Thursday, March 23, 2017

Our sweet little Chapman continues to amaze us as she grows and reaches new milestones.  Physical therapy has done so much in getting her exactly where her peers are with jumping and running and climbing! 
 Chapman is full of joy 99% of the time and she has no hesitation is letting those around her know who is in charge.  Baby girl, woman power!
 Her thumb is still a major asset in her daily life.  And sometimes, when therapy is just getting to be too much, she pops that thumb in and lets the therapist do all of the work -  or so she thinks.
 Our big girls got a special day with mommy and daddy and Aunt Rebecca at a University of Georgia gymnastics meet.  
 It was great fun to see the event up close and to have a moment of fun on all of the training equipment!
 Maddox jumped up on the uneven bars without help and smiled big as she did a few of her tricks from her own gymnastics class!
 MK decided to brave the pit....
 she was hesitant but we are happy to report that she made it out without any help!
 Chapman got real quiet one day, for one moment, and I decided to investigate.  
 This little one had found the pretend coffee pot that her sisters had filled to the brim with water and she was enthralled in the sounds and fun this combo provided.  
 My parents shared this photo of their cabin in the NC mountains.  It is really the only taste of winter for us this year!  Georgia Winter 2017 proved to be a bust.
 Miss Blue Tongue
The joy of boys and sports...
I showed up to pick Pryce up from practice and this is what I was greeted with :/
A quick trip to an urgent care facility, a little bit of glue, and he is as good as new!
 And some more Chapman cuteness....she was going 90 miles a minute and then an hour later she was running a temp of 103???  So crazy.  Thankfully, her illness was short lived.

March 17, 2017

Gotcha Day #9
This girl.
Our adoption beginning.
Our eye opener.
Our world-changer. 
 Each and everyday, we give thanks for MK. It is so crazy to me that we began this journey with her in 2006 before we even knew her face.  We loved this baby girl and yearned for her to be a part of our family forever.  Over the years, we have learned so much about parenting little girls and just parenting in general.  This girl is so strong, her early past built her this way.  MK is smart and loves all things music and art and dance.  MK is sassy.  Yes, the spicy girl we met on Gotcha Day nine years ago remains spicy to this very day.  We love her little spice.  
 It is such a special treat to have our Mohr family with us.  They truly are a second-family to us!  We all piled into the civil affairs office nine years ago together to meet our forever girls.  Today, they live three streets over, a mere bike ride away.  Chloe and MK have never known life without each other.  They were together in the early days of life, surgery buddies, foster sisters and now they are growing up together.  
We gained a daughter one years ago on this special day and we also gained some amazing friends to do life with!  So very thankful.

Monday, March 13, 2017

Maddox Ren Gotcha Day #6

On this day six short years ago, we met our Maddox Ren.  Her foster family brought her to us and met us in a smoke-filled government office building.  They greeted us with smiles on their faces yet sadness in their eyes - we all knew the day would be one of joy for us and bittersweetness for them.  
 Maddox was open to us so long as she was in her foster mother's arms.  The moment the foster family left, she let all of her emotions go and cried hard tears until finally she fell into a deep sleep.  Though it was freezing outside, our girl was one hot mess with her rose-colored cheeks and her hair full of sweat - this due to her rampant screaming and the many layers of clothing she wore.  When she woke, she was emotionless.  Her eyes looked so lost.
 It didn't take too long for this sweet girl to feel our love and to trust us with her heart.  She loved to be held and I held her as much as I could.  She was our baby who would climb out of her crib in the middle of the night and sneak into our bed to sleep with her hand in mine.  She was and continues to be our girl who likes to be surrounded by her family, she is most comfortable with us all around.  
 She is everything silly yet wise beyond her years; she has endured loss unlike many and I do believe her soul runs deep because of this.  She is quick to comfort others and has a heart of gold. 
We recently had the opportunity to connect with her foster family in China.  I love knowing that they are a click away on our phone - we send pictures, they send pictures, we do what we can to assure them this little girl is so very special to us and we continue to thank them for the 19 months they spent with her, loving her and preparing her heart for us!
Maddox Ren, you are a complete joy and we adore every little thing about you!  Loving you is so easy and we are forever thankful that we have been gifted with you, our cherished daughter!
So thankful we "Gotcha!"

Wednesday, March 8, 2017

Matilda Jane

In 2011, I was introduced to Matilda Jane Clothing
 I was drawn to the uniqueness of their clothing initially....
 I loved how I could coordinate the girls without having to totally dress them alike....
 I loved the feel of the fabric - the softness is like no other!
 I began reading the company's story....
 how the founder had a vision that encompassed keeping a little girl a little girl for as long as possible....
 and how the "twirl" was a bonus to everyone's wardrobe.
 The clothing brings life to those who wear it....
 and brings smiles to those who view it from the sidelines.
 One important factor for me was when I learned how the company strived to help others, how they reached out to other countries and helped provide food, clothing and shelter to those in need.  
 In the midst of learning of this company and shopping the clothing each release, I developed a sweet friendship with my Trunk Keeper, the clothing sales representative.
 We had some fun experiences together, stories we will share for years on how MJ once was and how far they have come in the clothing industry!
 I was thrilled and honored and a bit nervous when my TK friend called and offered me her business, a business that she had built from the ground up.  She was stepping down from her TK role with Matilda Jane and she had complete confidence that I would do well moving forward.
 I let that offer settle in and proceeded with great excitement into my new role as one of our area's TK representatives!  
 My first official month was February and it was a month of learning and, most importantly, FUN!  
 I have thoroughly enjoyed sharing my love for MJ with others who are new to the company and those who are well versed in MJC.  At the end of each month, I feel like a child on Christmas morning as I watch for the FedEx van to visit my house with a new trunk full of clothing to share with my friends.
For this season in our lives, Matilda Jane Clothing is a fabulous fit for our family!  It's a relationship that we are all so thankful for!

Catching UP!

Home SIX months
Now 2 1/2 years old
I pinch myself daily when I think of her story and how she came to be ours!  She is everything sweet, sassy and preciousness all bundled up into one!
 Miss Maryn
Our ballet star
And she LOVES this lion, it is likely I have posted a pic of her with it before!
Every week she asks for a picture beside the lion as we walk into ballet
 Our seven year old diva
Maddox has been asked to be a part of a arts infusion charter school that will open in the Fall!
We are thrilled for this opportunity for her!
 Sweetness even in her sleep
She has started wanting to go to sleep in our bed - this from the child who screamed the very first night we had her in China because she wanted to be alone in her bed as she fell asleep.  Her growth physically AND, more importantly, emotionally has been an amazing thing to experience with her.
 It was a school holiday and these girls had gift cards to Build A Bear burning in their pockets!
 And in true Drafts fashion, after Build A Bear, we headed straight to Bruesters for a little ice cream treat.
 A certain little Drafts did not appreciate it when her ice cream was all gone!
 Four months ago, our Chapman had her spinal cord untethered.  We had a post-op visit with her neurosurgeon last week who said she looks great!  So thankful!  The most fabulous part of the visit was the fact that she did not cry one.single.tear.  I was amazed.  The fear that she once felt each time we entered a medical facility has now been replaced with a certain cautious approach vs. the screaming one she once felt was necessary for survival.
It is my favorite
No way around it!
 I am pretty sure Maddox and I sang every word to every song together!
 Maryn Gentry
Oh, how I love her even when she makes poor choices...
 This little one felt it necessary to take a black Sharpie marker to just about everything in her sight.....a fan, her bed, her dresser, her bathroom counters.....all the way to include toys and an Aquaphor tube.  Being one of six, I am going with the assumption that she felt it necessary to label what was hers (26ish items to be exact!).  I am pretty sure this will be the story that one will hear many times over the years to come!
 Our baby boy turned SEVENTEEN
Baby Boy
Geez, who knew he would grow up so fast!
 This pic sums up my heart in a oldest and my youngest sharing joy together!  Chapman loves Colin to pieces!
 Oh Colin
You made me a Mama and who knew the journey we would go on together in life!  What a privilege it is to be your mother and have a front row seat in watching you grow into a young man!