2014 in review

2014 flew right on by and we are now entering "the year of the hover-board".
I like to spend a little bit of time at the end of the year in reflection. The first time I did this was here, for 2012, helping me create and seal some precious moments in that I would otherwise be unable to recover years from now. So let's look back at some of the biggest moments of 2014.

A year of Hope, Hope Lost, Gratitude, and Grace.

January was our first full month home with Little Man. Quite a chunk of that time was spent battling RSV at Texas Children's. We were thrown head first into parenting. It challenged me to let go of expectations and control. I made the decision right there to not take for granted one second of the new gig I have been given. No matter what. 

In February, we started at The Rise School of Houston. 
Game Changer. 
The teachers and therapists at this school are one of a kind, helping Little Man reach his potential. He loves it, I love it and they, of course, love him. 

We spent Easter weekend in Boston visiting Aunt Courtney, Crazy Uncle C and sweet Cousin Abigail.    

The Ducks were wearing Ukraine and DS awareness colored scarves. They must have heard we were coming to Boston.

Best Friends in the making!

Spring came and brought with us Little Man's first birthday

What many did not know, is it also brought us another pregnancy. As Little Man blew out his candles (Ok, you caught me, really we blew them out), I had sweat beads of morning sickness nausea dripping down my neck. The flame flickered out and I pictured us doing this again at his birthday next year, with a baby in our arms. We were the cliche - we were that story that always gets told to adopting couples - we got pregnant right after an adoption!

In the summer, I graduated as a Family Nurse Practitioner and some how passed boards. Grace! An adoption and grad school might be tricky for some, but not if you are surrounded by the incredible family and friends that I have. As family gathered to celebrate, I started to have signs and symptoms of a miscarriage and we ended up at the hospital instead of the ceremony. Instead of walking the stage, I was given a different gift:
I watched a baby's heart beat within me for the first time. 
Hope had been conceived.
 The next couple weeks we hung onto hope. Each appointment with a flickering heart made my hope grow stronger.

We lost Hope the end of May.

May, June and July were hum-dinger months for Little Man. We got our senses up and going! Tubes were put in the ears, glasses were prescribed and he got his undescended testes brought down! Then to really end the summer with a bang, we had a couple of health scares. Including a rushed ER trip with the car flashers on and me, embarrassingly, hanging my head out the window, flailing my arms screaming for people to get out of our way. Because acting like a maniac in tense situations helps. 
Kidney function concerns, frustrating MRI's, and a couple blood tests later we confirmed Little Man is healthy, happy and thriving. He just had a terrible kidney infection. Once we found the right antibiotic, he healed right up. 
He is tenacious and brave. 

We finally made it to Midland in August. A trip to Mimi and Papa Jack's house after a hectic summer was just what the doctor ordered.

Catching up with old friends. I still can't believe we are old enough to have kids. 

Fall brought pumpkins and teeth.  Little Man loves words that start with d and p and laughs hysterically at them. He brings such joy. He is a gift in so many ways and our lives are way better indeed. He also got a mouthful of teeth; it seems like overnight. We woke up one morning to a cute-giant-toothy grin! 

Fall also brought us an attempt at IUI.  The D's made it a family affair. We even awkwardly met up with Crazy Uncle C in the hospital lobby. 

All of us in the exam room right before the procedure.

 How funny would it have been to say Little Man was there for his brother/sister's conception? 
To be honest, I never really thought it was going to work, I just felt like I needed to try it so I wouldn't regret not having tried it later. Surprisingly, this failed attempt did not rock me the way I feared it might. It might also be because right after the Big-Fat-Negative-news we entered Winter.

Winter brought such a season of gratefulness. Thanksgiving 2013 was spent eating crackers on an orphanage couch with Little Man. To have him in our home, in our arms, crawling around, babbling up a storm this year was overwhelming. 

Thanksgiving 2013 vs. Thanksgiving 2014
Basically, everyday I had a "this time last year" moment that would almost move me to tears. Instagram followers were probably annoyed with all my #tbt cheesy posts. I couldn't stop myself. I was stuck in a sentimental cloud for most of November.
 We are a family. And on Dec 13, we celebrated with our friends and family that we are indeed "Forever a Family." 
His RISE teacher made it to the Forever a Family celebration.

Once again, we move into another year without the "gift" of pregnancy. There were a couple days of lost hope in 2014.  Literally and metaphorically. Our hope was due in December and due dates can be daunting with miscarriages. But Christmas came and reminded me Hope did come to the world. Our long awaited HOPE is already here.

At an Ellie Holcomb concert I was reminded: Hope is Alive

Thankful for Grace. During the last couple of years, there have been people in my life who have stepped up to the call. They provided resource, encouragement and friendship in astounding ways.  I move into the new year asking God to stir my soul, to make every bitter thing sweet as I hunger for him, and to open my eyes to how I can now be an encouragement those around me. 

We enter another year asking God to redeem our loss. And if you have read much on my blog, you know he does time and time again. 
2015 and Martin McFly, Here we come!

He is walking hand-assisted.  In 2015, we are definitely gonna be strolling or hover-boarding, either would be pretty cool.