Thursday, December 31, 2009
Well, Christmas is over for another year. Micah enjoyed it to say the least. All it took was 1 gift and he was hooked. It wasn't the gift, but the unwrapping that he loved. He was like the Tazmanian devil whirling around seeing whose present he could swipe off their lap to open next. The tissue paper sticking out of gift bags was free game! So hilarious to watch and so much fun!
And now, it's the last day of 2009! By far, the thing we are the most thankful for this year is the fact that we were able to bring Micah home! It's hard to believe that we traveled in February and that he has already been home for 10 months! Time has passed so quickly. On the other hand, our bond with Micah is so strong, and his adjustment into our family has gone so smoothly, that we feel like he was born into our family. It is awesome how God places the right children into the the right families!
Our 14th wedding anniversary was yesterday and I got the sweetest gift...Micah told me he loved me for the first time! We were lying in bed and he kept leaning over and kissing me on the cheek and forehead. Then, after 1 kiss, he said, "love you!" Of course I was so excited, so he kept repeating it for a while. What an amazing gift. Of course he doesn't realize how he touched my heart! I am going to keep trying to get others to adopt as we move into the new year!
We are anticipating lots of things for 2010, some good things and some difficult things. However, we will continue to give our heavenly Father thanks and praise for His lovingkindness and goodness in our lives! Happy New Year!
Posted by Candice at 5:30 PM
Saturday, December 19, 2009
Well, it's 1 week away from Christmas and as you can see, Micah is enjoying the season! We are going to have quite the "first Christmas" with him this year...broken ornaments, sticky fingers from candy canes, and all. He has also picked up a new word...coco!
We have decided to postpone everything for me until the holiday is over. We don't want to interrupt the kids Christmas and want to still be able to travel and visit family and see my sister's new baby. I am scheduled to have surgery in January so we will just sit back and wait.
God is speaking to me this morning through others. When I woke up this morning, I had a FB message from a dear lady at church who shared with me that God had gotten her up at 5:00 a.m. this morning to pray for me and she gave me this verse..."Be still and know that I am God." Psalms 46:10. A few minutes later, when I got on my blog to update it, there was 1 new comment and a Dillon mom had left a message for me and included the very same verse! So, like all good children who obey their fathers, I am going to try to "be still" today and rest in my heavenly Father! :)
Posted by Candice at 8:26 AM
Thursday, December 17, 2009
My father-in-law said to me this week..."It seems like every mountain top experience that the Lord leads us through, He then walks us through a valley." Well, I know that our adoption of Micah was our mountain top experience this year, and now we are heading into our valley. This week I was diagnosed with breast cancer. We are still trying to absorb this information and all that it means. As we head into the holiday season with our family, I do have one certainty.
Two years ago, I might have questioned, "Does God really care about the intimate details of my life?" Today, I cannot question. I look at Micah and I know for sure that God does. I believe that God allowed us to have a mountain top experience in our adoption with Micah. He showed us that He is not a God who just sits in heaven and is far removed. He wants a relationship with us and to be involved in our lives. He loves us so deeply...ALL of us. Even the smallest of these, like a little orphan boy in a small orphanage in the middle of India. He also showed us that He will get intimately involved in our lives and will provide for every need in ways we cannot fathom.
Now as I sit here on the brink, I believe that God is going to walk through this valley with us in the same way. If I begin to doubt or question, all I have to do is to look at Micah and I have the reassurance of God's hand of love, design, and provision on my family's life. I don't understand why this is happening, but I will try to walk with the assurance that I am God's, that He loves me dearly, and that as I go through the storm, I am safe in the palm of His hand.
Tuesday, December 8, 2009
By now, I'm sure that Micah's name is clearly on Santa's "Naughty" List. It looks like I will be spending all of Micah's Christmas $ to fix the things he has broken in the last couple of weeks. Not that I am keeping my own list, but here is a short break down from least expensive fix to the costliest...
- 2 New Christmas balls ($2) - This year I bought a new 4 pack of pretty balls to add to the ones I had purchased last year. So far Micah has broken 2 of my new ones. Of course he knows he is not supposed to touch them. He brings them to me, points his little finger at my face and tells me, "No, no!"
- 1 Pack Foam Darts ($10) - For some reason, Micah seems to like chewing on his brother's foam darts that shoot out of a little gun and stick to the wall. He will actually climb the bookcase to pull them out of Nathan's box (which is supposed to be out of his reach) and all day long I will find him chewing on half pieces of dart that he has chewed in two.
- 1 Bathroom Cabinet door ($60) - Micah has pulled on, slammed, and yanked on our bathroom cabinet door, till last week it came apart in 3 pieces and cannot be glued back together.
- 1 Portable DVD player ($150) - Last week Micah got mad at Nathan in the car and so he kicked his legs at the DVD player on the back of my headrest. This snapped the little plastic hinges that hold the door on and so, of course, the front cover fell off. Now we cannot watch movies in the car.
- 1 Car Stereo system ($170) - Last week, I tried to play our choir cd in the car so that I could practice for our choir program. It would not take the cd. Upon further inspection, I saw that Micah had slipped several quarters and nickels into the slot meant only for cds. I will have to either pay for someone to take the whole thing apart and put it back together, or just get a whole new one.
Posted by Candice at 11:23 AM
Wednesday, November 25, 2009
Just saw an awesome movie tonight called "BlindSide." I will sing it's praises from the housetop and hope that it can somehow counter balance the damage that may have been done by the horror flick, "Orphan." What a great true story about taking in an orphan and how it changes US! My husband and I laughed and cried through the whole movie. So many times we thought of Micah and our other children. We are truly a family blessed by adoption!
Posted by Candice at 12:26 AM
Friday, November 20, 2009
My husband and I were able to share a brief testimony about our adoption experience at an International Adoption Dinner hosted by Bethany Christian Services this weekend. It was awesome to hear all the stories from families, but to also be able to encourage the families that have just started the process or are well into the waiting.
I was talking with my friend Pam, another Dillon mom, 2 weeks ago about being in the middle of a desperate wait...one where you cannot see your way or hear God's voice of direction. Then, Friday night a "waiting mom" spoke about their "waiting" and their desperateness to hear God's direction in their process. The long wait in adoption can be excruciating and lonely. This mom shared on Friday that a friend of hers had come up to her and reminded her of something very powerful. "In the middle of your desperate waiting, somewhere out there is a child who desperately needs you to wait." Wow! To persevere, knowing and having the confidence that God is at work on your behalf even when you cannot see it happening. And to remember that God loves and values the orphan child so much that He is working just as diligently on their behalf to unite them with a forever family!
Have you ever noticed in the Bible that most children of promise did not come in the usual way? Jesus, John the Baptist, Isaac, Samuel, etc. God has promised that if we care for the orphans, it will give glory to God. He is a God who keeps His promises and delights to bless us. I truly believe that an adopting family can claim Romans 4:20-21, just as Abraham and Sarah were waiting on their child of promise with no idea of how the promise would be fulfilled..."yet, with respect to the promise of God, he did not waver in unbelief, but grew strong in faith, giving glory to God, and being fully assured that what He had promised, He was also able to perform."
Posted by Candice at 9:06 AM
Thursday, November 19, 2009
The weather is gorgeous, and Thanksgiving is just around the corner! I'm getting out the Pumpkin Bread recipes and buying my ornaments for the kids teachers at school. Although Winter is not officially here until December 21st, with all the Christmas lights being put up in our neighborhood, and all the trees losing their beautiful leaves, it feels like it's time to bid goodbye to Autumn...my favorite time of year.
Micah continues to take everything in stride and bewitches everyone he is around with that charming little smile.
I have way too many pictures to post them all here, but here are a couple of my favorite memories from this fall season. First is our trip out of town together. The mountains, the sites, the motel...it's always quite an adventure! Next is our annual hayhide and pumpkin picking mission up on the mountain! Micah seemed a bit nervous on the wagon ride, but was quiet and took it all in. Then, have I mentioned that Micah has a sweet tooth? I love this pic of him eating his powdered donut on the soccer field during sissy's game. And, last but not least, Micah dressed up like a lion on Halloween! His little "roar" was adorable! Autumn is great for making some awesome memories!
Posted by Candice at 10:54 AM
Thursday, November 5, 2009
Micah is 20 months old today! I can't believe that in a couple of months he will be turning 2! Time has flown by so quickly. I got these school pics of the boys today and cannot believe how much Micah has changed in such a short time. I'm glad to have this sweet picture of the boys loving on each other. I'll try to look at it every time they are fighting! :)
My nephew recently told my sister as they were driving home in the car that the wanted a little brown-faced brother like Nathan has! :) I'm sure at times Nay Nay (as Micah calls him) might be willing to send Micah to live with his cousin for a while, but overall, they love each other dearly. I have so much to be grateful for this holiday season and these 2 little boys are at the top of my list!
Posted by Candice at 7:34 PM
Thursday, October 29, 2009
Last night at our church we had a Compassion Sponsor Appreciation Event. Our regional coordinator came and spoke and gave his testimony about meeting the little boy he sponsors. Of course these stories are always touching. Last night they also showed a video clip from the Catalyst Conference that just took place in Atlanta. Their focus this year was on the ministry of Compassion International. The video clip was so awesome to see. Make sure you have a kleenex ready when you watch it! It is just one more reason that I love the ministry of Compassion!
Posted by Candice at 5:31 PM
Autumn is my favorite time of year! I love the cool crisp air, the leaves changing colors, and the fact that it leads us into Thanksgiving which is my favorite holiday! Somehow my Starbucks White Chocolate Mocha tastes better in the fall. I'm also a huge fan of pumpkin bread, pumpkin pie and peanut butter fudge! Time to get outside and take some more fall pictures of the kiddos!
Posted by Candice at 11:16 AM
Tuesday, October 20, 2009
Well, I am finally getting around to posting a video on my blog. This is a link to the awesome video my friend Ruth made for us from our video we took in India. It's just a couple minutes long and we showed it on the Sunday morning that we did Micah's baby dedication. I hope to add to it in the future as well as putting some more video on here that my brother-in-law did, but for now, you can click here for a quick glimpse of Micah's Coming Home Story!
Posted by Candice at 12:01 AM
Friday, October 16, 2009
I just finished reading an awesome book called, "Another Man's War," by Sam Childers. He was a druggie, alcoholic, biker, who accepted Christ, became a pastor and now runs an orphanage in war torn Uganda and Southern Sudan. He fights with their military there to help save the women and children from the rebels. It is such an incredible story, well worth the read. He is giving his life to protect the war orphans there and their stories will break your heart. What a great ministry he has! He has spoken on Oprah before and also on the 700 Club. I'm going to try to check out those sites and see if I can pull up any of his old interviews. Happy reading!
Posted by Candice at 8:49 AM
Tuesday, September 29, 2009
I'm sure I'm not the only one who thinks my little boy is adorable! :) Tonight I dressed him back up in his little Kurta Pajama that he wore for his baby dedication for a quick photo opp. Of course, as soon as he sees a camera, he raises his hand and says, "cheese!"
A sweet, talented lady in our church made the quilt that Micah is sitting on and gave it to us before we left for India. She had purchased the material because she loved the colors and designs, but she had never made the quilt because she was unsure of who to give it to. A friend had told her the material did not exactly look like a baby quilt. When she found out that we were adopting a little boy from India, she got right to work and surprised us with this beautiful quilt, that is perfect for our little Indian baby! Micah was even being thought of by others before we had ever even gone to get him! I love it!
Posted by Candice at 10:08 PM
Tuesday, September 15, 2009
It's official...the adoption is final! Almost 2 years to the day of our filing our initial application with Dillon! Today Utsab became Micah David Utsav Sneed! We arrived at the courthouse early this morning, letting the girls miss a day of school! Everything went very smoothly and our adoption attorney and our judge were wonderful. Our families had the courtroom all to ourselves and our attorney let the kids sit at the witness desks. The judge made sure to include them in his discussion with us and they were very proud! It was quick and painless (aside from the TWO parking tickets our wonderful city put on my van during the adoption proceeding...one for my meter running out 5 minutes prior and one for parking backwards...are you kidding me?) My sweet husband said let's just chalk it up to an "adoption expense" and go celebrate! So, we did. We went to Cracker Barrel and had a wonderful celebration breakfast with my sister and her girls, my parents, and David's dad. It feels so good to have Micah "officially" ours. Now all we have left is to apply for his social and his US citizenship!
The last picture is from Micah's dedication at church on Sunday. My parents and David's parents were both able to be there and our dad's said a prayer of blessing at the end. We had Micah in his little Indian outfit and he was adorable! I had gotten outfits for the other kids as well and they were so proud to wear them and show them off. I'll have to post a closer up picture soon. In the meantime, we are quietly celebrating what has already been in our hearts for a long time!
Posted by Candice at 8:42 PM
Friday, September 4, 2009
Yesterday afternoon I was in the kitchen fixing supper and overheard a conversation between my 3rd grade daughter and "G," a friend from her school. This young man and his family go to church with us, and he rode home with us from school to wait till his mom could pick him up. He is a little sweetheart. His mom and I have decided that since I am going to be incorporating some Indian holidays into our family, that I should consider adding in an Indian tradition as well...namely arranged marriage! Of course we would not let our kiddos know that they were betrothed until they were older so that we wouldn't embarrass them. :)
Anyway, I had just made some chocolate chip cookie dough and before I could bake the cookies, they wanted a spoonful of dough. Everyone knows the dough is the best part, so I gave them each a big spoonful and they walked into the living room. After just a minute, I heard "G" ask my daughter, "Which is better, cookie dough or God?" She just laughed and said, "God!" Then he laughed too and said, "Yeah, God is better than anything." I just had to laugh. I think my cookie dough is pretty good and they must have too since they were comparing it to God. :) I also love how children just love God with a perfect faith, trust, and acceptance. To them, "God" is the correct answer for any question and of course God IS better than anything!
Posted by Candice at 8:30 AM
Saturday, August 29, 2009
Well, my little man is oblivious to it all, but we have been continuing the paper trail and we have finally been given a court date to finalize the adoption. It will take place on the morning of September 15! I will be sure to post pics of that day!
On another note, I am continually amazed at how little people know about adoption. Of course, I was once there myself, so I am taking great delight in sharing our story. I've gotten to share it twice this week...once to a pastor in Starbucks and once in Walmart to a former student of my husbands. We have some friends who have asked us to dinner next week just to talk about adoption since they are interested in beginning the process! I just love it! Little does this little boy know how many lives his story might touch. :)
Posted by Candice at 10:09 AM
Friday, August 21, 2009
Well, very early yesterday was Micah's circumcision. It was not an easy day for either of us. Everything went perfectly though and this morning he is up and moving around like nothing happened...except for a few tears when I change his diaper. I am reminded again of what an amazing Creator I serve. It is amazing how quickly the body begins to heal itself and how resilient children are.
In the midst of the yuckiness of getting ready to go to the hospital, the Lord gave me a little blessing and a smile. When the hospital called the night before to pre-register us, the registrar began asking me questions about our family history, etc. She asked me if anyone in the family had ever had a reaction to anesthesia. I then went into a long story about our son Nathan and his trips to the hospital and his reactions, etc. She took it all down, finished registering me and then we hung up. It was not until 2 hours later, as I was sitting by Micah's bed as he fell asleep, that it dawned on me that my whole conversation with the registrar had been totally irrelevant! My family's medical history has nothing to do with Micah's! I smiled and laughed and thanked the Lord for showing me how quickly Micah has become family. I love that I don't even think about him as being adopted! He is just one of my many kids! :)
I love how in the exhaustion and busyness of our lives the Lord gives us those sweet little moments of a smile or laughter if we take time to notice. I got one this morning. I think it's hilarious how quickly younger children learn things when they have older siblings to watch and imitate. I guess Micah will pretty much be able to raise himself with 3 older siblings who dote on his every whim. This morning he picked up a candle in a little stone crock and banged it down on the table. I looked at him and said, "No, Micah," and then took the candle away. He just looked at me for a second and then reached his little hand back and spanked his own bottom. I just had to laugh. I guess his raising is all taken care of. :)
Posted by Candice at 8:58 AM
Monday, August 17, 2009
Well, I know that Summer is not officially over, but it is back to school time, so for all practical purposes, it is. No more swimming at my sister's house. :( It's time to get back in some sort of a routine, which with 4 children, is very important. :) The girls head off to elementary school, the boys and I head to the 2 day a week Parent's Day Out program at our church (which I am directing this year), and Daddy is back to teaching during the day and taking a Master's class 1 night a week.
We had Micah's first well check today...it's been post-poned 3 times. :) He is doing well and is now 18 lbs. and 29 1/4 inches long. Although still not on the chart for North American children, he is growing and is developmentally right where he should be, so no worries! His immunizations he got in India did take, so we are picking up where they left off over there. Apparently he had the chicken pox at some time over there, so we get to skip that one. We still, however, had 3 shots today, with 2 more due next month. Needless to say, tonight I have a little bit of a cranky baby. :)
Posted by Candice at 5:37 PM
Wednesday, August 5, 2009
Today India is celebrating Raksha Bandhan or "Rakhi" as it is sometimes called. We are not celebrating the holiday here in our household this year since Micah is still so young. However, this is one of the Indian holidays we would like to incorporate into our family as Micah grows older. It is a little overwhelming thinking about how we are going to raise Micah as an American and trying not to single him out, yet all the while teaching him about his birth culture and heritage and incorporating some of it into our family. There will be certain traditions and holidays that we choose to not celebrate for faith reasons of our own, but Rakhi will be one that we do celebrate in the future because we love what it stands for! I have included a short description of the holiday below.
Raksha Bandhan, also known as “rakhi,” is a festival that strengthens and celebrates the precious bond shared between a brother and a sister. The Raksha Bandhan festival is all about love, care, and righteousness. It brings together people of all sects and is much appreciated for this unifying element that it brings with it. Rakhi signifies a bond of love and care between a brother and his sister and contributes toward the social harmony of India.
Posted by Candice at 5:45 PM
Tuesday, August 4, 2009
Well, today we had our 3 post placement visit from our social worker and we are finally done with that part! Now we can work on finalizing Micah's adoption in the courts. We have signed the Petition to Adopt and plan to mail it back to the attorney tomorrow. He will file it with the courts and get us our court date. At the court hearing, we will be able to legally change Micah's name and become his "parents" instead of just his "guardians." I am hoping that we can get a date around the first week in September. It's hard to believe that by then we will have been home for 6 months.
On a side note...my baby boy will be 17 months old tomorrow! My, how time does fly! :)
Posted by Candice at 7:20 PM
Monday, July 27, 2009
Well, we had our first trip to a small amusement park near our home. It all went well and the kids loved it. It was our trial run-thru for Disney next year. ;) David got to ride the roller coasters with the girls and I got to ride the kiddy rides with the boys! That's ok with me though since I get sick on a swing. :)
Thank you to all those who responded to my last post. It is comforting to know that Micah is not the Energizer Bunny, but just a normal little boy doing what little boys do! After reading your comments and talking about them, we realized that we had not gotten to experience what a little boy was really like since our son, Nathan, was a very sick little boy till he was about 2 1/2. I am excited that our boys will have the chance to be at home together for one more year as the girls head off to school.
Posted by Candice at 12:49 PM
Wednesday, July 22, 2009
Don't let this adorable little face (wearing his sister's sunglasses) fool you! If truth be told, he is WEARING ME OUT! :)
It has nothing to do with adopting a child, and everything to do with being a mother of "4!" I've told my husband from the beginning that I wanted to go back to India and adopt a little sister for Micah. However, after last week, I told him I'm done. Am I too old, too tired, too unorganized...all of the above? :)
My mom says that it is because Micah is brilliant, and she is not biased at all. :) Whatever it is, this curious little boy is keeping me on my toes.
- My other children like to sleep in...Micah is awake by 6 or 6:30 a.m. wanting his honeynut cheerios.
- He climbs anything he can pull himself up onto...including the kitchen table, the top bunk, out of his eating booster seat, etc.
- He empties out the garbage, my purse, the pantry, the kitchen drawers, the dresser drawers, the laundry baskets, the bathroom cabinets...oh, yes, he has figured out how to get around our current child safety locks.
- He loves water...drinking the bath water, splashing in the toilet, and pressing his soft-topped sippie cup upside down on the floor so that the water all runs out.
- He loves anything electronic...calling friends on my cell phone, changing the channels and messing up our cable channels with the remote, turning off the answering machine and deleting our messages.
- He has a sweet tooth and all day long walks me to the cabinet where he knows we "hide" the M&M's.
Posted by Candice at 1:45 PM
Wednesday, July 15, 2009
Just wanted to post a few of my favorite photos from our trip out West to visit my parents. Micah had such a fun time. We went to my grandparents farm where Micah and Daddy got to swing on the same swing that I used as a little girl! Aunt "NiNi" got to come meet Micah while we were there and of course my kids love her to pieces! We also got to go the the playground of my old elementary school so the kids could play, and then of course was the trampoline in Nana and Papa's backyard! So many fun, new things to do for our little boy!
Posted by Candice at 7:23 PM
Saturday, July 11, 2009
Well, we are back from our trip out West to visit my parents. This was the first time they got to meet Micah. He did really well for 20 hours in the car. :)
While we were there, Micah picked up some new words...nana, papa, and dog! He also decided that he likes crushed ice, swimming, and jumping on the trampoline. He did not like the hot, dry wind in his face. One afternoon, we were flabbergasted when he came to us wanting his diaper off. My mom told me I should go set him on the potty and my little 16 month old used the "big boy potty!" Of course he thought that was cool and used the potty 5 or 6 more times while we were there. I guess we will see if that lasts now that we are back home. :)
To explain the picture...I have a picture of me at 20 months of age in my little diaper, standing in my dad's cowboy boots and wearing his cowboy hat. I have been able to do a picture of each of my kids at around the same age in the same pose. So, of course Micah got his turn, and I think it turned out adorable! I can't wait to get this picture of my little cowboy in a frame with my others.
Posted by Candice at 6:12 PM
Saturday, July 4, 2009
Well, Micah has had his first haircut. He did a good job sitting still, but maybe it was because she did it so quickly. Micah has so, so much hair. "Miss Bobbie" didn't cut alot, but his hair had gotten really long in the back and was looking a little shaggy. :) He also got a little cut off his bangs. His hair is so soft and fine. When it is wet, it kinks up in little curls all over and then as it dries, it lies flat in little waves. Of course he loved the full-length mirror where he could see himself and make kissy faces.
And, since I am on the subject of Micah having a lot of something...this kid is blowing me away with the number of teeth he is cutting. When we picked him up he had 7. By the time we got him home he had cut the 8th one. That gave him the 4 front ones on top and bottom. In the last 3 months, he has cut all 4 molers and 1 eye tooth is breaking through right now. That makes 13 teeth for this little 16 month old. I can't remember if that is normal or not, but this poor boy deserves a medal!
Posted by Candice at 7:07 PM
Wednesday, July 1, 2009
Ok. I can't believe it has been almost a month since I posted last, but then again I can. Believe it or not, Micah's ear did not clear up with the first antibiotic, so we did a second round. That makes 20 days on an antibiotic. He finished his last dose on Tuesday, then Thursday we left home for a couple of weeks to visit my parents so that they could meet Micah for the first time. Friday night, on the road, he came down with a virus of some sort and today is the first day he seems to feel halfway like himself. Let's then add to the mix that our 4 year old son stuck a little red bead up his nose which has taken us two days to dislodge! Fun times for Mommy!
I do have some new pictures, but since I cannot access my laptop here, I will have to wait and post them next week when we get home. The blogging for me is so theraputic. I hope that it is not another month before I get a chance to post again. :)
I do have some new pictures, but since I cannot access my laptop here, I will have to wait and post them next week when we get home. The blogging for me is so theraputic. I hope that it is not another month before I get a chance to post again. :)
Posted by Candice at 8:38 PM
Thursday, June 11, 2009
Well, everything is not a bed of roses! This last 2 weeks have been a doozy for me. I am exhausted to say the least. Micah has been sick with maybe a viral thing that hibernated for a while and then turned into a sinus and ear infection. He has been SUPER clingy to me and does not want me to put him down if I am anywhere in his sight line. Besides that, he is waking up about every hour during the night and crying. You know that headache that you get when you are trying to take a nap and keep getting woke up right when you fall asleep? I've had that for about a week now. :) We finished our antibiotics 2 days ago and I know he is feeling some better. Maybe this clingy thing will taper off and he'll start sleeping through the night again. Here's hoping. :)
Posted by Candice at 11:16 PM
Thursday, June 4, 2009
This weekend we got to hear Shaun Groves in concert! He did a fantastic job and we loved hearing him talk about the ministry of Compassion which we are passionate about ourselves. It was neat getting to introduce Micah to him and talk with him in person about his recent trip to Kolkata on a Compassion mission trip (they were just there in May). It was very surreal since we just got back in February and although we did not get to visit a Compassion project, we were able to visit the main offices there and meet the director and some of the staff! What a fun and meaningful evening! The Lord blessed our hearts and we were reminded again how thankful we are to have Micah home!
Posted by Candice at 8:17 PM
Monday, June 1, 2009
Last week 2 of my sisters from out of town came here for a visit. For almost a week, there were 4 of us sisters here with our 10 children ages 9 and under! We had so much fun. My sister, Cathi, had not met Micah yet, so that was exciting for me. One afternoon we took the kids to play in some fountains downtown. All the kids had a blast and even Micah got in on a little bit of the action. :) I love to watch children when they are experiencing something for the very first time. There is that sparkle in their eyes...that little bit of wonder...that just makes you smile! I wonder if my Heavenly Father smiles a little like a proud parent when He senses our awe in the beauty of a sunset, or rainbow, or even when we hold our child for the first time! So awesome!
Posted by Candice at 10:32 AM
Monday, May 25, 2009
Isn't this one of the cutest faces you've ever seen? Micah LOVES bath time and his sister thought it would be funny to give him a mohawk with his wet hair. :) We just LOVE this little boy and what JOY he has brought to our lives!
I am loving all the opportunities I am having to talk about adoption with friends and total strangers. I get asked questions in restaurants, at the grocery store, at the ball fields, etc. Everyone who sees Micah falls in love with him and that contagious little smile and I promote adoption every chance I get with Micah as my visual aid. :) What an incredible thing it would be to us if Micah's journey would encourage even just one family to adopt and change the life of even one more child! That is our prayer!
Monday, May 18, 2009
Well, today the report for our second post-placement visit was due to Dillon, our adoption agency in Oklahoma. We had our visit from our caseworker last week and everything went well.
Micah weighs 18 lbs. now. I can't believe he has gained 3 lbs in the 2 1/2 months he's been home. He is doing so much more than he did even at our first post-placement visit in March. He is now walking everywhere! He gives kisses and will say, "shhh," holding his finger up to his lips. He now has 5 words in his vocabulary...mama, dada, uh-oh, hi, and ball! He is also sleeping through the night in his own big boy bed in his room with his big brother!
Our last post visit will be in August and we are hoping to be able to finalize Micah's adoption at the end of August or the first of September! Yeah!
Posted by Candice at 10:01 PM
Friday, May 15, 2009
I found out yesterday about a mission project started by the Contemporary Christian Music group Jars of Clay. It is called Blood:Water Mission. Please check them out to find out more about what they do. I think it is an amazing ministry, and they make it so easy to make a difference in someone's life. The mission is building wells in villages in Africa so that the children there can have clean water. This alone saves lives physically. However, by building the wells, they gain access to the villages and can then help with HIV/AIDS education, medication, etc., and it gives them a chance to share the Gospel of Christ which REALLY saves lives! They say that a $1 donation equals to clean water for 1 person for 1 year! Isn't that amazing? Just one more reason I'm a Jars of Clay fan! :)
Posted by Candice at 9:44 AM
Tuesday, May 12, 2009
My husband took this photo on Sunday when he and Micah were walking around outside the restaurant waiting for the rest of us to finish. I don't know what Micah was thinking, I do know he was tired. He looks so sad, like the poster child for India Adoption or Compassion or some agency like that. It is definitely not the norm. Usually he is all smiles. For some reason, when I look at this photo, I can't help but think about where Micah came from and how different his life could have been if we had not said, "YES," to adoption.
We had a very smooth experience, but India was a very difficult place for me to be. I was overwhelmed by the negatives to say the least. The poverty, the hot weather, the smog and sulfur smell in the air, the frustration with the money differences, feeling out of place and always on our guard, and that is just the beginning. At one point I had called our caseworker here in the states and was very discouraged. She reminded me that this was my son's birth country, and for his sake and mine, I needed to focus on and remember the positives.
Now that we are back home and I think back, there are some wonderful things I will remember...
- ANJU...our very precious orphanage director. You could just sense her love for the children and her desire for their well-being.
- HOTEL STAFF...the gracious staff at the Hyatt in Kolkata who did everything to make us comfortable and who loved on Micah the whole time we were there.
- SNUGGLES...Micah falling asleep on me right after leaving the orphanage. I got to just sit and love on him the whole way back to the hotel.
- COLORS...the beautiful colors of the the women's clothing and jewelry.
- THANKS...the random Indian couples who asked if Micah was ours and then thanked us for doing their country a great social service by adopting a baby from there.
- AIRPORT...our last look back over our shoulders at Micah's birth city before we got on the plane to leave.
I have a journal to record everything for Micah. He will grow up an Indian American, but I hope that the little glimpse of his homeland and the time we spent there with him will be something he will cherish forever.
Posted by Candice at 9:40 PM
Sunday, May 10, 2009
What a wonderful Mother's Day...I had all 4 of my children with me! I feel so, so blessed. I wouldn't trade being a mommy for anything in the world. There are times I would like to fly them to their Nana's for a week so that I could get some sleep, but that's another story. :)
My children are so talented and wonderful! Does every Mom feel that way? :) Hallie wrote me a beautiful story about Mother's Day and Emma wrote me an interactive song and played it for me on the piano while I looked at my card. Nathan made me some egg carton flowers at pre-school and last night and today Micah started holding my cheeks in his little hands and giving me kisses...open mouth, sound effects and all!
Last night while I was lying down with Micah I couldn't help but think about his birth mom and what she is like. I wonder where she is and what she looks like. I touched Micah's soft curls and the small cleft in his chin and wondered if they come from her. I am sad for her that she will never know the little treasure that her sacrifice has allowed me to gain.
My heart is full, and my husband would say our "quiver" is full. :) Whatever the case, as my children are all asleep in their beds, I am saying a prayer of "thanks" to my heavenly Father for the amazing gift called "motherhood!"
"The most important thing she'd learned over the years was that there was no way to be a perfect mother and a million ways to be a great one." Jill Churchill
Posted by Candice at 10:23 PM
Friday, May 8, 2009
Just after we came home from India with Micah, Compassion International took a mission team to Kolkata. I wish so desperately that I could have gone with them, but there was no way to leave Micah after just arriving home. To be honest, I'm not sure I would have returned right away anyway. The emotions and memories were still too near the surface for me.
Recently, a friend of mine and fellow adoptive mom, let me know that Beth Moore's (an incredible Bible Teacher and speaker) daughter was in India on that trip with Compassion and that she was blogging about her trip on her mom's site. I have checked out her posts and they are great! Reading them brought back some memories and made me cry. You can read about her experiences on the India trip at lproof.org.
Sean Groves, a singer, songwriter, was also on the same India trip and is a huge supporter of Compassion's ministry. I am very excited that he will be at our church this month doing a concert and promoting Compassion. I can't wait!
Monday, May 4, 2009
We got an e-mail this week from Dillon International, our adoption agency that both made me sad and glad at the same time. They let us know that they were sending 4 air-conditioners to ISRC and Matre Sneha, Micah's orphanage in Kolkata. Apparently they are having a very hard time with the extreme heat which has started very early this summer. The e-mail said that it has been starting over 100 degrees each day. I cannot even imagine. When we were there in February it was around 88 each day. I remember when we were at the orphanage being thankful for the ceiling fans and the small movement of air they provided, even if it was air from off the street from the open windows. We were sweating just walking around taking pictures of all the precious children. It makes me sad to think of the children there now in their cribs in the awful heat. I look at Micah sitting on the floor in our living room, cool as a cucumber and I am so grateful.
All that to say this...I am so thankful for our adoption agency. As soon as they heard the need, they quickly sent the money for air conditioners to be put in the orphanage. I know the Ayahs and the babies are going to be so grateful. Our agency is able to do this only by contributions made by families around the country! We now have an interest in their humanitarian work across the ocean. :) It makes it so much more personal that we were just there and got to experience the heat for ourselves. We are going to try to get a couple of community groups at our church to join together to do a car wash with the donations going to help Dillon and the babies at Matre Sneha...an adoption agency in Oklahoma and a little orphanage on the other side of the world now very dear to our hearts!
Posted by Candice at 8:07 PM
Tuesday, April 28, 2009
Well, it's official...Micah is walking! He just stood up Saturday night on his own and took off across the living room floor. He has not stopped since. :) He is so cute walking with those skinny little legs, and he can even change direction when he wants to.
He has also picked up two new words..."nigh, nigh" for night, night and "no." I guess he is hearing that one a lot since he is into everything...cabinets, drawers, trash cans, the toilet. He is also climbing anything he can get a foothold on. He is a little handful. Then he just looks at me with that grin that melts my heart and blows me a kiss. What a little charmer. :)
Posted by Candice at 10:25 PM
Tuesday, April 21, 2009
Here are a couple of pictures from a friends birthday party at Chuck-E-Cheese (my least favorite place in the whole world.) :) Micah did so well. He seems to adjust so quickly to things. He just clings and watches for a minute and then he is ready to go! He had lots of fun riding the little rides. I think he would have stayed for hours and hours. He also ate 2 pieces of pizza and some birthday cake! I haven't found much food that he doesn't like.
- The last 2 weeks I have seen so much that Micah is picking up. I can't believe it is happening so quickly. He is dancing now, just a little, when he hears music.
- Now when he throws something down, he says, "uh oh!" It's too cute.
- When he gets our cell phones or his toy one, or a little camera or anything electronic looking, he holds it up to his ear and says, "hi!"
- He has also started saying, "mama" this last week! He says it when he sees me or if I am leaving the room. Of course that melts my heart! He has said, "da,da" from the beginning, but now he says it when he sees David. It's so cool.
- He has gone to the nursery twice now on Sundays and has done very well...no crying at all!
- Yesterday, he actually did the sign language sign for "more" when he wanted his snack! I was so excited. I taught some basic sign to all my kids before they could speak...words like please, more, done, etc. Micah has been screaming at us when he wanted more food, so I started with him on the signs and was so shocked yesterday when he looked up at me, pointed to his snack on the desk across the room and did the sign for "more." Of course I had to get up right away and get him some. :)
- I have a little climber on my hands. Last week he climbed 14 stairs from our den to the upstairs. He was so proud. Then, I went in the girls room where they were playing on the floor and I found Micah on the 3rd rung of the bunk bed ladder. We are going to have to watch him like a hawk!
I am amazed at how fast he is learning and soaking stuff in. I am also amazed at how it feels like he's always been here with us. I find that I have even already assimilated him into our family and it doesn't even feel like Micah was adopted. Someone asked me recently if I loved Micah yet like I love my bio children. You always wonder if you will, I guess, if you have ever considered adoption. I can only answer from our experience and the miracle God worked in our hearts. I told this person..."It is strange, but I loved Micah before I ever met him. I know that God is the Father to the fatherless which means God himself was Micah's father and loved him like only a father can. I cannot fully explain it, but I truly feel like since I was willing to open up my heart and take the step toward Micah, that God poured His love for Micah straight into my heart and let His love fill me and flow through me so that I felt this unexplainable love for a child I had never met. I think He did this for me until I could hold Micah myself and get to know him and fall in love with him all over again in person." And...I have!
Posted by Candice at 9:39 AM
Tuesday, April 14, 2009
At each holiday that falls during the year, I am reminded once again of how blessed I am to have family. My family is very close in relationship, even though we live far apart. We make every effort to get together whenever possible, and there is no place we would rather be than with family. If we have any type of break in our schedules, we travel somewhere in the US to stay with another family member and visit for a while! My kids are so lucky to have right now 4 great-grandma's, 2 great-grandpa's, 2 sets of grandparents, and many, many, many aunts, uncles and cousins! I was fortunate enough to marry a man who comes from the same type of family.
David's family, parents, aunts, uncles, cousins, grandparents, all used to get together every Sunday afternoon for lunch at his Ma-maw's and Pa-paws house. After Pa-paw passed away it went to one Sunday a month. Now, we still get together once a month, but on a Friday night. I love that everyone just knows that it's important and if at all possible, everyone is there.
As our families grow...we get more children, get married, move away, etc., this gets harder and harder, but we keep it a priority. I know not many families have this opportunity and I feel very blessed and thankful. As I look at these pictures from our Easter get-together, I pray that I can instill this same love and devotion to family in my children that I grew up with myself!
Posted by Candice at 1:03 PM
Sunday, March 29, 2009
Can you tell my little boy is already feeling at home? Here he is in a little baseball outfit, playing with his sissy's Nintendo DS. I think he is holding it steady with his big toe! Who knows. He fits in that way too, since all of us in our family have long toes. :)
For a quick update...Micah is quickly learning and copying everything.
- He took his first steps this week without holding on! Of course now he won't do it again, but we must be getting close.
- He is eating everything in sight, and I mean everything. If he can reach it, it goes in his mouth. I'm having to baby proof again. The only food he has not been fond of was strawberries and mandarin oranges...I guess they are kind of sour.
- He likes to ride in the stroller and has gotten used to his carseat really quickly. In fact, he usually falls asleep almost immediately when we head somewhere.
- He has figured out what a cell phone is for and will hold ours up to his ear every chance he gets.
- He no longer screams and cries when we change his diaper or his clothes...we never figured that one out.
- He is still fighting me when it comes time for naps and bedtime, but not nearly as badly and I am figuring out a system. I may still end up with a busted lip or broken nose from being butted with his head, but I guess that is a small price to pay. :)
- He LOVES bath time now! If there is water running, he wants in. He will climb all over Nathan to get the water spout when they are taking a bath. Then he will do everything he can to climb in the tub with Emma, jammies and all. After that, he'll stand there getting sprayed with the water while Hallie takes a shower!
- He loves seeing himself in the mirror and will just coo and kiss his reflection forever.
- He is a very social little boy and will go to almost anyone. However, after just a few minutes, he looks around for Mommy or Daddy and wants to come back. Of course I love that!
Posted by Candice at 4:32 PM
Friday, March 27, 2009
Yesterday in the van my girls were having a conversation in the back seat about how they came from my tummy, but Micah didn't. I gave them the typical answer you always hear..."I carried you in my tummy and Micah in my heart." Later though, after analyzing things as I do, I regretted saying that. :) Really, I carried them ALL in my heart long before I knew them. I guess it got me to thinking about the similarities between a pregnancy and an adoption even though the majority of people think they are worlds apart.
- THE DECISION - Before trying to get pregnant, you usually have conversations like, "Are we ready to have a baby?" "Can we do this financially?" "Is this the right time to expand our family?" "How will it affect our lives as we know it?" These are some of the same questions you ask yourselves as you are starting on the paperwork trail in adoption.
- ITS POSITIVE - Pretty self-explanatory...the positive pregnancy test...no turning back. This was kind of how I felt when we went on the waiting list for a referral. We made it, we're here now, no turning back.
- THE WAIT - There is the wait till 20 weeks when you can find out the sex of the baby, or in adoption, the wait for the referral...who is my child going to be? Then there is the next phase of waiting for the birth, and for adopting families, the wait to travel and pick up your child.
- PHOTO - Every pregnant mom remembers their first ultrasound. Wow, baby's first photo...even though it doesn't do our beautiful baby justice. :) The referral photo is just like that. Our first glimpse of our beautiful baby...and it doesn't do them justice as anyone can tell from looking back at referral photos. :)
- THE UNKNOWN - Not knowing details about what your baby is going to be like and not knowing full details about their health is scary. Doctors run all sorts of tests on mom and baby and can scare you with the possibilities of things that could go wrong. The occasional medical reports or updates from your child's birth country can also be very intimidating.
- THE LAST MONTH - This is a miserable time for any mom. :) Your baby could arrive any day, or it could still be 4 weeks away. You are so anxious for the baby to arrive, and yet don't have everything ready yet. That last minute wait for passports or permission to travel is a killer.
- THE TRIP - This is something every pregnant mom and every adoptive mom fantasize about the whole journey. What is my experience going to be like? The trip to the hospital and the trip to the orphanage can be the longest trip you have ever taken in your life!
- THE GIFT - Your baby! Whether the baby comes out of your tummy, or out of another mom's tummy, the result is the same! You are suddenly handed a beautiful gift, created completely and totally by God! You are overwhelmed with love and emotion, exhaustion and uncertainty, thankfulness and joy!
Posted by Candice at 8:53 AM
Tuesday, March 24, 2009
I have not gone into much detail about our visit to the Compassion East India office while we were in Kolkata, so I thought that I would share our story. It is full of little "God things" as was our whole adoption journey, so I want to share it.
We had decided that we would go by the Compassion office the day before we left India. First, we called my friend, Janie, who is a Compassion advocate, to get the address. Imagine our amazement when we found out that the office was only about 8 minutes away from the hotel where we were staying in Kolkata! We had brought a backpack of stuff from my friend Jenny's family for a little boy they sponsor who attends one of the projects there. When we arrived at the office and walked in, we stood in the lobby for a minute and then a man walked around the corner and asked if he could help us. I showed him a piece a paper with a man's name on it and told him we had come to see the director Devasagayam Jebaraj. He said that was him! He took us back to his office so that he could hear why we had come. We shared our story and he shared with us his vision for reaching more children there in the 5 states they serve. He was very excited that we were there. He said he was supposed to be in a meeting, but something, or "Someone" had prompted him to walk to the lobby, even though he had no reason for going there! :) He felt like God had brought us together that day!
We were introduced to his assitant, Ratna, and she showed us around the offices. We got to see where they process the letters from sponsors, translate them, and send out the letters from the children, etc. We also got to meet some of the employees and talk with them. They all loved Micah of course and everyone wanted to hold him. As the employees began coming back from a meeting, we noticed several Americans...the first we'd seen in Kolkata. We began talking with them and found out that they were there from the main office in Colorado Springs to lead some training courses! We had such a good time talking with them and hope to see them again if we ever get to visit the headquarters in Colorado.
While we were there, I mentioned that I had also brought a back-pack of stuff for the little girl that we sponsor in southern India. We were not able to work it out for us to visit her, but we wondered if they could mail or transport the backpack somehow to the southern office in Chennai so that she could get it. Jebaraj said, "Oh, yes!" We actually have a delegation from the Chennai office here for our meetings this week. They are leaving in 3 days and can take it back with them!" How cool is that? :) After chatting with everyone, Jebaraj, asked us to stay and eat lunch with them. This was our first taste of "authentic" Indian cuisine, and I must say it was very delicious, but very spicy! We had such a fun time. I would have to say that our visit to the Compassion office was one of the highlights of our trip to India!