First Day Jitters

M started pre-k today! This is her first year going all day.

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She was excited for school to start.  But she did ask questions like, “What if I can’t find the cafeteria?” and “What if I don’t know the other kids’ names?”  I’m glad we could talk through her fears.  And I’m sure she will catch on quickly.

It’s going to be a great year!  (She has grown a lot since last year.)

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Elaine and her husband, Joey, are licensed as an adoptive family and foster home in Ohio.

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Twenty Sixteen – part one

The first half of this year has been full We have had a lot of challenges in our family.  But we are resting in the One who is orchestrating our life.  Recently, I was reminded that God is a God of order.  It brought comfort as I can feel circumstances are confusing and uncertain and, sometimes, a total mess.  But, by His grace, I know God has ordained each day for our family.  We take one day at a time, in the order God has chosen.

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I’m behind on sharing photos. Here’s a few of our growing girly!

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Elaine and her husband, Joey, are licensed as an adoptive family and foster home in Ohio.

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April Eleventh

Eight years ago today, I was returning home after our rehearsal dinner. It was my last night as a single person. Our wedding was the next day! My heart was full of excitement and anticipation about what might lie ahead for me and Joey as a couple.

Five years ago today, we assembled a wooden bunkbed in one of our empty bedrooms. We had just completed our pre-service training and submitted an application to be foster parents. We would begin our home study process in the coming months. Our weary hearts clung to hope and trusted the Lord for what might lie ahead for our household.

Tonight, as my faithful husband studied for an exam in another part of the house, I drank hot tea with our three young kids. We sipped our peppermint drinks from mugs that Joey and I received as wedding presents. My 4-year-old reminded me that, earlier in the day, I had suggested we might bake a cake for what she called our “celebration day”. I agreed that should be on the agenda for tomorrow while Daddy is at work. Then, I helped the two oldest climb into the bunkbed and held their hands until they fell asleep. I prayed for all our kids, with my heart full.

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Lately, my heart is stirring. It’s nestled in a place between feeling “carefree in the care of God” while also restless for the Day our broken world will be made new.

As I wait, I look back on my adult life.

When one’s days are long and a dry season seems to linger, it’s good to step back and remember what God has done (and is doing). He is good! He is orchestrating our lives for His glory. The LORD is sovereign and holds all things in His hand.

“The heart of man plans his way, but the LORD establishes his steps.” Proverbs 16:9

On this anniversary eve, I trust my life to the One who is directing it.

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Elaine and her husband, Joey, are licensed as an adoptive family and foster home in Ohio.

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Party Day

“M” was very excited about her classroom’s party for Valentine’s Day. Each morning this week she asked, “Is it party day?”

Although our family has had some challenges the last six weeks (which has meant a hectic schedule), we wanted to help make her day at preschool special. So Daddy went to school!

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The Room Mom always does a great job organizing the holiday parties. The students decorated cupcakes:

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And they played the Pie Face game. Each child received a heart with the number of clicks to spin the handles. I’m surprised that “M” braved it! It looks like she had fun!

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My heart sunk a bit when Joey told me that she got whip cream in her hair! But he did a great job getting it out with wet wipes without messing up the style. I did her hair the night before and hoped it would last several days — Dad saved the day.

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Of course, for this little one whose love language is Words of Affirmation, the valentine cards were her favorite. She read the names when she got home and beamed with happiness!

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Elaine and her husband, Joey, are licensed as an adoptive family and foster home in Ohio.

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Preschool Portrait Day

“M” was sick on the first picture day scheduled this fall, so this photo was taken December 2015 on make-up day.

I’ve never been a fan of studio lighting for her skin tone, but she’s still a cutie pie!

She wore flat twists gathered into two puffs. It was a style I could do the night before with very little fussing in the morning. It’s hard to believe  “M” is four years old already!

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Elaine and her husband, Joey, are licensed as an adoptive family and foster home in Ohio.

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Holiday Happenings

The months of November and December are so busy, aren’t they?  But lots of memories and fun are packed into those short weeks!  Our home was no exception.  We enjoyed visiting extended family and welcomed a new sibling right before Christmas. (It’s getting hard to find photos of “M” without any of the babies; she loves being near them!)

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We were able to see the Festival of Trees and Trains again this year.  “M” made many beautiful crafts in preschool.  And we looked forward to opening a new door in the LEGO Friends advent calendar each morning!

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Elaine and her husband, Joey, are licensed as an adoptive family and foster home in Ohio.

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Halloween and Fall Fun

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Our little lady requested Tinker Bell for Halloween. (We found a cute option online.) This was her first year trick-or-treating, and she got to wear the costume two other times at parties. It’s so fun to watch her imagine at home in her fairy dress!🙂

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All the kids have enjoyed playing outside this Fall as well!  I’ve noticed that I haven’t taken very many photos while we’re out so I captured a few yesterday while Dad was blowing leaves / cleaning up the yard.  Here’s a few of “M”:

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We also got portraits taken yesterday for the babies’ birthdays.  We got one shot of them together, which is adorable.  She loves her Bub and Sis so much!  I can’t share pictures of those cuties, though.  “M” is growing so fast!  She’s such a little lady, now.

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– – – –

Elaine and her husband, Joey, are licensed as an adoptive family and foster home in Ohio.

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fourth birthday

A few days ago, I was reminded what our life looked like before children.  It was quiet and mostly boring.  And filled with longings and hopes and anticipation.  It was a good reminder how much has changed in five years.

During that time, we prayed that our home would be filled with children.  We asked for a family.  HOWEVER — although we knew there would be joy in store for us as parents — our focus was not solely on our gain.  We wanted to give a safe family to a child.

I was also optimistic and idealistic about our relationship with our future child’s original family.  Now, I know that open adoptions are hard. Closed adoptions are hard.  Adoption is complicated and no “cookie cutter” solution works for your child and her two families.  Even so, I am so grateful we get to raise “M”.  She is a beautiful little person.  We pray for her birth mother as we celebrate M’s birth and life.

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Necklace from Grandpa and Grandma that “M” received after her adoption.

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We have had a fun weekend celebrating her fourth birthday!  (And we look forward to more excitement this coming weekend.)  She received so much love expressed through gifts and guests and well wishes and texts and hugs.

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Birthday girl with her Hello Kitty cake.

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“M” took a special treat to preschool today for snack time.  She, of course, helped make Minion cups (so easy!) and fill them with popcorn (so inexpensive).  She was thrilled!  Win-win.

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After school, we spent the evening playing at a park and enjoying a picnic as a family! :)  We love our sweet four-year-old!

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– – – –

Elaine and her husband, Joey, are licensed as an adoptive family and foster home in Ohio.

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