Sunday, October 24, 2010

Nick's 5th Birthday

Nick turned 5 on 10/12/10, and his party was on 10/16/10. What a great party it was. Friends and family for the day. The party started at 1pm and didn't end until 10pm when the last kid left. It was a fun filled day for the kids and the adults. The kids played in the jumpy house or the pool and then some decided to join their own rock band. :) I can't leave out that as soon as the first guests arrived, Marybeth and Steve, that we found a dead bird under our canopy. Thank goodness Steve didn 't have issues with disposing of the bird to avoid any kid issues. Other than that it was a great day. The kids had fun, the adults had fun and it was a very relaxing day for all. Happy 5th birthday, Nicolas!!!


Natalie & Nick at Pey Wey's
Hoola hoopin queen!

Who can believe it has been 5 years since Natalie Alena was put in our arms. So many emotions were going flowing that day. Just Joe and I and now we have a new member of our family. But let me tell you. 5 years later it has been the most amazing experience of our entire life. And how blessed we are to have such a beautiful, smart, amazing little girl who just wow's the entire world and everyone she meets. So, today on her special day 10-10-10, Gotcha Day 2010 we took her and her brother to Seaworld to celebrate the day and the Halloween season. They had a blast trick or treating at Seaworld and then we went to Pey Weys for dinner. What a blessing!

Monday, August 23, 2010


Today was the first day of school here in Orlando and it was very emotional. Both Natalie and Nicolas started school, Nick in VPK and Natalie in Kindergarten. They both went to their classrooms like it was nothing, but that wasn't how mom saw it. Nick was easy because he was at the same school last year when Natalie was in VPK. And we love Glad Tidings and his teacher, Miss Victoria, is awesome. As you can see from the pictures, he was very excited to start his day. I have to say thanks to my neighbors because some were going through the same thing or they had been there and done that. What started my crying was the thought of putting my baby girl on the school bus. She won't get to ride the bus every day, but since Mom was home I thought it would be a treat. She very quickly bonded with Eva, Danielle (the cake lady's) daughter. Once they were on the bus Danielle and I followed the bus to the school and met them when they got off the bus. I was glad to see that a teacher had taken Natalie's hand right away until I got there, she is such a peanut in a big bag. We walked to her class, Natalie, Sammy and Eva are all in portables next to each other. And thank goodness there was AC today, there wasn't any on Thursday during meet the teacher. Natalie went in and sat down and started to color with 2 other little girls. Hence, another breakdown watching my baby grow up.

After all was settled a group of us moms went to our boo-hoo breakfast and had a great time swapping stories and getting more info.

Pretty soon it will be time to get Natalie off the bus and Nick from his first day of VPK. Can't wait to hear about their days.

Our babies, growing up
Nick in his assigned seat

Nick in front of his class

Natalie at the bus stop

Natalie and Eva in dresses their moms made

Diva and her backpack

Sammy, Natalie & Eva on the bus. I had to call Natalie's name to see her. The seats are so high,

Natalie and 2 schoolmates

Wednesday, July 14, 2010


THEN . . . .

Today we celebrate our 1 year Gotcha Day with our son, Nicolas. It is hard to believe that it was a year ago today that we became Nick's parents. I remember the day so clearly because we were worried that the foster family wouldn't show up with Nick because they weren't there when they were supposed to be there. It was a scary thought being in a foreign country and not knowing the native language. Then they all showed up, speaking only Chinese, and all we could do is smile. Nick was very receptive to us and very animated and in love with his foster family. But he left with us without turning back. For a couple of weeks it was tough because he cried himself to sleep every night and that broke our heart because we couldn't console him because we didn't know what he was saying and he didn't know what we were saying. Just lots of hugs and love.

Now a year later he is completely fluent in English and adds a little zest to our family. He is smart and funny and adorable. Even with his two front teeth missing. We are very blessed to have him as part of our family.

Next year we are going to be able to celebrate this special day with our good friends the D'Aurias. They are in Taiwan right now picking up their new son Owen. And today, like us are celebrating a Gotcha Day.

Monday, July 5, 2010

JULY 4, 2010

Here are some fun pictures from the 4th of July. It was Nick's first so we wanted to do it up. We had a nice relaxing day Joe's brother's house. It rained all day, but it didn't dampen the atmosphere at all. Thanks, Ken & Jen for hosting.


Nicolas & Lori

As we complete our final homestudy for Nicolas, our friends are preparing to go to Taiwan to experience the same adventure we did one year ago. They are leaving on 7/10 and their Gotcha Day will also be 7/14. We can't wait to celebrate it together next year. So, safe travels MaryBeth & Steve. Can't wait to see the pictures!

On June 26th, we had our final homestudy meeting with our social worker Lori. She is always fun to talk to and so easy to be around. The kids also like her because she is such a people person. The update went well and we are glad to be done. And we are looking forward to our 1st Gotcha Day with Nick. Can you believe we have had him almost a year? Things have truly changed around our house. The biggest change, which we love, is they get along so well . . . . . okay when they want to.

Sunday, May 16, 2010


Saturday was the last day of Chinese classes for this year. And we were very lucky to have joined the school this year because this celebration not only included the end of the year celebration with the classes doing their own thing, but it was also the celebration of the school being around for 30 years. Can you believe that? Such an awesome accomplishment. Some of the students have been there for 15 years. I have met some amazing parents through this school also because these parents either want their adopted children to stay close to their culture or they want their children to keep their culture. Looking forward to next year because the kids will be one year older and can participate in the cultural programs like folk dancing or yo-yo.

Natalie's class singing the colors song in Chinese
Nicolas' class singing a duck song. Cute!

Natalie and her class with Lasher - Miss Christina