Monday, October 1, 2012

Three years ago today...

Three years ago today a woman I have never met gave birth to a baby girl.  In God's providence this baby girl had Down Syndrome.  Because of this the baby girl was left at the hospital to be given to an orphanage.  That woman never saw that baby girl again.

Two years ago today a family held a garage sale to raise money to adopt that little girl.  I bought a birthday gift for this baby girl that I had never met.  We worked hard that day.  We showed her picture and told her story to every customer that walked up our drive way.

One year ago tomorrow we held that beautiful baby girl in front of our church family and promised to raise her in the fear and admonition of the Lord.  I remembered all we had done to get her.  I felt so much love from our church family and our family standing with us that day.  They had all given so much.  They, too, had loved her from when she was nothing more than a picture.  They had loved me when the times were hard.  I felt so loved and was humbled that they had helped us adopt this wonderful little girl.

This morning I held that beautiful baby girl.  I kissed her good morning. I sang Happy Birthday to her.  I fed her birthday waffles.  She has taught me so much.  She has taught me lessons about myself, about others.  I had no idea I had so much to learn!

I was given a gift three years ago today.  Thank you, unknown woman.  Thank you for walking away.  Thank you for choosing life for this little girl with Down Syndrome.

Happy Birthday, Alice Faith.  You are so wonderful.  You are so smart and funny.  You make me laugh everyday.  My pride in you cannot be measured.  The Lord is using you in ways I can't even fathom.  I love you.

Thursday, January 19, 2012

It's the little things

Alice has taught me so much in the year she's been home.  

I've learned to not underestimate a tiny little girl from an orphanage.

I've learned that, with Alice, it's the little things that excite me the most.

When she learned "Itsy-Bitsy Spider" I almost fainted.

When she learned to sign "Please" I almost wet my pants.

Today, she learned to drink from a straw.  I shouted in the middle of Costco.

And the lady behind me almost fainted and might have wet her pants.

Monday, January 16, 2012

New Skills

Alice has been playing the tie-Henry-up-and-sit-on-him-while-he's-in-the-infant-car-seat game a lot lately.

We're so proud of her new found skills.

Wednesday, January 11, 2012

Dear Alice

Alice Faith.  January 2011.  15 months

Dear Alice,

It's been one year since we busted you out of the orphanage.  We never looked back.  It feels like you've always been a part of us.  Our time in your country of birth seems like a hundred years ago in a weird dream.  I am so grateful for all you've added to our family.

You have been our toughest child yet.  You chewed up most of my furniture.  You have figured out how to climb into the fireplace.  You've tested my mothering skills.  

But you know what?  God has not only been glorified through you and He has blessed us with you being so rewarding as well.  You have this beautiful determination.  Your smile lights up the room. You give the BEST hugs!  And you are learning how to give kisses.  Be still my heart.

Alice Faith.  December 2012. 2 years, 3 months.
Getting to know you was and is such a sweet delight.  Your tastes have changed so much.  One day you'll love eggs.  The next day you throw them on the floor.  One day you'll eat meat.  Next, don't plan on it.  Yes, I've been frustrated.  But, I'm learning how sinful I am.  I'm also learning you.

You have these amazing hands.  I love to look at them and hold them.  Daddy loves your square little body. He loves the way you like to eat.  He loves that when we ask if you are hungry you always sign please.

Your adoption has been the craziest, most wonderful thing.  The Lord has taught us so much during the process and during this year with you being home.  I know people think you are the lucky one.  But, they couldn't be more wrong.

We are the lucky ones.



Monday, January 9, 2012

Have ya missed me?

I know.  I know.

Four months is too long for a blogging break.

If I blamed the crazy busy month of October, would you understand?

Ali had a sedated hearing test (she passed), got glasses (horrible things), and a sedated echo cardiogram (she passed).

Passing the time in the hospital playing "Itsy Bitsy Spider."
All 6 children had dentist appointments.  We had 3 birthdays. I had bi-weekly then weekly midwife appointments.  Yep.  In one month.

Here's Miss Ali in her glasses and birthday hat.

Birthday #2...first one with us.

Thomas also had a birthday...#7.
Daddy had a birthday...#38.

If I blamed having a brand new baby...GIRL, would you understand? Beatrice Adele joined our family November 15th at 2:22 am.  I'll share her wonderful, amazing birth story later.  You'll have to trust that I won't leave ya hanging for months.

If I blamed a kitchen remodel, would you understand?

If I blamed Thanksgiving and Christmas, would you understand?

Ali is doing great.  Her one-year anniversary of being "ours" is in a couple of days.  This past year has been amazing.

We are still getting to know her.  We've learned that she doesn't do change well.  Poor thing.  This past year has been nothing but change.  We've learned that she doesn't like wearing glasses.  We've learned how her little body does with colds.

She's had 3 haircuts.

She's gone from barely rolling over to crawling, standing, pulling up on everything, and taking 1-3 steps at a time.  She's gone from only drinking from a bottle to only eating baby food to now drinking from a sippy cup and not having a full button.  This girl likes to EAT!  We're still working to help her "chew."

She's gone from an orphan to being a big sister!

I am so thankful that Beatrice is a girl!  Her and Alice will be such wonderful friends growing up and beyond.  I now have 5 girls and 2 boys.  Oh man!

I'm still trying to figure out how to manage this group.  I think I will always be trying to figure it out.  I'm trying to find time to blog, ...and knit, ...and put up laundry, ...and homeschool, ...and think!

If I promise to blog more often, will you promise to keep reading?

Wednesday, September 7, 2011

A year ago...

Today, I pinned Alice to the floor and chewed on her belly.  What an amazing thing to do with a baby.  It accomplishes two wonderful things at once:
  1. Makes her of the best sounds in the world.
  2. I get to feel her soft, soft skin.
A year ago, I was unsure this would ever happen.

A year ago, I was drowning in paperwork.

A year ago, I was clinging to God's will that He wanted us to go down this road.

A year ago, she was trapped in an orphanage.

A year ago, she had no future. 

A year ago, she had NO idea that having 3 older sisters and 2 older brothers was this much fun. 

A year ago, I had no idea that having 6 children was this much fun.

Friday, August 19, 2011

All Done!

Miss Alice had her surgery yesterday.  She was a champ!  We arrived at the hospital at 6:15, just like we were told.  And we waited for an hour to have our pre-op interview.

Playing while waiting, waiting, waiting...

They asked the same questions as the other day.  Then we went in another room.  And they asked the same questions as the other day.

In "holding" waiting, waiting, waiting...
Her hospital gown.  It also had shorts.  I'm thinking when she's 8 she should fit into it!
Then we went into "holding."  We were "held" for another hour.  She fell asleep.  I almost finished the book I was reading.  Erin read a good chunk of his.

They finally came and got her to take her back for surgery.  I hurried to find food.  I was HUNGRY!  A fruit bowl and rice crispy treat later (breakfast of champions, I tell ya!) I hurried back for Erin to have a turn.  Almost as soon as he left, they called me up to the front.  They were done!  I called him on the phone and he rushed back.

When I got to her side 3 nurses where standing over her.  I was afraid something was wrong.  Nope, they all thought she was SO cute.  One of them asked if they could take her home.  I smiled and said something cute, I think.  I just wanted to hold my baby.  She was awake and chewing on everything.

They taped her eyes down.  That's why they look bruised.
They let me give her a bottle.  She was hungry too!

The doctor came by to talk to us about how the surgery went.

She said...there was NO fluid behind her left ear and only a little bit behind her right ear.  I just sat there, stunned.  Why did we do this, then? I thought.  Why did we subject her to surgery for nothing? I thought.

Good thing Erin was there, because I had stopped listening to her.  But she went on to say that now when she fails her next hearing test we'll know for sure that it isn't because of fluids.  The only way to know for sure was this surgery.

I don't know how I feel about it all still.  It seems rather extreme.  But, I'm trying not to focus on that and let time tell.

She came home super hyper.  She didn't stop moving all day!  But, she is doing really great.  Like nothing happened.

Thank you for prayers and kind words.