Thursday, February 25, 2010

Party at Our House?

When asked what it's like to have all these little ones running around, dh has chosen to respond with a favorite quote from the sitcom "Everybody Loves Raymond."

"Well, I like to tell people it's kind of like a frat house, yeah: nobody sleeps, everything's broken, and there's a lot of throwing up."

Yup, that's our house.

I'd like to add that no one picks up after themselves, someone is constantly asking for a drink (especially at bedtime), and there is an uncanny fascination with any type of bodily function humor. Dh also once remarked, as he passed the girls' terribly unkempt room, he never thought he would live in a house where there were so many pairs of girls' underwear laying around. I suppose that would be more the sorority house...

I tell you this is one amazing little party. It leaves those of my college days in the dust :)

**Did you catch a glimpse of my new vacuum? It was long overdue. Here's hoping it helps me keep up with the mess...

Wednesday, February 24, 2010

Two New Christians

What a beautiful Sunday we had as our sons officially ended their pagan phases and became new little Christians.
Little Gabriel slept contentedly all through Mass. I did not want to break our cardinal baby rule (NEVER wake a sleeping baby) during Mass, so he was quite upset and hungry when I had to wake him to put on his baptismal gown before the ceremony. Despite this, he only let out a few small cries as the cold water initiated him into the Church.


Joseph was quite the active, curious little boy he always is. Of course, just to cement our initiation into the world of boys, he is sporting a nice shiner for his baptism. The day before our court date to readopt him and five days before his baptism, he fell off the girls' bed and hit the headboard. I kept hoping it would heal. Instead it was a nice hue of brown and yellow to match his pants and tie.
Despite boys being boys, it was a beautiful ceremony. We are blessed with a wonderful parish family. Knowing the boys were finally official members of the Church, I even felt comfortable speeding home to pull out all the good food for our celebration :)
Now there are two extra guardian angels watching over our family home.

Friday, February 19, 2010

Juju Turns Two!!

Happy Birthday little Juju! Can you believe this little one is already two? It is amazing how fast this year with her has gone. She is becoming such a sweet heart. Her vocabulary is exploding, it is so fun to hear her say new words. It is also amazing to watch her personality bloom. She has such a tender heart and yet is so stubborn at the same time.

She loves to care for baby Gabriel, yesterday she asked (without words) if she could nurse him. She is first in line with a needed diaper, or wipes, or even socks. She constantly brings Joseph his sippy cup, and will hug or comfort him when he falls or bumps into something (which seems to be every 5 minutes).

At the same time, she is insistent things be done her way. She and I had a battle of wills about her napkin being left on her high chair tray. She prefers I hold onto it and hand it to her 26 times a meal. I prefer it stay on her tray for easier use. Of course I won (don't mess with the big dog, the big dog always wins), but it was amazing how willful she could be. She tells us what she wants to wear and when she wants to be held. She is quite the cuddle bunny too. I have so enjoyed this last year and I look forward to watching her grow this year.

Today, I also want to pray for Juju's birth parents and family. It is hard to imagine what circumstances were for this family two years ago, but they must need our prayers. I am sure they have no idea that their little, beautiful, darling child is loved and cherished by a new family and parents who thank God each day for blessing them with this amazing, sweet girl.

Wednesday, February 17, 2010

Wordless Wednesday


h/t (and I mean that quite literally) to Amy, my dear blogger friend, who surprised me with this beautiful blanket and hat.

Tuesday, February 16, 2010

Differences

While enjoying some coffee and donuts during the kids' CCD classes on Sunday (and by enjoy I mean chasing two little ones while trying to keep a newborn fairly content while shoving a donut down my throat because I didn't eat breakfast, and doing my best to chug some coffee before a toddler knocked it over--but now my digression has gone too far), I tried to have a few conversations with friends. Thankfully my friends are very patient with a mom who has her hands full. One friend brought up a fear about adoption I have encountered many times when talking to other parents. The notion that it would be impossible (or at the least very difficult) to love an adopted child as much as a biological child.

I am actually very thankful when others ask this question because it was probably my biggest fear before we adopted and I always felt that I had to hide that feeling. I was afraid if I spoke about being concerned about this, that someone would question why we were adopting. I knew we were absolutely, positively called to adoption. That didn't mean there weren't doubts (aren't still moments of doubt), but it also didn't mean we were any less called to adoption. God's plan for our family included Juliana and Joseph, but sometimes I did worry I could love them as I did my biological children.

My best response to this question is that I do love Joseph and Juliana as much as I love my girls. My mother's heart has been there for them from the moment I saw their pictures, before ever meeting them. Yes, that love has changed and grown as we met, as we got to know each other. The bonding process takes time, but my love for them was instant-- and it was just as much as the other children we had.

That doesn't mean there aren't differences. Just as there are differences between sons and daughters, there are differences between our adopted children and our biological children. Different doesn't make one better than another, nor is our love for one greater than the other-- it's just different. I don't have birth stories for Juju and Joseph, but I don't have Gotcha Day stories for the other children. The bonding process has been different for Juju and Joseph, since they weren't newborns, but again different doesn't mean less. Do I wish I had been able to care for these little ones from the moment they were born? Of course, but it doesn't mean I love them any less.

I have had some friends who worried about having a second child. They were overwhelmed with how much they loved their first child. They wondered how they could possibly love another baby as much as their first. I, too, remember being so surprised at how much love I could have for Banana. However, when Bear came along that love was not diminished-- it was multiplied. Growing our family through adoption has multiplied the love in this house in the same manner (ok, there are also multiplied squabbles, and more clutter, not to mention more diapers). It is teaching all of us, including our children, what joy life has to offer. Joy that comes from sacrificial giving of our time and talents and from loving one another.

While different circumstances have brought each child into our family, each has brought a unique dimension to our household. Somehow each one is a necessary little piece to our family and we are blessed to have each one.

Blessed be the God and Father of our Lord Jesus Christ, who has blessed us in Christ with every spiritual blessing in the heavenly places, even as he chose us in him before the foundation of the world, that we should be holy and blameless before him. He destined us in love to be his sons through Jesus Christ, according to the purpose of his will, to the praise of his glorious grace which he freely bestowed on us in the Beloved. --Ephesians 1:3-6

Friday, February 12, 2010

2 Weeks, 12 Months, and U.S. Citizenship

Can you believe this little one is already two weeks old? It seems like just yesterday (especially with the lingering surgery pain :) ), and yet it seems little Gabriel has always been part of our family. It is amazing how newborns change the space time continuum.

This little one had her final (12 Month) post adoption report finalized this week, of course it was a little late. This should mean that all of the paperwork for her adoption is finally finished.

And this little one, who has been here not quite 3 weeks, has a court appointment scheduled for next week that will make him a U.S. Citizen and add me to his adoption decree. The process has been different since I was unable to travel to pick him up.

The older girls are enjoying their new brothers and the new Wii they got for Christmas...


Monday, February 8, 2010

The Boys

--Subtitled: Four kids three and under and blogging do not make a good combination.

I can't tell you how many times I have sat down to blog these last two weeks. I start a post or try to edit a post but get called away by someone crying, needing to nurse, a diaper change, a nose to wipe, you get the picture. I knew it would be busy, a good busy, but I didn't realize how little time would be left for blogging. Hopefully we are just in the transition phase and that as we ease into a new routine I will be able to find more time to blog.

What a joy it has been to be together as a family with our two little boys. Joseph has been adjusting well. He always seems to have a smile on his face. He laughs with dh, especially when being chased or tickled. While he is still not as comfortable with me, he is warming up. I expect this will take a little longer than it did with Juju since he is older, has bonded with dh, and I am unable to pick him up and rough house with him. He is certainly all boy and likes to run, have someone toss him in the air, and throw anything he can find--after he puts it in his mouth. He has a good appetite too, and while he was quite underweight at his first doctor's visit, I expect he will catch up quickly.

Gabriel is a beautiful little newborn. His biggest difficulty is how much he likes to be held. He seems so content to be snuggled. That is one difficulty I can deal with, especially since we don't know if we will be blessed with another little one. He is also nursing well and sleeping relatively well for a little one not quite two weeks old. I am just trying to soak up all I can of this newborn phase, I know too well it goes by too quickly. The gurgling noises (Gabriel snorts too), the sweet smells, and soft skin. It is so nice to have a newborn in the house again.

I am recovering as well as can be expected. I am still sore, more sore than I remember being with the girls. I suppose that is because this was a more difficult delivery (still working on the delivery post). I am so thankful to have had dh at home last week and my mom here with me this week. Also, our homeschooling group, family, and friends from church have been bringing meals each day. I've said it before but it is worth repeating, we are so incredibly blessed.