Friday, July 03, 2009

June 2006
June 2009

A year ago today our family was changed in the most amazing way. Happy Family Day Charli Grace!
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Wednesday, June 10, 2009

Reliving My Childhood
We are spending the week on the Gulf Coast. This is Charli's first trip to the beach. We haven't been in 3 years, so Conner is really experiencing it for the first time too. I'm amazed at all of the wonderful memories that Chad and I are able to relive through our children. The beach, the pool, the go kart track, going out for ice cream...They are taking it all in and enjoying every second. I am so proud of how they are growing and maturing. Charli would not have been able to handle all this excitement a few months ago. She has come so very far this year and Conner is an outstanding big brother. This trip has been an excellent way to celebrate our first year together as a family.
As is ancient Bama beach tradition, we took both kids for an airbrush t-shirt this evening. They applauded the airbrush guy when he was finished. They put them on as soon as we got in the condo. (Somehow we managed to stop them from stripping down in the parking lot.) We headed right out to the sand for some pictures.

Psalm 127:3 (The Message)
Don't you see that children are God's best gift?
Thank you Lord for these precious gifts!

Friday, June 05, 2009

Reason to Celebrate

It has been a long and exciting week. Charli Grace had two eye appointments this week. The first was with, Dr. Wang, a cornea specialist in Nashville, the second with her glaucoma specialist in Birmingham. That is a lot of driving in one week, but we got very encouraging news. Both doctors agree that she is a good candidate for an procedure called PTK. Basically Dr. Wang will use a laser to remove some of the scarred tissue from her right cornea. This should improve her field of vision and reduce her light sensitivity. We go back to Nashville in 2 weeks to finalize the details. Dr. Wang also confirmed that her condition is in fact called Peter's Anomaly. This doesn't change her treatment, but it is nice to have a name to the disease.

To celebrate the good news we stopped by Krispy Kreme for delicious hot doughnuts. We polished off nearly a dozen along with some nice cold milk. I call that a nutritious lunch.
Hot doughnuts coming off the line: Conner was fascinated.
Doughnuts and chocolate milk: a winning combination.

We can put away some doughnuts. This was all that was left.

Monday, May 25, 2009

I made this!
I found the awesome directions for this T-Shirt dress at Deanna's Blog. Until now most of my attempts at sewing have been sub par. Mother's coaching and Deanna's tutorial helped me make a dress that is hand made, but doesn't look home made. I am so excited with how this dress came together. Plans for a 2nd one are already in the works.

Saturday, May 23, 2009

New Glasses

We don't yet see things clearly. We're squinting in a fog, peering through a mist. But it won't be long before the weather clears and the sun shines bright! We'll see it all then, see it all as clearly as God sees us, knowing him directly just as he knows us! 1 Cor 13:12

Charli is thrilled with her new glasses. They give her relief from the light sensitivity caused by her condition. And they are adorable to boot.

We met with her pediatric ophthalmologist this week. We talked for quite a while about different procedures and treatment options for Charli's eyes. Most of the options are risky and involve a good deal of discomfort. The doctor also said that the chances of significantly improving her sight are slim. Those were not easy words to hear, but we have peace. Charli does so much with the vision she has. She is content and joyful, so why should we be anything but thankful?

We are going to continue to persue advanced treatment options, keeping in mind the risk and her overall quality of life. Pray for wisdom for us and her doctors as we choose this next path. I feel like we are "peering through a mist" as we look to the future, but I know God has good things in store.

Wednesday, May 20, 2009

Garden Time
Tending the family garden isn't easy. Luckily, my grandfather had some help from Conner this afternoon. I remember my days of hoeing corn and picking peas for 25 cents a bushel. Thank goodness I have kids I can pass those chores along to. Conner's first garden job was tossing rocks out of the rows of corn into the woods. Charli and I stood out of the range of fire. Poor Pawpaw got beaned with at least one rock. Bless his heart.
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Saturday, May 16, 2009

Photo and video editing at

Our hometown hosted a "Fun in the Park" event today. A good time was had by all despite soggy weather. The kids have been in their fair share of bounce houses, but I wasn't sure how CG would react to the jumbo slide. As you can see it was a piece of cake. Whee!

Sunday, May 10, 2009

Happy Mother's Day

A year ago today I was mother to two beautiful children. One here in the US and another half a world away. Any adoptive mother can tell you that loving a child from such a distance can be excrusiating. We were anxious about the condition of Charli's eyes. New pictures and mother's instinct told me that something wasn't right. We tried to secure medical care from within China, but were told that her only chance of treatment was here in the US. With the adoption process stretching out ahead of us we were beginning to lose hope. Our baby was thousands of miles and reams of paperwork away. We wanted to help her, but our hands were tied.

Then, almost by surprise, in steps our dear dear friends at The Grace Children's Foundation. That Mother's Day I spoke with Nancy Robertson for the first time. She set in motion the events that brought Charli Grace to the US and to the treatment she needed so badly. Chad and I believe with all our hearts that it was just in time to save her sight.

I'm not going to tell the whole story today. (Our local paper is doing an article featuring Charli's journey in a few days. So, I'll leave the story telling up to the professionals.) However I want to take the time to thank Nancy and TGCF here on my blog.

They are in the process of helping two very special girls, both with needs even greater than Charli's. Please take the time to visit their website and consider donating to the cause. They do an amazing work with little fanfare.

Nancy and Brooks, we love you and hope you don't mind a little fanfare from your friends in Alabama.
Charli Grace was dedicated in church today...
along with 23 other babies. Yes, I got a little misty eyed. Then Conner started shouting from the audience, "Go Mommy and Daddy. You can do it!" That boy of mine always knows just what to say.

Everyone else is looking at the pastor, but Chad only has eyes for his Charli girl.

Saturday, May 09, 2009

An Early Mother's Day Gift:

Chad washed my stinky sheltie this afternoon. Apparently she had a roll in the organic fertilizer (chicken poop) my dad spread in the garden. Normally we send her to the groomer this time of year, but the stench was just too much to bear. She had to have a bath ASAP.
"How humiliating... no cameras please."
"Great, you blew me dry. Now I'll be poofy all week."
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Tuesday, May 05, 2009

Hooray for Easy Knitting!

My knitting has to be super simple these days. My brain simply doesn't have enough bandwidth left over for complicated projects. And besides pattern leaflets don't stand a chance in this house. They just get scribbled on, torn, or dribbled with juice. If I can't memorize the pattern it can't be done.

I finished the Dropped Stitch Shawl this weekend. Very simple knitting... garter stitch, double yarn overs, and simple increasing/decreasing. I like the result so much that I started another in red Eco-Cotton. They are both going to be gifts for two very special friends.

I also finished some red wool socks for Afghans for Afghans. The garter stitch short row heels and toes are so easy and cute. I may never pick up stitches on a heel flap again. The yarn is Farrah's hand dyed from way back when.
Hooray for girls! Charli let me paint her toenails this evening. Don't they look adorable with her new pink sandals? She's being fitted for glasses next week. They probably won't improve her vision much, but will provide more protection from the sun. I'll post pics as soon as she gets them. Pray she will keep them on!
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Tuesday, April 28, 2009

Back to Our Regularly Scheduled Blog

We are home, and better yet I've finally recovered from The Jet Lag of Doom. I completely underestimated the effects of jet lag. Either my brain was asleep and my body was awake, or my body was asleep and my brain was going 100 mph.

Thanks to everyone who followed along on my travel blog. Your prayers and well wishes were felt all along the way. China is not for the faint of heart, neither is adoption... but WOW both are an amazing trip! Julie and I talked a lot on the trip about how important it is to step out of your comfort zone now and then and have an adventure. My view of the world is changed in ways that are difficult to put in words. China will forever have a huge piece of my heart. I won't ever be able to forget the little ones there who are still waiting for a family. I don't know if another adoption is in our future (Chad says he's hanging a "No Vacancy" sign on our door.) but do I know that God has placed in my heart an even deeper love and respect for the people of Charli's birth land. You could say that I've gotten tangled up in the Red Thread.

So what are the kids doing?

Charli is busy getting settled back into her routine. She LOVES her preschool class and being spoiled by Grandma and Grandpa while I'm at work. Conner is becoming our little soccer star. What he lacks in accuracy, he makes up for in speed and enthusiasm. In the mind of a 4 year old those white lines on the field are merely a suggstion. He scored his first goal this weekend... for the other team. Luckily, presoccer doesn't keep score.

Charli watches the action with Mommy and Granny Cocoa.
When can I play?

Saturday, March 21, 2009

We have travel approval. Look out China here we come!

Follow our journey at my travel blog: To China With Charli.