Monday, June 28, 2010

Love in a Box

Today, we mailed a care package to Dex -- a little bit of love in a box.
A friend of mine was so sweet to make Dex a super-soft blankie, which I've been sleeping with for several weeks so he'll know what his momma smells like. We also sent a photo book with pictures of his family with Chinese labels so his caregivers can tell him who we are (like the one in the picture with Camryn). We sent a disposable camera, in hopes of getting some pictures of him in the orphanage, with his caregivers and friends, to share with him when he's older. We sent him an outfit, a stuffed animal, and some puff snacks. We were also able to send a letter to be translated for his orphanage director, in hopes of getting some questions answered that might help with his transition into our family.
Finally, we sent his caregivers some M&M's -- we've been told that they especially love American candies. So, I threw in an extra box at the last minute, in hopes they might pass along some of that sweetness and give him an extra squeeze. :o)

Sunday, June 27, 2010

Things I Love

I love that Brandon is a saver -- he saves candy "for later," his favorite food on his plate for last, and his money for Buzz.I love that Cam loves the idea of wearing panties and going in the "little potty" -- even if it's in a parking lot by the van -- but just isn't quite ready to really go full-time pee-pee in the potty.I love that Abi can read and that she loves to read to her brother and sister.I love that Nick is the fabulous father that he is and that he strives to be a better, more Godly husband and father each day.

Friday, June 25, 2010

Introducing . . .

Dexter Li Coston
These are the pictures we received when we were matched with him. We were not allowed to post them publicly online until we received a certain piece of paperwork from China that makes our match official. We got that paperwork today, so not only are we one step closer to bringing him home, we can also share our precious boy with everyone. We love his chubbiness -- and the fact that he's certainly not cold during the winter (nor can he bend in the middle with all those layers on!) :o)
Obviously, these are photos of him without any corrective surgery and were taken at the end of the winter. We are unsure if he's had any corrective procedures done in China or not and have been trying to find that out. We're also hoping to get some updated photos in the next week or two.

Friday, June 18, 2010

Random Fun

Just a few random pictures from the past couple of weeks. Summer has been very busy, so far, but the kids are loving all being together again, with no one leaving for school every day.
Abi waiting her turn at swim lessons.
One of Brandon's "shows." It's a variety show, generally. I get a little singing, a little gymnastics, and a little dancing.
One of the things I love about Brandon is his gusto about doing something as well as he can. I asked him to go dust his room, and when I opened the door, this is what I found. He was dusting everywhere in his room.
Silly Cam! What a personality!
Brandon is teaching Camryn to blow bubbles in the tub, like at swim lessons -- because he's the star student and all. Ha!

Thursday, June 17, 2010

Sigh ...

It's 9 p.m. "Dex's Time." I know my little boy is alone in a crib in a hot orphanage in southeast China, and I'm just plain bummed about it this morning.
I know there are millions of kids alone, hungry, lonely, sad around the world, and that's one reason we are honored to be able to bring one child into our family to love on. But, once I've seen his face, it becomes so much more real to me. It's not a faceless, far-away issue anymore.
One morning this week, the kids were all fussing about who wanted what for breakfast, and I couldn't help but think about the disparity between the three of them here not being able to choose oatmeal, cold cereal, or a fruit bar and wondering if Dex has even eaten today. As I brushed Abi's hair this morning, I wondered if anyone had held my little boy today at all, stroked his head or kissed his cheek.
I want so badly to hold him and show him a mother's love. Soon, I suppose. Just not soon enough.

Tuesday, June 8, 2010

It's Like Being a Kid Again

Only my nerd friends will be able to identify with this ... do you remember how excited you were to get your first library card? It was more exciting than my first credit card! Do you remember sitting on the cool concrete floors of the library on hot summer days, lost in a Nancy Drew mystery? I love to just fan the pages of old, stale books -- just for that smell I loved as a kid!
Today, Abi had her first major rite of passage ... her first library card!

Wednesday, June 2, 2010

Deep Thoughts for Today

* I had forgotten how much more often you have to scrub the kids' bathtub in the summer.

* If even the (very real) threat of a snake getting into the house won't make the kids remember to close the door behind themselves, then nothing ever will. I can just give that up.

* You cannot trust a man with landscaping and a large pair of clippers. He will shock you every time.

* God's timing is perfect -- I was not born before the invention of air conditioning.

* Having ceramic tile the color of dirt, instead of white, would make my life so much easier.

* Nothing is more adorable or frustrating than a two-year-old.

* A little boy and a dump truck together is a fun thing to watch.

* There is a little boy on the other side of the world who is soundly sleeping right now who I can't wait to gaze upon as he sleeps under our roof.

* Are there really holes in the foundation or walls that would permit that ginormous snake I saw in the garage yesterday to enter my house?!

Tuesday, June 1, 2010

Another Year Come & Gone

This year has seemed to fly by! Amazing the difference a year makes. Abi is a fluent reader. Cam has enough hair for pigtails. Brandon is so much taller and has overcome most of his speech issues. Cami is speaking in complex sentences. Abi is so independent and able to care for herself so well. Brandon has taken on the role of big-brother-in-charge so eagerly in Abi's absence. Cam is enjoying a lot of imaginative play. Brandon has become so much more "boy"! Cami has lost much of the baby chub on her legs and belly. Brandon has become much more coordinated and athletic. Abi has become more confident in groups of her peers.
Abi's 1st day of kindergarten
Abi's last day of kindergartenCamryn and Brandon's 1st day of mother's day outCamryn and Brandon's last day of mother's day out