Halloween 2015

Better late than never. It was a fantastic October with my bunch!

This was our last “first” holiday with Kai, and it is safe to say he LOVED it! He was so fun when I explained to him what we would be doing. He looked at me in awe that everyone in the neighborhood would be giving him candy.

I thought we would have to slow down a bit for him to keep up, but he was running from house to house as fast as his little feet would take him.

We celebrated as much as we possibly could this month (we needed to make up for missing Halloween last year).

So much fun.2015-11-11_0006 2015-11-11_0005 2015-11-11_0007


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1st Kai Day!

Today marked a wonderful milestone in our house. Kai officially became ours 1 year ago today!


We celebrated with Chinese food and watching Kai’s China video together as a family. We talked about our favorite memories of that time, and gave Kai a lot of extra hugs. All day he proudly declared, “Today is KAI day!!”

It is hard to believe that we were in China a year ago. In some ways it seems like it was  a short time ago, but in other ways it feels like so long ago. It really is almost hard to remember what our family felt like without him.

This little guy has brought so much happiness to every member of our family. Before he came home I was worried about him feeling left out. Our older boys are so close, and our girls are so close, that I worried about him being without a buddy. There was no need to worry. Each of our kids loves to be with Kai. They all adore him, and he happily follows along with any one of them.

Kai is all of the things that I was hoping he would be. He is happy, sweet, and incredibly intelligent. He is also so much more than I ever could have imagined. He is sensitive and deeply loving, and just thinking about him makes my heart melt a little bit. He has a way of stroking my hair and melting into me when he sits in my lap that just makes me want to freeze time.

Adoption brings along so many questions. Even though we had already done it once before I wondered if I would feel connected to this dear child. I wondered if he would feel connected to me. For some families this is process that takes a very long time of understanding, love, and nurture. I was prepared for that, of course as we took that leap of faith when we flew across the ocean.

In this case, there was no need to worry. This year has been absolutely wonderful. Not that we didn’t have a few bumps along the road. We did. Everyone does. But the love I feel for this sweet boy is so deep and absolute, it could break my heart.

I still feel in awe some days that Kai is here. I felt a deep connection to him for a very long time before I even knew that he could be ours. We thought our family was complete before his face touched my heart so deeply. I am so so grateful for this blessing. For this child that I didn’t realize was missing, but so wonderfully completes the circle of our family.

We love you Kai Yi!


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Yet another milestone- Kai Started School

Last week we finally had our last “first day” of this year.

This little guy was so ready. He has been pretending to go to school since last January. He has always loved to put on his backpack and to carry his lunchbox. It was incredibly exciting to get to put them on FOR REAL!2015-09-10_0002 2015-09-10_0004
I actually think this the easiest first day of preschool I have ever experienced with any of my kids. He was just so darn happy, I couldn’t help but be happy too. :)

He has been 3 days so far, and each day he has had the same level of excitement. He loves his new teachers and he really loves being a “big kid”.

I feel very grateful for his teachers. I wasn’t sure if I should sign him up for school this year. He obviously still has significant medical issues, and he will definitely be looking at another surgery this school year. His current teachers were Hannah’s teachers when we first began the adoption process for Kai, so they already knew a bit of his story. They encouraged me to sign him up, and gave me the confidence that he would be well taken care of while he is at school. They were willing to take on a little bit extra having Kai, and I am so grateful.

Look at this guy. His teachers gave him the best gift they could have given him by welcoming him with their open arms. That smile says it all.


Now I just have to get used to packing FIVE lunches a few times a week! My grocery bill. AHHHHHHH!


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Back to School -Noooooo!


Now we have my regular back to school weepy post.

I really can’t believe that summer is over. I sobbed all the way home after dropping them off today. My husband suggested maybe I need to try homeschooling since this is so upsetting to me. I tried to explain that I don’t want to homeschool. I just want it to always be summer.

Is that really too much to ask??


We all know that our kids grow up too fast, but there are some days that you can almost witness it happening. The first day of school always hits me like that, and it is almost too much to bear.

Both Zac and Kaitlyn are hitting me hard this year. This is officially Zac’s last year of his elementary years before he moves to middle school years. He is right on the edge of a huge turning point. I can’t help but wonder if this is the last summer that he will want to play with me in the pool, or snuggle up with me to read at night.

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And for Kaitlyn, she is moving on from her preschool to the big kid school that her brothers go to. She is going from half day to full day school days. I keep wondering if this is the year that she is going to move past her love of princesses. Or finding joy in dresses that twirl. She will definitely finish first grade as a different child than she is now, and I’m not such a big fan of losing my “little” girl.

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I had an older mom once tell me that every single age is fun, and not to let anyone ever tell me that it isn’t. So far I have found that to be true. I know the future should be no different. I just love them so much though, and some days I just want to keep them bottled up just the way they are.

So, I am missing my little people. I think the first day of school is my least favorite day of the year. Soon we will be in a hectic and chaotic routine, and our afternoons will be full of homework, soccer, tennis, and swimming.

We will have fun, we always do. But I will keep missing summer until next summer…

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Hannah in Kindergarten

Today was a big milestone for miss Hannah. It was her first day of kindergarten.


Hannah is starting at a new school, all by herself. That is so hard for me. All of my other kids did a half day kindergarten at the preschool that they attended. Half day kindergarten was good for my heart, and I think my children had exactly the experience that I wanted them to have. They had lots of time to play and still be little.

Two years ago, however, a new school opened in our neighborhood. It is a language immersion school that includes a Mandarin tract.

Initially, I was so excited.  Did I mention that this charter school is IN MY NEIGHBORHOOD??  It seemed like such an incredible opportunity.

But then I had to do some real deep soul thinking. I considered what it would mean to have her at a school without her older siblings. Would she eventually feel resentment that I separated her? Would this make her feel more “different” in our family?

I went back and forth with so many emotional possibilities. Then I talked to some of my favorite adult adoptees to get their opinions. They said 100 percent that if I could give her the chance to be fluent in her native language to give it to her! They all expressed regret that they did not have that same opportunity.

So, after many many conversations we decided we would apply to this school for Hannah, and also for Kaitlyn. The languages start in kindergarten, so we knew it could be difficult for Kaitlyn to start a year behind, but other children do it, so we thought we would give it a try.

Then on lottery night Hannah got it. :) And Kaitlyn didn’t. :(

More conversation. More concern about my little girl’s heart.

Finally we decided to take the opportunity for Hannah, despite having to separate the girls.

Today was her first day. She has half of her day taught completely in Mandarin, and the other half in English. Her teacher is amazing, and told me today that Hannah’s assistant teacher is from her same hometown!!!!!!!!! I need to get more information there considering Hannah is from a very small town.

I shed some tears leaving her, of course, but I also felt so good about where she is. Hannah has teachers that look like her. She has children in her class that look like her. By the time she finishes eight grade she will be completely fluent in her native language, which will open up so many opportunities for her. I feel so good that it is not only up to me to introduce Hannah to Chinese culture, because I know that despite my best intentions, I will always fall short.


At the end of the day she came bouncing into the car, announcing that her favorite part of the day was the playground. She made some new friends, even if she can’t remember any of their names,  and seemed very happy. And I feel so good. I feel so incredibly lucky that she has the opportunity to attend this school. And two years from now Kai will join her too, and she will really have the chance to be the “big sister.” It is all good.

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