Monday, November 24, 2008

National Adoption Month!

In honor of National Adoption Month I was tagged by Shanna to share 6 things about our adoption experience....

1. We were married for 3 years before deciding to pursure adoption. It wasn't a hard decision for us. Our caseworker was an angel and got us approved within one month of us meeting with helped that I didn't have a job and could get the questions and letters to her ASAP! We waited 13 months before getting the call about Sophia. Towards the end of the wait we participated in the pilot program with The agency was just testing out the internet to see how it would be an effective finding tool. We did get one inquiry on the morning we got the call about Sophia. Now the internet is a very effective tool for adoptive couples!

our first night together! Sophia was SO tiny...only 4lbs!

2. Richard got the initial call from our caseworker about Sophia. She was 3 weeks old and had just been released from the hospital. We could pick her up the next week! He showed up at the school where I was a long-term sub and suprised me with balloons! That was a memorable day! The next week was very hard waiting and preparing to get on the plane! I would have gladly hopped on the plane that evening! We got to meet with Sophia's birthparents
for about 3 hours before they placed her in our arms.
the scrapbook page of when we went to the temple to have Sophia sealed to us...
3. We were reluctant to start the adoption process again and for a while entertained the thought of having one child. Then we have a couple of friends who had either lost both of their parents or were an only child taking care of an aging parent. We didn't want Sophia to be in either of those situations so we took the hint from Heavenly Father and put in our papers...we really wanted to but just didnt' want to jump on the adoption roller coaster again. This time it took quite a bit longer with our paperwork but it didn't seem so long since we already had Sophia. We were approved in February '02. During the wait we sold our home, moved in an apartment, built our current home, moved into our house, and Richard took a trip to the Philippines. After he returned the next week we got the call about Nate.

4. Getting the kid's birth certificates were cool but I really loved getting their social security seemed real then!

5. My friend Heather was babysitting Nate before we adopted him. He was 10 1/2 months old when he was placed with us and had been in Heather's care for 2 months. It was a miracle how he was placed with us. His birthmother moved she and Nate across the country to Murfreesboro, TN to work at a Denny's. She felt so strongly that Heavenly Father was leading her there. She didn't know why but she just went. She had no desire to make an adoption plan at the time but through a series of events she realized it was best for Nate for her to make this tough decision. She is definately a hero to us!
here is the picture I was talking about in this post....these are the same 4 kids!
6. There have been a couple of instinstences where I have looked into International Adoption. I have really wanted to adopt more but it just didn't seem to be like what was in the plan for us. We are content with our family of 4. I never "dreamed" about having a certain number of children so I am not disappointed with a small family.

this was our first night with our buddy Nate. He weighed 32 pounds and had
some gorgeous hair! he also had pink eye but was so cute anyway!
If you are interested in reading an adoption story filled with miracles click here....I haven't read it all but what I did had me in awe!

Sunday, November 23, 2008

Look Who's 9!

Sophia is growing up. Here are some pictures of our baby girl!

We are so lucky to be her parents!

Good-bye Stella

We got this cute little puppy back in September. She was so adorable and loving! Oh how she stole our hearts! Unfortunately Richard's allergy to her worsened and started to effect his asthma so last week we had to make a very hard decision to find her another home. At first we were going to give her to my brother since they wanted another puppy so their new puppy would have a playmate. Then I got a call from a friend at church whose best friend's(Gail) 17 year old terrior just died. They were looking for another dog. I told her Stella was already taken but that she had a littermate that was still available. I hated that I had already promised Stella to my brother because Stella would be perfect for this other family! They were older, no children at home. I didn't want Stella to be a puppy's friend....I wanted her to be someone's baby!

look at those short little legs....those were my favorite part!

So the next day I decided to call my brother and tell him about this other family...not to back out but to see if they could take another puppy and I could give Stella to this other family. Well it was a good thing I called because Rachel-my sister-in-law was just trying to figure out how she was going to tell me they didn't want another puppy anymore!! So it worked out great. I called Gail to let her know Stella was available again and she wanted to see Stella and her littermate-Squirt.

So yesterday afternoon Gail and her husband came over to meet Stella and Squirt to see which one would be a good fit for their family(or they could take both as our friend kept telling them;)). Well when they arrived Richard recognized them! He was the therapist for the old woman Gail was the sitter for! He would see her every week when he would go to do therapy on the woman! Gail thought for sure this was meant to be and had no problem taking both. Joanne and I were really sad to see our babies go but not too sad. If we couldn't raise Stella as our baby I was sure glad we found someone who would treat her the same way!

I sure don't miss the mess of a puppy but do miss the companionship! It was really sad last night when we came home and she wasn't there to greet us:( One family member who isn't sad she is gone....Cricket! Maybe after the holidays we can get another older puppy that is a poodle mix.....preferrably one that is potty and leash trained! ha!

Wednesday, November 19, 2008

Weekend Trip

A couple weeks ago I decided to go visit my friend Heather down in South Alabama....not like me to take a spur-of-the-moment trip but I sure like those kind....and hope to take more! Heather and her family moved to LaGrange when Lillian(the tall one) was just a few months old. We became fast friends! Lil was my buddy and when we brought Fia home they became buddies! Heather moved to TN a few years later which was sad but also wonderful becasue if she hadn't we wouldn't have our Nate! She babysat for Joy (his birthmom) while she worked nights. That is how Joy found us and with Heather's help chose to make an adoption plan for Nate.

Here they all are. It is weird to see them all this big! I wish I could scan in the pic we took right when Nate was placed with us. They all smiled so good for the was a miracle the picture turned out so good!

This picture was taken at Billy's seafood where Richard requested we bring home some crabs and shrimp. Billy's motto is "if it swims, we got it!"

Here the clan is after church. I still am in awe at how tall Lil is! She is almost 5ft! She will be 10 this month!

Of course we couldn't pass up the opprotunity to be Charlie's angels in front of Heather's shaggin' wagon! Thanks Jacob for letting us borrow your weapons!

It got a little violent towards the burned!
The hardest part about any visit is the drive home! We had a fab-O time and hope it doesn't take us so long to get back down there next time!

Monday, November 10, 2008

My brother

(this post was started in July and worked on Friday I wasn't up at 1am on Sunday night!)
I started this post back in July and never finished it! It is 1am and the house is I am taking advantage of the stillness! I know I have written a post about Trudy and don't want Frankie to feel left out(not sure if he reads our blog or not....) so this one's for you!

This is my older brother Frank Bentley Layton the 4th....or "Frankie" as we called him growing up. He was born on my birthday....wait....that couldn't happen since he is the oldest... so I guess it is true that he had the birthday first! He will be 39 in March which sounds REALLY old. Thank goodness I will only be 34! hardy har har!

We look extremely alike and all through school I was only known as "Little Frank" until he graduated. Then i got my name back. He was always the goofball and I loved to laugh at him. He would often make faces in the rear-view mirror(not while he was driving) and when he got a good one he would show it to me to make me laugh:) And most of our pictures were of us making funny faces. It seems we could never keep a straight face for the camera!

I use to sit on his stomach and pretend he was a spaceship. I would push buttons on his chest and he would make the beeping noises. We were always playing games like that. One night he made me stay up until midnight....something I never did and thought it was SO late! I guess I thought it was such a big accomplishment for someone to stay up that late.

We all had our bedrooms in the basement where the ceiling was never finished so there were cracks where the wall met the floor beams. One way he would taunt me was by throwing my stuffed animals up there trying to get them to fall behind the would be fun to see how many are there!

Another funny memory was when he had me hold a kitchen towel in front of my face while he had target practice with the lotion bottle. He would smash on the pump to see if he could hit the towel. I wanted to stop after about 5 shots but as I was pulling the towel down he fired again hitting me right in the eyes....luckily i had them closed so it didn't burn.

We became really close during my first year at Calhoun Community College where we both played in the Jazz Band. We drove everyday to school together. It was so fun to be with him my first year. He showed me the ropes and knew EVERYONE there so I just had to say who my brother was and the red carpet was rolled out! He has a lot of charm! I loved going to Calhoun and loved, loved, loved playing in the Jazz band and loved even more having Frankie there with me.

There were many different ways we could get to Calhoun-lots of backroads. A lot of times we would pass by Tanner High School where there was this 3 way stop. We would just slowly stop and then keep going(you we all do sometimes!)....well one morning there was a cop sitting across from us. I remember seeing it and thinking, "I need to mention it to Frankie"...but didn't get it out of my mouth fast enough! That ticket was expensive since it was a school zone!

On our daily drives we would pass by mansion-houses and then trailor parks. Just like Alabama where there were few zoning laws and land was cheap. There was a new subdivision going on one stretch of hwy 31(i think that was the HWY) that was going to have some expensive houses. We would joke that someone was going to put up a trailor in there and how funny that would look.

There are lots more memories I have of my big brother I just can't think of anymore right now. He is a wonderful man and I am so lucky to have him as my brother! I was blessed with a great family! I love it when we get together and talk about funny stories. I look forward to seeing him and his family this month!

Sunday, November 2, 2008

2nd 10K

My friend Sarah and I ran our second 10K yesterday. It was at the "Twillight Run Through The Lights" at Callaway Gardens. The weather was gorgeous and it was pretty cool to be running through the route for Fantasy in Lights. They had the music playing in some parts of the race. We beat our time from our 1st 10K which was our goal.

The reason Sarah is making this face is because she experienced intestional distress(side-effect of an antibiotic she was taking) during the race....causing her to take a detour into the woods at one point! She is tougher than me...I would have just stopped and waited for the trolley to come around to collect the injured! I ran ahead while she made her pit-stop and about a mile later she had already caught up to me!

We had fun and look forward to the next 10K...where our goal will be no pooping on the course! hardy har har!


Just wanted to record some of our recent decorations.....

We have a friend who is a professional artist. She painted this portrait of our family. We love it! She does amazing work!

We have high ceilings in our living room which makes it difficult to find things to decorate the large spaces! Before we painted this room we had a small quilt hanging in this space above the piano. It looked great but I wanted to change things around after we painted....but this was a very hard space to fill. I was looking on-line and found this idea from someone's blog. They had pictures hanging in each frame. I also saw another idea where they had the letters spelled out. So I took both ideas and created my own. I have an idea of something I want to hang underneath this board but for now it is bare.
I got the board and doorknobs from an antique store. My friend Jill Stroud cut out the vinyl letters for me and the frames were $2/each from Old Time Pottery. The total price for this was around $40. I love it!

bedroom makeover

Last Monday Richard ripped up the carpet in our bedroom. We have been wanting to get rid of it for a long time and Stella just made it happen a little quicker! We were SO happy to get rid of it!

We also have been wanting to paint our room for about 3 years so now that the floor was gone it was the perfect time to just redo the whole thing! The best part is that Richard loves to paint so i didn't have to do any of it! The paint was finished by Friday , I cleaned up the floor that evening and on Saturday morning Richard and the kids started laying the floor tiles that morning(we just did the peel-and-stick linoleum tiles).

By Saturday evening we had our bed moved back in! It is dark but our white trim and bedspread it is alright! Now we just need some nice fluffy pillows, cool lamps and some accent pillows.

We have been doing house projects for 3 weeks now and I am so ready to get everything back in order!!!