Thursday, August 4, 2016

Summer 2016 Round Up

I literally blinked my eyes, and summer is ending before me!  
So many great things occurred this summer.  While we did enjoy our beach vacations and our trip to the mountains to visit Gran and Pop, our day to day life at home was a blessing too.  
First up, Veronica.  We LOVE Veronica and we were so excited to have the opportunity to have her in our home for two weeks.  
We first met Veronica in 2011 during our trip to bring Maddox home.  Veronica was the best guide ever!  There were tears on all sides when we left China that year.  Since then, Veronica has taken some time off of work to have a baby boy and is now working with the agency we used to bring our three girls home.  She is the facilitator between the agency and the orphanages and the adoption affairs office in China.  And she is amazing!  She taught us how to cook Chinese, she put us in contact with Maddox's foster family, she was just a joy to have and we were all sad to see her go!
We continue to have our adoption group gatherings and the little ones are now right in the middle of it all!  When the girls are overruling, some must just choose to go with the flow....pretty sure this pic will be ver valuable in David's later years:)
These sweet girls....they did a fashion show and a singing show....they were all about the shows on this particular evening!
Colin and Pryce had the opportunity to do a mission trip in Conyers, Georgia with our church.  For one week, the boys spent time sharing the love of Christ by doing vacation Bible school.  The loved every moment of their time there and the stories they shared with us once they were home were amazing!  So thankful for this time for them and for their hearts that willingly went to serve others!
MK and Chloe visited our local pottery store and painted their very own mugs.  The Mohrs have been with us for a year now and we are so very thankful that they are here!
We have spent many evenings at the is by far our favorite time to visit....low crowds, no sunscreen needed, relaxing....
MK and Chloe spent one week doing horse camp at a local stable.  They had a blast though they were a bit warm during their stay:)
Another surprise!  LiPing, a chaperone for the host children who were visiting in July, needed a home to stay in for the first few nights of her stay in America.  We were more than willing to accommodate her and we are so thankful for this experience.  Veronica spoke very good English.  LiPing spoke no English.  None.  It was hilarious trying to speak with her through Google translate which, by the way, is not always the most reliable source....pretty sure Maddox told her through Google that she was going to eat her!  Oye!  She was super sweet and we were able to do some sight seeing and shopping with her during her stay!
These boys.  It was 80s day at youth group.  And they took it to heart, high socks and all.  
Ryan and I were loving this!  
Weekend at Bernies???
Lake Day
We were able to spend the day on the lake boating and swimming and just relaxing!
This sweet girl wasn't sure what to make of the lake water at first.  However, after a few minutes to warm up, she was sold and was the last one to get out at the end of the day!
Our sweet Noah was in town and we were so glad to have a moment to visit with him! 
In fact, the Gilliams and the Beaudreaus were in town too and we enjoyed our time with them!  They are a fabulous family and we are honored to know them and share the love for orphan care with them!
This little one has had some ongoing tummy issues that we are trying to get to the bottom of.  It was no fun trying to get her to drink the "milkshake" for her test....her thoughts are written all over her face on this matter!
Six Flags Over Georgia
We were gifted with free tickets to visit this theme park for the day.  Upon entry, Maryn spied the characters and immediately asked for a picture but she wasn't about to do it without mommy!  Pretty sure she talked about them all day!
The boys went off on their own adventure to do big boy things, aka roller coasters, while we girls stuck with the small town rides.  We did manage a trip on the smaller edition of a roller coaster and Maryn got off screaming she wanted to do it again and again and again!  
These two had a was so fun to see the reactions and the smiles!
Lazy Days of Summer
MK and all of her bests!  Chloe and the twins.....
This little love has learned to swim this summer.  She is pictured here with her floatie but most of the time she is full speed ahead in the pool without the floatie addition.  She jumps in without fear and swims to the steps.  Repeat.  
Our China Adoption Friends Picnic
So thankful for these friendships.  Each of them has an amazing story!
And on this day, August 1, 2016, we received our Travel Approval from China to go get Miss Chapman McKensie!!!  We were thrilled and surprised and overwhelmed all in one ball of happiness!  Our girl is coming home soon!  We will have her in our arms Monday, August 29 and we can't wait to start life with her!  So thankful for these friends who helped me celebrate at the pool!
Summer is coming to a quick close.  Our daily life in the Drafts household is going to change immensely.  Our oldest will be dual enrolling - part time at high school, part time in college; our second born will be wrapping up his homeschooling days as an 8th grader; our big girls will be going to "real" school; our Maryn will become a big sister for the first time; and our baby will be adjusting to the biggest, saddest, happiest moments of her life.  We are so thankful for this ride!

Tuesday, August 2, 2016

Happy 4th Birthday Maryn!

Happy Birthday to this sweet girl!  
Four years old has to just about be one of my favorite ages ever!  She is just too sweet, always says thank you and I love you and laughs at the silliest things.  She is full of imagination and ready for every adventure that comes about her way!  To know this little one is to love her!  So very thankful we were chosen to be her family and I love celebrating her life each year!  You are LOVED, Maryn!