Wednesday, December 23, 2009

a few favorite pics

lazy days are my favorite!

i seem to always put my kids on our stairs to take pictures...i think because everyone has less room to escape:)

the girls helping with Thanksgiving cooking!Camdyn and Charlie convinced Josie to wear some boots.....

but her favorite choice is always flip flops....usually without the socks....

my kids are all about 'forts' in fact over Thanksgiving week they built one in the playroom and slept there all week. Grandma just gave Josie a tent, but it's already been taken over by the older girls:)

Saturday, November 21, 2009


i opened an email with the subject 'would you be interested...' and went on to say
'in a girl with a birthday 7/19/07? her file says CHD(congenital heart disease) If so, i can email you a picture'
my heart leaped inside my chest and i immediately emailed back to say YES, please send the picture......and our life was changed.....

and we waited and waited and other families traveled and sent us more pictures.....

we waited 7 1/2 months until we could meet. Josie's story of her first two years are just that, her story, her journey. as she grows, i hope and pray that she stays confident in who she is, that she knows that God was intentional in His plan for her life, that He whispers to her exactly what she needs to hear.

because there is no doubt that this little girl was placed in our arms, our family and she is exactly where she belongs......

Tuesday, October 6, 2009

3 months ago...

We were meeting Josie for the first time....oh, how she has changed:)

Wednesday, September 23, 2009

just to clarify....

about her newest acrobatic act. When I put her down for a nap, I crack her door since her room is so close to the kitchen. I walked by her room and heard whimpering and found her on the floor so I made a big deal out of it, poor Josie fell out of her crib:) I put her down an hour later and cracked her door, headed for the kitchen and turned around and she was peeking at me through her door...but when she saw me, she closed it:) That's when I set up the camera to see just how she was getting out. SO, now what? We do have a twin bed waiting to be donated to us from my sister in law, but she's SO little.

(and thankfully, the crib was given to us, it is our 4th kid, we don't buy new any more:)

Monday, September 21, 2009

Caught in the act....

She just learned this new trick today and little did she know that Mommy set up a hidden camera...

Wednesday, September 16, 2009

Praise the Lord!

We had Josie's cardiologist appointment yesterday and I'll give you the highlights in non-medical terms:
-she does have a hole in her heart(VSD) that sounds and feels loud, but is small-medium in size
-the left side of her heart is bigger than the right and is bigger than 98% of kids her age
-IF the left side continues to grow, she will need to have the hole closed (open heart surgery) BUT the doctor is guessing this won't happen
-she needs no treatment, no medications and he said to treat her like a healthy 2 year old and not to even think about her heart again until her next appt. in ONE YEAR.

SO, all this anticipation for her 'special need' and she needs no treatment. She is simply perfect, and perfect for us. Thank you, Lord!

Psalm 28:7 The LORD is my strength and my shield; my heart trusts in him, and I am helped. My heart leaps for joy and I will give thanks to him in song!

Sunday, September 6, 2009

2 months ago....

we met this little beauty for the first time.....

Wednesday, September 2, 2009

Wednesday, August 19, 2009

A few great things about Josie's personality:

-yells 'Mom' to get my attention when everyone is trying to talk to me at once
-runs to hide under the coffee table to tease me when she needs her diaper changed
-is very neat, hates her hands messy and cleans up after each meal
-loves to line up her toys
-loves, i mean loves all animals
-waves her finger and yells to help me discipline her brother and sisters
-loves to cuddle and still lets us hold her and feed her a bottle
-gives out lots of hugs and kisses to us
-hates any clothes longer than her elbows or knees, will push them up as high as possible
-gets wound up and crazy as soon as Daddy gets home from work
-reminds me each morning and night to brush her teeth
-tries hard to mimic every word we say and even gets some of them right
-has the greatest laugh

Seriously, it amazes me each day how much she has changed in 6 weeks and how it seems she has always been a part of our family, but then again, that's God. He hand picked her just for us.

Friday, August 14, 2009

This is what i get to look at most of my days....and i love it!

we meet with the cardiologist mid September....please pray that Josie will not need surgery.  we've been told that her heart does not 'sound good', but obviously more tests will confirm what is going on. for now, we are loving playing with her before all of her appointments begin...

Saturday, August 8, 2009

I look at these statistics and my heart aches.  Surely, God is aligning my heart with His. 

If you are at all interested in adoption, or specifically special needs adoption, I'd love to chat....

It is estimated there are between 143 million and 210 million orphans worldwide (recent UNICEF report.)

The current population of the United States is just a little over 300 million… to give you an idea of the enormity of the numbers… (The current population of Russia is 141 million)

Every day 5,760 more children become orphans

2,102,400 more children become orphans every year in Africa alone 

Every 15 seconds, another child in Africa becomes an AIDS orphan

There are an estimated 14 million AIDS orphans in Sub-Saharan Africa (a number higher than the total of every under-eighteen year old in Canada, Norway, Sweden, Denmark, and Ireland combined)

This figure is estimated to reach 18 million orphans in Africa alone by 2010 (only two and a half years away)

8 out of 10 children orphaned by AIDS lives in sub-saharan Africa

Approximately 250,000 children are adopted annually, but… 

Each year 14, 505, 000 children grow up as orphans and age out of the system by age sixteen

Each day 38,493 orphans age out

Every 2.2 seconds another orphan ages out with no family to belong to and no place to call home

In Russia and the Ukraine, studies have shown that 10% – 15% of these children commit sucide before they reach age eighteen

These studies also show that 60% of the girls become prostitutes and 70% of the boys become hardened criminals 

Another Russian study reported that of the 15,000 orphans aging out of state-run institutions every year, 10% committed suicide, 5,000 were unemployed, 6,000were homeless and 3,000 were in prison within three years…

Thursday, August 6, 2009

One Month

One month ago today we met little miss Josie....i read about a hundred stories of how much she would change, i thought i was prepared, but i have to admit that those first few days were rough.  she was so shut down, so scared...and then she slowly started to show us her personality. since we've been home she's become a very typical 2 year old....climbs on everything, has figured out how to open the pantry and get her own snacks, runs around the house with all of her toys, has her tantrums, and we are loving every minute of getting to know her.  we can not imagine our lives without her....we are truly blessed!

here are just a few pics of bath time tonight:)

Wednesday, August 5, 2009

St. Augustine Beach

We had our 3rd annual family beach weekend on the Walker side and let me tell you...there were a lot of kids!  Josie did great, kept on schedule and loved the beach as long as there was an animal to run, bird, it didn't matter.  Her cousins were her very own paparazzi and proud to tell anyone who would listen that she 'just came from China':)

here are a few of my favorite pics:

Wednesday, July 29, 2009

Keeping it real...

As much as Joe and I love Josie and have known since we saw her picture that she's our daughter, we have realized that we need to parent her differently than our first three.  Having an adoptive child is different, not in our hearts of course, but certainly in Josie's....for now. 
I found this post from another adoptive parent and thought she explained it great!

As strange as it may seem, adopted children who act very outgoing and affectionate with strangers is not a healthy thing. It is called "indiscriminate affection" and can mean that they haven't really attached to anyone. It would not be a good sign that our baby has attached to us if during her first months home she will let just anyone take her and hold her without searching for us. Joe and I have to be sure that Josie will not go to practically anyone. In one of the books we are reading it states that when parents see their child seeking attention indiscriminately, they need to intervene quickly, firmly, and kindly. This behavior is pure and simple her using survival skills. From our observations, Josie is acting mostly out of pure survival. She craves attention and most likely is fearful of being abandoned or having her life change YET again. We have no idea what she has endured during her short life. But we do know that how we interact with her and what we allow others to do will impact her future and hopefully she will blossom into a healthy child both emotionally and physically.

In the book we are reading now it tells you how to establish relationships. Josie needs to learn and must be taught who her parents are and who will ultimately be the one she can rely on. It suggests the following interactions:

Parents and Siblings ~ hugging, kissing, sitting on lap
Extended Family ~ Blowing kisses, sitting close but not on lap
Friends ~ Shaking hands, sitting nearby
Acquaintances ~ Waving, but not touching
Strangers ~ Nodding, keeping near parents, no touching

love you all!

Monday, July 27, 2009

Saturday, July 25, 2009

Water Baby...

Josie is fitting right in....she thinks she can swim and being in Florida, we spend a lot of time at the pool.  We are getting on a great routine, she goes to bed around 8:30, wakes up about 7 and takes a two hour nap.  In between, she is hysterical, loves to play and chase the kids around.  I'm a lucky mommy! 

Sunday, July 19, 2009

Happy Birthday, Josie!

We celebrated Josie's first birthday with us today.  She had a very small family party (just us) and was overwhelmed  with the entire we sang to her, blew out her candles and opened her presents while she watched.  I can't wait to see the difference in a year.  She is definitely a 2 year old with the little temper tantrums to go with it:)  Jacob, Camdyn and Charlie are great with her, I'm so proud of how sweet and patient they are....and really excited to get on with living life with all of my kids together.