Saturday, December 10, 2011

Our Family Christmas Card

Well this year was eventful to say the least! Greetings to all who received our Christmas card or are just stopping by for an update.

This year (like in past years here, here, here, here, and here) we decided to give you the scoop on each other, but we also let the kids fill you in on what they thought you should know. We asked them each what they wanted people to know about their past year:

Baby Girl (4 1/2)
"I love Bubba and Mimi and I am excited about Christmas." She also says she misses the white house (see move details below:) but she likes the "hope street house". "I also like cupcakes, dancing, ornaments, and presents under the tree, and counting" (she could not count or know to start with "1" when she first came)...we love and are proud of her sweet counting too :).

Mimi (2 1/2)
Eryn: "Do you want to talk about what you have liked this year?"
Mimi: "Ummm..... Yeah!" Then she waddles/runs into the living room and says the following things she likes. "Dance"- we dance alot after dinner time in the living room. Occasionally we will also partake of a ring-a-round-the-rosey and then all fall down, otherwise referred to as "ring roun". She also mentions "kikecream" (ice cream), "pee party" (having tea parties with mommy and baby girl in which she usually spills more of her thimble size tea cup than drinks it).
Then I thought she was done; however, she came back in for a second round.
Mimi: "Eat, eat".
Eryn: "Oh, yes I know you like to eat eat a lot! I will let them know".
Mimi: "And Daddy, Mommy, Bubb Bubbee, Awisha (baby girl)....bye bye Mommy"
Still not done, she came back in about 40 more times of making sure I knew she liked to "eat eat" :)

Eryn: "Bubba, what did you like about this year?"
Bubee: "Ehh, ehh (which means yes and no, probably no in this case), and then he said "bideo peeese" (translation: video please because I see you are near the TV :). That boy loves his Baby Einstein videos!

Eryn (written by David)
Eryn has had a great year. She has continued to counsel clients and her practice has grown (at least up until the time we got the kids). She is a great mom- Eryn is very patient and loving, but also firm when she needs to be. She is really able to get to the root of what is going on with the children. Here is an example of a conversation we might have: "Well David, Baby Girl is probably feeling sad that she cannot be with her mom (bio-mother), happy that she is with us, mad that she cannot control her situation, worried because she doesn't know what will happen next, responsible for her brother and sister, apprehensive about her life in general, and worried that we will not be pleased with her." To which I reply, "Hmm, I just thought she was being ornery"! The kids are all pretty good eaters, mostly thanks to Eryn's creative and healthy cooking. She is very ambitious and brave (as far as I'm concerned) when it comes to taking on tasks with the three little ones. Example: "David, I think I'm going to take all three of the kids to a birthday party an hour away at which they can eat nothing because of their allergies and which would fall squarely during their nap time." That's the kind of thing she does regularly because it's good for the kids, but for which I would rather go grocery shopping than undertake (that's saying a lot for me!).

David (written by Eryn)
After 6 Christmases, I am still so happy to be married to this guy! David is a wonderful, loving, firm, playful father and the kids really love him. It has been kind of a bummer, but lately Bubee has been saying, "Dadddeeeee" more- which means he wants the ole Dad more than Mom sometimes. Maybe it's because he knows that Dad will wrestle with him and Mom is quite frankly just not very good at it :) David is very creative with his parenting and it has really benefited all of them, especially Baby Girl. She didn't seem to have a concept of what a father figure was at first so David began playing Ariel/ the Little Mermaid with her where he would be King Triton and she would be Ariel. She really responded well to that and began to work out the role of a "dad" through her play with him. She adores him!
David continues to excel in school and he will start adjusting folks in the student clinic really soon. I'm excited to have my own personal chiropractor :)

On Everything Else
The kids are doing great. We are so proud of the improvements they have made over the past couple of months. Although most of those improvements are to the Lord's credit and not ours, we are very proud of them. Baby Girl (4) has both grown up and grown "down" so much since we first got her. She has grown up in that she is more settled, more helpful, has learned a years worth of information in the last two months, and can regulate her emotions better. She is flying through the phases that she missed in her earlier years. She is growing down in that she is less "hard" and visibly feels less responsible for her brother and sister. Mimi has perhaps changed the most, which is saying a lot. She is a much happier little girl and although she has her two year old moments, she is very pleasant to be around. We would now classify her as "well-adjusted" little girl who instead of throwing a fit and pulling out her hair will give a typical two-year-old response of "Duhdee, I'ont want too" :) Bubee is perhaps the happiest kid that we have encountered. He seems to weather things well. He is active and loves (LOVES) to sing! He is much more active (and interactive) since we took him a couple of times to a great Pediatric Chiropractor who helped him with a neck issue. (Had to throw in a plug for the chiropractic profession :) He has learned the word "Mommeeee" and "Dadeeeee" and will say it 100 times as long as we respond with some form of "Yes". Sometimes it's a game we play to see how long he will say it.

Everything else is also going well. Not only did we take in three kids in September, we also moved a couple weeks later in October. Many thanks to Eryn's family for helping out with the massive undertaking of moving with three kids. The kids also loved the garden at "the white house" (old house) which we did again this year (like last) for which I will spare you the numbers, but our crop produced more yield than last. We were sad to leave that behind at our new house. We hope to start one here in our new home this Spring. We love our neighborhood and the kids have other children around to play with. We have had a rough year, but in a good way. The transition from zero to three children has been tough to say the least, but we have not regretted a single minute of having these babies in our home. We cannot imagine ever loving any children more than we love them, nor did we know we were capable of loving little people who we hardly know this much. We are getting to know them better and know more of what they need each day and God has given us a ton of grace through the whole year from before we had them to now as we are parenting.

Hope you all are well and have a wonderful Christmas season!
Love, David, Eryn, Baby Girl, Mimi, and Bubee

If you want updates on our adoption/ foster care timeline or other stories here are some more links to other blog posts:
Why we chose to adopt through the foster system
Our Adoption Decision Journey
The first Two Months
Funny Things about the Kids