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Thursday, April 30, 2009

One year ago today . . .

It was the last day of the month of April. Months earlier, I thought I had heard God tell me that our baby would be born in April. And as the month started coming to an end, friends told me that maybe April meant something different. One even mentioned that maybe April was the month of conception of my child. This wasn’t comforting to me, as I was not really wanting to wait another 9 months. But I held tightly onto that promise . . . until May 1st. Then I felt it was safe to assume that I must have misunderstood God.

I always had my cell phone turned off at work. But not on the last day of April. I had it on vibrate, right next to me. I was completely ready for our social worker to call us on this day with the news of a last minute baby. But that call never came. After work I rushed home to check the answering machine, only to find no messages. That night I was on my knees in front of our black chair doing a little praying, a little crying and telling God, once again, that I trusted Him. But had I misunderstood Him? I had been so confident. I had shared my heart with close friends and family and asked them to pray with us for the month of April. That month had been so heavy on my heart and Jeremy and I saw clear signs of God confirming it to us. I was so ready to see God at work and see our prayers answered. So as the clock ticked and it became May 1st, I was deeply confused and a little sad. But deeply wanting to trust Him no matter the circumstance.

And so some of you already know the details of this story. Holden was born on May 1st but he was running a little behind schedule. He was due at the end of April. It would be another week before we even met Holden and were able to begin putting the puzzle pieces together. But during the months of February, March and April, God drew me to himself like never before. And I had a sweet time of fellowship with Him that I will always remember. And so this story goes into our little book as one more piece of evidence of God’s work in our lives. I love the times that we can reflect back and clearly see his hand in our puzzle. We couldn’t see it then, but it is so clear now.

Consider it pure joy, my brothers, whenever you face trials of many kinds, because you know that the testing of your faith develops perseverance. Perseverance must finish its work so that you may be mature and complete, not lacking anything. If any of you lacks wisdom, he should ask God, who gives generously to all without finding fault, and it will be given to him. But when he asks, he must believe and not doubt, because he who doubts is like a wave of the sea, blown and tossed by the wind. James 1:2-6

Sunday, April 26, 2009

the camera . . .

Here she is. Since several of you have asked, the camera we bought this past November is a Canon Rebel XSi. We actually bought it new off of Ebay. Some of you know how we feel about Ebay. That is where we bought my car, which I love. Just had to fly to Cincinnati to pick it up, which is a whole other story. But we do love the camera and think it will be a huge money saver in the long run.

Friday, April 24, 2009

New Playgroup and 1st zoo trip!

So we are now attending a monthly transracial playgroup. And let me tell you how exciting that is! It just is!! I am meeting more and more families that look similar to us and that have a huge heart for adoption. Many I have only “met” through blogs. But I am also getting to make these new friends in person. I am finding more and more in our surrounding area. I think that each new day transracial adoption becomes a little more common than yesterday. Just Sunday at church we were able to meet and talk to a new adoptive family. It’s amazing to see God opening hearts and opening doors through adoption. And it thrills me like nothing else.
So Holden spent the morning at the zoo with {Cooper, Owen, Sadie}, {Caleb} and {Turner}. As you can see Holden sacked out . . . somewhere around the fish aquarium. It was dark inside that area and he took the opportunity to nap for the rest of our zoo experience. Before conking out on us, he did love to see the ducks, the swimming turtles and the wolf (which I called a puppy for the sake of simplicity). He especially loved to look at all the other kiddos running around. We are already looking forward to our next playgroup in May. I have been posting ALOT lately. And there are some very important ones below. Some where we are kind of asking for your help. Begging you :). . . so please read on below.

Thursday, April 23, 2009

Tax Credit Going... Going... Gone???

This is Jeremy (a.k.a. Holden's dad). As many of you know, adoption is freakin' expensive. In fact, many people struggling with infertility never even consider it as an option because of the cost. One saving grace for us has been the Federal Adoption Tax Credit. For those who do not know, it allows adoptive families to claim a tax credit (of up to $11,650 for 2008) of qualified adoption expenses. This is HUGE! This enables many adoptive families, us included, to afford adoption. Since we have at least two more adoptions to fund (or 15 if you ask Melodie), this tax credit keeps Holden from being 20 years old before he has a sibling.
The tax credit is only a temporary credit, which expires December 31, 2010. There is a proposed bill, The Adoption Tax Relief Guarantee Act of 2009, H.R. 213, that will extend the tax credit. I know, how cool is that, right? Since you are as excited about adoption tax credits as I am, you can help us by writing or emailing your congressman and senators and ask them to vote for this bill. Click here to get more information or click on the button to the left.
I expect everyone to jump on board; even if you are not an adoptive family. This is an easy way for you to support adoption without having to give any money or much time.
Do it for Holden. (how is that for a guilt trip)

meet Keri.

Keri is a friend from college. So some of you already know her and know the story. But many of you don’t, so this is for you. She wanted to be a momma like so many of us. And she and husband Chad traveled a winding road to get them to that point. Until recently, I only vaguely knew their story. But now I feel like I’m knowing it on a whole new level. She has their regular family blog here. But recently she’s been putting their adoption story down for the bloggy world to read. And it is amazing! Amazing to see God’s evident hand through the process. Sometimes our lives, to us, look so complicated and ugly; yet God is at work the entire time. We know it, but sometimes we can’t see his hand right there in the present. But then down the road, we see this beautiful story. So go and read this beautiful story. Grab a cup of coffee, a box tissues and start at part 1. Click here.

Wednesday, April 22, 2009

Oklahoma Adoption

Go here. Read. Read. Read. And then do as they say. Things seem to be falling into place but it all needs our support. Now, ta ta. Go read. :)

Monday, April 20, 2009

my faves.

So here are several of my faves from our little photo shoot on Saturday. And yes, there is more than this. I am just trying not to bore you with them all.
Okay, I know that Jeremy is not a professional. In fact, this is his first go around with this . . . EVER. So does that impress you? Cause it does me and I wonder if I am just biased (with the photographer and the little model.) Well, here they are (in no particular order).

Sunday, April 19, 2009

One Year Approaching

All the signs are clearly telling me that Holden will be 1 very, very soon.
* I ordered cute little paper plates and a matching t-shirt that Holden will wear for his birthday party. It arrived on our doorstep last week.

* Last week I also finished making his birthday invitations and got them in the mail on Friday. It will be a small and low key party. I know people can go nuts-o with the baby birthdays these days. Petting zoos, bounce houses and all sorts of craziness. But really, who is all that mess truly for? So we are keeping it simple by just inviting some family and 2 of Holden’s special friends that he sees on a weekly basis.

* And last but not least, we took his 1 year pictures yesterday. Back in November, for our anniversary we bought a digital SLR camera. We decided to stop paying photographers and learn to do it ourselves. So yesterday around noon we took off for our location. Both Jeremy and I were a little nervous. Jeremy was nervous maybe because he felt unsure of what he was doing. I designated him as the photographer. He has learned the camera well. But I was just nervous that Holden wouldn’t cooperate and we might not capture the sweet faces that I wanted in pictures. Well, the pictures came out FABULOUS! It’s amazing what a great location, fancy camera, a little editing and a super cute subject can produce. Jeremy snapped almost 400 pictures in about 1 hour!! I am so impressed with Jeremy’s eye for this and his ability. He really did an amazing job. And it’s going to save us tons of money from here on out (in the long run). We needed to get the pictures done this weekend because our church baby dedication is right around the corner. It is actually on Mother’s Day. Holden was supposed to be dedicated last Father’s Day. If you remember, we were here and so that never happened. So we are just now, almost a year later, getting the opportunity to dedicate him at church. Anyways they need 2 pictures of our cutie by this week. It will be a tough decision. Here is a sneak peak of how yesterday went. Props to the hubby! More to come later . . .

Thursday, April 16, 2009

Vitamin D

This week Holden and I have hardly been out of the house. Which is a shame considering the beautiful weather we've been having. But the past 2 days we have been soaking in just a little sun and getting 100% of our requirement for Vitamin D. We're all about getting our vitamins around here. So for about 10 minutes we lounge on the blanket in the yard. Holden does NOT like the prickly, dead grass. So he is very careful to stay on the blanket and play with his toys. He talks, babbles and points to the trees. And after our 10 minutes in the yard we both smell like we have sat in a dust storm all day. Just one of the perks of living in this area. And here is Holden enjoying those vitamins. Healthy boy!

Wednesday, April 15, 2009

Recent Holden News

Holden decided just this week to begin pulling up to his feet. I guess he had no interest until now. But now he is pulling up on everything! And he is so proud of the feat each time. I think walking might actually be in his future. He also ate an entire Sonic grilled cheese sandwich yesterday for dinner. This was after drinking his 8 ounces of milk. Sometimes he has an adult-sized appetite. He is also cutting a MAJOR tooth. I mean!! It looks like a boulder is hiding under that itty bitty tender gum. So the past couple of days he has been sleeping more. Long naps. That has been nice since I have been kind of sick. Today I gave him some Tylenol and put him in bed when he started acting sleepy. He just cried and cried. So I took him out and layed on the couch with him. He had his paci in mouth, blankie in hand and just layed his head on my chest. Lying there with his eyes open, but suddenly so content in my arms. My plan was to shower during that nap . . . as it was over the 24 hour mark coming close to 48 (give me grace, I have been sick). But I decided to postpone those plans. If I had a little boy willing to cuddle with his unshowered momma, then I was going to take the opportunity. I layed there wondering when babies start to understand. My heart is so full for this boy! So full of love and joy that sometimes I can't even grasp it myself. I must tell him 100 times a day. But I know the words don’t mean much to him right now. I knew this child would change my life forever. But I don’t think I had any idea on how he would change my heart. Sometimes it feels like it might just burst open.

Weekend with the Myers

Ok. So here is where I got all out of order. Last weekend we went to Dallas and spent time with Josh and Amanda. Remember we do this every spring. See here, we had a fun time last spring. And then they come to visit us every fall. See, here. A fun time with Josh and Amanda in the fall. The boys ALWAYS play golf. Done deal. No questions asked. Even if we have to pack the car with a stroller, pack n play (guys, thanks for letting us borrow Camryn’s), dog and dog crate . . . we have to fit in the golf clubs. And Amanda and I normally always do a little shopping. We go eat at fun, new restaurants and relax at each other’s houses. These 2 weekends are always one of the best in my year. Comfortable time with friends that know us to the core. And this weekend was no different. We were also able to see Ryan and Adrianne that live just down the road from Josh and Amanda. Here are some snippets from the weekend. Here are the sexy husbands. Not really into posing for pictures as you can tell. And amanda and I. A less than flattering picture of myself. But I show you the good, the bad and the ugly. So here is the ugly. Holden opened up his first birthday present at their house. Oh how he loves tissue paper! He got this neat little gumball toy and a book that I didn't get a picture of. But we love it because it has kids on the pages that look just like him. It was the perfect book! Here Josh gives Holden some music lessons.
Thanks for hosting another fun weekend! And thanks for sharing your pictures!

Easter Sunday

I have been a little under the weather this week and so I am behind in my post. (And a little out of order, which really bugs me.) Easter Sunday was great! We went to the early service and then took Holden home for a nap. I love the celebration of Easter . . . how “it is finished” on Friday evening and He is alive again on Sunday! I look forward to the days when I begin to explain this miracle to Holden.
Around noon we headed over to Jeff, Daysha and Lyndon’s house for lunch. So nice of them to include us with their family on Easter Sunday! Norm had gotten a soccer ball bank for Holden and a piggy bank for Lyndon. Then they had filled eggs with cheerios and coins for the boys. And they had an egg hunt. So the cheerios went straight into the mouth and the coins went in the banks. It was such a good idea for this age. Holden enjoyed shaking the eggs like they were his maracas. Here are a few pictures from our day.

Thursday, April 9, 2009

Easter Fun!

Today Lyndon and Holden had their first shot at dying Easter eggs. And after just one full cup of green colored water was spilt all over the kitchen floor, it went pretty well. Holden is as fast as lightening and maybe one of these days I will catch on to that little fact. He knocked a large sonic cup out of my hand yesterday. Luckily we were outside and I was just down to the ice. He is mister speedy. Watch out! Back to the eggs. I did the dying of the eggs and then together with Daysha, we attempted their thumbprints. So they may not really look like thumbprints, but it made for a fun little memory. If not for the boys, since they probably will have forgotten about the experience after their naps; it was a fun memory for the mommas. Here are a few pictures from our day.

Wednesday, April 8, 2009

little helper/returning to jogging

Jeremy put together our jogging stroller last night. I had received the stroller as a gift from my co-workers right after we got Holden. Since the child has to be able to sit up on their own before you can actually take them running in it, it has stayed in the box for the past 11 months. Remember when I was “seriously” running back here. Well, then Holden came along and all of that came to an abrupt halt. Then once he was sitting up on his own, I felt out of shape and it was getting cold. So now the weather is beginning to look and feel nice, Holden is sitting up and I am completely out of good excuses. So over the past couple of weeks running has become a priority again. And as difficult as running is for me right now, I do love it once I am done and occasionally during the run. So this afternoon will be our first little jog together. As you can see Holden was very “hands on” with the assembling of the stroller.

Tire Swing

We spent this past weekend with friends just outside of Dallas. I will post about it later. On Thursday night we stayed at my parents. It had been 2 months since my dad had seen Holden and he couldn’t stand it any longer. So we spent a little time with them beforehand. For some reason, I didn’t get any pictures of my dad and Holden. But Holden did get his first try at the tire swing in Nana and Papa J’s backyard. He still doesn’t know what to think about swinging. I think he is still into all of the nature when we take him outside. Staring at the trees, blowing leaves and hearing all the sounds of outside. He takes it all in.

Wednesday, April 1, 2009

11 months.

I can not believe that 1 month from today we will be celebrating Holden’s 1st birthday. Wow! This past month I have been swallowing the fact that he is becoming my little toddler and less and less of a baby. Everyone has commented on how he is losing that baby look and gaining the little boy look. And I know it’s so true. Along with his look changing, his GREAT BIG personality continues to emerge. Just in the past couple of weeks he has been longing for independence. He is eager to feed himself finger foods and it seems he could care less if he ever sees me coming at him with a spoon again. Just recently I have begun to accept that he may not be the laid back little boy that I once thought he was. Instead there might be a strong personality developing. Jeremy has assured me that this is a good thing. It continues to be a joyous journey to watch Holden grow and develop.

don't those eyes tell a story!

He is definitely picking up on language, though still not speaking any words we really understand. Of course that doesn’t keep him from talking. There is something coming out of his mouth most of the time. I can tell him to get his “book” and he goes straight to it. He knows Abbie is the “puppy”. If I ask if he wants a “bite” he crawls to me and opens his mouth right away. Other words he knows are diaper, duck, daddy, momma, bottle . . . I’m sure there are others that I am not remembering right now.
He is anxious to walk on his own. He likes to walk holding your hands until his legs tire out or our backs tire from being bent over to help him. The little walker has been a huge help for our backs. :)
Last week when I took Holden to the doctor, he weighed in at 23lbs and 12oz. Since he had his clothes on, I will say he is probably close to 23lbs right now.
I am trying to transition to complete table food since it seems that Holden wants to feed himself. If you have any healthy (not too processed) lunch ideas for me, please send them my way. This morning he had a plain blueberry waffle, half a banana and a sippy cup full of (drumroll. . . ) WHOLE MILK. That was more food than what I ate?! It seems like a big breakfast for a little boy. But I think he loved it all. I’m not so sure what possessed me to do the whole milk, but I think he loved his new ice cold beverage. I am really trying to work with him to hold the sippy cup. He holds it but doesn’t quite get how to tilt it up to get the milk in the spout. So he sucks on the spout and gets air, but no milk. Frustrating life for a baby!
Well, that is our Holden update for this month. It’s a fun fun life with this little boy!