Saturday, April 24, 2010

Smart hubby

My sweet husband gave me a fun present for Christmas this past year... Photoshop Elements 8. Before I go any further, I have to confess that I was a little confused about the gift when I opened it and actually not very excited. My lack of enthusiasm showed on my face and if I recall correctly, I actually compared it to receiving an appliance for Christmas... GASP!! After several akward, "Gee thanks honey" responses to his "are you sure you like it?" questions, I told Brian... "It's software, I'm not going to jump up and down about it, but I know when I start using it I will love it. It's like getting a Dyson as a gift.. you may not be that excited when you get it but once you start using it it's the best gift ever!" My attempt to back pedal was unsuccessful to say the least. I hurt my husband's feelings.... I mean, really hurt them. He was so excited about his gift to me. He knew how much I loved taking pictures of Avery and he was giving me something amazing to enhance my experience. He put alot of thought into this gift and to him he was giving me something I would love. Needless to say, I apologized profusely for my horrible response and Christmas day wasn't totally ruined...whew!! A couple of days later Brian installed the gifted software and that was the end of it. I didn't use it at all. To be honest, I was a little intimidated and I had just plain grown comfortable with my dinky editing program.

Fast forward 4 months to April... Andi gets a digital SLR camera!!! Guess what is coming in really handy and is the coolest present ever????!!! Photoshop Elements!! It is fantastic and I've only scratched the surface. I still really have no idea what I'm doing, but have learned a few tips from MckMama (a blog I read). She is a rockstar and super generous to share her secrets!

My husband is so wise. He knew that I would need Photoshop even before I knew it. I love that about him. He often knows what I need before I need it. He is such a good provider. He is forward thinking, analytical, level headed and somewhat practical... all the things I'm not. I don't always understand these things about him and sometimes they just tick me off, but I'm so thankful that he's wired the way he is. Guess that's why we work so well. Thank you Lord for my husband!!

So, in short... things I learned from this life lesson:

#1. I'm an idiot!
#2. I'm evidently the worst gift recepient ever.
#3. I really had no idea what a great gift Brian was giving me.
#4. My husband is very smart.
#5. I'm an idiot!

Love you honey! And yes... this is my public apology to you for the horrible way I received your gift. Thank you so much for Photoshop! You know me so very well. However, I don't think you know what a monster you've created... I will undoubtedly want more software in the future (Adobe Lightroom for one), but at least now you'll have some "sure fire" gift ideas. :)

Friday, April 23, 2010

My new friend

Okay... so I have a new friend... a digital SLR camera! It's a Canon EOS Rebel XS and I am IN LOVE!! I really have absolutely no idea how to use it (hope to take a class soon), and pretty much have it set on auto everything, but even so... I am IN LOVE!! I've always enjoyed taking pictures. I won't call it photography because a photographer I am not. I know many fellow bloggers who are legit photgraphers (Andrea Hughes, Casey Chappell and Stephany Stimson, just to name a few) and they are AMAZING at what they do. I'm just a mommy who loves taking pics of her little love and other things that catch my eye.

I'm super excited because this camera takes my "picture taking" to another level... no more waiting for the flash, the ability to take pics in rapid succession, fewer blurry action shots (comes in handy with my busy girl), and beautiful clarity and crispness. It truly has opened up a whole new world for me. I'm really looking forward to learning and experimenting!

Here are some of my favorite pics so far...

Sunday, April 18, 2010

She is ours, we are hers...

Because Avery was adopted, we have 3 special days that we celebrate each year:
1. Her birthday- October 2nd
2. Her "gotcha" day (the day she came home to us)- October 9th
3. Her adoption day (the day her adoption became legally finalized)- April 18th

Today is Avery's adoption day! It's been 2 years today since our little love "officially" became a Stubblefield. Oh how I love this day... different than her birthday, different from her "gotcha" day, special and beautiful all on its own... her adoption day. A sweet celebration of the family that God knitted together being legally declared, "forever". A ceremonial day on which promises were made, oaths were taken, testimonies were given and pronouncements were made.. "she is ours, we are hers." A day on which we could breathe a sigh of relief and rejoice.

Click here to read the post from Avery's adoption finalization in 2008.

On this day as we celebrate our precious daughter's adoption, I am reminded of my own adoption as a daughter of the King. So thankful that God has made this scripture come alive to my heart through the adoption of our sweet Avery. "For you did not receive the spirit of slavery to fall back into fear, but you have received the Spirit of adoption as sons, by whom we cry, "Abba! Father!" The Spirit himself bears witness with our spirit that we are children of God, and if children, then heirs—heirs of God and fellow heirs with Christ,provided we suffer with him in order that we may also be glorified with him." Romans 8:15-17.

Happy adoption day tootsie-pie girl! Your Mommy & Daddy love you beyond measure! You bring much joy to our hearts!!

Monday, April 5, 2010

Think before you speak... please. :)

Our sweet Avery was adopted. We don't often get asked if she was adopted because she looks so much like us. Eventhough we're not asked, we like to share the fact that she was adopted. We are blown away by the way God has designed our family, so we love to talk about our adoption story.

More often than not, when people find out Avery was adopted the first thing they say is... "Oh my goodness! I can't believe she's adopted!! She looks like she could be yours!" Okay... we all know what these people really mean. They mean she looks alot like us, that she could have been the product of our genetic union and that it's really amazing that she was adopted and looks so much like us. These people mean well, and are trying to compliment us, I'm sure. We understand that, but how we'd really like to answer is, "She is ours! We love her, provide for her, care for her.. she's ours!" Another one of our faves is... "So, do you know her real mom?". I really want to say.. "Yes, I know her very well... I spend 24 hours a day, 7 days a week with her! I'm her real mom! She relies on me for every need, she calls me Mommy, she's 100% my daughter, I'm her real mom!" Again, I know what the person's intent is. They want to know if we have an open adoption and if we have contact with Avery's birth mom. Most of the time we just answer questions in the nicest, head nodding way possible and move on, but as Avery is getting older and is understanding more of the conversations around her, it's becoming apparent that we will need to start lovingly reinforcing some positive adoption language. Can you imagine being a 5 year old little girl or maybe a 13 year old teenager and hearing... "she looks like she could be your own or are you her real mom?" What feelings might this evoke? "Does that mean I'm not theirs?" "Who do I belong to?" "So does that mean Mommy's not my mom?" Thankfully these are the only comments we've had to deal with. I can't even imagine some of the questions and comments parents who have done international or transracial adoptions have experienced! Avery will absolutely know she was adopted. We have already begun talking to her about it in ways she can understand and will continue to tell her more of her story. Hopefully she will be equipped to handle comments that are negative in nature, but until she is it's our responsibility as her parents to protect her and educate those around us who aren't aware of the current positive language associated with adoption.

Believe me... I have learned so much from going through the adoption process. I too unknowingly said things that were insensitive. I said many things before I thought them through and probably would have gone on saying them had I not been informed. I'm sure my sister in law who adopted our niece 12 years before we even started the process can attest to that. :) My hope is that by providing this list of Positive/Negative adoption language, people will be informed and can avoid hurting those who are touched by adoption. I read this on the site today, "As we become more accustomed to using positive adoption language, we'll discover that this way of speaking about adoption will feel just as natural as the old hurtful clichés once did – and hearing the old clichés will offend us as much as a racial slur." I know most of us don't intend to hurt or offend people with our words. If you know someone who was adopted, who has adopted children, someone who has placed a child for adoption or someone who is going through the process, please take a moment to look over the list.

Also, if you've ever told us that Avery looks like us... please don't feel bad!! We think she looks like us too! We are amazed that God would give us such a sweet gift.

Positive vs Negative Adoption Language

Positive: Birth/Biological parent
Negative: Real parent

Positive: Parent
Negative: Adoptive Parent

Positive: Birth child
Negative: Own child

Positive: My child
Negative: Adopted child, own child

Positive: Placed for adoption
Negative: Given up or "put up" for adoption

Positive: Was adopted
Negative: Is adopted

Positive: Decided to parent
Negative: Decided to keep

Positive: Waiting child
Negative: Adoptable; available child

Positive: International/ Intercountry adoption
Negative: Foreign adoption