Saturday, January 21, 2012


When we made the switch to the waiting child program and checked off cleft lip and palate as a need we thought we would be suited for, the praying began. We prayed for wisdom. We prayed for our daughter's self-esteem. We prayed for her health. AND, we prayed for her speech. Before we were matched with MK, during our wait for MK, when we met MK, every prayer included a prayer for intelligible speech.
Let's just say our prayers were answered ten fold. The girl can TALK. And talk. And talk. To herself. To anyone in the room. To a wall. To the dog, her dolls, she can and will talk. Now we often say, "Mason-Kate, can you please just be quiet? For a minute?" It truly is a challenge for her! She loves her voice. She sings. She recites poems. Or class lessons. She tells stories. Anything to hear her voice.
So now we pray for Maddox. She continues to improve daily with her speech. She tries. And there are words that she says without any complications. But there are many that need lots of work. No doubt she is understood, the girl can communicate her desires. And she understands everything. Speech is such an intriguing part of life, one that I did not even think twice about the complexity of until my girls entered into our lives. So thankful for the speech therapists that have been there for our girls! What an amazing job and what patience they have!

Thursday, January 19, 2012

Mason-Kate's birthday was big this year! She has truly dreamed of turning five years old FOREVER. So, we made is super special with a special trip to the American Girl Doll store in Atlanta. Her gift? Her own doll and breakfast in the bistro.
In literally three seconds, she spotted McKenna and she was sold. She is the best little mother. She carefully listened to the attendant explain the best haircare and handling of the doll.
The boys were less than amused at the thought of going to a "girl" store so they stayed behind with friends. While dining, we took a look around the restaurant and decided they made the best decision for themselves. Somehow the pink fans and the tea cups and the dolls galore just did not make for their cup of tea!
No boys meant one thing.....girl time! And pretty much when they asked for something, we obliged. A carousel ride was at the top of their list!
We continued our celebration this week with a visit from most of the grandparents (Pop had to make a call to MK as he missed out of the celebration!), Aunt Nellie and some of our favorite cousins! Dinner was fabulous and quite an experience for all. A Japanese Steakhouse. So fun!
My brother's girls were able to spend a few days with us too. Hearing all of the laughter and just seeing them all together made my heart warm. Their time together is not nearly enough so they have already begun their plans for the next reunion!
I love this pic! The girls, ages 5, 6 and 7, were in love with their little umbrella drinks. Cheers were in order for our birthday girl and her big day(s) of turning 5!

Sunday, January 15, 2012

Fabulous Five

Today MK turned five years old. She has dreamed of being five years old since she turned two!
With a party all decorated for a princess, you asked just before the guests arrived, "Excuse me, Mom, but what kingdom was I born in?"
Today was your day, MK, and you made sure everyone knew. When something did not go exactly as you had pictured you would say, ever so sadly, "But today is MY special day!" And it was.
Tea was served promptly at half-past two. Prior to the tea, your guests prettied themselves up with make-up, nail polish, and accessories galore.
And you were giddy with excitement.
Maddox joined in on the fun while the boys tried their best to steer clear of all pink involved.
While you all sipped on tea and ate goodies, your dollies were having their own little party.
We have loved watching you grow this year. You rose to the occasion of being the big sister. Even though Maddox can be less than nice to you, your way of guiding her and supporting her is like no other. During your fifth year, we also grew to love and admire your determination and will. Mason-Kate, you do not quit. At the beginning of the year, swimming lessons were in order. It was FREEZING. You jumped in and swam in the cold water without one complaint. All the while, I watched as child after child got out and begged to be warmed up! But you, you endured it cold and all. Fast forward a few months to swim team - wow, four years old and you were jumping off of a block with a crowd of people watching. You swam fast and you never stopped, you saved your tears for the end. Recently we were at a local park. You wanted to climb a climbing wall. You began and got stuck. You asked me for help and I said that I just didn't think it was for little girls as it was too high for me to help you all the way up. Instead of accepting this as an answer and moving on to something else, you came down, stood in front of the wall, methodically planned where your feet were going to need to go in order to make it to the top, climbed on again and up you went! Amazing. Then you said, "See, Mom, I told you I could do it!" And it is true, MK, you can do anything you set your mind to, even at the mere age of five!
MK, you make us laugh often. You are at that perfect age to explore uses of vocabulary and you innocently notice things that deserve a comment. My favorite recent quote was one night when you came home from church. Your bag contained a craft and a story. You said, "Tonight we learned about dictionaries. One was named Cathy like my teacher." Hmmm. Took us a minute to realize you actually learned about MISSIONARIES.
Your dreams are big. At this age, you wish to be a doctor AND a ballerina AND a mommy. And on some days you wish to be a tooth fairy but you aren't quite sure how that will work out with the wings and all!
You are truly our little princess. We kiss you goodnight each night and you are fully dressed in your pjs. Next thing we know, pjs are off and you are all snuggled under your favorite Hello Kitty snuggy in between your babies and pillows. You carefully place your pjs in the sham of your pillow so you can find them in the morning. However, most mornings when I come in to get you, you are all dressed in your latest favorite princess attire - crown and all!
Though we will never know the circumstances of your birth, every year on this day I pray a special prayer for your birth family. I wish they could see you now. Your big smiles. Feel your tight hugs. Touch your soft skin. Hear your giggles. See you dance. You are a joy, Mason-Kate, and we are so thankful that we were chosen to be your forever family. Happy five years!