Tuesday, December 25, 2007

Rubys First Christmas with Family

Originally uploaded by snapsfornatalie

A sneek peek at what our Christmas was like at Grandmas...and Christmas Eve at our home.

Saturday, December 22, 2007

A day away...happy birthday Jenni!

Every now and then God blesses me with what I call a "Fat Pants friend", let me explain. Late at night after dinner my favorite thing to do is get in my sweat pants, its the time where I can just wear those pants and feel free. I wont dare wear it to the store or let anyone see me in them. However I will wear them with you if I am very comfortable I have a few of those sweethearts in my life...if you have seen me in them...your one of my fat pants friends :) Yesterday I had the privilege to spend some time with a couple of those girls. Jen had a birthday and we celebrated it with a day at the spa, if you live in South Sound area this is a fabulous idea to do as a girl date. We went to the Olympus Spa entry fee is $35 and you could spend all day going in and out of Saunas and Hot rooms and Jens favorite bathing in the nude (can you read the sarcasm?) You are greeted at the door and when checked in you leave your shoes right at the front in Korean styled Cubbies, where we also left our worries and troubles. You are provided with a wam bathrobe and a snazzy cap.....oh the part we had a challenge was is you have to be quiet and respectful and we are not that crowd! I can't tell you how freeing it was to disrobe only to find that all the women were imperfect and mis-shaped as me. We then ate at a Korean Restaurant at the spa in our bathrobes, it was divine. Thanks Jen and Heather for this awesome time, I had a blast. Oh and Thank you to my Dh who took a day off to give me a day off. The rest of my "Fat pants" friends I am up for this anytime!

Tuesday, December 18, 2007

Bloggies :)

Entering the new world of Adoption I have found wonderful friends through the Internet, silly I first thought. But I meet my sweet friend Suzi through it and now I have meet "On the phone", but it felt like I was in her living room drinking a cup of coffee and listening to her heart, some very precious ladies. Traci who got a referral for a son a few weeks ago and now Julie who got a referral for a baby girl who is so sweet. The funny thing is that Julie and I never spoke until one day I call her to order this must have Shirt and we just chatted like we got of the phone a few hours prior, we leave comments and email. Julie and I laughed at how insane we are, she was so cute to confess to me how excited she is about her referral and waiting for that call. PLEASE I took my phone and cell phone with me to the rest room and put the phone on vibrate in my back pocket so I can vacuum. I would check the dial tone if my phone had not rung in a few hours and would await the biweekly emails from our agency. I know I am not the only one! I joke that we will all get together one day for a Blog reunion and all meet for real. When I heard that Julie got her referral I called her, after I felt a little silly like why did I do that, but I was so excited for her. Congrats to you guys Josh and Julie. Julie and Traci meet and became close friends through AGCI adoptions also. I love to see how God gives us each other for comfort for laughs and for reality checks! Thanks Bloggies!

Saturday, December 15, 2007

Sara Groves,

For those going to ET

I often ponder on what words I would bestow to future parents on way to Ethiopia, weather your in the process of waiting for travel or process of waiting for a referral or process of thinking about it. I believe you should know how the country can change the you that you have known. If any of you have been on a mission trip you know you return and say you will never be the same but a few weeks go on and you go back to your normal daily musings of life and then by the time you know it the ripples of what you saw has no affect on you any longer. Perhaps this in my own experience on my time in Ethiopia but I am changed from the inside out from what my eyes have seen. I lay in bed and I think about the streets filled with children. The children calling out to me "Mamma, Food!" the kids getting beat by the stick when they beg too close to the restaurants. The babies with no diapers, no blankets, no mom, no dad. The mothers begging for a meal to feed their child strapped to their boney bodies. I think about this as my 4 year old begs for another snack, as I clean off the plates of the tables and see the leftovers. It is a constant in my mind, and I wonder is this just me?

I want to let you know future parents of Ethiopian children, that what you are doing will change you, more than you changing the life of a child it will change YOU! It will remind you of those hurting beyond the borders, it will teach you that you really don't need that much. For some it may burn images in your mind forever for others it may just be a mission to go be united and get back to living. I believe that the ones that have been affected have been touched for a Divine reason. Perhaps to return, perhaps for future mission trips, or perhaps to pray for those families in need.

I was not prepared for the things I did see in Ethiopia even though I have been oversees and to third world countries. Ethiopia is much different. It is close to my heart.

You will be overwhelmed when you step off the plane, you will be surrounded by the unknown language and some for the first time may witness what a foreigner feels when he gets off the plane in America. You will be awestruck by the poverty. You will be overcome with emotion as you wait to be united especially if you have to wait one night. Embrace it! Embrace the people, get out of the hotel. Learn a few phrases in Amharic. Learn to say Yes with no words (you raise your eyebrow and make a small grunt sound and you push your chin out). Take pictures of the kids and let them see themselves in the camera. Let go of your American expectation of order. Taste injera (once is enough :) Don't eat the cheese that looks like feta! Don't hold your head up high, and humble yourself. Remember always that this country is apart of you now.

Tuesday, December 11, 2007


Tell me something...does your vision of tree cutting sound romantic and wonderful and ends up being something completely unplanned and revised? For instance every year I notice that when we go cut a tree down all the other families have coco and soup in their cars and I always say the same thing...."Oh that's a great idea I have to remember next year"...and then I forget. Not this year I remembered. I also remembered that we get so cold So I made the boys wear face masks to keep warm, I did this year :) So there we are at the tree farm and my four year old borrowed some boots from grandmas house, she has a plethora of boots. We didn't pack shoes for him because he would get some from grandmas where we dropped Ruby (too cold.) So we got there and found out that the boots were to small, he could not fit his fat foot in there for nothing, we even tried switching with brother who also has big feet, I do to :)! So poor A had to walk with his feet slanted in his boot, we felt so bad he ended up on our shoulders all 62 pounds of him. Then after waiting in line for Santa it was if the boys brain melted too....they forgot what to say, they were speechless, they have a list, but Santa must have scared it out of them. We finally got a tree and I had envisioned Christmas music in the back ground the house smelling like fresh baked cookies, and warm cider. The music was a yes, no cookies or cider. Its okay we got the tree in and I don't know if this ever goes smoothly with your family but our tree usually gets in with a few foul words under Franks breath, those darn screws. Then oh yea dinner.....umm....Chinese?! That's our oldest sons favorite words, Chinese take-out. We ate with our chopsticks oh so yum and bad for you Chinese takeout and laughed at our plan we had a laugh when A our four year old made up a song about eggnog. We gave our kids as we do each year a Hallmark Ornament. J got of course Chinese takeout ornament, A got a red bike because this year he learned to ride, and Ruby we found the best one for her its an African little girl.
So it was all different in my head but that's what being a family is about making the most of the moment and not sweating the small stuff....so for Christmas Eve, I have it planned out. Ham, stuffing, mashed potato's, salad, Nice roaring fire, Frank will sit down and read out of Luke, Lets see how this one ends up.
Do you have wonderful tradtions that go haywire and not as planned?

Saturday, December 8, 2007

No Really what's new?

Puppies...oh gotta love puppies. This is our kids joy and I gotta say there is something special about a boy and his dog or a big boy for that matter. Oh and Ruby giggles with kisses, I don't know if this is safe, but he comes up to kiss her every now and then, Its so cute.
Oh and remember that my Darling and I celebrated our 10th so the kids spent the night at grandmas and you would think we would have arranged some romantic evening! However I crawled into bed and there was ruffling going on under the sheets and it was not my sweetheart or I! When Dh starting giggling I looked and there was our Willie (THE DOG SICKOS!), enjoying this one- on- one with his parents. My sweetheart wears him in a sling around the house, and really loves him. I have to get into the love here, I am picking up poo of the ground and making sure the toys are not chewed, ahh....A puppy is like one more child no kidding.

We are happy!

Long time no post, I know. Its just been a busy few weeks. Many downs, to much to share but you know in the midst of crazy I remember to count my blessings, I have this many and tons more. So are these not a cute bunch?? Congrats to the families that just made it home From Ethiopia with there little bundles and to you who just found out, Tracie Congrats!! So do you miss my long drawn out postings or what? :)

Tuesday, December 4, 2007

Please read this amazing story

We traveled with our sweet friends Jen and Larry to get there little girl from Ethiopia. Then the Lord had a surprise the mom brought in this little girls older brother and baby brother. Oh I cant even say it just read this blog and you will understand how amazing our Lord truly is!

Saturday, December 1, 2007

Mothebridge of Love

A must have for adopted families. I love this book ....take a look. Its on Ruby's Christmas list...hint hint daddy :)!

Thursday, November 29, 2007

Happy 10 to us!

My sweetheart and I have just made 10 years of marriage, with our thrifty budget, and Christmas coming up we have IOUs to each other of a vacation....until then, free mementos will have to do :) Here is another attempt of romance......
Ten Reason why I love him!
1. He makes me coffee every single morning and when we run out he buys me a cup at our local coffee joint.
2. He is all hands on deck kinda man when he is home.
3. He is so funny, I kid you not, we laugh so hard sometimes I cry!
4. He asks if I want a mid-evening snack every now and then..... and its only because he wants permission to eat it himself!
5. He is the tower of our home!
6. He sees the silver lining reminds me to keep my chin up.
7. He is kind-hearted, loving, merciful,tender, and a rock.
8. He pays the bills, I hate doing it, and tells me everything is fine when the balance is at 0!
9. A heart full of hope.
10. He loves me for who I am for who I was and for who I am becoming. Enough said!

Love, you are my anchor, my north star, Happy tenth to us and to another 10++++++.

Wednesday, November 14, 2007

My Crib mate and BFF ...Grace!

After my mayhem yesterday (read below) we meet up with Suzi and Grace. Oh I could have cried after seeing Grace again, I was so proud of her cheeks, good job baby Grace! It was a blast to see these girls look at each other and smile and make noises . It was nice to talk to Suzi and remember Ethiopia together, and our heart for the people there. Suzi and I while shopping around were asked several time if the girls were twins. If you must know they matching PJs were planned :) Looking forward to growing our girls together Suzi!

Through these doors....

Ruby had a special appointment yesterday at UW just to find out why she isn't putting on much weight, I was not referred by my pediatrician, its just me a mom freaking out. During our visit the specialist heard a murmur in Ruby's heart and wanted her to see a cardiologist at Children's soon (not what I was expecting at all). If you know about our family, Hudson our third son passed away in the ICU cardiac wing at Children's. I know cardiologist at Children's, I love them I just never want to see them again. But there it was again in my face, I felt dizzy headed. The specialist was amazed by the "medical" knowledge I had on hearts, "are you medical"? No, I explained about Hudson and she phoned the doctors right away to have Ruby seen. I had to go back into those doors, the last time I exited was when I left Hudson's body. So you can see I had my heart in my throat. We went into the cardiologist they listened and reported that Ruby had a happy heart, nothing to worry about. Okay I can leave now...except my body pushed me to enter number 4 on the elevator and I walked to the ICUs front desk to see if my favorite nurses were at work. Front desk lady: "hi, you are here to see...?" me "Leslie, I don't know if she remembers me..(I say my name). Front lady says "Teabo Teabo...Hudson's mom?" me "YES!" in the next few minutes the nurses came out and begged me to stay to see the doctors there was a crowd around Ruby, the first time at Children's hospital, I felt joy. I walked the halls after leaving the ICU and went to my quiet spot where I would escape and just cry out to heaven while my stay last year. I smiled as I remember Hudson. As I walk I see parents thier heads hung low, there eyes filled with worry a look familiar to me. A piece of me left when Hudson passed on, one that I don't believe will ever return to me, however Ruby has brought so much peace and joy to our hearts. I thank God for bringing me full circle to see this place again, my heart not healed just bigger.

Sunday, November 11, 2007

We have adopted again!

We have adopted another addition into our home...this is Wilson (Willie for short). F and I had been looking into possible dogs to fill our void of our black lab Luke, he went to go live on a farm early spring this year. It was a big loss for us and our kids have begged for him and still do. F said he can't come back from the farm :( So...we had been looking at what type of dog would be a great fit for our family. Yesterday F asked me to look at Basset Hounds online, I found a website that sold puppies for a small fortune and then there it was big bright letters "free puppy", so I clicked on it and J was right next to me as soon as he saw it He said "Mom we have got to have him", Willie is free because he was born with a half stub in the front and the description for him said he needed a loving family and that the families will be screened. So we talked about it and called. The owner called this morning and said there are 7 other families looking at him when we told her our children had prayed about him, she discovered we are believers. At the end of the conversation she said he is ours!! Willie will need some help encouraging him to walk, and I am sure my hands will be full for a bit, but the kids are in heaven! To see there little faces light up about him and to hear them excited to help him learn to walk oh it just makes my day! We will be united with Willie the weekend after Thanksgiving.

Saturday, November 3, 2007

Do We grow in Heaven?

The kids and I went for a walk and bike ride on a beautiful fall afternoon. The park is right next to the cemetery that Hudson's body lies. I played with the boys and Ruby sat in the stroller giggling at my attempt to climb the monkey bars, wosh, something about your body after kids...hmmm! I was not surprised when "J" wanted to go walk to Hudson's grave, I knew it was coming. The kids rode there bikes and I f followed behind preparing myself for what emotion may come. The boys found Hudson without direction from me. They set their bikes on the wet grass and ran to his grave, I counted the steeps from where the grass meets the road right to his grave so not to really think about it. 51 to be exact. I watched "J" dig his hand in his pocket a serious look on his face, he looked for something to leave with Hudson. He found a wrapper from a piece of gum he knelt down and put in on the grave. "A" climbed a statue near Hudson's grave thinking it was Jesus, he said "look mom someone froze Jesus!" I could not help but chuckle as I see his legs wrapped around the statue of St. Matthew. It really made that moment not so sad for me. We have made this a normal for us, visiting Hudson. I so ache at times, and dream to just feel his skin oh but one more time! But I must settle for the way the dust feels on my fingertips as I wipe it away from his grave side.
We walk away and "A" yells (I am sure he think he is talking normal) "Hudson we love you and we miss you so much, see you later." J then asks me "Do we grow in Heaven, like will Hudson still be small when we see him?" I baffle through what I think may be a perfeclty good explanation, but I loose him in translation. Then he stops his bike really fast looking at the ground picks up something I didn't see and says he has to do something. He takes off fast on his bike back from where we came stops at Hudson's bends down and runs back to his bike and meets up with me. "What did you do," I ask, "I found something better for Hudson." he replies so matter of fact. Very sweet.

Thursday, November 1, 2007

Happy Halloween!

My two Ninjas, yes one of them lost his shoe, and has a pumpkin muffin in hand! And the other one has his soccer cleats :) Those are my boys however! Did you happen to see the cute mermaid up above and yes, she is always smiling, ask anyone! Cute huh!

Thursday, October 18, 2007

Making Roo Laugh

Dad has mastered the skill to making Ruby laugh. It goes as follows:
#1 Make eye contact
#2 bring her close and make a sound forming and O with your mouth
#3 Scoot her bottom away and continue making funny sound
= a happy baby!

Tuesday, October 16, 2007

GO HAWKS......(maybe next time:)

Frank had a great Sunday it went a little like this:
Sunday October 14 Schedule :
11am Tailgate party start
4: Seahawks Vs. Saints
7-8: Weep the loss of the Hawks
9: Party to cheer up the losing of the Hawks!
11:pm back home with voice loss due to cheering of the Hawks that lost:(

Friday, October 12, 2007

Waiting Children......

All God's Children our adoption Agency has children waiting for a home at Hannah's Hope Ethiopia the home where we got Ruby from. I got a flyer a few days ago and there is one particular child that I was drawn to, lets call her "S". "S" is seven years old, so bright and wonderful. We meet "S" at Hannah's Hope when we went to be united to our sweet baby girl Ruby. S, was at the home looking for a family since February. Since Hannah's Hope is not an Orphanage and it is a Transitional home "S" or any of the other children can not stay long term. When I opened the flyer and I saw her face I was overcome with emotion, I remembered her face as we pulled away from Hannah's Hope our van filled with children and thier new families. That day as we drove back to the airport we saw those somber faces and we didn't say much to one another. The kids were saying farewell to thier friends, waving and running behind our van, I turned and looked at these faces I left behind, I left my heart there also.

I mentioned the flyer to Frank and he immediately said we can go back! Can you believe it my husband, Mr. tight budget :) We cannot of course we have to wait 6 months before we start on the process again, and budget wise we are flat broke. Are we thinking about it, YOU BET! We can't now but if you know anyone that is wanting to grow their family through adoption there are waiting children everywhere yes....but my heart is close to the ones in Ethiopia. So I will say, open your heart to the possibility of an older child in Ethiopia. If you are interested in sponsorship also you can contact AGCI, you may sponsor a child or Hannah's Hope Home for as little as 35 dollars a month, okay now I sound like a commercial :) The picture above is of the kids shoes at Hannahs Hope.

Thursday, October 11, 2007

Look who is five months! (NOT ME)

Rubsters (what my "A'' call her) is now five months. How is she? Wonderful, really she is an easy baby. Cries to eat, when tired, or when she wants an extra cuddle. Someone asked me last night, how is it having an adoptive baby vs. carrying a child in your womb for 9 months. I have read so many literate on who different it will be for an adoptive child, things she may experience what to do when she does, things others will ask and even ways to respond. I have not read about what I will feel for her, I thought it would be a given. Yet no, in the beginning I had to remind myself that she is mine, she is crying...hey that's your baby go get her! I know its strange and she did not grown in my womb but she did grow above it in my heart and that was my connection to her. It was a small process for me hard to explain because you would thing goodness she is so adorable and I waited for her so why not instant? I felt ashamed of that feeling and now I realize its very normal to feel this way at first. That feeling does not last long, trust me.
She is MINE, but I do know that I am sharing her with her birth mom, and I think about her every day. What she must be feeling facing yet another day without her baby, I know this feeling all to well. I know it will never be something she just stops thinking about one day, I know at night when she prays she prays for Ruby. For her life, I just know she does. I see her in Ruby they look so much alike. I talk to Ruby about her when I lay her in bed and say "Mommy loves you, daddy loves you, Jesus loves you and Mulu Mom loves you too!" I stare at the picture of her mom holding her and I study her face, her hands, her dress, and I pray for her heart. That she would know Ruby is doing well, that she would feel loved by those around her. That Ruby would grow to understand and love her.

Wednesday, October 10, 2007

Yum Yum....

First cereal feeding....hummm, not sure we like it yet!

Natalie from the Block:Florida!

last week Ruby and I returned from a five day trip to Florida. As the photo journalist that I am I decided to bring my camera and as the space cadet mom brain I forgot to charge the battery before I left. So this is the only picture I captured before my camera died. Its of my Mamma (grandma)Maria. She has cancer and my trip there was last minute. She found out the cancer had returned to her body and she was not sure what she could do for treatment. Her body is to weak for Chemo and she had already tried a form of radiation. My sister, and cousins flew in for a weekend to spend time with her. It was wonderful because I am so far away, I forget where I am from. Within the first few hours of my arrival I was reminded. I love the Northwest so people that represent the NW, I mean no harm about the following. There is a HUGE difference between people from the North West and the South! First the culture in the South is very warm and friendly and there in an open door policy you can just drop on by with no call and you really don't have to have the house clean they just want to see you. Now the NW, has a different feeling, and I learned over the past ten years of living here what it is, the culture here is very reserved yet sweet, people call days in advance to come see you, (perhaps that's where the need to clean comes in lots of notice!), they want to talk about there feelings alot, (not a bad thing, in moderation!)they don't want to impose so to not upset you, they want to respect your feelings, also a great thing. Now there are both wonderful cultures, both very unique, yet very different. Its a culture I have came to understand and can now appreciate, my kids are now Northwest/southern :) I wanted to be so far from my own when Frank and I first got married that I tried all the above to acclimate to my new surroundings ,you know talk about my feelings (every one I had) can I just say I SUCK at it. Yes I have tried and it made me put my big fat foot in the mouth plenty of times, its just not me! So going back to my roots reminds me I am from the South. I am the drop by kinda kid, I really don't want to analyze my emotions, I like them right in my own head! Does this mean I don't respect people that are reserved, NO! I am just saying I am content with who God has made me, and a huge part of me is built from my family. Seeing them for who they are gave me a graver appreciation for who I am. Sure, they are loud, and they fight out in the open, but they love hard. They don't hold a grudge and then want to talk about it later, they just flat out tell ya (sometimes not nice:).
They responded to Ruby with open arms and were so happy to meet her, this made my heart swell with joy! I will post more pictures of my trip when I beg my cousin for her copies.

Tuesday, September 25, 2007

Oh Mother where are thou?

My oldest son now seven, is in love with his sister. Now I am not just saying that he really is captured by her. When she came home he confessed to me that he didn't think she was so cute by her pictures (:) but when he saw her he thinks she is soooooo cute! He loves to feed her and a few times I have caught him wearing her in my sling ...don't worry we have really chatted about this one. I love to see the way my children have responded to there new sibling. My second was not very sure about his new baby sister. Still his role in the family has been affirmed over and over, now I just think he acts up to continue the reminders. My older guy really wants to have more siblings from Ethiopia (AS DO I:) time will tell... He tends to be overprotected of her, he will remind me "I thought no one can hold her!" or "Only you are suppose to feed her mom, remember?".
Its a very different venture for them, mom didn't grow her in her tummy, so they didn't really have a hard fact about her until the picture came. Even then...still difficult to grasp. My middle son still asks if we are going to take her back, hah! One of the things I appreciated of my oldest is he knows this baby does not replace his little brother that went on to heaven. He will not ever let me say I have three kids, no, for him its always four kids that are apart of the family. I love that.

Saturday, September 22, 2007


This entry is about the new found interest in by boys...POKEMON!
A few weeks ago a cousin gave my oldest son two cards, my son showed a few neighbors who in turn gave him not kidding about 115 cards. We have no idea about these cards except that its very controversial among Christians such as the ever popular Harry Potter. It really bugs me when believers do not want to participate in something because it just seems bad, instead of knowing all the facts. I would rather tell my kids the fact in an age appropriate reasoning along with scripture, than to just say God told me so, or its just bad. Blindly we let these cards reside in our home our kids spent hours "trading" with each other and looking at them, I listened in on there "trades" and they really have no idea what they mean...so I did nothing about it. I let the cards come in because of there interest in them. Our oldest has been in school for a whole two weeks now and I have been noticing something I am not liking, his obsession with the cards, at first we passed it as just new and a fascination. Yet everything that he brought home in his writing had to do with Pokemon, his birthday book written by the kids in his class all had to do with Pokemon everyone knew this was his interest. The first book he checked out at school...you guessed it POKEMON. Then brothers starting fighting over it and before you know it he ate Pokemon, slept dreaming about Pokemon and woke up thinking about Pokemon. We took them away for a Pokemon time out. We also needed to talk about the newness of this interest it spread life wildfire so we didn't even had the chance to talk.
F and I wanted to research and find out the history of the cards the game etc. Pray about it, when I prayed the same verse came into my mind..."Train up a child in the way he should go". Great no verse that says don't do Pokemon or do it, so I had to continue to pray. I had this unsettling peace about it, and I didn't like it. In my research, I knew what I would find also super charismatic Christan's saying it was from the devil....no facts. So I found it the site with the facts on what each cards means where the card game originated from etc. We learned tons of both reasons why not to do it and why its considered harmless, both have great argument supporting their agenda. I can't write about them all. Then I also found so many parents with the same complaint..over obsession and addiction to cards. I know that's strong...but its exactly what it is. We learned about many crimes committed at elementary schools because of the cards, fights, stabbing, stealing. This has not happened yet I know at our school, but I can see my sons obsession with them starting out Innocent and maybe gradually getting not so innocent. Such as sneaking behind our back to take them to school, when we already said no. Checking the books out at the Library when we told him no books allowed etc. Then like me the parents had this odd feeling about it , but could not put of finger on it. The more I researched the cards the more I realized I didn't want this to be apart of our family. (Yes a little backwards) we have both now vowed to really check things out before letting the kids do it...we were so good at it and now it just seems like we get a little more slack or comfortable because of there age.
All that to say we are done with POKEMON! We decided that our sons were very impressible and can not tell the difference between fantasy and real life just yet. We Chatted with teachers and they will happily comply...I think they don't like it either. This was hard to tell the boys, lots of tears and anger. We chatted more with our oldest and explained what idols are and that they can become anything such as Internet, TV, POKEMON :) things that take away our focus from school, family and God most of all. We both shared that we all have to shift focus sometimes when that happens and pray that God would help us meditate on Him and the things he wants us to mediate on. I just share this....only to share the daily happenings of our life here at the Tribe. We too are learning parents and I just love that I am able to share with some moms (mm) and dads (thanks CW) my concern without judgementalness (is that a word?) Thanks for reading.

Thursday, September 20, 2007

Today is day 38!

Day 38 of being new mommy and daddy to Ruby....WE LOVE IT! On Monday we had our first post placement and guess what we passed :) Ruby was happy with our Social Worker and just cooed and giggled. So here you go Suzi these new pictures are for you. Suzi is my new friend, I meet online though an Ethiopian adoption group we just so happened to be in the same state and both adopting a baby girl and got them within one week of each other....the best part is that we worked with the same agency so our girls are Crib mates...well across the crib but they were at Hannah's Hope together. We meet at our agencies picnic and chatted about travel dates, and our excitement. I got to love all over her little Grace while I was in Ethiopia. Ruby misses Grace so lets hang soon!

Saturday, September 15, 2007

Introducing baby Natalie

You may have thought I would have posted this a while ago?!! My little sister Sharlene who is two years younger than me ( I wont say :) had a baby on August 22. They are so proud of her I am too...I was just waiting for photos, and being lazy about writing. My BIL and sister have decided to honor guess who me! They named there sweet love Natalie after me. I am honored and touched by this, its a huge deal to be named after someone! I have had things named after me..like "Oh you pulled a Natalie!" that would be whatever fill in the blank.
I come from a strong Hispanic family and there is a bond with sisterhood ( I am sure its with many races, but my family believes its because we are Hispanic:) My sister and I have a very unique bond where we can finish each others sentences, were we can read each other faces and know exactly what we mean. We were raised in the Virgin Islands and our culture was so different than where we live today. We had no mall, no intranet, no computer, no cell phones, no IM, Text, no answering machine, okay have I just described everyone raised in the 80's?! To share a little about how different I need to explain my family dynamic a little ..bear with me...
My grandmother (she is like the Godmother in a mafia movie, she even looks like it and calls the shots!) Maria has three daughters. One Aunt "TIA" Yvonne the oldest who is hilarious and loving and sweet and WISE (due to old age :) she has a daughter Monica. Then comes my mom who has three daughters and a son. Then my Tia Cynthia, fire and Ice, Sweetheart and dangerous and who has two children one son named after my uncle Oscar married to Cynthia and a daughter named after her Cynthia. So...you see we have Nine women in the intermediate family. That may not seem a big deal to you...however these are nine HISPANIC women. We have been trained in the art or listening to 4 conversations at once, talking with our hands, stretching the truth( I promise, I don't do this anymore!),greeting each other with a kiss, and gathering in the kitchen! We can go without talking for weeks and pick up right where we left off. I compare my family to a mafia, because I promise you that if anyone were to mess with us, my Aunts more Tia Cynthia would come after you. And it doesn't stop there, we have cousins who are like sisters, and brothers, Uncles who are like dads, Tia's who are like mothers. Also we come together for each other. I cant tell you how many times my Tia's have called me after I came home with Ruby to check how I am doing. So this being said my sister and I have a super glue bond, I can't get rid of her and she can't me...plus we fear a beating from my Tia Cynthia! The other thing about my sister....I have a confession I tourchered her as a child. Yes, me Natalie, I made her life a living hell. For instance one day I pretended that I lost my voice we were about 4 and 6 and she started talking to me all of a sudden I grabbed my throat and started to whisper "I can't talk...Sharlene get help...I can't....Cough Cough and then my voice gone! Sharlene so innocent started to cry "Natalie...please please talk...Oh no...mommy..." I think this went on for a few hours my sister was moved my the miracle when I started to speak again. Then she had a cat, "Mesh" my brother and I dropped from the top story a few times to prove the point that cats fall on there feet always. Then my sisters greatest fear Gun-go-lows, a worm that looked like a millipede, my idea was to have my brother and I collected them in a cup we did it to the top and dumped them on her head. I know horrid, yet she names her daughter after me. Speechless!

Friday, September 14, 2007


This post goes out to the my SIL! She confessed to me that she checks my blog daily to see if I have posted. I was a little embarrassed, I was under the impression that my blog would be to share my adoptive journey to families in the same journey and far away relatives. My SIL lives in my own town. So I am honored that she checks in on me here. On my silly thoughts and daily musings. Let me share a little about her, ( I may embarrass her a little, but in a good way) of course through my eyes. She is great girl who has evolved into an amazing woman! I have know her for ten years and we have had plenty of ups and downs as we tried to figure out our role in the new family. I am married to her little brother and she by natured is a Big sister. I am so proud of the woman that she is. She has four boys that she loves with her whole heart, she has a great guy on her side that she serves without regret or apprehension. She has a Big Heart, and has a wonderful way of expressing it. She is great with words, she knows exactly how to cheer me up. She is joyful and content. She is thoughtful and kind. To share a little of the thoughtfulness...
The picture above is of a "Ruby" ring she presented to me shortly after we accepted our referral of Ruby. She wanted me to have a "Ruby" while I waited for my "Ruby". The other picture is of Ruby's first doll, she found this beautiful Gerber baby 1979 (the year I was born) doll on EBay. She and the seller now have an Internet friendship because of this doll. It looks just like Ruby. When she saw Ruby's picture the day we found out about her, she fell to her knees and cried. How amazingly sweet was that?!
My greatest joy with my SIL is her precious "Brewster" her son. My nephew was born in December a few short months after Hudson passed away. I was amazed that my love for him was part of my healing for both of us.
If you read this I hope that you know how precious you are to me. How proud I am of the person you have become, and how much I treasure you sweet "A".

Monday, September 10, 2007


Let me tell you a little about Lynette Johnson . Lynette is an amazing photographer that has created an non-profit organization called Soulumination. This team of photographers take pictures of critically ill children they capture the child for who they are without the tubes without the one hundred lines running from there weak bodies. We were fortunate to have her take Hudson's pictures I treasure these picture forever. Lynette invited us to her home/studio in Fremont for a short documentary about her work called Portraits of Hope. I had not expected to walk into this studio and feel the urge to weep. We were greeted by Lynette right at the door with a tender and warm embrace. Her courtyard was full of pictures hanging on the outer wall of the children she has been fortunate to meet and sadly had to say good bye t0. Children like my sweet Hudson. We entered into her studio to see the film, Frank and I were quiet as we reflected the priceless gift this woman has. We reflected on our Hudson, and we were brought to tears. I walked out of the room to get fresh air and noticed a woman who had the same pin I was given at Christmas from Lynette, It has a picture of a child. I knew that she too had lost a soul, so I asked, "who is your angel?" she responded my angel has been an angel for 10 days. I lost control of my composure and wept with this woman who lost her sweet Brandon. A woman came beside us and I learned she is the mom to an angel also Blake. We didn't have to say much we just knew the pain, the hole in the heart that will never again be the same. We reflected on the things our children have taught us through their little lives. We hurt, we love, we heal, but together we know without much words spoken, we know the depth of what a heart can carry. We also rejoiced in the presence of some sweet girls, Channon, Charlotte, and we got to introduce Ruby, there is something so healing about seeing a family find love in another child after the loss of another. The time with Lynette was healing and will be treasured.

I also had time to reflect on the friendships that I formed through Hudson's life. The death of a child or of a love one does test the truest of friends. The friends that wept with me, continue to heal with me and were really there, are friends that stick closer than a brother. We visited with on of these special treasures after Soulumination it was just what we needed! Thanks Mattie and Tricia!

Tuesday, September 4, 2007

Back to school Night..

Back to school and yes already. The boys meet there teachers today. A is in a four day Preschool program and J is in first grade. They are excited and I am nervous my almost seven (September 9th) and will be in school all day. I know he is where he is suppose to be I don't question that I have a peace about him there, I am just going to miss him. A my monkey (4 on the 21st of September), will be in a preschool that meets at an Elementary school the preschool will assist A with his small speech delay and help him establish more awareness of his surroundings, this one makes me chuckle because A is completely fearless...no joke he walks into traffic without thought, so lets see how this lesson pans out! Its J first day of school tommrow and he got to choose what we eat tonight and gets to choose the mornings breakfast also...I know I am trying to be super mom here!
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Pray for sweet Abby Riggs!!