Some of my favorite posts are the ones that look back at the year. I'm always amazed at everything we've done in one year. In 2010, I did our top house projects for the year. We were busy!! In 2011, it was a lot of house business again. We always have a project. Or ninety. In 2012, it has certainly been more about our family than house projects.
What a year 2012 has been for The Simpson Six!
In January, sweet baby Jack turned four.
I also kept working on Katie's room, as we were essentially in a holding pattern with our adoption, just waiting for dates or news.
In February, our dossier was submitted in Russia, and we got our first travel date to meet Katie. We found both of those things out on February first - that was a big, exciting day for us! Finally, after nine months of paper compiling, fundraising, waiting, hoping, staring at her pictures, and getting ready for her, we finally were on our way to meet our girl.
After having travel delays (in NASHVILLE!) and having to spend our first night in Washington DC instead of on our way to Russia, we finally made it to Moscow.
On February 28th, 6,000 miles from home and from our babies, we took a huge leap of faith. We drove nearly three hours from Moscow, past houses that looked like they were put together with sticks, through the ice and snow, with butterflies in our bellies and finally pulled up at the compound full of candy colored buildings.
The first thing we saw was a group of older boys hanging out of second story buildings waving at us and calling, "Mama! Mama!" It broke our hearts. They were repaired though, when we finally met the girl we had been waiting for.
Tiny at 25 pounds, and with a bow the size of a dinner plate, this little muffin was mine from the word go.
We were there for a week, leaving in the first few days of March.
We quickly grew enamored with the city we expected to hate. It was so different than home, but different isn't always bad.
We whispered to our girl that we would be back, and we said the hardest goodbye of our lives.
Also in March, our court dossier was filed in record time, which meant we would have a court date within thirty days. Our hard work was quickly coming to fruition. Fifteen days later, we had our court date and we were making travel arrangements.
I also explained a little big about how we knew we could parent a child with special needs, and how being a parent of a child with special needs has changed my perspective and has changed me as a person. It's the best thing that's ever happened to me.
David was in his first play, which made my mama heart incredibly proud, for many reasons.
In April, we packed a ridiculous amount of stuff and headed back across the ocean.
We had medical exams in a foreign country, including a CT scan for Chris. Good times... And while we were having medical exams done in Russia, Jack was having one done in the U.S. because he broke his wrist. Again.
We got to visit with Katie some more, and we were in Russia for Easter.
Finally, after nearly eleven months of waiting and working toward a very real goal, we had our court date in Moscow. After two hours, we were officially named the parents of Katherine Ruth.
We came home and celebrated sweet Henry's seventh birthday party, like only Willy Wonka could celebrate.
In May, my sweet friends had an adoption shower for Katie and were incredibly generous.
I packed my bags one more time, and headed back to Russia. This time I went there alone while Chris stayed home with the boys.
And finally - FINALLY! - on May 16th, I got our girl for good.
Katie had her first (loooong) plane ride, and we finally came HOME!
The boys had their last day of school and we spent some time just getting to know Katie and teaching her about being in a family.
In June, we finished baseball with the big boys and celebrated a lot of birthdays.
I turned thirty-five.
She had her first birthday party, her first birthday cake, and her first birthday presents.
In July, we readopted Katie in our home state. My family from Massachusetts was here, and my great friend Bert represented us in court. Having so many people we love there made it a very emotional process for me, even though Katie was already officially our child.
We also had amazing pictures taken in July, and I still can't believe how much I love them.
In August, Katie had a sleep study.
We also took a road trip to Cleveland.
We met Sarah and Joyce.
We visited with friends, went to Lake Erie, and had an amazing time.
In August, my sister turned thirty and we celebrated in September with a surprise visit from her best friend, and thirty letters I had schemed to get from friends and family. And it was all a big surprise!
Also, in September, we painted our back door. I'm still in love with it.
In October, we celebrated Gigi's birthday and started our family tablecloth.
We did the Nashville Buddy Walk.
And we got spooky on Halloween.
We kicked November off with a tonsillectomy and adenoidectomy for Katie.
We had a great Thanksgiving, and had much for which we were thankful.
In December, our elf got naughty.
We went to our Christmas tree lighting.
And we had an amazing first Christmas as a family of six.
I cannot wait to see what 2013 has in store for our family. It will be hard to top 2012!