This is the place where we are have documented the road we have walked in order to adopt our four children from Brazil and the road we are now on as a family. We are keenly aware that adopting is not just a process we've chosen to go through, but part of God's plan for us and for our children. May He be glorified through the process and through our family!

Tuesday, July 12, 2011

Some travel updates

We wish we'd found more time to update our friends and family about our whereabouts and our activities recently, but our days have been full and our energy short by the end of the day.  Here are some links to photos of our travels.  Hopefully these facebook links work for everyone who doesn't have facebook... we're having trouble uploading photos to Blogger.  (grr).


We had a nice jaunt to downtown Curitiba yesterday.  The old buildings and decorative sidewalks make it a charming place.  The 1st class bus system and bustling economy make it feel as comfortable as home.

The Praca de Espanha was a nice, off the tourist-beaten path, place to visit on a Saturday morning.  There was a lovely antique fair and a park where the kids played for a long while with our friend Lee and her son Joe.  Kim got a nice green necklace but whole-heartedly regrets not picking up the orange "Pedra de Sol" necklace as well.  Regrets it even more now that she's seen several (not as nice) pieces costing much more.  The fair doesn't open again until next Saturday and we'll be gone.  :(

We had a nice visit with Mae Hai (AKA Regina), who was "Mother" to our children for at least 2 years before we became a family.  This it he first they've seen her in over 2 years, and the first time we've had the chance to meet her.  It was an exciting and also emotional visit.  Good for the heart.

Thursday, July 07, 2011

Serra Verde Express

Yesterday we took a ride on the Serra Verde Express, the tourist train that runs from Curitiba across the coastal mountains, descending from 900m to almost sea level near the coast. We crossed 60+ bridges and went through 13 tunnels. It was a three hour tour to remember as we watched the vegetation and felt the climate change as we went.

We arrived in the small town of Morretes, which was an important trading post for the Portuguese as they took goods up the river from the coast toward Curitiba. We "enjoyed" a typical meal of "Barreado," a sort of beef stew thickened with manioc flour and eaten with rice and bananas. There was also plenty of fried fish and fried shrimp, also typical of the area.

After lunch we got on a bus to the small town of Antonina, which was an important Portuguese port on the Bay of Parana, feeding goods up river to Morretes, and further by mule to Curitiba. The sea breeze was lovely and the colorful houses were charming. In typical Portuguese colonial fashion, many of the shutters were on the inside of the windows to demonstrate ones wealth at being able to afford glass. Also, in a town tradition, a ceramic plaque at the front door lists the name of the family's favorite song so that the once-a-month roaming orchestra can play it!

We returned via van across a winding cobbled mountain road, known as the Estrada Graciosa, arriving back to our home-away-from-home in Curitiba, our familiar Betania, in time for dinner. We are already enjoying ourselves here, catching up with old friends and seeing familiar faces.

Boys love trains.

Girls love trains too.

Crossing the Sao Joao Bridge on the Serra Verde Express.
Awesome gorge in the mountains!

Kiddos in front of the cross at the church in Morretes.

This is where we had "Barreado" for lunch.

Luana found some friends at the craft market in Morretes!

The small river town of Morretes.

Kiddos in Antonina.

The colorful colonial architecture of Antonina on the Bay of Parana.

Our home-away-from-home in Curitiba, Betania! We're in the same rooms as we were 1.5 years ago!

Sunday, July 03, 2011

Starting up Again

Well, I clearly have some updating to do around here, but for now, the big news is that we're in Brazil again.  This is a very different trip than the one we made just over a year and a half ago, and we have several goals for it.  
1:  Tour and explore.  We want our children to get a bigger feel for their home country, and we want to get to know it ourselves.  Highlight: anAmazon rainforest tour!
2:  Reconnect.  We'll spend 9 days in Curitiba and meet up with some important friends there, including the woman who mothered our children at Casa HAI until 6 months before we got there to adopt our children.
3:  Park it.  The last leg of our trip will be spent at a beach in the warm north of Brazil just hanging out and enjoying time together with nothing planned but beach-pool-beach-pool.

Here are some links to photos from the first leg of our trip. I've been having trouble uploading posts with pictures to Blogger, so for now I'm just going to post links to our facebook albums, which have uploaded quite easily.  

We went from Boston International Airport to Miami where we had a 10 hour layover and took full advantage of it to Rio for a plane change, and finally to Belo Horizonte, which we are currently relaxing before we get ready to go explore.

Perhaps in the vacation-pace downtime, we'll get a chance to post some pictures from the last several months' events including Maynara's 12th birthday, Mother's Day, Father's Day, some fun school events, a trip to Calgary to see "Papai's Building" and a professional photo shoot of the world's most beautiful foursome!  This could take a while. 
DAY 1: 

DAY 2: 

Tuesday, April 05, 2011

Happy Birthday Vovo!

Vovo Fullton's birthday is coming up, and the kids wanted to send her a message.  They each got a turn to record something special.  Enjoy!
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Saturday, February 19, 2011

Vacation fun

February vacation is here, and though it's shortened because of LOADS of snow days earlier in the winter, we are doing our best to enjoy every minute of down-time together.  For a twist on our typical Friday night, we built an extra-large sheet-fort in the living room and carpeted the floor with a thick layer of blankets and pillows as we snuggled in front of a fire in the fireplace and a movie on the TV.  

Of course, one important member of the family was missing.  James is in Peru this week with EMI, Engineering Ministries International, so we're doing our best to endure a daddy-less vacation.  

We've managed fairly well so far... and really, we're just holding on until the real fun begins.  Vovo is coming to town to soak up some grandkid time (and give mamae a little respite).  Hurray for Grandmas!  

One of those things

After I loaded up on milk for our vacation-week-home, I had myself a good giggle about the 5 and a half gallons that occupied the entire top shelf of our fridge.  That's just one of those things that goes along with being a family of 6.  It's either 5 gallons, or zero.  One is already gone. 

Friday, January 21, 2011

Experiencing Life

Maybe sometimes experiencing life to its fullest means trying out an unlikely solution... and ending up with cold toes.  And sometimes it means letting go and letting children learn their own way.

Monday, January 17, 2011

no broken bones

It's a miracle that no one broke an arm (or a neck) on today's sledding adventure.  And it's a good thing too, because a trip to the ER would have really ruined the fun we had on some seriously fast and furious slopes today.  First clue that we would have a great time (or die trying) was the sled shrapnel littering the the top and bottom of the long, steep hill.  And since it was a Yale campus hill, the sled shrapnel also included the mangled remains of many make-shift sleds (cafeteria trays, cardboard boxes, Rubbermaid tubs and lids and suitcases).  If I mentioned the scattered smooshed beer cans, would that mean I made a bad parenting choice?  Oh well, now it's out there.

We attacked this beast of a sledding hill for nearly two hours and had a wonderful time.  Races, chains, contests, jumps, penguin dives, wipe-outs and rescues kept us laughing the whole time.  

I've just decided that my new year's resolution is to soak it up.  Sure, there will continue to be bumps on the trail, but I'm resolving today to keep my eyes and heart wide open to the beauty of each fleeting moment.  I ordered a book today that will hopefully help with this "easier said than done" endeavor.  It's called "One Thousand Gifts" and maybe you'll hear some more about it here after it arrives.  



All bundled up and ready to go.

Looks like fun.

 
Thought about turning back, but embraced the danger instead!

Who needs a sled?  My children are penguins.

King of the mountain!

And finally... the aftermath:


Sunday, January 16, 2011

big snow!

We sure have had a fun time in the aftermath of a hefty snowfall last week.  We had plenty of help digging out of the 17ish inches of snow that blanketed the city.  We've been shoveling, sledding, mountain-building, snowball throwing and plenty of slip-sliding around.  Snow days are such a treat, and we're enjoying them to the fullest.  

sledding

Dearest Michelle beat us to posting about a fun afternoon of sledding after a big snow storm this past week.  Which actually makes this post very easy.  Check it out.

Wednesday, January 12, 2011

Toothless Wonder

...and they continue to grow.  In so many ways.  Here's Brayan's first Jack o' Lantern grin after losing his first tooth.  Look out, tooth fairy, you have a new customer!

Tuesday, January 04, 2011

Happy Birthday Lucas

Dear Lucas,

You turned nine years old today.  We remember the first pictures we saw of you when you were only seven years old, and it amazes us how much has changed in two short years.  You are a clever and special boy and we are proud of all you've learned and who you are becoming before our eyes.  Happy birthday, darling!