Wednesday, February 29, 2012

Making new friends!

We've had a fun time introducing Abe to new friends! He hasn't even met everyone yet, and I haven't gotten pictures of each introduction, but here are some fun ones...

MEETING "BER!" (Amber Lee is one of my oldest friends from high school at GCA. We met our sophomore year and have been the best of friends ever since! It was so fun introducing her to my little man! She's got lots of nieces & nephews, and I knew these two would hit it off!)

1ST TIME IN THE NURSERY! (Abe did great his first Sunday in the nursery! What a relief! And apparently, he's still doing well. We've got some amazing workers, and I'm so thankful!)

LAUREN & REBECCA! (My sweet college girls, Lauren & Rebecca came over one night to meet Abe, and we had a blast! We read books & played. Abe had a great time!)

MEREDITH! (Meredith came in town over the break, and I couldn't wait to introduce her to Abe! Meredith came with us to College Week a couple of years and sat under the same teaching that led us to answer God's call to adopt. She's walked with me through this entire process and has such a heart for children and orphans.)

THE GRIFFINS & JOHNNY! (So somehow in the excitement of our first introduction of Abe to our DEAR, DEAR friends we didn't get any pictures! Or maybe I've misplaced them. But here, is a picture of Abe playing with "Acob"...Jacob. Jonathan, Matt, Cheryl, Jacob, and Jennifer are amazing. They've been such a support to us in our youth ministry, adoption, and life in general. Abe loves you guys, and so do we!!!)

COUSIN CARTER! (Ben's cousin, Kristi, and her hubby Taylor and son Carter were in town. It was so fun getting these two sweet boys together! I hope we can do it again this year!)

HALLE GIRL! (This was a fun day at the park with one of my best friends from high school & college and her sweet baby girl. We had a fun day with Andrea and Halle! Isn't she adorable?)

HEY JUDE! (The international adoption community is amazing...and Facebook is pretty great too. Throughout our adoption, another adoptive family named the Van Swearingens kept popping up in conversations with different mutual friends. The Lord kept bringing their names up...even in the airport in Ethiopia with a family taking their new son home to Portland! Finally I found Brittney Van Swearingen on Facebook and we began to communicate. She and her hubby brought their little boy home a few weeks after us. We finally had a chance to get together in February, and it was so much fun! We've already got another outing planned. Here is Brittney with her two boys, Grey & Jude at Chick-fil-A with us. I just love the photos of Abe & Jude. I think they will be friends.)

A day in the life...

When we returned home with Abe, we immediately established a routine and have made it a point to stick with it. We know that all kids thrive with consistency and routine, and it's even more crucial for a child who has been ripped from all he has known and thrust into a completely different life halfway across the world.

This routine has been really good for all of us. A lot of people ask how having this little boy has affected my ability to work my Premier business. I can joyfully say that my business has even grown during this time! Abe plays so well in my office while I work, and he's easy to take with me when I need to run errands, make deliveries & pick-ups, and he and Daddy enjoy their time together when I'm at a Home Show.

The routine has been especially good for Abe. Over and over in our preparation and training we were told of the importance of at least one parent staying home with the child for the first few months. Our agency actually told us that we are required to have one parent home for the first 6 months. That worked out great since I work from home (thank you Lord for providing Premier!). Just 2 months in, I can see why this is so crucial. It would be too much to explain here, but I can say that it has made all the difference in Abe's adjustment. He knows we are here for him, when we do things, how we do things, that we will be here when he wakes, we will feed him, change him, love on him, kiss his "owies," play with him...Each week we've seen more and more good things in regard to his adjustment. At this point with Abe...because of his situation and because of his age, I am just so thankful that I do not have to leave him to go to work. I know this is the way God intended it, and I pray that more and more mommies see the value in staying home with their little ones and have the opportunity to do so. That's one of the many reasons I am so passionate about Premier...especially now that I am one of the ones benefiting from staying home. I've waited over 9 years for this precious child...and I am so grateful for each little minute I get to spend with him. (I may not enjoy each little minute...dirty diapers, fussy attitudes, etc...but I'm still thankful for them!)

I'm being constantly reminded that he's always watching...he is like a sponge right now, soaking up everything. I'm so glad (yet also scared to death!) that we are the ones he is watching. We know what he is seeing and hearing and learning. It's also great accountability. I've been hit with the immense weight of what it is to raise up a child to understand God's great love & sacrifice...His purpose for our lives. Each choice that I make will affect Abe one way or another. My main task right now is to teach Abe the Truth about God, His Son, and this world. He may not understand those concepts right now, but he is learning from what I do and say. My words & actions are under a's challenging, but I know the Lord is sanctifying (or attempting to!) me through it.

Well, enough of my are some photos of Abe in his daily routine.

BATH TIME! (Ben wrote a little bath time song, and Abe loves it. He starts singing it whenever he sees water...a pond, lake, fountain, pool...)


TAKING A "MOK" (Since the weather has been nice, we've been taking daily walks in the neighborhood after nap time. We finish it off by playing in the front yard. Sometimes Izzie joins in too!)

"UMMY UMMY?" (This is how he asks if it is time to eat. This boy loves to eat, and he's a good eater. He's just recently begun to use utensils. I don't let him use them all of the time, but we're starting to use them more and more. He picks up on things quickly!)

We have fun! He's really such a sweet, content little boy. His personality is coming out more and more all of the time, and he keeps us laughing! It's hard to imagine our lives without him now. And Izzie is just in heaven having this little guy around all of the time.

Abe's "First" Christmas!

I'm finally catching up and hope to actually be a good mommy blogger. We'll see. It's been
C-R-A-Z-Y busy around here the past 2 months. But, I will do my best to keep this updated! Here are some highlights from Christmas!

We spent Christmas Eve at my parents' house. My sister, Aubra, and her boyfriend Raum were in from CA. This was Aubra's first time to meet her nephew, and it was so special and fun!

My Uncle Ricky spent the day with us as well. This was Abe's first time to see my parents' house, pond, and pool. It was quite the adventure! We spent the evening at my PawPaw's where he met my Aunt Gail, Uncle Scott, Uncle Dennis, and his wife Tonya as well. Abe got a little over-stimulated...lots and lots of presents and attention in one day. He had never experienced anything like this! I was so busy, I didn't even get any pictures of that night! Too much fun!

He really enjoyed opening all of his presents and playing with everyone. We had a really full, but fun day!

The next morning, Abe got to open up his present from me and his Daddy (some new toys for
Bath of his favorite times of the day). Then we went to church as a family of 3 together for the first time! He got to meet some more of our friends, and we had a full crowd there together...Ben's parents & sister Anna, my parents, my sister & Raum, and Uncle Ricky. After church we headed over to Ben's parents' house to do Christmas with them and with Grandmama & Pappy. This was a nice and relaxing time. Abe got to sit in the little rocking chair and open up presents. Izzie even got to open up one too! They had fun playing together!

We had a really special Christmas this year. We praise the Lord for His perfect timing. We got just what we had been wishing for all year...our precious son, Abram Adane Lowery. This Christmas was one to remember!