A large family, homeschooling, adoption, special needs, whatever strikes my fancy, sort of blog.

A large family, homeschooling, adoption, special needs, whatever strikes my fancy, sort of blog.

Tuesday, December 31, 2013

2013 Year in Review

January brought our Log In Date, or LID for Katie and Luke's adoption.  Hannah was measured for her wheelchair in January as well.

February brought us 3 new children for 2 months!  We hosted them with Safe Families.  I have a photo collage hanging over my desk of our 7 Safe Families kids that passed through our home between Sept. 2012 and April 2013.

We celebrated Chinese New Year and 3 birthdays in February, as well.

March brought our Letters of Approval (LOA) for both Katie and Luke from China.  And at the very end of March, we had Easter.

Only, in all my underachieving glory, our egg hunt didn't happen until April.

April was our anniversary, senior prom for Annaliese as well as 2 more birthdays in our house.  And we got an update on Katie.

May brought graduation, Mother's Day, and the county fair.  Oh, and TA, or Travel Approval from China for Katie and Luke!

June was largely taken up with travel to China.  Meeting Luke and then Katie and seeing the sights was amazing and exhausting.  I came home sick, so the remainder of June was a little bit of a blur.

July was full of summer camp, VBS, a visit from Grammy, and 14 medical/dental appointments.  Annaliese moved to Santa Rosa in July, and we also had Luke's birthday.  Hannah started school in July.

August only had 10 medical/therapy appointments, and was when we started getting our feet underneath us.  Katie went through serial casting for her clubfoot, and the process of getting her prosthetic made for the other leg.  Luke had more evaluations and tests and began therapy.

We also went out of town a couple days for a funeral.  Sam started school in August and we began our homeschool year then.

September found us hitting our groove, homeschool wise.  We celebrated Moon Festival.  We had 14 therapy/medical appointments.  (The photo above was taken on the way out the door to Luke's MRI.)  It was also Zachary's and then Katie's birthday month.  She got her new leg and took her first steps.

October was the start of fall weather, trips to the pumpkin patch, art lessons, and 19 medical/dental/therapy appointments.  We also had a fun field trip to Chik Fil A.  October was also the month I put the finishing touches on the panda room, Katie and Luke's shared bedroom.  Zachary moved back to California in October, too.

November was family pictures, and Thanksgiving, of course.  With most of the therapists taking Thanksgiving week off, we had only 12 medical/dental/therapy appointments.  

December brought another 12 medical and therapy appointments.  I suddenly realized how many reviews I'd been doing.  December was also Christmas, which was actually quiet and peaceful.  Not words I'd expect to use to describe having all 10 kids home.  We celebrated with our traditions and made new memories.

So that was 2013.  And now we look forward.  Personally, I look forward to spring, when the flowers bloom, and Sam's allergy medicine makes him tired, and the weather warms up so we can go outside again.  I look forward to more sunshine, more daylight.  In 2014, I look forward to Brianna starting high school, and (fingers crossed) the littles starting preschool.  I look forward to a milestone wedding anniversary, summer vacation, and getting to a place of acceptance with Luke's issues.

2013 started with excitement and anticipation for me, and ended with disappointment and depression.  It can only go up from here.

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  1. Hugs, hon! It was an eventful year all around. Love you all!

  2. Wishing you the best in 2014! Hopefully you'll get some more answers about Luke.

  3. What a very eventful year. May you new year be filled with smiles and blessing as well. Happy new year.

  4. You've had such an amazing and eventful year! Wishing you and yours more blessings in 2014.

  5. Glad to see your last year, I have so enjoyed reading how all your youngest are doing! We are still hanging in with our girl and had our 3 month post placement done and again our social worker said we are doing better then most families after adopting. I have been trying hard to parent her how I parented my other two and finally I am seeing progress. She is babbling more,brushes her teeth, learned her new home, she is FINALLY preferring me, and I hold her and give her a bottle, her eye contact is continuing, she feeds herself well, her tantrums are almost non existent, she even called me Mama once and put her hands up when she got scared, and has run to me many occasions when afraid, she even signed "eat" yesterday and ran to get her spoon to eat all on her own. While she still acts autustic with hand movements and quirks, she has begun to come more out Of her stupor. I am praying this progress continues, because we really want to keep her. It's been awful thinking about disolving the adoption and as New Year resolutions are made and I always keep mine and do exactly what I plan EVERY year, our goal this year has been to make our family FIRST, more then ever before, Of coarse after God that is! LOL. We have decided that our huge 7 year old home we built, needs to be downsized. We have always been very organized, super clean freaks, but after seeing how our daughter has struggled, we realize much of our stress is my ill health and having so much to keep up. So we have decided to get rid of major stuff and begin on the road to minimalism.This year has been such a transition for our family and our hope is that rebooting our lives, that we can then focus on her more. I have no idea what the future holds but, I want so badly to keep our daughter and if in our case, having so much is distracting us from time with her, then it's time all of it goes. Our family has always been big into fitness, healthy living, from exercise, organic food, to having a super healthy allergy free, green home, but it's only been this last year and last 3 months of having "her" that I realized how I have let slip what Has always been my main focus, so good is coming from the bad. Guess what I am saying is finding what is the root cause of WHY you are too struggling may be the answer to your prayers. While I am still very concerned, I feel so grateful that her issues have made me realize the road we were leading was all wrong for our entire family and what a gift from God to set us straight! So keep praying and don't give up!!! While I am still scared, I aso know that this is a new season of our life and I am going to seize the moment!!! Thanks for being such an inspiration to me personally and telling others of your struggles, you truly are helping so many people with your honesty! Hopefully 2014 will bring both our families clarity and peace! God Bless! :-)

    1. I'm so glad to read how much more upbeat you sound! I've been thinking of your family. Best wishes as you downsize and get back to your priorities. :)

    2. Having a child, especially one with a SN truly shakes things up! Though my bio kids also have mild SN's too. Guess you can say, if anything in life needs to change, a huge bright light is shown directly on it during stressful times. I have been with my hubby since I was 16 and now 26 later with him, we realize our lives need a big change. We really regret leaving the first home we built, a much smaller place where our focus was entirely on our family. Our boys, hubby and I live in such a way and we are the type of people who require hours a day of attention from each other, hubby and I talk over 6 hours a day or more and my older teens are just as needy. We as a family and our new girl, ALL need the same thing. I figure life is about adjustments, and this is one of these times we as a family need to act. I by nature am pretty positive but this situation has truly upset me in a way I never could have imagined. I am going to give it my all and try to fight to keep this child God has given me and in the end if it ends up going south, then I can at least say I gave it every chance I could. I so pray for both our families and that God answers our many concerns with a clear direction. I have 11 siblings myself and know how much work it takes to upkeep a large family family so kudos to you! :-) God Bless!

    3. I'll pray for you guys, too. Sounds like things are looking up with you. :)