Saturday, December 31, 2011

Goodbye, 2011

In keeping with my going-on-three-years tradition of recapping the year, let me wish 2011 adieu with the following. In 2011...

:: we finally brought Laina home! On the night of May 19th, for the first time, we had all three of our children under one roof.

:: Jeremy became an elder at our church

:: Iain became a full-fledged reader

:: we went to FL five times, TN twice, PA once, and AL several times

:: we had or were guests for 25 of the 52 weeks.

:: Iain turned five, Cory turned three, and Laina turned one

:: I was on a panel with other elders' wives, about marriage. Fun!

:: We started homeschooling

:: Laina learned to walk (and sit, and crawl, and speak...)

:: We camped out three times. Well, once we stayed at a hotel and spent the days at the campsite. Can you blame us? We had been home with Laina for a week!

:: I went to the Created for Care adoption retreat and loved it

:: we got fingerprinted, what, four times?

:: we continued (and are continuing) our work with Kids' Church. I got to meet with the director of Northland Church's kids program--what a blessing!

:: we updated our home study and did two post placement reports (and the adoption paperwork just keeps coming!)

:: we spent time in Rwanda, Ethiopia, and Uganda!

:: I wrote. Not as much as I wanted to.

:: Jeremy played drums. Way less than he wanted to.

:: I passed off the moms' play group, along with other church-related responsibilities, and took on a very few extra

:: Jeremy did several shows with OakTree

:: we were away from our boys for 23 long days

:: and I was away from all three kids for eight more

:: our church threw a baby shower for Laina :)

:: we led a small group

:: I spoke at our women's group

:: we had a baby celebration in Orlando with the Access218 Band

:: the boys started going to Timothy (co-op thing)

:: we haven't slept nearly enough

:: I fell in love with the music of Sara Groves

:: we felt the massive relief of not waiting anymore

:: Jeremy worked a lot :)

:: we did a lot of the work that comes after you come home and the adoption is over. The journey is just beginning.

:: after almost two years of waiting, we held our baby girl in our arms for the first time on April 28

:: we celebrated our seven-year anniversary with a trip to Starbucks, though neither of us likes coffee, because we didn't want to leave Laina and it was just down the road

:: speaking of Starbucks, I learned how to make a darn good chai tea latte

:: we spent our first Thanksgiving and Christmas as a family of five!

:: I went to Africa. Twice. Still unreal to me.

:: we dedicated Laina to Jesus

:: Jeremy and the boys camped out in the living room for two nights

:: Laina and I visited Alison and Avivah (and family) in Pennsylvania

:: we saw our baby girl's face for the first time, on the evening of April 14 (will never forget that night!)

:: we waited. For the first three and a half months of the year, we waited for news from Rwanda. Then we rejoiced for the rest of the months!

:: Jeremy discovered Fanta Fiesta in Rwanda. Uganda doesn't have it. Sad.

:: we learned a lot about attachment as we worked to help Laina learn what family means

:: we grew a lot as parents

:: Cory learned to write his name

:: The best moment of 2011? See below.

Welcome, 2012.


agable said...

I love this!

Jessica Leigh said...

Wow! What a year!
Hope to see you guys in 2012! ;)

Shannon said...'s still making me cry. Welcome to your forever home Laina! Happy 2012 Brannon family. Make sure you make it down the FL for another play date soon! =)