Saturday, November 18, 2017

Remembering Grandpa...

A year ago today, my sweet Grandpa passed away.   I miss him.  I’m amazed at how the grief comes and goes.  Many many times Grandpa will come to mind during the most random moments.  More than once I’ve become teary at McDonald’s, thinking how he LOVED his “senior coffee”.   I wish my kids would’ve known him like I did.  I was blessed to have him in my life.  I’m oh SO THANKFUL that I got to tell him about the news of us bringing home a daughter from China.  I just wish I would’ve shared her name with him.  He was so happy for us.  Oh how blessed I was to have such a kind Grandpa. 



Below is what I wrote for his funeral last year:

“Why Hello!”

These were the words I was often greeted by Grandpa.  They always came with a ready smile.  When Grandpa spoke with you – he listened to every word.  As his granddaughter, it was clear that he loved me & genuinely cared about what was going on my life.  

Some of my earliest memories of Grandpa was him taking my siblings and me out for ice cream at local diner in CT.  He would get us off the bus and off we would go, eating ice cream just before dinner time.  It was there that he instilled in us how to calculate the waiters tip, practice our multiplication tables and teach us a mean game of tic tac toe. 

I have so many wonderful memories of our visits to Ohio – walking in the woods, exploring in the barn, many many trips to the Eaton Place, going for tractor rides with Grandpa, but I think I really enjoyed the few times I was able to go to work with him the best.  I was absolutely fascinated by his work.  I enjoyed driving all over the county going from farm to farm with him, having lunch just the two of us & being absolutely AMAZED that he knew someone EVERY WHERE WE WENT!  JGrandpa was one of the most social people I knew.  He had the gift of being able to talk to just about everyone.  

Grandpa and Grandma would have celebrated 70 years of marriage this January.  What a beautiful example they have been to watch over the years.  I have watched them kiss each other more times than I can count!  I watched them hold hands for years.  I have been beyond blessed to call them my Grandparents.

When my husband & I announced that we were adopting – there was nothing but pure Joy reaction from Grandpa!  Grandpa and Grandma have loved my kids as their own flesh & blood.  I can’t even tell you HOW MUCH this means to us.  THIS was the best gift they have ever given me.  

When I was a young teen (perhaps even a bit ornery 😉 ), I wanted to see if Grandpa took his faith seriously.  I left a note in Grandpa’s Bible, wondering when & if he would actually see it.  Well – it wasn’t long at all before he thanked me for that note.  That really stood out to me.  He didn’t just read his Bible on Sundays – but he showed me that his faith was REAL.  This made quite an impression on me.

Every year Grandpa and Grandma went to Hawaii for several weeks.  I was lucky enough to be able to visit them there.  If you didn’t know it…Grandpa was the official tour guide of Hawaii (ha ha!). He was so proud of this gorgeous island and thoroughly enjoyed showing it off to me.  It was truly a special time that I will never forget.   Each week, Grandpa and Grandma would stand and pass out hundreds of mini Bibles to people leaving a hula show.  I believe that over the years, they have passed out thousands of them.  What a testimony!  Because of Grandpa’s faith in Christ, I know I will see him again.  I’m so thankful for the man he was & what a wonderful example he has been to me.


I can’t wait to hear Grandpa say “Why hello” when we see each other again in heaven.





Monday, July 13, 2015

Priceless...

We recently had our family photos taken by the amazing Megan of Celtic Gray Photography.  These make my heart so happy.  I literally teared up while viewing them.  She captured us perfectly.
 
Here are my favorites.... Pardon the weird cropping on the photos - I don't have the originals with me & I just wanted to get a few of these up.  :-)



 
This last one is my absolute FAVORITE....after all those long months waiting for Roy to come home....  He is now home & he's running to us!  Seriously...I'm tearing again. 
I just love these pictures soo much!
Welcome HOME Roy-boy!!! Happy almost 9 months home!

Saturday, May 16, 2015

Mother's Day & Farm FUN!

Wow!  It's been awhile since I posted!  I'm happy to say things are going well.  We've developed a nice little routine.  Roy has recently started speech therapy & we are all excited about this.  We can't wait to watch him blossom in this area.  Maddie is constantly encouraging him "...say this Roy... Good job!  Now...say...this.  Good Job Roy-boy!!!"  It's adorable to watch.  ;-)

This past Sunday was Mother's day.  Oh how thankful I am to be the mother to my kids.  I am grateful to know and love Madelyn's birth Mother.  She is such a special young lady to all of us.  I couldn't help but think about Roy's birth Mother more than usual.  I wonder where she is, what she is doing, what circumstances led her not to be able to parent our sweet wonderful son.  I read a beautiful quote this week.  It so moved me.  I am truly soooo thankful my children's birth Mother's chose LIFE!  I can honestly say that I can't even imagine our lives with out these two special darlings in it.
 
 
"He is mine in a way that he will never be hers,
yet he is hers in a way that he will never be mine,
and so together, we are motherhood."  ~Desha Wood
 
 
 
For the first time in years, I was actually with my own Mom on Mother's day!  Madelyn's school ended & I was able to head to my parents farm for the week.  It has been such a wonderful week!  I think Roy is a country boy at heart!  He seems to be taking it all in!  I love having so much land for my kids to RUN in!  It does my heart good watching them on the swings and checking out the cows and exploring.  I never realized how lucky I was to grow up on a farm until I was an adult. 
 
This morning, my Dad let Roy "drive" the tractor.  Oh how I wish I had this on video!  His face was priceless!!  Dad took his hands off the steering wheel and Roy wasn't bashful taking over! He had the cutest, proudest little grin!  So many times I wish his birth parents could  catch glimpses of times like these.  I have to giggle thinking he was from a big CITY in China!  You'd never know that now!
 
Our city boy turning into a country boy before our eyes!
 
 
 

 Every night, the kids would have some wonderful quality time with Uncle Neil. 
He loves them  & they love HIM so much!  I'm grateful for their bond.
 
 

Testing out Auntie April's new double stroller!  Too cute!
 

Having some fun at Roger Williams Zoo with cousin Leah & Auntie April!
 



Possibly Roy's best day in his life!  ;-)



I might just have to enlarge this for Roy's room.  :-)





My favorite Roy's in all the world!





Lazy Daily Swinging.....
 


My lil' farmers... :-)
 
 
It's been such a great week!  it's bittersweet to go.  I can't wait to see Mike & get back to our routine, but truly, this trip was just what the Dr ordered for us 3.  I look forward to coming back this summer. 
 

Monday, March 23, 2015

A Very Belated Happy Chinese New Year!!!

Oh my goodness - I can't believe I forgot to post pictures of our Chinese New Year!  This was a first of many Chinese New Year celebrations to come! 

It was fun because my family was in town to help celebrate Maddie's 5th Birthday.  I loved that they were able to celebrate the New Year with us!

We celebrated at my cousins house - they did it up big!  What a FUN night of great food (Chinese, of course!!), games & fellowship.

Enjoy the pictures!


The cousins together

Roy & Maddie

Double Trouble!  I mean...Roy & Matthew.  ;-)

Mr. Strong Himself!

Sweet sweet girl cousins!

Boy Cousins (for the life of me, I couldn't find Roys matching pants!!!)

The beautiful, Festive Table Setting



Jumping on Bubble Wrap, pretending it's FIRE-CRACKERS!
During the New Year in China, they light lots of Fireworks. 
The kids LOVED this!

My Dad having some fun with the grandkids & "grand-cousins". 
Hee heee

Thursday, February 12, 2015

This Boy....


This Boy…
 
 
Makes us Smile

 
 
 
Is "Curious Roy"





Is Soo Tender

 


  
 Is A HAM!
 
 
 
 
Is So Loved.
 
 
 
We have plenty of hard days too...these are a glimpse of the good times. 
Regardless of the good or bad.  He is SO LOVED.  We are truly
thankful he is HOME where he belongs.

Sunday, January 11, 2015

Roy's First Christmas!

Hi All! 

I hope you and your families had a wonderful holiday season!  We sure did.  We traveled to my parents home in Connecticut.  We were very apprehensive on how Roy would do.  We had visions of staying for 2 days & having to come right back because it would have been too much.  He did WONDEFFULLY!  We kept him home mostly.  We had a few family members over to meet him.  We were very careful to not overwhelm him.  We couldn't be more proud of how (overall) well he did.

It was truly a pleasure celebrating Christmas with him.  Wild to think he has most likely never experienced this.  China is not a Christian country AT ALL. 

It sure didn't take Roy long to get into the groove of opening gifts.  Look at this face!!! 
It was his first look at this pile of gifts....



JUST KIDDING!  ;-) Who knows what that face was for.  :-)



 
I was so happy to watch him to enjoy this special day, the day of our Saviors birth.  I couldn't help but think of all the little kids that are still in his orphanage.  It is so hard to fathom what they are missing out on.  Not simply the Christmas tree & presents & excitement of this special day - but the LOVE of a forever family. FOREVER.  I kept thinking....that if Roy could talk & go back to the orphanage...what he'd tell them - that he has a family who LOVES him even when he is screaming for no reason.  :-)  We love our SON.  I pray the other kids find families soon.
 
 
 
This is what it's all about...
 

 
Christmas Eve with cousin Leah and Big Sister, Maddie
 
 
Our happy Boy...

 
 
 
Merry Christmas Roy-boy!
Photo courtesy of my awesome bro-in-law. 
 
 





Monday, December 15, 2014

8 Weeks Later

It's been 8 weeks since we have known our Roy-boy.  It is hard to believe - some days it feels as if we have known him forever & some days it feels like it's only been 8 days. 

We FINALLY feel like we are getting into a groove.  Roy's behavior is showing improvement.  To our delight - we really think he is starting to understand us.  We have given him very simple instructions & he does it.  It makes our hearts soar!  We are making progress!  He is trying to say a few things.  So far, he seems to have mastered: 
 
uh-oh
Bu-Bye, Cya
Choo Choo!
Dadda
Mama (very rarely though)
Toot Toot!!!  Boys will be boys!
 
With all this being said, we are very encouraged - however, he will start speech therapy after the new year.  We think this is great - it can only get better from here.  :-)
 
It has been fun getting to expose Roy to some "Firsts".  I especially cherish them since we missed soo very many other "firsts" in his life. 
 
His First snowfall!
 
 
 
Surprisingly, he did not have a strong reaction to it.  Perhaps he was thinking it was overrated considering it took us forever to get layered up and out the door!  ;-)  haha
 
His First Thanksgiving! 
 
Our little Indian!  Turns out - he loves cranberry sauce!?!?!? who knew!  :-)
 
His First St. Lucia Celebration!
 

 
He seemed to enjoy all the festivities of the night with his wonderful cousins! He had his first taste of Rice pudding (My Grandmother used to make this all the time & was such a treat!).  He had his first Swedish Meatballs & sauce.  Mmmm - Great night with such great Swedish Food!  Thanks Brubs!  ;-)
 
His First Dress up Experience:
 
 
He actually really enjoys dressing up!  Maddie is just thrilled about this! 
 
His First Piano Lesson from Big Sister Maddie: ;-)
 
 
 
Lastly,  he is wearing HIS favorite new shirt! WINK WINK!
 
 
Surely this must be his FIRST shirt like this, right?
 
We love him sooo much!  He was truly SO.WORTH.THE.WAIT!!!!