Wednesday, December 22, 2010

Grace + obedience + love =

Love is very powerful.  God says it is the greatest, right?
Our every day life is a bit hectic...but we do make sure to show love every day.  I make sure that even if I think I'm overwhelmed...and that the day wasn't good...I love.  With words.  With hugs.  With kisses.  With sign language.  With smiles.  Snuggling.  And the list goes on.
Last night I came across some pics of Owen.  The ones we got when we had him moved from the home he was in to the babies home.  And I was shocked.  I can only imagine what our little man is going to look like in a year!  I thought I would share them with you so you could see what a difference God's love can make.
 Owen Mukisa Willis a short 6 months ago...
And now.

 Waiting for his family...
With the family God always had for him.

In need of so much...
Giving so much.

People come up to us all the time and say that we did a great thing.  I understand what they are saying and take no offense.  But, that isn't really true.  The truth is that we didn't do some grand humanitarian act...we were just obedient.  We did what God wanted us to do.  AND HE HAS BLESSED US FAR MORE THAN WE COULD HAVE IMAGINED.  We are the ones who have come out of this with more blessings than we could have expected. And we are so thankful for Owen and the perspective, love, and laughs he has brought to us.
Does God want to bless YOU like this???  Please pray about it.  God bless!!!

To our sweet Owen,
The past couple months have been the best of our lives.  Our family of 4 is perfect.  You are spunky, have an incredible sense of humor, and you love so much.  You fit perfectly.  You are speaking more and more english.  You even signed "I love you" the other day.  MELTED my heart.  You are simply amazing.
Love you more,

Friday, December 10, 2010

Weekly Update and a way to help...

Has it been a week already??? No, it has been more than a week...geez!  Time is just flying by these days! We are settling in more and more, and I see "my groove" along the horizon! This week has been filled with doctor appointments. Gracie had her big appointment at Scottish Rite, Owen had his bloodwork rechecked, and they both went to the dentist (with Daddy!).
Gracie was such a trooper at SR. Owen even hung in there - minus the popcorn being thrown at Gracie's head moment (but that story is for another day). This hospital is such a blessing. We have a world known doctor who we really have confidence in. And we have a plan! We are just so happy to be doing something about it. The doctor said that they don't use the term Juvenile Rheumatoid Arthritis anymore. Just Juvenile
Arthritis. Sounds better to me! We have to get her a cortisone shot (boo), follow up every 3 months, and try out a new med. We left with toys and got to play on the playground too. And regardless of financial status...nobody pays. We are SO thankful for that!!!
Owen's bloodwork is great! The doctor said that he should only have to stay on the iron supplements a couple more months.
And their teeth look great too!
As you can see, God is so good to us. Josh and I have had several moments where we have just stopped and thought about that. We don't deserve this life. But for the grace of God...we are blessed every day. We get to hear Owen's laugh, see Gracie's baby blues stare back at us, and rest in each other and the marriage God has blessed us with. If it weren't for HIS grace, we wouldn't have anything. We really would have nothing. We hope that those of you reading this know of this grace.
We also want to share a friend's journey with you. The Busbys became friends of ours through our adoption process. Melissa and Cody are in the process of adopting a little girl named Mercy. They were in Uganda before us and started running into some issues with getting Mercy's visa. We were able to get together (providing some candy relief) on a couple occassions and enjoy some of Uganda together. Melissa and Mercy are still in Uganda. The reasons why they are still there are very frustrating and complicated. And we are asking for some help on their behalf. Please pray for them. Please check out their blog: Please consider buying a shirt to support them. I posted a pic of the logo below. They are really cute and will help them fund their process. I'm sure you can understand the financial burden of being in Uganda for 4 months. Melissa's husband and 2 kids have been home in Kansas and could really use the support and prayers too. Shirts are $15 and $3 for shipping. All sizes available. Please let me know if you are interested.

Owen in his new pjs.

Me and the kiddos at the tree farm.

The Mercy Shirts!  SO Cute!!!  The Meaning: The arrows represent our need to focus inward on our own spiritual walk (white arrows), which will then, in turn, help us focus outward on our mission of serving others (black arrows). The words come from Micah 6:8, "And what does the Lord require of you? Act justly, love mercy, and to walk humbly with your God." And of course, the "Love Mercy" is in red to signify their sweet baby girl.

To our sweet Owen,
We are so excited to get to be together for Christmas. This year we know how blessed we are. You just fit perfectly. Absolutely perfectly. You looked up at me a couple days ago with your arms stretched up and said "Hold me". It melted my heart. I just love you so much. We all do.
Love you more,
Posted using BlogPress from my iPhone

Saturday, November 27, 2010

A trip home...

Every good trip home has to come to an end and we had to I love living in Texas...McKinney is the best place on earth in my opinion, and I wouldn't want to live anywhere else. But I will always call New Orleans home. You family is amazing. And they all (except for my parents, thank God) still live there. I was a little concerned that this trip would be a nightmare at times. We did have to drive the 9+ hours and all (9 of us) have to stay at the same house. Our family of 4 is transitioning right now...and it has been a loud transition. I was just thinking it would be hectic and crazy and was bummed that it may take away from our ability to enjoy ourselves. I don't have any idea why I worry...because I have to say that this has been the most amazing trip home so far. There were, of course, moments of stress...but there were so many more moments of love...and warmth...and just real joy. Just like God prepared us for Owen, He prepared them too. He. Just. Fits. Perfectly. And it's just so obvious. It feels so awesome to feel that know that our family is where God wants us to be.
At times like this, I can't help but wonder why. Why did I get this life? This family? A Mom who is beautiful in every way? A Dad who chose to love me when I needed him so long ago? A grandmother who would do anything for me? A cousin who is more like the sister I wanted so bad as a child? A brother and sister who are great role models for my kids? A step mom who is so kind and loving? A husband who inspires me every day? Children who remind me what life is all about?
There is now an estimated 163 million orphans. They may never know what love like that feels like. They may never get a genuine hug. A kiss. That person they know they can go to.
We. Have. To. Do. Something.
"Religion that God our Father accepts as pure and faultless is this: to look after orphans and widows in their distress and to keep oneself from being polluted by the world." James 1:27
How can you do that? There are just so many different ways. Please join our family as we pray about what God is calling us to do for the 162,999,999 other kids who need love like our sweet Owen. So many lives need changing. We have been more blessed by God through Owen's adoption than we could explain. Is it possible that God wants to bless you too? Is it through foster care? Adoption? Becoming a CASA? A mission trip? Supporting someone else? God has a plan for you. I would love to pray for you. Shoot me an email if you would like! God bless!
Here are some pics from our week:

Me and my Leenie
(cousin/encourager/sister/awesome friend)

Jesus loves the little children, all the children of the world...:)

Somebody likes turkey! And his new personalized Saints jersey!

Somebody doesnt like turkey...or eating in general.

Owen's cake :)
Thank you Nanny!

To Our Sweet Owen, have changed our lives. You show us how to overcome and live. And you just fit so perfectly. You always belonged with us, and it's just so obvious. Thank you for being so precious. I thank God for you daily.
Love you more,
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Monday, November 22, 2010

No way!!!

We got Owen's bloodwork results back this week. And we couldn't really believe what we heard. HIV negative. Syphilis negative. Sickle cell negative. TB negative. Parasites negative. What?!?! Was our first response. Quickly followed by a "Praise God"!!!
You see...Owen is amazing. Because God made him amazing. And because our God is even more amazing. Our little man is healthy! We were trying to prepare for the what ifs - though I'm not sure that's possible. And we are just so very thankful.
The only little things that we found were elevated lead - which we expected to see when we saw him eating paint off the wall in the babies home....crazy...I know. Low iron - which just about every orphan (and kid in general) has. And electrolyte imbalance - which is very common in malnourished children. Seriously. That's it. And all of those things should be totally normal next month when we recheck.
I am also SO proud to say...there is a tiny bit of chub at the top of his thighs! The belly is still big and it will take a while to go down. He has to regain the muscle mass in his abdomen. But we are loving his little profile right now...not gonna lie. That belly and those little legs are just so...Owen.
Here are just a few of the many things we love about Owen:
1. His laugh. Really. If you've heard it, you know what I mean.
2. His kisses. They are sloppy and sweet.
3. His walk...belly out...head back.
4. The way his arm swings when he runs. Hilarious.
5. His serious face...he fakes it so well.
6. That look on his face every time he eats something new. Like it or not. It's priceless.
7. His smile. It's just so innocent and joyous.

I could go on for a loooong time, so I'll stop there.
For those of you wondering...we are doing well! No...I haven't quite found my groove yet, but I may be getting closer to finding something along those lines. I am enjoying being a stay at home mom. It's challenging. And fun. And oerwhelming. And beautiful. And rewarding. And filled with two amazing little people that I thank God for every day. How did I get to be their mommy???

To Our Sweet Owen,
You are so loved. Everyone is cheering you on and loving you so much. Every day I fall more and more in love with you. Really. You still laugh when you wake up. You are amazing.
Love you more,

Sitting in the Tonka truck...with Gracie's lunch box on his head.

We all enjoyed Gracie's luncheon!

Somebody figured out that he DOES like ice cream after all.

Miss Priss and Mr. Man on the medic at Daddy's station (yes, the station and every fire truck/ambulance created belongs to Daddy. Lol.)

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Monday, November 15, 2010

Have you seen my groove?

That's right. I'm looking for my groove. My nitch. My place where I have it all figured out. I know that place. I was there a little over a month ago...before we left for Uganda. And's missing. Completely MIA.
I'm thinking I will find it. I'm sure a time will come where I will know what I'm doing. But in the mean time... I'm finding that God is using this time. He is teaching me things about myself and my family. About our loved ones. So...I have officially decided that I'm ok without my groove. I'm ok with being uncomfortable because I don't know how things are going to go in the store, in the next five minutes, when it's time to redirect a behavior, when I'm overwhelmed.
God knows. He is never missing his groove. And that is more than enough. Look at what HE has done for us!!! I think the least I can do is allow him to make me who HE wants me to be. In order to grow, you have to learn about things. About others and yourself.

This week has been both amazing and challenging. Every day is filled with blessings. We are so very blessed. Owen is doing so much better than we ever thought he would. He still laughs every morning when he wakes up and sees us. Gracie loves him and they are growing this neat bond. Here are a few pics from the week.

Owen's first time on a swing...loved long as it was totally still.

And Gracie wanted to go as fast and as high and as I could get her.

Gracie drew our new family portrait. So perfect.

Ready for our first solo (3 of us) trip to Wal Mart. And yes, we dominated. Not even 1 tantrum that couldn't be quickly resolved. :)

To Our Sweet Owen,
As we learn more and more about you, all 3 of us fall more and more in love with you. Really. You inspire me. I thank God that he allowed me to be your Mommy.
Love you more,
- Posted using BlogPress from my iPhone

Location:Redondo Dr,McKinney,United States

Tuesday, November 9, 2010

A little update...

I was hoping to be able to blog more over the past few days...but things have been a little hectic at the Willis household. And we wouldn't want it any other way!!!
Between the jet lag and the transition from 1 to 2 kiddos...I have felt like I'm treading water! Add the things we are working through with Owen and Gracie...and I am just paddling away! Through all the chaos, I can't help but think that things are going so much better than they should. Owen is doing SO well. We have our moments, tantrums, hitting, screaming...but there is already so much progress made. Gracie is doing really well at being a big sis. She does have her moments of "Hey! Wait a minute!" but she does love Owen and does love her new role as his big sister. The struggles we are going through are all the norm. We know that because we have been blessed with some pretty amazing friends and family who have been so encouraging.
The past few days have been full of blessings. It's so exciting to see Owen experience so many "firsts". He freaked out at the sight and touch of ice! And to be able to experience life TOGETHER as a family of doesn't get much better.
The time we spent in Africa...rocked my world. I won't take things for granted like I did. I also will never forget the other children at the babies home. In the villages. On the roads. At the hospitals. Even the families we met while there who were also adopting. Things are just so different now. And I'm going to walk this new kind of different one day at a time with my SAVIOR. The same savior who provided a miracle every step of the way to Owen and back home with him to our sweet little Gracie.
I am also now officially a stay at home mom! So excited about that!!!
We took Owen to the international adoption specialist doc today at Children's in Dallas. The doctor's name is Dr. La Tour. I have never experienced such amazing, caring people who love children and their parents the way they did. We are so thankful our social worker referred us to her. They ran LOTS of bloodwork. We should be getting them back in the next week. We did already hear back today that he is anemic but that's no biggie and can be fixed. They also redid his chest x Ray and it was good! Praise the Lord - no TB for our little man. He was exposed to it but the woman who helped him had him immunized and we are SO thankful. We are also going to do some testing on that big belly of his to see what is going on in there. We had to explain to Gracie that there "is no baby in there.". Ha! It's a little tough explaining the symptoms of malnourishment with a 3 year old. The doc also agrees that he is doing exceptionally well with his development and attachment from what we can tell. She says he is about 22 months old. She also said that the scars and marks we see on his little body indicate that he is quite the overcomer and that it's nothing short of a miracle that he is of such good disposition. It's hard hearing hard...but it's yet another bit of proof that God is in the miracle business. Our amazing God has left no doubt that Owen was always supposed to be a Willis. Gracie's appointment with Scottish Rite is the first week of December.
We want to thank everyone for the prayers. They have carried us, given us hope, and comforted us. We genuinely believe that if it weren't for so many of you, this wouldn't have happened the way it did. And we love you.
Here are a few pics we were able to capture this week!

Our first attempt to walk around the block was a success!

They even hug (briefly) :)

Mommy's lap is a hot commodity.

The handsome Willis boys!

To Our Sweet Owen,
You make our family complete. We know that everything about our family of 4 is right in line with what God has always had planned for us. We are so excited that we get to be your parents. And we thank God for you every day.
Love you more,

- Posted using BlogPress from my iPhone

Tuesday, November 2, 2010

Lessons Learned...

So...this journey has been one lesson after another.  Here are just a few of many:

1.  I had no any idea how blessed I am.  And I think I am still learning this one...
2.  God makes things clear for a reason.  There is no denying that HE lead us straight to Owen.
3.  This is going to be a year full of learning and transitioning.
4.  Uganda is beautiful.  Full of beautiful people.  And great avocados...
5.  Making friends with someone who is in the same situation as you is a blessing and builds very strong, beautiful friendships.
6.  When you have people standing behind you, loving you, you are able to do things you didn't think you could do.
7.  It is OK to feel overwhelmed.
8.  God teaches everyone differently and that is OK.
9.  Josh CAN handle paperwork after all - and really well at that.
10.  In Lugandan if you want to say "No hit" - you say it like this "Toe-ku-ba".   And no, it doesn't always work.  But, the more you try, the more it works.
11.  Sometimes you just have to laugh.
12.  TIA - This is Africa.  I totally get it now.
13.  It is amazing how the people in Africa see people who are different (white) and think it is so cool.  They smile and wave and yell and want to just be a part of your day.  Especially the children.  They are incredible.  Different is actually pretty cool.

We can not believe that we are almost ready to come home!!!  God has blessed us far beyond what we ever thought could happen.  We really wanted to come home together, but didn't think it would happen...but HE shows us that he is bigger...greater....stronger...higher.

To Our Sweet Owen,
We are going to board a plane tomorrow night and bring you home.  Words can not describe how ready we are to bring you HOME.  To your home.  The place where God intended you end up just when you needed to.  Not gonna lie...I'm pretty nervous about the flight.  I picture you kicking open the doors mid flight and throwing people out...eating the pilot alive.  You are so full of life.  You sing all the time.  You move all the time.  You stop everything, make these funny faces, then laugh at yourself.  Really, your sense of humor is just like your Dad's.  You do also have a bit of a temper, but I think that shows that you will fit in well with our family.  We are all a little on the strong-willed side!  Your friends and family are so eager to meet you!  Everyone is so excited!  Today, your Dad admitted that he couldn't imagine being able to love two kids as much as he does.  I have to agree.  God is so amazing.  He always provides.  Always is with us.  WE PRAISE HIM FOR OUR FAMILY OF 4.  And we can't wait to all be together!
Love you more,

Loves to have his picture taken!!!

Sunday, October 31, 2010

Happy Halloween from Uganda!

They don't really celebrate Halloween here, but we were able to get together with some great friends tonight who do.  It was so fun to walk into a house with several white Mommies and Daddies and mostly African babies.  Such a pretty sight!  We went to the mall earlier today, so Owen was a bit on the tired side.  He had a bite of chili but didn't like it.  He refused to spit it out...and he refused to swallow it.  I had to bribe him with a sucker and juice to get him to try to get rid of the food.  He ended up spitting the outside part of the beans into the cup...he reminds me of his sister when he does things like that!  :)  Josh and I have next halloween all figured out - Gracie and Owen's costumes are all picked out.  And I am so excited that next year, we will all be together.  We are missing little Miss Gracie tonight...Owen made friends with a little girl that resembled her and my heart melted...again.
Tomorrow is a REALLY big day!  Please pray that our visa appt goes flawlessly!!!  Hopefully, tomorrow we can post our expected arrival back home date.  We can't wait to get Owen's visa in hand and start the count down!  But, God is in control.  I trust him!  We have been so blessed with our process - such an amazing testimony of God's amazing grace.  We often say that we can't believe how fast it has been and why God allowed us to be the parents of Owen and get through this the way we have.  Grace is all we can come up with - HIS UNDESERVING LOVE.
By the way, if you are ever in Uganda and need a place to stay - I highly recommend Banda Inns.  They have been absolutely amazing here.  It is clean, has a beautiful lawn, the food is great, and the owners and staff have gone above and beyond in making us feel like we are at home (or as close as possible).  I really can't say enough great things about them.  Their hearts for the adoptive families here have been such a blessing.
 Remember when I said that Owen likes to play with cars and stack things too?  This is a good example.  Too funny!!!  Ritz crackers on a jeep....kept him busy for quite a while!
 This was such a beautiful sight, I had to take a pic.  Simply beautiful, right???
The Kampala roads have been making my tummy a little sick, so Owen and I have been riding in the front seat a lot.  There are no car seats in Uganda, so he sits in my lap.  Every time he gets in he makes faces at me in the side mirror.  He is so funny!  Had to take a pic.

To Our Sweet Owen,
You are really so funny.  You make these faces and noises that just crack me up.  And we really have been enjoying playing and laughing with you.  You are such an awesome, special, little man.  And handsome too!!! We are so excited to be yours.  And we thank God daily.
Love you more,


Saturday, October 30, 2010

Jinja Trip!

Today was a great day!  We were able to go to Jinja with some great friends and really enjoyed our time together!  Owen had a rough day yesterday and a rough night last night, so I was a little nervous.  But, he did really well (minus the 7 or so diapers we had to change, and 2 pants we had to get rid of EWW).  We both see some great strides in his getting comfortable with us and are excited to celebrate the little things that mean so much!  He is getting pretty fond of his Daddy!  This is what the day looked like, in no particular order:
 We got to go to this really pretty waterfall that the natives believe has healing powers.  Not too sure about that, but it did has this really cool bridge!
 When we were at the Nile there were monkeys!   I didn't want to leave Africa without seeing them, so I was very excited!  There were even Mommy monkeys with babies.  Gotta love that!  Owen loved them!
 This is Josh, myself, and Mr. Owen at the source of the Nile.  SO neat.  Josh even confirmed that it does flow North.  He has it on video - with a compass!
This was the waterfall with the cool bridge.
 The 3 of us at Bugajari Falls - though I may be spelling it wrong.  A friend paid a guy to go down with nothing but a jug...good thing he lived, huh Melissa???  Lol!  It actually looked kinda fun!
 Owen asleep with Mommy on our way back (after destroying our back up pants).  We had a really good time talking with some new adoptive friends!
 The boys!
When we got home, Mr. Owen had to copy everything I did...crossing his legs like Mommy and scratching his head like Mommy.  SO FUNNY!
My thinker...Joshua at the falls.  So peaceful, huh?  God is pretty awesome with his craftsmanship on these African water features!!!

Our friends have an amazing camera and an even more amazing ability to take photos, so we should have some really good ones coming up too!  The only thing missing was our Gracie!  We can't wait to show her the monkey pics - I think she will love them.  We did get to chat on the phone when we got home though.  And that always melts my heart.  Tomorrow we will visit a couple friend's (who are still in the process) babies for them and take some pics.  Can't wait!  Then Monday is our VISA appt!  So ready, but not trying to have any kind of grand expectations.  Though God has shown that he is bigger than any of this stuff already!!!

To Our Sweet Owen,
You felt so natural with us today.  I am noticing that you are trusting us more and allowing us to become closer to you.  I wish I could show you already that you can trust us.  We will always be here and always love you.  No matter what.  Sometimes you get nervous and I can tell that it is because you have been through so much.  But that is all behind you now sweet boy.  Your Daddy and I (along with everyone else who loves you) are going to make sure that you know that you are in this thing called life with lots of love and support.  I'm so proud of you baby boy.
Love you more,

Thursday, October 28, 2010

Doctor's Appt Update

We took Owen to the doctor today.  He had a very rough night - didn't sleep much.  They confirmed that he has a stomach bug (NASTY one poo...I mean and an upper respiratory viral infection.  We have 3 meds for him to take each 3 times daily.  Owen isn't really into taking meds, so this should be fun!  We learned that he weights 27.5 pounds!  He is getting to be such a big boy!  We have a cool pic that I will post as soon as I get it - they weigh the kids a little differently here.  SO funny.
We got him to take one round of meds tonight, but he has had a tough evening.  He seems to have a fever come and go pretty often and can't get comfortable.  We have been blown away with how awesome our Inn owners (Banda Inns in Uganda) have been.  They have been so helpful.  They said they had a cot, so we thought it may be better for our little man to sleep.  A lot of kids who come from orphanages have some "interesting" self soothing techniques.  Owen has been coughing himself awake, then trying to soothe himself back to sleep.  To soothe himself, he kicks his feet, pushing on something with them to feel that something is near by.  He also bangs his head - that's right...not even sissy head banging.  He about knocked Joshua out last night!  He also sucks his thumb sometimes.  We thought the cot may help him feel a little more enclosed like what he is used to.  They actually brought something more like a crib in and put it together for him (pic below).  Owen saw it, crawled across the bed and got in and has been doing much better.  Praise the Lord for this thing!!!  And please say some prayers that he feels better.  It is tough to see him this way.  Also, please pray for Gracie - she seems to be having a hard time with her ankle today too.  What I would do to be able to be in this room with BOTH my babies to love on them...
Still...God is good - all the time!  We have peace and know that God is with us - both in Uganda and with Gracie in McKinney.  My parents (and brother and sister) have truly been so amazing with her.  She is in great hands!  And we are thanking God daily for them and our friends and family helping out.
On a another note...we went back to the store with Owen today.  The one where he freaked out the first time.  And guess what!!!  He did GREAT!  He was happy and responded to us well.  He even sat in a high chair throughout lunch and ate.  Made this Mommy feel like progress is being made!!!  This was, of course, before he starting getting feverish this afternoon (not so easy to soothe him when he isn't feeling well), but progress is progress.  And I don't know many toddlers are easy to soothe when they are sick.
We will be sure to update in the morning with how things are going.  God bless and Good Night!
Owen and Mommy hanging out on the veranda!
 Owen's first experience with a high chair = successful!!!
 Had to share this pic.  Such a pretty flower at the Inn we are staying in!  They are everywhere on the grounds.
These are really pretty too - like Birds of Paradise hanging upside down.
Little Mr. Owen all passed out in his new crib/cot/bed.  Same height as the bed - so great.

To Our Sweet Owen,
I am so glad we were able to get you out of that babies home and into the Inn with us where there are so much less germs!  I know that your little body is strong and that you will get over this junk soon.  I can't wait for you to be completely healthy so that we can really enjoy our time together.  It does feel so good to see you growing attached to us and learning that we are here for you.  I don't know if you realize it yet - but you will soon.  We are always going to be here for you.  We will love you always.  There is nothing that you can ever do to change that.   I will spend the rest of my life (Daddy too) showing you that you don't have to be the only one to soothe yourself.  We have been blessed to do life TOGETHER!  And we thank God for you!
Love You More,

Wednesday, October 27, 2010

And he's...out.

My son just sang himself to sleep.  One second he was singing what seemed like an African version of "Happy Birthday"...then the next he is totally knocked out snoring.  This kid is so funny.  Really.  He was acting very...we will say...tired.  Ok, ok...he kept smacking me and laughing...but to Owen, that means "I'm tired Mommy."  So we came to bed.  I thought he would pass out early like last night, but he kept singing...and singing...and singing...then all of a sudden...he was done (like in mid phrase).  I have to say:  H*-e can keep a pretty good beat! 
We thought that he spoke English, but that is just not the case.  So, we have learned some of the key phrases.  I don't know how to spell them, so I will spare you the details, but we now know how to say "No", "No hit", "Potty" (not that it matters right now lol), "Come here", and "Thank you" in Lugandan.  Owen is also a little "strong willed" - which, as you probably already know, means he will fit in with the Willis Fam well! 
We have learned recently that he is NOT into dogs.  Not even a little bit, but we will work on that!  He does not like veggies - again, like his Daddy.  But, he LOVES to eat just about anything else.  He likes to hold my finger and lead me across the room.  He has the best laugh and I have a video of it, just trying to figure out how to upload the big file. 
He seemed better this morning, so we thought we would wait on the pediatrician (until we got back to the -states), but will be hitting them up first thing in the morning tomorrow.The cough is still there, especially at night time, and he has the WORST smelling gas and poop ever - again, like his Daddy (but worse believe it or not).  We think he may have a tummy bug, which is very common here in African babies homes (probably any orphanage). 
Josh worked hard all morning and got us an embassy appointment on Monday.  If all goes well (please pray), we could have Owen's VISA Wednesday and all fly home together.  I am terrified  of the plane ride home, so that would be great.  And I am SO ready to see Gracie - miss her tons.  TONS and TONS.
Here are some pics from the day!

 Headed to the market!
 Mr. Man eating breakfast.
You can't really tell, but this is Owen's OU shirt!

To Our Sweet Owen,
You have made me and everyone around us laugh several times today.  You have such a great sense of humor!  Good thing!  I see that I have work cut out for me too - but you are so much more than worth it!  Daddy and I have so much fun adding "son" to the end of everything we say to you.  Your sister skyped with us and saw you sleeping...she thought you were cute!  I love your singing, and I love your quirks.  You are perfect for us!!!
Love You More,

Tuesday, October 26, 2010

Our First Night and Morning

Well, I am a mess (again) this morning...after reading all of  comments and posts.  I am wondering how I got to be so blessed to have all the friends and family that I have.  God is so good!!!  It warms my heart to know that Owen is not only loved so much by us, but by you guys too.  He has no idea what he is in for!!!  He had a bit of a rough night with coughing, but it was much better than I thought it would be!  I can't wait to see what he does when he wakes up and sees where he is!  That he is always going to be a part of our family. 
Per many requests, here are some stats on little Mr. Man:  He is approx (we don't really know for sure) 2.  Maybe a little under 2.  He is wearing (we think, don't have any right now) a size 6 shoe.  Though he sports a 7 and a half gracefully until we get him some! :)  He is also wearing a 2T for the most part.  His tummy is big (2T).  But his legs are still very small, so they are more like a 24 months size.  And no, he isn't potty trained like we thought.  He is a big fan of cars, trucks, or anything like that.  His fav toy right now is the ambulance we brought - just like his Daddy (again)!  He says "dee-dee dee-dee dee-dee" instead of  "honk honk" b/c the cars around here are much honking!  Lol.  He also is fun to watch play b/c for some reason he LOVES to carefuly, with so much softness, set things on top of his cars when he gently pushes them around.  The other day, he had 2 batteries, some water bottle wrappers, and another car on top of his ambulance and carefully pushed it around the room.  :)
Well, I hear him stirring!  We will be able to post pics now!  So, be on the look out!  We will be around the Inn today while Josh is running around to the lawyer and the Embassy.  Then off to the pedi to see about this cough!  Thank you for your prayers!!!

To Our Sweet Owen,
So ready for our first full day together!  You did so much better than I thought you would last are such a little trooper!  I don't want to wake you, but I can hardly wait for you to get up!!!  I'm going to surprise your Daddy by putting you in your OU shirt today...he will love it.  And I have his out too - cause I am sure he will want to put it on.  Your Nana and Papa and Gracie are busting at the seams to see you!!!

Love you more,

Owen Mukisa Willis

To Our Sweet Owen Mukisa,
You have been a member of our family since the day you were born!!!  Now, it is just such a blessing to have you become "official".  We praise our mighty, miracle working God for all he has done for us!!!  He even gave us a favorable ruling in writing so we could leave the babies home and have our first night out with you.  As I lay in bed next to you (while you snore just like your Daddy), your Daddy and I are talking about how different our lives were a short 6 months ago.  We had no idea what God had in store for us, but we are forever thankful that HE DID!!!  We love you so much son!  Can't wait to wake up next to your sweet face.  Happy Gotcha Day Sweet Boy!
Love you more,

Mommy and Owen (yes, he is working that pink shirt)
Daddy and Owen...they look alike!

Our first night together.

Our sweet boy in his firefighter PJs
To our friends and family members,
Thank you so much for your prayers and support.  They have carried us through the hard times and have made all the difference since the day we started this process.  We can't believe that God has blessed us with a son in less than 6 months.  He is blowing us away every day with blessings and opportunities for growth.  Please continue to keep us in your prayers as Josh and I go to try to get Owen's appointment for his VISA tomorrow.  This can be pretty tricky and is one of the scary hit or miss parts.  We miss Gracie so much and are ready for her to meet her brother and be together!  We are also going to bring Owen for an appointment with the pediatrician - he has a pretty nasty cough and is very congested.  For now, we praise the Lord for our official ruling that we are a family of 4!!!  We love each of you!