Saturday, December 08, 2012

Catching Up (again! Why am I such a bad blogger?)

I just can't get this blogging thing together. I think there is a lazy person inside of me and for the most part I let her win. I have had so many great things to share (well at least I think they're great) but I find I just can't let myself sit down and write. So, I don't.

So here we are again, way too much time has passed and way too much has happened so its another catch up post. In no particular order...

This past week has been a super fun week for me. I went and had myself custom spray tanned and got my hair cut and colored (its been over 5 months!) so I feel like a rock star. You're probably wondering why on earth, when its December would I do that. Well its because in January, I'm going to be a bridesmaid and the dress is short and strapless! On a good day in the middle of August I am white as a ghost so I thought I would try this and see if I turned orange. I didn't. And I'm so happy about that.

Jayden was just in his second play, The Legend of Sleepy Hollow, he played a dead Indian. It was such a good play and even though his part was small he did a great job and had a ton of fun. I think the best part was the make up, they did such a great job making them all look scary. I love that he loves acting and hope he wants to do this for awhile.

Aren't they creepy looking. Jayden is far right in case you couldn't tell. 

 We received two very exciting pieces of news the Monday after Thanksgiving regarding our adoption.
The first was our little girl's MRI report came back that everything was normal. Then, just a few hours later we found out she was officially released to our agency which meant we could begin the process to bring her HOME! We are so excited. So, as of right now we have submitted out letter of intent. For those unfamiliar with this its basically a letter stating we will treat her the same way we treat our bio kids and giver her all the same opportunities etc...
Once this letter has been uploaded to the powers that be we begin another wait. This time we are waiting for an LOA (letter of acceptance) from those same powers which typically takes 90 days. We've been told we could travel to pick her up by May/June however, they will know more once we receive our LOA. So, please pray for that!
We are allowed to send her a few things to ready her to meet us so we are getting those ready. One is a CD of music (lullabies) they will play for her and then we will play it once she is home (or even on the plane if she's fussy). Another is a photo book. I am really excited about putting this together. I love making these, they are so easy and help your favorite photos last forever. Even though we've been talking about her for awhile we haven't made her picture public and we probably won't until we have paid our program fee. I think it is at that point we will feel we are out of the woods with anything going wrong. I am not being negative, just somewhat realistic as we have already been through the fire putting things out there too soon.
Now, on a positive note, I can't tell you just how wonderful Holt International has been to us. They have treated us like we are royalty. I have to brag, just for a moment. If we email them in the morning they will get back to us that day and even if they don't have an answer, they will email just to say they are working on it. They are fabulous!!!! After all we had been through at the beginning we were wondering if we would adopt ever again but I can say now, with confidence that with an agency like Holt in our corner there is no doubt in my mind if God says yes we will too!
And speaking of fabulous, I know I've mentioned him before and I'm sure he'll never read this but I would just like to say "Dr. Kolb, you are our knight in shining armor!"
Dr. Kolb is the doc who has helped us navigate all the files we have been sent. He is amazing and the way he gives back never ceases to amaze me. He and his wife have adopted 5 special needs children from China and also 2 or 3 from Russia. They also have 3 bio kids. He joked with me recently that his wife banned him from looking at Holt's special needs listing of children because every time he does they end up adopting another child. I just love it. I love that he is using the gifts and talents God gave him to help families like us. We have been so blessed by him. There just aren't words. We can't wait to take Grace to meet him.

In other news my little job of babysitting is coming to a close and its very bitter sweet.
I've been keeping Hazyl since she was three months old and she is going to be 10 months on the 28th.
We have had such a fun time watching her and when I say WE I mean WE! I could not have done it without Jackson and Jayden's help. They have been invaluable to me. I dubbed Jayden the baby whisperer because he had a way of calming her down when I had nothing left. She is the sweetest baby and we will miss her everyday. The sweet part about it is the time we will have before Grace comes home. Time to re-group with school. getting her room ready, things like that. I think keeping Hazyl was God's way of preparing me, preparing my heart for how different things will be and also for helping me to wait. She came at just the right time. My heart was so broken by all the failed matches and she kept me smiling and hoping for a baby girl of my own. I am thankful they live down the street and I hope I get to babysit her when her momma needs a break. I also hope she and Grace are best little buds.

The first week she was with us. 

We have gotten to see every milestone and its been so precious. Thank you Darlene for trusting us to love your baby girl. We always will!

The second week in November my good friend Laurie invited me and 2 other girls to her parents' house in the mountains for her birthday weekend. One word: relaxing.
We literally chilled the whole time we were there. It was wonderful. On Saturday Laurie and Debra went to the spa so Sarah and I hung out in Blowing Rock just walking around window shopping. The weather was beautiful and the mountains were breathtaking. I'm hoping I'll get another invite in the near future.

The view from the porch

Sarah and I ate at this quaint little pub. 

US Girls

And last but not least. We finally got an updated family pic taken. It only took 3 years. HAHA!!
The plan was perfect and fool proof or so I thought. My friend Aubrey was gonna take them with our mediocre camera and I promised the kids and B it would be fast. Jackson and B are NOT fans of the pic taking thing. So we get out to the spot of our choice and a mere 10 shots in Aubrey is like "uh Rachel, your camera won't let me take any more pics." Ummmm, what?! So, I take a look and sure enough. I had forgotten to put the memory card back in it. UGH!!!!! What to do, what to do?
Aubrey, was quick on her feet. Took my iPhone 5 and started to shoot. And, how do they look?

I'm pretty sure this will be the last post until after all the festivities so...