I failed at getting our Christmas picture this year.  We’ve had too much going on and it did not make the list of things to be sur to do.  So here’s a little brief update as we begin our Christmas Eve Day.  I know we’ll be reflecting all day as family on how the birth of this child named Jesus has radically changed the reason we make every decision that we do.

Emma – Vibrant, Giving, Care Taker, Artistic, Joyful.  These are the words that describe her.  This past week I’ve reflected on my children and I sit in awe of my girls and the little woman they are walking towards being.  Emma is the best big sister around.  She loves school, her teacher, her friends.  She loves her sister and balances so well Izzie’s personality and being her big sister.  Emma has found a love to paint and create.  She has the heart of prayer as she diligently prays every night for the needs of her family and friends and she loves her brother with such a pure love which is crazy since she has yet to meet him.

Izzie – Talker, Laughter, On the Go, Obedient,Dancer,  sensitive. – These words describe her so well.  Izzie’s name means laughter and it really embraces who she is.  I sit amazed at her awareness of life and others around her.  Her concern for her friends Ruthie and Millie and that her little heart loves to love them.  She adores her big sister and wants Emma a part of her life.  From the moment she wakes up she wants to know what we are doing today.  She’s our go girl.  Always in need of a place to be at.  Just last night she asked when Frankie would get here.  She said she misses him.  Soon, I say and I know they will be buddies.

Frankie – Silly, On the Go, Observant, Wants to be loved on, plays hard, mischievous.  Frankie.  How we miss him so in our lives.  We know that one day soon this whole waiting game will be gone and we’ll look back on it as a memory.  Our home longs to have 2 more feet pattering around.  His room sits waiting on his arrival.  His sisters wait and pray as we talk through each step of the journey and our visits with him have been such a blessing to us.  It’s hard having a child who is not with you.  No words.  I think we handle it well.  Some days are good and others not so good.  I’m thankful that time flys by but then I’m sad because time is going to fast.

Dave – Kind, Compassionate, Honest, Patient, Integrity, Comic Relief, Lover, good friend – These are mere words but living them out is another thing and Dave really does live it out.  I’ve stood by my husband this year in some major life changes for him and our family and I’ve watched as he’s taken the lead and has had to face some major obstacles.  I would have folded and crumbled long ago but not him.  He’s such a strong man and in this past year I’ve seen him become so refined.  To say I’m proud is an understatement.  I would follow this man anywhere.  He’s still loving his Golf opportunities, time with his friends.  He loves his girls so well and he loves Frankie too.  It was so good for me to see my boys bond on our last trip to Haiti.  I’m not sure what is right around the corner for this man but it’s gotta be good.  I sit anticipating….

And me, do I really have to use words to describe myself?   – If you read my blog then hopefully you’ve gotten a glimpse into who I am. I really sometimes feel I’m one big mess. I’m so thankful for my family and that includes my parents and in-laws and even my 7 year old sister in law!  I always wondered why everyone had gravitated towards us these past years.  I know I’m not the sole person but they  have been a HUGE support to me this year and I don’t know how to say thanks to that.  I’ve done a lot of things new this year.  Like a triathlon… run 3 half marathons, started back at my game of tennis, got involved with PTO and our Home owners association.  I’ve also went Part Part time at work but that really is just a joke.  I’ve filled that off time with more community things that I really feel like I’m working full time.  But that is good.  I’ve met more new people this year than the whole 9 years of living here.  And people that are not like me and really don’t always believe the same as me.  It’s been encouraging, humbling and a much needed part of my life. And not to mention my blog friends who have challenged and encouraged me as we have shared our stories and supported each other through our journey’s… especially the adoption community.  It’s been huge.

So what will this new year hold for our family? We are asking ourselves the same questions.  There are many opportunities on the horizon.  Sometimes they lead to a dead end and other times it’s the opportunity you’ve been preparing for your whole life.  Who knows.  I think our daily motto is to give it all we have today, not being promised of anything coming tomorrow.  I think in that way of living is the only way you can truly find peace when the end of the day finds you.

Talking about peace…. Wishing you much peace this new year.  Thankful for all of you who have invested in our lives and have blessed us with words, your friendship, your sacrifice. 

Much Love,

The Rhodes Family