18 December 2014

zoey : life

This one…

You know that moment when you realize you can't train kids to do certain things? I mean, you can discipline and encourage, but you know when you see something that you kiddo does that is a trait they will very well have for the rest of their life? Their little personality blooming right in front of you?

That's what it's been like ever since Zoey was born. She's always been this little girl full of sweetness. She has her sass and spunk, but she is a lover at her core and has lived well up to her name, Zoey, which means life in Greek. I knew as soon as we decided to name her Zoey that she would bring joy and laughter and life into our little fam. The same way I knew when we named Jack that we would have a Hero, fun-loving, curious boy. (he also lives up to his name, by the way)

Lately Zoey's speech has blossomed. She's a little delayed according to the books, but right when we wonder if we should intervene she (and Jesus) surprises us and off she goes.

It started with little phrases like,

"I know DAT" (said with much sass and talking back. Not cool. But hilariously cute.)
"Just a ittle-ittle bit?" She'd ask with a tiny squeaky high voice and her fingers pinched together. Most often asking for a treat of some kind.
"Cuque puppy!" referred to her "cute puppy" see in the picture below. He goes everywhere with her, except the tub, and is so well loved.

And lately, her speech has just taken off. At the beginning of this month I was certain that we would start speech therapy in January and I was okay with that. But then, she came full circle and not only really embraced imaginative play and using voices for her toys, but also expressing her needs and wants with us.

My new favorite phrase that she uses is.
"I like you." Simple, and not her most complex sentence, but I love how she uses it.
Not to be mistaken with I love you, she says that too, but she says this often right before she's about to get in trouble for something. She'll hold her tiny hands out and be like "but I like you!" or "you like me?" Gets me every time. My favorite is right before she falls asleep and I lean over to kiss her cheek and she cups my face with her hands and says, "I like you, Mama."

Are there sweeter words?

Zoey is also a lover of all things pink and sparkly. Not something she has inherited from me as I have very little of either. She is all girl and notices the tiny accessory that I don't (often) wear and asks to wear it.
She loves putting on my makeup and getting her nails painted and getting her hair done.

I'm not making this stuff up. I wish I was because a part of me has no idea how to go along with this, but it's in there. I'm finding it. 

I pray I can always encourage her to love life, to live it fully and to love herself in it. I pray that she cares little what others think of her or her passion for life, besides inspiring others to love life the way she does. I pray she embraces every opportunity and has the confidence to conquer it. Just like in her small delays in walking and talking, she goes at her own speed, but she catches up and doesn't ever wonder where the others in the race are. 

So very thankful for her sass and zest for life. 
So thankful that I get to be her mommy. 

As we continue our international adoption I can't help but wrestle with all that we are missing in the little one's life that God has for us. It's a reality of most adoptions. We'll never be able to replace the life that has been lived, but I pray we can add to it. I'm thankful for these early days with Zoey and that I am able to look on and watch as she grows and develops.

17 December 2014

these days

Jack turned five a couple months ago.

Five years old, and I haven't even had a chance to write him a letter. The months have woven together and time is barely giving me a chance to catch my breath.

Right now, my five year old boy is sitting next to me creating another lego masterpiece. No joke, a true masterpiece. I am partial, but I am also honest. I have found Legos to be one of our saving graces. That and Mater, our yellow lab. They are of the same kind, those two, and both have an excitement level that hit maximum a few times a day and each know how to love so unconditionally and fully. Mater is well loved and well cared for, even if it is through the kennel sometimes. We get him out after the kids have gone to bed (sorry kids) and let him roam around. But during the day he is either in his kennel or outside.

But back to legos, they have become a saving grace since Jack gave up his nap time. That was a sad day. Along with the day Jack said goodbye to binky.

But we have survived and our "lellow" saying toddler turned into a real Peter Pan boy (and has told me numerous times that he will never grow up and he'll stay a kid forever)

And he's turned into him. Jack Dickerson. Lover of numbers, puzzles, trains, car, legos, play dough and anything that is a challenge.

We have loved How I Met Your Mother (and are about to finish the series) and last night we realized how similar Barney and our Jack are. Praying Jesus intervenes in Jack's life before he's that age, but every time Barney says "challenge accepted." it's like a grown up Jack.

Happy birthday Goose,

Every day that passes I fall deeper in love with you. Your grin, your mumbles when you're saying a potty word, your giggle that is so contagious and wonderful, those deep blue eyes, your passionate spirit, your loyal friendship, your caring heart and the way you encourage Zoey and play with her, even when it's not cars and trucks.

You are a gem, Jackboy, and your strength and determination will follow you through your life. I already see the way you engineer incredible planes and trucks and trains. I see the way you enjoy alone time in your room and when the noise is just too much for you. I see the ways you are like your daddy and a precious mini version of him.

I love you Jack and every single part of you. The part that writes songs while we lay in bed at night, your heart for Jesus (and honest and real questions about Him and who He is and why He is that way.) The part that misses people and gets restless and lonely when you don't see your buds. The brave part of you that doesn't worry that gets nervous at the thought of seeing any sort of doctor or experiencing any sort of pain. But, my boy, you are brave.

You are all in, wherever you are, buddy. And that's going to take you places. Can't wait to watch you grow.

I love you.
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