Archive for March, 2009

We are celebrating her birthday at FloriDays in Orlando for the weekend. It is a work/vacation trip. She is very excited and so are we.

After going through cancer treatments birthdays are special milestones. We don’t do birthday parties, as those take focus our focus off the children and put it on the guests as well as the children. One of my kooky things I guess.

Leave your comments below for Adelaine for her birthday. We will share them all with her. It will be well wishes that she will have for the rest of her life.


This is a video of our last dance party. I feel the music coming Saturday.

P.S. 1st Haircut 2 weeks ago!

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I wanted to take some time to post about how things are going with Anika. Today we have officially had Anika for six weeks! When we first got her she would cry for her previous caregivers. When I would put her in time out, she would call out their names and cry, “Where are you”? It broke my heart so much that I would sit outside her door and cry. I know it was a difficult transition for her. I will share much more when I am able, but I can say that we talk to her previous caregivers regularly and see them also. I plan to continue that relationship even after Anika becomes a Powell. Having that relationship continue, I believe has really helped Anika adjust to her new family.

Because Anika had been loved and nurtured and not tossed around from home to home too much, she came to us without any physiological issues. She is outgoing, happy, loving and trusting. Because our children are still so young and impressionable, we didn’t want to bring in a peer that may have negative influences. That’s why we only wanted a child age two or younger. Funny how God’s plan always works out better than our own!

Because I have been praying for and wanting this little girl for 13 years, my attachment and love for her was instant! I look into her eyes and know that she is my little miracle, the girl that I have always wanted. I enjoy telling her how God has brought her to me, that although she grew in someone else’s tummy God’s plan was for me to be her Mommy, that she is my present form God!

She is not just a foster child, she is our child and I love her just as much as my birth children. It would be hard not to love her! Her personality is golden. Yesterday she asked me when my birthday was. She told me that next year I was going to have the best birthday ever, with lots and lots of presents and parts hats… and on and on. She draws pictures for me everyday. The first few weeks every picture was for her previous caregivers. We saved them all up and gave them to them. I can’t tell you how happy I was when she made her first picture for ME!!! Now every picture is for me and we have become her world!

Tomorrow we are going to Anika’s favorite place in the world. It is Mason, Bowen and Adelaine’s favorite place too – Give Kids the World in Orlando! We are celebrating Bowen’s 7th birthday! Tuesday was his actual birthday. I took lunch and cupcakes to school and he and I enjoyed them together. That night was the fashion show. He enjoyed it just as much as we did! In two weeks Adelaine will be turning 5, and Mason will be 9 in April! All the children are growing up. I am so thankful that our four children will all grow up together. For Anika’s adoption, Doug will celebrate with the big “V”, that’s right, no more children. Anika has completed our family!

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Tuesday’s night’s fashion show at Sacs Fifth Avenue, to raise money for the Pediatric Cancer Foundation was so much fun! As a cancer survivor, Adelaine felt great and was really able to enjoy the show this year! Last year she was just getting over some pretty sever illness. I can’t quite remember what it was and could go back and look it up, but I don’t really care!!!! Yea, it doesn’t even matter anymore!

For the show I did Adelaine’s hair, Anika’s too! Right after we got Anika I was determined to learn to French braid the girls’ hair. Just when Adelaine’s was finally long enough at age 2, it all fell out. It has just now gotten long enough again…

I can’t wait to share this… Adelaine got her very first real hair cut yesterday!!!! The first time we cut it, it was so sparse that her flyways looked something like Scrooge’s hair! It was shedding like a cat. Just before it all fell out, we cut it short. Just before she was about to be bald, we shaved it. Loosing that hair was such a sad time for us. It’s hard to believe that here we are voluntarily cutting it!!!! Still her hair is past her shoulders. We decided to cut the “chemo” ends off! Her hair is now all one length and we plan to let it grow long again!

Anyway, almost everyday for 6 weeks I’ve French braded Anika’s hair while Adelaine and the boys were at school. She has the perfect hair for it, long, thick and curly! I’ve had different people show me how, thank you girl friends for helping me learn! I still wasn’t very confident so I went on U- tube and watched a few videos which really helped a lot! Tuesday afternoon I put all that effort to the test! Both the girls’ hair looked great in their French braids if I do say so myself!!!! Doug should be posting a video soon!

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A full quiver!!!

Our girl’s trip to the mall was so much fun. For the locals, yes I did figured out that the carousal at Citrus Park Mall, not International Plaza! We still had fun and will go to that one soon! It’s been exciting for all of us to watch as Anika experiences so many things for the first time. Yesterday we took a beach trip together as a family. Even though Anika had never been to the beach, she has seen it on TV and knew what to expect. In fact most of her experiences have been that way- living through television and books. Although she does not have a lot of life experiences, she is highly intelligent and is well socialized. God had kept her in a little bubble until she could get to her “real” family.

Anika’s first trip to Wal-Mart was with the social worker. She couldn’t believe it. Her mouth was open the entire time and she was like – “WOW!” (That’s pretty much my reaction every time I go there)!!! Anyway, her first trip to the grocery store was with us. Her first time at a restaurant was with us. I, Adelaine and Anika got all dressed up and went to my personal favorite (Adelaine’s too), Maggiano’s Little Italy in Tampa. It was the perfect place for a “first” if I do say so myself. Elbows off the table, napkins in your lap, stay seated in your chairs, say “Please” and “Thank you”, enjoy – the girls did great and had so much fun pretending to be princesses!

At the beach yesterday Anika said when she first put her feet in the sand, “Wow it feels like powder”. Unlike an infant experiences things for the first time, a four year old is able to really absorb what is happening and then verbally engage and respond to it. It’s really cool watching and listening to her as she experiences her new world.

We all enjoyed taking a stroll on the beach, building sand castles, collecting shells for our shell garden, and playing ball. It was a perfect day with 80 degree weather. The water was a bit chilly (low 60’s) and it was hard to keep the children from getting in, but we did our best! We are all 6 (well maybe not Bowen) going about our day a little sun burned, but we all have that healthy glow (definitely Bowen too)!!! Next time, a little more sun block!

Having the two boys and the two girls together was just perfect. Every one had a playmate and Doug and I enjoyed spending some R&R basking in the sun! Our family feels complete and I’m still getting used to having ALL our children here, finally! Anika’s 90 day waiting period will be up on April 30th and then we will legally be allowed to complete her adoption. She is very excited about becoming a Powell. She loves her name and always refers to herself as “Anika”. I’m not sure she remembers not having it as her first name. She has adjusted so well and is extremely happy.

For the first time I have this fullness, this happiness that I’ve never experienced before. Maybe it’s partly because I don’t take the small things for granted. Just to have our health means so much. At the beach yesterday I told Adelaine, “Did you know that when your counts were below 500, we couldn’t even take you to the beach?” (Of course she didn’t remember this). But she was like, “Wow, now I can go to the beach anytime I want to, can’t I?” Our girls have been set free, in fact our whole family has been. Adelaine has received freedom from cancer, Anika has been set free to a family that can take good care of her and love her, the boys are no longer held back by their sister’s illness. Doug and I are free to enjoy health, healing and a full quiver!!! All is well in paradise today!


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Tuesday night is our second PCF Fashion Show. PCF 2009 Adelaine has promised to walk down the aisle by herself this year…Luke McCown is now slated to be the Bucs starting QB this fall.  She liked him too much to hold his hand.

Tuesday is also Bowen’s 7th Birthday. Lucky number 7. Last year the boys discovered Lobster Bisque at the Fashion Show. The way they are talking about Lobster Bisque this year, we are praying they are serving it again.

We went to the beach today. It was Anika’s first trip to the beach. Our others kids each ate fistfulls of sand on their first trips. She turned her nose up to the offer of the sand snack…She did love the experience though.

We all are a little sunburned except Brownie. We call Bowen “Brownie” because he doesnt sunburn like the rest of us. Bowen just browns.


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