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Thursday, March 31, 2011

Venting

I figured that venting on my blog is probably okay since people have the option of reading it or not..and it always helps to put your thoughts down into words.
First, we are just overwhelmed with meetings and paperwork. We have a meeting with our therapist tomorrow, our attorney Friday and a court hearing on Monday. Of course all of these lead us one step closer to finalizing the adoption but they sure do throw a wrench into an already full 2 kiddo, 2 job, classwork, volleyball coach schedule. The meetings make me anxious before, during and after as I feel like we are being watched (well we are) and that we are always behind on paperwork or will forget to cross one I or dot one T.
Second, my brain isn't working right at all. I switched two presents today and gave a baby shower gift to a teacher and a teacher appreciation gift to a pregnant lady :). I also threw away good food as I was walking towards the fridge to put it in. I also left my volleyballs in the garage for volleyball practice-a first!!!
Third, I need to vent on behalf of other adoptive parents as well. A comment was made to us that has just been on my mind for almost three weeks now. I am hoping that it was made out of ignorance and not to hurt us. During a conversation, someone told us that we will not be "a real mom and dad until August". I don't know how anyone can honestly say that to us right now. We are loving these kids, protecting them, providing for them, advocating for them and fighting for them just like any other mom or dad would. The only thing that will change in August is the fact that we can legally claim them and that their last names change. Nothing else in our hearts or minds will change. It's not like an engagement where two people should not be acting as spouses until the wedding day. We are already acting like parents. It's also not like waiting to get your driver's license, where you can't legally drive until that day. We are already legally stepping in for these kids, there is no practice run. It's a situation where you go ahead and give it your all and wait for the court system to catch up and recognize what you have already decided in your heart. Okay done with that....just been replaying that comment in my mind over and over.
Fourth, we need a new camera :). Ours is just not keeping up with our great kids!!!! I think Adam is already looking into that one though....love my hubby.
Sorry if these post wasn't entertaining or heartwarming....just me being grumpy :). I will make it up to you by posting the one and only HAPPY FEET INSPIRED DANCE CONTEST VIDEO!!


Tuesday, March 29, 2011

Dinnertime at the Harvells 2

Here is what normally happens towards the end of dinner. Bre and Eli get silly and we break out the camera!!!






Monday, March 28, 2011

Weekend

Well, the art competition went well. Our school took home two 2nd places and two 4th places...not too shabby. I got home around 10 last night and went in to kiss both kids. Ribbit woke up immediately, smiled up at me and waved. Then I told her night night and she waved me out of her room. Waking Goob takes skill so I just kissed on him and covered him back up. Apparently the kids were great for Adam. Goob painted the bookshelf that Adam made him. Ribbit just played and played. She even took a nap in her pack and play outside. Goob also built a cross out of some wood. He loves loves loves to build. Adam got him a new hammer that is magnetic so it will hold the nail as he strikes it in the first time. Adam said Goob really liked the hardware store and Ribbit not so much.
I had a good time talking to fellow moms who chaperoned the art comp. It's good for me to hear that bio kids come with their own set of problems and that most of the time they grow out of them. My kids are wonderful kids, but yes I do worry that their past will effect their future.
This morning Adam and I filled in for Goob's usual Sunday School teachers. We had 8 kids and Goob was definitely the loudest, spunkiest but also the brightest. I know the first two were related to our presence but he is just so quick. He picks up on so many things that most other 6 year olds wouldnt. He told us during sunday school that he was a genius :). The other kids had a hard time understanding how we were Goober's mom and dad because he is "dark". One little girl wanted to clarify and said " so he goes home with you after church? ". When I said Yes, Goob said " you don't have to look like your mom and dad". Man, that made my week.....he gets it!!!
He and Ribbit went shopping with me this afternoon, we had to get teacher appreciation gifts and baby shower presents and food. We also got Goober some more underwear b/c I am tired of doing soooo much laundry.....not that more underwear will solve the problem but it sure will help. The kids are such good little shoppers. Goober loves to push the buggy and Ribbit just waves to everyone. We have also received lots of free food b/c of them soo far; cookies at subway, ice cream at cracker barrel and 2nds on samples at Target today...geesh!
Goober starts therapy this week, so we are praying that he will be receptive to her ideas and that he will speak honestly with her. He is going to another art contest with me this Friday so that should be fun for he and I.
All in all, great couple of days for our family....another busy weekend coming up!!!


Heres a fun video from Spring Break where my dad was pushing Goober on a tire swing...Listen for him to say " Now this is what I am talking about" :)

Friday, March 25, 2011

Our Happy Girl

Here are two videos, one of Bre playing with Uncle Chris and one that Uncle Chris videoed.
I'm gone for two days to Austin for an art contest...three of my students qualified for state so off we go :). One will be competing in printmaking, one in 2D and one in Art History. Wish us luck!!!


In between videos, funny Eli story. He comes to the last 30 minutes of my 7th grade art class on Thursdays since he gets out earlier than I do. So today, he was sitting with me while my 7th graders were presenting a project on different artists. One little girl began her presentation and all of sudden Eli yelled " louder"!!! Ha, he took the words right out of my mouth...we might have a little teacher on our hands!


Thursday, March 24, 2011

Rough Day

The last couple of days have been kinda off...we are still super tired from our drive back from Alabama and with so much to do neither Adam nor I can catch up on sleep. We also got the kid's full history ( FINALLY ) and have spent lots of time pouring over the binders...A LOT! None of it is good, not anything...until you see in late January where they start looking for a new set of parents and about a week later our name comes into play. I am not singing our praises but just stating that God had a plan for the four of us all along.
I became so irate while reading their past, especially Goob's. I of course can't speak a word of it but believe me when I tell you that he has been through things that he definitely didn't deserve to go through and he has seen things that I will never see. He is such a good kid to have a past like he has.
I also realized through reading this their mom is not the villain I had painted in my mind. I think she was lost, lonely and at the time she gave them up was really trying to give them a better life. She didn't help the situation ever and she didn't make a lot of good or healthy choices but at least she realized that giving them a chance with a family who wanted them was something she had to do.We always talk very highly of their mom to them but now I can be more sincere and thankful that she gave me two great kiddos.
On top of having their history in my head Goob's teacher wanted to talk with me before school this morning. He has only lost his sticker twice this year, both times for pushing, and we always make him apologize the next day. However, she wanted to talk with me because Goob is having a hard time making friends..mostly because he isn't confident. He likes one little girl in particular but during recess she wants to play with other kids in the 1st grade. Goob gets mad and doesn't think anyone else likes him. The kids in his class don't like how mad he gets so they in turn don't play with him either. Adam and I had noticed that when we take him to the park ( which is quite often) he will only play with us. So as she was talking to me about all this I look over and Goob is sitting by himself playing on the mat and the other kids are talking to each other and saying "good morning" and I just lost it. I mean I was a mess. His teacher started saying " oh my, he is soo good in math and his reading is improving in huge strides, honey, this is fixable"...and I was just upset because after reading his history I want to undo all the bad with hugs and kisses and I want everyone to love him. I want him to have 50 good things to replace every bad thing that has ever happened to him. Goober didn't like that I was upset and I couldn't look at him without sobbing. I know that I can't use his past as a crutch for him or he will do the same thing, and I can't assume that every other kid at school has a perfect past either. But, gosh darn it, I just want him to have a fun childhood and excel and succeed. I went back to my classroom and got out my emotions before my first class. Another teacher came in, who I am starting to consider a mentor in every part of my life ( teaching, marriage, children, Christian) and we talked about her older son who hardly ever got a sticker in 1st grade and yet when he graduated high school the teachers sang his praises. I also realized that I need to put this all in perspective. We have had the kids a little over six weeks now, and we can't erase or change anything in that amount of time. They are both loving, healthy, affectionate, smart, precious kids and everything else will just fall into place in God's time.
Please don't read this and think that I am hoping for Goob to be Mr. Popular or that I want eternal sympathy for his past but everything is just so fresh on my mind. It makes me sick to think about how he lived the past 6 years.
So, to teach Goober how to make friends we are going to start taking one friend every couple of weeks to the park, close to our school, and play for about an hour after school..just them and Goob. We will rotate friends...I actually teach alot of 7th grade girls who have younger siblings who are Goober's age..their parents know me and I think they would trust me. I hope that will help build his confidence in knowing that he can make and keep friends and it will give him some good relationships to build on.

On a happy note, Goob told me today that even when he is 13 he wants to be in Mrs. Barnes class..I mean what a Godsend she is!!!!

I also witnessed the best dance contest ever tonight. We have been watching Happy Feet so Dad and Goob had a hard core "happy feet style" dance off. Goob danced so hard that his pants fell off ( dont worry I have the video to post) . After that Adam danced so hard that his pants "fell off" :). So then they both danced in their underwear until they were sweaty and had to collapse...it was hysterical. Then Goob said " hey dad, we are twinkies, we both have holes in our underwear!!". Love that kid!!!

Update on Ribbit-she is saying nose, mouth and eyes and pointing to the correct body part 75% of the time. She also says "yellow and love you"-thanks Gramps, and has decided that holding mom's hand in the car is the only way she can happily travel :). Mom doesn't mind at all!

Tuesday, March 22, 2011

More Spring Break Videos


Goober made this bracelet at the beach and repeatedly told us what each color meant throughout the week. He is such a smart little boy!


She just thought this was the funniest thing ever. What a sweet brother.

Saturday, March 19, 2011

We will keep the makers of "Shout" employed

Wednesday was a very fun day. Adam's mom showed up and we all (meaning my family, both grandmas, and 5 teenage boys) ate pancakes and bacon for breakfast. Then we upwrapped gifts from Lolly and Captain and found that Eli got a new surfing outfit. We headed to the beach and stayed there almost the entire day. Eli surfed with dad and then enjoyed being buried in the sand over and over again by his grandmas. Bre played and played and then took a good hour and a half nap....which meant I got to lay out ...FINALLY!!! We ate lunch on the beach and we were all starving for dinner.
We had homemade pepporoni pizza for dinner and fruit pizza for dessert. Eli slept with Gramps that nights so the two grandmas could share a room. He loved being read to and having his head rubbed. He said that gramps snored though.
Thursday we woke up and went straight to the beach to do some shell hunting. We saw a St. Patricks Day Parade and Eli thought it was kinda weird. Then we got lunch and watched Toy Story 3. Eli picked up the saying " As you wish" from someone and has been saying it a ton !!! Its really cute. Then we went to play Putt Putt. Good thing it was "all you can play" because we circled the course bout 4 times. The last time he was just throwing his balls in the hole. Bre ventured out to play a couple of holes but really just liked going up and down the ramps. Eli did get 3 holes in one....but for the most part he just cheated :). Then we went to the candy store and got all of his classmates gummy lobsters, sand sharks and killer sharks. We also went to a boutique and got him an Auburn Championship banner to hang in his room. Thursday night we ate nachos and the kids played with their grandparents. We also had meltdown #1 over leaving Uncle Chris that night. Eli realized that we only had one day at the beach left and started crying. He said he didn't want to leave him and he wanted to be strong like him :). I let him cry and kept reminding him that we would back this summer for a long time.
Friday morning we woke up and packed up the house. Then we all went to Cracker Barrel to meet my Papa and my Aunt Robin. They both loved meeting the kids. Adam told my Aunt Robin over the phone " i hope that the kids open up to you". Well, dagum, if they didn't both go crazy. Bre danced and charmed the waitresses into free ice cream. Eli was too funny and kept telling Chris that he was weird. I really enjoyed seeing my grandpa ( their great grandpa) meet them. Then we went back to Bay Minette and while Adam and I got some sleep the two grandmas watched 101 Dalmations with Eli. Then we went to the park and out to the Mexican restaurant. Bre sat with Gramps which meant she got away with everything. She would suck the cheese dip off the chips and then redip them....she looked pretty gross. That night my parents took both kids for a walk as it would be their last night with them.
Friday, my other grandparents came over to meet their kids and were also entertained. Eli was too caught up with Uncle Chris to care about anyone else but towards the end of their visit he loosened up and started talking to them. Chris also cut Eli's hair into a mohawk...it looks prety funny and we shaved it off when we got home but he wanted it! Bre was on the entire time....what a great little personality she has.
We left Alabama at 2 in the afternoon and got home at 2 in the morning. Eli cried and cried when we left ( all of us were sad) and then about 3 hours into the trip he said " i still remember that I am sad , i can't talk about it without crying". We made several stops along the way for bathroom breaks, drink breaks and supper breaks. We are really trying to not eat so much in the car and we wanted the kids to have stretch breaks. The whole way home Eli would say " I tooted" and then say " pweof weef"....but I think he was trying to say " shooo weee". He was sweet and silly with us.
Today we were like zombies. Unpacking, grocery shopping, getting ready for school, cleaning up the house from where the cats destroyed it. Eli painted his fort and helped me grocery shop. I know the people at Target looked at us and thought " what a pitiful little family"....we were in one of those shopping carts that seats two kids, and I was trudging along trying to stay awake while drinking coffee. I bought enough groceries for three weeks as the next month is absolutely insane. I forgot to pay and then on the way out all of the groceries fell out of that stupid cart......ahhhhh. After Eli painted his fort he came in and touched the couch. I said Eli did you get paint on the couch. He said No and kept looking at this one spot. When I looked at the couch it did have paint on it. I asked him why he lied and he shrugged his shoulders. He did a time out for lying and then disappeared into his room. Couple minutes later he came out and handed me my check book on which he had wrote " Imsyliyatpntcch"...which he says meant " i am sorry for lying about getting paint on the couch"....I about lost it, he was being so sweet and said he tried his hardest to write me an apology letter. I'll keep that checkbook for forever!!!!
So now its 8 on Sunday night and right when Eli goes to bed so am I!!!!!!!!!

Playing catch up from Spring Break

Spring Break thus far…
Sunday morning we woke up and got ready for church. The kids had to sit through big church with us since we don’t know the workers at my parents church. Ribbit did okay, she danced through the entire handbell performance and choir songs. She also thought the stairs in the balcony were fun. Goob drew on his aqua doodle and “whispered” to Uncle Chris. After church we ate dinner and watched a Disney video. Goob is totally smitten with Uncle Chris, while they were making a Mii for him, Chris would say “ what kinda hair do you want? Goob would say “ what do you want”? So now on my parents Wii there are two characters that look exactly alike and if it wasn’t for us intervening both of them would be named Chris…haha, instead Goob’s character is named Cam Newton. Goob and I went with Uncle Chris to work out and swam in the pool. He jumped in and said “ I forgot how to swim”. He is actually an excellent underwater swimmer, but gets a little nervous when on top of the water. Then we took the kids to Kangarooz….which is the best $20 we have ever spent. It’s a place with all kinds of inflatable obstacle courses and jump houses, and a separate area for toddlers. We played hard for three hours. Adam, Chris and I were all sweaty and sore after that. The kids were worn out and they had sooo much fun! I think that will end up being a regular place we visit when in Alabama.
Monday we woke up and headed down to the beach. We were overjoyed to see how beautiful the house was and that it had its own private pier and screened in back porch. Our friends Sam and Keith showed up and the four of us headed to the public beach, which is two blocks away. Goober and Adam did some surfing and Ribbit played in the sand with the toys that Sam and Keith bought the kids. Goober also discovered the joys of being buried in the sand, thanks to Keith . We came home, set the crab traps and fell asleep to The Little Mermaid. One of the great things about having kids is that we get to re-watch all of the Disney Movies.
Ribbit is totally in love with everyone so far. She meets no strangers. My dad has taught her how to say “ I love you” and she says it to him repeatedly. She is still pretty clingy to me but I honestly don’t mind that. She just loves the beach, she loves the water, shells and the sand.
Today was absolutely wonderful. We woke up and went straight to the beach. It was pretty cloudy and windy so we did some extreme shell looking. We didn’t go intending to get wet but we all came back drenched. Goober sat down in the sand and said “ mom, I am hungry for lunch”. I honestly thought it was close to time until I asked Adam what time it was. He said “ 9 o’clock” and I thought goodness, how it 9 and I feel like I have already had a full day!!!!!! Then we came home and spent lots of time on the dock, flying kites, catching “ mini fish” ( what Goober calls minnows) and keeping Ribbit from jumping in. After Ribbit had her nap and after the rest of us watched The Incredibles for the second time this week we went back to the beach, just the four of us. The kids played in the sand for three solid hours with their sand toys. They did so well. Ribbit ate some sand mixed in with her fruit loops and then a good ole hand full.
So as of Tuesday night we are tired, happy, the white folk (adam and I) are slightly sun kissed and glad to be at the beach. Goob and Uncle Chris and one of his friends are camping out tonight….we have some grassy area in between the house and the pier. There are soooo many funny stories from the last couple of days but I can’t remember them all. The kids are doing very well with their new extended family and Adam’s mom is coming down tomorrow to join us.
Highlight of my week-Goober is getting very affectionate with me. He tackled me in one of the inflatable bounce houses and just kissed me over and over. Every night he has also poked up his little lips and let me kiss him on the lips for nighttime. He also has asked me to start holding him, normally when Ribbit is getting a lot of attention and we will just talk and he will normally press his cheeks to mine and then kiss my cheeks when I look the other way. He is still having a little trouble being disciplined by Adam but I know that with his past he needs it.
I’ll post again when we have internet again. I am really enjoying my kids this week and watching them with their grandparents and uncles….Texas seems so far away right now and I know it will be hard to leave on Saturday.

Saturday, March 12, 2011

Some videos of our sweet kids

Wait for the really big swing and miss!!! :)




This kid cracks me up...he can't sit still through church but he can do Yoga on the Wii!!




Thank you Boteler family for the 4 wheeler, lots and lots of fun for Eli!;

Here in Alabama

Well we made it! A normal 10 hour long drive turned into a full 12 hours, with three bathroom breaks and a dinner stop. We are being pretty particular as to what the kids eat in the new car, so we stopped and ate cracker lunchables and oatmeal cookies. They did amazingly well, thanks to individual DVD players and blankets. They watched about three movies and played with some travel toys.
When we got here they were both awake due to a recent gas stop and they were both in a good mood. We weren't too sure how they would react to my parents but they went right to them. Goober decided that he wanted to play with Uncle Chris right then at 5 am in the morning so he went to wake him up. Ribbit, Adam and I all slept for another 3 hours while Goober watched movies, walked the dog, shot arrows and rode the motorcycle with my parents. When we woke up we ate breakfast and Goober was yelling at Chris " you have been sleep long enough". So Chris got up and played with him and he is now his new favorite person. He is following him around, coveting his knife collection, and telling him that he is wearing his pants too low. HA
Bay Minette had a Mardi Gras parade this morning so we took the kids to that and they loved it. Goob caught tons of beads and stuffed animals and waved the whole time. Ribbit is now down for a nap and Goober is playing with his new leapster. Later today we are going up to the park...FUN TIMES!!!!!!

Thursday, March 10, 2011

THANK YOU

So we have had quite the week. Tuesday Goober and I have volleyball practice until about 7:30. He was in such a good mood and just played the entire time. On the way home he told me that he knew why God made underwear, because if not we would all stink :). Wednesday, the faculty at my school threw us a shower....and I can't tell you how much they blessed us. We won't have to spend money on diapers, food or anything else that you can buy from Target or Walmart. We also got our new car...well new to us..A Honda Element, and we love it!!! Today we have two meetings regarding the adoption so it will be a long night of meetings, cleaning and packing!
I have a ton of pictures and videos to upload on here but just don't have the time...maybe when we get to my parents we will have some down time....I just know that they can't wait to get their hands on them :).
Goober has become addicted to the kissing game. I chase him around the house and pin him down to kiss him, he asks to play every night. He is also slowly becoming more affectionate with me, holding my hand, hugging me to say thank you and he loves to help me cook. He is actually quite a good cook and when he sees me getting ready to make dinner he tears off to the bathroom to wash his hands.
Ribbit has got the words " banana, up, cheese, mommy, juice and good girl" down pat. She takes a bath and immediately points to her teeth ...she loves brushing them and then turning off the lights. I keep waking up at night and telling adam " ill get her" because i swear I hear her crying. She actually has slept through the night several nights in a row lately...i guess we just got used to getting up twice a night to quiet her.
I have so much more to document but just not the time. I will try to get back into the swing of things over Spring Break.
Again thank you to all of my fellow faculty members who so graciously gave us so much yesterday!

Tuesday, March 8, 2011

Monday, March 7th

I just can't stop looking at our family photos.
My kids are healthy and happy and for the most part well-behaved...i mean they are kids right :). Its so funny to me how quickly the colors of our skin vanish and I don't have those feelings of "wow, they have to be adopted, look how different they look from us"....i just literally don't see it. There are actually several similarities between us and the kids...and I know we may have these things in common with 1/3 of the world population but its fun to find things that bond us.
Goob and I are both disgusted at the thought of drinking out of anything but fridge water. He came home and told us how they gave him "bathroom water" at school. I feel him, in college my roommates always found all of my glasses with about 2 tbsp of water left in them because it either got lukewarm or I didn't like how it tasted anymore. Adam now gets to experience that great love, where I always need more ice and can't drink out of a water fountain to save my life.
Goob shares the same " distant stare" as Adam when they are watching Tv.....oh wait, maybe that is just a guy thing :). He also enjoys being handy and building things.
Ribbit is such a funny baby and seems to share our humor and laugh when we do things that we think our funny....its too early to tell a lot of similarities with her but I am still looking.

Goober is in love with his 4 wheeler and when asked what one toy he wanted to take to the beach he said his 4 wheeler and his dog. Well the four wheeler definitely isn't coming and the dog is from my parents and is about as big as him.....so thanks mom and dad :), the dog wins!! Goober helped me pack his bag for the beach and was very choosey over which clothes he took and which shoes he chose. He told me today that his favorites sport are "balleyball and soccerball"....translation " volleyball and soccer ". I keep telling him that his hair is like velcro because literally everything sticks to it. So the other day he stuck a ton of pens into his tight tight curls and said "look mom, velcro!!".
Ribbit just loves her bathtime. She loves to fill up cups with water and dump them on things....anything but herself. She loves to have some soap and rub it in between her hands. She also says " weeeeee " when you pour water over her head. Then she wants to get out immediately and brush her teeth. I brush them first and then hand the toothbrush over to her so she can suck on it, put water on it and then suck on it again.

Sunday we painted with our fingers. I thought it would be so cute and I would have a nice canvas with their handprints on it. DEAD WRONG. It ended up being a large black canvas and both of my children ended up with black paint all over them. My house became the canvas with handprints all over it and even though it only took 10 minutes to make our "painting" it took me about 1 hour to clean up everything and get both children bathed. NEVER AGAIN. I may be an art teacher but forget doing it with my kids until they are a little older!!!

4 days until the beach :)

Saturday, March 5, 2011

Friday News and Chapel Sermon

What a looooonnnng week. We have committed to buying the element (from one of my students) and are getting it Tuesday...WOOHOO. Adam and I have never bought a car and are looking forward to having a reliable and roomy car for the four of us to travel in. Toya ( my toyota corolla ) is being passed on to Adam. We are so so so blessed to have our school family who has thrown us a huge shower already and is throwing us another one this Wednesday.

Goober didn't have a great week at school. His clip got moved twice this week and he didn't get a sticker today. He pushed someone in line since they didn't let him back in his exact same spot after he got back from washing his hands. He also "accidentally" punched a girl in PE. The teacher says that the little girl told Goob thank you for punching her later on in class b/c it made her tooth loose....so we aren't sure if he did it b/c she asked him too or if she being funny about it later on. Regardless he did not get to ride his four wheeler today. Oh yeah, the sweet sweet Boteler family from school gave Goob a four wheeler!!!!!!! He is super stoked to ride it....uhum, tomorrow :).
I'm not sure if this week of bad behavior is Goober coming off of his ADD meds or if its him getting comfortable with everyone and pushing their buttons. Regardless we are finding out that Goober gets overwhelmed very easily and needs constant reassurance that no one is mad directly at him, just at his actions. His fears turn to tears very quickly and he becomes unable to tell you what is wrong.
On a better note today I was eating lunch with him and his friend said " why do they call it shampoo? is it because you are shamming poo into your head?....I MEAN REALLY? Kids are just soooo dagum funny. Through all of this I have found out that I have a problem....its called laughing when you are not supposed to :). Ribbit makes the funniest faces when you tell her NO and I just die laughing so Adam comes over and finishes the discipline :). Geesh, who would have ever thought that I would be the softy?
Goob learned a Noah song in music and has been singing it over and over. He also learned " you get what you get and you dont throw a fit"!!! We like that one!! We have watched Ice Age about 10 times, normally right before bed we let Goober turn the tv on and everytime he asks for that movie.....I am going to go crazy if I watch it one more time!!!!

Ribbit is talking better and better everyday. Her thank you, please, shoes and dinner is getting clearer. She has a cold right now and therefore my sleeves stay snotty. She loves to dance whenever she hears music. The other day I was walking her into walmart and a car came by with really loud music. She started dancing and shrugging her shoulders ...the drivers (who were teenage kids) thought it was really funny so they rolled down their windows so she could hear the music better..thanks guys :).

I thought I might share the main talking points of my chapel presentation with you guys. I'll condense everything down though.

I was really focusing on showing my students just how much they have in common with my kids, even if they weren't adopted. I told them how Adam and I had committed to the Lord that we would adopt children and that God answered our prayers a year and a half later. Then I told them that if they were a Christian then they had been adopted as well and if not then I was going to show them how they could be adopted into God's family.

Similarity #1 between kiddos and my students-
Kiddos's mom drank alcohol the whole time she was pregnant with him, thus after he was born he body still craved it. In the same way Paul says that there is nothing good about us and that is because we are born into sin and our flesh craves it. The only cure for kiddos was to detox off that alcohol and the only way for us to be cured is to allow God to come into our hearts and change those desires so that we no longer crave evil.

Similarity #2
Sometime in August,the four of us will travel to a courthouse and sit before a judge. The judge will change kiddos birth certificates in two ways. One, Adam and Kinzie will be their parents and two their last name will become ours. In the same way, our high judge changes our identity when we become christians. We are no longer creatures of sin but children of God. In both situations the judge makes everything happen, he will sign papers for kiddos and God has already sent Christ to allow our spiritual adoption to take place.

Similarity #3
In August, kiddos will be ours forever. There is no such thing as unadoption. It's harder for a child who is adopted to disown their parents than it is for a bio kid to disown their parents. That's due to all of the court involvement and paperwork. In the same way, Romans 8:38 tells us that nothing can separate us from the love of God, we are his permanently.

Similarity #4
Kiddos will be the heirs to our inheritance. We will pass on to them some physical and financial items but also an inheritance rich in Christ. Even though they dont look like us they will have full rights as sons to our inheritance (no matter how small that may be). In Galatians 4:4-7 we are told that Christ came to redeem us and give us adoption as sons. As sons we will be co-heirs with Christ, receiving heaven, eternal life and God will be our portion. We are no longer treated as slaves, but as sons!!!!

Similarity #5
E and B just took on a whole new family.....us, grandparents, uncles, cousins, church family, school familys, SWBTS family. Our family has laughed with us, mourned with us and loved on us. In the same way, when you accept christ you are welcomed into the family of Christ, the body of believers. I shared with them how our church Wedgwood, had been able to see that body in a very physical way as christians around the world encouraged them after the shootings ten years ago.

I then explained that there were two very big differences as well for my students spiritual adoption and my kids adoption.

Difference #1
For the next six months CPS can pop in and out of our home as they please. Adam and I have to daily document what our kids eat, the activities they are involved in, the medications they take, the injuries they accrue, the things we do to become better parents, etc. We are essentially proving ourselves worthy to be these kids parents. Luckily, God does not ask us to clean up our act and proves ourselves worthy before coming to him. Romans 10:9 says that if we confess Christ then we shall be saved. Not saved in 6 months and not saved after we have done all these things but SAVED-automatically.

Difference #2
No matter how much I tan and lay out and apply lotions I will never have that beautiful Hispanic skin of kiddos's. No matter how much Adam curls, perms or gels his hair he will never have kiddo's tight tight curly afro. The kids will never have Adam and I's bright blue eyes either....it just ain't gonna happen. However, as Christians we can begin to look and act like Christ more and more every day. It takes a daily denial of ourself and allowing God to work though us but we can look like him in our attitudes, behavior, speech and actions.

That was the jist of it, I am still thinking of other similarities and differences every day. I think its a neat way to use our personal story to show others how awesome both physical and spiritual adoption is and how God is the creator of this idea.


Thursday, March 3, 2011

Dinnertime at the Harvells

This is a great video of a weekend dinner at our house.

Funny kids

I have taken a small break from blogging for two reasons. 1) my husband needed the computer every night this week as he is presenting this weekend and 2) I have fallen asleep around 8:30 every night this week because I am exhausted :).
Funny highlights of this week include:

Goober stays with me on Tuesdays for volleyball practice. I asked him if he wanted to make a book while we waited between the end of school and the beginning of volleyball practice. He said yes but said he had to go get ready. He ran in my art closet and a couple minutes later came back out with a pair of latex gloves on and held his hands up like a mad scientist saying " now i am ready"!!!! Second, during volleyball practice he likes to hassle the girls, which they love. While they were running laps he stood at the beginning point saying " come on slowpokes, I can run faster than that"!! Third, during practice he was rolling around on this cart and all of sudden we hear a crash, look over and he is lying on the floor in front of the bleachers. Without missing a beat or looking around to see if anyone was looking at him he said " dont worry, i'm okay". We died laughing!!

At dinner tonight we asked Goob how he liked living here so far and he said " its okay, but I dont like the fake flowers :). Then he saw me documenting his day -which we have to do daily for both of them- and when I told him what I was doing he said " oh i know, day one I was nervous to come here, day two-we played, day three- i wasn't nervous anymore and I got used to y'all, day four we played, day five --dad and I built and today we ate pizza.....yup that sums it up :). Too bad he forgot that he has been here for three and a half weeks now!! Tonight when we were praying he prayed for each one of his classmates and their parents. Then he said , " and all God's children said HeyMan". I said "amen" to correct him and he said " Yes, HeyMan".......I had to run out of his room before I lost it!!!!! :).

Goober got his first behavior mark at school yesterday for fighting with a classmate about where they stood in line. We talked about it at home. Later on tonight though we had a discussion with him about cheating, after he cheated while playing dominoes with Adam and I. During that discussion he broke down and said he missed his mom. I grabbed him and told him to cry and tell me about her. He said he just missed her because she brought him McDonalds to school for lunch. I told him that I would come eat lunch with him more often but I couldn't bring him McDonalds all the time. He was fine after that. I think he isn't used to being disciplined and the fact that we do it makes him miss people in his past. Most of the time he calls his birth mom by her first name, which is kinda weird too.

Ribbit is just the funniest little girl. She is now saying please for almost everything. She has her babysitters heart and flirts with everyone. She loves pointing to people's shoes and saying " shoes". She is also blowing kisses at everyone now too. When I pick her up from her babysitters she yells " MOMMMYYYY" and runs to me....same with Adam. She still occasionally mixes us up and calls me daddy and him mommy.She also loves to wrestle. Almost every night after dinner we have a crazy time with the kids. We chase Goob around the house and jump on beds. I pretend to not know karate and do crazy jumps at him on the bed which he thinks is hilarious. Adam carries him around by his feet and pretends to want to eat him. During all of this Ribbit chases us too, just laughing and acting like she is going to grab us. She loves for you to scoop her up and tickle her neck. She loves to bounce on the bed with us. Its a fun fun time for all of us and keeps the kids from asking when they can watch TV or worrying about when bedtime is. It really is the highlight of my day...especially because I get to kiss all over Goob and Ribbit and they just laugh and laugh!!!!

The only other item worth sharing is that I spoke in chapel today comparing my kids adoption to my students spiritual adoption in Christ. I will post that on here soon as I think that its a very neat thing that God has revealed to Adam and I through this whole journey......the binding power of our adoption by the court system and how we are forever bonded to God through Christ....Romans 8:38.

Countdown to Spring Break -7 days!!!!!!