Wednesday, December 23, 2009

Merry Christmas! Please Take a Little Time to Give!

I still need to clean my house before the family comes over tomorrow and wrap a lot of presents!  I really should not be typing right now, but I had to share this with all of you!

I have met a lot of amazing people during our adoption journey.  One of these families is the Woods family.  They are the adoptive parents of Grace (born in China)  and Haven (born in the DRC).  They do a lot volunteer work for Our Family Adoptions.  This is the nonprofit organization that brought our family together.  I urge you to visit their blog Amazing Grace and Safe Haven!  Not only do you get to see their gorgeous kids you also can raise money for Our Family Adoption at no cost to you just with a few clicks!   This organization is so very close to our heart.  Without it Chad in Ian would not be in our arms today.  So please take some time to visit their site and raise some money!  Oh, I forgot to tell you they have opened a really cool new Zazzle store called Where Hope Begins. You will find links to the store at the bottom of my blog posts. 100% of the profit from ALL product sales will be donated to Our Family Adoptions.

Merry Christmas Everyone!
With Love,
The Sullivans
Jamey, Stori, Livia, Parker, Chad, and Ian

Saturday, December 12, 2009

A Sad Detour to Joy

I am so madly in love with all four of my children. But still I find myself looking at pictures of Linda and Dokta. I just read old messages between me and the missionary girls who were there. It brought back so many feelings. I am so confused as to why they are not in our home right now. They are not adoptable, but yet they are still in the orphanages and are now separated into the boys and girls orphanages. It just breaks my heart.  But I know the reason why. If our adoption process had not been stopped with them, Chad and Ian would have died in the orphanage in Kinshasa. At the time I could not understand this obstacle at all. Why would God take Linda and Dokta away from us? It felt like they were ripped from my womb. It is still so painful. But again he had another plan for us. Chad and Ian are ours, they are exactly where they should be due to this roadblock in the adoption process. I cannot imagine life without these two. They have brought me so much joy. I am there mommy and so very blessed to be so.

So when you are bummed by the roadblocks in life, I ask you to just try to think of the joy God has planned ahead for you. 

I also ask that you please continue to pray for Linda and Dokta and all of the 5 million orphans we left behind in the Democratic Republic of Congo.

Linda and Dokta, I still pray and think of you daily, you will always be in my heart.

Linda and Dokta being held by the wonderfully spirited Emanuell.  These children are being taken care of by an  orphanage sponsored by Our Family Adoptions.  The nonprofit organization that helped us through our adoption.  A wonderful organization if you are thinking about adoption.  Information can be found and donations can be made at their website http://www.ourfamilyadoptions.org/

Friday, December 11, 2009

Conquering the Mommy Monster

Well, Ian has the chicken pox. I am talking about thousands of bumps! I feel so bad for the little guy. Chad was vaccinated a few weeks ago. It must have helped because so far he has only had three spots.

Poor little Ian just will not sleep. Actually, I think it would be better stated to say poor mommy and daddy. Part of his problem now is obviously the chicken pox . But he has also gained a lot of new skills in the past week. He can crawl, pull up, climb, give you a high five, etc. He is so excited about all of these new skills, he simply does not want to take the time to sleep! He wakes up climbing all over us and telling really loud and wild tales (or so I believe)!

I think it’s something like this -“Look what I can do! Wow! I can do this too! And can you believe that I can clap my hands and climb over daddy! Oh, and listen how loud I can talk! I am completely happy in the middle of the night, until the mean mommy monster tries to cuddle me to sleep. What is she thinking! There are so many new things to do! I am not sleeping! I told you I am not sleeping! My mommy is really stubborn. She just doesn’t get it. Lucky for me I am even more stubborn then her!”
Not enjoying being woke up again, mommy grits her teeth. Then can’t help but smile at all of my accomplishments. I she think would really enjoy some snuggle time. I”ll give her a few seconds. Then I am off again!

Here is a picture to end with.  The boys love playing "Choo Choo" in the clothes basket.  They picked up a
hitchhiker today!

Thursday, December 10, 2009

Christmas in the Congo!

Wonderful news! The twins are in their adoptive parents arms! They have grown so much! Mama Josephine saved two more little lives. As I look at these beautiful babies, I remember my times in Kinshasa. I remember how mad and upset I was when our trip was extended. God had his own plans and they were so much better than my own! I had the wonderful opportunity to love these babies. I am overwhelmed with joy to see them looking so healthy. Congratulations to the new family!

You can follow their story at Christmas in the Congo.

Here are a few pictures of the twins when we had them.

And here they are now!  You just have to smile : )

Tuesday, December 8, 2009

"Happy, Happy, Happy!" - Chad Ona Sullivan

Today I woke up exhausted, okay that’s not necessarily a new thing, but I was MORE exhausted than usual. Last night I had changed all of our sheets after all of us were treatment for the boys having a possible scabies case.  Then the dog puked on Parkers bed.  Not only the comforter, but the sheets and matress cover too.  Changed his sheets again.  Then went to the bathroom and found someone had diarrhea and missed the toilet and there were little brown footprints all over the bathroom and bathroom rug!  But as  I made breakfast for my four little ones, I just about busted out of my skin in happiness! I asked Jamey, “How in the world, can I feel so bad and yet feel so good?”

The answer to that question is that little four letter word ……LOVE. There is so much love in this house you can’t help but smile! Sometimes I wonder if I am actually dreaming. Did I really go to Africa and bring these two perfect boys home? I am just amazed. I saw where they were from, the awful orphanage they almost died in. I keep wondering, how they could live through such circumstances and still be so darn perfect.

I don’t always listen to God. Most of my life was spent ignoring him. Let me tell you from experience, if you listen to what God calls you to do, no matter how difficult or crazy it may seem at the time, you will be rewarded inside. I’ve never been so glad that I finally gave in to what I know I was suppose to do. I can’t imagine not being Chad and Ian’s mommy. We were all six simply meant to be together.  I only pray that others will listen to their calling and not be afraid.

I am called to do more than just adopt from the DRC. There is so much devastation there. I must help somehow. I feel God sent me there not only for my boys but for something more. I just haven’t took the time to put on my good listening ears to hear what exactly it is. I am anxious to find out what it is. But for now I am taking the time to cuddle the four bundles of joy I am so very blessed to call my babies.

Oh, and yes, I am the one who is blessed. Not these two little boys. This is a new pet peeve of mine. I keep hearing how wonderful we are and how we are such a blessing for these two little boys. No people, you don’t understand at all, they are the blessing to us.

The following pictures were taken with Parker's new camera.  That may be why there are no pictures of Livia ; )  I will get my camera back soon and will take some of my other beauty.

Parker loving on his little brother Chad.

On Sunday, Chad would fuss anytime Parker put him down.  Parker was complaining he was getting heavy.  I tried to take him and Chad said "No Mama, Parker!"  Chad loves his big brother!  So, Parker resorted to a sling!

"Happy, Happy, Happy!", Chad's favorite thing to say!

Chad being Chad!

I love this little face!  Snot and all!

Saturday, December 5, 2009

We are all home and doing great!

Well, if you haven’t guessed I have been REALLY busy! But I am enjoying every minute of the craziness! I do want to share about my trip sometime but today I am giving some little updates on the family. Ian and Chad have adjusted amazingly well. They have been home for 2 ½ weeks and it seems like they have been here forever. Chad sleeps all night. He has not woke up once : ) Ian on the other hand wakes up twice and sometimes has a hard time falling back to sleep. I can’t wait for the day that he sleeps all night! I am still pretty exhausted. I feel like I haven’t quite recovered from our trip. Or maybe I am just to old to have toddlers again!

They have visited the pediatrician and both appear to be in really good health. Chad has started walking from person to person! This is a big step for him! Ian began crawling 2 minutes later! The competition between brothers begins!

Ian is the most easy going child (except at night). He just takes everything in. He enjoys bouncing on your lap and speaks a lot of baby talk and boy can he smile. Chad is quite the character! He is a big ham! He loves to be the center of attention. He gets pretty upset when people in Walmart do not notice him. He will start yelling “Yo Papa!“ or “Yo Mama!“ Which basically means “Hey you!“ in Lingala. He is speaking so much English already. He has almost stopped using all of his Lingala, even though we have encouraged him to keep using it. Our family has always said “ByeYo” (bye in Lingala), but Chad decided he now says, “See ya!” We are hoping to meet up soon with a lady from Bloomington that we met in the DRC. She speaks fluent Lingala and is excited about helping Chad keep his native language and help the rest of us learn more.

Livia is such a little mommy. Bottles, rocking, diapers, the girl does it all! She can’t stand to see them cry, whine or be unhappy. She is going to spoil them rotten! Parker loves his new brothers. Chad and him play a lot. Ian loves to kiss Parker more than anyone else. It is so sweet to see! Parker has been a little kiss shy (except with mommy and daddy) since he started school. But he loves Ian’s kisses slobber and all!

I am still trying to get into a routine and figuring out how to do everything with babies on my hips. Slings are a wonderful thing! I recommend the K-Tan sling to everyone who has little ones who need to be held. But I am soooooo happy and love having little babies again! I am not taking time to proof read this (to much laundry to do), so please ignore the mistakes!

Here are a few pictures and I promise it won’t be so long before I write next time!

Here are a few pictures of us at the airport.  Finally we are all together!

Chad being a ham at Thanksgiving!

Ian finally decides he likes food!

Three of my four boys enjoying the hot tub.