Saturday, December 31, 2011

Christmas and 2 years home!

I am yet again late in this is New Years Eve and I am finally posting about Christmas and 2 years home!

This year Little Man got what Christmas was all about. The first year we were together we were flying home on Christmas Day and last year he was still pretty overwhelmed by it all. This year, he woke up excited about seeing his gifts. It was so much fun...we opened a couple of gifts and then played for several hours before opening some more gifts. It took us most of the day to get through all the present opening and while that may make it sound like there was lots of gifts there were not, we just spent lots of time enjoying the gifts and time together.

He got a camera and is loving taking pictures of the world around him, now if I can get him to stand still to take the picture instead of running so they are not blurry! He will get it I am sure! In the meantime it is just fun to watch him be so excited about the camera!

Well now on to some pictures from our 2 year familyversay day!

Saturday, December 24, 2011


I am a bit late posting this..I can make lots of excuse about time of year and being busy, but simply I have been working on what I want to say.

Two years ago this little bundle was placed in my arms...

And now we looks like this:

What a difference two years can bring...for him and for me. He brings me great joy and happiness.

Saturday, December 10, 2011

He is 3!

Today little man turned 3 and I am not sure where the time has gone. I have loved watching him go from baby to little boy this year. His face has changed, he is getting taller, more independent and overall losing the baby look, but he still has that precious little voice! He lights up my world every day. It has been a tough few months for us, but he fills my heart multiple times a day. He is amazing and I am humbled and blessed to be his mom. Last year I wrote this post and today I still think of the woman who gave him life, so I could help him live it!

Wednesday, November 30, 2011

Thirty Days of Thankful- Day 30

Day 30

Today is the last official day of my posts, but I have learned so much over the last 30 days as I have posted. Most days I have had to struggle with which thankful thing to post and not struggled to think of what to post. For the last 30 days I have found myself remembering and appreciating all the small things in life that I so often just overlook.

Today I am thankful for this little boy:

Little Man alone has enriched my life immeasurably, but when you add on all the people that have come into my life because of this adoption I am blessed beyond my wildest dreams. I am going to attempt to give thanks to lots of people I did not specifically thank as this month passed.

Lisa & Nate, Audrey & Byron , Monica, Laura, Glynnis & Joe, Brenna & John and Jim: My travel group, these people were there with my in Ethiopia. We were all becoming parents, some of us for the first time and others were experienced. But new parent or experienced this was a group of people that I am thankful to call Little Man and I's extended family. They were my rocks, sounding boards, shopping companions, source of laughter during our time in Ethiopia. I am thankful everyday for the beauty and diversity of this group.

Jen M- My daily email/phone buddy. I am so glad that the timing of our processes worked out as they did that we would be there to support each other all along the way. I was so sad that you were sick at travel time. But am forever thankful for your support through day to day wait, court difficulties, travel anxiety, and all the new mommy trials. I am blessed that we got to meet and share a "birthday" celebration of our boys not long after coming home. Thank you for always listening and never judging!

Janet- My amazing adoption coordinator and friend. You walked me through this, holding my hand and being the calm voice on the other end of the phone. You cried with me when court was not successful and rejoiced at the day I became a mom. I am so glad we live close enough that you can be a part of this precious boy and I's lives. God certainly knew what he was doing when he led me to you. Thank you for just being you!

Sarah T- Wow girl not sure where to late night phone buddy. We had our first court date together and shared the disappointment of it not happening. I rejoiced as you passed the next go round and appreciated your support of my tears as I did not. You are the sister I have not met, yet! Thank you for trusting me when things are hard and for listening to me when things here are hard. Thank you for the laughter and the tears we have shared for over two years on the phone. A meeting has to happen..SOON.

Rosie and Jillian- The two of you have helped me keep my sanity. You provided pictures of little man for me from before he was even mine. You support me as I navigate these times, believing me about the hard and never doubting the words I say. You have trusted me to be a part of your guys families and have welcomes little man and I into your families. God has certainly blessed me by making sure the two of you were here in NC with me, a bit of a tease that you are both a couple of hours in opposite directions of me :)

The rest of the IAG group- The pictures, the updates and the support we gave each other while waiting, when we came home and even now years later. There were times that were tough and things we had questions about, but it is through this agency that you are all a part of my life and that my son is my son and so I am eternally grateful.

There are so many friends that were in my life during the process and I am thankful for their support. Many of them are still in my life, some of them are not but whether they are standing by me today or not I am thankful for the part they played in the story.

Little Man- You have taught me to trust, to believe that regardless of how hard this moment is that the joy that comes next makes it all worthwhile. You have taught me to slow and listen to the crow caw, to see the workers on the street as we drive by, to notice the puddle that is calling to be jumped in and the shiny rock that wants to be in your pocket. You have shown me that while love is not always enough it the only place to start to heal. When your little hand reaches to hold mine, the world stops. When you suck your lips in, say they are missing, and then give me a kiss so you can "find" them again, my heart explodes. When the dark is scary and you say "mom I need your bed because it is safe there", I melt. I am so thankful that I get to be your mom, that I get to kiss the hurts away, that I get to witness the healing that is taking place. Thank you little man for the gift of you and the friends you have brought into my life.

Tuesday, November 29, 2011

Thirty Days of Thankful- Day 29

Day 29

Today I am thankful that I typically can't leave the room without little man wanting to go with me. I know that at times I can get things done much faster if I am not waiting for him to follow me up three flights of stairs, but that I am so blessed that he wants to be with me, that he has attached to the point of wanting to be wherever I am. He wants to help with the laundry, the dishes, cooking and that he just wants to follow me upstairs when I go to brush my teeth. I know this time is limited and soon my little man will be a big boy and I will be wishing that he would want to do things with me and definitely wishing he wanted to help with "chores"

So today I am thankful for the little man that is on my heels as I try and get things done in the house, for his little voice calling "I am coming momma" as we head upstairs and for the little hands that climb on my back as we head back downstairs!

Thirty Days of Thankful- Day 28

Day 28

Today I am thankful for lazy mornings. Since I am currently tracked out I get to enjoy mornings with my little man. Today we slept in a little and then had a relaxing morning eating breakfast, playing and watching a little TV. The afternoon was more scheduled, but for the morning I enjoyed being mom with no plans. School starts again for me on Thursday and I am not really looking forward to going back to work and not having the days with little man. He amazes me everyday and humbles me as well. I am so blessed to be his mom!. I am not always so good about just having time to do nothing but "be" and so I am so thankful that he has taught me that time to just "be" with him is the most blessed time I get!

Sunday, November 27, 2011

Thirty Days of Thankful- Day 27

Day 27

Today I am thankful for date day with my little man. I try and remind myself to make special time for him that is out of the ordinary everyday stuff. So on Sunday we got ready and went to see the Rockettes! It was fun and he was a little excited.

When it came time for intermission he asked me " mom can we see that again?" He was so excited to see Santa it was great. So today I am thankful for the date days, the times out of the norm to spend and enjoy him and that great smile he has!.

thirty Days of Thankful- Day 26

Day 26

Today I am thankful for the beautiful weather we are having here in my area. I have committed to my friend and more importantly to myself to start running. I have joined a running group in preparation for training for my first half marathon that met this morning. It was a beautiful morning to be out running. Now I am drastically out of shape and have a long ways to go before I am a real running person. Everyone says once I get started and keep going, I will love it, that my body will be anxious to get out and run...well I am not there yet, but hoping to be soon.

But today as I ran/walk my first three miles with little man in a jogging stroller I was so glad the weather was nice enough to do that and not have him miserably cold.

Friday, November 25, 2011

Thirty Days of Thankful- Day 25

Day 25
Today I am thankful long time friendships that last the test of time and distance. I want to specifically thank these five friends for the gift of their friendship:

Katie- We have been friends since 1989. Hard to believe it has been that long. We have been by each others side through so many things and I am not sure that since you graduated high school we have lived in the same state for more than a year. We don't talk as often as we should, but I know that you are always there for me..believing in me and encouraging me to try whatever new thing I have dared to dream up! Thank you for being my sister!

Christie- We have been friends since the end of junior high/beginning of high school. We have been through lots together. You supported me through difficult family times and tough decisions. You have laughed with me and I am sure at me and certainly made me laugh. Time and distance have caused us to drift and yet as I sat this Thanksgiving thinking of the blessings in my life you were on the top of the list. I regret that we have not seen each other in years and don't talk like we should. Hope I can see you soon and that you can meet little man. Thank you for the family you have been to me and the friendship we have had for many years.

This picture is old but it is the last one I have of all of us together!

Jenny & Stuart- I can't begin to imagine my life without the two of you. Stuart you made teaching at Lawrence an adventure everyday. It was fun to watch you grow as a teacher. Mostly I have loved watching you grow in love and family with Jenny and your boys. Jenny you have been invaluable to me as a moral support. I miss you both terribly and hope to see you guys soon. Thank you for the gift of your friendship and support over these years.

Cherish- We have been friends since I started teaching at Lawrence. I have watched your kids grow and you have watched me grow a family. It always brings a smile to my face to remember the evenings chatting with you and Zara on IM, making her laugh with the funny sounds my IM made. You have been such a blessing in my life. I miss you terribly and wish we lived closer. I keep praying one day you will call and say you have bought a plane ticket and are coming to visit! Thank you for making me a part of your family long ago and letting me continue to be a part of it.

Debbie- I am not sure how I would have made it to where I am today without your support. You spent many a late night chatting with me when sleep would not come. You have loved me when I couldn't figure out how to love myself. You have believed in me and helped me remember how to believe in myself. The beauty in you shines from the inside out. I am so grateful for your friendship. I have loved watching you grow and cheering you on the last few years. I hope you know how much I believe in you and miss you. Thank you for the beauty of our friendship.

These are five women (and a man) that have been such great friends to me over the time. They are all out west and have never stopped being a support, a source of laughter and friendship to me as I started my adventure on the east coast. I love you all and miss you all tons.

Thursday, November 24, 2011

Thirty Days of Thankful- Day 24

Day 24- Thanksgiving Day

Today is favorite holiday I think. I woke up this morning with a cute little boy sleeping in the bed next to me and breathed a prayer of thanksgiving that I get to be his mom. This was the beginning of many short prayers of thanks I would give today.
- I am thankful for my family, the whole crazy mixed up group. We don't live close to each other and by some family standards we are not close, I can go months without speaking to my sibling(s) but we are there for each other. Through kids, marriages, divorces, unemployment and blended family gatherings we keep smiling and supporting.
- I am thankful for my past friendships. Today I took the time to be thankful for the friends that have passed through my life. I recognize the value of those friendships, things I learned from them and the growth that came from them. So today I am thankful for the people that entered my life for a short or long time, but are not active in my life today.
- I am thankful for the friends that are currently in my life. They are spread across the globe, some I talk to/see everyday and some I only rarely get to see/talk to. But these friendships are the ones that I rely on everyday. I know that no matter how dark my darkest day is they are there for me, they hold my hand in those moments. And they dance with me in the glow of sunshine when life is good. No matter time of day, or personal situation, they are there for me. And I hope they realize I am there for them to.

So as this Thanksgiving day comes to a close I say another prayer thanking God for the blessings of family and friends in my life. I miss those that are no longer with me, rejoice in the gifts I received from them and try to remember to cherish the ones I have with me now.

Thirty Days of Thankful- Day 23

Day 23
I saw this picture and caption on a friends FB page. Today I am thankful for lots of things this picture represents. The man who was willing to sacrifice the ultimate for my freedom, the guard that stands watch over his casket and wife before his funeral, but mostly I am thankful that love like this exists. There is not much more to say

Two days after she was notified of Jim’s death in Iraq, she found out they would have a boy. Born on December 23, 2005, he was named James Jeffrey Cathey, Jr. The night before the burial of her husband’s body, Katherine Cathey refused to leave the casket, asking to sleep next to his body for the last time. The Marines made a bed for her, tucking in the sheets below the flag. Before she fell asleep, she opened her laptop computer and played songs that reminded her of “Cat,” and one of the Marines asked if she wanted them to continue standing watch as she slept. “I think it would be kind of nice if you kept doing it,” she said. “I think that’s what he would have wanted.”

Thirty Days of Thankful- Day 22

Day 22

Today I am thankful for the wonderful lady that watches little man. She loves him and takes great care of him. He has been with her since I went back to work after he came home. He has learned his colors, shapes, ABCs, numbers and countless other things in her house. Her daughter and little man are like siblings. I couldn't have been more blessed when she agreed to keep him for me. I wanted something that was very different from being one of many at the orphanage. She has provided him with a small, home environment where he has been loved and cared for in my absence. Miss Amanda I am truly thankful for you!

Thirty Days of Thankful- Day 21

Day 21

Today I am thankful for my home. I may not have the grandest of homes, but it is mine. It is not fancy and usually it is not clean, but it is filled with love and the clutter of activity. I certainly don't have as much as some, but have a lot more than many. So today I am thankful for the home I live it, dirty, carpet stains and all. I am thankful for the cats and dog that run around inside and the love and laughter that fills the walls. I have great neighbors who are always willing to help out.

Tuesday, November 22, 2011

Thirty Days of Thankful- Day 20

Day 20

Today I am thankful for safe travels. I am not traveling over the actual Thanksgiving holiday, but did make the drive back and forth to Florida in the last few days. I also had friends who flew down to meet me there and who drove across the state to celebrate Little Man and I's 2 year date of legally becoming a family. Everyone arrived there and home safely.
So today I am thankful for safe travels for me and for my friends. I pray for safe travels for everyone I know on Thanksgiving as well!

Stopped at a rest stop in SC.

Monday, November 21, 2011

Thirty days of Thankful- Day 19

Day 19

Today I am thankful for friendships that stand the test of time. Yesterday I got the chance to meet up with a friend that I have not seen in 16 years. I got to meet her family and she got to meet mine. It was great to catch up and just spend some time together. We have both agreed that 16 years is too long to wait to see each other again!

Friday, November 18, 2011

Thirty days of Thankful- Day 18

Day 18

Today I am thankful for little man! Two years ago today a judge in Ethiopia declared him my son! It would be another month before I got to go and meet him to bring him home. But today I celebrate becoming a mom legally :) He has made my world a better place!

2 years ago

Last year!
This year!

Thirty days of Thankful- Day 17

Day 17

Today I am thankful for life lessons from little man and his BF. We didn't head to Disney today, as little man woke with a bad cough and needed a breathing treatment, so we hung around the resort, played at the kids play place and just had fun. When new kids came in they were just instantly friends. There is no questions between little kids, they are just all always friends. Some where in childhood we lose that and start becoming "picky" about who we call friend. It was fun to just watch the innocence of children as another child on the playground simply meant another friend :) So today I am thankful for the reminder to just be "friends" unless I am given a real reason not to be!

Thirty days of Thankful- Day 16

Day 16

Today I am thankful for friends who are up for an adventure with me. Early this morning I packed little man and his best friend in my car and headed toward Florida. It was actually a fun drive, the boys were SOOOO good, entertaining each other along the way and even taking pretty good naps in the car at the same time. They were so excited to get to Florida and see Palm Trees! While I was driving these two little boys, my friends were getting their work done and getting on planes to meet me down there. My friend Lauren arrived first from PA, getting to Florida at about an hour before us and then Tarsha arrived at about 7. I am so thankful for friends who are ready to attempt Florida and Disney with two little boys!

Tuesday, November 15, 2011

Thirty days of Thankful- Day 15

Day 15

Today I am thankful for the medical support I have here. Up until now I have not blogged specifically about some of struggles going on with little man and after the 30 days of Thankful are over I will begin to document what is going on, for me, for him and for others who might read this and get some help.

Briefly little man has recently been diagnosed with PTSD. This diagnosis has led to a few more support people coming into our lives. It is making schedule a bit crazy for momma, but whatever I need to do I will do. But with this addition it made me realize how thankful I am for the OT and the DT who have been seeing little man for almost a year. I am also thankful for the new support people who are entering our lives, who see the bright little boy and the fear he has. Who assure me that they are going to help I am thankful that I live in a place where people are here to help, who understand that there is so much we don't understand about the beginnings of an adopted childs' life, but know that there is healing that needs to take place.

Thirty Days of Thankful- Day 14

Day 14

Okay so this is going to sound odd, but today I am thankful for my alarm clock. Specifically the fact that the alarm went off this morning and I was able to turn it off and go back to sleep. It is track-out time and I get to be home for the next several days with my little man. He gets to be my alarm clock and he is really much cuter :)

Thirty Days of Thankful- Day 13

Day 13

Today I am thankful for dinner with friends. We didn't get dressed up and go out, we didn't even go out we just stayed home. But it is so nice to have an evening with friends. Our kids playing with each other and all sitting down to eat. Laughing at the silly kids and the silly adults.

I grew up always sitting down as a family for dinner and little man and I always sit and eat, but it adds something extra to have more people. Little man can be a little silly when there is a friend at the table, but I don't mind not when I get to see that little mischievous smile and giggle when he is with his friend. It is also nice to have some adult conversation when eating :)

Thirty Days of Thankful- Day 12

Day 12

I am thankful for a day of nothing. Today little man and I had nothing planned and nothing we had to do. We played, laughed, cuddle and just spent time together. It was nice to just have a day with him with nothing else that "had" to be accomplished. I think I need to try and create more of those!

Friday, November 11, 2011

Thirty Days of Thankful- Day 11

Day 11- Veteran's Day

Today is Veteran's Day and I am thankful for my freedoms and the men and women who assure that I have them. I am thankful for the opportunities I have been given living here in America.

A friend of mine shared this quote " A veteran- whether active duty, discharged, retired or reserved- is someone who at one point in his/her life wrote a blank check payable to "The United States of America" for an amount up to and including his life."

Thank you veterans for all that you do for not just our country, but for me and my son. Today I remember that your sacrifices, while they help our entire nation that I, as an individual benefit form them.

Thursday, November 10, 2011

Thirty Days of Thankful- Day 10

Day 10

Tonight after a fun evening out I came home to a FB post that was some OLD pictures from my days working at Space Camp. I was instantly filled with love, laughter and a bit of sadness. For over 10 years every summer I packed my life up and moved to Alabama for the summer to work at Space Camp. I worked with kids and adults and made many lasting friendships. The years I spent working with the teacher program at Space Camp gave me a family, several of us came back year after year to be together and work this amazing program and even some of the campers became staff. We have been there for each others weddings, bar mitzvahs, heartaches and new family members. We are scattered across North America and even though we have not all been together in a while I know that when we are, we will pick up like no time has passed. I miss them all terribly, they have enriched my life in so many ways. I am saddened a little at the thought that none of the staff have been able to meet little man yet as our schedules have been so crazy, but I have felt their love through it all and received so many virtual hugs and kind words from them. I am so blessed by the friendships I made with the "campers" and how many of them have been able to meet little man.

So today I am thankful for the laughs, the tears, the hugs, the love of my Space Camp family, staff and campers. The wacky people that are in my life because of Space Camp and the never ending support that I receive from them. They are the family I have chosen and that I chose every summer to be with for lots of years. Several of us now have kids and many of us are now married, but it just means our family has grown. Time for a reunion I think! I love all of you and miss you all dearly!

Thirty Days of Thankful- Day 9

Day 9

Today I am thankful for fall colors and the time to stop and enjoy them. As I was driving to school this morning it was slightly foggy and I was on a back road, after dropping little man off, there was a pond with fog hanging over it and the sun dancing on the multi-colored tree leaves. I wished badly that I had my camera and smiled as I saw a man stop on the road, get his camera out and start to shoot some pictures. I paused for a minute to make a mental picture and remember how thankful I am to live where there are quiet places to sit and reflect on the beauty of fall. Growing up in LA there never was really much for fall colors.

Thirty Days of Thankful- Day 8

Day 8

Tonight I am thankful for dinner with Auntie Shevaun. Dinner tonight was Moe's, nothing fancy, but a great night of laughter and tears and catching up. We have both been busy and don't get to see each other as often as I would like. But time with her is always something I am thankful for. She keeps me grounded, reminds me that I am doing a good job, she is my rock and my shelter in a storm. She has waited in an ER room with me late at night when I had an esophagus issue, she met me for lunch the day I signed the papers to accept little man's referral, she has opened her home for holidays to us. Being with her always brings a feeling of peace. I am blessed to have her in my life and for my son to call her auntie!
Thank you Auntie Shevaun for just being you!

Okay this is not Auntie Shevaun but it is a cute picture of him dancing with Uncle Jan while waiting for Auntie Shevaun to golf!

Monday, November 7, 2011

Thirty Days of Thankful- Day 7

I am running behind on this so going to try and catch up!
Day 7

Today I am thankful for a new friend who took time off of work to come support me at a doctors appointment. Little man has been going through a rough time and we have been working on a solution. Today was the first step in implementing the plan, but in order to do that I need a helping hand at the doctors office. Kristen was wonderful enough to take the time to entertain Isaiah in the waiting room while I was back talking about how to make all this work and letting the "team" in on some background. She hasn't known us long but was there to be supportive.
So today I am thankful for new friends!

Thirty Days of Thankful- Day 6

Day 6- a little late
Okay so I am late posting my thankful for on Day 6.

Today I am thankful for adoption. It is Orphan Sunday and I did not get a chance to actually share my adoption experience. Adoption brought me the most amazing son and has enriched my life in more ways than I thought possible. So today I am thankful for this little man in my life.

Saturday, November 5, 2011

Thirty Days of Thankful- Day 5

Day 5

Today I am thankful for a little man that likes to help me cook and do the dishes. I pretty much can't be in the kitchen working without him offering to help. Sometimes I am rushing and have to remember to slow down and let him help.

I have set a goal for myself, I will cook on Sunday a meal for that night and Monday night. We usually have homegroup on Tuesday so are not here for dinner, but Wednesday, Thursday and Saturday my goal is to plan a meal that we can cook together. :) (Friday is usually going to be something leftover from one of the other days.

I am sure this time of him wanting to help me cook and do the dishes will not last forever, but maybe if I make it a special time I can make it last a little longer!

Friday, November 4, 2011

Thirty Days of Thankful- Day 4

Day 4

Today I am thankful for cloudy, rainy sick days. Little man is still running a fever, which I am not thankful for, but it meant I got an extra day home with him. This morning it was cold and rainy and the perfect day for blankets, pillows and movies. He was happy to lay on the couch with me and watch Dinosaur Train. I know that soon he will get big enough to not want mom cuddle time as much. So today I am thankful for the cold and rainy morning that I was given to slow down and take time with little man!

Thursday, November 3, 2011

Thirty days of thankful- Day 3

Day 3

Today I am thankful for the students I teach. I have been teaching for 12 years and each year I find something special about the group of kids I teach. But today I was so proud and thankful for the students I teach.

My little man got sick today and I had to go get him. Without a sub available I went back to school with a sleeping little boy. My students were so quiet and so concerned about him. They checked on him, wanted to see him and kept reminding each other to "be quiet the baby is sleeping" and when he woke at the end of the school day, they came to see him awake and yet were so careful to keep a safe distance. Today I am thankful for the students who respect me enough to care about my child.

Wednesday, November 2, 2011

Thirty Days of Thankful- Day 2

Day 2

Today I am thankful for this little boy!

He is my little man's best friend. The son of a wonderful friend. He and little man are "brudders" They love each other, they argue, they laugh, they play, they are just plain silly. But when I am with the two of them, the world is just right. Their laughter is the cure for any bad day. Today I am thankful my child has this best friend.