Tuesday, December 28, 2010

Christmas Blessings!

This Christmas has been a very special one for me for many reasons.
  • I'm almost to "1 year cancer free!"
  • I got the white Christmas I'd been dreaming of...with 3 inches of powdery white snow on Christmas day!
  • We had a blast watching Micah enjoy the first Christmas where he really knows what is going on! We had an awesome concert on Christmas morning when he opened his guitar...the only thing he had requested from Santa this year!
  • Today, we got to meet another Dillon family who is in process to adopt from India! Abby and Suhas were in town visiting family for the holidays and we got to meet for a 3 hour lunch! We had so much fun and I cannot wait to follow their journey and hopefully keep in touch through the years as our children grow!
We feel so blessed and we are so grateful for the little gifts God sprinkles along our journey that make us stop and smile...things like snow, toy guitars, and new friendships!

Sunday, November 14, 2010

Just Because!

This is Micah's newest school photo! I can't believe he is growing up so quickly. He will do something and I'll say, "Good job, baby!" Then he is quick to reply, "I not a baby, Mommy, I Micah!" So true. My Micah is growing and learning so quickly. He is potty trained, speaking in clear sentences, processing everything in site, and beginning to have his own opinions about everything and not afraid to express them. This week he informed me that he does not like jelly on his peanut butter sandwiches. "I no like jelly on my butter, Mommy." Ok, then. Peanut butter only it is. :) Another new thing that just started last week is the "why" question. We hear it frequently now. If he is not asking us "why," something is a certain way, he is turning the tables on us. He asks me, "Mommy do you know why?" Then I answer, "No, Micah. Why?" His answer is always...Because! That's a good enough answer for me. It condenses everything into one simple word. So, Micah. Do you know why I love you so much? Because!

Friday, October 15, 2010

Peaceful Sleep!?

Look at this precious little boy sleeping so peacefully! DON'T BE FOOLED! The only peaceful moments we have during the day is when he is sleeping! :)

I posted a while back about all the things he has broken and mentioned how much those things are costing us to have fixed. Not that I'm keeping a list, but let me just tell you about just 1 day this week in the life of Micah...

Monday night my husband was up till 2:00 a.m. grading papers since his grades were due Tuesday morning at 8:00 a.m. At 2:00, he was putting everything in a pile to get it ready for school and noticed that his keys were missing. Micah had picked them up earlier in the evening and my husband had told him to put them back down. He did...apparently for the moment. David searched for the keys from 2:00 - 3:00 and then laid down for 1 hr. At 4:00 a.m. he woke me up to help him look. We looked from 4:00 - 7:00 a.m. when David had to call a student of his who lives on our street and ask for a ride to school. The problem? Our Saturn, which we just sold on Sunday, was sitting in the driveway with a dead battery from not having been driven in a while. The Venture was parked in the driveway in front of the garage, leaving me no way to access my Odyssey. Micah had lost our only set of keys to the Venture (David lost his set a year ago and we had never made another copy.) So...

David took a half day off school and had another teacher drive him home. We had the Venture towed to the dealership to be re-keyed. We jumped off the Saturn and took it to have the radio fixed and the battery checked for the new owner. We then headed to the dealership to try to pick up the Venture. We then hurried home to pick up all the other kids from school, only to head back out to pick up the Saturn so that we could bring it home. I will not even say how much $ we spent on Tuesday. :) It's been 3 days and we have still not found the keys.

Needless to say, I am looking forward to a very much needed vacation next week! It will give me some more time to enjoy this precious little bundle of joy named, Micah...with 4 other family members to help me!

Friday, October 1, 2010

Who Would Have Thought...

Two years ago today we accepted a referral for a little boy named, Utsab. Who would have ever thought how much he would change our lives for the better!

This little boy is a great big package of amazing. :)
  • Micah is so strong! He can scale any object he sets his mind to. I find him on the top bunk, the washing machine, the bathroom sink, the living room picture window, etc. Nothing is to hard for him to climb, and if he can't work it with his arm strength and his little toes, he carries the step stool to aid him in his endeavor. At the park, a friend of ours was helping little kids "hang" from the monkey bars. Micah wanted to also, so he lifted him up. Micah immediately did a chin up. He's 2!
  • Micah is so silly! He has just started playing pretend and I love it! He tries to cook me dinner and is always handing me imaginary money. When we go to leave the house, he puts on his "slip slops," picks up his imaginary tar (guitar) and trumpet and says he's ready to go. Of course, at the top of the stairs, he hands me the "tar" and says, "Too heavy, Mommy. You carry it." He has also started dancing around like a ballerina. He was saying, "See, Mommy, I'm a princess!" He is still dancing around, but at least now I have him saying that he's a "prince."
  • Micah is so smart! He remembers everything we read and everybody we meet. He sings songs from our little pre-school program and can already pick out his shapes and some colors. He loves to talk on the phone and steals his dad's all the time. When his dad tries to take it away, Micah says, "I've got to check my e-mail!" We've been half-heartedly working on potty training for a while. Just waiting for a week where we can be consistent. However, this week he went "poo" on the potty!
When we were waiting for a referral, we told the Lord that we could not choose. We prayed that He would let the child that He meant for our family be the first referral we received and we would accept. Micah's referral was miraculous in and of itself (read back posts if you'd like more details), and he is a perfect fit for our family. I am not surprised. I truly believe that as God created Micah in his mother's womb, He knew and created him for our family. Micah...you have forever changed our lives and we are grateful!

Thursday, September 30, 2010

Adoption Awareness

As we near November 7th, National Adoption Awareness Sunday, my thoughts are focused again on adoption. As an adoptive parent and adoption advocate, I am frustrated as to why so many families don't see the need for them to adopt. At the same time, to be fair, I remember the very real fears and uncertainties that the devil sent my way while we were in process, trying to get me to back out. I wish people could see their excuses for what they are, and see into God's heart for the fatherless.
  1. We are not comfortable with the thought of adoption. The scriptures constantly confirm that we were not left on this earth to be comfortable. That is one of the biggest tools of the devil. If we get comfortable we lose the will to act. Adoption is not about our comfort. It's about the life of a child who will never have a family unless we are obedient. True faith requires action and true love requires sacrifice. John 3:16
  2. We cannot afford to adopt. This is also a lie of the devil and an affront to the provision of God. We are really saying, "God, this one is to big for You to provide for, so we cannot obey in this area." We can never be in debt to God and if we are acting upon His heart and His commands, He is willing and ready to provide. So many miracles are missed because we hold too much to our security in our money and we fail to trust God. Luke 12:13-34
  3. We need to pray about adopting. We don't need to pray about doing something God has already commanded. He says over and over again that caring for the orphan is what true religion looks like. Instead, ask God to open the doors where He desires and then step out where God leads! James 1:27
  4. We are too old to adopt. This excuse may be valid for some legally, but not in the eyes of God. He gives us so many options in scripture. He constantly speaks of taking care of the orphan or the fatherless, the stranger, and the widow. We already know that adoption requires leaving our comfort zone, making a sacrifice of time and money, and stepping out to actually do something. What could that look like?
  • Adopting an orphan is obvious, but what about "the fatherless?" That could be a single mother who needs some help, or even a military wife whose husband is overseas. How could you incorporate the family into yours? How could you help them meet their needs?
  • The stranger could be a homeless person, a neighbor you have not met, a foreign exchange student at the local college who has no family in this country. How could you meet their physical needs? Could you share your holidays with them?
  • Widows are everywhere...in your church, in a nursing home, on your street, etc. Do you know a widow with no family that cares for them? Can you adopt them into your family?
I wish everyone could see that adoption is possible. Adopt a child, adopt a widow, adopt a stranger, adopt a family. It does not matter, just do it. But, remember that adoption is not comfortable and it will cost you something. To adopt us, Christ left His home and all His riches and gave up His very life. By choosing to obey and love, the blessings you and your family will receive will last into eternity! Matthew 25:31-46

Wednesday, September 22, 2010

Adoption Fever

It may sound crazy to some that after adopting 1 child, I am ready to adopt another. I guess you could say I have Adoption Fever! Once you have seen where your child could have been, and you have fallen in love with your child, and you see how close you could have come to missing the incredible, life-changing gift from God that adoption brings to your family, it is hard to not want to do it again with another child.

People say that I am crazy...my husband included. :) I realize that I already have 4 children and I am currently going through treatments for breast cancer, but I just can't help myself. I realize the timing is not for right now, but I am holding out hope for the future. I realize that my children will not have everything other children have and they will not get to go everywhere and experience everything that other kids do, but somehow that is not important to me. My heart is elsewhere and I hope that my treasure, while meager here on earth, will be much greater in Heaven someday. If I follow God's heart, I am not worried about His ability to provide!

So, that being said, right now God is whispering to my heart that He can help us to care for another child. I don't know what that might look like, or what the future holds for us, but I am waiting with anticipation to see what the Lord will do!

Sunday, September 5, 2010

Shoes for Orphan Souls

This week at our church we are concluding our Shoes for Orphan Souls shoe drive. It is the first year we have acted as a host drop-off site for shoes. I am particularly excited about this ministry now that I know who they are! It is a ministry of Buckner International. Buckner was an adoption/humanitarian agency that recently joined forces and merged with Dillon International another adoption/humanitarian agency. Dillon is the adoption agency we used for our adoption! Now, Buckner is able to do all the humanitarian side and Dillon handles the adoption side. It makes both agencies able to do so much more!

Please check out the links above. Especially the one for Shoes for Orphan Souls. Since 1999 they have distributed over 2 million pairs of shoes to orphans around the world, while at the same time sharing God's love with the children! What an awesome ministry! Check it out!

Monday, August 23, 2010

Little Man

My little man is growing up so quickly. He is only 2, but seems so grown up sometimes. Maybe having 3 older siblings plays a small part in that, but I am constantly amazed by Micah. He is talking sentences and constantly has us in stitches at his antics, facial expressions and conversations.

Last night he was carrying around my husband's cell phone. When my husband asked for it back, Micah began moving his thumbs all around and said, "No, Dad, I'm texting." When my husband replied, "No, you are not," Micah then said, "I'm checking my e-mail!" Such a little smarty pants! :)

Tomorrow, my other children will all be in school and it will just be Micah and Mommy at home. Already he is missing them. Every morning he begins by asking, "Where's Daddy? School? Class? Singing? Meeting?" Then he proceeds to go down the list..."Where's Hallie? Where's Emma? Where's Nay Nay?" It's going to be a long school year. :)

I must remind myself to make the most of this time with my precious child!

Sunday, August 15, 2010

Mother Teresa

September marks the 100 year anniversary of the birth of Mother Teresa. Time magazine has put out a special issue dedicated to her life. It is a great read and well worth the money. The fact that she spent her life serving in Calcutta, the city of Micah's birth, makes her all the more fascinating to me.

I read in the first couple of pages that she began her ministry in Calcutta at the age of 38. That is my age! Wow. I had to step back and look at my life. Am I living a life devoted to Christ? What would it look like in my family if I were totally devoted to serving and pleasing God as she was? We are not all called to live the life she lived, but we would all do well to live by a wonderful quote of hers...
"God doesn't ask us to do great things. He asks us to do small things with great love."

Friday, July 9, 2010

Lovely Language

Life flies by so quickly. If anything, my cancer diagnosis has made me more aware of needing to take time to document and cherish each moment that I can. I hope to someday make this blog into a book for Micah. Maybe he'll have as much fun reading it as I am having writing it.

I love watching each of my kids as they are growing up, but we are all especially aware of Micah right now and he cracks us up. It has been so hilarious watching him grow and learn and even listening to him speak. He imitates everything we say. So, for the purpose of documenting some of his "lovely language" I will share some of my favorites right now.
  • Maybe because he hears everyone else, but for some reason, Micah has started dropping "mommy" and "daddy" part of the time and he is calling us "David" and "Candice!"
  • Sometimes we call our second daughter "Emma" and sometimes we call her "Emma Kate." Micah has picked up on that and he calls her "Emma Cake!"
  • Micah has started counting to 10, but most times it is just...one, two, flee!
  • We are anxiously anticipating the arrival of the new Veggie Tale movie "Sweet Pea Beauty," a veggie version of "Sleeping Beauty." Micah loves Veggie Tales right now, but this new title is a mouthful for him. The best we can get is "Sleepy Booty!"
Thank you, Jesus, for the joy of watching this little boy grow up!

Friday, June 18, 2010

Gotta Check it Out!

For those of you interested in some great Indian recipes, and some fun reality TV, you need to check out this new web site that I just found. It is aartipaarti.com! This is the web site for a sweet lady named Aarti. Her mother was Indian and she has started her own little online cooking show with some great Indian recipes. She was also selected for and is currently on the new season of "Next Food Network Star," which shows on Sundays. Her site is very lighthearted and fun with live video, recipe how to's, and links to updates from the show. She also is not afraid to share her faith in God, at least on her site...I have not seen her on the reality show yet. I plan to watch the upcoming third episode this Sunday! I am also going to try out her Dal recipe once I get my taste buds back! :) Enjoy!

Friday, May 21, 2010

What a Gift!

Look at this face! What a gift we have been given. This mischievous, playful, strong-willed, loving, little boy. He is growing so quickly. My older kids remark all the time, "I can't imagine our lives without Micah!" I agree.

I am so glad that my last chemo is June 8, so that I can have the whole summer to enjoy with my kiddos! "H" will be going to middle school, "E" will be moving to the big kids wing in the elementary school and changing classrooms, "N" will be going to kindergarten and I will be home with "M" by myself! That's probably what scares me the most! ;) I am going to enjoy this summer, and cherish having all 4 kids at home with me for this season!

Sunday, May 9, 2010

"Oh, there you are!"

Usually I do not buy PEOPLE magazine, but in the May issue is an interview with Sandra Bullock about her adoption and pictures of her with her baby, Louis. Of course I can't resist adoption stories, so I bought a copy. :) In the article the interviewer asked Sandra what she said when she saw her little boy for the first time. I love her answer! She says, "All I said when I met him was, 'Oh, there you are.' It was like he had always been a part of our lives." So true! I know all you moms out there who have adopted before know exactly what she means!

On this Mother's Day, I feel so blessed to be "mommy" to all my children, adopted and biological. Although there may be a difference in the minds of others, there is no difference whatsoever in my heart! Happy Mother's Day 2010!

Wednesday, April 7, 2010

The Faces of Micah!

These are some of the faces of Micah! The first picture is his "happy" face and the second is his "mad" face. It's a game he likes to play with his daddy. The third is thanks to his big sister who thought it would be funny to load him up with bubbles while he was taking his bath! It's a good thing he is so cute and keeps us in stitches. It almost makes up for all the misbehavin'! :)

Monday, March 29, 2010

S.S. #

Today we got Micah's social security number! I am so thankful that God worked this one out. I made a trip to our local office once and my husband went once. I was going to try to go out there again tomorrow if it did not come today. It feels so nice to have it. I did not worry about my other kids and their numbers, but Micah's case is a little different and I just want to make sure that everything is taken care of and made official. Now, we just sit back and wait for USCIS (immigration) to finalize his US Citizenship. We have been told that this process could take 12-18 months, so don't expect to hear that news anytime soon. :)

Sunday, March 7, 2010

"Micah Mouse!"

My little "Micah Mouse!" Such a cutie! The first thing he says every morning when he wakes up is, "Milk, cewal (cereal), Mickey!" He wants his milk, his Honeynut Cheerios, and his Mickey cartoons! So, it was not a tough decision when it came to choosing our party theme for his second birthday! His next favorite thing right now is chocowit! He asks for it all day long. So, dark chocolate cupcakes made the perfect birthday cake. All I heard all day long after I made the cupcakes in the morning was, "Mickey? Chocowit? Mine?"

This first year home, Micah has brought us so much joy! I cannot wait to see what this next year holds!

Friday, March 5, 2010

Happy 2nd Birthday, Micah!

Today my sweet boy turned 2 years old! We are going to have his party tomorrow so I will try to post pictures this weekend. Tonight, I could not help but smile as I tucked him into bed and listened to him singing Happy Birthday to himself. Of course his version is "happy tu tu" over and over again. :) I feel so, so blessed to be able to love this little man.

As I sat there by his bed, however, I could not help but think of Micah's birth mom tonight. We have a name, an age, a reason, and a court document with a fingerprint for a signature. Somewhere halfway across the world is a young woman just getting up as I am heading to bed and I wonder if today she was thinking about the little boy she gave birth to. Because she chose life for him, even though we are worlds apart in every way, we will always be tied together somehow through the life of this little boy. It's Micah's birthday, but I have been given a gift that I will cherish forever!

Saturday, February 20, 2010

First Gotcha Day!

Believe it or not, yesterday was Micah's first "Gotcha Day" or "Forever Family Day!" I cannot believe that one year ago yesterday we were picking him up at the orphanage! Time has passed by so quickly, and yet it also seems like he has been with us forever.

I had a wonderful idea for a party to celebrate the day, but as it turns out, I am very sick from the chemo. I knew there was no way I could plan anything, so I had resigned myself to just remembering the day in my mind. That is where my wonderful mother (Nana) and husband stepped in. I had recently purchased an Indian cookbook called "New Indian Home Cooking" recommended by my friend, Pam. My mom looked through it, found a couple of recipes she thought would work, she made a list, and then off went my husband to the store and, after 3 trips, he found all the ingredients. :) My mom cooked all day and decorated the table with trinkets from our trip to India. My husband got everyone dressed and invited his parents (Grandmother and Grandaddy) over, and...we had a GREAT celebration for Micah! Although I could not eat very much, we had a delicious menu that I would like to try again someday when I feel better.

Tandoori Murgh (Barbecued Chicken)
Phul Gobhi Salad (Stir-Fry)
Meethe Chawal (Sweet Rice)
Curried Potatoes
Lassi (Yogurt Drink)
Chai Tea

Thank you mom and David for making the day special for me and for Micah. It was all that I wanted and more!

Thursday, February 4, 2010

Old Friends, New Faces!

Today was so much fun for me! I got to meet Pam, one of the Dillon moms who I feel like I have known forever! We have never met face to face, but we have e-mailed, facebooked, and talked on the phone. Pam was traveling to see some family and was in my area! Yeah for me! Pam was a great help to me while we were in process, and I even called her when we decided to name our son "Micah." She adopted her son "Micah" from the same orphanage 3 years ago! We were so excited to meet each other and especially to meet each other's Micah's! I had so much fun. We ate some lunch together and let the boys play while we chatted away. I thank God so much for her and her friendship. It's funny how much someone you've never met can mean to you. I guess it's all part of the bond that comes from adoption. Besides getting a child, you can potentially develop life-long friendships with people you otherwise would never have met! And, who knows, maybe our two little Micah's will be able to keep in touch as they grow older and become good friends forever!

Saturday, January 30, 2010

First Winter at Home!

What a fun time we have had with Micah this winter! From his first Christmas at home, to his first snow! He has brought us so much joy! We cannot imagine life without him. It is hard to believe that in just 20 days, we will have had Micah for 1 year! He may have been born in Kolkata, but he was born to be part of our family for sure!

Tuesday, January 26, 2010


Ok, Rest with an almost 2-year old at home must be an oxymoron. I realize now how spoiled I was last week having my husband and my mother here at home with me to wrangle the boys. Nathan is fine and would watch a movie or cartoons for an hour or two. Micah, on the other hand, is out of control! He wants to be playing with someone and is not content to just sit still. Although he wants to play, he is still very short-tempered and if anything does not go his way, he screams, hits, pushes, pinches, bites, or whatever is necessary to get what he wants. If I ask Nathan to go play with Micah in their room, inevitably Nathan comes to me crying about every 10 minutes because of Micah.

Every morning Micah wants to have some juice and wants to sit on the couch with some dry honeynut cheerios and watch a Mickey Mouse cartoon. So, this morning I tried to go back to bed after getting him situated. That lasted about 10 minute before Micah was back in my room. For the next hour he was climbing in and out of my bed. He'd be asking for his night night (blanket) and juice, leaning over saying, "Booboo, Mommy?" When I said, "Yes, Mommy has a booboo," he would then ask over and over again, "Okay, Mommy, Okay Mommy?" Then he would holler for NayNay (Nathan) to come help him down. While leaving the room he would say, "Love you, Mommy!" This was over and over again with every step till he left the room. Of course he expects me to respond after each one. I will admit that this is precious, but early this morning, still under the effects of the allergy meds I took at 4:00 a.m., I did not find it so cute! Once in the living room, it was quiet for a minute. Then I hear Micah banging on the coffee table with Nathan's play hammer. I closed my eyes thinking, "It won't last long." Then I hear Micah playing a lovely tune on the girls harmonica right outside my bedroom door. So, I gave up and I am trying to get up and moving and start my day. Maybe Micah will lay down for an early nap! I continue to be hopeful! :)

Wednesday, January 20, 2010


Considering how our lives have changed since the holidays, I think we are all making the necessary adjustments fairly smoothly. My mom is staying with me for a while and my husband took off last week and this week of work to be home and help with the kids. The girls have gone back to school and I think it is good for them to be back in their usual routine. Nathan is a little trooper and understands that he has to be easy with mommy for a while. Micah is the one who does not really understand what is going on. Since we were gone for 2 days, although he was here at our house with my parents, I think he thinks we are going to leave again. Every time David or I start to head outside, he goes crazy with crying and trying go with us. He is also not sure why I am not holding him like I did just a week ago. I have gotten him to hold my hand now and follow me to the couch so that he can climb up beside me. He is such a busy little boy and such a mover. When he runs toward me with arms flailing, shouting, "mommy," I flinch a little and brace for impact. :) Hopefully I won't have to do that much longer. I guess this is going to be our new "normal" for a while. I'm very glad that kids are so resilient!

Friday, January 15, 2010

Favorite Things

I have decided that I need to be blogging about my cancer experience for my own therapy, but I didn't want to do it on my "adoption" blog site. I have been trying to decide if I should blog on a cancer site, or just add another blog to this site that people can link to. At least for now I have set up another blog since I am familiar with this process and I am just going to post a link on this site. My blog site where I am going to try to share my journey through breast cancer is going to be candice-favoritethings.blogspot.com. We'll see how it goes.

Tuesday, January 12, 2010

Two Roads

It's funny, but for some reason this morning, my mind is drawn to the line of a Robert Frost poem...two roads diverged in a wood.

In 2007 we started on our adoption journey. Some close friends and co-workers of ours, got their login date to china that year. We have been on this adoption journey together, although their journey has taken a very different path than ours did. Long story short, they are leaving on Thursday to fly to China to pick up their little 4 year old beauty! I am so excited for them I can hardly stand it. Just 11 months ago, we were headed to India for Micah and I can remember the emotions like it was yesterday.

What a difference a year can make. It seems surreal for me that while our friends are on a plane to pick up their little girl, I will be sitting in a hospital room recovering from my mastectomy. Two close families headed down two very different roads in 2010. My consolation is that the same God is watching over both our journeys. As He is looking down onto the woods and watching our paths diverge, He is guiding us both. He will be with our friends as they land in China and head to the orphanage to meet "Anna" for the first time, and He will be with me after I wake up from surgery and begin making plans for my treatment to follow. So, I will rejoice with my friends and follow this new path for me one step at a time!