Team Sanborn

Team Sanborn

Friday, December 31, 2010

Happy New Year!

We are celebrating New Year's in FREEZING California this year.  It was literally 53 degrees for a high yearterday.  UB bought us all tickets to Disneyland for Christmas.  We did Disneyland yesterday for 14 hours straight!  The kids had a ball!   Andrew even fell asleep as we waited for the 2:30 christmas parade.  We were right on the curb and he slept through the marching band litereally 4 inches away from us.  He was SUPER tired!  The kids did great, LOVED every minute of it and we can't wat to go back for two more days.  I will post some pics when we get home.  We are so greatful for such an amazing year.  We have so much to be thankful for!  Happy New Year!
Team Sanborn!

Friday, December 17, 2010

2 important men, 2 important dates, 2 days late Part 2

On December 13, we celebrated my dad's 9 year "Transplantaversary".  It is just what it looks like!  We celebrated every year on the day he got his transplant.  For those of you new to our blog and story, my dad had a heart transplant on December 13, 2001.  He was born with a heart defect that is easily fixed in babies today, but 60 years ago...not so much.  When he was transplanted, he was the oldest living person with that heart defect.  Throughout his life he had several surgeries to correct issues connected with his heart.  But 9 years ago, he was given the gift of live by someone we do not know, whose family we have never met.  Of course the reality is that for anyone to receive an organ transplant, someone has to give up an organ.  So we celebrated every year (and still celebrate) in honor of his donor and his family.  All we know about Daddy's donor is that he was a 30 something male.  And we know that while we had much to be thankful for that Christmas 9 years ago, another family was experiencing something quite different.  I write a letter to the donor's family every year telling them what an amazing gift they gave our family.  The man who could not dance the entire "Father/Daughter" dance at our wedding was running around after two toddlers a few years later.  Even now that my dad is gone, we still celebrate.  We had 7 amazing years with my dad we would not have had if it weren't for that one unselfish gift.  As of 2006, the family had never read our letters.  It does not matter.  What matters is that we are forever grateful to a man we will never know and to his family we will never meet for giving us the gift of life. 

Wednesday, December 15, 2010

2 important men, 2 important posts, 2 days late Part 1

Happy Birthday Justin!!
Where do I start about my sweet brother?  I (like many people) end up introducing myself as Justin Cates' sister.  I also like to point out that "he has changed a lot since high school"-HA!!  But really...  There are not words to describe this man.  First, it seems weird to even call him a man.  He will forever be the 4 year old our neighbor and I dressed in a white dress and slathered make-up all over.  He will be the kid I used to straddle and hold down to torture, even though he is a little bit bigger than me now.  He will always be the kid that started hitting on waitresses at my birthday dinner when he was 12 -really Justin?!  The reason my whole world was turned upside down 30 years ago. 
He is also the reason I have 2 children.  Well, for lots of reasons really.  Okay, Bill gets some credit, Amy Clinite gets some too (along with all of you who prayed us through our first adoption journey) and God gets it all.  Very early on in our relationship as siblings, I knew my brother would be my lifeline.  If you dont have a sibbling, I am sorry and you will probably look at this post as craziness (Bill does).  If you have one other sibbling you know just what I am taking about.  When my parents were embarrassing me, he understood and rolled his eyes too.  When he got picked on I was right there (and vice versa) until high school football hazing (sorry UB).  When we were 18 and 14 respectively my dad had a stroke and our relationship intensified.  Mom was taking care of dad, and that left us.  At a time when most siblings CANNOT STAND EACH OTHER, God drew us closer.  Through the darkest days of my life (and there has been some pretty unrelenting darkness), he was there to hold me up.  So many other instances I could mention, but won't (he will have another birthday and I can blog about those then), but one in particular. 
He took me to Africa.  I had never wanted to go, I was a "sender"!  God gave me a good job so I "sent".  God had other plans and Justin was an important part.  As soon as he got back from his first trip to Kenya, he started pursuading me to go.  One year later, I went, kicking and screaming and finally submitting to God's will.  On that trip I fell in love with a continent really, not just Kenya.  The trip changed my life in so many ways.  The way that will go down in history is this-God used that trip to plant the seed of international adoption.  On that trip to Kenya, we were on the border of Ethiopia and Kenya with a broken down Matatu.  I was basically in Ethiopia at the same time Andrew and Annabelle were concieved.  Wierd huh?  So I have 2 children because I could not imagine my life without my sibbling, and I have 2 children from Africa because my brother saw my brokennes and would not give up.
So today we celebrate his life, all 30 years of it.  He is amazing really.  He is strong and sensitive.  He loves the Lord in a mighty way, and his family with just as much fire. He works hard and sacrifices a lot, more than most people know, for the welfare of others.  He is fiercely loyal and ridiculously hilarious.  Did I mention handsome and single?
So Justin, when mom and dad called from the delivery room to tell me "it's a boy", and I told them to "put it back"...  I was wrong.  I would never want to walk thorough  life without my sweet baby brother by my side.  I love you!
Happy Birthday Tiny Brother!

Monday, December 6, 2010

"The Most Wonderful Time of the Year..."

I titled this blog for the last picture I will post, but please keep reading!  I love the holidays...  I mean I REALLY LOVE THE HOLIDAYS!!!!  I love baking and hot chocolate and singing and sweatshirts and christmas lights (I really LOVE christmas lights).  I especially love the reason for all of those things.  I love that we celebrate the birth of our Savior.
 I have always had GRAND plans for how to usher this time of year in.  I wanted a peppermint mocha in my hand, watching my sweet family decorate the tree in the dim light provided by only the tree.  Christmas carols are playing in the background as my adorable children sip hot cocoa and eat christmas cookies in their warm matching jammies.  Since we have had kids, we let them put a few ornaments on and I have my fantasy after the kids go to bed (peppermint mocha and all).  This year I was BEYOND excited that I got to have the whole thing!
Well, it wasn't exactly as I pictured...
The christmas jammies from last year (HUGE last year) did not fit, which is why we are in summer jammies.  Andrew decorated the whole tree from 4 feet down while Annabelle sat on the chair and pouted because I would only let her have one cup of cocoa.  I didn't get my peppermint mocha because we were in too much of a rush to get this done before it got too late and it was meltdown city!  The kids were sick of christmas music since I was playing it all day while I decorated the whole house.  So from the whole elaborate dream I had pictured, I had cocoa and cookies.
I am so thankful that no matter HOW I pictured it, or HOW it happened, we are still celebrating the birth of the Son of the one who created it all!

Hot cocoa and gingerbread squares

Who's hand do you think this is?

This picture turned out kind of blurry, but trust me, SHE IS NOT HAPPY!!!  Poor Andrew is like, "why are you so mad?  I did all the work!!"
Truly the most wonderful time of the year!