Thursday, July 31, 2008

Gotcha Day Pictures

Here are pics from the big event. We treated it just like a birthday except everyone sang Happy Gotcha! M's cousins and adopted Guatemalan friends had a great time as we did too!
the spread at Chuck E Cheese
I copped out and bought a cake, Michael loves CARS
He came to the party asleep
Phoebe was up and at em
Phoebe must have ridden the merrygoround 10 times!

Phoebe says yeah!!! When is it my turn?

Tuesday, July 29, 2008

A Letter to our Son

July 30th, 2008
Our Dearest Son,
We can hardly believe a year has gone by since we first held you in our arms. You are an amazing gift of God's grace to us and we couldn't be happier that we were chosen to be your parents. God first chose us to be apart of His family and then He chose you to be a part of ours.

It has been an incredible year for both your Daddy and I as we have watched you grow from 11.3 to 27 lbs! You have filled our life with joy unspeakable. From the way you light up a room with a smile, your truly infectious laughter, frankenstein walking, even your lying down on the floor with both fists flying and screams of dismay coming from your lips, these make us glad we are your parents. The way you call your dogs "azzie" and "adney" is so adorable. Your unstoppable curiousity, boundless energy, lack of the need for sleep, and your love of food makes our life so happy! Your concern for your sister is truly amazing, even though you often push her out of your way, you will look at us with concern when she is wailing, and when you know she is hungry you offer her food! Such a sweet little boy.

Our son. You call us Daddy and Mommy. Not because you came from us but because God created you to be a beautiful boy and placed you into our hearts and arms. Many people prayed for you to come home safely to us. We are humbled by the mystery of it all. We were meant to be family. It is an awesome thing to have been adopted and even better to be privileged to be your Mommy and Daddy. We have many hopes and dreams for you and us together as a family. Our biggest hope is that we will all walk together with Jesus, not only because He saves us from the power of death, but as our friend, someone to model our lives for as servants to others, and someone to lean on in times of trouble. He kept us going in the uncertainty of waiting for you to come home to us. We also dream to someday travel to your birth country together, and if you wish, make contact with your birth mother if God wills it. We will be here to help you with your dreams, dear one.

We want you to know as you grow up, that you are a very, very special boy, and you are so very, very loved. You are much more than we could ask or imagine!!!

We love you, Michael, more than you could ever know.
Happy 1st Gotcha Day, baby!!!
Daddy and Mommy

ps if you haven't already don't forget to see Michael's Gotcha Day video montage below

Michael's Gotcha Day Video Montage

I finally did it. Just in time for Michael's first gotcha day, July 30th, 2007!!!
I hope it works...I'm going to try it as soon as I get it posted. If not, let me know please!

Monday, July 14, 2008

CWA Picnic

Greetings from North Carolina! I finally figured out how to get on the internet in my hotel room so now I can post some of those CWA Kyrgyzstan faces! I had a wonderful time meeting the families that I met in cyberspace and have emailed. Like someone else said, it's like you know these people personally! I wish I could have spent more one on one time, getting to know the children and the families, but time was short, M wasn't feeling the best, and it was hot!! So we all hope to see you again next time! We were joined by some of the embassy officials and some visitors from Kyrgyzstan. This will be short. I want to get some rest, we've been out and about touring the NC area, what a great place to visit! Way too much to do! For now enjoy some of the pics I took, if any of the picnicers have some great shots, please, please share!
CWA Kyrgyzstan families, I would say half of them there didn't get to the photo spot on time:(
Jamie and McKenzie
Z and Phoebe
Z, M, P, C and AP
Kaleb & Michael they were born a week apart and were in the same baby house
Lori, Shea and Beckett
Esther, Aliya, and her brother
P and Aliya
Jerret and JJ
the Stephanie and Mark and AJ with CWA president
Clare,Jimmy, Ann, & Maggi
Andrea and AP

Wednesday, July 9, 2008

Ta Da!!!

I was able to get shots of Phoebe going into her stand position. She looks like she is concentrating so hard and then she gets into her SO BIG position. It cracks us up and we bust up laughing. On the medical front we were able to get her into see the pediatric endocrinologist(no easy feat, those guys are booked 3 months ahead)yesterday. Her TSH level was coming in slightly high(the hormone that tells the brain to make the thyroid work) although her T4 level(her actual thyroid) was well into the normal range. TSH was high at arrival and still high a month later-but it was in the gray zone, not high enough to merit medication. She also was low on her iron-those levels have come into normal range with the help of iron supplements. Anyway, we are to get her thyroid levels again in 2 months to decide if she needs supplementation. Why is this so important? It not only helps with growth but is very important in brain development. If they continue to be off, she could lose IQ points if not corrected. So far we don't see a difference and we are hoping she will normalize in the next few months with good nutrition and lots of love:) She sits at the 10th percentile for weight at 17 1/2 lbs, 5-10th percentile for height at 26 1/4 inches, and 50th percentile for head circumference:) She's still our little peanut!!!
I think I can...
A view from the top, or should I say bottom?

Sunday, July 6, 2008

Fourth of July

Good Morning, Michael!
Good Morning, Phoebe!

Fourth of July was special this year! Having our kiddos home meant alot to us. One very important part means that my kids are free from a life of poverty or uncertainty had they remained in the orphanage. Now they have tremendous opportunities availed to them. We thank God that He chose them to be with us. The uncanny things are that both Michael and Phoebe have markings that are identical to ones I have on my body, a mole on the same shoulder, and a birthmark in the sameplace!
I never really realized how much I love America and how much freedom means to me. I myself was born in a 3rd world country, and had my parents not immigrated to the US, my life would have been totally different. Here in America, if you work hard enough, you can make something of your life, and there are tremendous opportunities for those who choose to take the challenge. What saddens me is that the majority of 8th graders in this country do not even know what the Declaration of Independence was, and what it stands for(from the Bradley scholars). There are many Americans who do not like America. There is also an increasing population of entitlement, I deserve this for free, I need this, and I need it now. No longer is there a hard work ethic in many of our population. People think Europe is so much better with all the goodies they get, never mind that they have to wait for things(although that would be a great lesson for many Americans), ie an adoption homestudy there takes 2-3 years, and yes, the government decides what type of healthcare you will receive at the government's pace. How would you like to pay 45-55 percent of your salary in taxes? I'd love to see all Americans write their own tax checks instead of having it withdrawn from their paychecks, I'm sure it would cause a riot! Also, Europeans do not have the space we have to live here and the beautiful huge parks to enjoy, and the many freedoms we have here because we are so privileged to live in America. I wonder how many of the patriotic songs children even know the words to! All that fourth of July to them is fireworks and a day off of work-may my children never feel this way! So we set out to make it a special day, playing our American songs, putting flags up, and making a specially decorated cake!
We had the all American 4th dinner, barbequed, and in abundance! Our founding forefathers brought many blessings to this country, because they chose to sever themselves from a stifling, religious killing, overbearing government!
Fourscore and seven years ago...
Phoebe in her 4th dress from Aunt Jackie!
Boy, we are Patriotic!
Fourth of July greetings from the Collingham clan!
Kiddos with their Aunt and Uncle in the courtship chair!
I love corn!!
Fourth of July dessert!!!