Lucy's been eating turkey for awhile now. But no deli meat compares to the Thanksgiving Bird, which happened to be prepared in the deep fryer this year. Mmm. Mmm!
She had a little taste of just about everything.
Her favorite Thanksgiving side? Deviled eggs.
This was some of the best Thanksgiving food I've had in a long time. Perhaps it was helped by having my daughter home. Either way, I just flat out enjoyed my plate of goodness!
Lucy's a big fan of cousins, outside and running, so it didn't take her long to be "all done" and want to enjoy the combination of the three.
My parents have a big 'ol front yard, just right for some toddler leg-stretching. I just love to see her run and giggle.
Ahh. Thanksgiving with our girl. Finally. This one will go down in the books, for sure, as the best yet.
We are just so grateful to not be missing out on these things together anymore. It feels right to have her here. Of course, we had much to be grateful for last year, but there's a hole in your heart when your little one is across the ocean. And to think we didn't even know her face last Thanksgiving. Much has happened to change all that, thanks to the goodness of our Father.
Praise God from whom ALL blessings flow!
*My camera battery died just after this, so I hope to post some video clips of the Lynch cousins, if we can figure out how. Haven't been successful to this point! But she had a crazy good time with them too!
Here we are again with another month down. Really? Yesterday marked three months since we stepped into the delivery room of the Adoption Registry Center of Guangdong Province.
Three months since we shared an incredible moment with 4 other precious families.
I am still processing so much of what happened. What went down that day. How our lives have changed.
Looking back, I've decided that in month one, I was in full shock and survival mode. Not because Lucy was very difficult or struggled with behavior/attachment issues. It was the quite the opposite. She has been an anomaly, as best we can tell. I still can't quite explain all the emotions and feelings that were going on in my heart at that time. Definitely ones of pure joy, relief, amazement. But also ones that I imagine go hand-in-hand with first-time motherhood. A different kind of tired. Raw emotions. Up one minute. Down the next. Physical exhaustion. Emotional exhaustion.
In month two, the fog was starting to lift. A little. I began, well, putting on make-up, trying to go outside for a walk, wearing something other than the striped Columbia shirt that felt so easy and comfortable and familiar. I can never look at that shirt again without thinking of China and our first month together!
Month three has felt like a whirlwind of change and progress. Some moments feel just like China did, but most remind me of how far we've come. For example, we can get her in the car seat without tears or promises of suckers, she's sleeping in her toddler bed for naps and sometimes at night (although she usually ends up with us around 2:00 am), she's way less clingy to mama, and just is all-around doing great. I watch her strut around the house like she owns the place (she kinda does), and am amazed at how it seems as though she's always been here. She treats things as if she's always been here.
There's so much I could go on and on about with this girl. It's not always easy, but I didn't expect it to be and certainly, no one said it would be. But she's a joy. A true gem and I can't believe we get to parent her. What a special gift we have been given.
Half the Sky is especially dear to our hearts since they directly helped care for our little Goose. I am convinced her transition to us has gone so well, thanks in part to someone who was trained in how to care for her appropriately during that critical time.
If you're looking for a way to give this year, namely to some special orphans in China, check out their blogs for the details!
The Lord has used each of these women in our life in some way during our adoption process. Diana from First and Pearl, then 3 Rubies actually looked at Lucy's file and gave us the encouragement we needed when considering the daunting word, "Thalassemia". And Lisa from The Long Road to China offers photography classes online, in which a portion of the proceeds goes to Half the Sky! I'm taking one of her classes now and I have been so helped by it.
Anyway, please, please check out the fundraiser and consider giving in some way!
*I should have some Lucy pics up soon. We've been hanging out at the new local children's museum!
During the long and at-times constantly difficult wait for Lucy, I would search the internet for sources of information, often running across those that were informative, but also inspiring and encouraging.
For those of you already ankle, knee, waist or neck-deep in the adoption community, you probably are aware of most of these. But, if not, they really are worth a read.
My personal favorite is a lady (I am now blessed to call friend), who makes adoption - particularly numerous adoptions - seem doable and downright exciting! Stefanie's faith and obedience have pushed me more times than one to consider how I can do more, not in the name of doing "good works", but out of true obedience to God.
I have also grown so fond of the We are Grafted In blog, dedicated strictly to adoption and foster care. WAGI does a wonderful job pulling together posts from people in the adoption community who the Lord has gifted with the ability to write. The topics range from the true and tough, beautiful and ugly, rewarding and challenging aspects of bringing a child, not-natural born to the parent(s), into a new home.
Then, there's a site that is becoming one I like to check out more and more. Jen is a talented writer, who, for me at least, challenges her audience to think a bit differently at times. I'm liking her style and heart the more I read.
Lastly, there are the many, many families' blogs I enjoy reading and keeping up with. It doesn't take long for me to fall in love with a fellow adoptive family that I've never met! The adoption community is tight-knit, the children precious and the bond strong.
What are some other adoption and foster care sites/blogs you've discovered that are go-to readings? I'm sure I'm missing out!
I'm giddy with excitement for my friends, the Barnetts! They're in China RIGHT NOW, uniting with their precious Grace!
Please check out their blog, pray for them and enjoy Jen's beautiful heart for her new daughter. I'm sure they'd love some encouraging comments too. I know it made such an impact on us while we were far away from home. Whether we knew the people commenting or not, it was a precious thing to read so much love.
As I read what Jen has to say, the feelings come flooding back to me. What an emotional and incredible time! Truly nothing like it.
My dear friend Amy and her little Lydia came to visit for a couple of nights, and joined our Halloween fun.
Lucy's becoming a Dora fan, and seemed pretty impressed with Lydia's trick-or-treat attire. Map, backpack and all.
The night started with taco soup to get us warmed up for the crisp fall evening. Nana and DanDan joined us too and helped pass out candy at our house while we were out and about collecting the goods.
Both girls ended up with a nice stash of candy. Although I'll say the mommies stayed up talking, laughing way too hard and eating way too much candy, one evening in particular :) Hey, we gotta look out for the health of our girls, right?
And if you're wondering what Lucy thought of trick-or-treating, I'd say she thought it was a blast! We really debated whether or not to take her out, thinking all the hoopla could be a bit much for a little one adjusting to a new life, family and culture. But, once again, she jumped in, figured it out and got the hang of it. I'm pretty sure she thought we were just visiting people the first few houses, as she would walk right in and help herself to toys or whatever else might entice a 2-year old. As she learned the ropes, we would leave a house and she would do the sign for "more". It truly made her happy to go around door to door, saying "hi" and filling her pumpkin. What a sweetie.
Our only other outing with Amy and Lydia was the local library's storytime the following morning. The rest of our visit was at home, hanging around, doing what girls do best.
Right before it was time for our friends to leave, Lucy and Lydia decided to start chasing each other around the house, giggling and being silly girls. It was so fun to see them playing together. Makes me wander what it'll be like when they're 7, 8, 9, 10....???
And for the record, Amy and her sweet husband drove all the way from Southport to Raleigh to be at Lucy's homecoming, knowing they wouldn't really get to visit with us, and then drove back the same night (sporting "I Love Lucy" t's, I might add). Wow. We'll never forget the sacrifice they made to be there for one of the most important days of our lives. Thanks, friends. You are tried and true.
Our precious China doll joined our family forever on August 20, 2012, making us a Baba and Mama for the very first time!
Our newest addition - Born 11/2/13
Joined together in 2005, we love life, each other, our family and friends but more importantly, the God we serve and His precious Son. We hope this blog serves as a testament to and thanksgiving for His great love and provision for us. We'd love for you to follow along as we document the rest of our journey with our little loves, Lucy Hope Yamin (AKA Goose!), and now baby H (Hudson Clay). Perhaps, somehow, it will be a blessing to you along the way!