Friday, December 2, 2011

Introducing the newest American Citizen:

ANNELISE!!!! On November 28, 2011 a local judge signed the order of adoption for our family. Bitna will forever be know now as Annelise Bitna. She has been our baby girl since the moment we saw her picture, but now legally no one can ever take her away from us. We are her family forever!!! Praise the Lord. We love you precious Annelise Bitna. You bring us so much JOY.

Tuesday, September 6, 2011

Very cool!

I wanted to share the picture we took at the hotel in Seoul right after we took custody of Annelise is on the cover of our adoption agencies annual report. It took me completely by surprise when I opened my mail today. I sent the picture to the agency as part of her birth announcement, and they asked me a few months back if they could use the picture, but I was not sure they would. I am so excited, and am going to frame the cover and hang it in Annelises room.
Maybe the raw emotion of that day is conveyed in this picture. We were exausted, Annelise fell asleep in the sling. Just an hour before we had left all she knew and loved behind and got into a taxi. We kissed the top of her head and Daniel held out the camera to take this picture. Who knew, what a moving picture it is!

Sunday, September 4, 2011

She's HOME

Five months, one week since she was placed in our arms forever and I can honestly say she knows she is HOME. It was not an easy road for her. I watched her grieve. I saw her resist. I prayed. I watched her grow. Love. Trust. Annelise now positively MELTS into my arms. Lays her baby head on my chest whenever she can. She knows. Who her Daddy is, who her Mamma is and who her brothers are. Praise Him who let her fall in love with us. I just want to document this moment. This week I know, she knows, She is finally HOME.

Wednesday, August 24, 2011


Just had to put this out there... Too much on my mind to keep mum! My life is getting easier, Jack is in school now, Anderson's tantrums have calmed down, Annelise is an angel (most of the time). And today I could actually BREATHE again! It feels good. Almost a little TOO good. On my heart is the orphan. I try to forget, to enjoy this time with my littles, but I can't stop thinking there may be one more out there that needs a Mommy and Daddy. My timing is way off. We can't afford to start another adoption again, but it is ALL I think about. I love the ease of two at home and Jack in school. But then I think, do I want a life of ease here on earth? I look at our kitchen and think it needs a total overhaul. Which would cost about 20 grand. I know I could never do it. I would think with every new appliance a baby out there with big brown (blue?) eyes waiting. So pray for me. Pray for my hubby. If this is His will, and I do believe HE sets the lonely in families, then my hubby's heart will be changed, or I will be able to relax with this life I have with 3 small children. If you would like to offer me any advice, chime in! Because most of you that read this blog have the heart for an orphan.
Perhaps all it means is that we will adopt again one day, just not anytime soon. I know my hubby would love to be able to save save save for the future. And I get that, that is responsible. But who will look after them if not us?

Tuesday, August 2, 2011

The day Annelise turned one year old!

There are many more pictures of this big day but here are a few. We had Annelise a birthday party at a local kids gym. It was so much fun. She wore her Korean Handbok her foster mother gave her. She looked beautiful! The other pictures of her eating cake are of our little home celebration. We lit two candles that day, one for her, one for her birthmother. The cupcake shows the two candles. I have to admit, it was really hard to stare at that special cupcake and not cry. So much was given for Annelise Bitna to celebrate her first birthday. We are honored that we were chosen to be her family. And we will never forget the ones that loved on our sweet daughter before we could.

Four months HOME !

I can't believe she has been home four months~ She is a really sweet girl. Here are some summer pictures of her! We just love her to pieces!

Tuesday, June 28, 2011

THREE months home!

Three months ago today we celebrated our forever family day. The first picture is in the hotel room right after we got back. Daddy feeding his girl. The second picture we are signing at SWS to take custody of our Annelise. Three months ago today, we had a daughter forever! We love you Annelise. !!! Annelise turned ONE year old last Wed, the 22nd. I am a terrible blogger, I still have to get those pictures from my friend. Guess who forgot her camera for the party? sigh. Soon, soon!

Friday, June 17, 2011

For Annelise

A long long time ago, a wish was planted in my soul
A wish for you, daughter of my heart
I dreamed of your beautiful almond eyes
And I knew, You would be a part of me
I carried your face with me through two pregnancies
I never forgot you
I knew deep in my heart, you were for me
On my youngest son's first birthday, I heard you call
Desperation drove me to make that big call
I did not want to miss you
Your life was created during that time
While we paperchased and filled out necessary documents
I knew, I knew you were formed
God created you just for us in the fall time
I waited, prayed and longed for my sweet girl
Until one day, miraculously they called
A baby girl, so little and new
Was waiting in South Korea for us
Eighteen months to the day we began looking for you
You were placed in my arms forever
God knew

- Mommy

Tuesday, June 14, 2011

{ I just love her }

Just a few reasons why I can't get enough:

1) She smiles when I walk into her room in the morning and holds her hand up to me

2) She carries around any and every small object she can fit in her hands. Most times her fists are full of crumpled paper, a toy car and a prized coin she pulled out of my purse. (eeeek)

2) She is super curious about everything, which I consider a major sign of intelligence ;)

3) She LOVES to eat. Almost anything I give her. And she always devours my dinner while the boys will sometimes question my cooking

4) She smiles really big at Daddy and melts his heart

5) She smiles really big at the boys (as long as they let her have their toys :) )

6) She has two little bottom teeth, which are kidna crooked, but that makes me love her more

7) She laughs when I put my finger in her mouth and pretend to be shocked when she chomps down. We do this game many times a day just so I can hear that sweet giggle

8) She loves the water. Bathtime, pooltime, water table time, toilet water (ok, so that is not cool but she thinks the toilet is an indoor water table for her) !

9) She get super angry when I remove her from her beloved bath every night. Which is why she manages to smear every piece of food from breakfast, lunch or dinner into her hair assuring her more than one bath a day. :) I love that she does that, too!

10) She is starting to take her first steps and after she does she looks right at me while I clap for her and she grins really big. She is proud of herself as she should be!

11) I love that we got to SEE her first step!

13) I love that she gives me kisses with her whole mouth open and just kinda sucks on whatever part of my face her mouth lands on. Super cute.

14) I love that she has tiny dimples in her cheeks that I see when she grins really big

15) I love that I NEVER get enough of my sweet girl.

16) I love that I am her Mommy and I can call her my daughter, forever.

17) I love that wherever we go, people see her and just grin. :)

18) I love that she lays her head on my shoulder when I rock her at night.

19) I love how she magically has settled into our family and I can hardly remember life without Annelise

20) I love that my when I threw her in the air for this picture, I was bathed in the warm sun, looking at my girl smile, thinking about what a blessed Mama I am. And I am. Blessed.

Saturday, June 11, 2011

So how is she doing?

I feel like I have been really terrible at blogging since Annelise came home. Two and a half months ago! wow! Life with three kids is just so.... busy! Man, I hit the bed at night and I think I am asleep before I get fully in it. My sweet boys are up every morning by 6:30am at the lastest. Usually by 6am. Annelise is generally a very good sleeper of late, but I think she may be getting another tooth because she has been unusually fussy for the past few days, and not sleeping as much. But generally I feel really lucky about her and her love of sleep. It was not always that way, but we worked it out. ;) She seems to really like her crib now and her stuffed animals in it.
She is a really happy baby, VERY active. Today I found her splashing in the toilet. Yep. Third time this week. And she took 4 steps at once today! Whoa! Slow down baby! She loves playing with any toy that is little or that belongs to the boys. Which they are not so fond of. We are working on sharing. And when they do take a toy out of her hand, watch out!!! DRAMA. We hear great noises come out of her tiny 19lb self. Well, actually, she is not very tiny. She is very long, and already in 18 month clothing. I think she will be taller than me. (I am 5'5) She loves her Mama and her Dadda, but lately I have noticed she is favoring me. (I am not happy about that at all.;)) She can be kinda sneaky, too. At times I have heard her shrieking and I assume the boys are messing with her, so i poke my head in the room already yelling for the boys to leave her alone, and she is just sitting there on the other side of the room from them yelling looking at them. lol. Today she tried to grab Andersons arm and she does scratch so Daniel kinda swatted her hand away since she had just scratched him. She wrinkled up her little face and you would have thought he had really done something awful to her. Poor baby. I think a little taste of the drama that will come with this sweet baby girl. :)
Anyway, life is settling into a pattern. We have alot of fun, and she takes a good nap every afternoon now, which is a relief. With preschool out for the summer, I do find I tend to stay home more. I have tried a few outings by myself with all 3, but Anderson is still not yet three years old, and I find it is overwhelming. If we just go to the park, that works, but a big outing is hard. I think the older they get the easier that will be. Jack will be in kindergarten in the fall (sigh, how did that happen?) so then it will be back to two littles each day. I will admit, I am looking forward to that only so that I will be able to do activities again by myself. I have heard people say the jump from 2 kids to 3 is harder than 1 kid to 2. I totally did not get it. Until I had 3. Now I see, now I see. lol.
Annelise is amazing. Gone is the baby that clung to my leg and would not leave my sight. I keep losing her in my house! I have to go hunting for her because she is so independant and relaxed with us now she just crawles away and gets either into something or makes a beeline for the stairs if the boys leave a gate open. She does like to be held sometimes, but generally she is happy playing on the floor. I see such a different baby now than i did that first month. She enjoys meeting new people. There are times when she will look into my eyes with her big brown eyes and I can just see she trusts me. That is everything. And she loves it when I rock her. Not for long, mind you, but she will let me for a bit. When we first got home, she would fight me if I tried to cuddle her. Now she lets me then needs to get down so she can explore. And I hear Maaamaaaaaa alot. And sometime uhmammaa which is Korean for mama. I will take it any way I can. Love it! I am more than blessed to wake up to my sweet boys and this little face every day:

Thanks for reading, I wish you all a happy Saturday!

Picture heaven

I am so excited about all these pictures!! I am going to hang them in every room in my house! :) Here are some more: My boys

I love this shot. Anderson was "all done"

A girls gotta have pink sandals!

Smiling for mama!

Daddy's girl for sure!

So which one is your favorite? I can't choose, but I love the ones of all the most. It just feel so good to be finally five. :)

Baby Birds Photo

We had family portraits done a few weeks ago by a local photographer... here is a sampling. I will put up more later today. I love them. :)

Tuesday, May 31, 2011

The sweetest berry in the patch!

I took the kids strawberry picking last week. We had so much fun! Last week we celebrated 2 months of Annelise being a part of our family. She is such a joy and doing really well with us. I can tell she is really bonded with Daniel and I, which is so good to see. She is sleeping great at night, also. Naps were hard to get on track, but after a bit of crying, she is now napping well. Life is good! Here are some pictures of our berry adventures, and a recipe to try!

Berry bread with Spread (from Taste of Home)

1 package (8oz) cream cheese, softened
2 packages (10oz each) frozen sweetened sliced strawberries, thawed
3 cups all purpose flour
2 cups sugar
1 teaspoon salt
1 teaspoon baking soda
4 eggs
1 cup canola oil

1) for strawberry spread, in small bown, beat the cream cheese until smooth. Drain strawberries, reserving 1/4 cup juice for bread batter. Beat 6 tablespoons berries into cream cheese. Set remaining berries aside. Chill spread.

2) in a large bowl, combine flour, sugar, salt and baking soda. Combine the eggs, oil, reserved berries and juice. Stir in dry ingrediants until just moistened. Transfer to two greased loaf pans

3) Bake at 350 for 55 minutes. Serve with spread.

(I made this yesterday and it is amazing!!!)

Monday, May 9, 2011

{Labor of my heart}


I would have given anything
to be the one to know
the pain of bringing you into this world
but it couldn't be ...

Though I did not bring you here
still I labored in my tears
through the long nights I prayed
you would come to me ...

You are the labor of my heart Child,
you are the labor of my heart
with all my strength I prayed
till they laid you in my arms Child,
you are the labor of my heart ...

Blessed be the maker
of bone of other bone.
He made flesh of my desire
and today I take you home...

You are the labor of my heart Child,
you are the labor of my heart
with all my strength I prayed
till they laid you in my arms Child,
you are the labor of my heart Child,
you are the labor of my heart...

Author Unknown

Happy Mother's Day to all my friends. This year I had an extra reason to smile. I am *so* blessed!

Wednesday, April 27, 2011

First portraits!

Last week I took Annelise in for her first pictures. I think they are adorable. She did great! And tomorrow is ONE MONTH since our forever family day in Seoul! Wow! Annelise is so sweet, and really is getting comfortable with us and our house. She crawls into other rooms now and I have to go looking for her! That is very different from the first few weeks. I love having her home. She is such a blessing. Each day brings lots of smiles for all of us. Thank you God for our daughter!


About Me

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We are waiting to adopt our fourth child from the U.S.A. I am a momma to three other awesome children and wife to the love of my life. My boys are homegrown and my daughter is adopted from S. Korea . We cannot wait to meet our next baby!