Friday, December 12, 2008

For credit...

When I'm dead and gone (parenting 3 year old and 12 year old girls simultaneously is sure to put me in an early grave) I would like it noted that I tried to be fun. It rarely worked, but I tried.
"We" made Christmas cookies this week. The kids did all the work on their own. They did an awesome job! I did help with the eating. I do what I can...

Sunday, December 7, 2008

Sophie Bear

Julie brought this bear for Sophie at Thanksgiving. It is the softest, sweetest little bear. It has 2 different textures to it and has the China flag on it's foot! It is a great celebration of Sophie's Chinese heritage and is another way that we have been able to embrace the story of how Sophie came to be a part of our family! We are always looking for natural ways to talk about our journey to Sophie. This bear provides us another way. We can point to the flag and say this is China and Sophie
will tell us that is where she was born.
Please check out these awesome bears and other great items here!

I got this report from a woman with our agency, who went to visit her baby in Ethiopia. She sent a few pictures and this info. It is so great to have the smallest details about someone who has become such a huge part of our lives in a such a short while. I think this is what she is referring to by the eyebrows : )

Awate is delightful. He's tiny, tiny, tiny. Can on occasion be a little fussy. But usually only crying when he's hungry. He's like a little man complete with a HEAD just full of hair. When he's concentrating, cutest thing in the world ... he knits his eyebrows together you can just imagine how he will DO THE EXACT SAME thing when he's an adult. The nannies say he's very serious. He's got gorgeous soft skin and a KILLER smile. He loves the belly rub and and ear message. He gets the giggles. Very sweet little boy. Hope this helps.

Thursday, December 4, 2008

Two Years!!

Two years ago today we met Sophie Mei for the first time! What a difference two years can make! We all fall more in love with her everyday...

Monday, December 1, 2008

Micah's room

Julie decorated Sophie and Micah's room this weekend. I'd like to say she helped me, but I was the assistant - I am clueless. She isn't a decorator, but she could play one on tv. It turned out so cute.

I've got a few more details to fill in on the changing table/dresser, but I love it so far! Thanks JuJu!!


Rob, Julie, Caleb, Josie, Rylie and Caden came to spend Thanksgiving with us. We were reminded daily (literally by Julie - that we have babies waiting for us in an orphanage in Ethiopia). Their absence was felt. We can't wait to spend next Thanksgiving with you Cruz and Micah. We had such a relaxing Thanksgiving. Most of us never even got out of our jammies! Dan and Rob got up early and ran the turkey trot. The race proved to be easier than locating the car after the race...those two are quite a pair.

Tuesday, November 11, 2008

The CALL!!!

We got the call yesterday!!! This was our first "call" really. With our first adoption, we choose Sophie from a list of children (weird and distasteful - I know), so WE called them. We would have had a "call" for our travel approval but I had a little problem at that time. If I'm honest, there was nothing little about my problem. I figured out (with the help of my enabling adoption friends) that I could call DHL and track packages from Beijing to our agency. I called pretty regularly. So, I knew that our travel approval was on it's way to our agency before our agency. I told you I had a problem. I went to therapy - I'm over it. Just kidding - about the therapy.

Back to yesterday. The kids and I were on our way home from running some errands. We have all been fighting nasty cold/sinus infection crud around here, so Dan was on his way home early. Keep in mind that early is a relative term. It was 4:45ish. My cell phone rang just as I was turning into our neighborhood. I noticed the 781 area code. My heart did a little jump, but I figured it was just a call about paperwork since it was late in the day. Maryanne asked how I was and then said that I was about to be even better. I did the customary "No!No!No!" Not sure what that is about - not like I've been waiting for this for 15 months or anything. To quote Makenzie "My mom then became the most patient person in the world". Overstatement, maybe. I told Maryanne that since Dan was home I would call her back when he could be on the call. She very graciously says that she won't get on the phone and will answer when I call back. A nicer person would have left it there. I had to throw in "Don't make me keep calling you - answer your phone". As if she didn't just say that. It was the crazy talking. We all went running in the house looking for Dan. NOT HERE! We tracked him down at a friends house and the rest is history.

Our baby boy was born on September 20, 2008. He is only 7 weeks old and is the most beautiful little thing.

I gave you a little glimpse up at the top - who am I kidding? Anyone reading this either has or will email me for a full picture. We are so happy and a little in shock! Bring on the travel!!!

Tuesday, October 28, 2008

Big Day!!

"A boy that is 0-18 months old 8/8/2007"

Our agency puts out a list of who is next on the waiting list. Guess who it is?? US! We are next on the list for an infant boy! We are cautiously optimistic!

Rob and Julie got the call yesterday. We were all floored. After waiting for 15 or so months, it seems like a good concept, but not reality. I can't post pictures, but take it from me. He is adorable!!

We're next...we're next!!!

Sunday, October 5, 2008

My baby is 3! - but don't worry there's another on the way!

We celebrated Sophie's 3rd birthday quietly this year. She was sick on her birthday which is so sad because for the last 5 months whenever anyone told her no about anything she would reply "Maybe for my birthday?". She was just so excited for that day. She woke up just not feeling well. She was mostly over it by that evening. We celebrated on Sunday evening at the park with family. Check our her mosquito bites on her forehead while she is "working" on her computer. She is a favorite among the flying pest population.

The first picture is Sophie on her 2nd birthday. Her hair is growing - just slowly. We've had such a great year with our little girl. She has changed so much in one year. She LOVES Dora and all things Dora. She says that she is Boots. The rest of us are assigned different roles on different days. Her brother and sister are head over heels in love with her. I would have thought that after 2 years the honeymoon would be over. Not even close. She just has a way of winning people over. She is just such a sweet, funny, smart little girl.

I spoke with one of our social workers at our agency. She thinks we will have our referral for our little baby boy before the end of the year! We are excited and anxious to see his face for the first time!

Friday, September 19, 2008


Read this post on my sister's blog.

She says it better than I can...

Watch for details... we've got some stuff "blowing in"

Saturday, September 13, 2008

First Day - not really, but I forgot to take pictures before...

Seth has quite a progression of happiness. Let's just say that there was a bodily function involved in the cracking up in the last picture -- it's big in the 10 year old crowd.


There are a couple GREAT blogs that I read. They serve to keep my perspective in line. I am sitting here listening to the rain fall. In the back of my mind are these families that have been displaced - they can't hop in the car and move to a safe location. Their lives were far more difficult than mine will ever be. Please pray and consider donating to this very worthy cause.

I know that the LORD secures justice for the poor and upholds the cause of the needy. Psalm 140:12

RHFH Rescue Center

Click on the name above to see what awesome work they are doing and what destruction they have seen from the hurricanes.

Thursday, September 11, 2008


Sophie had her first day of pre-school today. She was so cute, I could hardly stand it.

Tuesday, September 9, 2008

Home School

Apparently, I am funnier in my own head. I know, I know, that goes without saying. We decided to home school again this year. We home schooled for the '005/'06 year. Last year the kids went back to public school, but we really felt like we should give it another go. Anyway, I have an ongoing joke with some ladies about home school moms wearing denim jumpers and being a little socially awkward. I know it isn't nice - if you know me that is no surprise. So, I was meeting said ladies for lunch. I decided to take a trip to the resale shop first. I arrived in my denim jumper and bow in my hair. They were pretty shocked and didn't really know what to say. Again, I am funnier in my head. Oh well, I got a good laugh out of it.
- A few random pics. I will take a few more in the next couple days.

Saturday, August 23, 2008


Sophie says "AAAACHHHOOOO"

"Someping made my nees"

Translation: Something made me sneeze

Super cute!

Friday, August 22, 2008

Adoption Update

There really is no update to speak of, but I fear my little man will look back on this blog one day and wonder if we thought of him. The answer is YES!! Every single day, sweet boy. I write things on my calendar wondering if today will be the day that you are born half way across the world. I wonder what your first mommy is going through right now. What decisions she is making and turmoil she is feeling. I think about our trip to finally meet you, the day we first see your face, what you will look like, what name you've been given. Though it's hard for us to wait for you and some days I get frustrated and irritated with the waiting, it's important for me to remember the journey you are one with your first family and not wish away the days for you to be together with them. We are waiting here for you though, sweet boy. When the time is right, the Lord will bring us together.

your mommy

Friday, August 15, 2008

Happy Birthday Kenzie K!!!!

The three of us the day after Makenzie Joy Neal entered the world and 12 years later. I look slightly less Asian right? She is a joy and a blessing to our family! We love you sweet girl!

Wednesday, August 13, 2008


We had a great time at camp last week. Makenzie and Seth were campers. Dan counseled for Seth's cabin. Sophie and I did a little work, but mostly play. Dan is finally caught up on his sleep. He had a long week with little sleep, but still says that he would do it again, so it can't be all bad right?

Thursday, August 7, 2008

Good News!

Makenzie's Dr finally called on Tuesday to say that there was no sign of a tumor. He wondered why I had left him a message - "was she having problems?" Ummm - no, that would be me having problems waiting for you to call. Next time I will know that no news is good news! Thanks for all of you who have been praying for us. I hope to be a more faithful waiter next time!

Thursday, July 31, 2008

Still Waiting....

I've used that title before. If I'm honest I am anxious. We have yet to have a clear MRI report. The initial scan in December showed the tumor pre-surgery. The post-op scan showed the remaining tumor cells. Would really love to hear that the scan is clean. I called twice today (I've got some stalking skills). The Dr. was in surgery all day. Hopefully, we will hear tomorrow. Thanks for those of you who've called or checked on us. I try not to be dramatic about it, but I think it weighs on me more than I will admit.

*FYI - The red pillow is where the patients head would be. The table raises up and the patient is moved into the circle.

Makenzie took some Valium initially and was going to try to do the scan w/o and other meds. She said that she got into the tube and started yelling "Sedate me, Get me out of here". Gotta love an 11 year old that yells "Sedate me"!

Wednesday, July 30, 2008

MRI recollections from the other side

She's pretty loopy. Last time she saw 3 of Dan - she called them Dan, Dan-O and Danny. We're improving - only double this time.

I know it seems mean, but we need some levity.

Monday, July 28, 2008

Blog Buzz (again)

Here is one of the questions this week:

How did attachment go during your first year? Describe what you did to prepare for attachment as well as the joys and challenges of attachment during your first year home.

One of my favorite topics. I did a good bit of research on attachment after adoption. This is one of my favorite resources.

This is a long article, but it really gave me some great perspective.

We wrote a letter to our family when we were travelling outlining some of our boundaries and what we thought would help us bond best with Sophie. For the most part, our wishes were respected. We had an incident or two that I still struggle with internally. I am working out our plan for our return from Ethiopia, but I imagine the boundaries will be very similar. For some people, this would be way too strict and not "fun". We have received some flack, but I feel like our obligation is to our children not to the people who want to hold a baby. Here are a few of our requests.
  • No overnight guests for family visiting out of town. We wanted it to be clear who her immediate family was - we had some trouble with this one.
  • Dan and I would be the only ones to hold Sophie - this lasted for a few weeks
  • We would be the only ones to feed her a bottle - there were only a few exceptions for awhile on that one.
  • If Sophie wanted someone else to hold her, we asked that people lovingly directed her back to us. I don't think that ever happened, so it wasn't an issue.
  • We also explained that while Sophie was 14 months when we travelled to bring her home we would still be giving her bottles to promote attachment.

Saturday, July 26, 2008

Fun Day

Thanks to GG we can go to Greenfield Village for free. We rode the carosel and had ice cream. It was a great time all around.

-Seth was encouraging his pig to go faster.