Thursday, September 29, 2011

Blog Construction


As you may be able to tell, our blog is under construction right now.  We are trying to make a few changes to update it and make it look pretty. :)


Do you like my construction pics?  These are pictures my husband took last year of a construction site outside our apartment in Kiev.  Yes, that is the type of thing that interests my hubby.  :))  And it helped to entertain him during our time there...  Glad I could finally use them here on the blog!!  Ha! 



Wednesday, September 28, 2011

Pink Courthouses

One year ago today, after having traveled many miles across a huge body of water (Atlantic Ocean), we made a mad dash in a tiny black sports car (our taxi) to this cute pink little building (our courthouse)...


...sat before a lady in a robe (our judge) and answered some questions about ourselves.  We listened to alot of talking in Russian that we did not understand, waited while our facilitator had to make a phone call to our other facilitator to confirm something in our paperwork, and tried to not worry about what they were talking about.  Then we were asked to stand and state our names and ask the court if we could adopt these two precious little girls.

There was more talking and then everyone started smiling and our facilitator told us the judge declared us Anna and Victoria's parents.  Woohoo! 


We were so excited we took a picture of ourselves back at the apartment.  After court, we had had to rush back to our car because our facilitator needed to be somewhere else (because they really are sooo busy). 

We celebrated by walking up the really long hill from our apartment to eat at McDonalds.  :) Two more little girls now officially part of the Westbrook clan!!

Anna Michal Faith

Then

Now

Victoria Margaret Hope

Then
 
    
Now

They have grown so much!!  We are still so amazed at the wonderful gifts we have been given and we continue to be thankful that God deemed us worthy to be their parents. It has been a ton of work and some hard times mixed in with the good, but it has been so worth it!
If you are considering adoption, but maybe a little bit hesitant or afraid or whatever...please take that leap of faith like we did a year and a half ago!  I am positive you will not regret it.  :)  We cannot imagine our life without these two! 

Tuesday, September 20, 2011

Workouts and Gymnasts

Normally, the girls have their Early Intervention people coming to the house for therapy.  Once a week for physical therapy and twice a week for speech.
  
But today, they got to go somewhere else for P/T.  It was a nice change for them.

They got to play outside first. They always love to be outside!  

Walking around on the wood chips was good for practicing balance and perfecting their walking skills.  Anna is getting so good at it.  I think she is walking most of the time now!  Instead of taking a couple steps, falling, and then just crawling the rest of the way to wherever she was going.  :)  

She's so cute, still walking with her hands
 up most of the time for balance. 

They had fun just digging in the wood chips, too. 
I love watching them interact with each
other.  These girls have their moments, but they
 really do pretty well most of the time!
Justin was having a great time as well. 
He's always telling me how much he loves
his "gullie gulls" (girlie girls). 
He's my little sweetheart. 
Madalyn really wanted to get on the swing.  They didn't have any
baby swings there, so we tried her on this one and she really
 liked it!  When it was time to head inside, she did not want
 to get off that big girl swing!! 
But once we got inside, the swing was quickly forgotten. 
And they all had a blast!

Toria loved the trampoline and really got to giggling
 anytime someone bounced by her.
 Climbing was fun, too!
Madalyn trying out the rings.
And Justin, my little monkey. 
I think he could have a future in gymnastics!
The balance beam was just the right height for them.
They loved the bars!  Aren't these the cutest little bars
just the right size for 2 year old girls!
Toria preferred to crawl up and down the mats.  It was just her speed!
Hopefully we will be doing this a couple times a month.
 It was a great workout for them and the extra bonus for me....
they all took a great nap! :))

And who knows, maybe one of the girls will take a liking to gymnastics and follow in the footsteps of their cousins Madison and McKenna.




 And if you haven't seen the video of gymnast Chelsea Werner, you gotta check it out here!!  Oh, yea, she's got DS, too!

Thursday, September 15, 2011

Adoption Progress

I just want to tell everyone who has read and left comments here on the blog thank you so much for the encouraging words about our family adopting Hailey!!!  It is just really awesome to know that ya'll feel that way!  (Sometimes it surprises me that there really are that many people that read this blog).  Anyway, thanks a bunch and keep commenting, we love to hear from you!!  :))

Here's just a quick update as far as adoption stuff is concerned.  At the beginning of September we officially got our pre approval (PA in adoption lingo for China adoptions) for Hailey. For those of you that don't know China adoptions, it just means that we are officially locked in to adopt her from China!  That was really exciting and it means that she is taken off the China shared list and that she is "on hold" basically for our family.  And it also means that now we have 6 months to get our dossier sent to China.  We are hoping our homestudy update will be done this month and we have already started working on dossier documents.  We were told to expect to travel sometime next summer, as the timeframe for adopting from China typically runs about 9-12 months.  Of course, we are really praying and hoping that it will be much sooner than that!  That is just too far away to imagine!  Our little girl needs to come home way before her 6th birthday in July!!  Alot depends on how fast the homestudy is done and how long immigration will take.  So if ya'll will remember us in your prayers, please pray for a smooth process and quick approval from USCIS.  We haven't actually sent our paperwork to them yet, and I will keep you updated as we go.  But it doesn't hurt to start praying ahead of time, does it?!  :))

I finally got our blog button added. Please add it to your blog if you have one and help us get the word out about Hailey's adoption.  Thanks!!!!

                    
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Sunday, September 11, 2011

Then and Now and Cowboy Hats

Today we decided to head to town for lunch at the park and some shopping. 

While we were at the park, we remembered that we had done this very thing one year ago today.  It was actually Sunday Sept. 12, 2010 but you know what I mean.  We spent the afternoon at the park and river with our kids.  It was the day before we left for Ukraine. 

I remember being so happy that we were not actually going to be flying on September 11, because that is just too scary for someone who is already afraid of flying (me).  Ha!  :)  And I remember being so excited to finally be almost there, but yet so sad to be leaving my kids and going so far away!!

Anyway, it was kinda cool because it wasn't planned but there we were at the same park having lunch and hanging out.  This time with 2 more little girls!  
And beautiful little girls I might add.  I'm not biased or anything!


Here's the kids from last year. 




And this year....

Notice the same rocks and everything.

They've changed so much!  Especially Madalyn.  Wow!

And now we have Anna and Toria here with us!  We are so blessed!!! 



Toria - one sock on, one sock off.

Victoria ate dirt for the first time today.  I'm pretty sure she didn't like it, but I was glad she was interested in putting something besides just her hand into her mouth.  You go girl!

I just liked this picture.  There's just something about a guy in a cowboy hat. :))



We are so thankful for everything we have and the many blessings we have been given.  What a great day!   

Tuesday, September 6, 2011

My Little Tornadoes

Somebody is going around my house.

Room to room.

Leaving me a little trail of sorts. 

Hmmm...I wonder who it could be.


A trail that looks more like the kind a tornado might leave behind. 


More drawers torn apart and tossed aside.  Something (or someone) is having a bit of a good time I think.

Could it be 2 little tornadoes??

Another room caught in the path of destruction...


Could this be a clue??  Yes, I believe so!


Ah-Ha!  Somebody caught in the act....


Finally, I have located both culprits!!

Who us?? 

I think it's time for a bath and bed.  It's no wonder I can't get anything done around here!! 

Yay for bedtime! 

(or so I thought!)

After getting the 3rd girl in her jammies, this is what I found...

Naughty little girls. 
"Uh-oh".  Look at that guilty face.

   Ugh.  I give up!

"Don't look at me, it's not my fault."
And your ears will hear a word behind you, "This is the way, walk in it", whenever you turn to the right or to the left. Isaiah 30:21

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Psalm 139:13-16

For you created my inmost being; you knit me together in my mother's womb. I praise you because I am fearfully and wonderfully made; your works are wonderful, I know that full well. My frame was not hidden from you when I was made in the secret place. When I was woven together in the depths of the earth, your eyes saw my unformed body. All the days ordained for me were written in your book before one of them came to be.