"Once our eyes are opened, we cannot pretend we don't know what to do. God, who weighs our hearts and keeps our souls, knows that we know, and holds us responsible to act." Proverbs 24:12

“There are no strangers here; Only friends you haven’t yet met.”- William Butler Yeats

Thursday, September 6, 2007

The happy and the sad...and some in between.

I really have much to cover, and although I still have no camera, I have lots of pics (thank you Amanda & Anthony for the contributions) but I just can't seem to find the time to post. These little guys are so busy and there is so much going on in our lives, almost daily that I can't seem to get around to gathering thoughts to put into words! That said, here goes. Bits and pieces of life with a few pictures thrown in.

Labor Day weekend was wonderful. We, along with about 50 other family members and friends all went away for the weekend. The hotel was beautiful and the beach and the sun were perfect. Unfortunately, there were so many of us there, and the kids were enjoying the pool/beach so much that we barely had time to spend one-on-one with our extended family. This was Anna Grace's first trip to the beach. Yes, I know. We are Floridians and we wait until the end of summer to go the beach, go figure. The ocean was easily 90 degrees and was so warm that you'd start sweating after being in there a while, so we mostly stuck to the pool. The kids had a blast! They played in the pool for hours. Anna Grace's fear of the water is slowly dissipating and she even jumped in on cue! She is making huge strides in her attachment. Although we did have a couple of incidents where I could see she was having a few setbacks. But, I was prepared for them because that seems to be the norm when there are many people around and everyone showering her with attention.

Kai and AJ also loved the water, and AJ usually had a fit when we'd tell him it was time to go upstairs. But soon afterwards, he'd be sound asleep from the exhaustion and the sun and fresh air. Kai is getting to be such a big boy. He played with his siblings, made friends and did great playing independently also. Not to mention that they all loved using Daddy for "whale rides". :)

There was a wonderful surprise and highlight to our weekend. Tito and his girlfriend came up on Sunday to stay the night with us. We were at the pool when they walked in and the kids were in the water so I couldn't leave them to say hello. They had first walked over to my Mom and sister and some other family members. All of a sudden I hear all of this commotion and Adam yells out, "Mom! Come here!" I said, "wait....the kids are in the water." I then hear them say, "Come, now!!!" So, I get over there and his girlfriend is all smiles and Tito had this sheepish grin on his face. I gave them a kiss and then my sister comes over and says, "They're engaged!" WOW!!!!!!!! That truly was the last thing I expected. I had no idea, but I must say that I am so very happy. Tito's girlfriend, Gloria, is a living doll. She loves and takes care of him very well and well, that's all a mother could really ask for! I, of course, then asked when the wedding was going to be, and I got (from both of them) "Well, maybe in a year or two!" UGH!

I also want to say that her ring is beautiful and my big boy did good! Gloria has been a part of our family for a few years now and we are so blessed to soon be officially calling her our daughter and sister!
It was wonderful having all six kids together. The little ones adore their older siblings and Tito is one big toy to them when he comes over. He has taught Kai this special "Godzilla" dance that Kai will only do with him. It was so cute to see when he first saw Tito. He ran up to him to greet him and held his little hands up and did the Godzilla dance, which of course, Tito did right back to him. Seeing them all together makes my days like nothing else can. God has been so incredibly good to me and I am amazingly blessed!

On Tuesday, September 4, it was a sad day for us. As many of you know, before we went to China, we had a failed adoption from The Republic of Belarus. For almost a year we stared into the eyes of a little boy named Anatoly Gotovkin. He immeditely captured our hearts and became our son. We named him Kai. All was ready, bags were packed and his room was waiting. Just a few weeks before we were due to travel, we were told the country shut down adoptions and that he would remain in the orphanage. I have never felt such pain. To this day, there is hardly a day that goes by that I don't think about him or how he is doing.

His referral came to us when he was just 5 months old. This Tuesday, we celebrated his 4th birthday. He will probably never be adopted since the country remains closed and he has sadly "aged out". But what saddens me most is the fact that he will never know how much he was loved, no let me rephrase that, IS loved and wanted. I pray for him daily and ask God and His blessed Mother to protect him and care for him. He owns a piece of my heart and always will. I know it was all in God's plan for us to start the process in Belarus. Had we not, we wouldn't be blessed with the beautiful children we tuck into bed each night, yet my heart still has not healed from the loss of our Belarusian prince.

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