Wednesday, November 27, 2013

Party Time

Olivia's birthday was filled with partying from sun up to sun down.  She woke up at 6:30 and came down stairs to a family room filled with presents both from us and from family afar.  She caught on to what it meant to tear open the paper and find goodies inside very quickly. 
Discovering the birthday fairy came and decorated the house
Look daddy a present....for ME
She had some helpers opening gifts
The sweet grandmas made sure the big kids didn't feel left out. 
Liv's favorite gift.  From Kyrie.

After breakfast at the McDonald's play place, we headed home and started our tradition of releasing a balloon to Olivia's birth parents.  Last year, on Olivia's first birthday we released a balloon to her in China.  Starting this year, we will send a balloon to her birth mother and father to let them know we are thinking  of them on this day and always.

Listening intently while Daddy prayed for Olivia's birth mother and father

"Bye Bye balloon"

After the busy morning everyone was ready for a nap so they would be refreshed for the party.
In honor of Olivia's love for both dancing and high heels, we had a "High heeled, Tutu, Dance Party".   We kept the party fairly low key and small because we weren't sure how Olivia would react to her first party.  She L.O.V.E.D. it.

Craft and body art table

High heel party favors/dancing shoes

Daddy built a stage and Kyrie and Brooks had to try it out before the party
Brooks told us he would dress as "Prince James" (from Sofia) and dance with all of Olivia's friends


Birthday girl giving a show


Yes, we even had a smoke machine, and strobe lights for the full dance party effect


Princess Mayli

How did these "babies" get so big?


I managed to hold myself together as we sang Happy Birthday and watcher her blow out her candle for the very first time.

It was truly a perfect day.  Happy2nd birthday precious girl.

Friday, November 22, 2013

Two years

Two years ago the Lord told me it was time.  I had always known that we would adopt however, his voice was clear that the time was now.  I began reaching out to other adoptive mothers, spent time researching and praying.  At that time, Brad said he heard the Lord tell him, "listen to your wife, follow her lead".  We had a few thing we needed to get in order and we didn't actually start the process until about 6 months later.
However, as we know all good happens in HIS timing.
"For everything there is a season, and a time for every matter under heaven" Ecclesiastes 3:1
Little did I know that the Lord spoke to me at that moment because our daughter was about to be born on the other side of the world.  The Lord had already handpicked her for our family and he knew the steps we must take to get to her. 
On November 23, 2011 in  Huidong County, China a beautiful baby girl was born.  We will be forever grateful to her birth mother and father who made the most courageous decision to choose life for our daughter.  She made a heart wrenching decision to abandon her daughter so she may have a chance at life. 
This is our adoption video; our journey to Olivia and the first ten months home with her.  It tells our story of faith, determination and LOVE.  It tells her story of hope, broken heartedness, bravery, family and LOVE.
Happy birthday to our precious daughter who has taught us to love more, pray harder and laugh louder.   We love you more than you know. 


Monday, November 18, 2013


Most of my posts are pretty upbeat.  However, every once in awhile I feel the need to throw one in that shows some of the struggles that come through adoption.

I have been pretty honest on here about how Brooks has struggled through our adoption process. As I sit and reflect on the past year and a half I realize just how much change and loss he has experienced. Don't get me wrong, he has gained far more.  I will get to that In a minute.

Brooks was 2.5 when we began the adoption process. There is no way that a child his age could conceptualize what it means to be an orphan, to adopt, to gain a sister.  When we traveled hr was just over 3.  There is no way that a child his age could conceptualize what it means for his parents to leave for two weeks, come home exhausted carrying a 14 month old who acted more like a 9 month old and demanded all of his mommy and daddy's attention. That being said, our boy struggled with loss. He lost his role of baby, he lost two mornings a week with just his mommy, he lost his bedroom, he lost all of the attention that his doting big sister used to give to just him.

BUT because our Lord is a redeemer, He has done great things.


These two have the most beautiful relationship.  They are completely in love.  Brooks is her protecter and she his best audience. 

The other day we allowed the kids to watch Olivia's Gotcha Day video for the first time. When Brooks saw how Olivia grieved, he wept. He wept with sobs that turned to anger as he hid under the kitchen table.  I held him and he said, "It's not fair that she was all alone in China mommy. It makes me so sad."  He is right. It's. Not. Fair.  But, we are so blessed. He is so blessed. His little sister is now home. 

Brooks is now 4.  This is how old Kyrie was when we started the adoption process. He gets it now. They both get it.  So now when people ask me the question that I most often get, "How are the kids adjusting?"  I will say "Great.  Absolutely beautifully."

We are ALL counting down the days until we have the honor of celebrating our princess turning 2. Five days to be exact.

Monday, November 4, 2013


What a fun Halloween we had with our Minnie Mouse, Batman and the cutest little Monkey (besides when Kyrie wore the costume when she was 3)

Brooks and buddy Zach
Kyrie and Paige

Just starting out
Brooks seems to think Cannon and Olivia are destined for marriage.  This would make a great rehearsal dinner photo.

She caught on right away.  "Twick Tweet"

Cutest superheros ever!

I love these 3 babies who aren't so much babies anymore

Batman and Catwoman

Brooks, Olivia and I called it an night pretty early.  Brooks was more interested in losing the crowd and handing out candy at home. Kyrie and Brad stayed out until her bucket was overflowing.   What a fun night we all had.

Sunday, November 3, 2013

Adoption Playdate

I feel so blessed to be surrounded by a local adoption community.  I became friends with these women as we were going through the process together and now we have the privilege of watching our beautiful children play together.

This week we met at Superior Play, a local indoor play place.  It was especially fun because some of the siblings happened to be there and I loved watching the sibling relationships develop as well.

Olivia just loved Vivian's big sister Kate.

Vivian got quite protective of her sister when Olivia was giving Kate too much love.

Sweet Sisters.  Kate reminds me so much of Kyrie.  I can't wait for them to meet.
Olivia wanted nothing to do with this photo session

Mayli, Vivian, Maddie, Olivia and peeking from behind is Jessica