Family Expansion Pack

16 02 2014

We’ve been playing the board game Settlers of Catan a lot recently, J and I. And we’ve discovered more and more friends who like it, as well. (Or converted them to the dark side ourselves!) But the original game is only big enough for 4 people to play. So we bought the Expansion Pack. Now we can invite more people to the party.

Last weekend, my bestie Nikki and I flew to Texas to celebrate my parents’ new family expansion pack. Instead of a new addition to the game board, we welcomed a new addition to my pack of siblings. She’s sharp as a tack, cute as a button, and after the official court date, mine all mine. (Ok, ours all ours.) Having a new sister who is 27 years younger than me just brightens my whole world.

But it’s amazing the questions that arise when trying to tell other folks about it. So many what-ifs and doubts! I ignore it all – after all, haters gonna hate! All I see is a little girl who has been given the chance for a better life. The blood family she was born into wasn’t going to work out, so she was given to our family instead. She’s been with my parents since she was 3 months old – they’re all she knows. And my parents love her like their own. So what’s to question??

The weekend was a whirlwind of crazy-fun times with the adoption party, Christmas with my parents, and general family time, but I’ll spare you the details. Instead, let’s take a look at some of the highlights, all featuring the latest piece of our expansion pack, Baby Hope!

This one is an example of Hope’s early grasp of technology:

newly adopted toddler with family watching videos

By the end of the weekend, she knew how to work my phone better than I do and learned the joys of YouTube with our other sister Breazy. That’s what they’re doing here – “WHAT DOES THE FOX SAY?!” Oh, and check out her stylish legwarmers I made for her bday!!

Again with the technology – this is Hope taking a picture of us. Don’t we look good?! I think it’s awesome for her first selfie.

baby's first selfie attempt

Such a great photographer already! And I have about 85 more, just like this!

A friend of my mother’s threw a party for Hope, kind of like a baby shower for her adoption. She really loved the Mexican food, the cake, and mostly, a bunch of balloons she carted around with her all day. Finally, she noticed the presents and discovered the massive amounts of tissue paper!

adoption baby shower, opening presents, TX

“Hmm, this one looks good. I bet I could go in face first…see what’s in there…”

At the party, we tried to get a picture of us three sisters. Well, this is as close as we got…

sisters by choice, Wichita Falls TX

I was falling over and Hope couldn’t care less, so it’s a good thing Breazy looks lovely.

We were playing with her presents that night, cooking and preparing for a lovely tea party. She loves her dishes and makes a mean puff-ball stew!

pretend cooking at the tea party, Texas baby

Ladling out her soup! The apron-with-no-pants look is my favorite part, though. She pulls it off so well!

Then on Sunday, we did Christmas. I had shipped all my family’s gifts, and my mom had saved ours for us. Since we didn’t see each other for actual Christmas, we exchanged gifts and listened to the Chipmunks Christmas music, per tradition. It was really lovely.

sisters borrowing shoes, baby in heels

The best thing to happen all morning was when Breazy unwrapped a new pair of shoes. Hope is practicing her baby sister rights and borrowed them. Look out world, we’ve got a diva in the making!

The weekend was too short and I hated to leave on Monday. The weather was absolute crap, so Breazy stayed home with Hopey while my parents drove us to the airport. Hope spent the morning in my room, “helping” us pack and playing on our phones – taking more selfies, texting my brother, jamming to Pandora – and I hugged her tight so won’t forget me.

baby with a bandana, Wichita Falls TX

Drinking from my water bottle, gansta style. (Dad actually tied the hanky on her head to hide the wild bed-head…) I miss those cherub cheeks!

I wish I lived a little closer so I could see more of ALL my family, but I fear Hopey will grow up not knowing who her fabulous eldest sister is. My mom already jokes about sending her to my house for summers when she’s older (ok, “jokes” might be a stretch – I think she might be serious…) but I think it would be a great idea. (Maybe we should start with weekends and work our way up to whole summers.) I try my best to talk to her when I’m on the phone with my mom and I hope to Skype her more often when my mom isn’t so busy chasing a 2-year-old. I us to be close despite the distance!

Oh, and speaking of my mom – what a saint! I commend my parents for taking on the responsibility of another child, dealing with the system, facing down the critics, and giving Hopey the best home imaginable. My mom is the type who was born to be a mother, and she is a wonderful one at that. Even my dad is crazy for this sweet girl – and vice versa; she has to have her scratchy, mustached kiss every night before she’ll go to bed. I’m rambling at this point because I don’t know how to put into words how awesome my parents are – so let’s just leave it at that.

So Hopey – welcome to CrazyTown the family! Can’t wait to see you next time!!

😀

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