Wednesday, September 28, 2016

My Date

I had a great "date" with Kyle on our photo session night!  He was so cute and funny and SOOOOO very talkative!  

Jeeps Buddies

On Saturday night, we went to Anna Liz and Austin's birthday party.  Paxton and Cody got in the jeep and gave us a peek at their future...16 years from now!  

These pictures of Cody and Paxton reminded me of these old pictures of Connor and Austin (both are 2 years old in these)!

And, look at these cuties!

I am so thankful for these friendships!  

Almost Six

On Sunday night, Kyle and I went out to take his six year photos.  After pictures, we went to dinner (McDonald's) and then to shop for his birthday presents!  I did not have any ideas for gifts for Kyle, so I asked him if he wanted to go shopping to pick some gifts out.  He loved that idea, so I let him explore the aisles of Wal-Mart and show me things he wanted.  The night of pictures, dinner, and shopping was so much fun and a great way to spend some one-on-one time together with my almost six year old! This may become a birthday tradition!

Here are a few of the pictures from our session.  I will post more later in the week.

This one cracks me up!  He said, "Mommy, I want to do one like this."  And, then he laid down exactly like this!  Future model!!

We did lots of photos with super hero poses.  He even did several animal poses!  He loved finding different poses!

Thursday, September 22, 2016

Paxton's Life Book

Throughout our home study and then during one of our post-adoption visits, our social worker mentioned creating a Life Book of some kind for Paxton.  A Life Book in the adoption world is typically a book that provides the details of a child's life before adoption, as well as the adoption process.  Some people do their books in a scrapbook, some do a photo book, some do a mixture.  I chose to use Blurb because I have done photos books every year for myself, my inlaws, and my parents through Blurb.  I knew I wanted to put all of the details from Paxton's file into the book, photos that we had of him in the orphanage, blog posts from our adoption process and trip, and photos from our journey.  I knew the book would be a combination of lots of text and lots of photos.

I wrote the book to Paxton.  Unless I used a blog post, I wrote the words to him.  "You were found...".  "You were named...".  I wanted this book to be personalized for him.  This is HIS book.  This is a book for Paxton to know HIS story.  When I included blog posts, I noted that the following text was from our blog.  Otherwise, I wrote the book to Paxton.

I included everything I could from his file, from questions we asked in our updates, and from Half the Sky reports that we received after we adopted him.  While we were waiting to travel, we were able to request a USB to be sent to the orphanage so that they could give us any photos they had of Paxton from the first year of his life.  This USB was a treasure to us.  There were less than 100 photos and some were repeats of photos we already had, but these photos gave us a glimpse at his life before us.  I included many of these photos, including photos of Paxton with his foster family.  I am so thankful to have these and to be able to show him photos of people who cared for him before he came home.

I blogged throughout our adoption process, so I included many of the blog posts, from our announcement to the world that we were adopting, to our announcement of receiving Pre-Approval for our son.  I, also, blogged throughout our trip to China and included many of those blogs.  I am so thankful that I blogged during the whole process and during the trip to China.  It helped me to remember everything and it helped me to make the book with as many details as I could.  I wanted Paxton to be able to get a feel for what we were feeling and going through during our 11 1/2 month process to adopt.  

I included photos at the end from the first couple of months home.  And, I included our adoption timeline at the end.

I was able to purchase a PDF of the book when I ordered the hard back book.  It was only a few dollars and I wanted it to be saved on a USB in our safe with all of the other things we have from his adoption.  When he is older, he may want it on his own computer or to be able to share it with others, so I did choose to add this option.

The book is about 200 pages long.  Yes, very long!  But, I wanted to include everything I could.  And, I purchased it during a 40% off sale with Blurb.  Their books are so nice and professional looking!

I pray that this book will become familiar to Paxton so that he always knows his story.  Part of his story is abandonment and brokenness, but his story is also full of love and care.  I pray that he will always know that he is loved and cherished by us and God.  And I pray that he can see his history includes people who loved and cared for him before he came home to us.

I hope that Paxton loves this book as much as I do as he gets older!

Fun with Mimi and Bobbles

Mimi and Bobbles spent the weekend with us.  The boys had such a great time being with them!

Wednesday, September 21, 2016


"...having been buried with him in baptism, in which you were also raised with him through faith in the powerful working of God, who raised him from the dead."
Colossians 2:12

On August 21, 2016, Connor prayed to accept Jesus Christ as his Lord and Savior.  He knew he wanted to be baptized soon.  We considered doing the family baptism service that our church offers on Sunday nights a few times a year, but the next one would be the Sunday before Thanksgiving and we often are out of town that day and when we asked Connor about it, he didn't want to wait that long.  He said he wanted a Sunday morning baptism so that more people would see him and see that he is now a Christian!  

On Sunday, September 4, 2016, he walked down the aisle of our church and went to our friend Lance to announce to the church that he is a Christian and he wanted to be baptized and join the church.  

And, on Sunday, September 18, 2016, he was able to be baptized by our friend Grant!  To add to the special day, our friend Jamie, who leads worship, had asked Connor for his favorite songs.  Connor told him two songs and Jamie played one of them during worship to make his special day even more special and memorable!

Connor was so excited!  He woke up thrilled that it was his baptism day!  He could not wait to get to church!  Jeremy and I walked with him to the baptistery and he was bouncing down the hall.  I was able to get a few pictures before the actual baptism.

Testing out the water...

Connor and Grant...

We are so thankful for our son, our little brother in Christ!

After church, we tried to get a few pictures outside of the church.  The kids did not cooperate very well for the family photo!

And, the attempt at pictures of the boys together was only slightly better!

We were so thankful to have both sets of our parents in town to attend his baptism.  We all went to lunch at Bonefish, one of Connor's favorite restaurants, after church!

Photos from a friend's phone of the baptism:

And, a video of the actual baptism from another sweet friend:

Friday, September 16, 2016

Friday, September 9, 2016

China Friends

The friendships that I have made with other mamas who have adopted from China are so special.  I am so thankful for these friendships, even the ones that have only been made online.  However, I have been blessed to meet some of these friends in real life.  My friend Stephanie and I met on Facebook when we were going through the adoption process.  We were with the same agency, same social worker and on the same timeline adopting kids from the same orphanage.  At some point along the way, we got a few days off on the timeline and we traveled a week apart.  We traveled one week before she did and we were able to meet her daughter Molly when we went for our orphanage visit.

Molly in China:

Once home, we met for the first time in real life at our first Cleft appointments with Dr. Yu. They live a couple hours away, but chose to use Dr. Yu in Augusta, too.  Our appointments were at the same time and we were able to meet while we were in our rooms waiting to see the doctors!  

A few weeks later, we met again while Molly had her cleft surgery (just a week or two before Paxton's).  And, then we met for lunch before one of Molly's follow up appointments last fall.  

Today, Molly had another appointment with Dr. Yu and we got to see our sweet friends again!  We spent the morning playing at CFA before they headed to their appointment.  It was so good to see Molly and Stephanie.  Molly is precious!  Hasn't see grown so much?!  Look at the difference that love, hope, and family make in a child!