Thursday, November 29, 2012

Virginia This Morning

This morning, Abigail was privileged to be able to play the harp with the American Youth Harp Ensemble on WTVR 6. The American Youth Harp Ensemble played "Sleigh Ride" and "Carol of the Bells" on Virginia This Morning.

We have had five of our girls play with this ensemble and every one of them has thoroughly enjoyed it. Zola and Abigail are currently our only girls in the ensemble  -- Abigail in the Touring Ensemble and Zola in the Concert Ensemble. Occasionally, Katie still plays with the Touring, but since graduating she has been pretty busy. This group has provided many opportunities for our girls, including --  teaching, mentoring, traveling and definitely the discipline and value of hard work.

The nice thing about the AYHE is that they do so many community services. Sarah and Caroline have been able to play the harp in their Harp Therapy program, and they really enjoy it. It has been really good for them.  They are mentored by members of the AYHE who train to work with children with special needs. I think it is a great program, and we are blessed to have this opportunity, here in Richmond, for our girls with Down syndrome.

Monday, November 26, 2012

Thanksgiving and Christmas Preparations

We had a nice Thanksgiving with most of our kids home for the weekend, and friends over to share the day.  Megan hasn't been home for the past two Thanksgivings, as she is in medical school and doesn't usually have the time off. This year she was able to make it home. It was so nice to have her here. Emily was also able to come home from school and her boyfriend, Michael, came with her. We were glad he could come. We had a houseful  -- I think 31 people. It was a lovely day and I think we all enjoyed it. 

Thanksgiving also marks the time we start bringing out the Christmas decorations. I love pulling everything out and going through it. The kids love helping and they all have ideas for decorating their rooms. So we now start decorating and preparing our hearts for Christmas. This is one of my favorite times of the year. I had been hoping that Bella and Sophia (Allysen) would celebrate this Christmas with us, but it was not to be. I'm sad they can't be here, but know that it won't be much longer and we will be bringing them home. I will use this time before they come to prepare for them. I am just thankful that we have been given the opportunity to love them and teach them and share our family with them. I am so thankful. 

Bethany with Megan

Our son, Michael, who did a lot of the cooking

Michael, Bethany and Megan

Sarah loves to play with Megan's stethoscope

The day after Thanksgiving a bunch of our kids ended up on my bed. 

The Saturday after Thanksgiving we always get our Christmas tree.

Tuesday, November 20, 2012

Adoption Granted!

Today in a court in EE our adoption was granted. We received an email at 7:32am with the subject "Congratulations!!!!" Finally, it is done. The girls are ours! We will not be able to travel until January, but even that is ok with me right now. Thank you so much for all the prayers and encouragement we received throughout this process. We are so grateful. 

Bella Jane Edwards

Sophia Noelle Edwards

Monday, November 19, 2012

Sarah's Filter and Court

Today Sarah had blood work done to determine if her surgeon should remove the filter that was put in place back in August when she had surgery for her blood clots. This is the first step in the decision of whether or not to remove the filter. Step two is to check the filter for clots. If there are no clots in the filter, and her blood test is normal, then we will talk about when to remove the filter. If there are any blood clots in the filter then it will have to remain in place, as removing the filter would release the clot or clots and they would possibly travel to her lungs. It should only be a couple of days before I have the results. Sarah is still on two shots of blood thinner each day to help prevent any future clots. 

Tonight while we are sleeping, court will be held for Bella and Allysen across the ocean. I ask for prayer that everything will go well and that tomorrow Bella and Allysen will be our daughters. I feel so blessed that this is almost over and I pray that everything goes well. 


Monday, November 12, 2012

A Court Date!!!

We got a court date! It is November 20th and we don't have to give the judge any additional paperwork. I couldn't believe it when I opened my email this morning and saw in the subject "court date." Finally! Now I feel like it is really going to happen. The girls are actually going to be ours. I need to start getting everything  ready for them -- their beds together, a chest in their room, go through all the clothes I have bought them and organize them and put them in drawers, hang a couple of pictures on their wall, etc. I have decided to put Bella and Allysen in the same room. I have thought of every different way to have the bedrooms and finally decided I would have them share a small bedroom together. If it doesn't work out, then I will just rearrange. 

I have another updated picture of Bella but none of Allysen. I haven't heard much about Allysen since we left her orphanage. I am hoping she is doing ok. We definitely want to get her to a doctor quickly when she gets here to be assessed. My pediatrician thinks that she has possibly had a stroke and the cardiologist Sarah and Claire go to agrees -  from the information we have and what I told him from our visit with her.  It won't be long now.


Sunday, November 4, 2012

A Baby Shower

On Saturday we gave my oldest daughter, Meredith, a baby shower. She is due in two months and is so excited as is everyone else in the family. Emily came home from school on Friday evening to help decorate a little and help finish any last minute shopping we needed to do. I felt so rushed and worried as we have been redoing all of the cabinets in the kitchen and everything was a real mess. On Saturday morning there were paint cans, sandpaper, rollers, brushes, a sander, trays, and tools and hardware all over the kitchen. The doors were not on the cabinets, nor were the drawers together and back in place. I had no idea how we would get everything done. My husband called my oldest son to help. They worked all morning and most of the afternoon and actually had all of the cabinet doors and drawers put back on. We also got all of the mess cleaned up just in time for the shower  -- literally. I was exhausted more from worry than work.

It turned out nice and I think Meredith had a good time and she got lots of little baby things. She even had one friend come all the way from Georgia for the shower. It was a fun time with friends and family, and a blessing to me to see all of my girls, except three, together celebrating with their sister and sharing her excitement. The pictures tell the story. 

Wondering who will get here first  -- Bella and Allysen or our first grandchild, Reagan. 

The Guessing Her Tummy Size Game

Four Sisters Side by Side

Thursday, November 1, 2012

Still Waiting For Court And Updated Pictures Of Bella

We still have heard nothing about a court date, but I am hoping that it won't be long -- maybe within the next week. I am so anxious that I check my email about 10 times a day just hoping I have the "You have a court date" one. 

We did get some updated pictures of Bella and it was so nice to get them. It just makes me want to run and get her right now, though. She looks so adorable. They did give her a hair cut and I was hoping that they would let it grow, but it doesn't really matter. Hair grows pretty fast so it won't take long to grow back.