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Monday, November 26, 2012

A God-Story in Progress!

Remember this post from January 2011, where I shared our reasons for deciding to relinquish Abel and Belle's 8 genetic siblings back into the NEDC's anonymous adoption pool? Because we had a closed adoption, the NEDC told me that they wouldn't be able to tell me what would become of their siblings. While we knew this was the right decision, we were still saddened that Abel and Belle would not know any of their genetic siblings that may be born from the remaining 8 embryos. We chose not to reserve them for future transfers because our adoption funds were depleted. During our adoption process, I worked both a full-time and a part-time job to help pay for our adoption expenses, but knowing that our plan was for me to be a stay at home mom once the twins were born, we knew we wouldn't be able to afford another transfer for a long while. We didn't want their genetic siblings to be frozen any longer than necessary.
Over the past few months, my heart began to ache at the thought that Abel and Belle wouldn't know what became of their embie siblings. I asked Aaron if I could contact the NEDC to find out if their profile was still available, and if so, could we adopt them? He said no, because financially, we just couldn't afford another transfer or another child to raise on his current salary. So, I began to pray that God would at least somehow let us know of what would become of the remaining embryos. God answers prayer. Read Tracey's blog soon to find out what a beautiful story God has written!

Saturday, November 24, 2012

Christmas Card 2012

Photo Card
View the entire collection of cards.

Tuesday, October 30, 2012

Fall Festival 2012

Abel and Belle went to their first ever Fall Festival this past weekend. Abel dressed up as a scarecrow and Belle dressed up as a pumpkin princess. They were so adorable! We only stayed out there for about an hour, which was plenty of time for them. They rode a kiddie ride with Aaron and me, ate some cookies and looked at all the fun sights while enjoying the crisp fall air. Their Pops and Mimi (my step-dad and mom) as well as their great-granddaddy and great-grandmama (Aaron's maternal grandparents) came with us too. We all had a great time!

Thursday, October 18, 2012

Little Girl Spinning Circles

Here's is a song that I wrote for my little girl.  I'm trying to learn guitar and have only been at it for a few weeks, but this is me playing and singing.  Who knows, maybe she'll let me sing it at her wedding someday.

Two little clarifications:  Belle is not yet two as the song suggests and the pictures are not completely in order.  Oh, and I'll be working on Abel's own song next.  :)  Hope you enjoy!

Sunday, October 14, 2012

A Prayer for My Children

My daughter bit me yesterday. She had climbed onto the kitchen chair and as I was moving her, she screamed and bit my shoulder out of anger towards not getting her way.

This episode reminded me once again how desperately my 16 month old babies need Jesus to save them one day. Sin is rooted so deep in all of us as a result of Adam's sin and it even shows its ugly face in the lives of babes. Each day that I get up, I am aware that I am entering a battlefield - a war in the spiritual realm over the souls of my children. If I neglect to teach and discipline out of laziness or apathy, my children will bear the consequences of my decisions.

Give me both the grace and wisdom to discipline and teach my children well. May I never discipline out of anger or frustration, but only out of love and obedience to Your Word. Protect the souls of my little ones from the enemy. May I be a faithful steward in shepherding their little hearts. And please, please save both Abel and Belle as soon as your sovereign will allows. 
In Jesus' name, Amen."

Saturday, September 29, 2012

Sunday, September 9, 2012

New Song for Abel and Belle

This is a song I wrote to help Abel and Belle learn the books of the Bible (the NT at least) when they get older.

If nothing else, it should make them laugh one day to hear daddy try to sing a capella with himself.  :)


Friday, August 31, 2012

Prayers for Abel-Updated!

Abel was discharged from the hospital yesterday! He is happy to be back at home and slept so well in his own crib last night (much better than he did at the hospital). 
Thanks for praying!
 Abel was admitted into the hospital yesterday for some respiratory issues (not RSV). Thankfully, he is doing better but we still haven't been told for sure when he will be coming home. We think it is highly likely that he will be coming home sometime this weekend, so long as his oxygen levels stabilize. Please pray for him.  

In spite of being sick, he is still a happy little boy!

Eating Apple Cinnamon Cheerios!
With his Mimi!

He LOVES his balloons that his Mimi brought him!

My two little monkeys!!

My little girl loves Minnie Mouse!

Thursday, August 16, 2012

Happy Babies!!!

Aunt Grace bought them these onesies! Isn't it strange how they look like their aunt who has none of their genes?!

Sunday, July 22, 2012

Miss Cindy Lou Who

I think that my one of my daughter's genetic siblings may have been adopted by a "Who"... Haha :)

P.S. My little girl is starting to walk!!! Her brother is just starting to stand on his own!

Sunday, June 24, 2012

Happy 1st Birthday, Abel and Belle!!

Abel James and Belle Marie turned ONE on June 4th and had a party at my dad's house in SC on June 9th. We grilled out with hamburgers and hot dogs, ate lots of cake and ice cream and were blessed with many exciting new presents/toys. We all had a great time!

Please forgive me for not posting their birthday pictures sooner - life is crazy busy these days!

Monday, June 11, 2012

Daddy's Song to Abel & Belle

Here's a song that I've (Aaron) been working on for Abel and Belle.  Warning, I'm not the best singer :)

Thanks to my brother and dad for the guitar and mandolin playing.  It was fun to record this with you guys!

Wednesday, May 30, 2012

Holding Hands

 Abel and Belle decided to hold hands while watching Mickey Mouse Clubhouse at their Mimi's house. We didn't set them up for a picture...they grabbed each other's hands - too sweet!
Daddy and Daughter!

Saturday, May 19, 2012

Mother's Day 2012

Aaron and I took our mothers out for dinner at Cracker Barrel last Sunday for Mother's Day. Below are some of the pictures that my sister took of Abel and Belle...they had a great time in both the store and at the restaurant!

Warning: Serious Cuteness Ahead!!!

Friday, May 4, 2012

11 Months Old!

I can't believe that a month from today, Abel and Belle will be one year old! Crazy. Aaron had a business trip this week, so the babies, dog and I drove to Columbia and spent some time with family. Below are some pictures of our trip. Abel and Belle went with my mom and me to the bakery to order their 1st birthday cakes for next month, Taco Bell, and to the pool for the first time. They also got a few new toys from other relatives. They had a very exciting week!

Tuesday, April 24, 2012

Thoughts on Feedings: Formula, Breast milk and Solids

Not too long ago, I was talking to a soon to be pastor's wife about formula feeding our babies and how we both felt that in Christian circles, it is almost considered "Christian" to breast feed. We have sometimes felt that other Christian moms looked down on our decision not to breast feed. Below are the questions that Aaron and I thought through when deciding not to breast feed our babies.

1) Does the Bible call this thing I'm considering a sin? If yes, then my decision stops here. I must choose not to engage in that thing that nailed Jesus to the cross.

2) Can this be done to God's glory? Would I be able to lovingly acknowledge my Savior and give Him credit in this?

3) Can we financially afford this?

4) Do we simply want to do this?

Once we established that we weren't sinning, would be able to glorify God in caring for our children through their feedings, we moved onto the other questions that you obviously know our answer to.

Abel and Belle have never had a drop of breast milk. While in the NICU, they had what their nurse called a "cotton swab" dab of colostrum for a few days...that was it. And by God's grace alone, they have thrived. At their 9 month well visit in March, they had both caught up in weight with their birth age and not adjusted age. Belle was in the 48th percentile weighing in at over 19 lbs and Abel was in the 50th percentile weighing in at over 20 lbs. Again, by God's grace alone, they have been generally healthy even after being born at 31 weeks (although Abel did have an infection while in the NICU that was treated with antibiotics - breast milk antibodies wouldn't have cured this infection). They have each had a mild cold and the occasional runny nose, like most babies and children. But, that is it - no other illnesses at all (not even the common stomach bug). They have also been in various church childcare settings (Sunday morning worship, small group meetings in homes, special classes, etc) with other children on a weekly basis since around 6 months old. While breast milk does provide great antibodies, there are other factors that determine your baby's health and immune system's strength. I was breast fed for 6 weeks (not in day care) and my sister never had a drop of breast milk or colostrum (attended daycare) and my mom says she was far healthier than I was as a baby. As a pediatrician told me, formula has been improved over the years and all that is missing out of today's formula are the antibodies.

We also started solids at 4 months old, mainly because I thought the weight of solids would stay down better than their formula due to their acid reflux. Unfortunately, solids didn't make a difference in their reflux but they liked their solids, so I just continued feeding them increasing solids.

Again, my heart in this post is to be humble and encourage a mom who may be struggling to breast feed or simply doesn't want to but feels guilty for considering formula. It is not a sin, so be encouraged that you can choose not to breast feed to the glory of God. I think breast feeding does have some awesome benefits and if God ever blesses us with another baby, I might breast feed. However, with the twins, breast feeding just didn't interest me. Most mothers long for the bonding that nursing can bring between a mother and baby, but for some reason, I didn't have that desire (I know I'm weird - Ha!). When I was considering breast feeding, it was more because I thought that as a Christian mommy, others expected that of me and I was cowering to fear of man. I have had a great time picking out fun colored bottles and mixing powered milk and water to the glory of God! And kudos to my breast feeding mommies out there - I have heard that nursing is hard so way to go! You have more drive in this area than I did with Abel and Belle. :)

"So, whether you eat or drink, or whatever you do, do all to the glory of God." - 1 Corinthians 10:31 (ESV)

Thursday, March 29, 2012

Twin Dachshund Onesies!

Ashley bought and mailed these onesies to Abel and Belle last summer as a baby gift. She ordered them in a 6-12 month so that they would be able to wear them this Spring/Summer. They wore them for the first time last Tuesday night for our church's home group meeting. We have a chocolate, long haired miniature dachshund named, Toby. As you can see, Abel is wearing the boy/top half and Belle is wearing the girl and bottom half of a dachshund. This is so fitting, seeing as they LOVE our dog, especially Abel! I wish Toby had gotten in the picture but we were in a hurry and trying to get a quick shot of Abel and Belle before leaving...

Thank you, Ashley - We love our dachshund onesies!!! Love, Abel & Belle

P.S. Ashley was in the same embryo adoption cycle as our first two frozen embryo transfers at the NEDC. However, they didn't return for a third. Rather, they adopted their sweet daughter through domestic infant adoption a year ago...check our her blog to learn more about her family's story.

Saturday, March 17, 2012

Abel says...

"What's up, dawg?!" Haha :)