Moving

A lot has happened in the six months since I’ve blogged last. The most dramatic being our decision to move to North Carolina! We put our house up for sale the end of January and had a contract on it within a week. All going well, we close in less than two weeks and then head north!

We have many reasons for moving, one being that we will be closer to Bryan’s family in Pennsylvania and South Carolina. We are also looking forward to living closer to the company Bryan works for. We will only be about 2 miles from his office! We’ve been talking and thinking about moving to NC for many years and we are finally ready to make the move and start getting settled into our new community there. I’m so glad we serve a God that doesn’t change and is faithful to His kids no matter where they live. I can’t help but feel sad leaving our community here in Tampa. Bryan and I have been here ten years already! But I am looking forward to seeing what God has for us in NC and to experience growth in my relationship with Him. He is so faithful to me and I’m so thankful to be loved by Him!

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Another highlight of the last few months is that we decided to homeschool Sassafras! Her last day at the local elementary school was right before Christmas break. When I picked her up that last day, I felt like someone gave my child back to me. My heart was longing for her heart and she has responded so well to the extra attention! Homeschooling is something I’ve always wanted to do but until now had not been the right time. Knowing that we would be moving out of state halfway through the spring semester helped us to make the decision, and so far so good! The three months she’s been home have been an amazing time of growth for her. Can you tell how happy she is? She is like a different child from the one that we met almost 3 years ago.

This time has also been a time of transition and growth for our sweet little Lovebug. She has had a pretty difficult time adjusting to having a new baby brother in the house and having to share the attention. She turned 5 years old recently and I can’t believe the chubby little 2 year old I fell in love with is now such a big girl.

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She is a precious treasure and I love her so much! I spend a lot of time praying for her and her heart. Just recently I’ve noticed that she is starting to feel more secure in her place in our family. And I’m so glad! Not only for her, but for me and Bryan too. As any parent knows, when a child is having a hard time, it typically means that the rest of the family is dealing with the repercussions of it!

As for Little Man, he is doing so well! By far the easiest transition we’ve ever had with a new little member of our family. He’s been home almost 10 months, though it feels like he’s always been here. I can hear his little giggle as I type. He has such a joyful heart, is a little mischievous, and oh so much fun!

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Overall, we are doing well and staying very busy with all the details that go into moving. Next time I blog we will be in North Carolina and I’ll post some pictures of our new home. Please join us in praying for our transition, that all will go well with the repair work that is being done on our NC home, and that we’ll find a church community that is a good fit for us. Thank you! I hope all of you are doing well too, and that the Lord is using your circumstances to draw you closer to Him. Love, Sarah

Adoption Day!

Let me introduce someone to you…

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This is our son, signed, sealed and delivered! He is as joyful in person as he looks here.

August 14th, 2014, will go down in history as one of the most meaningful days of my life, the day Bryan and I became parents to this beautiful Little Man.

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I’m so proud I could burst my buttons, if I were wearing any.

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What a day!

Adoption Day is Almost Here!

Y’all will have to forgive me, I’ve been wanting to post an update for days and days! It has been CRAZY at my house the last couple of weeks and I’ve barely had time to make my bed, let alone sit down during a quite hour and blog. But I’m making it happen today because we finally got our court date scheduled and  we are going to the courthouse TOMORROW!! Our attorney called us about 3 weeks ago and we were ecstatic to be told we could finalize our adoption the day after we finished our 90-day supervisory period.  We are heading to Jacksonville tonight and plan to stay at the same hotel we stayed in the week we met Little Man. We are excited to visit the little breakfast place where we met Little Man for the first time and spend some time with the wonderful foster family that loved him and took such good care of him the 17 months prior to him coming home to our family.

Tomorrow at 1pm we will be meeting our attorney and about 15 family members at the courthouse where Bryan and I will raise our hands and testify before a judge that we commit ourselves forever to this precious little boy. Adoption is an amazing thing and we were given an amazingly sweet little boy. All those days I wondered and worried and prayed and ached and cried, my Abba knew who my son was to be, where he was and when he’d be coming home. Now all of that has come to fruition. Tomorrow, Bryan and I will be the proud parents of not two, but three precious, created-in-God’s-image, little human beings. I am so happy and thankful. Very, very thankful.

Please join us tomorrow in your thoughts and your prayers!

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Remembering June 1st

So I admit it, I like Chuck E. Cheese. Yes, it’s loud, the food is expensive and not very good, but the fun factor is pretty high in my book. I went for my birthday when I was 15 and loved it. Then when Bryan and I were first married, I dragged him there to get our picture taken in one of their little 25 cent photo booths. We used the photo in our first Christmas card!

I took all three of the kids to Chuck E. Cheese one afternoon last month. I had promised Sassy I would take her as a reward for doing so well on her behavior chart the last month of school. When we got there I realized it was exactly two years to the day that Bryan and I met our girls for the very first time at this very same Chuck E. Cheese! You can read that post here. How serendipitous! I told the girls all about what they looked like then and how exciting it was to meet them. They have come so far in the past 2 years, adjusting, growing, healing. They are very different little girls compared to the scared, angry little ones that we first welcomed into our home. I am so proud of them and how far they have come. To think the Lord destined them for us and us for them! It blows my mind. I love them both so much and am so thankful and blessed to have them as my daughters!

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Day 41

That’s how long Little Man has been home with us and the time has flown by. He fits into our family so well! It’s like there was a spot waiting just for him. Sassafras is out of school for the summer and we’ve been taking full advantage of our time together as a family.

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We’ve been playing in our yard, going to the pool and the park, and spending time in our new playroom! Bryan has moved his office out of the house and we have designated it for the kid’s art table and toys. They love it!

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They are all getting along pretty well, especially Sassafras and Little Man, with the four year age difference, Sassafras mothers him, loves following him around and taking care of him. She is my big helper and does such a good job! Lovebug is having a tougher time getting adjusted to being the middle child instead of the baby. But occasionally, when Little Man isn’t hitting her or stealing her toys, she will ask him for a kiss or a hug. We are making progress slowly but surely!

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Father’s Day was great. After church we went to Five Guys for burgers and fries, Bryan’s pick. I loved watching my Little Man chow down on his burger, so cute! But we are still keeping pictures of his face off the internet, so here’s one of him and Bryan giving each other an elbow bump. This is Little Man’s preferred greeting.

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People keep asking me how things are going and I still feel surprised every time I tell them how great things are. Transitioning with Sassafras and Lovebug was so rough for all of us, it’s been a wonderful surprise to have an easy and enjoyable transition! Little Man is quite bonded to me and it’s evident that he loves his daddy too. It has been a great first month together. He is even getting along with all our animals!

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The TPR trial is scheduled for tomorrow and soon we will have a date for finalization. We are still expecting it to be the 2nd week of August and will probably be holding our breath a little bit until then. For now, though, we expect everything to continue going as planned. God has worked everything out for us so smoothly so far! Thank you for your continued prayers for the legal process yet to be completed, our transition and for little Lovebug as she adjusts to sharing mommy with a new little one.

 

A Happy Mother’s Day

Neither of us wanted to set an alarm last night and we ended up sleeping in till 8:30! Typically our girls are awake by 7am, so sleeping in felt very nice. Church starts at 9:30, so we had to rush, rush, rush to get everyone fed and dressed and out door. We made it! All five of us squeezed into the last row, thankful to be at church on Mother’s day and ready to show off our new son.

We kept it pretty low key for the rest of the day, stayed home and hung around the house. Bryan and the kids worked on a Mother’s Day gift for me. Bryan asked me what I’d like and I told him that I wanted our children’s handprints painted on canvas! I’d been hanging onto some square canvases for quite a while with the hopes of doing something fun with them. Well, today the fun was done and Bryan led the way. It really is the best thing I could have wished for on Mother’s day. I’m so excited to see how they turn out!

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Yes, that last picture is Little Man! He was more than happy to get his hands dirty for his new mama. Bryan and I were up late last night, determined to decide on a name for him. I call him Little Man on this blog for privacy reasons, but up until last night, we didn’t have a name for him in real life either! Legally, his name is still what his birthmother gave him at the hospital, but in August when we finalize the adoption, we will be changing his name to something we have chosen for him. I’m excited to announce that Bryan and I went to bed last night having accomplished our goal. Our son has a name! A beautiful name that fits him and includes a family name as his middle name. Naming him makes me feel even more that he is mine and that he belongs here with us. I couldn’t be happier.

A couple of nights ago I had the chance to put all three of the kids to bed by myself. With Little Man on my lap and a girl on either side of me, we sang and prayed together. Having all three of them snuggled in so close to me, knowing that they were MINE and that I was their mama was amazing. I feel so thankful! I can’t believe that these three beautiful children are my forever kids and I’m their mom! Look and see what the Lord has done!

Now that Little Man is home, I don’t know how often I will be blogging. I’m going to try for once a month or more if I feel motivated. I will definitely keep you all updated as Adoption Day gets closer. We don’t have a date yet, but are hoping for the second week in August. We can’t thank you all enough for your prayers and support during this adoption journey. The Lord is so good, its obvious how much he loves his kids! Thank you for lifting us up in prayer to him. Please let us know if there is anything specifically we can pray about for any of you. We would love to join you in prayer as you have done for us.

 

“From the First Time…”

“From the first time I met him, I wanted him to be in our family forever” Sassafras said in the car tonight. We had just dropped Little Man back off at his foster home and we were all feeling a little sad. I think Little Man was feeling sad too; he cried at the front door when we left. So far he has cried every time his foster mom has left him with us, but this is the first time he cried when we left him! 

We go to the courthouse tomorrow at 10am for our hearing. We should leave with custody of Little Man and the clock ticking on the 90-days we have to wait until we finalize the adoption. I still can’t believe this is happening! Two weeks ago today I had not even heard of Little Man, let alone laid eyes on him. And here I am on the eve of taking him into my home and heart forever. I can relate to what Sassafras said tonight, “From the first time I met him, I wanted him to be in our family forever.” Lord willing, forever starts tomorrow.