Thursday, December 31, 2009

Happy New Year!!!

I can not believe this year is over!!! What an incredible ride it has been!! I can not remember a time that has been so fulfilling .  A year ago today we were one week away from a journey of a life time.  On January 8th we boarded a plane ( the first time for my Scott ) and flew half way around the world and landed in Beijing, China.  And there we started the most incredible 2 weeks of our lives.  I will post more about that in the coming weeks as we celebrate the anniversary of Sierra's homecoming.

Lots of wonderufl things have happened:

I was able to take a leave from work...with a job guaranteed when I return

In April I started working weekends at Kelders far the best job, working with the best people, that I have ever had.

Our understanding of the plight of orphans has grown and we now have such a spot in our hearts for those children without Moms or Dads.

We met amazing families and acquired lifelong friends( that would be you, John and Diane and all the others!!!) on our trip to China.

We are sponsoring a beautiful little girl who resides at the same orphanage that was Sierra's home for 3 years

I am looking at the world agian through the eyes of a toddler/preschooler...and oh it is such a reminder of how life should be.  Just the other day after I scolded her for something Sierra said."Mama please don't talk so hard.  Please talk softer!!!" I promise Sierra.... I will try!!!!

My understanding of just how much God loves us and what He has done for us has reached a new level.  I am looking foward to finding ways to serve Him better.

I have talked with people and "met" people in the adoption community all over the US and abroad.  It is awesome to share stories and reach out to others for support.

I have grown myself as I try to be the best Mom and wife and self that I can be.

And.... oh yeah....  I turned 50!!!!!!

And of course as in every year their have been sorrows as well:

In April I lost a good friend Art, whose wife and family and friends still miss him tremendously.  He was one of a kind and his brave, long, battle with brain cancer will be forever an inspiration to me.

My father in law is facing a reoccurance of his cancer that he first had 7 years ago.  We pray for a good outcome this time as well.

And the sorrow that is still fresh  in our hearts, the too soon passing of our sweet friend Grace.  Her family has taught me the true meaning of God's grace and I am in awe of their unwavering faith and love.

And so we will usher in a new year...a new decade.  I am grateful for all that I have and look foward to the new adventures that are in store for me.  I know there will be sorrows too and I pray for the strength to face those trials.

I wish to you all, my friends, a very, healthy, and Happy New Year!!!

Missing Dad!

This is a picture taken in 1970.  I am the taller girl  ( I think I was taller than my brother that year too! ) We were camping and Dad had taken us all fishing to Skinners Falls.   I remember that day......

Today would have been my Dad's 80th birthday.  I'm looking out the window and it is snowing.  Dad loved a good snowstorm. We all chuckled when  on the day of his funeral there was a big snowstorm. It was fitting then and it is fitting now.  I miss my Dad.. he was a wonderful man.  He taught me much about life and the world around me. He instilled in me a love for nautre that is much a part of who I am.  He cam from a large family and his brothers and sisters were always his biggest allies.  I remember one time near the end of his life, when he was battling both Parkinsons and Alzheimers.  I went to visit him in the hospital.  I was pretty sure he knew it ws me, we had always been close.  But then my aunt, his sister, came into the room.  She bent down and said "Hi, David" very close to his ear.  The smile that grew on his face told me he certainly knew who had come to visit him.  It was then that I truly realized the forever bond that can exist between siblings. Although my 3 boys did get to meet Dad we really didn't have enough time with him.  They really only remember going to the Nursing Home and taking Dad out for trips.  My Dad was only in his late 50s when both diseases began ravaging his body and sadly, his mind.  He handled it with grace although many times he would act in a way that was so not like him.  But we always knew... it was the disease.
He would have been so supportive of our journey to add Sierra to our family.  I feel bad that she will only know him from his pictures.  But she will have a part of him with her.  It will be the legacy that her brothers pass down to her...the legacy that I passed down to them...which I received from a caring, gentle, wonderful man.  Happy Birthday Dad!!!!!

Wednesday, December 30, 2009

A Request

Please keep  my father in law in your thoughts and prayers.  He is battling cancer and is having trouble with the chemo.  The doctors had stopped his chemo treatments for about 6 weeks and he now has resumed them.  Monday was his first and today he was back at the doctors getting IV fluids.  He was running a slight fever and was just feeling icky!  He has to be able to tolerate the chemo to have any chance of battling this.  Thank you all!!!

Saturday, December 26, 2009

Best Christmas Ever!

What a wonderful day spent with family and friends!!  Our day started with the usual opening of presents with much excitement from an almost 4 year old who was celebrating her FIRST Christmas.  Then it was off to Pop Pops to share more presents with family.  After that we visited our good friends Alan and Teresa and their family.  We no sooner got home and it started to snow and Scott got called out to work....but at least we got the entire day in!!!  What I remember most about the day was the joy of having my family close to me.  With my 3 sons, and their girlfriends, Princess Sierra, and cousins, there is much activity and laughter...just the way I like it!  We were so blessed on this day...the day of Jesus' birth!!!  I will never forget it!!!
A little cute story.  Today we went to Kingston to buy a washing machine.  On the way out of the store we noticed it was raining.  Scott took off his vest to put it over Sierra to keep her from getting wet.  When we got to the car she said " Thank you daddy.  You love me and take good care of me!!!"  How grateful am I to know that she knows how much we love her and that she does indeed have people that will take care of her forever!!!!
See more Christmas pictures at this link

Thursday, December 24, 2009

Merry Christmas From Our Porch to Yours!!!!!

Our Christmas Angel!

Today after I finished Sierra's hair and turned her around, I started to cry!!  I just looked at her and cried.  Sierra asked me why I was crying.  There were so many emotions in me at that moment and I just said "I am happpy!"  But the truth was I cried, yes, because the little girl standing in front of me was the most beautiful little girl I had ever seen....  I cried because she has brought so much joy to our lives... I cried because last year she wasn't home yet...I cried because there are still so many kids not home yet... I cried because our friends will not be spending Christmas with their precious Grace although they know she is in Jesus' arms...and I cried because today we will be celebrating the birth of Christ who loves us more than we can ever imagine.  And then Sierra said "Mama your nose is turning red!!" and I stopped crying and started laughing!!!  Merry Christmas to All of you.  May your day be filled with tears of joy and much laughter!!!

Tuesday, December 22, 2009

My Montage 12/22/09 at

Last year at Christmas someone directed me to the song "Merry Christmas"  sung by Third Day.  One of the singers had adopted a daughter from China and remembered what is was like having a child so far away during the holidays.  We too were not traveling until January and it broke my heart that Sierra was not going to be with us for Christmas.  I heard the song and bawled!!!!!  What a difference a year makes.  Enjoy!!!

Thursday, December 17, 2009

Some winter fun!!!

All set to go on her first snowmobile ride!!

Sierra and Paul

Debbie, who owns the bagel shop, invited Sierra to come up and make a gingerbread house with her.  Sierra loved it

Debbie's family helping out!!

Proud of her work!!!

First big snow!!
Making a snow angel.

Having a snowball fight waiting for the Town tree lighting!

Singing Christmas carols by the newly lit tree!!

Tuesday, December 15, 2009

An Early Morning Visitor

So this is how my morning started. My husband came into my room and said " Goodbye honey! Have a great day. There is an animal somewhere in the house. We think we have it cornered in the computer room but we don't know what it is. It ran up David's leg onto his stomach while he was sleeping and I saw it in the bathroom."
I said" WHAT!!! What do you mean you are going to work. I can't stay here all day with an unknown animal in the house!!!"
And he proceeded to go to work. After about 10 not so nice phone calls from me...I think at one point I said " a real man would come home and get this thing out of my house!!" he came home. He and David went back up to the computer room and after a period of looking, found a very scared flying squirrel. Now I have to admit, we live in an old house and we occasionally have a mouse running around, but I really was afraid it was the other rodent , the one that starts with an "R" and ends in a "T" So for me (and David too I think) it was good news. We think he was in our Christmas tree when we brought it in last night. Not the best way to start the morning but all's well that ends well!!!

Saturday, December 12, 2009

Christmas Tree Time!!!

We go to a beautiful farm every year to cut our tree. It's up on a mountain and the view is spectacular. My favorite kind of day to go is sunny, snow on the ground, and cold ...and today we had all three! To make it even better all my boys and their girlfriends came too!! After we got done we had a tailgate party with hot chocolate and pastries!! Mmmmm!! Sierra had a ball and loves being outside this winter. It was one of many family outings that I would like to do this Christmas time. I want to make sure Sierra realizes the true meaning of Christmas not just the commercial one!!

Friday, December 11, 2009


We receivied a copy of Sierra's abandonment add when we received her. In China they have to run an add asking if anyone knows the baby. The add also says where she wsa found, her finding spot. Sierra was found at a hospital. Because we never went to the city where her orphanage was, we never saw her finding spot. I had met a family online who adopted their daughter the same day we adopted Sierra. Although we had corresponded before, somehow we never knew we were in China at the same time. We never met although when I saw thier pictures afterward I realized we had seen them many times while in China. Anyway their daughter had also lived at Sierra's orphange for awhile. They met a shop worker who was from Zhanjiang, Sierra's birth city.They exchanged emails and became friends. Awhile ago the mom emailed me and said she would ask her new friend in China to try to find Sierra's finding spot. Its been awhile and I thought maybe the girl had not been back to Zhanjiang. Last night I emailed the mom again asking if she had heard anything. Today I received an email from the mom saying
she had just heard from her friend and she had pictures of Sierra's finding spot!!! This girl in China had gone home to visit her family and had gone to this hospital just to take pictures for me( really for Sierra!!!) I could not believe it. It is just amazing to me that I have them now because of someone half way around the world who cared!!!

Tuesday, December 8, 2009

Some precious words!!

Planting some tulip bulbs before the snow came!!

First off I'd like to share some exciting news!! One of Sierra's friends from her orphanage has been united with her forever family. Her new Mom and I have been corresponding for awhile now and both have pictures of our girls together in the orphanage. I can't share the photos because there are others in the picture too. Sierra and I are so happy that "another little girl has a Mommy and a Dadddy!!!"
I can't count the moments since Sierra has arrived that my heart has filled with joy!!! There are just soooo many. But after this comment last night I almost melted and became a puddle on her bedroom floor. I picked her up gave her a goodnight kiss and started to lay her down. She put her little arms around my neck, gave me a kiss and said
" Goodnight, Big Princess, sweet dreams!!"

Sunday, December 6, 2009

A beautiful day!!!

A Winter Wonderland!

I have posted before (see my birthday post in August 2009) about the Mohonk Mountain House hotel that is within 10 miles of our house. If we walk out back in the field behind our house we can see it. It is internationally known and people come from all over the world to stay there. It is hundreds of years old and breathtakingly beautiful!! This week it is open to the public to come see their Christmas decorations and since we had a little snow last night it was the perfect day to go!!!
Warming their hands!!

We ran into my good friend Ellen and her children so we were able to get a rare shot of the 3 of us!!!!

Wednesday, December 2, 2009

The Wolf and the Moose!

A couple of weeks ago we were looking forward to seeing a presentation about wolves at the nearby Community College. Sierra loves animals so we thought this would be fun. It turned out to be the day that we lost our dear friend Grace and at first I wasn't sure I wanted to go. But Sierra was excited and I knew that we should still go. My son Paul and his girlfriend Jenn met us there. They were raffling off a few things, one of which was a HUGE stuffed moose!!! You couldn't choose what to win but I knew Sierra wanted that moose and Dad was hoping against hope that she didn't (Not that he is mean, he just is realistic to how much space we have) but he bought the tickets anyway. After a very interesting and informative presentation they pulled the ticket for the moose guessed..Sierra won it!! It was worth everything to see the smile on her face. Now... this moose is living in her room. During the day he is in her crib and at night he sits on the floor. It takes up a good portion of her room and I can barely lift it to move it. Eventually it will have to find a new space but we are enjoying it right now!!!
Atka, an Arctic wolf

Sierra and her very large moose!!!

Monday, November 30, 2009

These are some Thanksgiving pictures!!
My kids with their Aunt Deb

Aunt Deb Sierra Aunt Beth

Dancing fun!
Cousins decorating cookies

Scott and his brother Steve making potatoes at the firehouse for the Community Thanksgiving dinner!

Just a cutie!!

Nothing like family at Thanksgiving
Sierra and PopPop

PopPop and the grandkids

Friday, November 27, 2009

Thank you all!

Thank you all so much for your kind words and prayers over the last week. It has been a difficult time but I felt the love and support from those who emailed me and left comments on the blog. Grace's family is an inspiration to all who have seen them this last week. Their hearts are broken but they are comforted knowing that Grace is with Jesus. They are going ahead with the adoption that they started last spring. Please keep them in your thoughts and prayers during this tough time. We are blessed to know them and call them friends. I am having a hard time coming to terms with it all but my family and friends are helping with that also.

Thursday, November 26, 2009

Happy Thanksgiving!!!

Happy Thanksgiving to all!! We are so incredibly blessed this year. We have jobs ( and I am able to take a leave!!), we have our health, my older children are all nearby and we have our precious Sierra home with us where she belongs!!! The other day she watched an airplane fly over head and she said "Daddy, Daddy, there is another little girl coming home!!!" ( No lie, its really what she said! ) We are only hoping it was true!!!

Monday, November 23, 2009

A Celebration of Grace!!!

Today we celebrated Grace's life!! In a small country church in our tiny, rural community we remembered the little girl who had touched so many of our lives in such a short amount of time. We listened as her family shared with us the profound love they had for their daughter. And we listened as they spoke of God's grace and the love they have for Him. We all witnessed the the unshakable faith of this family who has suffered a loss so horrific we can not really imagine it. But with God's grace and the knowledge that their sweet Grace is in the loving arms of Jesus, they will get through tomorrow and all the tomorrows after that until they once again are all together.
For me it was an affirmation of a faith that is fairly new to me. But I am grateful for the love that was prevalent in that small white church. The slide show of her life with her Mom, Dad and brother and sister, the stories that people shared, and the words of her grandfathers and father, helped to start the healing process.And when it was over we all sung...what else...Amazing Grace!!
Our family will never forget Grace. We only have to look at our Sierra and we will remember. If it were not for Grace, Sierra would not be a part of our family. Thank you sweet Grace, your spirit and grace live on!!

Grace and Sierra on October 23, 2009

Friday, November 20, 2009

Very Difficult Day!

This has been one of the most difficult days I have ever faced. Our friends lost their dear little girl Grace due to bacterial menengitis. She was 5. She was sick for only 3 days. Grace was adopted from China and was the main reason we made the final decision to start our adoption journey.. I had kept a photo of Grace on our refrigerator during the entire process. She was our inspiration. After January the photo was replaced with one of Sierra and Grace. Just a few weeks ago we attended a Harvest Moon Celebration Dinner with Grace and her family. They are devastated!!Please keep them in your thoughts and prayers. They are a family of great faith and I know they will somehow get through this if only for the sake of their other 2 children. Our hearts are broken into tiny little pieces and are struggling with how to best help our friends. I know I can count on you all to pray for them. Thank you!

Monday, November 16, 2009

Surgery a sussess!!!

Thumbs up and her thumb is perfectly straight!!!

Thursday we went to the Dr's. to have Sierra's cast off. It wasn't a hard cast so no sawing had to be done. Sierra was still a little nervous and hid her arm and would not let the Dr. look at it. So he sat down in a chair and waited until she was ready. He really was amazing with her and this procedure has been such a positive experience. He cut it with scissors and let her peel away all the gauze. Scott and I were both a little shocked when we saw the incision. It went almost all the way around the base of the thumb. Sierra tells everyone she got a new thumb and that IS what it looks like! Any way as you can see she can do thumbs up now and its nice and straight!! So she is done, no therapy needed. He said kids just automatically start using it again and she has!!