Thursday, April 29, 2010

List of do's and done's

laundry ( that's a constant)
trim Cam and dad's hair
early check in of flights
gas up van
charge all the toys we use (see next line)
pack computer, cameras, game systems for the kids
travel call tomorrow

get groceries
Packed- 3 bags under 44 lbs, I am SO proud- packed for 5 PEOPLE!! (Am I good or what?)
paperwork together and ready
funds out of bank in nice $100 bills
found money belts
snacks bought
bought and hid surprises for Cam and Kat for staying home
credit card aware we are going on trip, may need to use
my hair trimmed- just trimmed, no perm-at-the-last minute ever again
schedule of household for Grandma printed
underwear packed for whole trip- no Chinese ladies laughing at my drawers this time
set up Skype for net book

I like the DONE is bigger than the Do's:) We are almost there. Everyone keeps asking if I am nervous. Not yet. I mean it's a 17 hour trip, how exciting is that. In the middle aisle on the big plane ride, split up is all we could get, I'm not feeling like it's gonna be FUN getting there. So I fully expect to feel excited after we are there and get up Tuesday morn knowing that's the day, we get our sons in the afternoon.

Then I'll be a nervous wreak. I know it. I just can't even picture what the reunion is going to be like, it's been such a long journey that we weren't even sure we would be able to bring home both boys for some time. So I'm having trouble picturing it. I'm pretty sure Chloe is going to launch herself at them and be like glue to them. Of course! I hope we get to actually touch them:) Say "hi it's us, that crazy family that did come back for ya." That we are thrilled to be back and making them our sons. I'll probably have to cry, more than once.

How will they feel? Well, I am hoping they feel just as wanted as she did. I am hoping they realize we didn't just come for them because she loves them and wants them, that we are honored to be their parents as well. We are happy to call them our sons and want to know all there is to know about them. That they can trust us, we are there for them no matter what.

I've loved them from afar for over a year, felt like their momma already, I guess because they were Chloe's bro's and I knew they didn't have a momma, but now we will be able to actually parent them. It's an awesome, God provided miracle. Soon this picture will be the REAL DEAL..... just 5 days from NOW!!

Tuesday, April 27, 2010

Testing out the Net book we are taking on the trip to blog. Not happy that the SD card reads on it but not the memory stick from my camera. Now don't panic, I can take pics on the camera using an SD card and post, I will not be picture less in China for you all. I know better than to do that.

We got our "In Chi*na fees paid today. I know you prayed and we thank you because the total came in just low enough to offset the higher flight costs:) Thank God. Now we are set. We have our travel call on Friday, our group is 3 families including us.
We leave out of Pittsburgh early a.m. of May 2, we arrive in Beijing early afternoon May 3, we then fly on to Zhengzhou where we eat supper, then crash in our room. May 4 we change out money then in the afternoon we meet the boys! After that, who cares, we'll have the boys!!
It will be Monday in the middle of the night here, but I will post as soon as I can so hopefully by Monday early morning you all will see the kids together for the first time:) I have no pictures of the 3 kiddos together so this will be very special to us.
Chloe funny of the day?? She asked "how do eyes make boogers?" I didn't get to answer beyond the laughter- what a terrible teacher I am:)
5 days to go, 7 till we have the boys!!

Sunday, April 25, 2010

Rainy Sunday

It's a rainy quiet Sunday, great day for a nap. A NAP--- who am I kidding? I've got a million and one things to do! Still packing... will that ever be done? I guess so or we leave sans clothes- that would just be scary:)

Chloe has been flying high on her joy, she brought up some things I never knew about when I got her. Firstly, did you know I "look funny?" Yeah, I did but apparently the pictures didn't do me justice 'cause she was scared of me. Although she did want to know "why I smelled good?" And we laughed when she said "you no wear clothes 3 weeks then wash?" Uh no. Never tried that, sorry? Yikes. I can't believe she so easily took off what she came in and changed every day for me, no sass. Now she wears something an HOUR and she insists it needs washed. You know, 'cause I don't have ENOUGH laundry to do.

What else, well, I have a bridge to my nose, I know that makes you all want to run screaming, right? And I have different hair. She calls it orange. She points out my fave soda label is RED, my hair is ORANGE.

I asked her what the boys were going to do when they see her, hugs, kisses and she said "huh, NO" like she was grossed out. Then she said they would have this- and she pulled her lips as far as she could get them in a HUGE smile. Okay. So I told her me and Baba better be getting HUGE hugs and kisses and the works, I want HUGS. Pictures and hugs and kisses and love.

I haven't been sleeping well, I was tossing and turning last night and had this concern I could not recall what the word for "son" is. Well, I made sure I recalled it right (I did) with Chloe this morning. "Errr-zahhh." Okay I got it. Daughter "new- r" I learned for her, son for them.

What else has she taught her language impaired mother? Cucumber. One of her fave foods and I can say it in Chinese. I know this will be terribly helpful in my lifetime- yeah right. I can say apple, it's close to cucumber:) I have my standards- hello, how are you, goodbye, thank you, no, yes. Matter of fact when she was on the phone she kept saying "yeah" and I said "suh, suh"(yes, yes) and she finally she "they know what "yeah" means~ I guess to shut me up:)

Chloe is bouncing off the walls, she is beyond excited and keeps saying she wished this week would go by "so fast" and our trip go "very, very slow." I think she realizes it will be the other way around and our time there will go by very fast. We tried to use up some of her energy tomorrow, we cleaned bedroom and took down the extra beds from the foster girls. She was talking the WHOLE DAY and when I sat down with her leaning against my chair, I heard, well, NOTHING. I said to dad, she's asleep isn't she? He confirmed what I knew, she was zonked.

I had to laugh when we shared in Wednesday children's church that we were going to get the boys, one of the kiddos asked "who are you taking back?" I said Chloe thinking they meant just traveling with us but no, they meant a trade in? Uh, no one going back, just more coming. I guess they thought we were tired of someone and trading them in? Man, kids are so funny.

Just 7 days to take off and 9 days till we have the boys. We are so ready to have these guys home and see what their personalities are like. If they are anything like Chloe I may just have to write that book my friend keeps telling me to write about my kids. She's sure it would be a bestseller, as they are such goofs.

We'll see.

Friday, April 23, 2010

My goof

Occasionally I will admit to goofing. This would be one of those times. I thought we traveled May 2, get to Beijing and then move on to Zhengzhou on the 4th to get the boys on Wednesday, the 5th. So when the agency said to book tickets into Zhengzhou directly, no stay in Beijing, we were like, "hey wait a minute." I asked why do we need to be in Zhengzhou May 4? Can we see a bit of Beijing then go on to Zhengzhou?"

The answer. "No, you get the boys on May 4th, you HAVE to go directly to Zhengzhou on the 3rd." OH! Well then. Goodness. My error. Oh wait, that means we have only 9 days till travel and 11 days till we get the boys!! AHHHHH! Who needs The Great Wall, we're getting sons a day sooner than we thought! YIPPPEEEEE!

We'll just forgive my error and plan to go back "someday" with all our kids for a Homeland Tour which will be much more fun to include everyone to see that Great Wall. It will become more important to all the children including Kat in a few years and we will have time to recoup some funds. Did I mention our tickets for just international flight are just shy of $7,000? Yeah, made me half sick BUT funds were there to cover it. Thank you again to all you people who donated to help us bring the boys home!

We are still waiting on the "In China fees totals" so keep praying!

Chloe and Cam started track this week. We also have another big change happening, it was determined the foster girls really need one on one attention and they have a home capable of that for them, so they were moved today. It will be hard for Kat, she is very attached to them but I am glad they will finish out in the same school and they will see Kat each day in school. So it will be less of a split for all three of the girls. The girls know they can call us and see us if they wish to, we never stop loving them no matter where they move on to. One of the hardest parts of our fostering is watching them go, but we always look at having them as a blessing for whatever time we get them for. They are 2 precious children of God. We are glad to have been a part of their lives.

I'm still not packed yet and Chloe has packed everything she owns. For a 12 days trip! She said to me last night "what I wear tomorrow?" And when I said "why, what do you mean?" She told me she had packed it all away to go. Goodness. So I have to pack my stuff and unpack some of hers. That girl!
I think I have the children staying at home covered, we have small "prizes" for when we are gone, Kitty is very worried about being here, so I made a special deal with her. We are going to have one of her nails painted for each day we are gone, starting with the toes. So before we get all her nails painted, we will be HOME. Just something she can carry with her every day.

Also planning on having a jar of kisses (chocolate kind) for her to see 2 kisses for each day from mom and dad and when jar is empty, we'll be home. Of course we are doing the standard calendar, that shows her where we are and when, as well as the paper chain she can rip a chain off of each day. And Skype. And blogging. And calling.

I also have backup called and lined up, that would be the big brothers, they are on stand-by if a certain day is hard for her they will come and take her for a little break and some fun. As well as Cam, but he is certain he does not wish to go so it isn't as hard on him, Kat wants to go but understands she can't this time.

Chloe was able to call and here's the pictures of her finding out the boys KNOW we are coming and getting them in just 11 days (10 days in their time:) Can you all believe it is really happening? Isn't HER joy all over her face??

For Lynn- I remember you-I didn't remember saying to you "you don't leave family behind." I was still in shock from learning about the boys. But it's what God knew would be in my heart, they are her brothers, you don't leave them behind. How awesome- HE knew and HE took care of the rest and here we are- 11 days till Chloe has her brothers forever!

Wednesday, April 21, 2010

Travel arrangements made

There's some major joy going around this house. If Chloe could fly by joy she'd already be in Ch*na, let me tell ya! She was sooo incredibly happy that we could finally say we are going, and she was even happier when she heard our travel date. Since we had a tentative date of May 7 and ever since I told her that she's been saying "no, nope, no May 7. No way." I said "whatever." So now she is THRILLED she was right (of course, she's MY daughter after all) because we are leaving MAY 2nd!!!

Yes, just 11 short days from now. We will land in Beijing after a not-so-fun 17 hours of flying that Chloe has already said "I can't sit that long!" Uhh, yeah. I know. So I'm gonna park her next to her dad:) Due to the Labor Day holiday (theirs, not ours, obviously) we will receive the boys on MAY 5th. Meaning in just 14 days Chloe will be with her brothers again, watching us sign the papers saying we accept them as our sons!!!

Chase LuFei Min and Chance LuKai Min will legally become her brothers once again.

Chloe's friend asked Chloe what she would have done if she didn't get a family that would have followed God and did everything possible to go back for her brothers. What did Chloe say?

"I not talk anymore." Other than being incredibly sad to even think of that happening to her, I had to laugh at her. I can't believe she COULD stop talking. I mean I dream of this kid having duck tape on her mouth. (Oops did I write that?) She's just a non stop talker so for her to say THAT would have been terrible grief.
I'm so thankful that God took care of these children so that none of them have to face life without the others. Not only that, they will be safe, fed, loved, nurtured, guided and given all that this family gives to our children.

Sorry to have kept you all waiting to know when we go, but it was a busy day of confirmation of Consulate Appointment then the scramble for tickets. I'll ask for prayer for the In China fees since our ticket prices ran over budget by almost $1,000. Yikes. I had been watching flight prices every day and knew they rose as of May 1, but we are on God's timing so we know this will work out.

We are in a group of 2 other families and YES, we will be blogging. I have all back up plans made to have access. (No mom you will not be strangling me for not posting pictures the SECOND we have the boys and don't bring me new granny undies for the trip either, no thanks.)

Everyone keeps telling me to "get packing" and I am. I bought snacks today for us and Chloe, she wanted her fave "beef jerky" to take along. Not that she isn't going to love the food on this trip- she was worried about the airplane food:) Her other complaint? Homework. Yes, the school approved her "leave" (dare they NOT??) but she doesn't want to do homework in the hotels, she wants to "play." I have a feeling there will plenty of "play" going on- ya think?

Monday, April 19, 2010

It's HERE!! TA!!!

Ain't that the prettiest thing you have ever SEEN??? Travel Approval. Now we scramble. We are trying to see if we can leave THIS Friday or May 1 or 2. Meaning we are getting our sons either 7 or 16 days from NOW.

God's journey He invited us to come on, over a year ago, fulfilling a promise we made to our daughter but more importantly a promise God clearly made to provide provisions for these siblings to be together, within this family forever. He covered the fees, He scaled the paperwork mountain with us, He gave us the strength to hang on over months and months, till this glorious amazing time.

DAYS till we meet our sons, better yet, DAYS till their sister is reunited with them forever. As the siblings they are.

Nothing sweeter in the world than this. Nothing. I can hardly wait to get on that plane. SONS, we are coming for you, as promised, we want you, we love you and are honored to be your parents.

Incredibly blessed.

I was asked to include pictures of Chloe when she heard the news so here it is. What did she say? "Do we go today? What you mean Friday maybe, or next Friday, I don't think so, who say you can go, not go? How they know when we can go, how many pairs of pants to pack, how many pj's, am I packed, did Dad pack yet? Why dad not packed yet, how we get to plane, why we not going now, are we really going to China?"

Pheww, she wears me out:) And apparently herself as well, she's sound asleep on my bed now:) So sweet.

She's thrilled, truly thrilled. Look at that face. Pure JOY.

Friday, April 16, 2010

No TA Friday

Yes, my life is reduced to the wait for two little words. Travel Approval. TA. Okay to go. And we didn't hear them this week:( Maybe next week they say then we will have a clue as to when we are going.

It's hard to sit and wait, true but I think even harder to feel like I can get it all together in time to go when they finally say "it's time to go."
Adding to my stress, is the fact we are looking at a house that we aren't sure is "the one" but it has some potential. Why I felt the need to add the craziness of that into our lives is beyond me, other than I am seeing that it may just be time for us to increase the living quarters size. (mainly needing more than 1 bathroom!) NOT that we aren't thankful for what we have, no we are very, very blessed and if this doesn't work out it wasn't meant to be. No problem.

We went to Hannah's b-day party tonight that ended up being a mad wet dash to the house, that funny Chloe said "I never been to party like this." It literally whipped up a thunderstorm with high winds the minute before we were ready to eat. Gifts were blowing away, cards, the food was getting wet and we ended up drenched on our back sides. After relocating inside, we had a fun time and we dried, I told Hannah's mom "we don't melt" and we didn't:) We had a wonderful time and when it stopped raining for a bit we roasted marshmallows.

Hannah's mom is taking her and Chloe along for a conference through the church but also side tripping to see the OCEAN!! Something Chloe has never seen, and bless that Brenda (Hannah's mom) she asked us before she even mentioned it to the girls in case we wanted to save that "first time at the ocean" for us. We decided not to, since we have seen the ocean without her, but not too many people are thoughtful like Brenda and realize for us many things are a treasure to do "first time" with our daughter.

Chloe was the life of the party as usual, she said she knows how to play Chinese poker but doesn't know how to teach Hannah, she asked if she would be allowed to play it with Chance and Chase that they know how. She said "they no play for money" and I said "you won't be stripping off clothes or anything- betting off your siblings?" She did not find me amusing??

She learned another big thing this past week. We like to joke with her. She was saying "Americks mean" over and over and "we joke- ahh her." I asked her why she said we are mean, that joking with her means we love her, she part of family as we joke all the time with each other- she is part of this family. Then I told her it wasn't nice to go around saying we are mean, and she took off, thought about that for a bit then came back, she hugged me, kissed my cheek and said "I sorry, I not call you mean anymore." Ahh, man do I love that girl.

Of course the big news of the week is the woman who sent her adopted son back to Russia. Here's my thoughts on it. We used WACAP for our adoption of Chloe and we have received e-mails about a child here or there that needed to be re-homed. It was not like she had no other choice, she did. As I see it she did what was easiest for HER. What a shame. And what was he doing that was soooo bad? I do not know. But it's hard to think that in barely 6 months she even got to know this boy.
I think it was wrong for her to do this to that child, and that she will now have to live with what she did. I am praying for the child and the mother who felt she needed to do such a thing. I don't know where her heart was but I feel sad that one person's terrible judgement can adversely affect other children getting a family. Who knows what new rules, or hoops people will have to jump to adopt from Russia now, all because of her. I would not want that to be on my shoulders:(

Let's hope next week will be our travel approval finally and a travel date to follow. Wow is it really this close??

Wednesday, April 14, 2010

Awake at 2 am

Now I know we are traveling soon. Firstly I am awake at 2 am and I'm a gal who loves my zzzz's. Then last night I had the funniest dream. I dreamed there was this older boy from Ch*na who needed adopted by a red headed momma, and I fit the bill. So when I went to meet him he was thrilled I had red hair and he loved me. The kicker was it was one of our boys:) Isn't that goofy. I even woke up happy 'cause he was so thrilled I was his momma, then I laughed and thought how silly that was. And I wondered, where was the other boy? Does this mean another child AFTER the boys?? (MOM-do not call me to tell me to get help- it's too late for that)

I don't "think"there is but you know what? If God called me again, I'd do it. I took issue to that just a short time ago in my life, God telling me what to do? Yeah, sure, to behave, not cheat on hubby, not take His name in vain. I got that.

But what I didn't get was the everyday, day to day TRUST in Him to guide my life where He wants me to be. Sometimes this has meant not following something I WANTED badly. It didn't seem like a bad thing and it wasn't it just wasn't what God wanted for us at that time.

It's really so rewarding to finally say "you know what God-take it from here. I make a mess of things, and you are perfect so please, just tell me what to do and I'll do it". It's like being a child again with no worries but what toy to play with, or if nap time is coming soon. And when the going gets rough, I just look to Heavenly Daddy to keep me safe.
With each step that I give of me to Him, I am rewarded with so many treasures, I can't help but wonder why more people aren't following this road? Do they not see this amazing road to peace? Do they feel it's not real- that eventually it leads to bad? I can't imagine this because I know that walking this road, I am going to go deeper and deeper and find more of me that really matters. I know as I walk this road and I grow deeper in trusting Him, He will expect me to give more of myself, to grow within Him and with this trust I give Him guide others as babes, new to Him to see what His promises are. Instead of feeling worried about what that might mean (the old me) I hope He uses me in that way even now.

Just in our journey He has taken care of these 3 children to become a part of our family. A true miracle. I know this because if it had taken Chloe even 3 months to come home and gain enough English for us to understand she had siblings, it would have been TOO LATE. Yes, this journey would be too late for one of her brothers. Then as each step came He took care of them, just like the $$ issue, it was a small gnat daring to buzz around Him, he just swatted it away like a silly annoyance, but to us this was HUGE. Another miracle.

Even before we met Chloe, God had this all planned. Because both the boys had files at different agencies and not one of their 3 files mention the siblings. NOT ONE. But neither boy had been chosen. But yet they HAD been. BY God. He knew our hearts and how much Chloe would mean to us and that having raised 3 boys already we would not hesitate to accept the boys and follow His call to us to go back for her brothers. I can only feel humbled that He chose us to do this. Humbled. Not special, not wonder woman, I am just like every other mom out there. I get mad, I get frustrated, I laugh at empty boxes left in the cupboard by children, I wonder where grocery money is coming from, I pinch pennies, buy on clearance. But I do NOT worry. That's also turned over to Heavenly Daddy to take that burden since I now trust Him to keep us. I know He will.

Do you wonder what He has planned for you if you haven't taken the steps to really give over your worries and fears and let Him "cover" you. Hey, I'm nothing special, if can do this for me- He can and will be happy to take on your life burdens as well. Try it, it's an amazing journey. He's got amazing things to bring to your life if you just take His road.

Sound too simple for you? Don't despair for you die hard people who are worried you will still face strife. Well, yeah, you will. BUT this will be different, because instead of standing on that road alone when strife comes a callin' you'll be amazed when you turn to Him to find Him right there, covering you in His armor to handle whatever it is coming your way. And you'll realize He was prepared for this before you even realized it was coming. He KNOWS. And He wants us to turn to Him. He is thrilled when we do and He will NOT let us down. Nothing in life can give you that. Nothing. Not a human, not a pet, not a child, not a home, a fancy car, money, nothing.

I hope that for everyone who is touched by the siblings story that you think what God could have in store for YOU if you walk with Him. Take that step and then another and another, it's an awesome walk. For good time and bad, easy days and tough ones, I invite Him along and I'm not looking back.

Today ended up being such a nice day, oldest son is almost 25 years old, he said I seemed stressed so he invited me for a day away- we went to lunch at the Ol*ve Garden, his treat, YUM... and he bought me a wonderful study Bible I have been wanting with a carry case as well, an early Momma's Day gift in case we are not home on Mom's Day. He's such a good son. I enjoyed the time out, no adoption news came so I missed nothing and I feel so relaxed.

We're off to Bible Study, hope every one else takes a day like I did today, to just recharge and enjoy LIFE.

Monday, April 12, 2010

And Another Step

Bet ya can't guess what we officially got today? Article 5! Still don't know what that exactly is, but we have it. I do know it's the last step till Travel Approval and that is a MAGIC word meaning we go get our boys.

We have been told we might have TA this week. Our paperwork is being expedited which is super. It's been a long year + for everyone. We'll be glad to see this over and to have these 3 siblings together, chatting away in Chinese and knowing they are home forever.

We are so close to the end now, but also a new beginning. Wow.

We went to a reception for the end of the school year yesterday with our college friendship student, Vita. Chloe told her "you speak to me in Chinese." Due to finals, it had been some time since we had seen Vita and Chloe must have been missing hearing Chinese. I got this picture of Chloe and her Baba, she has slowly warmed up to him and he can actually feel the love....

Saturday, April 10, 2010

A free Saturday

Fostering for us, has been an educating journey, one we wouldn't change for anything. From our #1 boy, a teen whom we adore to this day and would have kept in a second, to the harder teen girls with their exteriors of brick and pain filled souls, to our precious little man Tristan who lived and died with us, onto the brothers with autism that kept us hopping and laughing to the present ones. I don't write much about the foster children we have, the issue is not that they aren't important, but that we can not share much about them. We have 2 sisters right now ages 7 and 6.

For the first time since we started fostering we asked for respite. This means they go to another approved foster home for the weekend or longer, depending on the situation. Ours have gone for the weekend and will go for our trip for the boys. Why? Honestly-- they are wearing us out. As cute as the buggers are, they have some huge issues that have negatively affected our kids already here. Which places us in the position of protecting our kids from, well... them.

NOT a good place to be in. The girls have some coping skills that are not good. Terrible, in fact. And they can't help it. We know this. But it's hard to recall this when the big nasty behaviors surface and we are coping with them on a daily basis with no improvement. Another issue DONE to them, learning delays from things done to them- things they will possibly NEVER be able to learn.

One has pitted herself against Kat, who remains now as loving and willing to forgive her for most anything. But we know long term we can not let this continue. Funny enough, this child said "I'm a foster kid" and after 3 years of fostering Kat had to ask me, "what's a foster kid?" She really didn't know. We do not treat them any different than ours and ours are expected to accept them as siblings and do, they call them their sisters and brothers. And for good. (makes for some interesting conversations with people:)

Chloe has had some difficulties understanding "why" we foster. To her, you only have foster family if you have NO family, so to tell her they have parents but have issues that the parents can't take care of them but still see them, to her, is incredible. She has said "why they stay here, they have mother, why she no take them, and they not behave why we have them." It's teaching her to care for others and their situations as well as her own self. She can use a lesson in sympathy, she doesn't look for it for herself from her past, so she is very intolerant of others having issues from their past.

So we will recharge this weekend, we are off to shop, not many funds but the boys need a few things I haven't picked up on clearance over the past year, just this week I found the kids shirts for a buck, yep, a dollar! Gotta love Walm*rt, left over from St. Patty's Day, aren't they the neatest? I got one for Chloe, Chase and Chance. Too cool if you ask me:)

And we need a gift for Hannah's birthday. Chloe was just sure we'd be on our trip over Hannah's birthday so she is very happy now that she will be here for next weekend:)
It will be a quiet weekend with the 2 less, one of the few we will have before the boys come. I'm going to enjoy it, because we need to recharge.
Today did start well, even though I woke up thinking yeah, if I stop eating altogether now I could potentially lose 30 pounds before going on our trip. (MOM- do not call me with threats of doctors and hospitals if I try this)
I had the best of intentions then here came Cam with this----

Now how was I gonna say "no thanks" to that?
And am I going to watch Chloe pig out at her fave Chinese restaurant when we go shopping?
I am just going to accept that the boys will learn to love fluffy momma just as Chloe has and those women who did my laundry last trip??
They'll know.... I'm BACK.........

Thursday, April 8, 2010

Chloe smarts

I can't understand how anyone wouldn't want a "Chloe" in their life. I mean, she's a riot. As I was hanging clothes out after the dryer fix she said " I thought dryer fixed, why you hang clothes outside?" I said "oh, girl, just 'cause it's fixed doesn't mean we don't use the nice day to dry clothes." So she said "oh, yeah, dryer use money, you so smart." Well, just stroke my ego why don't ya? Since you did call me "old and uneducated" just last week. Yeah, I didn't forget that.

She proceeded to do something later and I said "don't get smart with your mother." And didn't think anymore of it. Well.... she must have pondered on this a while, then she said (out of the blue to me) "why you not want you kid be smart?" As I recalled where that came from I started laughing. Then I got the "why you joke- ahh me?"

We've been working on her manners, yeah, her bossy self came with little understanding of manners and she has hung onto this over the past year. So we are increasing the reminders for her to get this and not be a "smart" aka rude kid. BTW, she does understand "rude".

Cam has been worried if the brothers will like him. He is very excited and eager for them to come, but he was with Chloe as well and although they are best of buddies now, Chloe didn't really LIKE Cam at first. He wanted to hug and kiss her and she was not so thrilled with that idea and ended up hitting him more than once.

Now I am hoping since he is looking forward to playing ball more than hugging with the brothers that we will be fine. It will be a big adjustment for all I am sure but it will be nice that we have the summer months to get everyone settled in.

Chloe 's big concern last night was the seating in the van. We have had a few people with Mega- families such as our ask how we do it. Well, we travel in 2 vehicles when we all go. Mostly we take turns with the little ones going to the store and such. Chloe does NOT like that the little ones have car seats and get the middle captain chairs in the van.

So when she brought up the boys and "where they sit" her next question, before I even could say "the roof" (Hahah) was "who sit in front, oldest or tallest?" I know she is thinking between her and Kat they will be the "shortest" of the bunch forever, since Chase is already taller than me and even Cam, at 9 is not far from the top of my head:(

My reply? Mom standard. We worry about that when they are HERE. Not here yet, not a problem of today. Chloe does not like this answer but must accept it. She knows that's all she's getting:)

Only adoption news is not about us, but for Jaxon and Drew, as you may have noticed the Chip In is GONE, this would be due to a grant that came in for their family and they now have what they need to get their boys home as well. Isn't God amazing?? He always provides, don't ever forget that. It's awesome to trust in Him and watch Him take care of it. Sure glad He's got my back covered, how about it??

Tuesday, April 6, 2010

Who's the cutest

I'm so sorry to all you parents out there who think you have the cutest children. Miss Kitty did some posing this am before school and I have to say, the girl is wayyyy too cute. I can't figure out what it is, but I am sure it has something to do with that sweet and kind personality of hers. It just shines out from within her.

She was the beginning of our adoptive and fostering journey, we decided to foster due to her being in foster care and being so loved. We knew we had love to share as well and we have been so blessed by both and hugely blessed to be her momma and Baba.

Good news on the dryer~~
Service call $45
Parts $55
Tax $5
15 minutes to repair
Our undies no longer in the yard- PRICELESS

I'm sure our neighbors are agreeing. It was a thermal thingy ma- jig, something. All I know is for 105 bucks my dryer works like new. AHHH, huge sigh of relief.

I should have known it would be fine, that Miss Kitty again, she stood in the kitchen this morning and folded her hands and prayed our dryer could be fixed for "just a widdle bit of money". Who wouldn't answer that?

I was seriously concerned since I woke up to a massive clap of thunder and all I could think of was, oh no, our undies are in the yard! Never good for your brain to go there first thing in the morning, huh? They did get soaked but it soon cleared up and it ended up being very warm and sunny. Kat declared Jesus must have needed just a short shower this morning to get clean:) See how funny she is?

No adoption news, just hanging out waiting on Article 5. No idea what Article 5 even IS, but waiting for it. I could be waiting for Underwear 12, Jokes 101, Signals from aliens, moon beams, who knows, but wait I do and I am learning to do WELL. I figure God has a plan and He knows when we are supposed to go for whatever reason. And at least we know it's not for the surprise of another sibling, yeah, we asked Chloe to make sure this is it:) Hey, ya never know.

The kids are still passing around a cold, sharing germs like no body's business. Chloe has it now, as does Baba, they better get well, we have a big trip to make soon!

Sunday, April 4, 2010

Easter Sunday

After hanging on a cross to die for MY sins, Jesus rose from the dead and lives forever more. It doesn't get any more amazing than that. Really!

We were up early, the girls all wanted curls for the Easter program, so they had them. Mom on the other hand was still wet headed but clean. Dad even came up and said "why are you up at 6:45 am?" Curling hair dad, duh.....

The girls did really well in the program, Kat had a reading part and she was right in front. She smiled the whole time:) Every one looked so sharp in their Easter duds.

My mom came in for lunch as well as all the boys except Brandon. They don't miss many holiday meals cooked by mom:)

Chloe was begging to go to Hannah's since they have no school tomorrow and we are too boring for her. So off she went, giving me a much needed break from her 5 million questions per day.
Not much else going on, my dryer decided to go out on me today, my thoughts went like this~~
Oh no, we can't afford this!
Can I live without this? with 9 people in the house? Am I nuts?
I can't live without a dryer!
So tomorrow the repairman will be called to see if there is any hope of helping my only 2 year old dryer- I guess per usage it would really be about 10 years old.
I think it's dead and we will be looking for a new one. Meanwhile let's all pray the weather stays nice and I can hang out my 4 loads a day that I can rotate and get dry on a nice day. That will keep me hopping till we learn the dryer's fate.
Happy Easter to all, what a special gift we have all been given:) Salvation. Priceless.

Saturday, April 3, 2010

The Hunt is on

The Egg hunt that is. 2 of them, one at church after the program practice and then after lunch at a community hunt. I dressed the girls in different colored polo dresses, a great idea since I was able to keep track of them really well:) See what I mean?

They looked adorable but I forgot to tell them to let their bags for egg hunting out of the pictures....sigh.

The girls had a blast, they got enough to make all happy and although Cam wasn't feeling good, and didn't get to go. Chloe, Hannah, Fox and even the little girls all contributed to a bag for Cam:) Wasn't that nice of them?

We got another step done, the letter from NVC that our agency has to send on to the Consulate in Guangzhou then they issue what is called "Article 5" which goes to the adoption center and then they issue TA. YEAH... another one bite the dust....

Yesterday we colored eggs, some bright woman (me) had the idea that TIE DYE eggs looked really cool on the package and it would be fun to try them.

Note to self- take time to READ instructions next time.

Let's just say tie dye eggs = MESS. You drop color dye drops into the bag with egg and smush egg all around, meanwhile bag leaks, eggs slip, hands are dyed blue, pink, etc. Chloe eventually just ditched the bags altogether. Luckily Chloe's hands will match her dress tomorrow for church:(

Chloe got so creative she had to get out the paint brushes and she painted MOM on an egg for me. I feel the love, I feel it. Aren't they pretty eggs?
Cam's barely lasted to get colored, he started eating his right away! But he doesn't like the yolk and somehow they ended up bring used as balls.... and being thrown toward Chloe??? Amazing their creativity, huh?

Chloe has decided the Easter bunny is not "wheel" (real that is) and she is not very excited about the basket hunting of tomorrow.

I am glad in a way, we are going to church and then basket hunting since we really want the focus of Easter to be on what our Lord did for us, not about a silly bunny. I overheard Chloe telling Kat yesterday, "Jesus, he died, Christmas his birthday, this not his birthday, but when he died, then Sunday he come back but that not his birthday either." From a child who came to us a year ago telling us she came from "monkeys."

WOW-- thank you Lord, for the precious gift of this child and her realizing there is so much more to us than "monkeys." THANK YOU. She's such a blessing.

Thursday, April 1, 2010

Another Step Done

Well, we accomplished another step, now our approval for the visas has gone to the National Visa Center (NVC) and they have e-mailed that approval to the Consulate in GuangZhou. They will in turn give us what is called "Article 5" and then the adoption center issues Travel Approval.

Our agency works with the 2 next steps to get us expedited. I just sit back and push them from my trusty computer when they e-mail and say they aren't "SURE" we can go as soon as April 23. And saying it, they are. As a matter of fact, they are saying "no way" to my April 23rd.

Should have known I would jinx it by even stating the day. They are saying now MAY 7 th to avoid the holiday. I was saying "what holiday?" Well, Labor "DAY" which means DAYS. Not ours, theirs.

I'm in labor all right and they should know I don't handle pain well... I've been "birthing" them for a whole year. I'm getting cranky and my ankles are swollen. I'm well done, on the way to being burned, let's just end the "pregnancy" already.

So I am trying to see if we can work around that "holiday" and go sooner than May 7 because ticket prices jump at the beginning of May and stay at $500-700 per PERSON higher. That's enough to make me just sick. For a few days difference. Some one's getting rich and it ain't US. Bummer. Ha ha ha ha.

God's timing. God's timing. Our chant of the year. I can only imagine how had this wait has been for the boys. My heart aches for our sons. We know they were strong to watch their sister go, never knowing if they would see her again , so we know they can endure this.

Seems to me I should just take this cute, adorable little bugger Miss Kat and have her "talk" to some people, she'd surely get us moving along as she is full of honey and no one can resist her. Yeah, mom I know the vinegar from me isn't working:(

I'm off to enjoy my children, they had a ball with April Fool's Day, Chloe said "Hannah say she go to France, when I go to Ch*na and she said "why, why you no go to Ch*na wif me" Hannah said "April Fools." It's supposed to be in the 70's and sunny all weekend, wow, it's going to be a gorgeous Easter, not something we see often. Counting the blessings:)