Friday, February 25, 2011

Almost A Year!

My goodness how time flies. Blogging has NOT been priority number one the past few months and I don't feel guilty about it because the truth is it was therapy for me, getting me through the hard adoption times and I just don't need the therapy anymore! Good News! But, I have been thinking so much about Ethiopia lately because it has been almost one year since I left to pick up Grace Demot. I thought taking some time to write a little about the wonderful life of Grace would be good for posterity sake. It truly seems like just yesterday we brought our precious Demot home to Utah. This past year has been one of many wonderful firsts for Grace Demot and wonderful reminders of the beauty and energy of toddlerhood for me. It truly brings tears to my eyes when I think about how blessed we are to have Grace Demot in our home and in our family. She just fits with us and better yet we seem to be ok with her too. When I think back to a year ago, I fondly think of paperwork being finalized, airline reservations, Yebsabi reservations, shots, shots and more shots, anixiety, tears, fears, joy, packing, collecting lots and lots of donations and so much more. If I could go back (which I never would) the only thing I would change about life before Grace would be that I would have not stressed so much about the things I had no control over. I learned and gained such a respect for patience. I know there will be more times in my life to exercise that patience but hopefully it won't be so darn hard. I sometimes wish I could go back to Ethiopia and visit the beautiful friends I made there. I think about Sister Almaz, Lelena, Hana and all of the nannies that were so humble and so kind. I learned so much about "stuff". How we have way to much "stuff" how so many have little to no "stuff" and being reminded of that is a good thing. I will never ever forget the first moment that I laid eyes (in person) on my little angel. The joy is inexplainable and I know that somehow, somewhere we had met before. The journal I kept while in Ethiopia reads: "I held her and loved on her and kissed her just like I had imagined. She was so beautiful with little brown pants and a little boy shirt. She was a bit unsure of me but as I kissed her forehead I thanked God for this miracle in my life". Grace continues to be such a gift. No matter where I go, people stop me to tell me how remarkably beautiful she is. There is a depth and spark in her brown eyes that melts peoples heart. She's quite a spitfire and knows exactly what she wants. She adores her brother Carter who has proven to be so much better at being the "big brother" than I gave him credit for. She is speaking two to three word sentences. She says Mom, Da Da, Carter to school, ba ba, NO, yes, please, thank-you, dance, she can name all parts of the face and some of the body, her laugh is to die for and boy can she dance. In the car she sings and sings and going "bye-bye" is her favorite thing. She pretty much runs wherever she goes and her skinny little legs can run really fast. We have taken her on several trips: Lake Powell, St. George several times and Mexico. She's been skiing (well to the resort and out on a sled) but someday will ski like sissy and bro bros. She hates, hates, hates Carter's hermit crab but loves Ginger the dog and Lucy the cat. My favorite thing she says is "Ooo cu cu". The look on her face is priceless. At first she was completely attached to me and never left my side. She followed me around the house and cried the most heart wrenching cry when I left. She has gotten so much better. I know that even though she is only two, she knows the feeling of being left alone and being taken from the only place she had to call home. I really think and feel that she knows now that this is where she belongs that we are a family and that when Mommy leaves she is always coming back. My favorite thing that Grace does is copy me. She watches very closely at how I do my hair or put on lipstick and she mimics every move I make. She loves to put on "pretties" meaning lip gloss and I have caught her in Morgan's room putting lip gloss on her eyelids. She loves to culey (color) just like Carter and loves to eat breakfast sitting on the kitchen counter with me in the morning. We have started having very small playdates and I am so glad to see how she is interacting with other kids. I can tell she has a hard time sharing and that's a normal kid thing. I think it's funny when she hides things behind her back and says "mine". I don't know, something about being a 30-40 something :) mommy means less sweat over the small stuff and more giggles over the things I used to be mortified over. So what if she does not want to share, so what if she wakes up at night and I rush to hold her and give her a bottle, so what if she wants a cookie for lunch and maybe even skips a nap or two... See how I have become a much more seasoned and less stressed mama! The other good news is that with age comes the "I don't care what people think" attitude and I don't care if Grace runs through the grocery store or throws a fit and falls to the ground crying. The truth is Grace just came to this earth a really good girl. She has her two year old moments but truly she is almost too easy. She sure has taken to her Daddy. She is sad when he goes to work and when he comes home she runs to him, jumps in his arms and gives him a big hug and kiss. He says she gives the best hugs and kisses and he is right. She loves his peaches and that makes him happy cuz our other kids don't (sorry Shane). She loves when he reads her stories and he is just so cute with her. I can't count how many times he says "oh my goodness is she cute". To say we are full of joy is an understatement and there is really no way to express our gratitude for the gift of Grace Demot. I am loving every minute of life with Grace along with so many other people who spoil her with love and treasures. Grace turns two on March 12th (the day Shane and I left Ethiopia with our Ethiopian princess). I can't wait to see what the next year hold for us and our beautiful children, knowing them and us it will be adventurous.



The Whole Family.

Thursday, September 9, 2010

Sunday, August 15, 2010

Super Mom's

I thought I (Shane) would make a post as Amber has taken a short break. Grace, Carter, Morgan and Jenson-your Mom loves you so much!!! I'm amazed at the sacrifices she makes for the family each and every day. The love she has for each one of you seems to be endless..... The washing and folding of clothes, the countless hours of picking up, the shuttle bussing to the various destinations around town, the balancing act of buying the right amount of food to keep everyone's belly's happy and the constant worry about the well being of the family. It's a labour of love that I wanted to recognize.

To all the Mom's out there in the Mommy world, thank you so much for the sacrifices you make! I'm not a part of that world so there is no way that I can relate, but from my point of view, I see glimpses of how difficult the job is and the miracle of a Moms work here on earth. My Mom is an incredible blessing in my life and I credit her for the happiness and success that I have had in this life. She has been unconditional with her love and very giving in so many ways. I know our children will some day feel and say similar things about their Mom.

Thanks Mom's for the work you do and I wish you peace and sanity as you continue doing the great work you do.

Friday, June 25, 2010

So many firsts

Wow I can hardly believe Grace has been home for almost four months. Truly it feels like she has always been a part of this family and I am amazed at how beautifully she has adjusted. I think one of the best things about being the Mom of a baby again (at my age) is truly enjoying all of the "firsts" with her. I know I appreciated them with my other three as well but for some reason being the "seasoned" Mommy that I am :) I am savoring all of the joys and experiences on a d
eeper level with Gracie. Here are some of the firsts that she has enjoyed in her short 4 months in the McMillan Family:

first airplane ride
first family vacation (Mexico 2010)
first time swimming and walking on the beach (well crawling)
first popcicle (did not like very much)
first trip to the park - playing on the grass, swing, slide, etc...
first time at the public pool (thinks she is a fish)
first trip to the zoo (waved at every animal and waited for a wave back)
first Easter egg hunt (cold, cold, cold)
first boating trip (the water was still freezing and she insisted on getting in)
first peanut butter and jelly sandwich (loves it)
first ice cream cone (rejected - we will work on it)
first time at Mc Donalds (loves french fries - definately a McMillan)
first photo shoot! (more of these pics to come)

And so many more I can't begin to list them all. We are having a blast and Grace is such a joy!

Friday, June 11, 2010


Last Sunday was Grace Demot's blessing day. She looked so adorable in her white dress and we had such a great time with family and friends afterward. Her Father gave her the most beautiful blessing, Morgan played a beautiful rendition of "I am a child of God" and there was not a dry eye in the room. Every day I am more and more amazed at how blessed we are to have her in this family. Every day I am more and more grateful for the gift we have been given and every day I am more and more in love with this little child. She is such a sweet soul and brings so much joy to this home. I am amazed at how well she has adjusted and each day she teaches me and reminds me of the pure gifts that love can bring.

Thank-you, thank-you, thank-you God for this amazing child!

Wednesday, May 19, 2010

Muy Bonita'!

My Spanish is a bit shaky but Very Beautiful was our annual trip to Mexico this year. I was a little scared taking Grace so soon after bringing her home (customs, first vacation, water, water and more water, strange bed etc...). When am I going to learn to stop being afraid and live in the moment? We had such an amazing trip. Grace was an absolute gem and had such a fun time. She was wonderful on the airplane and entertained people with her new laugh, smile and famous parade wave. My wonderful husband stayed at home to work/play/golf and we went with my Mother. Everything about the trip was a blast. We had so much fun running with Grace on the beach in her new fancy, smancy stroller. We took fun adventures everyday and played in the water all day too. Grace took her naps under the shade umbrellas everyday (just like my other 3 kids have done in years past), that's when I would kick back, put on the sunscreen and relax! My other three hoodlems ran amuk entertaining themselves and playing hard. We spent 7 days 6 nights with the culmination being Mother's Day. My kids shopped with my Mom and bought me a darling heart necklace and made me the greatest card ever. My Mom and I totally enjoyed the day of NO COOKING or entertaining anyone except ourselves. We ate breakfast on the porch and lunch at the beach and dinner on the beach. What a wonderful trip. I have posted a few pics of the trip and can't wait to go back! This post would not be complete without me telling a quick tidbit about Grace - She was a movie star in Mexico. Seriously people (strangers) would stop me on the street, in the stores at restaurants to hold her, kiss her and take her picture. I felt like.... Madonna.... well sort-of, you know what I mean. My 8 year old son got so sick of it he would walk away and say "not again". I thought about charging people to take a look but that has got to be illegal - RIGHT? Hmmmm

Thursday, April 29, 2010

Walk This Way!

Grace has liftoff! She started standing up about 2 weeks ago and today
she took about 10 or more steps on her own... As you can tell it has been
a family milestone. Please note that I do call her "Jaba". Carter and I were playing
Star Wars with Grace prior to her walking to him and he decided she
was Jaba the Hut??? I know, I know, she should be Princess Lea but Carter
wanted her to be Jaba. Go figure...