Took the brothers for a haircut. Can buttons be any cuter?bros-haircuts Ashton is the 2 year old. Ashty is a cutie... and fast. He usually has one sock on and one off. he throws his blanket off in his crib along with his books. Don't leave anything open, unlocked or in reach because he will explore it. We had to get a latching trashcan because he was digging. Coffee grounds all over the place. He's undoing while his brother is doing ! These 2 are our first boys. All the other kids are girls. we had no idea the difference. Each kid has their own thing. Makes me realize the snowflake in all of us.

lala_yayaWe are in the process of adopting an 8 year old girl from China. She will be our 2nd international adoption- our 6th child. We had the pleasure of hosting her over Christmas when she stayed with us for a month in December-January. Xiao Ya (Xiao, like shower), teamed up nicely with our Haitian-born 9 year, Landie (Lon-zee). Xiao Ya has down syndrome like our Ashty.  We were surprised at her independence during her visit and happy to see her doing so many things on her own without fear, being in a strange new place.

The process for international adoptions is of course a bit more daunting than domestic, but we find them all rewarding after the long waiting period and stacks and stacks of paper. My wife and I just dropped close to $900 getting fingerprints done down in Detroit. Ugh! The building was new, we were in and out quickly and so was our money. But again, all rewarding in the end. Xiao Ya wanted the nickname Ya-Ya, which was perfect because we have a ZayZay who calls Landie, LaLa. She fit right in perfectly! My wife had fun using Google Translate to communicate with her, being that she didn't speak english. It was not as big of a problem as we thought it would be. We understood each other through gestures and pointing mostly. We were able to get her some glasses while she was here and sent her a birthday cake back in China recently. We are looking forward to welcoming her back home, for good.

asty-sweetestToday is World Down Syndrome Day and we are celebrating it with our little "Ashty". We adopted him when he was 3 months old and have an open adoption with his birth mom. We see her once a year on his birthday. He needed heart surgery when he first came to us but recovered very fast. Ashty's other nickname is "Tiny" because he is so small. He will be 2 years old in June but still wears 12 month sized clothes. He amazes us every day and is sooo much fun. He has no shortage of hugs and kisses!