One school years has been completed and another recently begun. Marin is now in "big girl school" and officially in Kindergarten and Tristan now a first grade student.
They have blossomed into outgoing, friendly and good friends to their classmates. They very much enjoy the overall school experience, from the excitement of morning line up with their friends to afternoon pick-up so they can share their day with us.
We are keeping our school district busy (or should I say we are being kept busy) with students in each school building, with kids now in High, Middle and Elementary school classes. Each of them has (so far) enjoyed their new grade and the differences from the previous years term.
Activities have always been a big part of our family and the past year is no different. Marin and Tristan joined William and Griffin as baseball players and Marin now pirouettes along with her older sisters in dance. This fall we have one football player, five soccer players and more cleats and sports bags than we can shake a stick at lined up and ready for the next practice or game.
We've been blessed with quality family time (but it's never enough). We've been on our yearly trek to Disney, had a wonderful visit with some of our adoption friends and spent a week this summer relaxing, frolicking in the waves and sand and taking on the amusement rides at the shore. It's nothing for us to grab a football or soccer ball and head outside to pass it around or for the kids to hop on their bikes and zoom up and down the sidewalk.
Marin is due for another surgery, this time for a reconstruction of her hip and the removal of a plate currently used to realign her knee. Unlike past surgeries, this one in October will leave her immobile and confined to her wheelchair while she heals. Resilient doesn't begin to describe this child! She amazes us not only with how she handles the constant need for medical intervention but her indomitable spirit and smile that lights up a room, regardless of circumstance. Marin and Jocelyn are roomies and you can hear their hysterical bed time conversations about school, what their brothers did that maybe they shouldn't have and what adventures they will take their "babies" on the next day.
Tristan - our quiet little man who can come up with a witty zinger, smile wryly and then walk away while giggling to himself for getting one over on you. He's gone from a boy who had no language to a child who can communicate and hold a conversation with you. He works hard, has come a long way and continues happily to work to improve his speech articulation and to grow his vocabulary. He loves his mom dearly and playfully taunts his dad, adores his two older brothers, is good buddies to his same age sisters and will happily go for a walk with his older sister, Elena (especially if there is a possibility of a stop at the candy store). This is a guy who likes to chill and take things easy, but doesn't hesitate to get in the fray if there is a playful wrestling match about to happen or if you want to play Power Rangers.
We are looking forward to what this new year brings, to see their continued growth, to celebrate holidays and milestones and of course a Spring trip to the Happiest Place on Earth to make even more Clark memories to hold for the years to come.