Monday, January 31, 2011

Is Spring here yet?

It is official:  we are in the doldrums of winter.   They are calling for another sleet/freezing rain event tonight here in Cincinnati!  Through the grace of visits with family and friends, a great book and a few inspirational blogs, Lucy's music class, my mom's group, and Lucy's continued love of being outside, we are staying happy, healthy and grounded.  This past weekend we traveled to Indy to visit with  my family and celebrate my brother's upcoming birthday.  Lucy was  a real peach and loved seeing Grammy, Papa, Aunt Lisa and cousin Lindsay, and Uncle Ray and Aunt Jessica. Thanks to all my family for continuing to be so loving to our girl.  She feels it and loves you all right back!

Happy Birthday Ray!

Gotta love that blue icing on the birthday cake!

Monday, January 17, 2011


This should be the final time I write about "lasts" with the process of adopting Lucy.  Alleluia!  Recently we went back to court to "re-adopt" Lucy.  Even though the adoption was finalized in China, and Lucy became a citizen at our port-of-entry upon returning from China, there was one last step we wanted to take:  making it official-- on paper-- through the United States' legal system.  Even though this was not necessary, many encouraged us to do it.  This will secure any potential questions or problems that Lucy could encounter later in her life regarding citizenship.  It also allows us to get her social security number/card in her American name.  It was something we thought was important to do for Lucy.  

I admit that doing more paperwork and paying more fees was quite unappealing 6 months ago, when we could have completed this last step.  Finally I got the energy to do what was needed in November, and off to court we went on December 29th.  In hindsight, it wasn't bad at all (nothing compared to all that had to be done on the front end of this process.)  And the Judge made the experience quite enjoyable, as you can tell in the pictures below.  He was friendly, inquisitive and encouraging.  If it weren't for the (tall!) man in the black robe sitting behind the big bench, I wouldn't have even know we were in court!

Brian and I feel a great sense of relief...  

No more legal matters, home studies, classes, paperwork or fees.

No more questions about our intentions, our house, our family or our histories.

No more fingerprinting, notarizing or traveling.

Just Brian, Karen and Lucy. . . . . being the family God intended for us to be. 

Waiting to go into the courtroom...

Judge Rogers invited Lucy to come bang the gavel to make it official.

She wasn't quite sure what to make of it all...neither was I, behind that bench!

Smile, Lucy...we are all done!!!

Monday, January 10, 2011

Lucy's 2!!!

We welcomed another birthday with Lucy on December 30th.  I felt very sentimental and contemplative all day, thinking about this past year and all the blessings that we have received with having Lucy as our daughter.  My mind couldn't help but think about Lucy's birth parents and what they may have been thinking and feeling on this day.  Maybe as Lucy gets older, her mind will wonder these things as well.  Even though her birth parents made the choice of adoption, I feel almost certain that their hearts still have a big place for Lucy.  I pray for them regularly, specifically that they know how much Lucy is loved and cared for.  My heart goes out to them, as well as all parents who have made an adoption choice, as I can't imagine how difficult it is to give up a child.  A loving and selfless act...

We had a wonderful celebration for Lucy at the Cincinnati Zoo with our friends,  the Klesa's.  We felt so happy that Molly, Damon, Nate, Charlie, Patrick and Abby could join us for a second year in a row to celebrate.  It was an unseasonably warm evening to enjoy the Festival of Lights.  Lucy clapped and rocked the entire time we sang Happy Birthday to her... a happy girl indeed!

"Look, Mom, I am 2 and can put on my shoes all by myself!"
Opening gifts and cards from family and friends.

Singing Happy Birthday...

The Zoo had a manger scene... we were impressed!
New Year's Eve was unseasonably warm as well.  Lucy continues to be my joyful helper in everything I do, as you can see in the pictures below.  The three of us enjoyed a quiet evening at home together, feeling incredibly blessed by this past year. 
I love watering the plants!

"let me set this down, it is too heavy..."

Happy New Year!!!

Saturday, January 1, 2011

Christmas Memories

Lucy loves her Aunt Bridget (or as Lucy says, Aunt"Bibbet")
As expected, we had a wonderful visit up north to see Brian's family. The Barnes' family is always so hospitable. I love that there is never a dull moment and always lots of laughter.  Everyone is so warm and caring, particularly towards Lucy.  For these reasons, our trips to NY are always such a pleasure.  Not to mention Lucy was practically perfect on the 8 hour drive both up and back.  We are fortunate to have such a good traveler.  The weather cooperated, and was even snowy and picturesque on Christmas eve and Christmas day.

A few days after we came home from NY, my family came to our house to visit and celebrate the holiday.  It was so nice to see everyone; I am always so grateful that my parents, sister, nephews and niece make this trip.  Thanks to all! There are so many pictures to share from the events of the past few weeks. I will just focus on Christmas pictures in this post.    Enjoy!
Lucy hamming it up with Joe and Bridgey
Grandma, Grandpa and Aunt Bridgey
One of Lucy's new favorite toys... Lets hope her love for chores continues!
Uncle Timmy, Aunt MaryAnne, Cousins Bernie and Kathleen with Grandma and Grandpa
Uncle Timmy and Cousins Macayla and Brandon

Let the indoctrination begin...
Uncle Timmy wants to be sure Lucy's allegiance to the Washington Redskins starts at a young age.
I love my cousin Claire!
Another one of Lucy's new favorites...her Asian baby doll.
Cousin Lindsay and Grammy