Friday, October 19, 2012

Fall Fun

Ava, my mom, my good friend Shannon (aunt Shannon to the kids) went to Conner Prairie in September.  It was the first time for all of us to go there.  We had a lot of fun and enjoyed the beautiful day.  Shannon, Ava and myself are history lovers, so we really enjoyed learning as we went.  The hot air balloon was running that day so we all decided to go for a ride.  You can't tell it from the picture, but Ava had fun.  She was just a little nervous being so high up....just a mere 350' up!

When Reid came home, he was terrified of grass.  He wouldn't step on it to save his life.  However, over the past 18 months of him being home, he has made progress.  Nature is now his friend!  He loves to play in the woods with sticks and play in the leaves! 

Thursday, August 9, 2012

Reid's 1st hike

This weekend we went up to Pokagon to take the kids for a hike.  We wanted to see how they would do.  Ava packed her backpack full of essentials (drinks, snacks, and bandaids).  She carried it the whole time without complaint.  We started out on the hike about 5:30 pm thinking it would be getting cooler outside.  But it didn't.  It was still 95 degrees.  It was way too hot to be out hiking.  We only ended up going 2.5 miles.  But Reid did great!  He had to be carried up a couple hills, but other than that, he ran and walked the whole way.  When the weather is cooler, we know we can go back and hit the 6 mile trail!  Reid also got to swing on a tire swing for the first time.  He loved that too.

Thursday, June 21, 2012

Birthday Party

This year Reid and Ava shared a birthday party (since their birthdays are 1 month apart).  They loved it.  It made it seem more like a party and it was easier for everyone all around.    Reid had an Elmo cake and Ava wanted Barbie.  Reid got some nice things.  He got a pirate ship, an Elmo backpack, a magna doodle, a Thomas the train and outside toys.  Ava is into Barbie, so she got lots of Barbie dolls, clothes and play sets.  Even a Barbie laptop. Her prize possession is a Pilot Barbie!  Ava wants to be a pilot when she grows up!  Then the kids got a 10' blow up pool to share.  They live in this pool!  SO hard to imagine Ava is 6 already and Reid is 2.  Wow!  

Friday, May 4, 2012

You Know You're An Int'l Adoptive Parent When . . .

You Know You're An Int'l Adoptive Parent When . . .

1. The fact that there are 143 million children without a parent to kiss them goodnight has made you lose sleep.

2. You realize DNA has nothing to do with love and family.
3. You can't watch Adoption Stories on TLC without sobbing.

4. The fact that, if 7% of Christians adopted 1 child there would be no orphans in the world, is convicting to you.

5. You spend free time surfing blogs about families who have experienced the blessing of adoption.

6. It drives you crazy when people ask you about adopted child's "real" parents.

7. You have ever been "pregnant" with your adoptive child longer than it takes an elephant to give birth. (2 years!)

8. You had no idea how you would afford to adopt but stepped out in faith anyway, knowing where God calls you He will provide.

9. You have ever taken an airplane ride half-way around the world with a child you just met.

10. You believe God's heart is for adoption.

11. You realize that welcoming a child into your heart and family is one of the most important legacies you could ever leave on this earth.

12. You know what the word "Dossier" means, and you can actually pronounce it!

13. You have welcomed a social worker into the most private parts of your life.

14. You shudder when people say your child is so lucky that you adopted them, knowing full well you are the blessed one to have him or her in your life.

Sunday, April 22, 2012

Reid's little giggle

My friend, Elisabeth Read, got this Cookie Monster toy for Reid for his upcoming birthday on May 24.  I laughed so hard when I discovered that Elisabeth sent it 1 month early...and she didn't think she was early.  She thought it was May.   ha ha.  :)  Reid loves this toy and won't put it down.  I made this video as a thank you to Elisabeth so she could see Reid enjoying his present.  And Ava is saying hello too.

Monday, April 16, 2012

4 years and counting....

4 years ago, this week, is when we got the news we'd never thought we were going to get.  The Embassy issued us our pink slip with our Embassy date on it.  We could travel to Guatemala and bring Ava home!!  What an incredibly hard fight we fought.  4 sets of lawyers, stolen dossier, blackmail, extortion, our adoption agency going MIA for a couple months at a time, etc.  Once we got to our hotel, The Westin Camino Real, we waited.  We didn't have any contact info or know what we were supposed to do.  It was a very uneasy feeling.  But, 2 hours later our room phone rings.  On the other end was our lawyer who only spoke Spanish, and then there was Craig on the other end who spoke no Spanish at all.  He pieced together what was said and figured out that he was coming to meet us in the hotel lobby in 1 hour.  We didn't know what he looked like.  There were many professional type people always strolling through the lobby.  And then we knew we saw our guy.  Here he comes in a powder blue leisure suit.  Oh boy.  After paperwork was done and money was exchanged, he called our foster family and told them to bring Ava to us.  We very calmly waited for Ava to arrive.  We looked out of the hotel windows in the lobby and then we saw her!  Maria, her foster mom, carried her up to our hotel room.  We'd waited 2 years to hold Ava in our arms, but yet we knew we didn't dare reach out to her.  She needed to come to us.  Our hotel room was a suite, so once Ava walked into the other room, Maria and her kids left our hotel room in a flash.  They wanted to make a clean break from Ava, but you could hear them sobbing in the hallway.  And then it was just Craig and I and Ava.  Oh my.  It felt really strange to suddenly have a child.  We decided to get dinner in the hotel.  We went downstairs and Ava was very quiet.  She quietly ate turkey, bacon and french fries.  We went back upstairs and gave her a bath.  She fell asleep immediately afterwards.  Man, we thought this was too easy.  It was.  Starting the next day, the grieving began but only lasted for 1 month.  I can not wait for the day I can return to Guatemala.  I miss it terribly.  I can not wait to experience it through Ava's eyes!

Friday, April 13, 2012

Swimming Lessons

Ava started a 5 week swimming lesson program.  It meets 2x's per week for 30 minutes each session.  Lessons are being held at Norwell High School.  I love the fact that she's learning to swim where I learned to swim and went to school.  Ava is loving it.  Right now the instructors are focusing a lot on kicking.  Ava needs all the help she can get.  lol!  If there is a summer program I will probably put her in that one too.

Wednesday, March 21, 2012

What a difference a year makes

1 year ago today our phone rang and it was the call we'd been waiting on.  Our travel call!  We could go get Reid!  He was legally able to enter the U.S. as our son.  We wasted no time.  We made hotel reservations and got plane tickets and were off to the airport within hours!  Nothing was going to stop us!  My good friend Elisabeth Read and her husband also got their travel call on the same day.  And they flew out within hours too!  We stayed at the same hotel in Seoul....the Ramada Hotel & Suites Namdaemun.  Great hotel and great location.  Too bad I didn't get a single picture of it!  ugh!  We were able to see Reid for the first time about 36 hours after landing in Seoul.  We were so blessed to have been able to spend a week with Elisabeth and go on unforgettable adventures....going to the DMZ, Seoul Tower, Itaewan, Insadong, Namdaemun market, Starbucks (every single day), walking dark allies at night, not knowing how to pay our cabbie, being stranded at the top of a mountain at night in the freezing cold, watching the guys eat mystery food, our tour guide Summer, and having our babies Reid and Annelise meet and eat their first meal together--waffles, etc, etc.  Lifelong friends were made.  It doesn't seem real that Reid has been home for 1 year.  Time has really flown by!

State Park

We took the kids to the state park in Bluffton this past weekend.  It was a beautiful day.  Reid saw the bison for the first time and he loved them.  He called them, "big Eddie's".  He was fascinated by them.  Then we went over to the playground and Reid went on a slide for the first time.  Love at first sight.  The kid is fearless.  He threw himself down the curly slide all by himself.  Craig would catch him at the bottom and Reid would say, "more!".  Ava enjoyed being able to run free and play too.

Friday, February 17, 2012

Gifts from Korea

Reid's foster family sent him a package from Korea.  Reid got a couple Korean match box cars, the foster daughter made 2 airplanes out of a foamy modeling material (she made Korean Air and Asiana Airlines), the foster mom knitted me a scarf and Ava got some stickers.  We also got a letter from them in English!  That was a treat!  We are in the process of making a dvd for the family to watch of Reid.