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  • Ashley

Summer Nights are My Favorite

Hello! Hello! Yes, I know it has been since the beginning of April since I have written anything...I am sorry about that, but we have had some personal family stuff going on along with being super busy with the end of the school year. But, as June is winding down, and July is making it's appearance, I knew I needed to give everyone an update.

First, in April we took Everly's 11 month photos; she was the Little Mermaid!!! Oh, my...these ones might be my favorites, joining the ranks of Snow White and Pocahontas that is! ;) Then in May she was Moana for her 12 month shoot. These were super cute as well! We celebrated her birthday on May 11 with a little cake my mom actually made and decorated herself to look like a dog. It was adorable! Then the following weekend we had her birthday party. It turned out beautifully, even though I was stressed to the max. Why do first birthday parties stress people out so much?? I guess it is because we have this ideal image of what we want it to be like, and usually something goes wrong, but you know all turns out perfectly in the end.

I have to say, we have been enjoying summer around here! I have always loved summer break; it allows me to rejuvenate for the upcoming school year and gives me plenty of time with my fur babies and family. But having Everly here with us makes it even more special. :) We are enjoying play time and walks in our little pink car, hanging out with family (Everly and her cousin, Jack are the cutest), and playing in the water...she LOVES water! I have been trying to spend more time cooking healthier meals, throwing in more vegan dinners as well. It has been interesting and trying at times, but I'm starting to love it. I have really been focusing on feeding Everly as much of a plant-based diet as I can. Plants are the best medicine, and I am loving the fact that she loves almost all fruits and veggies we have tried. We stay up late and sleep in late; summer nights are my favorite!

We celebrated our first Mother's Day and Father's Day, took Everly to the zoo for the first time, and celebrated my brother's birthday and Vince's sister's birthday! We have been busy!

Everly has been walking since the middle of June a few steps at a time, but now, as of June 25, she has been walking everywhere. It's crazy how that just happens over night! Her personality just keeps getting bigger and bolder...this girl will always keep us on our toes and will be such a bold little girl when she is older...I am already planning out what to say to the first teacher who calls home. Haha! Overall, we are just trying to soak it all in and enjoy life! It all goes by in the blink of an eye.

I would also like to update everyone with the status of Japan adoption. The family that was stuck in Japan with their daughter, FINALLY received her visa today. They have a court hearing July 6, and hopefully will be headed home July 7! Thank goodness! I feel so honored and blessed to have witnessed this family's strength, determination, and unwavering faith throughout the last three months. I cannot wait to see their homecoming photos!

The other family that had received a referral of a beautiful baby girl but could not travel and bring her home, is finally there with her in Tokyo. They are going through the same process. I'm praying they are home within the next few weeks as well!

A quick when the US Department of State began this investigation of Japan adoption (without any real reason behind it), they created a domino effect. Canada stopped issuing visas as well since they believed the US had a valid reason for not issuing visas. Now, Canada has allowed their five families to come home and the ambassador has actually issued an apology to those families. Two independent Japanese lawyers told Canada's government that nothing was illegal with their procedure of international adoption. Unfortunately, the US has decided they believe the way it has been done for over twenty years, is wrong, so the process has changed significantly.

The US is saying families must finalize the adoption in Japan. Japan requires a six month "nurturing period" before finalization. So the goal is to have families travel twice (the first trip being significantly longer), with the hope that the Japanese court will allow the nurturing period to be conducted at home in the US. Then families would travel back to Japan to finalize approximately six months later. Due to the two trips, longer stays, and court and lawyer fees, the program will cost significantly more to families adopting from Japan. I am not able to provide more details at this time since so much is still up in the air and nothing has been set in stone, but I am praying hard that this is something the US and Japan will agree on so that Japan adoption will continue.

I will say that no matter the changes, adoption is worth it. Everly is worth it. All children are worth it. People have asked me, "Knowing the changes, would you do it a second time?" I can't say what our future holds; nobody can. Would the financial part be harder? Yes. Would living in Japan for several weeks be harder? Yes. Would two trips be difficult? Yes. But I will say this...IF we feel in the future that we have another child in Japan, we will find a way to get him or her home. Because my simple answer is our child will always be worth it.

Much love! I will update again soon!

11 Month Photos!

12 Month photos!

1st Birthday Photos!

Random Photos! Enjoy!

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