Thursday, June 24, 2010

You know if...

You know you're an adoptive parent (or should be) if:
1. The fact that there are 143 million children without a parent to kiss them goodnight has made you lose sleep.

2. You realize DNA has nothing to do with love and family.

3. You can't watch Adoption Stories on TLC without sobbing.

4. The fact that, if 7% of Christians adopted 1 child there would be no orphans in the world, is convicting to you.

5. You spend free time surfing blogs about families who have experienced the blessing of adoption.

6. It drives you crazy when people ask you about adopted child's "real" parents.

7. You have ever been "pregnant" with your adoptive child longer than it takes an elephant to give birth.(2 years!)

8. You had no idea how you would afford to adopt but stepped out in faith anyway, knowing where God calls you He will provide.

9. You have ever taken an airplane ride half-way around the world with a child you just met.

10. You believe God's heart is for adoption.

11. You realize that welcoming a child into your heart and family is one of the most important legacies you could ever leave on this earth.

12. You know what the word "Dossier" means, and you can actually pronounce it!

13. You have welcomed a social worker into the most private parts of your life.

14. You shudder when people say your child is so lucky that you adopted them, knowing full well you are the blessed one to have him or her in your life.

Totally stole this from another Rwandan family blog, the Vanderpools! Thought is was totally appropriate :)

Monday, June 21, 2010

Summer Randomness

It is officially summer as of 6:28 CST this morning. We are definitely in the melting stage here in our state. It has been warmer than usual but that has been nice when it comes to the pool temperature. The kids have spent a lot of time in the water. Grace has become a fish and loves to just float around the pool in her little floaty boat. Cannon has pretty much taught himself to swim over the last 2 summers. He knows the basics from lessons but is really doing alot more on his own. It is fun to see the 2 of them become such water babies.

G has been official for a week. It doesn't feel very different than it has the last 7 months. Too bad the official-ness doesn't help in the potty training department. If only the judge could order the child to only go in the potty, all would be right with the world.

Here is a new family picture by Averi Blackmon ( She has taken pictures of our kids since Cannon was an infant. She has since moved to Texas but was up for the Memorial Day weekend. She got some great family shots. This is one that I like. Everyone is smiling and looking at the camera at the same time which is not an east feat with Grace in the picture. She is still learning the art of sitting and smiling... I love my little family. I love the uniqueness of us. I don't like how my arm looks bigger than my body. Not quite sure what happened there. Maybe it is my mom muscles showing.

Tuesday, June 15, 2010

It is official...

It happened. This morning on the 3rd floor of a county courtroom. In the eyes of the United States, Elina Muhoza is officially Grace Elina Smith. She is now a United States citizen as well as an Okie.
Our family with our wonderful lawyer and the judge.

Our family and friends who came to share this special day with us.

June 15: Exciting Day

So today is a very exciting day in the Smith family.

1) it is Ryan's 34th birthday today! Can't believe we are getting so old. We have know each other since we were 16 so 34 feels old, real old.

2) it is Grace's readoption day today! At 9am we are headed down to the courthouse were I do believe Grace will become a full fledge Oklahoma and US citizen. So exciting.

I will post pictures soon.

Friday, June 11, 2010

Kay and Chewing

Tomorrow I will get to see my sweet eldest child at around 4pm. We left her at kamp 11 days ago. The first week I am always ok. The last few days I am so ready to see her that I can barely stand it. I want to hug her and hear all about her time there. I am glad that she isn't leaving for college any time soon...

On a totally different note, Grace doesn't chew. Well, she does chew big bites of food. But with small bites of food (mac & cheese, rice, corn etc) she swallows them in their entirety. We have been battling this since we got her. Ryan keeps saying that this is just part of the orphanage life that is still with her. That is true. But how do you teach her to chew? Any ideas, we are open.

Next Tuesday is a big day in the Smith household...stay tuned!

Tuesday, June 8, 2010

new school & no nap

Grace started her new "school" today. This school is very dear to our hearts as this is where Kay and Can also attended for many years. Today, with all of the excitement of the new school, Grace didn't nap. She was in full non-nap mode when I picked her up. Running around, saying no, crying, etc. Fun times for mom :). After a teary-eyed drive home, Grace went to her room to calm down. I did some things then realized it was awfully quite in her room. I went to check on her and this is what I found:
My thought is that she thought "I will sit close and close my eyes for just a minute" and then crash...

Friday, June 4, 2010

Turning a corner

This week I have noticed a lot of little things. I do believe Grace is turning the corner in her affections for me. Since we first met our little Grace, she has been attached to Papa like white on rice. She loves her Papa with all that she is and that hasn't changed.

However, over the last week she has been much more affectionate with me. She is coming up and hugging me unprompted. This is big for me. For the last 6 months, I have had to get a hug from her or ask for a kiss. This week she has just come up and given me a hug for no reason. She is not crying (as much) when Papa leaves her and she is not asking for Papa all. day. long.

She and I are having a better time together. She is obeying me better (more than she was). She is engaging with me instead of worried about wear Papa is. We are communicating better. Our social worker said it would be summer before Grace settled into our family and she started acting more "normal." I am seeing this change before my own eyes.

I am thankful for her affections for her Papa. I am glad that she bonded so deeply with him. I am fine if he is always her favorite. But to be honest, I really was feeling left out. Grace always wanted Ryan, always. This broke my heart as I wanted to cuddle, comfort and enjoy my daughter. I worked so hard to bring her home. My soul ached for her all that time while we were in our process. My heart is now filled with a new joy as Grace is loving on her mama. Thank you God for our new normal.

Tuesday, June 1, 2010


picture taken by Averi Blackmon with

Kaylee has been talking alot about becoming a missionary when she grows up. She talks about helping others in her adult life. I tell her to become a teacher or a nurse because everywhere needs both of those professions. Wow. I can totally see her doing that. She is very compassionate and very mindful of those in need. She talks about helping in an orphanage someday. Wow. When I was 8 almost 9 my thoughts were not of that. I pray that she continues down this path and that we as parents can help her become who she desires to be.