At the end of the preschool year last May, we had some decisions to make regarding Harrison's schooling this year. Technically, this should be his year before Kindergarten. That is still up in the air. He could have stayed at his same preschool which was awesome OR he could go to a 5 day prek (1/2 days).
In a classroom setting, Harrison is first off... FUN, LOVING & CHEERFUL. All of that really puts him in a good place for what follows... Secondly, he is ENERGETIC, BUSY & DISTRACTED. The 2nd part is what had us thinking we really needed to consider what was best to get him ready for school. We felt like the 5 day option, while hard for mommy to let go, might be best for him. We only knew of one place we would consider to send him so we went to check it out and apply. There was a waiting list. We kept him pre-registered at his previous preschool and waited patiently to find out what his next year would look like. To some that might be a bummer, but to us, that was a wonderful way to leave it up to the Lord. It kept us from forcing anything. We waited all summer with no word. But a few weeks before school was to start at the end of July, we got the call. He was in!
We went to meet the teacher night and Harrison felt right at home. We did too! On the way, I stopped to let Harrison pick out a special flower and candy for his teacher. It was so sweet to watch him pick my favorite flower even though I gave him total freedom! As if I needed to be reminded of how sweet of a Mama's boy he is! Don't worry, he picked out his favorite candy to give her too! It's all about balance you know.
He hugged Mrs.Woodard's neck instantly! I hear from my secret spies around school that he is always stuck to her like glue. Holding her hand, leg, or riding on her back? lol! This past week after a long break, we got to school and he took off running. She picked him up and he wrapped his arms around her neck and his legs around her waist. She held him like that for a bit and it was the cutest thing. He says, "I love "Mrs."Wooder" alllllll the time! "
His class is bright, fun, and organized.
His cousin is in his class and it is so funny to watch them bond over this cousin-same class sharedness.
We know lots of the kids and teachers at the school so Harrison is ultra comfortable there.
On the first day, we had cookies with our breakfast.
Then we got dressed, dropped Greer off at school, and headed in for the first day. Sophie was so proud for her brother.
Harrison was ultra handsome in his chapel attire.
I had nothing to do with this hand holding...but everything to do with snapping a picture!
We had to pose in the photobooth and Harrison got to pick all of our props.
I held it together until I read the poem you see in this picture tied to his treat bag!
Just like that, I left him for his first partial day.
When I peaked in before leaving I saw that his teacher already had him up and moving! MOVEMENT, his love language!
Every day but one, he has been marked cheerful. The one other day it was playful!
Sophie is always anxious to pick him up each day and excited to see him.
A fun part of this, is she gets to spend two mornings a week just she and I. We both like it!!
She is not in preschool this year, so I am doing things at home with her...following along with Harrison's letter of the week. She is LOVING it. The perfect little preschool at home candidate. Always asking..."what's next mommy?" :)
Mrs.Woodard and the prek team, have been just what we were hoping and praying for Harrison this year...fun, engaging, creative, and most of all, believes the best of our boy and continues to find ways to help him thrive at school! He truly soaks it all up and loves to come home and share it with the rest of us.
Harrison's is the most eye catching of the God Made Me papers. His teacher said he went back to the mirror 3 or 4 times to get it right. I loved it so much!
Everyone needs a pair of every color shoes!
Many things have been put into place to positively encourage Harrison to stay focused and on task. He is trying his best and his teacher is the perfect fit always loving and encouraging him and finding ways to reach him via his way of learning....music, dance, movement, and positive reinforcement rather than negative consequences.We say 3 things together every day before he leaves for school. "I will obey my teacher, love my friends, and honor God today!"
and although he LOVES Mrs."Wooder" so very much...Mommy still has a very special place in his heart...
It was a BIG leap we made this year for our sweet boy, but we continue to be confident it was the right one! Thanking the Lord for blessing us with a super spectacular place for our boy to learn and grow and that we get to be so very involved as he does so!
I watched her a few days a week for a couple of months this spring/summer. Her mom was wrapping up finishing her masters degree and her dad was deployed. Mom mentioned they would be looking to buy a house soon. I jokingly, but with seriousness, offered ours. I mean, we have been ready to move on since having 3 kiddos but I sure wasn't in the place to list and sell a house with 3 kiddos!! ha! The next time I saw her, she said that she had talked with her husband and they actually WERE interested. We took pictures and shared with her deployed husband. We gave them some funds back at closing to do repairs and painting we didn't have the time to do before the sale. I still hardly believed that it could really happen that way. What happened after that was so nontraditional and freakishly smooth. We knew their lease was up at their apartment at the beginning of July and they got the ball rolling to get pre-approval. It came on July 1st. Since we knew them and wanted to make it happen for them before dad got home and in time for them to move out of their apartment, we moved out by July 5th! This would be my July 1st freak out face! I hadn't really done any preparing because we needed a more definite confirmation.
Once I had my HOLY COW moment, I got to packing. I packed our house in 4 days and Brandon worked on some repairs and other details. Friday we moved our stuff and Saturday we cleaned up. Sunday, they moved in. We found a cute rental through a friends parents. We rented our house to our friends until closing. We wanted to rent because other life changing events were in the works and we just weren't sure what all was going to go down and where we would need our next home. We also didn't want to be in a rush to buy our next house. We have some specific things we are looking for and specific needs we need to meet for Greer's future school. We sold the house without any Realtors. Saving lotsa money for everybody. We stored our things in our "old" garage until the rental was ready while we stayed with friends.
It started out all organized but then at the end we kept finding a gazillion things needing to be packed and stored. It ended up like this...
We stored everything but the things we took in our van as it was our moving closet for a few weeks.
We made the best of our homeless few weeks. It really is what you make it and I stand by the statement that home is where my crazies are!! Harrison started school and we maintained Greer's therapy and schools schedule as well.
When it was time, we moved our things right on over to our cute green brick rental! A few days later, we closed at the title company. YES! a little backwards but it all shook out totally great in the end! The Lord's hand was very very clear in SO very much of it!
And we are making the best of our 3 bedroom 1 bath situation. Since we know who we are renting from, she offered to let us rent month to month. When we are ready to move on, we just give her a months notice! It has truly been amazing.
While this was going down, Brandon was working toward seeing "what was out there" jobwise. He worked for a great company for 4 years but it was wearing on him and he wanted to get into something that was more marketable in the future. We were blown away and thrilled when he got his new position with a great company. This was also a reason we wanted to rent, we weren't sure what the end result of his search was going to be. His job is 40 minutes away, and while we would love to be right around the corner, our roots in our town, are growing deeper and stronger by the day. With Greer's resources and now, Harrison's school (soon to be Sophie's), moving away from all of it would take a lot!
It was a whirlwind experience, but the best possible scenario for selling our house in this season of our lives. I didn't have a lot of time to get sentimental about all of the firsts that happened in that home, but I sure do love thinking about it now! From Newlyweds to the parents of 3....and lots of wonderful in between. This house grew with us! We were so excited for our friends and it's been so fun to watch them live in it through Facebook and Instagram!
January 14, 2011- Orientation Call with Judy @ Gladney
January 17, 2011- Homestudy Visit
February 28th- discovered the twins on Holt’s waiting child photo listing. Thanks to MaryLeigh!
March 7th- received the twins info and medical files for review
March 10th- requested additional info and video of the twins from Korea.
Prayed through three weeks of excruciaiting waiting for additional info.
April 1st- got the videos!
April 11th- felt confident about moving forward and going to Holt’s waiting child selection committee to pursue the twins. Contacted Holt and let them know.
April 13th-returned committee questionnaires…3 separate ones LOTS of questions about interracial families and addressing special needs and potential special needs.
WAITED 2 LONG WEEKS to go to committee because families who had inquired about the twins prior to us did not notify Holt as to whether or not they wanted to go to committee! They just did not get back with Holt and since Holt is dedicated to finding families for children not children for families, they try to make sure they have a few families to choose from for matching waiting children.
April 25th – committee interview – almost 2 hours long. There were not any other families that wanted to go to committee with/against us for the twins.
April 28th – We got “THE CALL” we were chosen as the twins forever family!! wooohoooo!
May 23rd – Awarded Brittney's Hope $2000 grant
May 24th- Praise God! our home study made it to Holt FINALLY. We were expecting it to be there earlier, but there were revisions and weekends and all that jazz…we were just relieved that it finally made it on the 24th.
May 25th – we were emailed our acceptance packet….a MOUND of paperwork to complete, notarize, and send back to Holt with our fees.
May 27th- our acceptance paperwork made it to Holt just in time to hang out over the Memorial Day Holiday!
May 31st- got word that we have been blessed with a $3000 grant from our agencies special needs adoption fund!
June 2nd- we got our legals in the mail so we could send in our I600 and I600A’s to the United States Citizenship and Immigration Services.
June 7th- I600 and I600A’s were received by the USCIS!
July 23rd- I600/I600A approval
Abba Fund award $5000
August 13, 2011 Adoption Benefit Dinner raised over $5000
Setpember 3, 2011- Awarded a grant from ShowHope- $4000