"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

Sunday, March 29, 2009

Happy Gotcha Day Owen!

In our family we celebrate Gotcha Days...
For us, this is the day we finalize our children's adoption since we typically "have" them from birth.

It's a big day...so we'll forever celebrate it.
On finalization day we go to court and stand before the judge as he tells us we can parent our children FOREVER!
We work really hard to prepare for this day. We've said a million prayers and asked everyone to pray for us that all will go smoothly as we await this precious day. Then we get all gussied up and stand before the judge and promise to always love this child unconditionally, to do everything to protect them and provide for them, and mostly to strive to honor and glorify God as we parent them.
It makes me teary just thinking about it!
Then we get to go and apply for his new birth certificate that say our names and his new Shockley name!
We get to apply for a social security card and everything! It's stuff that some people take for granted because it just happens!
Owen and Blake right after we got home from his finalization! Don't they look handsome???

Owen blowing out his candles...notice there are 4, one is for Cooper to blow out!

He wanted an ice cream cake and boy was it yummy!

He looks so big here! Who am I kidding, he is big! I can't believe it's been 3 1/2 years since we first fell in love with this guy!Papa Joe and Gigi came by after naps to play. They got Owen and Cooper matching OU basketball jerseys. They were a huge hit! They took us to dinner then had cake with us! Thanks for celebrating this fun day with us guys!

Sadie making Gigi laugh! She's probably getting soaked too with her slobber bubbles!

So, Happy Gotcha Day buddy. You have no idea how much I love you and how much you've taught me! You have taught me how to be a better mommy. You have made me laugh more than I could have ever imagined and you've made me cry happy tears too. I love the way you adore your daddy and want nothing else but to be like him even down to his eating habits and mannerisms. I love how you prefer to be at home more than anywhere else.

I thank God that I can be your forever mommy!

Saturday, March 28, 2009

Sugar cookies for lunch

Does anybody else do this, or is it just me?
We made sugar cookies Thursday morning and had way too much fun making them.

The boys were dying to have some hot and fresh out of the oven and it was straight up 11 am.

I caved.
I typically strive to teach my children good choices with food and we eat our healthy foods before "treats", but not today!

So while we were decorating the cookies with sprinkles of course they got everywhere.

I pulled out the vacuum to clean them up while the cookies baked.

I got carried away with vacuuming the boys clothes of flour and sprinkles and this is what happened...
I know I will regret one day that I put a vacuum to my kids head to make mohawks, but I haven't yet.
They loved letting the vacuum do their hair.

So I just had to share my fabulous parenting tips...cookies for lunch and vacuum mohawks.

Nothing makes for bigger giggles though. Oh, how I love my mommy job!

This is the rest of the week in pictures...enjoy!
Early morning couch cuddling...this is how we start most everyday!
My little meteorologists! This is the newest exhibit at the Science Museum and we love it! Seeing that the boys hardly watch the news, I thought it was funny how well Cooper did this! Look at that chubby hand out while he's talking...just like Rick Mitchell!

Getting ready for Winter Storm 2009, which ended up to be total hype, but that's okay! Look how big he looks.Sadie working hard to stand on her own. She's getting so strong! Sadie has started working on a sippie cup and the boys love helping. Just look at his face. Gosh it's amazing how much these little guys love their baby sister. Owen's teacher at school told me that every time Sadie cries in her room, Owen hears her and blurts out, "That's my baby crying!" Oh my heart! I adore these kids!

Thursday, March 26, 2009


For those of you that don't know Noonie...she is my mother.
She has a tradition that she knits every grandchild a blanket when they are born.

My kids usually come into our world with little warning, so she never is able to finish their blankies before they are born.

She just finished her 8th blankie, this one for Sadie-cakes. I fear we pushed cousin Greyson's out of the picture! Sorry buddy.

So here is Sadie enjoying her new lovie.

As soon as Cooper laid eye's on it, he was in love. If you haven't heard, my little guy LOVES the color pink. He had quite a hard time understanding that this blanket was for Sadie and not him. He is a bit attached to his red one that Noonie made and he thought this was just a fresh one for him.

Thanks Noonie...we love these blankets and will keep them forever!

Tuesday, March 24, 2009

On the move

Little mama has decided it's time to move.

She started this last week, but has gained some coordination since.

I think we can officially call it a crawl now. It really started out with her lifting her right leg and hiney like she's trying to stand up. Now it resembles more of a typical crawl.

My brother-in-law David kindly pointed out that with all the movement and effort you'd think she would shoot across the room because she's bitty. It's kind of rickety, if that's even a word!

It is so cute and sweet since she is so teeny and she usually makes noises, like grunting.

Wish I had a video, but leaving her on the floor with 2 boys bustling around while I am videoing hasn't proved safe at this point.

Yesterday, we were eating popcorn and watching a movie when she decided to crawl over my legs to get Cooper's popcorn. The boys thought it was a hoot. They kept moving it away saying, "No sissy, you don't have any teeth yet!"

They still don't seem annoyed with her even as she is getting to their snacks. We'll see what happens when she takes trains away...that should be interesting!

Just had to share! Oh, and I should have explained in the post below that Cooper and Owen went to the Science Museum with Blake and painted their faces! Here's Owen's painting!

Monday, March 23, 2009

The men in my life...

Owen and Cooper could not be more smitten with each other and I love that. My sisters are still my best friends to this day, so I love the way they love (and sometimes fight) each other. And, they are still absolutely head-over-heels in love with their baby sister. They have made up all kinds of nicknames for her (Sade and Ski) and she gets the best smooches from them ALL DAY LONG! I am not jealous or anything...I'm just saying!

They are currently calling themselves Blake and Taylor Griffin. If you don't know these two guys, they are outstanding players for OU basketball. Our boys just happen to resemble them and I hope one day they turn out to be just as neat as these two young men seem to be. Cooper loves it when I call him "Little Blake Griffin" it makes him smile BIG! And, he actually eats more at dinner if you ask him to eat like Blake Griffin does!

He's at that stage (well really they both are) where its not cool to have your picture taken, especially with their mom. When does this end? 18???

Owen is getting so big and I am in definite denial of the fact that he is no longer a toddler, but a little boy. I have to say it's a difficult time as a mommy when he looks so big and talks so well and is super independent...that he is still only 3 1/2 years old. I mean, look at this picture...can you believe how big he is?
Cooper makes me laugh non-stop. He now knows how to wink...and it's scary. I mean, as if this guy really needed anything else to draw in the ladies...come on!

Wednesday, March 18, 2009

Honoring Birth Moms

We had the pleasure of seeing Sadie's birth mom this past Saturday.

It was just perfect.

The weather was nice enough that we could meet her at a park and let the boys run around while we caught up with Momma G. It's always a challenge to try and entertain the boys so that we can really have quality time with Momma G and for her to have that special time with Sadie. So, just the fact that we could be outside was a huge blessing.

Sadie was in a great mood (when is she not?). She was wide awake, which she had not been at our last visits with Momma G. She was all smiles, you know...her huge, all face smile. It made Momma G so happy to see her so happy.
She was blowing bubbles (spitting) at Momma G, so she got totally soaked. She said the sweetest thing when Sadie covered her in slobber. She said, "I have been waiting a long time to have your slobber all over me little Skielar."

It hit me hard yet again how birth moms have thoughts and dreams of interacting with their children. They long to be covered in their spit and spit up. They would love to change just one more diaper. These thoughts happen hourly I imagine. I am sure as time and years pass, it's not as often, but I know there is not a day that goes by that they don't long to see their "baby".

This is why I LOVE adoption. It makes me a better mom.
Everytime I have to change clothes because I am soaked with puke, or that my toddler throws an all out tantrum, I remind myself that there is a mom out there that only wishes she could live this life.
But she chose me.
She chose for me to be her child's mommy. She chose for me to kiss skinned knees and wipe away tears and talk through frustrations. I am a better mom because of these birth moms.

Last year, our agency held a special retreat for birth moms over Mother's Day weekend. What a ministry they have!
Can you imagine being a birth mother on Mother's Day? Can you imagine the day going by without being told "Happy Mother's Day" by your child? Can you imagine being a mommy that has chosen to give her child the gift of a family, and then dealing with that loss and grief again on Mother's Day?

It breaks my heart to think of all of the birth moms out there that are not celebrated on this day.

So, last year we worked with the agency to honor birth moms on this hard weekend. They arranged the whole event, and we gathered gifts for these women. Several of you were such a big help last year, and I am hoping that some of you might want to help in some way this year.

If you have any ideas of what we could do, we would love to hear them. Last year we put together gift baskets for each girl. For the girls that spent the night, they got pj's and matching slippers. We just really wanted to make them feel special, pampered, loved and honored. And, you know what...they loved it!

So, if you want to help...please comment and let me know your thoughts. We could use small gift cards for movie tickets, Sonic and such. I think we are going to do gift baskets again (unless we have any other cool ideas). So money would also be appreciated. Last year we also included notes to the birth moms just sharing our love, prayers, appreciation and respect to all of them. So even if you can only send a letter, that is HUGE!
If you comment or email me @ mollykshockley@hotmail.com , I will send you a stamped envelope in the mail so that it will make it easier on you. If you want, you can send stuff directly to the agency and get yourself a nice tax deduction! Their info is linked on the right of the blog.
Love you all and thanks for helping us to love on these incredible women. Thank you for helping us show them that we never forget the sacrifice they have made.

Friday, March 13, 2009

Oh yes, we did!

Today we took our sweet baby girl to get her ears pierced.

I hear the gasps...

That's why I am telling you all over the internet!

Judge me if you want, but I did a ton of research before we made our decision.

Or before I talked Blake into it.

And, we kind of cheated a bit.

If anyone cares to know...EMLA cream does wonders for numbing up the ears for piercing.

This sweet baby didn't make a peep.

The click did startle her and her bitty legs jumped while I was holding her.

But I am not lying....she never cried or even made a noise.

Another thing we did today was meet our friend Holden for a play date.

Watch out Turner...he's moving in on your territory!

His shirt says, "My entire life is being blogged" I need some of those shirts, huh?

We had so much fun and I sure enjoyed sharing conversation with a momma that shares a passion for trans-racial adoption.

Speaking of adoption...you need to go here.

We've been busy because of the response from the post below.

So many people want to show their support of this change for Oklahoma...and we are going to need as many Oklahoman's behind this as possible.

If you have a blog, website, or just want to email this blog to people who might show their support for this change...please share it!

The blog is http://www.promoteokadoption.blogspot.com/

If you are lost and have no idea what I am talking about, read the post below!

Thursday, March 12, 2009

Please pray

Last week I took Sadie to have her 6 months pictures taken.

Sadly, I hadn't taken her to a professional photographer before...so I splurged on this (you know it's still super frugal, it just wasn't in the mall).

My good friend from church, Libby Hanon took these. Shamless plug!

These are only a few as she took over 350 in about an hour.
We had so much fun. It sure was nice knowing how much Libby loves our kids and to see how she handled Miss Sadie with love was incredible and enjoyable.
Missy decided she was going to make Libby work for a smile!

You know how she does...just takes it all in with those big beautiful brown eyes. Well that was how she felt this day...but again Libby managed to capture Sadie's incredible spirit and personality.
I decided that since this is my first daughter, I needed some special mother-daughter pictures!

I get teary when I think of how special these are now and will forever be for me and my sweet baby girl. But I also know how they will be special for Momma G to see how much Sadie is loved and enjoyed.

Okay, on to the prayer part and why you are just now seeing these.

I have had these pictures for a while and have struggled to post them on the blog because a dear friend of mine just lost her daughter that they were adopting. I know she doesn't want me to feel guilt, but I think every friend of Kim's is grieving right now and this is what I am experiencing, guilt.

Kim's story is tragic, as are all failed adoptions, but their family has experienced more than their fair share of tragedy in the last few years and I have to be honest that I have found myself quite angry about this too.

I am not an angry person, so I know that with prayer my anger will pass.

But for now, I am using that anger to spur on change (or spur on others to spur on change).

When my sister, Becki (the attorney sister), called to tell me about Kim, I had about had enough.

This is the second of my friends in the last month that have had adoptions fall through, almost the exact same situation.

You know I don't like to talk poorly about domestic adoption. It's the only thing Blake and I will ever do. We love it and are addicted to the journey of adoption.

But I do feel like the Oklahoma Law doesn't do a great amount to protect the adoptive parents when it comes to how the relinquishment is done.

For those of you that are not familiar with the law it is that birth mothers cannot relinquish rights until 48 hours after the birth of the child and it has to be done in front of a judge. Getting this court date scheduled can take 2 -3 weeks (as it was for all 3 of our kids). That leaves a lot of time to re-think your decision, which can be good and bad.
In Texas (and some other states) the relinquishment also has to be after 48 hours but can be done in the hospital by the state or an adoption agency.

So I asked Becki....

"Is it crazy to think we (and by we, I mean you) could change our law to be like the state of Texas?"
Becki said no it's not a crazy thought and immediately got to work on this.
She has researched and re-written the law to look more like some other states and is trying to get support to get it changed.

Now, I don't understand the lingo of what has to happen and who has to approve it, but I am very excited and I have great hope for this change.

She doesn't expect for it to be approved in June, but hopes it will be passed in November.
I am praying she is wrong and it will get passed in June.

Could you pray that if this is in the best interest of all parties involved, that it will go through?
My fear is that people are going to no longer be open to domestic adoption in OK because of the risks involved. I mean, this is not good PR for adopting in Oklahoma guys!

In saying that, I want to be clear that I only want this to pass if it also helps birth mothers make the right choice for themselves and their child. The choice that they had made coming into the hospital. The choice that they had planned on.

If you at all feel like I am not in support of birth moms, you couldn't be more wrong (and perhaps this is not coming across like I want it to).
Please go back and read my posts on how much I think they are heroes. They truly are a part of our family. But making them go to court, before a judge, alone with their attorney (no social worker can be present) while they are post-partum and hormonal... is not really in their best interest, is it?

In fact, Momma G was terrified about going to court. She had never had to stand before a judge.

Our agency has told us that sometimes the judges are rude to the birth moms, almost disrespectful. It's awful and not how they should be treated.

I hope you are getting an idea of why I think this is good for birth moms and for adoptive couples.

Please pray with me for this law to become something that honors both the adoptive families and the birth parent...and most importantly the child being placed.

Saturday, March 7, 2009

"Lack of Knowledge"

On Friday we completed our last post-placement visit for Sadie's adoption!

Now our paperwork will be sent to our attorney (Aunt Becki) and we'll file for a day in court!

Here is Sadie with our social worker, Sandy and Blake and I at the visit!

Sadie and momma outside while the boys play...we've had great weather lately.

Many of you have asked...we did not get to see Momma G on Thursday. We'll try again sometime soon, but thanks for the prayers.
As a hair update, we tried some of the products that the stylist gave us and WOW...it's good stuff!

The boys LOVE it and that says a lot!

I went by her salon on Wednesday and picked up a bottle! If you're interested it's called "Mixed Chicks" leave-in-conditioner. They also have a website http://www.mixedchicks.net/

As you might imagine the boys ditched the hair caps (scarves). Owen said they made him hot! I am going to have to buy some satin pillows (Gigi already found some at Bed Bath and Beyond)!
I have so enjoyed the comments posted over the last week about how to handle issues that may come up concerning race.

It has been so refreshing to hear so many people share their hearts about this topic.

I feel the need to explain a few things that perhaps I should have before the post on the workshop.

Blake and I know without a doubt that God chose these children specifically for us.

We dreamed of them for years and requested from the adoption agency to be shown to birth moms carrying brown babies. In college I remember hearing a Nicole C Mullins song that I think was titled "Cocoa Baby" and it made my heart flutter with hope that someday we could have a brown or black baby.

I don't want my concern in the last post to come off that this happened by chance or may have been something we didn't know we were getting in to.
We have always known we would be a colorful family.

It's just that as children become yours, whether through pregnancy or adoption, they become yours. We forget they were adopted and that they are any different from us. All of the things we wanted to be so intentional about in raising children of a different race simply faded.

If you've followed our blog for any length of time, you know that we do a lot in our lives to be intentional and sensitive about adoption and cultural stuff.

If you are friends or family you've helped us search for books with brown people, you've colored stockings to have brown ballerina's (thanks Gigi), given us biracial baby dolls, black cabbage patch dolls (thanks Vicki), and you've searched high and low for brown Willow tree angels for your nativity (thanks Noonie).

Our whole family has made adjustments to make sure our children feel loved and proud of their beautiful brown skin.

But, I forget about people who have a "lack of knowledge" (this will replace the use of the word racist-thanks Traci).

That is where the last post came from...

How do we prepare our kids for it and handle it?

I heard once that having children is like watching your heart walk around outside of your body.

That couldn't be more of the truth.

It's such an intense feeling of wanting to just pull your children in and lock them at home for fear they might be hurt.
But that is not what God has called us to.

So, thank you for all of you that shared and considered this with us.
The workshop was a wonderful reminder to be intentional about helping our children feel comfortable with their heritage. It reminded us to involve them in culturally norm things as much as possible. It brought to light how even though we live in a large metropolitan city and see lots of diversity...we still need to purposeful about things.
More than anything it helped me to remember how parenthood is the biggest thing I have faced in my life that has daily brought me to Christ.
There is no way Blake and I will make it through this without His guidance along the way.
We cannot do this without teaching our children about His love and perfect plan for their lives.

Wednesday, March 4, 2009

Sadie is 6 months!

I cannot believe our baby girl is 6 months old.

She turned 6 months yesterday, but I couldn't post because I am loving the discussion going on below and wanted to hear from more people. If you haven't read it...please take some time to do so. If you have commented and shared...I thank you from the bottom of my heart! This is teaching me so much and affirming what I already believed in my heart.
I feel like this topic is so important for all of us as Christians to talk about and get out in the open.

So onto little Miss! I mean, you all come here to see my kiddos right?

She is not quite 15 lbs and is 26 inches long! She's our string bean, long and lean...so wish I could have ever been called a string bean!

Her little legs have thickened up just a bit, which made her shots much easier for me to watch. But still, she's so tiny you swear their gonna hit bone!

Owen stood over her while she got her shots. He held one hand while I held the other.

He talked to her the whole time and then kissed her hand and cheek each time she cried.

Cooper was trying to get his peek at her too, but he was a little less concerned about her and a little more concerned about him! Right on track for his age, huh?

She is staying awake longer, sleeping through the nights (12 hours peeps!), "talking" to the boys, loves sitting up and is already into Baby Einstein and books. She seems to be very social and loves watching people and touching faces. If anyone is holding her she wants to "hold" their face. She usually puts one hand on each cheek...it's adorable to have those sweet hands on me all day.
Her smile seriously takes up her whole face and there are times where she is so very serious taking it all in (like in this next picture)!

Okay, I could go on and on about how this sweet daughter still makes my heart skip a beat when I see her. You know that feeling when you can actually feel your heart turn to mush and jump at the same time? Yep, we are there....all 4 of us. Totally, helplessly in love with her!

Come on! Look at that sweet smile! Aren't you just smitten looking at her? I get to kiss that sweet face all day long!
And you know what happens this month...they release us to adopt her! YAHOO! We have our final post-placement visit on Friday and then our papers will be sent to our attorney, a.k.a. Aunt Becki (ah the joys of having a sister and BIL that are lawyers). It is quite fun having her up in front of the judge with us. There's nothing like your attorney crying during your hearing!
We'll let you know when we have a court day.
Makes me teary just thinking about it!

Speaking of getting teary, we got a call from Momma G (Sadie's birth mom). It was so good to hear her voice. I didn't let her talk long before asking if we could see her. Please pray that everything works out so that we can see her tomorrow! We are dying to just squeeze on her and for Sadie to see her again.

Enough rambling...read the post below. Pray for us that we can understand clearly what God is calling us to do.