Amazing how fast a year goes by, but then you look back and realize that much has happened. I would describe 2011 as a year of transition. It started with great discouragement as we were unsure what was next for our family (a process that had begun since September of 2010). In March we candidated at a church (my husband is a pastor, in case you didn't know) and we accepted the new position. Andy finished as the associate pastor in our former church in April, and a few days later Nina was having major spinal surgery. We moved in late May and the girls began school (all of them) in September. Throw in there trips, family gatherings, my sister's wedding, life and oh boy...that was a lot in such little time!
In light of that, I thought I would share my favorite posts from the year. You can click on the title and it will take you to the post.
Nina's Anniversary: This was after one year of Nina being home.
Becoming Your Child's Advocate: I still have much to learn about how to be an effective advocate for my girls, but more and more I learn how to do it appropriately and with good results, keeping the passion and emotion under control.
She Is Not a Baby, Treat Her Like a Big Girl: I have much to learn about Cerebral Palsy, but many times I am Nina's greatest challenge to overcome as I do too much for her.
Turning 30: What else can I say, my reflections on a "milestone" age.
Why Adopt a Child With Cerebral Palsy: Self explanatory
A Season of Lent: This is where I share my heart about wanting to live my life to honor God. it is not about Lent, but rather this relationship I have with my Savior, and how much more I want to know Him.
Down Syndrome Has Changed Me: This is a personal letter I wrote to my daughter Nichole.
What Did He Say?: Before her surgery, Nina took a class at the hospital to know what to expect. In this class she was given a stethoscope to play with and she listened intently. Nina shared with us the doctor and me what she had heard, her message from Jesus.
All of April is about Nina's Cerebral Palsy, her surgery, recovery, and such!
Adventures in Moving: Moving with 3 girls ages 5 and under, 2 of them with special needs, was quite the adventure!
The Same Team: One of my very favorites! It was a rejected article for a magazine but I still wanted to share it. it is about marriage and working together when you have little kids.
Nina's Best Friend: We got to meet Nina's bets friend from the orphanage, Oksana, and her family. They have become such dear friends!
We were transitioning in the new place.
The Brodys In This World: The story of a young man with Cerebral Palsy from our church.
Brody's Light: A touching follow up story to my first post about Brody and how he is sharing God's word.
Down Syndrome and Abortion: An honest post where I speak to the women that have had an abortion, and those considering one based on a diagnosis on Down syndrome. Possibly this post has been shared and read more than any other post or article I have ever written.
Could I Do More?: A common mothering question, but when you have children with special needs, this is an even greater "fear."
Road Marker 321: If you only read one post, read this one. I spent the month of October and most of November sharing about our journey as our daughter was born with Down syndrome. This is the first of 24 posts, the "prologue." And the most intimate piece of writing I have ever written.
Two Years Ago, Why We Adopted: Top 10 reasons why we adopted.
This Man: The love, respect, and admiration I have for my husband.
Why Moms Need Friends: Top 10 reasons why moms need friends.
Christmas, Presents, Lights, and All That Matters: Self-explanatory in top 10 style.
A Hope and a Future: What Nina's future holds because she has a family and is an orphan no more.
First Steps Take Courage: contrasting my 3 girls and what their first steps defined.
Live With Us Forever?: My take on the possibility of having my child with Down syndrome live with me forever.
Okay, I know that you won't click on every single link, but, did you have a favorite post here?
Also, do you have a favorite post from your blog? Share it with me so I can stop by and visit for a while!