Saturday, December 27, 2014

Camp Maranook

On Friday, we visited the camp that I attended when I was Connor's age to show it to Connor to see if he might be interested in going this summer.  He loved it!  And, Mr. Charles and Mrs. Barbara, the owners of the camp went above and beyond to make our visit memorable for the boys!













Oh, Christmas Tree! Oh Christmas Tree!









Christmas Day

















Tuesday, December 23, 2014

Whoo Hoo!!! Home Study is Finalized!

Our home study was finalized today!  And, our I800A application is being sent FedEx to Homeland Security today!  One small step closer to our little girl or boy!


Saturday, December 20, 2014

A Couple More of Connor

I am saving most of the photos I took yesterday of Connor for a Birthday post, but I had to go ahead and post these three!

I ran by my friend Casie's house on the way to do the pictures so that I could borrow her tripod.  I really wanted to get a few shots of me with Connor.  And I am so glad I did!



And, this one just melts me!  
 
 

Friday, December 19, 2014

Almost Seven

This guy is almost seven!!!



In less than two weeks, he will be SEVEN!!  How did the last seven years go by so fast?!

I took Connor out to my favorite place to shoot this afternoon in hopes of getting some "almost seven" year pictures of him.  He was such a great model and I had such a great time spending some one on one time with him.  I may be a little biased, but he is just so handsome!  I am still editing, so I will post more from the shoot later, but I cannot stop smiling as I edit!  He is just so cute!


Thursday, December 18, 2014

Praying

My prayer this week has been from these two verses:

Philippians 4:4-9
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 every situation, 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.

Finally, brothers and sisters, whatever is true, whatever is noble, whatever is right, whatever is pure, whatever is lovely, whatever is admirable—if anything is excellent or praiseworthy—think about such things. Whatever you have learned or received or heard from me, or seen in me—put it into practice. And the God of peace will be with you.

Jeremiah 29:11
"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."

I have struggled with the fact that our home study is still not finalized.  We had our last home study visit on November 13th and now we are over a month out from it.  The home study process took longer than I would have liked.  Our social worker was out on maternity leave for two months which delayed our last few visits by a few weeks.  Now, our home study finalization is taking longer than I would have liked.  So, it has been easy to get frustrated and to start to worry that the timeline is getting longer.  However, I have had to remember this verse over and over again to stop the anxiety.  I've prayed for the home study to be finalized and now I have to trust that he will give me peace through the rest of it.  I have to fix my mind on the things that are true, not the things that I worry about.  I have to fix my mind on the child we are pursuing, not on the worry of the timeline.

I know in my head that God's got this and that He will make everything work out to the exact second He wants us to meet our child for the first time.  A slow home study process is not going to change his plan.  I know all of this in my head.  I just have to trust Him and have faith in Him.  I have to trust that the God of peace will be with me.

So, friends and family, please pray that the home study will be finalized quickly, so that we can move on to the next steps (submitting our i800a application to the government, biometric fingerprinting, and dossier preparation).  But, also pray that God will give us peace while we have to be patient with the process.


Tuesday, December 16, 2014

Family Session

This was my last session to do for others for awhile.  But, it was a joy to do it for this family.  I met the Bullington's a few years ago when I worked with the toddler class at church that Kyle was in.  One of the little girls in his class was a sweet little one named Pearl.  She had a hard time adjusting to coming to church and spent much of the time in my arms.  I loved it!  She was adopted from China and her older brother was adopted from Ethiopia.  They have an older sister that loves them and is a great big sister!  The Bullington's started the adoption ministry at our church, Reaching Hands.  They have a heart for adoption and for helping others adopt.  I am glad I was able to capture some images of their family!


I have to say, I have really started to love black and white!  Some of my favorite shots lately have been black and white!

Monday, December 15, 2014

Family Christmas

Last summer, my sister Christie and her husband and daughter (Mackenzie) moved to a town just outside of Charlotte, NC on the South Caroline side.  They are only a couple of hours from us now!  So, Augusta was a great meeting place for us to have Christmas lunch with my parents and sister, Ree.  Everyone met in Augusta for lunch on Saturday and then we headed back to our house for dessert and presents.  It was so nice to see Christie, Dave, and Mackenzie.  The boys were especially excited to see Mackenzie!




Sunday, December 14, 2014

Pictures of Friends

Last time I did pictures for Annette's family, I did not get any of her three girls even looking the least bit happy together.  So, on Wednesday, I met her at the park and we got a few.  It is really hard to get three kids, especially little kids, to look at the camera and all smile at the same time!


Last weekend, I took a few pictures of Beth's family, including her parents and her brother's family.  Six adults, six kids.  Definitely not the easiest thing to shoot!  One kid looks away and by the time that one looks at the camera, another one looks away.  One kid makes a funny face followed by another one making a silly face.  But, overall, the kids did well!  


(Click on the collages above to make them bigger).

Monday, December 8, 2014

Adoption Update

I realize that some of you who follow my blog may be curious as to where we are in the adoption process.  We spent the end of August through the beginning of November doing our Home Study.  We had autobiographies to write, education to complete, and paperwork to gather.  We had our first home study visit at the end of August, but did not have our next three until the end of October and the beginning of November.  During the two months between visits, we worked on all of the things needed to complete our home study.  Our last visit was several weeks ago and now we are waiting on our home study to be finalized.  Our social worker has completed writing up the home study and has sent it to her supervisor for review, but they cannot complete the review and finalize it until the FBI sends our background check results to them.  We sent our background check documents to the FBI in August, but it is taking a long time for the results to come back.

We are praying for a it to be finalized soon.  As soon as it is finalized, we can apply for our i800a, which is the next step in the process.  We can also begin applying for grants to assist us with the financial aspect of the adoption.  Please pray that the home study will be finalized quickly.  Please pray that we will go quickly through the next step in the process.  And, please pray for the financial part of our process.  Please pray that God will provide us with the finances that we need in order to complete our adoption.  

Thank you for keeping our adoption in your prayers!

We cannot wait to bring home our next Super Hero!


Thursday, December 4, 2014

Playground Fun

We are having some beautiful, wonderful weather here in Georgia!

And, on Wednesday, Connor got the "all clear" on his leg!  He can now jump and do P.E.!  So, to celebrate, we headed to the park after school on Wednesday to run, jump, climb, swing, and play.



















I love these two!