Thank You for Helping Bring Jack Home!

Friday, April 11, 2014

{Littlest} Cutie Pie Update

I wanted to give a little update on where we are in our process and what all is going on with little Jack Cruz.

First of all, he gets cuter by the month.  (I'm sure I could say day but since we currently only get pics about once a month....)  He is growing SO big and doing some cute things like saying Omma and Appa (mom and dad) milk, and kaka (whatever the heck that means).  I'm sure he will be just talking up a storm once he comes home.  I just hope we can decipher all that he is saying!

He is holding steady at 29.3 pounds and 33.9 inches!  Such a big, darling little fella.  In this month's photo, he was holding a little fishing rod toy that his big brother sent him!  I hope he loves fishing as much as Perry and his Daddy do!

Our paperwork has finally left the min*is*try and is working its way to the C*urt system.  We have an appointment to do our newly required psych evals soon and look forward to getting them into our agency.  Once they have that bit of paperwork in hand, they can translate it and submit us to C.  From there, the next thing we will wait on is a CD, which also entails meeting our sweet boy and having a chance to play with him some.  Sweet heavenly day I can't wait.

And the answer to the million dollar question:  When we will travel for C?

I'm thinking it is optimistically, yet realistically possible, for us to travel late May/June for CD.  I'm trying not to get my hopes up, but do ask that you would join us in prayer that God would show off BIG and get us to our little bit as quickly as possible!

{thankful for}
darling photographs
Ps anticipation in being a big brother
the doughnut shop next door 

Monday, April 7, 2014

The Newest Little Yankee

 Last Saturday was the official start of the T-Ball season.  And man-oh-man are we already loving being at the ball park!  {I may be singing a different tune after a while... ;)}  Perry was SO excited for his first ball game and could not wait to put on his Yankee uniform.  Emphasis on the cap.  He may or may not have slept in it this weekend!
We had to be there a little early to help Daddy pass out uniforms {nothing like the printer waiting till the last minute} so that everyone else could get suited up, so while Daddy finished up, I took the opportunity to snap a few detail shots.  P had to have an orange glove and bat.  He would have had orange cleats too, but only the soccer ones came in the super cool colors.  So blue sufficed.  Daddy had to have P in Under Armour.  Silly boys.  
I seriously can't believe we are here.  How in Heaven's name do I have an almost-five-year-old playing T-Ball?!  Time certainly flies and though its hard to have him grow up so fast, he is so full of life and truly makes each age seem like the very best.  
It was definitely a challenge to get a photo of P up to bat the first time.  I accidentally forgot to switch out my lenses before leaving the house and left the 50mm on my night stand.  I had the 35mm on, which was the next best thing, but didn't get nearly as much zoom as I'd prefer.  And being that Justin is head coach, I was voted DugOut mom, so as I was trying to freeze time, I was also wrangling 8 other kiddos under the age of 4!  So, all-in-all, I deem this photo a whopping success!
This was one of P's best hits and I was so proud of him!  I love Justin's big smile telling his mini-me to head down the baseline!
And he was SAFE!

{thankful for}
a fun T-Ball season
a new season of life
Justin's amazing coaching abilities
P's love and admiration for J
in case you didn't hear me shout from the rooftops via Facebook on Friday
****WE ARE FINALLY E*P APPROVED!!!!!!!!!****

Wednesday, March 12, 2014

{Ingram} Michael Hudson

We waited for this little angel for a long time.  

And he finally made his grande debut two weeks early on December 27, 2013.
I would say that he loves to snuggle buggle with me till the cows come home, but the truth of it is, when he's around Auntie Brooke, all he wants to do is have his picture taken!
But I can't say I really blame him... After all, its no secret the camera absolutely loves him!
Almost as much as I do!

{thankful for}
a healthy Ingram
that sweet baby smell
Ingram smooches

Tuesday, March 11, 2014

Dr {Susan's} Birthday

I haven’t really written much on the blog about Perry and the horror that is him going to school each morning.  To be fair, it has gotten much MUCH better than the beginning of preschool, but its still a to-do almost every morning. 

So last Thursday when I picked him up and his teacher told me next week (this past week) they were going to celebrate Dr. Suess’ birthday with a week full of super fun, out of the normal activities, I was surprised that P was already dead set that he was NOT attending school next week. 

He got upset and cried a bit off and on the entire weekend and all I could get out of him was that he didn’t want to go to school this week.  Which was extremely frustrating and felt like a huge set back from the immense progress we had been making.  After all, he’s been doing SO well lately… relatively speaking and all. 

So Sunday night after a complete melt down, I managed to calm him down with the deal that we go get ready for bed (also a doozie for us), I’d sleep in his top bunk with him all night (I don’t know why this part of the deal was so enticing to him seeing as how that’s where we, yes we, sleep almost every single night these days), and we would just talk about why he was so nervous.

At first the conversation went like this:

M:  Ok sweet Monkey, tell me why you don’t wanna go to school this week.
P:  Cause it’s a special week.
M:  But that’s gonna be SUPER fun!  You get to bring your favorite toy, wear pajamas, bring 100 of your favorite snack, yadda, yadda, yadda…..
P:  But I just don’t wanna go.  I don’t like school.
M:  Yes you do baby.  Look at Mommy.  Tell me exactly. what. you. are. afraid. of.  Tell Mommy the ONE thing you are scared about.  What’s bothering you?  Just the ONE THING that’s upsetting you.  (I got realllllllly quiet, slow, and serious, frankly because I KNEW there was something I was missing.)

And this is when the tears started falling.

P:  Because it’s a SPECIAL week Mommy!
M:  Yes, baby, I know.
P:  And we’re gonna celebrate a birthday.
M:  Forgetting the reason for the special week being Dr. Seuss celebration, I respond:  Oh fun!  Who’s birthday is it?  It’s gonna be your birthday in May.  Maybe your class will sing happy birthday to you soon too!
P:  Crickets…………..THE DOCTOR’s!!!  The doctor that’s coming to school next week!  It’s HER birthday!!!  {TEARS!!!!}
M:  Oh yes!  Dr. Seuss’ birthday!  But that will be so much fun!


And that’s when I got it.  Little Monkey had been terrified the entire weekend that
Dr. Susan was coming to his classroom and would give him a shot.             

And that’s the moment I got to be a Mommy and love on my baby and tell him all about Dr. Suess, who wrote lots of the silly books that we love so much.  And to further calm his fears, we got to talk a little about heaven (ALSO a doozie for us… how many of those do we have?!) since Dr. Suess passed away a while back. 

And the next morning?

With a little reassurance that NO doctors were visiting Preschool, he was good to go.  And when I went to pick up my little Pman, I instead picked up the cutest little Cat-in-the-Hat I’d ever seen.  

{thankful for}
honest conversations, no matter how big or small, that build trust
midnight snuggles in the top bunk
a teacher who makes Dr Susan's birthday a blast to celebrate

Thursday, February 27, 2014

Getting Real. Like, {Really} Real

I've always loved English and Literature, and writing and journaling have always been very therapeutic for me.  I've written all my life, all the time.  Most the time, I just wad up the day's writings and trash the scribbles into the wastebasket.  

But right now, I'm getting real.  

And I'm getting real for every other K-adoptive Waiting Momma out there.  

Because we try to be big and brave and strong and happy for all you people who are watching how we handle this wait. 

Because we see you watching us.

But, you wanna know a secret?  

On the inside, we're all pretty shattered right now.  

In every effort to keep my 'preaching positive' here, there have been a LOT of changes for this program.  Some good, some not good.  

But the bottom line?  Our children are waiting.


And our Momma hearts are breaking.  

In two.

Or more accurately, two-million-teensy-weensy-pieces.

It shouldn't take this long.  We shouldn't have to watch our babies for 12-24 {and God forbid some have longer...} months grow up in photographs and well baby check ups.  

We are literally walking around with a piece of our heart on the other side of this Earth.  

And y'all.  

The Earth is big.  

And our arms are aching.  

But through my heartache and my tears, because let me assure you there are plenty of those, I'm so thankful to know that God promises to be by my side.  

Our sides.  

Our precious, precious, sweet, cutie-patootie, chubby-cheeked, grin-from-ear-to-ear, and beyond-gorgeous-eyed-little-fella's side when troubles arise and heartbreak comes.

I am getting weary, but I pray that God will lift me and my sweet momma friends up on wings like eagles so that we may finish this race strong for our babies.  

For those that are wanting a true statistical update, we have these things left: 

E*P approval, court submission, receive official court date {Go to K, meet j, go to court, come home}, wait for final travel/custody date, go back to K, GET OUR BABY CAKES!!!!!, get his Visa and come HOME.


We hope and pray and beg and plead and pray some more we bring him home this summer, but truthfully, we really don't know when that glorious day will be.  

My heart says, the sooner, the better.  

{thankful for}
His promises
Well Baby Checks
an incredibly loving foster family
my beloved waiting momma friends

Wednesday, February 26, 2014


Last month, we had one of the craziest snow/ice storms I have ever experienced.  Let me rephrase that. THE craziest snow/ice storm I have and will most likely ever experience.  Within about 45 minutes, Birmingham and the surrounding areas went from 'hey, a few snowflakes' to 'oh my gosh Perry and I are having to walk part of the way home because we can't even drive from the solid sheet of ice under our tires.'

It was seriously apocalyptic.  Sadly, numerous people were stranded for up to 24 hours on highways and interstates and thousands of children were stuck at school because of the craziness.  Justin was trapped at work the first night (made it home the second night to play!), but thankfully, P and I made it home, eventually, and were able to enjoy the madness.

{thankful for}
our safety
that J had a blanket in the car he was able to sleep with
a crazy family that 4wheels it our way for some knee-boarding... i mean, sledding
hot chocolate
warm snuggles
powdery goodness
that He washes my sins white as snow

Sunday, January 19, 2014

Dramatic {Sunday Snapshot}

{Please check out our 500 Good Wishes Puzzle and help us get a little closer to Jack!  Only 496 pieces left!}

For my new photography class, each week I am given a theme to interpret as I see fit.  This week's theme was dramatic.  I sat thinking of dramatic for a while and then decided to flip to it in the dictionary.  

And one definition in particular really caught my attention:

Highly effective or striking.

And immediately, my little sister came to mind.  

You see, she is highly effective in everything she does.  She keeps her home in Pottery-Barn-Magazine worthy-order, cooks to the 9s, exercises routinely, and still manages to make time for her dog, family and friends, all while earning her Doctor of Pharmacy degree. When she graduates {with honors, I'm sure} this May, she will have the ability to work directly with other medical doctors to help prescribe life-saving medications.  She does all this while traveling on different mission trips all around the globe telling others of the Eternal Life-Saving powers of Jesus Christ. 
And striking is her middle name.  Have you ever met someone this strikingly smart, kind, and beautiful?  And, I don't know that I've ever met someone who invests so much of themselves in their friends.  Melissa is genuinely compassionate and cares for others and goes out of her way to make them feel strikingly special about themselves.  
She may all the time most the time sometimes drive me crazy, but there's no one else I'd rather call my little sister.

Love you Skrimpie!

{thankful for}
my little Skrimpie
a growing sistership
a sister who will brave the Alabama Winter to let me complete a photo assignment
laughs while trying to give me a serious face

Ni Hao Yall

Our Adoption Timeline

  • June 19, 2011- We are officially "Paper Pregnant!" We have submitted our Waiting Child Application to Holt!
  • July 5, 2011- Submitted our formal Home Study Application to Villa Hope
  • September 6, 2011- Submitted all of our paperwork for our Home Study
  • October 8, 2011- Completed our First Home Visit
  • October 17, 2011- Completed our Second Home Visit
  • November 14, 2011- Home Study Approved
  • December 1, 2011- Filed our I600a
  • February 1, 2012- I600a Approval Letter
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