Doing schoolwork as a ninja is frowned upon in most educational establishments.
Hooray for homeschooling!
One of the many reasons I don't get enough work done each day. Are you comfy Pizza?
Kiki modeling some of her birthday clothes.
Since all four of the little ones are riding their bikes without training wheels now, I decided to show Isaac this picture of Canaan, when he was about six years old. I wish I had a picture of Isaac's face when he saw it. He was impressed! Then he wanted to know how he did it. And I think he is inspired. But, seeing how long it took him just to get riding, I think it will be a while before he'll be doing any tricks.
Not to be outdone:
Maggie figured it out pretty quickly! She reminds me of one of those acrobats that ride horses.
This week we had a little mini reunion of HFS (Harrah's) families. It started because one of our long time online friends had recently moved up to Charlotte. I had never met her in person, but I have "known" her for a long time! In fact, she plays an integral part in the story of bringing Eden into our family, so I owe her big time! Anyway, when we started to arrange to get together, it grew, and then our friend, Shelli, graciously offered to host the get together. So four families met together, with 14 adopted kiddos, and a few homegrown ones thrown in for good measure. It was a blast of fun!
Tonya, Shelli, Ohilda, and me.
Once upon a time, about six years ago now, Ohilda was adopting a sweet little boy who was growing up in the same orphanage as our Eden. Ohilda went to pick up her Kai a few months before we would be going to get Eden, and she was the first person we knew to meet her in person!
So this is one of the pictures that Ohilda took of Eden.
She called me from China to tell me about her. She was tiny. She was just lying in her crib, and the nannies called her a "bad baby" because she cried all the time. Nobody picked her up. She was two years old, but not sitting up, or standing, or eating solids, or talking... but Ohilda said she gave eye contact, and she thought there was a spark there. (ha! little did she know the size of that spark! more like a supernova!)
And she also told us something that made all the difference in the world; something that would change all of our lives forever: they did not want us to have Eden.
They were going to withdraw her file completely.
Not only would we not be able to adopt her, but nobody would.
She would grow up in an orphanage and never have a family because...
the orphanage director had decided she was a bad baby. She cried all the time. She must be "retarded" he said. (Like that would make a difference in a child having a right to a family even if it were true!)
So because of Ohilda, whom God placed in just the right place at just the right time, we were able to investigate and with our agency's help, protest, and fight to bring our Sunshine home.
The morning before we went to meet Ohilda, I showed Eden some of the video Ohilda had taken of her in China. I explained a little bit about the story, and she had little tears in her eyes. She smiled and said, "You saved my life!" I just looked at her and said, "Oh no, my Lemonade. You saved my life!"
Eden with Kai today. Now wouldn't that be a wild "How did you meet your husband story" someday? I don't think anyone could top that one!
And now for the fun! What a great pool!!
Excited much, Eden?
I was really struck by the way all of these kids, some of whom had never met each other, and some who had only met a few times, all got on as fast friends from the moment they all walked in the door. Not one was shy or reserved. Anyone looking in would have thought they were all cousins who got together all the time with each other. I absolutely loved it.
Swimming, then Canaan grilled for lunch, then more swimming!
How about the little bit of pudge my boy is finally getting? If you only knew how far he has come! But he needs five more pounds before next surgery. Come on Little Debby! Do your work!
Sisters jumping off the slide holding hands.
Another shot of the cousins together.
Kiki being, well, Kiki. :-)
There's no way this baby is going to sink!
Having fun Isaac?
More Kiki, being Kiki!
A tiring day. Fun was had by all!!
Thanks to friends for getting together and sharing your kids, and thank you Shelli for letting us use your house.. again.. and thank you Ohilda for more than I can ever say,
and thank you God for all of it.