Tuesday, June 1, 2010

Nature vs. Nurture

This is not going to be a long, long post regarding Nature vs. Nurture....but it's the title that kept popping into my head.

Right now, Ian is all about his daddy. He wants to act like Charlie, dress like Charlie, listen to the same music as Charlie, etc. It's a phase...or maybe it will last forever.

Last night as Ian was getting ready for bed I asked him where his I-pod was. He likes to listen to music when he's falling asleep and he has his own MP-3 player. He said "I don't know. I put it away so no one would get it and now I don't know where it is".


There are times that I think he's couldn't be more like us if we had given birth to him.

BTW....still haven't found the mp-3 player.

Sunday, May 30, 2010

Christy Nockels - A Mighty Fortress

I LOVE, LOVE, LOVE this song. But this morning, in church, the words really spoke to me. God's Holy Spirit just poured all over me and allowed me to be totally in the moment...seemingly alone with Him. You know...one of those moments when you are in a full church but yet you and God are having a "moment". Oh, how I love those. If I only took more time....I'd have more of those moments. Our Praise Team does a fantastic job with this song. Tracy Crone sings the lead vocals and she is amazing. This morning....every instrument, every vocal, every single thing was perfect as only God can make it.

I hope you take time to listen to this great God song.

Monday, May 24, 2010

Just A Few Pics

Our sweet Ian on Gotcha Day 2010....celebrating 4 years.
Drew at church on Mother's Day 2010. Sweet, sweet boy.
Proud Mommy and her boys after church on Mother's Day
Our precious, rotten, little boys. Oooooo....we love them so

The REAL Ian and Drew...silly monkeys.

Thursday, May 20, 2010

May Musings

After my last post, I realized that I may have sounded a bit harsh. Don't get me wrong, it's challenging with a very vocal 3 year old, but I'm so grateful to be the one he snuggles and calls Mommy.

Today was Ian's last day of Pre-K. He will be in Kindergarten in the fall. WHAT? When did that happen? I can't believe that he's 5 already. He's so excited about Kindergarten. He will go to Southpark Christian School for one more year. By then, we will have sold our house and be in a school district that is better for the kids. Hoping and praying it works out that way. Today Ian received his first official school certificate. Guess what it was for? Gentleness and caring about others. Charlie and I are so proud of him. He's a little charmer.

Drew has one more day of the K2 program at Southpark Christian School. He'll be out until the fall, when he starts K3. That is if he's fully potty trained. We're struggling with that. Charlie and Drew will be home during the day together this summer and that's their mission.

Drew is talking more and more each day. Here are some my recent favorite Drewisms:

"cover my up"
"oh my"
"it's gonna be awesome"
"no way jose"
"I sorry...I didn't mean to"

Ian is still talking up a storm and asking more questions than I have answers for. Now for some Ianisms:

"adoptanation" - graduation
"mommy, I love you with my whole heart"

They both bring us tons of joy each day. I wonder what we ever did with our time before we had kids. We are going to take our first real road trip in a couple of weeks to Kansas City for a wedding. We're going to stay at the Great Wolf Lodge and have lots of fun.

I promise when I can figure out what program is going to work on our new computer that will download the pictures from my camera, I'll post some. I have filled up one memory card in my big camera and I'm almost full in my other one. I have a LOT to download.

Friday, May 14, 2010

Drew....Almost 3

He's almost three and the treacherous threes have begun. He's dramatic, throwing more tantrums, becoming quite opinionated, bossy, mouthy...yep...that about sums it up. I had forgotten how much I dislike this stage. It was hard age for Ian, but, I think it's going to be worse with Drew. He's such a smart little guy and he knows what pushes my buttons and when he's in one of his little moods....he pushes away.

OK...as I'm posting this he came in with a book and proceeded to sing Twinkle, Twinkle, Little Star to me. How sweet.

How can he be so sweet one moment and then a terror the next? Ah...we will survive.

Friday, April 30, 2010


A recent conversation with Ian....

Ian: Mommy, do you know what a dee-sciple is?

Me: A disciple?

Ian: Yeah...a dee-sciple.

Me: I think I do, but maybe not. Why don't you tell me.

Ian: The dee-sciples were kinda like Jesus' friends. They helped him and stuff. Do you know what they did?

Me: What?

Ian: Well, there were some people and they were hungry. Jesus took some chicken, some french fries, some fish and some bread.....and he cut it in two.....and He and his dee-sciples fed everyone.

It's not quite the real story...but close. I guess he does pay attention from time to time.

Proverbs 22:6 - "Train up a child in the way he should go and when he his old he will not turn from it."

Five Year Old Checkup

Ian had his 5 year old check up today. FIVE? Really? Five already? If you remember, when he was 4 he asked me if he'd be a grown up when he turned 5. But, five is one of those pivotal years...it's a big deal.

Today, he saw Dr. Sood and told me that he was very brave at the doctor's office and didn't cry a single time :) Dr. Sood says he's doing great. We may have a little vision problem, but nothing we can't fix. But, who knows at this age. Sometimes little 5 year olds who think they're grown up decide not to tell you if they can see the shape and what it is. We'll have him checked out further just to be sure all is well.

Vital statistics of our little man....at 5 years old.....he weighs 36 pounds (45th percentile on the US charts) and 41 inches tall (25th percentile on the US growth charts). He looks so big to us...but when he's around other kids his age...he looks a little small. We think Drew is going to be bigger than Ian...or at least that's what it's looking like. That will not go over so well with Ian. He, like all 5 year olds, thinks bigger is better.

Sunday, April 18, 2010

Ja Ja's

Drew is talking, talking, talking....maybe not as much as Ian...but he's certainly trying. Most things are clear, complete sentences. But, we have the occasional "what did he say?" moments. Tonight was one of those moments. He was standing on my lap and said "take my ja-ja's off mommy." That was a new one for me. I said "what Drew?" Frustrated he said "I do it. I take my ja ja's off". And...he proceeded to take his pajamas off. :)

Friday, April 16, 2010


I missed the big Adoption Blogger day yesterday. But, that doesn't mean that I'm going to let a little thing like that stop me from posting today. Most of you have heard the story of the little boy adopted from Russia who was sent back to Russia by the woman who adopted him. I won't call her his mother...because, frankly, I don't think she deserves to be called that. That story is what has prompted adoptive families from all over the country to tell OUR TRUTH.

Our story began like so many other families....infertility. We tried to have biological children when we were newly married and for several years after...but that wasn't in the cards for us. We briefly talked about adoption, but never a serious conversation. We went on with our lives. Relocated to Tulsa, OK from Huntington, WV in 1996. We were both still heavily involved with the US Jaycees and I, in particular, had convinced myself that the desire for children was gone. Who in the world was I kidding? When people asked us if we were ever going to have children we'd say..."nah...we're too set in our ways to have a kid". All the while, secretly wanting a child of our own.

In 2003, we met a wonderful couple, the Gilmartins. They were in the process of adopting a little girl from China. We were so thrilled for them when they received Molly Mei's referral and couldn't wait for them to bring her home. Still, the words were never spoken between Charlie and I...the longing for a child just continued to grow. In January 2004 we went to Molly's first birthday party. She was such a beautiful little girl and we were just mesmerized by her and the whole process that Steph and Paul had experienced. We watched the video of her Gotcha Day in China...I think I cried through most of it. Soon after the video ended, Charlie said it was time to go. As we were walking to the car, he put his arm around me and said "we need to do this." I thought I was going to pass out. He didn't have to say it twice...I was on it.

I started researching agencies, requesting information, obsessing about becoming an adoptive family. I was in heaven. I won't bore you with all of the details through this part...but we ended up with a wonderful, reputable, Christian adoption agency...Dillon International (literally 5 miles from our home).

We waited 11 AGONIZING months for Ian's referral. It was awful. But, on September 7, 2005, when I got back from lunch I had a voice mail from Tami at Dillon. They had a referral of a little boy and wanted to know if we wanted to take a look. It was not the warm fuzzy feeling we had imagined though. Ian had some medical issues that we needed to consider. But...once we worked through that we KNEW he was our son. Five months later that sweet baby was placed in our arms FOREVER. He's not a perfect child by any means...but he's OUR child. As you can tell by my previous blog posts....he warms our heart and our home.

In 2007, we decided that our family was not complete and we started our second adoption. This time from Vietnam. It took us a little longer to get our paperwork completed for the second adoption, but we went on the waiting list and 5 days later....on October 5, 2007 we got "the call". Well... Charlie got the call. We rushed to the Dillon office and 15 minutes later looked at the picture of our newest baby boy. This tiny, tiny baby was in a orphanage half way around the world but we KNEW that he, too, was our son. We were so excited because he was only a little over 2 months old. The families who had traveled recently had only been waiting about 3-4 months from referral to travel date. I was so excited....we were going to get him home while he was still a small baby. With International adoption nothing is ever certain...and timelines...as our agencies tell us...are simply estimates. What we thought was going to be a short wait ended up being almost 11 months. But....we traveled when God had planned for us to travel. We left the day before my birthday in 2008 and on July 29, 2008 we held our Drew for the first time. Two days later he legally became our son FOREVER.

These boys are from different places, different biological parents and different cultures...but they are OUR BOYS. We could not love them, worry about them, hurt for them, cheer for them or treasure them any more than we do. There is NO doubt....NONE....that they are OURS. I could not imagine our lives without them. There are days when they drive us crazy. But at the end of the day....they call us mommy and daddy and that makes it all worth it.

These are the referral pictures of our sweet little guys. God is so good....ALL THE TIME! That my friends is OUR TRUTH.

Thursday, April 8, 2010

That's What I Like About You

If I were blog savy, I'd find the song and imbed it in this post...but...I'm not.

I've been thinking a lot about my boys lately. How can I not think about them...they're all over me all most every minute I'm home. Not that I'm complaining though. So, I thought I would come up with my current "Like" list for each of them. One day...I'll come up with my "Dislike" list (hopefully that one's not very long). So...here we go....

The things I like about Ian Everett Kushal Conner:

-Sweet smile
-Beautiful eyes
-the way his little mind thinks and processes information...so inquisitive.
-they way he loves me...unconditionally
-his impatient nature (that will also go on the dislike list)
-his love for Jesus
-the songs...the guitar playing
-his dances
-the way he runs
-his sense of humor
-the way he protects his little brother
-his thumb sucking (when he's sleepy)
-the way he waves good bye to me in the morning and says "have a good day mommy"
-his desire to learn about India
-his love for his daddy
-the kisses...the sweet, sweet kisses

The things I like about Drew Austin Quang Conner:

-that sweet little dimple on his left cheek
-the way he loves his blanket
-when he says "I lob mommy, I lob daddy, I lob bubba....I lob eeerbody"
-his "I kiss mommy" times....many times during the evening
-the way he sticks his little feet up and says "pee...yew...tinky feet"
-the thousand times a day he says "wats that" (also making it to the dislike list)
-his version of Itsy Bitsy Spider
-the way his little eyes just dance when he smiles
-the way he runs to me when I get home and squeals "mommy, mommy, mommy"
-his adorable jumping...both on the ground and on the bed
-the new phrase..."I do it"
-when he says his full name when he's asked his name
-his desire to learn all things that his bubba knows

There are so many things I love about my boys....both of them....these are just a few. Hopefully I'll figure out how to download pictures in a day or two. We have a new computer and my camera software is not working...or it could just be operator error :)

Thursday, March 18, 2010

Where Did My Baby Go?

In a mere 6 days, my baby will be FIVE...yes FIVE years old. I can't believe it. It really only seems like yesterday that we were coming home from India with this precious little guy. These are his birthday pictures. He's looking way too grown up. He's so excited to be turning 5. He thinks he'll be a grown up with he hits that 5 year old mark. He's sure that his tooth is loose...but it's not. He told me last week that he needed braces...how in the world does he even know what braces are or what they're for? At least 3 times a day, when he's frustrated or mad at me, he tells me "you can't come to my birthday party". :) He is a smooth mess I tell you...a mess. But, he's my little mess and I love him so.

Monday, February 15, 2010

We're Still Here

It's been way too long since my last post. Sorry :(

I went home to West Virginia for a few days to attend my aunt's funeral. It was a sad occasion, but I was so happy to get to spend some time with my family. I missed all three of my boys like crazy though. It was nice to get home and hug on them for a little while.

January and the beginning of February brought the sick monster to our house. All of us have been sick at one time or another. Thankfully...we're all healthy right now. Little Drew had the hardest time of all. He even made his first trip to the ER. What a trooper though.

We're getting ready to celebrate Gotcha Day #4 on Wednesday. It's hard to believe that 4 years ago we were in India. Time truly does fly once these little guys come home. The waiting to get them....well, all of my adoptive parent friends know....it's just brutal.

Ian still amazes us almost daily with his vocabulary and perceptiveness. He's at a really fun and frustrating age. While I love watching his little mind grow and develop...I don't love how the mouth develops right along with it. I must tell him a dozen times a day "watch your mouth Ian". Kids can pick up some really bad habits from their peers at school. They also pick up on what we say as well. I have really had to clean up my mouth :) He's very excited about his birthday that's coming up in March. He asked me a couple of months ago if he'd be a grown up when he turned 5? :)

Drew's little vocabulary is growing, growing, growing. He knows all of his colors and shapes and can count to 12 without help. He gets a little messed up after that. He LOVES his mommy....I mean he really LOVES me. He just can't stop smiling when I come home from work. He gets so excited. That warms a mommy's heart. He also adores his "bubba". He and Ian are constantly rough housing. Daddy is usually in the middle of the crowd and Drew (and Ian) think he's pretty darn cool.

I promise...I'll post some of our Gotcha Day happenings and possibly pictures. We're going to take Ian out of school half a day on Wednesday to celebrate. We told him he could pick a nice restaurant to go to for lunch that day. What did he pick? Wendy's. I said "no, Ian...a nice restaurant." He looked at me and said "OK...how about McDonald's?"

Sunday, January 10, 2010

Almost Heaven...West Virginia

While the reason that I'm heading home for a few days makes me so very sad, I'm looking forward to seeing my family and friends.

I received a call today about 11:30am (CST) that my aunt passed away. She had been literally hanging on by a thread for a very long time. Her frail little body had done all it could do and now she's resting in the arms of her saviour. What a glorious reunion I'm sure she's having in Heaven. Seeing her sisters, her only brothers, aunts, uncles, cousins and her mom and dad. My aunt, Vada, was such a sweet, sweet woman. I honesty don't think she had a mean bone in her body. I have been part of their family since I was 7 years old and I can't ever remember her saying a mean or hateful thing about anyone.

Crafty...that's another way I remember Vada. She loved to quilt, crochet, cross stitch and sew. She had a real talent for sewing.

She never married, which is a shame. She had so much love to give. I always thought that she'd be the perfect grandmother.

Rest in peace dear Vada....another of God's good soldiers has gone home.

Tuesday, January 5, 2010

The Sweet Innocence of a Child

Children are so innocent. Many times when we're in the throws of parentng it's hard to remember just how innocent and sweet our children can be. Tonight was a big reminder for me.

My aunt, back in West Virginia, is very sick and probably dying. After I got off the phone with her care giver this evening. Ian had lots of questions. He's a very perceptive little boy. I explained to him that Vada is very, very sick. He asked "what happened to her?" I said "well, she has a bad heart." He quickly replied "I'll share my heart with her mommy, ok?" I had a huge lump in my throat and tears in my eyes. Such a sweet, innocent little guy. I love my Ian.

Thank you God for reminding me just how special this child is...every day....every way.