Thursday, December 29, 2011

Goodbye 2011! Hello 2012!

2011 brought us a lot of ups and downs, triumphs and trials, laughter and tears.

As our family ends the year on a high note (our home in Oregon finally closed!!!), I am taking this time to wish you all a very happy New Year, and a 2012 full of love, happiness, and peace.

Top 10 Pros of Adopting Older Children

Sometimes something will happen in the course of our normal day together that will immediately cause Chris and I to look at each other and simultaneously blurt out 'pro!'.

When we do this, it can be during a meal at a restaurant when our kids are sitting properly and engaging and one table over is a family of spider monkeys hopped up on mountain dew. Don't get me wrong, I'm not judging, I'm thankful. It's at that very moment when I think to myself 'thankful!'.

Or when we're traveling and our kids are keeping up while we expertly navigate the airport with our perfectly packed roller bags and get caught behind a family with two toddlers with a double stroller and all the accoutrements.

So with that background in mind, I (TIC) bring you the Top 10 Pros of Adopting Older Children. Here we go:

10: There is no need to wonder if you've packed enough diapers/wipes/snacks for the 3 minute drive to Target.

9: When trying to determine where to go for dinner, the restaurant that rhymes with 'Yucky Sneezes' never, ever gets a mention.

8: A trip to the zoo does not take 4 hours of prep work, three bottles, 6 bags of snacks, and a stroller.

7: Daycare costs are minimal if at all.

6: Guess who cleans their own room?

5: Four words: sleeping through the night.

4: The willingness to let mommy sleep in sometimes while they read or play quietly in their room.

3: Although not always properly, they always dress themselves.

2: I never fear turning my back and suddenly finding a ten pound bag of flour spread hither and yon across my living room.

And the number 1 pro of adopting older children? The absolute joy we all have in knowing we're a forever family.

Ok so that last one could be for all adoptive families.

Sunday, December 25, 2011

Merry Christmas!

From my family to you and yours. Enjoy your day and may 2012 bring you the joys and blessings you so richly desire and deserve.

Thursday, December 22, 2011

I'm Late. Shocker.

I'm late on this post.  Late, late, late.

You see, my kids came home on December 19th, 2010.  So one year and three days ago, our family expanded by two.

And here we are, one year (and three days) later.

We've moved to another state.  We've been on a family vacation.  We've been through ups, downs, and in-betweens.

I've watched two children who wanted nothing more in this world than to have the security and love of a forever family grow, thrive and spread their wings.  I've learned just as much from them as I am hoping that they are learning from us.  I've seen miracles in bonding, trust, and confidence.

I've watched a little girl who had so much pressure to take care of her little brother, let go, and let us handle it.  She still struggles with being a bossy one, but gentle (and sometimes not-so-gentle) reminders help us through that.  I've watched her learn to trust us.  I've watched her watch me, to see how I do things.  And I'm seeing some of the habits I want her to have come shining through.  She has a great sense of responsibility - both for herself and for her actions.  She's an incredible artist, a voracious reader, and a great friend.

I've watched a little boy who was so unsure, who needed a father SO much, become so enamored by his daddy.  I've seen him try so hard to be just like daddy.  He's got a wicked sense of humor, his laugh is infectious, and his empathy is endless.  He loves lego's and Angry Birds, soccer and Taekwondo, and jumping on dad and his big brother.

I've watched a big brother so easily step into a role he was made for.  Such an accepting and nonchalant attitude about these two new siblings.  I've seen him guide, and cajole, and tease, as any siblings will do.

I'm so proud of all of my kids.  I'm so complete with my family.  And I'm so blessed by God.

My kids were recently asked to be in a video for our adoption agency highlighting the need for families for older and special needs children.  The final video came out yesterday.  I tear up every time I watch it, so I am giving you a Kleenex warning NOW.

Enjoy.  And have a very blessed Christmas!!

Be The Difference from Videos for AGCI on Vimeo.