Wednesday, June 17, 2009

Summary of 2008

I’m not sure if many people realize that the last full update I did on this blog site was on February 18, 2008. The very next day, February 19th, Nick collapsed playing tag with Cody, was airlifted to UIC hospital, was cared for in the Pediatric ICU for two days and passed away early in the morning on the third day. Needless to say, my focus was wrenched away from sharing my thoughts on this website and I was forced to expend the full extent of my energy on merely surviving the next 15 months.

I’d like to back up now, however, and see if I can’t give you a brief overview of how last year went and share some photos of how the kids grew and we managed to live through the days that came and went whether we liked it or not. Looking back I see a beauty in many of the days that I missed while I was in them and so I’m glad I kept the camera close at hand. I feel as if I’m being given the chance to review, remember and relive what I might have missed along the way.

To start, immediately after Nick passed, I began to record some of my thoughts and those can be found on another blog site (at right: Andi’s thoughts on Nick) titled Mental Meanderings. All I can remember of myself during those first few weeks was that I typed a lot – either on the couch or sitting in the rocking chair in Selah’s room waiting for her to fall asleep. But somewhere along the way I thought that I should try to take some pictures and endure the pain since it was never going to go away anyways.

First we tried to fill the hole Nick left with things that reminded us of him

Then there was Easter…

And next came Nick’s first birthday in heaven. Unfortunately, I could only photograph the events on earth…

In May, Lifetime Fitness hosted a 5K run through Brookfield Zoo. Tony, Alana, my dad, and Jenni Keating all ran it in honor of Nick. Then we stayed for the day and enjoyed the animals with the kids.

In June we decided to still take the camping trip we had planned with the boys. We knew after coming home from China we’d have very little funds for a vacation. So, we planned a camping trip in Wisconsin that would end up at Grandma’s house in Door County. All the pictures and full account of the trip is at:

Many of you may be aware of a compassionate High School teenager who was “found” by Nick, but throughout the year last year became a source of healing and friendship for Cody. As early as Easter he could be found hanging around our house acting as a surrogate brother for Cody. As the summer heated up, Cody enjoyed time with Brendan in the pool and out in the football field regularly.

Summer held days of baseball, the Nazarene block party, the Arlington Million, Cody’s big birthday bash at Chuck E. Cheese and finished off with football before school started again!

For Halloween last year we took a trip up to Door County, Wisconsin and spent the weekend with Grandma, Grandpa and Aunt Alana. We had a fantastic time and plan to do that yearly from now on.

In November, exactly one year after we first held Selah, we had her dedicated to the Lord and many friends and family members came by the house later that day. We were so blessed to share the day with Alana who had a monumentous day herself getting baptized!! Yea, Alana! Praise God!

Here's Alana's Testimony at her baptism. It was spectacular and a major blessing to all!!

We also have video evidence of Pastor Jim playing catch with Cody!!

Finally came snow and Christmas – and even with the pain, as you can see, we survived it all!

Thanks for following along with us and praying for us. The support of many faithful friends and family members has been the most precious gift from God that has helped carry us through this most difficult time. Please, continue to be patient with us as I am told that years two and three are often just as painful, and often more so, than the first and I'm learning to believe those who have walked this path before me.

Thank you again - and may God richly bless each and every one of you!

The Morice Family

Friday, June 5, 2009

Sunday, June 29, 2008

Camping 2008

We are off to our first camping trip! If you'd like to follow along and see some more recent photos of Selah go to:

Thursday, March 27, 2008

Photos of Nick - (service audio to right)

Click on play button twice - then wait patiently - to start slideshow

Nicholas A. Morice
also know as
"Nick" or "Ironman"
Born April 27, 1999
Home Feb. 22, 2008

"You may have heard that I am dead.
Don't believe it for a minute.
I am more alive than ever before."

Monday, February 18, 2008

Home Update - Finally!

People keep asking me, “so when are you going to update Selah’s website?”. Well, I guess that answer would be – “now!”

We arrived home on December 1st right when the first Chicago snow was starting to fall. It turned into a blizzard that challenged Tony’s already exhausted eyes on the drive home. Every plane after ours had landed was either delayed or rerouted to another airport. Praise God for letting us land!!!!

When we saw the boys we realized more completely how much we truly missed them.

The Careys were there to greet us and gave Selah a “Welcome Home” gift with a balloon attached. The balloon was her favorite part!

My parents were there with the boys, but they came in separate cars so that we could go home immediately from the airport and try to unwind a bit. This was the most exhausting trip physically, emotionally, mentally and all while we were sleep deprived. It was quite an experience!

Once outside the terminal we realized how much Selah hates wind and snow and cold. She can’t even stand a stray puff wind in her face. The poor girl is going to be miserable for the next few months! Thank God we had a coat with a large hood she can pull down over her face (and neck and nearly down to her belly button!)

Life at home was much harder and more complicated than in China. In China she had a regular sleeping schedule and I could type while she slept. At home, she would only sleep for two hours at a time and then be up for eight. There was no schedule, no consistency, and no quantity to her sleeping. I can never completely convey my gratitude to those who took the time to bring over meals for my family those first two weeks. I was barely surviving as it was and those meals really kept my head above water!

Then came Christmas! What an experience for her!

The first gift she received was at Tony’s parent’s house and she wasn’t even sure what to do with it.
But then we exchanged gifts at home the next day and went to my parents’ house after that. By the third time around, she definitely had the hang of things and was enjoying ripping paper off of all the presents – whether they were hers or not!

On Christmas night she slept for 7 hours straight and – I’m sorry everyone – but that was the best present of all! I hate to minimize all the thoughtful gifts I received, but I hope you all understand. That was the first stretch of sleep for us that lasted more than 2 or 3 hours since we arrived home.

During our struggles for a night’s sleep, we discovered that she had no interest in sleeping in her beautifully decorated bedroom that I killed myself to get ready for her before we left (together with Jill Nichols).
(photo of her bedroom)
I guess I should have assumed that after sleeping for two years in a room full of kids she wouldn’t be interested in being in a room alone. So, we tried letting her sleep in her brothers’ room. She’s madly in love with her brothers and always wants to be with them whenever they’re home. Now their room has become the only place she will sleep.
(Photo of her sleeping with boys)
Naptime, however, is always in mom’s bed. At first she hated blankets, but once she realized how cold it is around here at night, she was happy to bundle up!

Initially, she was terrified of our dog Dixie for at least three weeks. That was horrible. I had to carry her AT ALL TIMES because she was sure if I put her down that Dixie would appear and eat her. Every day she’d tolerate a little more until one day when we came home from dropping the boys at school and she called out her named, very concerned that Dixie had not come to meet us at the door. She’s gotten very good at yelling “no” when Dixie tries to lick her...

and she will even give her gentle pat every once in awhile.

Until Christmas we noticed we had a problem - we had no “girl” toys! But she soon had no problem playing with the boys’ things!

Now life is finally settling down to normal. We have a nice daily schedule – which she really needs. She loves to be able to predict what comes next. She jumps up each morning and starts yelling at Nick to wake up (he’s on the top bunk and she can’t see him until he’s up – her yelling wakes up anyone who’s still resting). Then she runs to the potty and exits to the kitchen saying, “saw-seh? (sausage – means she wants eggs and sausage for breakfast). Every afternoon when she finishes up lunch, she jumps down from her chair and says, “nigh, nigh time?” and quickly climbs the stairs to the bedroom for her naptime. At night when she gets her pajamas on, she begins to make the rounds giving hugs and kisses and saying, “nigh, nigh. Luv oo”. She even lets me walk out of the bedroom now and do a little work while she falls asleep. I don’t have to sit with her until she’s fully asleep anymore.

I can hardly believe we’ve only been home for 2 months (less actually!) with how much she has progressed. She is a very independent girl and loves to learn and explore and works so hard to speak new words. She’ll stare at my mouth and try and try and try to repeat a word over and over until she gets it right. She’s very determined!

Thank you so much to all of you who prayed and supported us in so many ways. Please, don’t stop now! We’ll need your love and support now more than ever! We are so blessed to have so many great friends and family members. I can’t wait to share with you each step of our journey over each and every year!

God Bless you All!!
Andi (and family!)

Sunday, December 2, 2007

Days Fifteen & Sixteen

We're going home!!!

By to our new friends...

Then off to wait for our flight...

And eating our last meal before we land...

Day Fourteen - U.S. Consulate

We went to the consulate today to get all the imigration paperwork. We'll need to have it processed when we land in the states and the moment thye stamp her passport she'll be a US Citizen! How Exciting!

Also, we went across the street to see the largest manmade waterfall in China!

Then we all went out to eat together for the last time - we go home tomorrow!

Day Thirteen - Shopping

Day Thirteen - shopping

We had a free day today. So, I took some of those photos I've been meaning to...
Like Lucy's...

and items in the White Swan...

and some of the stores...

(They had such small entrances, you'd never guess how big they are inside!)

Then we had some time to play at the park at night.

She really loves the park. I guess you'll see us playing in the snow going down the slides this winter!

Then we took an evening stroll along the river. This bridge you always see over us when we're at the park is the private entrance to the White Swan. They had so many visitors they were clogging up the streets, so they made them their own entrance ramp.

But that was all. Nothing exciting today

Wednesday, November 28, 2007

Day Twelve - Botanical Garden

Day Twelve - Botanical Garden

Selah was bored with today's activities save two things. She LOVES water so she was very insistant about getting up close to each and every fountain, stream, or fish tank. Also, she lovesw kids. Today was apprently field trip day for the local school children because there were dozens of groups of school kids around. She would just stand and watch them and I'm sure she'd continue for hours if I didn't insist that we move on.