Wednesday, April 30, 2008

venturing out...

My friend, Laura, comes to hang out almost every week. This past Monday she got VERY brave and decided we should go to the mall to let the kids play and eat lunch. So we packed everyone up (except Cailey, who was in school) and headed out. The kids had a blast climbing and playing in the play was very tricky watching all six but it worked out really well! As you can imagine we got LOTS of questions about whose kids belonged to which family, etc. There was one person who was shocked that Hannah and Samuel were twins, but thought Kinsey and Braden were. I guess we do look pretty unusual when we're together because of all the races in our families and ages of our kids...but I love it:)!!

Kinsey LOVED having Hannah and Samuel ride
down in her lap:) I couldn't resist getting them all
on the 'slide train'!

look at our handsome boys!

Tuesday, April 29, 2008

journey to complete our family

Lately I've been getting asked a lot of questions about why we have adopted and the journey we've been on. I guess I'm ready to tell the story now. It's a long one, so I won't be offended if you don't want to read it all. Brian wanted two kids, I wanted three...(he came from a family with three and I came from a family with two). Brian said he was fine with three and then a close friend said someone would always be left out that we should have an even number. It then became four. We always said we'd adopt number Asian girl with pigtails named Kinsey. These conversations all took place when we first got married. We waited three years before trying to get pregnant and soon discovered it was easier said than done. I was on Clomid for a while....I won't go into all of it, but the month before I got pregnant I was diagnosed with Hypothyroidism which can be a cause of infertility. Once I was medicated I became pregnant with Cailey. About six months after she was born we started thinking about baby #2. (We figured it would take a while again.) I went back on Clomid....a HIGH dose for a LONG time. During all of this we were moving, jobless, insurance-less, and even homeless at one point. I just kept taking Clomid even though I wasn't under a doctors care...we paid for it out of pocket. Desperation is a great word for how we felt. At the time I was completely CLOSED to pursuing any further infertility drugs. We decided to adopt from China, but found out that we were too young, so we chose Korea instead. Then we got our second blessing, Braden:). Adopting from Korea was VERY expensive and we thought the only way we'd get another baby was by getting pregnant again....and I really wanted to have another baby. So back on the Clomid I went (this time with a doctor's supervision). After six months on it we were pretty discouraged and I was sure it just wouldn't work. It was during this time that God made financial provision that would allow us to adopt again. A few months after Kinsey came home I had some tests done that showed there was nothing to explain my infertility. I was devestated! I want a reason for everything...because in my head we can fix the problem if we know what's wrong. In November of 2006 I started giving myself injections to get pregnant. We were doing IUI's at first because it's so much less invasive than IVF. I had to go to the doctor every morning for two weeks out of the month before work (at 7:30am) for lab work and ultrasounds. We had to travel to a nearby city and take off work to have the procedure done. How could it not work? It made total sense in my head...of COURSE it was going to work! There was nothing wrong with either one of us, so there was no reason for it to not work. It didn't work. We decided to go for the IVF. Same thing basically...until the procedure. It still involved a couple shots a day, daily visits for lab work (more needles) and ultrasounds. Oh yeah...and did I mention that one of the drugs caused me to gain at least 10 lbs a month and gave me short term memory loss? (Which STILL has not come back.) I knew that IVF had to work because once again...I was under 30, in good shape, and had no reason for it not to work! sperm in a problem. When you take these injections they make your body produce a LOT of eggs at once. You need to have at least 4 eggs in order for them to do the IVF surgery. Four is actually on the low side because not all of them will turn out good. They would have only put one or two fertilized eggs back in because we only wanted one more child and they were on the cautious side. The problem this time? After MONTHS of taking all these drugs I only produced ONE good egg! ONE!!! They would NOT do the IVF with only egg. I convinced the doctor to please do IUI so I wouldn't feel like I wasted more time, money, pain, emotional suffering, etc. He agreed. This time I didn't think it would work. We had tried IUI for months to no avail....but I was determined for my one egg to not 'go to waste'. Guess what??? It worked!! I couldn't believe it? It was my miracle! We were finally getting the baby we desired to complete our family! Perfect right?...two biological, two adopted...everyone would have someone else who looked like them. The perfect plan lasted only a few weeks before we were devastated once again. Miscarriage. The second one in our journey. I couldn't do it again. I couldn't risk that pain or wait and count EVERY day of EVERY month watching time pass. Pain. Crying. God. Hope. Healing. Adoption. God put Brian and I in the same place at the same time. We were ready to adopt again. At different points during the infertility treatments we were both SO closed to adoption again. By last May we were ready. The biological child we both desired just wasn't going to happen. God had another baby in mind for us....or did HE? Because of the funds we decided to adopt from here (USA) this time. I was VERY skeptical because I didn't like the idea of a 'popularity' contest where the adoptive parents look through albums and choose the family. (I understand why they do it, it's just hard to be on the end of not getting chosen.) We didn't care about the race except I was REALLY hoping for a bi racial baby. Everyone we knew who had used this agency had gotten their babies within a few months of turning their paperwork in. We expected to have a baby no later than September of 2007. It's almost May. Almost a year later. NO baby here yet. Our homestudy runs out in November and we will not be doing an update. This is the time I am truly learning about God's timing...not MY timing. God's will....not MY will. I don't know what the outcome will be, but I have peace with our family of five. We are all healthy. I do wish I knew what was going to happen....but I don't. Please pray for our hearts....and the baby that God MAY have for us OR for more peace. This is our journey.... it's been a long one...with three blessings so far...

Monday, April 28, 2008

another quickie...

Yesterday we had a visit from Brian's mom (granny), sister (Aunt Michelle), and our niece, Courtney! We LOVE when Courtney comes because she's so great with the kids! She chases them, plays their games, does crafts, and helps them to be kind to each other. Granny loves to rock them and give lots of hugs! It took Kinsey a while to warm up, but as soon as she saw Cailey and Braden playing with them she joined it!

granny gave each of the kids an
outfit and kinsey wanted to carry hers
around.... a lot!

Sunday, April 27, 2008

quick visit

Nonny came down to visit us briefly on Friday! We picked Cailey up from school (where she had a BEAMING smile on her face because she loves Nonny so much) and went for ice cream! The kids played with Nonny all afternoon and then she gave everyone haircuts! Kinsey was cute as always and wanted to get her hair cut just because the other two did. Mom just trimmed a little bit of Kinsey's hair so she'd feel like she had a haircut:). We had a great mini visit with Nonny and are SO glad her foot is better!

we all scream for ice cream!

Kinsey carried the spray
bottle around the whole time and
LOVED spraying people:) She also
enjoyed getting sprayed...right in the face!

These kiddos love their Nonny!

Saturday, April 26, 2008

chicken, jumpy, and cookies

The other evening after Brian came home we decided to have a family night out. After eating at our favorite- Chick fil A, we let the kids do the 'jumpy'! Cailey has done it a few times and LOVES it! Braden hadn't ever done it before and at first said he didn't want to. After watching Cailey and seeing her smile he decided to give it a try. He had a BLAST!! Since he doesn't weigh very much the attendant had to basically treat him like a slingshot and he SOARED! Braden got so high that Brian could no longer watch! Braden giggled so much..I'm glad he decided to give it a try. Kinsey was watching them in amazement and just kept saying, "jump" and "oooohhh." Since there was no one waiting, the attendant let the kids jump for a LONG time! It's pretty overpriced and usually they only get three minutes of jumping time. They jumped for at least ten minutes! We then headed for the cookies- a surprise that the kiddos were NOT expecting:)!! We had a fabulous time on our family night!!!

Friday, April 25, 2008

Hard at Work

The other day Cailey was doing her homework....all by was a miracle! She usually wants me to sit with her and tell her what to do the WHOLE time for THREE worksheets. Most days I love sitting with her and watching her do her homework but I think I'm getting anxious for school to be over!! Who knew...mommy's get summeritis too! The next day I was back to sitting with her:). She looks like SUCH a big girl in this picture to me though!!

Thursday, April 24, 2008

somewhere over the rainbow

Sunday evening we saw an AMAZING rainbow! We could see the entire double rainbow from the house and it was gorgeous. I love sunsets, rays peaking through clouds, and rainbows because it shows just how awesome God is! We had a moment, as a family, that was great and we talked about the first rainbow and what it meant. I didn't get a great pic of it because by the time I got the camera it was raining too hard, but I did want to remember that evening together. I let the girls play in the rain for a little while in their pj's which they thought was pretty great! (Braden was at Awana while they were outside.)

Wednesday, April 23, 2008

The Twist

The girls LOVE doing the "twist" so I decided we needed to get it on tape. Usually I sing it and they start groovin' but I wouldn't do that to you so Brian graciously put it to music. Braden usually doesn't like joining in, but this particular day he was just as excited as the girls. They didn't "twist" like they normally do...I think it had something to do with the video camera, but you can still catch glimpses of it. At the end they started doing 'ring around the rosy' together...very cute!

Tuesday, April 22, 2008

hybrid update...

Brian kept track of the gas on both vehicles last month and we saved OVER 125 dollars thanks to the hybrid!!! Considering gas prices it's such a blessing that we were ableto sell the truck and replace it with the Honda. We've also been stuffing the family (of 5) in it whenever we go to church or other places so we can use less gas in the van.

Monday, April 21, 2008

baby broccoli, baby caterpillars...

What are they doing? They are finding baby caterpillars and playing with pollen. Thank goodness our family doesn't have problems with allergies because this spring one of their favorite things to do in the backyard is sprinkle pollen on the slide! I went out the other day to see what they were doing and Cailey told me they were finding baby caterpillars and baby broccoli. Huh?? I looked at Braden and said, "Oh, you have some pollen" and Cailey immediately broke in saying, "no mommy, we found baby broccoli." I have never thought about it, but pollen does kinda look like little broccoli!

'the broccoli'

Sunday, April 20, 2008

birthday's galore!

April is a BIG month for birthday parties among our friends and family! Yesterday the kids went to two...a first for us to have two in one day! The first one was for Braeden who turned 4--just Cailey and Braden went. We went to Storybook Safari and had a blast at the clown themed party. The kids played 'pin the nose on the clown' and a bean bag toss game. After the games a REAL clown came and did magic tricks and made balloon animals for an hour! The kids LOVED the clown and the magic....he was really great at connecting with the kids and keeping their attention. HAPPY BIRTHDAY BRAEDEN!!!

In the afternoon/evening the whole family went to Jackson's baseball themed party! The kids knew a lot more of the children at this party and once again had a fabulous time. The party was held outside in their awesome yard and cul de sac with TONS of yard toys! After going 'exploring' in the woods, playing tee ball, riding vehicles, playing with bubbles, and having races they had a barbeque for everyone:) HAPPY BIRTHDAY JACKSON!!!

Saturday, April 19, 2008

all the chicks...

This was BY FAR the kids favorite thing to do at farm days! All three of them adored the baby chicks and were so gentle with them. We went over there twice during the day and I think the kids would still be there if we didn't have to leave! Cailey asked if we could get one as a pet, but clearly we said, "no". I'm thinking that maybe next year we should hatch some though so they can see the whole process. I can't say enough about how much they each loved holding the baby chicks!

Friday, April 18, 2008

Farm Days

preschool field trip: snoozin piglets, foal and it's mama, sheared sheep, peeping chicks, calf and a mama, a helping hand, REAL ice cream, fake cow, familiar faces, new bonds, turkeys, farm machinery, lost boy terrified mama, found boy elated mama, animal sounds, baby goats, three mini farmers

Cailey didn't like they way
the wool felt and asked to "pet the
sheep who had a haircut":)

The calf peed and Cailey thought it was SOOO gross!

Cailey has ALWAYS loved characters in
costumes. Kinsey...not so much. Braden gave
him a hug. strawberry for Cailey, chocolate for
Braden and vanilla for Kinsey

Cailey had a 1/2 day at school so she got to come with
us...I'm so glad she could come because she had a blast!

the kids saw friends from the old preschool and
lots from church!

Kinsey was SOooo cute and as soon as we drove up started saying, "moo" when she saw the cows. After a while she started saying, "baa" because she was tired of seeing cows and wanted to see some sheep. Fortunately as soon as we walked inside, the first thing we saw were the sheep...which she did NOT want to pet. She was skiddish about petting anything, but I do think she finally pet the calf and she adored the baby chicks.

Thursday, April 17, 2008

sunny playdate....

We spent our morning off at Beth's house yesterday and were so happy to finally see the sunshine! It wasn't too hot and the kids had a blast climbing on rocks and playing in the dirt together:). Afterwards we had a picnic in the grass...ahhh....I wish these 75 degree sunny days would hang around for a long time before it gets too hot!!