A bit about the Himsels

In July 2011, we were drawn to a posting by our adoption agency of a little girl that was soon to "age out" of the orphanage in China, and they were hoping to find her family before her birthday in February, when she would no longer be eligible for adoption. After reviewing the information, giving it alot of thought and prayers, we knew she was to be our daughter. So we started the paperwork chase to bring her home. But God had a bigger plan in mind for the Himsels. Along the way, we decided to pursue adopting a little boy, and that journey actually led us to two little boys, who are 18 months and 14 months old. All three children are located in the Guizhou province. We are excited to be so close to bringing home Ella (Jinglan), William, and Ethan, and we hope you follow along with our journey.

Thursday, May 19, 2016

The Zoo Crew is expanding - we're on another China Journey.  We are on a whirlwind race to bring home our son Matthew, who turns 14 on June 4.  The time is ticking away, but we'll be in China next week.  Can't wait to finally meet this sweet boy.  We've started a new blog for this journey, and we hope you will follow along: https://himselzoocrew.blogspot.com/.

Saturday, July 28, 2012

Holiday World Fun

Our adoption agency had their annual reunion event recently at Holiday World. The older kids really enjoyed the amusement park and water park. We took the opportunity to go down to Patoka Lake a few days earlier, and shared a cabin with a couple of other families attending the reunion. We had a wonderful time despite the heat and the huge crowds at Holiday World. I think the older kids enjoyed the cabin almost as much as the water park. We had three full bedrooms for the adults, and a large loft with 5 beds in it for the older kids and they had a ball - It was a big slumber party!
We rented a pontoon boat for the day and Ella was very excited
Andrew enjoying the ride
Ella got her chance to drive the boat - although she enjoyed herself, Mama and Dad are pretty sure it will be quite awhile before she's ready to drive a car!
Andrew could barely wait for his turn at the wheel
After our boat ride, we spent the evening with Chris' Great Aunt Ruby.  She was very excited to meet the kids.
Ella's very first amusement park ride.  Since she tends to get car sick, we were a bit worried. But she came off the ride all smiles and gave us the thumbs up!
Another great ride!
Andrew exiting the Raging Rapids ride excited to have gotten so wet!
Ethan's water park fun
Since William is so quick to play in the toilet water every chance he gets (including the time he took Mama's iPhone for a swim), it came as no surprise that he would have the most fun at the water park!

Saturday, July 7, 2012

Trying to stay cool

This weather in Indiana is most unusual right now. We're on our 4th day of 100+ degree temps, and the past two weeks have found most days quite close to 100. There has been little rain and our yards look more like Arizona terrain than Indiana grasslands. All of the kiddos have been stir crazy, especially the little guys. They want to play outside so badly, but when it's still 99 degrees at 7:30 pm, it's just too hot for them. Unless of course you throw a little water play in the mix. Our kiddos love playing in the sprinkler, and even though today was unbearably hot, they all seemed to love cooling off. William, my little guy who was so afraid of water when he got his first bath in China, has come so far. He's the first one to run through the sprinkler, and makes sure he gets the wettest.

Tuesday, June 5, 2012

William's Big Day!

It is so hard to believe that it has already been 4 months since we have all been together.  But then again, it's hard to remember how things were before these three blessing from China joined our family.  Each day brings so many new adventures for all the kids.  For Memorial Day weekend, I took all the kids on a mini trip for a family reunion, with my mom joining us.  Chris stayed back so he could attend the race, so it was quite the adventure for us all. Surprisingly, all the kids did pretty well - it was nearly a five hour drive, and we were all a bit tired of being in the car, but we got there without incident.  And they all did great at the family reunion, and of course Andrew and Ella were very excited that our hotel had a big pool.  They both spent many hours swimming, giggling and watching videos together. Each day, I continue to be amazed at how well the two of them are getting along.  Don't get me wrong - we have our moments - Andrew is pretty quick to speak up if he thinks things are being handled fairly, and he is always wanting to make sure they both get to do things, but given all the issues we could be having right now, Chris and I sit back with delight when we see them together.  After our trip, Andrew and Ella went off to MawMaw Ruth's house for a few days - she was very excited to have them all to herself for a few days.
All of us at the family reunion

But the big event we had this past weekend was celebrating William's 2nd birthday.  We were a bit worried about how William would handle all the attention, the break in our routine, and having so many people here at the house.  We did keep it relatively small - just family.  And we didn't get off to a great start.  William has certainly changed his tune since coming home.  He went from only letting Chris take care of him, to ONLY wanting me to do things for him.  And his response when he doesn't get his way is to scream very loudly.  My worst fear was that his birthday party was going to be alot of screaming, and he started it off that way, when the first people arrived.  But after a little quiet time in the bedroom with me, we were able to get back into the mix of people, and the rest of the day was great.  He LOVED his cake - dug right into it with both hands (and a fork that he managed to convince someone he needed).  It was so cute to see Ethan's reaction too.  He wanted some of that cake so much - he would walk up to William's high chair, and hold his mouth open to beg for a bite - and William tried a few times to feed him.  It was very cute.  After the initial excitement of William's cake, we went ahead and sliced off a piece of the big cake for Ethan so he could have his own. 
My late night attempt at decorating William's cake.
William wanted those animals off the cake immediately - we couldn't even light the candle before he dug right in!
Somehow he convinced someone that he needed a fork. 
Ethan was right there watching everything and anxious for his bite of the birthday cake.

What a cute show of brotherly love - although William's aim wasn't too good - was afraid he might pierce Ethan's nose for him.

Very excited to have gotten his bite of birthday cake!

After cake, we opened presents, and William wasn't too sure about any of that.  After he opened the first one, he just wanted to play with it, and was not interested in anything else.  Ethan on the other hand was right there to help William open up each and every gift - especially since he didn't think William was moving along fast enough.  Ethan was so excited to rip the paper off the boxes.  Christmas is going to be lots of fun this year, but could be a challenge if Ethan doesn't think William is opening his gifts up fast enough.  He might just take over and open up everything. 

And after things started to settle down, then we took the boys outside to see the new sand box we bought William for his birthday.  We wanted something small for the deck that they could play in with their trucks - they both are very much into cars and trucks right now.  Apparently it was a big hit - both boys were covered with sand by the time they were done playing. 

Wednesday, May 23, 2012

Summer Fun!

It's hard to believe that school is almost out for the kids.  Andrew and Ella are very excited about summer break from school but this mama is a bit worried about keeping four kiddos busy all day long.  Ella has done fantastic with school - she is really picking up English - understands more and more each day.  And she and Andrew are getting along very well.  We're hearing her talking more and more with Andrew.

All the kiddos have enjoyed the great weather and being able to play outside.  We've spent some time at our other home in Brownsburg where we have alot more space for the kids to play.  I think all the kids love the opportunity to be outside with so much space to roam and explore. We've been to parks, out to visit Grandpa's and just enjoying the beautiful weather.

Ella trying out the battery operated car - lots of giggles as she was driving around!

Andrew taking Ethan for his first ride. 
Ethan was very interested in all the details - and was watching everything his big brother was doing.

William wasn't too sure he liked sitting in the swing by himself at first - but he soon was enjoying himself.

We spent some time at Grandpa's house where all the kids love playing with the new kittens

The kids had a day off from school (one of those built in snow days that wasn't used) - and we took the opportunity to visit the Indianapolis Children's Museum.  Andrew always loved the museum and we were excited to take all the kids there for their first visit.  Chris had to work that day, so I decided to venture there on my own.  Well, not totally on my own.  A dear friend, and her 4 year old boy met us there, but it was still quite an undertaking to do on my own. Ethan and William were quite overwhelmed by everything, so it took a little bit for them to be comfortable enough to really play with things.  But after they got comfortable, no one wanted to go home - even though we all needed naps before the end of the day.  Not sure I'm ready to venture out to the Children's museum again by myself but we all had a great time.