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Saturday, November 29, 2008


I am sitting at my computer this morning completely overwhelmed by emotion at writing about what I am thankful for this year, 2008. I knew that 2008 would be much better than 2007... it just had to be. 2007 was not a good year for me personally. 2008 has super exceeded it. So without further ado...

- I am thankful for my husband. He is so gentle and loving and is an amazing father. There is no where he would rather be than with his wife and children. We have been married almost 8 years and they have been the most amazing years of my life. He brought to life my passion of adopting, although at first it was from the outside looking in. He didn't understand it, didn't ask questions about it, he just knew that it was my desire and he dived in head first. There is something special about a man that is able to love a child that is "not his own". And when I say "not his own" I mean a child that was not created by him. He was hesitant and nervous at first, I am not going to lie. He played both sides of the fence at times but he was just being realistic. On Gotcha Day he stood back videotaping, so scared to touch or feel this dream that we had seen come to life for fear that it would be snatched away. In that hotel in Nanchang he fell in love with a little girl that had never known the love of a father. A little girl so scared and frail and unsure of these people she was now stuck with. To see him being so gentle and kind to her would touch even the hardest of hearts. He fell in love with a little girl that knew nothing of a family and did not know how to trust. He put himself out there for her, to be the father that she needed. And now it is evident that she is so in love with him and it just melts his heart for him to hear her say, "I yub you dada".

- I am thankful for my son Elias. Elias was the baby that was never supposed to be. The baby that I carried in my broken heart years before he was born. I had been told for years that I would never conceive because my eggs were like that of a 70 year old woman's. Nice. I had a dream one night, a dream so real that I wept when I woke up. I dreamed that I had delivered a little boy and I was walking down the hall to visit him in the nursery. The nursery in the hospital was under construction so I was actually visiting a room with a bassinet, a rocking chair and some other random equipment. I lifted my baby boy out of the bassinet and cradled him gently in my arms. I sat in the rocking chair holding my baby and touching the top of his hair. He had on a white t-shirt and a diaper. He had a head full of dark brown hair. There was a little stain on his t-sirt from his bleeding umbilical cord and I could smell his baby smell. As I was stroking his head he looked at me and said, "Don't worry momma, I will be home soon." And then I woke up. Sobbing and sobbing and just aching to hold that baby that had been in my dreams. I was pregnant and didn't know it.
So Elias and I have a history I guess you could say. He is my angel. He made me a mother. Something that I desperately wanted to be. He is an old soul that has been around for a while. Wise beyond his years. Intelligent and sarcastic... such a wonderful combination. He will say the sweetest things to me and I love when he calls me his girly-girl. I like that better than momma, because he made that up. He is incredibly witty. In a different time and in another world if we were to meet, we would be best friends I am sure. He has a kind heart and a quick temper. He is amazing to me and I am so thankful for the joy that he has brought to my world since he entered his. I love you Elias, with all of my heart.

- I am thankful for Norah. Thankful that she took that leap of faith right along with us and trusted us. She has come so far in her life and she is braver than I could ever be. She too has made me a mother twice over. I never thought I would have one child, but I have been blessed with 2. The wait, the trip, the journey was all for her. We love her so much and cannot wait to see her blossom even more. We pray everyday that she will be safe and feel secure in her new world. So much joy... all of the tears and pain have been erased and I am whole again.

- I am thankful for my family - thankful that they have always been by my side in this crazy world. Thankful that my mom sacrificed and worked to give me the best of everything. Thankful that Bill overcame the cancer that was found. Thankful that we have another year to love him and to learn from him. Thankful that my sister was kept safe this year. She is amazing in more ways than one. She is funny and beautiful. I am pretty sure that God gave us to mom 13 years apart because we would have been to much of a handful if we were several years apart. She is half of my heart. She has so much to offer this world and will figure everything out in time. I love her so very much.

-I am thankful that my step-mom, Carrie, is in remission. For 6 months she was tortured by chemo. She is so strong and brave and fought her cancer head on. Her kids and grandkids are the most important to her and she did it for them, I know she did. My dad has been healthy this year... one more year thankful to be with him. Amen!

- I am thankful for all of Shannon's family. Thankful that they all shaped him, in one form or another, into the man that he is. Thankful that they love both of my kids. Thankful that families were reunited. Thankful that there were no illnesses and that we all had one more year to share with one another in love. They are my family too and I am so thankful that they treat me that way. I am thankful that Nick and Jess are married :) Now she is stuck. Jess, welcome to the family. You and Nick will be very happy together I just know it. Those Sharp men are easy to love :)

- I am thankful that Mason will make her entrance into the world in early 2009. I am thankful that she is healthy and she will be so loved. Valarie and I tend to have our kids one right after another. It makes sense, we are soul sisters. So after settling down from the excitement of her being pregnant, it didn't surprise me that she would have another baby. Norah and Mason will carry on our legacy and I am so thankful for that. I cannot wait to see her and hold her and lick her head. Yes, I said lick her head. Don't touch that one, that's just what we do. :) I am thankful that I have had the same best friend for 20 years and all of the things that I don't say she gets. She is my Anam Cara. My soul friend.

- After traveling to China I am thankful for so much that I always took for granted. Thankful that we can all worship however we choose, thankful that we can have good jobs that pay well, thankful that we have a house, and that I have lots of nieces and nephews. Thankful for my car, the food on my table and for freedom. Freedom to do what I want, when I want, how I want. I learned so much while there. It would take your breath away. I am most thankful that they entrusted us with one of their daughters. I will never be the same.

-I am thankful for all of my "old" friends and for the new friends that I have met along the way. I am thankful that each brings a unique gift to my life and I hope that I do the same for them. There have been some good times with these girls, some good times and some true friendships. Thank you :)

- I am thankful for all of the blessings that God has given me this year. Thankful for His mercy and for His grace. Thankful that He does provide what we need but He also provides extra. Thankful that He has taken this woman's heart and has put all of the necessary band-aids on it so as not to break. And they are, respectively, Elias and Norah. Thank you God, for both of my children. Thank you for choosing me to be their mother. I pray that they never doubt for one minute that I love them with all of my heart.

I hope that all of you found things that you are thankful for this year. Things that are beyond the normal house, car, and money. Things that make up the real things in this life. And that is the love of a family and your children.

My cup runneth over...

Friday, November 21, 2008

There's no place like the park...

Before I can even begin to tell you about Norah's day, I have to say a HUGE thank you to Brendon. Brendon and I went to highschool together and I really haven't seen him since. We are friends on facebook though. So to make a long story short, I had some pictures that didn't upload to my computer. I did everything that I knew, but
nothing. They were gone. Brendon messaged me on FB and gave me a program that allowed me to retrieve EVERY SINGLE picture that was ever on that camera and deleted. I am very very thankful that he was able to help me, and that he took the time to do it! Thank you Brendon!!!!! :)

We took Norah to the park today for the first time. At first she was a bit unsure of the situation at hand, but she got warmed up to the idea at 20 screaming kids and a HUGE playground! I took tons of pics (that were RECOVERED!!!!!!!!!!) Elias had a great time! I overheard him saying this to a little girl as they passed Norah:

Elias: Hi Norah!
RandomGirl: You KNOW her?
E: Yes, that's my little sister.
E: Yes, she is from China. My parents went over there and got her out of a box. Her mom and dad left her there. Can you believe that? They just left her! Now she's my baby sister! Isn't she the cutest thing?
RG: speechless

Needless to say we had the talk about appropriate and inappropriate and what to tell and what not to say. Ugh. We are working on it! But it is interesting to hear it from his perspective.

So here they are, the lovely pictures (THAT BRENDON HELPED ME GET BACK!!!!!!!!)

Gahagan Park

I see you!!

Hangin out on the slide...

Daddy and Norah swinging



And away!!

Taking time for some sugar :)

I love this picture! It reminds me of Elias... In constant motion!

A little more sugar...


And again... How can I resist!

I LOVE this smile!

Momma and Norah

Momma's Prayers :)

Sweet Boy

I love the way she looks at her daddy...

And the way he looks at her. They have something very special!

I'm not too sure about this thing...

But I will give it a try...

Look at me momma!

No hands!!!

I think I might just stick with my Ya-Ya

You can't catch me!!!

Saturday, November 15, 2008


I have been meaning to post these for some time. I just keep forgetting! We sent a camera in Norah's care package, not knowing if they would take the pictures or not. We got the camera developed in GZ and much to my surprise they were awesome! For any of you out there that may be debating sending a camera, DO IT! I will cherish these photos forever and I am sure that Norah will too! So here ya go! I will post the ones that are clear. Three or four of them are pretty dark as they were apparently taken at night.
*I will label them at the bottom of each picture*

Norah and her nanny. She is pointing to our picture :)

This is the one that takes the cake for me. She is in her crib covered by the blanket that we sent...

Maybe saying goodbye to friends? This was apparently the same day as Gotcha Day.

One last walk with her girl

Happy Girl!


Norah and her best friend... a little boy maybe??** (see below)

Doesn't her nanny look proud??

**If any of you know who this little boy might be or if you know if anyone has adopted him, can you please email me? Apparently he and Norah were together alot. I saw him when I went and visited the orphanage and showed him pictures of her.**