Look at that sweet smile on Jace's face...you can just see the love and mischief behind it! Here's Jace's update for January...
"Recently, Jace has been doing very well. He has a good appetite, and his height and weight has increased a lot. He needs another heart surgery, but he is not panting as much as he was before. He is very cooperative with his rehabilitation. He likes to wear his new foot hold, and can even put on his own hand hold. He can also put on his own shoes. Jace likes school. He loves to hear the teacher telling stories, and he enjoys playing with blocks, puzzles and paint. He can remember the schedule for the day. He also enjoys playing sports. He enjoys helping mom do the little things. When he is complimented, he is SO happy!"
Look at my sweet boy! He looks like a little politician as he gives a speech at New Day's Sponsor Party. He has the microphone, tie and a snazzy new haircut, and his running mates beside him! I can't believe in 20 days I get to see him and hold him for the first time!
Here's what his update said...
"Ethan is smart, sweet, handsome and mature. He is very pleased to help others, for example, he helps his brother Robert (Jace) to wear socks and shoes, helps Samuel to wear pants, and tidies up the game room. Doing something for mom everyday makes him happy. (I told my girls to take note of that!) Ethan listens to the teacher in class attentively, he concentrates well on doing puzzles and building blocks. He can also now talk with his English teacher and is learning fast. Ethan attaches great importance to the gifts which others gave him, and looks after them well. He has received many gifts for Christmas. He keeps these gifts carefully and says to Mom: "It's from grandparents, it's from aunts, and it's from sisters...it's from American adopted mom and dad."
Ethan is good with Robert; they are best mates. They always play together, like to wear the same clothes, and look like a pair of twins!"
We just found out last night that Robert has found his family! They are calling him Jace and are SO excited about starting their journey! Jace has 2 sister's and 1 brother...which I know he is going to love!
Most of you know how much we have been praying for him to find his forever family! We are so thankful that he has! Thank you for all of your prayer's and your donations for his heart surgery! It's such an amazing heart!
We finally got our flights...leaving for Beijing on February 16th and returning home on March 4th! I am truly so excited to see Ethan for the first time! Cameron thinks it's "weird" that I just want to touch him and smell him and kiss him. One day, when she's a mama, she'll understand! Look at this sweet boy...you just have to love him!
As excited as I am, I'm also SO stressed! I have never in my life been away for 17 days and I have never been gone from my children that long. My awesome sister, LaVonne, and my neice, Emma, and nephew, Zander, will be staying with the girl's and dog and bunny while we're gone. That makes it better! She's like a 2nd mama to my girls! I trust that God will watch over all of us! Now...if he'll just help me pack too! :)
My sweet angel Maloy joined the cheerleading squad this year. It is truly so wonderful to see her smiling and happy! Maloy is my miracle child...born at 24 weeks weighing 1 lb. 5 1/2 ozs. She spent the first 4 months of her life in the NICU. You could tell from the very beginning what a fighter she was and still is. I say she's been a pain in my butt since the day she was born...but the truth is, I wouldn't trade 1 minute of my life with her. I absolutely adore her stubborn independence and strong-will. She doesn't know a stranger...she loves everyone!
She was diagnosed this year with NVLD (Non-verbal learning disorder) and for the first time in 16 years...I finally understood Maloy. I've always been proud of her and her accomplishments, but after finding out what she struggles with, I can't begin to tell you the sadness I felt at not knowing, and the awe I felt and what she deals with everyday.
God blessed me with Maloy 17 years ago and I am so proud to be her mom!
I have no picture to go with this blog....but picture the excitement on my face when I got the call from Xiaoqing that we had FINALLY gotten TA! YAHOO!!!! We leave for China on February 16th and return home on March 3rd. I have never in my life been gone for 2 weeks, so I've been just a little stressed about that. However, I know our sweet boy is waiting half a world away for his mama and baba, and I have faith in God's plan for us. I'll keep you posted...and any of you that want pics from New Day...email me at email@example.com and let me know. Thank you for your prayers! We are truly so blessed! Love, Tonya
We have seen some big achievements in Ethan this month. Ethan is very attentive during class and loves to concentrate on challenging tasks. Ethan is interested in all sorts of puzzles and building blocks. He has also learned the concept of numbers and can count consecutively. He knows his own age, his Chinese and English name. He can do a series of sports such as running and ride cycles in a circle. He can even take another kid on his bike and say "Look, I can carry others!" with great pride. It is so great to see how well Ethan is learning and developing - he seems to be growing up so quickly.
Our sweet boy IS growing up so quickly! I can't believe it's been 8 months since I first saw his sweet little face. We are waiting on Travel Approval to come any day now, and hoping to be able to go to China the end of February.
Mike & I's 3 year anniversary was on New Year's Eve. Normally, we stay home and celebrate with the kids and their friends. This year, we decided to go out! Our party didn't start until 9 PM (my bedtime)! We had a great time with our friends, Tom & Sherri (Ethan's GodParent's) and actually made it to midnight! The kids had about 25 friends over for a party at home. I am extremely thankful that we have 4 wonderful children who have amazing friends...no adult supevision and they had so much fun. (Of course we did still count the beers in the fridge) They played Just Dance 2 and Glee Sing It on the Wii, and by the time we got home...the girl's were out of their party dresses, in running shorts and t-shirts, and jumping in the pool!
2010 had some stressful times for our family...however our faith in God and our love for one another is what makes realize how very blessed we are! We wish everyone a Happy 2011!
Next year...we're staying home!
The Party Table at the front door
Mama and her girls
A bunch of sparkle in Cameron's room before the party starts
My mom has an annual Christmas tradition that we always celebrate on the 26th... "The Annual Cameron Shoot-out". This was our 17th year and boy has it grown! She started giving "gag" gifts, and it was so funny, we kept on. Sometimes, the gift is actually really good, and sometimes it's just really funny. Last year, due to the economy, we started drawing names for a gift exchange. The only rule was, it had to be something you had or you made...you could not spend any money. This was the rule for mom's gag gifts as well. Everyone writes a letter to the person and reading them is always so creative. At the end of the day, we all sign the Christmas book. Cameron has started writing "dibs" on it, so I guess she's in competition with LaVonne and I for that book oneday. Thanks Grandma for making Christmas such a special memory for all of us! We love you!
Grandma and some of her babies
Madeline got an "EYE-pad"
Granny Di reads her letter
Susan got candles so she can relax after a busy day
Uncle Boo got a cigar...from Michael (who's not legal to buy one)
Michael reading his letter
Madline, Mike and Michael
Pam opened Karen's gift since she was sick...a picnic that included a dead plant (from last year's gift exchange)
One of my favorate holiday traditions is stuffing the socks for the homeless at Granny Di's! We all bring something...toiletries, cards, books, snacks, batteries/flashlights...whatever we think they could use. Then we stuff as much as we can into a tube sock (including the other tube sock), and tie it with a stuffed animal. They look so cute and Arupa from the HomeVan tells us how much they look forward to them every year. I cannot imagine being homeless, but my brother has been. I am so thankful to Dianne for organizing this every year and helping to teach our children about those less fortunate than us and making a difference.
A cup of cider or hot cocoa to start off the morning with Grandma.
Mom, LaVonne and Dad...start off the color coordination picture
Susan and I got the plum memo
RC, Mike, Maloy and Granny Di chose blue
Everyone getting directions
We may have to separate Pam and LaVonne next year...they had entirely too much fun!
Dianne and Karen passing out supplies
The fun and busy stuffing table
Zander, Cameron & Maloy show off their fancy stuffed socks
I turned 43 this year...WOW! I still feel 25, but my children remind me daily that I'm "old"! They made me this cake (didn't have a 3 so they were creative). I love the picture Cameron took of it, because it's surrounded by pics of my family!
One of my favorate quotes about living life to the fullest and enjoying every moment God gives us! I am very blessed by my faith, my family and my friends!