The Family

The Family

Tuesday, January 15, 2013

An Anniversary And A Birthday!

Well it looks like from here on out, January is going to be a big month for our family!  We had lots to celebrate this past week, and there is more to come as the weeks move on.

On January 8th we officially celebrated ONE MONTH HOME for Bronwyn and Leo!!!  The time is moving by so quickly, and already it seems like they have always been here.  It is amazing how that happens.  With each adoption I have tried to savor those last few days before the big addition, the big change to our family, just because I know the status quo won't ever be the same again.  But each time it surprises me how quickly everyone settles in, adjusts to the new normal, and starts to just get on with life again!  This time has been no different.  I think some people thought it would be different or more difficult bringing not one, but TWO teenagers home at one time.  But it has been blessedly wonderful and..... knock on wood!.... pretty easy so far!  ;)

That is due in part to their fantastic personalities.  They are both such easygoing, fun and sweet children.  They try to please most of the time, as it usually goes during that "honeymoon" phase of adoption.  But I don't think this is a phase for them.  They really are just that laid back and loving.

There have been little challenges as we get to know each other better and as they come to learn what is expected of them living in a family with a Mom and Dad to answer to and brothers and sisters to consider.  Hygiene, chores, respect, it has all been a part of the learning process.  As well as seeing where they fall academically so we can ready them for school in the fall.  But really all in all, so far so GOOD!!

I am just so thankful that these kids are home with us where they belong!  I was more worried this time around about adopting than any time before.  Mostly because of finances.  As you might remember, we decided to commit to them while we were still completing our adoption of Charlotte and Atticus in May.  The financial "How will we pull this together?"  was what stressed me out.  Starting from scratch.  But as usual, God had a plan and it was perfect.  And so 5 months later, here they were, on American soil, and they were ours!  We are really looking forward to the weeks and months ahead!

The next big celebration came in the form of a BIRTHDAY!  Little Miss Charlotte turned SIX!  Hard to believe she is a six year old in that tiny little package, but anyone who knows her personality knows she definitely has the spunk and determination to go with her years.  We kept it pretty low key for her- a party at her preschool with cupcakes, some presents and new outfits to open, and some birthday brownies to celebrate that night.  All in all it was a good day, and I think she really enjoyed herself!  Hopefully next year, when she is walking and has more friends her age, we can blow it out with a big par-tay!!  Just what Momma loves!

All ready for school in her new birthday dress!

Yeah!  My own computer!!

This girl loves some shoes!!
A tutu!!
 Then, this past Saturday she got the present she had really been wanting....... getting her ears pierced!!  She wanted to have earrings like all her older sisters, and now she does!  She did so well too, just a few seconds of crying and she was done.  Great job girlie!  They look so pretty!

 So, we have survived the month so far, and there are two more birthdays to go.  This time for the big boys of the family!  Gideon turns the big SIXTEEN this month on the 20th and then Leo turns fifteen on the 29th.  Whew!  I told you January was going to be big from now on!  Nothing like all these celebrations to ease the doldrums once the holidays are over huh?

I for one am just continuing to take time to remember my blessings. There are so many!  I am really loving being the mom to many.  They are all such a joy and I can't think of a better way to spend my time than with my family.  It is only when I get caught up in the worldly things that I forget this.  Listening to who has a new this and who is going where and who got what.... worldly stuff that I shouldn't long for anyway.... it is then that I lose my sense of purpose and contentment.  When I focus on all I have been given, THEN I am at my best as a wife and mother and then I am grateful and happy.  And these kids definitely bring me happiness!  Such joy can be found at the hands of a child-- toddler or teenager-- and that joy is the joy I am after.  Not the momentary joy of a new THING.

So with great thankfulness for all we have been given, we move into 2013 with a bang!  Onward and forward!!

Wednesday, January 2, 2013

Happy New Year!

Happy New Year!!!

As we look back on this past year of 2012 we can definitely say that we had our ups and our downs.  But overall, we were richly blessed!  We had times of trial to be sure- health issues, money worries, marriage stressors, school issues, you name it.  But that is life, and we are human.  And you know what?  We came through it.

BUT, we also have to remember all the amazing and WONDERFUL things our lives were blessed with this past year, and most of all remember that in most every instance, God used the bad to bring about some greater GOOD!

Of course the biggest blessings for our family in 2012 came in the form of four new Rowe children!  We accomplished something really great this last year.  We gave four kids hope.  Hope for their futures when there was none before.  We gave them love.  Unconditional love that will carry them throughout their lives and support them in their bleakest moments.  We gave them family.  A backbone to strengthen them, build them up when they are down.  We gave them acceptance.  They can now feel and act like any other kid, without the stigma of  "orphan" attached and limiting their lives.
In short, we gave them our hearts.  And it is WE who are better for it.  Blessed beyond measure.

So yes, 2012 was a very good year!  The ups outweighed the downs, the positives outweighed the negatives. And as always, God showed us that He was in control.

So here is to 2013!  May it be a great year, full of growth, health, happiness and love.  May we continue to stretch ourselves beyond what we think we are capable, and venture outside of our comfort zone for the benefit of others.  May we always be seeking to do good, and esteem others higher than ourselves.  May our children continue to learn that humility is one of our greatest possessions, not material goods, and that it is the ultimate looking glass through which to view our lives.

Here's to new beginnings, a fresh start, a clean slate, a new outlook.  Here's to another year full of promise and God's grace and mercy and blessing.  Here is to a whole year in front of you to do good and the ability to make your corner of the world and better and brighter place.  Here's to 2013!