Saturday, January 29, 2011

The Dreaded Weekend...

Most of the time, I look forward to the weekend. I'm quite sure most of us do. The boys are home, the alarm clock doesn't go off (even if Wesleigh still does!), there's no homework, etc. However, once you enter the adoption realm, weekends become your enemy. You are now painfully aware that nobody is in the government office working on your paperwork, your agency is closed, and there is no hope of receiving any good news.

In addition to this, if weekends are painful, holidays are almost unbearable! Not only are offices closed extra days, but, you know, even when they are "working", they are probably ordering Christmas presents off the web or having office parties...counting down the minutes before they can stop thinking about my paperwork!! And forget about CNY!! Weeks of non-production! Ughhh!!!!

So...while most of the world is dreading Monday morning...I (and, I'm sure most of my adoptive friends) am counting down the hours until the offices are open again!

Enjoy your weekend!! I'm trying to!!! :-)

Thursday, January 27, 2011

30 x 32

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Yep...that's my 14 yr. old's pants size. Actually, it's the size he is wearing in this pictures and, as you can see, they're too short!! Seriously?!? Richard wears a 34 length, but he's 6 ft. tall!!
I love this shot because it's so sweet, but can't quite get past the pants! He really needs a 29 x 34...I'll have to get working on that.

Wednesday, January 26, 2011

Our Special Day

First of all, I would like to thank all of you for the sweet comments on yesterday's post. Each time a new one would come through, it put a big smile on my face. It is pretty amazing how the support of friends, family and strangers through this blogosphere is so uplifting and meaningful. I have enjoyed every minute of sharing our journey with all of you, and you are unbelievably sweet to indulge me!! Now...we get to do it all over again!!! Lord, help us!!

I shot this video of Wesleigh before we left. When I put this dress on her, she immediately started spinning around and saying "bootiful". I think she must have gotten that from one of the boys because that not really a word I use alot. She must have done it a thousand times. Super cute!! I had to coach her here, but of course, that's just because I had the video on!!



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We celebrated the big day yesterday by going out for Chinese food. It was a quick dinner because Bryce had to be at the high school for a basketball game (band). That's about par for this group...there's always something. Oh well, we enjoyed being together. My parents joined us, so we got pictures with them also. You just have to excuse these pics. My camera was in the wrong mode and obviously, I couldn't figure it out while we were there ;) Oh well...that's life.

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We had a special delivery at home. A wonderful friend of mine sent these to us for our special day. As Wesleigh said a million times...the are "bootiful"!!
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Miss W's birthday is in a couple of weeks, so it's time to start planning for that. Don't expect anything over the top ;-) I figure, I can still get away with just a family party for one more year. After she's in school next year, I'm sure we will be pulling out all the stops!

Tuesday, January 25, 2011

1 Year Gotcha Day Anniversary!!

January 2011

Wow! What a year! On one hand, I can't believe it's already been a year since we were in China to meet this sweet girl for the first time. On the other hand, I can't believe we've only known her for 1 year! What a difference a year can make. Of course, more than the time...it's the love of a family that has made the real difference. Wesleigh has become a happy, well adjusted, confident, caring, funny, active and loving toddler. She is the life of this house. I can't even imagine how bored we must have been without her ;-)

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When I think back on this past year, I am flooded with images of China. Of a family who had anticipated this day for years with such joy and of a scared little girl who was going through an extremely traumatic time in her life...again! For the second time in her short little life, she was separated from everything that was comfortable to her. I understand that this day is associated with pain, in some way. I pray that when Wesleigh is older, she will look at this day as a celebration of family. That God turned "what was meant for evil, into good" on this day. And that it was He who brought us together....as a family.

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I think of a little girl, who had to be taught what a mommy and daddy were. That there were two people in this world who would make sure her needs were met, who would kiss her boo boo's and love her forever. A little girl who had to learn that a Daddy is lots of fun and good to have around.

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I think of a little girl who learned that having 3 big brothers is way cool! And this mom got to experience seeing her boys open their hearts to a timid little girl and truly fall in love with her.

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I think of all the firsts Wesleigh experienced with us, like the beach...
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tea parties...
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piggy tails...
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new life long friends...
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belly laughs...
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endless photo shoots...

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trick-or-treat...
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lazy mornings...

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a haircut that did not include clippers!...
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Christmas cookies...

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and a visit from Santa.

What an amazing year. I want to share my latest photo shoot with Miss W!! I took these especially to celebrate this day!!

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And my absolute favorites...
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I love this child. I love all of my children, but Wesleigh is my heart. My heart that aches for all the children left behind. She represents the blessings that God bestows when a person is faithful to the call that has been placed on their life. I am so thankful that we listened...

Sunday, January 23, 2011

Lots of Love

After church I was running around trying to do all the things moms do. I walked through the keeping room a couple of times and heard Cade and Wesleigh in her tent. Finally, I just had to capture a little of it on video. For him to sit in this tent and read her princess books to her is just one of the sweetest things I've ever seen. I had not asked him to do this, I had not even asked him to watch her for me or play with her. He did this all on his own :-)



We went to my nephew's birthday party today. It totally brought me back to last year. Rylan's party was the first "outing" we had with Wesleigh after we came home from China. Boy have things changed!! Tuesday is a big day for us. It will mark one year since we met Miss Wesleigh! I am working on a special post.

Wednesday, January 19, 2011

January...

January has got to be the longest month of the year!! I seems like we've been in January forever! I guess when you decide to mostly hibernate and not accomplish much, it drags on. We have been busy enough. Bryce made the All Parish Honor Band and we enjoyed that concert. Braden started baseball practice a couple of weeks ago, and Cade starts Sunday. Wesleigh has learned to count to 10 and the names of 6 princesses!! How's that for a productive month...lol... Here are some misc. pics. I just haven't even gotten the camera out very much. When the skies are always gray, there just isn't much fun in taking pictures of that!!


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The concert was right in the middle of naptime.
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Wesleigh's tea party. She did this all on her own.
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After all the "play" cookies I could stand, we decided to make some real cookies! Wesleigh was so excited!
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OK...I know this is a wimpy post...If you only knew how many days it has taken me to get it together!!! UGH.... It' s just one of those months!!

Hopefully, I'll have something really cute to share soon ;)

Happy January!!

Sunday, January 16, 2011

3 Less!!

I am so excited! Tonight, as we sleep, there will be 3 little boys who will no longer be orphans! Two of my bloggy friends are in China about to get their boys! Each of them has an amazing story and I just can't wait to see them with their new sons in their arms. I'm going to link to them here, in case you want to follow along:

The first is Myra. Her blog is here. Myra reached out to me after I posted a picture of our referral to Miss Wesleigh. She had been in China just a few months prior, adopting her son from the same orphanage Wesleigh lived in. When they visited the orphanage, she actually held Wesleigh and had it on video!! Wesleigh happened to be the only child screaming her lungs out!! What they also did during this visit is to try to let her new son, Sam to say goodbye to his best little buddy in the orphanage. This video was such a blessing, but it was also very hard to watch as I waited to go get my sweet girl. I never posted it here, because I just couldn't bring myself to share it. I will post a link to it now because it's so much easier to watch now that I have her.
Here it is.
Wesleigh is the one in the yellow shirt with the blue pants. She's standing in her crib. The amazing part of this story is that Sam's little friend went up for adoption a number of months ago. Myra started to advocate for this little boy to find him a home, but soon realized that he belonged in their family!! Myra is back in the same province about to adopt Sam's best friend!!! They will be brothers...forever! What an amazing testament to God's grace and love.

Here is a picture, sent to me by the orphanage, as we waited to travel. It is of Wesleigh and Myra's new son, Will. This picture makes me laugh every time I see it!
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The second blog is here. Sonia is the mother of 4 bio boys and is in China to get her 2 new sons!!! Yes...that makes six!!! Sonia has the funniest take on life (I suppose that might be the only way to survive!) and her sarcasm speaks my language ;) I don't know as much about how she came to these two precious boys, but I do know that they are precious!! They are best friends in the orphanage, and now they will be brothers...forever!!!! Just makes me smile! Sonia is in China with her entire family! Yes...they brought all 4 boys with them!!! Boy would I love to be a fly on the wall for this trip!! If there's anyone who can take it all in stride, it's Sonia! Go check out her blog...you'll love it!

Thursday, January 13, 2011

Ahhhh....

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Now, this is my kind of weather!! Warm sun...hot sand...cool breeze...Lord, do I wish I were there!! Instead, I'm bundled up inside...freezing! I know...I'm from the south...it never gets cold here compared to other places. Call me a wuss! I don't care...I HATE it!!

So...here's to barefeet, teeny bikinis, boogie boards and tanned skin...
...'till we meet again!!

Monday, January 10, 2011

Yep...I Think She Needs a Sister

It is cold here this morning, so Britney is spending the morning curled up in her bed (exactly where I wish I was!!) I looked over and found Wesleigh "playing" with her. Long gone are the days of getting caught in the crossfire of balls or nerf swords. Today, Britney finds herself taking a nap with Cinderella and being covered by a pink blanket ;) Somehow, I think she is quite pleased with her new reality!

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She loves any attention she can get. She'll lay her with this blanket on until Wesleigh takes it off. I guess she might be the perfect playmate! I don't see her new sister being quite so compliant!! :-)
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Friday, January 7, 2011

Part 2

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OK, Blogger let me upload it right side up, but it's smaller. Oh well.

Dancing With Cinderella


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I know this is sideways, but I couldn't figure out how to fix it. I just think it's too sweet not to share. Of course, Wesleigh singing is so adorable, but I just love seeing her Daddy dance with her. After so many years with boys, I knew Richard was a great dad, but didn't quite know how he would be with a girl. He is so sweet with her, and they adore each other. What a blessing!

I think the sound messed up at the end too. It gets ahead some kind of way...oh well, you get the idea!

BTW...I800A was sent today! I'll keep you posted!

Thursday, January 6, 2011

USCIS...Oh My!!

Today, I am scheduled to receive our approved homestudy via my favorite "big white truck"! I am also hoping for the agency approval letter that has to go with it. If I receive both of those items, I will be overnighting my I800a! When the national office receives this packet, they will issue fingerprint appointments for Richard and I. UGH... Richard has been banned from any hard labor that would, in any way, mess up his hands!! The problem is, that even a simple paper cut could mess things up. I'm going to be a nervous wreck until this appointment is over!!

So....Here's a question...Has anyone ever walked in early to the New Orleans office? Some offices allow you to bring your appointment forms and walk in early. I feel pretty certain that the NO office would not "allow" this. I'm just trying to decide if I have enough nerve to try it. I'm pretty good at playing dumb, so the worst they could tell me is "go away, you're a dumb blonde", right? Richard would, of course, be with me and he's a pretty good salesman so we might just give it a try. Of course, we would bring our secret weapon (Miss W)! She's always seems to put people in a good mood.

I made the comment yesterday that I will now be in the government hands. (Something that makes me nausous to think about) I was corrected, however, and reminded that I am in God's hands. This makes me much more secure and peaceful. Last year when we had that awful experience in the USCIS office, my mom posted this comment:

"The kings heart is like channels of water in the hand of the Lord; He turns it wherever He wishes." Pr. 21:1. That includes government workers and bureaucracy.

I am going to pray this over the packet before I send it off!!

Tuesday, January 4, 2011

Of Course...

We had a little photo shoot yesterday, just because...I love this outfit!! (the dress and leggings are from Hann@ Anders0n, the sweater is from Target) DSC_0155 DSC_0147 DSC_0141 DSC_0171
My main goal with this video was to catch Wesleigh saying "of course" on camera. She says it ALL the time, and always in context. I was trying to figure out where she picked it up from, because I might use it every once in a while, but not all the time. We were driving yesterday and I was listing to Belle (for the millionth time). All of a sudden I realized that they say "of course" constantly! So cute!

OK...I couldn't get the video to do right, so it's in the post under this one.

I was asked where I got her little kitchen. Here's the link. I have to say...I love it! Delivered for way under $200 and it's adorable. It seems to be made really well too. I love that there is so much space to store her "food"!

Also, I've been asked if we're chasing a specific child. We have not identified a child yet. There is someone who has caught my eye, but I need to get logged in first. Our goal is to find a sister for Wesleigh who is the same school age. They will grow up as virtual twins. I figure, if I'm already driving one to dance, I might as well bring two!!

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Monday, January 3, 2011

Time to Get Up!!

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The time has come for this mom to get up!! I can't even remember another time where we have had so many lazy days. There have been multiple days that Wesleigh has not even gotten out of her pjs! It has actually been really nice. Usually, I would be going completely stir crazy by now, but I have really enjoyed it.

I started working on our dossier at the beginning on Nov. and have spent an amazing amount of time and energy working on it. When it was time to start with Christmas decorating, etc. I was totally overwhelmed and had a hard time getting in the Christmas spirit. I was just so distracted. It wasn't until the week before Christmas (when the agencies were pretty much shut down) that I was really able to chill out and enjoy the season. It ended up being a wonderful holiday and I have really been able to relax and enjoy being with my family.

However....I think if I sit on this sofa any longer, my behind is going to grow three sizes! The kids are still out of school, but my agency is open again, the mail will run today and I have NO food in this house!! I need to get off my butt!!!

Many of you have asked where we are in the adoption process. Our homestudy has been reviewed once and, hopefully, will be approved today. That is the last piece I need to send off my I-800a! I am praying for God's favor with the immigration process...hoping things will move quickly and smoothly in all areas! The rest of my dossier is actually complete, so this CIS approval is the last piece!

Thank you all for your sweet comments on our big news! What a blessing it is to have a community of cheerleaders behind us! I'm sure there are many who think we are crazy to bring a 5th child into this family (they have a point ;-)), but I am so thankful to have friends who understand the bigger picture and are so supportive. Thank you all! I can't wait to share this next journey with you!! Hopefully, there will be fewer "freak-out" moments this time around, but I'm not promising anything!!
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