Friday, December 31, 2010

Happy New Year!

We had a great Christmas- We have so much to be thankful for!
Great year- lots of amazing blessings, but also a lot of worry- very anxious to see what the new year will bring! My heart is full! Happy new year everyone!!!
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Sunday, December 5, 2010

Ta da.....

Ethiopian flag... gotta represent!

Fun!!Posted by Picasa


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Friday, December 3, 2010

3 Months Home!!!

"Oy, wish my momma would stop taking pictures!"
"I kind of like being in a box!"
"I might as well do what I do best!" (wink)
I can't believe that 3 months ago today, I arrived home with this beautiful, funny, happy little person in my arms! Now I can't believe there was a time when she wasn't here.... She is busy crawling, pulling up, having a runny nose lately, and needing me to be in the same room or the race is on to find me! She pulls cabinet doors open, likes to pull my cookbooks off of the shelf- I'm replacing some of the stuff down low, with things for her to do when we are in the kitchen, that seems like the time when she needs me the most. Lately, I've been thinking about how last year at this time, she was growing bigger in her birth mother's tummy- I wonder if she was excited about having a baby, or if she knew at that time she wouldn't be able to keep her.... She has such a funny little sense of humor, did she get that from her? These are things I would love to know, but never will. She really is an angel! I love the way she belly laughs when you tickle her feet or play peek-a-boo.... As the Christmas approaches, things are different this year- our kids aren't expecting a bunch of presents under the tree, they are learning that there are more important things and we've already received the best gift this year!! We are going to enjoy her every second! It's going wayyyy to fast! I need her to stay small for just a little longer! Enjoy this season of Love!!!
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Jillian's First Thanksgiving

Our three blessings with their Papa!
"I'm lovin' those mashed tater's!"
Mimi and Jillian! Notice the turkey?
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Wednesday, November 24, 2010

Happy Thanksgiving!

Wobbly legs!
Crawling everywhere!!!
LOVE!!!! Look at me!
SO THANKFUL!!! We have SO much to be thankful this year! I'm most thankful that Jillian is with us, safe and sound! I'm also very thankful for the opportunity to experience beautiful Ethiopia! I think about it and miss it every day! I will never be the same. I'm also thankful for my friends! New and old..... God knows who we need in our lives at the perfect times! Happy Thanksgiving, everyone!
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Wednesday, November 10, 2010

9 Months old!

Our sweet little munchkin is 9 months old today! I can't believe how much she has changed already. Working my way out of a rough spot, taking it day by day, I watch her every day and realize how much I love taking care of her- I don't think I realized this as much with my tummy babies. Don't get me wrong, I was thankful, but younger and probably took it a lot for granted! In the morning, when we hear her stirring through the baby monitor, Isabelle and Harrison race to greet her; and she is waiting for them with this huge smile! She never cries in her crib- she just lays there, content. It makes me think of how she probably spent lots of time in her crib.
Now- you can tell she drinks up the love and affection..... you hug her and she hugs you back, nuzzling into your neck and she says, "awwwww"- it's the sweetest thing ever! Melts my heart every time! She is starting to crawl all over the place! This phase is going by WAY too fast! Slow down!!!

Friday, November 5, 2010

in a bit of a funk...

First of all let me begin by saying that I have SO much to be thankful for, especially this year!
I would say we are pretty much "settled" in to our new routine. It's hard for me to share my feelings, especially when they aren't good feelings. I've been in a bit of a funk lately.... not sure why really- maybe because all of the adrenaline from the adoption process is gone, maybe because my hubby is working ALL the time to finish paying off our adoption.... things are really tight and will be until we get it paid for, that cramps my style. I'll admit it. All of these things combined make me grouchy....
I'm also trying to learn how to deal with a situation in my extended family that is ongoing..... I love my mom, but I don't have the support or help that I wish for..... I've always wanted my kids to have grandparents that loved to have the kids over all the time, etc..... mine consider it "babysitting" and think that is all we want out of them.... which couldn't be further from the truth. So they don't get to go often, rarely giving us a break! This isn't a new thing, but it is something that keeps coming up as a problem...... and I really don't know how to change it, so I am trying to just accept it. I do know that I want to be a different kind of parent and eventual grandparent. I love my parents, don't get me wrong, but we just don't see eye to eye on this subject. I guess by putting it out here in bloggyland- I would love to know other opinions on this, advice??? I think this is also contributing to the "funk"- It's something that I just don't understand and frankly it continues to hurt my feelings- Praying to get out of the funk and SOON!
On another note: Jillian is 95% crawling...... and has two teeth, working on a 3rd! Still sleeping all night, every night- she is a dream baby, I tell you- such a joy! So thankful for that, and the rest of the family has mostly stopped acting out for the wrong kind of attention---- so on that note, that is great!!

Tuesday, October 19, 2010

Pumpkin Patch

Our Ethiopian Fellowship group met at the pumpkin patch last weekend- so fun! Until the last half our hour until home, Jillian let loose crying and wouldn't stop, and I was driving- hate that!

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A little bit of lately....

We got to go see Steven Curtis and Mary Beth Chapman at "A Night With the Chapmans"- AWESOME!
Isabelle turned 8!!!
My beautiful gifts!!!
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Sunday, September 26, 2010

One month ago......

One month ago today, the sweetest blessing was placed in my arms, "for keeps" in Ethiopia. I can't believe it's been one month. So many new experiences for us all- we're all still adjusting, loving almost every minute of it- Craig says," she was born for our family"- We are amazed at how God works! He made her just for us, it's really just an awesome, amazing thing- and I'm so glad to be given this gift! I still look at her and cannot believe she's here! That she is our baby- I just want to eat her up- she is the purest joy! We are so in love- I watch the kids with her, even Harrison will just kiss her cheek, melts my heart! Then there is Craig- he loves her so much- and Jillian already looks up to Isabelle. I always wanted a sister- glad my girls will have each other! Even though we are all tired- she has brought a special light into our family- a sparkle! She is special! Can't wait to see what God has in store for her- on the other hand I want to freeze these moments in time so I can always remember her sweet little baby self!!! Love it!

Wednesday, September 22, 2010

Settling in....

It's been a little while since I've written.... I am finding it kind of hard to find time to blog- seems someone needs my attention!
The adjusting is going well- Isabelle seems to be affected the most. She has all of those first born female personality traits and is having trouble sharing the attention. Hopefully she will get used to things soon.... if that is the worst problem we have, we can deal with it.
Harrison is great, he just goes with the flow- really!
The parents are both tired..... I forgot what it's like to not get anything done around the house, it bothers me.... but I have to relax and look at that beautiful toothless grin staring back at me and none of it matters. She sleeps through the night most nights or wakes up once..... she is happy most of the time, loves to eat, loves to be held and talked to- she is happiest when she is in a group of people or when Isabelle and Harrison are messing with her!
I still look at her sitting in the middle of our living room and I can't believe the gift we've been given! The word that keeps coming to mind is Thankful.... got all the reports back from her Dr. visit- everything is great, she had an ear infection, that's it! She is a happy, joyful, smily, chubby, funny, beautiful blessing! Oh, the sense of humor this girl has- I can't believe she's only 7 months.... she is so funny and will laugh right back at you about things. I love the way she gazes into my eyes.... and she'll hug you and say "awwww" and pat your shoulder, like I do hers.... so funny! She waves at everyone, is gaining leg strength, she likes the exersaucer, loves to be outside, loves refried beans and bananas..... I could go on and on! I feel overwhelmed a lot, right now I am just doing the things I have to do- trying to get in a good routine. It's odd for the process of the adoption to be over- we spent so much time praying for the little details of the adoption. I am now praying prayers of thankfulness- We feel so blessed. More soon.... try to add pictures soon-

Friday, September 10, 2010

7 Months

I can't believe how far this girl has come in her 7 months! Today she is 7 months old! One month ago, I sobbed for her, wanting her here so badly, feeling like she would never be here. I feel SO thankful! My heart is full and we are all falling so in love with her and her with us.
She is such a happy little baby. Even with an ear infection- she loves being around people and she likes to "joke". I am serious- she will laugh about something and then anticipate you doing it again and will belly laugh about it. It is so funny!

Adjustment is going smoothly. Our 7 yr. old, first born is learning how to share the drama spotlight..... ready for the new normal to set in. This week was hard- good but hard. Lots of people want to meet her and we are so thankful for all of the open arms! She loves it- It has been hard this week taking care of everyone and being jetlagged.... here's to hoping next week will be a little more "normal"- if there is such a word. She wakes up with a big smile on her face- it is so refreshing and I am loving being her momma! She fits right in! God knew just who we needed in our family- he's so good like that! So, so thankful!

Tuesday, September 7, 2010


We arrived at the airport, Friday night around 8:30 to a crowd of friends and family! I didn't expect it really- it was awesome to know how much love and support surrounded our precious girl! She was a champ! She is so social and loved every minute of it, until she got tired and then she just went to sleep in my arms! She was great on the 32-plus hour trip home, after a 8 hour layover in Amsterdam! She slept and loved being held by me the whole time- my back hurt so bad, but it was WORTH it!
After visiting for a little bit, we headed for home- she fell asleep in her car seat and then she went right to bed when we got home. I must confess, at night we are letting her sleep with us and we all love it! She sleeps great! She woke up around 3am and had a bottle and then woke up around 6am or so- and that seems to be her pattern- can't complain! I love how she will turn toward you and just curl up in her sleep! Saturday, we continued with the fundraiser sale- and had lots of visitors.... Sunday, family came and brought dinner and fell more in love with "sweet cheeks"....Monday- just rest and prepare for the week of getting into our new routine. I had a nap! Then I was more tired. Today was our first day of "normal". It went pretty well, except when it was time for an afternoon nap- it was time to go do school pickup and she didn't really want to stay asleep- so tonight she was deleriously sleepy, almost giddy- just laughing and giggling and finally passed out on me! Sometimes she makes sounds and gestures that are so familiar to me, like I have known her before... probably just baby stuff- maybe similarities between my other babies. I am loving it! She is so sweet and happy and laid back!
I took her outside today to sit in the grass- she had never done that before, you could tell. She didn't know whether to laugh or cry- she just looked at me- it's going to take some time and I know she'll love it! Tonight was a little crazy, thank goodness for my crock pot- she was tired, didn't want to be put down- Harrison was "starving" but not for what I cooked, Isabelle had dance- let the chaos begin! My hubby says," do you think if we did this again, we would get one as sweet as her?" I couldn't believe it- who knew that he had even thought of it? I guess we'll see- she is such a jewel and I love her like she was made in my own womb- I can't believe it but I do! She is such a wonderful miracle! I know God made her just for us and we feel so blessed and thankful! She's perfect in every way!

Tuesday, August 24, 2010

She's coming HOME!!!!

We GOT THE CALL!!!! We are officially cleared by the US Embassy to come for our appointment to get Jillian's Visa next Monday, Aug. 30! My dad and I are leaving this Friday, in 3 days!!!!! We will be home WITH HER on Friday night, Sept. 3! I can't even believe it right now! I am SO happy! I even found tickets that were cheaper than the first time we went and I don't have to go through Chicago, which is a huge blessing in itself! I am So thankful right now- We get to go with 3 other families that were there before for court with us- so happy to get to see them again! Please pray that everything goes smoothly for us and that Jillian is just fine on the travel home, I'm nervous about that-

Sunday, August 22, 2010


We're praying we hear something tomorrow about our embassy date. I'm getting doubtful that we will get to go next weekend for the appt date of Sept. 1. Maybe I don't want to get my hopes up. I will post as soon as I know anything- If you read this and have any extra time, please say a little prayer for us. It's really getting hard to wait. I just feel like she needs to come home! I've been stocking the pantry and freezer and trying to get things ready for me to be gone and then home again with a baby! So exciting! If we don't get to go for Sept. 1, surely it would be Sept. 15- so the end is still in sight! Trying to have a good attitude!

Wednesday, August 11, 2010

Morning sickness!

Yesterday it started.... the nauseous feeling in the pit of my stomach, especially when I look at her pictures! Yesterday- the day I found out that our paperwork hasn't even been submitted yet to the US Embassy! Maybe I was wrong to assume that it should have been. Our court date was July 21- I thought for sure it would have been submitted within two weeks of that date- by Aug. 4.... We obviously didn't make it for the Aug. 18 embassy date, honestly I didn't think we would- or we would be packing frantically! I did think however, we would have a STRONG chance for Sept. 1- I can make it until then..... if I have to wait past that date- frankly- I might die! That is the part that makes me want to puke! And cry!
My wonderful hubby made a little call and we did find out that our paperwork would be submitted by August 18- but with a "small possibility" of getting in on Sept. 1 for embassy- just typing it makes me want to throw up! If the end of August comes and goes and we don't have a "date", you might want to check on my hubby and kids here at home, because I'm on the next plane to Africa! Seriously, people..... I just can't let it go on---- and on! I'm already devising my strategy, and it just might work... I'll let you know! PLEASE pray that we get in on the 1st of Sept.... I am GOING TO GO INSANE if we don't! It will just be better for everyone! I assure you! In the meantime, I will just keep watching the snippets I have of her- and keeping some lemon juice and smelling salts nearby- blah!

Monday, August 2, 2010

The nest is ready!

Well, we're ready!! We have diapers, clean bottles, clean clothes- now all we need is that embassy date to get Jillian's visa! The next date is August 18th. It *could* happen that soon, but I really don't expect it to happen until Sept. 1. If it does happen Aug. 18, we probably won't have much notice- which means higher prices for plane tickets. I don't want to wait any longer than I have to, but cheaper tickets would be nice! My dad is getting ready- I can't wait to show him Ethiopia and introduce him to Jillian! I can't believe that the next time I see her, its FOR KEEPS! I don't think I will ever put her down! I miss her so badly- Our family is all spread out..... it's just not right! Thank goodness it's a busy time of year! School starts on the 18th- so it will be nice to get everybody in their new routine and then off to bring home baby! I can't wait to see how she will adjust to being here- I know she's going to love the kids and the kids are going to LOVE her! Stay tuned!