Aug 30, 2010

Over The Top!

Not long after we came home from Ethiopia, a friend of mine from high school contacted me about taking the kids photographs. Vanessa had recently opened her own photography business and I jumped at the chance to have her take Ruta and Alazar's photos.
I've noticed that since we've been home, my kids seem to lack the ability to play. Although my family and friends showered them with toys, their childhood was on hold for so long, we've been working on getting it back. Ruta really relished in picking out her own outfit and Alazar was thrilled we took along his stuffed dragon for our outing with Vanessa. I wanted them to have the opportunity to dress up, run around, and just have fun.
I was thrilled when Vanessa showed up with balloons. It put the entire mood of the shoot straight into fantasy land; it was perfect and provided them both with the opportunity to just PLAY!

Prince Alazar:

Princess Ruta:

A fun one just for Daddy:

My darling children, watching you play was the highlight of my week. I may never be able to restore the pieces of your lost childhood, but I will do everything in my power to protect what is left of it. I love you and each day you continue to teach me more about patience, love and the redemptive nature of Christ. You are precious, not perfect; angelic, not holy and a pure joy to a woman who is not perfect, nor precious or angelic and definitely not holy.
Vanessa, thank you for spending time capturing the things I adore about my children; Ruta's killer smile and Alazar's angelic profile. You truly have found your calling above being an amazing are a prolific artist.
If you want to see more of Vanessa's amazing work, go to and if you love the tutu that Ruta wore, my rock star friend, Amber made it, check it out here.

Aug 25, 2010

5 Months Home

We've been home 5 months exactly. I look up and realize how far we have come and then sometimes I am reminded how far we have to go. I've never sugar coated my relationship with my son. I don't think it's fair to either of us. Adoption is hard and attachment is different for every child and my mom always said you can't raise two children the same and that especially applies to us. A majority of it is because Ruta is a dream and where he is hard, she is perfection, in every sense of the word. She is human but her humanity is most often dispelled upon her frustration for having a 2 year old boy mimicking her every move. She is obedient, sugary donut sweet, affectionate, considerate and determined to make her life amazing. She loves her mommy and daddy and through her continuous expounding vocabulary, I am learning that her resilience against six years of tragedy is already legendary.

For the first several months, Alazar and I had a hard time spending a lot of time together and all of it was my fault. The Lord chose to give my son a new mommy, but for months, I let the enemy convince me that God had chosen wrong. Alazar is stubborn, defiant and knows exactly how to push my buttons. And because his actions and words are clouded by an adorable countenance, everyone close to me thought I was crazy at first. He adores Le and when the four of us are together, his ability to ignore me totally is impressive. He is two and this too shall pass, but nothing cuts your heart out like being rejected; especially by your kids. On days that my insecurities mount and he looks at me angel faced when I say "I love you son" and replies "NO!", I want to crawl in a hole.

But I know he loves me. And he knows I adore him and I've learned that while he is pushing my buttons, he is also longing for me as much as I am for him. And I've stopped beating myself for the hard days. We're working through it and during those hard days, I find myself crying out for my Father and asking for patience, grace and the ability to laugh most of it off (like the day he found safety scissors at 5am. and destroyed his comforter). And my God listens. I know He does because there are the days like yesterday.

Ruta was at school, Le was travelling home and my son and I were together at home earlier than usual. I curled up on the couch and he crawled up next to me, put my arm around him, gazed up at me and said "my seat Mommy, I Lalou (love you)." Ahh, be still my heart.

These five months have been beautiful, adventuresome, and most of all, fun. I relish being a mom. While I am fallible, we all are and only God's amazing grace makes us better. In five months there have been tears, frustration, mourning and hurt.

But there have also been:

Walks in the park boat rides on the lake and airplane rides:

Concerts, sleepovers, school and church:

Slides, cookouts, new friends, old friends:

Birthdays, cakes, gifts, family and wishes brought true:

Road trips, haircuts, swimming pools and belly laughs:

Movies, popcorn, popsicles and cupcakes:

And all of those things are so much more memorable knowing that we've been through some hard stuff.
Finally, brothers, whatever is true, whatever is noble, whatever is right, whatever is pure, whatever is lovely, whatever is admirable--if anything is excellent or praiseworthy--think about such things. Philippians 4:8

Aug 17, 2010

Family Pics

We FINALLY went and had our first family pics taken a few weeks ago. They turned out amazing! Our fantastic photographer was Jil Monte and she was great. She took us to a local park and turned us loose.

Nobody adores their daddy like this kiddo:

Ahh...this girl just stops my heart. Ruta~your spirit and resilience is awe inspiring and I pray that God grants me the favor to continue to mold the beautiful being that you are and all that you hope to be one day. I love you.

While I am overjoyed at being a mom and I adore my children, I cannot help but look at this picture and get teary eyed. How many more precious faces would fit into this picture? Into our lives?

Aug 10, 2010

Maybe It Was Memphis

My blog has been silent the last few weeks. The giveaways were great and we raised over $200 for the Coach purse. Thank you to all who participated. With all the craziness around here, the Andrews Four decided to head out of town. We met up with one of our favorite families, whom we had never met in person.

Our dear friends, the Dales', drove up and met us in Memphis. I entered Memphis feeling exhausted, weary and on edge. I left three days later, revived, sparked and renewed.

I'm not sure if it was being in the presence of someone who TOTALLY gets what I'm about.

Or if it was because Beale Street was so electric it shocked my soul.

Or maybe it was the fact that the King was everywhere

Or the architecture, the food, the spirit of a place that is not home.

Or maybe it was having the four of us together, taking in something new together with new friends.

The combination of all of those things made for one amazing weekend and left this mommy smiling.