Last week was one of the best I've had in a long time. I was kidnapped by these two:
and this ham:
And we spent the week with some people we love the most in the whole world. My husband insisted that I give up my all forms of social media for a week. It was great and I spent a lot of time with a certain dinosaur:
And my favorite princess in the world:
So thankful for time away from responsibility and just soaking up some serious family time.
Dropping off Alazar at daycare is pretty routine. I carry him from the car, he obligatorily kisses me goodbye, and sometimes watches me walk out the door before joining his gaggle of friends fighting over matchbox cars. But on special days he will scream as I am walking out the door "I LALAOU MOMMY". "I love you too son" and my day is sunnier. Today was crazy. I dropped him off, we kissed and he watched me walk out the door. I stopped for a second at the porch to see Alazar's face and lips crammed against the glass. I got a little teary and kissed the door and peeled myself away. As I got in the car and drove away, my sweet son was still standing with his face pressed against glass, giant smile, yelling "I LALAOU MOMMY!" "I LOVE YOU ALAZAR! You made Mommy's day!" AH, it was one of those days that this Mommy will treasure.
A few days ago, a fellow bloggy friend mailed us some of their adoption tees! I finally got a chance to photograph us tonight in them. Check out the Jenkins adoption tees:
LOVE that they have pink ones, especially so Ruta and Mommy can match: Le sporting his Men's brown ringer tee:
Alazar digging his toddler hoodie. I love this one the most because my kids are always seeing images of Africa on Le and I's shirts and they keep wanting ones of their own.
The Andrews' family, in love with helping others and sporting our Jenkins' family gear!
Thank you Debi! Praying you closer to your little one. Check out the Jenkins family blog and go buy a t-shirt.
Last Christmas, I started looking for an Advent calendar. I had never had one and the ones that I found were either really cheesy or involved a piece of chocolate for 24 days and I didn't need one more excuse to put on weight. We had just learned of our referral and I told Le I wanted to do something different for Advent. I wanted to remember to keep Christ in the middle of Christmas and I wondered if I didn't' live in America, what would I want for Christmas? My answers made themselves onto my very own handmade Advent calendar. I cut out 24 different paper envelopes, attached a prayer request on the inside and each day, Le and I prayed for water, orphans, family, etc.
My girlfriends saw them and demanded that I make them each one this year. So I thought this year it would also be a good fundraiser. Le and I decided that we wouldn't spend another Christmas giving each other meaningless gifts, but that we would find a project and support it with the money we would have spent on each other. All of the profits from the Advent calendars we sell will fund our Christmas project (which we haven't taken a family vote on yet).
Here's a peek:
I can also customize an envelope or two to include a family pic or the pic of a sponsorship child or a referral pic. Just let me know. You can send me a message or check out the etsy site for order information.
Here's to changing Christmas, one prayer at a time.
This last weekend, I found some more materials and thought that I would make some more to help some other people with their adoptions. But what started into a couple of hours quickly become two days of crafting around two rambunctious kids, a dog, football games and laundry.
When it was over, Alazar thought they turned out great. He found them so amazing, in fact, he couldn't decide on his favorite. He chose several at once.
Then changed his mind:
Then yet again:
And finally chose a favorite.
If you are interested in any of these cool hats, they are only $25. You can check them out in my Etsy store here. All the proceeds will benefit other families who are currently fundraising for their adoptions. If you don't see what you want, email me and I will customize one for your favorite team or color.
I'm one of those sick people who LOVE what I do. Being a lawyer was what I always wanted to do in life. When we were told we would have to finalize the kids' adoption here in the U.S., I know I was the only person who ever exclaimed "HOW COOL!" For each piece of paper that had to be filled out and signed, I had a different one of my law partners sign off on it. And when my senior associate signed the Decree asking the Court to finalize us as a family, I got really teary eyed . It was such a great way to make my professional life personal.
My lineage of strong women in my life is something I have always cherished. My mother and both grandmothers encouraged me to be whatever I wanted with their only requirement that I be true to myself and to Christ and I always idolized my mother for being the epitome of beauty and grace and putting everyone else before herself. My senior partner is an inspiration to women everywhere who work, raise amazing kids and constantly bettering their world. And when Judge Walkley was the one to sign off on my kids' finalization, I was beyond thrilled. She is a stick-to-her-guns kind of judge who is legally brilliant and community minded. And while her office is covered with work, her desk is littered with artwork and pics of her family.
Judge Walkley and her staff are always amazingly kind, but they were perfect on this particular day. The kids even got to sit on the Judge's bench and talk into the microphone. It was truly beautiful.
Ruta and Alazar have always been "ours", but seeing their last names become the same and Le and I was such a fun day!