Our Journey to Molly

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Sunday, February 27, 2011

Beads, Beads, and more Beads!

So, the boys LOVED their first Mardi Gras!!  We got to Shreveport around noon and our friends had the perfect parade route tailgate spot already set up.  The boys ran around with their friends and we just all hung out until the parade got started .  We really miss going to the LSU games and tailgating all day, so this was just what we were looking forward to. Good food, friends, and just hanging out! 




The kids have way more beads than they know what to do with.....Mission Accomplished!!!


Friday, February 25, 2011

TGIF!!

I have to say, I'm glad this week has come to an end and the weekend is here!  Not only  has everybody had cold/sinus issues, but we've worked really hard at tying up all loose ends for our 1st mailer packet and papers that go to our social worker so she can finish up our homestudy.  Whew!  I knew it'd be a lot of work but I didn't really realize how much time it would consume.  First of all, those that know me, know that I'm more the laid back, go with the flow, last-minute type person, which doesn't really fly with paper chasing!  Some people have been asking if we got everything turned in on time and we did....but down to the last second!  On the day the packet was due to Great Wall, Jon was at the Dr's office at 8am getting his TB test read, I was at the police station getting a signature from someone who had forgotten to sign.  Then I went to Jon's work to have something notarized.  As I'm back home, pulling up in my driveway, with a very tired and almost asleep Gage, I realized I had forgotten to give him a copy of my license....arrgghh!! So after Gage's nap, we picked up the boys from school and went back to Jon's work to give him the license so he can fed ex it right away!  Oh yes, organization at its finest.  We finished our Hague training hours this week and turned in the 17 things that needed to be turned in to our social worker yesterday.  The only thing left she needs is the dog's vaccination records, and so guess where the dogs are today??;).  They were due, so I dropped them off at the vet this morning and will pick them up this afternoon, along with the records, which will be sent to her today. 
Not only have I been preoccupied with getting all the paperwork for the dossier together, but I'm also reading as much as I can in my spare time about adopting....blogs, books,....anything that I can get my hands on.  Needless to say, other things have fallen to the wayside(temporarily, I hope!).  Thank you cards are way behind(hoping to get to them out before the year's over..hehe), plans have been cancelled with friends to get things done, papers haven't been returned to school on time, folders have forgotten to be signed, lunches have been forgotten...but I'm hoping to get back on track soon.
I'm so excited for a little get away this weekend.  We're going to visit some friends in Shreveport for Mardi Gras and the kids are beside themselves!  We took them last year to Baton Rouge for their first "real" St Patrick's Day parade and they loved it.  Hard to believe that my little boys are Texans and haven't experienced the "throw me somethin' Mr." parades!.  Growing up in BR,  Mardi Gras was a big week long holiday, so we'll have to show em how it's done! 
Gage and I just got back from our run and he fell asleep in the stroller, so there goes his nap today!  Oh well, off to the park to enjoy another sunny day! :)
The boys are hoping to load up like this again!!

Monday, February 21, 2011

video

Just wanted to share this video.  I love Steven Curtis Chapman and this song gets me everytime.  Turn my music off at the bottom of my page so you can hear it..

http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=beZ5hF-qZDY

Sunday, February 20, 2011

Another Busy weekend

It's crazy how fast the weekends are flying by lately. Seems like it does that when they're full of early basketball games, sleepovers, and birthday parties.  I love basketball, but I'll be glad when we can wake up on Sat and not have to rush out for the 8:00 games!   We went hiking today because, once again, it's gorgeous outside!  I love that my boys are ALL boy....adventurous, daring, and don't mind getting dirty!  I have a feeling our little girl is going to be the same way. She's got to hanging out with these crazy boys! This is the first time Gage has been able to walk pretty much the whole time, and he loved it!  I was following behind most of the time and Gage kept looking back and saying "mama, you need help?"  It was cute but these kids sure know how to make me feel old! Oh, probably Gage's favorite part was when we'd come across a map, we'd have to stop and Gage would break out in tune with "I'm the map, I'm the map, I'm the map..."....He's Obsessed with Dora!

making their old mama a rock path across the water!

the "Dora Map"



The boys had a blast and Gage did great!  He was exhausted toward the end, but he was determined to keep up with the boys for as long as he could!



little stinker!

Finally pooped out!




Thursday, February 17, 2011

Feels like Spring!

My sister informed me that I need to post more often, but there's just not much going on in the Coco household, so thought I'd post a few pics of the kids with their friends playing outside.  It's been gorgeous here this week so we've been soaking up the rays! 



There is nothing I Like more than sitting outside on pretty days watching the kids play!  Beats being stuck inside seeing them with their noses glued to the DS!;)
Oh, to have the imagination and energy of these kids!

We managed to get everything turned in for our 1st mailer just in time.  I had to make a few trips up to Jon's work that day to get everything to him, but it's done.  Got my passport ordered Tuesday and Jon is getting his ordered today.  He's also mailing everything to our social worker today so she can start on our report.  We're starting on our 10 hours of online Hague parent education courses today too. We're getting there....slowly but surely..:)

Sunday, February 13, 2011

Aaahhhh....this is more like it!

Now THIS is my kind of weather!  70, sunny and kids playing outside ALL day!!  I live in Texas for a reason, and it's definitely not for cold and icy weather.  We love being outside and so hopefully this spring-like weather will stay around for a while.

We had a fun but busy weekend.  Nana and Pa came in to visit and the kids soaked them up all weekend.  I'm sure they're worn out because they keep them busy playing the whole time!   They love having them here. They especially loved having their own cheering section at their basketball games. They kept looking over at them with their big grins.....it was really cute.  Nana and Pa always let Jon and I breakaway for a much needed date night when they're here too. We appreciate it more than they know!

waving to Nana and Pa

 Both boys love basketball, which wasn't the case a couple of years ago.  Ben played and hated it!  I don't think he touched the ball one time the whole season, which made the whole thing miserable....for him and us!   When we brought up giving it another try this year, he said he'd play if Jonathan coached.  Jon played basketball in high school so he agreed but couldn't coach just one team, so he ended up coaching both. I'm so glad he gave it another shot because he can't get enough of it now.  Basketball is my favorite sport to watch because it's so action packed, so I'd be thrilled if this is what they want to play!





We also had our Homestudy scheduled for Saturday and for some reason, I was really nervous!  Even Reed was a little apprehensive about it.  He said "what if I can't understand her?"..so funny...guess he thought she'd be speaking Chinese to him.  I felt like I was waiting to have Super Nanny over to observe my every move and interaction with the kids.  I didn't know if she'd come in and just sit back and wait for me to mess up so she could pull me aside and tell me how I should've handled it.  I know this sounds ridiculous to those of you who have been through it and know it's nothing like that, but I just didn't know what to expect.   What if Gage threw one of his temper tantrums, and she didn't like the way I handled it, or what if the boys started fighting and I didn't do the right thing, or what if  the kids said something she didn't like.   Of all times, Gage decides to go crazy with a green marker he found and drew on everything he saw, the walls, himself, his brothers, furniture....of all times!! So I'm scrubbing everyting down with green on it, including the kids,  right before she shows up!  There were so many "what if's" running through my head, but as soon as she got here, I realized it wasn't going to be anything like that.  Basically, she wanted to prepare us for what to expect in China, and help us understand what these innocent children go through every day, and what to expect when she's home with us.  Wow, I learned SO much an in those 3 hours!   What she did was help me realize even more how much these children need us!  It was heartbreaking! They've gone through more in their little lives than most of us will go through in a lifetime.  We're more ready than ever to go and get our little girl.  She needs to be here with us, where she'll be so loved by her family, and where she doesn't have to fight for her food, a toy, attention or love.  We're moving as fast as we can to get to you baby girl!

I'm off to the store to get the kid's Valentine's gifts and class cards for school tomorrow.  I know...nothin like waiting til the last minute! I hope everybody has a great Valentine's Day! 

Tuesday, February 8, 2011

Happy Birthday, Sweet Reed!

It's hard to believe it's my middle baby's 6th birthday!  How time flies!!  His party was at a gymnastics place that pretty much let 20, 6- year old boys have free reign and run CRAZY for an hour and a half!  Turns out that it couldn't have been planned any better, considering we had all been cooped up for a week because of the ice.  The boys got all their energy out, to say the least.


Oh, and let's not forget the birthday cake!  Reed requested a "dirt cake" and he worked so hard all week making the star wars legos to put on top.   Jon....uhhuhhm..somebody dropped the cake on the way to the party and voila....this is what we ended up with....

Pretty, I know!  But Hey!...at least it tasted good!
                       

Make a wish, Reedy!
 
Reed is such a special boy.  He's my sensitive hearted child.  The one that will offer up his last piece of candy to his brothers if theirs is gone, or will offer his favorite toy to Gage just to keep him happy.  He's the one who will pick out what his own birthday present is based on what he thinks Ben will like to play with. He's the one who will come up and give me a hug and tell me he loves me out of the blue. He's the one who can light up any room with those huge dimples and a smile that goes from ear to ear.  He's the one who doesn't forget a thing, and will remind you years later when you think he has forgotten. He's the one who loves animals, and is always willing to refill our dog's water and food bowl, He's the one who will do anything to impress Ben, because he is by far the ultimate in coolness in his eyes, He's the one who loves every sport he's ever played, and practices outside for hours on end on his own,...just because he wants to, and yes, he's also my little fashionista.  Love, love, loves clothes!!  Well, that and shoes, pj's, accessories,soft blankets.....and yes, he definitely gets all of that straight from me!  We make great shopping partners, because he actually gets excited over a new shirt, unlike the other boys, who immediately toss it aside as soon as I give it to them(this includes the big boy)!  And the list goes on and on.... 
Don't worry...I'll do one of these for each of the kids on their birthday, so don't think I'm showing favorites!;)

His sweet smile....

                                                                I Love this kid!

On the weather front, ice has finally started to melt and life is back to normal with kids in school, but weather is not looking so good for later this week.  They're saying sleet/snow again!!  I can handle a little snow, but PLEASE NO ICE!   School. Must. Go. On...

Friday, February 4, 2011

How the Journey Began...

I guess I should start off by saying that Jonathan and I haven't always been on the same page when it comes to adoption, or even having more kids at all.   As a matter of fact, before we had any kids, I never really even pictured myself with more than 2 kids!  I grew up with one sister, and Jonathan came from a family of 4, so 2 just seemed like a simple and well balanced number.   After we had Gage, I didn't feel like our family was totally complete yet.  It's not like our family life with 3 boys was calm and serene, and we needed more craziness, but I still had that longing for something more. I just wasn't sure at that point what it was.  People would ask if we were going to try for another one(I think jokingly most of the time), but I couldn't honestly say no.  Yes, I got many crazy looks and comments, but deep down I knew there was something more planned for our lives.

A couple of years ago, I was looking for antique, salvaged brick floors to put in my kitchen, but they were impossible to come by in Dallas, so I googled it to see what came up.  The first site that popped up was http://baseballstobows.blogspot.com/.  Its a blog of a family who lives in Baton Rouge(where I'm from) who has 3 sons, and was in the process of adopting a little girl from China.  They were building a house and had the EXACT floors that I was looking for desperately here and could not find! I emailed her to find out where she got them and that was that....or so I thought.  I soon became hooked on her blog!  I checked it everyday just to see what was going on in their lives and how their adoption process was coming along.  It's crazy how you can never have met somebody in person, but feel like you've always known them...that's how I felt with Jennifer and her family.  When they were in China, I checked multiple times a day for updates and to see  their first meeting with their precious daughter, Wesleigh. She is such a cute and sweet little girl and it just melts my heart to see how much the whole family loves her....esp. the boys!  Oh my!.... I think that's what really gets me, because I can see my boys being the same way!   
Tell me she's not the cutest thing EVER!



Well, fast forward 2 years and I start to think about the possibility of us adopting more and more.  I knew it was a far fetch with Jonathan, considering he had already made it clear that we were DONE!  I brought it up to him a few times, and he laughed saying "really?....you don't think we're busy enough with 3 kids?"   Now, I can be really good at nagging to get something that I want, but I realized that this wasn't a nagging situation.  He either needed to be totally on board, or we just couldn't do it.  I tried to quit thinking about it, telling myself it just wasn't going to happen, but I couldn't!   I prayed that if it's something He really wanted us to do, then to put it on Jonathan's heart too or let me quit thinking about it.  Surely enough, we started noticing more families around us that were adopting.  Crazy as it sounds, Jonathan came home from work one day and told me that he was actually starting to be more open to the idea of adopting!  Needless to say, I was beyond shocked and  so excited! I knew at this point we were on our way. Just a few weeks later we went to church and it just so happened to be "Orphan Sunday"!   Slowly but surely, He was paving the way for what He feels so strongly about.  Of course I am bawling the whole way through the service, and Jonathan just keeps giving me weird looks like "Really?"  Coincidence?...I don't think so.  We walk out of church and Jonathan's exact words..."I'm sold...let's do it."!   

So, this is the story of the beginning of our journey.  I know, without a doubt, that this was all part of God's  plan for our lives from the beginning.  I know he wants us all to step out of our comfort zone and to be His hands and feet here on earth and to take care of  His children.  I never realized how much He talks about it in the Bible until we started this whole process. These are just a few:

" Religion that God our Father accepts as pure and faultless is this: to look after orphans and   widows in their distress and to keep oneself from being polluted by the world" James 1:27


"...Defend the cause of the fatherless, plead the case of the widow"  Isaiah 1:17


" A father to the fatherless, a defender of widows, is God in his holy dwelling" Psalm 68:5

 I know this won't be an easy road, and that we will  go through some hard times,even after she's home with us,  but I also know that it will be an even greater reward, and it will change our lives more than anything we have or will ever do!

I promise, not all of my blogs will be this long! ;) 

I will leave you with what Ice Day Part Three looked like...now onto Part 4!!


Wednesday, February 2, 2011

Brrrrrrr Rabbit....it's cold!!

All I can say is Crazy Texas Weather! It was 70 degrees and sunny on Saturday and now it's 15 degrees and Freezing!! We're going on Day 2 of being trapped inside because of the ice! We've all been hunkered down in our pj's doing legos, geo trax, Wii, DS, toy story marathon(1, 2, and currently on 3).....and soon we'll be out of stuff to do! Temps aren't suppose to get above freezing again, so we may be doing this again tomorrow! Oh No....Mama's got stuff to do!! I think this is the longest we've been in the house all together....ever! It was fun the 1st day, but now we're all getting a little bit of cabin fever. At least it's given me a chance to sit down long enough to figure out how to blog..:)

I'm still figuring out how to get the pics arranged the way I want, but this will have to do for now...




Because of the ice, everything has come to a halt in McKinney, which has gotten me a little stressed about getting all of the paperwork we need for mailer 1 in time. Jon's physical was cancelled yesterday and who knows how long it'll take to get him in when they open back up. Guess I have some sweet talking to do when they open back up..;) Also, my marriage certificate still hasn't arrived which means I can't get my passport yet....ugggh. It's all due on Feb. 16th, so I'll be try to be optimistic and hope for the best.




Jonathan did manage to slide/venture out this morning to workout(imagine that!) and to pick up donuts for the boys, hence the chocolate on Gage's face!). Guess it's time for me to go figure out what's next on the agenda....;)



Tuesday, February 1, 2011

First Blog...

I've been wanting to begin a blog for a few years now, but I have found every excuse imaginable to procrastinate(surprised?). I'm not great with baby books or documenting milestones, and I've gotten progressively worse with printing pictures, so my hope is that I can be consistent with this and finally have memories and pictures documented.
Of course there's also something else that got me going on this whole blog thing. We're in the beginning phases of adopting a little girl from China, and I want to have it all written down....the ups, the downs, and everything in between. I was actually inspired to adopt by another blogger , and if I can do the same for anybody else, then it would be worth it for that reason alone.
I know this was short and sweet, but more details to come..:)