Tag Archives: Jacob

What I Found When I Came Out of the Shower No. 3

Jake and Joey are into everything these days. EVERYTHING. But I still need to shower before noon so I have to take the risk. All dangerous things locked up, I feel it’s mostly safe to hop in as quickly as possible (which is a big deal for this gal who loves to take long showers).

This morning the boys took the entire contents of the bottom drawer

and put them all in the sink.

If only they were able to reverse this process with the dishes completely clean.

Headbangers

No, this isn’t a post about a mosh pit at a rock concert. This is about Jake and Joe’s chosen method for self-soothing. They lie in their cribs and rhythmically bang their heads against the mattress when trying to fall asleep. How this helps lull them to dreamland, I have no idea, but there it is.

It’s not a hard bang. They’re not actually hurting themselves at all. It’s just a lift-thump-lift-thump action. But it is kind of irritating to listen to, especially when you are trying to fall asleep yourself. Thankfully, we don’t have to hear it anymore. Now the two older children get the pleasure of the rhythmic thumping sound.

Funny boys. I have no concerns that there are any other problems, social or neurological, occurring here. It’s just how they deal. And I won’t complain too much. They’re champ sleepers and know how to put themselves to sleep without any intervention from Mom or Dad, so who am I to get picky?

White Suits

Did you catch those adorable white suits that Jake and Joey wore at their temple sealing? Those were sewn by Grandma Tuki, seamstress extraordinaire. As soon as she knew that we had a date for the temple, she offered to make these outfits for the boys.

Just look at the buttons on the vests.

She is so incredibly talented. Thank you, Tuki, for making these for Jake and Joey!

Octopus in the Backyard

Having a real backyard with real grass was worth the jump in rent we had to pay when we moved into this house. The big kids are finally at the age where they can spend long amounts of time on their own outside. Sometimes Jake and Joe can even join them. And sometimes we make it a family affair, especially when a good game is involved.

Warren came home from school wanting to play “Octopus,” where someone stands near the middle and reaches out with long “tentacles” to grab the runners. Colin joined in and even played with a handicap by holding Maddie for half the time. Jake and Joe participated by rearranging the cones on the grass.

It morphed into more of a giant chase around the yard, but everyone was happy, so never mind the rules.

I love afternoons in the backyard.

A Saturday at the Playground

Warren saved up allowance money to buy a new bike. He’s already outgrown the other one. Seems like we just got it yesterday. {I’m sure that’s what I’ll be saying about everything as the years go on.} Eager to break it in, he just needed an opportunity to take it for a real spin, not just down the street and back.

We had the assignment of cleaning the church building one Saturday morning. We took the entire family, though Colin and Warren did most of the cleaning while I tried to keep the boys from becoming counter productive. Maddie assisted where she found necessary. When we finished, we crossed the street to let the kids run free on the elementary school’s playground and give Warren a chance to ride around.

Warren is a pro on his bike. He had a blast alternating between racing around on the asphalt and climbing the monkey bars.

Maddie loves the slide. She didn’t let a little static electricity or wood chips in the shoes stop her from having a good time.

Jake (in blue) and Joey (in brown) enjoyed the sweet taste of freedom as we allowed them to explore the grounds in whichever direction they fancied. They also could not get enough of the wood chips, which are not easy to remove from their hair, let me tell you.

Maddie, Jake, and Joe could not get enough of the drinking fountain at the kindergarten sink. Water is great on a sunny day.

I love spending time together like this. And I love to watch my kids explore and discover new things. Things they didn’t realize they could do before. Their smiling faces say it all.

A perfect Saturday morning, in my book.

Baby Blessings

Once all legal aspects of the adoption were complete, we were finally able to have Colin give Jake and Joey a baby blessing, something that normally happens before a baby is even 6 months old. This ordinance allows the child to be counted on the records of the church (thought not officially a member until baptized at age eight) and also gives the father or other special Priesthood holder the opportunity to bestow a blessing of counsel and guidance for the child’s life. Sort of a glimpse into God’s gifts and intentions for that particular child.

Jake and Joey were nearly 19 months by the time Colin laid his hands on their heads, one at a time. Because they were so much older, he already had insights into their personalities. The blessings he pronounced upon them were therefore quite special, as we could already see some of the things he felt impressed to say coming to pass.

Maddie, too, was older when she received her baby blessing and though I’m not necessarily advocating for waiting so long, both experiences have been special. But, then again, so was Warren’s.

I’m just grateful that Colin is a man who takes the responsibilities of holding the Priesthood seriously and uses it to bless our family. I love being able to witness this good father work with God to help our children grow spiritually, right from the beginning.

Adoption Complete!

So many amazing things have happened in the last few weeks. Some good, some not so good. Because of that I am ridiculously behind in blogging. But I could not let any more time pass (it’s already been almost two weeks) without sharing this news: Jake and Joey are officially part of our family! The adoption is complete and we are overjoyed.

More details to come soon, I promise. In the meantime, know that we are relieved and grateful that this time has finally come.

Jake & Joey’s Temple Sealing

We took Jake and Joey to the Los Angeles temple to be sealed to our family, a religious ceremony we believe links our children to us for all eternity. (You can read more about the purpose of temples of the Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-Day Saints here.)

Like with Maddie and Warren, we were able to enter the temple as a family as soon as the adoption was official. And we wasted no time doing it! On Wednesday it was finalized and on Friday we were at the temple. All necessary to make sure that Grandma Tuki and Aunt Melissa could witness this ordinance while they were here on vacation.

I hope I never forget the peaceful feeling I experienced there in the temple sealing room as I watched my children gather around me and Colin at the altar. Or the sheer joy. I cried happy tears knowing that my babies, all four, would be ours forever, whatever may come in this life.

It’s hard to believe how much our family has grown in these thirteen years since Colin and I first knelt together on our wedding day. I could have never imagined then how blessed we would become as we welcomed each child into our hearts. The powerful promises of the temple covenants make me want to live a life worthy of receiving those blessings.

We were surrounded by good friends and family that happy afternoon and felt the love and support of those who have seen us through the uncertainty of the adoption process. We were finally at the end. The temple sealing, for us, was the real conclusion.

We had to celebrate.

It was low-key but we enjoyed a picnic dinner in the courtyard of the temple apartments where we would stay the night.

Friends and family traveled far and through some gnarly traffic to be with us this day. It meant so much. Thanks again to Sarah for making the tastiest lemon bars for dessert. They were delectable!

We are so blessed.

On Adoption Day

This was a long-awaited day for our family and finally, finally it was here. We drove to the courthouse in Santa Barbara where we’d state for the record that we loved Jake and Joe with all our hearts and wanted them in our family forever. There we met our county case worker and Angels social workers. Grandma Tuki and Aunt Melissa got to join us as well.

We waited in the courtroom for a few minutes but then were escorted to the judge’s chambers. A little less formal than with Maddie’s adoption.

The judge made some remarks and then asked us to raise our hands to swear that we would tell the truth. Would we care for these boys for the rest of our lives? Oh, yes. And then some.

Then he asked for Jake and Joey to raise their hands. They were not as willing to comply, especially Joey, but I’m sure they were just as truthful.

He handed us the Adoption Order documents to sign and then it was official. They were legally part of our family. To be treated as if they were born to us with all legal rights and privileges. We wouldn’t have it any other way.

Just like on Maddie’s adoption day, the judge handed out stuffed animals to each child. All four kids walked away with teddy bears in t-shirts. They were all quite satisfied.

And then it was over. Just like that. In 20 minutes time, the State of California recognized what we already knew: We were a family.

These precious boys, Jake and Joey. We loved you from the minute you entered our home, your tiny bodies swaddled in little blankets, sleepy-eyed and so helpless. We prayed that you would stay with us forever. Our prayers were answered.

It feels good to be complete.

===

Thank you to all who’ve helped us survive the unknowns and the waiting over the last year and a half. We were strengthened because of your support and prayers. And many thanks to Angels Foster Care of Santa Barbara for helping us grow our family. We are forever grateful! And lastly, thanks to Jennifer for taking these pictures so that we have a visual record of this important day!