Wednesday, December 28, 2011

On the growth chart! At last!

A couple of weeks ago Macy went for her four year check-up, and lo and behold, the child is FINALLY on the growth chart! She's still a LOT smaller than the typical four year old, but she's in the ninth percentile at least! Yay! And just to let you know what kind of growth we are talking about: in one year (the amount of time she's been home) most kids her age gain about 2 lbs and grow about 2 inches. Macy gained EIGHT AND A HALF POUNDS and grew FIVE AND A HALF INCHES!!! (Afro not included in that measurement. :) )  And to emphasize even further....I'm not the healthiest of cooks. Like, not at all healthy. So if this child grew THAT MUCH in a year - it just from getting FOOD period! Not even healthy, nourishing food everyday. (To my benefit, we eat a LOT of fruit - just not too keen on the veggies around here. Unless they are dipped in ranch.) So there - the girls is growin' and on the growth chart! That's what some Southern cookin' and some family lovin' will do for a girl!


Our Itty Bitty Ethiopian


Our Big(ger), Sassy, Southern-Talkin' Sweetie

Sunday, December 25, 2011

Luke 2:19

I love the nativity story. I never get tired of hearing the sweet story of our Savior's birth. The wise men, the shepherds....all of it. But since December 2005, the first Christmas I spent in the role of "Mommy", one particular verse has pulled my heartstrings more than the others. It's a verse that often gets overlooked. One that most people probably read quickly through, or even skip over.  But good gracious, how I "get" that verse.

"But Mary treasured up all these things and pondered them in her heart."


I "get" it. I SO get it. I get staring at your baby and wanting to just visually soak him in...his tiny hands, his perfect little mouth....wanting to remember everything about that one moment. Looking at him and wishing that time could just stand still. Feeling like your heart could just about explode from the depths that you love this child. Trying to wrap your mind around the fact that this is YOUR child...YOUR responsibility...a little life that YOU are responsible for molding. As a Mom, there have been so, so, so many times that I've stopped to "ponder them in my heart". These moments are usually at night, when I sneak in to their quiet bedrooms and see them sprawled out, mouths open, dreaming away. (Gah, don't they always look so stinkin' perfect then....even when they've been horrendous during the day...at nighttime they look like little angels). Many nights I've sat on the edge of four little twin beds, prayed specific prayers over each child, and just marveled at the thought that little ole ME is their Mom. And every.single.time it absolutely astounds and honors me that our Lord thought that I was fit to be their mom. I treasure these moments. I ponder the responsibility and the blessing. And oh, how unfit I feel. How there's never been one night that I've thought, "Yep, today I nailed it. Today I coulda won that Mom-of-the-Year Award". Nope. I sit there and think, "Geez, I blew it today. But thank you, sweet Lord, that I get to try again tomorrow. Thank you that You trust me with these four precious, amazing children, because I know I just couldn't live without any one of them.  You brought them through high-risk pregnancies, weeks in the NICU, even across the world to be my children - and tomorrow you are going to let me wake up to four little faces expecting great things from their Mommy. Thank you that I can expected great things from YOU to try to make that happen."


I don't take my title as Mommy lightly. I think. I plan. I stress. And being a Mom to a three, four, five and six year old isn't easy. But at the end of the day, when it's all done, I stop. I treasure the moments. And I'll ponder them all in my heart. Because no matter how badly I don't want it to happen, they ARE going to grow up. That sweet baby I rocked on Christmas Day 2005- well, he's six now. There's no more footie pjs or rocking to sleep or me being the only one to console him. Those moments with him are treasured up.


Merry Christmas from our family.




Thursday, December 8, 2011

Miss Macy turns 4!



 Our sweet Macy turned FOUR today!When I look at how tiny she is, it's still hard for me to believe that she's actually that old. But GOOD GRACIOUS does she have the personality to make up for her height! She may be small in stature, but she's big in sassiness, attitude, and just out-right FUNNINESS (is that even a word?). And she's changed soooo much in the past year! I got tickled today because my bff watched the kids while I picked up the cupcakes today, and she said that Miss Macy used the word ya'll in the plural possessive form. As in, "I like ya'lls Christmas tree." Yep. We've ruined her. We took this precious child with this gorgeous dialect and oozed our Southern slang onto her, and we've just ruined her. Oh well.

As some of you may know, three of our four kids have birthdays in the same week in December. For real. Oh, and did I mention that our anniversary is thrown in there too? Yeesssssss.....and then Christmas. Genius on our part, huh? Well, the past couple of years we've been throwing one big party for the kiddos....as for right now they don't know any better. This year's party actually fell on tonight...on Macy's actual birthday. I'll share about the party soon....maybe tomorrow. But for tonight I just wanted to give Miss Macy B a big ole' shout out and say WE LOVE YOU, Silly Girl. And just can't imagine life without you!

Friday, December 2, 2011

No More Babies

As a kid I remember how my Mom adored my little brother. I mean, she loved all of us, but he was totally her fav.o.rite. Me, with my Classic Middle Child Syndrome, absolutely hated this. But there was no changing it. He was always cute. He was always funny. He could pretty much do no wrong. I always thought it was because he was the only boy. I was wrong...it was because he was the baby.
Fast forward a couple of decades. I adore my children. All of them. I adore them probably more than is healthy for one person to love four little things so much. But my Hootie is different. It's not that he's my favorite, because he's not. You are not supposed to have favorites as a mom (ahem....mom!). He's just my precious. He's always cute. He's always funny. And he can pretty much do no wrong. (Okay, he can actually do A LOT of wrong....I just forgive it a lot quicker than some of the other wrongs happening around here.) Part of me knows this has to do with him being our Little Miracle. (Zero percent chance of survival? I think not!) But good golly, the other part is because he's the baby.
And today my baby woke up, smothered my face with his hot little kisses, looked me square in the eye and said, "It's time for my burf-day Momma, and I'm not your baby anyyyymore." Ugly tears from me proceeded to fall, and he skipped off happily into the other room.
Happy 3rd Birthday to my Precious Houston James. You bring so much joy and humor to our family, and we love you to pieces.

Saturday, November 5, 2011

One Year Home!!!!

This time one year ago I was hurrying as fast as I could through the Nashville airport to get my family all together for the first time. Our sweet Macy was finally home. I can't believe it has already been a year. An amazing year of having the priviledge of parenting this beautiful little girl.
We love you Macy Bereket! You amaze us every single day!

Monday, October 31, 2011

Macy's First Time Trick-or-Treating!

This was Macy last year on Halloween.
Although we had custody of her, we were still in Ethiopia, so we weren't able to do the "Halloween-y" stuff (although dadblastit I was gonna have her looking the part in her festive dress!).
And this was her this year!!!
She LOVED trick-or-treating! And I mean LOOOOOVED it!
And honestly, we thought she would HATE it, because she hates anything with a mask. Or that looks like an animal. Or looks scary. Or weird....or ANYTHING. We figured we'd have a short night because she'd just totally lose it. But NOOOOO, this girl was skipping down the sidewalk singing "I'm off to see the wizard" and saying "Look at all my candyyyyyy!". I think this girl could do Halloween every single day of the year.
Our Wizard of Oz Crew....
So her first "American" Halloween was a huge success! Of course, it may have just been due to the sparkly shoes and the wig...but our girl had a great time!

Friday, October 28, 2011

Happy Gotcha Day, Sweet Macy!




It is surreal to believe that one year ago today our precious Macy was placed in our arms for good. She was tiny and bald and scared. 365 days later, she's a Southern, sassy, confident, growing little girl. And yes, she finally has hair. A head full of kinky, crazy, curly hair.
This time last year Macy had a year full of "firsts'' ahead of her. Of course holidays and birthdays come to everyone's mind. But she also had other firsts you may not think of...climbing stairs for the first time (for a three year old!), riding in a buckled carseat, taking a hot bath and then a shower, worshiping in church, playing on a playground, rolling in the snow, tasting sweet tea (I mentioned she's now a Southerner, right?), coordinating her squeaky shoes with her hairbows (she is SUCH a diva), been in a pillow fight, screamed through immunizations, starting preschool, playing hide-n-go-seek, outwitting her siblings, and the list goes on and on. This girl has had QUITE the busy year. And there's been firsts for us as parents too...learning to fix that head of hair has been a learning experience for me. And figuring out how to get a lodged jellybean out of her tiny little nose. And teaching her not to wash her hands in the toilet. Oh, the adventures we've had with our little priss.
Imagining life without Macy is hard. Not just because it seems she's been ours all along, but because it's honestly HARD to think of what HER life would be like if she hadn't come home to Tennessee. Some information we found out during our second trip to Ethiopia made us realize that if we hadn't come at the time we were there, she may have never been matched with a family. And then Ethiopia adoptions have all but come to a halt. (Oh how I pray for all of our friends still in the process!). And then the horrific famine. It makes me realize if we'd waited just a couple more weeks to mail in our paperwork or raise our money or ANYTHING - we would not have THIS child. OUR child. Gah....see how that's hard? See how we praise our Maker, then One that loves this sweet girl even more than we do, for orchestrating everything PERFECTLY to bring our daughter home?
We are so very blessed.
Happy Gotcha Day to our spunky, little girl. We love you more than you'll ever know.

Tuesday, September 27, 2011

Happy Meetcha Day!


One year ago today a tiny, sick, quiet, little girl was placed in my arms. The moment was surreal. That child we had been praying and dreaming about for the past 12 months was finally, FINALLY with us. Just like the day I birthed my other three kiddos, it's a day I will treasure forever. Jason and I sat anxiously in plastic lawn chairs waiting to be introduced to our Macy Bereket. When the Head Momma walked in carrying our tiny little girl, our hearts just about burst. It was love at first sight. I didn't blog about it then, but those first couple of minutes with her were of course joyful, but also nothing what we could have prepared for. Macy was MUCH smaller than we had expected. And I know I had read that a lot, so that really isn't big news. But along with being so small, she also had very poor torso control, and had a hard time walking. She also had a lumpy noggin'. Lumpy enough to cause Jason and I both to be concerned. She acted lethargic and loopy. And no matter what we did, we COULD NOT get that girl to smile. We thought something could very well be wrong developmentally with her. On top of all of that, she was really sick with some kind of respiratory funk. I was worried out of my mind. Back at the hotel that night we laid in the bed and decided that no matter what the future held, we were committed to adopting her. She was the child for us.
What makes that kind of humorous now as we look back on it is that there is NOTHING wrong with that child. When we went back to Ethiopia just three weeks later to bring her home she was running and jumping and smiling and talking. She was a COMPLETELY different kid. The lumpy noggin, which she still has (you can't tell with all that crazy hair!) ended up totally fine. Just part of her makeup. She was healthy and happy and gaining weight. Like I said, a totally different kid. Looking back, we believe that due to her illness, she may have accidentally been over-medicated. Probably some kind of cough syrup or something. Because she was loopy and lethargic like she was drugged up on something.
So our original "Meetcha Day" was awesome, and alarming at the same time. But good gosh what a difference you can see now! That funny little girl has more spunk than all three other kiddos combined. And some A.T.T.I.T.U.D.E. Whew!
What an amazing 10 months it's been! We love you Macy B!

Friday, September 23, 2011

One year ago...



One year ago today we loaded our bags...

boarded some planes...

traveled 17 hours....


to meet our daughter.
To read about the beginning of that trip, click HERE.

Sunday, September 4, 2011

School is in session!!!

My kids are ALL in some kind of school! Aidan started KINDERGARTEN (sniff...sniff) and Hannah, Macy and Houston are all in two-day Mother's Day Out. You may THINK that I do a happy dance when everyone is dropped off, but no....those are the days that I work, so no watching soap operas and eating bon bons for me. (As if.)

Aidan L.O.V.E.S. kindergarten. I mean, the kid could do school every minute of every day, and it still would not be enough. In fact, he is rather upset that he has a four day weekend this weekend. And remember all those crying fits fears I had (HERE) about him starting school? Well, those were relieved when I met his precious teacher. She's been teaching kindergarten for 19 years, and she knows her stuff. In fact, being in her class almost makes me miss teaching. Almost. He's already come home telling me words in French. Oh, how I love my little nerd.
The other three kiddos are attending two-day-a-week preschool about 3 minutes from our house. Hannah is in Pre-K and has a teacher she's known for a while. She's my crafty one, and is really enjoying her class. Macy, who I wasn't sure about putting in school yet or not, LOVES it. She talks about it ALL WEEK LONG. She has Hannah's teachers from last week and just prances on in like she owns the place. Houston, who I fully expected to scream bloody murder and cling to me for dear life, thinks school is wonderful because there are trains there. Thank you God for trains. So NO crying from ANYONE! Even me! It's been a great transition for everyone!


Whoop whoop! Pumped for school!

First day of preschool!
In they go!
Aidan goes to meet his sweet teacher, Ms. Tracy! So that's it! Jason and I are entering into a new "season" as Aidan starts big school. And then next year Hannah will start. And the next year Macy will start. And then the next year, (if you can pull him from my grip) Hootie will start kindergarten.
And I will sit at home and cry.
Or watch soap operas and eat bon bons.




Friday, August 19, 2011

Never a dull moment





The girl has some moves!

This morning I was able to catch Macy dancing without her realizing I was recording her. Stop the music at the bottom of my blog so you can hear her dancin' tunes. Oh, and disregard the incredible mess behind her. Consignment sale season is upon us, and I am gettin' ready!
Enjoy the video!
video

Wednesday, August 10, 2011

Birthday Boy








Our Aidan turned six last week! I can't BELIEVE that my first born is six - and going to kindergarten this year!!!! We had a pool party to celebrate. The boy had a BLAST! Now, if I can just slow him down from growing up too fast, this Momma would be happy!

Friday, August 5, 2011

Happy Nine Months Home!







Miss Macy has been home for NINE MONTHS TODAY! Oh, okay....it's after midnight, so technically she's been home nine months and 41 minutes. But hey, it's been a long night. As you can see, it's been an eventful couple of months!

Saturday, July 16, 2011

a BIG FAT AMEN to this!!!

This video is blog-worthy for sure! It echos exactly how I feel. Jason and I aren't going to aspire to reach the "American Dream". We are going to be as "uncomfortable" and "inconvenienced" and "broke" as the Lord will let us be - ALL for HIS GLORY! Doesn't seem like a very hard decision when I look into our sweet Macy's face. We could have made excuses all.day.long on why we SHOULDN'T adopt. But at the end of the day, they just weren't convincing enough not to bring one of His children home.

Thursday, July 14, 2011

Our Referral-versary!

One year ago today we got the phone call that changed our family forever. (To read about that incredible day, click HERE.) There was a little girl in Ethiopia that needed a home. A little girl that through sickness had become fatherless, and through poverty had become an orphan. This little girl needed a family and a home, and we were it.
Last July 14th, this was the first picture we saw of our precious daughter.
And this is her today.
I'm not an overly, sappy, emotional person. But as I look at her first pictures, as I've looked at hundreds of times over the past year, tears pour from my eyes. Because LOOK AT HER. Look at how scared and confused and malnourished she was. And then look at that sassy little girl today. My heart breaks at the thought of "what-if". What if we hadn't made the leap of crazy faith to start the adoption process. What if the "it's so expensive" and "what will people think?" thoughts had won. What if.
This precious daughter of ours has changed so many lives already. More kiddos are coming home to their Forever Families because THIS LITTLE GIRL has impacted several of our friends. Do you understand how amazing it is to know that our adoption wasn't just about bringing Macy home, but how it's encouraged other families to start the process to bring their sons and daughters home as well? It truly is humbling.
One year ago today I went to bed praying for Macy's birthmother. The woman that gave her sweet baby life, and then after two and a half years of trying to provide for her, had to make the agonizing decision to take her youngest child to an orphanage. Today, my thoughts are on her again, as they are everyday. I want her to know how happy, healthy, smart and funny her daughter is. How wonderfully well-adjusted she is. How much happiness she has brought to our family.
What an amazing year. A year I can't believe that is already passed. A year of fears, trials, joy, and overwhelming appreciation to our Father who has so perfectly knit our family together. I tell everyone that He picked the perfect child for us. She was a Humphrey just needing to come home.