Ronon Flynn’s first birthday party

A year ago around this time I was planning Monkey girl’s fist birthday party. I was a hot crying emotional mess. Severance had already happened and we were just living in limbo waiting for their parents to be found.

I was planing RJ and Vivi’s parties as well. And kinda mad. Nope. Just mad. Mad that they were in limbo. Mad that their parents were going to miss first, second, and fifth birthdays. Every first that these kids had for the year we loved them I wondered about their first and future Mom. Whoever and wherever she was/is she was missing first steps, words, adventures…

And then I started thinking about our missing person and wondering how many of their special days and moments we had already missed. I was a hot mess this time last year.

And then we brought Ronon home. He wasn’t walking yet. He only had a few words. He hadn’t had his first birthday yet. It was like a special gift from heaven. Yes, we missed lots of firsts. But not all of them.

And you know what? Even if we had missed all the firsts I am starting to realize that that would have been just fine. Our missing person is home exactly when he was supposed to come.

Waiting on Heavenly Father’s time is hard. But He knows just what I need as a Mom. I cherished all of the missed firsts for a year for three Moms. They are engraved into my heart for ever.

And ALL of Ronon’s firsts that I do get to have are even more special for the knowledge that I am blessed and lucky to witness his firsts.

Happiest first birthday party baby!


Obviously I went with a DC comics superhero theme with an emphasis on The Flash. Because for four years we waited and looked for our missing person and then like a flash it all came together and suddenly he was home. Plus we REALLY like DC comics.img_9420 img_9421

Kaylee and Regan pulled out some of their action figures to decorate the cupcake stand. Regan’s baby flash was perfect for Ronon’s cupcake topper.img_9422 img_9423

The pin the game that no one played…. I keep telling my kids that I’m not going to make them anymore, but they beg. And then a game gets made and not used. And I like them for decor so…img_9424

I ran out of red dye so we used the red sprinkles instead. I should have just made another run to the store. Oh well.img_9427

Pinata and pinata bags. This was one of my best pinatas to date. img_9428 img_9429

Kaylee and Regan colored all the hero symbols for the banner wall. They were so excited to help for baby’s first party.img_9432

Sweet Baboo and hist first Mama pinata. He was so confused.img_9441 img_9452 img_9460 img_9476

Those Walker boys. They are such great kids. Happy to crack the pinata and finish it off for us.img_9478 img_9483

More confusion. He just kept looking at all the smiling singing strangers. I’m sure he was wondering what on earth was going on.img_9488

Regan blew the candle out for him. img_9491 img_9494

He was super hesitant to dig in. That didn’t last long though.img_9496 img_9500 img_9502 img_9504

BAM! Cupcake 0 Ronon 1img_9506 img_9522

Uncle Josh shenanigans.img_9525 img_9533 img_9545

I was able to hunt down the maker and special order another monkey blankie for him. He LOVES monkey. A spare for washing and in case we ever loose monkey was a must. He was so funny looking at both of his monkeys. img_9547 img_9550 img_9560This was the best photo we could get of our one year old on his birthday. He will I’m sure get use to posing for the camera. Because I’m his Mama and that means he ‘s going to grow up with a camera in his face every single day.

Happy first birthday Ronon Flynn. We are so very happy you are home.


That time Regan was stupid.

If I’ve told him once I’ve told him a thousand times. You CANNOT jump INTO the edge of the pool.  He jumps and then turns back to the edge while in the air! But did he listen to me or any other adult who saw him pull this stunt? Noooo. For a couple of summers now he’s been pulled out of pools whenever he’s jumped in wrong. And told why and what will happen. But did he believe me (or any adult)? Nope. So he just kept doing the stupid thing of jumping into the edge of the pool.


So I’m in the pool doing swim lessons (meaning I had a baby in a foatie with one hand and a three year old jumping to me with no floaties) Regan was playing with is buddy next to me a few feet away, the girls were on the steps. All kids heads were above water and life was shiny. And then I see him jump like he is not supposed to and then the screaming. And the blood. And me being grateful we were in the shallow end (because it could have been SO SO much worse. In all ways.) and pissed about it all.IMG_8894I was just pissed. I’m not even going to lie. I was not sympathetic at all. Especially after he said, “I believe you now Mom!” To which I yelled, “Ya think!” I may have scarred my friends kids.

And then after a quick exam of the wounds and his teeth I mentioned that it looked like he needed stitches but not a dentist. Oh, boy! I mean he totally lost his brain at that point and my friend who had gone inside to take care of littles ran outside to see why Regan was dying. She was equally non sympathetic (because of all the times she had told Regan) and used it as a great visual life lesson on why there are safety rules.IMG_8896I told him I’d try some butterflys and see how that goes and that if he was lucky Dad wouldn’t have to take him to get stitches. So I hauled four soaking wet kids home and put on my nurse hat. I told him I didn’t want to hear one complaint about the pain. And you know what, he thought that was fair. So lots of ouchy faces, but no whiny chatter. IMG_8897He held rock still while I disinfected and closed him up.IMG_8898Jon brought home tagaderm so we could shower him up and keep everything in place.IMG_8909This was the next morning when I checked it. All his med ointment for his skin had loosened the adhesive and I had to redo his butterfly and tagaderm. But it was already staying together and not popping apart.

So he has some “when I was young and dumb” scars on his chin. But it’s okay because he believes me now…. (I’m not still ticked about this at all.)

Ronon Flynn

June 16th we got a Facebook message from Jon’s cousin.

“Hi Janice and Jon,

I wanted to reach out to you because my aunt Dawn ( moms sister) knows a 1 year old boy that needs to be adopted. I always see your posts so thought I would bring you all together to see if it possibly would be a good fit. Hope it’s okay that I am starting this conversation.”

And that’s how we met our son. Our son. It’s so strange and wonderful and perfect. Four years of waiting and it’s like a waking dream.

We texted and Facebook messaged all that day. And the next.

I’m re reading those messages and I’m laughing at how standoffish I was. We’ve had these beginning conversations several times over the last four years and not been chosen so I was holding back lots.

Looking back over the last four and a half years I can now see clearly all the tender mercies that our Heavenly Father provided us to get us ready for our son.

On Saturday the 18th we got to go meet him and play with him. And we knew. We knew we were his. BUT since we have had children not actually come home before we were scared and didn’t want to tell anyone about the situation.

I remember just staring at him and chatting with Brandie and Scott (who were loving on him) and looking at Jon and trying to get a read on him about how he felt. Nothing. And he didn’t want to talk about anything until we got home. I was also kind of annoyed at my big kids who were off playing with others and didn’t seem interested in baby.

So I sat in awe and wonder at this little boy and wondered what my family thought of him. And waited. (Which is the worst.)

Our children were hungry so we stopped by Subway on the way home and grabbed lunch. I asked Jon while we were in line about what he thought and was feeling. “Let’s wait until we get home.”

So we get home and it was another twenty minutes (which felt like LOADS longer) before we could head to our room for a private chat.

Me: So?

Jon: He’s our son.

Me: You couldn’t tell me that sooner?! (I may have wanted to throw a pillow at him.)

Jon: I wanted to wait until we were alone. And I don’t want to tell anyone yet. Not even the kids.

Me: ………….. I’m texting Dawn! (They were waiting to hear and waiting is the worst.)

There were lots of tears of joy from us both. And we talked about what a strange way that was to meet our son. Our son… 🙂

Then we hashed out why he didn’t want to tell people. And he did. And I did. But what if it didn’t work out?….

And that’s the thing when you experience loss. You kinda shy away from  trumpeting wonderful news until you know it’s not news. Until it’s official and really really real. We were the same way after our miscarriages and after our first placement match fell through. We huddle in and keep precious sacred information close to our hearts.

The kids though. That was hard. I agreed that not telling them until it was official was for the best. They’ve been hurt before too. But still. Hard. It didn’t help that they both individually asked us when we were bringing their baby home. Turns out they didn’t need more than a few seconds in his presence to know that he was their brother.

Sunday was Father’s day. It was a bittersweet day. Knowing our son and not having him with us sucked. Knowing he was being loved on by such wonderful family helped lots.

Monday my phone was all but glued to my ear. Dawn, ongoing case worker – Jennifer, our licensing specialist – Denise. Phone calls, texts, emails…. Totally worth it for this introvert because Monday night we got to bring him home.

Our son is home. And it already feels like he always was. Smitten. Grateful. Blessed beyond measure. Ronon (ro non – Righteous Outspoken Nurturing Observant Nonchalant) Flynn (Son of a red-haired man) is HOME. And the most amazing part? His family came with him. Not to our home (yet), but to our family.

IMG_8861 IMG_8862 IMG_8868 IMG_8870Tonight we feel our Heavenly Father’s love tenfold as we hold our baby close. Blessed. We are so very blessed. Welcome home baby. Welcome home.