Happy Gotcha Day, Joshua!

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Today is one year from the day we finalized Joshua’s adoption, aka his “Gotcha Day.” One year since he became legally, officially, forever a Kelly… of course he was already family in our hearts from the minute we said yes to adopting him. Nevertheless, we think it’s fun to celebrate his Gotcha Day every year. It’s like having two birthdays! I think I’d like to write him a letter every year on this day as well. My dad wrote each of us a letter on valentine’s day every year when we were growing up (actually he still writes them!). I cherish these letters and the way they convey my dad’s love for me. So, why not a Gotcha Day letter? Here goes year #1 :)

Dear Joshua,

You are a delight! Your joy is contagious, your smile is precious and your laugh is fantastic. I love how you recently realized how fun it is to be tickled. You love to run down the hallway in anticipation that I will chase you and that when I find you I will tickle you. You are laughing long before I ever reach you. It melts my heart and even though I get tired from running up the stairs after you I find myself doing it over and over because of how much you love it. I love the way you adore Tozer and chase her all over the living room so that you can pet her, hug her and lay on her. You LOVE being outside. Swings, slides, sticks… these are your favorite. Daddy taught you how to “sword fight” with sticks and you think it’s the best game on the planet.

You are learning all sorts of new things. You love to imitate the silly noises we make at you. And when we say “Praise Jesus!” you throw your hands high in the air. You don’t say a lot yet but you do have one word down, “mum-mum.” That’s right, you learned the name of your favorite cracker as your first word! You are your father’s son :)

You are officially a little boy now. I can see it more and more every day. Still, I know that when you wake up in the middle of the night from a bad dream or whatever it is that wakes you, you will still want to snuggle in close to me. I know that when we’re in a new situation and there’s people you don’t know and you get all shy that you will hold on to me a little tighter. When I see the connection we have my mama’s heart is satisfied and I can be free to let you run and explore and climb.

I love you little bobo. I’m glad we got you and you got us! Forever and ever.

~Mom (feel free to learn to say mama as your next word! it’s so close to mum-mum… I know you can do it!)

On the Move

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Joshua took his first steps a few weeks ago. No one told me that first steps does not equal walking! I suppose I would’ve realized it if I put much thought into it, but never had. So for the last few weeks he’s been practicing his two or three steps before toppling over…gaining balance and strength. Last night he suddenly decided he wanted to walk farther! He spent about half an hour walking back and forth between us, to the furniture, to the dog, to his toys. He was so overjoyed with himself that he’d often just throw his entire body at one of us squealing. Too adorable, I tell you. We realized after a bit that this should be documented on film! So here you have it: 11 seconds of walking cuteness.

Our Growing Little Bobo

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Joshua’s crazy growth speed is slowing down a little now that he’s a year old- but just look at how much he’s changed!  Also, he’s in constant motion… which makes taking a picture of him sitting serenely on a chair nearly impossible. After 130 tries (I’m not kidding) we finally got a good one! Also, for your enjoyment, we’re posting the runner up and a couple of the outtakes of our little climbing monkey.

the runner up

our little fearless climber

"mom, I'm done with this photo shoot!"

Happy Birthday Little Guy!

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Can you believe it’s been a year? We hardly can. Looking back and remembering the emotions and anticipation a year ago… it seems like a lifetime ago and yet like it was yesterday.

Dear Joshua,

I remember when I saw you for the first time. I remember being so excited, grateful and overwhelmed at the gift of life we’d been given. Your life.

I remember it all being so surreal… am I really a mom now?

I remember those first weeks of your life: sleep deprived yet captivated by this little bean. Who would he become?

I remember how small you were- just under 7 itty bitty pounds! I couldn’t imagine you fitting into those huge 12 month clothes people had given us.

I remember how you would fall asleep on me and how precious those times were.

Now look at you! You’re a toddler. Well, almost…. you don’t technically toddle unless you’re holding on to furniture. You’re my 22 pound explorer. Getting you to stay on my lap for 5 minutes is near impossible unless it’s storytime right before bed. I love story time :) I love how you want to explore, climb, crawl, discover everything and everywhere. I can imagine that when you learn to run there will be no stopping you! Sometimes as I watch you intensely investigate a new toy or object I think maybe you’re going to be an engineer. I’m pretty sure you already figured out how the vacuum works.

I love being your mom. You are a delight. Your big smile lights up the room. What a year you have ahead of you… you have so much waiting for you to discover and learn.

Just remember, you may be almost walking and not terribly interested in snuggling, but you’re still my baby bobo. You’re special. I love you. No one can take your place.

Happy birthday Joshua Aidan! Bring on the cake.

(Check out 12 months of Joshua cuteness here.)

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