Wednesday, November 25, 2009

HAPPY BIRTHDAY SAVANNAH!!






Here were are on Savannah's 2nd Birthday. Birthdays are so special to us. Not only are they special for the individual child but as a mom and dad. It is a wonderful time to reflect on the day they were born and what was going on during that time in our life. Each child has brought me something to remember and not one child was a like.


Aiden was our first and biggest!! He initially was thought to have Trisomy 18 or Downs Syndrome due to a cyst that was found on his brain. That was cleared up by an amnio. I was sick the entire pregnancy and gave birth to a 9 pound baby 3 weeks early. During the delivery, he broke 3 ribs and his collar bone. There's Aiden in a nutshell.


Shelby, she's my miracle as well as my angel. I wrote all about her on this blog, but I'll give a really short recap. During my pregnancy with her I was diagnosed with cervical cancer and choose to wait for treatment until her delivery. The wait for her delivery was filled with prayer that she would wait to be delivered, since I had a tumor removed from my cervix, and that the cancer would not spread. She was delivered via c-section 5 weeks early and I underwent a radical hysterectomy right after delivery. That day, I became cancer free!! She was born at 6.8 lbs. So much for a preemie!! I guess I have big babies.


Savannah, well she has a wonderful story of her own. Actually, her story is bittersweet. She was born November 24, 2007. That is the estimated birth date for her. They estimate that she was four days older on her finding date of November 28, 2007. In 2007, she was born on Thanksgiving day. To be honest, I can't think of a better day be born. That Thanksgiving for me was a challenging one. It was another Holiday season without our Savannah. We were approaching a wait of 3 years at that time. Each Christmas, I told the kids that she'd be here for this Christmas and it would come and go. This time it was, not this year maybe next year. Every Thanksgiving, we take our photo for our Christmas card and I decided not to send cards. It was another year without her and I didn't want to send them and be reminded. That was our last photo taken as a family of 4.



While I'm having my poor me pity party, across the globe is a young mother dealing with something quite different. She's joyfully and sadly delivering a sweet smelling baby girl. She's being forced to make a terribly difficult choice. I can't imagine the four days she had with Savannah and what it must have been like for her. I hope to believe that she held and kissed her as tears fell from her eyes. Her moments with her ended when Savannah was left at a gate across the street from her orphanage and found by a guard shortly after. We will never know the circumstances of how Savannah came about, but I do know that God gave us a very special little girl to love and raise.


The love for her began the day that I was told by the doctors that I was not going to be able to have anymore children after the birth of Shelby. I love having a very different story for each child and I wouldn't change anything about them. My life is not my own it is God's and this is what he planned for me. I couldn't do any better if I tried.




Happy Birthday to my sweet baby girl! I'll leave you with a few photos of Savannah's Birthday.





This is a great photo. Look at the excitement over what her present it. Actually, she doesn't even realize what it is. She just loves to open presents. When she sees presents she yells BIRTHDAY! BIRTHDAY!!




Here's she is showing of her Bitty Baby. Actually, her Fisher Price Little People won for the best present. She got a little playground and minivan. She sat on my lap with her baby and the minivan putting the little people in and out in and out.


Yeah, for cupcakes! She loved the cupcakes. She was embarrassed when we sang to her so it was hard to get a photo of her looking into the camera. She knew to blow the candles out.




Yes, we are eating with a fork. She has to have a utensil at all times. She does really well too.

Friday, November 20, 2009

She's Almost 2!



Well, our little miss Savannah is almost 2 years old. Tuesday is her actually birthday. We can't believe how much she has grown and changed since her 1st birthday. She has learned to call Daddy "Mike" instead of "Daddy". Everything is "Why?" , "What happened?" or "I found it". She will come up to you holding something and telling you that she found it. It's the funniest thing. Overall, her vocabulary is amazing. She repeats everything we say. She calls herself baby in photos and started saying "Zannah" when she see's herself. It is adorable!!

I also have to report that she is potty trained. I started very early with her. I wanted to have is done by 2 and is has been about a month since she started to finally tell me when she had to go. Otherwise, we spend many hours on the potty adding it all together. I wondered when she would realize that if she told me we wouldn't have to sit there forever. Well, she finally got it!! It was a dream come true.

She loves her babies, and can do wooden puzzles all by herself. That amazes me!! Aiden and Shelby were not into puzzles at all. I'm glad I didn't get rid of them. I found some Fisher Price Little People in the garage that she loves. The other 2 didn't care for those either. She calls them "people" and likes to play with them. She'll be getting a little pink house and car for her people for her birthday and Christmas. I looked high and low for this little house and finally found it on Craigslist. I had no idea how crazy people are for Fisher Price, Little People toys. Especially, once they retire. The shipping on Ebay was crazy!

Her favorite person is still DADDY!! He's #1 in her life. I love it!! The excitement when he comes home is just priceless.
I'll leave you all with a few recent pictures. Hopefully I will do another post next week for her Birthday.
Watching a little TV with her big brother.
Just before the craziness at the Harvest Festival.

Thursday, June 18, 2009

Wow!! An Update!

Wow! Where has the time gone? Life has been busy chasing a toddler while, homeschooling, working at church, running the kids to and from and just keeping up my duties as a mom and wife.

So, I bet you are wondering how our little Savannah is doing. Well, she is amazing. Look at how much she has grown since that day she was put in my arms. She's the busiest little girl. Always on the go. When I head grab my keys and head for the door, she lights up with excitement to leave the house. She screams at the door, if she is not going with me or Mike out the door.

Her vocabulary is amazing. This weekend she said "apple Juice and what's that". Normally, she says one word at a time other than "good girl". That has been a favorite along with apple for quite awhile. Some words she knows are mommy, daddy, Aiden, Shelby, nite-nite, bye, hello, bite, mine, yah, cheese, Amen, baby, up and nose. There might be more, but I can't think of them. She tries to repeat a lot of what we say.

I've been doing a lot of reminiscing about Savannah and our experience in China lately. One reason is because Shelby's kindergarten teacher is in Chine right now on a missions trip and they ministering to children in an orphanage in Beijing. I'm so excited for her to be able to get a glimpse of what Savannah's world may have been like or could have been. We were not able to go to Savannah's orphanage so I'm just excited that she will be able to experience it first hand.

On July 8, it will be on year since we got "The Call". It was the call that changed our lives forever. I was such a wreck, that I had to call back and get her birthday, because I wrote the wrong date on my notes. At this time last year, I was a basket case waiting for the stork to arrive and wondering will it happen before the 4th of July. Of course, it didn't due to the holiday and the weekend. It was the day, that we had waited over three years for.

As I think about "The Call" and our trip, I'm reminded of God's faithfulness to us. We walked forward with the adoption in obedience to God and he has blessed us with the most precious little girl. God prepared her for us in ways that I didn't even know that we needed. I need to remind myself of this in other areas of my life because he truly knows each and every one of our needs. He will always follow through if we act in obedience. The key word is OBEDIENCE. I'm working on that.

Sometimes, Mike and I look at each other and say "Can you believe she's ours?" I have to visit the blog to remind myself that it wasn't a dream and we really were in China picking up the beautiful baby girl born on Thanksgiving Day and left at a gate four days later. All I can say is "Thank you Lord". Thank you for giving her to our family.

I encourage you to browse my old posts of our journey. I still get chills when I read about it. I'll try to post again and add some more pictures.

God Bless,
Jennifer

Wednesday, February 18, 2009

6 Months Ago, Today!

It was 6 months today, when Savannah was put in our arms for the first time. She was just 9 months old and next week she'll be 15 months. At times, I think where has the time gone and other times it is only 6 months. Savannah has truely been a blessing to us. She continues to thrive and change everyday. We look at her little face and see so many changes since August 18, 2008.


The first thing we notice is her hair, it is growing and falls into her eyes. I want to give her a little trim so bad, but I need more hair to make it more off a scrapable moment. Her face has filled out. She's so sturdy and and has a tummy to go with those chunky thighs we were surprised to see. She's fully walking everywhere and likes to climb. A major change is that she eats almost anything and puts everything in her mouth. Her nickname should be "Hoover". It was Thanksgiving when she first discovered her mouth. Since then everything ends up there. I think she is worse than our first two.

Some things haven't changed. She still adores her daddy. She fell in love with him from the very beginning. Her beautiful smile and energy has not changed. She is still just as stubborn as that last night when she did not want to be in her crib and threw a major tantrum to let us know about it. That was a long sleepless night. Still a thumb sucker all the way. It is mostly in the evening when she's going to sleep. Lastly, she is ours forever! That will never change! She's the sweetest thing ever. The kids are sooo thankful that God gave her to us. They are totally in love with her.

Today was a wonderful day! We spent it with another family we met in our travel group. We had no idea they lived so close to us. Their daughter came from the same orphanage as Savannah. There's another family about an hour away that we were hopping see today also, but they were not feeling well. It was just awesome to see the girls together and to talk about our adventure and life after. We can't wait to spend more time with them.

As a way of remembering that moment 6 months ago, I thought I would post the video we have of those first minutes with our precious Savannah. Enjoy!!



video

Thursday, January 8, 2009

Happy New Year!!

Well, this post is quite over due. It was a really busy December for us. It was so busy that we went through all the effort to go to the mountains and cut our Christmas tree down and all it had was lights, an angel and a few ornaments that Shelby made at school. How sad is that. The kids were ok with not decorating because Mike put lights on the tree in our front yard. Little did I know that that was our Christmas tree decorating time. Next year we will have to figure out how fit it all in. Unless we leave our lights up all year.

So, I have a few photos to show a few highlights of our Christmas.


We had the pleasure of seeing Aiden and Shelby sing at Christmas in the park. Savannah and I bundled up in the cold to watch. This performance was just the first of many for the kids. Shelby had her first role as Mary in her Kindergarten Christmas Play.

After the performance, we were persuaded to go on a few rides and indulge in some sweets. I'm not sure what we were thinking at the time. They were high on sugar and one ride led to begging, whinning and crying.


I helped my sister plan and Children's Christmas Tea at our church. It was a great even for boys and girls. Of course we dressed the kids up and they enjoyed the sweets and adorable puppet show. Savannah was adorable in her Christmas dress.
Merry Christmas!! This kids were soooo excited about their gifts. We opened them Christmas Eve instead of Christmas morning. It was so relaxing for us. We took our time, stayed up late, lite a fire in the fireplace, had hot cocoa, and watched Santa Clause 3. It made Christmas morning so much easier for us. They had stockings and it kept them plenty busy.
Savannah was actually sick Christmas eve with a stomach thing. So, she wasn't eating much. The next day she was fine.

The following Sunday after Christmas, we had Savannah's baby dedication. It was kinda crazy to do right after Christmas. My nephew joined us since he wanted his Daddy. Savannah's uncle is our pastor, so it is really special to have her dedicated by him. My niece was dedicated right after us by her grandfather. We wanted to have them dedicated on the same day.

The next day, we headed for Pismo Beach for a few days to visit Mike's parents. It was Christmas #2 for the kids. They headed straight for the tree reading the letters on the gifts. We had a great few days and enjoyed the beach. It was like spring. It was Savannah's first time exploring the wet sandy beach and water. She had a great time with Mike and we were able to take a few cute pictures.
As much as we enjoyed the time off and all the extra sweets, I'm so happy to begin a new year. I finally feel like we are settling into a routine with Savannah. It was really hard comming home and then hitting the pavement running. I've come the realization that my day doesn't end until 9 or 10 pm. In this case, after midnight. As much as it tires me, it brings me so much joy to see the smiles on their faces when they play with their new little sister. I wouldn't change that for anything. Savannah brings so much to our lives that we would be missing out if we weren't blessed with her.
It is a blessing to know that God knows what is best for us. Even when I don't understand, it brings me peace to know that I'm not in control. So, what is next for the McManus Family in 2009? Well, I have a list of things that I want to accomplish, but I think I will leave that up to the boss.
Have a Wonderful 2009!
God Bless,
Jennifer

Music