Sweet Sixteen

Sweet Sixteen

Friday, December 24, 2010

Don't Look Now...

...But Someone...

...Who is hiding behind her veil...

...Will be celebrating Her First Christmas with Her Family tomorrow!
Not only will she experience treats she's never had before...

Or the joy she has never felt,

Or the laughter she's never known,

She'll be given one of the best gifts we can give one another...the unconditional love of a family whose desire is to serve God and raise our children to do the same.
I'd say we all have something to look forward to tomorrow morning as we unwrap the gift of another year of being together as a family and being able to share that gift with someone we didn't even know existed last Christmas.

Merry Christmas to all of you!

Sunday, December 19, 2010

Nadia's Birthday Celebration-Part 3

Nadia was celebrated and sung to by our small group, was taken out to dinner by her family, and was promised a birthday party to wrap up her 3-part birthday celebration.  However, when the mom got sick, everything that was supposed to happen last weekend got cancelled or put on hold.  Quite frankly, I was feeling so badly that I was leaning more toward cancelling the party rather than postponing it...

 But then I looked at this face and remembered that she has 2yrs. of NOT celebrating her birthday to make up for! 
So...Let's Get This Party Started!!!

We rescheduled, made sure all of the party guests could still attend, got the girls dressed in their matching outfits, ordered a cake instead of making one, and voila...Nadia's party was ready to begin!

Some of you out there who are in their late 40s and mid-50s like Jim and I are might have some trouble coming up with friends who have toddlers to invite to your toddler's party, but thankfully we have a diverse group of friends who are still having children either biologically or through adoption...so Nadia's guest list included 4 sweet friends.

One of whom is cutie-pie Milana who was also recently adopted from Ukraine and only lives 4 blocks away from us!  Josi loves Milana... and her sisters and Momma have become good friends of ours too.

Before the rest of the party guests arrived, Nadia decided to make up her own game...

...I think it's called "Crib Diving".  

She was actually reaching for the shape blocks inside of the crib and kind of fell in (the first time).

She thought it was such fun that she ended up trying it again...and again.

Then more friends arrived.  Atley and her Mommy have been praying since this past January for Nadia to come home to our family so Nadia holds a special place in their hearts. It's amazing to see how God has used our adoption to plant seeds even in the youngest of hearts like little Atley who is now praying for other orhans to find families as well. 

The "theme" of Nadia's party was ornaments so all of the girls got to decorate an ornament to hang on their tree.   The girls also received a Reece's Rainbow ornament so they can be praying specifically for an orphan who needs a family.  (It's not too late to donate to the RR Christmas AngelTree Fund.  Just click on this link and help one or more orphans in this very important way).

This is Kate's 2nd Christmas with her family after being adopted from Guatemala.

Nadia got some help with her ornament from big brother Michael, and cousin Jessica. (The brown theme wasn't planned but it kind of works doesn't it?) :)

Milana's working hard on getting those sequins glued on.

Atley proudly shows her beautiful Christmas tree ornament.

Allen was put on baby rocking duty and although it doesn't look it, sitting on the couch occasionally rocking the car seat was much more of his 'thing' than helping with the craft.

Nadia still doesn't get the blowing out the candle part of all of this...

...but she sure has the smashing/eating part down just fine!

Guess this part comes naturally to all children!

This is Bella, our God-daughter (whose baby sister Allen was rocking).
I think her green lips go quite well with her pink bow and polka dots!

Kate is the only one who missed the class on 'getting messy' while eating cupcakes. I'm sure her mom is glad she was absent that day. ha ha

This is the best shot I could get of the party crowd, which considering they are all between the ages of 2 and 4, is pretty darn good after all!

My Dad asked me how much I thought Nadia 'got' of this being her birthday celebration. I'm not sure of the answer to that.  She still doesn't seem to completely 'know' that we are her mommy, daddy, sister and brothers, BUT based on the blossoming we see each day, I believe she is definitely 'getting' how much we love her and that she is safe and taken care of. 
The important thing is that we get to celebrate with her and that we keep giving her every opportunity to understand how special and loved she is.

Happy Birthday Nadia Irina Ferguson!!!

Tuesday, December 7, 2010

Nadia Turns 3!!!

For Nadia's 1st birthday celebration with us, we're making sure she understands how  big a deal birthdays are in the Ferguson Family!

Her 3-part celebration began with our small group on Sunday night. We had the kids all stand around Nadia as we sang to her.  She wasn't quite sure what all the hub-bub was about and her sister, Josi, blew the candle out before Nadia even had a chance to figure that part out...

...but when it came to the cake part of this birthday deal, this little one had a ball.
She started out a little tentative (all 2 seconds of it that is)...

 ...Then she kind of started finger-painting with the icing until I finally put her hands up to her mouth so she could taste what she was smearing.

"Ahhhh!  So that's what this is all about...yummy!"

We let her continue to smear and shove cake in her mouth until it was pretty much all gone.
I think she's trying to tell me that she's not done yet and that if I touch her plate she might have to bite my hand! Priceless Nadia Expression for sure!

The end product was one messy, happy, sugar-filled little girl...just the way it should be on your birthday!

Today, for her actual birthday, we decided to celebrate both of the birthday girls (mine is tomorrow) by going out for dinner.
Momma gets an early birthday kiss from today's birthday princess!

We're kind of liking this getting dressed up and heading out to eat celebration thing!

One precious little girl 'steppin' out' with her Daddy!

Having some silly time before the food comes to the table.

Not just the little one is silly at restaurants.

Time for another round of "Happy Birthday" and another cake!

"Hmmm...I could get used to this cake thing that keeps happening!"

I'm with you on that one Nadia. I'm going to eat my fill too!

I never get my fill, however, of loving on and being loved by this special little girl.
She is such a gift to our family and I'm so thrilled that she doesn't have to spend another birthday without a family.  I told everyone at dinner tonight that last year at this time, Nadia was just a whisper in our hearts. This year she is sitting at the same table with us and eating lots of cake! :)

Nadia still has one more birthday celebration to look forward to.  Her very first birthday party with little girl party guests, games, more cake, and all the trimmings will happen on Saturday. 

Happy  Birthday to our beautiful 3yr old! 

Monday, December 6, 2010

Snow? In NC???

This doesn't happen too often  down here in the sunny South and especially NOT before most of the Northeast gets their first snow of the year...

But this past Saturday we got a nice little dusting that was perfect for a little Ukrainian girl to experience her 'first' snow.

Although I know that it snows TONS where Nadia is from, I also know that this girl has never once set foot out into the glorious white stuff from above!

She knew exactly what to do, though, and started reaching up to catch her first ever snowflake.

You got it sweetie!

And there are lots more where that one came from-whoopee!!

Trying out her 'snow legs'. 
She had a ball and I couldn't help but experience a bittersweet moment that she got to enjoy something so child-like, simple, and fun...but knowing that many in her orphanage will never do things like this that we take for granted for our own children.

Nadia had so much fun that when I told her it was time to come in she started signing "more please". 
This Northern transplant Momma will definitely be praying for MORE SNOW this year and more child-like memories for this little one.

Friday, December 3, 2010

Special Visitors

When we were in Ukraine we got to meet a missionary who is also a friend of my parents.  I wrote about it here

He is currently back in the States for his furlough and wouldn't you know, we had a chance to meet up with him while we were in PA.

Here is a picture of Nadia and Ken Sears on her 'Gotcha Day'.  We were leaving that evening for the train ride back to Kiev but we had just enough time for Ken to stop by the hotel in Zaporozhye and meet the newest Ferguson.

Five months later, Ken gets to see how much Nadia has blossomed.

What Ken remembers most about Nadia in his brief visit in the hotel room was her fascination with the air blowing from the air conditioner. (If you don't remember, Ukraine was experiencing it's worst heat wave in over 80yrs. while we were there, so she was LOVING the cool air after the hot stuffy air at the orphanage.) 

Now she's all about fun and games with her good buddy Ken. :)

We had a great time catching up with Ken and marvelling again at this very unique connection God gave our family.  Ken will be heading back to Ukraine in early January, so if you think of it, please pray for the ministry he is providing in a country that is steeped in religious tradition instead of experiencing a life-giving relationship with a living Lord.

One final hug good-bye.

This next special visitor is one of my dearest friends, Sue Cotton. She just happened to move to the West Coast shortly after we arrived home with Nadia, so she's only 'seen' Nadia in blog pictures. Sue is the adoptive mom of 5 kiddos so our journey to Nadia held a special place in her heart.

She flew into Raleigh for a weekend with family and ME, and of course to meet Nadia. They shared lots of hugs and giggles as we caught up over hot mugs of tea.
Tomorrow I get to spend most of the day with Sue as we celebrate our birthdays and our friendship...just the Moms!  I can hardly wait!!!