Wednesday, November 14, 2012

Our One Year Referraliversary!!

It's hard to believe, but it was exactly one year ago today {November 14th, 2011} that we got the call we had been waiting for and saw our son's sweet face for the first time.

My, how our little man has changed in the last year!

We have been through so much as a family this last year, from crying out to God for answers as to why it was so hard to get our son home, to exhilaration over getting good news about our case, to holding our son for the first time, to uniting our family forever.  

Some of the most wonderful, exciting days of our lives have taken place since that phone call last November {seeing Bek's face for the first time, the call to inform us of our court date, meeting/holding Bek for the first time, driving away from the House of Hope with Bek in our arms for good, walking off the plane and introducing our three kids} and we've gone through some of the most difficult tests of faith in this last year {the day we realized that our court date wouldn't be assigned until five months after our referral, not passing court, leaving our baby in Ethiopia while we came home}.  

And yet, through it all, God was so so faithful.  We are forever changed and we are so grateful!

Monday, November 5, 2012

Little Dragon Turns 19 Months Old

Once upon a time there was a dragon...

He was a very loved little dragon...

Two of the people in his life who loved him the most were his sister, the Princess...

and his brother, the Ninja.

They were very protective of him and were so happy because they had prayed for him to come home from a land far away.

Finally, he had been home for four months and was 19 months old and they were so proud of all the things he had accomplished in such a short amount of time.

Things like...
Saying tons of words, including many phrases like: Brush your teeth, Love You, Night Night Bubba, Bye-Bye Sissy, There you go and Thank you
Singing (his favorite: Your Backyard friends, the backyardigans)
RUNNING (no more taking his time to go anywhere)
Cutting teeth (eight total, four in the front and four molars)
Drinking from any sippy cup (no more bottle)
Using the big boy potty (sometimes)
Following multi-step instructions
Showing signs of secure attachment (initiating hugs and kisses, looking to mommy and daddy for comfort, making sure he always knows where mommy and daddy are)
Recognizing extended family members and calling them by name

It's hard to believe little dragon has been home for four months and even more difficult to believe that he's on the fast-track to turning two, but, boy, do we feel blessed.

We thank God for Little Dragon every day!

Sunday, November 4, 2012

Orphan Sunday


Today is Orphan Sunday, a day that is so important to our family.  I've told this story before, but I believe it is worth telling again...

It was Orphan Sunday 2009.  Camden was ill, so he and I stayed home while Trevor and Melia went to church.  When they returned home, we were getting lunch ready and he mentioned to me the number of adopted children in our church.  A seed had been planted in my sweet husband's heart that day, a seed that God began to plant through several mounting events in the previous years.

Today I am thankful for so many things:

1. That families in our church had been obedient to call for orphans through adoption to show us what that looked like for a family
2. That God led us to a church full of orphan-caring and God-fearing Christians
3. That our second child had been so difficult his first year, snuffing out our desire to birth another child so that we could be sensitive to His desire for our family to adopt
4. That Trevor was open to God's call to adoption
5. That God placed just the right people in our lives at just the right time to steer us toward Ethiopia
6. That God's hand was so apparent in our entire process, just as it is so apparent in our family as we live life together today

My prayer for you this Orphan Sunday, friends, is that you will be open to God's call to care for orphans, whether that is adopting children into your family, blessing an adopting family financially, fostering children in your community who need the love of a family (and who need to know the love of Christ), participating in an orphan-hosting program over Christmas or Summer, participating in a mission trip at an orphanage or financially supporting someone who is going, supporting or starting an orphan care ministry in your church, sponsoring an orphan through a program such as Compassion International...the ways you can fulfill God's command in James 1:27 are truly endless.

What is God calling YOU to do for His children today?

Saturday, October 20, 2012

Fall Fun 2012

This October has been a little less hectic for us than years past in terms of busyness on the weekends.  Part of this is purposeful...with three kiddos, we HAVE to take a day or two each week and catch our breath.  Additionally, after a full-throttle entrance back into the working world, I realized that not enough time and effort was being put into our little guy and ensuring that his connection to us was remaining secure.  Don't get me wrong...things are going great!  I just don't want to look back in a year and wonder what we should have done differently to ensure his secure attachment.

I also have to give some serious props to my awesome hubby!  His job is quite demanding and he works a lot of hours, but he has been so amazing to recognize when I need him and to make our family his priority.  Case in point, Bek hates going to Camden's swim team practice...I mean HATES it.  He pretty much screams and cries the full 45 minutes when he has to go.  SO, Trev has made a huge effort to be home in time to stay with Bek and Melia, which makes our night 100% more smooth.  Amazing.  {Sorry, ladies, he's taken! ;) }

Well, this weekend, Trev had an opportunity to go camping with a couple of his buddies, so I decided to really single-mom it up.  Oh, friends...I am not made for it.  To those of you who do it on a daily basis, you have my utmost admiration...single parenting is not for the faint of heart!  It was a good day, but I am EXHAUSTED and ready for bed and it's only 8:30. :)  I was able to take some great Fall pictures of us with the friends and cousins that we got to hang out with today and wanted to post them for you to enjoy...

Maple Leaf Parade

Bek and his cousin, Bree, sharing a snack at the parade 

Melia and her cousin, Karissa who got to spend the whole day with us! :)

Protective of her cousin

My kids are so blessed to have LOTS of cousins and friends!

Those faces!

Pumpkin Patch

In the "Corn Crib"

This is how he watched most of the festivities

Just a few of the kids in our Inter Country Adopt Joplin blessed to have so many people with a love for adoption in our lives.:)

Sweet cousins with amazing glad God allowed them both to be "grafted in" to our blessed!

My sister, Lindsey, and three of her them!

Bek and his friend, Maleeya {discussing the sandwich, perhaps?}


One sleepy baby

The petting zoo

Happy Fall, friends!

Sunday, September 30, 2012

Still Alive!

You remember that Aretha Franklin song "I Will Survive"?  Yes, it was LONG before my time, but it has been droning in my head for the entire month of September.

Now, don't get me wrong...we have had a TON of fun this last month, but I largely underestimated the difficulty of the transition back to work and to our overly busy lives.  Getting five people up and out the door before 7:30 each morning, delivering each kid to their respective classrooms {and meeting the no-tear goal}, being gone all day at school, getting home in time to leave again for swim or dance lessons, fitting in dinner, getting three kids bathed, getting homework {and housework} done, making lunch for the next day, setting out the next day's clothes, and getting the kids to bed has left me pretty exhausted every day.  However, I am so grateful and my heart is so full.  The first two weeks left me in tears pretty much every day, but we have hit a stride these last couple of weeks and friends, I think we're going to survive!

We have really tried to do some fun things as a family on the weekends and, looking back over the pictures, I think we've succeeded. :)  So, to make up for all the weeks with no blog posts or pictures, here is a look back at September with the Chases...

Labor Day Weekend Camping

The big kids with friends and cousins

Granny and Bek

Melia's second attempt at skiing...

School Time

Cam's sweet teacher sent me this picture...all she wanted to do was teach him a simple word!

A Visit from Friends

Bek and his buddy, Levi 

So thankful for my friend, Sarah Habuda

Saturday Soccer Game with Daddy

Our Trip to St. Louis

So delicious!!

Reunited buddies...Yoseph and Bek

Can't fit much more cuteness in one picture!

The whole gang...the Krammels, the Stricklands, us, and the Gourleys

Our first glimpse at the Arch...

Scavenger hunt at the arch museum {each kid received a "Junior Ranger" badge for completion}

A Bad Ouchie