Wednesday, January 13, 2016

Almost there!

This week was one of big news! We got our travel date that tells us when we have to be in country (in February) and we committed to pursuing the adoption of a tiny little guy with down syndrome in addition to 'Ivey'. 

It is going to be a busy couple of weeks as we pack and prepare and head out of town! We're taking the kids with us (6 weeks is a long time to be apart!) and calling it a family adventure. We'll be spending that time both in the capital city for paperwork, and in the region both kids are in for meeting, bonding, and court. We won't get custody until the last couple of weeks, but I'll be meeting them within the first few days of being there, so I'll have time to get to know them. 

Preparations for 'Ivey' are well underway, her bed is set up and made, and bedroom decor is bought, just need to hang it. We have a wheelchair that I periodically drive through the house to help the kids learn to keep the floor clear. We'll have to take the chair with us to pick her up and bring her home. People at the airport when I went to Hong Kong thought I was strange for traveling with an empty stroller, I can only imagine what they'll think when we're pushing an empty wheelchair.

For the little guy, we haven't prepared quite as much, having just decided to pursue his adoption. But as a baby, he'll need less. The kids have been looking forward to having a big sister, and are thrilled to find out that they'll also be getting a little brother, especially Jeb. He's already planning where all of the baby things can go in his room. Baby brother will actually be in our room for quite awhile, but I'm glad he's excited to share :)

One of the big topics around the house today is what to name the brother. Suggestions from the kids include Jaden, Jackapher, Jadaniel, and Jebriel 2. We may need to keep thinking :)

Thursday, March 5, 2015

Christmas 2014-maybe our most dramatic yet!

Last year we started a new tradition where we have our Christmas Eve the night before actual Christmas Eve. They wake up on Christmas Eve, we do our family Christmas nice and slow, and then we're ready to house hop on real Christmas Day. 

So here we are on Christmas Eve Eve, in their Christmas pajamas. We also made the decision last year to stop buying matching pajamas for everyone. We knew at the time that by this Christmas we'd have 4 kids, and new matching pajamas x4 starts to add up! We have a local kid's resale shop that always has a Christmas pajama section, so I just pick from there and make sure there's red and green on it-good to go!

First American Christmas

Another tradition-the kids get to sleep in our room the night before. It used to be because we wrapped presents right outside their bedrooms, but they look forward to it all year so we'll keep doing it.

I got to hang the stockings this year instead of just laying them on the couch!

Ready to come down the stairs!

Christmas Eve Service at church

On Christmas day, we went to Eric's brother's house for lunch and presents with that side of the family, and then to my parents' house for my side of the family. I don't have a lot of pictures of that because Jubilee suddenly had a temperature spike and a febrile seizure. She's had them before, so we already had a prescription for a medication to stop the seizures. We used both doses we had and they didn't stop the seizure, so we ended up having to call for an ambulance. She started coming out of her seizure as they worked on her, but they wanted to take her to the hospital anyway to get checked out. Eric went with her so I could stay back with the other kids, and when she was stabilized and almost ready to be discharged, I went up to hang out and bring them home.
So no photo memories from that day, but I don't think any of us will ever forget it!!

A couple of sledding pictures

Tuesday, December 30, 2014

2014 Highlights

2014 was a pretty big year! 

In January, we celebrated 2 years of Jeb being home with us! 

Then in February, he lost his first tooth! 

March was a big one, my first time flying alone, to a country I'd never visited before, to meet my daughter and bring her home.

Another highlight for me-visiting Hong Kong Disney!

And becoming a family of 6

We celebrated Journey's 4th birthday late because I was in Hong Kong on her birthday

Eric's birthday at the zoo in April

Vivi turned 5 in May

In June and July we went on our 10 day road trip through the East Coast

Also in July, we celebrated 7 years of wedded bliss!

In August, we started construction on our house

After a lot of thought, we decided to put Vivi in a young 5's preschool program 

And Jeb turned 7

Vivi lost her first tooth

I finally got my wish for a group Halloween costume for the kids

Jubilee turned 3 in November! She was sick on her birthday, but still managed to enjoy herself

We finalized Jubilee's adoption

And the day before Christmas Eve, we had our last inspection and clearance to move into the upstairs of our house! 

I have another post ready to go about Christmas so I won't include that in this post. Big big year! Next year promises to be just as big with travels to Texas and a country in Europe for our adoption already in the works. We have been unbelievably blessed this year and wish the best for all of you in the coming year!

Trimming the tree

The house wasn't done when we usually decorate for Christmas, but we managed to get all of the construction stuff out of the front room so we could decorate it. It felt so nice to finally have a room that didn't have 5 gallon buckets, boxes of nails, wood, tools...all the reminders that we were still living in the middle of it all. For my Christmas present, Eric let me pick out new decor for that room. We didn't have much in it before, a hand-me-down couch, a kids art desk, and some toys. I hadn't found window treatments that I liked for the bay window, and with the staircase taking up space in the room, our hand-me-down couch felt way too big. My parents watched the kids so we could do our Christmas shopping for them, and while we were out I took advantage of a Target coupon for 40% off some curtains and a rug I had been eyeing for awhile. 

Anyway, here's some pictures of the kids trimming the tree

I didn't know what Jubilee would do with a Christmas tree full of ornaments, so we decided to leave it for a few days without decorations. The kids were bummed about that, and remembered that I had found a roll of streamers and put it by the basement stairs to be taken down for the party supply bin. They asked if they could decorate the tree with it, and then they made some paper ornaments

Her face when we turned on the lights for the first time

And the finished product, complete with curtains after 3 years of living here!

Thursday, December 11, 2014

Finally final!

2 weeks ago, we stood in front of a judge and promised to love and care for Jubilee forever, and she became legally ours! She has been home for 8 1/2 months so it didn't change anything, other than that now we can post her picture on the internet!!

It was a really nice ceremony, it took place on National Adoption day so it was a big to-do. Lots of judges were there and a ton of other people, including a couple I recognized from the political ads from the recent election. Richard Bernstein was there, which was cool to show Journey a successful person with 2 blind eyes who doesn't let his disability slow him down.

There were 6 families adopting 9 children that day, it was really fun to be a part of it. It ran a little long, with so many important people wanting to make statements, but finally every family had their turn with the judge, and then it was party time!

There was a photographer taking photos of the newly finalized families, and then we were escorted down to a reception area full of balloons, centerpieces, food, and bags of gifts for everyone.