web analytics

Seems Like Forever. 3 Months Home

It has been almost three months since Miss P and Manny came home, but it seems like they’ve been here forever. We are settling into a routine, the kids are starting to realize expectations with behavior and rules and the bickering among the three kids has managed to settle down a little.

Priscilla recently had a birthday so we have three six year olds in the house now. This girl really lives up to being the only girl of the bunch and is quite possibly the girliest girl I have ever met. It’s hard to get her in sweatpants and a T-shirt when all she wants to wear is sparkles, bows and skirts!

IMG_8064blog{Tunic: $6.99 Coral Bow Leggings: $6.99 Black Floral Hi-Top Sneakers: $5.49 All from Zulily}

IMG_8055blog

To top off the recent major change in all of our lives, we sold our house and are moving to a new home soon. It has been stressful but we can’t wait for the extra space. The kids were sleeping in one room with the triple bunk bed that TJ made, but now they will all get their own rooms for the time being.

Every day seems eventful with this bunch. Some days are good. Some days are bad. Some days I just want to crawl in ben and take a nap for however long I want! It’s definitely different then when we were only a family of three. There is bickering and tattling and I know there probably always will be, but slowly these three are *truly* becoming siblings!

IMG_8072blog

The First Month Home #LifeIsaSpecialOccasion

It is exactly one month since the kids have been home and it’s gone by fast. This month was filled with many “firsts.” Taking a bath, seeing the snow, opening presents, going to birthday parties and playing basketball with friends. Watching Manny and Priscilla experience these things with so much joy has really reminded our family to find joy in the little things and remember that life is truly a special occasion. 

Watching his brother and sister marvel at planes in the sky or watching them getting excited over driving over a big bridge has brought back Colton’s excitement for the little things- things he wouldn’t have thought twice about before they came home. I’m sure these feelings for all of the kids will diminish over time, but for now our focus is to spend time as a family doing the simple things: coloring, board games, movies, crafts and reading.

It’s amazing looking back at these photos and seeing the “firsts.”

(1) This was their first night home. At 2am everyone wanted to play. After so much travel, I thought they would go right to bed, but checking out their new home was too exciting. (2) Their first time going out in the snow. (3) Tickle fights. Their favorite thing to do with dad.

(1) Playing with new toys. (2) First time at the movie theater. (3) First time experiencing a snow day! They were so excited that Colton didn’t have school the next day. We celebrated with ice cream- fitting, right?

(1) Building relationships. It’s neat watching these two build their relationship. (2) The first day of school! The kids are on their third day of school. It is exciting watching them make friends and learn so much every day right before my eyes. 

Including these next adoption updates in a post for Hallmark, I thought was fitting and timely. I enjoy the focus of this campaign and making memories with family in the little moments. These memories are the special moments buried with the traditional holidays and occasions. They’re “us” moments. They’re memorable. They’re spontaneous. They’re perfectly, imperfect unplanned moments.

Happy New Year from Hallmark! Share how you’ll create memories with your family in the new year. Visit Hallmark.com/explore for their full product line and special offers. Life is a special occasion so celebrate!
 

This is a sponsored conversation written by me on behalf of Hallmark. The opinions and text are all mine.

Homecoming!

If you’ve been following my blog, you know things have been a little quiet around here lately. I spent the month of November in Ghana for our adoption. Between the two of us, TJ and I have been to Ghana five times for a total of almost three months in the last year and a half. It’s definitely been hard, but it’s one of the things I know we did right. Not only did we learn more about the children’s story first-hand, but we were able to spend time with them eating the foods they eat, meeting all of their friends, learning the language, the customs and basically getting to know a major part of who the children are and always will be.

I came home on December 6th and Emmanuel and Priscilla’s visas were then approved on December 20th. TJ had a quick trip to pick them up and all three of them arrived on American soil the night of the 23rd.

When TJ sent this picture to me from Chicago, all I could do was laugh. Because I was able to spend so much time with the kids before they arrived home, I knew that Manny was a sleepyhead and gets very grumpy when he’s tired (although don’t most of us)? It looks like the 24 hours of traveling didn’t phase Miss P though!

airport10

Their flight was supposed to get in at 11pm on the 23rd, but because of the big Midwest snow storm, it was delayed until 1am. Most of our family was in town because of Christmas, so everyone still stayed up to go to the airport.

Colton was still awake, ready to finally meet his brother and sister.

airport9

We were both so ready.

airport7blog

We were just waiting and staring at that escalator. I can’t tell you the feeling when you finally get a glimpse of those faces coming towards you.

airportblog

airport1blog

airport4blog

airport8blog

airport3blog

IMG_7688blog

Long story short, I’ve been busy.

After reading so many blogs and adoption books, I was preparing for the worst, but overall the kids have been transitioning well- especially with the craziness of the holidays added on top of that.

My family has developed a big connection to Ghana and my sister now lives there. I am most certain that because the kids already spent time with my mom, dad, sister, two brothers, my aunt and cousin, that their transition has been great. That’s not to say we won’t experience adoption-related issues, because I know we will, but it has been a huge blessing for everyone to have established those first connections in Ghana.

As I type this, the kids are in school (all three in Kindergarten) for the second day. The first day of school went great, the first thing Priscilla said when I picked her up was, “Mom! I made plenty friends!!”

Although I haven’t been blogging much lately, I have been posting a few photos on Instagram. With the kids in school, I’m grateful to be getting back to an actual schedule!