Wednesday, December 28, 2011

The chaos of Christmas break

Yep, it sure is. Chaos. The kids are all home.

The kids have now been home for a whole 5 days straight.  And they are blessing me with their boredom. EVERY-LAST-ONE-OF-THEM. Have I mentioned they are all HOME.  5 days straight now?

I've heard the declaration that the "floor" is covered in snow.  Now to all you (normal) folks that means the ground.  And it's snowing here.  Chloe is thrilled and yelling, "Mother, the floor is covered, why didn't you tell me?" 

As if I am her personal weather informer?  

So far Chase has stripped his bed, adding to my laundry work, of which he declared, I needed to do the laundry as it was piling up? WHOA, guess who put a halt to big boy's demands?  Yep, that'd be ME.  Put him right in his place.

He doesn't like that too well, but I will not allow him to push me around.  And he will if allowed. As much as I love him, I will not allow him to bully anyone. 

And in many ways he tries to bully us all, sans DAD, because it's how he was used to living in the past. And it's a hard habit to break him of, so I deal with it often:(

Chance is very happy today, they have a party for the teen church group today at our neighbor's house. He was telling me earlier the girls who recently moved up to his Sunday School class make him crazy, that they like to pick at him because he is the ONLY boy in the class now.  POOR BOY.  

Does he REALLY think his momma doesn't know he's LOVIN' all that attention? Mother wasn't born yesterday Son- shine.

Yesterday my mother came to visit and brought the kids gifts.  So in addition to Camden, who must TALK the whole time he plays games on his electronic toys, she brought them remote controlled cars.  2 of them to be exact.  Noisy things, that you have to yell to be heard over.

THANKS A LOT MOM.  I'm thinking this is another pay back from my childhood?

So imagine this--- Chloe is yelling the "floor is covered", Chase is hounding me to do wash, Chance and Camden are running remote cars all over the place, Kat is fussing that we don't have the certain kind of noodles SHE wants, and mother, well, mother is slowly (or fast) going nuts.

Bonkers.  Not used to all this noise during the day. But it's a good bonkers, because I love these crazy kids of mine.  They might drive me nuts, but I'll be right there with them:)

And just so you all know, I'm sporting blue glittered nails. I even have tiny pink hearts on my little fingers. Via Chloe, who wanted me to SPARKLE for a change.  Did I mention how much I love that girl?  How much fun she is?  Well, if not then you all need to know that.

 'Cause she is FUN.  I mean, who else is gonna make me laugh telling me the "floor is covered?"  I'm just sorry we can't possibly clone any of these clowns, oops, I mean children and bless all of you with their fun.  Share the craziness is my motto.  

Maybe I should rent them out?  Sooooo who wants them tomorrow?- Ha ha. Just joking ( No calls MOM)

Sunday, December 25, 2011

And it came

Christmas Day.  It sure did.  Early- 6 a.m., although Camden was up at 3 waiting:)

The kids were thrilled with all. They are having a blast.  Chloe said Santa was "very electronic" this year. And he WAS.  

To their delight.

I'll let the pictures speak for themselves. Although the last one of Chase is quite funny, he is asking dad what the purple rabbit's foot (from Kat to him) is for?  It's a key chain:)

We enjoyed church, where we had a birthday party for Jesus.

Blessed, so very blessed.  Our God is a wonderful Father.  We are so thankful for this year, this home and our family.  

Merry Christmas  to you all!!

Friday, December 23, 2011

Christmas cookies

It's not too often I get to sit on the sidelines of a not-so-favorite chore of Christmas, the cookie baking mess.  But--- Malaree is home on college break and her and Chloe decided to break out the cookie dough.  

They got busy baking away, all kinds, shapes and flavors.  Yummy smells coming from the kitchen. Some good sister bonding, as Kat is "helping" more like asking 5 million questions and saying she will be more than happy to be the official taster of the cookies:)

Chloe, as well as all the other kiddos, love having Mal here, they really look up to her and she is such a super big sister.  Always patient with their questions and teaching them new things.  

Chance has been very funny this week, his poor ESL teacher has been drilled all week.  "Is there really a Santa Claus?"  He wants to know.  He knows that parents have to pay Santa to bring gifts (our way to keep their requests reasonable) and he thought he had her when she said she didn't have to do that.

  But I furthered his uncertainty when I told him she didn't because she only has one child.  (He also told her not to be a "bad girl" and to tell him the truth.) Is he funny or what?

But we told him only parents of many have to "help" Santa financially.  I *could* say I don't want them to believe in Santa at all.  Sure, I could. But honestly, to give them something that is a childhood dream, the expectations of the magic Christmas is, a gift.

We feel along with many ways we respect and honor the Reason for the Season, Jesus, it's something we are able to gift to the teens.  The wonder.  The anticipation. And that's not something they have had an abundance of in the past.  So for now, we are keeping them "in the dark" and letting them be kids a little longer.

I even invited Chance to check out the attic to see if anything was there, since he thought some loot was hidden there.  Nope, nothing. He asked  Santa for boots and a Holist*r jacket.  Nothing too big.

The kids had half a day today and are now officially on vacation.  I think I got enough grub to get them through the holiday.  Seriously I bought 14 boxes of cereal!  Among other things.

We're watching The Grinch now, and have watched Elf about 20 times now.  I *think* we're really ready for the big day.  Camden has asked what time they are allowed to get up, and it's been made official--6 am.

For now we are smelling the yummy cookies, as Chloe keeps a close eye on them from her "spot" in front of the oven.  

And we are thankful  to see everyone who answered God's call to help bring another little girl home, Matt and Mandi bringing home Kalia, thanks to those who love God, love His orphans and made ALL the difference.  What a joy Christmas will hold now forever for that little girl:)

Monday, December 19, 2011


Help is needed.

We are all wanting to make a difference in this world. We all look for ways to honor our Lord for His upcoming birthday.

We know of a GREAT way ---

Help a child of God, one of His orphans, become an orphan no longer.

Matt and Mandi need a miracle, one God can do. Through His followers. His people who love and care. As He calls us to do.

We have seen this miracle before.  It's completely possible.  

I urge you to hop on over to meet Kalia, a girl with a family who needs our help. The Journey Continues

We gotta get this girl home.  Please, please, help another treasure find her way to her new family. 

Every $1 will add up, you all know this, it happened to get the boys home, $1, $5, $20 every dollar mattered to add up to what was needed.

Let's watch the mountain crumble, a Christmas miracle happen.  Oh the FUN!!

And if you want, I am SURE you could place an order for a dress that Mandi could work on  once she is home WITH Kalia.  

She made this custom,  adorable dress for Miss Kitty:)  Yep, we have donated what our family can, we wanted IN ON the miracle of Kalia.  

We want to see Kalia meet her family on Christmas Day.  Don't YOU??

Let's get 'er done.  Let's make the Lord smile in JOY- let's bring that total to DONE.  

Sunday, December 18, 2011

6 days till Christmas

The kids are really excited:)  Only 6 days  till the best birthday of all, Happy Birthday to Jesus.

I love what our church does since our Christmas program was today, they do a birthday party for Jesus next Sunday, we wrap "gifts" in the form of needed items for the church, tissues, paper towels, hot cocoa, coffee, supplies for the kids classrooms, etc.

Then the kids all go up front and "open" the gifts for Jesus.  Another way to celebrate the reason for this season:)

We had a guest this weekend, a little guy who was sure to make us laugh.  Mr. Stink, as we call him, our honorary "grandson" spent the night last night.  He slept on the floor  in Chloe's room, don't ask us why she has a brand new bed but chooses to sleep on the  floor??  But Stink likes to sleep on the floor with her so he went right in and went to sleep.  

She was off having fun, so he was a surprise for her when she got home.  The teens had a big day yesterday, they all went caroling, cookie baking, shopping, visiting the elderly yesterday with their youth group.  They left at 9 am and returned after 9 pm!  They had a blast.

I guess they used up their "good mood" stash, because all but Chloe were GRUMPY this morning.  Chase refused to smile in my requested required picture of them, although Camden smiled enough for the both of them:)  Guess it all works out in the wash, huh?

Chloe had a blast with Stink, he is a funny little guy. When I let out the doggies this morning and then they came back in I told them to "Sit" to get their doggie treat. 

 And Stink SAT.  Right in between the 2 dogs:)  We laughed but he got mad when I refused to give him a doggie treat.

Then I went to get Kat ready for church and Stink wanted a hair accessory like hers.  Chloe said he would make an adorable girl, but I told her she couldn't do that to the poor lil' guy.

Kat did great in the play this morning. Just great.  She was nervous, but did fine.

Camden on the other hand, has gotten sick over the course of today.  He is feverish, complaining of nausea and worried he will not be better by Christmas.  He is sleeping right now, which is good, since when awake he tends to moan  non stop he is male after all which does absolutely nothing to make him feel better but he seems to think it might?  

 I do hope he feels better soon, it's no fun having sickness make it's way through this house.

Still keeping you all in my prayers, those of you who asked for prayers.  Hoping each situation has gotten better, and if anyone else needs prayers I'm still available to spend time with the Lord for you. Just let me know, okay:) 

Thursday, December 15, 2011

Not just me

I was in the store the other day, saw a woman I have known for years.  A wonderful Christian woman.  Wonderful.  And she said to me, as many people do "Hi, how are you?"

And the "pat" answer that I have been taught to give "Fine, and how are you?" refused to come out of my mouth. I said "I'm not great, I'm struggling."  And I saw the understanding in her eyes. And I knew I was MEANT to share with her, I'm having a hard time right now.

My issue is pretty much one thing, although other "things" add to it.  It's the Season.  I care so much about my God, about honoring Him, that this season hurts.  How commercialized it has become, how lost we have become from the purpose of even celebrating this holiday.  

This is for Jesus. His Birth. The miracle that was and IS. That God sent this Son to live here among us, to feel what we feel, live as we lived, to teach, to perform miracles that strength us to this day, then to go on and be hung on a cross for OUR sins, DYING for US.  I get chills just writing this! So incredibly special.  God knows how much we love our children, how much we see them as a gift, as He felt this way about HIS SON.

Oh, How much our Father LOVES us. YOU.  Lil' ol' ME.  

He sees my hurt for this season gone off course (in my opinion) where we feel we have to buy more, bigger, better, and we get LOST in the hype.  I've really struggled with this for years, and just never put it in words.

It comes to me once I have everything done, all gifts bought, most wrapped, our Christmas ham in the freezer.  I have concerns- will the kids enjoy their gifts? Did we get enough? Did we get too much?  Do we have enough decorations?  Who will come for dinner?

This is when it hits me.  The sadness.  The wrongness of hearing "Happy Holidays" instead of "Merry Christmas".  Knowing we are supposed to be rejoicing in the birth of our Savior, yet people are hurting.  It's hard to be M-E-R-R-Y.

But then I realize even though I am hurting, others are too.  I shared with the friend I ran into, that the season wasn't being treated for what it should be, an HONOR of our God.  And she agreed and told me she struggles with this too.  We left each other with a hug, and a renewed sense of what the season means to us, as Christian women. 

That we can find in each other, the meaning.  It's not money, gifts, glitter and fanfare. It's not about kids who may not be happy with what they got.  It's not worrying about the finances of Christmas. 

It's about the miracle that happened so many years ago, when God sent us His SON, the birth of this precious babe, in a stable, no frills, no decorations, no wrapping paper. BUT the greatest gift He could give US. 

We need to get back to that miracle gift. To remember the season is about JESUS, His birth.  And as such, that God loves us as His children.  Each of us. We are soooo special to Him.  He knows how many hairs are on each of our heads. He knows our strengths, our weaknesses, He forgives us, He knows our hearts.  

I'm so glad for the sharing of your needs with me. It's made me feel like I can do something important, something that is meaningful in this season gone wrong- something that gets ME back to where we should be.

Praying for others. Caring.  Knowing God is with us, walking beside us and even carrying us when needed. His Arms are around us.  His love for us is unending. His miracles do continue, we have seen it in our own family with the miracle of the boys coming home to us- reuniting with their sister. It was ALL His doing.

My spirit is renewed for this year, I will be focused on the true meaning of Christmas.  
I will be praying for all of you who left comments, and hoping more will share because I am praying and God hears each of our prayers.  EVERY SINGLE PRAYER.  He knows the needs. 

 He can and WILL be there for each one of us.  Doesn't matter who you are, where you come from, how big or little your issue is, what you have done in the past, what you are doing wrong today.

 It can be something tough, or even a JOY that He has done for us.  God LOVES prayers of thanks, of joy.  He's there for it ALL.

I'm humbled today to be one of HIS children. 

Monday, December 12, 2011

Monday morning

Where did the weekend go? Whoosh. Gone.

Friday was a hard day, so I was glad the weekend was uneventful.  It's those older kids this time.  Worrying this momma's heart, which doesn't know quite how to stop worrying about them even once they are "legally grown."  
They seem so- well, immature still. Will they ever grow up?  Guess it's a mother thing. I won't name any names, but it's a grown girl and a boy, not Derrik or Brandon.  Figure that out:)  Our "girl" is not happy at her college, and is considering a change. Change is scary, an unknown, not fun for anyone.  But we are praying and supporting her to find the place that she is happy, enjoying her college years.  It's hard to see her struggle with this and I am glad she is off from school for a long break as of today:)

The son. WOW. I can't begin to tell you the fear this "boy" has given me over a number of years.  Wondering if he will make it through some of the things he has pulled.  Children are such a blessing but they also come with very different personalities and free will.  (I really don't like that free will thing now that I'm the MOM) 

This son was a gentle little boy, with doe eyes and a sensitive heart.  It's a heartache to see him struggle so.  As I totally believe 100% in the power of prayer, that God can and will get these 2 on their feet and on the right paths for each of them,  please send a prayer up for them, will ya?

Miss Kitty went off to school this morning, as grouchy as could be.  I never know what I'm going to get out of her, some mornings it's kisses and love, but more often it's dirty looks and tears. Girlfriend is SOOO not a morning person. I've tried earlier bed times, waking her up earlier, later, nothing seems to make a difference.

  She must think I like the surprise each day of not knowing what I'm going to get out of her?  She'd be wrong about that. (Mom do not say she is just like me and I deserve this)

Chance spent a better part of Sunday pouting, he was mad that he got in trouble for crawling under a pew in church and then had to sit next to dad.  He is also not happy that he has lost microwaving rights, he was warned about messes left by him in the microwave and must have thought I was joking? Nope.  Not at all.  Hope he enjoyed those spilled over noodles and hot cocoa while he got them, 'cause he's banned now for a week.

It's not like he is the only one who got in trouble this weekend, Miss Kitty tried calling Camden and Chloe, who were spending time frying their brains on DS games- actually playing together quite nicely, "idiots." Not sure where she got that word, (no mom I do not call anyone an idiot, not even hubby)  but it's certain to get Kat sent to her room. And she knows it but does it anyway?

Even the doggie is a goofball here, Teddy took the pad out of the kennel, drug it over to the patio door, put it on TOP of Tommy, who still has stitches in his neck, and laid down.  Not sure why the kennel didn't suit him, maybe wanted to sun himself?

Today Mal and I are off to help make peanut clusters, one of the last fundraisers for Chloe's Costa Rica trip.  Chloe will join us after school to help.  Since I firmly believe chocolate can fix pretty much any ailment, problem, issue, I will TRY hard to not eat the profits, but it's gonna be tough. Ha ha.

I feel the need to ask, do any of you need prayer? Is there something you are struggling with? I feel as though God is telling me someone out there needs some prayers. Can I spent some of my time, helping you in prayer for your issue? Whatever it may be?  If so leave me a comment, nothing is too small or too big for our God so don't be shy.

 I would love to spend some time with God for you:) 

Wednesday, December 7, 2011


It's been an interesting week so far.  Sadly my interesting is in the form of "not good".  First the doggie, that fluffy white one?  Well dummy, aka Tommy, decided to go after the neighbor's St. Bernard, who is 13 years old and was not amused by said 7 lb fluff ball barking like mad in her face.

And she bit him.  He's lucky to be alive, since she could've picked him up and shook him, thus ending his barking in her face quite efficiently.  I'm very thankful she did not, although the emergency trip to the vet, 6 stitches in his neck and a hefty bill later made me wonder more so why she did not just end him there. (No, mom I'm not sick, I love my doggies, I don't love their stupidity)

So now we have injured doggy who we hope has learned his lesson but I wouldn't put any $$ on it. If I had any $$ left after that vet bill-- ha ha.

On to the  2 legged ones of the house, Kat stayed home from school today.  She did her usual when she doesn't feel good, can't sleep, is scared, anything at night.  She comes in our room, stands over dad and stares at him till he wakes up with her little face right in his. Scary as all get out.

Don't think we have not tried to tell her she is itching to get screamed at, even accidentally hit by scaring us out of sleep this way.  But nothing changes.  She does the same thing every time. It's funny when you are awake, but not so much when it's YOU she wakes up this way.

She threw up twice last night, and slept most of the day. I decided she was feeling better when she told Camden "TNMP" and I was looking quite puzzled thinking- time now mom prays, too nuts mom posts, but dad cleared it up for me.  THAT'S NOT MY PROBLEM. TNMP.

Okay then,  when you come up with that and throw it out there at your brother, you clearly are on the mend. At least that's this mom's take on it.

Chloe came to me last night and asked if she could stay home with her BFF Hannah since she was sick. I told her "no, even though you were the one who hacked all over her and got her sick." Chance and her got out the thermometer, which BTW, they refuse to use under their tongues? 

They want it in their arm pit, of which I take offense to them doing as the rest of the kids use it under their tongue. Get my drift? Gross. But they thought they were going to have fevers? Nope, not at all, so off to school they went.

In other news, wrapping of the loot is almost done.  Christmas cards addressed, at least most of them.  Lost my address book in the move, not good. Sad that I only need it once a year, but there you have it. I have Winter Trail Mix to make, but otherwise feel somewhat positive we are well covered for the upcoming holiday.

Chase had a blast at the semi formal dance.  I constrained myself barely from saying "I TOLD YOU SO" and informed him they have prom later in the school year.  He was asking if they "did this again next year?" 

 I did have to instruct him to walk the girl to her door, he tried to tell me "she not my girlfriend" and I said I wasn't telling him to kiss her, but he WOULD walk her to the door. OIY. 

It's been raining and I hear some snow is expected.  We are keeping warm and so thankful we are in our house.  It's very much a blessing to us all.

Saturday, December 3, 2011

A first

Life indeed does have to go on.  From our losses we gain- realizing we have to enjoy each and every day.  That no one is guaranteed tomorrow. We are grieving but also glad for the life lessons we learn.

Last week I got an e-mail from the ESL teacher. A girl wanted to ask Chase to the semi formal dance as a friend. Not girlfriend/boyfriend.

I thought this was a wonderful thing for him.  He wasn't so sure.  First he did not want to go because he thought it meant they were girlfriend/boyfriend.

 So once we explained he could go with someone as a "friend only" he still was unsure.  Knowing my son like I do, I knew it was the "unknown" factor keeping him from what is sure to be an enjoyable evening with his friends.

So I told him he had 10 seconds to tell me a GOOD reason he didn't want to go and "I don't know" didn't count. When he came up with nothing (besides I don't know) I told him he was going.  And it was obvious he was glad to go because he went and got his  dress clothes and tried them on right away.

So this evening, off they went.  His first high school dance:) He looked so sharp and she looked just lovely.  So pretty:)  Her mom drove, we are picking them up.  And I hope he has a blast.  One more step forward for our son.

Other news of the week.  Got a tick off Kat's head, YUCK.  Another joy of living in the country.  It wasn't there long.  But it freaked her out.  

Chloe got a haircut.  Oh does she look cute.  We call it the "Dora" look, it's so much better than the ponytail and side bangs hanging in her eyes every day. I got her some neat barrettes, for the top and she just looks adorable.  She had this cut once before and it really suits her.

Camden and Chloe are both still coughing from being sick.  Camden sounds worse than Chloe.  I hope they get over this soon, it's been over a week and both have done a round of antibiotics.

I took the kid's picture for our Christmas card.  It was tough, Chance couldn't find his tie, so we ended up with the boys tie- less but they look good anyway. (not sweating the small stuff)  I decided the hat for Kat would cover her bangs, still not grown out from the mystery shortening, and it worked well.

It's our first weekend in some time with no visitors.  Seems odd.  It's been fun to share our home with many.  But we are spending the weekend quietly together, no big plans. Just enjoying our home, our kids, and counting our blessings:)

Tuesday, November 29, 2011


I'm sad today.  Very sad.  Our family has seen 2 people we love, Uncle Mike (Ron's uncle) and my cousin Andrea lose their battles with a monster who plagues our families. It's called CANCER.  

I hate it.  Really hate it.  It's a disease that has claimed too many in my life. First my father. Very young. 37 years young.  Then my mom had it.  She survived. My grandmother (mom's mother) died of it. An uncle died young of it.  My brother has had it, Ron's family is riddled with it as well.

It's terrible.  I honestly thought since my parents had it so young and the odds used to be 1 in 5 (now it's 1 in 3) and there were 5 of us kids one of us would be the one to get it young. It's a dark cloud on every birthday.

A worry.  Although I am aware that heart disease kills more people than cancer and other things put together, for me cancer is my monster.  

The first call came on Sunday. Uncle Mike had lost his battle.  He was 86 and he chose  to deny treatment.  We knew he had decided this and was ready to go. Not easy but also a part of life, we all die eventually.  We loved him, he was a wise cracker, wonderful man. A long full life he lived.

The second call- my cousin.  Ohh.  How hard. I had gotten a call on turkey day, telling me she was asking for me to come.  And I went.  Of course.  My cohort in crime as kids, my friend, my cuz.  Closest in age to me of her family of 3 sisters, our moms were close so often we were banded together to "entertain" each other.  

Andrea was my buddy. I loved seeing her- always.  We actually ended up with children who matched up perfectly, Camden and Kyle just days apart in age got along famously, as well as Kat and Jamie, who were only weeks apart in age. So our adult visits, although tamer in terms of us "mothers" were the fun revisited as kids by our children having a blast together.

So just when we were starting to behave ourselves and act like our mothers, I got word this friend of my heart and bloodline was battling the monster cancer-  I was shocked.  It wasn't good right from the start.  But for 5 years she fought the fight, she wanted to live.

I am sooo thankful I went and saw her.  It was hard.  Not gonna lie.  BUT when I walked in her room and she was laying down and I kissed her cheek and said "hi- isn't this a face to scare you when you open your eyes." She LIT up.  Said "put me up."  And she refused to succumb to the morphine fog any more than she had to, to visit with me.

She asked about the kids.  I told her it was something rare to see me without them and did she want me to turn around to check if any were hanging on my back or to see if one was up my butt?? And she smiled.  (She's used to my outrageous comments and expected them)

She followed this blog and my children, our growing family with love and acceptance for each addition we've gained. 

I asked her if she was in pain. No.  I asked her if there was anything she wanted to do before she went, anything she didn't get to do? (I knew she was 100% sure where she was going) And she said to me---


And I assured her- we were adopting Phoebe in her honor.  We had her covered.  She asked Phoebe's Chinese name. And I told her.  

I helped her sign cards for her kids.  For their weddings, their 18th birthdays, her sister's upcoming 40th birthday, her parents 50th wedding anniversary.  All future events she will be "in on" from Heaven.  

We weren't saying "give up the fight" -- no way-- we were just giving her peace in knowing if she had to go things were covered.  Doing things that I would want done if I were in her shoes.  

Her family celebrated Christmas Sat morning, because she wanted to make it to Christmas. And who says Christmas has to be December 25? I'm sure Jesus didn't mind that ONE  BIT.  So they gave her Christmas with her kids. And she was happy.  She knew how loved she was.  

And on Monday morning her fight ended.  She became an angel.  And the struggle continues in our hearts- how to accept she is gone.  

How to comfort each other when there are no words to heal this.  None.  Finding acceptance that we have to go on without her and will see her again when our time comes. Seeing her sisters without HER.

My friend- my cuz Andrea, our uncle- funny man Uncle Mike, our losses are huge today.  Our love for both  these very special people will go on and on.

As well, we ask in honor of Andrea, a wonderful friend and my cousin, if you are thinking of adopting, thinking you will do it when you have- more time, more money, more space, more of whatever- DO NOT WAIT.  Do it NOW.  

JUST DO IT, in honor of an angel momma named Andrea,  who wanted to but ran out of time:(

Sunday, November 27, 2011

Surprise, another one

We have an "extra" kiddo for the week.  Adopted from China as a teen.  Her mom is aware and okay with me asking her to go through a day of her life at her orphanage. She did tell me where she is from had about the same amount of kids as my teens, about 150 kiddos.  

"A" is an amazing mix of our 3, I see some of the same behaviors, not bad, just interesting and some funny.  She is having a blast with our kids, enjoying being in the country and doing a bunch of fun stuff with our crew.

So here goes her take on things---

I sleep in a room with 4 people.  I had a closet.  It had my clothes in it, just mine.  I sleep in shorts and  shirt for pajamas.

House momma woke me up, I gotta make my bed, brush my teeth.  I eat breakfast- noodles, soup, egg.  Then I walked to school with other girls from the orphanage, 9 of us, boys too.

I got in trouble if I talk when teacher talking and I have to stand by the wall.  The other kids made fun of me (for being an orphan)  but I talk back to them. 

I go back to orphanage for lunch, rice, soup, potato, tomato, meat, cabbage. Back to school at 1 o' clock, we walked again.

Teachers were sometimes nice, sometimes no. I like Chinese class, and science, but didn't like math. I not good at math.

Went back to orphanage at 4:30 to do homework, so much homework.  Sometimes go to store, house momma took me. Always went back to orphanage after school, didn't go to store alone, always with house momma.

Supper time noodles or soup at the orphanage. I watched some TV, I help with the little children, take shower, put their clothes on, brush their teeth, pat the babies, sometimes they poop I have to clean, it gross. Babies always poop.

I go outside and wash every one's clothes, I was oldest one so I had to wash all the clothes.

Things I asked her--

Favorite personal thing(s) at the orphanage-
Clothes and shoes

Best day at orphanage-
Saturdays, no school

Worst day ever at orphanage-
Mondays, school

Favorite person at orphanage-
My friend

Least liked person at orphanage-
Another girl

Did you know you had to be adopted before you are 14?

Best thing about here-
School, I have a family, new friends

Hardest thing about here-
Learning English

What you miss the most about China-
Friends and spicy Chinese food

Another one of God's perfectly made teen treasures.  Loved.  Without a doubt. 

I can't tell you the road is without bumps, adopting older.  Not gonna lie. It can be heartbreaking. Tough.  But the rewards, they can not compare.

Not just for the children adopted, but for you. I have gained so much as a person coming to learn about my children and their pasts, their personalities, their dreams. 

Aren't these kids just amazing and wonderful? They were so cool sharing with me. 

Love, love, love 'em.

Saturday, November 26, 2011

Chloe's turn

The next treasure, the one who brought us 3 times the family we expected. Chloe.

I sleep in a room with 4 beds, there were 5 girls at different times in there with me.
Sometimes I by myself and it's scary, you know.

We have a locker for everyone to put their clothes in, we all have our own one.  We have a key for our locker.  I have clothes and junk food in my locker. No one take my stuff.

In morning would get self up.  No one wake us up and I make my bed, no one tell me to.  I would get money each month for us to get breakfast and for our life (mom here, allowance?) but would spend it on junk food so I would go to kids' room and they let us eat breakfast there.  I would eat congee with egg.  

I have little card orphanage people give me  to ride on bus free to get to school, but bus driver would yell at us that we should pay money.  Sometimes we walked or ride bike to school.  I would go with my friend who went to the same school as me.

Sometimes the kids at school made fun of me, for not having a family.  In a class and a boy made me mad and I grabbed his ear and twirled him around and he never messed with me again. (Mom here, WOW, this is my daughter! Way to go Chloe! I knew this girl had spunk)

Went to back to orphanage for lunch.  Would eat cucumbers, always rice, sometimes potato with chicken. Cabbage, tomato with egg, soup, pig meat.

Back to school at 1 o'clock.  Went outside for gym class.  Had a special outfit had to wear on Monday for the pledge of allegiance. 

School over for the day at 4 o' clock.  Went to store to buy junk food or video game store if have money.  Sometimes didn't go back to orphanage after school until night, no one check on me, no one care.  We had noodles for supper at the orphanage, sometimes we just have bread. Nothing else.

I had to be back at 9 o' clock or they lock door or climb the fence to get in, but they put a thing on it, when they find out we do that, so we couldn't get in the fence anymore.  

Things that I asked her-

Favorite possession at orphanage-
roller blades we sent her, a hand me down dress, and a shirt we sent her that said "Princess" on it.

Favorite day at orphanage-
Chinese New Year, got money, food, clothes

Worst day  at orphanage -
Clean up day when people come to look at orphanage and we had to clean up just for them to look and the day coming to me because they kept telling me you weren't coming and didn't want me because you were late. (Mom here, we were NOT late, we got there when we were told to be there, how DARE they tell her this! GRRR)

Favorite person-
Betty, an older girl who aged out:(

Least favorite person-
Another child that was mean to all the kids (same as Chance's answer)

Best Day ever-
American person came and took her to KFC and another missionary couple came and spent time with them-  these were the first American people (actually from England) she ever met

Did you know you had to be adopted before you turned 14-

Were you asked if you wanted to be adopted-
A woman (caregiver) would take me home with her sometimes and she ask me if I want to be her daughter but I say no.  I don't want to call Chinese woman "mother." (Mom here- phewww, good thing I'm a fluffy red head and she liked the looks of me? 'Cause I get called MOTHER.  Thank you Jesus, I get to be her mother.)

Do you remember the day you went to the orphanage-
Only that they made us take a shower

When I adopted you and learned of your brothers and said we would come back for them, did you believe me?
Not really

When did you believe we were going back for your brothers?
When we got them!

What do you miss the most from China-
 the FOOD

What is the best thing here-

What is the worst/hardest thing being adopted-
Gotta listen

What is the best thing about being adopted-
Nobody make fun of me

Anything else you want to say- 
I want to go back to China to eat junk food and it's my shower time

Well then. Another perfectly made by God treasure for sure. I'm still in awe of how brave she was to come with me.  Blown away. 

3 kiddos.  3 very different, but also some similar answers.

 All of their answers show me that these children needed to have a family. NEEDED to be wanted.  Needed to be adopted to a family that wanted them, love them, cherish them, feed them, give them God. 

Give them a future. Take a chance on them. Blessings, each and every one.

Older children.  So many lost.  So many age out and lose their last hope of ever being wanted.  Of not being "made fun of" ever again:(

I'm soooo thankful these 3 are our sons and daughter. We are proud they carry our name.  Proud to call them ours. Orphans no more. 

Friday, November 25, 2011

Chase is next

I was able to catch up with Chase last evening- I'm talking with the kids one to one so they are not embarrassed, trying to talk over each other or saying "nuh, uhh," when each other talks.  (Very common here with the 3 of them)

So here goes Chase's take on the same thing, life in the same orphanage--

I slept in room with 7 beds. (not with Chance)  I had cabinet to put shoes, clothes, pants and snack kind of stuff in there.  I slept in my clothes, have no sleep clothes (pajamas)

Sometimes my stuff got stolen  and I yelled at they- sometimes got things back.

Orphanage people gave me money and  got breakfast on the street, usually noodles.  Took a bus to school by myself. (None of the 3 teens got to go to school together, no school would take all 3:(

I got in trouble in school for fighting, they talk not good to me and I get mad and fight with they.  I did a little homework, not much. Bad kids at school say me not have family, me at orphanage and I fight with they.

I ride back to orphanage for lunch.  Have chicken, rice, potato, cabbage, carrots.  Sometimes I got to cook after school if I did not like the supper.  I would cook egg and rice.  I wash my own dishes, big kids wash their own dishes, little kids have people take care of they.

Whatever time want to go shower, you go shower.  We had soap, no shampoo.  We wash our own clothes, I no want to use big washer that had baby poo poo in it,  so I wash my own clothes.

Sometimes I go outside and play, or play video games at store, wash dishes or clean floors to earn money to use the computer at store. Had to be back at orphanage at 9 o' clock or they lock the big door, then they have to call director and I get in trouble- they yell at me.

My questions-

Favorite possession-
A  toy car Chloe bought for him (when I got her) and left at the orphanage for him

Favorite person at the orphanage-
One auntie (caregiver)

Least favorite person at orphanage-
A mean auntie

Who told him Chloe was being adopted and how did he feel-
An auntie, and he was mad

Did he think we didn't want to adopt him, just Chloe-

Yes (mom here--he didn't know we weren't told about him- I can't imagine how much that must have hurt:(

Who did he tell he was being adopted-
His best friend at  his school (not an orphan) and they were mad at him for going to America but he said he was going to be with his sister

Did you ever help with little kids at the orphanage-
Helped feed they, help get they dressed, played with they, help they put shoes on. 

 If they sick they go to nurse and she try to take care of they but sometimes they die, if they have heart problem or other problem-- they too sick to live -this was babies, not bigger kids

Best day ever-
Going to you- (I had to hold back tears here--- ahhhh:)

Worse day ever-
When he hurt his leg, couldn't walk (mom here, he did that in a FIGHT)

Do you remember the day you went to the orphanage-
Yes, they mean to us, all of us, 'cause we new kids, but they feed us, make us shower

Did you know when you would have to leave the orphanage-
Yeah, 18 and was a little bit scared about that

What do you miss about China-
Orphanage auntie (caregiver) and best friend from school

Best thing about here-
Going to Hershey Park

Worse thing about being adopted-
Have to ask to do things

Best thing about being adopted-
Getting parents

Okay, mom here, another treasure for sure. Sitting and waiting.  Wanting to be wanted, needing to be some one's son.  He's not as easy going as Chance, but he is no less special. 

I feel his pain, of no one wanting to adopt the 3 of them, not caring if they were together. He took care of his siblings, he NEEDED to be with them.  To know they were okay.

He has struggled.  No doubt about it.  I don't sugarcoat. BUT, we have no doubt that this older child was brought to us by God, he was meant to be our son. He misses things, but he knows for the long run he is better off here. 

He is loved. He is wanted. He is learning about God, he knows of Him.  He is God's perfectly made treasure, just like all our children are.  He knows we do not care where he came from, he is our SON. We've seen him make great strides in the short time he has been home.  

He is with his siblings. For him this is his security.  He knows each day they are all waking up in the same house, same parents, being fed, being loved. There is no shame in going to school  or anywhere, they have our name.  

I'm so thankful for this son as well.  Meant to be.  

Stay tuned Chloe is next:)