Friday, October 10, 2008

~THE END~ Anniversaries and Announcements

A year ago today we were in Kazakhstan and met Ava. As Amber will tell you I get ridiculously emotional when I think about those precious first moments with our daughter. It is amazing to think that it has already been a year - and that it has only been a year. The period leading up to that day in October was at times very hard with the seemingly interminable wait; but that day arrived, and it was perfect. Ava continues to do wonderfully well, and she is the perfect addition to our family. She is truly amazing with what she figures out how to do and how much she understands of what we say (Yes I am biased, but I am allowed). If you want to see how much she's grown, here's some (staged) pictures showing the difference. -Jason

Ava and Daddy

We both get teary when we think about meeting our little girl and how big she's grown already. We could not love her more. I now know what it means to be "in love" with your baby. It is the most wonderful, indescribable feeling. She is an amazing little person. And she is also exactly like us! She is is always doing something that is just like Jason or I do. She does so many cute things. She loves to wear my heels around the house, sing, dance, clean and talk on the phone just like mommy. She likes to tell us long "stories" with tons of gestures. It is adorable. She also loves to give kisses and hugs. I could go on and on about all that Ava does but that would take a very long time. Here are some pictures that show how much she has grown in one year. Look at all of her hair...It's all curls in the back! -Amber
Ava and Mommy

Before and after Pictures

As you can see, she is doing fantastic. At a year to the date of our meeting, Amber & I think it's fitting that we close the blog at this point. Ava continues to take more and more of our time, and the blog is really an afterthought now. I do want to thank all of you who followed the blog, who posted comments, and who just took the time to watch our journey and share a little bit in our joy. The support we received from everyone has meant a lot to us.
Also in the way of an announcement, we're no longer adopting from Kazakhstan (as the blog theme mentions), rather now we are beginning the process for a domestic adoption to get Ava a little brother or sister! So our adoption journey continues, but we now leave you as an overjoyed family of three on our way to becoming four.

Thank you for sharing in my journey, supporting my mommy and daddy and all the love and gifts you have given me!

Tuesday, October 7, 2008

Ava's Re-adoption

This was just a formality but we had to go before the judge and sign some paperwork so Ava could get a NY state birth certificate. She has been ours for almost a year now so it was interesting to go to court again and re-adopt her. She was intrigued by the judge and just stared at him the entire time.

Saturday, September 13, 2008

Summer Pictures!

1st District Convention 7/4/08 - 7/6/08

1st Camping Trip 7/31/08 - 8/3/08

1st Family Vacation (Long Beach Island, NJ) 8/8/08 - 8/16/08

1st Fair 8/13/08

Kazakh Picnic (Picnic for families who have adopted from Kazakhstan) 8/30/08

Monday, June 30, 2008

Great Escape

We took Ava to the Great Escape a couple of weeks ago and we had a great day! She went on her first ride (she didn't enjoy), visited the petting zoo and had a blast at the kiddie water park where we stayed most of the day. Here are a few pictures.

Thursday, May 29, 2008

A non-pictorial update

So the title probably got some grumbles since the pictures are definitely a hit with Ava's public, but Ava's been home for 6 months now, so I thought an update might be in order. A lot of people ask how she adjusted, how she's doing developmentally, and things like that, so here's an answer. Everything is really great. Really! I don't even think there was much of an adjustment period for Ava. From the moment she was in our arms for good in Almaty she has seemed totally at ease with us. For a while, she would only go to sleep with Amber and she still only wants mommy when she wakes up in the middle of the night (what a great baby), but she runs to us when she goes bump or when something scares her, which is just an amazing feeling.
Ava is very friendly, but also cautious around strangers, especially big groups of strange faces. She remembers faces and people very well though, so even people who get to visit less than regularly she is happy to see.
She's been fairly healthy, a few little colds but nothing major. She's growing really well as you all can see, and her hair is really growing. The curls are especially amazing when she gets done with her bath. She's still mostly babbling, but says a few words now and then. She loves to read too. The books are typically upside down and she starts in the back, but DaVinci used mirror writing, so I'm guessing she's brilliant too. I believe she's reading in Latin as well. She also babbles to me when I get home or call from work. I just agree, say "really?" or "sounds great!". Of course she's probably describing how she's going to kiss boys when she's 3, how much she loves country music, and other things that daddy would find less than pleasing, but what I don't know may kill me eventually.
Teeth are still finding their way to the surface, but that doesn't really stop her from eating and chewing. She eats pretty much everything now with some odd exceptions. Pureed peas? Great! Real peas? Not so Great. Pureed banana? Great! Real banana? Until yesterday - not a chance - much more fun as a toy. She walks (runs), dances, climbs whatever she can, and has recently discovered tippy toes. Very cute.
Truthfully, I think the bigger adjustment has been for Amber & I than Ava. Free time is now that brief period between Ava going to sleep and us passing out. Baby muscles are growing. Amber is even entering an arm wrestling competition (Yes, that is a joke - or is it???). But who would've thought that watching a one year old push her little stroller around the house could be so captivating? Really watching anything she does - sleeping, eating, playing, walking (I could go on but I won't) is now our favorite pastime. Watching her and listening to her is too precious to describe. I wish I had more time to just watch her play and explore.
So yes we are slightly obsessed with our daughter, completely in love, and thrilled to be parents. And to avoid complaints, here's a picture - she loves her boots:

Saturday, May 24, 2008

Thursday, May 8, 2008

Saturday, April 19, 2008

Kyle and Ava Meet Again!

Ava and Kyle in November '07
Ava and Kyle Now

We visited Kyle and his mom Sara this week. Ava and Kyle shared the same room at the baby house in Karaganda. Sara was the one who sent us pictures when we had to leave Ava. It was amazing to find out that they live only 20 minutes from us!!
Ava and Kyle ate lunch, took a walk and played together. Kyle is so cute, crawling and pulling himself up on things. Ava, who is now walking, didn't know what to think of his crawling around. She ended up petting his head when he crawled by! Kyle likes to give kisses, they happen to be kisses with his mouth open though! He tried to give Ava one but she didn't appreciate it. It's a good story for when they're older!

Saturday, April 12, 2008

Ava's Adventures


On mommy's shoulders (mommy looking scary without makeup and her hair brushed)

Climbing through Spencer's doggie door.

Watching Sesame Street

Playing with daddy

First fudge pop, actually it was mommy's and she stole it! She LOVED it!

When we say dancin' she puts her arms back and spins around or tries to anyway. It is so cute!

Sleeping Beauty

Yes, we still have snow!!
Outside in her kitty rain boots. They are way to big and kept falling off! She loves to go outside and gets so happy when say we're going out to play. She's been to the park a few times now that the weather's nice and she loves that too. She cries in the swing and likes the slides, sand box and just walking around watching all the kids.

One of the other new thing she does is hug our legs. She will come up to us and reach her arms around one or both of our legs.

She has also said I love you!!! It doesn't sound exactly correct but when we say it to her she tries to say it back! It's the sweetest thing!

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