Saturday, March 23, 2013

Boys' room

Last summer, I started redoing the boys' room. It needed a new coat of paint and a new bed (yay!). Andrew was sad to lose the aqua-blue walls but I knew I would be putting that color back into the room in different ways. I decided to use a map theme so I could highlight some of the things that make our family so unique and teach the boys about their birth countries. I have had ideas pinned on my pinterest boards for a long time and have been collecting things to make/assemble for over a year. Finally, I finished it! (almost)
The boys really like it--especially their personalized book shelves. And Andrew is glad to have some of the blue back. 

Last year, I made the boys these fleece blankets that look like their flags. I still need to finish (start) Wilson Manno's blanket. 

Under Andrew's loft bed.

Map banner made by Gramma.

 Maps of their birth countries.

The toy chest in this picture was made by my dad. We used it when we were kids. It has had several transformations and is sturdy enough to last through several more.

This lamp has been on one of my pinterest boards for over a year. 

Tuesday, March 19, 2013

Four Eyes

Andrew has glasses! We knew he would need them but the eye doctor said he could wait until closer to 1st grade. He has been squinting a little when playing with legos so we got them now. He was so excited and picked them out himself. He knew exactly what he wanted and after trying on a bunch to humor me, the ones he originally wanted were the ones that looked the best on him. We ordered them last week and he has asked every single day if they were ready. Today was the day!

Handsomer than ever. 

Tuesday, March 12, 2013


It is difficult to put into words all the ways I have been humbled during this adoption process. First, I'm humbled by the idea of being mom to three of the most incredible children I've ever met. 

I am humbled by the generosity of my friends, family and people I've never met. I'm amazed by the way Manno has touched so many lives already. I am in awe of the way God has woven all the details into a beautiful plan and constantly stunned that He has chosen me to be part of that plan. 

My mother reports that the first sentence I ever uttered was, "I do myself". I don't doubt her because it is how I usually operate. I hate asking for help. I feel guilty and weak and inadequate. However, I love helping others. What I've come to realize is that people like being part of Manno's story. They like saying that they helped to bring this amazing child into his new family. They like helping me. And I am learning to stop feeling weak and guilty and to just start feeling grateful.

Last weekend, I received a gift in the mail from a woman who has been a huge support throughout this process. This painting was done by Jodi Queenan (another adoptive mom) and was sent to me by my friend, Gina. She said that when she saw it, she thought of Manno and me and wanted to send it to me. I cried when I opened it--because the painting is beautiful, because I can't wait to be 'flying' home with Manno and because the kindness of people I've never even met 'in real life' constantly surprises and amazes me.

Yesterday, we came home to find a HUGE package waiting outside of our door. I was sure it had been delivered to the wrong house but it hadn't--it was for us. I still had NO CLUE what could be in such a huge box but was eager to find out. When I opened it, I started to cry, again. (I'm not a crier.) It is one of the most beautiful gifts I have ever received. It was a chair from Haiti. Not a Haitian-style chair made here in the US or shipped here in large quantities to be sold to Americans. It is a chair FROM Haiti. My friend, Karen, asked her husband to bring it home on his last trip to Haiti. He did. And after lugging it onto three planes, explaining to the flight attendants what it was and carrying it through all of the airports, she broke the news to him that it was not staying at their house because it was for me. For Manno. Because once (ONCE) I mentioned that I would love to bring back a chair from Haiti for him to have at his desk in our house. 

And then there is the gift I received from so many of you. I told you about a one-day fundraiser I was having through Delicate Fortress--a company run by one woman in her home who has a heart for women and children who are being trafficked.  For one day, Delicate Fortress would donate 25% of all my sales to help pay for Manno's plane ticket home. The owner of the business (who is amazing all by herself and deserves a whole blog post just about the work she is doing) told me to expect to make between $200-400 for the day. She couldn't believe what you guys did. You paid for Manno's plane fare--$880! When the day was over, there were orders from 68 people--representing 20 different states! 

I have learned so many lessons during this adoption but one of the most important ones has been how to accept the help and love of my friends. Thank you all SO much for every single thing you have done to help bring this sweet boy into our family. Every prayer, every kind word, every gift has meant one more step toward our family being complete. Thank you for being such an important part of this amazing journey.