Saturday, August 20, 2011

We love spending time at the zoo.  We have a fairly small zoo but the kids still love it. It is nice because we can buzz over there for an hour or two and see the animals and then we usually hit the park next to it for a picnic.  The kids love seeing how the baby monkeys and rhino have grown.  

We met Eric there one day after work.  I was expecting it to just be another day at the zoo but it was far from that for me.  It has been the first time we were at the zoo since bringing Max home from China.  All  the emotions and feelings came flooding back of the day we spent at the zoo with Max in China.  

As I watched Max at the zoo there were so many different emotions that surfaced.  First it was hard to believe that just six months ago we were in China meeting our son for the first time.  Six Months ago Max was so little and helpless.  I still remember our day at the zoo in China as Max slept through most of our visit on the pack on his daddy.  He had no ability to interact with the world around him.  It was like he was in his little bubble.  He would interact with us and people around us but beyond that he couldn't process or follow anything more than that.  As we fed giraffes up close and personal Max had not comprehension of what was going on around him.  But everything has changed, Max has changed. It was so fun watching his reaction to the animals.  He would squeal and giggle. He would watch the animals every move intently.  I watched Max with tears in my eyes and couldn't help but feel an overwhelming sense of gratefulness for the gift of a son God has given us and we continue to stand in awe of the way that he has blossomed since being home. 

Max loved these little guys! As they would swing around on the ropes he would giggle and giggle! 

He would often stand in amazement and just watch! 

Max joined right in on milking the cow! 

The kids had fun helping him feed the animals at the petting zoo! He wasn't sure what to think about the animals slobbering all over his hand!

The kids loved seeing the baby rhino and the new area that was just built for him!

It is always fun to get a closer look!

Max wasn't sure what to think of sister with rhino ears on! 

Of course our little love bug is always willing to hand out kisses!

What a great day at the zoo, not just another day at the zoo but a day full of new memories with our new little blessing. 

Wednesday, August 17, 2011

A Day To Celebrate

We were so excited when we realized we were going to be with Gordon's, our dear friends we met in China,  on Max's referral anniversary.  What made it super special was that it was also their referral anniversary for Lulu.  We knew we had to celebrate! 

We planned a fun Chinese meal to celebrate the occasion.  

It was actually more like a Chinese feast!  We had orange chicken, shrimp bok choy and ginger garlic vegetables with chow mien noodles. It was so much fun to be together and to be able to celebrate this special day together.

We each took our referral pictures along to take pictures of the kids holding them.
 Lulu sat so sweetly holding her picture and smiling.  

Max on the other hand thought this was a fun game! 

This was about as good as it gets before his picture ended up in the sand! 

We then attempted some pictures of the two of them together.  This was their "cheese" picture. 

Love this one with Max's arm around sweet Lulu!

Just 7 months ago this was the 2 of them looking at each other ....

just look at these cuties now! 

We both feel so blessed for God's gift of a son and daughter.

Just plain sweetness! 

We also took their Chinese formal outfits that we bought for them in China.  It was fun to reminisce about what our referral calls felt like and how we reacted. It also was fun to reminisce about our time in China together and how much they have changed since they wore these outfits for the first time!

They each have a new twinkle in their eyes!

I love this picture of both of them looking at Lulu's referral picture! 

We are blessed! What a special day full of celebration and thankfulness for our little Asian blessings in our families! 

Happy 1 year referral Max and Lulu! You two will always be part of each others story.  I am so thankful that God worked it out for us to be together on this very special day! We celebrate the two of you today! To top it off it is also 7 months today that we held each of you in our arms for the first time! We have a lot to celebrate and that we did! You are loved and have changed our families in such a special way! We can't wait to see what else God has in store for your sweet little lives! 

One Year Ago Today

It is hard to believe that one year ago today we saw Max's face for the first time.  I remember the moment  so vividly.  I remember seeing our social worker's number come up and hearing her voice and her telling us they have a file of a little boy for us from Shandong China. Tears streamed down my face as I called Eric who happened to be minutes away from home.  As he pulled in Max's file was coming in on my computer.  As we opened this picture the tears flowed harder.  This was the face of our son, the little boy that God chose for us to love, to be part of our family.  

Instantly God had given me a love for this little boy that was an ocean away, that I only knew from information and pictures on paper yet a love that was so real and overwhelming.  It is a helpless feeling knowing you have a son and yet you are months away from holding him.  Daily I had to surrender my anxious mommy heart trusting that God was holding our little boy until we could. 

We are so thankful that God's has a plan for Max's life and feel so blessed to be part of it! 

Happy 1 year referral sweet boy! 

Saturday, August 6, 2011

Happy Birthday Little Monkey

When we were in China one of the first things we said was that Max was Mr. Personality and our Curious George! He was into everything hours after having him in our arms.  The kids have totally taken to him being our little monkey so we decided that would be the perfect theme!

We decided to pack all the party stuff up and have the party at my parents house! He have more room for our ever growing family!

  We went for the picnic type food for dinner.  We had chips, BBQ pork sandwiches, chicken salad croissants ....

fresh fruit and veggies.  I had found these cute little tent cards and other printables for his party! I had so much fun pulling his party together.  Party of it is I love doing my kids parties ... it is my creative outlet but for Max I couldn't wait just to celebrate his life and everything he has brought to our family.  

We had a room full of kids.  I think you could call it close to chaotic .... but chaotic fun of course.  When all was said and done I felt like I didn't get a ton of pictures and it was a big of a blur.  It may be due to the fact of all the kids and that I now have 4 to keep tabs on or maybe because it was a party for my little boy that was turning 2.

Max enjoying his birthday dinner!

The girls and I printed these cute little water bottle labels for the water bottles.  We took a variety of those shake up lemonade and crystal light packs.  It worked perfect!  The back of the labels said:

Look at our sweet little birthday boy! 

He thought it was pretty funny to take off his birthday hat when mom was trying to take pictures.

Next it was time for Max to open presents.  As you can see he didn't quite know what to do with it.  He quickly embraced the situation in true Max style and made it into a slide.

With the help form his siblings he quickly realized what you do when opening presents.

After that he had it figured out!

As you can see he had quite the audience and more than enough helpers.

Max loves different textures so these were right up his alley!

He loved his new car ramp too! 

Next it was dessert time.  My friend Kathy shared some of her special recipes and they were a hit! We had banana roasted cupcakes with dark chocolate frosting .....

We also had chocolate chip cupcakes with butter cream frosting.

We couldn't have a monkey party without bananas so we had some chocolate covered bananas on the dessert bar.

And we rounded out the dessert table with some monkey puff aka cream puffs.

Max got his own little cake with Curious George on top! As you can see Max didn't quite know what to do when the cake with candles was in front of him and everyone started singing!  He had help blowing out his candles and then just sat there.  He didn't even try to dig in! 

Eric gave him a lick of frosting and after that is was all over.  He figured out what he was missing.

Now he has it figured out and thinks he is hot stuff!

mmmmmmmmm  ... this is good stuff!

"I am starting to go into a sugar comma, I need a little rest!"

Max decided to let his cousin Bailey in on the fun!

He soon became a little possessive of his cake and the minute Eric would move it between them he would gently nudge back closer to him!  We had a fun day celebrating Max's birthday. His first birthday with his forever family!

Happy Birthday little Monkey! We can't imagine our life with out you! We love you! 

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