Monday, November 29, 2010

The dreaded trip

If you've known us since after we adopted Miss Kitty then you gotta know what trip I mean. To the local Soc*al Security office to obtain the numbers. Of course, with tax time looming, I had to go. Had to.

It's the ONLY reason I did it. I've put it off as long as possible, not just due to the usual happenings when we go, but we STILL do not have a Certificate of C*tizenship (COC) for Chase. That's a whole other issue that is driving me nuts.

But off we went, since the kids are off school till Wed. Me, Chase, Chance and baby Jaxon. Once we located the office, which, unbeknown to me, had moved, it only took us about 45 minutes. WOW.

Chance's will be here in 2 weeks, Chase's documents have to be confirmed so his will take longer. But all went smoothly, we didn't wait long and other than Chance telling the woman he was "bored, to hurry up," we were in and out fairly painlessly.

As for Chase's COC, we're going on 7 months home. He became a citizen when he entered the US. I've contacted the office via e-mail and called (every day for 3 weeks straight) with it going direct to an answering machine- left messages with our contact info- nothing. Not a return call, not an e-mail. So I contacted our congressman who put in an inquiry, still NOTHING.

It's been over a month since our congressman inquired so his office sent in ANOTHER request for the COC to be processed. Not sure what they are doing at the Philly office, if they lost it, someone is on extended vacation, but getting very annoyed.

Now as for the past trips to the SS office. OIY. If you don't know us from Kat on, well----- my first trip for Kat, she tormented a service dog, was a total monster child and I went totally unprepared for HOURS sitting waiting.

Chloe's trip I took older children, thinking they could surely behave and was asked for the first and only time "was I running a group home or something?"

Something, all right. All mine, they are. Thrilled to claim them as we sat waiting F-O-R-E-V-E-R. (dripping sarcasm here)

We got home today at lunch time, Chloe had Hannah over for the day, they all made dumplings for lunch and they played outside rollerblading for awhile. We took Hannah to karate class with the kids, since they practice on her, now she can kick their butts back:)

Tomorrow I'm going to put Chance to work the second he mentions "I'm bored." It's all that's been coming out of his mouth. He wanted to know if he could "shoot deer, get money." Not quite sure where he got that idea, but the answer is "NO." He doesn't think they should be off school so long, then there's Chloe who has it counted out (16 days of school) till the next vacation, Christmas.

We'll just have to see what Chance gets himself into tomorrow:)

Saturday, November 27, 2010

All Nighter

Not us, old folks, mind you. The younger bunch, Donovan, Chase, Chloe and Chance decorated the church, then headed out to go glow bowling. After that they went to Walm*rt for a scavenger hunt, then back to the church for movies, shooting some pool and more fun designed to keep them awake all night.

Apparently Chase fell asleep on top of the pool table for 1/2 hr?? Wow, can't imagine that was comfortable. Chance also slept some, Chloe and Donovan, not at all. So today they are crashed, out cold, worn out.

It's really quiet. All but the 2 littles, who could care less that people are trying to sleep. They are not lacking in sleep.
So how did our shopping go? Well.... lots of people seemed to have the same idea:( Be there at midnight? Yeah. But we did get one big thing we wanted, a family gift. Otherwise a few little things, hardly worth the crowd to get, but we are pretty much done. At least for all the kiddos. Now to get some wrapping done:)

I'm glad we online shopped for much of it, decreasing the impulse buys, the overspending, as well as being able to see reviews on most everything we wanted to purchase. Free shipping and I can highly recommend this method of shopping.

Otherwise, I am enjoying the quiet, Dad is off to visit Grandma with the littles and I am going to scrapbook. I got 3 of the kids books caught up after ordering 513 pictures! Chase has a second book now, as well as Chance is getting his second when I get to updating his.

Some times when I am deep into the 3rd or 4th kid's book I wonder why do I do this? But when their eyes light up after they see what new pages they have gotten, it makes it all worthwhile.

So I'm off to scrapbook my heart out:)

Thursday, November 25, 2010

Blessed

Food. Plentiful. Turkey. First time for the boys to eat turkey. We ATE. Till we couldn't hardly move. 13 people with full bellies. AHHHH.

Everyone had their favorites~

Turkey - dad.

Turkey neck- Chloe. (OIY)

Mashed potatoes-Jay.

Sweet potatoes-ME.

Corn- Kat.

Gravy- Donovan.

Applesauce- Derrik.

Cranberry sauce- Camden.

Pumpkin pie- Mal.

Homemade bread- grandma.

Noodles- Chase.

All of it- Chance:)

Our "Ch*nese" flare to holiday meals- shrimp.


A Happy Thanksgiving Day.

Blessed to have it all, on our table, now in our bellies. MMMMMMmmmmm. Everyone made it except Brandon. We missed him:(

Wonderful to pray and give thanks to God for the 2 new sons at our table this year. We think it was a hit with them:)

As for the insane shopping of the a.m.? Nope, not for me. We are doing our run at midnight tonight to get what we want, mainly just for pj's, otherwise I have shopped online with free shipping and have most all of the loot bought, much to my relief.

Lest you feel I am outdoing you, I have NOTHING wrapped. Not one thing.

Make ya feel better?

Tuesday, November 23, 2010

Thankfulness

What does that mean? Really. Yeah, thankful.

Growing up to me, it was a given. We are thankful, yadda, yadda. Of COURSE, we had a thanksgiving meal. With all the trimmings. Never really thought otherwise.

But to become the momma of many, some of whom have suffered from deep hunger, it's really eye opening to see our new son light up at the sight of the Thanksgiving turkey in the freezer. Eyes HUGE, thanking me for getting it. How humbling is that?

He was even showing it off when we had company over this past week. And we all laughed, but for him this is BIG.

When I visited the children's orphanage, I saw a baby that was 10 months old and 10 pounds! I could see the care of the children was not lacking but obviously the food supply was short. And that equates out to the older children doing without since they can go the longest without food and still survive. Hard reality, huh? But true. So for our kids, having food all the time, not going hungry now is amazing.

So for this I am deeply thankful God has provided for them now, for us to give them the simple joy of a bird in the freezer they can be proud to show off. And I am thankful God gave me the eye opening experiences He has in my life. So I see more than just me, my little world.

That there is so much more out there and I have so much more to give than just bringing up a few spoiled, self centered children such as I was. (Yes, mom, I am admitting it in writing, right here!)

I'm also deeply thankful for answers to prayer. Remember when I posted about "The children of my heart" here?
http://wwwourchinagirl.blogspot.com/2010/08/hearts-burden.html

Children I care deeply about, what happens to them, if they will get adopted, special ones of my heart.

WELLLLLL------- I have news that 2 of these precious children are/have been adopted. One of the boys from the teens orphanage was adopted to Spain. He has a family. YIPEEE! One of the little SB babies, he's getting adopted:) WHOOO HOOOO! Answers to many prayers for these children from their "foster momma- aka- ME".

I still have 2 girls on my heart, as well as 2 young boys, and that's okay, God can give me more as He takes care of placing the ones that were in my heart. I accept the burden to care. I love them from afar. I pray for them, think of them and will do anything possible to help them, within God's wishes for us.

I don't ever want to NOT CARE. I don't. I don't ever want to chicken out and say "it's too much for me to handle, I am just one person, one mother, too busy, have enough."

Just as I never want to go back to assuming we will have turkey and all the trimmings for Thanksgiving without a second thought. Or without a prayer of thanks.

I'll be thanking God this year for our food, for answers for 2 of His children, as well as prayers of safekeeping and love for the current children of my heart, as well as the precious children at my table.

We are truly and deeply blessed and I am so
thankful we are not taking that for granted and that I got to share the simple joy over having a turkey to cook via our wonderful new son:)

And I gotta say- older child adoption- tough, different, but so, so, SO worth it. These children bring so much to our lives, so much WE needed. I think I was the special need in all this, 'cause they are PERFECT. (Shhh, just don't tell them, okay? We don't need their heads to swell or anything- they shouldn't be the only ones who can keep people guessing:) Ha ha ha.

Sunday, November 21, 2010

Handsome Alert

Much to my delight, I was able to find for a reasonable price ($10 each) dress shirts and ties for the 3 youngest boys. Burgundy shirts that go with their hair and skin. Not easy with a pale redhead and olive skinned black haired boys:)

Donovan is not willing to join the fun (aka dress alike for mother's pleasure of seeing all her handsome sons look good ONCE A YEAR) and since he is in men's sizes I could not get him a shirt to match:(

But the other boys look so good in their new duds. Each boy has a different tie. Cool looking. And the boys actually liked getting all slicked up.

I decided to go the "matching" route when Chloe's Christmas dress arrived and I looked at it. Thinking, hummm, that looks an awful lot like someone else's dress I bought on clearance, last year. Mainly Kat's:) I thought Chloe would be mad, ya never know with her. But it wasn't as if she could blame ME, she picked her dress on her own.

Usually since we have so many kids, I'm just happy they are clean to go to church. I don't allow bones and skulls on shirts, but neither have I forced the boys to wear the "eish" clothes they so quickly dumped in the attic (unknown to me) when they first came home. You know, the twill pants, the polo type shirts. They were a no-go.

But at the holidays they need one really slick outfit for all the parties, concerts, programs. And when I brought home the shirts they wanted the pants. So I made Chase go get the stuff in the attic and we found him pants.
Camden and Chance had some as well and our only other issue was shoes. Chance pouted most of the day even when assured his shoes (which he called old man shoes) were JUST for church on the holiday. That's it. And look how good he looks. He was happy he looked so sharp.

They wanted to know if I could drum up a wedding for them to attend since they looked so good? Uh, nope, don't know anyone getting hitched just right now, sorry.

Now I'm off to cut Camden's shaggy hair, then they will have to dress up again for me to get my Christmas card pictures. Won't they be thrilled to hear that??

The teens, in the meantime, are working and reworking those Christmas lists. It's become quite a serious thing. One (Chance) is missing his right now, and it's MAJOR.

I am just overjoyed that a certain someone (Chase) who has consistently said- "no, no ask for anything, too much money" is finding his inner child and as I type is working with sis to make his wish list:)

The little joys, mean as much as the big ones sometimes. And this is GOOD:)

Friday, November 19, 2010

Full Belly Friday

It's not often a mother of many gets a call asking if someone can come cook for us. And I am never dumb enough to turn that offer down:) Two of our college student guys-- Frank from Ch*na and Hector from Costa Rica, came over and we shared a Ch*nese meal. I love, love, love when they cook, all except the clean up:)

The kids had a blast helping out but I think they used every pot, pan and spoon we own. But Chloe, you are reading this RIGHT, Chloe dried the dishes while I washed and we made fast work of all those piles of dishes. Chase tried to convince me to let them till tomorrow and he would do them, uhhh, NO. We got them done.

It was fun to share a meal with our two young friends, to talk about the changing seasons, the upcoming holidays. Everyone is looking forward to Christmas. The guys have plans for Thanksgiving, but they will be here for Christmas which will be really neat, it will be Frank's first Christmas as well as Chance and Chase's.

I'll leave you with a picture of the rice monster, Camden, I think he talked more than he ever has at a meal, might have been since the teens were so busy stuffing themselves we hardly heard a peep from them.
They all went to bed happy and with full bellies this night:)

Wednesday, November 17, 2010

Comin' up for air

It's been just a few days past 6 months since the boys came home. PHEWWW. We made it. In more ways than one. First we got them home. Both of them. Relief, mixed with joy, as well as fear, of the journey to make them our sons.

Yes, on paper they were. Our sons. But we knew so little about them as people. Personalities, likes, dislikes, what made them tick. It was hard to get the real picture when they were so adamant of remaining in their little threesome family and not allow anyone in. As well as the dirty trick Chloe pulled telling her brothers in China to dislike Camden. Rough waters for sure.

I didn't feel safe letting them anywhere alone with the other children for long, adding to the pressure of feeling like we were parenting a bunch of 4-5 year old kids. Naughty kids. That looked big enough to know better. But they didn't. They really didn't even know how to live with one another, their roughhousing was too rough, Chase was like their father, Chloe like the mother and Chance the misbehaving but adorable baby. OIY.

Then came the pain of them realizing this was going to be hard, no one really told them that, and the terrible homesickness for all they had left. Their friends, smells, freedoms, caretakers, culture. All of it. Having to start school with people that look nothing like them, dress differently, talk too fast, too much and too boldly.

I'm not going to say it's been a blast. No way. I'm not going to say when we first got them I didn't cry and wonder would they ever really FEEL like we were their parents. Would we feel that deep love for them other than just "it's my child, we love them, we would do anything for them." The DEEP soulful love, like our Father shows us? I mean, they aren't cute cuddly babies who needed us, and uhh, to be honest I think they'd rather have seen us go away than to listen to us and build a bond with us.

BUT......I finally feel like I am coming up for air. That they are settling in, we are getting a routine going, they feel comfortable and know what to expect and what is expected of them. And we are learning about who THEY are. And liking them as the people they are, not just loving them because they are our kids. Knowing that when Chance is happy he is singing, doesn't have to be in tune, in one language, but singing he is.

Chance came home today with a note for a girl and the other 2 went after him to take it, I couldn't believe it but when I told them to "Stop, leave him alone." They did it. They listened, instead of dealing with it like they would before, on their own.

I've learned Chase WANTS to help out, not out of obligation, or thinking he won't be fed if he doesn't do something, he just wants to help his momma out. He has seen me make numerous trips up and down 2 flights of steps with laundry, over and over, heard my knees cracking with the effort, and he has taken over the up and down of the laundry.
If I get the wash going, he will fold, haul and deliver to the owner, the laundry. I've come to understand he's just like that. If he can do something to make it easier for me, he will. Or really for anyone else- he will not watch anyone struggle to do something, even a stranger without offering to help.

He is still very much a child, wanting to watch movies, go to karate, enjoying youth activities at church. But he is a thoughtful and very special child who is going to be an amazing adult in this world.

Then we have Chloe. I think we have had the hardest time of all with her. We were the least prepared for her issues, that's for sure. The jealousy, then the whole calling me "mother" issue, she was determined not to call me mom but the boys did and she wasn't going to be outdone by them! She cracks me up in some ways, in others I hurt for her.
She told me, out of the blue, that she had been taken home from the orphanage by more than 1 auntie and asked if she wanted to be their daughter. But she always said no. When I asked her why, she said "I didn't want to call a Ch*nese person mother." WOW. She's got some huge pain deeply buried there.

Pain that I think God knew she would need an American momma to heal. To give her someone totally different than the only momma she remembers.

To give her a new beginning in a place where her orphan status is not a factor in her life, nor will it ever be. She can do anything she wants here, in the land of the free. She can grow up with her brothers, as she should and know they are not suffering somewhere unknown. To give this girl whose life has been disappointments, one after another, a way to learn about God and how He worked for her to finally bring her healing. That He loves her and always has and always will, no matter what.

Most of all the last 6 months have brought us deep understanding of how brave and awe inspiring these 3 kiddos are. Their story might be amazing, but THEY are even more amazing. They wake up each day looking forward to their day, they don't look back. They are accepting that we love them enough to care what they are doing, how they are doing and are willing to stand by them no matter what.

I can't say we don't have issues, and I feel we have a long road ahead once we have better English with Chase and can get some more of their history brought out. I know he has the best memory of what happened, and they all 3 will have things to cope with over their past. It is a part of them and of who they will always be.

We are the most thankful for God, for guiding us through these uncharted waters, I felt so alone at times, no one else had our dynamics, it was tough but we always have had God to fall back and it has strengthened our faith, it has allowed us to rely on each other like we have never had to. We are thankful for all the people who had a hand in getting these guys home, that we have honored your prayers, generous donations, and help to get these boys home, as well as the after.

I can say today, they are my sons, they are my daughters, I feel no different toward them than the ones I've borne, they are without a doubt, a perfect fit:)

Now before you get too mushed out, here's what they are up to---
Arguing with me and telling me they can't possibly live with just one Ripst*ck that is Chloe's who doesn't want to share it, that they EACH need their own? OIY, that American dream has gone straight to their teenage heads. They are soooo, well,
N-O-R-M-A-L.

Isn't it GREAT to see??

Monday, November 15, 2010

Hair

The boys are learning they can have a say in their hair styles. And they discuss it nearly every day. Chase says " hair too big, need hair cut- ah, cut- ah." Chance says "hair too long, need hair cut-ah, cut-ah."

Yet, when I got on line and looked up some pictures of Asian hair styles they both picked longer styles. Meaning longer than their hair NOW.

So I said "Fine, we'll let your hair grow and then shape it once it's long enough." So why do they pester me every day to get their hair "cut-ah?" Because they think their hair will be magically transformed and when it isn't it will be "MY FAULT."

I'm not falling for that one. BTDT and know BETTER. So they are denied hair cut-ah's till they grow some more hair. In the meantime Chance is looking cute in his shaggy hair, kinda like a teen rock star, since he sings all the time, that's what he reminds me of.

2 of the older boys got in trouble today, biggest of all got an earful from his momma, you are never too old for momma to whip you into shape. Mine all know that. Donovan was the other one, he refused to listen to a teacher and shut up. No surprise there, and he has 3 detentions. His 3rd ones of this year- sighhhhh.

I told the principal, if it made the teacher feel any better, he doesn't shut up when I tell him to either. He ALWAYS thinks his way was right, no matter what the issue and will argue with you till he is in so deep and he is still going on strong. OIY.

Miss Kitty asked me if I would buy her a shirt that said "DRAMA QUEEN." I was a little surprised since she doesn't LIKE anyone calling her that, but she said "I am one and I saw a girl with a shirt with that on it at school." So she was miffed the girl had a shirt with HER title. Ohhhh, I see. Don't you?

Chloe is making her Christmas list and checking it twice, Chance is close behind her. He is fascinated with the thought he can ask for more than one thing for Christmas. Which he keeps calling Trick or Treat. He's behind a month! Christmas is hard for him to say, I think that's part of it.

Many friends and family are annoyed with me, that my Christmas stuff is up already, but HEY- we have 2 boys here that have many years to make up for no Christmases. I want them to enjoy the anticipation as much as possible, to see each little thing we do to prepare as a joy of being a child of God within our family.
We explain Christmas to them like this, Jesus loves them so much he lets THEM get gifts for His birthday. Making it about Jesus, not about Santa.

We got Chloe's Christmas dress online tonight, that has been a nightmare. She is SOOO picky and everything I thought was nice she said "No flavor." AKA not flashy enough. OIY. She ended up with one that is red, black and white, very pretty and I am so glad that search is over. She was driving me nuts trying to find the PERFECT dress, as if Christmas was tomorrow.

Oh, and another issue, the CAT- she won't leave the tree alone. The first night it was up she climbed the whole way to the TOP. Nearly took the whole thing down. She's been seen chewing on the light bulbs. I don't know what to do to discourage her from the fun of the lights, the balls, the blinking ANGEL on top. Now the tree is crooked and sad looking:( Rotten feline.


I guess that's what I get for having my Christmas decorating done already, huh?

Saturday, November 13, 2010

Just 42 days till.......

Yesterday was FUN, the kids were off and out came the Christmas stuff. Yep, it's all up. The kids were enjoying getting the ornaments all on the tree, although Chance was having issues putting 4 things on one branch but none in other spots. The boys like all the lights and the angel on top.

I was thrilled about the fact that they helped and we were done in half a day. I downsized our stuff about 2 years ago since it was becoming a burden to decorate and that's not what I want Christmas to be. Now it's just as pretty and enjoyable.
It's also huge when it comes to taking it all down. Not a horrible dreaded thing. Makes a HUGE difference in keeping the stress of Christmas at bay and we have a ton of kids to be contemplating some of their requests which is enough of a stress:)

After the fun of yesterday, 3 of the kids went to friends' houses to stay the night. Chance went for the first time ever, but he was with Chloe. He went to play with Fox, Chloe with Hannah. We were down to the dull roar of just 3 kiddos, then Dad took 2 of the 3 remaining ones with him to grandma's to clean out her gutters.

It was so QUIET here--WOW. Just me and Donovan. It was downright weird. I got soooo much done! Laundry, cleaning, little things I have been wanting to get to, like gluing the horn on a goat statue (don't ask, sometimes it's just better not to know).
Most of all I enjoyed the quiet. I don't get it very often, don't really want to have it often, since my brain is wired for quiet=trouble, a frequent problem for mothers of many:)

Chase is fine, no further problems, he is very happy and back to his usual self with misunderstanding of him "being in trouble/not being in trouble" cleared up.

Ohh, I wanted to share that our Orphan Sunday video has touched many, I have been asked to speak at another church about adoption using the video. While I am not a public speaker I wanted to say "no, sorry" but for God's purpose I will do it. Anyone wanting to use the video or link your blog to it, feel free to do so. I have no problem with that.

My funny of the day- Chase overheard telling Kat who was being a STINKER, "Kat, listen to mother, mother mad, we SAD, mother happy, we all happy." Me thinks some body's LEARNING:)

School pictures for Chase, Chloe and Chance, I told them all to "SMILE." See what I get? That Chase! At least he's handsome, even if he does look angry. Don't the twins just glow? They are so happy, at least today they are:) We'll see what tomorrow brings.
Ahh, the joy of raising teenagers. I wouldn't trade it for anything. I can say one thing--I'm NEVER bored.

Thursday, November 11, 2010

Trip to the ER anyone?


Guess who? Chase. Why, you ask? Wellll....... he was angry yesterday when my niece wanted to talk to me about something, and she told all the kids to go upstairs. They are the nosiest bunch of kids, they think they need to be involved in EVERYTHING.

So when he ignored her and I told him he HAD to listen to her, he got mad. He decided to stay mad, refusing to apologize to her or me, since he was being rude to me by not listening. So when he clung to that anger today and didn't eat breakfast, didn't like school lunch, came home and went to his room, then when I called him down to talk to him, he just stood there. Looking like he was totally ignoring me.

Next thing I know he weaved backwards, and down he went. Out cold. Hit the trunk we use for a coffee table with his head. I got him to come around (I am a nurse) and checked him out, got some juice in him, then iced his head. He seemed okay, he ate, got some pain reliever but when he started to complain of nausea I thought it best to have him checked out at the ER. By the time the doctor came in to see him he was laughing and having a grand time with Chloe making fun of him for wearing a "dress."

I "could" have been embarrassed that my kid had such a miraculous recovery but that's always how it goes, and I figured if it annoyed him to wear a "dress" and have to wait 2 hours to be seen, he might not do this again.

He did confirm he was angry about being told to go to his room, that he hadn't done anything wrong:) So I had Chloe explain to him that sometimes adults need to talk about things and he needed to go to his room so we could talk. He tried to argue that he wouldn't have understood but I told him I didn't want him to hear something, think he knew what we were talking about and be worried, then come to find out he didn't really understand what was said. It was just easier for him to go to his room while we talked.

Chloe had to be assured her brother was NOT going to die, she was very concerned about that, but she was at ease with him being checked out and was joking with him so I know she trusted me to get him the care he needed.

It's funny how they are getting it more and more that we are the parents and we can be trusted. We will take care of them. That we can even be joked with, Chloe was wanting gum and she was teasing me something awful. Saying "oh you bad mother, you won't give me gum." And just silly stuff. Then she would check and say "you not mad are you, I love you mother." Chase was just laughing at her antics during our long wait.

I told Chase now I have to bug him to make sure he has eaten, so more bugging from mother coming his way. So sorry, but he asked for it. I'm very thankful he really is okay as well, it's never fun to see one of your kids to go down like that in front of you. Took some years off my life, that's for sure.

Tuesday, November 9, 2010

What was I thinking?

K-A-R-A-T-E. Something the KIDS are doing. Pretty much with ease. So where was my MY brain when I thought it didn't look that hard and thought I'd try it.

I knew I was in trouble when the "master" made a comment about how more fun can be had with getting our two legs going in opposite directions as far as possible. Someone forgot to tell my hip that this was supposed to be a tremendous amount of fun and said hip lashed right back at me. OUCH.

I had to sincerely promise my aging bod to never do that again for it to rise up this morning and function to get around today. I don't plan to ever have that lapse in judgement again, guess the "fun" is out for me.

Needless to say, the children laughed like nuts watching mother trying to keep up. At least someone got some amusement out of my pain. So much for being "cool Mother." (As the boys called me) I'll just have to be "uncool."

Next time I'm taking a book.

Sunday, November 7, 2010

Orphan Sunday

video Here's the video we played at church today. Enjoy:)

It's Orphan Sunday!


Did you KNOW it's Orphan Sunday? We need to care, God calls us to. But what does that MEAN? What if we don't have any ideas HOW to help the orphans in ANY country.

You know what? ASK God, He will lead you, that's for sure! We showed a video today chronicling our adoption journey at church today. Chase broke down crying, even though he had seen the video at home. It was a good cry, cleansing for him. He's such a sensitive soul:)
We then asked for shoe box size containers to be purchased, filled and we are trying to send one for EACH OLDER CHILD at the teens orphanage. (Most kiddos at Kat's orphanage are in foster care and we pay for sponsorship of one of those children.)

Warm socks. A hat. A little snack. But more than that. A way to say "someone cared enough about YOU to do this. You are NOT forgotten. Don't give up HOPE."

I know it means a ton to the children there, as well as our children who love these kids left behind. Children who MATTER. They have faces, names, needs, fears, and tears. I can't imagine NOT having our kiddos from Ch*na. God matched them as a perfect fit in our family. As much as they drive us nuts, it amazes me how much they fit in our nutty family as cherished (nut) members.

We had 42 cards with "boy or girl" and their age. WELL.... can I just tell you that our small sized church of 125 or so people TOOK EVERY SINGLE CARD WE HAD! And wanted MORE! Isn't God's workers AWESOME?

If each church in the U.S. took an orphanage to "adopt" the children there, hummmmm.......I'm thinking we'd probably be able to cover the WORLD. ALL the orphanages in the world with SOMEONE who cares. WOW.

To add to my joy today, our son, Chance, when the sermon was over and the pastor asked anyone who needed to know God, to ask Him into their heart- Chance did it. He went up and with the pastor's wife's help, he asked God into his heart. I cried, and I cried, more than I have ever cried in church. We were also surprised with a quilt presented to our family, that a church member made, with hearts for each of our family members, their name and date of birth, as well as each of our "Gotcha" dates. It was just an amazing day.

As our church leader said today, we often can't wait 7 minutes, 7 days, 7 months let alone 7 YEARS for God to answer our prayers, yet our children sat at an orphanage for 7 and 8 YEARS wanting to have a family. Yearned for it. And I KNOW even if they didn't know God, HE knew them, He heard their pleas, understood their pain. And He answered.

Orphan Sunday--- we all have to care, as long as 1 orphan exists. Right now the count is somewhere between 143-147 MILLION orphans. And God cares, about every single one.

We are soooo thankful to say today that 4 less children are orphans no longer, they are our sons and daughters. Children we love so deeply and are proud to have them carry our name. Chase, Chloe, Chance and Kat, the children God planned for us to parent.

Do you hear God asking you if you want a very special blessing?

Saturday, November 6, 2010

Mother mad, everyone SAD

Sooo, I had the "sit down" with Chance. And I have to say... the boy puzzles me. I think he is way too easy going, or I am missing something. Nothing like keeping momma on her toes guessing.

He said he doesn't like when I AM MAD at him. So I said "then don't MAKE ME MAD." Hummm... novel idea, I know!

He was fine once we got past the "mother is mad at him." Chloe helped him, she wrote for him the note. (Note they are BED children- ha ha ha ) I chuckled when it was obvious that neither one of them could figure out what to do and they came up with "what then?"

Ohh, it hurts my heart sometimes to know these children have to LEARN how to be part of a family. They have NO clue how to handle so many situations we consider "no brainers" and it's not due to their intelligence, it's things they never learned from when they were little children.

So Chance assured me he doesn't miss Ch*na one bit, other than the food. He is one child that doesn't let things bother him, which is why I was worried with him acting up yesterday as well, Camden was tossing around a football before school and it slipped, hitting Chance- of course it did.

And Chance was furious with Camden. Off he went to school, MAD. I got an e-mail from the ESL teacher saying he had talked to her about it, that he was very upset.

I thought it was great he talked to her. He usually just clams up. But then when he got home and Chloe helped him apologize and I was talking to him he told me he really can't stand me being mad at him. That's the issue. Along with him STILL thinking I give Camden special treatment.

So I explained to him Camden got in trouble for tossing the ball in the house, but that he needed to "NOT make me mad for me to not be mad at him." And I told him "Momma MAD= you SAD, no momma MAD= you NO SAD." And what does that Chloe pipe in with? "Chloe mad, no one sad." And dad said "yep, you got it." So she swatted dad and we all got a good laugh. Yeah, we carrying on like, well, like a bunch of kids often. Can't help it, I don't want to grow up. (can't make me MOM)

It's really something trying to keep up with these 3, I was taking them to the store to get Chase a coat, he refuses to wear many things, as if he hit the Tr*mp adoptive family. Nope, just us. Bummer, I know! So I give up on picking anything without him along, and he picked a heavy jacket,wouldn't get a coat. Guess when he is freezing this winter that coat I showed him and encouraged him to get will look okay for him to wear and he'll be S-O-R-R-Y he doesn't have it. So there!

Anyway on the way into the store Chloe says "Mother. You mean." I said "Okay." Knowing this was leading to a teen gripe session unmerited by ME. She went on to say "you don't do this, and that and this for us.- You so mean, I want go back to Ch*na to my birth mother." Since I knew my wonderfully snotty teen aged daughter wanted a reaction- I said "Okay, you do that. I wonder if you can find her?" Chloe was speechless for once.

So I took her silence as an opportunity to say "you know what Chloe, I am not MEAN. I love you as much as any mother could love her child. I feed you, get you what you need, take you to karate, church, and I think it's MEAN of you to say such things." Well... girl changed her tune really FAST. I think it's a backlash of her talking about the foster children we met at karate, she was asking all kinds of questions of how children get taken from their parents (mothers) here.

I KNOW this girl. She fears losing the mother she finally has. Terribly fears it. And one of the best ways to get to root of a nasty comment from any teenager is to L-I-S-T-E-N. Because I have learned they are usually trying to tell you something or work through something under that nasty comment. And If you give them a big reaction they will shut down and you get nothing else out of them. But I also know when to put a halt to her taking out her fear on me. I'm not a punching bag.

Although they must think I am. I have armed them- yikes, you are right! They keep practicing that karate on me. I have to tell them to go beat up dad. That will be lovely for their PP report being done this week- "they love it here, we don't beat them, they beat up US." OIY.

Thursday, November 4, 2010

A Great Cause

Well?? What do you think? Like the CHANGE? Yep, it's a bloggy makeover and for the best reason of all--- fundraising families that are going back to Ch*na for their kiddos. Boys, girls, older, younger, SN, We Christian people gotta band together and get them all adopted. Into families.

If just 6% of all Christians adopted an orphan THERE WOULD BE NO MORE. Staggering, isn't it. Do you know the suicide rate of teens, young adults in Ch*na? Those who age out.... with no family? Where do you think they end up? It's not pretty, and this is just talking about Ch*na, what about Africa, Haiti, sooo many orphans.
So for the wonderful people adopting, Mandi has started doing bloggy makeovers with FULL profits going straight to adopting families. Can't beat that, can ya? You get a cool new look AND all your $$ is going to help kiddos come home. WOW. Click on the button at the top right "Forever Blessings Designs" and check it out. I picked "Loving Life" for our new look:)

We got our look just in time for Orphan Awareness Sunday, does your church recognize this Sunday? We are doing a very special project for our church, it will be something that is ongoing. I'll share it on Sunday. Gonna make you wait again for that one, sorry you impatient ones:)

Uhh, remember that last post that I said things were going smoothly for the longest time ever- well, scratch that. Chance, this time. Mad at me for telling him he could NOT boss the littles, or be mean to them. He was told to knock it off, came downstairs and started calling them names, so I told him to go to his room. He told me "NO."

Uhh, wrong answer. Since I couldn't pick him up and take him I called Donovan down (didn't want Chase involved) and amazingly he allowed Donovan to pick him up like a baby and carry him to his room, I doubt he would have done that if it was me, but he didn't fight Donovan at all.

I then told him no TV, he was in trouble. SO later when I went back up to check on him he was watching TV. Ohhhh, the red hair flared--- I unplugged the TV and told him if he did it again I'd take it out of the room. He's not going to win this one.

I could say I'm terribly upset with him but I'm not really. You know why? Well... of the 3 teens, I'd say he has blended in the easiest. (After that initial hard time with Camden) I mean you can just SEE how happy he is to have a family that loves him, he sings all the time, he smiles all the time. He is a joy-filled child. But under that is a child who still has the same pain and hurts as the other 2 and has to figure out how to handle it. So blowing up at the little things is not even the issue and I know this.

Our children have made so many changes over the 6 months since we met them-- yep, today is the 6 month mark. They are such incredible children, to have walked away from all they knew and trust us to take them in and give them a good life. I am in awe of their spirit and their ability to love us. Uh, just don't be asking Chance just how much he loves mother today, okay?

I'll give Chance time to stew- he sits in his room to do that-- then when he decides to apologize we will sit down and talk. To find out what is really behind his upset. He'll still be grounded for a week, because I love him enough to set limits and not back down on them. And being mean to anyone is unacceptable, not listening to mom is unacceptable.

I did have to laugh when Chloe came and told me "sorry." I asked her for what and she said she didn't know. I told her she could not apologize for her twin and she hadn't done anything wrong. I wonder if he put her up to that to try to avoid apologizing, I bet he did since she doesn't like apologizing any more than he does:)

6 months since we watched them walk in that hotel lobby with a sense of total amazement that they were really coming home. Both of them, our 2 new sons, both smiling and eager to come. It was a sight I will never forget. Yet, to look at them today, I love them more, deeper, as I grow to know them as my sons, as the special young men they are.

We are blessed to have found out about them, to have managed to get approval for both of them, to have brought both of them home, but most of all, to share our lives with them. As well as all of our children.

Even if one is being a TURD. I love him. I'm happy to be his momma. I am so glad we were chosen to parent him and his sibs. I hope more and more people see how wonderful and worthy the older orphans are to adopt. Be well prepared, have good support in place, and most of all have FAITH, if God calls you to adopt an older child. He does not make mistakes:)

Tuesday, November 2, 2010

November lessons

I'm pretty sure we are holding the record for smooth days, although I am half scared to even write that:) Could you give up some prayers for a family we know is struggling, not quite there yet, that they have the strength they need for their new ones PLEASE! They are at one of the roughest patches. I'm thinking of them often.

Our kiddos all started karate last night, Tae Kwon Do, to be correct. The teens had a blast, they weren't quite as fit as they thought doing the stretches. But they caught on quickly. Kat had the hardest time, the girl is a lover, not a fighter and she looked absolutely mortified when a girl who was about 12 told her to "throw a punch at her face."

She very timidly threw that punch, it was sooo funny. I can see how it will be something that can greatly help all the kids with their balance, control and self defense, something that would ease this momma's mind to know her kids can hold their own against someone BAD.

And it's a cool activity in place of the beloved basketball, of which Chloe is not wanting to do now after all. Remember her throwing in brothers' faces that she was getting to do it and not them?? Yeah, well, 2 practices later and she's done. TURD.

Something I found interesting about the kids-- we started karate because a friend of mine goes with her 3 foster kids. Her kids were fascinated with our kids, as they were the only other "younger" ones in the class.

So as they rode home foster mom was telling them how blessed they were to not have endured what our children have, being in an orphanage, hoping to get a family, giving up their language, culture, everything to come here and learn to be a part of a family with people they don't even know at first. That they still have a mom they can call on the phone anytime and aunts, uncles, comfort foods, smells, etc.

So guess what the conversation was on the way home in OUR van? How sad it was that those kids had to be in foster care, since they have parents! Yep, our kids feeling bad for the foster kids. They don't understand why kids here are in foster care as long as they have living, known parents. It's inconceivable that being neglected or abused causes children here to be taken from their parents. Isn't it amazing how children see things?

Besides hoping we get a few black belted kiddos, we are trying to teach the teens a few things, even Chloe still needs quite a bit of help at times with social issues, how to be polite, what is rude, etc. There's just one thing I can't seem to get them to stop doing, all 3 of them. And it's GROSS. They call every bit of gunk that comes from your ears, eyes, nose, POOP.

What that means is I take them to the store and they say very loudly, "Mother, my ears, full of POOP," as they are trying to tell me we need Q-T*ps. OIY. Talk about embarrassing. They have NO love of our Q-T*ps either, they think they are the wimpiest things they have ever seen. They dearly want an ear spoon, yep, a tiny little metal spoon thing that they use to scoop out their poop, uhh, I mean wax.

Another lovely embarrassing moment was with Chance sitting in church, as a song winds down he comes off with "Mother. POOP." And he's pointing at ME. He meant I have eyeliner in the corner of my eye! But wow, what do you think everyone around me thought?

I never dreamed I'd rather hear booger, snot, eye gunk, dirty dog, anything besides "Mother, POOP." And they never fail to add "mother" in front of it so it sounds as if it's MY issue.

In other news, a change is coming--- wait.....wait.... wait for it, WAIT FOR IT..............