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Over the next few weeks I will be moving some posts from this blog to our new one. Once that process is complete, this blog will be made private. Please make sure you’re following our new blog!
After taking a little break from researching adoption stuff, I jumped back on the bandwagon this weekend. We’ve been doing some hard core researching, comparing, and praying over the last several days and have narrowed down the country of our future child to Colombia and Peru! Definitely NOT where we thought we would adopt from, but it makes the most sense for our family right now.
Our only African option was Congo and that’s just not a safe option for us right now. We both agreed that it would be foolish to leave our two kids here in the states and travel to a war and disease ridden country to pick up another child. The risks are just too high right now. My heart still breaks for all of those kids in DRC waiting for families. All of the kids running in fear from Kony and his soldiers. But we’re not the family for them. I’m praying hard that God will send families that way as fast as they can fill out the paperwork. If you’re interested in adopting from Congo, I can point you to a great agency! :)
After ruling out Congo we were left with Latin America or Bulgaria. Bulgaria just wasn’t striking a chord with either one of us, so we moved on. This left us with Colombia, Peru, or Costa Rica. Costa Rica only allows children over the age of 6 to be adopted right now. Having a (almost) 3 year old and a 1 year old at home, adopting from Costa Rica would most definitely disrupt the “birth order” in our family. While we’re not opposed to adopting outside of birth order, we’re not sure that’s what is best for our family.
Peru and Colombia both give us the option of adopting in or outside of the natural order of our children. Right now we would prefer to adopt a child younger than Nathan (and probably younger than Alex), but we are open to an older child if that’s where God leads us. We have another year or so to figure that out. :)
I have a couple of emails out to my “adoption people” regarding these two countries to see which is the best fit for our family. Hopefully we’ll have a country soon!
P.S: who wants to teach us Spanish?
For those following along, here’s a quick update of our lives right now.
- Nathan will turn THREE next month! THREE. Crazy. He’s super smart (and I’m not just biased). He recognizes all of his letters and knows most of their sounds. He can count to 16 (sometimes he confuses 13 and 14). His vocabulary compares to a 4 or 5 year old and he speaks in complete sentences very clearly. He’s pretty much potty trained during the day and is learning how to swim.
- Alex is almost 17 months old and is very smart as well. (Again, I’m not just biased.) She can say at least 30 words already and understands many more. She’s our monkey and is determined to do anything her brother does. Except swim. She doesn’t like any water except the water in our baby pool or a puddle in the yard. We call her our “itty bitty” because she’s so small. About 21 pounds right now, but very healthy.
- Craig is working hard, as always, to not only support our family but to save for our adoption. He’s pretty much amazing.
- I’m still doing the crafting thing. Mostly painting right now, which I love. I’ll post some pictures of my recent stuff soon.
- We’re back on the fitness bandwagon and ready to be healthy for life! We’ve been doing pretty well for the last year, but can always do better. I’m starting some crossfit exercises at home with a friend. We’re training to one day compete! I’m probably more excited about it than I should be. :)
- We’re also narrowing down adoption locations. I think we’ll come to a decision within the next week or two. We’ll let you know!
- We have about HALF of the funds needed to adopt. And we haven’t officially started the paperwork! God is amazing.
I think that’s all the big stuff. Now you’re all caught up. Did you even know you were behind?
It may seem silly to some, but I’m writing this blog to document a special day in Nathan’s life. If you’re a parent you’ll understand my need to always remember this moment.
As you’ve already read, Nathan is now potty trained. He pretty much did it all himself. We’ve had two accidents in the last 4 days since we threw away the diapers. Not bad at all! His big “prize” for being potty trained was getting to pick out two fish. We’ve been bribing him to go potty with the idea of fish for several months now. So when he finally started going on the potty he made sure to remind us of our promise. We set up the tank the first day of potty training as a visual reminder and motivator for success. It worked like a charm.
And because he’s potty trained now (excluding night time), we took him to PetsMart to pick out his fish. Y’all. This kid was SO EXCITED. We pointed him to two different tanks with fish that we were told would be super hard to kill. (If you haven’t heard, I’m terrible at keeping fish alive.) We let him pick two fish out of those tanks to bring home. He held that bag of fish in his lap the whole way home and talked to them. We couldn’t make out everything he was telling them because he was speaking so softly. But we did hear: “Hi fishies. I’m going to take you to your new home and put you in your new aquarium and you can live at my house.” :) He was so sweet to them. He told them he could pee and poop on the potty now and that he was a big boy.
Then he asked me if he could eat them.
I’ve also discovered it’s nearly impossible to take a good picture of fish. Oh well. You get the idea. The yellowish one is named Nemo and the orange one is Marlin. (Care to guess what his favorite movie is?)
I’m going to hope I don’t jinx us by saying this…but I’m pretty sure Nathan is officially potty trained! IN TWO DAYS!!!! What the heck? Never would have thought our two year old stubborn boy would manage that.
After a long morning inside reinforcing what he learned yesterday, Nathan got to spend the afternoon outside. It was during the bubble chasing festivities that he had his only real accident since we put on underwear yesterday morning. We saw it coming, but couldn’t act fast enough. Oh well. One accident in two days isn’t too shabby!
After a quick trip to the potty the bubble chasing continued. Alex had to join in on the fun.
The next FIVE times Nathan went potty, he told us he had to go. He even stopped playing in the pool to tell us he needed a potty break! Complete with a poop in the potty! He’s got it down pat. At home at least. We’ll see how he does with his first outing tomorrow.
We ended our potty training “boot camp” with ice cream all around. And now I can relax on the couch knowing I have only one kid in diapers. You’re next, Alex! :)
If you’ve followed my blog or my Facebook for any decent length of time, you’ll know this isn’t our first attempt at potty training our first born. We first tried to potty train him a little less than a year ago. He was showing most of the readiness signs and we were ready to get started. However, I didn’t realize just how much of a commitment potty training is. Especially potty training under the age of 2. After a week he was catching on and was completely trained if he was naked. But you know, you can’t go everywhere naked and I was sick and tired of fighting that battle. So we put the diapers back on and called it quits.
A couple of months ago we haphazardly tried again. I was thinking maybe he would just magically get it on his own. When the first day came and went with NO successes and led to him holding his pee as long as possible, I gave up again. I was thinking we were going to end up potty training a 4 year old. And at that point I was okay with that.
Fast forward a few months. Poops were getting NASTY and I was OVER diapers. He’d poop and refuse to sit down until we changed him. Pretty sure that’s a major readiness sign. Couple that with the fact that our kids have been battling some major diaper rashes lately, when we ran out of diapers yesterday we decided today was the day. I didn’t buy more diapers. We showed Nathan the box and that there were no more diapers. We put him to bed and told him that he was going to be a big boy and wear underwear all the time now. He actually got really excited about it.
(Alex is a very supportive little sister. That, or she was taking advantage of the opportunity to watch Finding Nemo again.)
Today was Day 1. After some rough attempts at training in the past (that led to some fear of the potty on Nathan’s part) I didn’t expect today to go well. But the diapers were gone and never to return, so we’re in this for the long haul. And I can happily say that we had NO ACCIDENTS today. Well, I guess not technically. There was a little dribble in his first pair of underwear before I caught his dance. But not even enough to have to clean up the floor! He only used two pairs of underwear all day! (We’re using pull ups for naps and bed simply because I think that would be too much for him at once.) He even got to the point where by the end of the day he was telling us he needed to go!
(For the record: the guest bath is Kenya’s “space”. She wasn’t really enthused about us invading her space all day.)
I’ve read the second day is the hardest though, so I’m not getting my hopes up yet. But I’m glad we’re off to a much better start than before!
December 25, 2011. For those who don’t know, that’s the day I almost lost my mom. I got the call from my Dad on Christmas morning that my mom was at the hospital and that she had a heart attack. Scariest words ever. I was told she was stable and that she would be fine. But you know, when you hear the words “heart attack” in relation to someone you love, “fine” doesn’t ease your mind. I was able to visit her in ICU later that day. That’s the first time in my entire life that I was stronger than her. The first time she couldn’t take care of me while I was hurting and scared. I didn’t sleep well that night. I laid awake wondering what in the world I would do without her if she was to leave us. What my Dad would do without her if she was to leave us.
Thankfully, I didn’t have to answer that question. She’s doing great now. But only by the grace of God. My parents told me several weeks following the heart attack that had she been 5 minutes later to the hospital, she wouldn’t have made it. I think God must have known that while she would have been SO HAPPY in heaven by His side, something inside me would have died. I wasn’t ready to give her up.
When I was little she cleaned up my puke, held me when I cried, cried for me when I made mistakes, prayed over me constantly, and never gave me reason to doubt her love and support of me. Now that I’m older she brings be dinner when things are busy, takes care of the kids when I’m sick (even if it means she gets sick because of it), and still prays for me daily. She makes random trips to Walmart and Lowes with me and helps me plant vegetable “gardens”. She’s my best friend.
Mom, I’m so thankful God chose to give you more time on Earth with us. I’m so thankful He chose YOU to be my mom. So thankful He chose YOU to be grandma to our kids. I love you. I hope I say it enough.
…when there are no updates. *Sigh*
Anyone who knows me knows that I like to know what’s going on. I like to have a plan. I don’t like to do things last minute (unless they require no preparation). I’m a list maker. Shoot – I even write things on my to-do lists that I’ve already finished just so I know it’s all in one place. I have a certain day that I clean the bathrooms and wash the sheets. I LOVE to have a plan. Even if I don’t follow through with it, at least I know what should happen if I got my act together.
So for me to sit here and write to you that we have no idea where we’re adopting from is hard for me. I don’t like not knowing. I want to know where we’re going so I can start preparing. Learn a teeny tiny bit of the language. Embrace our future child’s culture. Teach our current children about that culture.
So I guess that’s the update: there is no update. We’re sitting and (ever so impatiently) waiting on God to lead us where He wants us. The good thing is we have nothing but time right now. Through our new agency, Lifeline, I must be 25 before we can send off our dossier. Which means we can’t really start the process until I’m 24.5 (in September). The only exception to this is if we decide to adopt from Congo. But their program is on hold right now due to a large number of applicants, so that’s not an option at the moment anyway.
That gives us plenty of time to save money, raise funds, abide in God, and focus on the two little ones He’s already blessed us with.
We’ll keep you posted when things change. :) In the meantime, we could use your prayers that God will lead us where He wants us and that we will listen to only Him.
Craig had a few days off last month, so we took advantage of his vacation and took the kids to Riverbanks Zoo. It was Alex’s first trip to the zoo that she would remember. We went once when she was a few months old, but she slept the entire trip. It was great seeing the kids interact with their surroundings and really ENJOY watching all of the animals. We had a blast.
They had so much fun that we bought a membership pass so I can take them anytime!
We had our first big fundraiser push last night. For those who have been following, you know we had a “date night” planned for last night here in our neighborhood. We grilled chicken, made lowcountry boil, stuffed ourselves with appetizers and desserts, danced the night away, and made some money in the process! It did my heart a lot of good to see our friends come together to show their support for us. We know some amazing people.
I’ve been told the evening was a success and we’ve already been asked to do it again! Our hope of offering this fundraiser yearly just might come true!
We made $484 just from the sale of tickets and donations last night. Adding that to donations that were given prior to the event and again this morning, we have currently raised $3,141. Not too shabby at all! And that’s not including the money Craig and I have personally been saving. God is providing just as we knew He would. Thanks to all who made last night a success and to all who have helped make our fundraising a success so far! We’re one tenth of the way there already! Not even 3 months after deciding to adopt!
I’d also like to give a shout out to our band last night. They came and played FOR FREE because they wanted to help with the fundraiser. And they were AWESOME. Go find them on Facebook. www.facebook.com/onahillband. Their lead singer, Alex, also plays with the Freedom Church worship band.
And stay tuned for updates on the adoption process as we make decisions. Also stayed tuned for more opportunities to support us. We’ll be holding auctions, giveaways, and more in the coming months. I’m even hearing rumors of a 5k/half marathon hopefully in the works!