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!

Monday, November 30, 2009

30 November 2009

It's a special day because it's James' birthday and because we all went to see Iguacu Falls, a majestic sight for sure!  Our dear children protested the trip to the falls because they preferred to stay in the pool, but we insisted that we did not take a 10 hour sleepless overnight bus ride just to swim in a hotel pool.  In the end, everyone was glad to have experienced the falls.  We even took a boat ride at the base of the falls and got just as wet as we would have in the pool.  

Happy Birthday, Papai!

Happy Birthday to Papai who turned 30 today!!!  Today will surely be unlike any birthday James has ever celebrated!

29 November 2009

We've arrived safely in Iguacu Falls and are waking up in the Hotel Florenca after a long day at the hotel pool yesterday.  Mamae and Papai are burned to a crisp (must. buy. waterproof. sunscreen.) and the kids are sleeping soundly even at 9am.  The plan was to arrive at the falls with the sun today, but the sun hasn't arrived.  It's pouring rain and booming thunder.  We think we'll stay inside for most of today and hope for clearer skies tomorrow.

The pool here is great (we're sure the kids will remember it more than they remember the falls), but we were so busy enjoying it with them that we forgot to take any photos.  There are two little water slides and a big twisty slide.  All the children had a blast and so did we.

For dinner we went to a "Shopping Center" (that's Portuguese for shopping center, and in this case it was a sort of food-court multi-restaurant plaza with an arcade and a play room for little kids.)  We had pizzas and juices (only in Latin America can you get strawberry juice, pineapple juice, mango juice and guava juice).  The big kids played in the arcade for a while and the little kids played and painted in the play room before we took a taxi back to the hotel.

I think I thought that being a mother of 4 would feel like something different.  I may have even had an idea in my mind of what I thought it would feel like.  Know what it feels like?  It feels like my life.  Just the way it was meant to be.  (It also feels a little more tired, dirty and stinky... but all that feels normal too.) Sometimes we look around and count to 4 to make sure everyone's together and have the funny feeling that even though the head-count was complete, somehow it doesn't look like we were toting enough people.  This is our family.  The way it was meant to be.

Saturday, November 28, 2009

28 November 2009--Happy Birthday Luana

Our youngest girl turned 6 today!  We started the day with a festive pancake cake and some presents.  We had some birthday cake at dinner before we left for our bus to Iguacu Falls.  She is such a sweetheart and she really enjoyed her special day.  Happy Birthday, dear one!

Thursday, November 26, 2009

November 26--Counting our Blessings

1, 2, 3, 4

And we're thankful that today was our first day where NO ONE had a time out!

Wednesday, November 25, 2009

25 November 2009

One month to Christmas and we started our celebrating tonight at the HSBC Christmases Around the World spectacular! Every year at the HSBC bank in downtown Curitiba, this great show draws large crowds. In each of the little windows (janelinhas) one or two children dress in costumes and sing Christmas songs with special lighting and great accompaniment. There are about 150 children in all. Maynara and Lucas were in last year's show, and were scheduled to be in this year's show as well, but got parents instead of fame and glory! Standing on the sidewalk in front of the bank, they still got to perform with their friends while standing next to their parents and siblings. Choreography and all! It was such a magical time watching and hearing them sing the songs they'd practiced all year--and waving at two of their friends from Casa Hai where they lived for the past 3+ years. We even got some pictures of them with their friends after the show.

Today was hot, probably in the 90's, so we haven't really felt like Christmas is on the way (despite the artificial greens and "icicle" lights we've seen all around town). But tonight Christmas was in the air and it was a beautiful thing.

Luana Vitória

We haven't had very many new photos lately, so it's time for another little Fullton profile. Today it's Luana Vitória's turn for a close-up.

Luana turns 6 on November 28 this year. She is, well, delicious! She is usually happy and smiley, and she's a real cuddle-bug. Every morning our little sunshine wakes up with a big smile on her face, and a giggle behind her pruney thumb, ready to find all the joy the day has to offer. Her curls are to die for! When they are messy, they are positively enormous--they are their own animal! But when they are "arrumados" (done), they couldn't be more delicious--little ringlets of sweetness.

  • Sucking her thumb.
  • Tic-Tacs.
  • Eggs, any style.
  • Xuxa songs and dances.
  • Watching movies and TV.
  • Making Mae and Pai happy.
  • Having her back scratched at bedtime.
  • Tickles and giggles.
  • Super-dramatic, wide-mouth whines that last a short time and end as quickly as they started--followed by sweet smiles.
  • Taking naps.
  • Sunbathing.
  • Pretty, pink clothes.
  • Changing clothes at least once in the middle of each day.
  • VERY chocloatey hot chocolate (think, the slimy kind).
  • Chocolate cake.
  • Very cream cheesy bread for breakfast (just like her Mamae)
  • Playing with her dolly.
  • Playing with her sister and younger brother.
  • Taking her vitamins--she's always the one to remind us to get them out and pass them around each morning.
  • Having her hair brushed
  • The kind of table manners that leave her place at the table tidy.
  • Being ignored by her siblings and not getting quick attention from her parents.
  • The word "no."
  • The first time we tried chocolate bars with the kids, James said "Kim, don't you think we should make sure they don't sit on the bed while they eat chocolate." Kim said, "don't worry, they'll eat them so fast that they won't make a mess" (they were small chocolate bars, really only a bite or two). Eating chocolate bars fast is something we do, but boy were we wrong about the kids! Luana had squished the the chocolate bar between her two hands until it melted and then licked it off her hands. Luana also likes to lick cookies until they are soggy, chew vitamins while holding onto them with two fingers, and sucks tic-tacs in the same way.
  • Luana asked Santa for a Laptop for Christmas.
  • She was so afraid of the ghosts of Christmases past, present and future in the Christmas Carol movie that she glued herself to Mamae and would not let go during the whole film.
  • Luana likes to help her younger brother and talks to him like a little mama, with lots of patience and love.
  • She is so pleasant and easy-going that nothing really bothers her, and we have to be careful not to overlook her. Such an even temperament.
  • We love the way she answers us when we ask "todo bem?" (a pretty common greeting in Brazil that basically means, everything OK?). Her answer is almost always just "todo" (everything!). For her, the world is her oyster and everything's always worth a smile. If she's grumpy, a little tickle snaps her right out of it.