Friday, April 10, 2009

Wow, it's been 4 years!!

Today is my 4 year Blogiversary! How do you like that? So much has happened in the past four years. It really blows my mind when I look back on it.

Our family started out like this on April 10, 2005 just days before our dossier was sent to China....



Then, after many months of waiting to adopt, we received the pictures of our soon to be daughter. Our hearts were bursting with joy ....



Then, we proudly attended this wonderful event at the University of Florida....



and all immediately ran off to China after Justin's graduation for the reason that all of this began...our precious daughter, Katie Starr.....



We then decided that we wanted to adopt again and complete our family. In October, 2007, ten months after we first saw this picture.....



We traveled to China to adopt our wonderful son, Ethan....



After settling in as a family of five, our oldest son popped the question to his lady love Judy at Katie's 3rd birthday with all of his and her family around them to witness it......



and now four years later, as we celebrate this blogiversary, we plan to celebrate Katie Starr's 4th birthday on April 13th! I started this blog just 3 days before she was born...amazing.

These were the highlights. The past four years have brought us through the greatest highs and lows of my life thus far and there have been many stories to share. I have grown and changed in ways that I never envisioned for myself and my blog has evolved as well. I have been blessed beyond my wildest dreams with my family and friends. My husband and children are everything to me. They give me the greatest gift of all....the love of family.

I thank all of you who have followed our journey, either from the beginning or caught up with us along the way. I enjoy keeping this blog very much. I started when there were only a few like it and now I am joined daily by many other people who just like me, are driven to document this journey of adoption and life with our families. Many have gone private and I respect their choice but it is not my choice. I remember searching for websites like this one when I began this journey and hung on the words of "been there, done that" families. I dreamed of a future with our daughter and wondered what our journey to China would be like. Those blogs and websites helped so much during our wait. Little did I know at the time that there would also be a third child waiting out there for us that would be the final piece to our puzzle. I have always appreciated when people were candid about their lives on their blogs and I have always tried to do the same. Their candor has given me great insight into many of the challenges that I have faced and are still facing.

I have made the most amazing friendships through this medium, some with people I have met in person and some with people whom I hope to meet in the future. You all have inspired me to keep going when I get a bit burnt and always let me know that you found what I have to say worth reading, even when I was not quite sure it really was. The sorority of bloggers is like no other...we share a bond that is hard to really quantify, so I will not even try. Blogging serves three purposes for me; it documents our children's lives for them to see later, it allows me to pay back with support those that read it and thanks for those who have supported me and it serves as a wonderful and creative outlet for me on a continual basis. I cannot imagine not having this amazing medium.

I know that the next four years will hold many mysteries still left to be revealed. We also have events that are already in the works, such as Justin and Judy's wedding in January of 2010 and Justin's graduation from law school in May of the same year. "Stress is the New Black" is more than just about the really big life events that punctuate our lives with milestones. It is about what truly is our lives...the small and seemingly mundane daily occurrences. They are what fuels us and brings it all in focus. I look forward to continuing to share much of it with you.

Love,

19 comments:

Tamara said...

Lori,
I always love reading your blog. I started our yahoo group and blog when we were waiting for Moose. I kept it for our trip to get the Goose and now keep it for the Zoo. They will have so much of their childhood/teen years detailed. Little things that I may have forgtten as years went by are forever documented. (I'm sure they will be thrilled as teenagers to know this)
Your family is beautiful and I know that I am very blessed to have met you on this amazing journey and to call you my friend.

captain corky said...

Congrats Lori! I really enjoyed meeting you and the kids before I started reading your blog and I think it's awesome that I get to know you in this way too.

Love Letters To China said...

Lori,

Congrats to you on your 4 year blogiversary. I'm so glad we became friends during my long wait for Liam. You are a true blessing to have in my life. I look forward to reading about all the amazing happenings in your life in the future.

Hugs,
Grace

Diana said...

WOW!!! I think I started following before Katies referral so that is a LONG time!! Happy 4 years and I hope your next 4 is just as exciting:)

Vivian M said...

Lori, thank you for sharing your life with us the past four years. Happy anniversary!

awaitingmissemily said...

Hey,
You are one of the first blogs that I started following when we began our journey. You have been an inspiration.
Happy anniversary and keep blogging on!!

Teena in Toronto said...

Happy blogoversary!

Lisa~~ said...

Congrats on an amazing four years.

Teresa said...

I've love watching the journey you've been on and more importantly, your responses to the changes in your life. You've shown great resiliance and character throughout the changes - and quite frankly if we didn't have changes in our lives, our lives and our blogs would be boring.

Love reading out the DD and Justin and soon-to-be wife. I remember well when you went to China with Justin and how sick he was, but he, like his mom, stuck it out and enjoyed meeting his sister. You are a remarkable woman, my friend.

Marc Weinstock (DH) said...

Lori, I have told you many times before how amazing I think you are and now the rest of the world can see it too. I can't wait to see what the next few years will bring us, but I will always be by your side to enjoy and reflect on it too. Keep on writing as your words and thoughts are an isoiration to me and the kids as well as others who read this.
We all love you more than any words on a blog will ever be able to say!
Marc

M3 said...

Happy anniversary! It sure has been an incredible 4 years. Your post was beautiful, and so is your family -- I can't wait until I can meet you guys in person. :-)

We5Chois said...

Hey Lori (et al),
Congratulations on your 4yr anniversary. I can't believe we have known each other that long already. It has been a pleasure and an honor to share your journey this far. I can't wait to see what the future brings. I hope to read your entries of a trip to Shanghai soon. I miss you more than words can say. You are my friend and my sister. The world is better place with you in it. Keep up the writing and sharing, you lighten my days. Love you! Kim

Tammie said...

Happy Blogiversary!!

I'm amazed by the fact that it has been 4 years. Knowing you & the family has been a true delight. I am honored by the friendship & love that you have offered to us although your generosity doesn't surprise me one bit.

Watching each step in your journey has been a blessing. From the beginning straight through to the future & whatever it holds, I look forward to being there with you & for you.

Hugs!

Candy said...

Happy 4 Yr. Blogiversary. I have always enjoyed reading your blog and I know I will continue to do so.

Looking forward to more adventures with your Family.

Carol and Taylor said...

Happy Anniversary! May the next 4 years (and beyond) be as happy as the first. Thank you so much for allowing us to peek into your lives.

Love from Miami,

Carol and Taylor

Wanda said...

Hey, thanks for stopping by (and your sweet comment on my little beauty).

Congratulations on 4 years!

www.atlastmilanascominhome.blogspot.com

Shari McConahay said...

Happy 4 year Anniversary to your blog!!! Wow, what a coincidence that you started this only days before Katie was born! Well, probably not coincidence, but red thread!

Love & hugs,
Shari

Julie said...

WOW Nana and I have been with you from the beginning and when I look at the things we've done in the past 4 years it really is quite overwhelming isn't it. Congrats on 4 years and while I'm not as good a blogger as you and my absences are many I like to keep it out there for those who are interested or need to know that the wait is worth it a million times over.

Mama Duck said...

Great post, and fantastic pictures! I've loved your blog from the beginning, and I remember the wait for Katie Starr...has it really been that long ago? I can't believe that your girl is 4!