Saturday, March 31, 2012

meet lucy howell

It's finally official. Our adoption of Lucy is final. Done. She's ours forever and ever.
We are so blessed.

You might be thinking... "I thought it was already a done deal, so what is she talking about?"

Adoption is a tricky thing. There are lots of steps to it that most people, unless you are adopting or are very close to someone who is/has, have no idea about. We had to go to our final court hearing to hear a judge pronounce us official. I got to thinking about adoption and it sort of reminded me of a relationship between a man and woman. Random, I know... hang with me. We knew we wanted a baby through adoption so we worked with an agency and met birthmoms (first dates with them). Then we chose a birthmom and she chose us (going out, going steady, in a dating relationship with strong intentions of forever).  During that time we are falling deeply and madly in love with Lucy Jane in the womb. Then Lucy was born and we got to take her home at 2 days old (now we were engaged). We couldn't have loved Lucy any more than we did at this time. She was "ours" and it definitely felt that way. I felt that way being engaged to Cameron- "he's mine." It didn't take the wedding for it to feel real and official. Then we finalized our adoption in court (THE WEDDING DAY). Now we are together forever and her name becomes ours.   Now you get it, right? Not so random anymore.

We had our parents at the courthouse with us, which really meant a lot to us for them to be there. After court we had a lunch at our house and the rest of the family came and ate and loved on our little girl.

Don't you worry- big girl got lots of attention too. I believe I remember uncles and friends of ours spinning her endlessly in the backyard and playing with her. I also remember her getting a little toy from us too. It was like what one might do when bringing home a new baby from the hospital. It's actually been amazing to have Lucy's court date right now. It's given us a very natural outlet for talking with Emily about the process. She's already planning her party for after court. I heard all about the decorations today. :) She can't wait to be a Howell is what she has been telling us. We can't either.

So, Lucy is officially ours. We will get her new birth certificate with our names listed as her parents. We can change her name legally to ours. She is staying forever. Our hearts are so full. Thank you, God, for our little Lu.

Friday, March 23, 2012

new to us truck

To appreciate the cuteness of this post you need to know we went to our agency to sign placement paperwork for Emily. It is papers to make our adoption as formal as it gets until we finalize in court in another 6 months or so. We had talked about what the papers mean and why they are so important (because it means we get to keep you and that everyone will know we are her new parents, etc). That was fresh in her mind when Cam went to buy a car.

Cameron just got a new-to-us old truck. He is really excited about it and I am too. He's wanted a truck since he got rid of his last one. Poor guy has been driving my old car for the past few years. By the way, the old Civic he was driving was my car my fam bought me when I turned 16. I had that car almost 12 years. I was really sad to see it go. So long, Mamajama, you will be missed. (I'm hoping Katie is reading this)

Throughout looking at cars and buying this one in particular, Emily would ask questions about where he was going and what he was doing. One day I heard him explaining it to her that he had to go sign a bunch of papers so he could keep the car, just like we went to sign all those papers to keep you. His explanation had more to it, but you get the point.

Fast forward about a week to this week. I picked up Em from school and she asked where Cameron was. I told her that he was taking care of paperwork for the new truck.

She replied with, "Oh, so he can adopt the truck." :)

Tuesday, March 20, 2012

spring break

 We had a great spring break. It was not relaxing for me. I did not clean my house at all. I did not get one project done off my list. I really like to do that over break. I wanted to get things done for me.

Instead I was reminded how much my life is not my own. Christ, who lives in me, has given me two girls to pour into. He has entrusted them into my care (& Cameron's) and that often means I don't get to do the things I had planned.

Instead of my list, we played on the floor.
 We dug in the backyard. We actually found bricks under the surface. Emily was pretty sure the leprechaun had something to do with them being there.

We watched big sister dig.

We made messes that only got half way cleaned up. The curtain is still pretty shabby... oh well.

We went to the movie at the park and saw Charlie and the Chocolate Factory. 

 We rode bikes and hung out with the cousins.
(Biking and cousins not pictured)
Cameron continued to grow his mustache out for "Mustache March." oh joy.

 We went to the park to try out Emily's new lunchbox. We packed a picnic and then went to play on the playground.

 We did school work at home. Mommy played teacher.
We took Lucy for her 6 month check up. Emily was very concerned about her getting poked so much and was worried about her baby sister. 

 We cheesed it up in our new kitty dress. (thanks, Aunt Susan!) She tries to wear this dress every day. Every single day. I intentionally don't wash it but every couple days.
And Lucy Jane ate food for the first time. She loves it and she sleeps better. All around, a good decision. 

We had a busy spring break. We tried to have pretty "normal" days full of togetherness and not over-the-top things. We are just settling into our new life. It's awesome because it feels like we have gotten into a family rhythm these days. I'm thanking God for that constantly, because it was a little rough before we had it. Hope you had a wonderful week last week.

We go to court to finalize Lucy adoption next week!! I am so excited to have that done and have her officially be a Howell. Then we'll be waiting for Em's.... the fun never ends around here. Wonder when we'll add baby #3 to the mix... maybe we'll wait a while.

Sunday, March 18, 2012

baby dinosaur

We have a baby dinosaur in our house. She is pretty adorable and knows that it's funny. She enjoys making people laugh. Emily and I are giggling in the background. We spent lots of time this day making videos and laughing at them while we watched them again. It was a fun day. Enjoy our little, baby dinosaur. 


Thursday, March 15, 2012

meet emily

Here is the sweetest, prettiest, most energetic and excitable six-year old I know (and I know a lot of six year olds). Isn't just gorgeous? She loves to pose for the camera, as you can see here. She is such a beautiful person, inside and out. I love learning her story and who she is. We are watching and listening to see who God created her to be so we can encourage her to be that to the fullest. 
Sweet Emily has changed our lives forever. Love her! 

 best sisters
 We are so thankful that our girls have each other. They adore one another and it is such a blessing to watch. 

Cameron and I have the most beautiful daughters. They both look just like me so I take all the credit. 
Thanks for loving our family. Please continue to pray for us as we transition Emily into our family and are trying to connect and attach. 

Friday, March 9, 2012


We are figuring out what our new life looks like. It's a whole lot busier, more wonderful, much louder, tougher in ways, and full of Tinkerbell. We are doing well. I haven't posted a lot since we've gotten Emily. We've been figuring life out. We've been playing with toys and connecting. We've been teaching her how our house and family function as we help her to say "goodbye" to the places and people she has been around until a week ago. We have been busy learning a lot... about her, about attachment, about ourselves, about each other. It's been hard at times, but like I said: our lives are more wonderful this week.

We adore this little girl and so does her baby sister.

Thursday, March 1, 2012

Emily's Arrival

Our daughter moved in today. Tonight, actually. She seems to be adjusting well.

We played too long, bathed too long, brushed teeth for too long, went to bed too late. It was well worth it for our first night together.

She is wonderful. I can't wait to share her with all of you.

Picture coming soon. Give us a minute to settle in and snap a few.