Monday, March 09, 2009


Lucy 68/365

Annie 68/365

Today I am thankful for Lucy's school. After our first day experience, I really did not believe that she would ever be happy about going to her little program. But the girl loves it. She cheers when we are in the parking lot. She insists on wearing her backpack and carrying her big lunchbox herself as she marches right into the school and her classroom. She gets a glowing report every single day. Her teachers have never had a single negative thing to say or concern that they might have. They tell me she is extremely polite, kind to the other kids, loves the art projects, and has so much fun running wild outside. I love to see how excited her teachers get when we walk up. They LOVE my girl. Really, they love her, and she loves them. Makes me smile.

I have a big favor to ask. A very dear friend of mine is going through a really hard situation right now. Her family was hit with a big tragedy yesterday and I would appreciate you saying a little prayer for her and her family to find some peace right now as they go through a really tough situation. I am not going to say her name or what happened. I know that God will know what you are talking about if you just pray for my friend. Thank you.

Annie had therapy today. She is doing so well. I took some baby food today so that S could see how she responds to the spoon and food. She said we definitely have some work to do. I knew that. She did some gum massage with a washcloth and some other stimulation and then tried to feed Annie a few more bites. She did SO much better. She said that we probably just have to "wake up" her mouth with the stimulation before I try and feed her, so we will get started on that tomorrow.

The picture of Annie above is so funny to me. She is "talking" to our dog Bianca. She just adores any and all animals. She gets so excited whenever she sees one. I didn't take many pictures of my own kids today because I took some pictures for Mandy. If I ever get to a point of being busy with this business, my 365 project is going to get increasingly more difficult. I can do it though.

I will work on answering a few of your questions each night this week. So here goes.

1. I am just going to tell a bit about our adoption story, since many questions were related to that. Before Justin and I got married, I had mentioned that I saw it in my plans to adopt internationally one day. It was important to me and it was important to me that he was on board with that. He always was. We had been married for almost 2 years and started talking about making our family. We started discussing whether we should adopt first or try for a biological child first. For a bunch of different reasons, we decided to adopt first. The decisions were made mostly based on how we thought our kids might feel about the fact that we will have a family of both biological and adopted children. Who knows if our decision will matter at all, but it was what we ended up feeling most comfortable with and ultimately believed would be the best choice for our family. So, in January of 2006 I went to an informational meeting, turned in our application, and off we went on our journey to Lucy. The meeting was on our anniversary and Justin was out of town so just I went. I felt so great after that meeting knowing that we were on our way. It was not always a smooth journey for us. Those of you who read this blog way back then (and there weren't many at all) know that we hit some road blocks, but we were always able to work through them and getting Lucy's referral in September was the most amazing thing that had ever happened to either of us. I will never forget what it was like seeing her face for the first time on my computer at work (someone asked and I was the office manager of a small, independent finance firm). I was instantly in love with her. I immediately felt like her mom. We waited to travel for 3 months to the day and adopting Lucy was so much better than I could have ever imagined it would be. We had only planned on adopting once and then trying for a biological child next. That quickly changed while we were in Vietnam for Lucy and we both agreed that we would adopt again next - hence our journey to Annie beginning 9 months after Lucy had been home. We adopted both times through VORF. I am not up for an adoption agency discussion, so I will leave it at that.

We did not ever consider domestic adoption. There are many reasons why, but I will say that I have a friend that recently completed a domestic adoption and had such a wonderful experience that it changed my whole perspective on it. We chose Vietnam because we fit into their program when we were ready to adopt. I wish I had a more inspirational reason, but I am just trying to be honest. We were both too young for China. Vietnam had just reopened, I knew a family that had adopted from VN prior to the shutdown that had had a great experience, and the more research I did, the more I fell in love with the Vietnamese history, culture, and people. I feel so blessed to have been led to Vietnam. It was the perfect fit for us and I have nothing but wonderful things to say about the country of Vietnam and its wonderful people.

As far as adoption resources I would recommend, I literally scoured the internet for any bit of information I could gather. If you know you are going to adopt from a specific country, it is not hard to find information. I also read book after book on adoption attachment issues and having a transnational family.

Since I know people are going to wonder and probably ask, we do plan on trying for a biological child some day. I want our kids close in age, but Justin wants a break for a bit! I think once Annie consistently sleeps through the night, I can change his mind quickly!! We'll see. We stopped talking about adopting the second time for a while as we battled sleep issues with Lucy, but then we were ready so quickly once she was sleeping. It is amazing what lack of sleep will do to you. We are definitely still a ways off from adding to our family again. I don't at all feel the strong desire to be pregnant like I once did. There are a few things that I really want to do though. I want to experience labor and delivery. I want to breastfeed. I want to have a brand new tiny newborn. We'll see how hit turns out. Who knows.

2. Non-Adoption Related:
The purple chairs are from an awesome store in our area that went out of business recently. :( They would get random, unique pieces in and we just lucked into finding those. We bought them years ago when we lived in Austin and had no where to put them. They sat in our guest bedroom until we moved into our current house. They are antiques and still have the original stuffing in the cushions. Let's just say the cushions need restuffed. They are without a doubt my favorite thing in our house. Love them. Love pictures in them.

I always get asked about the girls clothes. I rarely shop online because I like to touch something and see the size before I buy them anything. Both girls are really small and every line runs so differently that I always need to see something before I buy it. We live in a big city with plenty of boutiques around with all I could ever want. My favorite lines are Misha Lulu and Pink Chicken. I am usually a fan of Tea Collection. I love Juicy for babies - and not the track suits, but mostly the swimsuits and the dresses. I love ridiculously overpriced designer baby jeans. I know, it is silly, I don't care. I love them. There is NOTHING cuter than a baby in a pair of True Religions. My main goal with dressing the girls is to not have them looking babyish. I know, they are babies. I don't care. It is not my style and it is definitely not Justin's style. He would have them in True Religions and a rock-n-roll Trunk tee everyday if it was up to him. I prefer them to be in a dress most of the time. I can't say it enough, I L-O-V-E little girl clothes. I wish I could be a baby stylist. Could someone please put Angelina in touch with me? I would love to dress her kiddies. Not that they don't always look fabulous, I mostly just want to say I am Angelina's kids' stylist? Is this an unrealistic dream? :)

Photography is going to have to wait. This is getting long enough and those questions will take some time to write out. I will work on some posts about how I post process, but I make no promises that they will be even the slightest bit helpful. As far as lenses, I just got the 24-70mm 2.8 and it is most definitely the best lens I have ever had. It is so fast, the sharpness is incredible, etc. I can't say enough great things about it. However, it has two really big downfalls - it is very big and heavy, and it costs a small fortune. Nikon is proud of that lens, as they should be. The other lens I love so much is my 50mm 1.8. I love that lens. Until last Friday, almost every picture you saw on this blog within the past several months has been taken with that lens. It is cheap and awesome. I just got the 85mm 1.8 which I know I will also love, but I seriously can't convince myself to take off the 24-70mm.

Whew. That was a lot of talking out of me. I will stop now. I am tired of listening to me. More tomorrow.




A few of the gorgeous flowers from the Arboretum.




Mom said...

Hey--man are you talkative today!!! The pics are great. I am pooped. Worked all day, and I do mean all day, cleaning out the shop. Did take a break for lunch and to walk the dogs. Then back at it!! I can now get to my terra cotta pots, tools, etc., and the kiddo swimming pool!! Yea! Much love, Lee Lee

Thanks for the squirrel info. Sorry I missed it in the comments. Kisses for the Goose and Nanners! How is Justin feeling??

Love being #1!

Mom said...

PS--Regis and Kelly are nuts. I had 4 great entries. Good grief. We don't even get the show here anymore, so I didn't get to see any of it.

The flowers are awesome

Mom said...

Also, YEA for school and back packs and YEA for good therapy!!!!!!

LeighAnn said...

Thanks for sharing your life with us. Congrats on your new camera and lens (I'm the one from LA who emailed you w/ lens question). I can't wait to see your creativity with them. I also enjoy the same style of clothing for my 11-month old and I am loving girl clothes WAY too much after having 2 boys. I just wish that I could afford it more but ebay has been great too. Oh, and I'm so excited for your family and the progress that Annie's making. Blessings!

Mom said...

Poopsie--of course it goes without saying that your friend is in my thoughts and prayers. Prayer is such a powerful thing.

Dad says to tell you that he would like a pic of the Goose with her back pack and lunch!!!

Does she walk to school or carry her lunch?? (Now what's THAT from?)

Leslie & Shaune said...

that last photo of the flowers is incredible!

Kate said...

Holy Post, Batman!

Thanks for answering my question, but you forgot to tell me how much the shipping will be for the chair.

I'm right there with you on baby girl clothes and I'm in so much trouble when baby sister gets here! I cannot wait to rock out my Ethiopian Chick! My favorite look on Lu is her True Religions and a pair of converse. If you work for Angelina some day, remember me. I'd make an awesome assistant!

On a serious note, I will pray for your friend and family tonight. Prayer requests can spread like a wild fire and do amazing things.

jilljohnandhope said...

Prayers said!

Anonymous said...

Hi Kelly,
What a great post. I admire your honesty and openness. I think that is why your blog is so popular. Well, the girls are the cutest too. Annie looks sooooo happy, you are a good momma!
Take care,
Angela A. in Colorado

Amy Jo said...

I will pray for your friend!!

Ronja said...

I prayed for your friend. I hope the family will get through that situtation with God's help.

That was a great post, especially how open you are about why you adopted. Thank you for sharing your story!

And I can't wait for the photography answers...

Anonymous said...

The Tea Collection romper is so cute on your daughter - my son lives in Tea!

mimi lam said...

Thank you for your adoption answer, you both are such compassionate, kind, generous,and loving people, Lucy and Annie are destined be your children, and they are very fortunate. You have good taste in the girls's fashion, lovely pictures as always, and happy that Lucy is popular, and enjoy her school.

MKH said...

I will definately be praying for your friend-you can count on that. loved reading the answers to some of the questions. I do remember reading all about your journey to Lucy. It is amazing how the timing of it all worked out. She was always going to be the one!!
And of course, very cute shots today. The first one of Lucy is beautiful!

life with the wisners said...

am loving the Q&A.

am so jealous of the 28-70. can't wait to touch it and hold it. :)

and that picture of lucy looking over her shoulder? (before her hanging on the iron posts?) is breathtaking. and her future husband is going to keep it in his wallet.

Sarah & Seth said...

I am happy to see that someone has expressed the same ideas that Seth and I had for adopting. It is refreshing to hear that you also fell in love with Vietnam AFTER deciding that it was a good fit for you. We were the same way and I know that it was the right thing to do and I know it could not have gone another way!

I LOVE Annie & Lucy's clothes. We do not have much of a designer children's clothes market where I live and it makes me sad. I love to see Sienna in her little True Religions and a big sweatshirt or a fitted T-shirt. If only she didn't cry because they are pants and not a dress!

We are embarking on our second child (conceived this time) and Sienna could not be happier. I hope she adjusts to life with a little brother as Lucy has with Annie!!

lee said...

yo mama crack me up