October 31st, 2016

So this surgery was much tougher than the previous ones.  Our sweet girl was in a lot of pain and it was tough to see.  She will continue on a pureed diet and wearing the arms braces all day and night for 10 days.  We will see the doctor again on Friday, November 4th in Dallas.

Since Grace has always been our little butterfly it only made sense to dress her up as a butterfly for her 1st Halloween!  We were not sure how she would do with all of the crazy, but she loved it.  We went to the 1st house and showed her what to do and from then on she would walk right up and get candy out of the basket.  We just had to stop her from taking too many:)  She was such a trooper as she was still on a pureed diet from surgery and could not eat any of the candy, but she loved trick-or-treating!

Her big sisters dressed up as emoji's and had a great time as well!!

Here they are with the other 2 emoji's Harper and Henley!!

Here is a picture of Grace with her friend Kenzee!!  We are so thankful for Kenzee and her momma Paige.  I know they would agree with us that ADOPTION ROCKS!!  Look at our sweet little Angel and Butterfly!!

Grace continued to heal the week of Halloween and John took her back to Dallas (thank you Fidler's for having us again) for her appointment on Friday the 4th.  We were very relieved to know that the surgery was a success.  After 3 failed surgeries it was great news to hear that this one was a success.  Praising God for the great news!!  She will be able to remove the braces and go back to a regular diet on Monday the 7th!!

November 11th, 2016

Today is John's 40th birthday!  We celebrated with a family dinner.  Definitely not what we expected to be doing for a 40th birthday, but we had a great time!!  Thankful God gave me such an amazing man to spend my life with!!  All 4 of your girls love you to the moon.

November 12th, 2016
John and I had our first date night since May.  We had an amazing time and it was much needed for both of us.  Grace from the 1st time she met Rob (he is in our Life Group) has let him hold her and carry her around.  It  has been crazy to watch because she has not let very many people hold her as long as she lets Rob.  As you can see from the photo she is happy as can be.  This is also the first time she looked at a camera and smiled!  She would not let them take her shoes off or change her clothes, but it was a successful first time out!!  Thank you Hayes family for keeping our girls!!

November 13th, 2016
We have had Grace in our arms for 5 months today!!  John and I made the decision to move Grace to her room.  After 5 months of not sleeping more than a few hours a night, we were both about to go crazy.  We decided for our mental health we had to find a way to start sleeping.  We had a very rough first few nights, but then she started sleeping through the night.  We are beyond thankful that the transition went better than we ever imagined.  Although we know it will take a few months to catch up on sleep we are thankful to know we are going to start sleeping again.   We also know Grace needs more sleep than she is getting because of how she passes out several nights a week.

November 14th, 2016
How can Sydney be 11?  I cannot believe my firstborn is 11.  It is amazing to see the kind, beautiful, smart, compassionate girl she has become.  You would never know she was a 29 weaker born at 2 pounds and 7 ounces.  Thankful and blessed she calls me mom!!

November 18th, 2016
We celebrated Sydney with a few school friends in Bricktown.  We went iceskating and she had a sleepover!  Grace had a great time watching the girls ice-skate!!

Just after a week of sleeping we are seeing more and more of this BIG smile.  It is amazing what sleep can do for a little one.  

As we started to prepare for the Holidays I realized how depressed I was last year for all of the holidays.  It is hard to celebrate when you are missing one of your family members.  It is hard to be happy when you do not know how your baby is being treated or cared for.  This year we had a wonderful Thanksgiving.  We have so much to be thankful for and are beyond thankful to have our girl home with us for Thanksgiving!!  I mean could she be any cuter?  I have to refrain myself from not just gobbling her up!!

Our first Thanksgiving as a family of 5!!!!

As I think back over the past month I can see so much progress in our girl.  She is definitely becoming more secure.  She is beginning to see that we will always be here for her, that we can leave and will always come back.  From before we left for China I have prayed that she will know at all times she is loved and she is safe.  I think she definitely knows these things now.  

I know I say this all of the time, but ADOPTION rocks.  There are so many kids out there that needs homes.  1 million in China and 153 million in the world.  We have so many here in Oklahoma alone.  Please pray for these children over the holidays.  Pray they know Jesus, pray for homes for these children.  I cannot believe my girl had 2 Thanksgiving's and 2 Christmas's all alone.  It breaks our heart to imagine her without a family.  All children are meant to be in a family.  

As God has opened my eyes to the world of the orphan I know not 1 family who took the step to adopt would ever say anything, but how amazing their children are.  I know not everyone can adopt, but everyone can do something to care for these children.  In Isaiah 1:17 God says:  Learn to do right; seek justice, defend the oppressed, take up the cause of the fatherless; plead the case of the widow.  Although this journey has been hard the good and the amazing far outweigh the tough times.  God has always been there and the closeness we feel to him through this journey is something that we will never be able to repay.

I pray for each of you that you will have a wonderful CHRISTmas celebrating our amazing Lord and Savior.  May God bless you over this season and provide love and comfort to those hurting as I know the holidays can also be tough when loved ones are not present.  Merry Christmas!!!!