Sunday, June 30, 2013

More Vacation Photos

It seems I'm having a hard time keeping up with the blog this Summer, so I'm just going to do my best to get some pictures up to re-cap the awesome times we had.

We all loved building various sand castles.

Lexi and I loved the waves.  Jayvan wasn't so sure.

 We took advantage of the indoor pool during some small rainstorms.
 On the last night there, we decided to take the city bus, because Jayvan gets so excited when he sees a bus.  He was definitely "in the zone" while we rode the bus.
 We saw a few rainbows and even one double rainbow.
 We just enjoyed Virginia Beach so much.

 We enjoyed spending time with Jayvan's birthfamily even more.  I can't get over all of the love that can be captured in a photo.  I will treasure them forever.

 We tried to recreate some old photos.

 The beach looks good on me.

Wednesday, June 26, 2013

Children's Museum of Virginia

 We decided to visit The Children's Museum of Virginia in Portsmouth.  I didn't really know what to expect, and I was pleasantly surprised with how wonderful it was.  The kids all had a great time and I think the adults did too. I know I did.  It's in downtown Portsmouth which is just adorable with tree-lined sidewalks and cute little shops.  I didn't have any time for shopping, but I did run into an adorable little coffee shop.

 Jayvan's very favorite thing to do was sit in the driver's seat of the bus.  I'd estimate that he spent a good 30 minutes in this seat.

Monday, June 24, 2013

More Vacation Fun - Beach Day!

On the next day of our vacation, Matt picked up the family and brought them out to the beach.  I grew up going to Florida most summers with my family, and I feel like so many wonderful memories are made on the beach.  I'm so happy they could come out and enjoy the sun, sand, and surf.

 Oh! Matt brought me Starbucks too! He's knows how to make his woman happy.

 I don't know why I didn't ask someone to take the picture so I could be in it, but this is the best group shot we got.

Sunday, June 23, 2013

The Beauty of An Open Adoption

When someone decides they want to adopt, the immediate reason is because they want a child.  I, for one, did not enter the adoption process thinking about the birthfamily.  As I started researching more, my heart started to break while I thought about these people who would have to make such a huge sacrifice in order for me to have a child.  I've never lost a child, but I have to respect the pain of such a thing.  The fact that people feel like they are unable to care for a child they love is heartbreaking and not just for the pregnant woman.  This is why it was so important to us that we maintain an open relationship.

We planned our vacation to Virginia so that we would be able to spend time with Jayvan's birthfamily.  It feels strange to call them that though.  They are truly our whole family's extended family.  We love them and treasure their presence in our lives.  The last time we saw them was when Jayvan was less than two weeks old and now he is almost two years old.

We drove down to North Carolina on the second day of our vacation to pick up Jayvan's birthmom and half-brother.  We met some of her extended family, and then we packed up the minivan and headed back to Virginia.  People wonder about how the kids handle it and I'm sure they miss Jayvan, but they call each other brother, sister, cousin, or whatever other name is appropriate.  They are all family.  We love them all.

 Jayvan's brother is a big fan of Ninja turtles and we all got to sport the masks for a bit.
 Jayvan's aunt and cousin:

 Landyn was always showing me his wrestling poses, and I am sorry to say that I had no idea what he was doing at first.  I'll have to study up on my wrestling before out next visit.
 Once we got to Virginia, Jayvan quickly dug into his sister's toys and reunited with his birthdad and extended family.
 It was so great to see the bond they have.
 After a while, we headed out to a park to have an early celebration for Jayvan's birthday.  We celebrated with pizza and cupcakes.  Jayvan was a happy camper.
 This is Jayvan's uncle.

We had a wonderful time until a pop-up thunderstorm ended the visit a little prematurely.  We decided to listen to mother nature and head home to get some rest.  We had more fun days to come!