Sunday Snapshot {Reflections}

It seems fitting that while parts of 2010 were at a frantic pace, my children and I didn't leave home (with the exception of me going to the grocery Tuesday after Ian got home from work) from the time we got back in town Monday evening until around 5:30 Friday night.  All the time here, listening to my kids recreate Thomas or fairy stories as they played together, or pausing in my daily routine to watch them nap, brought plenty of moments for reflection.

So, so much could be written about the year 2010.  I decided though to challenge myself with highlighting just one defining moment from each month.  (An especially big challenge for anyone who knows just how long my stories can be...)

January found us in final preparation mode to add another member to the family.  Our shopping list included toiletries, gifts for the kids to exchange when they met one another, gifts for orphanage staff, guides and officials, and of course a new van.

***Funny note here ~ I recall thinking it was overkill to trade our Passat in for the Highlander when we were waiting for Kylie back in 2006.  I thought we'd never outgrow that car.  I also remember thinking that it would be a LONG time before we'd max out the Sienna when we bought it...***

proving our new ride would comfortably sit three kids with the help of 'china sister' lottie
February was a very exciting month.  Oh China...!  So many adventures and memories.  But THE defining moment of February was walking into the civil affairs office on the 20th in Hangzhou.  My heart stood still as we opened the door and there she was!  The shock of her being there waiting for us instead of the other way around had me befuddled.  With no time to gather my thoughts on my first plan of action to win her heart, I went into emergency mode.  What to do?  Offer 'emmies' of course...

hoping our newest addition would love 'chock-it' as much as the rest of us
March passed in a blur.  The first week home included an urgent care visit for me to treat walking pneumonia, opthamology, pediatrician, and neurology appointments for Darcy, two sick visits for Ian (who was initially misdiagnosed as they missed his strep), birthdays for BOTH the girls, and the one day in my life when I had THREE three year olds living in my home.  I blame all that plus jet lag on the fact that I didn't make the kids pose for a good picture on that day.

i almost cried the next day when a friend asked me if i had gotten a cute picture of all three three year olds and I realized that in my fog i had missed it.  thank goodness for random snapshots.

And while I was making effort to keep it to one event per month, March wouldn't be complete without including the very first picture of my kids with their cousins!  In my heart I became an aunt the day my sister and her husband announced they were beginning the adoption process.  But this day?...this was the one when I hugged my niece and nephew for the very first time.

march 29, 2010 ~ the day pierson and maylin became american citizens AND stole my heart for good

April gave Caleb a chance to realize his dream of being one of eleven kids in a house.  Following a very abrupt closing of Ian's company (meaning we had three kids and no income), dear friends invited us to join them at a mountain cabin in GA for a monsoon weekend of fellowship as we sought God's will for 'what's next.'

it was better than caleb dreamed
The beginning of May found us clinging to the scripture promising God's vision for our lives that our friends shared with us during our weekend together.  By the middle of the month though, we found ourselves taking an impromptu 1500+ mile road trip to visit friends and family before Ian started his new job.

my grandfather sharing his love of nature with my children
As summer approached in June we found that we were settling into our 'new normal.'  Ian and I were finally getting into the groove of parenting three kids and by this point is appeared to most folks that our children had always been together.

all smiles for their daddy on father's day
July brought with it the intense heat of a NC summer and many, many visits to the pool.  Our kids pretty much learned to swim that month, but the highlight was celebrating eleven years of walking through life with my best friend.

he came home from work with a simple arrangement of my favorite flowers the night we went out to celebrate.  his reasoning?  'my dad said if you like a girl, bring her flowers.'  i love this man!
In the hot month of August we spent more time at the pool, and visited our children's museum and the science museum on the days that even the pool wasn't refreshing enough.  We started our M preschool to rave reviews, but the highlight was spending our annual week at Sunset Beach with our extended family.  There were so, so many beautiful pictures to choose from...

at the time ian and i thought our family was complete for the immediate future.  it seems though that even then ky knew what was coming the next month and was focusing her siblings' attention across the sea...
September can be summed up with the following picture of the little boy we learned would soon be part of our family.

oh sweet daniel, how we long for you to be here with us!
October.  What a fun month! Picking just one highlight was tough!  Caleb's 4th birthday?  A trip to the zoo with cousins?  State fair?  A beach wedding?  First trick-or-treating for DQ?  All wonderful moments that I'm so glad to have documented.  But the biggie for October?  Celebrating two years of knowing our oldest son.

it was a pumpkin patch extravaganza celebration, complete with his 'china brother' henry and family
In November we gathered with family to give thanks.  And this year our extended family had much to be thankful for ~ three kiddos ate their first Thanksgiving meal at home.

five kids thankful for siblings, cousins, and turkey!
And December...Christmas.  We enjoyed the fun of decorating a tree, exchanging gifts, getting visited by Santa, but above all we celebrated the humble birth of our savior in a manger.

one of my very favorite ornaments, given to me by friends of the family for my second Christmas

The manger which led to the cross.  The cross which ultimately bridged the divide between us and our Creator.

This year more than ever before I've seen the simple complexity of His plan to draw us to Him.  Oh how He loves us!

[See how great a love the Father has bestowed upon us, that we should be called children of God; and such we are...]  1 John 3:1
May you know His unyielding love for you in 2011!


Ni Hao Y'all


Gwen said...

A beautiful post. What an eventful year you've had, and look how far you've come as a family! Amazing.
And 2011 will be another busy, blessed, exciting year!
Happy New Year and best wishes as you prepare to meet Daniel!!

Jordan Carl said...

Great post Kristi! Sounds like a full year with much to look forward to. Who knows, maybe 2011 will be spent with a new son and a cousin living in your house! That would be crazy fun. I'm not sure which it would be more of though... :)

Our Beaten Path said...

What a cute bunch you have. I love how you summed up each month with a memory. Great idea and cute pictures!

Nancy said...

Happy New Year! I LOVE this post! What a fantastic year. Can't wait to see what 2011 brings.

a Tonggu Momma said...

Loved it! (But don't think I didn't notice the "cheating" by asking questions. *grin* You are too cute.)

Glenda said...

Beautiful post, Kristi! I'm so thankful for friends like you and Ian and the opportunity to be apart of these things first hand! Here's to the next year and all that the Lord has in store for all of us!

Ally said...

Such a sweet post! Happy New Year to you and your family.

Laine said...

I love this Kristi!!!!!
I'm reflecting with you, and loving remembering many of these events that we got to be a part of by either reading about it on your posts or being there IN PERSON! :)
Wow-from China to Helen to never know where the Lord is leading! :)
Love to our favorite family and HAPPY NEW YEAR!!!!!!!

Laurie said...

Loved, loved, loved this year in review!! Every picture was SO significant, but my favorite was the "unplanned" one of the 3 kiddos playing on chairs. :)

Stefanie said...

Absolutely beautiful post... how HE has blessed your family this year!!
I can so relate to seeing His plan to draw us to Him now more than ever. How He loves us!!

Daisy Dreams said...

What a fantastic idea to highlight the year! Sounds like a wonderful year but it also sounds like 2011 promises to be wonderful too!

heather said...

What a fantastic way to walk us through your 2010! I remember that room in Hangzhou .. made me smile. Can't wait to see your 2011with that sweet Daniel in the mix.

Cindy M said...

Loved reliving your year! And wondering if you'll be heading this way again soon...or waiting till Daniel is home. And how 'bout that reunion? You're going to need material for next year's wrap-up, right? :)

Love ya. Miss ya.