Friday, August 22, 2008




We found out Tuesday afternoon that there was a good chance we'd get to go to court on Friday morning. Yesterday we got the A-OK. And this morning we went to court and were on the docket at 830 AM. There were 4 cases of family court in front of us, and by 9 AM Mark's adoption was finalized. There to celebrate with us were Mike's parents, My mom, my sister and brother in law and our niece and nephew. My dad was there via phone- as he was on a plane to Alaska.

Afterwards, my other sister and her daughter met up with us (they'd had to take my nephew to school this morning) and my mom (Mamacita), both sisters, my brother in law, my nephew and both nieces, Mike, Mark and I all went to Cracker Barrel for brunch.

Mike's parents are off in Galveston and will stop by to visit on their way home.

We are so happy, so excited, and tired (we had to get up super early this morning to be at court at 815 AM). So we are going to relax this afternoon and evening and enjoy being a family.

I guess this is my last post in this blog for now, as it was for our adoption journey. If the opportunity comes up to adopt again, I'll start it back up. But for now, we move on to a parenting journey, and our adventures with our son, Mark. Thanks for following along with us, it's been quite the ride! But it was MORE than worth the wait.....

Sunday, August 10, 2008


We're getting closer. No news is good news, I guess. We'll be calling again tomorrow to see if we can get an update- latest was that both lawyers need to get together to make sure everything is all in order to turn in. Keep your fingers crossed something happens soon!

Once we are FINALIZED I can't wait to start the next blog. Mark has been up to SO much and I can't wait to share it with you!

Here is the link to his new blog, we'll start posting in it as soon as it's all done!

Thursday, August 07, 2008

August Update

In one of our online playgroups we do an "update" each month, the first week or so of the month. So I thought I'd post ours here. You can see, our little guy has been quite busy lately!

Age: 7 months

Weight: 18 lbs

Length: 26.75 inches

Milestones: crawling, pulling up, sitting up from a crawling position, too many to name- Mike said last week "wow, last week was a big week for him developmentally" - and if HE said something, you know lots has happened.

Mobility status: crawling, pulling up with a few steps while holding on to something

Diaper Size and Brand: we've been using natural choice environmentally friendly in size 3, but we're almost done with that case and we have some whole foods 365 and some earth's best size 3 to try next. We use Seventh Generation a lot too.

What size clothes? 6-9 mo. He's in a solid 6 months now. Though he can wear some 3-6 tops and shorts.

How long is your baby sleeping at night? 10-12 hours

How many naps? 2 - 3

Favorite toy? his books that make noise

Favorite activity? jumperoo

How do they interact with their siblings? with the cat- great. Chases after her and pets her. He's learned not to grab her fur. Loves his cousins (ages 1,2,3 and 5) too - and gets right in there with them.

How many teeth? two full, plus 2 that are currently breaking through and two that are right under.

Favorite Food? anything and everything. Peach Apricot Muesli is his favorite baby food from Earth's Best. He loves oatmeal cereal and multi grain cereal from Happy Bellies and several of the Happy Baby frozen foods. He loves mashed potatoes, avocados, frozen mangos, guacamole, and grilled cheese.

Least favorite food? nothing really- actually I take that back- he doesn't like smooth (pureed) baby food. He wants "real" food.

What are the family plans for the rest of the summer? hanging around home, some trips to the river; Hopefully finalization.

recent picture:
he got caught trying to climb over daddy's legs to get to his arrow root cookies.

Friday, July 25, 2008

7 months

Wow, we've been home six months - our little guy is SEVEN months old today!

The time sure has flown. We did unofficial stats today, since he doesn't have a dr appt until nine months. He weighed 18 lbs even, and was 26.75 inches long. So he's roughly 40% in both categories.

He has a huge list of food he's eating- he's really taken to it and likes to be a big boy. He's crawling and gets around the room very fast. He's also very vocal. There are two teeth right now, but I'm pretty certain at least one more is going to pop out in the next few days. He looks like he's about to get a top front tooth.

We're still waiting. We called again today and left a message asking if there was anything we needed to do. We didn't hear back, hopefully we will soon. We were hoping for a July finalization day, but it looks like it's going to be August or later now. Ah well, it's out of our hands and there is nothing we can do.

The love we have as a family though- it's wonderful. We are so blessed to have this child. He truly is a special little boy and we couldn't imagine life without him.

Wednesday, July 23, 2008

Nothing new

We are still here in the waiting game. Hopefully we'll hear something soon. I'm going to call the lawyer's office again today for an update. We're ready to get this finalization over with and move on!

In other news - we have a crawler! And we have 2 teeth! This past week was a very big one with crawling, teething, and many more developmental milestones. It was like all of a sudden -boom - there he goes!

Wednesday, July 09, 2008

One step closer

Mark and I took a trip to the lawyer's office yesterday and dropped off the fingerprints. The secretary was so happy so see us. She loves Mark, and the feeling is mutual. He snuggled right up to her and just gave her the largest smiles. It was so cute to see.

As for updates, we're waiting for Mark's lawyer's report, our lawyer needs to find out if we need another criminal check (we had one when we did the ICPC) and then we should be able to get a date from the judge.

Now, things change all the time, so who knows? But we sure are hoping we can wrap this up soon!

Monday, July 07, 2008

6 month stats, finger prints and a photo contest

Mark had a great 6 months appointment last Thursday.

I was a bit surprised at some of his stats though, since he's growing out of his 3-6 month clothes and now wears 6 mo and 6-9 month.

He's 17 lb 1 oz (40 %) , 25.5 inches (20%) and his head was 50% (I forget the #, it's written down on a paper in the diaper bag)

He's above in most of the milestones and got the all ok to eat boiled potatoes, boiled carrots, bread, crackers and finger food. And should be drinking from his sippy frequently. Though she said that it needs to be a hard plastic sippy (like the playtex ones) not the soft spouts (like the nuby) and she doesn't want him to do a straw sippy that much. (there goes the search for a bpa straw sippy ) He's very sociable, wanted to stand (I think it's due to the jumperoo he got last week- he's been "standing" a lot more. Overall, it was a good appointment .

On the adoption front: nothing new to report. Late Wednesday afternoon our lawyer's office called and suggested we go get finger prints. We still don't know if we need them or not (we were able to qualify and do all the ICPC stuff without it), but they figured it can't hurt. So this morning Mike and I went to the League City PD and got them done.

Mark is entered in a Simply Cute photo contest on the website. If you have a chance, please go vote for him, and spread the word. It's this picture of our cutie:

Wednesday, June 25, 2008

6 months

He's 6 months old today!!!

Wow. 6 months! I am so proud of that little boy, and so much in love with him. I still pinch myself daily that he is our little guy. He is truly the love of our lives.

We had a 6 month birthday party for him, and my sister took semi-pro pictures of him . I can't wait to see them.

It's hard to believe that just 6 short months ago we were holding that tiny little baby boy in our arms. 6 months. Wow.

Sunday, June 15, 2008

Happy Father's Day

When we were at church today the senior pastor stopped by to shake our hands. It was just Mike and I as we'd put Mark in the nursery (for the first time). As he welcomed us, he said something about - you have a little one, don't you? We said he was in the nursery. He then said Happy Father's Day to Mike. He asked if it was Mike's first one, and Mike said yes. He then said "then it's an extra special one for you". We both smiled.

It is a very extra special Father's day. One that's been a long time coming. Mark and Mommy made sure that it was extra special full of little surprises for Daddy.

And we hosted a cook out for everyone. Mike's parents, my parents. both my sisters, their spouses and their kids all came. We had a fantastic time.

Happy Father's Day to those who are fathers, those waiting to become fathers, those that will be fathers, and those who helped make others fathers.

And most of all, Happy Father's Day Mike!

Saturday, June 07, 2008

new pictures

If you follow along A Day In The Life of Mark, there are some new pictures. I know I'm very behind, so I'm posting the most recent pictures first. Enjoy!

His own lawyer

We got a call this week from our lawyer. Apparently Mark has to have his own lawyer to represent him. So we are waiting for her call so she can "meet her client". Our lawyer is going to talk to the judge next week to see if the home study has been accepted or not. We're still "in the system". Hopefully something happens soon!

As for Mark, he's doing great! He loves to eat and play. We are currently rearranging our dining room to turn it into a play room so he has more room to scoot around. He's getting quite good at that. I think we'll have a crawler sooner rather than later. He's a pretty smart little guy.

Tuesday, June 03, 2008

where we are

I know I haven't updated much lately. We're still "in the system" as we wait to find out if the judge is going to accept our homestudy or if we are going to have to have a new one. It's a frustrating process, the waiting. And waiting. And not knowing what is going on, just waiting.

We've got to provide a home study every quarter to our agency in IN until finalization. We're at the point where if we don't hear something soon, we'll have to do yet another homestudy (this would be our fourth) and chances are, it won't count toward finalization.

It's frustrating, but what can you do?

He's ours, always has been, always will be. We just need to do one little thing to give him our last name and be able to get a birth certificate and social security #. But it's out of our hands as we wait. And wait. And wait.

I can't wait to start a blog on the adventures of parenting. But I want to wait until our "forever family" day is here and start fresh with that blog. So for now I'll continue to add sporadic posts here. Parenting is fantastic, and we love that little boy so much. It's amazing to see how he changes every day. I can't wait to share it with you soon.

Sunday, May 25, 2008

5 months

He's 5 months today.


Our life was turned upside down five months ago, and it was the best thing that happened to us. He's grown so much! Our "baby" isn't such a baby anymore.

He's got SUCH a personality. He always has, but now even more so. Several people at church today didn't believe that he's just five months. They figured he was older based on his actions, alertness and everything. He was just smiling, flirting with everyone.

He did pretty well at church today. Mark and Mommy (!) (I *still* pinch myself that I'm a mommy) had to leave during the sermon because Mark got a *tad* excited. We left before he decided to chat too much. While waiting for the service to end we went and checked out the church nursery. I have a feeling he's going to have to stay in the nursery soon. He's starting to get a bit to excited to be in church.

We have an eater. We tried cereal and apples this week. We were going to wait a tad bit longer, but we had some down time and thought we'd do it. And he loved it. He kept trying to feed himself, and got so excited every time he saw the spoon with food on it. We now are feeding him real food every night. And as I posted earlier- he loves to hold his own bottle (we put the sippy cup handles on there, and now he won't even let us feed him, he has to do it himself).

We don't have a DR appointment this month, but unofficially he is 16.4 lbs and 26 inches long. I'd believe it!

Wednesday, May 21, 2008


Well, my nephew is out of the hospital and is home. He is on his way to recovery.

Diana still hasn't had her baby yet. Hopefully soon!

Mark is doing FANTASTIC. He's growing like a weed, and it's amazing watching him every day. I can't believe the things he does and tries to do.

We started him on cereal, and he liked it quite a bit. Mr Independent likes to feed himself, even though he's only had a spoon in his mouth a total of 4 times! His sippy cup is compatable with his bottles, so we put the sippy cup handles on the bottles. He loves that he can feed himself.

And the latest on the adoption front - we are 'in the system'. We have petitioned for adoption, it's just a matter of if the judge accepts our home study or not. So, we wait. We can't wait until it is all over and done with! We're going to celebrate "forever family" day with a fancy dinner.

Sunday, May 18, 2008

random weekend things

My friend Diana is due any moment with her daughter- she's past the due date, so the little one can come out now any moment! I hope she has an easy labor.... she is going to be a great Mommy!

This weekend I had a booth at the American Baby Faire at Reliant Hall. It was a lot of fun. While my sister and I worked the booth, Mark hung out with Daddy. The guys had a wonderful bonding time. I was so happy to see him when I got home each night. And tonight he just hung onto me, and snuggled with me for quite a while. It was so nice.

Also, please send some good thoughts to my nephew. He's been sick and got worse while traveling, but is on the road to recovery. He's out of town right now, and we can't wait until he comes back home. Hopefully it's just a few days. He loves cookies, so instead of flowers or balloons or anything like that I think I'll see if I can get him a cookie bouquet when he comes home.

Friday, May 09, 2008

A Mom Because of Her

Someone shared this poem on a yahoo group I am on and wanted to share:

A Mom Because of Her

The joy I feel today is somehow mixed with pain,
A title once hers, now offered up for me to gain.
You see, I became a mother in a not so usual way,
At the loving hands of someone else, I celebrate today.

I am now called Mother, because she made it so;
She sacrificed her role with love, and let her baby go.
Now cards and flowers are mine, and happy wishes too;
Will you remember her as well, or will you have no clue?

She too is still a mother, even on this special day
Though no longer in her arms does her baby lay,
But forever in her heart remains a love so strong and pure
And as I enjoy this day, I remember: I'm a mom because of her.

~Susan Reardon 2004

Monday, April 28, 2008

I promise!

I promise we haven't fallen off the face of the earth. We're here, and getting into the swing of things.

I'm trying to lay low until everything is 100% final, and we are so close we can almost taste it! We're waiting on our home study provider to turn in the home study that she did last month. Many people want it: the agency in IN, the judge down here, the court appointed lawyer for Mark, our lawyer, and us! That's pretty much the one thing holding us back right now.

And I'm ready to cry, we can't ever get her to send it to us. That's ALL we are waiting on right now. And we cant reach her. I know it's just one last minor thing, but it's a BIG thing and we could have been finalized by now. It's just a matter of all tihngs falling into place.

Being a parent is the most wonderful thing ever. And the most time consuming as well. And stressful about money, the future, etc. We wouldn't change anything for the world though.

Mark is the easiest baby ever. We are so blessed to have him. He's slept through the night from the get go, rarely complains, is cute as can be.

Mommy on the other hand, well she's a mess sometimes. I am so far behind on some things (like my thank you notes, I am so sorry), starting a new business, and trying to do inventory. But every time that little guy chirps for me, you know I am there. I can't help it- we've yearned for him, prayed for him, wanted him for so long. That everything else, as important as it is, falls second when he cries out for mommy. His smiles, his laughs, his conversations - all a welcoming distraction from everything else.

I'm getting there, there just arent enough hours in the day. But I wouldn't trade my life now for ANYTHING in the world.

He is just the joy of our lives. I can't wait until Friday, he has his 4 month appointment and we see how much he has grown. We're going to delay solids if it's ok with the DR. I've done some research and found that delaying can sometimes help reduce food allergies. And I want to do EVERYTHING for him that we can. He is such the joy of our lives.

Seriously, I could just sit and stare at him, play with him all day long. He is just, oh - words can't even begin to describe how much he means to us!

Friday, April 25, 2008

4 months!

4 months, WOW the time has been flying by.

We still pinch ourselves periodically that he's really here, and he's our son. We are so in love with the little guy, and so lucky to have him in our lives.

He is growing, both physically and mentally - and it's neat to see his changes. Our baby isn't such a baby anymore!

Sunday, April 20, 2008

(almost) 4 month check in

I know I haven't been posting as much as I ought to. There really is no excuse. Adjusting to new parenthood has been fun, but some of the typical stuff has been forgotten or not done as much because all we want to do is marvel at this wonder we call our son. We still take pictures every day, and I hope to soon have the 365 blog updated.

I thought I'd give an almost 4 month check in, and tell you a little about what's been going on with him. We do this in an online playgroup we are in =) . It's a great way to keep track of how he's growing!

Name: Mark Garrett

Nickname(s): Sweet Pea, Puppy (because he whines and squeaks), The Boy

Birthday: December 25, 2007

Weight- birth: 6lbs 14 oz
now: guessing about 14.5 lbs

Height- birth: 20 inches
now: guessing about 25 inches

Clothing Size: solidly in 3-6 mo

Diaper Size: 2 in seventh generations, 3 in natures babycare

Breast or Bottle?: bottle (born free bottles - he uses the larger ones now)

How are they Sleeping?: He's been a sleeper since week 1.5. Goes to bed about 930, 10 (though he naps in the evening with Daddy while watching tv) and typically wakes up around 10.

Health: No issues at all. He had a little cradle cap, but it wasn't too bad and now it's gone. He's acting like he's teething, everything (especially his hands) go into his mouth. We have his 4 month shots the first week of May.

Milestones?: He loves to blow kisses and raspberries. He learned how to turn off and on the crocodile tears to work Mommy and Daddy. Holds his bottle, always tries to sit up, plays with toys (grasps to make noises, rattle, etc)

Favorite activities: he loves to "talk" and hear his voice, he's starting to like tummy time, cracking himself up while staring at himself in the swing, everything goes in his mouth

How is Mommy feeling: fine. I finally feel "almost" caught up. It's a lot different when you adopt, and you adjust differently. This past week is the first time I haven't had adoption/mommy brain quite as bad.

Anything else: we've been "in the system" since March 8, so we should get a court date for finalization any time now - they are waiting on our home study

PICTURES: (first born,Dec,Jan,Feb,March, and Now!)

first born (the first time we saw him and held him, he was about an hour old) :




January - the 2nd pic is when he FINALLY made it to Texas:








Monday, April 14, 2008


Mark was baptised this evening. It was a wonderful event. I'll post pictures tomorrow, one of my friends used my camera to capture some shots. Also, my brother in law took lots of pictures- he was the "official family photographer" this time :)

My parents and my brother are his Godparents, and we are so pleased. The service was performed by my brother in law's father, which was extra special to us.

It's been a long day- time to get the boy to bed!

Monday, April 07, 2008


My sister Holly took pictures of Mark in the bluebonnets today. Click on the picture to see a slide show.

View this slideshow created at One True Media
Mark in Bluebonnets April 2008

Friday, April 04, 2008

Video/photo shoot

I got the pictures back and wanted to share them. I put them into a video montage and added some music -enjoy!

It cut it off a bit. You can see a bigger version here:
View this montage created at One True Media
Mark Garrett, Our Christmas Miracle

Wednesday, April 02, 2008

Sneak Peek

Here are some sneak peek pics of Mark....

I'll be adding more later and to the photo blog- we've been taking his picture every day!

Sunday, March 30, 2008

Adoption Prayer

My aunt sent this to me this morning. It's the prayer of the day on Beliefnet.

Adoption Prayer

Father of the fatherless, you give your children a home in which to dwell; and like a loving mother you gather us into your household. We give you thanks for the child who has come to bless this family and for the parents who have taken this child to be their own. By the power of your Holy Spirit, fill (name(s) of parent or parents) with trust, understanding and affection; and, through this child in our midst, enable us better to know the mystery that we are all your children by adoption; through Jesus Christ our Lord."

source: “Occasional Services, A Companion to Lutheran Book of Worship"

Friday, March 28, 2008

Postplacement Homestudy tomorrow

So, we're getting ready for our post placement homestudy tomorrow. Think about us in the afternoon =)

We like our caseworker, and we can't wait for her to meet Mark!

Wednesday, March 26, 2008

Going private

I am going to make this blog private in a few days. If you are interested in continuing to follow along, please let me know! Either email me or post your email address and I'll be happy to add you!

Tuesday, March 25, 2008

3 months!

Wow, it's hard to believe that 3 months ago we were in Indiana with a newborn son.

Our newborn isn't a newborn anymore- he's a full fledge infant! And wow is he growing! We don't have a doctors appointment this month, but we measured him and it looks like he is 25 inches and 13.4 lbs! What a difference from our 20 inch 6 lb 14 oz little one we had 3 months ago! He is almost double his birthweight =)

We went to Windy Hill for Easter, and just got back today. Mark had a wonderful time hanging out with Mommy and Daddy. On Friday Mamacita and Papasito were also there, and Mark had a wonderful time with them.

The Easter bunny brought Mark some 9 oz bottles, and it's just in time! He's been eating on average 8 oz or more each time. Sometimes it's a bit less, but it's usually more. Mommy and Daddy are very thankful that they arent making 2 bottles each meal now :)

He also slept a lot. He would go to bed around 10 and wake up around 10. And take some cat naps throughout the day. The hill country fresh air was good for him.

Mark is an excellent road tripper - he loves to be in a moving car. He didn't cry at all the whole way there, it was a several hour trip. And he did very well coming back. We even went a longer route back and stopped to take some bluebonnet pictures. He slept through the pictures, but he sure was cute in the bluebonnets. He did very well and only got hungry right before we got home. It was a very sucessful trip.

He's currently sleeping in the swing we borrowed from my sister - he LOVEs that thing. So we're off to put him to bed!

Saturday, March 15, 2008

Almost there

We have a home study date set now. We haven't figured out yet if it'll count for our finalization or not. We'll be talking to the lawyer next week, he was going to apply for finalization this past week. Here's to keeping fingers crossed!

We're getting into the swing of things. Parenthood is fantastic. I'm still behind in a few things (I promise thank you notes are coming soon!), but for the most part all is well.

We couldn't ask for a better little boy, he is such a sweetheart. We know we are blessed to have him as part of our family.

Thursday, March 13, 2008

Visit With The Easter Bunny

Mark had a wonderful time visiting the Easter Bunny. We were at the mall, he was wearing his Easter sweater, and there was no line. So we went to take a picture with the Easter Bunny. He was so comfortable in the Easter Bunny's lap that he fell asleep! And the Easter Bunny was so in love with him, that (she) didn't want to give him up.

Monday, March 10, 2008

More Pictures

More pictures have been added to the photo blog :)

Saturday, March 08, 2008

Today I kissed an angel

Someone posted this on an adoption message board I am on, and I wanted to share it. I've seen it before, but it's oh, so true about how I feel.

Today I Kissed an Angel

Today I kissed an angel.
I knew it from the start.
The first time my angel smiled at me;
I gave away my heart.

Today I kissed an angel;
This angel child of mine
Though not of my creation,
My child by God's design.

Today I kissed an angel.
My heart is dancing wild;
Our family, by a miracle;
Blessed by our angel child

Monday, March 03, 2008

Two Month Check Up!

Mark did well at his two month check up today!

He is now 11 lb 10 oz! Wow, it's hard to believe that just two months ago he was just 6 lb and 14 oz. And he's 22.50 inches long. 2.5 inches growth in the 2 months of his life.

He had shots, and did just fine with them. He loved the oral shot the best ;) And he was a bit surprised more than anything with the other 4 shots he had today.

He's been his usual happy self today, no major issues or complications from his shots. I've been doing extra cuddles with him, and he's been a bit more snuggly (though he's always a snuggly boy!). We're keeping an eye on him, but haven't had to give him any baby tylenol yet.

He had a great time at his Thank You BBQ. I'll write about that tomorrow ;)

Wednesday, February 27, 2008

Picture blog

I know I'm a bit behind on the picture blog. But I have still been taking daily pictures! After the Thank You BBQ and the post placement home study next week (fingers crossed)we should have some "down time".

Monday is his 2 month appointment, I can't wait to see how much he has grown!

Tuesday, February 26, 2008

Thank You BBQ

So we decided to have a Thank You BBQ to thank everyone who has been so helpful in our journey, praying for us, thinking about us, supporting us, or in other ways. We'd like to invite everyone, but realize that most likely only locals can come =)

Invites went out last week. The BBQ is Sat. If you are local and didn't get your invite yet, please let me know! I found out that some people didn't get theirs, so I am resending them :)

It's going to be fun, and a great time for Mark to get to meet everyone! We decided to wait until after he turned 2 months. This is the perfect age for a party!

Monday, February 25, 2008

2 Months!!

Our baby is two months old! Wow! Time sure does fly when you are having fun!

He is growing like a weed. Yesterday as I was doing laundry I pulled out the preemie and justborn clothes. He can't wear them anymore. I also checked the newborns and pulled the smaller ones out- they are too tight on him as well.

As Mike says, it's a good thing, that is what they are supposed to do. But my baby! I can't believe how fast he's growing! He chuckles, recognizes himself in the mirror (and can crack himself up for a good 30 min. sitting in his papasan chair watching himself in the mirror and laughing), kicks, uses his hands. Oh, and so much more. Every day it's something new with the little guy, and every day it's wonderful.

We are so thankful. He's brought so much joy and love into our lives. He is such a wonderful gift.

Wednesday, February 20, 2008

Poem for An Adoptive Mom

Someone sent this to me, and I wanted to share. It's unknown who the author is, but it's a wonderful poem.

There are women who become mothers without effort,
without thought,
without patience or loss,
and though they are good mothers and love their children,
I know that I will be better.

I will be better not because of genetics or money or because I have read more books,
but because I have struggled and toiled for this child.

I have longed and waited.
I have cried and prayed.
I have endured and planned over and over again.

Like most things in life, the people who truly have appreciation are those who have struggled to attain their dreams.

I will notice everything about my child.
I will take time to watch my child sleep,
and discover.
I will marvel at this miracle every day for the rest of my life.

I will be happy when I wake in the middle of the night to the sound of my child, knowing that I can comfort, hold, and feed him and that I am not waking to take another temperature, pop another pill, take another shot or cry tears of a broken dream.
My dream will be crying for me.

I count myself lucky in this sense; that God has given me this insight, this special vision with which I will look upon my child.

Whether I parent a child I actually give birth to or a child that God leads me to, I will not be careless with my love.

I will be a better mother for all that I have endured. I am a better wife, a better aunt, a better daughter, neighbor, friend, and sister because I have known pain.

I know disillusionment, as I have been betrayed by my own body. I have been tried by fire and hell that many never face, yet given time, I stood tall.

I have prevailed.
I have succeeded.
I have won.

So now, when others hurt around me, I do not run from their pain in order to save myself discomfort. I see it, mourn it, and join them in theirs.
I listen.
And even though I cannot make it better, I can make it less lonely.

I have learned the immense power of another hand holding tight to mine, of other eyes that moisten as they learn to accept the harsh truth when life is beyond hard.

I have learned a compassion that only comes by walking in those shoes. I have learned to appreciate life.

Yes, I will be a wonderful mother.

Tuesday, February 19, 2008

8 weeks!

Mark is 8 weeks today!!


He is doing so much, showing such a personality. He uses his hands to grab things now. His taggie blanket, his "keys", and Daddy's leg hair are his favorite things to grab. He also like to help hold his bottle when you feed him.

Gone are the 3-4 oz bottles at a time. This little boy wants 6-8. And he lets you know he wants it NOW. He's pretty patient though, when you put the bib on him because he knows it is coming soon. We are working on signing for when he's hungry. While we know he probably doesn't get it, he still does sometimes put a hand in his face imitating Mommy or Daddy. He adjusted well to the Good Start formula and the Born Free bottles.

And boy can the little guy kick. That's one of his new tricks - to kick when he wants attention. It is so cute to see his little feet go.

He's always been a smiley boy, and that continues. Everyone always says "what a happy boy". And you know what, that's so true! He is a very happy boy :)

Saturday, February 16, 2008

What a Sweet Boy

We hear that a lot ;)

We went out to dinner last night with my parents and quite a few folks said that. And you know what, he really is. We are so blessed to have this little boy in our lives. He's sweet, a charmer, and such a happy baby.

We're in the process of sending out our Christmas cards/birth announcements. We tried to remember everyone's address, but I am sure we forgot some! If you don't get yours by the end of next week, or think we don't have the right address for you, feel free to drop us an email with your address!

Plans are being made for the Thank You BBQ. We want to thank EVERYONE who has helped us, prayed for us, followed our story. While we know everyone can't come- if you are local, be on the lookout for an invite! Mark will have had his 2 month shots by then, and we can't wait for him to meet everyone who helped to bring him to our family.

They say it takes a village to raise a child, but in our case it takes a village to bring a child into our family! We are so appreciative of everyone, and we pinch ourselves that this little boy, this sweet boy, is ours. We are so in love with him!

Tuesday, February 12, 2008

7 weeks

He's 7 weeks old today!

Wow, time is flying. He's doing so well. It's amazing how much of a change occured in him between the 6th and 7th week. He holds his head up much longer, he has a little laugh that comes out every now and then, he "talks" a lot more, and he uses his hands and feet to help get his point across (yep, kicking Mommy or Daddy when he's super excited is becoming the norm around here). He can grab a thin toy. And he definately feels heavier! Comparing him to Precious, the feel like they weigh about the same. So I'm guessing he's around 10 lbs right now.

We switched him from Enfamil to Goodstart formula, and he's taking to it very well. We've even started a nap schedule - he likes to take an afternoon nap from around 1230 or 1 to 330 or 4. And sleeping through the night (well, that's nothing new ;) ). He's doing great and we are totally in love!

Sunday, February 10, 2008

Fantastic weekend

I look back at some of my earlier posts about the weekends, and how there wasn't much to do. That certainly isn't the case now! Though not too terribly much has changed, we just have a few different types of things to do.

We have been having a very relaxing weekend. We're doing stuff around the house, still catching up from being gone for a while. We just have an extra little guy to snuggle with and look out for now too.

He's an absolute joy. He likes to "help" us watch tv, hang out or do whatever we do. His baby papasan is his favorite place in the house (though on Mommy is a close 2nd).

We had professional pictures taken yesterday morning, and I can't wait to see how they turned out!

Well, it's midmorning nap time- and the 4 of us (yes, Precious joins in too) are off to take naps =) It's nice to have our little family, and enjoy being with each other.

Wednesday, February 06, 2008

6 weeks

Wow, it's hard to believe he's 6 weeks old already! My how he is growing.

We are currently transitioning from Enfamil to Good Start, and it's going well. He can't use the little bottles all the time, as he often needs 6 oz or more at a feeding. He can't wear his preemie clothes anymore. He doesn't look so tiny or swallowed up in his 0-3 month clothes. He has discovered his lungs, and when he's hungry he tells you he wants food NOW. He typically sleeps at least 7 hours each night. He trys to hold the bottle. Recently he has discovered that he can pick up small/thin toys. He smiles big huge smiles for Mommy and Daddy. He likes to snuggle and touch, skin to skin contact is important to him. He moved to size 1 diapers, he leaks a lot in the newborns. He has found that he has a voice and coos. He likes to ride in the car, often falling asleep. He likes the stroller, especially when Mommy and Daddy take him for a walk. He loves tummy time.

I can go on and on, but you get the picture ;)

Oh how we are so in love with the little guy!

Saturday, February 02, 2008

Hanging out

Mark likes to hang out with his daddy. Mike took the evening shift today and is taking care of the little guy while I add to this blog and the photo blog. The boys have a great time together.

It makes me smile to see my boys. MY BOYS, wow. My husband and my son, what wonderful guys. I am very lucky to have them both, and they mean so much to me. I am still pinching myself that Mike came into my life. Now, I have to pinch twice as hard in realizing that Mark is here too.

Mike has put Mark to bed, so I guess I should hit the sack now too (I'll take over the next feedings).

Wednesday, January 30, 2008

Growth Spurt!

Well, little guy has taken quite the growth spurt.

birth- 6 lbs 14 oz; 20"
2 days- 6 lb 12 oz
3 weeks 7 lb 14 oz 21.75"
1 month 9 lb 1 oz 22.25"

And he's going through one right now too! He's been eating like a pig today :) We are so in love with our little guy!

Monday, January 28, 2008

Home at last

We're finally home! Wow, it's a great feeling.

We introduced Mark to his cousins (it was so cute, the girls weren't so sure what to think of him at first), his aunts and two of his uncles. And he got to see Mamacita and Pappasito again (he'd grown a lot since they met him when he was one day old) as well as meet Grammy and his granddad (still deciding on what he wants to be called).

Mark also got to meet some friends of Mommy and Daddy's. They had a great time over brunch. Some even brought some of his playmates. He can't wait to be big enough to play with them.

Now, we are starting to get into a routine. The sleeping through the night has been replaced by getting up once during the night. Ah, I miss the hotel for that reason - he had a pretty good schedule going!

Anyway, that's life so far here! I will be adding some pics to the photoblog soon. I've been taking them everyday, just haven't done it yet!

Monday, January 21, 2008

You know you are an adoptive mother (or you should be) if

This was posted on a message board I am on- and I totally can relate.

You know you are an adoptive mother (or you should be!) if:
1. The fact that there are 143 million children without a parent to kiss them goodnight has ever made you lose sleep.
2. You realize DNA has nothing to do with love and family.
3. You can't watch Adoption Stories on TLC without sobbing.
4. The fact that if 7% of Christians adopted 1 child, there would be no orphans in the world is convicting to you.
5. You spend free time surfing blogs about families who have experienced the blessing of adoption.
6. It drives you crazy when people ask you about your adopted child's "real" parents.
7. You have ever been "pregnant" with your adoptive child longer than it takes an elephant to give birth (2 years!)
8. You had no idea how you would afford to adopt but stepped out in faith anyway knowing where God calls you He will provide.
9. You have ever taken a airplane ride half way around the world with a child you just met.
10. You believe God's heart is for adoption.
11. You realize that welcoming a child into your heart and family is one of the most important legacy's you could ever leave on this earth.
12. You shudder when people say your child is so lucky that you adopted them, knowing full well you are the blessed one to have them in your life.
13. You know what the word Dossier means and you can actually pronounce it!
14. You have welcomed a social worker into the most private parts of your life.

Sunday, January 20, 2008

dressing up

Valentine's Day is around the corner, and I'm on the hunt for something for my little guy to wear. I love holidays (all kinds) and poor kid -he's going to be dressed up for every one ;)

So far, I have found a few:

and the socks to go with them:

I have a feeling I'm going to have fun shopping around for him! I'll have to see what I can find on sale - so we don't go broke buying clothes for the little guy!

Saturday, January 19, 2008

More snow, now cold

Little guy does NOT like the cold or the snow. It snowed again toward the end of the week. Enough to make a snowball. He touched it and screamed! He was cold and wanted to go inside.

The snow is gone, but the cold is still here. So we're keeping bundled up!

Wednesday, January 16, 2008


Mark got his first taste of snow this week. Well, not really taste, but you know what I mean ;)

He wasn't sure what to think when that cold stuff touched his hands. He just looked at it with a funny expression on his face.

It was just a little, but enough to stick on the ground and be considered a snowfall. It was mostly gone by the afternoon. But I did take a picture of him in his car seat in the snow.

Monday, January 14, 2008

First pedi appointment

Our little guy had a pedi appointment today. He's 2 weeks and 6 days (will be 3 weeks tomorrow). He got the all clear, he's good and healthy. And he gained exactly 1 lb (he's now 7 lbs 14 oz) and 1 & 3/4 inches (he's now 21 3/4 inches). He had his 3 week growth spurt a few days early. It happened this weekend, he ate a ton an slept a lot. Growing boys do that!

He still can fit into most of his preemie clothes (though not ones with feet) but he's a bit long. The newborn size clothes still swallow him sometimes, others fit well. And forget 0-3 months, he's not there yet ;)

But he's doing well, and right on track!

Sunday, January 13, 2008

The perfect outfit

I mentioned that last week we took a road trip and met up with a friend of mine and her husband. They brought a gift for Mark. It's perfect for the son (! I love saying that) of Mike and I. We love to travel, and our children will be going on plenty of road trips too.

Here it is:

You can see why it's the perfect outfit for our little guy! It's got a sailboat for Mommy and a car for Daddy and a plane. Perfect for a traveller to be.

Friday, January 11, 2008

heaven is...

... lying on the couch with 7 lbs of pure love and joy snuggled against and on your chest sound asleep.

I love being a mom. I feel like he's been part of my life forever- it's hard to believe it's only been 2 weeks and 3 days!

Thursday, January 10, 2008

And a bit of family

Ali, my sister's sister in law & best friend came over from St Louis today to meet Mark. It was so good to see her.

She is so good with children, and it was nice to see her play with Mark. She came bearing gifts too. She hand knit him a beautiful blue hat with a white rim. It is so soft, and she says it is machine washable. He looks so cute in it! I'll have to take a picture of it and post it. She also brought him the Baby Einstein Mirror Me book. I read it to him tonight, and am looking forward to reading more to him as he grows. He liked looking at the mirror.

We took her out to lunch, and it was nice to talk and bring up memories, while celebrating the little guy too. We chatted a bit about our niece and nephew, and exchanged stories about them growing up. It was nice to have a bit of our extended family here for a little visit. It really meant a lot.

A little bit of home

Saturday, my cell phone rang. A number I didn't recognize from an area code I didn't know. It was my friend Sharon. Funny story- we'd been trying to get ahold of Sharon.

See, she recently got married (Oct) and now lives in Lexington, KY. For some reason, my email address that I had for her wasn't getting to her (no response back and she is VERY good about responding to emails), and the phone # I had was her cell phone # was disconnected (it was a Houston #). So I couldn't reach her. Late last week Mike and I realized that Lexington isn't really all that far away- and maybe we could visit. So we'd been trying to track her down.

She was calling me to see if we could get together on Monday. In Houston. See, she and her husband were headed that way and would be in town (back home) for a few days. Perfect time to catch up.

So, we figured we'd see if we could get together when they were headed back and we were (hopefully) going home. Well, we are still here. That didn't work out.

Mike, Mark and I were at Babies R Us tonight purchasing a snap-n-go stroller when my phone rang. It was Sharon. She and her husband were headed back and realized it wouldn't be all that far out of the way to stop by. Could they stop by in a few hours if it wasn't too late?

Ask any parent of a newborn, 1000 PM is not too late. We have a bit of a schedule, but we're still working on it. Our little guy goes to bed in his pack n play after his 11PM/midnight feeding.

So they stopped by. It was SO good to see them. We visited for quite a while, catching up on things. She and I used to have dinner at least three times a month. We've been friends for a long time, and I miss her since she moved. It had been about seven months. Mark charmed them (until he fell asleep in Daddy's arms). We had a wonderful time catching up. And we are planning on (hopefully) getting together sometime this next week, halfway between our locations. That could be fun.

When they left, I told Mike it was like a little bit of home had been here. Even though they no longer live back home, friends are like home. It was nice. I miss home, but it's worth it- everything is progressing nicely and we will be home soon.

Tuesday, January 08, 2008

two weeks old

WOW, our little guy is two weeks old today! And what a big boy. He changes every day, it's interesting to watch him. I am working on a photo blog of pictures (it's going to be a password protected blog), I take pictures of him every day.

We made a two week appointment for him. It will be interesting to see how much he has grown. We are pretty certain that he is over seven pounds now. We can see his legs, arms, and face filling out a bit. And he sure likes his formula!

Sunday, January 06, 2008

First road trip

Our first road trip was wonderful. We found out that Mark is an excellent traveller. He pretty much slept the whole way there, or sat contently smiling away. We stopped once to feed him (actually I sat in the back feeding him while he was in his car seat and Mike continued driving).

When we got there, he charmed our friends. He loved to snuggle with Joy, and give her smiles and lots of love. Hopefully the baby luck will rub off on her and she'll get the call soon! Joy and I let Jeremy hold him for a little while, and even Daddy got to hold him a tiny bit. He was so comfortable in Joy's arms, he fell asleep.

Joy and I taught the guys about the finer art of changing a wet diaper in the back of a car. There weren't any changing tables, so we improvised. Joy and Jeremy gave Mark the cutest layette set- he's going to take a picture in it soon. It has sailboats and cars (Mommy and Daddy's favorites) as well as planes. Perfect for the kid who is going to travel quite a bit!

When we left, I sat in the back of the car to give him a bottle again. By the time we got to a gas station to fill up, he was finished. And he slept the whole way home. He was a perfect little boy.

That's great to know, for when we take our long road trip! (hopefully soon!)

Friday, January 04, 2008

two weeks

We've been in this hotel room two weeks now. We sure are glad that we got a suite. That way we can have a little more room to move around and keep sleeping in one area and daytime activities in the other. Little Mark is doing well, we're teaching him between bedroom (pack n play) and living room (papasan) too :) His favorite place to sleep is on Mommy and one of his favorite places to just chill and hang out is in daddy's arms. He's a good little boy. Next week we will be taking him for a pedi appointment, and we suspect he probably has hit the 7lb mark by now. Tomorrow we are going on a little trip to meet a friend of mine and her husband. Mark can't wait to meet her!

Wednesday, January 02, 2008

Our good news for today.

Click to see our Our good news for today. Scroll down to see Mike and Elizabeth =)

Tuesday, January 01, 2008