Wednesday, March 28

Year 6 and a Guest Post

 Today is my big boys birthday!!! I cannot believe that he is 6!!!! CRAZY!!!!!!!! Parker was born at 7:17PM on March 28th 2006. He was the fattest baby I had ever seen. Weighing in at 9 lbs. 10 ozs. and 19.5 inches long. He was a butterball.
Our first moments together. 
My little beef cake.

My sweet Parker. Well sometimes Sweet... ;) 

We have had a full day of birthday festivities. I can't wait to share them with you tomorrow but for now I will direct you to my friend Chantel's blog. She blogs over at A Harvest of Blessing. She has a beautiful heart and I love being her friend. Today I guest posted over on her blog. When praying about what to write God reminded me of a prayer, or whatever you wanna call it, that I had writing 4 days before we got word the the Embassy had cleared us to bring Emme home. I felt like he was prompting me to share with you my heart and my thoughts. I hope you enjoy. And I hope you love Chantel as much as I do! 

A balancing act.
That is how I would describe my life.
Finding my balance since going to Ethiopia in November has proved to be a challenge.
A challenge of flesh and spirit.
It is hard.
It is confusing.
I have lost my normal.


Tuesday, March 27

Referral Anniversary

One year ago today we received an email that would change the course of our 6 month waiting streak. Our agency director was in Ethiopia and I had high hopes that she might come across the little girl that God had set apart to be in our family. It was a Sunday morning and we were getting ready for church when my email alert on my phone went off. For months I had been refreshing my email every 15 minutes waiting for "The Email". When this email alert went off something inside of me knew. Something knew that this could be it. As my heart skipped a beat and my blood cooled (you know that feeling when you are really nervous and your blood feels cold but your body feels hot...well thats the feeling I am talking about) I opened my email on my phone and there an email sat. It was from our agency director and the subject read one lonely word... Urgent. I closed my eyes and prayed. I prayed that if this was it then my heart would know. Phillips heart would know and we would have peace. I proceeded to open the email and I read a single paragraph stating...

"i am in Kamashi and there is a little girl here. she is somewhere between 2-3. they usually tell me when they have new children but for some reason they never told me about her. would you be interested in seeing her pictures?"

YES! My heart screamed. I ran to Phillip's side of the bed with tears welling up in my eyes and showed him the email. We thought for a sec before we responded. In my heart I prayed that if this child is ours then God would tell us to say yes we want to see pictures. To me there was no point in seeing a face that we couldn't adopt. It is too heart breaking to see the face of an orphan and not feel led to move on that particular case. We did that once and luckily it worked out for the best. Those two little girls now live less then mile from me and were welcomed into the home of our very best friends. God is good.

Phillip and I both decided that Yes! though she was older then we had anticipated (we were thinking more like 6 months-18 months old) God has a plan for this one and our family. We continued getting ready for church and went into teach our 3yr old class. All during our lesson time I kept my phone in my hand and kept refreshing my email over and over and over. Nothing. My heart fluttered as I began to question wether or not this was it. During worship in the service we attended I felt God telling me to let go and trust in him. We sat and I prayed. About half way through our pastors sermon my email alert buzzed on my thigh. I knew this was it. The email that held the face of our daughter. The wait of wondering who she was over. With one simple tap I would see her sweet face. I nudged Phillip and he gave me to ok to open it. And this is what we saw....
Oh!!! Be Still My Heart!!! We knew instantly that she was the one. We fell in love. Everything was perfect about her. Her sweet kissable lips, her big brown eyes and her sweet little profile. She was perfect. We accepted the referral later that night and a whirlwind of events followed. 

She has now been home for a little over 2 months and things could not be better. Sure she gets on my nerves and we for sure have our ups and downs. Adoption is hard. It is unnatural but we are doing our best at making it natural. We have some struggles with bonding and attachment but I know that God is a God who redeems and heals and that is what He is doing right now. It is a process and I am glad God chose me to be apart of it in her life. I feel honored to be called her mom. She is speaking English a little better. She gets frustrated, as do we, but we are figuring it out. She is losing her language and that saddens me. I was hoping that she would keep some of it. I wish I knew more then the handful of phrases I do know so that I could help keep it around a bit but I don't. She is really happy, or at least she seems to be. HA! I can't believe it has been a year since we first saw this sweet little face and that she is now in our home and I get to kiss it whenever I want. 
MINUS 1 !!!!!!!!!

The word says "God gives a crown of BEAUTY for ashes, a JOYOUS blessing instead of mourning, He give festive PRAISE instead of despair." (Isaiah 61:3) He defends the Orphans (Psalm 10:14) He will bring justice to the Orphans and the the oppressed. (Psalm 10:18) He tells us to "Learn to do good. Seek justice. Help the oppressed. Defend the cause of orphans. Fight for the rights of widows." (Isaiah1:17) He says "I will not abandon you as orphans - I will come to you." (John 14:18) He also tells us "Pure and genuine religion in the sight of God the Father means caring for orphans and widows in their distress and refusing to let the world corrupt you." (James 1:27) 

I am thankful that when God wrote the story of our family he wrote in adoption and redemption. I am thankful that God saw Emme in a small remote village in Ethiopia and saw us here in Texas and brought us together for his good and perfect plan. Here's to a lifetime with the prettiest little girl in the world. 



Saturday, March 24

Jaws

 We got to celebrate Parker's 6th Birthday today!! I can't believe it!!! This year was really special and different for us. Parker requested that he have a BOY ONLY party. It's like he thinks he's getting big or something and hanging out with girls is weird...psh... whatever! HA!

So per his request we had a boy only party. With the exception of his sister... which he asked if we could find a sitter for her... and his cousins and our little friend Addy. Love her! She's too cute!! Parker got to invite 10 of his closest guy friends. He was so excited to get to celebrate with them all. Thank you all for coming and making his Birthday Party special. He even got a little treat...his buddy Wynne came with her husband Stephen. Parker has a little thing for Wynne. He is always asking her when they can have some one on one time. Its really cute. Any way....

We celebrated Parkers party with a Shark themed party. The boy is in love with Sharks. Maybe obsessed is a little more appropriate. He tells me he is going to be a Marine Biologist and he will study mainly Sharks. He probably will. I had to get a little creative for his party since its March and the pool water at out neighborhood pool is freezing. I found this really great party planning website and ordered this awesome kit. It turned out perfect. I wish I could take credit for all of the creativity but really I just copied this awesome party! Yay for copying!! Take a look at all of the fun!!



Friday, March 23

Late Night Randoms

 It has been crazy busy around here. It is Birthday Party Prep week here at my house. I LOVE Birthdays and I LOVE to celebrate my kids Brithdays with big ole parties. I can't wait to share Parker's on here. Here's a clue on the theme...

I can't wait for Saturday! Also I have been kind of helping my friends Wynne and Allison with a garage sale that starts tomorrow and will run through Saturday! If you are in Midland and want some fun stuff head on over to Wynne's house (email for her address). All of the money is going to help Allison move to Rwanda!!! Jealous much?! Umm... YEAH!!! 

Also... it has been a while since I upload my videos and pictures from my phone onto my computer. I forgot what gems I had on this thing!! Check out all the fun us mommies had ay my nieces birthday party a few weekends ago! 

Friends! I love you!! Don't hate me!I am sorry I laugh at your expense!! We should really consider renting that place out for a party for ourselves! Ha! 

video

video
She didn't really crush her kids... they were fine! She looks like she was feeling free huh?!

Awe shucks... they video of me swinging from the scary rope is on Phillips phone. I guess you don't get to see the embarrassment I brought myself! HA!! 

Here are some of my favorite pictures from the last couple of weeks. I love my kids. They make me a better person. They challenge me and stretch me in new ways each day. 







Walrus!! HA!!

My Soul Sister and I ... thats right y'all... I said Soul Sister!! 




And one last little gem to leave you all with. 

Emme got her first busted lip today... She tripped over a costume or a toy gun... I'm not sure which it was but bite the wood floor. It was sick and blood was gushing. I texted Phillip this pic and said "at what point should I be concerned about the amount of blood that is coming out of this lip?" Her lips are already fluffy and totally kissable. This bottom one today has some extra fluff with a very kiss worthy booboo. Poor sugar! 


Tuesday, March 13

It's A Hairy Topic

 I have been asked several times lately what I do with Emme's hair to make the curls look so nice and frizz free. Her hair hasn't always been that way (nor is it always that way). When we first got her it was so matted that you could hardly separate the hair to see her scalp. I have often described it as a well groomed brillo pad
google image
This would be why we never noticed she had lice...and ring worms. Poor sugar! Any how... I have spent quite a bit of time researching how to take care of her hair. A good friend of mine introduced me to Chocolate Hair Vanilla Care. It has been so helpful. These women know their stuff. Before we ever met Emme I read a couple of books on hair and how to revive it and keep it clean and healthy. I never knew that there were so many different hair types. 
Once I knew this I became aware of what Emmes hair needed. She has type 3B or type 3C maybe 4A. (I don't really know. I just pretend I do...shhh!) Some of her hair is definitely 4A, like right around her hair line on her forehead and her neck line. The middle back of her hair is definitely 3B or 3C.  Knowing that her hair needs lots of moisture to protect it from breakage I did a little research on what the best products are as well as styles or things to do to protect it. Here are my favorite products. 

I use the Knot Today everyday to detangle. I love it. I use the Curling Custard only when we go out (church, lunch with friends, dinner out, shopping etc.) They are amazing for her curls. The Custard makes her hair shiny and holds the curls really tight. Here is what I am currently shampooing with...
I use the recommended conditioner it says to use on the back label. We are almost out of this and I plan on  trying out Aussie on her hair. I have read really great things about it. I also do a weekly deep condition with this...
After shampooing I rub this in her hair and let it soak for 15-20 minutes while she plays with all of her toys in the tub. Also while this is soaking into her hair I detangle with a really wide toothed comb. This whole process is tear free. (not the products themselves just the combing part) I love the way all of her hair stuff smells. Even the Kinky Curly products. It is amazing. Another thing that I do that I have found that is a HUGE helps with the matting and frizzing is making her sleep in a silk sleep cap. Not only does this help her hair tremendously... She look adorable in it. (I will have to update with a picture of her in it) This is the cap she sleeps in at night and at nap...
She also has a pretty silk pillow case from the same website that she sleeps on. I hope this helps some of you fellow adoptive mommas. I have learned most of what I do with her hair from the Chocolate Hair Vanilla Care website as well as talking to other moms. Every child's hair is different so what works for us may not work for you. But I would like to suggest trying some of these things above they work really great for us.  One last thing... Several people have asked where I get all of her cute headbands so I thought I would share. I LOVE etsy, Zulily and occasionally GAP, Target and Claires.

 I hope that helps.