April Happenings…

What a blessing we had in April – SO MUCH SUN! WE tried to take advantage of it all.

I’m so thankful for Ruby – she is such an amazing big sister. She runs from the bus, every day, straight to Jo’s waiting arms and picks her up and says, “Let’s go play!!” Her imagination still runs wild and full of innocent fun, that includes her 19 month old sister. And although we don’t have acres of forest to build all-natural forts, she improvised like a champ. Seeing her read to Jo makes my heart happy.DSC_5119This girl. Sticker on nose. Jumping like her brothers – crazy! I had fun playing with angles while they were jumping too. Basically by laying on the trampoline and shooting up, while they are jumping, it gives an impression that she is higher than she is. You should try it. DSC_5115…and Ruby had fun adding some moves to make it look even higher… DSC_5106Aunt Teala comes to visit! We visited the Portland Saturday Market {briefly, because let’s face it, 7 kids on a hot day walking through vendors without buying anything = crabby kids} before heading up to Sandy to see extended family. We sure do miss having her here. We’re hoping that she’ll be back in a few years…wink, wink. DSC_5073 DSC_5073-2Of course Jo loved being in her stroller and wanted to sit the whole time. Not.  DSC_5070 We also visited The Spoon Guy. Tad and I bought monogram spoon rings when were dating 20 years ago. It was fun to revisit them and see what new contraptions that have now…including knife headbands. They’ve been at the market for 40 years! Make sure to check them out if you’re down there.DSC_5061 DSC_5059Me and the gang. I love these little hoodlums. They contribute daily to my gray hairs, but I’d have it no other way.  DSC_5053While Teala was here, we got everyone else together for a family dinner. First time in YEARS that all 5 of us siblings were in the same place at the same time. Good times. DSC_4856 DSC_4852Jo has met Aunt Teala when she was born, but didn’t remember her. She warmed up to her in no time, of course. And baby got to meet her too.  DSC_4844 Sisters. As you can see, Jo is not lacking in personality.DSC_4838 Thanks to Groupon Jo gets to jump at the mini Pump it Up with her bestie, Treva. Both adopted just 8 weeks apart, they will have a special bond for years, I’m imagining. DSC_4825 DSC_4824 DSC_4823 The girl has fear, I tell you. No fear.

DSC_4816DSC_4821  DSC_4813 DSC_4812I love the simplicity of toddler play. No need for fancy, plastic toys. Just a bowl of water on a sunny day. DSC_4776Thanks, April, you treated us well.

So loved…

Today was a big day for Josie. She got to meet her biological siblings, Katie and Miguel. {They didn’t get to meet her at the hospital because they were sick at home with fevers the day she was born.}

Katie has been waiting for so long for this day…and such a bittersweet day for her. To meet her, hold her and then have to say goodbye once more… She was the first to hold Josie today and just beamed the entire time. It’s troubling to be 10 and to try to understand the why’s of adoption, not resent the people that “took” her baby sister, and be heavy-hearted in between the sparse yearly visits. Pray for Katie when you think of her. She was near tears on the way home. We know this pain all to well and know that this is something she will be working through for the rest of her life. There are SO many bitter sweet aspects of adoption. We grieve for this girl.

DSC_0310Katie not only had a sweet time of bonding with Josie, but also playing hard with Max, Mitch and Ruby for a few hours. Miguel, who’s just one and a half, automatically latched on to Kayla and played with her in the play area for practically the whole time.

DSC_0313Our kids did so good taking a step back and letting Katie, Miguel, Peggy and “grandma” hold, cuddle and feed Josie. We were proud of them for sharing their sister with her other siblings.

DSC_0318Peggy just amazes me. She’s so humble, so sweet and so giving…She loves Josie, and yet is so happy that she’s with us. I’m so glad we could have this open relationship with her…openness scares a lot of people, but I think the less secrets there are, the healthier we can all be. DSC_0319 DSC_0321DSC_0312Josie will grow up knowing that she has another family that love and adore her. She will know without a doubt that she is doubly blessed, doubly loved and that she was CHOSEN.

It was a blessed day. Thank you Lord.

Day 10…our agency

“Our” agency…like they are my PERSONAL agency.

I’m talking about Christian Family Adoptions Agency here in Portland.

They were the only agency that would work with our “too large” of a family.

They believed us when we said that we felt it was the Lord calling us to adopt.

They agreed with us that there must be a baby out there that was supposed to have our last name.

And they were right. And I’m thankful they were right.

Today we went to CFA’s adoptive parent training and sat on the adoptive families panel with all 5 of our children. We got to share our story with couples who are in the process of adopting, share our hope with couples that if you feel God calling you to adopt then have faith to keep going.

We drove an hour and a half to sit on the panel for 40 minutes. They didn’t pay us.
It was just our way of being THANKFUL and giving back to the agency that believed in us and helped us find our forever Josie.

{Just had to include this pic…I have no idea what I’m saying, I just love the expression on Tad’s face about whatever I’m sharing. Priceless.}

 

A Month of Thankfulness

Thanksgiving is absolutely my FAVORITE holiday of the year, bar none. Yep.

No presents.

No pre-Thanksgiving activities that require a ton of running around.

No costumes.

No cards to write.

Just being Thankful and focusing on all that we ALREADY have and not what we want.

So, in light of all that…I choose to be extra thankful this month. If you subscribe to this blog you get to read my daily posts (at least I hope I can be that consistent with my posts!) and hopefully it will remind you to be extra thankful too.

This blog in particular is for my own kids. I have 5 children that I want to pass down a Godly legacy to. I want them to know truly what I was about and I’m about being THANKFUL!!…even though they may roll their eyes now and think I’m a little crazy. They’ll appreciate this when they’re older, right?

Anyhoo.

Day 1 – I’m thankful for the gift of adoption and the blessing it has been to our family this last month. Our little Josie is a beautiful gift from the Lord and in fact her name means, “the Lord will increase in JOY”. Every adoption is truly a miracle and ours was no exception. She is perfect for us and we are so glad to be her forever family.

I would love to hear what you are thankful for too. Leave me a comment and share!

It’s official

Well, true to “hospital time”, the signing didn’t quite take place at 9:30am…but close :)Everything went without a hitch and we are now officially her parents (legal guardians until the finalization of the adoption in a few months). She’s a true Raichart now and we can’t wait to come home and introduce her to her siblings who are just dying to meet her!

Now we have to hang at the hospital until tomorrow morning for discharge of baby. She has to stay for 48 hours because she is considered high risk because of her delivery and the fact that birth mom didn’t get the group B srep antibiotic before delivery. Everything looks good though – just precautionary.

Thank you Jesus!