Saturday, December 31, 2011

2011 in Review

Just some highlights from our year.

In January, Dayna started coming to grips with her Chinese identity.

Dayna entered Ashland's Fine Arts Festival in February.

March brought about some home improvements.

In April, Dayna took a trip to space.

May ushered in life with a six-year-old.

Dayna had a minor outpatient procedure in June and discovered how much she loves surgery.

In July, Papa and Nana came for a visit and enjoyed the Stir-Up Days festivities in town.

August brought us a new school year, with a surprisingly easy transition (the year has since brought many more challenges than we could have foreseen, but it's important to remember the good times, as well.)

We had some great conversations with Dayna about heaven in September.

October was Pumpkin Patch season! We had a lot of fun, but enjoyed having Dan back when the month ended.

November was Adoption Awareness Month. We celebrated Orphan Sunday at church with a video and children's choir.

In December, we went to Oregon for Christmas and saw many friends and family members; a special treat was meeting my great-niece Claire.

Looking forward to seeing what 2012 has in store.

Friday, December 30, 2011

Running Blindfolded

I don't even really know where to begin this post. It has been a difficult few years, and I'm weary. There really isn't a better word for it than that.

God's been showing me that I'm in a race, and there's going to be a fork in the road. But I'm not there yet. Until then, I need to keep persevering and running the race. One foot in front of the other. (Hebrews 12) He's also showing me that I'm not racing alone. I'm surrounded by friends and family who are praying for me and cheering me each step along the way.

But some recent events have changed up the course. Suddenly, the race took a turn up a very steep hill.
Some large boulders were thrown in my path. The road is twisting and turning, and I didn't train for this. To add further difficulty to this race, I feel like a huge, dark blindfold has been thrown on me.
I have no idea what my life will look like on Monday. I'm sitting here with no answers, and it's dark and scary. My anxiety is through the roof. I don't know how to run blindfolded.

And my mom quietly reminds me that "even the darkness will not be dark to you; the night will shine like the day, for darkness is as light to you." (Psalm 139:12) And so, I take hold of Jesus' hand and keep putting one foot in front of the other. It's still steep. And rocky. And hard. I'm slowing my pace and trusting Him.

When the Wilson Boys Get Together... never know what will happen.

They look like such sweet daddies to their little girls.

Even showing them the finer points of retail shopping.

Like the "Goodbye Mall" song and dance.

Dayna doesn't look overly impressed.

But do you see that awesome orange travel mug? Perfect for tea!

Thursday, December 29, 2011

Meeting a "Real" Friend

I have a great network of friends through the internet. It's always fun to get to meet people in person and turn your "pretend" friends into "real" friends.

While in Portland, I finally met up with my cyber friend, Kris. She brought her daughter Kaara to meet us at a mall in Portland on the day after Christmas (maybe not the best time and place to meet!) Kaara and Dayna had a blast playing in the play area while Kris and I got to visit for about an hour.

Hooray for "real" friends!

Who Can Resist Cute Baby Pictures?

Yup...that's Claire. The darling daughter of my sweet niece Ashleigh. 6 months on Christmas Day! This was my first chance to meet her.

And if you like cute baby pictures, or want to see some AWESOME DIY projects, check out Ashleigh's blog.

Dreaming of a Wet Christmas

Three years ago, we were snowed was, quite honestly, one of the worst Christmases ever. This year, we were in Oregon again. It was a wet Christmas...and we were okay with that! (And yes...the grass IS greener in Oregon.)

So happy dreaming...
So...this one technically isn't dreaming...but movie snuggles are pretty cool, too!

Wednesday, December 28, 2011

Happy Birthday, Dan

I wrote last year (click here) about our Angel Food cake tradition for Dan's birthday. This year, I thought it would be wise to have Dayna learn the fine art of making her dad's cake.

We started by separating the eggs.
Then we added the sugar and flour that had been sifted (six times!)
Then we bake it, put it on a pretty cake plate, and have Dayna pose in her Cindy Lou Who pajamas.
Homemade angel food cake = one happy Dad!

Wednesday, December 14, 2011

Asking the Right Question

Thirteen years ago, Dan took me to an extremely romantic restaurant (Godfather's Pizza), ordered me a gourmet meal (Taco Pizza), arranged pre-dinner entertainment (a game of Gin), and asked me a question.

I'm so glad I gave him the right answer.

...and I'd say yes again! (and again and again and again)

Love you, Dan!

Friday, December 9, 2011

Pajama Run

Last night we brought back a yearly tradition. When Dayna least expects it, we put her to bed, get into our own Christmas-y jammies, make up some hot cocoa, then wake her up (quite noisily.)

It's time for a


On a Pajama Run, we get in the car with our pajamas and cocoa, and drive around to look at Christmas lights. We make a point of counting how many Nativities we can see, and talk about how Jesus came to be the Light of the World.

What kind of fun Christmas traditions do you keep at your house?

Thursday, December 8, 2011

Referral Day!

Six years ago today, I was sent an email. "There's a little girl I think you might want to see" was the message from Tiffany. She was our case worker at All God's Children.

So I ran to the computer lab (these were the days before internet in the portables) and checked it out. I read through the details of a little girl, showing amazing self restraint at not going directly to the photos at the end.

This little girl was only 7 months old! One of the youngest referrals seen at AGCI. She loved to be held, and her favorite activity was music time. How could she not be my child?

With tears in my eyes, and a heart screaming "YES! YES! YES!" I scrolled down and saw this beautiful face:

She had ten fingers, ten toes, and three chins!!!!

So glad you're in our family, Dayna!