Snow and more…

We have been busy the past couple weeks. Scott painted the nursery and set up the nursery furniture. We got to watch TCU win the Rose Bowl. Then last week, Elise got to play in the snow which she loved this year. (I apologize for the length of the snow video, but I tend to like all the footage.) And finally, this past Saturday Elise went to her first wedding of 2011; it was her great-grandmother’s wedding. She didn’t really know what was going on other than to keep asking if they were married now which got confused into, “Who’s Mary?” In the end, I think Elise just liked that she got to eat cake.

In a baby update, I am now at 24 weeks and in another month I will be officially in my third trimester. Elise is already asking baby Maggie to come out and play which is better than when she’s sad about Maggie taking her nursery decorations. Elise is into figuring out which of her toys are okay for the baby and which the baby is not old enough to play with. So some battles are already being felt out; should be fun times ahead. 🙂

Merry Christmas with Technical Difficulties

Well, our Christmas video this year froze on the first try, and the second try is crooked. We also have some extra commentators, my brothers, and then we forgot our camera. Luckily, Elise got a camera for Christmas. Some of the photos are blurry, but at least, Elise captured some of Christmas day. 🙂

Pregnancy Update and Other Thoughts

So, I’m now 17 weeks pregnant, and we’ve made the sonogram appointment to find out if we are having a boy or a girl. The appointment is December 21; until then you can cast your vote as to whether you think we are having a boy or a girl. Our house is divided: Elise says sister, Scott wants a boy, and I think I may lean towards boy. But who knows? In four weeks, the mystery will be revealed, but until then take a guess. And the obligatory belly shot (not much change but the baby is supposed to double in size in the next couple of weeks), even my youngest brothers want to see this…

17 weeks

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These past couple months I’ve been doing a lot of thinking and reflecting. The pregnancy process is different than the adoption process. Now that I’m pregnant, co-workers, family members, strangers all have something to share. My mom had 7 children, and my sister and sister-in-law had babies last year. I also have a sister-in-law that is a first year OB/GYN resident, so there is a lot of experience and knowledge for me to draw from. Any question I have is answered. There is also the aspect of being able to share experiences. If a family member has been through pregnancy, they can share their experience and relate to yours. Then there’s the wait. As we wait nine months, we see physical changes in my body. Soon, as the baby grows the movements will get stronger. I go to the doctor every month and can hear the heartbeat. We have a wealth of information, and I’m happy to have this.

But when we were adopting, none of our family members had walked that process before us; our families had many of the same questions we did. Frankly, some of the time we were clueless. We used the wrong terms; I made a mistake on requesting our passports. (Don’t say you’re traveling in a year in a half if you need your passports in a couple months to further paperwork.) The list could go on. Couple that with an almost lack of information, and we were pretty clueless. The only thing that made sense was to rely on God. He knew who and where our baby was, and He knew when we would meet our baby. He also gave us Tapestry Tapestry answered our questions, shared their experiences, and carried our burdens. They were there when we had to sign a risk waiver, when the agency suggested we switch to Bulgaria, when we ultimately were told there was no baby in Vietnam for us, and then rejoiced with us when we received the miracle of Elise’s referral. (Our family’s were apart of this too, but they experiencing for the first time as we were.) It was a tumultuous process, and we wouldn’t trade any part of it – especially not the part that made us parents, Elise.

So as I sit here with a growing belly, experiencing a more traditional passage to parenthood, I have already passed into parenthood. Some one already made a sacrifice, so that we could have the gift of Elise. The gift that says, “No mom, I like daddy,” or dances to the Rockettes during the Macy’s Thanksgiving Parade, or wakes us up at 11:20 pm last night because she’s throwing up. The gift that is about to have to share the limelight with another (please pray for her; she has no idea what’s coming). So this Thanksgiving, we are thankful to be parents, and we are thankful that about 4 years ago we felt God calling us to adopt.

High kicksI'm doing it like daddy.

What’s Next?

Here at the McClellan house we find ourselves wondering and being asked what’s next for our family or specifically who’s next. Do we try to get pregnant? Do we adopt again? Which is the right choice? We don’t know.

We know we started three years ago when we answered God’s calling and started our adoption process. We began our story here FAQs, and it was one of many ups and downs. Despite our experience, we would jump at the chance to adopt from Vietnam again, but there’s no way to know when Vietnam will re-open adoptions with the US, which circles us right back around to our questions…do wait on Vietnam? do we choose another adoption process? do we try to get pregnant?

In late July, I saw an update on Vietnam and for a minute I got up hope that they were re-opening, but no, they’re still closed.

So after enduring our wait to adopt Elise, we find ourselves in another waiting period, but this go around we have this little one to entertain us.

Photo booth fun

Growing Up

This summer Elise has taken leaps and bounds away from toddler hood. She does start her preschool class in August, so I guess it was to be expected. She’s said good bye to her pacifier (papper), moved to a twin bed, and potty trained. She’s aslo had some fun with a new bike and ballet (dancing) classes. She’s been busy, and so have we. After some AC leak drama that carried on for a month, we finally have our ceiling repaired and painted and the AC fixed (third time is the charm with AC companies). As a bonus, our living room and dining room got painted because of our open floor plan that connected to the ceiling. Then last weekend Scott and his step-dad installed laminate floors, and they look great. I think we’re ready for some relaxing summer time before it’s back to school – only 3 weeks away. 🙂

Keep Breathing

Randomly, I saw the end of Cast Away last night, and these words have stuck with me, “I had power over nothing. And that’s when this feeling came over me like a warm blanket. I knew, somehow, that I had to stay alive. Somehow. I had to keep breathing. Even though there was no reason to hope. And all my logic said that I would never see this place again… So that’s what I did. I stayed alive. I kept breathing.”

When things don’t make sense, we have to keep breathing, keep living, and keep trusting God. I have been keeping up with a new blog,, about a family that is in the middle of something that doesn’t make sense. It’s a family’s story of dealing with the near-drowning of their 3 year old, Claire, at the beginning of this summer. (This family is a part of my church, but I have never met them. I heard about their story in a bible study.) As this family struggles through this tragic, confusing time, they are vulnerably blogging their story. It’s pretty emotional to follow, but I appreciate the transparent story-telling.

We got through our adoption story because of God working on our behalf and the prayers of the many people who journeyed with us – some we never met. I hope you will join this family’s story, root for little Claire, and wait to see how God works.

Welcome Vivian!

We interrupt this all Elise all the time blog to introduce my niece, Vivian Marie. Vivian was born this afternoon, March 3, 2010 to my sister, Claire, and my brother-in-law, Roy. Here are the pictures I received today to announce Vivian’s arrival. (Now we are just waiting on my sister-in-law to have her baby; she’s due March 18.)