Category Archives: Uncategorized

Accepting The Change

We have been pretty quiet here lately. Some major things have been happening in our adoptions and I also started a page on Facebook where you can purchase my handmade she lotions and some other products. It has been pretty successful and I can’t wait to get some new products out. Check it out http://www.facebook.com/SHEaBoutique1 The good news is our case in DRC is moving along smoothly and we are ready to go and get our son as soon as the country opens up with exit letters. We are happy our case progressed smoothly and are extremely grateful for our agency and their hard work to make sure it would happen.

However, things aren’t so smooth in Niger. I have been quiet while we process the news and I don’t think we have still fully grasped it yet. I can’t go into details. Some of it is to protect her story, but our daughter won’t be coming home. There is nothing anyone can do. We fought as long as possible and tried every route and our agency worked hard on our behalf. We are so grateful for their efforts and their words of comfort during this time. They truly are amazing people we have on our side! It is hard to grasp. We had lost three referrals in DRC before our son but so early on in the process. Not after months of seeing new pictures and videos and watching our “daughter” grow. We knew so much about her. We were (and still are) her parents in our hearts. We will always consider her our daughter; she just won’t be coming home with us.

But in all this, I have a strange peace about it. Maybe it’s because I know more of her story and what can happen with it. Or perhaps because I had coffee with a dear sweet friend who showed me how to have acceptance for a plan you could never imagine would happen but did. And one day I will meet her. This little girl may not be who was meant to be our daughter that lives with us but we aren’t giving up on our dream. We are waiting patiently to see who is meant to be our daughter we bring home. And I will do everything in my power to make sure our little girl is taken care of. What does that mean or look like? I honestly have no idea. We will have to wait and see. For now, we are trying to grasp a new reality, we are learning to let her go, and we wait to see how our family will look. Her pictures are hanging in our house; we will celebrate her birthday, and make sure she is not lost in the millions of orphans.

Thank you to everyone that have been checking in on us these past few weeks while we sorted this out. Your kind words and gestures are truly appreciated and loved!

Advertisements

Gonzales Party of 5!!

announcement pic

SURPRISE!!!

We are very excited to announce the addition of our daughter. We are going to be a family of 5 and we can’t wait. She is absolutely gorgeous (sorry can’t share her picture) and we can’t wait until we can. What we can share is she was born in Niger, Africa. We will call her Baby S. Just like with Baby E we can’t share much information.

What we do know is that we will be getting her soon and before we get to bring Baby E home. I know there are probably tons of questions. And we don’t have all the answers. What we can tell you is that this was a quick surprise and a quick adoption. It’s a new country and there are lots of unknowns, but that’s part of the journey and half the fun!

So for now, we are excited to share we are parents to three beautiful babies currently living in three separate countries and we can’t wait until we get them all home under one roof!

Thank you for the all the love and support on this crazy ride we call life!

Putting the Pieces Together

We don’t have much new information on Baby E. We have filed for his US Visa and the process has started. However, that process can take 3-6 months, and so we wait. 

Waiting can be very difficult in the adoption process, especially at this stage. Their isn’t much we can do. No paperwork to be done, no check ins with our facilitators to see if everything is done and ready. We just wait, and feel like Christmas morning when the surprise email comes of a new picture of our little guy. We have been blessed by others traveling to take care packages to our little one and know that he is being loved while we wait to hold him. But during this wait, things happen. Requirements change and plans have to be made.

One of the reasons we originally chose the DRC to adopt from was that only one parent had to travel. That is not the case now. Cases are also being looked at more closely, which is a good thing to avoid fraud and corruption. However, these changes have increased our fees and expenses. We are having an investigation conducted to make sure the visa investigation goes smooth and there aren’t any delays or set backs. And we have made arrangements for Hudson since we will both be traveling. I am extremely grateful to our friends who so loving said they would love to have Hudson stay with them and we know he will be well loved (honestly he will be spoiled) and taken care of while we are gone. 

To help cover these added and unexpected we are doing a puzzle fundraiser. We started this awhile ago and got busy with the auction, Hudson’s birthday, and summer. Here’s how it works:

  • Very every $10 you donate we will write your name on the back of a puzzle piece
  • The puzzle will be in a double side glass frame so we can show Baby E all the names of those who helped bring him home to his forever family.
  • As donations come in we will piece the puzzle together to reveal it and Baby E’s nursery
  • Simple as that! to donate you can make a donation to our paypal account (gonzaleskt@yahoo.com) or we can meet up (and I can share a picture of Baby E)

Help us get our little one home and create a treasured piece of art for his room! 

Welcome Baby E

cover photo2

We are so excited to announce our newest family member, Baby Boy E! We fell in love the minute we saw his first picture and can’t wait to meet him. Hudson already loves to see his picture and kisses it saying “oh my baby”. It’s pretty adorable. We have started prepping the nursery and are over the moon for Hudson to be a big brother and for us to have another little one to love.

I know there will be tons of questions, but for his safety we can’t share many details or show his face. So I will show his little feet. I absolutely love this picture and am grateful for the other adoptive momma that took it for us. We can’t wait until we can bring him home and share his adorable little face with you!

feet

Choosing our Children’s Village

I have been quiet on here recently, but that is because we have been busy with fundraiser garage sales and have some very good news to share soon! But today, I need to address a very difficult and controversial topic; race.

Recent events have stirred up emotions and have shown people’s true colors. The trial of Paula Deen, Zimmerman, they have brought out the worst in people. These past few days as I read my news feed on Facebook I see fellow adoptive parents crying out for justice and concern for their children. That one day it could be them mourning the unjust loss of their child. And then I see those who aren’t raising children of color say justice was served. These events have also allowed me to see people’s true colors and a side of them I hadn’t seen before. You see, as a mom to an African American boy you can’t tell me racism doesn’t exist, especially when saying “a thug is dead”. That right there is covert racism. To say an African American teenager who was wearing a hoodie (a very typical teenage outfit) is a thug is racially profiling him. You can’t say there isn’t racial profiling and it is just over reactions. Sadly, racial profiling does exist and we haven’t come as far as people like to think we have. While yes, being a mom to my precious boy has made me more aware of covert and subtle racism, it was always there. I just didn’t notice it as much and take a stand. And for that I am sorry. I was in my bubble. Thinking that we have come so far and it is more the extremist who are the racist ones. Through personal experiences, I have seen firsthand and witnessed subtle racism against my son.

Here are some things I have had to hear from people who claim they aren’t racist:
“Your son’s voice is so cute. I love his little black accent.”
“Look at his muscles and his stomach sticking out. He could be on the cover for National Geographic.”
“You should adopt from China next. Then you’ll have one of everything in your family.”

And these are just a few things that have been said to me. And all of these were said from people who claim they are not racist and don’t see color. But they do. Its subtle, or covert, racism. It is there, and it needs to stop. As parents we have had to have difficult discussions with family and friends. Explain to them how things they say are racist. How they are the people our kids are supposed to feel safest with and instead they will hear comments that diminish them based on the color of their skin. We have been doing now for over two years, and to be honest, it is just draining! It is frustrating and exhausting to explain over and over how what they say is racist, how it will hurt our child. You hit a point where you just can’t do it anymore and you have to reevaluate your relationships.

And unfortunately, this also applies to criticism over our choice of adoption and building our family. We have been questioned and judged repeatedly, in passive ways, that people aren’t in agreement with our adoptions. We have been told by more than one person that we should be adopting children in America, and from foster care. That having an open adoption is not the right thing to do, that adopting an orphan from Africa is wrong. And again, these things can’t be said around my kids. I don’t want them to think that they are any less deserving of love and a family because they were adopted from another country or have an open relationship with their birth mom. So, here it is, my public announcement that we will not be tolerating racist comments or jokes, or comments putting down how our family came to be. While we can’t protect our kids from everything and the outside world, we can choose who are around them on a daily basis. We can control our “village”. We have had tough discussions with people in the past and chose to not have them be part of our village and we will continue to do so. Our children are their happiness are what matter most to us, they are everything to us, and we will make sure they know they are loved by us and those who surround them. They will know they are safe from discrimination and ridicule in these four walls of our home, and any home we enter. And I do hope that one day I won’t have to worry that my children will be harmed because of the color of their skin and the jacket they chose to wear that day.

Hudson turns 2!

I can’t believe it! How is it that my little baby is two years old? A climbing, bouncing, naked running, ball of non-stop energy from morning until night two-year old! To celebrate we threw him a party with Disney Cars theme (only his favorite movie in the world and one that he quotes lines from). This year, with the adoption, it had to be on a budget. But that doesn’t mean he can’t have an incredibly awesome party, it just meant mom worked over time and drove herself crazy making it perfect. My sister brought back wall decals for Hudson from her trip to Disney World. They were the inspiration for different activities for the party. Flo’s V-8 Cafe and Fillmore’s was the food table. Along with Luigi’s Casa Della Tires which I made out of brownies. Ramone’s was a tattoo station, Curios  for the party favors, Mater’s was fishing for candy, and Doc Hudson’s was a station to build a Lego car. The weather was great and everyone had a blast! We had a great time celebrating with friends and family. Now the fun part – some pictures from his party!

1796The banner that took me forever to get perfect! But I love it. 1794The party favors. (only took me about three hours to make all of these from scratch) 1793 1795The cake! Chocolate candy cactuses, and one of Hudson’s favorite scenes from the movie. This was actually one of my easier cakes to make. The rocks in the back are made from rice krispie treats 1827fruit cars 1801Mater’s fishing 1799 1815getting tattoos at “Ramone’s House of Body Art” 1811 1898 1866Playing with grandpa 1856Canaan and the cars! (That have been turned into a footboard and headboard for Hudson’s new “Car’s” room)1786 1785 1783 1787 1813Sophie being “Doc Hudson” and fixing up her Lego car 1838 1840 1836Roller Coaster Rides 1844 1845Opening a present early! 1864So they can all play in it! 1859 1882 1906 Cake time 1926My little Cheeseball! 1932 1929 1950 1876 1875His hair. Wish i would have taken a picture the day before right after I styled it. It is Lightning McQueen, but Hudson pulled out the Bantu knots that made the tires. But not to bad for my first shape braiding!

Family Time

The past few weeks have been difficult for us. We don’t have all the details and aren’t at a point to share yet. When we do (and are ready) we will post details. But we have been grieving and as it is with adoption, still moving forward at the same time. We took a few days to spend some time together as a family. We went to the beach and we had a blast! Hudson enjoyed the sand, and as he threw sand everywhere I cringed at the sand in the hair, but accepted it and let it be. I was quite pleased that his box braids stood up to the sand better than cornrows. Very little stayed in the hair and most came out while sleeping. No vacuuming needed when we got home. AND a big bonus, I was asked for hair tips from an adult African American male while in line at the Tillamook Cheese Factory. He loved how long and healthy Hudson’s hair was and the braids he had. It was nice to be getting compliments and asked for advice versus the death stares we normally get. We enjoyed a nice sunset on the beach and Hudson loved being in a hotel and sharing a bed. He really enjoyed the fact that he could sneak out of bed and get himself a snack in the middle of the night.

sn1

We had a delicious Easter dinner and Hudson enjoyed his baskets and gifts. Yes I said baskets as in 2 (one from us and Grandpa and Grandma) and gifts from both Aunt Katie and Auntie Kirbie. He was spoiled and loved it!

And now back to work on fundraising we go. We are getting everything ready for the auction which will be in just a few weeks. We have over 140 items and they are wonderful items! I can’t believe how blessed we are to have the support from friends and family and strangers. Next week I will post all of the donors and their contact info. For now we have our puzzle fundraiser going on. Sponsor a piece for $10 and your name will be written on the back. It will be framed in a double-sided glass mirror so we can show our baby everyone who helped bring them hope to their forever family. We have had a few sponsored already (THANK YOU! to those that have sponsored a piece). To be a part of our child’s journey you can make a donation through paypal (gonzaleskt@yahoo.com) and in the message let me know the name(s) you would like on your piece(s).

puzzleCan’t wait until the puzzle is complete and we can show it to our little one!