Sweet Sixteen

Sweet Sixteen

Wednesday, January 30, 2013

Before and After

We've had strep throat lurking around our house.  Nadia was the first to come down with it last weekend.

 She went from a runny nose on Friday morning to a full blown case of strep by Saturday morning...poor baby. She couldn't keep her hands out of her mouth so anyone who held her during her non-diagnosed, contagious time was highly exposed.

So far, my niece and I have both come down with it as well. :(

All I can say is, "Thank God for antibiotics!"
She is a new person just a few days later as she gets ready to go to school.

"Bye Mom, hope you feel better...take a nap today ok?"  Yes, I will!!!

Praying this one doesn't get it! (I think the four-legged one is immune) Josi and illnesses go together like oil and water...like Republicans and Democrats...like NC State fans and Carolina fans....ok, you get the picture.  Prayers would be appreciated. :) :) :)

Wednesday, January 23, 2013

It's Baaaack...

Hockey that is!

We are a sports loving family, and one of the things we've been missing are our family outings to the Carolina Hurricanes Hockey Games!
(For those of you non-sports people--there was a player lockout, that lasted 116 days, that ended recently once management and players agreed on a new contract...or something like that)

Last night was our first home game!

We dressed in our Hurricanes' Gear and eagerly anticipated leaving to be there in time for the puck drop.
(I know Nadia doesn't look too excited but trust me...she is)

Almost the whole gang is ready...waiting on the eldest and the leader of the pack.
(Nadia's not sure why she has to pose for pictures when we said we were leaving soon)

Josi and Michael, however, are doing their best to pose AND manage the wiggly worm.

"OK, I'm smiling...now can I get down and get in the car?"

"One more?  OK, but that's it puleease!"

"Woo Hoo!  Here we go!  GO CANES!

So we ended up losing...handily...to the Tampa Bay Lightning.  BUT, that's not why we go...although a win is definitely the icing on the cake.

  We love the family memories we are making and also the awareness that is made possible when crowds see our 2 girls out doing what other girls their age might be doing with their families.

  Oh sure, we get some stares and a few double-takes now and then (not often, though), but mostly we get opportunities for a conversation here and there about special needs, adoption, inclusion, etc. and usually lots of smiles when people see our 2 beauties cheering on the CANES like the rest of the fans!  

Just a small, fun way we can espouse the positives of special needs in our little neck of the woods... which is always a Win!

Saturday, January 19, 2013

A Change of Hats!

Remember this little girl in the white hat?

During our visits to the orphanage  getting to know Nadia, she was rarely without this beautiful, eyelet, white hat.

She was quite subdued during most of our visits.  It probably had a lot to do with the heat, but even moreso, I think it's the boredom that came with life in an orphanage where there was little interaction, stimulation, and/or playing in general...like a 2yr. old needs.

Sure, she showed some interest in her surroundings and was engaged at times with us. But she would very quickly go back to that place of being subdued and "into herself" for lack of a better explanation.

We saw sparks of her personality now and then but mostly we saw a sleepy, lethargic "baby" who preferred napping to exploring/playing/learning.

 We had to fight to keep her awake when we took her on stroller rides around the orphanage grounds. (Didn't want to mess up her 2-a day nap schedule for the workers!)

Here is that same little girl 2.5 years later wearing a different hat!

She is SO full of life and has more energy than most 5yr. olds that I know!

She can still be contemplative and quiet at times...but now I attribute it more to those wheels turning inside her head rather than all-out boredom and lethargy.

She has a wide range of moods and personality traits that have blossomed in the last few years.

She is surrounded by love, learning, and she is moving along at her own pace.

She has gone from wearing the hat of an orphan to that of a beloved member in our family.
And THAT change of hats makes all the difference in the world in the life of a child.

There are MANY (too many) newly listed children on Reece's Rainbow who also need a change in 2013. Will you be that family to make the difference in the life of one of those children? 
Would you consider popping onto the website and consider what your role might be in changing the life of a child? There are many families out there whose only roadblock to adopting is the financial end of things.  They are more than willing to bring a special needs child into their family--the desire is there! Please consider putting whatever amount you are able into the account of one or more of these children so they too can be home posing (somewhat reluctantly :)) for a photo shoot with their new Mom or Dad!

Tuesday, January 1, 2013

Quote for 2013

I want my life in 2013 to be an illustration of this quote that I've always loved:

“Live your life in such a way that when your feet hit the floor in the morning, Satan shudders and says, “Oh no, she’s awake.” –unknown

I'm tired of living my life as a somewhat lukewarm Christian who:

-- is either acting/feeling more or less Christ-like depending on the circumstances I'm going through.

-- tends to blame others for my anger and lack of patience or otherwise un-Christ-like behavior.

-- tends to question why things happen rather than trusting that God's got my back AND has an ultimate glorious plan, regardless of the pain I may be experiencing in the here and now.

--wants God's blessings to be in the form of comfort and ease.

--takes control of things because releasing the outcome may mean things not working out the way I want them to.

God has taught me a lot in 2012 about my lack of trust that leads to lack of contentment in my life.  It's easy to trust God and to espouse His goodness to others when things are going well.  But when trials come that knock you off your feet and you come face to face with your faith, you have to make sure that what you believe to be real is really what you believe.

I spent a lot of 2012 face to face with my faith and what I discovered was this gap between my heart and my head of what I knew to be true about God, and my faith in His goodness and plan for my life. I knew His promises to be true, but I didn't feel as though they always applied to me as I went through hardships. 

So because of that gap, I've purposed to spend my quiet time in 2013 scouring the Bible for what it says about God's character and what it says about God's promises.  In doing so, I hope to be more aware of the many, many blessings God places in my life...whether in the form of wonderful things or things I wouldn't deem wonderful if looking at them through my own lense.

I pray that whatever God has laid on your heart for 2013 that you too would give Satan reason to shudder when your feet hit the floor in the morning.  I certainly don't want to give Satan a reason to sit back and relax this year...do you???

Happy New Year!!