On the day we met (Aug. 17, 2015)
It seems so long ago that we traveled to China, but the memories are crystal clear. Riding the hotel elevator downstairs to meet our group was an anxious time. So much so that we were on time! And then spying Stella as she walked in the civil affairs office was like seeing a celebrity. We had only seen pictures and read a few words about her. We had talked about her to others, yet we didn't even know her. And then there she was physically standing in front of us. From that first moment, the adventure was on...
Ready to tackle the world
Stella is kind.
Stella is smart.
Stella is funny.
Stella is eager to learn.
Stella is confident.
Stella is loved.
Parenting, in general, is both challenging and rewarding. That stands very true in adoption, especially when I feel like we've had to undo things that were done in the orphanage and address some things that might have been ignored. Stella has come so far! This girl's adventurous side has exploded. She climbs and explores. She gets dirty without a care. She tackles new challenges. She wants to learn. She tells jokes. We are thankful that God put our family together the way He did...only He could make something this wonderful and entertaining!!! We love you, Stella!
This is now!
She's super excited to
wear her new Liberty shirt!
In Other News...the Beach
We had a fun trip to the beach with SuSu and Big Joe! We were spoiled with a beautiful house just feet from the beach. We would all be ok if SuSu and Big Joe bought a beach house. In fact, after last summer's trip, Stella assumed they already had their very own beach house.
The beach is good for the soul.
The kids always enjoy time with SuSu and Big Joe!
She is in her happy place. Stella could play in the sand
for day. In fact, that's what she did!
Samuel + Stick = Happiness
Look what washed ashore!
School Days are Back
Joey started 3rd grade this week! He has a great group of friends in class, both new and old. Joey seems to roll with it no matter the teacher. He is also happy to report when other students have irritated the teacher too. He will make a great hall monitor one day! Daddy came to school and walked Joey to his first day. No tears, no visible emotions...just 2 dudes walking to class!
Stella has been talking for weeks about starting school. We couldn't count down the days fast enough for her. And wow did she hop out of bed Tuesday morning when I reminded her that it was the first day of school. Daddy was able to be home Tuesday morning so that we could all walk to kinder together. She walked in like she had been there a thousand times before. She had actually been in the same classroom this summer for some tutoring, so the familiarity was good for her. Even on the first day, she started learning the rules and the reward for following those rules. She did express some frustration (maybe even disgust) that she didn't learn to spell any words on the first day of school. Slow down, Sister, you can't learn it all on the first day!
Samuel is our sensitive, uncertain one. After meeting his teacher last week, he was somewhat comfortable on the first day. He walked in and took his lunch out of his backpack. Unfortunately, within 5-10 minutes, he was in tears. Loud crying, crocodile tears. I heard him from the hall. His teacher reported that he was tearful during the day, but calmed quickly. Samuel is not one to hide his tears either. He shared about his sadness when he got home. Day 2 was much better. Once we made it to his class, he tapped his teacher on the leg and waved to her without any prompting. And then he flashed a big smile as he turned to go into class.
This year is off to a good start. Now, we'll get the new puppy trained and wait for the home remodel to be completed. There's always a new adventure!!!