Wednesday, December 30, 2009

2009 The Year Of Chloe- At Year's End

As I predicted 2009 would be the Year of Chloe before she ever arrived, I think I can say I was right. The Year of Chloe. Amazing, to bring her home, amazing to learn of her brothers. The beginning of a wild and joyful ride to bring these guys home in their year, 2010.


I thought it funny that this morning the kids decided to "show me their muscles" started by Chloe. She commented she wanted to be "a boy" and I told her I was SOOO glad she was NOT a boy:)

So as they flexed and preened for my camera shooting, I thought about how telling it was that this precious girl thought her "muscles" showed how strong she was. Silly girl, her momma knew how strong she was the day she met her, with not an arm muscle in sight:) under those 3 layers of clothes- yeah, 3 layers.











First with her stoic stand when meeting me for the first time, then through learning of her brothers and knowing she was thinking they were lost to her forever. Strong is too weak a word for this girl.


As they all joined in the fun this morning of muscle clenching, face scrunching poses, I had to thank God for these super kids of ours, that they are so strong, yet so full of hope, possibilities, willingness to accept us, love us, accept our love and wake up each day smiling.


It's hard to explain as the past is there, but there is no resentment, no huge anger, no "pity me" attitude of our children, just happiness that now they have- and have they do, love, safety, routine, food, fun. Chloe is a mentor, she shows us all what spunk and hope can do for your life.


Chloe also wanted to know how come her and Kat had the same funky, and I mean funky, little toe nail, it's odd that it grows out not up and is smaller than a normal nail. Also they share a scar, both have the exact same scar on their forehead, Kat's is from falling when learning to walk, we learned this from Po Po (grandma in China) but Chloe's is unknown.

Chloe tried to say Kat copied HER, but I told her Kat was here first and she copied her, which she didn't want to hear- she said how that happen- she "born first" but I teased her and said Kat got here first:) She's a ton of fun, we tease and play often, she then laid her head on my shoulder and I thought how much love I felt for this girl, my daughter of my heart.

The Year of Chloe, it's been a super one... now on to 2010, the Year of the Brothers.


All we can say is...bring it on.................



Saturday, December 26, 2009

Baby Tristan's Angel birthday

Hard to believe he has been gone just over a year now, our baby boy Tristan would be two today, instead he celebrates his day in the sky, at peace, pain free and loved beyond measure by our Heavenly Father.

We sent him up blue balloons, with greetings and notes, our love will never fade, nor will our memories of this precious life, one we got to share by the grace of God. A blessing He had for us only if we opened our hearts to this sweet baby and we are so glad we did!

Our son and baby brother Tristan, came to us at 4 weeks old, barely 5 pounds. With severe birth defects, he was not meant to survive but a few weeks, we were told.
We had him 9 months and 12 life changing days till we handed him back to God. His precious life was so special to us, he was such pure love and innocence.
He knew us, he showed us love, even when his broken body could not do what he wanted, he managed to show us that he knew us, he understood our love of him and that he loved us as well.
Even having to hand this little one back to God, one of the HARDEST things I've ever done in my life, did not make me regret not ONE day, not one minute of time I had him, he was JOY.
We'll see you in Heaven precious baby boy, till then, know your momma and daddy love you- you are our baby boy forever:)

Friday, December 25, 2009

It's a Merry Christmas!

Is it ever Merry here! I have to post pics of this, it is incredible. The pictures say it all.


Happy Holidays to ALL! It took them over an hour of steady opening, our best time is 17 minutes, but then we did try to control the chaos some so nothing got lost by accident in all that paper:)

Thursday, December 24, 2009

Operation Santa & the Tooth Fairy?

Not only are we expecting Santa tonight, but now the Tooth Fairy is due as well. Cam has been whining about a tooth that's been barely loose.
Well, he may learn to keep his mouth shut, literally, as someone got Chloe an Operation game and she was going to "help him out" from all the "doctoring" she has learned from her game:) She was terribly disappointed I would NOT allow her to place those pliers in her hand in his mouth!

#2 Big brother Jay decided to floss under it coaxing it out further and then I grabbed the thing and yanked before he knew what was going on and it was out. Gross. Sorry but pulled teeth gross me out.

All's well that ends well. He is up to cookie eating so all is good now.

BTW, Operation Overflow, the amazing gifts showered on us yesterday did not stop after my post, we got another huge box of gifts.
In light of the fact that we were so blessed, we decided to pass on some of the blessing and we took some of the unwrapped gifts and we shared with 2 families in need, to make their day as joyful as well as ours.
We knew the donors wouldn't mind as they wanted it to be a help and we couldn't see not sharing when there was soooo much:) More than enough...... still in awe of the love and the outpouring of support. It means so much.
I think more than anything it comes at a time when for YEARS we have asked the children to give and give, they share clothes, rooms, they feel the pinch when we scrimp for adopting, and this year we had planned to not be adopting again, to be able to shower them in gifts and not feel we were shorting them "yet again" and here we are, adopting but they ended up showered in gifts they really do deserve--- they are super kids, we are proud of how caring, loving and thoughtful they are.
Just don't have any loose teeth and tell Chloe, we may need to hide that game, I'm afraid to mention my foot is aching as a storm is heading our way again, she might want to saw it
off to fix it! She may be a bit too thoughtful, we still need to work on her some :)
AHHHH...... Merry Christmas Everyone.... I'll post pics as soon as I can tomorrow:)

Wednesday, December 23, 2009

Christmas Angels

You know, there have been times in my life I felt compelled to help others, just knew I needed to do it. Sometimes I did it, sometimes not, something got in the way, it seemed too late, no money. Excuses, none really good enough and I can't go back now:(

I felt led, and I mean LED to help someone that mentioned in church that their son had no job, broken ankle and a little girl with nothing for Christmas. I knew I had a velvet dress at the very least, hanging in the closet, 24 months size, was never going to be worn again by our girls ages 5 and up:) Worn ONCE. I found some gorgeous barely worn Chinese shoes. I added in leggings and a small doll with a bottle I bought. I spent very little. Yet when I gave to grandma she said "you- of all people, YOU!" And I said "yep, me, I felt I was led to do this."

Funny enough, later that same day the pastor came to me and said " We did up the food baskets, we have an extra turkey, would you like to have it?" Guess what? I hadn't bought my turkey yet, and it cost double what I put out for that girl.

I tell this story as I feel so blessed this Christmas season. We have a compelling story with the new foster girls, and of course, the sibling situation has touched so many people. But all along God has made sure to cover all bases with the financial end and I focus on the JOY! I share the JOY of these wonderful children. I share the story of the sibs to encourage people- NOT to give money to us, but to think of any child you can help, adopt a child, foster, sponsor a child, babysit a child for a stressed parent, be a Big Brother/Big Sister, cub scout leader, or if you aren't "into kids"(gasp) it's okay- support someone emotionally, in prayer, or financially if you can who is adopting. That's what our children and their stories, our lives, represent-- HOPE.

I e-mailed someone about a pony (shhh don't tell) for the girls. Not a real one, comm'om mom no phone calls, if anything goes in the back yard it's a cow to produce the gallon of milk we use a day. ANYWAY---It's one of those 3 foot tall ones that the girls can sit on, it moves and makes all kinds of noises. In answering the ad, which the girl wanted to sell it and posted it without mom knowing to buy her sis a Christmas gift. Mom asks about the kiddos we have especially the 2 new ones who came with little.

Next thing I know, I get an e-mail from mom. Not only are we getting the pony BUT.... they feel so blessed in overabundance that mom and Bailey ( little girl) are GIVING us clothes, toys, to help out with the girls. My son went and picked it all up and he calls and says "mom it's amazing" and in he comes with the clothes. The squeals were so loud, I had to stop the girls from going totally nuts trying on everything!! They are looking GOOD every day, so cute and it's so adorable to see them just dance to get ready for school each day in their "new clothes".

AND I HAVEN'T mentioned the toys yet! Tons of them, some new, all with new batteries, amazing things that we are soooo thankful for. It's going to be a super Christmas morning, I am NEVER up early, I LOVE my sleep, but I swear I am more excited than them. I was up at 5 am today after being up till 12, couldn't sleep! I can't WAIT for the big day!

Amy and Bailey are Christmas angels. 2 very special girls, we thank you so much for caring. They even sent a gift for hubby and I and we are waiting to open it:)

Yesterday I also received a phone call. Could someone who read the children's story in the article come meet Chloe. I said "sure, come on over." She had worked in China many years ago and said she had a heart for these precious children. Her and hubby came after school and although Chloe was shy, Kat doesn't know the meaning of the word and when the wife said "come here" to her she was up giving hugs in no time and talking their ears off.

We talked a little about the boys and their situation, she took a call from her son, and they went to leave. Before leaving she handed me a check. For $2,200!!!! Then proceeded to say "my son said to expect another $2,000 coming from him, it's in the mail." Now, like my daughter, I am rarely speechless. But I was, I cried. I hugged them and I managed to get a thank you out and said they didn't begin to know what this meant for our sons and Chloe. I told them they MUST see these children together in person, they have dibs on visiting when we are home:) I was just dumbfounded, not even by this money gift to help get the boys home- because we all know God has that figured out- but by how much people CARE.

No one has to, they aren't forced to answer that call if they hear the story, they don't have to do a thing, it will go away, be forgotten. BUT-not just our story, but our LIVES are touching people in ways we never thought possible. God opened our heart with Kat and we said "come on in" and it's snowballed into something wonderful from there. Even with fostering we have people ask how we do it, that they want to, they have thought of doing it, how special it is.

We don't think we are doing is anything "SUPER" we are just living our life. We love kids, it's my "job" and I can say I am good at it. I am blessed with this job I love and want to do my best for each of them every day. I am eager to get the boys home and have them a part of this family, to learn about them, to be their momma.

We also got a knock at the door this a.m. and "someone within the community that does work with the foster system here had sent out word of ages of our children, we had 5 van loads, not just the foster girls, but ALL of our kids, gifts- clothes, shoes, 3/4 of the stuff is wrapped so we don't know what all it is. Unbelievable, I can't describe the thankfulness of our hearts,yet more people who CARE.

THEN I got the mail and a card arrived, no signature, just a $100 gift card for the local grocery! I can't stop crying, I'm not an easy crier, but it's so overwhelming and wonderful!

We are sooo blessed and thankful, this is such a load off of us about the spending with trip looming soon. It's hard not to think of it with everything we must spend let alone Christmas for 7 kiddos.

I hope if you get nothing more out of this post that you somehow feel our JOY at the awesome people we have met, some we don't even know but have touched our lives, at the love we have for our kids, at the amazing things that can happen when you trust in God. It's not about the getting, it's all about the JOY!!!

BTW I got out of all the wrapping, I begged, bribed, guilted son #2 to come home early and he has all this stuff stashed at son #1's next door and is wrapping it ALL- I just make piles, who gets what, he wraps. It's going to be an amazing Christmas morning...this may be the best year yet!

Nahh, that's gotta be next year when the boys are ALL here and we can see them together with Chloe for their first Christmas, but this will be a close second for sure. We truly hope and pray you all are as blessed as we are. Open your hearts, there's so much out there waiting for YOU....

Saturday, December 19, 2009

What's next?

I was in shock about the LOA and didn't even give my post a title:) Good grief. Anyway, for all the "non adoptive" people, LOA means we have been accepted to be the parents of Chance. We sign paper, send back, accepting him.

Next step is Travel Approval or TA in adoption lingo. That takes about 8 weeks or so, for us to get it and then for agency to plan travel is about another 4 weeks added in. So we have about 12 weeks and we are working hard to get Chase's way here done so they will both be coming.

Our roller coaster this week was grant- good, finding out original social worker (SW) is unable to help us due to a serious illness- BAD. Then LOA, GOOD. No more bad please. But these are the roads of adoption that make you a stronger person, that shows the world you are up to snuff to parent if you can make it through all this and still be sane.

And we are still claiming we are. Sane that it. Not looney, nuts, goofy, gone, over the edge, losing it, lost, nutso, bonkers, whacko, whifty, ditzy................I think you get the drift?

Speaking of drifts, we are 6 inches and counting deep in AMERICK snow. WOOO Hooo fun. It's beautiful, so white, so peaceful. Just like my heart, knowing God is keeping His plan in place for our SONS......one is official now, can we hear 2?? Keep praying we will:)

Friday, December 18, 2009

LOA BABY !!

Yes, it happened already, LOA for boy #1. WOW. Can't say I expected that at day 59!!! I was thinking word on the other boy, but that's something. Doesn't mean anything changes in our goals to get the other brother home, it's just a nice little Christmas gift to us, brother #1 is sure to be our son.

What a wonderful surprise. We were told we may not know anything about the other boy till we are very close to travel, so thinking that will be about 12 weeks or so>>>>

Hummmm....not very LONG! Another boy, oh JOY!

Doing the LOA dance in our world tonight, we have it perfected by now:)

Wednesday, December 16, 2009

It's a GRANT

AHHH- A huge answer to prayer. We have been awarded a grant:)

We are sooooo incredibly thankful, it's hard to even put it in words, every dollar, every person, I hope that seeing these 3 kiddos together will be your reward to know YOU touched these kids lives, YOU did it. We may get the joy of raising them (remind me I said that in 6 months or so) BUT bringing them home, YOU ALL are doing that.

Just think, you can't/ don't want to adopt. Don't know how you can help be a difference? It's SOO easy. Donate to someone adopting, even $10, 20,$5 may be the amount they need to get a paper sent in, to go to the next step. Or sponsor a child's foster care, that's just as important for the children, ones being adopted and ones not. Can you imagine when you see the picture of Chloe and her sibs and even if you gave $5 knowing YOU helped make this happen? YOU made a difference in the lives of THREE orphaned children, no longer orphans but LOVED, CHERISHED children within our family.

God gives us these precious children, they are meant to be shared, and we share with you the journey of lifetime, made one step closer for us today by Gift Of Adoption!!!

Saturday, December 12, 2009

Who is trying to fill mom's britches?

I have never once denied being my own fluffy self. Now the girls, being the little buggers they are, thought it would be terribly funny to try to fill MY underthings, before I could grab them and go for my shower. I'm thinking these two goofballs will NEVER fill mom's britches:) They can only wish- or not.

I had a nice cold shower to start my day, as Mal beat me to the only bathroom we own and had used up every drop of hot water we had:( Isn't that LOVELY. I'm amazed that 5 people can shower and be clean till we run out of hot water but just one of Mal uses it ALL. GRRRR.

I had to get clean to take off to the doctor's first thing this am. Poor Pip has 2 bulging ear drums and she was up crying at 12:30 am. The doctor said she was amazed she wasn't in more pain from her ears that they are nasty sore looking.

We went to the store to get her medicine when she wouldn't stop touching EVERYTHING and I said we were going to go sit and wait by the pharmacy. She talked, and talked, about Santa coming, Santa seeing everyone, then about how people get old and die, but they go to Jesus and He can make them new bones out of sticks, she even had me feel her leg, since it's hard like a stick:) When we got called up they asked " was that just her talking- we thought you had more than one with you?" Ha ha, I said. Just her. She's a talker.

Kat, Em and Cam went to 2 birthday parties, luck for us they were the same time at the same bowling alley:) Pip had to stay home but she was good having mommy time to herself, other than Chloe. Chloe seemed to think she HAD to go somewhere too, I told her, no that was not a requirement of the weekend.

We did have to laugh when Chloe asked for $5 to buy a school shirt. I was thinking T-shirt? Uhh, no not quite. She comes home with a size 40- yep, 4-0 used basketball jersey? She has a hair band tied to the back to keep it from reaching her knees. It's pretty silly looking, but she loves this shirt.
Chloe was making out her Christmas list last night with 8 things on it. The first 6 were toys, #7 Chance, #8 Chase.
Sure wish Santa could deliver those 2 wishes for her. She is getting excited just knowing it isn't going to be too much longer now.......... she's even making her " things Chloe wants mom to buy her in China list" it's getting LONG>>>>> and includes a basketball jersey that FITS, she says if I get her one she will give up the HUGE one to her brother. Isn't she great at working her momma?

Thursday, December 10, 2009

Honor Roll

Yep, our girl did it. Actually 2 of them did, but Mal is always on the Honor Roll. Not that we aren't super happy with that:) Chloe made the Honor Roll!!

I showed her the newspaper with her name in it. What does she say? "what I do? I told her good grades, this is super! She says - as she waves that pointy finger back and forth at me- " no, no. no, I bad." Then she laughs. She's quite the little bugger, she told me the other day she was bad in school and I said "WHAT?" Then she says "just kiddin".
Chloe's English skills have grown by leaps and bounds, just the amount of " how you spell?" questions decreasing is showing us she is picking things up very fast and her reading skills are close to a 2-3 rd grader when just months ago she was at a kindergarten level. She loves helping the little girls with their homework, they read simple books every night, and she loves that she can have them read to her, as she can make sure they are doing it right:)
Her writing is really coming along as well. She made a poster of a girl from a TV show and then listed her different traits, she did a great job, plus she added in some Chinese characters as well. One cool poster. She took her new school schedule and translated it over into Chinese:)
The girl LOVES to mess with paper, she can make amazing folded paper things, she loves tape, scissors, drawing. That's her using up the last of my tape:( And her shirt says "CUTE is my middle name." Of course it is:)

We should have some news within a few weeks on Chase, please, please, keep him in your prayers, we need God to hear our pleas for this precious child. Chloe shared something out of the blue yesterday, we heard a commercial say "so many children live on the street tonight- blah blah." Chloe comes off with " I live in street in China."
Like it was NOTHING.
As usual I was shocked with the nonchalant comment, and totally unprepared to respond. I said "how did you eat?" Chase- he got her food. "Where did you sleep?" In the street. Chase watched over her and Chance. Can you imagine? I can't. I want to take that boy and hug the stuffing out of him. He was her protector. He made sure his siblings had food, were safe. But WHO took care of HIM? He would have been so little himself. It breaks my heart.

I pray he gets to be our son, we are doing everything we can to make that happen, I want to see him be a CHILD again. To never go hungry again. To not sleep "on alert." To know his siblings are safe in the same family, same home and they all have a mom, a dad, love, that they are wanted. To learn of God, who brought them home.

I know God must hear the ache this momma has in her heart for these boys, to have them home, with their sister, He has moved mountains already so we trust He will provide the way for our sons:) Not just to be sons of our heart, but sons of our HOME.

Tuesday, December 8, 2009

Weird dreams

It's funny that Baba says he never remembers his dreams but frequently I do. I woke this morning with the saddest memory of a dream. I had birthed a baby who was Chinese (of course). She was soo incredibly gorgeous. She had a cleft lip and palate. I was very young and she died because of MY inability to care for her with her disabilities. I even knew her name- Cecilia, odd as I have never even LIKED that name. How weird is that???

Now don't be telling me this is something to come in my life, I usually can pinpoint certain parts of a dream with something my mind mulled over during my day before.

I'm missing our baby boy. Odd how sometimes I can go days and days and just think of how wonderful he was to have even been blessed to be a part of his life- a total honor. Then sometimes I feel such an intense longing for him it's downright painful. I have already decided my "Heaven" will be rocking my baby boy with my other children all around me playing happily for eternity.

I was so incredibly happy last night to finally get to see our foster boys that left in October. Their Dad has not been willing to maintain contact for the boys, we figured this would happen as the one was very bonded to me. Last night as we went to the girls' Christmas program I walked in and heard "Bickie, BICKIE. BICKIE" and as he got closer to me "MOM!!!" He landed in my arms and was so excited to see me. He ended up on my lap at half way through the program as he wouldn't stop turning around and waving at me:)

It was so good to see him, he looks good, he seems happy, the girls were thrilled to see him as well and Kat kept hugging him. I have had dreams that he came here by mistake and I had to call his dad so I can honestly say I have worried about him and his brother. I hugged him and told them we love them as we left, he wanted to come with us but he did okay when they told him he couldn't.

I wasn't even sure they would remember us but no doubt about it, we touched those boys lives.

Our new girls are doing well, getting settled, although I admit the girls are quite different than boys, or maybe it's just getting used to the balance of girls being greater than boys right now:)

The school did something really smart this year, with the economy so poor and our area being huge in unemployment they had the kids come to their Christmas program in pj's. Everyone has pj's but it's often hard for everyone to have dress up clothes. So they did the program like it was the "Night Before Christmas". I thought it was a super idea and our girls looked so stinking cute that even though I can't post a full pic of the girls I took the time to block out Em and Pip's (not real names) faces so you could see them:)

I was able to share our family story on Sunday, I did well from what I was told. I was really nervous but I wanted to do it to make people see what blessings God can have for you if you just open your heart. It was geared to promote adoption, foster care, even just helping any child as they are our future! They are so important and really, I can honestly say we get so much more from them that we ever give them, I have a spot in my heart for each and every one of our blessings, they stay there always:)

I ended our story with "BRING ON THE BOYS!"

We heard back from a grant we applied for and we are being recommended for a grant- WHOOO HOOO, we need it!! We are so thankful, it will come for travel time- another prayer answered. Not sure how much it will be but anything is a help!!

Saturday, December 5, 2009

Americk Snow

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Chloe woke up this morning and saw SNOW. I actually woke up to her yelling "SNOW, Americk SNOW". I never knew there was such a thing as Americk snow but apparently there is "China snow" and "Americk snow". The difference? Where Chloe is from in China she said snow has been there for some time now, and we were lagging WAYYYY behind in our snow producing "Americk" (American) Pennsylvania

Chloe was sure that Santa sent this snow, because last evening we had our first Christmas Party honoring foster parents and the kids got to see Santa and get an early gift. Chloe was unsure of the whole ordeal, but managed to look gorgeous after mom spent 2 hours curling 4 girls' hair:) They all had to beautiful for the big man, Santa, that is, not Baba- ha ha!

Donobin refused to dress up (teenage boy attitude- gotta love 'em) and ate 2 HUGE plates of mashed potatoes, much to Chloe's disgust. He did sit on Santa's lap, much to our horror, poor Santa, he looked pained.

Today we went to a movie with Chloe's friend Hannah and family, we saw the Polar Express, admission was a can of food for the local food bank- just the right price for us :) Then we got pizza and as we were leaving the Christmas Parade started and we got to see Santa AGAIN. Chloe looked a bit puzzled that this one looked a little different:)

Brenda and family taught Chloe how to stand under tree and shake tree, to create a snow storm, loads of fun and lots of WET kids, by the time we were all home:)We traded kids, Cam has Hannah's brother over for the night, Chloe went to Hannah's for her very first sleep over! We told her if she needed to come home at any hour we will come get her. I think she will be fine and we will meet up in the a.m. at church.

I am going to swallow one of my biggest fears tomorrow, so pray for me, I am going to tell Chloe's story of her brothers in church tomorrow. Everyone has been praying and so supportive of us, but not everyone knows the whole story of the boys. I'm going to try to be brave and let God use me for His purpose. The siblings story, to me, is about so much more than us adopting again. It's about God's Hand in this, and for us- opening our hearts to what He wants us to do. If this touches one person to help any child, not just by adoption, but in any manner, then it has been worth it.

Tonight was also the Semi Formal Dance for Mal, doesn't she and her guy look so nice? We sure are blessed. 20 days till Christmas, and NO, I'm not ready!!

Thursday, December 3, 2009

Brother news!

So, ahh, I have to say first, I like the kids again. They all went to school:)

Now for the brother news. We have hope that we are going to bring BOTH the boys home. I can't say HOW, but it's a God~ moving~ mountains ~situation.

Just knowing there is hope, that we can someday SOON-- look at these children and tell them- we did everything we could, without a doubt, that's how much we wanted YOU THREE together--it's so inspiring for us.

This journey has not been one we expected. We don't know how we would bear knowing we couldn't bring them both. To have hope that we will not let these children down is such a relief. We want all 3 of them together, safe, loved, wanted as a part of our big family.

We have some paperwork hurdles to jump, mainly asking immigration here to give us permission for a second child. Small fees but at a rough time of year right now to be coming up with as the travel monies needed still loom in our minds-- it will be necessary for us to travel within months. We are blessed that our SW already stated if this option occurred that she would do an addendum for no cost. YEAH!

What do we need? Prayers!! That this goes through, as it needs to for them both to come. Anyone with any ideas or know-how to move immigration to expedite us.
We still need donations for this all to happen, haven't hit the lottery yet- I know, bummer:(

We asked for new pics, haven't gotten any--- wish we had some, but able to say we will be soon, taking pics of them OURSELVES-------as their parents--man, that sounds GOOD, huh?

Tuesday, December 1, 2009

Irritating

The children have been home for 7 days now. It's cold. They are stuck indoors. They are sick of one another. They fight! Cam hit Donobin and I YELLED. I've had it. I don't want to hear one more bickering conversation over some stupid thing again. NOT one more WORD. I'm not raising angels here, never claimed to be.

These kids, they scare me. Why, you say? Are they that
B-A-D? No, not really, it's just I can see them when I am old and too cranky to kick the bucket and they will be fighting over who is going to change my peed diaper or feed me for the day. I think they will bicker in front of me till I am insane and even then I will hear their past fights in my head for the rest of my natural born life. Someone better spare me their "love" and park me in the old folks home as soon as I start slobbering and talking nonsense. (That doesn't mean TODAY)

Okay, now that I have that off my chest. I read a blog when I was (hiding from the children) taking a break for myself over this wonderful holiday break and apparently some "expert" claims that older children adopted ALWAYS have issues, that it never goes well. Hummmm----I could really get my nose out of joint over that statement. Seeing that we have BTDT and are gearing up to do it again.

BUT.... it makes me more sad than mad. It's like saying all red heads have tempers. It's like saying all Asians are smart. It's just plain stupid and WRONG. What if ONE family heard that and had been called to adopt an older child and they decided they couldn't handle it-- did the EXPERT care to shoulder THAT??

I've tried to be really open with Chloe's adoption, to allow anyone considering it to see how it's gone for us. It's not a piece of cake, but nothing worthwhile usually is! I feel the best defense is to be prepared for anything and everything you can. Chloe has been soooo worth all we went through make her our daughter. She can be snotty, loving, mad, laughing, crying all in the matter of a few minutes. Pretty much a normal teen if you ask me or anyone else that knows her.

I knew when we decided to adopt an older child that we lived in a rural area and we needed to make sure she had Chinese contacts for her, so we do have friendship students from the local college, we have friends with mostly younger daughters from China. Chloe misses China, this is not something we take personally, she loves us, she is happy here but I can't cook spicy enough to suit her, she misses friends she had over the years, she misses her culture.

Does that mean it is "not going well?" I don't think so, if she didn't miss things I would think something was wrong. We can't replicate her culture, but we gave her a family. It's the best we could do and if you ask her, the trade off was well worth it. We adore her, all of us, it's like she has been here forever. She will even joke and say "you born me." And honestly- don't we ALL have issues?? I think everyone deals with things they grew up with, lived through, found out, whatever, and could potentially have "issues" over. It's called LIFE.

Chloe and I have spent a good part of 2 days now working a puzzle together, a hard one. She tells me "I don't think that go there" very nicely, then told me "good job" when I finally do get a piece right. It's really fun to spend time with her-except when she starts the interrogation-" why you no take me to China, why you no buy me boots today, you buy me toys in China? boots? You get me brothers?" Yesterday she wanted to know why I no get her big sister speak Chinese. She's quite the demanding turd sometimes, she really caught on to the whole teen "me, me and ME" thing real quick. Just like a daughter, talking to her mom. Don't ask me to say I love the conversation content, but just the fact we HAVE conversation---- love IT, no doubt this child has become MY daughter.

It's a different journey but one that is sooo very worth it. We are honored to have been led to Chloe, having originally thought of a 9 or 10 year old. Then seeing her pic and knowing, there she is. We waited DAYS to see if another family was going forward for her, and then finally we were there--even with the surprise of the brothers I wouldn't change a thing---we will rejoice when the brothers are home. And maybe by then I'll have some spicy hot recipes for them to enjoy together:)