Mace: 24 months

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Profile of a 24 month old Mace – 30lbs (70%), 37.7″ tall (off the chart!!), head 19.2″ in circumference.

  • Interests: He still loves dinosaurs, but has recently become very interested in sharks and whales after falling in love with the movie “Nemo”! He also still loves Ninjas (Scripture Ninja in particular) but also asks to watch “Kung Fu Panda” daily!
  • Enjoys: Swimming! This kid is a little fish and has been taking swimming lessons all summer. He swims great, is floating really well, and LOVES to dive down to the bottom of the pool for his “shark” dive toys!
  • Turn offs: Like any 2 year old he doesn’t like when he doesn’t get his way. He also loves to be with his mommy and daddy and will still cry for a minute or two when we drop him off at church or leave the house without him :(
  • Vices: We are working really hard on first time obedience, and on obeying with a happy heart. Mace is still struggling with running from us, as well as hitting. We have lots of talks about using our hands to show God’s love and not to hurt.
  • Strengths: Mace has learned a ton of new things over the last 6 months. He is SUPER smart and intuitive! He can now count to 5 and can identify the colors blue and red correctly almost every time.

Favorites of a 24 month old Mace:

  • Foods: Pizza, yogurt, smoothies, chicken and yellow rice
  • Songs: Mace loves music! We have lots of worship songs for him on our TV and some of his favorites are “Calculate” by Everyday Sunday and  “All that I Am” by Rend Collective. Every time we turn “All that I Am” on in the car he starts smiling :)
  • Shows: Mace is really into movies. He loves Nemo, Walking with the Dinosaurs, Toy Story, and Kung Fu Panda
  • Books: “How does a Dinosuar say Goodnight?” “Goodnight Gorilla”
  • Toys: Mace loves toys! He always has a toy in his hand. Some of his favorites are.. Sharks, Nemo, & Dinosaurs.
  • Activities: Swimming, playing outside, watching movies, spending time with mom and dad (I love the point on Monday mornings when Mace figures out that Luke and I are both staying home all day. You can physically see the joy on his face!) His love language is definitely quality time.

Words: 

Mace has had a giant leap in his vocabulary over the last few months. He is repeating tons of new words every day. Some of our favorites are… Sit, down, done, ball, blue, shark (this is hands down the most exaggerated word Mace says. It comes out more like “shaaauuk”), peepee, food, cup, more, please (pees), woah, hey, sorry (sor) one, two, three (free), four (fo), five (fii) (Five is always the most  exaggerated number he says! And is accompanied by 5 outstretched fingers!)

How 24 month old Mace is like his… 

Mama – Mace loves to play outside and asks to “sit” on the porch every morning. This is definitely something he and mommy love to do together.

Dada – Mace loves toys, just like his daddy!!! He also loves to wrestle with daddy, but will sit on his daddy’s lap and watch him work at the computer as well.

Treasuring 24 month old Mace, bits and details… 

  • When watching the Scripture Videos that are shown in our nursery ministry Mace will do all the motions, and he is starting to try and say the words along with the videos.
  • Mace tries to sing as well. He loves the “Oh oh oh” part on a lot of the worship songs that we do in ACME, as well as “All That I Am” by Rend Collective. A few nights ago I was singing “Jesus, Jesus, Jesus there’s just something about that name” to Mace as I was rocking him before bed and he tried to sing it with me. He would say “Jesus” and “name” at the right times! My heart almost exploded!
  • Mace will tell you “sorry ” after he has done something wrong and has had a discipline. He will even tell Rage “sor” after he has been mean to Rage :)
  • We are blown away by what a “water baby” Mace is! He has absolutely no fear of the water and he will go under water, jump in, dive down for toys, swim and float like a fish! It’s awesome, though he does scare us a bit by how fearless he is! He jumped into the deep end of the pool at swimming lessons a few weeks ago when no one was down there, and Mommy had to jump in (with my clothes on!) and get him. When he came up from under the water he was grinning ear to ear! He thought it was hysterical, mommy did not!

May 9, 2013 – The Day We Left for Uganda!!

May 9,2013. The day we boarded a Delta flight out of Tampa, Florida headed to Entebbe, Uganda to meet our baby!! The morning of May 9th we woke up around 8am (we aren’t early risers) and began getting ready and packing some last minute items as we waited for our friend Brandi to come pick us up and take us to the airport. We headed out around 10am with 5 checked bags, 2 backpacks, 1 rolling carry on, and of course 2 pillows. 

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We stopped at Chick-fil-a for a last meal before arriving at the airport. IMG_4496

Once we arrived at the airport we got all checked in and we were off to our gate!

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“Where there’s stretching there is blessing” – Pastor Randy Bezet
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The adoption process was definitely the biggest stretching God had ever done in our lives! And the blessing was equally as great!

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After a quick layover at JFK we were on our way to Amsterdam!

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Our flights and layover in Amsterdam were smooth and we arrived in Uganda around midnight on May 10th. As we drove through the city of Kampala in the middle of the night we tried to take in all the sites and smells we could. We arrived at the guest house, got settled in our room, and did a little unpacking before heading to bed for a few hours! It was so hard to sleep knowing that our baby was in that city less than 20 minutes from us! However, we were so exhausted from barely napping on the plane that we were able to get some good rest that night. And it’s a good thing we were able to rest because on the morning of May 11th our lives changed forever!

April 30, 2013 – Court Call Day

The Monday after our baby shower I was sitting on the floor of Mace’s room, as one of my BFF’s and I went through all of his gifts, and I remember telling her… “We are through ARC Conference, our 30th birthdays, Easter, and the Baby Shower, now it’s time to go get Mace!” You see those were all things that we knew we had to take care of before we left for Uganda. And starting in May we had planned to be in Uganda so we hadn’t made any other solid plans after the end of April. Well wouldn’t you know that God is such a good and humorous God that not 24 hours after making that statement we got the call saying we had a court date!

It was Tuesday April 30th and I was having breakfast at the beach with the lovely ladies below. We were celebrating that two of them were moving on to other awesome jobs that God had for them, and two of them were taking their place on our ACME staff. We had such an awesome morning at the beach enjoying the view and each other, and while this picture was being taken I missed a phone call from Sharon, our adoption agent. :)
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As we walked to the parking lot I saw that I had a message from her. With the girls standing around and speaker phone on we listened to this message… “Hey April, it’s Sharon Bradshaw. It’s about 11:30 on Tuesday. Give me a call. I have some big news. Ok. Bye.”

So yeah, we kind of assumed we knew what that Big News was!! So I quickly called her back and one of the girls snapped the pic below while I was on the phone with Sharon. She was calling to tell us that we had a court date!! On May 16th!! And that we needed to be in Uganda by May 10th!! That meant we needed to leave in 9 short days! IMG_4461We were so excited and as I drove back to the office I called Luke to tell him the good news! That day started the 9 day countdown to flying to Uganda, and we had A LOT to do in 9 days! Flights to book, packing to finish, work to wrap up! The countdown had begun and we were going to get our baby!

April 27, 2013 – Baby Shower Day

I have always loved parties and baby showers, and have loved throwing baby showers for my friends throughout the years. On Saturday April 27, 2013 my incredible friends threw me the worlds best baby shower to celebrate our little Mace, complete with all of my favorite people and things!

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 The girls chose a story book theme, because of my love for children’s books! And of course it was in the morning with lots of delicious breakfast food, my favorite meal of the day!

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My incredible friend Nikki made this stunning cake, of 3 books stacked up, and also wrote me the most incredible poem that she read at the shower! This girl is multi talented and a true jewel!

Mace’s Poem: 

A long time ago, in a galaxy far, far away

Is not where our story begins today.

Instead it starts in the Sunshine State

With a girl and a boy who began to date.

They soon fell in love and then they got married

Even then at that time, in their hearts you were carried.

Daddy played music, Mommy made rooms pretty

They were apart a lot while he travelled city to city.

Then they both felt a call to be in kids’ ministry

And knew it was time to expand their family

They heard about people loving children in Africa

And they wanted to bring a baby back to America.

 

About the same time a little boy was found

Near a banana plantation by himself on the ground.

A wonderful lady named Robinah came by

And took him into her home so that he would not cry.

She could not keep him, and that is why

He went to the orphanage where he was not shy.

He was very happy and the nuns loved him there

They knew he was special, and the answer to prayer.

 

Early one morning, Mom and Dad got a call

That a baby boy so precious and small

Was waiting for them to come and take home.

But this is not the end of our poem

The most important part of this story is yet to be told

Because Mace, you are this boy and you break the mold.

Long before God made us or the earth

He planned you and your incredible birth.

He knew your family would be living here

Along with many friends that love you so dear.

Your mom and your dad are amazing and strong

Forever and always to them you belong.

 

We prayed for you before, we still pray now

God’s promise is sure and that is how

We know you’ll grow into a strong man some day,

And reflect God’s glory along the way.

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Some of my favorite elements of the day where the Globe that everyone signed with messages to Luke, Mace, and I. As well as the fact that my sister Elizabeth, who lives in Prague, was able to Skype in for the shower! She was also very pregnant with there first baby Rebeka just as I was drawing to the end of our adoption process.

I loved sharing this special day with so many of my friends and family, especially my Mom and Gran! These two women have made me into the person and mother that I am today, and I don’t know what I would do without them! Mace_063

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God truly blessed us with the most amazing village of people who loved us, supported us, prayed with us, laughed with us, and cried with us all throughout the adoption process. And now, I get to watch each and every one of these women love on my baby as if he was their very own!

March 26, 2013 – The Day we told the World!

The day we told “the world” about our precious little Mace was an incredible day for both Luke and I. We had already shared the news with our family and closest friends, but had waited until some paperwork formalities where completed before telling the world!

We told everyone via our Like Father, Like Son Post  on the Ours to Love blog! Our amazing friend, and family photographer, Krystle Sommers ,took a few TOMs Shoes images for us to make the announcement.

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The day we told “the world” was a Tuesday and both Luke and I were at the office that day. My parents sent us blue flowers and balloons to celebrate our official referral and he was a boy!! Though Luke and I did not specify the gender of our child in our adoption paperwork I think we both secretly thought it was going to be a boy, so we were thrilled!

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It’s so hard to believe that it has been over a year since we told everyone about our little Mace! In many ways it seems like he has been a part of all of our lives forever!

March 19, 2013 – Transfer Day!

On March 19, 2013 very little was happening in the US regarding our adoption journey, but A LOT was happening in Uganda and Mace was experiencing a lot of firsts and fun adventures.

This was the day that Mace said “good bye” to the precious nannies at the Ibanda Babies Home, who had cared for him for the first 8 months of his life. He then made the 4 hour journey from the only home he had ever known to the foster home in Kampala, Uganda. Mace got to experience this journey with his friend Ben (who is now home with his forever family and lives about 1 hour from us here in the Sunshine State) and Jane (an 8 year old little girl who when we left Uganda was still waiting for a forever family), along with Jeremy (an incredible employee of our Ugandan lawyer). They told us that Mace did great on the journey and did a lot of smiling and a lot of sleeping! Sounds about right to us, based on the Mace we know and love today!

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Mace with the main nanny who cared for him throughout the first months of his life! Taken on the day he left the orphanage. 

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And just for fun, Mace with that same precious nanny 2 months later when we all returned to visit the orphanage. 

They arrived at Ms Elizabeth’s house late at night, where he spent the next 8 weeks until we arrived in Uganda. It was such a comfort to us during the time that we waited for our court date to know that Mace was in the care of this incredible foster home and that he was loved and being well taken care of! Ms Elizabeth is truly one of the most incredible people we have ever met!

We loved receiving these blurry cell phone pictures from Uganda, as we were able to see our boys precious smile and some of the people who were caring for him in our absence! As an adoptive parent you live for pictures during the wait! Any glimpse (not matter how small or blurry) you can get of your child is something you hold on to like a priceless treasure.

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