Merry Christmas, we pray you and your families’ are having a wonderful time together this holiday and that you may be blessed this New Year.
As I write this letter, I remember writing our letter in 2012 and how I was looking forward to a quiet, restful, peaceful 2013. The year started out pretty well with me returning to work and Leeza transitioning smoothly to daycare, but as most of you have heard- by May we were surprised to find out that we were expecting again! Yes, this is the second time that we've conceived after adopting. Everyone likes to ask us how it happened and we like to joke that we're on God's buy one, get one free plan. However, we know that this is just part of God's amazing plan for our lives. He loves us and wants us to have an amazing story to share with all of you. It's pretty humbling when I look back 7 years ago and think of all the tears I cried wanting a baby. Now God has turned all of my tears into joy and I can't believe that I'm soon to be a mother of 4. How quickly everything can change when you trust in Him.
The new baby is due any day. It's a boy. The kids are very excited. Evan is excited to be a big brother again, but he's a little disappointed that the baby isn't a girl. He still has a very special bond with Leeza and he wanted another baby sister. Nolan is excited to give the baby his old baby toys and secretly we know he just plans to play with them again too. He likes to climb in the walker and if we let him he’d get in the swing too. Leeza likes to kiss my belly and is fascinated by the changes in my body. She is excited to hold the baby and she’s got big plans for him. I’m worried that she’s going to think that it’s HER baby. We’re going to have to watch her closely because she’s going to want to pick up the baby and put it in her new doll crib and stroller.
|Announcing the baby|
|It's a boy- they were playing with diapers and mommy had an idea.|
Leeza is 2.5 and she is doing great. She loves her family, mommy, daddy and brothers and she has also discovered that both of her Grandma’s have a soft spot for her that she is using to her advantage. Leeza is doing great at daycare; she is well loved by her teachers and has many friends. She is a very active, vocal little girl. Her speech is perfect and she constantly quizzes us throughout the day. She wants to do everything by herself, including dressing herself and choosing her clothes. She loves Hello Kitty, Dora, and frilly and glittery things. When it comes to clothes she is a girlie girl, but when it comes to play she is all boy. She plays trucks and whatever else the boys are doing. She is extremely agile and athletic, she swims like a fish and can throw and hit a baseball. Michael says she is going to be the athlete of the family. This fall, I started her in dance class to channel some of her physical abilities. The first few weeks she just kicked her feet and sucked her fingers. I thought of holding off for a while, but every morning she would beg to go to dance class. Now she is doing everything at class and dancing more and more around the house. Leeza has been wearing big girl underpants for the last few weeks. We still have a few accidents, but we’re hoping she’s fully trained by the time the new baby arrives. She’s still a lightweight, at only 22 lbs., but she eats well and has doubled her size since she came home from Russia.
|Leeza's baby dedication|
|Girlie tom boy|
Nolan is 3.5 and he’s a big boy. He’s 34 pounds and too hard to carry anymore. He’s a good boy, but he’s beginning to test our boundaries. He’s outgrowing nap time. He loves diggers, trucks, Dora and games on the Ipad. He’s a good big brother to Leeza and most of the time he enjoys playing with her. He also enjoys playing with Evan and Evan’s friends. Nolan is (most of the time) our easygoing child who listens well. He likes to be goofy and silly. Nolan is giving up his room to the new baby and is moving in with Evan. Nolan is easy going and this doesn’t seem to bother him. Nolan and Leeza both go to the same daycare during the week. They see each other on the playground, but his fall he will enter VPK at Evan’s school.
Evan is 6.5 and a first grader this year. He’s doing great in school. Math, (after PE) is his favorite subject and he is reading really well. Michael & I are amazed at all of the stuff 1st graders have to learn nowadays. It’s a lot of work!!! Evan is well liked by his teacher and he has many, many, many friends and girlfriends. Last year we tried out T-ball but he wasn’t ready for it. He prefers to come home from school and ride his bike and play with the neighbor kids. This year we’re trying out Odyssey of the Mind as an after school activity. He continues to swim like a fish so maybe someday we’ll try swimming. Right now with the new baby and the little ones we just don’t have time. Evan continues to be a compassionate and loving big brother. He is always looking out for his siblings and he is extremely protective of them. Often you"ll see Evan carrying Leeza or trying to hold Nolan's hand to keep them from getting hurt or running off in public.
|In MN with Grandma|
Michael continues to enjoy work as a nurse anesthetist and I am still with my employer as a pharmaceutical sales representative. God has greatly blessed us not only with our beautiful children, but financially as well & we are so thankful.
In April, Michael and I escaped from the kids for a weekend cruise to the Bahamas. Thanks Grandma & Grandpa for watching the kids! When we got back, my parents were tired and they told us before returning to MN, “No more grandchildren!” Ha, ha- look how that turned out.
We also took the kids to Disney for a few days in April and then to Sea World this October. They loved both places.
|Brrr! Only 32 degrees in the penguin exhibit.|
In July we visited our families in MN. The kids had a great time and Evan travelled ahead of us and spent 2 weeks being spoiled by both of his grandparents. We can’t really call it a vacation, because travelling with a 6, 3 and 2 year old doesn’t feel like a vacation. We’re informed our parents that flying with the new baby isn’t going to be in our plans for a few years. However, FL has some really nice family resorts that we’re happy to meet them at!
Last year at this time we were saddened to hear of Russia’s adoption ban to the US. Unfortunately there isn’t any good news to report in this matter. Hundreds of American families were stuck in the process and many still hold out hope for the children they met and love. There are estimates that 600,000 or more children are living in orphanages in Russia. Putin claims that they are finding homes for these children however, reports coming out of Russia say that very Russians have adopted few of the children who were promised to American families. The ban has spread to include more countries, and at this time it appears that only citizens of Italy may adopt from Russia. It’s hard for us to look in Evan and Leeza’s eyes and think of the children left behind. They have grown and changed so much since we brought them home. Please continue to pray for the orphans in Russia and around the world and pray for those families who are stuck in the process.
One of the sad results of the ban is that many American families who have adopted from Russia are afraid to speak out publicly. They are afraid that somehow the Russian government will try to take their children. Families who were proud of their children’s heritage and planned to visit Russia with their adopted children are now afraid to visit Russia. During the Russian lawmakers debates, lawmakers made claims that Americans were adopting children to receive money from the US government, to abuse physically or sexually, and one Russian lawmaker went so far as to claim that Americans were adopting children to be organ donors!!!
Michael and I are proud to have children adopted from Russia. We love our adopted children as much as our biological children and we believe that one of the only ways to dispel these lies is to let people see the truth. While I haven’t had much time this year to update the blog we’re committed to completing our post-adoption reports and to sharing our story publicly so that Russians can see that their children are safe and loved in American homes.
XOXO- Love and God's Blessings to you from the Tichy's