Friday, January 2, 2009


December 27th was our first anniversary of Kya's re-adoption here in Wisconsin. On both of the girls' court days we try to spend the day as a family and really celebrate the creation of our forever family. We really have reason to celebrate our family after how far we all have come in the past year. I remember when the judge asked us if this adoption was in the best interest of Kya, and I thought "man I hope so" because at that point she wasn't too fond of us. Now, just a year later I would shout yes, yes, yes!!!! It is in the best interest of all of us to have her in our lives forever.

(NOT a great family pic, but it was the only one we got of all of us, so....)
For Kya's special day we decided to head to the Mall of America to hit Underwater World, Nickolodean Universe and American girl.

Here are few from UnderWater world first. This was the first time that Kya really got into it, so it was cool to see. Both of the girls made shark tooth necklaces to commemorate our visit. Kya loves purple, so picked a pink and purple one for her and Makenna choose sparkly pink, of course.

Nickolodean World was not Kya's favorite, except the carousel, which she really liked.

And then it was off to the ultimate in crazy ideas--the American Girl store. We decided before we went in that the girls were going to get the bitty twin dolls that looked more like them than some of the other brown dolls. And, we really wanted it to be a sister bonding thing. These dolls are sisters, just like they are sisters. It was a big step forward from where we were last year. And, Kya is really big into babies, so we thought that she would love it. Turns out Makenna loved it way more--Kya was a little into it, but was definitely less than we thought.

(Kya having a heart-to-heart with her baby)

Look at how different their hair is. I hadnt realized the dramatic difference in color until I saw these pictures. The texture I knew, but this really shows how we cover opposite ends of the hair spectrum in our house. :)


Nancy said...

I don't know why this post teared me up but it did. Such a beautiful family. I know it has been a hard year of adjustment for you all and you came through.

Great pictures as always Kari. You are simply the best :)

Kari said...

Thanks Nancy that's so sweet. It took me a while to get honest about how hard it was, because we weren't far enough removed from it to see it. Now, with a little perspective it's not quite so hard to reveal a little more of the struggle. Not to disuade people from adopting, just the opposite. It's a testament to how amazing these kiddos are, and how resilient they are.

Anyhow, thanks again for your sweet thoughts. You always say just the right thing to make me smile. Thanks!

Nicole Anderson said...

I thank you once again for posting a topic so dear to you. So many people think that just because they adopt a baby that bonding and attachment will not be difficult.
We too, had a difficult adjustment when Solomon came home. Thank goodness, we can say now that things are a bazillion times better. I can say too, because of our struggles at the beginning, we are sooooo much closer as a family unit now. They are amazing, these kids!
What a special day to share with your girls! I love the doll idea!
I can not believe how big Kya is!

Mama Papaya said...


Have I thanked you for your candidness about the "man, I hope so" moments? There were moments early on that I was really glad the littlest Papaya couldn't talk. Oh the earful she would have given the social worker.

Here's to milestones and memories!

Happy officialiversary!

Kari said...

I am so glad that Kya couldn't talk either! It would have been ugly.

It seems as if both of our girls ate their way to chunky happiness before they decided we were going to do. :)

Kerry and Tom said...

Those pictures look like so much fun. We sure miss you guys. Jackson and Lucas miss their little room mate. I am still shocked at how they immediately connected with Kya. It might have been because she was just cute too. I would like to think they remember her. Let me dream a little :) miss you and love you all

Nancy said...

BTW - that shark photo scares the happy-memories-of-ocean-swimming right out of me. I have an irrational fear of sharks. When I was younger-er I used to think they would come out of the pool walls and eat me. Therapy works people! :)

cathy said...

Time is the best healer, isn't it? Our adjustment with Z was fairly "easy"--at least it seemed that way at the time. Looking back, there were red flags everywhere about how much he was dealing with, but we were in the thick of it and doing the best we could.

I LOVE the dolls!!!!!

Adam and Leslie said...

Happy Kya-versary Dear Family! What a sweet day of celebration for your beautiful family. We miss you and send you all our love... and special hellos to Miss Kya from B :)

Jess said...

Happy Kya-versary!

Your honesty and openess is really appreciated! It really helps to know that we're not the only ones who experience the I hope so moments!

2girls said...
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2girls said...

This post made me cry. Adoption is hard. The peaks and valleys, a journey never quite finished. Alemitu turned 6 this week and lost her 1st tooth. I thought about her birthmother all day. My girls had to lose their Ethiopian family to be a part of our family and I know they have conflicted feeling about that but they just aren't ready to work through it yet.

I left a bit of myself in Ethiopia but everyday my
amazing, soulful, kind little ones make my world so much brighter because they are in it. They fill me up inside in a way I never knew was possible. And it just doesn't get any better than this.

I am ready to do it all over again.