Tuesday, May 29, 2012

A Year Later

What a difference a year makes...

Last year, during Memorial Day weekend, we met our children for the first time. It was raining heavily and they came to us wet, apprehensive and very quiet. Of course it didn't take them long to have fun and play. But looking at the pictures from our first moments together, I can see the fear in their faces.

9 months later they joined our family forever. Now, home for 3 months and I can't believe they are the same children. Healthy and embracing their new lives with such determination. Today Kofi told me:"Mommy, Kofi stay here for 20 years!" which to him means forever. What a sweet boy.

So today, I will celebrate all that has unfolded over the last year!

Friday, May 25, 2012


the warm weather has arrived. We spend so much time in our backyard and enjoy all things summer:

And running around in swimsuits:

And eating more ice cream than we really should:

And of course riding on Daddy's mower:

Just two more weeks and school's out!!!

Monday, May 21, 2012

Sharing our Adoption Story

After Kofi and Agyeiwaa joined our family, it was pretty obvious to those around us how our family came together. The children don't share my pasty white complexion and they still have their exotic West African accents. I have loved sharing about adoption and our story with many people that have asked about us. And every time I know that this journey was a calling that brought two children in need of a family together with a family who needed them probably even more.

Last Sunday, our pastor shared our adoption story during Mother's Day services. He asked us questions ahead of time and I prayed that each answer reflected our hearts accurately.. He told the story beautifully, focusing on our journey more than our children's story. It wasn't a story about how great we are for adopting, but how this journey has changed our lives. For the better.

In hearing him tell our story and in reflecting  on everything that happened, I know that I needed this. All of this. Even the tough days when I feel like I can't be everything to every child. In caring for my family, I get to witness how God heals hearts, how he makes something beautiful out of tragedy. We are slowly finding a new normal and now find ourselves wondering: what's next? We just can't live life as it was, for ourselves. Our eyes have been opened...

Monday, May 14, 2012

First Mother's Day as an adoptive Mommy

Yesterday, I was able to celebrate my first Mother's Day as a Mommy to 4 children and as an adoptive mother. The reason I mention that, is because it brought on all kinds of new emotions that I have never experienced before. Kofi and Joy have never celebrated this holiday, and I felt sad telling them that this was a day for ME. Their first mother was on my mind all day, I felt so sad that she wasn't able to hold her precious children. Instead, I was the proud Mommy who was able to participate in a child dedication at our church. Somehow all that felt unfair.

Me and my girls after church

The dedication was beautiful. Our pastor is waiting to travel to China to meet and bring home his baby girl soon and we were so blessed to have him dedicate our little ones. This week, they even shared our adoption story as this week's message was on Micah 6:8. We felt so loved and our children felt accepted.

My handsome boys acting silly
 We enjoyed brunch after the dedication and spent the rest of the day relaxing outside. As I reflected on the past year, I am so grateful for the journey. Even when I waited. It was hard, excruciating, heart wrenching and trying. But we made it. And each day, I see my children growing closer to each other. It's beautiful.

Jake's Taekowndo tournament the day before Mother's Day

Friday, May 4, 2012


Last weekend, Eric and I had our first dinner out without the children. Nearly 11 weeks of togetherness and I felt ready to take a little time for the two of us. I knew the right person for the task, she teaches at Jake's old preschool and can handle all kinds of situations. And the dinner would last maybe just over an hour.

 Impromptu dance party

I told all the children that day of the plan for the day. I have figured out how early to tell Kofi something so he is prepared for the change in routine but not too early where he will start to worry about it. We talked what he would be doing, how fun it would be and Jake was even explaining to him how fun Ms Sheila is. I was so proud of how concerned Jake was in making his brother comfortable.

When she arrived, I could tell Kofi was starting to feel anxious. Without going into details, he was trying to prevent us from leaving. To someone else, the behavior wouldn't have seemed like anything big, but to me it was big enough to do something about.

I took Kofi to his room, we sat on the floor and talked. I once again told him what we were going to do, but none of that was making a difference. Finally I cradled his face into my hands and I told him: "I am not going to leave you. I promise, I will be back". Suddenly, the wall broke down and he gave me the tightest hug and tears welled up in his eyes. Thank you God for giving me the right words to reach him. Not just because I desperately needed some time with hubby but for Kofi's sake as well.

Kofi loves to play baby
We are learning daily about our children's triggers. Without knowing everything about their past, this seems like detective work and sometimes the task seems impossible. Without prayer, it would be impossible. Each child has their own triggers and the ways that they show their grief and fear. I am beginning to learn how to recognize their triggers before complete melt downs happen and most days we succeed. We are building trust and I feel more like their Mommy who knows their hearts.