Tuesday, January 10, 2012

Welcoming in 2012 and looking back at 2011

I find it hard to believe that it's already January 2012.  2011 was filled with so many wonderful, big changes for our family that the saying "it just flew by" is perfectly accurate.  It was a big year for us, with adjusting to having Lyric as a new member of our family, putting in a new garden (including removing stumps and roots!), and gathering all the paperwork for our Colombian adoption.  We have been blessed beyond measure, and we humbly thank God for all that He has provided for us and directed us to in past years - most notably would be home schooling our children and adoption.

I am happy to say that our children are all doing really well together and are well-adjusted to one-another.  When we started the adoption process I figured it may take a year for all of us to truly feel as if we were "one" family and not like we were still working at being a true family unit with segmented parts.  Sometimes when you add another child to your family there is a natural tendency for the children who were already in the home (and even the parents) to think about or even comment about what it was like without the newly adopted child(ren).  Those kind of comments and thoughts are a thing of the past now for us, and we can't imagine our lives without our precious Lyric.  You should hear that girl laugh.  It is such a sweet, precious sound that you never want it to stop.

CJ at 4H awards banquet
Carissa, Tyler and Laurel are growing up so fast.  Our sweet firstborn is now taller than I am - and she is only 13!  It really makes it hard to discipline her.  I usually start to laugh as I am looking up at her instead of down to her...  "CJ" has show rabbits now, in addition to her chickens.  We haven't had a successful attempt at breeding her rabbits yet, but hopefully that will happen soon!  The past year she has enjoyed reading, working with her animals, sewing, and growing into a young lady.

Tyler hanging out at park
Tyler is now 12 and is becoming quite the young man.  He has been having a growth spurt and will, in no time soon, surpass me in height also!  I really enjoy watching him with Lyric, as they are "two peas in a pod".  She can do anything to him, and he doesn't let it phase him.  For 2011, I fondly remember Tyler helping get the garden ready with digging out stumps and hauling dirt.  He did great at chopping and hauling wood - and keeps us well supplied with wood on our deck (for our wood-burning stove insert) so that we all stay warm!  He enjoys reading, playing any type of game, and has recently purchased a few show rabbits for himself as well.

Laurel engrossed in a mystery
Laurel has finally reached the double digits and turned 10 in 2011.  She has a big, big heart for others and if there is ever a special time or birthday for anyone that she knows, she will go out of her way to make a special card or gift for them.  Recently she has taken an interest in "creating" edible experiments in the kitchen.  Before our very eyes she turns into a "mad scientist".  You have to be very, very careful with eating what she gives you.  It is always edible - but you don't always want to take a very big bite of it!  Trust me...

Lyric, in China, eating peanut butter on a stick
Lyric is all of 4 years old now - technically 4 1/2!  She has grown out of most of her 18 mth clothes and is now in size two.  In 2011 she grew 2 1/2 inches!  We have a measurement chart for the children in our kitchen, but at times I wonder if this is such a good idea.  Right now, she really enjoys being measured once a month and seeing how she has grown but there may come a time when her body slows down its growth and she comes to the realization that she is much shorter than others her age.  Our goal is to build her self-confidence in herself so that should she not grow to an average height, it won't be a major concern for her.

Lyric, pouting for fun
In 2011 Lyric learned how to jump and get air between her feet and the floor, she learned how to do a roll on the floor, she learned the love of a mommy and daddy, of sisters and a brother, she learned a whole new language, and most importantly she is learning about God and his son, Jesus, who died for our sins. 

Everything has been quiet as far as our adoption from Colombia goes.  Oddly enough, it's been rather peaceful not thinking about the next bit of paperwork that needs to be turned in or if we filled all the documents out correctly.  By now, our dossier should have been received back at the main ICBF headquarters in Bogota.  Children's Hope, our adoption agency, is going to check on this for us next week to make sure.  It may have already been sent to another region, but it may not have.  The paperwork process for adoptions tends to slow down a bit in December.  I'll keep you posted when we hear more news!

Please continue to pray for the children whose referral we could not accept  - they need a family, and they need to know the love of Jesus if they don't know Him already.  If you are interested at all in adopting a sibling group of 4 (or any children!) from Colombia - ages 9 and under - please get in contact with Nichole at  Children's Hope International.

Thank you for your prayers for our family,


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