Friday, September 9, 2011

Friday's Fabulous Five

What the title of this post should actually read is "Friday's Fabulous 40" because I am fairly certain that it has been THAT long since I have reported any happenings, fabulous or otherwise, from the Rieben roost. Let's face it, I am anything but a stellar blogger and the truth is, sometimes life just gets in the way.

It is easy to justify why I simply don't have the time to sit down and blog, but then, in the midst of all of my justifications, I remember why I created this blog in the first place and I am reminded. . . .it isn't about me. It never was. So, it's time to suck it up and make the time, because the fact of the matter is, I believe that it is important to share these experiences and this journey with you.

While it would be impossible to do justice to all of the "fabulous" moments that we have experienced over the past few months, I will once again attempt to redeem myself by sharing a small part of those things with you:

1. On July 8th, Evan celebrated his 7th birthday. Birthday's are always exciting, but this particular birthday marked a significant milestone. Evan has now been a part of our family longer than he was not. In the adoption world, this milestone is monumental.

2. On July 16th, Alayna was baptized. Obviously we are incredibly proud of her for making the decision to follow in the Savior's footsteps, but this day also served to remind us that, when we adopt a child, we are not just providing them with the love of a family, but with the gospel of Jesus Christ, and THAT is the greatest gift that we could ever help to facilitate!

Outside of the church on Alayna's baptism day

3. On July 21st-23rd we borrowed my parent's RV, loaded up the van and headed to Hueston Woods State park (with the heat index at 110) to attend the Bulgarian Adoptees Reunion. It was miserably hot, but we had a great time sweating it out together as a family and getting to know other Bulgarian Adoptive families and their children. That is, until Lily swiped a graham cracker during a group campfire and woke up at 3am covered from head to toe in diarrhea (did I mention that we were CAMPING and that it was 1000 degrees outside). . . .but I digress. This is a post about fabulous things and gluten-induced diarrhea during a camp out is anything but.

Lukas and Maren collecting fossils at Hueston Woods State Park

Forget fossils. Jacob found this snake skin infinitely cooler!

Despite the ridiculous heat, Joshua insisted on skateboarding wherever we went

Alayna showing off her fossil collection

Alayna designed this T-shirt on her own. Love it.

5. On July 29th, the tribe and I piled back into the van and headed for Philadelphia so that Alayna could FINALLY be fitted for her prosthetic. It was truly FABULOUS!

Bonding over mosaics in the clinic waiting room at Shriners

Exam room fun

Alayna's prosthetic fitting! YAY!

6. After our appointments at Shriner's, the kids and I drove to Buena Vista, Virginia where we had the privilege of spending a day with our "Uncle" Sean (who was interning at Southern Virginia University for the summer) and our good friends, Cameron and Heather. We enjoyed the Natural Bridge Safari Park (and spent the next 3 weeks vacuuming animal feed out of the van) and Heather's amazing, homemade chili before we hit the road again to head for Lexington, Kentucky to celebrate my grandma's birthday. Just in case you weren't keeping a tally, that's one mom, eight kids, four days, Ohio, West Virginia, Pennsylvania, New Jersey, Virginia and Kentucky. We had a great time . . . . and spent the next week sleeping. . . .I wish :-)

Sean and Maren feeding a llama at the Natural Bridge Safari Park


7. On August 6th, Alayna, Lilyana and Alexis were sealed to our family for time and all eternity in the Columbus, Ohio Temple. When a judge declared them our daughters 8 and 14 months ago, they were legally our children. As Richard and I knelt at an alter with our girls, all dressed in white, surrounded by our family and friends, our girls became ours FOREVER.

8. On September 1st we headed back to Philadelphia so that Alayna could try out her test socket. She did an AWESOME job! Her prosthetist and physical therapist were blown away by how well she did and the smile on her face at finally having two feet on the ground was priceless. Of course, I forgot my camera!


Hevel said...

Wow, congratulations on the sealing of your family! As a former member of the Church I can apreciate how wonderful and blessed that moment must have been for all of you.

And as an amputee, I can apreciate how wonderful for Alayna it must have been to have both feet! :)

You are an inspiring family and I hope you'll find more time to blog in the future!

growing our love... said...

your family amazes me! Thank god for modern medicine!

Jill said...

Hooray to hear from you! What a wonderful moment to have Alayna baptized and then have all the girls sealed to you! So happy for you guys! I can't wait to get together when we (most likely) move back to OH next summer! (((HUGS)))

Tammy said...

LOVE this post! I was so surprised to see a post after a long silence;) Thanks for the catch-up!!

Guy Chambliss said...

Whoa, look at these guys. They look awesome. I admire your love for these kids with different backgrounds and special needs. Because of what you've shown them, nationalities quickly fade and they are now part of your amazing, happy family!

Anonymous said...

CONGRATULATIONS!!!! im so happy for your family on the baptisms and the new babies they are beautiful!! and i LOVE to hear the steps on lily's development and alayna's prothestic!