Friday, May 29, 2015

Photo Dump!

Spring Break 2015

Dance Picture Day


Winter Family Trip

Daddy and his babies

Time to open presents

At Brother's Bowling Party - April

War Eagle

Kid's Night At Church

Rose's Baptism - Mother's Day 2015

Paul Vincent's First Communion - May 2015

Beautiful Day for a Baptism

Pretty Girl Ready to Open Gifts - March 2015

Dance friends

Memorial Day Weekend 2015

Cute Curly Girl

Dance Recital Day - May 2015

Tuesday, January 6, 2015

HAPPY 2015!!!

A new year! A new outlook! No more fear and stress over adoption! Woohoo! For 2 years we played the game of international adoption and I am SO glad that we can start fresh with a new year and our new (and improved) family!

I can honestly say that after 6 months with Rose and 5 months home as a family - life is good! It has definitely taken that time to 'mesh' together. Some days with three kids are tough, but most are great. Overall, the kids love each other and are nice more than they are at each other's throats. Ha!

The holiday season was absolutely beautiful - from Thanksgiving to Christmas. We have all loved watching Rose discover the wonders of the season with a family. We went to see Christmas lights, spent a lot of time with family (cousins galore), talked about Baby Jesus' birthday and we are still enjoying our gifts. We spent New Year at the beach... and the boys ended up suffering through some illness that was VERY much like the flu.

Rose started 'school' this week. She will be doing an ABA program and after two days under her belt, I think that she LOVES it. I love the 2 hours that I get to myself and she gets a bit of a schedule. We will be adding in some time at our local elementary school in a few weeks. I love being able to start her a little at a time. It's just what she needs - no way either one of us was ready for 7 hours, 5 days a week!

Here are a few photos (the best part, I know)...

Wednesday, October 1, 2014

Happy Down Syndrome Awareness Month!

Our sweet girl is SO MUCH MORE than a diagnosis. She is full of potential and spunk! Today she showed everyone she came across how GREAT she is and that you should never limit her to her diagnosis. This month I will share some things that make Rose, well, ROSE!

Today is also the feast day of Saint Therese , the little flower. You might wonder why I would mention this...

Saint Therese was well known for her "little way". I see that our Rose will lead others to love Jesus, showing others to Him with her sweet smiles and happy personality. If you haven't read about Saint Therese, you really should follow that link (above)!

Rose’s FAVORITE Things
October 1, 2014
Fruit: avocado
Veggie: green beans
Meat: hamburger
Sweet: birthday cake
Drink: apple juice
TV Show: Blues Clues
Toy: riding toys
Indoor Activity: playing iPad
Outdoor Activity: riding in the driveway with her brothers
Vacation Spot: the beach
Animal: her pet gerbil, Itsy

Friday, August 8, 2014

First times for everything!

There is so much to do! Nearly everything is a first. Wednesday, we went to Target to look for C's favorite drink (no luck). Then to the park where big brother pushed the littles in the swings. We stopped afterwards at the gas station for some icees. Then we played in the baby pool and sprinklers! So many first things.

Thursday we took a trip to Spring Valley Beach water park. We all really enjoyed the time spent together on a VERY hot day. There was something for everyone. No lines or waiting, either. A great place to go when you are trying to find something for some good family time. Afterwards, we went to Cracker Barrel. What a fun day!

Today the boys 'meet the teacher' at school. I cannot believe that I will be taking my boys to school on Monday! What a blessing. I am forever grateful to be home.

THIS is why I couldn't wait to get my girlie HOME!!!

Monday, August 4, 2014

How can I put this into words?

I am very sorry for the lack of post in the past few days. I have been trying to figure out how to put my feelings into words. I have realized that sometimes, words do not have the power to express some thoughts. Certain things only God can truly understand. Only God has the power to write such beautiful thoughts and ideas...

A week or so ago, I dreamed an idea. I told my boys that I was hoping to be home in time to go to mass with them on Sunday, the 3rd of August. The thought made me filled with joy. Filled with hope. It had been six Sundays since we had been to mass together. Six Sundays of mass in Spanish - grateful to know that they were hearing the same readings, but feeling somewhat lost in another language. Last Sunday I was so grateful - I was able to pull up the readings for mass on my phone and read along in English. I was also able to understand some of what the priest was saying in his homily. I always prayed to be able to understand enough to learn the lessons that were coming across. God heard my prayer.

In fact, God heard every prayer. He knew just what I wanted. He knew just what I needed. He heard the prayers of Paul, the prayers of my children, the prayers of our family and friends. He moved mountains, when they seemed so tall and overwhelming. He calmed fears, so dark and sorrowful. He sent me messages of love through the people who prayed. He sent angels in the form of strangers, helping when we couldn't understand the language.

Constantly consoling. Constantly reassuring. Constantly loving.

Then it happened. Just like that. We were going home. HOME!

Friday started like every day. Just any ordinary day, but with potential. God was ready.

I had heard from the embassy that the visa system was up and running, but that they weren't sure if we would get the visa that day or perhaps Monday, the 4th. That sounded great to me. We can muster patience to get us until Monday!

We arrived at the US embassy and took our spot to wait. Name is called. Presented our documents. News is, the system is working. Tears. Many tears. We wait for our appointment. Name is called.

We walked up to the window. God walks right in. The person working in the window says, "Hey! What part of Birmingham are you from? I'm from Mnt. Brook!" WHAT?!?!?!? Our interviewer, is from less than a MILE from our home. It's at times like that when you feel like you want to fall of the ground. Or fly. Or cry. Or maybe laugh. Anyway, it's something that you can't believe - yet you believe because of God. Only God. And He loves you. He loves you so much that you can't believe it or put it into words. And it's like you know it. Then. Right there in front of the US embassy, with the flag flying high above you. The flag that never quite meant the same to you as it does now. Because you have learned that it's a blessing. Freedom. Beauty. Life.

And a little girl gets to live there. A little girl gets to go home to a new life. In less than an hour from arriving to the embassy, we have her visa.

Packing in the room (like I have never packed before) was thrilling! Who cares if it's a mess. We are GOING HOME. Paul goes downstairs to call Delta. By the time he gets back to the room, I am finished. But God is not.

Paul sits and hints of news. Good news. We have our flight. We have our tickets. Three seats left on the flight, and we have them. Change fees waved. God moved within the man on the phone, who makes three seats appear. Together. In first class. For the price of one seat in first class. Who can make this stuff up?!?!? Only God. A big, giant, loving HUG FROM GOD!

In just a few hours, the three of us were headed to the airport. And just like the details from earlier in the day, things just fell into place. We got our tickets, we got through security (without paying our taxes!), boarded our flight and in just a few hours we were HOME!

What a dream. It's such a beautiful story to share. Only God could have written it. It was perfect. I'm so happy to be able to share this story. His story. The story of a God that loves a little girl so much that He had to make it special. Up to the very last detail.

Yesterday, the 3rd of August, we went to mass as a family of five for the very first time. It was perfect.

Tuesday, July 29, 2014

Today's Update

Does today's require an apostrophe? Hum.

This morning I picked up her passport. Yippee for passport success!!

The visa appointment is scheduled - Friday at 1:30. PLEASE pray that we actually receive her visa Friday afternoon. Chances are that we won't... the visa system is so wacky right now. If we do not get it on Friday, I suppose the next chance will be Monday (unless they are working through the weekends to catch up - which they might).

We go for our IDs (so we can leave Colombia without a pretty steep fine) tomorrow morning. We have her TB test check at 1:30, along with two extra vaccines. Thursday we will go to the ICBF for some conformity letter. Not really sure what it is, and I don't really care. They will also have a form for us to fill out reviewing our process... Do they really want to know?


I'm trying to learn how to enjoy the last few days of 'peace' before heading home SOON. It's hard - I yearn for my schedule of laundry, dishes, grocery runs, etc...

Watching my little girl jump to her daddy in the pool after FIGHTING for her for 2 1/2 years is emotional. I'm glad for this time we have had with her. It's very special. I hope I can enjoy these last few days and soak in some great memories without stressing out about what day it will be that we can leave.

Soon... very soon...

Sunday, July 27, 2014

What's Next?

Tomorrow the beginning of a race begins.

We will go for Rose's TB test, her passport as well as our cedullas (Colombian ID). I'm very excited. It's a day we will be our doing interesting things and hopefully get everything done on the list. Maybe more.

I have been looking forward to this week for a very long time.

I'm not sure if we will have anything planned for Tuesday - I guess it depends on what we get done tomorrow.

Wednesday we go for the TB test check and I think we also go for her embassy doctor appointment. At least, I hope we do. Once we have the embassy doctor appointment, we can make the embassy visa appointment. I think they do appointments 24 hours in advance - and that's why I really want to have her physical on Wednesday - that makes the potential for going home next weekend MUCH greater. If we can't get the visa appointment Thursday or Friday, we are definitely stuck until next week. That's not terrible, but, well...

Update: We might actually have her embassy physical tomorrow - which means we will hopefully be able to schedule her visa appointment for Thursday... EXCELLENT!