Tuesday, November 29, 2011

Losses

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---


A-D-O-P-T.


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?
No


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-
No


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-
Family


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:)

Wednesday, November 23, 2011

A day in his life

I know some people who were interested in what day to day life was like for our kids in the orphanage. So I thought it would be neat to ASK them. Let them tell me what they experienced.

So I'm starting with Chance since he is the most "open." I'm gonna type for him and ask him to go through a typical day.....

I slept in a room with 4 other boys, each had they own bed.  We had cabinet to keep our stuff, but people steal it.  (other kids)

Usually got up ourself.  Was already dressed, slept in clothes so I would have clothes.  Sometimes I would shower.  But no one say to shower unless they stink.  They not care about big kids, big kids take care of themselves. 

Went to breakfast, got rice every day, sometimes with egg in it.  Then walked to school, no one like him in school (teacher) he went to 2 schools- (he confirmed he was kicked out of the first school for fighting and not doing his homework)-- he said homework too hard and no one would help him because they all know he not smart. (Momma bear here, they sure were wrong, he's very smart)

Some people made fun of me in school, saying "you don't have mother."  I walked back to orphanage for lunch, would have chicken, it was very good, sometimes have bread, meat, but every day have rice.  But sometimes the water pump was broke and we didn't have water so we eat bread with hot stuff.

Went back to school in afternoon,  we go outside to play in afternoon at school. Played ping pong.  When I hit people I not allowed to go out.  If not know things teacher yelled at me, always yelled at me not care about me, not nice.

Went back to orphanage in evening had supper, bread, soup, meat, egg with cabbage.  Then went out to play, shut eye, find someone.  (Hide and seek)
We burn down tree, no one see us, so we not get in trouble.  We clean room when someone come (visitors to orphanage) so we get a toy or snack. We not clean other times, no one care or tell us to.

I was not allowed to be out past 7 o' clock, that's off the orphanage grounds.  The director would ask where we went but we would lie to him.  I went swimming in a pond, went into cave, and I made it out. 

I was told Chloe was being adopted and going to a house.  Someone Chinese ask me to be adopted by them, before Chloe adopted. But I no like them so I said no.  They tell me I can have girlfriend, but I not want be adopted by them.

Then they come tell me I go to same home as Chloe, and I wanted to.

Things I asked him--

Did he know he had to be adopted before he was 14--
Yes, he didn't worry about that, he worried about having food to eat

Your favorite thing in the orphanage--
A hand me down shirt

Best thing that ever happened at the orphanage--
Chinese New Year, we got money

Worst thing-
Had to practice multiplication

Favorite person-
Teacher, not like teacher here, means auntie (caregiver)

Least favorite-
An older boy who was mean to all (hitting and fighting with everyone)

Best Day ever-
Leaving to come to us, was taken shopping to get new clothes

Well, there you go.  The world of orphanage living in Chance's eyes. All this momma can say is I am soooo thankful he is no longer living that life.  He is wanted, cared about, cherished, and best of all, he has God. He knows Him. 

He is one of God's perfectly made treasures. And he sat there and waited, and waited for a family. So many children wait and wait, people scared to take a risk, to trust in God to bring home an older son. Yet, our life would not be what it is, without this son. He's always smiling.  He looks forward.  He's a gift.

One we are thankful for:)

Tuesday, November 22, 2011

Huh?

Not sure what happened to my last post. Gone. Went missing.  Could've been something I did, and didn't know it.  Who knows? Not me.

So I can't go back and remember all I wrote so we move on.  Chase was having an issue but now is doing well.  He is making plans to go to the semi formal dance with a friend.  YEAH!  At first when I asked him about going he said "No." 

 Pretty much his typical reaction to everything. No.  But I asked him to tell me within 10 seconds a GOOD reason to not go. And his "I don't know" didn't cut it.

So he is going. Funny enough, once it was settled he went to get his clothes out to pick what to wear right away, no hassle, which told me he really does want to go.  I swear no mom, I really don't swear he doesn't know how to say "yes" to anything "unknown." And this is an unknown.

Today I spent time in the doctor's office again, I took Camden yesterday for his ears, double ear and sinus infection, after having a cold for over a week and not seeming able to kick it.

But while there, they wanted to look at Kat, who woke up with a fever and I had taken her along. She did look pretty miserable as her fever was up again- 102.8.    And guess what? She's got strep throat. OIY. 

So then today Chloe was complaining of a sore throat, so off to the doctor we went again, but she does NOT have  strep.  Pheww.  And Kat is no longer contagious.  So we are hopeful we caught it before the whole house comes down with it?

Chloe tried to confuse the doctor when we went to leave.  What a turd she is. She told him "adios" when we left, and he looked totally puzzled.  I told him she really is Chinese, just pay no mind to  lil'Miss Spanish speaking Chloe.

Camden was upset to miss school yesterday, but good thing he got to go today. He had a limo ride to McD*nald's for being one of the top sellers of the fall fundraiser.  He got a free lunch.

He didn't allow any pictures of him eating at all, but Miss Kitty was more than happy to pose with her H*llo K*tty meal toy.

Chloe is very happy to have another girl adopted from China coming our way on Wed.  Staying a week, I'm sure they will enjoy their time together. Sometimes  for our kiddos just being able to talk to other Chinese speaking kids is a treat. Our 3 still speak Mandarin with each other, but Chloe really longs for a girl to "hang out with."

I've decided to pick the kids brains, on what they remember from day to day life in the orphanage.  I know some people are interested in what they have seen and done, things they have been exposed to, things they missed.  Their feelings about lots of things from the past.

Is there anything special you all would like to know?

Friday, November 18, 2011

The new guy

No, I didn't throw out dad for a younger model.  We added in this pretty guy to the household.  Dad was NOT thrilled, even when I told him Mr. Teddy looks just like him, so no wonder I adore him.  (Blue eyes, grey and white hair, see the resemblance?)

He didn't seem to take that as a compliment. Not sure why?

It might have something to do with the ornery attitude of this new guy.  He is a runner.  As in, I let him and Tommy out and they take off.  In some ways that's okay now that we live in the country, but our immediate neighbor has 6 BIG dogs, that Tommy doesn't know are bigger than him and he gets in their face barking at them.

Every chance he gets.  So I spend many days saying "Hi" to my new neighbor, as I go to collect my errant and I bet annoying doggies.  Teddy, the new man, just sits there looking at Tommy like "Dude, what are you doing, you are like 7 lbs of fluff, you stupid or what?" As Tommy barks his fool head off at the St Bernard.

Teddy is bright and fun, can't you just see it? And the kids are having a blast with him.  I'm thrilled he has house trained quickly and is learning sit, lay down, come.  He's a treat oriented doggie, but even the lure of treats don't stop this boy from taking off when let out.

Teddy Bear
I should clarify, he does come back, eventually.  Which is fine. Because I usually get mad at him and give up calling the bugger.  So whatever works, right?  Chloe thinks it's super cool we have a doggie with blue eyes, just like Phoebe:)  I'm betting she's not going to see that as a compliment any more than dad does?

As for the 2 legged children-- 

We won't get into names, but a little girl *might* be not doing so well on the "No complaints for 30 days."  Not being nice to momma, would be the head of the list.  Refusing to speak when driving her hiney to the bus stop, then refusing to get out of the van when the bus came?  OIY. 

We had her school conference with Mrs. "Cutting-da- ham" aka Cunningham.
And yet another child o' mine has been written up for talking too much.  No other issues, she is very bright, she's sweet, she is just too social. Hummm.  We will NOT be blaming this on me.  No way. (do not call me mom)

Her teacher did tell me that Kat said I told her to eat PB toast for supper.  Uh, huh.  What I said (and clarified to the teacher) was to get a SNACK of PB toast when she got home from school because I would be coming home from work, getting her and we had to head out to her teacher conference and would be eating AFTER it, about 2 hrs later than normal. And since I know a certain someone becomes a BEAR if she is hungry I reminded her to eat her SNACK. 

Don't ya love how they go tell their teacher things to make you look like the biggest SMUCK parent EVER right before your conference time with them??

It's almost worse than when the social worker came and we were going over what rooms were where and who shares and Chase just HAD to comment when I said him and Donovan share a room that "Donovan gasses, all the time." And when I said "We don't need to talk about that NOW." He continued on like I hadn't spoken a word and said it was so bad he had to get up and open the door to their room in the middle of the night.  OIY.  Let's just say TMI.  Something my children clearly don't get?

Chloe spent last evening making peanut clusters, another fundraiser for her mission trip.  That girl has really worked hard trying to raise her fees to go. I'm so proud of her.  I'm still worried about missing her terribly, but I know my little chick-a-dee is needing to spread her wings and fly- and it's amazing she is going on a mission trip to Costa Rica. She got quite a bit to go on her total and she stresses about it constantly. I assured her that God wants her to go and He will provide.  She can trust Him. 

We are sharing our home again this weekend,  a friend's 3 kiddos come tonight. They are Chloe, Camden and Kat's ages, a girl, and  2 boys. Then we have 5 more people coming to spent late Sat into Sunday with us for our church hosting an IMPACT group. And then Wed, just as the kids get off on holiday vacation, we get a teen Chinese girl for a week.  Did I say how much we appreciate the blessing God has given us in this home?  It's wonderful to share it with so many!

Camden came home Monday from school early, sick.  Fever, cough, feeling yucky.  He seems to be getting better as the week progresses and not spreading it around for once. Although I am sure as I type this one of the others is coughing and thinking they NEED to go to the school nurse so she can call mom to come get them. 

I guess I better get hopping to my chores of the day  before the call comes, huh?

Monday, November 14, 2011

The next 29 days

F--fun
A--attitude
M--melting pot
I--interesting
L--loving
Y-yielding

It means FAMILY.  Sticking out the bad times.  Laughing in the good times. 

I'm so glad I have mine,  so blessed. We are accepting the challenge of our pastor who gave a sermon about complaining and being thankful.  To NOT complain for the next (now) 29 days. 

The kids are reminding trying to trip each other up each other because they love each other so much.  And we think it's important for a few people here to learn life is so much more than complaining.

We love 'em, stinkers and all. And we are so thankful we have this family.

Our Social Worker visited to see the house last night.  We were glad to show her we are ready for Phoebe.  We can't wait to get paperwork moving on. It's taking longer than we ever could have expected, not that we are complaining because God's timing is PERFECT.

He has our lives planned. He knows when Phoebe is meant to join us. And we have peace in knowing that.  Even when we are wanting to be impatient.  We can't help but fall back on God's perfectness.  And trust in Him.

So we will see how things go when the treasures come home from school today, if they remembered they were not supposed to be complaining.  If they can be thankful for this day, each other, their parents, their home, their supper? Okay I'll stop now since I do realize most of them are teens and I'm not totally goofy.

I did take advantage of them not supposed to complain to say "I want a picture of you, stand here"  and it worked:))) Aren't they just so cute??

I am puzzled about one thing.  Miss Kat. (No it's not the mystery of her bangs, I've given up on that answer) but her teeth?  She lost her 2 front teeth some time ago, and there's not a sign of the big teeth coming in anywhere. 

I don't have a doubt she will be able to sing "All she wants for Christmas is her 2 front teeth."  I seem to recall all the others lost teeth and the big ones came in really soon.  So I wondered-- why aren't hers?

Should we be worried? Anyone know?

Friday, November 11, 2011

A Noodle Kinda Day

Woke up this morning to snow flurries.  The kids LOVE snow even flurries, 'cause they think it means Christmas comes sooner.  Ha Ha on them.

The kiddos were all off school and started their day picking at each other, like a bunch of siblings or something. Ha ha on me.

Just a typical day off. Our lunch consisted of (no surprise here) noodles.  The kids LOVE them, with egg, tuna, dry, hot sauce, cooked, you name it, they can't resist their noodles. Thank Goodness for us they are cheap-o.  Like 19 cents a pack cheap.

I sat Chase and Chance down and we had a chat.  Kinda. Okay it really was just me talking, like a lecture, which I hated it when my mom did that, but I did it anyway.  Because Chance decided to get mad at Camden over something stupid and when I told him to knock it off he yelled at ME. 

OIY.  And Chase had yet to speak to me from the other day when he got mad.  As much as it is easier to have him NOT speaking to me, it's not accomplishing anything either.  (Mom do NOT call me and remind me how I got mad and refused to speak to you as a teen and tell me it's pay back time- it's sooo not pretty when you gloat)

I told them both they are responsible for their behaviors, and their behaviors need adjusted As in yesterday.  Because they got a good family here, they got amazing opportunities here, but they also have work here. Work to blend in.  Work to learn the culture, the language and how to be a part of this family.  That we CAN'T make them do what they need to do. But we can expect them to modify their behavior to make things work. And it is expected.  They understand what we want.  It's up to them to man up and do it.

Chase is totally stuck.  His issue?  Fairness.  He struggles wanting everything to be FAIR.  Within our family.  And I got really honest with them.  I told him if he spends his life looking for fairness he is going to be miserable. That even with the same rules I am not going to punish him the same as Kat if they both break the same rule.  And he may see that as unfair.  It could go on and on. 

I *hope* I got through to him.  I don't know if I did.  He can be very selfish.  As all teens are.  He wants things to be his way.  He said he can tell dad how to do something and dad may consider it or not.  But that I see it as him being bossy.  He doesn't understand me. 

That's when I broke it to him.  I'm a  FEMALE. I'm not dad. I'm more complex, I get irritated at things dad doesn't.  But that none of those things give him the right to be disrespectful to me.

That just as I have learned what he likes to do, wear, eat, etc, he has to learn about me and accept ME for who I am. An imperfect human who is trying her hardest to parent him.  Teach him. 

He is one tough cookie.  Chance came and hugged me, apologized and told me he loved me.  Chase went to his room.  Let's hope some time to think will help Chase.  Pray for him, will ya?

He is such a special person and I know this is so hard.  It hurts me to see any of my children struggle, but I can't fix this for him. It's his choice to make.

Such difference in personalities.  Chase so serious and stubborn, Chance easy going and willing to work on things. Both equally important to me, I so badly want to see them succeed in this world.  And to do that it needs to start at home.

Kat and Camden are thrilled tonight, we have company.  3 kiddos, foster kids of my aunt. Just their ages, except the little guy, who is almost 2.  They are having a blast playing.

Chloe is in a great mood, she hugged me three times today! I also got two kisses and an "I love you!  First hug was when I got a phone call and when I hung up said "Thank God my van is done. I get my wheels back."  She was happy for me.  Then when she asked if she was getting to go to the sleepover at the church for 11-11-11.

  And I said yes.  The third was when she went to leave for the sleepover. A hug, kiss and "I love you."  WOW.  She has her moments, but she has come a long way in learning to be a daughter.

She gives me such hope for the boys.  Really.  Made me feel loved.  And we all need that, right?

I was glad for those of you who reminded me teens all over are the same, it doesn't matter if they are adopted or not.  It is an encouragement since it it reminds me how normal my kids are and that I can just expect them all to act pretty much the same at some point.  At least they seem to take turns pushing mother's buttons, huh?

To Kristy, our van issue was some torque thingy, my brain went into a twist when the mechanic started to explain it and I cut him off and said "uh, just tell me it works now and how much, please."  And it was a little over $1,000.  OUCH.  But I did say I thought I loved him to the mechanic, hey I was told he couldn't even get to it this week so today's call saying it was done after 11 days without it, made me downright giddy.

To all our vets today- thank you.  Thank you for the freedom you fight for us to have.  Thank you for serving this country.  THANK YOU. You are deeply appreciated in this house. For sure.

Monday, November 7, 2011

Respect yo' Momma

Well then.  I am once again party to a certain some one's lack of respect. SIGH. 

 I think it must be how God feels when He tells us something and we totally ignore Him and He has to come back over and over to tell us till we "get it". 

I'm not known for my patience.  It's a well known fact here.  So when a certain boy decides to ignore me when told to go to his room, as I saw him escalating in his behavior, I am not a happy momma.

And I tried to explain it to him because he believes he is right no matter what I say.  And he is NOT  getting the respect for me very fast here. I'm going to be real honest too, it's annoying the beeezeebers out of me.  I don't do well with back talk.

So, of course, there is an abundance of it here. Lord, help me. I mean it, help me.

Dad tried to talk to him, told him I was no different from him we won't remind him I am not totally gray haired yet, or that I am a girl, he is a boy,  when it comes to listening to us. Of course. Simple right?  But no, he continues to insist that I explain myself to him.  And I told him "NO" I would NOT explain it again, he knows what we are telling him.

He is a smart boy.  But BOY, not MAN. Not household head, not a parent here.  He argues with me to try to get me to treat him as such, not as the child he is.   He may not understand what he is doing, but I do.

And I am not buying into it.  He needs to be parented.  Respected himself, which I do, but I will not put him in a place of equality with me and his dad.  This is NOT what this child needs.

At times like this, I wonder if God really meant for me to this child's mother.  I even whine a bit, "God REALLY?"  I mean, are you SURE you got the right red head, maybe it was a Vivian not Vickie?   Viv, if you're out there I have your son, e-mail me fast And I swear to you (no, mom I do not swear, although I wonder sometimes WHY I don't )  I hear God chuckle and say "Yes, My child. This is your son." 
OIY.  I guess He never promised me easy street with these kiddos, but He did promise to be here for me, and He is.  And I love these kids, no doubts about that,  it's just not easy when you aren't feeling loads of love headed back at ya. 

Adoption is not always easy street.  It's not roses and lollipops.  It's being hurt.  It's being insulted, it's coping with feelings most people would rather not talk about.  I knew when we were paper chasing for the boys they would be tough, they would come with greater issues than say, Kat.  But I also knew Vivian was not their mother. I was.

  And that is what keeps me pluggin' along today, with God's help, of course, hoping and praying my son will learn the respect he needs and will move forward in a positive way. I will not lose hope because this son is God's child and He has a plan for this child.  I'm honored God chose me to be a part of it, even when I hurt from son's behavior.

I've got to share some fun stuff now that I got the serious out.  Miss Kitty at the bus stop this morning.  She informed me she will be raising her children differently than I raise her. 

She has some super ideas, she is going to serve her children their meals in their rooms, on trays.  They will not need to come to the table at ALL.  She informed me she will not be giving birth to any children either, hers are all coming via adoption.  And she wants a big family. 

She said she will adopt Chinese children, her and Chloe have said the same thing, which cracks me up.  Because they say it as if they marry and give birth their child would not be Chinese. 

 And I have explained to them both they could marry a blond blue eyed dude and I'm pretty sure they are still gonna get a Chinese looking child.  Maybe brown hair but still with those gorgeous almond eyes I love.

But no birth children required for our Kat, she'll be too busy adopting and feeding those children in their rooms. Now how could I not feel better when you got such a sweetie as her telling me all I do wrong?

 I mean really? Gosh, have I mentioned how much I LOVE THESE KIDS???

Friday, November 4, 2011

I am......

.......Puzzled.  Confused. Annoyed.  Chloe came home this week with a paper copied off that she handed to me.  I looked at it and had those variety of feelings.

WHY?  It was a notice of full scholarship to qualifying students for enrollment for a BOARDING SCHOOL for girls.  Granted a school with a good reputation especially with foreign students, but a BOARDING SCHOOL.

I'm gonna say it.  I was a bit peeved.  As if I would even CONSIDER sending our daughter, the one and same girl who came from an institution away from the first and only family she has ever known to a BOARDING SCHOOL??

I think NOT.  Not only would I not think this would be a good idea for her, I am NOT giving up my new daughter for her to go and be subjected to who knows what all week as well as isolating her from us and her siblings.

  How did anyone (not naming any names) think this would be a good enough idea to run off a copy of this notice ONLY for my daughter? Not any other girls in her grade?

I'm going to chalk this up to people not understanding how fragile adopted children can be emotionally.  They are not just behind in schooling, they are behind socially and emotionally.  And they NEED the security of our family before they HAVE to go out in the big bad world all on their own. 

We didn't bring these kids home to push them off before their time.  Not even for educational purposes, not that it isn't important, but their family security is more important at this point.  They have plenty of time left to get their educational needs met.

Off that tangent- now that I spilled about that and feel a ton better.

Pictures of Miss Kitty hiding her odd length bangs.  Hat.  Hold cute doggie and no one will notice bangs.  She's sooo creative:)

Was supposed to have a visit with the social worker for our home study for Phoebe since we moved but no go. She cancelled at the last minute. Another delay, in a sea of delays.  It's so hard to wait sometimes, this is taking longer than any others did:(

So my house is clean, and no company expected. Bummer, huh?

The van outcome is not pretty.  It is the transmission and the mechanic recommended someone rebuild it but he takes 4 weeks to get it in?  Uh, do they think I can haul around these kids on a bike or something for 4 weeks?

Are they nuts?  'Cause I'm not feelin' 4 weeks will work for us.  Not sure where we will go from here, find someone else who can do it sooner, figure out alternate wheels for me for 4 weeks and I do not mean bike wheels.

Just to make you all jealous-- my Christmas shopping for the kids- all but DONE.  I love on line ordering, just pick it up and wrap. Some was even free shipping so it came right to the door.  OIY. Doesn't get any better than that when you are the momma of many with a broken down van too.

We stayed within a reasonable range for them all, nothing short of a miracle there.  Now all we have to do is decorate, it's too early for that yet, although someone forgot to tell Chance that. He tells me every day "Merry Christmas" as he goes out the door to school. 

I guess he is anxious?  Confused?  Who knows- not me:)

Tuesday, November 1, 2011

No wheels

Oh why does your wheels break down when you need them?  What did we all do before cars?  My van, the mommy wagon, the vehicle that fits us all, mom's wheels- kicked the bucket last night.

Just as dad had strapped on the ladders and filled it to the brim with the last load of our stuff out of storage.  I guess it had had enough.  It has made numerous trips, hauled us without complaint.

It started acting funny after we hauled the ceramic tile home in July and it was dragging with the weight of the tiles. 

 And it hasn't been happy with us since.  I am thankful for many things- the many miles it has worked.  The many trips with the kids that it didn't strand me in it. That it croaked close to the mechanic we use and he got to it today.  That it got me to work and home yesterday.

The mechanic thinks it is the transmission (aka BIG BUCKS) but he has to look at it and let us know. It's never a good time for your car/van to break down.  Obviously.  I guess we will see what the diagnosis is and go from there:(

I don't have a picture of my broken down van so I posted a picture of my cute kids being so- well, them.  Some smiling, some looking off in the distance, some pouting at having to stand still:)

Cute as can be, all of them.  Even that Chance, who has taken to saying "shoot" and it sounds like he's saying a bad word.  Either that or "sheets".  But he promises me when I say "what did you say??"  In my sternest mother voice, he is saying "shoot."

Pair that accent with that unending smile and I can't possibly not believe him- right?