Wednesday, December 9, 2009

Memories from a year ago...

One year ago today we were in a orphanage in Siberia and finally held the one we had prayed for and waited for so long, our little baby Anna. She was only 13 months old then, and it was one of the sweetest days of our lives. I remember so much from that day, and it is hard to believe that it has been a year. It is really hard to put into words what we were going through, it was so emotional. All I know is God was so faithful to us, although Anna was knit together in another woman's womb, He knew from the beginning of time that I was to be her mommy and Ryan was her daddy and she is right where she is meant to be.

Here she is one year later napping again on her mama, but she has traded in her thumb for her "lovie" blanket

Tuesday, December 1, 2009

Anna's 2 Year Pictures

Our sweet little girl is now 2, it is hard to believe one year ago we didn't even know her. We are still amazed at how perfectly she fits into our family, she is definitely a mix of sugar and spice! She is learning the ropes here in her forever home, however, she can still work us with her sheer determination and adorable smile. She is now insistent that we read her 4 books and sing her 4 songs at bedtime (we started at 2), if I try to cheat and just sing 3 she lets me know!


This dress was made by my grandma for my sister and I when we were young. I love that Anna now has it to pass on.

Friday, October 30, 2009

Anna's Turns 2!!

We had a very special weekend last week celebrating Anna's 2nd birthday, her U.S. Re-Adoption court day, and her and Brooks dedication at church. We were so glad we were able to pack it all into one weekend so our parents could fly in to celebrate with us!

Thank you to everyone who helped make the weekend so special. Anna enjoyed all the attention and we were so happy to be able to celebrate her birthday for the first time!

Here are some pictures from all the festivities:

Anna's adoption was finalized in Russia, however, we opted to have her "re-adopted" in the U.S. so she can receive a U.S. birth certificate. Both of our parents came, Amy's cousin Shanna and her kids Aiden and Marina, and our friends Keith and Shelley Brooks with their children. Thank you all for joining us, it was a MUCH easier process than the questions we had to answer in Russia:-)

The first of many birthday celebrations with our Anna!

Fun Party!

Brooks and Anna's Special Day being dedicated at our church

Tuesday, September 15, 2009

4 months today!

Today marks four months that Anna has been home with us. It has gone so quickly in lots of ways, but it also feels like she has been a part of our family for a long time. Today we had our six month post-placement meeting with our social worker (yes 2 months early in order to get it written, notarized, apostilled, translated and to Russia on time). As we sat and reflected on her first weeks home, I was reminded of how far she has come in such a short amount of time. She was taken from the only building she had ever known, quickly flown across the world and then entered a new family where everything was completely and totally different. As much as we tried to slow down our lives for her, just living in America requires many car trips, busy stores, new food, lots of faces, etc. It is so much for a little one to take in! Looking back we realize how much fear she had. Her many sleepless nights, her constant need to be held, fear of the carseat, fear of her crib, jealousy of her brothers, fear of people, etc. All of that was her trying to deal with the very scary new things that were now part of her every day life. I think I would have been crying and upset too!! Now that we are here at our 4 month mark, she is a completely different little girl. She now loves her crib, sleeps through the night, will say HI to strangers but prefers mommy and daddy and loves her brothers immensely. She has the most adorable giggle and can light up our world with her smile! She truly has come so far from the scared little baby who had a death grip on me as we flew to America. We love our precious Anna and thank the Lord every day that from the beginning of time he knew she would be ours, and then moved mountains to make it so.

This is pretty much what our flight consisted of for 11 hours, Anna crying and me trying to console her. Poor little thing.

Arriving home to our welcome committee!

Now look at our silly girl!

Learning all about dress up from her friend Faith! Hanging out with her buddy Yosef (also adopted just 6 weeks before Anna)!

This is all her brothers doing...Brooks is Luke Skywalker, Bradey is a clone, and yes Anna is Princess Leah!

Friday, August 28, 2009

Vacation to California and Arizona

A couple of weeks ago we traveled to CA and AZ to introduce Anna to all of her extended family. She had already met her grandma's and grandpa's, but there were many Great Grandma's and Papa's, aunts, uncles, cousins, etc. waiting to finally meet the little one they have all prayed for so long for. It was 2 weeks of lots of new faces, but Anna did great and loved all of the attention. There are SO many pictures to post, but here is just a sampling of the loving family that Anna now has forever!

Anna and her sweet cousin Megan

"Anna Christine" with her Aunt Christine

The boys with their cousins Collin and Joshua

The adults out celebrating Christy's birthday!

Anna smooching her Great Grandma O

Anna and Grandpa

Playing with Grandma

The boys with their AZ cousins Ben and Sam

Anna and GaGa

Great Grandpa Vogel and Granny

Gaga and Papa

Wednesday, July 29, 2009

Sibling Love

Bradey and Brooks absolutely love their little sister. They argue over who's turn it is to get her out of her crib, who gets to unbuckle her from her carseat, who gets to hold her hand, carry her, etc. For the most part Anna too loves her brothers ~ about 90 percent of the time she tolerates them carrying her around like a ragdoll and manhandling her. As long as they aren't getting too much of mommy's or daddy's attention she's happy :-)

Sunday, July 12, 2009

Comfort Food

Poor Anna had a cold this week and you could tell just by looking in her eyes that she felt miserable. I decided to make for dinner what we saw her eat in the orphanage with her group, mashed potatoes mixed with meat, onions and cabbage. We are not a big meat and potatoes family, but I wanted to try to give Anna some sort of comfort. Well as you can see, it worked! Little Anna ate the biggest portion of food we have seen since she was in the orphanage! She gobbled down every bite that was in her bowl and even finished some of mine. The boys were not quite as excited about the meal (they can't stand potatoes) but they saw how excited Anna was and it encouraged them to eat it too.

All mixed together potatoes, cabbage, meat and onion

Oh thank you mama, I LOVE it!

All Gone!!

Yeah for familiar food, lets do that more often:-)