Monday, December 29, 2008

How do you say LOA??

WHOOOOOO HOOOOOOOO- LOA, Letter of Acceptance for our Chloe girl! She is ours, our girl, China says so, it's official!!
Can't rain on my parade today but to update all, next is Travel Approval (about 3-5 weeks to wait for that) then we GO! Off to China, to get our girl, yep, going to China, off we go, to China, to bring our Chloe home!
Blessings abound, we are so incredibly thankful!
2009 the Year of CHLOE:) I can't wait to hug you, my precious, precious daughter...

Friday, December 26, 2008

In Honor of Tristan

A Tribute to our son, Tristan
12-26-07 to 10-08-08

Our Precious boy should be turning one today,
But instead you have gone away.

Up to heaven you went,
Only 9 months and 12 days on this earth you spent.

Oh, but the many precious memories we have,
It heals our wounded hearts like a salve.

Your smiles, your coos, your love we felt,
The amazing fight you had with the hand you were dealt.

We loved you so much it was hard to let go,
But our love for you helped us to grow.

To love one another and not take for granted,
The many, many seeds that your life planted.

Seeds to grow and spread the joy of your short time here,
A tribute to your life and not to live in fear.

To love openly and much, to enjoy our lives, to share,
For we never know how long we have to care.

In honor of you we will celebrate your day with cake and fun,
Balloons and a candle to celebrate you turning ONE.

You will forever be our angel baby boy,
And when we see you again it will be with joy.

We’ll NEVER forget you baby,

Daddy and Momma

Thursday, December 25, 2008

Merry Christmas!

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Here it is, the big day. It started at 6 am, yes, before dark, Cam woke up S knowing once he is up, everyone is up. Rotten boy. (ours, not S) So it was not even light out and we hauled our tired selves downstairs for them to go nuts.

S took one look and back up he went. He was talked into coming back for one gift opening then he went off again. He opened most in his room:) Too much excitement for him. Everyone else went hog wild and in 21 minutes had it done.

We told Mal her savings had to be transferred and was able to surprise her with a laptop, that was what she was saving for:) A nice one, a great deal. Very happy we could pull that off. Donovan got a guitar, he was very happy with that. All in all a good year, fun for all and huge blessings for us to say "Yeah, remember that year that Camden nearly took out the tree with Kat's pogo stick?"

Merry Christmas, enjoy the pictures of our day.

Wednesday, December 24, 2008

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Guess who stopped in our house early? Yes, the big man, Ho Ho himself, sent to us by our little man, Tristan, or should I say his "elves?" Knowing it is hard to face this Christmas, never having gotten to see a Christmas and his birthday is December 26th. So we are thinking of him and missing him deeply.

We were surprised and honored when we were told we had been chosen for this special surprise and it meant so much being able to tell the kids that it was from Tristan, they haven't forgotten him and they are now assured HE loves them and he will never forget them, that he is safe in the arms of God and he is happy. So they can take this gift and know he is so happy he shared his joy with them :)

They are in AWE of the strings he was able to pull to send the REAL deal, big guy in red, to OUR house a day early and bring gifts!

All I can say is "thanks ELVES" it was very appreciated. I am in tears, happy tears, good memories tears. Another blessing from one very special angel baby boy- his life touched so many and it keeps on:)

A true Christmas miracle. We love you Tristan, forever.

Tuesday, December 23, 2008

Pre- Christmas Drama

Today was pajama day for Cam and S. That was fun trying to convince S that he really could wear jammies to school :) Wish I could get away with that. They got to watch a movie and come home early. Oh, fun. There goes my last day of freedom for 2 weeks. JOY.

So far the school called about Donovan, his talking out in class, a certain class. HMM, do they think I will take away his Christmas toys if they call me now?? REALLY?? Go home already. It's 6:30 pm, I am NOT impressed with your "dedication" to the learning and social issues of my kid today. And Merry Christmas to you too.

Guess you can tell I'm a bit unhappy, no LOA for us. News that it "will be mailed this week" from China, meaning our agency will not get it till next week at the soonest. Then the wait for Travel approval will begin. JOY. ANother wait time. just what I wanted- NOT. Guess it will be a nice getaway trip in the cold after Christmas blah days. Going to China. See ya.

Kat gave me some nice drama tonight, girls are DRAMA queens. I have decided this. Boys get up, shake it off and off they go. Miss Kitty got a piece of candy we were given today in this tower of Santa boxes, too cute, each box filled with a treat. So she wanted a hard candy. I said "no, not before supper," so as soon as supper was over she HAD to have one. I told her- as any GOOD mother does, "you shouldn't have that at all, you could choke on it." Don't those things always come back to haunt you???

Just like the "you'll shoot your eye out" she got the candy and she apparently choked. All I see is her gagging. Thinking, GREAT she has a stomach flu NOW!!!! But come to realize she is choking on the blasted piece of candy. She threw up- what does Cam say as I am trying to figure out what she is vomiting over- "Did you touch your uvula?" Where do these kids get this stuff? As he tells me it will make you barf if you do that.

So anyway, after determining there was no uvula touching causing her vomiting and she was saying she felt like the candy was still stuck in her throat, she is now in bed and sad since her throat is sore and is going to be. Thank GOD she did not choke and go hide, as she is prone to do if she thinks she will be in trouble and probably me saying "you could choke on that" would be enough for Miss Sensitive to THINK she might get in trouble.

Enough drama already. Just a quiet peaceful Christmas please. Oh and LOA asap would be nice. Too lazy to post a picture, can't make me, so I'm not gonna do it. Call me grinch I do not care, so there.

Friday, December 19, 2008

All I want for Christmas is....

LOA please. I said please. Day 106 and no word. Other than someone else logged in on the SAME day as us got theirs. Pouting here, not fair. I want LOA. All I want.

What have I been up to? Well, I wrapped gifts next door at Derrik's so I had some peace and quiet- wow. Weird. I have almost everything ready. We have schedule worked out for visits for parents of the boys to allow us a break over the 13 days off these wonderful, joyful, children have off in a row. Actually I threatened to be hauled off to a rubber room if someone didn't give me some time away from the 4 of them with 13 days off. A saint I am not. No way. Not going there.

Big Bro Jay was kind enough to take Cam and Kat off for a much needed break for them, playing video games and pizza, they are thrilled. They too, must tolerate the behaviors of the boys and I know they needed and deserved a break tonight, they are very tolerant and helpful, which can be hard, sharing your mom, dad, house, toys, rooms.

I gave Kat a little snip of a HAIRCUT this week, she had her head shaved right before she came to us 2 years ago. Terrified of haircuts. I have trimmed bangs as her uneven hair grew in, then we had the unfortunate "poster putty" incident. Needless to say, her hair has grown amazingly long, but the ends were scraggly looking and her bangs too long. I considered leaving the bangs grow out but she is too young for that, she constantly has hair in her eyes. I can't stand that.

So I trimmed her bangs and the back. She was very happy, but wanted to keep the 1 1/2 inches of hair to "pet it" that I cut. Strange girl.

H has a bummed up head, guess Cam paid him back for the "jump off the bed and dive bomb Cam incident." I think it was more of an accident, H thought it would be super for Cam to carry him on his back and when Cam tried it, fully expecting him to be like little 30 pound Kat, he was overwhelmed with 56 pound H and dropped him. He got rug burn on his forehead, mainly since Cam tried to keep a hold of him and didn't dump him, he slipped to the floor. So they both sport some bruises now. I told them to take it easy on the boo boo's, I can't keep them in band aids and I hate the ER:)

We went to the Christmas program for S. I had a terrible time getting him in a dress shirt, tie and vest, he hated it. He was so mad at me he went to Kat's room, since I was in his and he couldn't pout in there and when I went to get him from Kat's room he was on the fuzzy pink play phone telling the police " Bickie BAD" and firing me. WOW. He is so funny. He was not very well behaved for the program, but if he had to misbehave, at least he looked great doing it.

It was worth him being mad and calling the "police" on me. I did get one answer to a puzzle of him. he would tell me he was telling Mr. Wilson on me. Well, I had no idea this was his gym teacher and I have always just said " okay, you tell him!" Wow, I'll bet Mr. Wilson knows more about "Bickie" than he EVER wanted to know :)
Anyone else's kids playing with the empty wrapping paper roll for HOURS and making you wonder what they NEED toys for?

Tuesday, December 16, 2008

A Poem for Chloe

A 7 year old child stood on the street alone,
left there confused, no place to call home.

She said not a thing when the police came that day,
only her first name as she was taken away.

To a home for many children, all with no family of their own.
A sad little girl, would now call this orphanage home.

Years past by, little ones came and went,
adoption the girl was told, a big huge event.

So many little ones, even ones with special needs,
so cute and sweet, off they went to new families.

As the girl sat and watched with a sad little smile,
happy for the little ones, all the while.

Wondering when and why, would it ever be her turn?
oh but how she did yearn.

For someone to want HER, a girl of near 14,
would anyone chance to want a teen?

Her days numbered and she knew this to be,
one day a letter came from this "family".

It said "we want you, we wish to adopt YOU,"
it was then that this teen finally knew.

She was WANTED and was cared for,
she couldn't have asked for more.

This family called her daughter and loved her,
they wanted an older child, of this they were sure.

As they sent pictures -they were pale and had red hair,
they had a little girl that looked like her, but she did not care.

For she could see this was a family with love to give,
and they wanted to bring her home with them to live.

As she left all she knew, she gathered her things her family had sent.
She was being adopted, a big huge event.

Would they show up, would they leave her standing alone?
Or would they really want to take her home?

They arrived with a flurry and her mom squealed with delight,
there were kisses and hugs and her mom held her so tight.

Off they went hand in hand, her mom didn't want to let go.
This teenaged girl knew then that it was really so.

It was HER that was wanted, it was no mistake,
they HAD came for her, not a baby to take.

A family for her, a mom, a dad, and siblings for sure.
to be loved and cherished as their daughter forever more.

In honor of our daughter, Lu Yun, waiting in China
Vickie & Ron

Saturday, December 13, 2008

Century Club

100 Days waiting for Chloe. WOW> never dreamed we would be sitting here. With Kat we got Travel approval ( there was no Letter Of Acceptance (LOA) to wait on with her) at 72 days they said come and get and and we got her. That was that. Now you sit and wait and wait and then get LOA which is good, but a tease also, a 3-4 week follows to get TA. Just to add to your anxiety level.

It used to be that a 100 day wait from logged was the exception, you looked at people who were waiting that long and pitied them. Now it's the norm, you are happy to get there 'cause you know you are getting close. Sad. But for whatever reason we are hanging in there and will see an end soon, we hope.

What happened in my life today, you ask. Okay no one asked but I am telling you 'cause I was so darn mad this morning it took all I could to stay patient. I was up before the kids, they were up shortly thereafter. They had food, first on the agenda, of course. The little guy said and I quote " today is another day and I can try again, huh mom?" Yeah, yesterday was pretty rough with him. He was not listening to much of anything and went to bed early for hitting Kat in the head with a toy on purpose.

So what does he decide to do today????? Mind you this is a FIVE year old. Kat is 5! She wouldn't DREAM of doing this. He was supposed to be sitting and watching cartoons, the Christmas tree was obstructing my view of him and within 2 minutes of me telling him to sit and watch TV, he took off up stairs, climbed on the top bunk bed and jumped off onto Camden, knocking him into a dresser and cutting his leg, bruising his arm bad enough that I was not immediately sure it wasn't broken. And then he tells me he did it "ON PURPOSE." "Why?" I asked, no reason, just "on purpose."

He was not being snotty or mad or malicious when he answered just quietly said "on purpose." Boy Oh Boy. So I informed him he was sitting on the couch and would be in my sight at all times so that he could not hurt anyone else. He sure doesn't make himself like able doing things like that. I was surprised he didn't LIE, hey, we are making progress, huh? Not sure what direction that progress is going but he didn't lie. I worry, not that he is normally violent, he is just impulsive which can lead to reckless but the other kids don't care to be hurt and they will not want to play with him at all which will not be good. This child must understand how to behave with children, it is very important he get this NOW, while he is little.

Again, fostering special needs is not for the weak at heart. The rewards can be wonderful, Hearing "Bickie, Camden made a castle, come on" when no else gets full sentences out of the bigger boy, and when he did not feel good and he laid his head on my fluff and just cried, I felt so bad he asked for "medicine" thinking it would make him better, but he had a bug and was over it very fast with no medicine at all. We have seen probably 75% better behaviors with both boys so that is amazing in 5 weeks. But the 2 steps back after 1 step forward is still hard to take. I pray a lot for them both.

Everyone is still snotting around and sharing some stomach/nausea crap, hoping they get it all out for the holiday to be a good one:) I took Derrik and helped him Christmas shop last night, so he is done. I am almost all done but for a few small things and then there's all that wrapping- I am trying to figure out just when to do it! That's always the hardest thing, finding the time for it.

Donovan is in the kitchen trying to learn to cook, I think he removed the smoke detector before he started, always a bad sign:( Better go check up on him before he burns the house down............ mom's worse, children, fire.

Wednesday, December 10, 2008

Missing my baby

I missed my baby today. Why? Well, mainly 'cause it rained today and was dark and dreary. On a day like this, I could count on him being comfy. Something to do with the barometer readings or something fancy some folks would say, but I say it's a good NAP day. And nap I did. Some days when Kat would take her short nap time, which usually does not happen except on these types of days, I would curl up next to my baby, I could feel him breathe and I could really rest. Ahhh, I loved that boy. Do you feel the love we shared in the picture? He was so amazing.

Going to bed each night even with his wonderful nurses taking care of him I slept "on alert" if they needed me. Until about 7 or 8 nights would go by and I would crash and sleep sound. The best sleep I got in the 8 months he was here were those little sweet snuggle naps. He even slept better, feeling my breath on his back, as lying on his side was most comfy for him and we fit just perfect on the couch on his special pad if my head was at his back. So today I laid my head on his wedge pillow that still smells of his baby sweetness and I napped, just like old times.

Ahh my precious angel son. I will love you and carry you in my heart always. Your blessing in our life carries on and on:) I felt you today, lying there on your pillow, telling me "mumumum" in my ear as I slept so I woke with a smile. Or was that due to S pulling up my eyelid saying "Bickie" are you in there? Wake UP!"

Yes, Jay came over to get S off the bus so I could rest, and there he comes making me wake with a smile. How could you NOT smile at that? Miss Kitty was full of smiles today too, playing in her room.

We got word today that the rumor of the orphanage increase fee is true, but also that the grant that was applied to Chloe's adoption is covering the difference. PHEW! What a blessing!! How do you say "sorry can't afford you?" Thank God we won't have to worry about saying those words:) We also heard that we should be getting our Letter of Acceptance "soon." I will get excited when I see it, not till then, and our travel is still unknown based on when we get this. Obviously, the longer it takes, the later we go. Chinese New Year factors in there too, it's Jan 26th. How do you say "God's timing?" Very often in my world:)

I am going to share a little about our boys and how they are doing. S is settled in well, he is the more typical autistic one, if you must label him. He has some really fun quirks, he will not wear long sleeves without a fight, he doesn't mind a muscle undershirt and jacket so we have paired those with his short sleeved shirts with good success so far. He won't wear black either. Hates sock, they come off as quick as possible and only will wear spiderman pj's, we have 4 pairs now- so we are good to go:)

He is bright but will try to let on like he doesn't hear you/doesn't understand to try to get his way:) Ha ha, that's been tried on me before many times, so I caught on to that quick. When mad he tells me I am "fired" (I thanked him- what can I say, it was a rough morning) and when he hates my food he calls it crabby patties. He says "aye aye sir" when he is willing to do something and "NEVER" when he isn't likely to comply. He loves popcorn. He is a good hugger, he is fascinated by my fluffiness and jiggles my belly so I have another good reason to have it, to entertain him:)

H is younger. He has some issues no one seems to be able to pinpoint. He is a cute kiddo, he has the biggest eyes:) He is very good listening to the rules, he says "we don't do that here, right mom, right?" but his retention is an issue, he need redirected often, I am working on lying with him, he seems to understand not to lie, but he will admit to doing something he didn't do too???
Him and Kat are quite the pair, being the same age. In some way she is WAYYY ahead of him, but she is a girl and they are more mature at this stage. Some of his issues are normal 5 year old stuff. He has also settled in well and his behavior is tremendously better. He has responded very well to routine and I think both boys are able to follow along with Cam and Kat and watch what they do, see how it's done here and it is more like a school setting here with the 4 of them and they all follow along.

I told all the kids as they coughed and sniffled all night long, they won't share toys but they sure shared a cold with one another. I had an appointment yesterday and when I came home Kat had tissue plugging up her nostrils. I asked if her nose was bleeding (she gets nose bleeds in the winter fairly often) and she said "no it was running and I stopped it." Okay then, who needs to blow, just plug it on up. She looked hilarious.
That's about it for today, many loads of laundry, kiddos in bed and a tired momma. Off to bed, oh wait, I think there's a cougher already claiming space in MY bed ahhhhh........... night night.......

Sunday, December 7, 2008

Pancake Sunday

We had a fun time on Friday evening with the foster care party, although the boys traded toys to be happy, all worked out well:) We had a nice dinner then Santa arrived and was able to see each one of the kids and give them an "early gift."

Kat and I went and got our hair done for the party, not a luxury we have ever done. She was so tickled with her curls, it was so funny. She kept asking everyone "you like my hair" when we went to the store afterwards. The hairdresser loaded her hair with gel and spray for it to hold, and hold it did, she woke up with it still curled and refused to wash it so she got another day of curls:)

Everyone at the party said how gorgeous she was, even Santa said he loved her curls. She was pretty proud of that. How do you spell D-I-V-A?

Yesterday I spent many hours cleaning, not my favorite thing to do, but the boys room had gotten totally out of control and before the Christmas holiday came and they were home to destroy it I cleaned. Now they have their car rug back in sight and can play with that.

Today we started our day with pancakes, just something fun to do on a Sunday morning when we realize there is no milk to be had in the house (we use about a gallon PER DAY) and pancakes are a good option all will eat. Kat has just recently been willing to eat them, and no butter please. She still dislikes dairy, any dairy but some yogurt.

We got PICTURES of our girl, Chloe!!!! She is so incredibly pretty too, WOW, I am going to be monitoring phone calls, computers, doorbells, how will I keep the boys at bay?? OH, that's right, the 4 older and BIG brothers are pretty scary.

Chloe is wearing the clothes I sent her, I wondered if they fit, she seems so tiny, she wears the same size as an 8 year old here! She is wearing 10-12 clothes, so small. But they fit and she looks quite happy to have them. I am glad she is feeling cared about.
I am just waiting on the Christmas party pictures to send her Christmas box, I am so sad to be sending ANOTHER box and no word on WHEN we go. But it's got many things for her to enjoy.
It will be such a blessing to have her home and we are curling all the girls' hair to go to a party and I can watch our Chloe girl light up with the joy of belonging, of being wanted and loved, a part of us, right where she belongs. Blossoming in our love, just as her name means- blossoming.
I know our time will come and we will go get her, our road from there may or may not be an easy one, it will not matter, our love and commitment to her will be forever. As we feel about all of our children. Our big worry right now we hope is "just a rumor" that the orphanage fees are increasing all over China, up $2,000! We don't have it so I hope they are WRONG- please, not another BIG bump to worry about:(
I'm off to work on cleaning Kat's room, thank goodness she isn't quite as messy as the boys were with their room:)

Thursday, December 4, 2008

Funny boy

Mini Male Me is my nickname for my little male clone. He looks so much like me as a child it's scary sometimes. Same hair color exactly ( thank you Miss Cla*rol I owe you BIG time), my eyes, my face shape, my nose. He also has my raised eyebrow ( just one) down pat. That's the " you are in BIG trouble look" and he thinks he is funny he can do it right back to me.

We took S out to the bus this morning, reminding the boy he BETTER behave- he threw a MAJOR fit yesterday after school was over and he wanted to stay longer since he missed so much from the holiday. He spit, cried, yelled, it was UGLY. He fell asleep then on the couch. Phew. Things like too many days off school can really throw him off. I was praying for some patience, that is not my favorite behavior to cope with.

Anyway, Camden was reminding me of the year we had decided it was time to do some yard remodeling, about 4 years ago. We put in a lovely pond- 90 gallon with the flowing water coming off the fake fountain at the top with a frog spitting. Fish in it, plants all around it, it has been a source of much pleasure for us and the background for many pictures, such as Kat's:)

But the first year it went in, I was on the swing on the phone when he tipped a rock at the edge and IN HE WENT. Not even thinking he could STAND as he flipped around I freaked out. Of course. I threw the phone and ran to him. He was more scared than hurt, he was 4 and tall so it's doubtful he would have DROWNED but I KNOW he took years off my life.

So today as we walk past to go to the bus, he mentions it. I said "yeah, you took at least 6 YEARS off my life that day" and what does he say????? " Oh, does that mean you are like 32 or 34 or something?" Talk about FUNNY!!!! I had to explain to him then that I meant he made it sooner I was going to DIE, he was not impressed with that, so I went on to tell him it was just a saying, it didn't mean anything, like driving me up a wall was not me taking the car and going up the wall :)

It proves 3 things,

1. My kids really do think I am under 40 still, even after I told them different, they are subtracting years instead of adding since I turned 40- they have real issues with my age that I don't have:)

2. My kids take everything I say literally. You have to watch everything you say. They are baby elephants, they have HUGE ears and they hear everything and repeat it at the worse times possible.

3. Kids are the most fantastic little comedians, they are so sweet and fun, no wonder I like them so much. Even with their fits and troubles, children are such a fantastic gift from God, He wants us to cherish and ENJOY them.

We enjoy ours, all of them, that's for sure. Even that one in China, 91 days and still waiting for her. I'll wait as long as I have to. She will be totally worth the wait, of this, we are very SURE!
Got room for one more girl to snuggle there Baba?

Thursday, November 27, 2008

Happy Thanksgiving

I think I have to chalk this Thanksgiving up to one of new things and fun. We were blessed to have one of our Chinese friendship students need to stay with us for the break at college. He invited some friends to dinner and they were so sweet, they went and got shrimp among other things to add to our dinner.

Let's just say we think we will add it to our table every year now, as Kat LOVES shrimp. She ate more of that than anything :) And what was our guests "English" names?? Chloe and Enjoy. Could that have been a little sign?? I think so. If we couldn't have OUR Chloe it was fun to have another for the day:) A beautiful Chinese girl and her boyfriend named Enjoy.

Our student "Will" played the violin for us after dinner, he has played since he was 4 1/2 years old, he is 20, so imagine how good he is! It was really neat. He is so talented. He kept me busy during the tedious dishes by talking with me and we talked of the differences between cultures, countries, how he wants to help Chloe learn when she comes, and we will be able to CALL her while he is here :) I am soooo excited.

We had a big day for our new boys. They went with mom for lunch and dad for supper. They were very excited and seemed to have a good day. The older one said to me tonight. "Bickie, I need to talk with you", he is amazing at times how much he is able to tell you. Other times he is so wrapped up with his autism he is unable to tell you anything. So I was tickled I got a whole sentence from him. And I wasn't even "sister" this time :)

The little guy was in a little dress shirt with a vest and as cute as could be for pictures, I took of them with their mom and then their dad for the photo book. I make each child a photo book of their time here and give it to them when they go home so they have good memories of us. Our older one was not too happy with the pictures but he was dressed up in a sweater, he is NOT fond of long sleeves, something we have learned of him, and he refused to smile.
Dad, Will, Mal and friend are off to Black Friday shop, like a bunch of nuts, mom is staying here with the kids and SLEEPING, like a sane person :)

We feel very blessed and VERY thankful for it as our Thanksgiving 2008 comes to a close, the children are in bed and talking about Christmas already.........

Saturday, November 22, 2008

It's cold here!

BRRR. It's really cold here. Snow fell yesterday, as pretty as it is, it made the roads slippy and we were happy to stay in:) Kat and Camden love the snow, they stick out their tongues and try to "get a drink" as Kat says.

We got a package yesterday, it came with a huge sheet of bubble wrap, the BIG bubble kind. I wish I had been able to get my camera out fast enough to catch the kids, all 4 of them dancing on the bubble wrap, having the BEST time ever. Cheapest fun I have seen in a long time:) They had a blast for about 4 minutes till they were sure they did not miss ONE pop. The giggles were just priceless.

We decided to do something fun for Chloe. We are writing little notes saying things we can't wait to do with her when she is home. We are going to fold them, put them in a bag with instructions for her to take one out each day and read it. It will help her feel closer to us, help her English skills, and there will be more notes than there are days till we go get her so she will have that to look forward to:) I plan to do 100 and say a HUGE prayer it is not longer than that. We will send it with the Christmas box we are getting ready.

Many prayers were answered for us this week when we had someone stop in to give us the ENTIRE amount of the funeral costs for the baby to be paid. A local agency that helped us during his passing felt we should not be burdened with those costs, even though we accepted him as our son and were going to pay them. So this agency came up with the funds so we were not taking money away from our savings for Chloe.

Our foster agency does not have funds for funerals of foster children, something we plan to try to change. But for us, the funeral home did an amazing job in his memorial service then cut their cost to the lowest amount that shocked us how low it was. It was a terrible situation, b-mom had nothing, the agency made it clear they couldn't pay for it, and what do people do in this instance? We did not know.

We are very thankful these people who only met us through the death of our precious boy felt compelled to help us honor this baby and his life and give him a proper service. We were so honored to be his family, as you can see from his picture, we adored him. He was such an inspiration to us all. We deeply miss him and will for some time.

On a happier note my mom is home and getting well. The new boys are doing really well, listening great and are calming down with the structure and rules they are being given. I think sometimes a child with autism is looked at as "slow" but the older one is quite bright. He can listen. He has typical autistic behaviors but he is also workable to keep those behaviors from being offensive. The younger one is also good, he just need redirected and rewards of a tiny candy kiss go a LONG way with these guys:) Spoken from the QUEEN of chocolate:)

Leaving you with pictures of our silly Miss Kat in her Yo Gabba Gabba shirt, she really enjoys that silly show.

That's our week in review...........

Monday, November 17, 2008

Still here, still sane, I think

I am so amazed how quickly time flies by. We are nearing the Thanksgiving season. We are at Day 72 logged in for Chloe. No word. I think if we get our LOA ( Letter of Acceptance) around 90's days it will be the first week of December. Then 3 weeks or so to get the TA (Travel Approval), then to schedule our consulate appointment, arrange travel and off we go, in JANUARY.

My sadness of not having her here for Christmas is MINE. She does not know of Christmas, she may be better off ( hate to say that) to not come during the chaos of Christmas time as it would be hard for her to know how to fit in during that time, with everything going on. This way it will be quiet and we will have many days to get to know each other and spend with Kat, while it is cold outside and not much goes on.

Truly it will be amazing to have her home, the timing is not in our hands, so we will rejoice when we have her, no matter when that is. We want her as a part of our family, we will accept the timing as it is. And in the meantime, love her from afar. NOT that I wouldn't pick up and go tomorrow if they gave me the go- ahead!

The new boys are doing well. Great reports from school. Only, the older one likes it here so much he doesn't want to GO to school. Was told that was NEVER an issue, but he bounds out of school, thrilled to be coming home. I think it has more to do with the cupcakes I made him than me:)

My mom has been sick, in the hospital for over a week now. She is on the mend, but it has been hard to leave the boys for any length of time to get to see her. We are keeping things as low key as possible for now, they do not do well with change and they are very used to me being here at home with them and do not like me being gone anywhere. Miss Kat is pretty much the same, she can't tolerate her momma gone for long either.

It has been spitting snow, as we say in these parts, for a few days now, a hint of what's to come. Baba is fighting the huge tree in our yard that drops leaves from October till January, he thinks just to annoy him:) Life is pretty busy here, the days go by and I can mark one more off toward our precious girl coming home with each passing day. We have much to be thankful for, this season of blessings.

Wednesday, November 12, 2008

Random thoughts, all I have left

This post is going to be my random thoughts on things. So if I bore you, move on.

After 4 days of 2 kids with autism and no school for anyone, I am nearly bleary eyed. I haven't cried for our baby once, so be careful of what you pray for. (I prayed to be so busy I would not have time to cry) So as I got my wish and I got to really know these new kiddos, I can see some major issues they face. They clearly have 2 very different forms of autism. I am reading and learning all I can about it. I feel we are helping them to settle in well, we have had none of the behaviors we were told existed, but then we are still in the "honeymoon phase" and we are learning about them and they about us:)

They both seem very responsive to direction and are very happy about being here. I think a big part of that is toys, playmates, cupcakes and fun:) I am determined to wear them out to get everyone to sleep good each night and so far we have done it with minimal TV time. Not an easy task either.

S likes to call me sister for some reason and when I made him mad this morning with a BLACK shirt to wear to school ( not sure why black was so horrible) he told me to " go to my kitchen". Wow how mean:) He cracks us up.

H require redirection and supervision almost constantly. He blares out the MOM often and tells me EVERYTHING everyone is doing. We had to work on that fast, I can't handle knowing it all:) He is a handful. Cute as a bug, big eyes and long eyelashes:)

Cam got sick of being called Cameron, being followed and begged for some time alone- he got it and I didn't even hoist him up on the roof:) But the little one did sit at the door of the bedroom and cry, I told him "forget it, that doesn't work here." If Kat can't pull that and get away with it, does he really think I will fall for it from him? HA.

Mal has decided on her senior project, not due till next year, but we are going to start early asking for help to have anyone who wants to make a child blankey ( 1 1/2 yard of kid material, 2 layers of batting, 1 1/2 yard fleece or something warm on the other side, tied or quilted a little and sewn together.)

We need 30 of them for bundles she is going to make for foster kids coming into care. So many come with so little she wants to give them things they can feel good about getting and keep to take back home if they get to return home. She will be doing her required hours in getting donations of items for the bundles ( pillows, pillowcases, journals or note books, pens, pencils, toothpaste, toothbrush, stuffed animal, socks, pjs.) We have an offer of the toothbrushes and toothpaste already:)

She will donate these to the county foster care that places about 30 kids a year. IF you can donate a blanket, we need 18 boy oriented, 12 girl. PLEASE, let me know so we get the right ones made. If you can sew and need us to provide the material e-mail me. I can not sew, although I can hand stitch so I will be assembling a few blankets myself and asking Grandma to finish them. Sewing machines and I are not friends. I will work on boy ones.

We got pictures today of Chloe, through our agency so we can't share them:( but she is soooooo gorgeous. WOW. I see her smile and know it is for us. I hope I can see that smile in person SOON, my Christmas tree went up this past weekend, I love to have it up early so it is done. Then if I needed to travel I could. But most likely that will not happen till Jan and I am trying to remain patient. We sent a box and a short note saying I will be there, no matter how long it takes, she is our daughter, there is no way I will NOT come for her. I hope it gives her a measure of comfort to read those words and know how we feel.

Otherwise we are well, just watching the leaves fall and enjoying our life:) Make each day count.

Wednesday, November 5, 2008

One Answer

Ask and ye shall receive. An answer, what is next for us. Not the trip to Chloe- insert a sigh here, but 2 yep, TWO children came to us. Brothers that both have varied degrees of autism. One goes to regular school and one to a special school. They are Cam and Kat's ages so they are THRILLED, they have been asking for kids "their" ages to play with.

I KNOW Kat is going to be unhappy when she realizes the little one is her age and goes to SCHOOL. She informed me the other day that she was 5 now, as if she should be packing up her backpack and heading off to school each day, HELLO- MOM. She does not understand "next year". Yikes. Cam was spoken to about how his behavior can help/hurt these guys, that they react differently than normal and that may not be used to our routine of meals, playtime, bathtime, bedtime etc. He looked at me and said "WHY NOT" as if he was so shocked that all children did not have OUR routine in their lives. I had to laugh.

They all 4 piled around the sink this morning, as we tried to get the older one to brush teeth without success, I realized it's like I now have triplets, age 5 and Camden, age 8 is the leader. He is doing very well, I am quite proud of him, in fact, for taking on the "big brother" role and taking it so seriously. He is a caring and great kid.

Jay has been visiting and is leaving soon, isn't he a handsome dude? I have some really cool sons, since I don't mention them as often as the "girls", I don't want any of them to feel left out.

I borrowed our first foster girl's baby yesterday and loved on that boy:) It was soooo nice to have a baby in my arms again, even a borrowed one:) We enjoyed his smiles, his cooing, he is one pleasant little guy, and we took a nap, ohhh to have a little one curled around me was a gift. Not replacing our little man, just reminding me and allowing me to heal a little.

I still yearn for our Chloe too, I feel like someone took a part of my heart and stowed it away in China. I think of her constantly, I want her to be with us. But that is God's timing too. I'm just waiting and now BUSY:)

Friday, October 31, 2008

Oh no, It's ALL about ME?

Okay, I have tagged twice so I guess I have to respond. Who wants to know anything about ME?? I'm not so sure. But here goes.......

1. Can't stand socks, don't wear them unless I have to and they come off as soon as possible. I wear sandals or clogs till I am laughed and shamed into wearing socks and real shoes sometime in Jan. or Feb.

2. I like tropical Skittles but I take them and sort them into little piles by color to eat them. I've been called OCD so don't think I don't KNOW.

3. When I was a kid we all went as a family to my Great Aunts' house every Sunday after church for dinner ( I LOVE traditions) and we had Aunt Stella's homemade sweet pickles with mashed potatoes, we scooped the potatoes with the pickles and ate them- to this day I LOVE this food combo, but can't find pickles like Aunt Stella's- no way, not even close. But I can dream.

4. As a kid, all I ever wanted to be was a MOM- the nurse part was more incidental. But suits me too:) I am soooo glad the mom part came true so many times- and hope for MORE:)

5. I have a plaque that survived 9 moves in my adult lifetime including to Germany and back, a few marriages, many kids, that my hubby made me when he was 16 and I was 14. He made it in wood shop and it says "Vickie." I kept it all those years and it hangs in our living room in a place of honor. ( yeah we have one of those great love stories, we were together as first loves, went our separate ways, married others, had kids, came back to each other, both were single again and realize we were always in love with each other. Married happily ever after :) That plaque is one special piece of wood:)

6. I love to do crafts but I can not crochet. I wish I could, it looks easy, but all I can do is one row with my fingers. I think the hooks were made to stab yourself with when you get so frustrated 'cause you can't do it. I give up. Don't get me started on me and sewing machines. AHHHHH.

7. I am a photo- holic. I had over 1000 pics of the baby to be printed, this did not include ones already printed and scrap booked during his short life when we went to make the 4 tri-fold poster boards for his memorial service. Needless to say, we did not miss a day of his life. Weird? Well, okay. I accept the title with pleasure.

Okay I did it. Seven crazy and wacky things all about me. Didn't even take me too awful long either.

I am not tagging anyone else 'cause I just don't feel like it. How's that for stubborn? No, actually it's been a rough week. Not even about the baby, we miss him, not wanting him back here to be in pain, but we just miss HIM being HERE. No more kisses, ohhhh's from him, these are the things we loved about him and will miss for some time.

To top things off we are now foster less. We made a very painful decision to have the 18 year old girl removed from our home. In our time of grief she saw fit to be compiling a list of "wrongdoings" that she perceived we were doing and we just felt that this girl's need for DRAMA far outweighed what we are able to tolerate. Our life is NOT about drama and we told her that from the beginning.

Being as drama -free as possible with teens in the house, is how we provide the stable, loving and secure environment that we feel best nurtures all children into healthy adults. Life is not just about ONE person and when you try to make it that, you can lose sight of the importance of LIVING, loving and caring about others. She was the first we have ever had removed so this was a long and painful decision for us. We do not ever want to think we failed a child, but in this case, we clearly did not. She was unable to accept a normal way of life. I've always said fostering is not for wimps, it is really hard but totally worth it, we still feel this way.

There very well could be a reason God showed us this, maybe we have another child in our future that will really NEED our home and we are now open to accept another. Maybe I am meant to go to China soon and this is why? We do not know, I just pray all will work out in His time as I try not to get more and more paranoid that time is slipping by and if we do not hear something soon we will be looking at the heartbreak of NOT having Chloe home for Christmas. Hard not to feel as October comes to a close that we have been slammed this month but we stand strong in our faith and know there is a bigger plan in the works and I just have to learn to be more patient to see it revealed. Ahhh, that patience thing AGAIN. Man. I really am NOT good with that, but I'm trying:)

Wednesday, October 22, 2008

Birthday girls

It's been nothing but a party around here. Not actually, but we are trying:) Mal turned 17 on Friday the 17th. She wanted pumpkin pie. She got pumpkin pie. Kat's birthday, the BIG #5 was on Saturday and she got Hello Kitty cake. Her Royal Highness Kat, sat and WAITED for us to sing to her, after telling us to "SING". WOW> she is a diva.

Mom's birthday ( not telling the age but the boys said last year I was 39 when I insisted not, so I said "fine, I'll start going backwards then" so I am 38 by their standards. Cool huh? I actually had a terrible day, but that happens. Can't always say " it's my birthday" and it mean anything. Things happen. Maybe next year will be nicer.

Kat cracked me up when she got up and said "I not any bigger" I guess she thought being 5 meant she was going to grow overnight. Gosh that girl always makes life fun. She asked me if it was " tomorrow" when she got up on my birthday and when I said "yes" she said "Happy Birthday" to me. She LOVES birthdays, doesn't have to even be hers:)

Kat called her China grandma, her Po Po, and sang Happy Birthday to herself, she can not understand their Cantonese dialect anymore but for a few words, but they e-mail us and tell us they love to hear her "sound." She giggles and tells them she loves them. That's all that's really important anyway.

I got tagged but have to address that next time, no time today. Sorry.

Thursday, October 16, 2008

Blessings Received

We are so blessed. How do we say this NOW, in our time of grief? Because our baby was a pure and wonderful gift, no regrets, not a day wasted. Then in his passing, we received word we were awarded a grant toward Chloe's adoption. WOW. We could hardly celebrate but we are so incredibly thankful for this. It is sinking in. The world does go on.

We honor our baby, and his lessons go on in us, so now we are focusing on Chloe and the gift her life is. The fun she will be in our family. She never got to meet our boy, but her life will be better thanks to his. We are more patient. We remember to love, kiss and hold our children each and every day. Our priorities are in the right place. Little things do not upset us.

We headed to the park to play, mom didn't realize I had two different colored shoes on till I was there and I laughed about it. Laughed. A white sandal and a brown sandal. You gotta admit, it's funny. I walked to the park like that. The kids got a kick out it, so I am glad I am absentminded a bit.I haven't forgotten to feed anyone so I am good. Life is good.

Monday, October 13, 2008

2 Years Ago

2 years ago we were handed a tiny, nearly bald little girl. To love, to have as our daughter for all time. Love at first sight. It just gets better and better. She is so full of love, hugs, and joy, she tells me every day she is happy I am HER momma.

She amazes us and makes every day brighter with her smiles, her cuddles and her little tiny kisses, she is a kissing girl. Outgoing and loving, a wonderful and cherished daughter to us.

Even as we accepted the fact that our baby was going to Heaven this was Miss Kat's goodbye to him. Me- Kat, the baby is going to go to Heaven soon to be with Jesus and be His angel. Kat- "ahhh but I wuvvvv him- you go play with Jesus baby and I'll come play wif you, but not just yet 'cause I not have boo boos in my head." And off she went to the sitter's to spare her the harder time of him passing. Just like that, she had the right outlook on his passing and we find comfort in the words of the innocent as we KNOW them to be true. Our baby is ohhinng and ahhhing and creating chaos all over Heaven, like he could not do here.

We did not get to do much to celebrate our 2 year family day with all that went on here, but this too, was not a big deal since she got a Dora umbrella that she has been wanting for a longgggg time so she was quite happy to have a very desired gift to honor her day:) Donovan must have been jealous since he asked what he was getting and we explained he was NOT adopted and he claimed "no fair" so if anyone wants to try to explain that one to me, let me know.I just shook my head.

So how are we doing seems to be a big question. Honestly, it's hard. It was hard to understand the world was continuing on while a baby died. It defies our brain's logic. But as we realize it must, that the children are accepting and needing to return to normal schedules, we are healing and realizing the true gift of this baby we received. To be 40 and told to hold, cuddle, love and nurture a little guy, let the dishes, sweeping, laundry go, was a gift. To be able to use my nursing skills to give him the best life possible for the time he had, was another gift. I thanked him as he passed for sharing his life with us, he has changed me for the better for the rest of my life. So I think we are going to be okay. Sad at times, but to mourn him at length or wish him here for him to be in pain is not an option, he was not about this. he was about love, smiles, coos, short but SWEET.

Thursday, October 9, 2008

Tristan is an Angel

Mr T. aka Tristan Macci V, son of June V and Ron & Vickie Y found his way to Heaven, yesterday October 8, 2008. Born 12-26-07, he came to us at age 5 weeks and we took every precious day as a gift and made the most of it. His smiles, his coos, his very fight to live with such severe issues of his body will be forever our inspiration to make every day count. Many people spend a much longer lifetime here and do not touch the lives of half the people this little baby boy did in his whole 9 months here on this earth.

We did not get the time to adopt him as we had wished to do. He was no less OUR son. We thank his bio mom for her gift of his life and for trusting us and sharing her son with us even now as we grieve him she has honored us in his memorial service and we will share his ashes to share him in death as we shared him in life.

Fly my boy, use those wings, we could not have loved you more, we KNOW you knew that. You are free of the defects of your body now so enjoy - we rejoice for you!! Mommy and Daddy miss you but we know you are in the arms of God. We will take your last lesson to us and use it now- stay strong, stay true, we promised to hang in there with you no matter what, we did this and handed you back to God, as the gift He gave us and we will HONOR your life and all you gave us forever.

PS- when I get to go to Heaven you better be the first thing I see crawling to me saying "mummumumumumum" as I cooed this to calm you into your ear often enough!!! I could not have loved you more, my boy, thank you for sharing your life with me- I will carry you in my heart forever. I love you Tristan babe.

Sunday, October 5, 2008

Prayer Warriors Call

I have said before I would post when the time came. Our boy, Mr. T has taken a turn for the worse. He has a bowel blockage and will need to get "things" going or we are looking at him passing on, back to the Hands of our Lord.

Please pray for him, for healing if this is meant to be, if not, strength for us to accept and show grace in handing this precious gift back to his Maker.

We have Hospice in, we are doing all we can to try to get his bowels moving ( never wanted anyone to poop so badly!!) but it may be an underlying issue that can not be helped. We should know within a few days good or bad. I will try to update but I can't hardly stand to leave his side.

9 months of blessing of this wonderful child. We thank you Lord, and if you must take him, then we will rejoice in the time we had him.

Everyone HUG YOUR BABIES. In honor of our boy:)

Wednesday, September 24, 2008

How many days in September?

Okay, someone in my house is messing with my head. Not that it's very hard to do that. You know the saying- it's not the big things that put you over the edge, it's one little thing.

ANYWAY- I have a perpetual calendar that I flip every night. I had it on the 22nd, thinking, wow, time is going so SLOW this month. I finally realized the calendar I was looking at to flip to the right day and realized it was OCTOBER's month. So the 22nd would be Wednesday, today, but I am in the wrong MONTH??

So really, there is just 6 days left in September!! WOW. BTW- 19 days logged in:) Yup, still counting:) We got a big ol' pack of papers, stuff to sign, notarize, send back, not anything IMPORTANT just silly stuff, like we release the agency of any liability when we travel - that makes us feel safe-not. Never signed one of those for last time! Parting with more $$, then got an e-mail that someone wanted to donate to our adoption, bless them, we have watched that meter sit at 1 contributor for so long- but they said they were trying to donate and the chip in wasn't working. If this happens/ed to anyone else, PLEASE, please let us know. We are getting more excited about travel but also more anxious about the funds, we trust in God leading us to this child, and know He will provide for us to get her somehow.

I think it's harder to trust it will come when you KNOW it has to, we are scrimped to the max, and we HAVE to trust in Him to send the amount we have to have. A real test of faith! We were able to fund Kat's adoption almost 100% on our own, we just can not do that this time. So I trust:)

We got the neatest medical equipment thingy, a Sma+t vest for Mr. T. It is to help keep his lungs clear since he lays flat so much of the time. He is on memory foam and he LOVES his place on the couch, he can get MANY kisses and is NEVER ignored. So we fire up the vest and it shakes him. Pulsates and shakes him. He is SMILING and cooing, Camden asked-"hey is that an automatic butt patter?" which was wayyyy too funny since I have been known to pat for HOURS, this child, and he will fuss the SECOND my hand stops.

But the boy LOVES it. It's really something to see him shaking away and smiling. He gets upset when we TAKE IT OFF!

We visited my Gram tonight and her sister, my great Aunt. It's so hard to see our loved ones we remember as so strong and wonderful when we were little and now they are frail and we know we will not have them forever:) My Grammy is 96 years OLD! She outlived my dad. My Aunt had the baby laying beside her and that sweet woman, who named me- she patted him and called him a girl and did not even realize he had a THING wrong with him. She told me he/ she was a blessing from God:) I sure do believe that, along with her too. I am thankful to be able to visit with them and my Aunt recognized me and said " you're all grown up now" like it was a shock to her :) I think I was always her FAVORITE- but shhh, don't tell any of my sibs:)

I am posting a picture of me- Kat took it as I am always taking pictures of HER, she is so stinkin' cute but also a GOOD photographer too, she did make me "pose" and told me just how to put my arm here and smile- quite the bossy little photographer. But as I usually HATE any pics of myself , I'm calling this one decent. I'm so vain- isn't that a Carly S*mon song?????

Monday, September 22, 2008


It's that time of year again, it's starting to get colder. It makes me think always of the children of China, who are cold and hungry. I can't save them all. But to know that our daughter was loved and fed through a kind, kind family that SPONSORED her care is a gift that we can never repay.

Although we try to! We sponsor a child in foster care from our daughter's orphanage, to honor our daughter, her sponsors and her foster family. All because of this care, we have a well adjusted, healthy little girl. Things could have been so very different for her, I shudder to think of it.

There is a SUPER organization of help for our daughter's orphanage. It's called Grace Hope and it is run by a mom with a daughter from QinZhou, just like us! Now of course, we are partial to "our" orphanage, but truthfully, if anyone is out there that can't stand to think of the little ones cold and hungry and you wish to donate to help take one of God's littlest packages and give them the gift of FOOD, FAMILY, LIFE, then PLEASE PLEASE, Click on the link below our kitty cat clock on the right side of the blog. Grace & Hope, go to "waiting for Sponsors" on left side there are the orphanages with children in need. QinZhou is there, the pictures of the boys that NEED YOU are there.

PLEASE CONSIDER becoming a sponsor of a particular child. You get 3 month reports with pictures, we got pictures of our sponsored child holding OUR picture this year, showing she knew we were giving her a better life!!! Wow did it warm our hearts!

We are asking for this help to sponsor the children, mainly there are 2 boys with medical needs that need sponsors desperately. But if they are sponsored and you wish to go to another orphanage link on Grace Hope then GO FOR IT!! You will NOT be sorry. We do not miss the small amount we pay for the amount of good we feel we are doing. How many times can you say that about your money?? It's also tax deductible, you get receipt to claim it. You will NOT regret sponsoring an orphan, it is a wonderful thing to be a part of a child's life!

Almost all of the children that are sponsored NOW, are sponsored by families with children of QinZhou, some sponsor more than one! Most of the families are maxed out as to what we can do. So this plea is for others, with a heart for God's chosen children, the orphans, so that they may SURVIVE.

Saturday, September 20, 2008

15 days logged in

Yup, counting every single one:) Have up to Day 60 on the calendar, I do not want to see more than that for our Letter of Acceptance so that's all I wrote. That is November 5. So we will see:)

Mr T. is fighting his cold. Coughing much stronger but wheezing and getting treatments now. He will get a vest to literally "shake" him. It help him cough, keeps his lungs clear. We use it twice a day or more if needed. There was a mess up in the ordering or we would have had it already, it will be here be Tuesday, we hope.

Camden has his first soccer game today. And pictures. Then we go to the Orientation Picnic with our China boys. Yeah, we already met them, but a picnic is fun anyway:) They wish to go to Walmart tomorrow to do some shopping so we will take them there.

The boys translated a letter from Chloe for us, she is very worried about her English not being good. We are NOT worried about this, we feel it will come. Our China boys wish to help her also, so she will be just fine. So I have to send her a letter to tell her NOT to worry about it. She is also "impatient" to meet her family, well, she must take after mom, and I will tell her this also. Impatient is my middle name. I can hardly stand waiting so long to go to her. She asked for "electron" watch, we figure this means digital, so as I had a box ready to send I got one in the mail to her. I had to send knee and elbow pads for her since her knees are black with bruising from her learning to skate. Yikes.

She was "embarrassed" to ask for anything, as she says we have sent her so much, oh, girl, if you only knew. We are thrilled to give her things she wants, we can only show her our love for her by letters, gifts and pictures, so far. This is the hard part of the wait.

I'm off to make my Sweet Potato casserole for the picnic. Yum:)