"So promise me you'll never forget...that you aren't an accident or an incident...you are a gift to the world, a divine work of art, signed by God. You were deliberately planned, specifically gifted, and lovingly positioned on this earth...Flooded by emotion, overcome by pride, the Starmaker turns to us, one by one, and says, 'You are my child. I love you dearly.'" Max Lucado, God Thinks You're Wonderful







Tuesday, January 27, 2009

You're Invited!

I am so pumped about this!


And the good news is...you're invited too!

I had to get the word out!


Our agency is putting on a trans-racial parenting workshop!


Here's the scoop!

It is for couples who have adopted trans-racially!

It's on Feb. 28th from 10-12
It will be held @ DPAS- go here for their info!


The cost is only $5 per couple.


Children under 6 months are welcome (yea Sadie bug!)


Please RSVP if you plan on joining us for an exciting time!

I hear we are going to talk about hair! Sweet!
They are also going to have a list put together of families that might want to meet regularly for outings or playgroups!

I am so excited! Have you heard about our incredible agency!?!?!?

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Several of you asked about where my sweet Angela got this charm!
I do believe she said in Canton, that's something you Texan's will understand!
Here's the info on the back!
Christian Charm & Co.
1.800.522.5413

Monday, January 26, 2009

Chosen Hand

I am feeling the need to have a post on adoption...I know, SHOCKER!

The other day, Cooper was having a hard time falling asleep during naps. I heard some wrestling around and peeked in to find him flipping through some of his books in bed. As I was picking up the books, I found he had stashed a picture frame of Mandy, Blake and I that was taken the first time that we met her. She was 36 weeks pregnant with our pumpkin, Owen!

I asked Cooper if he missed Mandy and he shook his head yes.

I asked him if he thought about her a lot, again he shook his head yes.

I kissed his head and told him that I missed her too and perhaps we should call her or draw a picture for her.

It was such a sweet moment.

In our adoption classes they talked about how important our child's birth parents will be to them. This was something we understood, but it is difficult for some adoptive parents to accept. If you get down to the root of that idea (not accepting that bond between child and birth parents) its pride and fear. I truly believe if you want to have a healthy adoption, the adoptive parents have to work through these feelings.

We also learned that most adoptees think about their birth parents EVERYDAY! I think its easy to get busy and forget to talk to them about their birth parents. It's easy to put them to bed and forget they might be missing them, wondering about them, questioning that relationship.

Blake and I feel like we do a good job talking to the boys about their adoption and their birth parents. But this was a great reminder that we need to separate them and discuss it. It reminded me to discuss them when things are quiet and calm and their minds wander.

Later that night before bed, they both wanted to sleep with their own picture of Mandy. I can't even begin to describe the love that I have for this woman and how thankful I am that these boys love her and appreciate her too.

If you are an adoptive parent, I encourage you to read "Twenty Things Adoptive Kids Wish Their Adoptive Parents Knew" by Sherrie Eldridge. It is amazing to say the least. It just helps you to understand where they are coming from and how you can help them to deal with possible issues they may face. I even gave it to my mom, mother-in-law, and one of my sister's to read. It's an incredible resource.

I also have another great book of hers called "Forever Fingerprints" that is written for children about 4 years and older. I cry every time I read it to the boys!

Another reason I have been wanting to do this post is that I have "met" so many blogger friends that are "waiting" to be chosen, or have recently been chosen and are waiting on their bundles of joy. I have church friends who are just starting the process and feeling the intense excitement coupled with a touch of fear. I hear stories daily of people that are wondering if God is calling them to adopt and love getting to know more about this journey through ours!



I love being able to share our stories. I love learning more from you all!

It's so exciting to me to hear so much talk of adoption. So, I had to share these thoughts! Please know that we are praying for so many of you as you are walking in this journey with us!


I got this in a package in the mail from a dear friend. I thought you all would love it too! It is a sweet charm with a card enclosed that reads:

Chosen Hand
The Gift of Adoption
Thanks be to God for His indescribable gift. II Corinthians 9:15

For a child you prayed
He heard the request
And that of the birth Mother
who wanted the best
The prayers of each other
He merged together
Directing our paths
He brought us together
From His own hand into yours
God created me
Then you chose to take me
A parents love birth deep
in your heart
Our lives are now blessed
thanks be to God
for knowing what's best.
For the Might One has done great things for me, and Holy is His name." Luke 1:49

Tuesday, January 20, 2009

Family time!


Sorry for all of the posts, but I wanted to wait until today to share our fun-filled, long weekend with Blake! He took Friday off knowing that he would have Monday off as well! So we enjoyed lots of time just hanging out together.

Friday morning we had our 2nd post-placement visit for Sadie's adoption! Only one more left until we are released to adopt her (I am thinking we'll have court sometime in April)! Yippee! That afternoon we took the kids to a dollar movie and we so enjoyed listening to them giggle and dance during the movie! Sadie was such a trooper and was mesmerized by the screen!

On Friday we got a special delivery! The boys sure have enjoyed their new nativity even though Christmas is long gone! They keep saying that Joseph is Owen, Cooper is the shepherd and Sadie is baby Jesus.

This is Cooper singing, "Mary had a Little Lamb" I think he thinks the song's about Mary, Jesus's mother...this picture shows you how dramatic this entertainer is!


On Saturday...only Sadie was dressed by noon! How great is that? That NEVER happens in our family as we are all morning people and we love to get up and get going...so, that made it extra special to just lounge together! That afternoon we made a quick trip to the zoo and then daddy took us to dinner. This is something we NEVER get to do, partly because it costs a ton to eat out, but also because it can be a little crazy as we are now outnumbered by kids.


On Monday we decided to start a new family tradition and we went to the Martin Luther King Day parade in the city. We have never actually taken the boys to a parade before just because of their age (and their incredible need for sleep!). The timing was perfect for the boys. Sadie was a bit sleepy, but yet again she's so laid back and just enjoyed the sights of downtown.

Of course, we got our fair share of second looks. Most people were just thinking our kids were pretty stinking cute and probably wondering what the story was with their vanilla parents. It was one of those times I wished that they all had buttons on like this...

and Blake and I could wear these...





The boys loved the parade. There were motorcycles, marching bands, people dancing, fire trucks, garbage trucks and four wheelers...not sure it could have been more entertaining for them.


At the end of the parade there was a Cox van playing the MLK's "I have a dream" speech on loud speakers...it gave me chills and made me teary as I was explaining to the boys who that was talking and what he was saying. I know it doesn't make sense to them now, but wow! How thankful we are for Martin Luther King and what he showed the world and taught us about ourselves!

Micah Project 911!

If you haven't checked this little guy out...please do! You will be blessed and amazed by what God is doing through his life!

Please read and get involved...it will only take you a minute to read and you'll be in tears!

That's the link in green, just click and read!

Sunday, January 18, 2009

Sadie's story!

How sad that Sadie is 4 months old and I have never really told how she came to us.

I mean, you all know we adopted her...but things went kind of quick and I never really gave any details.

I have also been keeping a super special video that I think it's time to share.

So, here goes...grab a drink and a snack...this may take a minute.

I got a call from our social worker, Sandy, at 8:30 Thursday morning, Sept 4th.

Sandy said, "Molly, this is Sandy, do you have a minute?"
Well, my heart just about stopped and I could hardly act calm and squeeze out a, "Yes"

She told me that we had been picked and that OUR BABY WAS ALREADY HERE!

Holy moly! Already here!

She said, "It's a black baby girl! She was born yesterday and her birthmom picked you all last night!" I remember gasping and saying, "No way!"

I couldn't believe that our God had answered my prayers so specifically! I had so fallen in love with the idea of a daughter and you know we are kind of partial to chocolate...this became my dream!

Sandy then asked me if we could be at the hospital to meet her birthmom and pick our baby up in 3 hours!

God is so incredible because I was actually already packing the boys up for "school" and knew that I could make it to Norman by 11:30!

Because of the fact that we had a placement fall through (check out late July if you want the scoop), we already had EVERYTHING together. Her room was ready, her clothes were washed, her bows were out...I had not been able to get myself to unpack the diaper bag! We even had a name...or so we thought!

God is sooo good!
I hung up the phone and remember that my whole body was shaking with excitement!

I called Blake and got his voicemail...how do you leave a message for something like this???

I called again. That's our "code" that something's urgent...I thought this qualified!

No luck. Now I texted him, "Sandy called, please call me asap" in hopes that the surgery nurse would see this and tell him.

No such luck. I move on to plan B...Go get my baby by myself.

This has happened before, right? Yes, these husbands are usually off fighting war or traveling afar...but mine is stuck in an OR at Baptist and has no idea he HAS A BABY GIRL!

I hesitated to tell anyone. Shouldn't the daddy know before everyone else???

What's a girl to do?
I called my sister, Laura, and spilled the beans.

She gave me good advice and said to just keep trucking. So, I called all of our family and told them and asked them to pray that all continued to move forward.

I begged them to pray that Blake got his message and could come to the hospital with me.

Again, no such luck.

I grabbed her diaper bag shaking. I did not say a word to the boys. I truly could not wrap my head around the fact that this was really happening!

I packed my bag, packed extra clothes for the boys, grabbed the car seat. Did I need anything else??? I didn't care, I just wanted to get there!
I called Gigi (Blake's mom) and asked her to pick the boys up from school... and that she was a grandma again!

I get to the hospital and remember thinking I wished I had washed my hair this day...or at least put on a better shirt and changed out of my flip flops.

But honestly, birthmoms want to know the real you. I am sure Mommy G wished she looked like she hadn't just delivered a baby naturally...yep, you heard that right, all natur-all. Youch!

I thought she looked perfect and gorgeous, but all of you out there that have been through delivery...I don't care how they come out of your body...it ain't good.

I waited to meet the social worker in the waiting room...

I pitted out my t-shirt, while waiting...I was in the wrong waiting room! Blasted hospitals!

Oh gosh, please hold up sweet Secret deodorant...

Finally, I meet the social worker and she walks me to Mommy G's room.

My head was searching for the words to say to this woman.

What do you say to someone who has chosen you to raise their child??

What do you say to someone who is grieving the loss of a child they don't feel they can raise???
Her baby is now going to call me mommy...going to look to me to kiss boo-boos...oh the tears!
How do I show her how much I love and appreciate her???

Oh Lord, help me to let her know these things!

I stayed with Mommy G for about 4 hours before she was discharged.

I watched her love on Sadie Skielar....watched her kiss her and cuddle her, change her and feed her.

We all left the room before she was discharged so that they could have time alone.

She handed Sadie to the nursery nurse and I gave her a hug and just sobbed.

I remember telling her that I loved her and that I was so sorry.

She bawled and we didn't want to let each other go.

She was wheeled off and a social worker left with her.

After all of the paperwork was finished I got to go get Sadie out of the nursery.


Talk about emotional swings... I went from bawling my eyes out of sadness for Mommy G, to, well, this picture above. I couldn't have been more excited for this baby!

Now, I was alone to bond with Sadie and we enjoyed some Kangaroo care...what a precious time!

The hospital allowed me to stay in the room until midnight when they would have to clean it. Thank goodness because otherwise I would have had to stay in the waiting room while Sadie went to the nursery.

Blake had finally called around 1pm and I told him that I was talking to Mommy G and holding our baby girl. His response was, "Our baby what?"

Can you imagine leaving for work one day and 6 hours into it finding out you have another baby!?!?! Oh the fun and excitement of adoption!

So, around 6 pm Blake got to meet his sweet baby daughter and it was then that we named her Sadie Skielar.
We asked Gigi to bring the boys up to meet their sister. It was incredible. Gigi didn't tell them what they were coming to see. She told them that mommy and daddy had a surprise and asked them what they thought it was. Owen said, "cake" and Cooper guessed a train! How adorable!


This is where the video comes in! Sorry it's dark...I need to find better lighting for my dark babies!

video

Hope you enjoyed the details...you know the rest of what happened...if not, just go to Sept. 5th post!

Oh, and in case you are wondering...Blake didn't get his calls and texts because for some reason that day the surgeon he was working with did not allow phones in the OR. Crazy dude!

Saturday, January 17, 2009

Tagged!


So, this is a quick post because I was tagged to go into my 4th picture folder and pick the 4th picture and talk about it.


I love this picture! It was at the Deaconess Pregnancy and Adoption Services hayride, the first year we went. The others in this picture are 2 of the couple we went to our seminar with. Believe it or not, we all had placement within 6 weeks of each other. Paige and Randy had Parker 2 weeks before Owen was born. Then 2 weeks later Robin and Brad brought Marlo home!


We are so blessed to have these couples in our lives. We are so blessed to have formed a friendship after our seminar and still keep in touch through the agency get togethers and we used to even have playdates, and girls, we need to schedule one!

Anyway, I love this picture...the kids are all around 2 months old.

Four friends to tag...Becki, Laura, Terra, Stephanie

Thursday, January 15, 2009

Sadie update and sibling love

Here are some fun pictures that we took one morning.



I love them because, well, I am obsessed with our children and I think they are highly intelligent beings as well as pretty stinking cute!

But, also...you can see a little bit of Owen and Cooper's personalities in these shots. Sadie, well, for the next several months until we see who she is...she's probably just going to look like a deer in the headlights. I mean, who wouldn't with these two coming at you?


Sadie started cereal and it's been pretty funny. I remember all of the kids starting cereal and it's such a fun time.



Owen loved it and got so mad every time I took the spoon out of his mouth because he wanted to do it like a bottle and just keep sucking the cereal right off of the spoon! He didn't understand the need to stop and reload!



Cooper caught on very quickly but also tried to help me shovel the cereal into his mouth. It ended up EVERYWHERE! With every scoop that went into his mouth, then followed his chubby fist. Then he would grab my hand for more and ended up covering me in cereal. It was nasty people!

Sadie, in typical girl fashion, has made some silly faces and acts like I am putting entirely too much in her mouth. Most of it comes back out and she's just not sure of the consistency (yes, she told me this!). It's taken 4 days for us to really get any of it down. She seems to prefer to have a couple of bites followed by a sip of milk. She's such a dainty girl...it's hilarious!



The boys loved helping and wanted to get in on the fun!



Sadie is trying to sit up and doing quite well. The doctor said that smaller babies do tend to have an easier time maneuvering their bodies....makes sense to me!


Here she is standing at her play table!

I have pics of the boys at this age!

Above is Owen...check out those legs!

Cooper prefers you not make fun of his gaucho pants. He had quite the round belly and chubby buns! So all of his pants were too long just to fit around his middle!
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Not a day goes by that I don't thank God for giving us each of these children so that they have each other. I can't tell you how much I have learned and continue to learn from my siblings. I NEED them, I always have. They are my best friends.

I am seeing this between our kids.

I see how much the boys lean on each other, and teach each other.

They love having a sister. They love helping not only me, but her.

I caught Cooper today trying to help Sadie sit up.

They follow me into her room when she wakes up from naps and they say quietly, "Shh, shh...it's okay Sadie...it's just nap time".

I could go on and on about all of the sweet things they say and do for her, but you just have to see it in action. It is priceless.


I feel incredibly blessed not only to have 3 siblings myself, but to be able to give that same thing to my children. I sure am thankful that God has given me my dream, and that my sweet husband loves it too!

Conversations

I am not sure if it's just in my world lately, but there's been a lot of tragedy in the lives of those I love.

Not just death, but a lot of struggles not just physically, but emotional and spiritual as well.

My family lost a dear friend a week ago today in an unexpected way. She was a life long family friend and one of my mother's best friends.

People are being sued for the wrong reason.

Some are giving up on their marriages.

Families are dealing with broken dreams in the trail of miscarriage and adoptions falling through.

Then today, I read these verses, not in searching did I find this, it was what followed today (God is good like that). These are verses that I have read for years, but they had different meaning today and spoke to me today.

Matt. 5:3,4,7-9 The Message

"You're blessed when you're at the end of you rope. With less of you there is more of God and his rule."

"You're blessed when you feel you've lost what is most dear to you. Only then can you be embraced by the One most dear to you."

"You're blessed when you care. At the moment of being 'care-full' you find yourselves cared for."

"You're blessed when you get your inside world-your mind and heart- put right. Then you can see God in the outside world."

"You're blessed when you can show people how to cooperate instead of compete or fight. That's when you discover who you really are, and your place in God's family."

I sure am thankful that our God loves us enough to have conversations with us through the Bible, the holy spirit as well as placing deep friendships in our lives.

So, to end on a lighter note...please read this story of an incredibly mature young man and his vision. You will be touched, I promise...but you can also help his dream come true! It's a must read!

Sunday, January 11, 2009

Sweet boys

This post is about our boys, Owen, who turned 3 in August and Cooper, who just turned 2.
These guys amaze me everyday with new things that they say.
Last week Cooper kept spilling hot sauce and every time said, "Oopsy sget-eos!" It must have been a combination of oopsy daisy and spaghetteos! He also keeps telling me he hurt his wrist while he points to his forehead! He's started to see monsters at bedtime and be afraid of the dark. One night we were doing something later than usual and were in the car. He said, "Mom, do's that scared you?" (He was referring to the dark)
Today on our way home from church we had our usual discussion of what everyone learned at church.

Cooper said: Jesus got burned.
I swore he said borned, but Blake was right. He quickly explained that he "got burned" because He touched the fire.

I have no idea what they talked about today, but I sure would love to hear what really happened in class!
Owen then told us that Jesus lives in our hearts. And so does God.
They got into a little fight about whether or not Jesus "got burned" and if God lived in our heart or not. It ended up with Owen yelling, "Cooper say it, Jesus lives in our heart!"
Finally, Cooper conceded and said, "Jesus lives in our heart"

Now that's one way to win someone to Christ!
I know they have no idea what they are really talking about, but I love the passion! Hopefully one day they will learn that this needs to be done out of love, not anger!
I love that they love church and feel comfortable there.
I love how they enjoy showing Sadie off at church. They love dropping her off in the nursery and then picking her up. They always ask the ladies if she cried. It's so cute! They don't want their baby crying!

Sadie wore a new dress to church today...thanks Aunt Laura and Uncle Greg for the cute dress!
Blake and I had a great weekend. We took the kids to the Omniplex on Saturday and had a blast.
I love this place! What museum lets the kids do hands on stuff? I am not sure they intended the kids to get on the exhibit, but it was great fun!

Playing peek-a-boo with Sadie and Owen!

Then last night my in-laws ASKED if they could watch the kids so that we could go on a date!
They didn't have to twist my arm! We think its so important for our kids to see how much Blake and I love each other and that we love spending time alone. So we went to dinner and went shopping!

And last, but certainly not least...we took Sadie in for her 4 month check! She is doing great and weighed in at a whopping 12 lbs 6 oz and was 24 inches long, putting her in the 25 percentile for both height and weight. Dr. Albiek says she's growing well, but is just going to be skinny! What girl has a problem with that? Sheesh!
We are going to start cereal this week and hope it will continue to help her reflux. She is such a happy and laid back girl who is coming to like her carseat more! Yippee! That's the only thing that would really make her cry!

Monday, January 5, 2009

It's getting interesting around here!

So, this is a post all about trans-racial adoption.

There are so many fun things that I keep meaning to post about, like hair tips, good and bad products, books and such.

I just always end up having something more fun to post about like my sweet kiddos and the crazy things that happen around here.

Yesterday, Owen asked a question that has prompted this post.

At breakfast he asked Blake and I, "Is daddy brown?". We both were shocked as we thought this was quite obvious.

Blake's pretty pale (sorry hon!) and Owen's pretty good with knowing his colors.

We both replied, "No honey, he's kind of peach."

Owen then asked, "Is mommy brown?"

Again, we were a little puzzled. But replied that mommy too was peachy, vanilla.

We then reminded him that he got his beautiful brown color from God and his birth-father.
We talked about how cool we thought it was that Cooper and Sadie were brown too!

Owen then asked, "Was daddy in Mandy's belly?"

It's a fun time for us because Owen is starting to understand his adoption in such a different way.

He's starting to put things together and we hope therefore appreciate his story in a deeper way.
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Blake's mom got us a really neat book for Sadie's baby dedication... here is a pic of it.


It is the coolest book and I recommend it not only for trans-racial families, but for all of our families as it talks about God's dream for all of His children.

Here is another book that we got from Christmas (also from Gigi!) that we read again this morning.

Reading it brought on a really great discussion about our skin being different and how cool that was. But it also brought us to the computer for some shopping for angels and nativities that matched the kids.

We found some great stuff! Here is what we picked out mostly because of price, but also because it was just what we were looking for.

Owen excitedly told Blake when he got home today that we "found a black angel". He was so proud!

Holden's mommy also had a cool find at the Cracker Barrel. See her post about diversifying their decor for Christmas!
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Hair stuff (this will really only be fun for some of you!!!)

Because I am always looking for cool things for the boys' hair, I am sharing what I have found and like.

The best thing I have found for Owen's hair is Paul Mitchell The Conditioner. It works wonders for softer curly hair. It leaves it soft and bouncy. But it's horribly expensive...so I have tried leave in conditioner (Garnier Fructis and Herbal Essence makes some great ones). It works really well for Owen's hair type, and smells fabulous!

For Cooper, I have to use something heavier because his hair is more course with tighter curls. The best I have found for him is Olive Oil Hair Moisturizing Lotion. It's incredible, not costly and not greasy. And the key for his hair is to get it damp with a water bottle before using product! He no longer cries when I pick through his hair! Thanks Rebecca for this tip!

Now, this stuff....sheesh! It's smell is the only thing I don't like about it. Otherwise, it would be perfect for Cooper. It sprays on which he loves, and combs through really well and keeps his hair from looking brittle and dry. It's name is the best... Sta-Sof-Fro - I love it!
If any of you out there have brown babies and you have found a website or a product out there, please share! I always learn new stuff and tips when I talk to other moms.

Also, I read a really good book before Owen was born and it really helped me! It's called "It's all Good Hair" I thought it was great. There was a lot of stuff in it that I didn't use because they were boys, but now I need to find it again since Miss Sadie arrived and I am sure I will be braiding before I know it!

This is a Christmas pic that I have yet to post because so many of you got it in the mail! But, had to share because it's one of my favorites with all 5 of us!

Saturday, January 3, 2009

4 months old!

Just had to post some new pictures of our little princess!


We cannot believe she is already 4 months, she still seems so tiny!


She is smiling and laughing now. She rolls from belly to back, and is already working on crawling. Yes, I realize it will be a couple months, but she's pretty strong and can already move herself a good foot!

She thinks Owen is pretty funny as he has figured out that she smiles and coos when we kiss her hands.

Cooper still loves to just cuddle Miss Sadie, but he is quick to tell you when he's "done with her"! You gotta watch him! (Shortly after I took this sweet picture, Cooper jumped up and told me that sissy was stinky. Then when I checked her, he told me that maybe HE tooted and was the sinky one afterall! Oh, you make me laugh Coop!)

Owen with Blake's cousin Lindsay. Notice he won't take many pictures for me anymore? But yet he's more than willing to jump in next to Lindsay and cuddle with her! Watch out, this guys got an eye for pretty girls already! Owen LOVES Lindsay!

Owen is incredible with Sadie, he loves getting diapers for her, helps feeding her bottles, singing her to sleep and even sharing his blankets with her. He amazes me and makes me melt all of the time with how he takes such good care of his siblings.


I don't even know how to start to describe what's happened between Sadie and her daddy. It's been so neat to watch the two of them and see how they are just bonkers for each other. She "talks" to him more than any of us. He can make her smile just by looking at her. She giggled for the first time a couple of weeks ago when they were "talking". It's adorable to see that she already quite smitten with him!

We love you sweet girl and we can't imagine life without you!