Sunday, April 27, 2008

The Miracle of Rainbows

The first time we ever saw Ava's picture was a year ago from yesterday. I had just updated our special needs (SN) profile with our agency, adding heart disease as a special need and increasing the age of child we were willing to adopt. That afternoon our agency said they had a child that fit our profile so I told them to go ahead and email me her information. I was surprised that they had a child. The SN list had just been updated on our agency's website and I didn't see a child that matched. We were headed to the beach that day, so I printed everything they sent so that Derek and I could read it on the way. Of course, we both saw her picture and thought she was absolutely adorable! We read her report and talked a lot about it on the way to the beach that day. We decided to not talk about it with anyone until we knew our decision. It was SO hard not to tell anyone...especially Jonathan and Susan. We were at the beach that weekend together!! We knew that we needed to give it a lot of thought and research some of her medical issues before we made a decision. As we were driving, we saw a huge rainbow from one side of the sky all the way to the other; it was the most beautiful rainbow I have ever seen. I really had a good feeling that we had found our daughter. I kept seeing little signs that we were making the right decision to adopt Ava throughout the whole process. Derek would make fun of me, but I think it really helped me. We have been home now for about 5 months and I KNOW that we made the right decision and that Ava was suppose to be our daughter. I couldn't ask for a greater gift in life. She is truly a gift from God.

Ava has been the sweetest, most loving child. She has some physical delays and speech delays, but I know that she will overcome all of these. I got a little overwhelmed after Ava's first visit with the occupational therapist when I realized how much therapy she truly needed. I was thinking about all of this in the car one day when I saw another huge rainbow in front of me. I'm really not usually someone that gives much thought to things like this, but it really gave me a feeling of peace. I truly think that it was God's way of telling me that everything is going to be fine and I know that it is. Thank you God for my wonderful daughter!

The first picture we saw of Ava

A year later...

Playing the Drums at Animal Kingdom

Riding the Teacups at Disney World

Wednesday, April 2, 2008

Just a few pix (Ben's b/d, Easter, Ava going to school)

All the Grandchildren on the Chapman side
(Easter Morning)

I have been meaning to post for forever! I just keep putting it off for some reason. So, I will just post a few pictures to get my feet wet again!

Ben had a spend the night Captain Underpants birthday party and he had a great time. We made a cake that looked like a pair of boy's briefs and decorated the basement with underwear. Later that night we took the underwear down so the boys could paint them with fabric markers. We gave all of the boys red capes and they put the underwear on over their pants and ran around...they were hilarious. It was so fun to watch him with all of his friends. My sweet little boy is getting so old! I can't believe that he is already 7!!!

Ava just started preschool. She goes from 8:00-11:00 (she actually has two meals during that time). She seems to really like it and she gets PT, OT, and speech while she is there. We are doing private therapy as well, but I'm glad that she is able to get some for free!!! I visited the classroom before she started and she was really cute. She sat in circle time with all of the other kids and she also got up and danced when they played music. I really like her teacher and the aide...there are only about 6 kids in the class and they are a good group. I think that it is really helping her to be there. She is already popular...the teacher told me that she made a friend with one of the men that works there and now he comes in every morning to play ball with her a little bit before school starts. She missed school yesterday b/c she was congested and her teacher told me that several people asked about her. She has such a sweet, outgoing personality. She is always smiling.

Peter is doing great. He had fun at Ben's party too. He is my artist so he really enjoyed decorating the underwear. He stayed home from school yesterday also, but he was not really sick...he took a "personal day". He really just didn't want to go to school. I said that was fine, but he couldn't do that again and he can't do it when he is in Kindergarten. He stayed home and helped me pack for our trip to Disney. We are flying out tomorrow afternoon. The kids think that we are driving...they are going to be so excited when they find out that we are flying. I know that they are not really looking forward to a long drive...I can't blame them! I'm so excited to go. I know the boys are going to have so much fun, and I really think that Ava will like it too.

I just thought they all looked so cute...this is where they usually end up...our bed!

And a few minutes later...

Ben's Captain Underpant's Party (Friday)

The kids were invited to a birthday party for Andrew and Ameia. They our are good friends, Dana and Allison's kids. They had a GREAT time! (Saturday)

Everyone loved this slide...including Ava. That is Ben going head first.

The Birthday Kiddo's, Amelia and Andrew

Ava's first Easter Egg Hunt (Saturday continued)
Meeting the Easter Bunny (Savannah)
I think she likes it

Peter and the Easter Bunny

Ben being cool hunting eggs

Easter Morning...Ben got up at 6am excited about getting his basket. He was so cute about the Easter Bunny. We had opened some doors the night before b/c we were getting the house ready for everyone to come to our house after church. Ben saw the doors open and got all excited b/c he thought that the Easter Bunny had opened them. Ava woke up too and they both got their baskets and then they both fell asleep until it was time to get up for church. BTW, I was so excited that Ben wanted the Invisible Man. I have been waiting for them to get old enough to do a human model! I love stuff like this! (Sunday)

Every Easter we decorate the cross at church with flowers and attempt to take some photos. We actually took three pictures and THIS is the best one!!

Oh yeah, the sun was in our eyes

Also every year, is the young Easter Parade. The kids go to all of the Sunday School classes and sing some Easter Songs. It is really cute.

I don't know what Ava thinks of all of this!!
Celebrating Easter and Jaime, Ben and Del's Birthdays (Sunday continued)

Ben was very excited about the rock climbing equipment Donna and Jim got him (I think Cal is too)

On both Ben and Peter's first day of preschool, I took a picture of them walking out of the front door and turning to wave to me. I tried to get Ava to do this, but she kept turning completely around and then she would kind of was so cute. The boys thought it was really funny. So, this is Ava on her way out of the door to go to school. and here is her squat

and stand

and squat

And finally, I hope Ava likes Disney World more than she appears to like this carousel ride at the Zoo!!!