Family of Five!

Family of Five!

Tuesday, January 17, 2012

Merry Christmas, Happy New Year, and Happy Birthday to Eryna!!

A lot has gone on since the last post. Eryna celebrated her first Christmas with us. She loved all the festive lights, music and of course….the presents! Every night she would be the first to remind us to put on the outside lights, turn on the Christmas tree and ask what the boxes were under the tree. We celebrated with Allison’s family on Christmas Eve with breakfast in the morning at her parent’s house and then dinner in the evening at our house. On Christmas day, we opened presents as a family in the morning and then just enjoyed each other for the rest of the day. Later on, we gathered with the family again and some close friends for a traditional Christmas day bike ride. Logan got a new bike from his Aunt Mel Mel but he is still learning how to ride so he rode on the back of daddy’s bike. Eryna is really getting the hang of riding her bike, hopefully soon we can try without training wheels! Ethan is a speed demon on his bike, he probably could go into BMX riding but I won’t allow it. The kids got a trampoline from Allison’s parents and they love it! Every day now, they go out and jump for hours. Eryna especially loves it. She is trying to accomplish doing a flip like Ethan but can’t get the concept down. It’s pretty funny. Poor thing has no coordination skills. We would like to get her into swimming lessons soon before the summer comes and she will want to be in the pool every day.
We all enjoyed the 2 weeks off from school. We bought a paper house (big enough for all three kids) that you can color and play in to keep the kids busy all break. Well that didn’t last long since Eryna colored the whole thing in one day. When she is given a task she loves, she can spend hours doing it. The other 90% of the time and has an attention span of about 1 minute!! We are so proud of the progress she is making. She is still having tantrums but they are becoming more appropriate of a 9 year old instead of a 3 year old. She hasn’t destroyed her room in a month so we are slowly giving her stuff back as she earns it. I was laying in bed thinking one night while I couldn’t sleep about this whole process. The beginning process took us 9 months until we traveled to the Ukraine (my nine months of pregnancy) and then once we met her till now, the first three months were extremely difficult (like the first three months of having an infant. No sleep, lots of crying and trying to figure out their needs, etc). God had us experience the same trials as if she was our own from the start. Not sure if any of this makes since to you but it sure does to me! I look back at those beginning struggles and thank God for getting us through them. We still have a long road but life is finally starting to feel normal again. Just tonight we were able to go out to dinner and not have one crying episode (Shawn thinks it was because the place had a salad bar and she was able to choose and eat all that she wanted!) We have only been out to eat 4 times since being back because of it being too much for Eryna. It sure has helped our budget though!
January 5th was Eryna’s 9th Birthday but her 1st American Birthday! We celebrated on that day with her friends at school. That weekend, we had our family and close friends over for a small birthday party. We didn’t want anything that was going to overwhelm her. She was so excited and talked about it the whole week before. The morning of her party, she woke up not feeling well. She laid around the house and didn’t eat much. After some medicine and a nap, she felt good enough to be a part of the party. After swimming for a little and playing, she started to not feel good again and laid down on the couch outside. I felt so bad for her but she still enjoyed the party. She lightened up when we started to sing her Happy Birthday and the glow on her face was unforgettable. She loved all the gifts and attention. It was a perfect day!
                We are so thankful that on that day, 9 years ago, her birth mother chose life for Eryna. I know that she is going to do big things in her life. She has the most loving and caring heart. She loves to laugh and to be loved. We are in this for the long run. I can’t wait to see what God has in store for her and our family of 5. Never did I think at 29 would I be a mother of a 9 year old but I wouldn’t change it for anything.  Our pastor spoke about Psalm 139 on Sunday about us being “Fearfully and Wonderfully made”. Eryna was there with Shawn and I and I turned and whispered in her ear that God made her fearfully and wonderfully. God does not make mistakes nor does he make junk. God designed us each as individuals and His works are marvelous.  I needed this message. I needed to be reminded that our life and circumstances in it have and are preparing us for the purposes that God has for our life. They are building who I am. I pray that we can raise Eryna to love the Lord with all her heart and to always know that God made her just as He wanted. He has a plan for her life and she has value. She is precious to us but most importantly, precious to God. Pray for our patience as we may struggle with tough times during this transition. I know God is carrying us through this because there are days that I have no clue how I made it through.  Thank You to everyone who continues to follow our story and those of you who continue to stick by us even when our life is so crazy!  Especially the ones who continue to even invite us over knowing that it will be a wild house with our crew inside!  

Making Christmas Cookies

Christmas Eve presents!

Christmas Eve

The kids got their favorite gift from Nonny and Papaw! A trampoline!

Eryna didn't know what to do with all her gifts on Christmas morning!

Happy New Year!

She loved the fire works!

Happy 1st American Birthday/Princess Birthday Party!

Poor thing wasn't feeling her best

The face on Shawn is priceless here! I love that he makes me laugh all the time!

Eryna snuggling with her Papaw

Blowing out her candles for the first time!