Tuesday, March 16, 2010

Black and White Wednesday ~ My Kids

It's Wednesday and you all know what that means, Black and White Wednesday. For more on B&W Wednesday head on over to Lisa's blog for some amazing pictures. I had to go back through the archives for most of my pictures today because I wanted to share a little about each of my kids. Rather than start from oldest to youngest, I thought I would start with the youngest today.

DREW ~ Although we haven't met him yet, we know that he is going to fit in our family perfectly. Drew just turned 4 on March 11. As much as I prayed and hoped we would be together with him for his special day, I know without a doubt we will celebrate his next birthday as well as many, many more. Drew is a loving, caring boy, affectionate boy. He loves to help his foster mother around the house and is quick to announce he is a "big boy." He likes to make silly faces. Drew likes to sing, count, tell us his colors, he is a very smart little boy.
We cannot wait to bring him home and truly begin enjoying him. We realize the first few days, weeks, and even months may be difficult on Drew having been taken away from the only life he has ever known. He has a very strong bond with one of the New Day staff as well as Adahlynn. We know saying good bye is going to be difficult for him and all those who have grown to love him.

MYLEE ~ She is a dream come true. For as long as I can remember I have dreamed about having a Chinese daughter. Witht he love and support of Matt we were able to turn that dream into a reality on May 8, 2008 (Mother's Day). She is a beautiful, smart, spunky, silly, little girl. Mylee loves to color and play with her babies. She loves to sing and dance and has an incredible imagination. She is a fighter, and will let nothing get in her way. I cannot wait to see what great things she does in her life. She adores her big sister Emma and wants her to read her a book every night before going to bed. Most nights I can find them in the same bed together. Mylee's new thing to say is "When I get big like Emma..." Mylee is very proud to be Chinese and loves anything to do with China and it's culture. Many people have expressed that she is going to be the on who is most affected by bringing Drew home. I don't know why, but I am not worried at all. I see Mylee being very "protective" of Drew even though she is half his size. She is going to be a great big sister.

GABE ~ Oh how I love this guy. Gabe is 5, I mean 5 1/2. He no longer tolerates being told he is 5, and is very quick to correct you. He is probably our most affectionate child. He gives the best hugs. He is always the first in line for kisses and hugs before bed or if we are leaving. He loves to snuggle up right next to me on the couch. Gabe doesn't have much of a sense of humor, in fact, he is quite serious. Gabe's middle name is Philip after my dad (he passed away last May) and he likes to talk about his Grandpa. Gabe loves Blake and spends most days following him around. He has the funniest facial expressions, they crack me up. Gabe is probably the most excited about bringing Drew home. He asks all the time if it is time to get him yet. He desperately wants someone closer to his age to play with. Gabe is going to make an excellent big brother and I cannot wait to see Gabe and Drew playing together.

EMMA ~ When I was pregnant with Emma I secretly prayed over and over for a little girl. I had several ultrasounds during my pregnancy but not one revealed what I was having. I finally convinced myself that I was having another boy, in fact, we didn't really have a girl's name picked out. As soon as I heard the doctor say "it's a girl," I remember asking him to check again because I wanted to make absolute sure. Because we were certain we were having another boy, she didn't have name for about an hour after being born. We finally agreed on Emma Grace. Emma is a very special little girl. She is quite girly, but has no problems getting down and dirty with the boys. She's quite artistic and loves anything crafty. Emma loves spending time with me. Usually once a week we do something together, just the two of us. She can be very shy but once she opens up, look out. Emma loves to read and write books. I can't even begin to tell you how many books she has made through the years. Emma will make her first Communion this year and is very excited. She is a great role model for Mylee and will be for Drew as well.

When Emma learned that we were also adopting a 13 year old boy, she said "hey, that's not fair, I want a sister who is 8." We told her that Drew and Jaxon were probably going to be it for awhile. Her response "does that mean there are no more kids that need homes?" Oh how I love this girl.

BLAKE ~ Blake made me a mom. He is the one who paved the way for the rest of the kids. I was terrified when I had Blake. Matt was in the military and was actually deployed 3 days after I had him. I had never really been around babies before, but looking back, it amazes me how this natural insticnt just kicks in. I guess it helped that Blake was such a good baby. Blake and I have a pretty close relationship. If he has something he needs to talk about he usually comes to me. If I know he needs to talk about something, I am usually the once who can get it out of him. Blake loves football and is quite good at it. He is very smart and loves to learn. Blake is pretty mature for his age which is why we have let him be a big part of the process to adopt Jaxon. He has a great sense of humor which he obviously gets from me. Although Blake is only 13, he looks more like he is 15. He is taller than me (I believe he is 6 foot now). Blake is quite the social butterfly, always has been. If you ask him what he wants to be someday his response is a Lawyer and has been since he was in the first grade. Blake is a great kid, he sticks up for the underdog, he is outgoing and funny. He is very handsome.

Blake is the one who "pushed" Matt and I into moving forward with Jaxon's adoption. Honestly, adopting an older boy is something we said we would never do. However, God used Blake to prove us wrong. On the way home from the pasta dinner benefit Matt and Blake were talking about how much money we had raised. Matt told Blake that although we raised alot of money, we still needed quite a bit more, Blake's response was "that just means God has another plan, another way for us to get the money." How can you not be proud of you kids when they say things like that?

JAXON ~ I know this is what you have all been waiting for, a picture of our newest member. This is Jaxon we are told that he will be 14 on May 1, but we honestly believe he is older. Although we don't know much about him, what we do know, and the most important thing is that he needs and wants a family. He wants to be a Cartoonist some day and is quite artistic. Emma wants him to teach her to draw better. He goes to school and is said to be quite athletic, especially in basketball and track and has even won some awards. He seems to be quite shy (he is going to have to come out of his shell quickly to survive in this family). He likes to help out with the younger kids. He is quite a handsome young man and we cannot wait to travel to bring him home and make him a part of our family.

We know adding him to our family may be difficult. It is going to be scary for all of us. Although Jaxon has expressed that he wants a family, we realize that it is going to be most difficult on him. He will most likely grieve, shut down, and become quite withdrawn. However, Matt and I are 100% committed to making this work and to allowing Jaxon become a member of our family. Although adopting two children at once is not something we set out at doing, we are excited and committed to watching Drew and Jaxon thrive and grow with our family.

If adoption has taught us anything it is that you must have faith. It is our faith that has gotten us this far, and it is our faith that is going to be what brings us all together. Never in a million years did I think I would have 6 kids. However, Matt and I are firm believers that God only gives us what we can handle. And if He thinks we can handle 6 kids, then we can, and we will. One way or another, we WILL be a family of 8 very soon.

We officially received our LOA for Jaxon yesterday, which means China has officially granted us approval to bring both boys home. Now we have to get through our immigration. Basically we have less than 6 weeks to get done what has taken us about 6 months to do with Drew. We are confident we can make that deadline, there really isn't any other choice. Really our two biggest hurdles are immigration and money. I hate to say it, but yes, money is still an issue. We are now at 35% on our fundraiser which is great. I honestly never though we would get that far. We have been completely blow away by the amount of support we have received from the adoption community, friends, family, and complete strangers. It is because of all that support that we WILL without a doubt make this happen.

Just an update on the fundraiser. Friday at midnight is the last day so if you want to make sure to get your name is for some super prizes, head on over and make a donation. Any amount, nothing is too small. Every dollar brings us one step closer to our boys.


Sherri said...

Awesome! He is very handsome! I am so excited for you guys. I sent emails out to everyone on my Operation Giggle email list and posted on both blogs. I am praying God continues to AMAZE us all!

In Christ Alone,


Lori said...

I'm so happy to finally see his face on a FAMILY blog and off of the WC list! He is so good looking and will be such a blessing to your family!!

Tara said...

beautifully written, mandi!

Donna said...

Lovely family! How wonderful that you're expanding it! I'm envious!

Our Blog: Double Happiness!

Mei Mei s and Mayhem said...

Beautiful children!!! Congrats on LOA for your big guy!! Boy is he a handsome young man!!! The girls will be after him! :-) I cant wait to see both your boys in your arms real soon!!!!

Alycia said...

Hey Mandi~
We're praying for you all! Wish we could donate to your cause, but, are busily trying to make up funds for our trip to bring home Miss Adahlyn.
We will definitely keep you all in our prayers!
Jaxon is a good looking young man! He looks very kind. We are praying for a "smoother than average" transition for you!

living4him5 said...

What a handsome young man!! I love his look. God will bless you all.

Amy <><

amy said...

Congrats on getting your LOA...now on to your TA's! Your post was beautifully written Mandi and I cannot wait to meet both your boys!


The Ferrill's said...

What a beautiful family!!!! Praying for speedy TA so you can bring your boys home!

Anonymous said...

All of your kids are beauiful! Thanks for introducing us to them all. I can not wait until they are all under your roof!! Sending out prayers!!!