Thursday, June 26, 2014

Families Are Forever (Corbin's Sealing)

One very rainy day in April, we were able to take Corbin to the temple and seal him to our family.  We were so excited to have our little family in the temple.  I loved that Emme was old enough to understand a little of what was going on.  She talked about going to the temple for weeks before the sealing.

Poor Corbin was teething and had diarrhea.  He had explosion after explosion and I was so worried it would get on his white suit, but it never did.  He cried during the whole sealing and come to find out later, the nursery worker mistook some rice cereal in his bag for formula.  Little man was starving.  I so wish I could go back and change that part of the experience.

Emme was her usual busy self and couldn't be bothered with holding still.  Luckily I had lots of family to help out and most everyone understood. She loved walking the temple halls and pushing all of the elevator buttons.  She even pushed the button that called for help.  Good times.  Good memories.  She looked so pretty in her "Elsa dress."

It was a beautiful experience overall and I'm so happy Corbin is eternally ours.  I could feel the spirit very strongly throughout the temple and I know our family is loved.  I won't share everything, because a lot of it is very sacred to me, but I will say that I know Heavenly Father and Jesus Christ know us personally.  They know and love my children so much.  I am hugely imperfect, but I know without a doubt that my savior loves me too.   It doesn't matter where we were born, the color of our skin, or if your baby grew inside you or in someone else.  He LOVES us and has created a way for us to be eternal.  He knew we would make mistakes and He knows we are imperfect, but He loves us anyway and has created a way for us to come back to him.  He does not want us to fail.

Adoption is so hard for a lot of people to comprehend, but I'm thankful that Christ gets it.  Emme and Corbin were destined to be part of our family from the beginning.  I am so thankful for the blessings adoption and infertility has brought to us.  No one can ever take away the knowledge we have gained through these experiences.  

The rain stopped for a short little while and we were able to get a few pictures outside of the temple.  Don't be fooled though.  It was freezing!

Wednesday, June 25, 2014

Corbin Becomes an Alexander

Back in April we were able to take Corbin to court and finalize his adoption.  There is a supervisory period for six months after a child is placed in your home in which the agency has custody and they make sure you are bonding with the baby and everything is going as it should.  It's an exciting day and one we look forward to.  

As we were walking into court our lawyer realized we were missing a document from Idaho where Corbin was born. Our caseworker moved and we got a new one during supervisory so somehow no one noticed it was missing.  We were able to go through the all the motions of finalizing, but his adoption didn't become "official" until a day or two later when the judge finally received the missing paper and signed off on it.  

It was hard to celebrate like we had planned because the adoption was put on hold.  We were a little worried we'd have to change the date of the temple sealing, but luckily everything went through in time.  It was just a little glitch. 

With our cute judge. 

We love our lawyer.  He has also adopted two kids.

Our kids were so over it by the time we were done.  

Our caseworker.

Gregg's sister was able to be with us in the court room. It was nice to have her there.  So funny that Corbin wouldn't smile for anything.

Sunday, June 22, 2014

In Sickness and in Almost Death

Did you know there are viral infections out there that give you so much pain that you will beg, mercy?

Let's not get over dramatic here, but I thought I was going to die this week.

Emme was the first carrier of the death bug and threw up so many times she almost went to the ER for dehydration.  I do have to say, she is the best thrower upper kid I've ever seen.  She's so good to make it in her throw up bowl or run to the toilet.  She upchucked once on the couch and was so upset she missed the bowl.  She's a completely different kid when she's sick.  Calm, sweet, worried about our feelings.  It's weird.  A far cry from throwing her chicken and drink all over the dining room today, because "how dare we give her chicken when we apparently KNOW she hates it?"

But I digress.....

Luckily the rest of us didn't vomit once, but I sure wanted to.  It was like someone was inside of my head pounding me with a bat and someone else was twisting every muscle in my body.  There was no escape.  No position that eased the pain for four days.  I would have downed a whole container of Sardine juice if I thought it would have helped.  Unfortunately, it was just something we all had to live through.

Or rather, hang on the edge of mortality through.

Monday, June 9, 2014

One Year Down

Gregg has officially finished his first year of grad school.  

We made it.  

This time next year, I'll be posting pictures of graduation.  I can taste the finality.  

It's all very exciting until I feel the choke hold of fear of what happens next. 

I wish I could look back on this year and say "that wasn't so bad."  But, I can't.  It was hard. Uber hard.  

So many times I've thought "what the H were we thinking having you go back to school?"  

I pray it's all worth it.  I pray we find a golden job.  I pray we don't go bankrupt from student loans.  

It's too late to turn back now so I will go forward with my fist in the air while screaming "Let's do this!"  Or maybe "Get er' done!"  I haven't decided yet.  

Thursday, June 5, 2014

A Moment of Fame

Let's talk for a moment, or rather you listen while I talk, about my five minutes of LDS fame.

Back at the end of January I got wind from our ward choir director that the church was looking for volunteers to be in the Women's Conference Choir.  I thought it sounded really fun so I sent in my application.  They were upfront about the fact that they were mainly choosing families as this would be the first Women's Conference where girls from the ages 8 and up were invited.  I didn't think I had much of a chance, but at the same time I knew if I made it, it would be an amazing well needed experience.

A few weeks after my submission, I received an email congratulating me for making the choir.  I was thrilled.  To say I needed a spiritual boost would be a huge understatement.  I was drained and exhausted.  On the application they asked what I wanted to get out of the experience spiritually.  I wrote that I needed to bring the spirit to my home with me and that I wanted to be a better mom.  Now, I'm not saying our home was in terrible shape spiritually or anything, or that I was questioning my beliefs, it's just like I said.  I was feeling weighed down by life.  I needed to feel that I was loved from my Heavenly Father.

At our first rehearsal I learned just how lucky I was.  There were over 20,000 applicants for this 360ish person choir.  They said they ran out of time to read each individual application so they eventually just prayed that they were grabbing the papers of the women that were meant to be there.  I truly felt I NEEDED to be there.  It wasn't that I was an amazing singer or deserved it any more than anyone else, I just needed it.  Out of thousands, I was picked.  Little old normal me.  A tender mercy I was shown to know that I was loved and that He knows me personally.

At each of the practices we had the opportunity to hear from one of the women in the general presidencies. It was so special.  I learned so much from them and our awesome director.  The spirit was strong during every meeting.  Even the lady in charge of making sure we were wearing the right clothing was such a great example to me.  I realized I had work to do personally.  I wanted to be more like these women.  I wanted my relationship with Gregg to be stronger and more spiritually based.  I wanted our home to be a home of comfort and peace.  Not always easy with a special needs child with behavior issues.

My favorite song was "Daughters in His Kingdom."  The Primary, Young Women, and Relief Society all had their own parts.  I cried every time the primary started singing.  It was the sweetest thing.  During dress rehearsal the director had us sing it while looking around at all of the other women.  There was hardly a dry eye in the choir.

My favorite line of the song is when the Relief Society sing "Faithful and courageous, I choose to do my part."  It hit home to me.  I am choosing to not only survive raising a special needs child, but I am choosing to do my best.  I could give up at any point, but I continue to fight for her.  I would be lying if I said I didn't have moments of complete despair and disappointment in myself, but I CHOOSE to grow and learn.  I won't give up.

Here's the video of the song.  So good!

I took this photo at dress rehearsal the week before the conference.  Isn't the conference center beautiful?

The outfits we were asked to wear were um....not so much my style and I made a huge mistake going with orange.  Orange is not my color.  I had a few clothing malfunctions if we're being honest here, which I think we are.  My skirt did not want to stay up.  Once during dress rehearsal I looked down to see my skirt almost to my knees.  Um...embarrassing much?  Then I was so worried it would happen again, that I hiked it up so high that it gave me a big belly.  Oh I forgot we're being honest.  It showed my belly.  The belly I usually try to hide. Argg...I also didn't take into account that the fabric I chose showed sweat marks like crazy.  I'm usually not a sweater, but I was that night.  Just what I wanted for something that was shown world wide.  Good thing I'm not a public figure ya'll.

My mom, sister in law, and two of my nieces came down to attend.  I'm so glad they were there.  It made it much more special.
My niece and me.
My mom and me.
My SIL and other niece.  Oh and a big orange giant.

The General Presidency addressing us before the performance.  They were so sweet.
Who's that jaw dropper?  I took things very seriously.

This song apparently caused me pain.  Lol!  The faces of singing are awesome.

After the conference.

I have always heard stories of being in the presence of a prophet and how amazing it is.  The stories are true!  When President Monson walked in the room the whole building went silent.  I immediately felt like someone was pushing on my heart.  The spirit was so very, VERY strong.  All I could squeak out after was, "wow!"  He is a man of God.  I know this for a fact.   I also know we are all loved so much by our Heavenly Father and Jesus Christ.  They know us.  They know of our needs.  They know what trials we need in order to become like them.  We are not left helpless though.  There is always a way to come unto Christ.