Wednesday, September 18, 2013

The end of one chapter the beginning of another

I haven't slept well for two nights.  I am sure tonight will be no different.  Adrenaline has taken over my mind and body;)  Tomorrow we depart for Haiti to bring Christian home forever.  I am so excited.  I am terrified.

The last couple weeks have been emotional.  We are filled with excitement and anticipation as we prepare.  I have folded and refolded Christian's clothes.  Phin can hardly contain himself that his roommate is finally coming.  Ava and Chloe have helped me pick out the outfits I should pack.  I have frozen meals and stocked up on everything I can possible think of in anticipation of the first few weeks at home.  We've read blogs, books, and articles on the transition and can't help but wonder if the next few weeks will be joyous or painful.  Our hearts feel fragile and yet full.

I have also been undergoing the same angst I have endured with anticipation of each baby before he or she has arrived,  a desperation to savor the last moments of normal as we know it.  To savor the time I have with Marc and each child before I am stretched thin with transition and caring for one more precious little ones heart.

The kids have all expressed great excitement, but like Marc and I they also have concerns.  What will life be like?  What if Christian is scared?  Will I get enough time with Mom and Papa?  Everyone is still a bit fragile from the move and chaos that followed.  Reserves are still empty and so we are all learning to look to Jesus; we are being reminded whether the storm comes in a physical sense or emotionally, He has the power to calm the storm and bring peace.  The blessing of the move for the kids is great compassion for what Christian will lose and grieve.  They still have days they miss Sheboygan and friends.  We've talked a lot about what Christian is leaving and how he will feel and they have great empathy.

Last weekend, we did a "Babymoon" as a family.  With our whirlwind of a summer, we had to cancel our vacation, so we did a minivacation downtown Chicago, living it up in the city, knowing that for a few months or more we'll be home bound.

On Friday night, we went to Grand Luxe Cafe for dinner.  It was right across from our hotel and Marc and I have always love the food.  The kids had just found our we were spending the night in the city.  I think the hotel and city lights would have been enough for them.  They were thrilled;)

Dinner was yummy, as always, but they also had a super fun "decorate your own cupcake" dessert.  The kids were messy and sticky...and we loved it;)

It was a bit hard to get to sleep.  The kids kept wanting to look out the window at all the lights and mommy had forgotten to pack not one but TWO kids' sleeping things.  ARGH;)  They did finally settle down and I found I was so excited about the next day's surprises that I had trouble sleeping.

We got up in the morning and told them we were going to breakfast and that Ava and Chloe could each bring a doll (I had packed both Ava's American Girl dolls) and Phin could bring his stuffed animal.  We started walking to breakfast. They got excited about lots of things along the way.  When Ava noticed the American Girl store, she begged to stop and look in the windows.

As they were oooo-ing and ah-ing, Marc slyly said, "I am hungry let's see if they have things to eat here."  Surprise number 1- Breakfast at the American Girl Cafe;)

Ava was shocked and delighted.  She has always wanted to go and in fact has been saving money for two years.
Phin had a REALLY hard time with all the PINK.  He was miserable;)

Chloe kept making fun of Phin's grumpies;)

Heart pancakes and flower fruit:)

Ava's favorite breakfast happens to be Eggs Benedict and it was on the menu...the girl was flying high as a kite;)

The waitress managed to make Phin smile when she brought him an unfrosted cookie (ours all had pink frosting) and a mouse dirt cup MINUS the flower;)

Then Phin and Marc headed to the Lego store (picture to be inserted later;) and the girls and I went to watch Ava spend her hard saved money.

First stop, the hair salon.  That hard earned money was precious and Ava handled the sales women with ease.  She asked how much everything was and refused everything but the simplest hair style. ;)
and it turned out great;) 

She had saved up $200 and ended up spending $57;)  She got her dolls hair done, a pair of glasses, and the medical set.  I was proud;)

We found Papa and Phin and headed out to the next surprise...Navy Pier.

They loved the Ferris wheel and seeing the city from the air.

Our last family photo without Christian....soon our whole family will be together!

Marc and Ava rode the swings.

Phin, Chloe, and I rode the Carousel.

Then we went to the children's museum.

They have a pet place...heaven for a certain three year old!

Yep, this is about as good as picture I was able to get of our very active little guy;)

Ava hasn't played here since she was Chloe's I really enjoyed watching her in areas I took her too as a tiny tot;)

It was so nice just to play, laugh and be together.

I spent the entire week in preparation.  On Thursday, wonderful news, broke the routine.  My niece Zoe was born;)

On Friday, Hannah, a dear friend arrived.  She used to babysit the kids in Sheboygan and they adore her.  She will be staying with the kids this week and then remaining with us for about a month to help with the transition.  She's been a big help.  We spent last weekend showing her around, recovering from colds we all got and just enjoying each other.

Rainy Sunday called for family nap time...why not do it in a fort;)

Monday I took pictures of the boys completed room.  Soon, a precious boy will be sleeping in his bed.

Monday night, I couldn't sleep.  I was thinking of a million things I'd forgotten and aching for more time with my kids.  I prayed much of the night and made a decision.  Instead of to dos, I would spend Tuesday taking each kid on a mommy date.  That is what we did.

I took Chloe to lunch and she chose to go to Chili's.  She wanted to eat "Pizza with Ranch". 

 She was adorable.  We colored a pepper for St. Jude's.

She chatted up a storm and really LOVED the time one on one with mommy.  I think both our hearts were filled with joy.

I took Chloe home and picked up Phin.  I chose his destination cuz I knew he'd love it;)  We went to a place he likes called Colonial Cafe.  We've gone there for breakfast, but though they are known for ice cream we've never had it before.

He was happy we were getting ice cream;)  We talked about the changes.  He is really excited and seems prepared for his new brother.

We didn't just order ice cream.  We ordered "The Kitchen Sink".  TWELVE scoops of ice cream and goodies served in...well, a sink.  It was awesome.  He loved it;)  We laughed and chatted and he told me all kinds of goofy stories.

After school, I took Ava for tea.

We went to Panera for Peach Ginger tea and...

We ate and then I read aloud to here from the current book we are reading, "The Four Story Mistake".  One of her favorite things is when I read aloud to her.  We also chatted a bit.  She has the hardest time when we go away, so we talked about how she can handle that.  I have a really wonderful seven year old.
Yes indeed, my heart is full.  I am so thankful I threw out "to do"s and got a little time one on one with my kids.  My heart needed to connect one last time before this transition. Needed them to know how adored they are so in the weeks ahead if mommy doesn't have quite as much time with them, they know it's not because I don't want to.  God is at work in each of them and in Marc and I and we walk forward knowing we can't do this parenting thing or adoption parenting thing on our own, but he is so faith.  We are so blessed.  Our family is changing.  After tomorrow, our times together will look really different and there may be lots of growing pains, but God is going to bring us to green pastures and still waters.  We may sometimes feel lost, but we will just keep focusing on him and let him lead the way.  Our hearts have already grown, expanded, been miraculously touched by a little boy name Christian Willy...can't wait to see what's next.


  1. Oh, how I remember ... praying for you, for Christian, for your sweet family as you transition into this new season. Such a privilege to watch from the sidlines and witness his love for us through the miracle of adoption. Much love!

  2. Beautifully written from your heart, a mother's heart ever expanding as one more soul is entrusted in your everyday care. How blessed you are! You are eversomuch more that a Supermom Wannabe. You are a SuperMOM! God has given you such a heartwarming, tear making way of making everyday life fun! Love you Kim! Enjoy your new journey.