Sunday, June 21, 2009

A day for fathers, sons and fun

Sunday was Kevin and Jake's first Father's Day, and while we had no specific plans, it turned out to be quite the day.
First, we decided to fumigate the house while we were at church (sounds fun, doesn't it?) but not before Baba got his Father's Day surprises from Jake.
He got a picture frame, complete with a picture of him and Jake on one side and Jake's handprints in clay on another, a bird feeder (Daddy's a nature guy) and a set of six water pistols labeled for Daddy and Jake.
It was fellowship dinner at church, and, as usual, the food did not disappoint. We had to let the house air out some, so Jake got a nap while Dad got a haircut and then we went to a little park in our small hometown. The park is quite neat, with static displays of a T-37, which used to be the planes flown at a nearby Air Force base (Jake's nod to grandpa who is an USAF veteran) and a howitzer and a torpedo.
It also is home to a small, walk-through Astrobleme Museum. Yes, that's right, we live in the middle (or at least near the edge) of one of the nation's largest meteor craters created 450 million years ago. Cool, except it's completely filled over and the only reason they know it exists is because they dug for oil and uncovered the geology.
Then, it was back home to get engaged in a huge water fight, which Jake took to like a fish to water (ha, ha), which is somewhat strange since he didn't do so good at the local splashpad last week (we've got to get that one posted, we're behind) at our ChinOkie picnic.
Maybe the fact it was about 20 degrees hotter helped our Waterboy.
We ended the night cooking out and going on an ice cream run.
It was day we never will forget.
Here's some images from our adventures:

Father's Day

Wow. It's my first Father's Day as a father.
At this time last year we had our PA, but we still were waiting for our LOA. So, even though Jake was our son from the moment we saw his first photos, we still had some official hoops to jump through before we could say he was ours for sure.

Well, now we have been back for a little more than 8 months and I can honestly say I wouldn't change anything. Jake has been everything I dreamed of and more. I am so fortunate to be able to call him my son, and I am always blown away when he calls me Daddy.

Happy Father's Day to all the dads out there. And, to all the dads-to-be, the best is yet to come.

This is one of my favorite pictures of Jake and me. It was taken in Xi'an a few days after we were united as a family.

Friday, June 19, 2009

It's hard not to smile

It's been a tough week at our home this week, but Jake sure can make you smile.

Wednesday, June 17, 2009

Taking a walk on the streets of Heaven

Our dog Hot Rod died today, and we are feeling his loss heavily. Hot Rod was Kevin's dog contribution to our marriage. He got Hot Rod shortly after we met in 1993. The photo above was taken when he was a puppy. Kevin and I were co-workers then, so I didn't realize at the time how important that fuzzy, little puppy (he looked like a cuddly bear cub) would become in my life.
The thing HR loved best was going for a walk. That was his and Kevin's thing. I remember when we first moved to the country, we let our two dogs loose and off they went. When we started missing them we saw them on a country road a quarter of a mile away. Hot Rod was just trotting down the road, with Ballou tagging along behind.
Ballou died last spring, so we imagine they had quite a reunion and are even now trotting down the roads and fields of Heaven.
Hot Rod was a good dog and went to his reward, but we will miss him terribly.
The thing I think I'll miss, too, is Jake calling Hot Rod's name.
Hot Rod probably was the first two-word combination Jake said, but with his cleft he did have issues. He said it something like Haa Raa (it loses cuteness in the translation). I'm sure he will miss Hot Rod some, but he's OK now. We told him Hot Rod's body didn't work anymore, so he had to go to Heaven where it could, and Hot Rod's happy now because he can run and play again. Jake accepted it with an emphatic nod and a smile.
God bless you Haa Raa. We love you.


Wednesday, June 10, 2009

Family reunion

Jake got to meet some of his extended family for the first time recently at a reunion for one branch of Kevin's mother's side of the family. It was great for him to meet them, because some of them have really done a lot for him. His great aunt Gladys brought him a box of stuff, including 4 Elmos she collected during the wait. That gives him 8 Elmos of various sizes. She also gave him a Clifford the Big Red Dog with the red thread bracelet she wore during the wait wrapped around his ears. That was so touching. We can't thank you enough.

Jake was a hit, and he enjoyed the time at Greenleaf State Park in eastern Oklahoma. There was a pretty nice playground where he spent much of his time. There also was a building that housed some turtles and snakes, and there was a semi-tame deer that showed up to graze. Jake liked them.

He also enjoyed playing with his cousin Matt and Matt's girlfriend Ashley.

After the reunion, we stopped at Kevin's sister's house so Jake could visit for a bit with his cousin Bob, who couldn't make it to the reunion because he had to conduct services at his church that day.

All in all, another great day.

Here's a slide show Violet created of the day: