Thursday, December 1, 2011

Things are getting easier...

So we have been home for a little over 8 weeks and things are getting easier....

Bathroom~I don't have to hold Reisen anymore when I go...yay! He will actually sit on the floor for me :)

Shower~I can FINALLY sit him in the exersaucer for a quick shower!

High chair~He will sit in the high chair and let me move a few feet away. I can throw a load of laundry in, or put a few dishes away (as long as he can still hear my voice).

Naps~He will sleep 2-3 hours, uninterrupted...I don't have to go in an put him back down 1/2 way through (at least most of the time).

Walking~He is feeling so much more independent. I don't have to hold him 24/7. I can walk and he can follow..although he doesn't want me too far away!

Signing~He has learned a few, bottle, water, all done, and can say, "up" and "all done" so communication is much easier! He waves and blows kisses, too <3

Sleeping~Although he is not sleeping through the night, things are much better. He can make it through until 1-2am and then most of the time I can pat his back, or give him a bit of water and he goes right back to sleep. So much better than the numerous bottles, and hours of pacing I was having to do each night! I like how my friend Kelley put it, that it seems like he is fast tracking through infanthood. Hopefully he will continue to fast track, QUICKLY, all the way to sleeping through the night. I am looking forward to a full night sleep!!!!

We are a really busy family of 6, but I wouldn't change a thing (ok, maybe the sleep thing...but that's it). I'm loving our new normal! <3

Saturday, October 22, 2011

Oct. 20th...Happy Birthday!

So much has happened since I last posted. We traveled to Ethiopia on Sept. 13, took placement of Reisen Sept. 14, had our embassy appt. Sept. 30, and headed home Oct. 1st (that 17 hr plane ride was long!). It was a whirlwind adventure and one I am so happy I experienced with my daughter Jaeden and friend, Kirstin Cassell. I don't know what I would have done without these two strong souls! I especially need to do a shout out to Kirstin for helping me remember all those dates the gal at the embassy kept asking me for...yikes! What would I have done without her soft voice around the corner correcting me (hee, hee!)??? If you want to get a better idea of what we went through, log on to Kirstin's blog (hope you don't mind, girlfriend!), She did an AMAZING job blogging, while I was just trying to survive. ;-)

Happy, Happy Birthday to our dear Reisen!!!! We are so thankful that we were able to celebrate your first birthday with you at home. You are a gift from God and we love you so much. Now, if you could just sleep through the night...mama would be thrilled! And anyone with adoption sleeping advice...I'll take it right about now!!!

Oh, and Happy 16th anniversary to my dear hubby on Oct. 20th also! I think little man's birthdays may be taking priority over our anniversaries for awhile. Love you <3

Saturday, August 20, 2011


I've decided to travel to Ethiopia to take custody of Reisen and keep him with me until we get embassy clearance. Jaeden and I will be traveling Sept. 13...our return tickets are for a month later. Hopefully we'll be coming home before then but there are no guarantees. What we do know is that he is ours and we desperately want him with us. It was so hard to leave him and as every day goes by, my heart aches to have this sweet little guy in my arms. I'm also really excited to be traveling with another Gladney mom...we both passed court and our boys are in the same room at the care center. Bjoe, here we come :-) Please continue to pray for a speedy response from embassy so we can bring baby Reisen home. <3

Thursday, August 11, 2011

Thanks, Laura :-)

Look at this adorable outfit my girlfriend Laura dropped off! She just couldn't help herself! Thanks sweet pea :-)

Proud Mommy of 4!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!

We got the call today at 12:25pm!!! We are officially proud parents of Reisen Samuel Heesch!

We can't wait to travel back to Ethiopia to bring him home to be with his forever family! Thank you for all your love, support and prayers. Only a few more hurdles to go...Reisen, we are coming to get you, baby boy!!!


Missing our baby boy.

Thursday, August 4, 2011

A few words...

We had an AMAZING trip to Ethiopia. Our baby boy is beyond beautiful. We are completely and utterly in love!!! Court went well, but of course we do not have that coveted MOWA letter that we need to pass court. We are hoping and praying that we receive a favorable opinion sooner than later. So now we once again sit back and wait...

Wednesday, July 20, 2011

Plan B...

So we finally secured tickets yesterday and will be leaving for Ethiopia in 2 days. Without our kids......We are so very sad about this. They were looking forward to this trip for so many reasons. Flights were booked. We tried everything. We waited until the very last minute and booked tickets for 2. I cried. We couldn't get all 5 of us on a plane, so Neil and I will go alone this trip. We have been scrambling with these last minute change of plans, but thank you to my mom and dad, Dorothy, Alicia, and Renee for stepping up and taking our kids while we are away. You are all AMAZING and I feel so lucky to have such wonderful people in our lives!!! Josh, thank you for staying at our house while we are gone and taking care of our dogs. And thank you to all my other wonderful friends that have offered help. Love you! Kids, we WILL get you to Ethiopia to see the birthplace of your brother. Hopefully in Nov/Dec? Whenever it is time to travel for Embassy and pick up Reisen, we are going to get you on that plane!

Friday, July 15, 2011


We received the call this morning at 11:13!! Our court date is July 27th...which means we will leave for Ethiopia in a week! We are so excited and can't wait to meet our little guy for the first time. So much to do!!!! More blogging later :-)

Tuesday, July 12, 2011

Gotcha Day :)

Happy Gotcha Day, Kierin! It's been 7 years since you were placed in our arms and we became a forever family. What a blessing you are....we love you! xoxo

Sunday, June 19, 2011

Monday, June 13, 2011

One month...

It has been one month since we received our referral...thank goodness we have been super busy or this wait would be torture! May tends to be CRAZY and June is looking busy as well...

-End of the school year EOG's, report cards, conferences, field trips, performances (and that's just for the 4th grade class I teach)
-Jaeden, cheer tryouts...and she made the squad! :)
-Filming for The Hunger Games
-End of 7th grade, 5th grade, and 2nd grade for my kiddos (lots going on there!)
-Moving up ceremony for my 5th grader...can't believe he will be in middle school next year!
-Kierin's dance recital
-Preparing to teach online for Johns Hopkins University (CTY summer program)
-The boys to Iowa
-Teagan to Georgia for lacrosse camp this week
-Jaeden heading 4 summer camps at our house (with the 2nd one in progress now)

I am so thankful we have had such a busy month and it looks like there is no slowing down in June! We really need these distractions to keep us going as we wait for the next step in this process...our court date. Praying that it comes sooner than later...we would love to get to ET before the rainy season!!

Happy summer :)

Saturday, May 21, 2011

The Call!

At 5:07 last Friday the 13th, we were dealing with this....a leak in our upstairs ceiling! I was in a 'yuck' mood to begin with, realizing Friday was winding down and we were not going to get the call AND dealing with this mess. I was downstairs turning on the air conditioner for Neil (trying to figure out if that was the leak issue) when my phone rang...817!!!!! I was frantically screaming, "817, 817, 817!!! It's THE CALL!!!!" I had my son Teagan run out to get our oldest daughter Jaeden from the pool and Kierin was with me. Jaeden couldn't come fast enough so I ran outside screaming, "It's THE CALL! Hurry!!!!" We all gathered around the computer and when we saw his little face and those GORGEOUS eyes, we knew it was a match made in heaven <3. It was the same feeling I had when I saw our referral of Kierin for the first time...he was exactly how I have pictured him in my mind all this time. Truly amazing!!!

Natalie went through his referral information with us and asked that we go through it ourselves (as well as the other docs) then let her know if we wanted to accept the referral. After seeing this sweet baby we didn't have to think about it...we knew he was meant for our family so we accepted right then!

I still haven't processed it has been such a whirlwind week! I do know that we feel so completely blessed and can't wait to bring this little guy home. :-)

Friday, May 13, 2011

Friday, May 6, 2011

13...PLEASE induce me!

Tomorrow will be 13 months waiting. Okay, we've had about enough!!! PLEASE, can someone induce me??? This has been the longest "pregnancy" ever! I am at the point now where I hate Friday afternoons and can't wait for Monday to come around. The weekends lately have been sooo long and hard :-( 13 has always been my favorite number so I sure hope this will be "the month" for us. Hoping for news for all of us waiting (at all different stages) in this adoption process. Like so many people have posted, ADOPTION IS NOT FOR WIMPS!

Wednesday, April 6, 2011


Tomorrow will be twelve months we've been waiting for our referral for Reisen. Hopefully we will get 'the call' soon............We are sooo ready to add this little guy to our family!

Tuesday, March 29, 2011

Great news!!!

Yesterday we received some great news from our agency! Nope...not our referral, but hopefully we will set eyes on our baby boy soon! Just like our fortunes from Saturday night:

Praying for good news to share with you soon :-)

Monday, March 14, 2011


When we started this process, the average wait time to referral was 7 months. We were to travel to Ethiopia one time, stay in country for a bit, and bring home our baby boy. Although we knew going into this that there would be ups and downs (we've been through this before), we really thought we'd have Reisen home by now. We didn't think we'd have to worry about renewing adoption documents, but today we had our refingerprinting has started! Pretty soon if things don't speed up, we'll have many more docs to update...Praying for good decisions to be made in Ethiopia right now, and that these decisions are truly in the best interest of the Ethiopian children.

Sunday, March 13, 2011

Latest news...

For friends and family following our blog, this is the lastest news. Please pray that this is a temporary situation and that a positive resolution will occur in a timely matter. Click on the link to read the alert:

Tuesday, March 8, 2011


What more can I say??? On a positive note, Jaeden and I went home to Cali this weekend and found ourselves here:

You've got to love L.A.!
Here's to another month down and hopefully a referral coming our way in the near future....

Wednesday, March 2, 2011

Happy 11th!

Happy 11th birthday, Teagan!!! It is a blessing that after preterm labor at 19 weeks, 1 week stay in the hospital, and 17 weeks on bedrest, you came into our lives as a happy, healthy, 8 lb 6 oz baby. We love you so much! Hope you had the best day ever :-)

Wednesday, February 23, 2011

Miss Lake Norman Outstanding Teen Pageant

So Jaeden has been wanting to try a pageant for awhile. A month ago I was flipping through our local paper and saw a pageant she could enter. We thought it was a small, local type pageant so she decided to try it. Come to find out, this pageant takes the winning contestants to Miss NC, and then to Miss America! Having no experience (or clothes, or anything), she decided to try it anyway. Wow, what a ride...we seriously were not prepared!!! We had amazing help from an awesome gal that has lots of pageant experience (really, we couldn't have done it without are the best, Phaedra!), and spent the next few weeks shopping like crazy. We were so fortunate to be able to borrow lots of items (thanks Phaedra and Kannon!), and Jaeden made her pageant debut last Saturday night. She had a great crowd of cheering fans and really did an amazing job! She was the youngest in her age group (7th grade)...the gal that was crowned Miss Lake Norman Outstanding Teen was in 11th grade. All the contestants were amazing and did a great job! What a really sweet group of girls :-)
What I was most impressed with was Jaeden's platform statement: Orphan Awareness
Her cause, what she feels called to do, is to make people aware of all the orphans in the world and ways to help them. She discussed her travels to China and what she remembered from bringing home her baby sister. She talked about her trip to Bolivia, South America, working in the orphanage, and connecting with the boys there. She described how she is currently waiting to hear word about her baby brother and what a beautiful gift it is to build a family through adoption.
This pageant was an amazing experience for her and I am so glad she had the opportunity. I don't think she is quite ready to do another just yet but I think at some point, she'll be putting on an evening gown and 4 inch heels once again... ;-)

Sunday, February 13, 2011

Preparing for Reisen

So a few of my girlfriends continue to tell Neil and I that we need to start shopping for Reisen. Make his presence be felt among us and in our this weekend, Neil did some shopping:

Yay! A four slice toaster to replace the 2 slice toaster we have been using since we got married:) With 6 in the family, we will definitely need this!
A life vest for baby Reisen so he can enjoy many summer days out on the lake! :)

And this is what Jaeden spotted at Old Navy yesterday...I can imagine his cute little body bundled up in this...this winter!

So ladies, we did it! Aren't you proud of us? We continue to keep a clear picture of him in our minds and continue to hold that vision, knowing that he will be with us soon. xoxo

Wednesday, February 9, 2011

Happy Birthday!

To the BEST Daddy in the world! Thank you for always taking care of us, loving us, and most of all...making life fun for us. You are all about the "party" and we love that about you (even though Mommy doesn't appreciate the Slip and Slide in the house!). You give us an adventurous spirit that no one else could! Happy, Happy Birthday!!!

From Mommy...Thank you for loving me just the way I am. I appreciate how much you truly love me and our kiddos. I can't wait for you to be able to share your love with Reisen...hopefully we will set eyes on our son soon! Love you XOXO

...Now back to caring for Teagan with the flu, figuring out all this pageant business, and getting some school work done ;-)

Friday, January 21, 2011


So a few months ago, Jaeden's drama teacher told the students in her class about a local casting call for an upcoming TV series. She suggested they go to get a feel for what it is like and maybe even end up on TV! Jaeden was so excited and of course her daddy was happy to take her. So Jaeden and her girlfriend filled out paperwork, brought their head shots, and stood in a LONG line at an area mall, waiting to be seen by the casting director. Well when they finally reached the director, she took one look at Neil and said, "You are actually what we are looking for. Are you interested?" Neil didn't think much of it, took the paperwork home, and eventually threw it away. A few weeks ago, I remembered that filming was about to start and secretly sent an email to the casting director with Neil's info, and attached the most recent picture I had of him (I happened to be in it, too). Neil got a phone call on Saturday afternoon asking if he would be interesting in filming and she asked if I would be available to film, too...Why not, right?! And a perfect distraction from this long wait! So we spent the next few days frantically collecting various outfits to film two scenes (jazz and ballroom). They even sent Neil to get fitted for a tux! Wednesday morning we showed up at a parking lot in uptown Charlotte and they shuttled us to the Ritz Carlton for filming. It was a 12 hour day! There was a lot of down time and it gave us the opportunity to meet and talk with many of the people filming that day. I enjoyed that the most. People were from all walks of life...teachers, bankers, actors. While we were filming, most of the time was spent pantomiming with strangers. It was actually quite funny!
So be on the look out for a Showtime series called "Homeland" starring Claire Danes, hopefully out in August. You might get a quick glimpse of one of us in the background, pantomiming away! ;-)

Sunday, January 16, 2011


Every experience God gives us, every person He puts in our lives, is the perfect preparation for the future that only He can see.
~Corrie Ten Boom

Tuesday, January 11, 2011

Winter Storm in NC

Monday morning, we woke up to this...such a beautiful view out our front door! No school for the kids, so they played in the snow and Kierin and I stayed in and made cookies. The weather got yucky as the day went on and snow turned to ice. Now it's day two of no school and it's not looking pretty for tomorrow. I don't think things will be thawing anytime soon! Getting a bit stir crazy here, having to stay in (but I am enjoying showering and putting on a clean pair of pj's for the day). Two years ago I went outside and didn't realize there was a thin coat of ice on the sidewalk. I slipped, fell hard, and injured my bursa badly! I'm afraid to go outside in this weather! This CA girl needs to be wearing flip flops, not snow boots! We'll have to wait and see what tomorrow brings...

Wednesday, December 29, 2010


Consider it pure joy, my brothers and sisters, whenever you face trials of many kinds, because you know that the testing of your faith produces perseverance. Let perseverance finish its work so that you may be mature and complete, not lacking anything. James 1: 2-4

Sunday, December 26, 2010

Snow Day!!!!!!

Day after Christmas 2010...snow day Lake Norman Teagan getting ready to bike in the snow!
Kierin and some sledding fun!

Jaeden getting ready to sled!

Kierin and Daddy

Snow angel :-)

Jaeden's masterpiece :-)

Saturday, December 25, 2010

Happy Birthday!!!!

Dear Heavenly Father,

Thank you for everything you have blessed us with. We love you more that anyone can imagine! Your greatest gift is your son, our savior, Jesus. Happy Day of Birth Jesus!

In Jesus' name we pray,


Opening gifts from Santa, friends, and family!

Thank you God for giving us a white Christmas!!!!

Thursday, December 23, 2010

Heesch Family Christmas Card 2010

Tonight my parents are out at a friend's wedding so I decided to blog about our family's Christmas card. Don't they look so cute all dressed up and such?! Haha so my mom and I designed our family Christmas card on and it turned out great! It's very late to do our Christmas card, considering my mom normally sends it out the first week of December, but she insisted on waiting for our referral picture of Reisen to put on our Christmas card before we sent the cards out. Now I assume you all are thinking that we got "the call" but unfortunately no, we did not get "the call." My mom said it was time to just get the cards done and sent out before it was too late! We hope for our referral soon but we know it's all in God's timing. What a great Christmas present it would be to get "the call" on Christmas Day! I've only heard of one other family that got their referral on Christmas, but I guess it's still slightly possible. Merry early Christmas Eve everyone!

- Jaeden

Tuesday, December 21, 2010

5 days...

There are only 5 more possible days to receive "the call" this year...the 22nd, 27th, 28th, 29th, and 30th. If not, we will be looking for our referral call in 2011. When will it be????????????

Sunday, December 19, 2010


My high school girlfriend (and college roomie), hanging in the QC. Fun times :-) Neil, Kierin, and Teagan on the slopes!
Jaeden shredding on the slopes. Snowboarding machine :-)

Kierin skiing away :-)

The weekend was fun, but I can't wait for Monday!

Thursday, December 16, 2010

December Fun

Tomorrow is a half day for us and then winter break starts! My dear friend Missy will be coming to visit from CA (hope she can handle the cold!)...looking forward to a girls weekend at the Westin, holiday parties, skiing, a wedding, and lots of PJ time!!! Sure wish baby Reisen was here to snuggle up with. We are all feeling like a big part of us is missing this holiday season... :-( While we wait, we celebrate the time we have with family and friends and the hope for things to come! Teagan's class barebook sharing was beautiful! What an amazing time all the kids had at Barrier Island and what a neat "scrapbook" keepsake he will cherish for years to come!
It was parents night at Kierin's dance studio this week. We had so much fun watching our little giggle monster dance, tumble, and hula hoop to her hearts content!