Monday, March 07, 2011

Spring is almost here!!!! I can hardly stand it. The anticipation of warmer weather, rain boots, umbrellas, puddle jumping, park playing, picnic eating is just SO close!!! I have never in my life looked so forward to getting out of winter. The walls have been closing in and we are feeling the effects. Come on warm weather, we need you!!

The kids have been doing very well (and so have I). In fact, much much better. There seems to be a 6 month "tread water and survive" period when you add a child to your family. And we were right at 6 months when I no longer felt that "get up and survive the day". 6 months is a loooong time to feel that way - especially through 3 surgeries and a cold, long winter. But, by the grace of God, we made it and I am looking forward to this next chapter. 

Nate is doing very well in school. He loves math and spelling the best- and they seem to come the easiest to him. We hardly have to go over his math instructions or spend much time on his spelling words- he just really enjoys those 2 subjects. All the other ones, well, we take it day by day and make our way through the homework. He finishes up his winter soccer season this Saturday and begins baseball on Sunday!!! He can't wait for his first season in machine pitch. 

Naomi has started a 6 week intervention preschool program. Basically, in order for her to qualify to enter our public preschool (eith therapy) she has to complete this 6 week period. We are about halfway through then she will hopefully join Norah at her school. Currently all 3 kids are in 3 schools, one all day, one morning and one afternoon. It's a little hectic and but they all seem to enjoy their time at school then their time with me.

Norah is loving her preschool. Her teacher is awesome - fresh out of school and eager to be a good teacher. Her speech therapist is straight from heaven - though she is only suppose to see her twice a week for 25 minutes each, she sees Norah everyday and always has great things to say about her improvement. We really are impressed with his far Norah has come. Last week she learned her "N" sound and is almost able to blow through her mouth (air flow is very difficult to learn after a pallet surgery)  it's also hard to teach so we are thankful and very reliant on our therapists.

Joel is in the midst of training for a half marathon!!! 13.1 miles baby. That's a long run!!! If anybody can do it, I KNOW he can and we are so proud of him. Can't wait to see him at the finish line.

I am faithfully (anxiously) stepping out of my comfort zone and starting the training for a full marathon on October. We are raising money for Naomi's Fund - to help bring more orphans home to their forever families. 26.2 miles is a long way. Training is vigorous. It will be hard. I know that, only by the grace of God, I can finish it. Amen and amen.

Monday, February 14, 2011

Our Sweet Sweet Norah Lei is 3!!!!

Where to begin, seeing as I have left this blog far behind the daily happenings of our lives. Needless to say, we have been so busy and I have felt overwhelmed for the past 6 months - adjusting to 3 children, Joel's fall football schedule, 3 surgeries for the girls, Nate's first grade year....need I continue?? However, I do feel as though I am no longer treading water. I feel like life is slowly catching back up and I have some things back under wraps. Not that I expected life to simply be as it was before we traveled to get our Norah lei - but the change did catch me rather off guard and, 6 months later, I am climbing out of the thick of it :)

Norah turned 3 last Wednesday!!! I totally missed posting about it on the actual day - we had a very busy week last week as we prepared her to exit our First Steps speech program and enter our public school IEP program. Literally she started preschool on her birthday - which was fabulous cause she did not miss a beat in regards to therapy, but it meant a lot of paper chasing for me as I signed off on her previous therapy and into her current routine. But it was all worth it - the nerves and sleepless night I had before she started. I was SO nervous!!!! She did great and has now gone 3 days and walks right in, hangs up her back pack and starts to play. Her teacher seems fabulous and Norah really likes her, so I am counting my blessings and now praying that Naomi gets into the program. We'll find out in a few days when she gets assessed for speech and OT. 

Until last week, our family had made it 6 months with no illness!!! Talk about a miracle!!! We all got the nasty cold, cough, etc virus that seems to be going around. It was/is no fun, but truly we are so thankful to have made the fall and most of winter with our health. Norah's palate is healing beautifully. So far, no perforations and she is back to eating normal. She attempted to blow out her birthday candles - I sat and held my breath in hopes that she could do it. But, alas, she blew them out with her nose - but that's OK cause she has come SO far and we'll get there in time. Air flow is difficult to control for children with palate repairs - we are teaching her the best way we know how. She'll get there!!

Naomi is adjusting well, seeing as she is the only one not loading up a backpack each morning. She really wants to go to school, but for now - until she gets assessed - we are keeping her home. I think she is loving the one on one with me!! I am cherishing this time. One thing Joel and I would LOVE to see change is her morning routine, which starts at 5:30AM everyday. It's so crazy how her sleep has really never been great  but we did think as she got older that she would outgrow this early morning thing - and it seems to be getting worse!!! Norah, on the other hand, loves to sleep until 9 or 10 each morning!! Waking her at 8am for school is no small feat, but I think she'll adjust just fine over time. 

Nate is doing very well in school. They have a spelling test each week and over the entire first grade year he has only missed ONE word!! He LOVES to spell and has a photographic memory. We are so thankful for his sweet sweet spirit. There is a little boy in his class, how was also in his kindergarten class, who is a bit of a trouble maker. He comes from a tough family situation and shares the words he hears at home with his classmates on a regular basis. Nate's K teacher and current teacher have always placed this little boy next to Nate. Nate often mentions how this little boy hurts hus feelings and bullies him. We have tried to remind him to show the love of Jesus to him and we know  the teachers have placed Nate with him because of Nate's sweet spirit - however, Nate has had enough. This week is his parent/teacher conference and Nate is begging us to talk to the teacher and have him moved. We will see what happend. I am so thankful that we have a wonderful public school 2 streets away. We realize there will be these situations throughout our kids' school years, but also know they will be shaped and molded into the image of Jesus - these trials and hardships are part of growing and being challenged. Nate is a wonderful little boy and I look forward to seeing how God will use him throughout his life. 

WOW - this might very well be the longest post I have ever sat down to write. 

Sunday, January 16, 2011

 Macy Lee
Ruby Anne

January 13 was a very exciting day for our family!!! Two of Joel's sisters went into labor and delivered 12 hours apart!!!! These precious girls share a birthday and have a forever bond. From our perspective, it was a whirlwind of emotions and one of the most adrenaline filled 24 hours we have had in a very very (if ever) long time. To serve a God who orchestrated such perfect timing is beyond what I can even fathom. Amazing day. 
I was honored to be asked to be in the delivery room for Ruby, however, somehow I missed 2 phone calls and 2 texts letting me know it was time to be there (it was the middle of the night). I was more than bummed and so frustrated that technology failed during such a crucial time. But I trust that there was a reason for my absence and am thankful Ruby arrived healthy and it was a smooth delivery. While at the hospital visiting sweet Ruby, Joel's little sister called to say she was in fact in labor and was being admitted. WHAT!?!?!??!? Yep, that's right, they were gonna deliver that day!! She knew I was pretty bummed for missing Ruby's delivery and invited me to be in for Macy's I barely made it in time and Macy arrived after only 2 contractions.....amazing, breath-taking, never-will-forget-the-rest-of-my-life moment. God is so good and amazing and perfect and to see His creation from the moment she enters our world makes me even more in awe of His goodness and mercy and power. 
What a day, what a day - and now we get to love on and nurture and spoil these two precious lives. 

Tuesday, January 11, 2011

We're still here!!!!! Cannot believe I have gone this long without posting!!!! I LOVE catching up on my favorite blogs and I feel so bad that I have neglected ours. BUT, that said, it has been quite busy with Christmas break, snow days, follow up doctors appointments and yet more snow days. I simply cannot find the time right now to say all I want to say and share all I want to share. And believe me, there is A LOT to share - this journey has been hard and awesome all wrapped into one. Norah has been in our arms for 5 months now. My mom has been with Jesus for 6 months. Norah is now about 7 weeks post op. Naomi is 4 weeks post op. It's a new year, girls are healed, Nate is growing up way too fast - so we are trying to make the best of this time. As hard as most of our days are, I know they are short lived.
I actually had a very flattering and tempting job offer this week. Like, a real paying job - including payment for childcare. I wanted it. But after talking to Joel and thinking and praying through the logistics, it simply is not the right time. A break sounds lovely most days. But, the girls need me home for now. Next fall we may reconsider and see where we are at - but for now, I am home. :) And happy. :)
Happy 1-11-11!!!!!!!

Wednesday, December 15, 2010

Still here??
Anyone still out there?? So muchhas been going on, and our blog has taken back seat to it all. But, alas, I sit here in total quietness and have the chance to play catch up.
The girls are napping in the same room for the FIRST time as I type this!!! I can't decide if we'll make it permanent yet or not. It is sweet to hear them play and giggle, but Norah has never been out of a crib and I am not sure she understands the whole "stay in bed" concept quite yet. We'll see.
Naomi had her eye surgery this past Monday - it went fabulous. In fact, she did not "need" a lick of pain med. At the suggestion of the surgeon, we gave her some the first few nights, ensuring a solid night's sleep - but she never asked for any or ever complained - not even once - about pain. She is one tough cookie. 
Norah is doing fabulous!!!! We are now 3 1/2 weeks post-op and she is eating great, drinking great and sleeping much much better. It took a solid 12 days for her to sleep through the night and eat well. A.long.12.days.and.nights. But we made it, just in time to put Naomi in surgery!!! I can't describe how thankful we are that this chapter is behind us. The girls are so happy today - they have played, giggled, enjoyed a date to Starbucks with me, and are now (attempting) napping TOGETHER!!! I think being in the same room will help them to least that's the plan :) I am ready to reclaim our room again. My closet, where Norah's crib is, is a complete and utter disaster - and I typically have to tiptoe around so we are hopeful this works well. 
Nate is loving school these days. His sweet teacher does a great job of keeping communication open and lets us know how his days go. He is a spelling champ- he has a test every Friday on 10 words and has gotten 100% on all of them. We are so proud of him. He finishes up his soccer season on Saturday and will start another session in 3 weeks.
We are so excited for 2011. We pray this year brings (much less) fewer trips to the doctor, hospital, etc. We pray our children continue to bond and that we can relax a little and enjoy our new family of 5. 
Have a fabulous Christmas!!!!!! 

Sunday, November 28, 2010

Where to begin......and not sure where to end this post.
Last Tuesday Norah went in for her cleft surgery repair. The surgery itself went just as planned and they were able to close the entire cleft in one surgery for which we were so thankful! She was suppose to spend 23 hours in the hospital then be discharged. However, she had some troubles - both drinking and vomiting. SO, at the 23 hour mark, we were told it would be another night - getting us out on Thanksgiving. In that moment, I was fine with that - being too nervous to take Norah home when she was not feeling well. But, after a few hours of her proving to us she was starting to feel better, I had them page the surgeon to see if we could be discharged that night. It was a longshot, but worth taking I thought. He came by about 8pm and gave us the green light to head home - on some heavy medications. I was thrilled. Me dear friend Heather was there visiting and took us home (in the cold, pouring rain - thank you Heather!!!!)
That might was fairly uneventful for Norah - we set our alarm (OK, I set ME alarm) to give her the medications on schedule and she typically fell right back to sleep. Then comes the screaming and crying from the monitor....Naomi had fallen trying to get out out of bed. Joel knew something was hurt but we could not quite figure out what she had injured. So, like any good parent, we waited.....24 hours!! The next morning, her little collar bone was swolen and we knew we should take her to the ER - off we went. The tech took 2 images and the second was more than obvious that there was a clear fracture. Poor Naomi.....I felt horrible and then explained to the very nice ER doctor about Norah and he was understanding and encouraging that we did nothing wrong by waiting.
Friday evening, Norah started taking a lil turn for the worse - very very fussy and agitated and did.not.sleep.....we were not sure what to think so I called the surgeon the next morning and he assured us that day 3 is by far the worst and she should be slowly improving over the next few days - and as you can tell from the above pictures, she is slowly but surely starting to come around. Thankful is an understatement.

While the house is quiet and the girls are napping, I am off to catch up on laundry and maybe steal a quick nap if I can....
Have a great week
Merry Christmas Season!!!!

Monday, November 15, 2010

8 days.....
We are 8 days away from Norah's palate surgery. Understandably, on some ways I am ready to get it over with and in others I dread the day like the plague. Norah has come SO far since being placed in our arms, and our prayer and hope is that this only bonds us further and helps her development (physically, emotionally, etc) and does not hinder it. We trust this is is God's perfect timing and are putting one foot in front of the other - taking a leap of faith and moving forward. Our sweet friend, Lainie, will not be having her palate surgery the same day as we had originally thought. Our surgeon (we have the same one) has chosen a different course of treatment for her so her surgeries are a little delayed for now.
We have been trying to think of something special that we can get Norah - something to give her while in the hospital. I think we may have found the perfect thing - a stuffed animal that makes sounds. Our awesome speech therapist brought one today and I thought for sure Norah would not take to it, but she LOVED it and played with is almost the whole session. Sounds have been a huge issue since she got her tubes - meaning that she is still learning on how to localize a sound and also realize she is still safe when she hears them (firetrucks, vacuums, blenders, etc). But low and behold, she loved the monkey, so this momma's on a search this week for the perfect one!!
Nate is doing great in school - he loves his teacher and is seeming to really take off academically this year. I am so thankful after a rough kindergarten year.
Naomi has grown up on me - seemingly overnight!!! The girl has given up her paci (well, almost, it is snipped way down), diapers (potty trained!!) and naps....all within 4 weeks!
So, for now - we are moving forward, right into the beautiful holiday season.

Thursday, November 04, 2010

The girls super excited to see their "G Pa".....

Our ladybugs

Our ninja

We had a great weekend chocked full of trick or treating - I think we totalled 7 hours in 3 different locations....over 3 days. This momma was exhausted!! The kids had a blast and once (the girls) they understood the whole ask-for-candy-get-candy-eat-candy - they LOVED it!!
I was a little sad leading up to Halloween as I remember my mom really loved this day. She loved sitting on her front porch and seeing all the kids come and get their pretzels (yep, a healthy alternative). I also have fun memories of my own halloweens and incredible costumes....and I was worried as to how I would deal with the day. But God provides, all the strength I ever need. It was a great evening. The kids, including my brother and his family and my sis-in-law and her family - had a lot of fun. We walked the same path I walked my whole childhood...oh the memories :)
This weekend, That's right - by myself!!! Joel is graciously sending me off with some of my girlfriends for a few days to a lakehouse....I.can't.wait. I might even start packing tonight....then again, I am only packing for myself so there's not way it will take long right??
Norah's surgery is fast-approaching....we are 18 days and counting.

Friday, October 29, 2010

(joel typing) This is a video of Lee-Anne giving her testimony @ church. So proud of you Lee Lee.

Sunday, October 24, 2010

Meet my sweet cousin Darby. She was kind enough to ask me to to take a few photos for her senior portfolio! We had a lot of fun and she is beautiful....:)

It's been a very busy week and I type this at a new level of exhaustion. Raising 3 kids has it's joys and thrills....and challenges - all wrapped up into one :) Nate is busy with school and indoor soccer. Naomi is working hard at potty training and dropping her naps :(. Norah has started speech therapy and nutrician therapy; and this, my friends, is simply small glimpse into the busy days :)

Have a blessed week. (is anyone even reading these posts??)

Monday, October 18, 2010

Happy Birthday Sweet Naomi Chunyuan!!!
It is so hard to believe she is 3.....and been in our arms for almost 2 whole precious years. We had a small family party this year - complete with a princess bounce castle, a Mulan princess cake and lots of pink balloons. For a few days leading up to her party, Naomi was singing happy birthday then practicing blowing our her candles - sure enough, when the time came and real candles were lit, she refused - so her big brother stepped in and gladly blew them out for her.
This year, Naomi:
1. started talking, even made short sentences.
2. became a big sister!!
3. has grown over 2 shoe sizes
4. has enough hair for 2 cute little ponies
5. gone from a crib to a big girl bed
6. as of last week, given up her dearly loved paci
7. almost said goodbye to diapers :)

We love you sweet girl!!!

Sunday, October 10, 2010

One blessed weekend....(Naomi took this first shot!!, a future photographer??)

Monday, September 27, 2010

A quick update on this morning...
Norah did great!!!! We were on our way downtown by 6:30am and home by 8:30am. It was such a quick procedure and Norah did SO WELL!!!! The nurse gave her Versed as soon as we went back to help relax her and make her feel "loopy" and that she DID!!!! The picture was taken by our dear friend Heather, who's daughter Lainie had her tubes placed right after Norah. We hung out together before both girls went back, and laughed our heads off at how funny our girls were being- they were laughing, batting the air, restless then truly was a sight!!! We also got to meet with our surgeon (who happened to be there for other cases) for the palate surgery. He did confirm that he wanted Norah to meet with one more specialist (the one who will decide on the orthodontic device). We are still on course for November 23.
Thank you for your prayers and encouragement.

Sunday, September 26, 2010

Sweet Norah Lei scheduled for surgery both tomorrow and Nov 23. Tomorrow she is having tubes placed in both ears. We discovered this past week that she has 40-50% hearing loss. We are prayerful that the tubes will improve that significantly. There is a chance that some of that might be permanent as she has gone so long with her ears being full of fluid. It is a very minimal procedure and we will likely be home before Nate leaves for school!!! Norah is the first case of the day and Lainie, our sweet friend, is the case right after her.
November 23, 2 days before Thanksgiving, Norah (and Lainie) will have her palate surgery - with the intent of closing it up all in one procedure. This is a more invasive surgery, will be quite painful, and will also be an inpatient stay (one night, assuming all goes well). We were really hoping for an October date, but the schedule is full so this was the first available. There is also a small chance that they will bump it out even further as we are going to try an orthodontic device to help shift the two clefts in better alignment. Most kids that have this appliance are less than 12 months old and tolerate it just fine. Our hesitancy is that Norah will want to take it out all the time and thus it won't be effective. We are going to visit with this specialist this week and make a decision from there. Aligning the clefts now, before the palate surgery, makes things a little easier down the road as we look at further procedures when she is 6, 8, 10, 12.
It is a gorgeous day here. I feel like today has been such an encouragement to me. Maybe it was the Pumpkin Spice Latte (first of the season!!) or maybe that Naomi went on the potty all on her own for the first time, but I feel rejuvinated. Joel is gone all day with 4 back to back football games, so the kids and I are headed to a park later on.
Enjoy your Sunday!! Have a blessed week :)

Friday, September 24, 2010

The men in my life....
Today is a day worth celebrating!!!! Joel is turning 35 and Nate became a "Fenwick" 6 years ago today!! I'll never forget that moment, sitting in the courtroom with our 6 month old precious bundle on our laps. It was highly emotional and we were surrounded by our family as we took an oath and became THE parents of Nater-Bug......God was present in that room, and continues to be the focus of our family. As we have raised Nate (and now 2 sweet girls) our prayer over him has been that he understand and accept the love of Jesus and someday surrender his life to the One who gave His life for him. Nate is such a sweet kid with a heart of gold, an awesome big brother and great athlete. We have been blessed beyond measure!!!!!! There are jewels being prepared in Heaven for his incredible birthmom, whom we have grown to love and cannot wait to see again someday. She has such a heart for Jesus and loves Nate so much. We could not have asked for a more perfect extension of our family. We love you M!!!!!
Joel, my best friend. We have been through the testing as we have added 2 children within 2 years. Life has been crazy, hectic, busy, sleepless, tight budgeted, paper-chasing, a roller coaster of emotions, full of grief as we lost mom, and now as we settle in - full of blessings and hugs and smiles and snuggles (well, and still some stress and tears and sleepless nights, but fewer and fewer as we nestle in). I love you more than I could ever express. You are such a man of God, especially when I am not at my best. Thank you for reflecting His love on our family. I love you.

Sunday, September 19, 2010

As I type, the house is quiet and I feel as though I am coming up for air, for the first time all weekend. I am still (daily, hourly for that matter) adjusting to raising 3 kids, 2 the same age. There are moments of pure bliss - like when the girls are playing together without crying or arguing. Then, there (way more right now) moments when I want to run and hide in my closet. Life is busy and unpredictable - 2 things my personality does not often deal well with. But I trust in One who made ME and made each of our beautiful children and His timing is perfect. I know He will supply all my needs. I pray for "my daily bread" and know He will see me through even the hardest of moments.
I miss my mom - more and more each day. Grieving has been a challenge seeing as we left 3 weeks after she passed to adopt Norah. But, again, I know where she is and who she is with - and I could not be happier - for her. As my heart continues to heal and move forward, I pray the Lord will use my grief to help others. Please join me in praying for my stepdad, her husband of 26 years. The loneliness and reality of life as a widower is setting in and he is sad.
I read an incredible book this weekend. Actually, I read the entire thing in less than 24 hours. It is Mary Beth Chapman's new book, Choosing to SEE. I don't recommend books very often, but I think everyone needs to read this. It was so inspiring, insightful, encouraging, and gut-wrenching real. You can order it here.
I hope you have a blessed week.

Thursday, September 16, 2010

I am so happy to report that our visit to Cincinnati Childrens Hospital was encouraging and we left the hospital with the decision to wait in any testing. Norah's small size and delays could very well be related to her prior surroundings and we don't want to get ahead of ourselves. In 6 months, if we are not seeing the progress we are hoping for (completely directed by her therapists) then we will proceed with another trip to Cinci and go from there. We are prayerful that she will make great strides over the next 6 months and that by her third birthday she will have caught up developmentally, socially and physically. If however, it takes longer, we already have a program set up for her to continue daily therapy.
Today I dedicated the morning to teaching Norah how to go down stairs. We have a 2 story home with a basement and we are constantly up and down both flights of stairs. Norah has started getting brave lately so I thought it best to go ahead and teach her how to go down backwards. We are a little concerned as her muscle tone is quite low and she really can't catch herself once she starts falling backwards - but we have to start somewhere. Another goal I have over the next few weeks is to teach her to spoon feed herself. Our therapists will soon be on board and we will likely have a therapist who can assist with this, but I am ready for her to gain some independence. She sees her siblings eating and I know she desires to be more independent. One step at a time. We have only been home 3.5 weeks and I have to step back daily and remind myself of how far she has come already. But, on the same note, we have so far to go and I can't help but see that.
We have a lot on our plate this weekend!!! Here's to a good night's rest.

Tuesday, September 14, 2010

Sometimes a picture is worth a thousand words.....and this one represents so much. Naomi has never been a fan of dressing up, in any fashion. Last Halloween, her first, she did not care for any of the (many) costumes we tried. And since then we have tried over and over for her to dress up. Today was a breakthrough. I pulled out the dress and she put it right on -saying princess over and over. It was precious. I grabbed the camera a took as many photos as I could - little did I know, it only was gonna last 4 minutes. Then it came off, it was too "itchy".
So hard to believe she will be 3 in a matter of weeks. She has been in our arms for almost 2 years and has come so far. To hear her sweet voice talk and pronounce words and even some sentences has been so nice! The meltdowns are fewer and the progress she has made encourages us with Norah, knowing she will soon be talking and able to communicate better.
Some days are.....well, hard. And today would qualify as one of those. But I am thankful that the Lord's mercies are new each morning and that tomorrow the sun will rise and thus begin a new day. Off to bed....sleep well. Sweet dreams!!

Monday, September 13, 2010

I love Fall. It brings beautiful weather, jeans and sweatshirts and lots and lots of football. The weather has been awesome this past weekend and we were outside as much as possible.
The kids are all 3 doing so well! This past weekend, Joel had 6 football games and so, needless to say, he was gone a lot - but the kids did great and we hung around here most of the weekend - between Nate not feeling too well and Naomi potty training, it was a bit of a long 3 days. But there were glimpses of happiness throughout the weekend that made it all worth it. The girls are bonding more and more each day. They even played together in the bathtub yesterday, sharing water bottles and being silly and laughing. It was a site to behold - seeing as mot of the time they are wanting my lap or the same toy and there are typically lots of tears. Norah is also really taking to Nate. Its so sweet to see him love on her or offer to hold her and she goes right to him. I pray their relationship is one that is always protective and close. Norah is still having some issues with eating and we have had a few instances these past 4 days or so that remind us how far we have to go. She tends to get food stuck in the open part of her palate and is not sure what to do. To be honest, we are not either. We have tried giving her a drink, feeding her a little more to help her work it out, holding her, etc. Once she gets worked up, she stays worked up for upwards of 3o minutes. When we are out to eat, this can be very difficult. We meet with another surgeon next week and are ready to schedule the surgery as soon as we can. We feel she will thrive once her palate it closed and she can eat normally. All that said, she is a great sleeper and loves to sleep in!!!! Today she rolled out bed at 9:30. I had time to get ready myself, get Nate ready for school, make a nice breakfast and clean the kids rooms before she woke up - making for a great start to the week.
Wednesday we head to Cincinnati for Norah to see a geneticist. They will evaluate her and determine whether or not to order testing for any syndromes related to cleft lip/palate children. We are not overly concerned, but due to her delays we are moving forward with the appointment and will go from there. Norah and I are also heading to the GAP outlet - this girl has hardly any clothes. I had bought ahead all last winter for her, but bought 24 month clothing - and she is only in 12-18 month right now. SO I am looking forward to some great bargains!!!
Have a blessed week. I'll post after our Cinci appoitment.

Tuesday, September 07, 2010

Yes, the girls are pushing a gift bag and an over-sized bear....and they are being "sisters", following each other around the dining room table pushing their strollers, laughing at each other, fighting over "nothing", hugging and saying sorry (well, Naomi does all the talking.
This week Nate started soccer and he scored a goal!!!! It was so fun to see his reaction and he could not wait to tell Joel, who was gone at a football game. Naomi has started singing "You are my Sunshine" and it is absolutely precious. We have sung it over 10 times today and I never get tired of hearing her sweet (on-pitch) voice. Norah is now feeding herself when there is food she can eat. She is also a lot more outgoing, a little more moody (that's good, she shows it!!!), and she 100% not a morning person (just like her momma) - on days we do not have plans, she sleeps til 9 or 9:30 :)
Life is good...we are still adjusting and have a long way to go. We realize that. But we are settling in. God is good.

Friday, September 03, 2010

Sweet Bethel

I'll never forget the look on my dear friend Sally's face as she came into Bible Study with pictures of her new children - her 2 referrals from Ethiopia. We were like school girls, screaming with excitement and passing the photos around. Sally and her husband had waited for so long, prayed diligently and finally the time had come. The Lord had brought 2 precious lives into their hearts. Over the summer, Bethel, at only 4 months old, had gotten sick and became malnourished. Moved from one hospital to the next, one formula to the next, and finally out of the hospital to a new orphanage - she simply had lost the strength to fight. Down to a mere 6 pounds, Bethel went to be with Jesus on September 1. Oh the tears that have flowed since that phone call. Sweet, sweet Bethel, whom her mommy and daddy loved with all their hearts - we all did. The continuous fight they gave to keep her alive and help her thrive until they could wrap their arms around her was one I admired and I believe it brought orphan awareness to the surface for all those who were touched by them.
But the Lord had different plans for Bethel's life. Those plans we may never fully understand on this side of heaven. But one thing's for sure - Bethel, even in her short life on earth, had purpose. Her legacy will live on for many many years to come. May her life bring a new passion to orphan adoption - one that lights a whole new fire in our community. Are you called to adopt? Are you called to support those in the process? Are you called to get on your knees to pray for orphans around the world?
Please say a prayer for Michael, Sally and their 3 children, that God would bless them in such a time as this.
Bethel, we love you sweet girl!!

Sunday, August 29, 2010

I am so thankful to say that daily, we are seeing progress as we mold as a new family of five. Fall brings a lot of activities to our schedule, and I was a little worried about this weekend as Joel was starting his season of officiating football. However, I was happily surprised as the kids have done so well TOGETHER. They have loved on each other, hugged when they have hurt each other and Norah's crying (whenever I leave her sight) is becoming less and less. As well, she has not hit anyone who comes within arms reach in the past few days. I think she gets it - we love her, she is here to stay, she will be fed, her needs will be met and she is a Fenwick!
Nate and Naomi are doing well. Prayer, love, extra attention and time have all allowed us to give each other grace as we figure life out. Norah is such a blessing and we have as much to learn from her as she from us - and we are taking life day by day right now.

Happy Sunday. Off to wake up the sleeping girls.

Wednesday, August 25, 2010

Monday, August 23, 2010

See that SMILE!!!!! We have waited so long to see Norah express happiness, and it totally made our morning to hear her wake up on her own (without crying) and then have such a fun-loving morning!! We saw our (wonderful) pediatrician this morning and Norah had a good check-up. We will be having further medical testing in the near future, but for now will work on helping her gain some weight (can you believe Norah and Naomi are only 3 1/2 months apart??). She only cried a little and was waving and giving high fives as we were checking out - she has turned a corner!!
Today while I only had Norah, I ran a few errands and she rode in a stroller and a shopping cart both for the first time and never fussed a bit! She laughed in the cart, loving her independence yet being able to see me at the same time :)
The girls are both napping and Nate is at school. I am appreciating some quiet time and the ability to get some things done. Just had to take a moment and share such positive words and these priceless pictures I have been DYING to take!!!! (you know, the ones where all the children are happy at one time)
We are so thankful for all the prayers and words of encouragement. This has been a long journey - hard at times and joyous at others. Thank you for following alongside and being there with us.