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Wednesday, August 27, 2008

Grins and Cuddles

I have mentioned a few times how hard it is to get Holden’s sweet grin on camera. I think he just has a fascination with the green light that goes off before the flash. So I normally end up getting the furrowed brow look, rather than the 100 watt smile that we all know and love. Can you call it 100 watt even though he has no teeth and normally peeks that little tongue out a bit instead? I love it that way! All gums! Anyways, last night we tricked him. Jeremy was making him smile and for some reason a couple of times, he whipped his face towards me (the photographer). And so we caught a couple of his beautiful smiles for you to all ooooooh and ahhhhh over. See, he really is a happy boy. Don’t let him fool you. He’s not as serious as he might want you to believe.

And here is his cuddly side. Luckily I get these sweet cuddles several times a day. Before he goes down for a nap and right when he wakes up, he loves to be cuddled. And I have to say I love it to. Jeremy and I were playing our addictive card game last week and here is how Jeremy handled it when Holden awoke from his nap. Just so sweet!

Tuesday, August 26, 2008

Tummy time friend

Holden discovered a new friend last week and he is a cute little boy!

Back to school for the kiddos

And for this big kiddo. For some reason, Jeremy decided that it would be a good idea to head back to school this year. Maybe because he loves things that are free. The company he works for will pay for him to further his education, so why not take advantage of it. He started back to school yesterday evening to work on his MBA. So for the next 2 and a half years he will be taking evening classes about twice a week to earn that degree. I’m pretty proud of him and I know he will do great. But we will sure miss him around the house. Mondays and Thursdays will be long days for everyone this semester. Feel free to come and play with Holden and I!!
I failed to mention he is attending OU. For friends and family in Texas that have never heard of them – that is the University of Oklahoma, you know the Sooners. ;) We will sport no t-shirts and no bumper stickers. Nor will we succumb to the crimson and cream obsession that swarms this state. He is just there to get his degree, not to become a SOONER!
Happy first day of school Jeremy!

Following my motherly instinct . . .

and a word of advice from my mom. I thought I would approach starting cereal just like everything else – conservatively. If the doctor gave us the go ahead at 4 months, we would attempt it. If Holden wasn’t interested, we would revisit it in a month or so. But we are one week shy of that 4 month doctor’s visit and my baby is STARVING! Over the weekend, he decided he needed 9 ounces of formula at each feeding. You know they don’t make bottles that big. So I was having to make him refills of formula at most feedings which seemed so unreal. So yesterday we made our first attempt at cereal. And though he wasn’t all that interested, I am sticking with it. I figure that eventually he will get the hang of this eating thing.

Monday, August 25, 2008

My first prayer for Holden

I came across my prayer journal yesterday that sadly has been completely neglected the past 4 months. And my last entry was May 6th, 2008.

God, I feel a little timid to be excited about this baby! I would love to have him but I’m just unsure of your plan for him and for us. You know that I have been convinced this whole time that it would be a girl. So a boy really does surprise me. Help Jeremy and I to sleep tonight. Give us peace. We trust you and your plan. And God, I would absolutely love and adore this little boy! You already know – better that I know! God, I ask that Jeremiah is healthy. I ask that his birth mother took very good care of him during her pregnancy – that she refrained from drug use and alcohol. I pray that he is 100% healthy and thriving. God, give him a wonderful set of parents and a loving family. I ask that your hand would be on this little boy’s life – that one day he would find you and love you! God, I would love to be an instrument in his life. You know my heart and I don’t know your will. But I truly trust your plan. And I love you!

It’s times like these that I am thankful that I began keeping prayer journals back in high school. And after reading this entry yesterday, I began thinking about God’s possible thoughts as I spoke and wrote these words to Him. I can’t imagine the delight in his heart knowing what was around the corner for us. And as I prayed these words he was just waiting with anticipation to watch it all unfold in a matter of days. (At least that is what I imagine my heavenly father to be feeling.)

“For I know the plans I have for you,” declares the LORD, “plans to prosper you and not to harm you, plans to give you hope and a future.” Jeremiah 29:11

Thursday, August 21, 2008

Chilled Out

I just thought it was a funny picture with his hands behind his head and all. So relaxed!

Friday, August 15, 2008


As promised. Here is my little baby standing. Strong legs!! Notice he is only holding onto my thumbs. And notice his raised eyebrows. He is so proud of himself.


I’m not really sure if I’ve found a tickle spot, or if he just likes the sound of me saying “tickle tickle tickle”. Because who is really ticklish under their neck? Under the arms – yes. Bottom of the feet – of course. But under the chin . . . I’m not convinced. But I do love that he plays along with my game.

Everybody's gone surfin

Tuesday, August 12, 2008


Warning: It’s going to be a vain post. I am going off topic today. You know, my normal topics revolve around the family and of course HOLDEN. But today, I will talk about my hair. I get bored with the same old look and so I tend to make changes quite often. And so that is where I am today. For the past week, I have been laying in bed at night thinking about my hair. Pathetic right? I’ve been wondering if I should go brunette again. I have done this maybe 3 or 4 times in the past 5 years. I know, I should probably stop going back and forth and make a decision what color I want it to be. If I keep it up, it might fall out on me. Lord knows I don’t want that. Anyways, with fall around the corner and my dark roots staring back at me in the mirror, I have this great urge to try and go (AND STAY) brunette again. I am TIRED of keeping up with the highlights. And even if I have to occasionally put some color on this brown hair to liven up my natural mousey brown color, at least it wouldn’t be every 6-8 weeks. So tell me your opinion: blonde or brown. Don’t tell me what you think I want to hear, tell me YOUR opinion.
These are kind of old photos and my hair was long. I wish I had never cut it off!!! See, that was another moment of boredom. But they are the best close-ups I have as most of our recent pics are now of Holden. Which brings me to another thought . . . maybe I should try and grow it out again???? My sister Amy would say “No, we look frumpy with long hair!” And maybe she’s right. Let’s just figure out the color for now.

Or blonde?????

p.s. That's nephew Cameron in the picture.

Wednesday, August 6, 2008

A Plug for Adoption

Check out this article. Someone reading my blog is considering adoption and this is going to push them over the edge. No, that wasn't a word from the Lord. It's just me being hopeful!

Tuesday, August 5, 2008

3 months old

Well, Holden turned 3 months on the 1st. I am a little behind. And actually he will be 14 weeks this Thursday. And as you can see he is a big boy and growing at a rapid pace. He is roughly 15 pounds. That is me weighing with him on our home scale. And he is constantly standing in our laps. I keep promising a picture of it. I will post one soon. He just holds our thumbs and stands there until his legs wear out. He is so strong! Not that I really know what a 3 month baby SHOULD be doing, but physically he really does seem to be ahead of the gang. And of course, that is just coming from the mama. :) He is such a happy baby and just smiling all the time. Catching a smile on camera is still pretty tricky. He is so mesmerized by the green light before the camera flashes, that he ends up losing the smile and furrowing his brows. Catching a smile on camera is definitely a 2 person job and then, still a challenge.
Holden has been to the church nursery for the past 2 weeks now. The volunteers love him, feed him and cuddle him while he sleeps. So he really enjoys his time there. I’m sure he will be making baby friends in no time. We moved him to his bedroom a couple of weeks ago because he seemed to be sleeping so well. In a past blog, I bragged on him sleeping 10 hours and then he stopped. Some nights he goes down at 10:30pm and then others, such as last night, he went down at midnight. So he wakes up anywhere between 5:00am and 7:30am. We need to get on a more regular schedule. I haven’t been working too hard on that, but I need to. But he is sleeping through the night in his own bed and in his own room.
Last night I was laughing at Holden because he was talking to my dad on the phone. It’s just funny to watch a baby “talk”. And then Holden started giggling because he was watching me laugh, which in turn made me laugh even harder, which made his giggle turn more into a laugh. Have I mentioned how much fun we are having?!
I guess that is the latest on our sweet baby boy. I tell him daily what a blessing he is and I wonder if he will EVER even be able to remotely comprehend the joy he has brought to our lives. Maybe in 25+ years when he has children of his own. So until then, I will just have to tell him over and over again.
And here are some recent pictures . . .
just a cute little bottom
daddy reading to Holden. Holden is more into the ceiling fan than the book.
couldn't stay awake for play time
just a sweet face

Friday, August 1, 2008

Family meets Holden

At Cameron's 1st birthday party, my aunt, uncle, cousin and cousin's girlfriend were finally able to meet Holden. My aunt and uncle adopted my cousin Britt from birth. Britt has always been my first exposure to adoption. He was 9 months older than me and so naturally, he was my closest cousin. He has Native American in his blood and so is darker skinned than the rest of our family. Yet, ironically similar to his dad, my uncle. And as open as everyone was about his adoption, I would still tend to forget. Especially as a child, I just never thought much about it. He belonged to my aunt and uncle as much as I belonged to my own parents. As I have gotten older, and adoption has become more common in our family, I have asked more questions. It's great to hear my aunt's story of the big news that they had a son. I don't think I had ever heard it until recent years. Not because it wasn't shared. Probably my own lack of interest. As mentioned earlier, I just seemed to forget that he came to our family a little differently than I did.

All that being said, Aunt Phee Phee has anxiously been awaiting her turn to cuddle Holden. She has been our prayer warrior from the beginning of our adoption process and continued when Holden had to go through his surgery, etc. We have always known her as Aunt Phyllis. For some reason, she found Aunt Phee Phee (not sure if I am spelling it correctly) to be more fitting these days. So Aunt Phee Phee it is. And here is the family loving on Holden.
Aunt Phee Phee and Holden
cousin Britt and Holden
Crystal cuddling Holden. I think Crystal might become the newest member of our family. And hopefully I don't get in trouble for stating that. But for Pete's sake, she has been around for 2 years and I figure if she puts up with Uncle Danny for that long, she is a keeper. Uncle Danny (not pictured). And very unfortunate. :(

Our Adoption Journey

I have been meaning to write this post for a while, but knew it would take some time. And so I finally feel ready.

Jeremy and I talked about adopting early on in our marriage. We had both agreed that we wanted to adopt. I don’t remember the first discussions. It may have been before we were even married. But at some point we came to that agreement, that we would eventually adopt a child. In our minds, we had a plan. We had discussed wanting a large family. And so we had decided to have 3 biological children, and then later, when the finances were present, we would adopt internationally. And me personally, I was thinking a girl from China. This China thing had been in my head since high school.

When Hope (our niece) entered our family through adoption, we received a huge blessing. And we got to see and experience God’s faithfulness to my sister, her husband and our entire family in a new and different way. I think Hope changed us all. She was the first little life to open our eyes to how God can create a family, with NO help from us whatsoever!

When Jeremy and I decided to start a family, we started with complete confidence. We never really had any worries about infertility. Maybe we should have. My only 2 sisters had their fair share of battles and fertility problems, so chances should have looked slim for me. But we never really worried about it. For 6 months, we didn’t stress and honestly attempted to leave it in God’s hands and timing. And then at the 6 month mark, I got more serious about it and attempted to place it back in my own hands – cause God wasn’t making it happen. After 11 months of trying, we began talking about adoption. This was May of 2007. Oh my, how God works fast! Jeremy was ready. The money wasn’t there. I had my doubts (which I will explain later), but I had a husband that was on board and ready to adopt a baby. He could have cared less about biological versus adopted and what a blessing it was for me to have that support! And so we began discussing together international versus domestic, private agency versus DHS. And after much discussion, we decided that if we were not pregnant by December, we would start the domestic adoption process through a local agency. We were ready to be parents.

Let me go back a little. My doubts I mentioned earlier . . . back in May of 07, I worried that if I moved into the adoption process, God might just make me wait forever. So I would still be waiting but in another arena. Which I knew would be even more frustrating! I thought maybe this was all just a test of my patience and trust. I was afraid of moving forward on my own without God giving me a clear word such as “Melodie, adopt.” Or “Melodie, wait.” I was afraid that I might be out of God’s will in adopting, trying to take things into my own control. Geez, the struggle of my life - listening for God’s plan and being so fearful that I might accidentally step out of his will. As I was explaining all of this to my dear friend, she made a statement that completely touched and changed my heart. She said something like – I don’t think you could ever be out of God’s will in choosing to adopt a child. Ahhhhhhhhh! So what I needed to hear! And typing it and remembering that conversation still puts a lump in my throat. This statement moved me forward in our process. And in hindsight, I feel like the waiting I went through was a whole lot less about me and just more of God developing his plan through our journey. Don’t we always try to make it about ME ME ME!

At this point, I hadn’t been to a fertility specialist and I hadn’t been given a diagnosis. My regular doctor was kind of stumped as to why I was having trouble getting pregnant. In August, it seemed December was quickly approaching and I decided that I would visit a fertility specialist. I wanted a diagnosis. Months, visits and tests went by and he too was stumped. In December there were no answers to why we were not pregnant and we applied for adoption. Yay! In early January the nurse called and said there was another test that the doctor wanted do. I explained to her that I really wasn’t interested in continuing the testing and that we had decided to adopt. She convinced me to do this one last test and that we might all have more clarity from its findings. So at then end of January, 2 days before Jeremy and I were going to be attending our adoption seminar, the doctor called and informed me that he did have a diagnosis and chances seemed very slim that I would ever naturally conceive. It was a little bit sad, to say the least. As excited as I was to adopt, the unknown of my condition had begun to feel comfortable. And as much as I thought I wanted an answer and a diagnosis, sometimes I think I could have lived without that phone call. Fortunately I had a husband that empathized with the pain and loss that I felt, but helped me look forward to God’s bigger plan that he had in store for our family.

We proceeded that weekend to attend the adoption seminar through the local agency. And what peace! We were headed in the right direction to grow our family. By the end of March we had completed the many steps and processes (we purposely moved quickly) and were officially on list of waiting families. And you know the rest. Our baby boy was born May 1st, we learned about him May 6th and brought him home on May 9th. Holden is our miracle. A bigger miracle than we could have ever dreamt for ourselves.

Adoption was never our second best option. I always want to make that clear to people. Adoption was something that God put on our hearts years ago and he continued to stir up that dream until it came to fruition. And I have stated before, we plan to adopt more and more babies in the future. Right now, we are enjoying our boy and really cannot imagine our lives any other way.