Bring Bennet Home

Sunday, December 30, 2012

Christmas Highlights - Chris's Family

The day after Christmas we headed to Yukon to celebrate with DiDi, Uncle Delton and Sarah. We ended the day with Chris's cousins in Edmond and I failed to take a single picture at that gathering. 
Uncle Delton got Tucker a SUPER cool peddle car and we can't wait for the weather to warm up so we can break that thing in! 

Bennett spent his Christmas week being passed for arms to arms. He was loved and kissed on by lots of family! 
On Friday we went to Grandma Chloe's house and again I failed to take any pictures...
Saturday we ended our tour of homes and families with Chris's dad and his step mom's kids. 
Tucker thinks there should be wrapping paper fights at every Christmas event. 

More of Bennett taking in the holidays!

We got to get to know Sarah, Uncle Delton's girlfriend, this week and she is great! We think he should keep her!

We're also so thankful that Papa Phil is feeling better and that he got to eat a little of Christmas dinner. He is battling his second round of throat cancer right now and came straight from a radiation treatment to Christmas. 

Christmas Highlights - McKenzie's Side

We spent Christmas Eve with the Meyer side of the family. 

And Christmas Day with McKenzie's sisters, Mom and Grandparents.

Carrying on our annual Christmas Pajama Tradition. The boys who have married into the family opt out, but we all really love it. 

The only Christmas we will be a family of four so we had to document these short lived days.

Christmas Morning!

A little grin for our favorite Emrie girl.

The wrapping paper fight gets more fun every year!

Be still my heart! These sweet brothers are too cute for words.
 The night of the 27th we got together with Gary, my step dad's, kids. We were missing one family, but it was good visiting with them. Tucker always seems to be in rare form for this gathering in particular.

Poor guy! He had his fill of pictures by this point.

Christmas in the Park

The park in Elk City has a great little light display and they have lots of activities to enjoy. They open up the carousel and train that are open all summer again, which are BIG hits with our bunch. My family went on a ski trip the week before Christmas and made a stop to see us on their way out to Colorado. We had a great dinner at Simon's Catch and then bundled up and headed to the park. We had lots of fun! Tucker is anxiously awaiting warmer days so he can ride the train more often. 

At church on Christmas Eve Eve. We just had big church and then we headed home for lunch and loading for all our future stops. 

We only lack the boys for the van to be full and for us to be on our way. Our annual Christmas Crawl included stops in Chickasha, Purcell, Yukon, Edmond, Elk City, Sayre and Bristow. I just hope Tucker will readjust and not be looking for presents every time we get out of the car at a new house! 

Saturday, December 22, 2012

2012 Christmas Letter

Merry Christmas Dear Friends and Family,

   We hope this letter finds you all well. We have been blessed with another great year full of lessons, blessings, growth spurts and love. What more could we ask for?
   Early this year we began to feel a stirring to grow our family. We knew from the first week of Tucker’s life we wanted to adopt again and since we haven’t gotten pregnant between then and now we decided to pursue another adoption. We began our paperwork and the update process in the spring. We wanted to have everything done before the busyness of a youth minister’s summer began but we knew we didn’t want to be actively looked at by birth parents until after a mission trip to Africa that was planned over a year ago in late July. 
   Summer arrived and was in full swing before we knew it and our trip got closer and closer. As we approached July I began to get antsy for the adoption process to really start again. It was on my heart a lot and I spent lots of time praying for THE baby God had for us. We gathered our team and headed to the airport on July 27th and before we even made it to our gate things began falling apart. The short version of the story is someone booked eight flights for our eleven person team. Three people couldn’t get on the plane. So we opted to adopt The Three Musketeers motto and we all stayed, hoping that our travel agent could get things straightened out the next day. She worked and worked and called around 2 pm and said we were going only to realize she made the same mistake twice. There was no way she could get all eleven of us to Zambia together. We took these circumstances as God closing the door and after we chased down some luggage that headed off for our trip by itself we went home. No Zambia.
   While we were disappointed the trip didn’t happen we were also excited because that meant we could officially be considered by birth parents for adopting. I called our agency in Oklahoma City on our way home from the airport to tell them to start showing our book. That was on a Thursday. On Friday our now open schedules allowed us some free time so we headed to the lake with McKenzie’s family. Late that afternoon we got a call from our Pastor’s daughter telling us of an agency in Texas that was just starting domestic adoptions and had a birth mom wanting to look through some books. They knew we had our stuff ready so they thought of us and we contacted the agency. Ultimately we decided to throw our hat in the ring because there was no risk or financial investment involved unless we were chosen. 
   On August 10th - the we were scheduled to arrive home from Zambia - we received a call from the Texas agency that we would be the parents of a new baby boy in October. He was due October 21st and everything looked great! We decided to name him Bennett Harris after McKenzie’s Nana Lue Harris-Bacon and we got busy preparing and fundraising for our newest Gordon.
   On September 10th McKenzie got a call from Tucker’s birth mom, who we knew was pregnant again and due on February 6th, 2013. We had talked with her about our adoption plans before we had gone active and at that point she was planning to parent.  But on that Monday she asked us if we would consider parenting her baby -- Tucker’s half sibling. She knew we already had planned to adopt in October, but really couldn’t parent herself. She wanted to place with us again over anyone else, if possible. We immediately said yes! It wasn’t even a choice. 
   Then things started getting crazy! We went into prep mode for not one, but two babies! 
   Bennett decided to make his big appearance on Saturday of our Disciple Now Weekend, October 13th. We got the call Saturday about 10:30 that we should head that way and we pulled into Odessa, Texas about 15 minutes before 7:50 pm when we welcomed Bennett Harris Gordon to the world. He weighed 6 pounds and 12 ounces and was 20 inches long. He had long fingers and toes and lots of straight black hair. 
   While we were in Odessa we found out that our February Baby was another boy! Our Three Sons!!! We have chosen the name Casen and his Birth Mom chose Cole as his middle name because her middle name is Nicole. We are so excited to add a third fella to our tribe around February 6th. Everything looks great for Casen and our Birth Mom. Please pray for both of their health, for extra grace and comfort for all of us as we walk the path ahead and for the finances to be provided for us to fund two adoptions in less than six months. 
   Chris began his fifth year as the Youth Minister at First Baptist Church of Sayre in October. The kids who are seniors this year were in the eighth grade when we moved here. It’s been so fun to watch them grow up! Our Pastor resigned in December to move to the foreign mission field so Chris has picked up some extra duties. Because of the increase on his “real” job time and the fact that we will have three babies under three this spring he decided it would be best to resign as the golf coach at SHS. We will all be glad to have him around more this spring! 
   McKenzie’s hands are full with two boys and preparations for the third! She has been busy planning fundraisers, chasing Tucker and rocking Bennett. It’s so nice to have a baby around again and it constantly reminds her how big our oldest is. Motherhood is the biggest blessing of her life. She is beyond thankful that she gets to stay home to love her boys as they grow.
   Tucker is two years and eight months old. He is a busy guy who loves people, cars, trains, planes and rocket ships. He talks up a storm to anyone who will listen and even to some who don’t. His imagination is out of control as is his eye for finding airplanes and his favorite models of cars on the road. He is mostly potty trained. Tuck knows lots of songs and sings as much as he talks. He recognizes all of his letters and knows most of their sounds. He is three foot tall and weighs 38 pounds. Our big boy is such a great big brother and has transitioned to not being the only so much better then we expected! We are so blessed by this blessing of a boy!!!
   Bennett is very tricky for two months old! Ha! He weighs 12 lbs and 9 oz and is 23 inches long. He is holding his head up really well and has strong little legs that he loves to push up on. He recognizes Daddy, Momma and his big brother who he loves watching. He is sleeping well and is the sweetest baby. We’re thankful for his laid back attitude and sweet toothless smile! We can’t wait to watch his little personality develop and learn who he will become.
   We are overwhelmingly blessed to be surrounded and enveloped by so much love! We are beyond thankful for our wonderful friends and family who have been so supportive as our family has grown. We look forward to all 2013 has in store, but mostly we are anxious to meet our Mr. Casen and add him to our crazy bunch. 
   We wish you a very Merry Christmas and blessed New Year! 
   To keep up with what’s going on in our world more regularly you can follow McKenzie’s blog at
Love --
Chris, McKenzie, Tucker, Bennett and soon-to-be Casen Gordon

Thursday, December 13, 2012

Bennett - Two Month Letter

Dearest Bennett,
What a joy you are my little Lovie! You have added another rich layer of love to our family and you've taught us all a new role. You have the sweetest disposition and only seem to be bothered by being cold or hungry. Not much else gets a negative reaction from you.
You love to look at ceiling fans, Christmas lights and your brother. This month you are starting to smile and "talk" a little bit. I love your sweet little noises and happy grins that push your cubby cheeks up. You also love the bath tub, swing and bouncy seat. You really haven't found much you don't like yet, expect pooping. You can't figure it out and it makes you mad when it happens. Our doctor thinks you are pushing and squeezing at the same time which I can imagine is a very frustrating feeling. We all hope you'll figure this out soon.
You are growing lots and lots, but we don't go for your two month well check until Monday so I'm not sure exactly how much you've grown. I can tell you're getting longer as your 0-3 month onsies are getting shorter and shorter. You are wearing a size one diaper and all 0-3 month clothes still. You eat at 8, 11, 2, 5, 8 & 11 and usually 1-2 times during the night. We started from week one with the Babywise routine and it seems to suit you. You are like a little clock and wake to eat within 10 minutes of your scheduled times. This is revolutionary to me! I didn't have time to read books before Tucker was born so I just fed him when he acted hungry and had no schedule. This time around your schedule is freeing because I know what to expect and can plan accordingly. I highly recommend this method of feeding for new babies. You are sleeping 4-6 hours during the night which is AWESOME! Again Tucker's lack of schedule also contributed to him not sleeping through the night until he was two years old, instead of two months old.
You are just a happy guy. You can roll over from your belly to your back if you really want to, but you don't do it a lot. You are holding your head up really well and your legs are strong too. You can hold yourself up for a minute or so at a time. Your belly and cheeks are the only places on your body that are getting chunky. Your arms and legs are still skinny little things. You have long fingers, toes and feet. Maybe you will be the tall one of our boys.
This month you have seen LOTS of Christmas lights! Your big brother is fascinated by them so we've been to look at a bunch. You also survived all FIVE stops on your first Thanksgiving! This is our plight sweet boy, Christmas will be worse. We have lots of family and everyone loved meeting you and fussing over you.
Everywhere we go I hear how handsome you are and our whole church is crazy about you. You haven't been to nursery yet, but you've gone with mom to Sunday School and Youth and don't seem to mind. The kids instantly loved you and why shouldn't they?
Tucker has transitioned to his new role as your big brother like a champ. He loves you and doesn't think it's funny when people ask if they can take him home with them. So far Tucker has been very easy with you and loves to give you pats and kisses. Two months without being hit by a car or other flying object is pretty good at our house. Your record is better then both mine or your Daddy's in this area.
For me, becoming a Momma of two has been way easier then it was becoming a mom of one. I don't know if I feel more like I know what I'm doing or if I'm not so stressed about every little thing, but so far adding you to our family has been very pleasant. I'm sure it also has to do with the fact you are such a laid back fella. You also seem to be developing a momma preference pretty early. You smile nearly every time you see me and you calm down when you get into my arms. I'm not sad about that! I'll take those sweet cuddles for as long as I can get them!
We are so blessed to have you as our second son and fourth family member. You are in fact THE baby that was meant to be in our family. You are a joy to watch and love.
Love you more,
*I'll add pictures later. I can't get them to work for whatever reason.

Tuesday, December 4, 2012

CUTE Baby Alert! Bennett's Newborns

On Halloween we had some beautiful newborns pictures done of Bennett. We are so blessed by Holli B. Not only is she incredibly talented she is also a wonderful, life long friend. If you need pictures done, especially wedding or newborns, go to! Enjoy my boys!

Monday, December 3, 2012

Gary Paul

A little over four years ago I remember meeting Gary for the first time. He had asked Chris and I to come to Sayre to interview for their open youth ministry position. After two ROUGH summers and two not so great churches I was ready to wash my hands of full time ministry and live close to my family. We almost didn't come because I so badly didn't want to. But Chris talked me into making the drive to meet Gary and later the search committee.
We walked in to hugs and kisses from Terri Fish, our church secretary and Chris's second Mom, and were ushered into Gary's office for the first time. I was immediately put at ease by how genuine he was and his sweet spirit. We talked for a long time and he showed us around the church and then later the parsonage, which I thought was useless because we were NOT moving to Sayre. We asked and answered a lot of questions that day, but  as we stood in the hall of the church that has become our home over the last four years I was struck by how our views on ministry alined with Gary's and how much we could learn from this shepherd. By the time we pulled out of Sayre the next day with a job offer on the table, I knew we would be moving to Western Oklahoma. And I was ok with the idea solely because of who our Pastor would be. He told us the thing our hurting hearts needed to hear that day. He spoke of healing and loving us back into productive, healthy ministry. He loved on us right where we were. We are still in ministry today because of Gary Paul.
Yesterday our church commissioned Gary and Shirley as foreign missionaries as we ended his last service as the Pastor of First Baptist Church of Sayre. Teary eyed members made their way through a receiving line hugging these two who have become so dear to us and my heart broke as I watched. Loosing a pastor is difficult for a staff member. It means a loss of security and of a plan. It makes you question what is next for you as well.
But the worst part is we had to say good bye to more then a boss. We said good bye to a friend. A trusted conselor. A beloved man and woman who have loved us so well for four years. They have helped us welcome two of our children. They have fought beside us and stood up for us. Gary has encouraged and protected and taught and laughed with us in a way no other pastor in my life ever has. And I'm so thankful and grateful that my husband got to learn more of what it means to be a minister of the Gospel and lover of people from his mentorship.
Shirley provided a listening ear, encouragement and a protective wing for me. She has such a sensitive spirit and is so good at speaking only when needed. She followed and submitted to her husband's leadership so well. Many lessons for this young minister's wife to take to heart.
Gary loves so well. Maybe better then anyone I've ever met. He openly welcomes anyone who will come and ALWAYS sees the best in people and circumstances. His eternal optimism, grace seeking heart and open arms have made our church the place it is. FBC Sayre will never be the same because of the footprint Gary is leaving behind him and neither will the Gordon's.
As they go to shepherd over 1,000 missionaries I can't think of anyone more equipped for the task. Those are some blessed sharers of the Gospel to receive the two lives we are sending their way.
Thank you for the way you have loved & lived so openly for our benefit! We love you!!!

Saturday, November 24, 2012

Thanksgiving, Black Friday & Bedlam

As with any holiday we made several stops. We spent Thursday split between my dad and Chris's dad, Friday with my Mom and her family, Saturday at Bedlam and Sunday with Chris's mom. Oh the joys of being children of two sets of divorced parents!
Thursday night/Friday morning my sister, Chris and a good friend from our childhood hit the stores for a little Black Friday adventure! We went to Kohl's and Target and walked away with several good deals. Our biggie this year was Dyson Vacuums. We got three for right at $900! That's over $1,000 saved! It was worth a chilly wait outside and lots of people. We love going out on Black Friday! Lots of great people watching and fun memories. We were home and in bed by 2 am so it wasn't too bad at all.
Saturday we were given free tickets to go to the Bedlam game in Norman. While the game didn't end like we would've liked it to, it was still a fun date day! We got to hang out with friends, watch a football game together and just relax without two babies to keep up with. It was a good day!

Sunday we ended our trip at Chris's mom's house in Yukon. Tucker played and we ate and then went to look at the lights in Yukon. They are GREAT! You should add them to your list of light destinations this season! Tucker is so much fun to look at lights with this year! Can't wait to do some more of that!!!

And now on to CHRISTMAS!!!

Wednesday, November 7, 2012

Bennett's Birth Story

Adoption births are always a little different because there is a chance that the adoptive parents could miss the birth. If you are delivering the baby yourself there is no chance of that. We are six and half hours away from Odessa, Texas where Bennett was to be born so we knew there was a chance we would not be able to make it in time. But it was really important to our Birth Mom, J, that we be there waiting for Bennett as soon as he arrived. We wanted to be there, obviously, because no one wants to miss that.
On Wednesday night, October 10th, Tucker and I skipped church and headed to Purcell after his nap to attend a close family friends funeral on Thursday morning. Tucker was going to spend the weekend with my mom and I was going to come back to Sayre Thursday afternoon because we had our Big Weekend (aka Disciple Now) that coming weekend. I made it to Weatherford, about an hour away from our house, and I got a call from Holly Ann at Addy's Hope Adoption Agency. She told me J had started to bleed a little and was heading to the hospital to get checked out so she just wanted to put us on stand by. J thought it was her mucus plug but she wasn't sure. Chris was still in church so I couldn't discuss what I should do with him so I called my mom. We decided I would keep driving east and she would meet me in Oklahoma City to get Tucker and then I would immediately head back to Sayre to get Chris. He would spend those few hours making sure he had everything covered for the weekend and all our stuff was packed. I dropped Tuck off and was heading home when I got a call that it was a false alarm and she was not in labor yet. She was just dilated to a one and the doctors didn't think anything would be happening anytime soon. Chris and I half expected to be woken up in the middle of the night to drive there and debated driving halfway just to be closer, but decided to stay put because of the weekend's event. No news of anything on Thursday. I was home without my toddler as a distraction so I did what any antsy, nesting Momma would do -- I cleaned.
Friday J had a doctors appointment and was dilated to a two and was still bleeding, but not much. So we busied ourselves with more cleaning and Big Weekend preparations. The day flew by and before we knew it we were surrounded by our big kids, friends, supportive adults and sweet college kids who were all making Big Weekend a success. Friday night went off without a hitch! Saturday morning as I made my way to the church I got a text saying that J had woken up with heavier bleeding so stand by. I didn't go to the morning service, but helped with lunch prep instead. Just as the kids began to filter through the lunch line I got a call. I passed off my all important bread serving duty and hurried down the hall where I could hear. Holly Ann told me she thought we'd better head that way!
Within thirty minutes we were on the road heading west towards our baby. We left our youth group in the hands of our eldest son, Jonathan (our 23 year old former intern who lived with us for almost two years) to the sounds of our kids cheering and precious adults praying over us. We drove straight to Odessa with only one stop in Amarillo for gas and lunch. We pulled into town about 7:15 that evening. We called Holly Ann and she said to go grab some dinner and we'd meet her back at the hospital at 8 o'clock. We were driving around looking for something to eat and we got a call from her. She told us to turn around and haul it back to the hospital. J was dilated to a ten and was pushing. We met Holly Ann's husband in the hospital parking lot as Holly Ann rushed upstairs to be with J. I tried to compose myself and gather a few things we'd need right away out of our hospital bag. We hurried up the elevators and my sweet husband made small talk with Holly Ann's husband. I was too nervous/anxious/excited to carry on conversation. We sat in the waiting room for just a few minutes, but it felt much longer. We got a text with a picture of our sweet baby and tried to tell what we could from that. We sat anxiously and sent texts to those who were praying for us.
Holly Ann came to the doors and motioned for us to come with her. She told us he was doing great. Bennett weighed 6 lbs. 12 oz. and was 20 inches long (just like his big brother). We walked down a maze of hallways and soon stood outside the hospital room we would occupy for the next three days. Holly Ann asked if we were ready and with a deep breath and a nod we entered a room and became parents of two.
One of the nurses was holding a tiny bundle of sweetness and she handed him to me. As the tears cleared my vision I got my first glance at Bennett Gordon. My heart plummeted deep in love just as it had two and half years earlier in a very similar setting. Chris looked over my shoulder and held us both as we took in all of our new son's facial features. He was just beautiful! We got footprints and took a few pictures before being ushered into the nursery for our little bundle to be warmed, measured, bathed and vaccinated. We spent a while in there watching our African nurse, Betsy, take care of Ben.
We spent the rest of the night just staring at our boy, texting and calling family and friends, and skyping with his older brother who was pretty worried about where his parents were and what we were holding.
Sunday, October 14th, we had the extreme honor to get to meet and visit with J, Bennett's Birth Mom. From the beginning of this process she has wanted this to be a closed adoption. She didn't want to meet us or see the baby at all. This is her sixth baby, but the first one she has placed for adoption. This wouldn't have been what we would've chosen, but we are also very supportive of what she felt like was best for her. On Saturday while we were driving Holly Ann told us that J had expressed some interest in wanting to meet us so we began praying we'd have that opportunity. On Sunday, before she left the hospital, J decided she did want to meet us. We spent about thirty minutes with her and got to say thank you and assure her of how we would raise Bennett. We got to update her on his first 24 hours of life and hear her heart about her decision. It was precious and a time I will always treasure. I'm so glad she gave us a chance to see her face and know a little bit of who she is. Even though she doesn't want a continued relationship or knowledge of Bennett she is still a part of our family and his story. What a blessing she is to us!
We spent Monday and Tuesday at the hospital. They don't release babies until they are 48 hours old at that hospital so since Bennett was born at 7:50 pm we spent another night. On Tuesday, October 16th, we were released from the hospital, but not from the state of Texas. There is an interstate law that doesn't allow adoptive parents to take their new children over state lines until proper paperwork has been filed and approved in the county of the baby's birth, Austin, Tulsa and then go back through all those channels. There was some miscommunication on how long we would have to stay so that Tuesday night we drove straight from Odessa to Shamrock, which is less then 40 miles from our house, and stayed in a hotel. We waited around to hear the entire next day in the hotel lobby and finally heard there was a mistake and we wouldn't be going home within 24 hours. So we had my mom, who was already on her way to meet her newest grandson, stop and pick up a packed travel trailer of Chris's dads. The plan was always to stay in the trailer, but when we thought we'd only have to stay a short time we didn't have people bring it over to us, as was planned. Chris set up the trailer in the dark and we spent a VERY cold first night as a family of four.
We spent the next week living in I-40 West RV Park in Shamrock Texas. I stayed with the boys the whole time while different family members came and went. Chris also went back and forth for work and laundry purposes. After lots of red tape we finally got the word we could complete the last few miles of our journey and bring Bennett home on October 25th.
We are adjusting and loving having two boys around. While we were in Odessa we found out that our February baby will be another BOY!!! My Three Sons around here in just a few months. Until then we are soaking up these two brothers and preparing for the upcoming holidays.
We have felt all your love and prayers and are so grateful to be surrounded by such wonderful friends and family. We are truly blessed.

Saturday, November 3, 2012

Tucker's 3rd Gotcha Day!

We celebrated Tucker's 3rd Gotcha Day! How has it been three years since we finalized his adoption? I don't know really. Since we weren't sure how long we would be in Texas we couldn't plan ahead. Our sweet family gathered at Rodney's Pizza in Purcell to celebrate another year of Tucker officially joining our family. 
The whole gang. Our newly pregnant Aunt Sassie wasn't feeling very well so she missed the party, but we want her to take good care of our little Lobster until he or she makes their entrance in June. 

Granna and Popper loving on Baby Bennett. It is such a blessing to me to watch my parents love my boys!

What a difference three years makes!

Opening his surprise.

Blowing out the candle and getting ready to enjoy some yummy cookie and ice cream.
Every year this day brings such special feelings and memories. It just doesn't seem possible that it's been three years since a judge officially made Tucker ours and no one can ever change that. We are thankful for this boy and our wonderful family who love us so well! I can't imagine doing life with anyone else.

Wednesday, October 31, 2012


We were in Purcell for Halloween this year because we took Bennett's newborn pictures that morning. We made a couple of stops and came away with a TON of candy. I gotta say people buy better candy these days! When I was a kid it was mostly smarties and that gross orange and black candy. Now its mostly chocolate and skittles. Yum!
We ran into all our cousins at FBC Purcell's carnival. I can't believe how big they are all getting!

Tucker LOVES to take pictures these days. Yeah right! Here's Granna with our Donkey and Captain America. 

I'm trying to talk him into taking one good pic with Bennett and I. Not interested. However Bennett did great in the wrap. Once again he managed to sleep through all our running around. 

Captain America and Tigger on Nana Lue's front porch.

I mean! I had to get one shot of this little outfit. His pants were lost by this point but her just looked super cute! 

Monday, October 29, 2012

Storybook Forest

Halloween is getting more and more fun every year. We decided to take the kids to Storybook Forest in Edmond right before the big night. Its a great place for little kids, well most little kids. Tucker did NOT like the Big Bad Wolf and had a bad dream about him, but he enjoyed other parts of the evening. 
JK came and spent the evening with his little "brothers." We love having this guys around. 

Nana read the kids some stories because the person who was supposed to do that wasn't there yet. 

Our little Tigger slept peacefully through the whole thing.  
Tuck was brave at some parts of the trail. Once he realized candy was involved he was ok going up to the different scenes, well most of them.

Eeyore and the stone. He refused to wear the head of his donkey all night even though it's the cutest part. Oh well.
We had a great time!