There truly aren't words to describe...

the moment when your child (whom wouldn't even look at you just 4 months ago) gives you your first unsolicited "Oliveyou" or her first unsolicited kiss!  My heart is overflowing with happiness and love tonight!  I know I say it all of the time, but we truly have been blessed.  Our journey hasn't always been easy, but we made it to where we are today and we thank God for that!  He has a wonderful way of giving us strength through the difficult times and puts such amazing people in our lives to help us through the darkest moments of our journeys.  For each one of those people in our lives, we love you and thank you from the bottom of our hearts!  We will continue to pray for each one of our adoption friends until your journey is complete!  


Allie at age 4

My Favorite Food:  Pizza and Lettuce Salads
Favorite Game To Play:  Candyland
Favorite Outside Activity:  Ride Bike or Swing
Favorite TV Show:  Dora
Favorite Movie:  The Beauty and the Beast
Favorite Thing About School:  Singing Songs
The Thing I Am Really Good At:  Being a Big Sister
If I Could Go Anywhere In The World I Would Go:  Disneyland
Favorite Color(s): Pink, Purple & Aqua
Favorite Toy:  Babies
When I Grow Up, I Want To Be:   A Mommy
Favorite Song:  I LOVE Every Song
Favorite Book:  Guess How Much I Love You
Words To Describe Me:  Happy, Funny, Caring
When I Was Little, I used to:  Crawl & Say Baby Words
My Favorite Season Is:  Summer
The Snack I Could Live Off Of:  Celery & Peanut Butter
A Food I Don't Like Is: Tomatoes
My Best Friend Is:  Charu
My Best Friend At School:  Everyone  (I tried to get a name...but she just likes everyone)
If I Had One Wish, I Would Wish:  To Play On The Stars  (Hmmm....interesting!)
My Favorite Memory Ever:  Going To The Zoo, Getting A Sister, and Doing Projects



More birthday pictures from today!

Today we had a birthday party with my side of the family for Allie.  We thought that it would be too much for Charu to have one big party for Allie and Cory's nephew went to state for wrestling this weekend so it worked out better to do two parties in the long run.  To be honest, I like having smaller parties anyway so that you get more time to visit with people!

Allie had a lot of fun today with her cousins and it was fun to just have a laid back morning.  Allie LOVES to play board games, especially Candyland, so for her theme this year we had a PJ party!  Everyone wore their PJ's and we had Candyland (Allieland) cake, breakfast food (Allie's favorite), and after everyone left we played board games as a family.  

Each year, I give the girls books for their special days.  This year for Allie's birthday we gave her the book, "I Love You Stinky Face." The book is about a boy who is going to sleep and he asks his mom if she would still love him if he was a stinky monster, a mean alligator and many other things.  The mom reassures him that she would love him no matter what. We chose this book because Allie does this thing with us when we are in the car, eating lunch, or doing other things just with her.  She will say, "I love you more than ice cream! What do you love me more than?" Then I'll name something that I love her more than like coffee, warm summer days, or listening to music.  The game continues on (usually) for quite some time!  I can't explain how much this game warms my heart and I want to always remember the way it makes me feel and the smile it puts on her face!


One year ago today...

we accepted the referral for our sweet, smart, curious, and precious little Charu. That day was filled with so many emotions and I remember sitting at my computer typing an e-mail to our social worker telling him that we wanted to bring this sweet little peanut into our family and love her forever!  Since that day, our love has grown from loving a few pictures of our sweet angel to absolutely adoring our precious peanut in person each and every day. Our love for her has grown so much that it's hard to remember a time where she wasn't in our lives.  Each day that we spend with both of our daughters is a true gift from God...we are so blessed!

A few unedited pictures from today....

Our old neighbor girl came down today to help make Allie's birthday cake for tomorrow's birthday party with my side of our family.  Allie LOVES board games, especially Candyland, so for her cake we made Allieland!

And a couple pictures of after the cake as we were trying to all come down from our sugar high!!


This is as close to a family picture as we can get...and some rambling...

It's not perfect, heck we're not even all looking at the camera...but we're all in one picture so I guess it will have to do!

To say that our lives have been crazy lately would be putting it lightly...

Shortly after these pictures were taken on Saturday, Charu took a two hour nap (although she already had a nap earlier).  This was out of the ordinary and upon waking up she wasn't quite herself, but I just chalked it up to a lot of new people being around and maybe she was a little overstimulated.  She didn't feel warm or seem to be sick, she was just overly cuddly and somewhat crabby.  After about a half an hour, Charu asked to go back inside the house.  I walked in with her in my arms and looked at her.  She wouldn't make eye contact with me and was completely glazed over.  I yelled for Cory telling him something was wrong and we ran out of the house to the car to head to the local ER only 6-7 blocks away.  On the way vomit began pouring out of her nose and Charu began to have a febrile seizure.  I knew what they were because I had a student in my class once that was thought to have them and Cory also had them when he was little.  Once we arrived in the ER, they administered a drug to stop the seizure and decided to transfer her by ambulance to a Children's hospital about 2 hours away.  Once in Sioux Falls, the tests began.  They did a CAT scan, spinal tap, bloodwork, and lots of other tests.  Although febrile (not sure if I'm spelling that right and too tired to look it up) seizures are not uncommon with children from 6 months to 4 years of age, the fact that she wasn't sick prior to the hour or two prior to her seizure and with the fact that we don't have much medical information about her birth family the doctors really wanted to make sure they covered all of their bases.  In the end, they are thinking it was either some time of bacterial infection or it was a nasty virus that caused her high temp which caused the vomiting and the seizure.  We pray that the doctors are right and that the temp was the reason for the seizure.  We were finally able to get out of the hospital yesterday and it feels really good to be home.

We are all beyond exhausted at this point...

Charu seems to be feeling better, but I can see that we are struggling with some of the behaviors that we saw when we first arrived home from India. This little peanut has had so many tests and things done to her and although they were necessary, how on Earth could she possibly understand that?!  I think she needs to be reminded that we love her, will protect her, and that she can trust us again.  Not an easy task when you have a little girl who is as spicy as she is!

It will come...