Monday, August 4, 2014

Gotcha Day!

On July 22 we celebrated Abram's first "Gotcha Day!"  Hard to believe that one year ago we met this amazing boy for the first time.  Chris and I have been thinking for awhile how we want to celebrate our "Gotcha Day" every year-- we want it to be special, but just not with gifts (that's what birthdays are for).  We came up with a few ideas that we hope to do every year.  They will include: Chris and I writing a letter each year to Abe and keeping them in a special book, taking a picture with Abe every year holding his referral picture, making family cupcakes that Abe picked out, eating Chinese food, and finally a special event picked by Abe that the whole family can do.  That's what the day is about, us being a forever family.  Here's a few pictures from Abe's special day... 

Abe with his referral picture. He has grown so much!!
Of course we had to have a picture with panda!
Our Gotcha Day banner that we will hang every year.
Eating our family cupcakes.  He loved his blue icing!
Dinner at PF Chang's (not real according to Chris but close enough!)
I love that he likes to eat with chopsticks.  He's a champ!

This year since he's a little too young to pick his event, so we picked it for him!  Abe's absolute favorite thing right now is trains.  Specifically, Thomas trains.  When we heard Thomas was coming to town, we knew it would be the perfect way to celebrate Gotcha Day this year.  Abe had a blast and so did we!

With Sir Topham Hatt... Abe wasn't too sure about him.
Getting a Harold tattoo

Showing off his tattoo and sticker. 
Playing at one of the many train tables.  He loves these things!
Standing in line to board the train...
Our family picture on the train.

And we finally got to see Thomas...
Abe was amazed!
What an amazing year it has been!  Through everything such as becoming parents for the first time, Abram's hospitalizations, his speech delays and figuring out what was best for Abe, God has definitely been faithful to us.  It is amazing to see how far our scared little boy in China who loved to hit and rarely smile has come.  He has brought us so much joy and we can't wait to see what this next year has in store for him.

Friday, August 1, 2014

Family Visits

This month we have been blessed by not only my sister and her family visiting, but also my mom and dad.  It is such a big deal to us when people come out to see us and we try to show them a good time! Our first set of visitors was my sister, Julie, and her husband, Jamie, and their two amazing kids: Cade (13) and Ella (7). We had a blast with all four of them and stayed super busy. All Cade and Ella were interested in doing was being at the beach, swimming and playing in the tide pools... that's why most our pictures are at the beach! 

Cousins playing in the tide pools

So glad my mom sent them with wet suits... the water was freezing!

I love this sweet picture of Cade and Abe.

Reading with Uncle Jamie. :)

A group shot of us at Point Lobos.

Ella loved reading books to Abe and he loved listening to her read... so sweet!

Enjoying some warmer water at the pool instead of the ocean for a change...

Our favorite part of their visit was the bonfire in Carmel.  We brought sandwiches from the best deli in Monterey and loaded up stuff for s'mores-- the Jensen girls never eat a meal without dessert!  We had such a fun and memorable time!

Enjoying a Reese cup s'more with my sister!

Abe didn't like the s'mores... he just liked snacking on the ingredients!

A week after Julie, Jamie, Cade and Ella left my parents came for a visit.  Now, I know my parents love me and Chris, but I also know they were really here to see and spend as much time with Abram... and I'm not complaining one single bit!  Every morning they would walk Abe down to the beach and stay for about 2 hours, giving me several enjoyable quiet mornings.  They also kept Abe so Chris and I could have a date night and they even stayed with Abe over the weekend while Chris and I were in San Francisco for his marathon.  We loved having them here... and not just because they were free child care. :)

Swinging in the park with Gram

A beach picnic with Gram and Granddaddy!

Such fun grandparents, even though the water was freezing!

Stories before bedtime.  I love my mom and Abe smiling at each other...

Walking along Fishermans Wharf after finishing ice cream!

Our favorite time with my parents was our last evening with them... we headed out to Carmel beach (it's the best) and watched a huge pod of dolphins swim and jump right in front of us for about an hour-- it was amazing!  Abe wasn't too interested though... he was concentrating on the sand and his dump trucks.

We have had such a fun summer with going to visit family and having family come here.  It's super important to us that Abe has a relationship with his extended family so these visits mean the world to us.  We know it is difficult with us living far from everyone so we really value and treasure this time with them!