3 coloumn

Tuesday, February 4, 2014

8 months home with MaeLynn

Yayyyy! Our sweet baby girl has turned a corner. Who can explain why last month was such a rough month and this month was so much better? No idea! Maybe she getting more comfortable with us, building a little more trust, realizing we are going to love her no matter what. OR maybe she just got a healthy dose of sunshine when we took our first family of 5 vacation to FLORIDA!!! I know that sure made mommy happy;). Either way, it is so refreshing to see this smile again and watch MaeLynn's spunky personality come through again.
   This month was a blast. We were in Destin, Florida on MaeLynn's 8 month anniversary date. On the way down, we stopped at our dear friends house, the Bogue Family,  in Columbus, MS. It was nice for the kids to get out and stretch their legs and play with their friends. Scott went with Matt to a BAMA football game and I had the best time catching up with my friend Amy.
Visiting with our friends the Bogue's...
movie night with Bryson Bogue
Bouncing good time with Brooklyn Bogue

We traveled through Mississippi, down Alabama and finally to Florida. The kids did great! As soon as we got to our Miramar Beach house, we quickly unloaded and headed to the beach. MaeLynn was overwhelmed by her surroundings. The wind in her hair, the sound of the waves, the sunshine, the birds, everything was new and exciting. It didn't take too long before we could see her settling in and becoming comfortable. Next, she started to ham it up and show us how much she liked her new surroundings...

Mae loved the week with daddy too..
We had the best time building sandcastles, going to Gator Island, riding on a real pirate ship and half way through the week Nana and Papa flew in while Scott worked the IronMan Triathalon.

Beach time with Nana and Papa...


Exploring in Sea Side and carnaval rides in Panama City Beach...
Ending the day with snuggles from Papa...
Halloween Day, Gulfarium and trick or treating...
Our last day we went to the Bass pro shop and an outdoor mall with fountains...
Best vacation ever!!!!!

   In a month of firsts, MaeLynn had her FIRST HAIRCUT! Our little one got the cutest bob to even out her crazy lengths. She is growing so quickly and we are soaking up every minute of it!

7 months home with MaeLynn

Sassy attitude...
Happy... (All in a 30 second photo shoot!)

   These pictures are a good summation of our emotional rollacoaster this month with MaeLynn. We have read about these tough months in adoption books and also heard about it from other friends that have adopted before us. MaeLynn officially reached a testing period with us this month. It's almost as though she did everything she humanly knew to push us away. Physically hit us, pushed us away when we tried to snuggle her or comfort her and reverted back to some of her earlier screaming behavior. It was hard not to feel heart broken and rejected. Our friends in the adoption community describe it in simply terms like this...At some point your child may hit a period where they realize how much they love you and that there is still a possiblity that you may abandon them and/or hurt them. So, they do what is logical to them...do everything in their power to push you away and see if you stay.
   God is good and he gave us the strength and patience to persist. I found it a good reminder of my relationship with the Lord. I push the Lord away in my own insecurities but He is always there with a hug and snuggle to pick me back up no matter how I act. Amazing GRACE!
   We tried to keep activities minimal this month so we could allow MaeLynn to feel and act as she needed to express.  We did make it back to Wichita for a couple quick days to go to the pumpkin patch with Nana and Papa while daddy caught up on some paperwork back home. This kids loved all the outdoor activities there like the pit filled with corn, slides and tractor train.
   One special time we had this month was hosting an adoption play group for families in the area that had recently adopted from China. We had so much fun connecting with others and sharing stories. The girls were so precious playing with dolls and dressing up. We hope to continue this group so the girls can grow up together. It was also special to meet other Chinese girls that have the same special need as Mae. All of the girls were fascinated with each others "little arm".
   For those of you who walked this month with us daily. Thank you for your prayers and support through this difficult month. We want so badly for MaeLynn to feel our love for her and be confident that she is and will always be apart of this family. Please continue to pray for this ever changing and growing bond!!

Sweet sibling moment!

Pumpkin Patch October 2013

Nana and Papa at the Pumpkin Patch

Mommy time!

China Adoption Playgroup

Pigtail Princess!
MaeMae loves bath time with her bubba and sissy.

Monday, December 9, 2013

6 months home with MaeLynn!

   Can you believe it's been 6 months since we held our precious, youngest daughter for the first time?!?! MaeLynn has gained 5 pounds and grown 2 1/2 inches since Gotcha Day! Praise the Lord, He has nourished and helped her develop into such a healthy little toddler. I feel like I say this every month but this past month has been full of bonding and laughter. MaeLynn has truly let down some of her last remaining walls and let us love her and experience the joy that this family shares. We have had another blessed month of family fun. We enjoyed a visit from our dear friends, the Bogue's, traveled to Silver Dollar City with the Kennett family, the kids and I started Adventureland at our church, we traveled to Lawrence to visit the Stelk cousins, the family celebrated Chinese Moon Festival and Nana and Papa came to visit! Whew, what a month! The smile on sweet MaeMae's face says it all.
  MaeMae loves to make friends. The scared, shy days of MaeLynn are definitely behind her! My sweet friend, Amy Bogue, and her two kiddos, Brooklyn and Bryson came to meet MaeLynn for the first time. They live in Mississippi. Brooklyn and MaeLynn are about 6 months apart and they bonded over toys and sitting in the backyard watching the older siblings play. It was so precious to watch.
   Silver Dollar City is a quick 2 hour drive from our house and it is one of our kids' favorite places. Lilly will tell you if she could pick a dream day full of activities it would include a trip to Silver Dollar City;) This past month we were so lucky to be able to get away with our kindred spirited family, the Kennetts. If you remember, we traveled to China with the Kennetts and brought our girls home together. Khloe and MaeLynn are besties and had the best time riding rides and playing in the water fountains together. We are so thankful for more memories with this family. 
   Lilly, Fischer, MaeLynn and I have started back to school at Adventureland at our church. It is a structured mom's day out program that teaches preschool curriculum as well as biblical truths. The kids are having a blast. I was a little worried about how MaeLynn would do in a new environment. I was also secretly worried about how I would do away from her!;) We are all doing wonderful. All of the teachers my children have a amazing and I am so blessed to be teaching a class right across the hall from MaeLynn. I can watch through her window at anytime and I get to see her at our music and recess time! Such an answered prayer!
   My sister, Ginger, and her family recently moved to Lawrence, Kansas to take a campus ministry job at Kansas University. We are very excited about the work God will do through them there and we are even more excited that they are a little closer! The kids and I took off during the week for a quick 3 day visit and to see the new house. MaeLynn loved the attention from the cousins. It overwhelms my heart to think that little things like a large family, cousins and even siblings are things that would have never have been a reality for MaeLynn in China due to their One Child policy. We have sooo much fun with our large family!!!!!
   China has so many holidays and tradition, it is really difficult to keep up! However, we are trying our best. One holiday important to the Chinese is the Moon Festival also called Mid-Autumn Festival or Family Reunion festival. It is fun to read the mythical stories to the kids. We thought it fit to celebrate this festival with our friends that have become family, the Kennetts. We dressed Khloe and MaeLynn in their traditional Chinese dresses and ate our own version of moon cake:) 
   We are so blessed to celebrate another month home and another month of acclimating to our new fabulous family of 5! Thank you for your prayers, support, encouragement and love along the way. Here are some pictures from this month....
Our friends the Bogue's, Bryson, Amy and Brooklyn
Bath fun with Brooklyn

   Bouncing frog fun with Khloe Kennett

Spalsh park fun at Silver Dollar City!

First Day of Adventureland School at our church, Fellowship Bible Church, 2013.

Visit to the Stelk cousins in Lawrence, Kansas. Harmony, Caleb, Hope and Hannah Stelk
Yummy cake for Moon Festival!
MaeLynn and Fischer love to tease Papa.