Tuesday, November 26, 2013

The face that changed it all!

This time, one year ago, we got the phone call that changed our family for the better! Our match day!  Our social worker called late that evening (about 10:30pm here but mid-morning in China) to tell us she had locked a file off of the shared list that she thought might be a fit for our family.  Earlier in the day, I received an email letting me know the shared list would be released that night and that our social worker would be in touch if there was a potential match.  I seriously didn't think anything of it and assumed it was a generic message sent to all waiting families.  Our file had only be logged in with China for two weeks and we were expecting a wait of at least a couple of months.  I didn't even mention it to Chad because I was that sure that we wouldn't be matched so quickly.  When an email came through from our worker saying, "call me ASAP," I knew exactly what it meant!  There was no other reason it could be! We reached her on the phone and she gave us a brief description of our potential match and said she would email us her file.  Because the file was coming from the shared list, a list of all available children in the whole country of China that is published once a month and open to all agencies, we could lock the file for only 48 hours before needing to file Letter of Intent paperwork claiming our intentions of adopting that specific child or the file would be released for other agencies to pick up.  Moments later, a file came through on my email and we saw this:

We stared at her pictures and read over every word of the medical file we had.  Needless to say, we didn't go to sleep for quite some time!  We did our due diligence of sending her file to medical professionals in the field of international adoption, but Chad and I were convinced she was the one no matter what we discovered.  By the next night, we were ready to file our paperwork to make sure she would be ours!  

We had prayed all along that the first file we were presented would be "the one" God had for our family.  We knew our social worker and amazing adoption agency were praying the same thing.  We knew God was sovereign over the two countries, multiple government agencies, and all the details involved in the matching process.  He answered our prayers by giving us clarity and assurance that the picture we were looking at was our Lottie Bug!  

Here is our sweet thing today, exactly one year after we first saw her face!

Thank you God for the blessing of our Lottie!

Thursday, October 31, 2013

Fall Firsts

We are having a busy and fun Fall and one that has been full of some "firsts" too.  For blog purposes, the "Fall" will include things that have happened since school started, although it still does not feel like a true Fall here in Mississippi (thanks to 80+ degrees yesterday on 10/30).  

Abigail started K4 and is loving her new teacher and classmates.  She is well on her way to learning to read and I love hearing her sound out words.  I hope she loves reading as much as her Mommy does!

Luke, our resident trouble maker, started back to Mom's Morning Out and we are thankful for his sweet teachers who take good care of him and give this Mommy a break two mornings a week.  He has a great time in the, "big kid room," as he calls it.

Lottie has continued to adjust beautifully to our family and moved into her big girl bed in her shared room with Abigail.  Look how tiny she looks in that huge bed!  She is very proud of herself in it too.

September started her serial casting process to correct her club feet.  She is such a trooper and has taken the casting like a champ.  While she does not love the process of getting new casts every week, she has learned to scoot around a crawl so the casts really aren't slowing her down at all.  The only thing she really seems to miss is her tub baths.  All sponge baths for this girl until we get the casts off for good.  We are on week 8 of the casts and probably have another 5 weeks or so to go.

Abigail lost her first tooth several weeks ago and was SOOOOO excited!  She was very brave as Dad, and then also Mom, helped to pull it.  She was so proud of her tooth fairy owl pillow and loved finding quarters inside the next morning.  She's got a second one just about ready to come out so we are expecting another visit from the tooth fairy soon.

Soccer started back for Abigail and she still seems to love getting out there and playing.  She has learned a good bit this season and has improved in controlling the ball versus just kicking it as hard as she could last year.  

Her cheering section enjoys snacking while she plays!

One last first of the Fall was our family's first trip to the beach!  Abigail had been once when she was one, so this was really the first time she could remember.  They all three loved the sand and water.  Chasing the waves was a favorite and we went at a great time (week after Labor Day) so there was practically no one on the beach.  We are so thankful for kind and generous friends who helped our family have such a fun week together!

I have a bunch of pictures to load off of my camera, so hopefully more blog posts will follow soon!

Monday, October 14, 2013

"The Best Place Ever"

The epic Disney trip has come and gone and I think Abigail and Joshua have fully recovered.  The jury is still out on whether Coach and Nana have recovered!  The trip was a success and A and J could not have had more fun.  Everything Abigail told me about was, "like the best ever!"  She was hilarious recounting everything and is still remembering things to this day that she forgot to tell us.  There are not words strong enough to describe how much fun she had and how much she LOVED it!  She cried on the last day because she didn't want to leave and just thought, "we should all just live here!"  I'll let some of the pictures tell the rest of the story:

Excited about her first airplane ride and a week with her cousin.

They made it!  First glimpse of the Magic Kingdom.

They even ran into Coach's favorite Disney character!

She is so proud of her character autographs.

Abigail's favorite!

Joshua's dream come true!

Sad to be heading home but still all smiles.

Thanks Coach and Nana!!!!  Rest up because Luke and Lottie will be Disney age in two short years!

Wednesday, September 18, 2013

Two Peas in a Pod

Luke and Lottie's relationship has come a LONG way since we first came home from China.  Sweet Luke had a hard time sharing Mommy and Daddy with his newest sister early on and Lottie bonded so quickly with Abigail that he was left out of the play circle a bit with his sisters.  They really seemed to just tolerate each other in the beginning, but my how things have changed.  

The littles, as I often call them, are only six weeks apart in age and seem to mutually enjoy destroying the house.  Luke tends to be the ring leader in mischief but Lottie happily follows his lead.  I clean up one mess to turn around and find them working on another area (or I turn around and don't find them which typically means even more trouble).  

 They have become quite the pair and play very well together now for the most part (as long as they don't want the same toy).  Luke is so sweet and often scoots along on his bottom next to Lottie just like she does so they can play together.  Other times, he tackles her and knocks her over just like he does his big sister!  It is so fun watching them become good buddies knowing they will be growing up like twins (just twins that look nothing alike, ha!).