Wednesday, December 29, 2010

How we became a family.....a shortened version :)

 So this is Jason and I back in 2000 our very first of 3 homestudies that have been updated each several times :)  A visiting camp friend took it for us, and at the time we were in Iowa serving at a Christian Camp.  We had been married 4 years which at the time was the allotted time frame you had to be married to adopt domestically.  Of course God opened our hearts to foster care, and a camping friend that had another friend was fostering this precious little girl from the time she was 5 months until she was 14 months.   They were grand parent age though and wanted to find a great family to adopt her.....
 We just got our foster care license in February 2001 and we just got back from a National Camp Gathering when we got a phone call about a beautiful toddler who would eventually become our Abigail.  Of course there was a possible biological father that stepped in the day of the termination hearing....BUMP....and then we had to pass an which they told us they were interviewing people who had darker skin.....BUMP!  Praise God we were chosen and she came to live with us permanently. 
 This is a day trip to France we took when we flew to England to show off the new grand daughter to Jason's family. 
 In January 2002 after initial BIG BUMP of Andrew not being placed with us until he was 7 1/2 weeks old (he was not with his biological mom it was a political type thing). 
 He then came home to us and we celebrated in a big way later that year Abigail Marie Wright officially joined our family June 19th!!!  Yeah!!!  Of course there were a few more BUMPS in the system as we waited to hear if Andrew would join our family forever or not. 
 But we kept believing, loving, caring, and praying......
 And staring at these 2 precious faces.......and then we found out that year that another little baby would be joining us later..........
 Matthew came to join us at the end of year November 27th he was born :)  He came home with us 2 days later a day after Thanksgiving!!  YEAH!  And we found out that for a gift in 2003 in January 6th we would officially adopt Andrew James Wright!  YEAH!!!!  Another huge blessing.
 Oooops these next two photos are out of order sorry......but these were in 2003 & 2004...of course you can kind of tell because Matthew can't walk in the photo below, but up above he is walking around Silver Dollar City with my parents :)
 So here we were and then at the end of 2003 and after a few more BUMPS.....and bruises we were able to adopt Matthew December 22nd, 2003.  YEAH!!!  Now most people would look at our family as girl two boys......all very squeezable!
 I mean really look at these three charmers! 
 Then in 2004 after moving to Louisiana we took the foster care classes again....I mean there are sooo many children that still need homes and we could help out if only temporarily.  So we signed up leaving our children with volunteers from the camp so we could take the weekly classes. 
 And 2 weeks before our summer staff arrived in May of 2005- Joshua weeks shy of 3 years old and Sarah who had just turned 1 came to us.  Can you see the mischief in their eyes?  Yeah me too.  Our hands were full, we were a lot of times overwhelmed, but we were loving every minute of it!
 Oh yeah, just to make it more fun we had Hurricane Rita blow through our neck of the woods and had to evacuate 4 months after they came here!  You know just to make things more interesting!  he he he he :)   Just to make it more interesting after we returned to find our home with little damage Praising God and getting electricity back.....we had to leave for England.  This was a trip we had been planning well before we knew of our placement of Joshua and Sarah.  In case you are wondering, yes this caused a few setbacks, but in the end we overcame that.  But it broke our hearts to leave them for 2 weeks nonetheless. 
 Then in May 2006 Elizabeth 5 1/5 months came to us.  Now after TOO MANY BUMPS TO COUNT in Joshua, Sarah, and now Elizabeth's case and 2 years later we were still hitting BRICK WALLS EVERYWHERE!!!  Praise God their smiles and love kept our hearts on them and not the world who by then thought we must be out of our right mind. 
 But I mean look at this cuteness!!!  Elizabeth was a doll and by now we really had thought we were getting closer to the end of the journey. 
 Well......that didn't happen.  And instead MORE AND MORE BUMPS  came along.  Did I mention any and everything that could happen in a foster care case did.....on and on......
 And yet again......we couldn't get enough of our crazy life!  And by then you must be thinking they are done- right?  I mean 6 children! 
 Here we are at my younger brother Scott & Amy's wedding day.  We traveled back up to Iowa to share in their special day. 
 FINALLY!!!!!  In March 19th 2008 we were able to adopt Joshua David Wright, Sarah Joy Wright, Elizabeth Anne Wright!!!!!!!!!!!!!  This was a long time coming and believe me it was a time of GREAT rejoicing!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!  As God would have it this special day came the week of Easter- how perfect! 
 Here we are at the Smokies...enjoying our hiking!  :)  Then the day after the adoption (ok truth be told it may have been a few day before the official day) we sent in our application to All God's Children to do an Ethiopian adoption!  Oh yeah, by this time we were already nuts and just heading down the slope :)
 We were matched with our Hannah Grace (upset because I couldn't find her picture right now in the archives) within a couple of months of signing up and we weren't finished with our home study yet.  God matched us anyway and we worked like crazy people in the middle of summer our busiest time to get our dossier and homestudy completed!  She had spina bifida and scoliosis....but we didn't see that we saw a perfect baby girl that was meant to be in our arms forever. Whew....we did it....we got a court date for August 4th.....and then Hannah Grace went to be with Jesus July 18th.....  BUMP!!!!
 After getting away from it all on vacation we were matched with this handsome man.  Of course if you know about Ethiopian adoptions you know that the courts in Ethiopia close August September timeish.  We had 3 court dates before we finally passed.  Ethiopia started a new government agency called the Central Agency.  BUMP!!!  So rather than flying in October, November.....
 We flew December 26th, 2009 and met our Jonathan on December 28th....flying home January 2nd. 
 How can you fly to Ethiopia and not be changed forever?  After seeing the beautiful, kind hearted, loving people that are our brothers and sisters. 
 At the Ethiopian dinner night out with our travel group.  By the way for those adopting now you have to make two trips, but back then it was one. 
 Our hotel.....
 Jonathan's family- aren't they beautiful people?  YES!!!!!!  A meeting and day we will never forget!
 The now "old" Hannah's Hope building (our agency's transitional home) for over 60 children needing a home. 
 Just got home....and yes at this time Jonathan still didn't want anything to do with me really.  That has since changed :)
 Later in 2009 at my cousin's home :)
 Our pics for our updated homestudy for our next Ethiopian adoption........or so we thought.  The minute Jonathan had been home 9 months (ok ok a little sooner than that by a couple of weeks) we sent in our second application to All God's Children International
 But this next adoption that should have officially happened at the end of 2009 or at the latest the beginning of 2010 for our Naomi....would never happen.  Thanks to technicalities of the uscis (even though they approved us a year prior?? not that I am bitter or anything).  BIG BUMP!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!
 Then in March we heard about the fact that it is indeed possible to adopt domestically even if you have several children from a bloggy friend We signed up with Christian Adoption Consultants on March 22nd.....we were given a possible situation right away of a little boy who needed a home and we thought this was it.....but BUMP the agency started asking all kinds of accusing questions of our large family and on March 23rd Joanna Faith Wright was being born.  We got a call from Tracie Loux again saying I know you may not be interested, but.....and when we called Mother Goose Adoptions we did it out of - well maybe. (*****UPDATE: we now work with CAC :).
 By the morning of March 24th it was Deb O'Kane calling us from Mother Goose Adoptions saying she is yours if you want her.....want to fly out today.  Well let's just say after the other agency's hesitancy and our hearts saying "is there a reason not to?"  And well within 24 hours I was on a plane to go meet our Joanna Faith Wright!
 Everyone meeting us at the airport when she was just a little over a week old at Houston's airport.
 Here we are as a family of 10!!!!  Easter morning :)
 And of course here she is.....our little doll! (not the one on the left :) he he he)  Just blame it on my husband's sense of humor :)
And here we are in October 2010!  With GG (my grandma).....and all our precious gifts.  Now if you notice that is 8 children in February 2001- March 2010!  You will also notice my bold print BUMPS in the road.  Lots of them.  BUT the BLESSINGS of our family are sooooo much more than all of those!  I wouldn't trade any tears, any stress, any craziness, any deep dark canyon times, for a single minute with my babes.  They are our world.  They are our ministry!  God has placed each and every one of them in our home.  Not easy, but worth it!

For the first time since 2001.....we are not in the process for our next adoption- I KNOW SHOCK!!!  I am still in shock.  I keep feeling like I should be getting some paperwork done of some kind or going to the court or something????  Will we adopt again.......always!  But for now....we are taking a break.  Of course there is a reason why.....but that will unfold over the 2011 year.  So keep tuned to the crazy happenings of The Wright Family and Have a Blessed New Year!!!

Monday, December 27, 2010

Traditions, a few gifts, with lots of crazy pics!

 So around here we don't do traditional Christmas gifts that you open on Christmas Eve or Day.  But we do random fun gifts that are for everyone during the November/December time.  These gifts are random, sometimes crazy, and for everyone.  One of them this year were new name mugs.  Some of our kids' mugs have gotten cracked.  So we got new ones.  The only problem is that once Joanna gets old enough we will have to have a plan B because they don't do her name?  Sad :(

 Some random fun, love Jonathan with banana sticker on his head as you do right?
 This is a gift we got from bloggy friends that are adopting.  Go HERE to check it out they have stickers, shirts, etc.  LOVE this simple great slogan because it is sooo true.  That is what a child, a family, somewhere to belong!  Of course I think it looks great on our 15 passenger :)
 Another great gift from our dear friends Dorean & Brian Beattie.  They were the wonderful couple that took me in when we traveled to Pennsylvania to get Joanna.  Kindness & Hospitality only start to describe these people who helped me until I could be reunited with the rest of the family.  They sent us matching shirts!!!  Do you think she knows me or what??  Pink for the girls and dark blue for the boys that say Philadelphia on them!!!  The place where our youngest miracle was born :)  Made my heart smile!!!!
 Speaking of smile :)  Yeah, she still doesn't use her passy that much but she does like to chew on them a bit as she is teething.  This is one sent with the t-shirts because everyone else got a candy cane.
 On to our Christmas Eve fun:  after going to the 4pm service we went looking at lights around Lake Charles area while eating some fun nibbles in the car.  We all had a great time :)

 These pics are of our baby girl doing anything for a laugh!!  If you can't see it on the last one she is squishing her face up when she laughs.  Which is sooo CUTE!  I love it.  And of course daddy blowing raspberries on her neck makes her giggle a lot :)

 Reading about our "What God really wants for Christmas" set.  I love this it is 7 simple presents that have rhymes and scriptures talking all about what God wants for Christmas!  It is a family favorite.  :)  Hint- the last one is the BEST!!!!!  But no peeking.....
 This is us putting in various parts to our manger scenes.  We don't have fancy manger scenes...he he he and most are put way up high.....hmmmm I wonder why that could be?  We do have a couple that are meant for the kids to play with - one that is more plastic and one that is made of "stuffed" characters. 
 You see we only set up the stables with the animals to start off our season. 
 But Marry and Joseph start traveling Christmas week.....and then on Christmas Day we of course add Jesus!
 The kids all take turns helping add the figurines. 

 And although they are not fancy or special in a way that is how it should be- plain, ordinary, and everyday.  That is where the story begins.....ordinary woman, ordinary man, ordinary stable, and ordinary shepherds.....all believing and trusting God for something that is anything BUT ordinary. 
On Christmas Day reading the Christmas story is something we all look forward to. 

No matter how you celebrate Christmas I pray that your Christmas week has been a true BLESSING remembering HIM!  I pray that this week will be equally wonderful as many of you get to have your children and family around additional time. 

Of course we here at the Wright home have already started back to school and are so thankful for this past year.  And looking forward to this next year of growing and celebrating God together.  BLESSINGS!