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Sunday, January 24, 2010

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I am so unbelievably proud of Annie today because she went to the church nursery, cried for a very short period, and then did really well. This is the first time ever that we haven't been buzzed on our pager to come and get her. I obviously tell the staff that if she is hysterical for 15 minutes, to please page me. And they always do. But not today!!! AND, she didn't cry when we came to get her. She smiled and then she waved goodbye to the sweet staff that loves on her. When I asked her how she did, they told me that they had to stroll her around a bit (which is what they do with any babies that are upset) and they stopped in the little baby room for a bit and she was so pleased that she got to "help" with the babies that she was a happy girl after that. Annie LOVES babies, both real and pretend, so I am not at all surprised by this. Also, she is such a social child, that I knew if she would ever give it a chance, she would love church. I think she did better this week because Lucy gave her a pep talk the entire car ride to church that went, "Annie, church is soooo much fun. Don't worry, Mommy and Daddy will always come back to get us." Killing me with sweetness.

Church was awesome again this week. I went back to the contemporary service, and Justin agreed to come with me. We both really miss the organ and choir when we aren't at the traditional service, but the sermon is absolutely worth it to me. This was Justin's first time there, and he really liked the pastor and the sermon. The question in the sermon this week was "How do I know what God's will is for my life?" The message was powerful and what I really, really walked away with was that I have got to turn to God's word. I have really never spent the time studying the Bible that I should. I do a mom's group that I call my Bible study, but this is the first semester that we are actually studying a book of the Bible. We usually choose a book on a Christian topic, like prayer or marriage. I have always had an excuse as to why I didn't spend time with my Bible, but today I decided no more excuses. I went to Barnes & Noble during nap and decided on a One Year Study Bible. Until I get caught up for this year, I am going to read two or three days worth of reading. I did two while I was at B&N and there was no chance of distraction by little people. I actually feel really excited about doing this and know that God will be revealed to me in ways I have never experienced. Yay!!

The girls took great naps and we have just been lazy around the house this afternoon, watching football and putting on "shows." Lucy loves to give us each a job, and then she is the announcer, and we all do a little performance. It is very funny and she was in rare form this afternoon/evening. Lots of fun when they are in such awesome moods.

The past three days I have been overwhelmed with feelings about the girls' birth mothers. I never know why exactly these days come, but they do and it has been a constant the past few days. I think because both girls have been so much fun the past few days, that I find myself watching them and consumed by feelings of amazement that I am their mom and that somewhere in Vietnam, they have another mom. Today as Annie stopped everything she was doing to watch the National Anthem performance, I just sat on the couch and watched her in awe. She stood there and pretended like her Backyardigan toy was a microphone and just "sang" along with all of her little heart. Then she giggled about it and carried on with her business. And last night as Lucy was dancing naked in the bathroom after bath giggling her precious little laugh, I did the same thing. I just sat with my back against the wall and watched her love life to the fullest. And then I am sad that their birth mothers will never have these memories that I get to have with these girls because my goodness, they are both so unbelievably amazing and I hate for anyone to miss it, but her especially. But I also feel so blessed, thankful, and happy that we get to be their parents. That is the thing about adoption that is hard for me, there is always a bit of sadness knowing that the girls have lost so much to get to be with us and that they have another momma somewhere that is missing seeing just how amazing the child that she created is. I just wish we knew more about their birth mothers. That part is so hard for me and I always wonder if it will be hard for them, too. I hugged them both extra tight tonight. I just love them so much that it makes my heart feel like it is going to burst wide open. They are both so special.

Wow. This feels like a long post. I absolutely adore the images from today. The light in our bedroom at 4:30 this afternoon with the white sheets on the bed being a natural reflector was simply perfect. My suddenly WAY too big girl, Lucy, painted her own nails. She was beaming with pride when she was done and it was perfect because Annie was still napping at that point and not in her way. Then Annie woke up and was so sweet reading books on the bed. I love day to day photos that are actually beautiful, and that is how these are to me today.

I hope you all have a wonderful week and that the spirit of the Lord fills your heart with happiness and love.

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25 comments:

Mom said...

Amen!

Beautiful pictures today. I'm so happy about you all's happy day.

Hugs and kisses, LeeLee


Dada--I DID find the videos and got them all saved. Thanks tons.

marion said...

I recently came across your blog and have been reading along. I thought I would leave my first comment. I don't know what to say except that I have enjoyed reading. Nice blog. I will keep visiting this blog very often.

Lucy

http://businesseshome.net

ATL said...

I think that's why adoption is so hard. Many people tend to forget that one family's happiness is another's sorrow.

I think your thinking on their biological moms is a way to bring them near for your children. It would comfort me to know that the mother who adopted me thought about my bio mom, not demonizing her as some adoptive parents do. It would make her real, and that of course, is the reason for the sadness that can accompany any adoption.

Your love for Annie and Lucy really shone through the pictures today.

Sarah said...

Love all the cute piggies in today's pictures. And Lucy can paint her nails all by herself? You are one brave mama!!

Annie's hair is getting so long! Gorgeous girls!

KrisJ said...

I am so jealous of the good lighting.. I havent gotten good lighting pics in the house for what seems like forever.. soo I have a pic of Maddie painting her toes today too.. doesnt it make them seem way to big! Though Maddie is 6 which is just way to big!

Candace said...

Beautiful photos! Love the lighting!

I also started a one year Bible this year and it has been wonderful! I have done many other Bible studies, but I have never focused on doing it everyday. I am already seeing things differently just by dedicating that small amount of time each day to draw near to God.

I often think of Ana Kate's birth mother too. I like to think we experience those thoughts and feel that sadness so that our hearts are prepared for the time when our children have those same thoughts and questions.

Michelle said...

Beautiful post and pictures! I love that your sharing your growth with the Lord with all of us.

I am so glad Annie did well in the nursery...Glory to God! It makes church so much more enjoyable when we can relax knowing our babies are content.

I found myself relying on other books besides the bible for spiritual growth. I still love reading 'those' books (Joyce Meyer especially!) but I have grown more by reading God's word than any other book out there. I love Proverbs 31; 10-31. We are studying the virtuous woman in our women's bible study and it's done so much for my life as a wife and mother.

Ellie said...

Hi Kelly! It's Ellie from back in the day. I found your blog recently and have enjoyed seeing such beautiful pictures of your cute little girls.

/// It's also been interesting to read your ongoing thoughts about adoption. I've worked with child welfare issues since college, and adoption is really important to me. [We haven't adopted, but it's probably just a matter of time...]

/// One thing I wonder about - (please forgive me and ignore my questions if they seem nosy!) Since your adoptions were international, how do you know that the girls' birthmothers are alive? Also, do you have any opportunity to keep in touch with Annie's & Lucy's birthmothers at all, like a photo or a letter once a year? I worked quite a bit with AdoptUSKids, and was really inspired by some of the open adoption stories I heard, but they were all domestic, as far as I recall.

/// Anyways, sorry for the long comment. Glad to see that you're doing well!

Kate said...

LOVE these! framers for sure! :)i wonder if their mamas dreamed up a mama like you?i bet they did and i bet they go to bed knowing their baby is ok because they have dreamed up this wonderful mama...
you are kel! :) a wonderful wonderful mama...

Amber Herlocker said...

Beautiful pictures and congrats on 2nd place for I Heart Photo contest! Way to go girl!!! Have a great day!

Laurie said...

I have been reading your blog for a long time. Today's was very special. Thanks for sharing your thoughts and pictures with all of us. You have a beautiful way of describing your feelings.

Kelz World said...

Kelly, your children are amazingly beautiful and you are an amazing mom with such a big heart. i love to read your blog and see your amazing photos! You and i went to Christ Lutheran together (i was one year younger). i have been reading your blog for a few months and i just wanted you to know im an avid reader of yours and think you and your family are just beautiful!

I blog but not often it has taken a backseat to life right now but im out there!

The Condreys said...

love these pics kel! i don't know why but annie has been looking EXTRA super cute in her latest pics. is that possible? it just makes me want to squeeze on those sweet girls so much! they are too precious!

Norah said...

Truly beautiful. Your words and the pictures.

mimi lam said...

Such a moving post today, and glorious pictures of the littles, Annie and Lucy are so stylish in their outfit, elegant little lady, with her manicure lovely toes Lucy is.

Sara said...

I too think often about our birth mothers. It comes at random times and monumental times. It comes from a simple smile or from a traumatic break down! I think of them fondly. I think of them with love. I think of them with sadness of what they are missing and I think of them with gratitude. They are such overwhelming feelings. The only difference in our case is that I met and got to know the birthmothers. I also still communicate with them on a semi-regular basis. I know some of their feelings that they have shared and each mother handles the situation differently. Knowing them and being able to communicate how wonderfully the kids are doing doesn't make me think of them any less...in fact, sometimes MORE. I know how much each of my children resemble their parents. I know character traits they've inherited from them based on the time I spent with their parents. It is amazing. It will be a gift one day to them I hope to be able to share these nuances with our children in respect and honor for their parents who SO SO SO love them very much. If there is any one thing I learned from our adoptions, its that LOVE knows no bounds and it is often out of LOVE that that decision to place was first made. Through our birth mothers I've learned that love never goes away -- it is eternal. Sometimes it is hard for me to know that there is someone else out there who loves our children as much as we do without knowing them in the way we do at all. It's a HUGE thought -- one bigger than myself. I continue to trust God, honor His love for the birth parents and for us to have given us such a spectacular gift as these children.

I think your thinking about their mothers is a honor and respect to your daughters and makes you that much better equipped to be their adoring and sacrificing mother.

I totally get it. Thanks for sharing and sorry for my novel! ;)

NHP said...

Hi,
Good job on the Word reading. Those 1 years can be a killer, so push through if it gets really hard. I have tried several times, but I end up choosing to ebb and flow throughout different books of the Bible instead.
Love the girls pics today. And totally understand about the birthmothers. Sigh.
I cannot get over (and either can my hubby) how much Annie and our Nehemiah look alike. So sweet.

Have a great week
Natasha

Terynn said...

Lovely, lovely photos today. So, so sweet.

I pray that the Lord meets you where you are at and astounds you with His goodness and bigness!!

jacqueline said...

i love your pictures of the girls...especially Lucy painting her nails :) your girls are so very precious! i have been connecting with God more and it really inspires me when i read your blog. thank you!

Anonymous said...

Gorgeous photos as always of your beautiful daughters! Are these taken in natural light? How do you get them so bright without being washed out? Thanks, Jenny

cydnee said...

The picture of Lucy kissing Annie is precious. :)
I just want to say that it really touches my heart how you talk about the birthmothers. I am a birthmother and will meet 20 year old Ryan again in 6 weeks.

Lane Olson said...

love these images. they seem so girly, serene, calm, and loving.

Kelly said...

Jenny - Yes, they are natural light. Directly to the left of the girls is a set of french doors, so tons of light was pouring in. Plus the white sheets act as natural reflectors spreading the gorgeous light all around. As far as their brightness and things not being washed out, they are simply properly exposed, maybe even a tad overexposed, but not much so that they aren't washed out. This really is perfect indoor natural light. It was just the exact right moment with where the sun was coming in the doors.

Shawna said...

Today's post was an extra special treat. Thanks Kelly! Just love those beautiful girls, and you too!

Anonymous said...

Kelly,
Thanks so much for replying - what gorgeous natural light. Love looking at your beautiful photos of your beautiful models, Jenny