learn, grown and develop. One little girl (K) graduated from therapy this week; which is fantastic. We are so happy for her; that K developed and strengthened her weaknesses and is now doing well.
But this isn't about graduating therapy, or really therapy at all. It's about words.
Before going back to therapy K's mom was celebrating her daughters success (rightfully I may add) and talking about her relief that they were done with therapy. K's mom then made a few thoughtless comments; comments I'm sure she didn't mean to sound so callous but did. And her lack of sensitivity to a child would obviously not be graduating from therapy any time soon, left me angry. Unbeknown st to her, I think of therapy as a complete Godsend. K's mom was relieved she wouldn't have to hide that her daughter went to therapy. Hide it? We're so grateful to our wonderful therapists that we probably flaunt the fact Gabe goes to CCCR-west and how fabulous it is.
It bothered me horribly that she would find therapy something to be embarrassed about; that a developmental delay or a medical condition would be something to be ashamed about. I hate the fact that people think that; that Gabe may one day hear from someone that he should be embarrassed that he goes to physical and occupational therapy. I want him to be proud of how hard he works, how far he's come.
As I processed what was said I remembered other casual remarks that I've heard. And while I know most people don't mean to be hurtful, I think we need to be much more aware of what we say and who's saying it.
When you complain that your child is crawling before "you're" ready, remember that Gabe works uncommonly hard to try and crawl.
And when you tell me that my life is going to change, once Gabe can pull up and walk then smirk when I respond with an "I can't wait" know that I really can't wait. Because walking is not going to be an easy feat for Gabe and when he does take those independent steps we will be rejoicing in the moment.
Through our struggles to have a child; I've learned to never ask or barrage friends when they were going to start a family because you never know what they're going through.
I guess my point to this whole thing (besides being able to process and let go of it) is to watch you words. Be thoughtful in what you say. Because the lady I used to work with who constantly asked if I was pregnant caused me much more pain than the girl that punched me on the basketball court in 7th grade.
Wednesday, February 16, 2011
Today was a beautiful day in Northeastern Ohio, so beautiful that rather than doing the ironing after nap time (yes, nap time is for both the baby and the mama) we went for a walk around the neighborhood. After being stuck inside for the better part of the past 4 months, walking around the neighborhood felt liberating. 52 degrees today, 60 tomorrow... and while I know the snow isn't gone for good yet, Gabe and I, we plan on taking advantage of these beautiful days!
And yes, in typical northeastern Ohio craziness, there were definitely kids wearing shorts outside. Not quite short weather for us, but that's just what we do up here!
But long before nap time Gabe had his 18 month well visit (and physical for our adoption). As our sweet baby boy enters toddler hood, he's starting it with a bang. Besides being really angry the whole visit, Gabe was weighed and measured. Here are his stats:
Monday, February 14, 2011
“The Lord you God..will rejoice over you with gladness, He will quiet you with His love, He will rejoice over you with singing.” Zephaniah 3:17
A Valentine may give you flowers, but God sent you the most beautiful rose of all, Jesus.
“I am the rose of Sharon, and the lily of the valley.” Song of Songs 2:1
A Valentine may take you out to dinner, but God has invited you to the most amazing feast ever given.
“Blessed are those who are called to the marriage supper of the Lamb.” Revelation 19:9
A Valentine may bring you chocolate, but God provides you with something even sweeter, His Word.
“How sweet are you words to my taste, sweeter than honey to my mouth.” Psalm 119: 103
A Valentine may be far away, but God is always with you.
“I am with you always.” Matthew 28:20
A Valentine may give you something, but God has given you Everything.
“God..gives us richly all things to enjoy.” I Timothy 6:17
A Valentine may love you for a lifetime, but God loved you before you were born, and will love you for all eternity!
“Yes I have loved you with an everlasting love..with lovingkindness I have drawn you.” Jeremiah 31:3
And while we don't really do anything different on Valentines day I did get 2 lbs of the most delicious chocolates, a dozen roses and a Caramel Frappe. I guess my vacation diet will start in a couple of
Sunday, February 13, 2011
And while I'm posting this a tad-bit late, wouldn't these be great Valentine's Day presents? Yes, I just realized this morning that tomorrow is Valentine's Day. Good thing Matt knows I love him!
Saturday, February 12, 2011
While we're not quite done, something came into the mail that just had to be posted. Today, Matt received his diploma in the mail.
None of my pictures came out well from the actual ceremony but I just had to post this one. I am so incredibly proud of my husband. He graduated in 3 years with his MBA; he went to school part-time to full-time all the while working full-time, being actively involved in our church and, the big one; adopting our Gabriel and beginning to adopt our _______ . Matt hates attention but I just had to broadcast how incredibly proud I am of him. Not many men would work so hard for their family; God definitely blessed me with the best.
And, because it's been so long I figured I'd share some pictures of Gabe, the biggest reason people come check us out. And please note the use of lefty! While we've had a bit of a setback with no cast on righty, Gabe is back to trying to use, involve and figure things out with lefty. Way to go, baby Gaby!
Friday, February 4, 2011
Gabe hates going to the doctor now. I whole heartedly believe that it's from the awful experience after his eye surgery. And he remembers, Gabe's a smart boy. And while he hates the doctors, he now loves going to therapy (hopefully a therapy post will be coming soon - have to ask Ms. KC and Ms. Danielle if we can take their pictures). We missed therapy all week because of the sickies. Which hasn't happened ever in the year since we started therapy. And it just so happens to have happened the week after the cast came on... and the week that I'm having trouble getting his removable restraint cast on. Ugh!
But staying in was evidently the right decision as I was the recipient of more sleep last night then every night in the past week combined. I'll be completely honest with you all and say that I was super close to losing my sanity.
Speaking of sanity, I know I've mentioned my life group a couple of times before. Well, our life group keeps growing; adding adults and children the like. Last Friday night we had um.... 12 adults and 15 children in our house... and complete madness ensued. Actually, with that many children, the oldest being 6, it could have been a lot louder, a lot messier and a lot crazier.
With that many kids, busy schedules and the need to spice things up, we are no longer meeting every Friday night. After almost 18 months of meeting every week (yes, we started our life group right when Gabe came home) it's going to be weird meeting as a whole group every week. On the flip side of the weirdness, will be a new found delightfulness. The weeks that we're not meeting as a whole group, we'll alternate meeting with just the women or just the men.
And tonight, starts just the women!
I am overly excited to spend time with these 5 women; women who strengthen me, encourage me and challenge me to be a better Christian, wife and mother. Over the next month we'll start reading and sharing Francis Chan's Crazy Love.
I started it shortly after Gabe came home but with the massive sleep deprivation I never made it very far and I'm anxious to read it. "Our greatest fear should not be of failure but of succeeding at things in life that don't really matter" - Francis Chan, Crazy Love If that doesn't make you want to read the book... well, it makes me want to read it more!
Tonight though, we'll eat some Panera, discuss what we want to get out of our meetings and discuss a Bible verse that is significant to our marriage. I knew instantly which one I would share; it was the last verse our pastor shared on our wedding day. And if they'll let me - I'm going to share every one's here. Scripture is so powerful and sometimes I find such strength from reading verses that are important to other people. I'd love to have a place to put these scriptures for all of web log eternity! And, I'd also love to know what scripture verse (or verses) have made an impact on your marriage... or just on your life.
So tonight, my sanity will be restored. I'm sure it will never be restored fully [smile] because that wouldn't be any fun, but maybe just a little bit so I don't put the Frito's in the fridge or the milk in the pantry. Two things I've done this past week!
And now for an update... an ADOPTION update! Our homestudy paperwork is nearly complete! All of our background checks have cleared (no criminal records for us!), most of the paperwork is signed, notarized and mailed in and we just have a few loose ends to tie-up. Well a few loose ends and quite a bit of education to still complete. But after the craziness of the month of December, it feels good to be moving forward with things! A few steps closer to our baby boy (or girl - I know, mom :). I just have this feeling it's a boy and a fabulous peace about it as well. And after all my hem-hawing and debating about wanting to check girl, I think that says a lot about it! Now if I could just convince Matt to like one of the names I have picked out, we'd be all set! Kind of. Well, not quite! But it's nice to think about, right?
And today, while the sickies have kept us from our regular schedule, we had three special visitors and Gabe was in big boy heaven. Gabe thinks that his cousins are the bees knees, the best thing since sliced bread, all that and a bag of chips... you get my picture. And remarkably, a 8 year old, 6 year old and 5 year old act that the feeling is mutual! And without further ado, Gabe and his cousins, Jake, Ethan and Sam. This morning when he heard them coming up the stairs he started shaking with excitement and smiled the whole time they were there. But then passed out cold 20 minutes after they left! Oh, the life of a 17 month old!
Have a lovely weekend!
Tuesday, February 1, 2011
What would you be willing to give? Or better yet, what would you be willing to give up?
If you could actually change the life of a child through a simple action, would you?
What would you be willing to do? Or better yet, what would you be willing to do without?
Did you know that $3.00 can buy a preschooler in Ethiopia lunch for a month? $3.00 can't even buy me my favorite Starbucks coffee!
If you want to take part in something that requires so little but can do so much click here:
One Day One Lunch
On Thursday February 3, I will join Addisyn Block ( her mom writes the blog Building the Blocks, read it and you will be inspired, and the stories of her kids are hilarious sometimes!) and give up my lunch to feed a child for 1 month.
If a 15 year old can give up her lunch for 100 days to help make a change, I can give up my lunch for one. Can you?