Monday, June 20, 2011

Time flies when you're having fun

We've been home now for 7 1/2 months! I'm thinking it's time for a new headline on my blog. "We're home" somehow feels a little old and stale.

I'm guessing it's not just me. :)

So yes, we're home. And yes, we're in love. Life is wonderful yet crazy, busy yet full of regular routines, and at times challenging yet blissful. I really can't imagine my life without these five children. We are so incredibly blessed.

Since we're home safe and sound, let me introduce you to my two "new" sweeties!

First, Blake-man. He is a cutie pie!!! I like to say about him that he is very chill...until. Until he loses it, and then watch out! He can get MAD! But he also has a smile that could totally light up not only a room, or a neighborhood, or a city, but probably an entire continent. It's that cute and contagious! Blake loves all things drum related and he likes to dance. He loves playing with his brother and sisters, and is a total cuddlebug. He's working so hard at walking, but still gets around by crawling. Sometimes he likes to "chase his tail" and crawl around in a circle. It's pretty cute.

He had a rough start, as when we met him, he was only 12 1/2 pounds and could hardly hold his head up. He was quite ill at the time. We spent two nights in an African hospital (not exactly fun), and worried about his health for most of the 3 1/2 weeks we were gone. Once he got home, he tested positive for two strains of malaria, and soon caught the chicken pox from his sister. I'd say the first few months home with him were difficult, as he just battled so many viruses and just didn't feel well. This spring he seemed to turn a corner, and we commented that we loved getting to know the real Blake. The Blake that didn't feel like poop all the time.

And our Lauren girl. Ahh, Lauren. She's our little wild woman. But man, what a cutie! When we met her, we called her "chill." She just seemed so easy going. Once we got home, a friend from church met her and said to us, "Oooh, she's sassy." We said to her, "Nope. Not really. She's incredibly laid back." Well, silly us. She started crawling on Christmas night and it was like her whole personality changed. She suddenly realized there was a whole world out there that she could explore, and nothing was going to get in her way! While she had been sick before we got to her, she has been healthy as a horse since we've known her, with the exception of the chicken pox shortly after we arrived home. She's steadily making progress in all areas of development, and is not just walking, but running all through the house.

She's certainly my first child that has demanded so much attention. If I don't watch her for two minutes, she manages to pull all of the books off the shelf, play with the plug on the computer, and stick her arm down the toilet. Whew. Some days she wears me out, but my prayer with her is, "God, please don't let me squelch her spirit. I know you've made a fearless and strong-willed little girl for a reason." While she won't sit still for two seconds, Lauren is a loving little girl who loves to laugh, push doll babies around in a stroller, play peek a boo, and experience new things and places. She adds a lot of excitement to our family and is such a blessing!

So after 7 1/2 months, I've finally introduced you. Maybe in another six months, I'll share some about our journey there, life as a family of seven, and the burden my heart feels for the children left behind.

I have so much I want to say, it's just finding the time to say it that is the challenge. I really want to write more, though. I find it calming, and I love having a record of God's wonderful blessings in my life. Like these precious five: