Wednesday, December 5, 2012

Jeremy at 15 Months Old

Dear Jeremy,

Earlier this year, shortly after the start of the school year, your preschool teacher asked for all of the children in the class to bring in a photo of themselves when they were younger. I was so thankful that the teacher was sensitive to her students that have been adopted (two of you this year!) by simply asking for a photo of you from when you were younger, but the implication was...bring a baby picture!

One of the things that has been a little sad for me is that I didn't get to meet you until you were 23 months old, and the earliest photos I have of you were from when you were 19 months old. Granted, I LOVE the chubby cheeks in those photos, but you were definitely a toddler at that point.

Thankfully, another adoptive mom encouraged me to network with other adoptive parents to see if anyone had any photos of you at a younger age from their travels to Ethiopia. So I decided to put a post on Facebook in a group of adoptive moms that I am a part of. Remarkably, another mom who is a Facebook friend of mine wrote me within 24 hours asking me if you were from northern Ethiopia. I said yes, and when she asked me if you had spent time living in a specific orphanage, I said yes again. Then she said that she thought she had a photo of you from a visit she made there in January 2010, but she wasn't sure... so she sent this photo and asked me if it was you. Once again, I answered "YES!!! YES it is!!!"

There you were, sitting on the floor with the chubbiest cheeks, shaved head, the same eyes and eyebrows that I know and love...and the final confirmation was that second toe that still sits on top of your big toe! (You and Zachary both share that trait!) I wept with joy as I gazed at a photo of the baby I never got to know, the baby I had never seen before! I'm so thankful for this is a treasure! And just like that...we have a baby picture of you!

Parenthood is an amazing journey, and I'm so glad you are mine and I am yours,

Tuesday, November 6, 2012

Election Day 2012

Dear Jeremy and Zachary,

I got home from voting a few minutes ago. Your Dad voted early this morning, and as he was leaving for work this morning, I told him how excited I was to go and cast my ballot. He agreed that it is exhilarating...I believe his exact words were "Democracy Rocks!".

I have spent more time reading and researching the candidates in this presidential election than I have ever before. This is my first presidential election since becoming a mother, and more than anything else, I was thinking about you two. The way I vote now doesn't just affect me, it affects you!

I felt so proud casting my ballot this morning, and the two of you were in the forefront of my mind. When I got back out to my car, I sat for a moment and wept. I was overwhelmed by what a blessing it is to live in a country where I have a voice and my vote really matters. I hope that in some small way, my vote today will help ensure a bright future for you, my sons!


Tuesday, September 25, 2012

Back On Stage!

I'm thrilled to be back on stage at Houston's Main Street Theater, performing in a very funny two-woman show called Girls Only: The Secret Comedy of Women. The show is such a joy to perform, and I'm having a blast. This morning, Keri Henson (the other actress in the show) and I appeared on Great Day Houston, where we were interviewed about the show and we performed part of a scene.

It was so much fun, and I feel so blessed to be living my dreams of being a professional actress! Thank You, God!

Wednesday, September 19, 2012

My Mom lovingly pointed out that it's been five months since I updated this blog...whoops!

Here are some photos of the boys taken since last April:

Mother's Day 2012

Last day of preschool with his teacher.

Boys' first time at the beach, near Laguna Beach, CA

Family trip to Disneyland!

Swimming lessons!

Father's Day 2012

Beca spent the summer with us again this year!!!

Florida Beach Vacation, Nana and the boys!

Family photo at the beach in Florida!

Boys' first day of preschool, Sept. 2012

Thursday, July 5, 2012

Post Placement Report

Dear Jeremy and Zachary,

One of the requests that the Ethiopian government asks of adoptive parents is to provide them with a letter once a year detailing your lives and the progress you have made during the past year. For me, preparing these annual reports is fun, because I love looking back at all you have accomplished over the past year. Part of preparing this report is selecting six photos of each of you to include with it. These photos are sent to our agency office in the city where your b1rthm0ther lives, and she will have access to these files if she chooses to stop by the office and ask for them. I think it's a wonderful thing for her to be able to have glimpses of your lives as you grow up. However, it can be hard to pick my six favorite photos of each of you, because I want to find pictures that convey your personalities, your interests and your handsomeness! These are the ones I picked for this year's report:



At the end of August, we will be celebrating two years together as a family! I'm so glad God placed you in our family. You are His blessings to us every day.


Monday, May 28, 2012

California Vacation

Last week, we had a wonderful family vacation! Yes, all four of us traveled together by plane and we survived! We were unsure if we should bring our giant double stroller with us, but it proved to be AWESOME for transporting two little boys AND their carseats through the airport and to our gate!

As soon as we arrived in Los Angeles, I felt revived by the dry air and cool temperatures. Ahhhh. I had forgotten how beautifully flowers grow there in such profusion. Front yards are works of art!

We stayed with our dear friends Jenn and Dave and their sweet baby Ellie! The boys had a great time and they enjoyed special breakfasts of Mickey pancakes made by Jenn!

The weather was so beautiful, we ate most of our meals outside on their patio.

One day, we drove to Irvine and had lunch with some friends who also have a son from Ethiopia.  The boys had a blast together at the "kids" end of the table!

After lunch, we decided to take a drive to Laguna Beach where we enjoyed "Monkey Flip" milkshakes (chocolate, banana, peanut butter and date) and took in views of the Pacific!

Since this was the boys' very first time to be near an Ocean, we had to take them to the beach!

We drove up to Arcadia one day to visit another Gladney Family, the Scherers! Brian and I met these twins in Ethiopia while they were still in foster care, so it was wonderful to see them again at 2 years old!

On Wednesday, we went to Disneyland! The day started off with a "character breakfast" at the Storyteller's Cafe.

Jeremy's favorite part was driving a car on the Autopia ride.

We went on the Nemo ride.

And of course, the boys got Mickey ears (which Mommy got to wear, too)!!!

Meeting Mickey was Zachary's favorite part. When we left, he said, "Bye-bye, Mickey" in a sweet, tender voice.

Dads with their kids!

On our last full day, Brian got to have lunch with a group of guys he mentored while we lived there. They were in college at the time, and now they are all in their mid-twenties, with jobs, and one of them even has a family now! It was a fun reunion!

It was a great week, full of fun and friendship!