Saturday, December 24, 2011

Merry Christmas & Catching Up

Merry Christmas everyone!!!  
 Instead of writing a novel here about the past (almost) 3 months I am going to share in pictures with short updates.

In a couple weeks we will offically be 6 months in waiting for our child/ren.  There have been some set-backs in Ethiopia with some new rules for the biological parents but we are hanging tight that our child or children are in Ethiopia and we are just patiently (as best as we can) waiting.

So on to the catching up... October 29th we ran in the Chosen Marathon for Adoption in New Braunfels, TX.  We had 7 people total running for our team It's A Child's Life-O'Neal Family.  I am still not sure how much we were able to raise for our personal adoption and should be finding out soon but it was such a great experience for all who particpated.  I also am proud to say I ran it in under 2 hours and never stopped which was my goal.  Now Jason and I are both anxious to do another one and are contemplating doing a full at some point.

Jalen turned 3 years old on November 10th and we celebrated at Cornerstone Kids Ranch.  He had a wonderful time and is definitely a 3 year old now...funny as ever but oh the tantrums and fits that he never threw before came full swing within 2 weeks of turning 3.  It's getting better now but wow I was warned and I now understand.

Auntie Sarah and Jalen the ring bearer
 We traveled back to Arizona for my sister-in-laws wedding and for Thanksgiving.  We were there for a week and got to see many of our friends and family but of course it went by quickly and before we knew it we were back home in OK and out of vacation mode.

dancing his heart out
Since the first of December we have had every weekend backed with birthday and Christmas parties and now have my family in town until next week and we are enjoying every minute of it.  We are going to watch a movie today then go to our Christmas Eve service this evening and when Jalen goes to bed we have a few things to put together for him to find under the tree tomorrow.  Tomorrow after we have our Christmas here we will be heading up to help out at Davo's Diner, an event where we feed close to a thousand local families, given them each a bag filled with groceries, hand out coats and accessories to keep warm as needed and given each child a gift.  We also have a professional photographer that takes the families pictures and delivers them to them later on, Christmas music playing and a prayer room for each family to be prayed for as they need.  We did this last year and will be a tradition for our family as long as it is around.  This was all started by a little boy who goes to our church who wanted to help those in need at Christmas time!
decorating a gingerbread (barn) house

Jalen with his teachers he loves so much!  Miss Stevanna, Miss Morgan and Miss Cierra

decorating a picture frame at a friend's Christmas party

Jason and I at 80's prom...a.k.a The Heilaman's 30th birthday party
Well there you have it, somewhat caught up now on the past 2-3 mths.  We are looking forward to 2012 and praying that we will be given the gift of a child or children to bring home next year.  We are praying for all the families waiting on referrals, waiting for court dates, waiting for embassy dates, just waiting in general to make a bunch of children join forever families next year and have so many less orphans in this world! 
Many Blessings and Love!