Sunday, July 31, 2011

Kids Bowl Free!

We signed up for a program this year (at the recommendation of a friend) called "Kids Bowl Free". Each week, we get a coupon via email for each child to bowl two free games per day (shoe rental fees not included). We have used our coupons a couple of times this year, but you could theoretically take your kids bowling for free every day. Not including snacks, the above mentioned shoe rental, games for big people etc. Still, I think it's an awesome deal and I believe it's offered at bowling alleys across the country.

Each kid has their own unique bowling style:

First up, Candace prefers the brute strength caveman style.

Followed by Sarah, who utilizes a less confident
but equally effective approach.

Thomas is up next, and he favors a cool style with lots of flair.

Last up was big sister Emily, but fortunately for her, the shots I took of her didn't come out so well. But here she is relaxing with her fellow bowlers.

All in all, it was a very fun outing!

Thursday, July 28, 2011

30 years ago...

...this adorable couple graduated from high school.

And here they are last weekend, getting ready to attend
their high school reunion:

Did I mention that it was a thirty year reunion? I know... that couple doesn't look like they could possibly be that old, do they?

Wednesday, July 27, 2011

Ever wonder how you can help?

Please consider donating to my favorite charity, Because Every Mother Matters. BEMM is made up of five ordinary women here in the US and a handful of dedicated Ethiopian citizens. Some of us are mothers to kids from Ethiopia, and we have experienced the pain of a child losing their first family. All of us have a calling to help mothers stay healthy and alive to raise their children... no matter where they live.

You can click here to read about the latest mama's story to reach us; a story of a mama who needs our help. You can donate by clicking on the logo and going to the website for BEMM. Every little dollar goes right to our causes... won't you consider reaching out?

Tuesday, July 26, 2011

And then there were none!

When we passed court on April 15, our happiness was dampened by the knowledge that four of the eleven families in our court travel group still hadn't passed. Last week, two of them passed after many agonizing weeks of wait. Today, the final two got word that they too had passed and their children are legally theirs! Finally! No more families waiting for court! It makes me so happy. Now we just have to pray the five families waiting for embassy clearance home through the last hurdle.

Monday, July 18, 2011

The joy of firsts

One of the fun things about adopting an older international child is watching them enjoy their first time doing so many different things. A few things we have enjoyed with Thomas are: escalators, elevators, airplanes, riding a bike, riding a scooter, listening to an iPod, swimming, Wii, riding the jet ski and today, riding in our boat. Here are some pictures from our boat ride this evening, during which Thomas exuberantly exclaimed "I love boat!"

Sarah, Thomas and Candace

Captain Thomas gets an assist from Daddy

Thursday, July 14, 2011

Like a hot potato

One thing I have noticed after two international adoptions... and this is a caveat for those of you contemplating undertaking this journey or in the early stages... is how quickly the agency/client relationship diminishes after you walk through your front door with your new child. You have developed a relationship with the agency, a very needy one that involves anxious emails and phone calls and the writing of large checks. Maybe a large part of your week revolved around when you would hear some news, any news, from the people at the agency, the people who seemed to almost control your future. And then, you're home and... nothing. No emails, no phone calls... you are done. Complete. Maybe you get a "welcome home" packet detailing how your post-placement reports should be filed, with a list of "resources" for you in case of problems. I don't know... even though I was expecting it this time, it still just feels so abrupt. Like, "Hey, I just added a whole kid here to the family... and you're just leaving me to my own devices? What's up with that?"

Fortunately, we are having an easy transition this time around. So far. So I guess we learned some things the first time. But I wouldn't turn down a friendly "how's it going?" phone call or email from the agency people.

Edited: I just want to add that I feel that in general this is something that agencies can improve on... I'm not picking on specific people. It's much like sending moms and newborns home from the hospital with a wave and a "good luck!" , which is pretty much what happens. However, this is my blog, and I should be able to post about my feelings regardless. And my feeling, whether truly warranted or not, is the panicky feeling of suddenly being on my own.

Monday, July 11, 2011

Adoption announcement

Dot Spots Multi Basic Borders
Modern greeting cards and party invitations by Shutterfly.
View the entire collection of cards.
This is the announcement I made to mail out to family. I think it turned out pretty cute!

Friday, July 8, 2011

One week

We have been a family of eight for one week now. Thomas seems to be adjusting beautifully. The twins are doing much better than I expected... jealousy issues have been at a minimum. Daddy is thrilled with his new son and the feeling is mutual. Big siblings are so relieved to have us home that to them anything else is a bonus.

I feel... weird. Unexpectedly down. Slightly panicky. I've also been sick almost all week. I'm feeling impatient and out of sorts. Not like a thrilled new mommy should feel... sigh.

Monday, July 4, 2011

Independence Day

Our new little American citizen, Feyissa Thomas,
experienced his first Independence Day today,
complete with some traditional fun July 4th activities.

First, some swimming with Candace and Sarah:

Followed by some fireworks provided by big sisters
Anna and Emily.

Tonight we'll watch the professional display here in our neighborhood, followed by bedtime. :)

Saturday, July 2, 2011