Wednesday, February 14, 2007

Happy Valentine's Day to All!

The ice storms have hit NJ hard! Valentine's Day will be held at home...that's okay, better to be cozy and warm in our own lovely home than face the ice and snow going to dinner!
Kelsey has quite a few valentine's surprises waiting for her! Plus, this weekend is shaping up to be EXCELLENT all the way around!
1) Lola is coming to visit us on Friday evening, she's leaving for the Philippines to visit the family on Saturday.
2) Jim and Judy are coming from Maine for a visit! (FYI, Jim is my baby brother!) Our whole family will gather at our house this weekend (Casa Hoppe is smack in the middle!). It's so rare that we all get together...should be a fun time!
3) Sunday is Chinese New Year and we are planning a celebration, our first as a family!
4) Kurt and I both took President's Day off from work and will plan something fun with Kelsey (we're thinking a children's museum)
Happy Valentine's Day, dear readers, I hope you get flowers, candy and something sparkly to enjoy!
Love and Keep Warm!
JoAnn, Kurt and Kelsey

Monday, February 05, 2007

Some miscellaneous photos from the past several weeks

Kelsey eating her 18month birthday cupcake
Having a Tea Party with Daddy

Playing house in the living room (notice the cool sock monkey PJ's? Tarjay!)

Someone needs her bangs trimmed! :)

Saturday, February 03, 2007

Referral Days Make Me Want to Adopt Again!

Hi All,
Yesterday China's last batch of referrals (babies) were delivered to all the new Mommies and Daddies who have been waiting over a year to see their bundles of joy's faces.

I love these days (once a month) and eagerly read about everyone's new babies. Many of the families who were in the same DTC group (April 2005) that I was are already in the process of another adoption.

Every time I hear about another "friend" adopting or see these angelic faces, it makes me REALLY want to start that process all over again.

Luckily for me, my smarter more rational husband has put the brakes on this for the time being. We are thrilled beyond belief to be parents finally. We love and adore our beautiful daughter, but raising a child takes a lot of work! More than anyone can really put into words (good thing "they" can't tell you how much you will love that child too!) plus I don't think Kelsey is a difficult child to raise (except for her ability to wake up at midnight wanting to snuggle with us!)

We are not in ready in many ways to begin this process again. It will take a lot of discussion before we make a rational decision one way or the other. Do we give her a sibling? There is no guarantee if having a brother or sister will be good for her. Some bio siblings are close and some are not. Some are downright disfunctional.

I consider this from only my own perspective. I would be a much sadder person if I were an only child. Even though there is a big age difference between my sister and brother and I, we are extremely close. My brother lives in Maine and we only see each other yearly, we are still close (and have become closer by blogging to each other!)

One of the most important ways that siblings can help each other is dealing with the aging parent, sick or dying parent. I am 44 years older than my daughter (I know I don't look it! :) and she may be younger than normal when she loses me or her father. I don't want her to feel lost and orphaned all over again! A sibling that she is close to would help. It really helped for me that Jim, Janet and I were there for each other when our Father died, even though we are all married to wonderfully supportive spouses, there is no one like a sibling to help you through that grief. Plus remembering all those good stories when you were kids is impossible without one!

If I were in my mid 30's or even 40, I would easily be able to wait to see if Kelsey even wants a sibling...but my adoptive "clock" is ticking loudly and I know we'll have to make this decision within the next two years.

Kelsey, when you read this in the future, let me know if we made the right choice by you :)

Another thing to consider is the idea that we could move to a town with a better school system that has a larger backyard for Kelsey to play in. Financially it would be challenging to move and adopt within a 2-3 year time period. I have a feeling we'll have to choose one or the other.

However, things could change for us...we could win the lottery, allowing us to adopt a few more children (and hire a Nanny!) and move to a great big house in a fantastic neighborhood! I feel strange praying to God for financial seems greedy, even though the cause behind it isn't. Time will tell in the next few years what's in the cards for our family.

As long as I am pipe-dreaming....we would definately want either China or Viet Nam for adoption #2 (I've aged out of the Philippine program already :(

I have been thinking of a sweet, cuddly baby boy lately. We might call him William, Liam for short. Or another baby girl, a sister for our Angel Face would also be lovely. Ava seems to be the Jennifer name of 2007 and I do like that name...or we could stay with the K names...

Kylie, Kendra, Katie Kaya?

Hey, did you know that both Kurt and I have Grandmothers named Rose? (His maternal and my paternal) All those baby girl names would go great with Rose :)

Life is good if this is all I have to worry about! Our jobs are going well, we treated ourselves to new bedroom furniture and I love our new mattress set!

Kelsey, of course, is doing so well. She is so much fun to come home to everynight! She is a book junkie and loves to "read" quite a few every day. She has more stuffed dog toys than I have earrings! (that's saying a lot!) Other than the normal daycare "runny nose" she's very healthy.

She's really picking up new words quickly. Once she got the walking stuff down pat, she dove into talking. And her voice is so sweet!

We are beginning to make plans for our first Valentine's Day together and also our first Chinese New Year celebrations! We have some great firsts/anniversaries on deck :)

I was thinking today that for the first time since Kurt and I decided to get engaged, we are no longer working on a major life goal...we married, have a house, finally have a child, I changed jobs last I should be able to kick back, count my many blessings and enjoy this time.

We'll see :)

p.s. Jimmy, we will definately be coming to Maine in late spring/early summer!