Wednesday, February 25, 2009

Christmas Morning 2008

Hope asked for cows, pigs, and a big baby for Christmas...she was a bit excited when she found this cute pig in her stocking!!

Christmas Morning with Hope was so much fun. Everyone wanted to be around when Hope woke up to the surprises waiting for her under the tree. It was a wonderful time. She was a bit slow getting started but soon made up for that. We are so very thankful for her.

Thursday, February 19, 2009

The Christmas Wedding

Hope was asked to be the flower girl in a beautiful Christmas Wedding in December. Amanda and Matthew a precious couple from our church fell in love with Hope and wanted to share this special day with her. She was not the most cooperative flower girl ever ... but sweet Amanda said from the beginning "I don't care if you have to carry her down the aisle I just want her to be our flower girl" Well we did not have to carry her down the aisle but Ronnie did have to escort her down the aisle and then he had to carry her off the platform when she wanted to SIT right where the bride was supposed to stand. It was a beautiful precious wedding and we were so pleased that they wanted our little Hopie to be a part of it.

Best Wishes Matthew and Amanda...Thank you for letting Hope and her family share in this wonderful day.

Below are a few pictures of the reheresal, beautiful wedding, and reception.

This is where Hope was supposed to stand. ( note the cute little romper Hope is wearing I bought it from Jennifer at My Adoption Website )

She put on quite a show at the had us a little worried...we did not want her to do that during the wedding...

She managed to drop more petals at the rehersal than at the wedding.

This is where the Bride is supposed to stand Hope! ( photo actually taken before the wedding but she went right back there to sit after dropping petals and the crowd loved it...

Now at the reception...we let her have some fun!!

Decorations at the Wedding and the reception were absolutely beautiful. Amanda was even more beautiful...
Sort of dancing with dad...

Friday, February 13, 2009

Christmas 2008

A China Hope Christmas...

This was such a special Christmas for our family. Last year we had a picture of Hope and were thrilled but she was still in China. This year was WONDERFUL. Hope enjoyed everthing about Christmas. She was in a Christmas wedding...a Christmas program at church...loved the shopping and wrapping...I think her favorite thing was the singing (well maybe after the presents)...she loved learning about Baby Jesus...spending time with sum it all up this month was one continuous time of joy and thankfulness for this family who has been blessed beyond our wildest dreams by a daughter who had never known the love of a family before. Thank you Jesus for Christmas...and for this precious gift of Hope Marie...and for the miracle of our newest grandaughter Audrey Elizabeth who arrived the day after Christmas.

Watch for more pictures and more details about each event from this Special China Hope Christmas.

Friday, February 6, 2009

Are You Happy?

Hope, Mom, and Odell on Odell's Birthday

Sunnie and Hope at Chili's After Church

Sunnie Is A Blessing to Hope

“Are you happy”? Hope asks me this usually within a few minutes after I have had to reprimand her for something. Right after she says “I’m sorry”, “I didn’t mean to”, or “I won’t do again, I promise”, with a bright, imploring little smile she asks, “Are you happy”?

Every day our hearts are touched by the multitude of little idiosyncrasies that living the first three years of her life in an orphanage has left Hope with. I want to hug her and tell her, and drill it into her psyche that it is not her job to make us happy. And that our disciplining of her in no way lessens our love and devotion to her. She is too young to understand that so I tell her, “It doesn’t matter if I’m happy, I will always love you. Even when I am sad because you have disobeyed, I will always love you.”

Now that Hope is getting more command of the English language she is beginning to voice some fears and worries that I suppose were there all the time. It may be also, that these worries are surfacing as she is getting over the trauma of leaving all that she had ever known and coming into a new culture, a new home, and family.

Often, out of the blue, she will say, “Momma gon’ leave me, Daddy gon’ leave me.” This is our cue to say, “No! No way! We will never leave our Hopie” and give her a big hug. She is then satisfied and we may not hear her say that for another day or two.

When we sit down to eat she will say, “Are you gon’ eat all that”, pointing to the noodles, or the chicken or something that she likes. We respond, “No, we’re just eating part of it”. Her next phrase is, “Save me some, save me whole, whole bunch.”

The vast majority of the time Hope is overflowing with joy and happiness. She loves play of all sorts. For a while it was her barn, farm animals, trucks and trailers. Now it is her babies, a collection of about six assorted baby dolls that she mothers and sometimes fathers. She will put them in her baby stroller which she has had me tie to her tricycle and transport them to school, to Walmart, etc.

She loves role playing and oftentimes she is “Daddy”, I am “Baby” or “Momma”, and Becky is “Grandma”. Becky is getting tired of being “Grandma”. Hope will sometimes act out in play some event that happened recently, including where the babies commit an offense that causes her to put them in timeout. She sets the imaginary timer and the baby has to sit on the couch until the timer dings a few seconds later.

I could go on and on, but time doesn’t permit. We share some of these things to record for our benefit and for the benefit of friends in the blogosphere who are working on adoption whether internationally or in country. These are things that you might have experienced or might prepare for. Words cannot express the joy that has come to us in this process. We wish that every orphan could experience adoption and that every family could know the joy that comes to those who are privileged to be an adoptive family.