Wednesday, April 13, 2016

40 days as a family of 7 and 20 days to a family of 8

Easter Sunday 2016 - Family of  7 and as close to a baby bump photo you will get

40 days ago, Pete, Joshua and Thomas came home from China.  If you have not seen our video on Facebook, take a minute to watch it here.  I am biased, but I cry watching it. EVERY. SINGLE.TIME.  It, and all the photographs were taken by Nicoleinbold, LLC, an amazingly talented photographer I found through Red Thread Sessions.

Thomas's US Gotcha Day from Nicole Burmeister on Vimeo.

Right now, a mini miracle is occurring in our home . . . . both toddlers are napping! So, I am going to attempt to write this post and hit "publish" before either wakes up!

So, let's just get to the details, shall we?

Things are going well.  Thomas is adjusting very well and I seriously cannot imagine life without him.  He has been attaching to me well (and to Pete too, of course) and we have seen improvements in his interactions with strangers over the last month.  He is a super sweet little boy and we all adore him.  His smile melts me, but all of my boys have been able to charm me with a sweet smile.  Although things are going well, please do not read that as "this is easy."  We are living the HARD right now. Good and beautiful, but hard.  And there are moments that I do not think it would seem so hard if I weren't just so big and pregnant.  Felicity has "battle scars" from her dear brother. The toddlers can create more mess than I ever knew possible. Getting Thomas to nap when Felicity no longer naps, but just HAS to be in the room when I put her brother down for his nap has taught me a whole new level of patience I did not know exists.  After I dropped my boys off at their tutorial this morning, I went to daily mass with the toddlers, for the first time since Thomas came home.  It was 9AM when mass was over and I officially considered the day highly successful.



Thomas has been through all of his doctor's appointments and is doing so well!  Since he has a heart condition, we were very concerned about his cardiologist appointment, but after his echo, the doctor declared that his surgery in China was beautifully done and that he is HEALTHY!  Thomas will only need yearly appointments at this time!


At the cardiologist, waiting for his echo, and showing off his CHD warrior scar

This week marks the 36th week of pregnancy for me.  I am BIG and probably look continually tired.  I get insomnia in my third trimester, so there are nights I sleep very little.  While I know adding a newborn to the mix will be challenging, I often think it will be easier than right now . . . . we will see. We are officially 20 days away from baby Hope's arrival. I have to have a scheduled c-section, so we know the date and approximate time of her arrival already.  The crib is up, car seats are set, and my hospital bag is almost completely ready to go.  A sitter for the toddlers is lined up and as of right now, we have not scared her off yet!  I know the next few weeks will fly by and before we know it baby Hope will be in our arms.  I have not spent much time getting excited about her arrival.  Really, I am so busy with the "now" that it is hard to even think about what is to come. But last week a friend gave birth to her baby boy and as I saw the updates and photos over two days, I began to get excited about having a newborn again. It has been so long that I wonder if it will feel new again, or if it like riding a bicycle; that it will all just come back to me once she is in my arms???


A grainy phone photo, but it shows the pure joy for this crazy life!

So that is what is going on in our little corner of the world. Other than the details, I have to say that I am often left with this overwhelming sense of awe at all that God has done.  Each day I look at Thomas, I am profoundly grateful and amazed at how God brought him into our family; from that day I played with him in the orphanage, to the mountains moved during the adoption process to bring him into our family and at the timing of it all, I am simply in awe.  This morning, I was pondering it all and I looked at our little man and said, "God must have known we needed you."  Yes, Thomas needs us too, but there must be something about him with us that is just right.  I have so many thoughts on this whole subject and how it has left me changed in a different way than how Felicity's adoption impacted me, but those thoughts and feelings are to be written another day.

For now, I know, that to so many, our lives may seem chaotic and our decision to add more family members through adoption just a little bit crazy.  And there are days that it truly is.  But, I can say that our hearts are bursting with love and joy more than ever before.  To see my three boys light up when they see Felicity or Thomas? Oh, pure joy.  To see Pete play and hold these two silly toddlers?  Pure joy.  To have Thomas wake up in the middle of the night and say, "Mommy?" and then immediately fall back to sleep when I simply say the words, "I am here Thomas."? . . . . joy.  To see Thomas and Felicity pat my belly and wave "Hi" to baby Hope  . . . . oh, yes, pure joy.  

So, we may seem a bit tired and haggard some days, but we "consider it all joy."