Friday, March 21, 2014

Shout Out: The Rozelle Family

We are Chris and Gloria Rozelle.  Two years ago, we originally started out adopting from Ethiopia, but recently God led us to switch to China.  We have four biological children (3 boys and 1 girl - ages 3-10).  I blog about our adoption and life in general a twww.lifeoncarrstreet.blogspot.com.  



We felt called to adoption when our youngest was almost 2 and we thought we were for sure done having kids.  But God had other plans!  We started out in Ethiopia and then just recently we made the switch to the China special needs program.  Right now we are in the process of updating our homestudy and working on completing our dossier - we are paper pregnant, as goes the saying in the adoption world!  We are so excited about the switch to China, but that also means we have more money due and more fundraising!  We have a couple of "fun" fundraisers going on right now that people might be excited about.  

First is our Bonfire Fund tshirt sales.  https://www.bonfirefunds.com/chris-and-glorias-adoption-fund  We receive $9.50 of every shirt sold ($5.50 for a children's shirt)!  But this one only lasts 3 more days, so get 'em while they're hot!!!!

Chris and Gloria's adoption fund

We are also affiliates through Orindary Hero, for people who want to give and support, but don't want a shirt or anything else (http://grouprev.com/rozellefamilyadoption).  

And lastly, we are selling Just Love Coffee, where a percentage of every bag of coffee sold goes towards our adoption as well.  https://justlovecoffee.com/about/beneficiary/rozellefamilyadoption/

Thursday, March 20, 2014

Edith the Butterfly

I'll have to admit, I worried a little that Israel would always outshine Edith. His personality is endless, and he has one million facial expressions. I have been so pleased that Edith has proved to be just as silly, feisty, and photogenic as my first-born!


The other day Israel was napping but Edith wasn't, so I decided to do a little photo shoot with some butterfly wings a family friend made for her. The results... ridiculous. 










Don't you just want to squeeze those rolls?! Ahh they melt me. Love this girl so much! 

Wednesday, March 19, 2014

Working Mom

This year I joined the ranks of working mothers. I am doing a part-time internship at a Christian foster care agency. The kids go to school Mondays and Thursdays, and I work on those days from 8-4. I also work on Tuesday nights for our foster care GPS training, and on occasional Fridays (Will's off day) so he can keep the kids without paying for childcare. My agency has also provided opportunities for me to work on certain projects from home, so I'm getting some hours in there as well.

The MSW internship through the University of Alabama requires that I complete 500 hours. I'm almost to the half-way point. Although I'll be finished with my two classes (chemical dependency and psychopathology) at the end of April, I won't be done with my internship until mid-summer, and I'll graduate in August.

I'll be honest- I have gained so much respect for full-time working moms. It has been a really hard semester juggling school, work, therapy, doctor visits, ministry, and taking time for our marriage. Honestly, I feel like I'm doing most things sub-par most of the time. There are things I want to do in my "spare time" that never happen. I feel accomplished to get a shower in several times a week!

I read a blog recently about working moms and it was really encouraging to me. It was saying that we see working moms everywhere and I've noticed that we have interacted with so many working moms- our therapists, social workers, nurses, doctors. I'm not alone in this juggling act. So many moms have done this and survived!

When my masters is done, I hope to work part-time writing homestudies for families. Thankfully, I'm getting the opportunity to practice this skill right now by writing a homestudy for a prospective foster family. It has been exciting and rewarding for me, and I know that this is something that I want to do as a profession. I look forward to gaining more skills that tie in my passions and my profession. There are days where I get overwhelmed by the to-do list in my life, but when I look at my kids I know that this will be worth it. I look at Israel and I know that I will be involved in the process of more little ones getting into families, and that makes me hopeful and able to persevere. God is faithful always and I love that He is continually revealing to me how our story is going to come together. Adopting again may not be the next step for our family, but I look forward to continuing in the work of adoption for other families in the meantime.

Monday, March 17, 2014

These Two Kids

Sometimes it really feels like our hearts will explode with fullness over these two babies.


Sometimes it seems like it is really hard to do tasks that I want to accomplish (grocery shop, keep the house clean, spend time doing college ministry).

PTL for the person who created the car shopping cart. 

Hiding in the back room during the college women's retreat.  




The routine can be monotonous.




But the joys, those are new and fresh.



The Lord is good and faithful. These two are exactly what we needed. 

Friday, March 14, 2014

Israel videos

I've been trying to be more intentional about taking videos of the kids lately. Here are a few videos of Israel doing some new things. I'm a proud mom!




Israel walker feb 2014 from Rebekah McGee on Vimeo.




Israel Feb 26, 2014 Walker from Rebekah McGee on Vimeo.




Israel says car march 2014 from Rebekah McGee on Vimeo.



Israel Pulls to Stand Feb 2014 from Rebekah McGee on Vimeo.

Thursday, March 13, 2014

Edith: Seven Months Old

Dear Edie,

You are seven months old! You are such a fun kid right now. You are rolling all over the place, and into everything! It is a difficult mission to get your diaper changed because you like to twist and wiggle so much. You are sitting up for the most part, but you topple over a good bit because you are not just content to sit down and play with a toy. You must go and explore!


You have been quite the Diva Princess lately. We joke that you have two identities: Edie J and Edie P (Edith Joy or Edith Princess). Edie P is your alter ego and the one who receives "fussy" report cards at school and gives us a run for our money. Edie P refuses food with a clamped shut mouth and cries a lot for no reason.


Your favorite things are jumping in the Johnny Jump Up while playing the piano, trying to get whatever your brother has, and taking a bath. You and your brother take baths almost every night together, and you have fun fighting over toys and splashing each other.

About half the nights of the week you will sleep through the night! You go down between 6:30-7, I do a dream feed at 9/10pm, and then you sleep until 6:30 -7 am. You take 2-3 naps a day. There have been nights (like when you got shots earlier this week) that you wake up 2-3 times still. I'm gonna blame that on Edie P. Recently I picked you up from school while you were napping and you were not swaddled, so we came home and immediately stopped that at home too. Ever since you have rolled around a good bit and fallen asleep on your own. I put 2 of your wubbanub pacis in the crib with you, and you will often double fist your pacis, alternating them or trying to fit both of them in your mouth at the same time. You still like to be tucked in with a blanket when I'm putting you back to bed after a night feeding.

You are very fickle with baby food. I haven't really pushed it out of my laziness, but you don't always your meals. We'll get there and you're certainly not hurting for calories! You nurse 4-6 times a day, although we're still not on a strict schedule! You went to the doctor last week and weighed 16 pounds, you were 26 inches long and your head was 17 inches. You're wearing 6 month clothes, size 3 diapers and size 1 shoes.



Edith, you have brought so much joy to our family. I'm so thankful that you and Israel are already best buds. I love how you perfectly fit in with our crew and that you are (for the most part) an easy, happy baby. Thank you for being so easy on our doctor and therapy visits for Israel and for being so free with your giggles and grunts. I love you so much and I'm thankful to be your mama.

Love,
Mama

Wednesday, March 12, 2014

Edith and the Balloon

For our anniversary on February 28, Will got me a few balloons and decorated the kitchen when I walked down that morning. Ever since, Edith has claimed these balloons. We have one tied to her high chair and one to her changing table, but they have rotated around the house a good bit. She loves the balloons so much! If it makes the princess happy, we're keeping it :).




Edith & Her Balloon March 2014 from Rebekah McGee on Vimeo.

Tuesday, March 11, 2014

Housekeeping

I titled this post "housekeeping" to take care of a few blog/personal things... not actually talking about real housework. If you know me well you will see that my house has lacked the true housekeeping for a while! I'm thankful for friends like my best friend Lindsey who come over and pretend to not notice the clutter or dirty dishes. Another season I'll have a clean house, for now... we survive.

I decided to "give up" Facebook for Lent this year. It's my first time participating in Lent, and I'm really relieved at the almost-week of being without Facebook. I noticed how often I would just waste a few minutes here and there checking status updates, looking for notifications, and reading all of the amazing and hilarious buzz feeds that I saw! I will admit that I have missed the community aspects of a few groups I'm involved in, such as our special needs group and an adoption group that I'm involved in.

With that said, if you need me- email me. My email is yestoadoption at gmail .com

Also, if you are looking to do a "shout out" post, I still do those whenever someone wants one! Just email me what you want posted (I usually just copy & paste) and whatever pictures and links you want to include.

Other ways to stay in touch are on Instagram and Twitter- my name is rebekahmcgee on both!


Monday, March 10, 2014

Clinic Appointment for Israel

Last week was a busy week of doctor appointments for our family. We had Edith’s six month check up, a visit with a Cerebral Palsy specialist, and a big appointment with Children’s Rehabilitation Services in Birmingham for a full clinic visit. For this appointment, we saw a speech therapist, audiologist, physical therapist, nutritionist, social worker and neurologist. Thankfully, we were able to split this clinic visit up and we saw the speech therapist and audiologist the week before, so the day was not as long.

During the clinic visit, we had to do the usual milestone check up, which is honestly one of the hardest parts of being a special needs parent. It is so hard to verbally say what is delayed about your child, and to have professionals ask what milestones your child can and cannot do. This is something that has never gotten easier, even as Israel has added tasks to his list. It is hard when the doctors give an estimated age for him, based on his skills and where he falls on a range. I am not going to post his developmental age range online, but it is delayed, as we expected.

The point of this particular clinic day was to find a diagnosis for Israel. If you’ve been reading for a long time you will recall that we have gone down this road before. We have seen a neurologist and a CP specialist in the past, both times to walk away with more questions than answers. Now that Israel is older and has made some new strides, we felt it was a good time to pursue a diagnosis again.

Currently, Israel’s “label” is developmental physiological delay and Ataxia (muscle movement delay). He does not have Cerebral Palsy or Autism, which are two diagnoses that we were seeing some signs of. He does not fit in the mold of either of those, and has characteristics that are not CP or Autism. We are praising God for some answers but there is more testing to be done, to find out what is going on in our sweet boy’s brain. He is underweight (always has been) and we are going to try to fatten him up!

We remain hopeful for Israel. We believe this will be a big year for him. We have no expectations or estimated timeline for his development, but we are praying for miracles and trusting in God’s faithfulness regardless of timeline.

Honestly, the past few weeks have been very hard for us. It is very hard to die to our dreams of a healthy, “normal” life. Sometimes we dream about the future and then have to remember that Israel may require additional assistance that could impact our dreams. We have to factor in his overstimulation, or lack of mobility, when planning trips or events. I have no idea how old he will be when he walks, or says sentences, or potty trains. I do not know if or when he will go into a normal classroom at school or if he will ever play a sport. I hope all of these things for him- and I am trusting God’s faithfulness in providing for our needs exactly. We know that His ways are higher than our ways.


We would not trade Israel for anyone. If you were to rewind the tape and give us all the details of our future when we got our referral call, we would take it. He is ours, we are committed to him and we are so thankful for the most precious gift in parenting him. Israel is the best kid in the word (with his sister of course) and we are so proud. There are days when it is overwhelming to be his parent and I doubt my adequacy and abilities to do right by him. I get overwhelmed by the thought of doctor and therapy visits every week. I am exhausted. I want a break sometimes. I get so tired of putting his braces on his legs and being hit in the face every time he is overstimulated. But… he is mine. Israel is mine to love and shepherd and I am so thankful that I get to be the one to put those braces on and receive those hits to the face. It is my honor. 


Thursday, March 6, 2014

New Things

Edith is 6.5 months, Israel is 2 years, 4.5 months:





  1. Edith is sitting up, for the most part! She still flops over a good bit, mainly because she is not content to just sit. She wants to go and see and touch everything. 
  2. Israel is drinking out of an adult cup with no lid! He gets water on himself a lot but I am so proud! I have to credit his daycare for starting this!
  3. Edith is not swaddled anymore when she sleeps. I saw her napping at school Monday un-swaddled and tried it at home.. she rolls around a good bit but then falls asleep. I was so worried about this transition but she was already doing it like a champ at school! Again, points for daycare!
  4. Israel is now saying "car!" and let me tell you... it is the most precious word in the world to me. I love that he says it all day long and that he knows what a car is. He hears cars going by outside and says it, he says "car" when we're playing with his toy cars, and he says "car" when we are in the car and seeing others drive by. I JUST LOVE IT. I'm so stinking proud. 
  5. Edith has now tried sweet potatoes, green beans, peas, carrots, rice cereal, oatmeal, and avocado. I can't believe she's old enough to do this, but I guess we're in the food stage!
  6. Israel has gotten SO much better with his walker. I truly believe this will be a big year for him. He's starting to lift his legs and take steps regularly when he has someone to help him. 
  7. Edith can put her paci back in her mouth. This may not seem like a big deal, but Israel never did that so it seems amazing to us! She will find it and put it in when she wants it. 
  8. Israel rode a horse at a birthday party! He loved it!
I am so proud of my kids. I can't believe I get to be their momma and I get to experience them make new milestones. They are my biggest gifts. 

*Ps the pictures at the top are not related but so funny to me. Edith and Israel already know how to push each others' buttons!*
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