Tuesday, January 29, 2013

Finally Gabriel's Birthday

This is my Gabey Baby. He's a nut. Yes, of course a Buckeye, but also just a nut in general. He says the funniest things, he has a wacky sense of style, and everything is all in with him. 

I'd be lost without his bear hugs, his crazy questions, his constant chatter. Last week while in the bathroom he tells me he needs me to call Dad. He chatters on about how Dad just needs to come home early today. When I ask him what he needs, he just tells me that he has a few more important questions to ask him. I tell him he can ask me, but Gabe insists only Dad knows the answers to his questions. The boy is only three. I know I'm in for it as he gets older.

For weeks I heard of nothing else but his Fire truck party. His cousins had both had fabulous parties, one monster themed and the other school bus themed. Gabe decided then he was having a firetruck party and talked of nothing else for weeks. Every day I was asked if it was his party yet. The day finally came and he had his fire truck party. Then a few days later he was asked by a friend how his party was. He responded in typical Gabriel fashion and began, "The problem was..." then went into a monologue about how he had to share his party with Peter. Oy that kid...

On his actual birthday he got his own cake. I even tweaked my frosting recipe to make it peanut butter flavored. I think it was a hit and he didn't even have to share it.

For Christmas Gabe wanted Buzz Lightyear, then for his birthday he wanted Woody. We watched Toy Story 3 last night and I couldn't help but see my little guy in the character Andy. It made me think how quickly time will fly. On those days where his little boy antics wear me out, I needed the reminder that one day I will miss them. So today I gave him an extra big bear hug.

Happy third birthday little guy!

Thursday, January 10, 2013

Peter, Peter, Pumpkin Eater

Since I'm on a roll with pictures, I thought I'd add a post with the pictures we sent in with Peter's 6 month Post Adoption Report.

 It seems amazing he has only been here six months as he has always been part of our family.

And even though a picture speaks a thousand words, there is so much behind these glimpses of his first moments with us. No picture could convey the exhaustion, the difficulties, or the love and joy of bonding with this sweet boy.

He's become such a sweet little brother, recently learning to give fist bumps in true third brother fashion.

He's developed quite a sweet tooth. He's even cried when presented with a beautiful plate of food with no sweets on it.

He loves his Dad, but is still Mommy's boy.

And still has a soft spot for Grandpa too.

How blessed we are to have this sweet boy.

As a side note, this video was posted on a friend's wall on Facebook. It is very moving and in many ways sums up why we made the decision to go back and adopt Peter. It was, in some aspects, a difficult decision as we were struggling to find the energy and organization to care for the six children we had. It was difficult to think of the finances involved in a third adoption, and we were just unsure we could swing it. One night when our six children were sleeping,  I said to dh, "If that were one of our kids, what would we do? Would we worry about college, or retirement? Would we be too tired? Or would we move heaven and earth to go get that child out of the orphanage?" We talked about our stress in light of a little one hanging onto life because it was too cold and there was not enough food-- and we knew. We knew we were called to go back. To do all we could to help one more. I can't help but feel joy every time I look at Peter.

Pumpkin Eater Turns Two

While this is Peter's second birthday, it is probably the first birthday he's been able to celebrate. It's hard to believe that it was just a year ago that we were gearing up for our trip to bring this little guy home. We've seen that serious look on his face quite a bit this first year, but every day it's there a little less. For the most part we get smiles now unless he's somewhere unfamiliar, or if everyone is looking at him. 

Each day we see more of his personality emerging. Yesterday while trying to dress the crew of boys, he had already been changed and dressed, but when he saw the changing pad out and heard me call Joseph he came running and quickly laid down. When he heard my reaction he gave out the most mischievous little laugh. He's going to be a little prankster. He's also a little climber and has some serious flexibility to go with that little build. He and Juju have some incredible gymnastic skills. Unlike Juju, Peter has little fear.

As the third little boy, he's going to need these skills to negotiate with his older brothers. This threesome certainly keeps me on my toes. 

Peter is all about food. He doesn't tolerate being hungry and boy is he ever particular. He especially likes sweets and snacks. He wants to be just like his brothers and often asks to sit at the table at meal time. It was amusing to watch him try to tackle pizza. 

How blessed we are to have this sweet, quiet, special boy. He melts my heart with his infectious laugh, his desire to be loved, and his crazy antics. I am so thankful he was given to our family. What an amazing gift. 

Monday, January 7, 2013

My Christmas Miracle

I've not been faithful at keeping up the blog. I'd like to say it is a new year's resolution, but the truth is life with so many little ones often gets in the way of blogging. I wish I could get to it more. I like remembering the life we've lived. God willing I'll post more, that's just the best I can do.

See this little one... 
She just celebrated her first Christmas. It was beautiful. She had a little cough, ok a big cough that had me worried. Still, by Christmas, she was her smiling beautiful self.

It reminded me that last Christmas was very different. A year ago I went from feeling overwhelmed at the thought of a new baby to immeasurable grief when I thought we'd lost her. Then feelings of elation when I saw that sweet little heartbeat on the ultrasound monitor. How blessed am I to have had this year with her.

You can read that story here.