9 months. When you hear those words, what do you think of? I think of the nine months a mother carries her baby during pregnancy.
Today, August 4th, is a special date for us. Nine months ago today was my birthday and on that date we first heard about Anna. Instead of being about to pop in this dreadful heat, I am having a blast with a healthy, beautiful, and very outgoing six-1/2-month old. She is definitely the brightest joy in our lives and we are all totally smitten with her.
I don’t have enough time to give you a very full update of our past six months, but here a few pictures and some memories of the last nine months:
4th – I received a text that rocked our world and gave us hope only a few months after assuming we’d never have our long-dreamed-for little girl.
This month was full of planning, organizing, waiting, painting, nail-biting, hoping, and adrenaline. Christmas was a blur as I could barely focus on anything but the baby girl my arms were aching for and the mom who was about to endure the most difficult thing on the planet… saying good-bye to that little tiny baby.
The Hamricks gained a Princess.
My heart felt like it was going to explode at any moment. I remember worrying in January that there would be a major crash when my body finally stopped producing adrenaline 24/7. I think being in Virginia for so long (5 weeks) helped me to adjust to our new life and to finally believe that this was not a dream!
Normal life! Our new normal, anyway!
We were given the sweetest “Welcome to the Family” baby shower by friends here in Texas. Over this month we spent introducing our littlest joy to those we are blessed to do life with and the boys and I got back into the routine of school.
Anna’s first Easter, the bigs get braces, and a few other milestones.
Her foot was still too small for the newborn shoes!
We purchased “Baby Caroline” to be Anna’s sweet baby friend. We selected the baby’s skin color to be as close to Anna’s as possible, and also found a few books to add to our collection of books that will show pictures of children with a variety of skin colors. Our collection has been growing over the years, but this is now an intentional endeavor on our part. Less than a minute ago Matt texted me a picture of some Doc McStuffins toys. We’ll be adding girl toys to our collection, and we’ll be extra happy when the toys are little girls with brown skin.
Anna began to outgrow the outfit Mama Kim put on her after she was born. This is the outfit she handed Anna to me in. I’ve saved this trinket as a gift to Mama Kim should she ever want it. This was so baggy on Anna the day she was born and she wore it as often as I could get it on her before she outgrew it. (And I still took pictures of her in it every few weeks even if I didn’t leave her in it long… it’s a super special outfit.)
Our bigs got braces!
Once Anna was able to sit in the Bumbo I had a blast taking pictures. I certainly haven’t taken nearly enough, nor have I taken as many as I thought I would but I guess that’s what happens when the baby is the fifth! Other things take precedence to photography… I treasure each picture I have, even the ones with less-than-ideal lighting!
Matt has always dreamed of having a baby girl with pierced ears so this is what he got for his birthday!
Our little princess adored being swaddled…
I received this pair of shoes in the mail. This may not seem like a big deal to you, but it is a treasure. When we first found out about Anna we were in Colorado at a Project Sanctuary retreat for Military Families. One of the treats Project Sanctuary offers is a family photo shoot. We had already committed to Mama Kim that if she was comfortable with us being her daughter’s family, we wanted to be! We asked a few other families in the retreat if we could borrow baby girl clothes for our photo shoot so we could take Adoption Announcement photos. One sweet family had a session just before ours so they left these shoes with the photographer for us to borrow… Bailey is holding them in our family picture and the photographer took a picture of them on the log as a bonus. I use it as the cover photo in the secret Facegroup that just Mama and I are in so I see it every day. And the shoes… well, it’ll be a year before Anna can wear them but they are waiting for her!
When we took the above picture, I had no idea if we’d ever get to hold the baby girl we were already in love with. We were excited, but cautiously so. Now, as I sit here writing with Anna having fun on a special blanket someone made for her, getting a bit of tummy-time, I’m in awe of all that has happened in the past nine months!
In April I was able to fly to Virginia to meet Ryan! LOOK AT THIS FACE!! He’s so beautiful. Kari is the one who first texted me about Anna. She heard about Anna because she was talking about her upcoming adoption of Ryan and someone who knows Mama Kim joined the conversation. What a fun story! In the collage below you can see that Anna was way more interested in Ryan than he was in her. Bottom picture is of the five men in our family greeting ANNA when WE got back… yes… they ran straight to her!
My other purpose for going to Virginia was to see Mama Kim. Our time together was fantastic! We spent six straight hours sitting in a restaurant just talking and looking at this beautiful baby girl.
This baby girl is so loved. I truly believe she is the most loved baby I’ve ever known! People from all over the world have prayed for her and continue to pray for Mama Kim, as there is a life of healing she will go through. I spoke with her today to make sure she was fine with me posting these pictures and she is… she is truly an amazing woman and I am thankful that she is a part of our lives.
Anna started getting some curls… and her hair was finally long enough for the occasional bow! This blue band is my favorite of all time. In fact, she’s wearing it today!
The brothers simply adore their sister!
Big enough to sit in the Ultra-saucer!
BEACH TIME! We took Anna to the beach for the first time! Such fun!
Hayden got his Driver’s Permit!
Matt’s first Father’s Day as a dad to five and his first as a dad to a daughter. Anna seems quite pleased with the card she got him! He seemed pleased with his little girl!
Big news for Matt…his time at DIVARTY ended as he prepared to transition from wearing a uniform every day to wearing civies for 18 months. This was one of the last days I was technically able to park in this special spot at his office. He no longer has an office but we’re managing well having him home more often. As of today (August 4th) he’s almost done with his first set of classes!) December 2017 he will have a second masters… MSMFT: Masters in Science: Marriage and Family Therapy.
July was a very full month. I’ll try to put as few pictures in here as possible but still show how busy we were. There are two reasons we have more pictures. We finished up our last school year in June, then the boys went to camp, then we all went to the beach… We started our new school year in July but we are also trying to fit in as many fun actives as possible while our friends are all out of school and while it’s super hot.
First Independence Day:
Box Day! This will need its own post!!
Nana, Papa, and Mason came to visit. We did so many fun things while they were here that it’ll need its own blog post, too!
We dedicated Anna to the Lord and shared our intent with our chapel family:
Nana, Papa, and Mason left on a Monday… it was also our first day of school!
I adore the pictures of Anna peeking around at me while I was getting pictures of Parker working his puzzle.
Devil’s Watering Hole. We went twice… I love that Parker commandeered a complete stranger’s paddle board!
Chalk Ridge Falls:
And here is our princess today: our beauty. The little girl we are so madly in love with.
And Hayden helped me with this one: