Happy first day of Summer! With this hot weather we’ve been having, it’s hard to believe today is just the first day. We are SO CLOSE to our one year anniversary of “family day”!!! I can’t wait to share that blog post with y’all!

We’ve done a lot already, but here’s a list of things we would like to do together this summer:

  • Celebrate Family Day!
  • Visit our local farmers market
  • Make this heart tie-dye shirt 
  • Run through the sprinkler
  • Dollar movies
  • Go to the beach
  • Spend more time with Nana since she’s off
  • Build a sandcastle
  • Splash Country
  • Dollywood
  • Go to Mimi’s pool as much as possible
  • Bake cookies for friends
  • Catch lightning bugs
  • Plant a tree on the farm
  • Water gun fight
  • Play with sparklers
  • Ride bicycles
  • Play in the rain

Here’s our biggest bucket list item: HAVE FUN! As a mom, it’s easy to overdo it trying to make every summer moment extraordinary. And while some moments should be amazing, I need to realize that she’ll love every moment as long as we are together and having fun. Just sitting on our land eating dinner makes her happy…

View More: http://caseyandkristin.pass.us/house-buildAnd of course eating watermelon is her favorite… _KLP9967Happy summer everyone!

Sweet P’s Uncle Zack got married May 14 and it was the best day! Sweet P was a flower girl and I was afraid she would be overwhelmed but she handled it like a pro. The girl can flower girl like no other and seeing her walk down the aisle in that dress made me tear up! Be sure to check our Instagram for her awesome dance moves at the reception!

We started off the weekend with the rehearsal dinner at World’s Fair Park. The weather was perfect, and it was great finally meeting Jessica’s friends and family.

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Dinner was at Downtown Grill and Brewery. My husband, Zack’s brother, gave a speech and let me just brag on him for a second:  It was the BEST best man speech I’ve ever heard, and I’ve been to a lot of weddings (we film/photograph them for a living). Casey prepped and thought it out for a awhile. He wanted it to be perfect and it was! He tied in stories about their childhood, and it was funny yet sentimental. The one thing I’m sad about is it won’t be on video like the speeches at the wedding. Hurts my heart because it was that good…oh well!
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The wedding was at Gettysvue Country Club and it was a beautiful day! Every detail was thought out perfectly. The theme, the colors, it was all stunning. I was very honored that Sweet P was a flower girl and I was asked to be a bridesmaid. We’re so happy to now have Jessica as a sister!!

Sweet P and her cousins, beautiful flower girls…

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I was so proud of myself for not taking my professional camera! This was very hard to leave home, but I decided to live in the moment and enjoy the day with family. These photos are a compilation of phone pictures from me and family (thank you Starr). 🙂 IMG_7901

13234935_10206449911393549_2006307166_o13234482_10206449908313472_500382620_oCongrats Uncle Zack and Aunt Jess!! We love you!

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When adopting, your child’s life has just been turned upside down. Cocooning is a time when as soon as you get home you can rest, reduce stimulation, limit visitors, and allow the child to learn that you are mama and baba (or mom and dad). 🙂

When we got home from China, I was in full blown Mama Bear mode! We would not go anywhere, see anyone, we did nothing! If you knocked on our door then you better pray to baby Jesus that it was an emergency or else you were asked to leave. We would take cocooning literally. Our home was our cocoon. Do I regret it? kind of. This is what I learned during that cocooning process:

Every child is different. You will know when you get home with your child and get familiar with them just how much cocooning needs to happen. Just because you read that children need so many months, does not mean that’s the case for your child. Books I read mentioned 6 months, but Sweet P only needed around 2 months before she was good and comfortable being introduced to family.

Don’t over do it. Do I feel like we took it to another level? Yes. I was very forceful and rude to family a lot of times because they just didn’t get what we were saying. Sometimes you have to spell things out for people, and I would get annoyed people wouldn’t understand the cocooning process. I finally wrote this blog post to help talk about it and wish I would have done it sooner. Remember, your family is just as excited as you are and they only want the best.

Take time for you. You can not provide the accurate parenting skills you need to during the cocooning process (or just parenting process in general!) unless you take time for yourself. Even if it’s waking up 5 minutes early to fix your favorite cup of coffee, taking a long soak in a bath at night, reading one chapter in your favorite book. It seems selfish but it’s NOT. Do something that will help you regroup or else you will become drained and it will show to your child.

Do I regret being rude to family? Yes. Do I regret taking the time needed to bond with my girl? Never. I would go back and do it all over again in a heart beat. Anyone that knows us can tell you that Sweet P is very well bonded to us and she is doing great with attachment! We highly recommend cocooning when you get home wether it be with an older child or newborn.

Sweet P and her cousins at her Uncle Zack’s rehearsal dinner 🙂 a blog post about the wedding coming soon!

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I can’t believe I haven’t shared this on our blog yet! I seriously watch this ALL the time (and cry every time!). I can’t stress enough; if you’re adopting then please get someone to take video and photos of your homecoming. We told our friends and family that if you wanted to see Sweet P, then the airport would be the only chance you have for a while as we knew we’d be home and bonding with no visitors for a few months. This was such a special moment!

Watching this now it amazes me to see the transformation in Sweet P. She was so quiet and scared then, and now she’s so outgoing and it’s like she has blossomed. It’s amazing what love can do. To have this footage means so much. I can’t thank Cody Allen Productions enough for this film:

 

  • May 9, 2016 - 10:24 pm

    Britt Mack - I have seen this…just watched it again and cried all over again!ReplyCancel

  • May 9, 2016 - 11:58 pm

    Marta - Wow! Beautiful!!ReplyCancel

I get lots of questions from people asking “how do I start the adoption process?” So I thought I would write the advice that I share. Other than LOTS of prayer, I suggest…

  1. Decide on international or domestic adoption. I would suggest lots of prayer on this one! Please know that Either choice is the right choice. Children from all over our country and all over the world need a loving home.
  2. Choose an adoption agency. My opinion, this is the most important step. Your adoption agency is the link between you and your child. For me, communication was key. I emailed several agencies to inquire about their services and some took weeks to write back. No thanks! You want an agency that’s quick to respond during this process. We loved Holt International.
  3. Find a lawyer. Obviously you’re going to need someone to handle the legal side of adoption. We did not need one as much for international (it’s pretty cut and dry, especially in China), but domestic adoptions can sometimes get complicated.
  4. Research and ask people. I love when people contact me wanting to know it all. The good, the bad, the ugly. Adoption is hard, exhausting, draining, overwhelming, and so much more… but it’s also the best decision we’ve ever made. Read books, go to conferences, do all of your research!
  5. Start a Notebook. I blogged about this here. You’ll need something to keep all of your paperwork and copies in order. Starting this notebook was one of the best pieces of advice ever given to me, and I’m so thankful I did.

Most importantly, you’ll need a support system. There are a lot of groups on Facebook where you can join, ask questions, and get support from people going through the exact same thing. I really benefited from being in a China adoption travel group where we could keep up with each others timelines and talk about our travel plans.

As always, if you ever need anything please reach out to me! I’d be happy to answer any questions that you need.

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