Wednesday, April 27, 2011

The Bunny

After weeks of singing, dancing, and talking about the Bunny, he finally arrived on Sunday! Charlie woke up a cranky mess on Sunday afternoon and didn't want to get out of bed. I told him that he better get up because someone special left him something! THE BUNNY! He just about lost his mind, high stepping to the living room to see his baskets (yes, our bunny leaves multiple baskets thanks to the baba and dada bunnies.....) Then it was onto the egg hunt, which he did much better at this time around since he knew candy was at stake :0)
The day before in preparation for the bunny we colored Easter eggs and made the traditional bunny cake. On Sunday morning we got up early and heard Papa preach and had a great time worshipping at our church. We kept the "bunny" under wraps until after nap time! Kudos to parents that bunnies comes BEFORE church. That really wasn't a possibility for us because of our Sunday schedules, luckily I think we have a few more years of "waiting" for the bunny until the afternoon!
Making the Bunny

All done!

Coloring eggs (redneck style)

Checking out what the Bunny left with Mama Bunny!

Looking for eggs!

Sunday morning before church. Waiting for the Bunny. This picture cracks me up. All business!
Happy Easter!

Thursday, April 21, 2011

A boy and his guitar...

My new favorite picture of lil man! This was right after I told him he could take the guitar home!

He insisted that the "lala" have it's own seat and safely secured while driving.

Stuffed animal? Who needs em?

Time for a tune up

Did I mention I'm available for private concerts?
Love at first site! We found this guitar at Cracker Barrel and he was enjoying playing it so much I had to get it. When I told him it was time to go, he returned the guitar to the shelf. I said "No! You get to take it home with you!" His eyes lit up like Christmas morning... it was so precious. Now we take it with us wherever we go! He even puts it to bed at cute!
I may be biased, but I think my son is a musical genius. Maybe it's because I have no musical talent what-so-ever, but I swear yesterday he was playing Mary had a little lamb on his xylophone!

Monday, April 18, 2011

Zoo Growth Chart

February Zoo Trip
We have a great zoo about 30 minutes from the house. When Chad and I went in October before Charlie came home, we knew one of the things we wanted to do once he arrived was buy a family annual pass. It's a great place- the zoo is interesting, but not too big. Just perfect for a half day of fun. The best part- it's shady! And the playground is awesome! Anyway, every time we go I take a picture of Charlie in the jeep. I think it's a nice way of watching him grow, which apparently he has been doing a lot of lately. His 2T shorts don't button anymore and he's grown about an inch since we arrived home! I think with all the sunshine he's been getting- he's growing like a weed!
March Zoo Trip

April Zoo Trip

Sunday, April 17, 2011


Yipppeee! It's finally done! This playground has reminded me of an old fashioned "barn building". Everyone and their brother has had a hand in putting this thing up! Thank you Langford family for gifting us with two tons (yes, I really mean two tons, for once I am not being sarcastic....) of mulch!  Now, would anyone like to come over and work on the flowerbeds?

Saturday, April 16, 2011

Weekend Fun!

Mulching the playground with Parker

Then I put on a rock show

I visited the confirmation retreat at Asbury Hills

Saw a roadside ostrich at a gas station! It was weird!

Then crashed and burned on the way home!

Monday, April 11, 2011

The fun continues!

I remember the weeks following our wedding eleven years ago(!). After planning "the big day" for over a year, I was really sad there was no more cake tasting, favor making, seat charting.... I wondered "what will I do to pass the time now?"
Well, with adoption, the so-called "honeymoon" appears to be never over.
In the last few weeks I have been working feverishly on the "next steps" in paperwork. Yup. More paperwork.
USCIS Citizenship certificates, Social Security card applications, US Passports, and GULP....Re-adoption.
I don't even want to think about post-adoption reporting. Our first PAR is due in June! It'll be here next time I blink for sure.
We received Charlie's citizenship certificate in the mail from USCIS in a very timely manner. (Maybe I'm not on the "black list") So that was the proverbial "tip of the iceberg" to get the rest of our tasks completed.
Social Security application. I filled out the forms, copied our documents and drug the boy to the SSI office right after lunch on Thursday last week. I was greeted at the door by a not so friendly security guard and 100 other people waiting for whatever you wait for if you don't have a baby at the Social Security Office. I grabbed and number and a seat. I figured if Charlie can make it through a 20 hour plane flight, he can sit in the SS Office for an hour. Luckily, I had some random things in my purse to keep him busy. Like safety scissors I use for couponing. So I taught him how to cut paper (government issued paper to be exact) Finally it was our turn!
After the officer called over her supervisor, and then her supervisor's supervisor to figure out how to key in our adoption information, we were on our way. 45 minutes in a sterile waiting room=no problem for my boy. He is such a people watcher, and TRUST me, there was a lot of people watching to be done there! Next week he should get his SSN!
Now it's on to the next steps in our planner.....
Call me crazy, but I think I can file the post-adoption legal papers on my own without an attorney. Working at a law firm for the last 5 years does have it's perks I suppose, Summons/Petitions/and Civil Action Cover Sheets don't scare me! I think I can do it without paying an attorney to do it, acting as my own attorney.....we'll see after I really start digging into. If it's too much for me to handle, maybe I can call in a favor at the firm....
So, it seems like the fun never ends in adoption land! At least until 2014 when our last PAR is sent in! Ah....but then we will move on to renouncing citizenship when he turns 18....Charlie is a duel citizen of the US and Russia and if he ever travels back to his motherland after his 18th birthday he could be drafted into the Russian military upon his entry into the country!
So, no. I don't think it will ever end. Ah....the things they don't tell you....

Wednesday, April 6, 2011

Tuesday, April 5, 2011

The name game....

My friend Emma! Another favorite person to talk about....
 Charlie is starting to say a lot more folk's names lately and it is so cute to me! He gets so excited to see his friends and shouts their names over and over again....
Downfall- if he sees someone who looks remotely like them or has a similar characteristic from a distance he launches into a in depth conversation about that person until the look-alike acknowledges their uncanny resemblance. (Ex: Anytime he sees a Suburban he insists its "Jana" He also talks about Jana at bedtime because "Jammies" and "Jana" sound alike!) He also screamed "Joe-Joe" at a tall  man in Target until the guy stopped what he was doing waved to him. I just smile and shrug and say "you look like someone he knows....hehe" It's so great to see him responding socially to people that we love too!
A few other favorite names to shout, say, converse about:
Nene (Aunt Brittany)
Anna (our dog Annie)
Anna too (our dog Alex, since he can't say "Alex" he just says "too")
We read a book about the Nativity and he says "Ba-bee Jesus". So cute!!!

Tonight he finally said his own "non-Russian" name in the smallest sweetest voice...."Shar...lie" So precious. I want to shout with joy with every new word that comes from his lips! 

Saturday, April 2, 2011

Police Car Needed.....

Dear Mr./Mrs. Police Officer:
I need to borrow your squad car for a few minutes for photo op purposes only.
You must not mind if we stand on your hood since you don't have handy running boards in which to stand on.
You can come to my house (please turn sirens off so that our neighbors don't say bad things about my mom and dad....)
Or I can meet you at a public parking lot as I did for the Fire truck, Electric Company's truck, or the Ambulance. You just park it, go in for a bite to eat and I'll hop on and shout "cheese" until my mom takes my picture.
Love, Charlie

P.S.- You can call me on my cell phone

Friday, April 1, 2011


The 2nd shift work crew!

The maiden slide voyage

Praise report!

The Judge said "DA!!!" to the Hooks! Evan has a forever family! She will be the FIRST child with down syndrome to be adopted in Pskov. What a BIG deal! I pray that this opens the floodgates for more children with special needs, especially for Kirill and Baby J.
This is the power of prayer people!
That a Judge that just two weeks ago couldn't comprehend why anyone would want a child with special needs and rejected a case based solely on that backwards thought is now processing adoptions, not only for "Americans" but special needs children too. I know that the Davis' ruling will be overturned. I love it when God not only breaks down barriers, but smashes them and rights a wrong in the same swift motion. Go God! This is the same Judge that refused our case for close to a year without an official agreement being signed and then one day out of the blue scheduled our case. Could there be any other explanation? I really don't think so. God moves everywhere- in Russia and in the hearts of men (and Judges).

Cool news too- the Davis/Hook/Moreno's family agency, Reece's Rainbow is now partnering with our agency, CWA. Reece's Rainbow is a special agency that finds families for special needs children. They have hundreds of children waiting on their website and a lot of the children that need homes have matching grants to help with the cost of adoption! Also, if you follow Reece's Rainbow on Twitter, aka @ReecesRainbow, Patricia Heaton (Raymond, The Middle) will donate $1 to the agency for every person that follows along!
Yeah Reece's Rainbow and Yeah Patricia Heaton!
Also- My friend Steph is officially a Mommy today! Her Judge said "Da!" as well. Today is a day for celebrating in the adoption community. Whooo-Hoo!!!