What started as a way
to update friends and family
of our adoption process has
bloomed into a snapshot
of our lives as a family of five.
We have been blessed through
our adoption journey and
hope our story of Will growing
into our family leads you
on your own adoption journey
or at least plants a seed....
"Borrowed" this from another blogger! Something to put in our hearts and think about!
Early this morning I sat snuggled up on the sofa. As the soft glow of the Christmas tree lights filled the room, I opened my bible to the book of Luke and began to read about Jesus birth. Over and over the words "there was no room in the Inn" swam through my head and the Lord began to open my eyes to what He was trying to show me.... Door after door closing. Person after person shaking their head no. Voice after voice saying - 'we have no room'. No room. And I couldn't help but wonder how many of us are still doing that same thing today? Because you see, while Jesus may not be roaming the earth today in human form looking for a place to stay-Matthew 25:45 tells us "whatever you did to the least of these, you did unto me". Mother Teresa said it this way "Each one of them is Jesus in disguise." Statistics tell us that there are 147 million + orphans in this world today. A 147 million who are looking for room.... Room in our homes Room in our hearts And room in our lives. If each one of them is Jesus in disguise- and we have no room for them- then have we truly made room for Jesus? Or could it be that we have No room because those rooms are already full of things that don't really matter? Stuff that isn't about His kingdom- but ours? I cannot help but wonder how many of those Inn keepers ever realized that they missed the chance to be a part of the greatest miracle they would have in their lifetime? And I cannot help but wonder how many of us still do the same today?
The kiddos enjoying Jaymie's birthday dessert! Jaymie's party with her friends is tonight! Should be a fun night with 5 little girls sleeping over! We have crafts and a Christmas movie on the big screen planned. My social little Jaymie is looking forward to it.
10, yes, 10 years ago today we welcomed Jaymie Claire into the world. Happy Birthday to my one and only JC! You are truly a gift from above and have developed so many admirable qualities that make your dad and I so proud of you! Keep being the special girl you are with a tender heart and compassion for others. These qualities will serve you well in this world. Enjoy your day and know you are loved more than words can say. We love you! Mama and Daddy:)
Look where Elfie showed up this am? yes Will named him Elfie! Will hunted for him for a half hour this am until he found him. Kept the little guy busy! He giggled so hard when he saw him hanging out in the light in our hallway!
If you haven't heard of Elf on a Shelf you should google in and check it out. I'm starting this tradition with Will this year and he is absolutely fired up about the whole thing. I introduced the elf with the book today and he went hunting around the house for the elf. We still have to give him a name, but all in all Will is pretty enthusiastic about this little elf visiting his home and watching him and then going to Santa every night. When I ordered it, I got to choose between dark and light skin, but really the dark skinned elf kinda just looks like he has a good tan. No worries though, the skin color doesn't seem to bother Will. It is so fun seeing the magic in Will's eyes. He truly does have a twinkle in his brown beauties! So the hunt is on every morning at the Googins household! We will be searching different hiding spots where the Elf returns every morning til Christmas! Should be fun!
Being thankful takes on a whole new meaning once you visit a third world country. My heart has never been the same since leaving Ethiopia, and never will be the same. I struggle a lot more with "things". Not wanting my children to have everything because so many have nothing. Yet wanting to show and teach them about being thankful for the little things in life and knowing that is what matters. The simple frozen cube we all call ice is what I truly missed while in Ethiopia. It is a luxury to me now, and I give thanks every time I press my cup up to the lever on the fridge and I hear the beautiful sound of ice falling! It is a daily reminder to me of little things in life we are to be thankful for. Family and health are top on my list of things to be thankful for. I had a scare with breast cancer this year. It is mind blowing what one goes through when the dr. comes through the door saying they see something that they want to further investigate. My thoughts during that ordeal go directly to my children and not wanting them to go through that journey with me. They are the reason I go in for a yearly mammogram for early detection. My hubby is my soul mate and I also am so thankful for him. His ability to juggle work, school and family continue to amaze me. I'm so thankful that his heart opened to adoption. So many families out there have the means to adopt.......so why don't they? I open up about adoption when I am approached and hope that I make an impact on the hearts of those who inquire. I am thankful for those who do inquire, as it is a first step to do what He has wanted us to do and that is to take care of orphans and widows. Will does know he is from Africa and will once in a while ask some questions, but he has never spoken of another mother or father as his memory may not remember. I sing praises of thanks to his biological parents and hope they are at peace knowing he is well cared for and loved or they are watching from heaven as their little boy grows up surrounded by love. Of course we all know I am forever thankful for the timing of Will and when he came into care at the orphanage we were adopting from. We were the next family in line waiting for a toddler right when his paperwork was complete. It is an unexplainable joy watching Will as he grows and thrives in a family that can provide for him and showers him with love. My children,my husband, my family, our health.... and ice! we are blessed and we are thankful! Happy Thanksgiving!
Here is me and my little man before we left for preschool this am. Will has a performance in preschool today that I get to go watch. I sure he will look adorable on stage! It's been busy around the Googins' household. The girls stay busy with lots of homework and projects. For Thanksgiving this year we get to travel down the street to the neighboring subdivision to my sisters. I'm in charge of bringing the beverages! I'm always assigned the beverages. Must be my culinary skills that my family is not to thrilled with. The weather here in NC is still spoiling us! Leaves are still on the trees and we can go outside without bundling up! I'm enjoying that a lot! I will never take this weather for granted. I love it~Well off to preschool we go!!!
This little ham has been home with us for almost 21mo now. Just a few short months and I will be working on my 2 year post placement report. Wow, Will has added so much to our family. He continues to do so daily for us. His relationship with each family member is so special. Lately this little guy has been astounding us with his number sense. Numbers are his thing (just like his daddy) and his memory is so good too. He is adding numbers like 7+5 and rather quickly too. He knows when zero is added to a number the number remains the same and can add one to a number without even thinking. He also counts to 100 and beyond without a hitch. Will has a NBA logo memory game that he plays with Jeffrey a lot. A little brainwashing on Jeffreys part to get Will to learn his NBA teams. He knows them though and recognizes the icons when he watches basketball on tv with Jeffrey. He knows how to read the scores and which team has what score. It is pretty amazing to watch and I love that he loves sports. He is going to keep Jeffrey busy on fields and courts from here on out that is for sure. Thats the latest little update on our little man. I get to spend the day with him all day today as he does not have preschool. Lucky me!
We squeezed in a quick trip to a pumpkin patch this weekend. Here are a couple photos from the visit. We also had soccer that afternoon which is why Will is still in his soccer gear! On Sat Will got his Ingerra bread and we tried out the modeling agency. It was a pretty legitimate agency, but many of the people there were older tweens and only a handful of small kids were there. They wanted the kids to walk down a stage, and I did not know they were going to ask Will to do this, so I did not prep him for that. It's not like I am going to have him modeling clothes live! I think he looks great in the still shots! Anyhow, little man was intimidated by the stage walking, so we left. We weren't going to force him. Jacklyn and Jaymie were pretty upset as they wanted Will to model so badly. I say just give it time and when he is a little older he may be a little more ready to understand it. It is not like this kiddo is going to lose his modeling looks overnight. He can only get more handsome in our book!
I have been stopped on more than one occasion by strangers, friends, family etc... on how beautiful my little son in. I was out with Will last week sometime and I had 3 women stop me and comment on how he should be a model.... Well, I decided to do a little research on agencies in the area and I emailed his photo off to a couple of them. Low and behold, I was called by a scout this week that wants to meet Will on Sat. Well, the big subdivision rummage is this SAT and my girls are going to try to sell all the stuff we hauled here that didn't work in our house. It ends at noon and the scout wants to meet Will in Charlotte around 1:00 on SAT. So, if I can pull it off I'm going to look into it. It could be a scam and they call everyone who sends them a photo, but I figure it is somewhere to start. I've researched and they say to not give the agencies $$ up front. They are actually working for you if they are interested in his looks and once they find Will work, they can get paid. So, that is the latest in the life of Will. Tomorrow we are also off to Ethiopian food for some much need ingerra bread. Be on the lookout for Will modeling GAP clothes!
It's 4am and I should be sleeping... but can't. I hate it when I can't sleep when my kiddos are sleeping. I hope I'm not tired the rest of the weekend. Anyhow, thought I'd type a blogpost since it has been a while. Lets see.... updates... Jaymie has adjusted well. She has had several little sleepovers at various new friends houses. She is my very social child and loves doing things with her friends. Last night she spent the night at a neighbors house which she seemed to enjoy. She has not complained much about getting up so early to go to school. Poor thing catches the bus at 640 in the am. She takes a flashlight to the bus stop. Crazy! She has been gently asking for a another cat/kitten to replace our cat Belle who we lost to kidney stones earlier in the year. So I have been on petfinder looking into a couple different cats. We will see how the search goes. Jacklyn is doing well. She is really happy being near her cousin again. She is challenged by her new school, but is keeping up. She is such a responsible girl. Her tennis game continues to improve. We just looked into getting her a couple private lessons to have her serve worked on a bit. She plays every weekend with the subdivision team . Will, well what can I say. He continues to do great. He loves preschool. He loves sports. He is busy. It is fun watching him play soccer on his team. He has another game today. The weather here has been just beautiful. My sister has relatives from out of town visiting so we took them on a sunset cruise on the lake this evening. Some leaves are starting to turn here and the sunset was beautiful. It was nice to be able to take a boat ride w/o kids as they all stayed at the house.... all 3 cousins and my kiddos and it was not even a mess when we arrived back home. Jacklyn and Maddie are good babysitters:) and free too. Enjoy the Fall weather wherever you are. LOVE this time of year!
he couldn't get any cuter...... he digs though my sister's kids dress up box and puts on a cowboy outfit. He has my vote to be a cowboy for Halloween! This will be Will's second Halloween. Last year he was a cute little leopard. This year I think he will have a little more say in what he wants to be. He has been saying Spiderman, but then he is all covered up, mask and all! He thinks the blow up muscles in the costume are cool. I have not bought one yet,so I'm still not convinced that he won't change his mind and be lasso'd up by all the little cowgirls in the neighborhood if he wears this cowboy outfit. I've been warned by neighbors that Halloween in our neighborhood is just crazy. I've been buying a few bags of candy a week just to stock up. It should be fun. WE are looking forward to not having to cover up the kids outfits in Parkas because it is too cold outside to just go out in their costumes.
We had a small block of time between Will's soccer game and Jack's tennis match to get a little boating in today. Jeffrey and the kids had fun jumping off the boat and swimming around in the lake. There are a couple islands that you can pull your boat up to and lounge on which we also did for a while. I want to make a slide show with todays boating pics, but for now I leave you with these.... The weather here is still summer-like even though it is Fall in a couple of days.....I"m not complaining one bit
Jaymie's adjustment to a new school was my biggest concern about our move. She had a great group of friends she left in WI and it made my heart very sad she had to leave them. To my surprise, she did great with the transition and is making new friends every day. She likes her new school and teacher and starts her gymnastics on Monday. I'm proud of the way she handled the move. Email has been a wonderful way for her to keep in touch with her friends. She checks it every day and has little conversations for them that makes me think they will continue to stay close.
Will was put on the waiting list of a few preschools here in our town and I was really thinking he was not going to go to preschool this year! But, low and behold, my first choice preschool called last Friday and said they had an opening! So Will started preschool on Wednesday. Isn't he handsome? There was a car accident on the way to preschool, so we were an hour late..... (thank goodness I had my ipad in the car for some much needed distraction!) but we made it and he did great. He was a little reluctant at first, but he eventually let me leave and he did great. I didn't get the pleasure of ever really picking him up too often last year because my wonderful friends and family did that when I was working (thanks nana, Christy and Sue) so I will be enjoying that this year. Oscar got a nice long walk while Will was in preschool and I did a WalMart run w/o kids! So as you can see from the photos, he is the big 4 year old preschooler now. Lets hope he enjoys the full 3 hours tomorrow. I know I've got plans for my 3 hours of no kiddos!
What is this pic of to the left you may be asking? Well, as an added bonus across the street from our house is some common ground with a small pine forest in the center of it. In the pine forest a little bmx trail has been created by someone for kids to cruise on riding their bikes. Will has taken a liking to this. Of course he has, it keeps him busy and moving! Anyhow the area also has a bench for moms to sit on as they watch their kiddos perform their skills on their bikes. It took a while for Will to get around it without falling, but he pretty much can make it around the whole course now. He sets little goals for himself as he passes me on the bench shouting "mom, I'm going to go around 3 times without falling," then he ups the goal to 4 times and so on. His determination is amazing. He often sets little goals for himself and keeps his scores of whatever he is doing to try to challenge himself with his next attempts of things. A truly admirable quality for such a little guy! This next pic I took of our house from the bmx trail so you can see how close it is to our house. Oscar and I have already spent many minutes cheering on Will as he goes round and round the trail and over the jumps. And yes, I know, he has no helmet and no shoes on. Thats how I rode my bike when I was little! Actually he had shoes on, but we all know how this little man feels about shoes and they were the flip flops, so they didn't help to much with gaining SPEED> Don't you just love all the pine needles on the ground for cushion from the falls. He also dodges the pinecones that are all over the track
I always like to look at before and after photos of different things to see the changes. Changes in rooms, or haircuts etc... But the changes we see in our little man from just a year and a half often take my breath away. The first two photos in this trio I took of Will yesterday. Yes, the last photo in this trio is a referral photo we got of Will. There is 2 years difference in the photos as his referral photo was taken in June 08, but I am still amazed. Lets see, in a year and half Will has been to the Ocean twice, learned his letters and sounds, is doing simple addition, can ride a two wheeler, is amazing on the trampoline, has mastered Mario bros on the Wii, and has moved from WI to NC. He always goes with the flow and adapts to new situations so easily. The determination this little guy has when he wants to do something continues to amaze me. I think the hardest thing about Will's adoption has been resting on me. It's not something I thought about too much during the adoption process, but something I think about daily since Will has been with us. It is his birth mother and the hole she must have in her heart and because of the hole in her heart the hole in my heart was filled. She may not even be still here on earth, but either way.....she had to say goodbye to this blessing and that whole situation challenges me daily. Why in this day and age people have to live like they do. Starvation and AIDS, corrupt government. I haven't put my finger on how I will make a difference yet.... Yes, I plan on going on some missions with the girls at some point and there is child sponsorship, but is the cycle ever going to end. Can it get better? Just food for thought.
Out of town guests,including Winston the bulldog, back to school commotion (they started back on Wed) Jeffrey left for banking school in Washington on Sunday and will be gone thru labor day, and a little time for boating have been keeping us busy. Jeffrey's sister came up from FL with her two kids and husband to keep us company for a week while Jeffrey was gone. She left yesterday and we are getting things in order. We had a good time doing a variety of things including some boating and tubing on Lake Norman. I'm learning how to maneuver the boat in and out of the slip and pulling tubers. The more waves and the faster the boat the happier Jacklyn is. She is a thrill seeking tuber. Will has gone on with Jaymie too and they prefer the calmer speed. Jaymie and Will actually prefer swimming in the lake compared to the pool. I think they like jumping freestyle off the boat and bobbing around in their life preservers. I'm planning a special post dedicated to Will being home one and a half years.... can you believe it. I have to make some time for it! Hopefully this weekend! Thanks for stopping by.. I have been a bad blogger lately. It didn't help my mac needed to go to the apple care genius's and have its software reinstalled because when I updated it it had some sort of glitch and made him move VERY slowly! He is all better now and able to download my pics again. Thank goodness for applecare!