Wednesday, January 1, 2014

13 for '13

2013 has come and gone, quickly.  It's gone ridiculously fast, I might add.  As we begin 2014, here's a look back on our year, with 13 thoughts on 2013.

1. 2013 started with us in a state of frustration, even desperation, as we continued to wait for the green light to travel to meet our daughter.

2. That wait quickly became a distant memory 345 days ago. 

3. God gave us an incredibly beautiful, smart, funny little girl that has made the last 11+ months among the most memorable, and joyful we've had. 

4. I've written an AWFUL lot about poop and poop-related stories.  I'm sorry. Unfortunately for us all, Bailey's given me far too many opportunities.

5. Not to toot (there I go again...) our own horn, but our brief hibernation period, along with our time holed up in Kinshasa, helped us immensely with the bonding and attachment process.  Early indicators give me confidence that we're on the right track. 

6. I am blown away by how much little kids grow and learn over the course of a year.  I look back at pictures and videos from last January and February, and Bailey is barely making any sounds, nor is she walking.  Today, 11 months later, she's saying phrases such as "Happy New Years" and running all over the house. I am dumbfounded almost daily by how much her mind processes and her body grows. 

7. I am grateful for all of you that have supported us and taken an interest in our journey.  We wouldn't be who we are without your love and support, and we're counting on it as we embark on adoption #2. Thank you from the bottom of my heart for your prayers, encouragement, and support.

8. Our 2013 with Bailey begins and ends with some medical challenges. Thankfully the ER visits have slowed down, but we recently learned that Bailey has some food allergies, so we'll be beginning 2014 making some diet changes in the hopes that this will alleviate her stomach issues.

9. Jenny impresses me daily by how being a mom is second nature for her.  I am so lucky to be able to learn from her and I'd be lost without her.  She somehow turns every little activity or moment into a learning opportunity for Bailey.  It really is a thing of beauty.

10. Bailey LOVES dancing. It'll be fun to see if/how that continues to blossom.

11. Bailey has found little ways to help out around the house - feeding Abby, cleaning up (especially her own stuff), watering the Christmas tree, etc. She seems to get so much satisfaction by being a helper.

12. Time flies.  Being away is hard and it seems that Bailey grows the most when I'm gone. It's far too easy to let distractions take over, causing us to miss those precious unexpected moments with Bailey.  I am as guilty (if not more) as the next person of being too attached to my phone/tablet/laptop/TV. I'm striving to make these devices convenient for me, not for everyone else.  The "do not disturb" feature on my iPhone has been a huge help to reduce the buzzes and beeps after work.  

13. Bailey turns 2 a month from today. Whoa.  This is such a fun age.  Please, God, keep the "terrible" out of her "twos".


  1. You guys are amazing.....xoxox can't wait to read more....Bailey is blessed beyond words....oh and twos are easy....fours......on the other hand....yikes

  2. You guys are so blessed! What a precious little girl. Can't wait to see what exciting things are in store for your sweet family in 2014!

  3. What an amazing year and a beautiful little girl!

    Nikki - blog design to support my work in India, fostering 7 children with special needs

  4. It is normal to feel frustrated and desperate waiting for that day you get to be with your child. But the waiting game is over, and now, you are with your lovely daughter. I think the long journey becomes sweeter at the end the moment you see how much worthy it is to go through the entire adoption process just to be with a smart and happy kid like Bailey. Thanks for the post! How is she now? :)

    Dean Glover @ AdoptionNetwork