Tuesday, May 27, 2008

It's not easy being green...

Now that I've pretty well documented all of the major milestones in our life in 7 posts, I can share some day to day stuff with you! This Memorial Day we bypassed the beach, nixed Water Country, said no to Busch Gardens, and decided to paint shutters. They definitely needed to be done. The beauty of our mint green siding was being diminished by our faded hunter green to sage green shutters. Our home was sporting every shade of green known to man! I love green just as much as Kermit himself, but even he would have to agree that enough is enough! While I would love to change the siding to a gorgeous tan, I contented myself with painting the shutters a dark greenish black, to match the roof. Yes, even the roof is green. The people that built this house were amphibious.



STILL during (the paint fumes and top 500 songs of all times were starting to get to us):


No one can accuse us of not being "green"!

We're Ghana Adopt!

What I really want to do is show you a picture of our 4 gorgeous children waiting for us in Ghana. But since we can not do that until we pass court, I will just have to tell you a little about them, and how they came to be ours, and show you a picture of our oldest three kids sporting Yellow Fever Vaccine wounds. Ouchie!! But worth it, as we need those for travel to Ghana!

About a year ago, Lou Lou and I were watching the news. There was a segment about Ghana and the problems they are having with unhealthy water. Lou went to bed that night praying for the children there. Not only praying for the children, but praying that we would adopt some brothers. I had never even heard of anyone adopting from Ghana, so we looked it up. It had just opened up to International adoption. Uh Oh!! Apparently God liked her idea.

It took Steve and I until about January to get on board with Lou. She prayed for this adoption nightly the whole time.

February- sent off all applications
March 4th- first home study visit
March 11- found out the names and ages of a sibling set of four
March 19th- mailed I600a application (to get pre-approval to adopt internationally)
March 27th- applied for passports
April 10th- fingerprints at USCIS
April 17th-home study approved!
April 19th- Got referral of S, B, E and I!!!!
April 25th- Dossier mailed to Ghana
April 25th- applied for kids passports
May 10th- received our 171h (the pre-approval to adopt internationally)
May 21st- they got presents we sent them, and know they will be adopted by us!

Where are we now? Waiting for court. We are hopeful that court will be sometime near the end of June. Adoptions in Ghana are in somewhat uncharted territory. Court can be delayed 2, 3 times or more routinely. So we are putting it all in God's hands, which is a sight more safe than in our own! About 3 weeks after court we get our official adoption decree, which means we can travel to Ghana and meet our babies! While there, we will file some immigration paperwork, and stay about a week. Tater, Joby and Lou will go with us. About a month later, we will travel back to pick up our kiddos and bring them home to us FOREVER!!!

It looks like they should be home late August, or early September. We are guarding our hearts, and trying not to be too optimistic, as a number of things could happen to make the timeline longer. This is just a guess!

S is an 8 year old girl with gorgeous huge brown eyes. She has told other visiting Momma's that she wants me to come and take her to America, and that she wants a white bike.

B is a 6 year old beautiful girl. She is a little quiet and reserved, and has said that she wants a yellow basket, and that she loves her Mommy!

E is a 4 year old boy, without his front teeth (he lost them in an accident). His toothless grin is absolutely adorable. He loves cats, and is proud of his schoolwork.

I is a cutie boy of 2. He is described as a lover and cuddler (be still my heart)!

We are just so excited to have the honor of adding them to our family. We can't wait to hug and kiss them up, and smother them with love. We miss them, even though we don't yet know them. Our hearts are bonded, yet we are separated by an ocean. When God allows it, I will run to Ghana (ok, fine... fly), scoop those babies up, and never let them go!!!

"Lonely" Tater Tot

This handsome guy is our boy, Tater. He was welcomed with grateful hearts on May 27, 1995. Thirteen years ago, today. He weighed 8 lbs. 10 ozs. We just could not believe how much you could love a little baby. He was a great baby, who we adored. He has been a little lonely up til now, being the only boy with 4 sisters. But that is all about to change!

Tater has officially reached teen hood, and I don't like it! I want him to live with me forever, this growing up business is for the birds! He has been such a joy! He has just been so easy! I often say that if all children were like him, we'd have a dozen. It looks as though we may make that mark anyway!

Tater loves chicken nuggets, Mountain Dew, books, the Presidents, drawing cartoons, playing video games, hanging with friends, and playing with his sisters (ummm.... most of the time). He is even tempered, and easy going. He can be in the house all day, and you'd never know it. He is quiet, and a little shy, but will talk to you if you try. He is very active in our Youth Group, which I love. He is a peaceful presence in our home, and we love him so much! Happy Birthday, Bud!

This is one of my favorite pictures ever. It speaks volumes about Tate's loving nature. This is him and Little Bean when she was about 2 weeks old.

Tater's Life Verse:
The Lord will keep you from all harm-
he will watch over your life;
the Lord will watch over your coming and going
both now and forever more.
Psalm 121:7,8

Sunday, May 25, 2008

All About Joby!

This beauty is "Joby"

Joby blessed us with her presence on March 9, 1997. She weighed in at 8 lbs 13 ozs. We could not believe that we had a little girl! She was a wide eyed little beauty. It has been thrilling to watch her beauty on the outside be matched with her beauty on the inside.

Joby is our resident ice-skater extraordinaire! It has been a joy to watch her float across the ice. She is so at home out there. She just learned her first full revolution jump. It is a loop jump. She is also perfecting her sit spin. Joby is a go-getter who is involved with anything that comes her way. This year she was the Secretary for Student Council, on the newspaper, P.E. helper, County Chorus, regular chorus, Battle of The Books, did the morning announcements, was the guidance helper, and kept up straight A's. She is amazing at keeping all of her stuff together, and staying focused.
Joby girl is a perfectionist, that will try try again to learn something new. She loves gum, trying out new hairdos, watching you tube videos, Tropical Smoothies, painting her nails, back rubs, and organizing things. She is tender hearted, loyal, and fun. She is a talented, sweet girl who will do anything for you. She is our heart and our rock!

Joby's life verse:
I have chosen you and not cast you off,
fear not, for I am with you,
be not dismayed, for I am your God.
I will strengthen you,
I will help you,
I will uphold you with my righteous right hand.
Isaiah 41:9-10

Thursday, May 22, 2008

Lou Lou

The beautiful girl on the left is our Lou Lou (sorry, most our of pics have more than 1 person in them!)

We were blessed by Lou's arrival April 17th, 1998. She was 10 days overdue and weighed in at 10 lbs 2 ozs. Yes, that cute little thing was a 10 pound brutus.

Lou Lou is our gymnast. She is starting Level 7 now. She can do all kinds of flips and crazy things that make a Mommy's heart skip a few beats. Nothing can compare to watching your child TUMBLE ON A BEAM! I don't breathe for 1 minute 30 secs. That is how long her routine is. I do feel the need to report to you that Lou just finished her Level 6 season, and is the State Champion on Vault! She will not appreciate me telling you, but I knew you want to know! She had impressive showings on all events and ended up 4th place all-around, not bad at all!

Lou is a daredevil, thrill seeker (be still, my heart). She has the most tender heart you've ever run across. Her prayers for a full year after watching a Newscast on Ghana, is what has brought us to the point of adopting. She won't stop until we have 17 children. That has always been her goal. Lou loves Chik-fil-a (who doesn't), gum, cokes (my fault- I'm an addict), making babies and children laugh, having friends spend the night, jumping on the trampoline, and most of all, snuggling on the couch. She does not like lunch meat, discord, smiling with her teeth, or being alone. Lou was our baby for 7 years, and though she adores her younger sisters, she still believes that my lap is her 'spot'. I'm just fine with that!

Lou Lou is pleasant, hard working, and loving. She is a straight A student, and is well liked by everyone that comes in contact with her. We are very proud of her. She is our joy and peace.

Lou's life verse:
Rejoice in the Lord always.
I will say it again: Rejoice!
Let your gentleness be evident to all.
The Lord is near.
Do not be anxious about anything,
but in everything by prayer and petition,
with thanksgiving, present your requests to God.
And the peace of God, which transcends all understanding,
will guard your hearts and your minds in Christ Jesus.
Philippians 4: 4-7

Wednesday, May 21, 2008

Goofy Girl

This is our funny little Goofy Girl

Goofy came to us via the miracle of domestic infant adoption June 13, 2005. She was 7 weeks old. She weighed 5lbs 2 ozs when she was born. From the moment we first laid eyes on her, she has been absolutely perfect for us. She was the best baby, best sleeper, most agreeable thing we've seen.

Goofy is incredibly funny and witty for her age. She has a big personality, and even bigger heart. She loves to dance, loves to share, loves to take care of her little sister, loves to twirl, she has beautiful straight white teeth, and isn't any bigger than a minute. Goofy Girl has always been obedient and easy. She is never one to make a mess, and always asks before she does something that is iffy to her. You can't hardly wash her, she is so ticklish. She adores all things High School Musical, and is convinced that Troy is coming to Busch Gardens with us. When she is finding something for us, or putting away toys, she says that she is using her 'super powers'. She is a joy and a blessing. And, OH. SO. FUNNY!

Goofy Girl's Life Verse:
No eye has seen,
no ear has heard,
no mind has conceived
what God has prepared for those
who love him.
1 Cor. 2:9

Our "Little Bean"

This is our beautiful Little Bean (name changed to protect the .... we'll say innocent)

Little Bean came to us at 3 days old, weighing in at 4 lbs 13 ozs on September 28, 2006. We were her foster parents through our city's Department of Social Services. We could hardly believe how tiny, beautiful and delicate she was. We loved her with our whole hearts, even though we knew that she may not be able to be ours forever. Every child deserves a family, every child deserves a mom and dad, every child deserves to be treasured, no matter for how brief a time. Through the grace of God, many tears, many moments of almost having to say good bye, many court dates, she finally became an official part of our family forever on December 14th, 2007.

Bean is a funny little girl. When she laughs she gets wrinkles in the middle of her nose. She wants to buckle her own seat belt, buckle, unbuckle, buckle... She loves to follow her older sister around everywhere. She despises being told no. She loves her blankie, and likes to chew on the corner. Whenever she eats candy, the drool just POURS from her mouth. She loves to take her diaper off in the bed. She loves to dance. She does not like to have her hair done, unfortunately, she has a lot of it. She loves cheese and turkey. She is a light, and a gift. We adore our Little Bean, and thank God for her, every day.

Little Beans's life verse:
The Lord your God is with you,
he is mighty to save.
He will take great delight in you,
he will quiet you with his love,
he will rejoice over you with singing.
Zephaniah 3:17

This one's for all my AAIGhana buddies...

Ok, ya'll. Don't expect this to be witty, life-changing, original or uplifting. What this will be is the sum total of our family archive, as I've failed miserably at scrapbooking, journaling, video taping, or in any other way documenting our lives. Thanks for stopping by, and enjoy the ride...