Goodness "Grace"ious….!!!

Grace had a fantastic school year! Her little report cards tells a wonderful story–she continued to improve throughout the year and ended with the highest marks in the 4th quarter! Way to finish strong, Grace!

Grace spent a about half of her school day in the regular 2nd grade classroom. Her regular ed teacher was “Johnson” (Grace calls everyone by their last names only.) And, every morning, Johnson would do the “I’m watching you signal”, using her first two fingers in a V pointing at her eyes and then to Grace’s. Then, Grace would do it back at Johnson!

Mrs. Johnson did a fabulous job of including Grace in the class. For instance, she told us that when it was time for a math game with flash cards, she would have Grace hold the card out for the child to give the answer. If it was a boy and he got the answer right, he would get to take the card from Grace, who would then pat him on the back and say “Good job, Mister!” And, if it was a girl who got the answer right, Grace would hand her the flash card and say, “Good job, Toots!” What a hoot!

Here’s an email note we got from Johnson on the last day: “Hi Paula, I just want to say thanks for sharing your wonderful daughter with me this year. I can’t tell you enough how much I enjoyed having Grace in my classroom. The morning hugs and the Johnson, I’m watching you signal always started my days out great! I’m sure going to miss her! Have a great summer! Stacy aka “Johnson”

And to finish it off, here’s a video clip that her wonderful spec ed teacher, Christianson, took of Grace reading. This is a huge encouragement to me, as I have not heard her read yet. She won’t read for anyone but Christianson, not even Johnson!

Our Day…

As I mentioned a couple of days ago, I wanted to spend some time with Liz & Sam before Grace was out of school for the summer. So, Sam came up with a list of things he wanted to do with me.

First of all, the three of us went to Denny’s and had breakfast. We talked about the adoption, the possibility of the closures, and our hopes for the upcoming summer vacation. After the breakfast, Liz went to her best friend Alyssa’s house to hang out and go bike riding.

Sam and I headed to Grace’s school to pick up a few things that couldn’t be sent home on the bus (like a Stokke chair that we lent them, but now we need for Bella!). We were able to take a few pictures of Grace with her teachers….

Next, Sam and I headed to Oak Park to feed the wild Canadian geese. They aren’t so wild now, because people have been feeding them all spring, and they aren’t too svelt either!

Next, on Sam’s agenda was to visit the Humane Society. (Can you tell he loves animals?) He especially loves cats, so off we went to “Kitty City” at the shelter.

Sam and I had a wonderful day together!(we snapped this holding the camera together out in front of us)

He’s a quick-witted kid with a big heart! He’ll make a wonderful big brother to Bella!

Prayers Needed

Since beginning this adoption journey, we have had a few bumps in the road, as I am sure most adoptive parents have….

Well, this is a big pothole! Bella’s country may close international adoptions for a few months. 😦 No one really knows why, but it seems to be some in-fighting and power struggles between political parties. Anyways, for those of us families who are ready to go and get their children, this is definitely a time for prayers! Would you join us in praying that the country will not close adoptions, or at the very least, that even if they close, that adoptions of kiddos with special needs would be honored and allowed to continue?

So from nothing happening on Tuesday….to Thursday….let’s just says things can change rather quickly!

I’m a little down but continuing (trying) to trust in God’s will in all this. Kevin says maybe this will make our adoption story a little more interesting. Good try, Kev!

Nothing’s going on….

and that’s a good thing! We had a really relaxing weekend, although I spent almost my whole Saturday cleaning out the garage (third stall was stuffed with boxes from when we moved last July) and painting my retro metal lawn furniture chairs a hunter green. Actually, the furniture turned out really nice–and saved us $$’s by only having to pay $24 for paint instead of succumbing to the temptation to buy a new set! Every little bit saved continues to go into the Bella fund.

While Grace is in school today, I am taking Sam & Liz out to run some errands. Liz is out driving with her driver’s ed teacher Mr. M right now. She only has one more hour to drive and then she’s officially done with driver’s ed. What’s amazing is that she only got her permit last Wednesday and will have gotten her required 6 hours of driving done in one week. It will be so nice to have an additional driver for when we become a family of six!

Tonight’s the rescheduled TV spot with KMOT, our NBC affiliate. Still kind of nervous! I’ll keep you posted 🙂 ……

Now, as we move into the lazy days of summer, we continue to wait “patiently” for news on the adoption front. I am so excited to get our dossier in and get that travel date–then the lazy days of summer will turn into the crazy days of summer, I’m sure!

School’s Out!

School’s out for Elizabeth & Sam–they are so excited! Me, well, I am excited to have them home again, but as many of you know, any change in my routine takes some adjusting (stop laughing Mom & Karla)!

During their closing Chapel, Sam received the Barnabas Award (for encouragement)and Elizabeth received a $250 scholarship from the Optimist club for an essay she wrote on the power of youth. And, Grace got the Peace Medal award yesterday in her class. What a proud Mama I am!

Also, during chapel the Freshmen, I mean “Sophomore” class presented Elizabeth with a card and $376 they raised to help bring Bella home. What a blessing! These kids are just great–last night we hosted a surprise going-away party for one of their classmates. They are just the most thoughtful class–but know how to let loose and have fun! (lots of waterguns, pizza, football….)

Oh, and yesterday I had a first–morning coffee with my neighborhood ladies. It was so much fun! They were so interested in our adoption and wanted to hear all about it. They are all retired ladies that live across the street in townhouses. I had never been to “coffee” before, so I had some pre-conceived notions about coffee conversation. I was surprised to learn these ladies are not only polictically-savvy, but also are up-to-date on the latest trends, including American Idol!

Next week, Grace has school through Thursday, so I will be able to spend one-on-one time with Elizabeth & Sam before Grace is out for summer. Elizabeth will want to practice driving, and Sam and I will catch up on “Meerkat Manor” (our favorite show)

Looking forward to a quiet weekend at home–but trying to keep busy so as not to get too impatient about bringing our little Bella home.

Growing up….

Elizabeth got her driving permit yesterday! After getting her permit, we went to the high school driving range (for cars not golf 🙂 and she drove for the very first time. At one point, as we were hurtling through space, she said in a very robotic voice “Mom, we are going to be OK.” She stopped the vehicle; we looked at each other; then we burst into laughter! She said “I don’t know why I just said that, but I guess I was trying to comfort myself more than anything!”

How can my little girl be driving already? It seems like yesterday when she was busy drawing and writing her little stories, dressing up in her Pocahontas outfit, and playing with her little Polly Pockets.

Time marches on…sigh…..