Saturday, April 28, 2012

Well now

Ohh, after seeing your comments I decided, YEAH- I should be allowed to know our Log In Date and this is just nonsense.  Have I mentioned how much I dislike this agency?? GRRRRR


So I sent out a nice little e-mail and said-- Can you look up our LID?  Is the process Date to China, translation, then review?  WELLL.......hummm.  I got shot right down.  They *don't know* our LID. (I totally do not believe them) Again, I really, really dislike this agency) 


I did get the process correct, it's Date to China, translation, review and we are apparently in review as questions aren't asked until you get to review.


And they DID confirm what I already KNEW by checking myself-- DTC was March 22.  Well. I'm just gonna go with March 30 and keep count from there, not that it changes anything to know the correct date or if lovely NOT  agency decides to never share it. ( This wouldn't surprise me) Have I mentioned how much I don't like our agency??


Right back to God's timing.  Sigh.  Good thing HE never lets me down. Unlike certain agencies that we PAY to aggravate us? What's wrong with this picture??


I *hope* like mad we are not waiting on  old and new dossiers to "meet" and paperwork hasn't even gone to translation yet, but again, God's timing. We aren't changing any of it by whining, fussing, worrying, so I'm not going there I'm not MOM, I'm not, I'm not, I'm NOT.


And since I DO know how to answer questions unlike certain agencies I don't like the answer to who will travel?  Me.  Chloe. For sure.  Would LOVE to take Kat and visit her grandparents (former foster parents) again- it's been over 3 years since they saw her and her "big brother" there got married.  But that depends on $$.  


So if she is meant to go that issue will be resolved, of that we know for sure.  Chloe is thrilled and can't wait to help with Miss Phoebe's adjustment. Kat is sad she is #2 to go but she's not bilingual and I think Phoebe will need that.  Don't think I don't recall that Chloe got me sent the police last time, we'll have a BIG ol' chat before we go this time.  (I won't call you to bail me out of some Chinese prison MOM)


God has our journey planned P-E-R-F-E-C-T-L-Y.


Glad someone (the most important One) has it right.  Has my back. Pheww.  I sleep well at night (or day when I've worked night shift) only because I have Him. How does anyone do the adoption roller coaster without Him??  OIY. I don't have a clue.


BTW, roller coasters make me sick. God knows that too:)

Wednesday, April 25, 2012

Puzzled

Why do I always end up with more questions than answers when talking to agency?


Got a call yesterday.  Asking for our Log In Date for the boys' paperwork.  We are reusing their paperwork for this adoption.  All that really means is that we didn't have to redo a few papers that we already have done for their adoptions.  


So after giving our previous log in date, birthdates and names of the boys, I asked "What's up?" And was told that 2 weeks ago a question came in regards to the money wired for our paperwork. Pretty common, agency said. Sorted out.


So then last night (that would have been Monday night) questions came about our previous paperwork (called a dossier).  So we must be in REVIEW for them to be asking questions.  I said "Huh?? (like a dummy) We  are in REVIEW?"


"Like does that mean we are close to LOA (Letter of Approval)??"


And they said "Could be,  we don't know."


Now mind you all.  I'm sitting here wondering why we don't have a LOG IN DATE (LID) yet, I know China got our paperwork March 22.  And when I asked that, the agency said they didn't give them that- we are obviously logged in but often they don't "get" a log in date.


And another HUH? From me.  Now, I know, I know, this is God's journey.  Don't even ask me what I think of it, 'cause that's my answer. But when we get LOA gives us a better idea of travel, I mean, if we have it by next month we could travel in Aug.  But if we wait for MONTHS-- it will be later:(


It seems to me that if we are in review for them to review we would have to be out of translation, and if that's so then I am pretty sure you don't just hang out in review for ages, or do you???  Come on my adoption buddies, tell me please!! Anyone know??


Help me out.  I'm totally puzzled. All I know is we can probably figure a LID of about March 30.  Why not, sounds good to me.  And therefore, we are 26 days in to our wait. And the longest wait is over 100 days.  Some of the shortest are around 30.  And the agency did say some people get them at 30 days, some at 100+.


I'm praying for  30 DAYS.  Wanna join in??


I'm also puzzled how they can't find the boys adoption paperwork when we sent a copy of it WITH Phoebe's paperwork??  Can I suggest some better filing system people?


Really wanting my girl, longing for her-- to end her wondering "when are they coming, are they coming, what will it be like?" I want to ease her fears, hold her hand, watch her sleep.  Give her our family who already loves her so much to call her OWN.


God's timing.  I cling to it:) All while continuing to love our daughter from afar.
 

Monday, April 23, 2012

Supper time

It's a time I look forward to. Supper time.  WHY? You ask. not that you did but we'll presume you did


Because we have a BLAST at supper time. Everyone has a seat. So we all "fit"-- together. Usually someone has some complaint about something, unless it's like tonight, taco night, with soft shells and hard shells provided, of course.


Although Chance did try to say the meat was too "watery" and it was my fault because he was browning the "sloppy joe" (had to teach him it's called HAMBURGER not sloppy joe) and when he put the seasoning powder in he was doing it without a drop of water. It wasn't going so well. So I corrected that and then he claimed I put too much water in.


So then Chance said something was "custing".  He uses this often. And I said to him-- why do you call everything "custing." He said "cause it is. Custing." School lunch custing".  Because Chloe mentioned they need lunch money.


And I said to Chance, you do realize the word is "DISGUSTING?"  And he and Chloe both said "huh?" At the same time:)  And we said "yeah, it's disgusting, and if you are going to call something that, you should at least be saying it RIGHT.


And with that they burst out laughing. Which pretty much sums up supper time.  Laughing.  Fun.  Some Chinglish.  As we call it.  Silliness.  Eating.  Seconds. Sometimes thirds, if you are Chance. Hot sauce applied to everything on certain people's plates.


Usually someone calling something "custing." Or stupid,that's another "favorite."  The teens also like to DEMAND (to each other), "get me water, get me hot sauce, ranch dressing, bring me a fork."  I think they like to see how many things they can get the other one to do for them:) Not naming any names here--CHLOE.


Matter of fact Chloe just told Chance to "crack her back" and when he said "No I don't want to"-- she proceeded to choke him, lovingly, of course. He called for me to save him from her but it's hard to believe he is serious when he can't stop laughing.  And the next thing you know here he is, standing on her back! (She's laughing, not yelling)


They are quite entertaining, in fact our dinner time (and life)  has never been the same:))


Our Sunday was very special-- it was Youth Sunday and we had no idea what was planned. Imagine our surprise when our son Chase went up front and read scripture in Chinese for the church. He was sooo nervous, he had to go back over to the Youth Pastor twice before he got up the nerve, but he did it. To a round of LOUD applause (not just me clapping MOM), everyone was so supportive of him.  He was smiling and so proud of himself, you could see it:)


Apparently God (the Big Man) did hear, lil' ol' ME-- remember back when I said it could get cold again?  WELLLLLL--- right after I go buy my spring flowers, we have been hit with freezing cold temps, snow predicted and sleet today. Miss Kitty asked me if I could possibly go to the bus stop and pick them up if it was raining so they wouldn't have to walk up the lane?  Now how could I resist that sweet request?  




Speaking of Miss Kitty, her teeth to be exact. I did contact the dentist and he said to give her teeth a YEAR from when the baby teeth fell out till we should worry if no big teeth had come in. And guess what?  We see little tiny buds of teeth coming through- phewwww.  Now to just resign ourselves to the huge possibility of braces -- I mean, look at the angle of those bottom teeth!


That pretty much sums up our dinner time, now it's coming up on snack time-- ohhh, let the fun begin again:)))

Saturday, April 21, 2012

Family

Family.  Can I just tell ya? 


Family drives me nuts. Bonkers, nutso, crazy.


We have a very large extended family.  My uncle was turning 70 and we went to a buffet today to celebrate with a surprise party for him.  


Chase very sweetly was concerned if we surprised him and he was that old, he wouldn't have a heart attack would he?  We assured him not.


So we arrive and the kids acted like they were going to starve. Kat was reduced to tears and whining, all over being hungry. Seriously, the girl had 2 bites of food and was telling jokes.  Gonna call her Jekyll and Hyde pretty soon. 


But back to family-- it's very hard when family chooses to not be supportive of our family. And I'm not talking money. I'm talking caring.  About our children.  


It's just really, really hurtful when we get more joy and congrats over our new house than we have bringing home our treasures, our children.  I'm NOT kidding.  We have been told we *should* have a house warming party, yet not one person suggests a "welcome home" party for ANY of our adoptions.


And we aren't looking for gifts, it's not about that at all.  It's about welcoming our additions, letting them see the extended family they have gained. But then you wonder if you want them around your family at all because some of worst comments come from family as well-- 


How many of these are yours?    (UH, they aren't stray puppies!)


Ohh, I could never do that?  (What- accept a blessing?  Enjoy a child?)


How many times you gonna do this?  (What? Pick my nose, get tattoos?-- oh ADOPT?- Well, we plan to quit at 12 but only God really knows)

I mean, what is WRONG with people??  And I have to admit to being related to these people?? Really?  


I've come to understand one thing about our big family.  Many people can't begin to imagine having 12 kids. Or even 6.  So they project that on to US.  Oh, how could we possibly want to bring home #12?  How can we possibly take care of, feed, have time for, love, clothe, haul around, such a large family?


Because they can't imagine doing it.  And for their information--- here's my reality---


I can't imagine NOT having 5-6 even 7 kids at home at all times.


I don't know how to cook "small" meals.  Can't do it. It's a big pot of something or buying the value pack of meat that other people can use for 3 meals to cover us for 1 meal.  I don't know any other way of shopping.


I can't stand leftovers and am thrilled I never have to eat them because we rarely ever have them:)


Laundry is a daily chore.  I feel like I "miss" something if I don't do a few loads. It's not that big a deal, our kids sort and put away their own stuff. 


We take turns on dishes, and work together on household chores. Trust me 6 sets of hands cleaning can work much faster than 1.  


I always have shopped clearance and off season, why should we ever pay full price if we don't have to? I have picking clothes and even shoes down to a science for "next school year".  And Chase, hands down to Chance who hands down to Camden, Chloe down to Kat/ Phoebe.


We feel God has blessed us with the children we have, no matter where they come from, and He provides for us in every way we need. Our children's needs are met. They are better off in a family that loves them than in an orphanage or on the streets fending for themselves even if we can't afford to take them to Disneyworld.


We don't look at adopting as anything more than doing what God tells us to do, we don't think we are special or that we have rescued anyone. We have added to our family, children God meant for us to parent.  We've been amazingly blessed to know this through adopting Chloe and learning of her brothers and adopting THEM only by God paving the way.


It makes me sad that adoptive families "get" us and blood related people do not:(


It's a shame.  I'm saddened that family can't get what adoption is about, what it means, that they miss out.


 At least today, I got to see my cuz, one I love. Haven't seen her in years, and honestly I loved her so much as a child, I envied her almond eyes, her ebony hair-- yep, an Asian adopted beauty, she is:) I got to tell her today that I loved her so much when we were kids I wanted to adopt and have Asian children in my family. And did I ever:))  She laughed and said I must have a very big heart and I told her I did because of so much love I have for my 12:)


And our kids were asking- so we are Korean TOO?  By association, you see, because our children have NO issues accepting the differences of my extended family and taking whatever cultural differences we have as their own, they think it's COOL.


Isn't that something? Maybe some people should take some lessons from them, huh? 

Tuesday, April 17, 2012

Scary

You know it's scary sometimes when things are going so well.  It's like you are waiting for something bad to happen then you get all comfy and think "Phhewwww." Nothing needs to happen. 


And if something DOES it can be dealt with and not be a big deal.  It's that slow fade of blending in that you want so bad and when one or more struggles in the family you feel like it may never come. That it's hopeless.


But it isn't.  I can't say there's a miracle answer.Or miracle DAY. I can't say we aren't worried that certain issues we hope to address before our teens are adults may not happen.


 But for today, they are our kids, they are loved.  They know God. They are clean, fed, schooled and a bit spoiled.  They carry OUR name, not a random orphan name.  They are happy, as much as temperamental teens can be:)


We are blessed.  Deeply blessed to have grown our family with our 3 teen treasures and little Miss Kitty.  Soon we can add Miss Phoebe too:)  


Such wonderful sons and daughters. Unexpected treasures. Just waiting to bloom. I'm very thankful to be their momma.  To share in the joy of watching them grow. I feel sad for people who DON'T have the chance to parent these treasures. I think everyone should have this.  


It should be an epidemic.  163 MILLION orphans. Epidemic- spread adoption far and wide.  Wipe that number down to zip. Nada, nothing, ZERO.  Can you imagine it?  I can only guess how JOYFUL our God would be.  


None are unimportant.  All have a family that NEEDS them.  That's right, a family  that needs them, not they need a family--- I write it that way because they change you forever. For the good. Stretch you in ways you never thought possible. Give you the opportunity to love BLIND.  I never see "Chinese children" when looking or loving on my kids. They are my sons, my daughters.  We NEEDED them. God knew.


I wouldn't trade this for anything.  I want this to SPREAD:)


How 'bout it??

Thursday, April 12, 2012

Teen Talk

So if you ever think that adopting older is for you then you need to be prepared for some really typical teen behavior.  Tonight I was bombarded, Chase & Chloe and these were the topics--(my answers in red)


Mother, can you pick out my white hairs? (Chase with tweezers in hand) No, I don't ask you to do that for me!


Mom, can I have another earrings? (Chloe, wanting a second earring hole)
If I say yes, then what's next? Another hole, piercing your nose, your eyebrow, your lips?


Mother, can I change my name? Will you call me AJ? How about TJ? How about Steven? (Chase)
No.Your name is Chase, not changing it.


Mom, can I perm my hair? (Chloe)
No, it will fry your hair
Her reply? I didn't ask to COOK my hair!


Mother, can I dye my hair, not all, just streaks of color? (Chase)
No, you'll look like a SKUNK (see picture)


Mom, can you call me China? Or Nicole?(Chloe)
No. Your name is perfect.  CHLOE




The two of them had me pinned into my chair, I don't often allow them to do that for too long, as I feel like they are suffocating me. No personal space to be had in China and my children do not "get" the whole personal space thing.  I have to remember they need the closeness, and they have learned if I tell them to "back off" it's not as an insult. I just need A-I-R:)


As Chase twirled  a piece of my hair (I kid you not) and we discussed an adoptive  family with very dark skinned children and  we worked on the prejudice that Chase has been taught in China, that darker skin is bad.  NOT what we want our son to believe. 


 We want him to understand God has made us ALL perfect, no matter the color of our skin.  Just because lighter and whiter skin is desired in Chinese culture, mostly due to the poor workers being easily identified by their sun darkened skin.  We saw many, many women carrying umbrellas on sunny days.  And yet here, people (not me) get "bed tan" as Chloe calls it.


Trying to get darker.  Aren't we just silly?  We want to be darker, they want to be lighter, they want lighter hair, we envy their blue black hair. It's tough to be a teen these days, and accept that someone else's looks aren't "better" than yours. That they are perfectly and wonderfully made by God as is each and every person.


We have been encouraged by Chase recently, I have talked to him before telling him that I believe his anger is related to the lack of control he had over the past in China. And that he really needs to share with someone, anyone, some of that past to understand he was a CHILD and couldn't control what happened.  


Only then will he heal and be able to move forward.  And yes, he has a counselor he can share with if he would rather.


But tonight, he decided to really open up and tell us some of what he remembers about their birth family and their past.  And surprise, surprise, they have a sister.  (MOM do not have a heart attack)  She is OLDER and would not be available for adoption.  She stayed with a grandmother and grandfather when birth family issues arose.  She is now a child/ young lady of my heart:(  


I feel so encouraged by him sharing.  You could just see him lightening his load, as he shared and I said "You need to write down all you  can remember while you remember this." And he said "Why?"  And I told him we would like to be able to take them back  SOMEDAY  and try to find any family still there and alive. And that any info he remembers would help us do that.


Poor Chloe though.  3 years home and what does she say?  "You won't make me stay there will you?"  And I quickly said "No Chloe, you are MINE, mine, mine, all mine, I'm never giving you up no matter what."


So she was cool then with him talking and admitted she doesn't remember a sister at all.  But she was also curious about going back to find family if that is possible.  This would be a "someday" trip when all 3 are older and we feel they are ready for such a trip. Because it's very likely we would find no one and they would need to be prepared for that. 

It's a sad reality for our teens, the memories they have and don't have, the things that trigger their fears. We have always encouraged the teens to speak of anything they wish of the past, but never push them till they felt ready to discuss it. For Chloe it was fairly quick because of her brothers being left behind. For Chance it was quicker, as he trusts us and has a very open personality.  But Chase has taken a long time to realize his past is important to us for HIS sake, that we can be trusted to tell us what he can recall and it's the most as he is the oldest of the 3 of them.


What always gets me right in my heart about the teens is their amazing ability to come here and blend into our family, to accept the offer of love, family, being a son or daughter.  Because they have, all 3 of them.  I can't help but be proud of their strength, their bravery. Even with the struggles, the ongoing teachings, the wishes for hair dye--they are wonderful sons and daughters:) 


We love them so much, and encourage others to explore if an older child is a blessing you are prepared to parent?


For us today, no piercings have happened, hair is still black (with a few white ones thrown in there) and everyone still has the same name.  Phewww.


 I give no promises about tomorrow though:)

Sunday, April 8, 2012

He is RISEN

The Holy Day of days, the celebration of our Lord rising from the tomb and I know this because He lives within MY heart.  I'm so incredibly thankful to Him for taking my sins and paying the price of His life for all of us.


This day means so much more to me than any other celebration we have.  It's just so special to have God in my life.  I can't imagine a day without Him.  He's blessed me immensely and allowed me to grow in ways I never expected.


He gives me the strength to mother many, each and every day. 


Speaking of mothering-- Cindy and Bobby, better known as  Kat and Camden have convinced me I do have the right kids.  For sure. When they started bickering over "HOW" we got Kat, that Camden tried to take all the credit and they fought over that, I knew my kids were back.  


Camden said he "wanted a sister" and as if we whipped up Kat out of thin air, there she was. OIY.


The kids were fighting over this in the van when Chloe says to me  "Mom, you need a white man."  Well, as puzzled as I was I said "Uh, Chloe, I have a white man?"  And she said it again,  "No, you need a white man."  And I couldn't figure out why she wanted me to have a new "white man."  


WELL, I finally figured out she was saying "white VAN"  she thought our darker red van was too warm and a white VAN would stay cooler. Phewww. I really like dad, so I was glad she wasn't trying to get me to ditch him.  


I'm not too sure how we go from "How sister got here to white man or van," but that's pretty much life with our kids every day.We never know where the conversation is going to go.


The kids enjoyed their Easter baskets this morning.  Although their baskets are probably a bit different than most  kids.  Since they aren't real fond of sweet treats, they get treats they love.


 Pistachio nuts, beef jerky, gum. And much to my delight, each child now has special cup, with a lid, and their name on it.  So hopefully the 30+ cups a day needing washed will be cut down to 6:)



I did get  some super pics of the kids today, before church. Wasn't thrilled that Kat had to dress like a TREE, for the play at church-- tan jeans and green shirt was the closest we could get to that.  Didn't get any time to find some cute green dress.  So after church I had her get the cute pink dress like Chloe's and do some more pics which weren't as good (of course). 


We had church today then went to Grandma's for a yummy lunch together then our own egg hunt.  


Hoping everyone had a great and blessed Easter Sunday!

Friday, April 6, 2012

GOOD Friday

Yep, the kids are off school. Easter vacation.  It's Day 2 of them being home and being really well behaved which means one of two things-


They are sick.


They are not mine.


They can't and don't behave. Even dad knows this as he texted me "Is everyone behaving?"  Since I hadn't texted him and said "So and so is doing this, or that."


To fully appreciate this, you have to understand.  I took 5 children to the store yesterday.  And they were all GOOD. I think maybe I have someone else's children, you know how your kids always behave tons better for someone else? So they must not be my kids.


I had a friend come over, someone I haven't seen in years.  The kids made us lunch, tacos. Now I don't know about you all but tacos are a favorite here, because for some odd reason, every single person here LIKES tacos. There's no other food that everyone likes.   But to have one thing everyone will eat without complaint is amazing. And they did.


Then they allowed me and my friend to visit, no bickering, no screaming as if someone is dying.  No throwing fits, name calling, running in the house, sitting and listening in.  No stitches needed, no one knocked out, thus allowing me and friend a long, enjoyable visit that ended when we chose. Not because someone needed a nap.


So I think June  (Cle*ver) or Carol ( Br*dy) have lost their children and need to come claim them.  Before I get used to this and when my badly behaved children return I will be overwhelmed and we don't want that, do we?


So, June or Carol, I have your kids.  Right here.  I'll just wait your arrival  to turn over said children and  anticipate my REAL children showing up. I'm ready:) but if you want to let me live with these dream children for a few days longer I won't complain. I promise.