Sunday, July 28, 2013

Six Months Home

An invisible red thread connects those who are destined to meet, regardless of time, place, or circumstance. The thread may stretch or tangle, but will never break."
--An ancient Chinese belief
Six months.  It sounds like such a long time yet, the reality is Olivia has only had a family for SIX MONTHS out of her TWENTY months of life.  She is still learning what it means to be loved unconditionally, have your needs met by your parents, to have constant siblings and a forever home.
Six months ago today we were handed a scared baby who was experiencing a grief that no child should ever feel.  Her body was tense and she sweated through three layers of clothing.  She continued this for days and at times even months after we first held her. 
Six months later I have a daughter who is filled with joy and happiness.  She is well adjusted and confident enough to test boundaries knowing that we will love her any way.  Six months later I have a daughter who has been redeemed and is a loved and cherished member of our family.  The truth is however, her scars of her past are still real.
We still struggle with abandonment issues, hunger and food related stress, performing for strangers to get attention and manipulative behavior that a 20 month old should not be smart enough to perform.  Just last night after being away from home for a month I put Olivia to bed and went to check on her a few minutes later.  I found her whimpering in bed covered in sweat.  Our little girl who normally seems so well adjusted gives us glimpse of the memories of her past.  I wonder when, if ever the trauma will be removed from her soul. 
For now, we will continue to reassure her that she is ours forever.  She is loved always. 

No child should ever have to feel the pain that our daughter experienced.  No child should ever have to live in an orphanage.  Every child deserves the love of a family.
We are so fortunate that our God knit our family together.   
Pure and genuine religion in the sight of God the Father means caring for orphans and widows in their distress and refusing to let the world corrupt you.
James 1:27
Does this verse speak to you?  Does Olivia's story speak to you? 
If so, don't step back and wait for something to happen.  Take a leap of faith.  While I realize adoption isn't for everyone there are many ways to help the fatherless around the world.  Please feel free to contact me if you want to get involved in helping a child in need of a family.

Thursday, July 25, 2013

Our 4th and Final Week in Florida

We started our last week in Florida with a day in the pool.  The kids absolutely love the weekends when Poppie is home to swim.  Poppie has tirelessly worked with Brooks in the pool this summer.  We have not done swim lessons in the past due to his fear of water and how shy he is in new situations.  He couldn't wait to get to Fl and have Poppie help him learn to swim.

This kiddo went from being afraid to jump in with floaties or get his face or ears wet to this in just 4 weeks!  We are so so proud!
That same day, with Poppie's guidance,  Kyrie perfected her dive.
The kids enjoyed a Monday afternoon of golfing with Poppie while Nana, Olivia and I went antiquing.  It was my first afternoon off crutches.  Long story but, saw a doctor down here and the stress fracture was a misdiagnosis.  I have a whole bunch of soft tissue damage that needs addressing at home.
My first morning off crutches Nana had to go back to work for a training.  The kids and I headed back to the splash park and to the playground.  It helped get my confidence up at bit about heading home with this injury.

To wrap up the week we celebrated Kyrie's Birthday, a trip to the beach and of course a huge celebration when we picked up daddy from the airport.
What  a sweet time we had in Florida.  So so sad to say goodbye.


I love the beach and was seriously bummed that I was on crutches this summer so we couldn't go play in the sand.  When I went to the doctor on Monday and heard I could ditch the crutches the first thing I said to my mom was, "we are going to the beach".

We woke up to clouds, rain and wind.  That wasn't stopping us.  Neither did the life guard warnings of rip currents and unsafe waters. 

We may have left exhausted from chasing children out of the water but, we were bound and determined to enjoy our only trip to the beach this summer.  The kids loved searching for shells, watching coquinas burry themselves, digging in the sand and having us chase them in and out of the water.

She spotted "KyKy" "Buddy" and "Nana" down the beach

It's not often that my boy lets me take his picture.  Today he was feeling quite comfortable having his picture taken and I took full advantage.
This guy doesn't have an easy job.  He is sandwiched right between two sisters and holds the role of only boy .  He is so so special and has my heart completely.  I love that I got to capture some of his sweetness and silliness too.  My heart just melts when I see this sweet face. 


Six years ago, my dream of becoming a mommy came true.  I held my beautiful daughter and my world changed forever.  I am so proud to be Kyrie's mommy.  She is a child with a huge heart for others, who loves God and amazes us each day.  We are so proud as we watch how she cares for her younger siblings. When in public she is constantly complimented by strangers on what a nurturing sister she is.  Kyrie is about to start Kindergarten and we can't wait to watch her blossom this year.

Like usual, Kyrie was up by 6:00am on her birthday.  She came out of her room all dressed and had even dressed her brother in "handsome clothes".  She couldn't wait one second longer to open gifts but, I did my best to stall her.  We finally Skyped daddy at 6:30 am so he could enjoy watching her open her gifts.

Later in the morning our friends Jennifer, Katie, Kylie and their cousin Jake come for a swim.
 Brooks was worried Olivia was swimming in the deep water and went to rescue her
We had a quiet afternoon at home
Girl after my own heart.  Loves word searches.
When Nana and Poppie were finished working for the day we ordered Kyrie's request of Chinese food and had a nice celebration.

 Notice the iPad.  Daddy was there for the evening celebration too.
Baby girl ate every. last. crumb.

Happy Birthday sweet girl  We love you!

Tuesday, July 23, 2013

Camp Nana and Poppie Week 3

Yep, Nana and Poppie are still putting up with our craziness. 
We started the week with a trip to the dreaded Chuck E Cheese.  The kids loved it and Nana and I treated ourselves to a seafood lunch after.

We spent the next day at the mall shoe shopping because someone who we won't mention (let's just say it wasn't Nana or Mommy) threw away a bag of shoes by mistake.
The kids all walked away with new sneakers and enjoyed a ride on the train that goes around the mall.  We followed that up with lunch at PF Changs (see a play....adults eat)
The next morning we headed out for breakfast (man I am realizing we have been eating A LOT)
Breakfast was followed by a trip to the splash park

One afternoon we went my childhood friend Jenn's house.  The kids played with Katie (4) and Kylie (21 mos).  They loved having play mates after so many weeks of just playing together.
(ok, not one of the happiest moments...sippy cup fights)

We also spent some time at home swimming, playing and attempting potty training.

 Poor girl always has an audience
Our week ended with a wonderful celebration of Uncle Josh's Birthday at cousin Lillie's house. 

Nana and Poppie with all of their grandbabies (except cousin Sophia)

 Kyrie had a little early birthday celebration herself.


Wednesday, July 17, 2013

Camp Nana and Poppie Week 2

On the way home from Oma's we were going to meet Nana at the oil change shop after she dropped off her car.  Imagine our surprise when we found her on the side of the highway.  Thankfully, I saw her out of the car and okay but quickly realized she had been in a hit and run accident.  We waited for the police and headed home for everyone to decompress after a long ride and some trauma.
Sister time.  They love each other so much and Liv is so so tolerant of Kyrie's "mothering".
Special visit from Aunt Kat and Cousin Lillie
Too many girls!  Poppie and Brooks (AKA Ironman needed boy time)

Celebrating Chick Fil A Cow Appreciation Day with my little moos