Sunday, June 30, 2013

Another Birthday

Happy Birthday wishes to Derrik today!  Our oldest son. Making me admit to being over 40. Okay, WELL over 40.  Not that I mind:)

The kids must have hit the max of their boredom levels this week because we got out the big lego blocks and wooden train set for Chloe to babysit two littles just for a few hours on Thursday and our kids have enjoyed them much longer than a few hours. Actually it's been DAYS and the toys  are still out and kids building all kinds of things.

Phoebe seems to really enjoy building all the little rail roadways, as well as building towers and castles with the blocks. As immature for her age as she is, she's not lacking in growth, I swear the girl had another growth spurt. She is now taller than Paisley. And outgrowing her jammies, much to her dismay.

Speaking of Paisley, OIY. Is that girl stubborn. I think of her as my "little mule" and she lives up to that picture in my brain.  She has pouted for 3 days now because she broke a rule (lying) and she has to apologize. She will do nothing  (no tv, no outings, etc) until she apologizes, as well as she is grounded for breaking the rule. Not for a set time, nope, that's does not work. Until the behavior changes, then she will be ungrounded.

Paisley is such an interesting person in many, many ways.  On one hand I see a little girl (not meaning the size) longing to belong, wanting this family so badly.  Yet the other hand there is this mule of a child who is scared, been hurt in the past, is unsure if we are trustworthy. 

Which side does she choose? 

 So often she clings to the middle, yep, not really accepting/trusting but wanting to and having to for the mere fact that we provide all that she needs and we take the burden of her medical needs for her. Things she can't provide for herself, nor should she.

As we go deeper into a relationship with this daughter, we have expectations. Not a word ANY kid likes too much.  But there it is. We do expect certain things, respect being a huge one. And she lacks it, OFTEN. 

As well, common sense to censor what is said to younger children. And as far as lying, that's not gonna work here. That's a BIG NO- NO.

Her lack of respect shows up in acceptance of our place as the parents-- that when in trouble she will not acknowledge parent speaking to her, just sits there like a bump on a log. (We realize from cultural differences she is very uncomfortable looking us in the eye so we do not force that)

She knows when having done wrong by someone an apology will be required, and possibly you will "pay back" someone you have hurt. Make their bed, do their dish turn, etc. So you understand your wrongdoing.

I'd love to say it's all roses here and we eat lollipops and sing songs all day. But that's not true. And it's probably not going to be for a lot of our lives.  I mean we do have 4, soon to be 5 teens at home. And that adds up to a lot of snot. God didn't say "No snot would come," when He gave us these treasures. Nope, didn't hear that once.

Add in that, like it or NOT, when we adopt older our new teens they come with lack of respect, empathy, problem solving, manners. And it's really, really, NOT easy to teach a child who should have learned back at 4-5-6 years old, not to hurt someone and to not CARE. Because that's exactly what they DID learn to survive orphanage care. So I can't begrudge it because they survived. 

BUT now we are beyond survival and trying to make them a family member. And when they aren't real sure they even WANT to be a part of this family it's even harder. Why should they try? Why should they want to please, respect, US?  Deep, deep, down they do long for a family, I can't imagine that any orphaned child doesn't.  But sometimes the reality of what a family MEANS, up close, live, in PERSON, is not so cool to them.

It's emotions they don't want to share.

It's needs they don't want to be dependent on anyone for.

It's time put in to relationships they are scared to put in to, do they trust you won't disappear?

It's effort, to learn a new culture, a new way of life, new foods, new language, new clothes, new EVERYTHING.

It's trust they don't want to/can't hand over to anyone.

So what do we do? With a child/teen like this?

  We stay consistent. Trustworthy. We have rules, we have expectations. We guide, we correct as needed. We can not be afraid to parent them right from the start. We love them, that never stops, even when the snot flies. 

We pray, ask for prayer, we call on prayer warriors, bounce issues/ideas off other parents we know who are raising tough kids like ours as well. And although I don't normally compare kids, because it's not fair to them--  I know that deep down, that this child, as does EVERY adopted child, has the ability to succeed and be a wonderful son or daughter like Chloe, like Chance. 

And I can't say we are sorry we have ANY of our children, no, not feeling like that. HOPE is what we feel, that they will get to where they need to be. JOY in every baby step they do make. GRACE for when we have to "wait them out".  All God given because they were meant to be ours. And each one is wonderful in their own way.

It's the reason even when someone says--" Do you recommend older child adoption?"  Yes, I STILL do.  Because there's always a Chloe or a Chance out there that will thrive and they deserve to be chosen. As well, even the Chase and Paisley's out there, they deserve to be chosen. Their path may be different. It may be the hardest thing you ever do to parent one of these children, but they still deserve the chance to have what every single child needs--- a family that loves them.  

Paisley, as well as all the others, have our love. That will not change no matter her stubborn mule-like behavior or her being in trouble. Just-does-not-change.  Not one bit. Thankfully she conceded and apologized to dad and I, we both hugged her and told her we love her and we do, it's easier that she is following the rules and back to being pleasant but even through the tough times we still love her and are here for her.

Each orphaned child waiting-- they are worth going forward for..... they want to be sons and daughters. No matter the country, the age, the needs.  

Might not be easy. It's certainly not cheap in anyway-- God's got you covered on those fronts, so turn to Him and that will be taken care of.  

JUST DON'T DO NOTHING.

Because when you do NOTHING a child/ren believe for yet another day in a seemingly endless amount of days that they ARE NOTHING to anyone.  
 
I'd rather struggle along with ALL 6 of my adopted children than to have ANY ONE of them believe they are NOTHING to anyone. I'd rather be the parent that yelled, the parent that fumbles around trying to figure out the best way to handle our children's issues, to have day after day of pouting, snot behavior, worry myself sick over them --------- than for any of my children to think they mean NOTHING to us.

Is there a child out there you are doing NOTHING about?  Get on the ball!! Show them, they ARE SOMEBODY to SOMEONE. 

It's true that love does NOT conquer all, some behaviors/ issues can't be "loved" out of a child who has trauma, it just CAN'T. It's downright silly to think it can.  

 But if God has a child for you then He will walk through whatever baggage your child brings and He will get you through. He doesn't ask you to expect a perfect child. He asks you to accept the child He has perfectly chosen for YOU. Your child who will learn they are no longer NOBODY, they are now SOMEBODY to YOU.
 Thank you God for choosing Paisley, Chloe, Chase, Chance, Kat and Phoebe for us-- We thank YOU. It's an honor to love them, they are our very important, very special ---SOMEBODIES:)

 Just as Phoebe said when she asked "What shirt say?" And I told her-- she said "Life is good? NO, Life is very, VERY GOOD!"  

Indeed it is, precious child, indeed it is.

Wednesday, June 26, 2013

Summer fun



Happy Birthday today to Jay, our older son (#2) and whom I still call "one of the boys." 

Well what have we been up to around here? Besides roasting because it's stinkin' hot?
 
Well the quickest way to tolerate the heat is------

SWIMMING.  A first for Phoebe, and she took to it, well, like a duck to water.  It helped we went to a friend's pool where she could stand no matter where she was in the pool and not have her head go under.

She acted like she couldn't possibly put her legs in the water, at first, then she didn't want to get out:)  Such a faker.

She had assistance to try to teach her to float.  That's Hannah (Chloe's BFF) helping her and Camden.  But she was more interested in just hanging on the side, feeling the water buoying her up, she said she felt like she was "flying."

And to her that's super cool. Because she is totally infatuated with being a "Super Hero" no princess stuff for her, no way.

We took the opportunity to have our friend take some pictures of Chase for his senior year pictures, since they have a really old, neat barn, fields and a stream for some great shots.

We quickly learned that he wasn't going to smile for me in any way shape or form ( of course not, I'm his MOTHER) so I sent my camera off with her and him and guess who came back with a ton of really great pictures. 

I wonder if he REALLY thinks it would bother ME that he won't smile for me?  It's HIS pictures for HIS yearbook, for HIS senior year. Just gotta love those teenage attitudes, huh?  At least that's what I am told.

We ended up with these 2 shots being the final contenders, the head shot for the year book since it's required to be shoulders and up, and the other one for announcements, I guess.

It just amazes me the difference when he does smile, it's a shame he doesn't do it more often, for us that is.

So what else we doing?  Well, having friends over, we had a campfire and did S'mores one evening. Phoebe asked if they were "hamburgers" which cracked everyone up and then she proceeded to eat 4. I had to stop her at the request for #5.  The girl can EAT.  Which is good because we have another picnic planned for this evening.

Firebug Fred, aka Chance will not be able to build us a fire since he is off at Grandma's again, something he is sure to be sad he missed.

 He spent a week with Grandma doing general chores and yard work, came home with poison AGAIN-- and promptly declared he wanted his name changed because Grandma didn't call him the right name once all week. 

She called him CHASE.  Oh, my.

If she only knew how they do not get along, yes, I said it, for the world to read, these 2 boys DO NOT GET ALONG.

Matter of fact, they will go without speaking to one another for LONG periods of time. We stay out of it as long as they are decent to each other, because well, they gotta learn to cope with people/situations and we can't "fix" everything for them.

But for poor Chance to be called Chase is a huge insult to him. And sadly, one he gets often. So we offered him "Firebug Fred" for his new name. And I couldn't believe it.

But he said "No, thanks."  Hummm.  I thought it was perfect since he loves, loves, fire. (Not setting fires MOM, just building them in the fire pit-- don't call)

But he did not wish to be called Firebug Fred. Well then, I guess he is stuck with Chance. My poor Chance. I really like his name, it means the same thing as MY name "Victory."

Now before anyone thinks these pictures of cute little furry things means we have a new furry family member, no we do not. These kittens were on the farm where the pool was, and the kids just adore the new kittens each year.

But they are not finding their way (the kittens I mean) to our home. We have enough 2 legged and 4 legged critters:)

Someone NOT in our pictures or lives anymore-- Baby Girl.  Yep. Off she went to be with her mom and we are praying things go well for the 2 of them. We will miss her. 

It's been a fast adjustment back to not having a baby in the house.  One that honestly, we all love Baby Girl, but the kids struggled to really understand why baby mom couldn't take care of the baby and they had to "be quiet" for baby girl to nap, "hook the gate" so baby girl didn't fall down the steps, etc, etc. All the care a baby comes with.  We wish mom and Baby Girl well:)

A new summer past time-- our 4 wheeler. Yep, I caved. Totally caved.  Dad was able to offer our neighbor a very low sum for an older 4 wheeler he has had broken down sitting in his yard for years.  I thought-- ahh, nice "project" for him and the kids (who were beyond excited) to tinker on all summer. 

Well then.  A week later they have this 4 wheeler up and running.  OIY.  So add another layer of worry to my life, kids getting hurt on a 4 wheeler. 

Before you think "Are they nuts?" (And mom starts calling)
They are NOT allowed to run the 4 wheeler without dad's permission and he watches them the whole time. He rode on back with all of them who are allowed to drive FIRST.

And we think it could teach the older ones who are hinting (big time) about driving actual CARS how to drive a little bit?  Or we could be totally kidding ourselves. Who knows?

 I just know it's hot again today and we may just have to head out to the pool AGAIN.

  Stayin' cool.  That's us:)

Thursday, June 20, 2013

Family

It just kinda seemed right  after the post on regrets to go into this post. 

What does family mean?

I think for many people who adopt older children (teens) they think our children will be sooooo thrilled to get a family and that living with us they will totally "get" family right away.

That we want them, love them, provide for them. 

But often this is NOT the case. First they don't get WHY we want them.  Chinese orphans are the "low men" of their society, they  aren't treated well, as teens they are fully aware of the stigma in their society. So how do they instantly overcome the insecurity of that?

They don't. It takes time.

Add in what they are told. We (Americans) are all RICH, LARGE, LOUD, and are coming to adopt these children to give them EVERYTHING.  Daily trips to Disneyland-like parks and never a chore in sight. Yeah, right.

But this is what they are told and when we do pick up a few (even cheap snacks like we got on Phoebe's trip) on the trip they have never seen money like that being spent and believe we really ARE rich. 

(And I don't mean the "rich in children" my kids  say if someone asks if we are rich)

Another layer  of difficulty in family acceptance-- the competition aspect-- they were likely tough, rough, loud, rude, or even sly, sneaky, but this is how they learned to SURVIVE. Great in an orphanage, not so hot for family living.

It's odd how we take a child that WE SEE as "family" and really think because we love them, we yearned for them, we would walk through hot coals for them, and we expect an instant bond. Sometimes it does happen but more often NOT with an older child-  It's downright awkward during those first few days even into weeks/months, it's a "what have we done" feeling/time for the first few months. 

And it's OKAY to feel that. REALLY it is. 

It's like taking us and plunking us down in the middle of Siberia in a new-to-us family and we are expected to understand they are now our family and be IN LOVE. REALLY?

Do you think seeing a few pictures of us before adoption, with other kids, our home, pets and even a few gifts sent to them give them any idea of what a family really is?  

HOW would we feel?  Scared? Happy? Worried? Defensive? 

Because someone we don't know (guides) tell us that this is our new family we are supposed to just KNOW this "new family" are a- okay?  

That we are safe and loved by these people who----- look nothing like us, smell funny, talk another language, eat weird stuff, do weird things--- and how easily or fast would any of us adjust/accept that? Wouldn't we feel glad these people care but also wonder WHY?


And we would feel thankful they feed us, care for us, give us clothes but wouldn't we MISS our food, our clothes, smells, people, but wonder if we show unhappiness will they stop taking care of us, will this NEW FAMILY get mad? Will they send us off to the next country because we aren't "happy" enough for them?

It's not as if you learn commitment, love, caring, empathy, sympathy, even concern for ANY ONE but themselves in an orphanage. And then you have the hierarchy of orphanage care, this is where we find issues with Chase and Paisley. That deep desire of theirs to "rule the roost" even bully the younger children, be the boss as a means of survival in an orphanage.  

They do not understand that being an "older kid" means a child looks up to them and we will hold them responsible for teaching yeah or nay things.  Yep,that's how it goes in a family. 

But that the parenting job is OURS to do, Not for them.  It takes a power out of their hands, one that we have seen 2 different sides to. Chase- who did not want that power taken-- he was the "parent" of Chloe and Chance and was deeply offended that we intended to parent not just them  but him as well.  That still does not sit well with him.

He struggles. He doesn't believe when we try to tell him something to teach him that he could possibly be wrong and us correct. Nope. Never. I keep telling him he's gonna be in for a rude awakening when he gets a job because we are much easier and kinder than a boss is going to be:(


Then there's Paisley,Chloe and Chance. They have accepted we are the parents. That's totally cool to them. They have comfort and acceptance in being cared for, cared about, provided for but also expectations of.

Even with acceptance it's still constant learning. Chloe sent me a text message the other day from the school bus. She said "I am going to go  do X-Y-Z."   

And I wrote back, " I think not. You do not TELL me what you are doing. YOU ASK."  So she immediately thought I meant she couldn't do what she was saying. And I told her "I am not saying you can't do X-Y Z-- I am saying you need to ASK, so try again."  So then she did and she ASKED.  And she was given permission:) She also apologized because she was wrong-- she's very caring and wants to do the right thing.

It's something that seems odd, to teach a teen how to ask for something. Or that a behavior is not acceptable. Even Phoebe who likes to pretend crying like a baby when she doesn't get her way-- she has to be TOLD-- this is not an acceptable behavior. She DOES NOT KNOW.  

You see, our kids are immature for their number ages. They also have to learn what behaviors are okay and what aren't. We think they will just "get it" as soon as we add them to the family but they do not. And for teens they can do some really odd things. 

I've said before and will say again, we use a lot of visual learning-- we will actually go over a behavior that they do or should do. We then show them what the behavior looks like and we role play how to do it the right way because they learn the quickest this way. 

AND it takes LESS English if you have one you aren't sure how much they are understanding. So there is no question they understand. We will role play it 2-3 times over. That usually does it there. They remember this way and are able to modify the behavior.


So other than all this learning what are the kiddos up to?  PLAYING-- it's Summer Vacation after all.

That means, getting wet, of course. They got the hose going and a bucket, a ball and fun ensued.  Camden was the hose master- ha ha, that's just means he was in charge of the mess and got everyone mad at him for getting them soaked.

Chance took the bucket and was dunking his head in it. When asked exactly what he was doing he said "Seeing how long I can stay under." Okay then. Now there's a skill:)

He's got a cold now (NO MOM it's not from the cold water)and so does Phoebe. Spring colds, I guess. Sharing it for sure, Kat is sniffling now and so is Paisley. 

At least they all can sleep in and get well, no school has some advantages for sure.

 Lots more time to enjoy being FAMILY:)

Sunday, June 16, 2013

Daddy's Day

Happy Father's Day to Daddy and all his peeps:)

You're the BEST!

Friday, June 14, 2013

Nobody

Yes, NOBODY is back. Living in my house, leaving food wrappers lying around, sneaking around and doing things that none of MY dear sweet children would do. For sure.

Nobody had better pack up and move because I'm sick of him/her/it. So "git
gone" NOBODY, you are making momma mad.


As  of today, we will, indeed, have survived the first week of summer vacation. Now, don't get me wrong, I love, love, LOVE my kids. But they go to school and it's just ME and the dogs, you see. So this "long summer break" does not come as the joyful event the children see it as for me until I have time to get used to it a bit. It's ADJUSTMENT at first. 

I like having them home and seeing them more, no doubt. I don't like them sitting around saying they have "Nothing to do."  I'm learning they can be quite entertaining but also annoying. Just regular ol' kiddos here.

As for entertaining-- Chance asked me "What was that "A" word you called me?"  Oh dear, did my brain go there (didn't yours?) oh yes, it did. 

A word. A** No not THAT!  A- word, A word, hummmm, oh yeah---- ASIAN--- teaching them that people will call them ASIAN. Because often Americans aren't sure where Asian people are from so instead of saying he is Chinese, they will  say "Are you Asian?" Which is what someone did that prompted this conversation.

 I thought "Phewwww that was close." Then I realized that him being my kid he most likely said that all day at school, "Mom called me A word, I can't think what it is?"  Oh yeah. I'm betting no one came up with ASIAN either.  OIY. At least school is out, so there is that.

We did some appointments this week, summer appointments I set up to make sure the kids do not miss one minute of their educational time-- see why they love me so much?

First was Phoebe and the dentist. Just a cleaning this time. And then 2 spacers removed because her molars are coming in already. She isn't happy she still has 4 spacers and can't chew gum, hard candy, etc.

But my worry was her lower front tooth, next to a huge gap where they pulled 2 teeth last time. She had told me the tooth was loose and she had "already lost" that tooth. So I thought they loosened a big tooth, yikes!

Uh, wrong answer. The tooth is a baby tooth and  just fine to be loose, so me telling her for a month not to touch and wiggle it amused the dentist and staff.   Like I know teeth? I'm just happy to know there won't be a huge gaping hole there forever and ever, okay?

Our next appointment was the rhemy doctor for Paisley. News was not so hot there. She's flaring, we are upping a med to try to stop but she mentioned the dreaded hip replacement words again this time. We know it's gotta happen, we just don't want it to any sooner than it has to. Her poor little ankle, her jaw, her  hips, knees, wrist, it affects so many parts of her body.

I took Kat, Phoebe and Paisley to both appointments. It's odd to realize sometimes that Paisley is almost 16, for instance when I take the 3 girls and people look at me like I am mean for leaving Paisley behind while the other 2 girls hold my hands.

I offered her my foot after I told her I was trying to squeeze out another arm and groaning and it wasn't working. Yes, totally embarrassing to go anywhere with ME.

But Paisley just laughs and said "No, she was good, no hand, foot or groaning needed." And she comes along as best she can. She's gotten noticeably stiffer when she walks:(

The kids have a youth sleepover tonight, Camden has finally joined the Youth so he is THRILLED he is now included in the fun.  He had to be a 7th grader to be in Youth.  He can hardly wait  to go tonight.


Nobody struck again, darn NOBODY, when I was bathing the dog (yes, another chore I do, bathe and groom dogs) and nobody could help by getting me a towel, so now I am waiting for NOBODY to make supper.  I wonder what we are having???

I'll have to let you know:) Don't call MOM everybody will get fed. NOBODY going hungry around here. Nope. 

Friday, June 7, 2013

School's out

And what do I do? Drag them to the yard for a photo shoot. I sure did (MOM)

Because it's an overcast day, perfect picture weather for Phoebe.  Speaking of--- Phoebe.  The girl has the whitest, softest, never-touched-grass-or dirt feet I have ever seen. 

 Seriously. She walked in the grass as if she had never run barefoot in the fields and fussed like crazy. We'll fix that for her:)

I had to tell her to stop wearing socks and shoes every where, sandals are the shoe of the season. She couldn't believe we go without socks in shoes or in bed, or in the house, or outside or AT ALL.

 I can assure you I did not birth this child-- no way, I hate socks. Only wear them to church and work. And not always church because Jesus wore sandals too, ya know?

Anyways-- I made an interesting contact this week, an adoptive DAD that was struggling with the decision to adopt, what agency, what age of child.

Had been looking around for encouragement and got discouraged.

 But then God sent him to my blog.  And he felt his encouragement rise...... and I thought-- why not ask others to share?

Share in your comments, because I am bloggy-techno nerdy and have no clue how to link you all (sorry) but if you will leave a comment with YOUR adoption story? 

 I mean God has SOOO many hands in SOOO many adoptions WHY NOT give a fellow family uplifting love for our children?

We aren't the only ones who have amazing, wonderful stories of how we got our kids, or the neat, fantastic people they are becoming within a family. 

There's so many of you out there. And it doesn't matter age you adopted, when, or even country for that matter, adoption is adoption:)

And I know what this dad meant when he said "We have very little family support to adopt again" what he means.  It's sad. People think you are ----

1.weird
2.crazy
3.weird
4. obsessed
5.taking it too far?

I can tell you our most common comment------ glad it's YOU and not ME.  That makes me sooo sad.  Really? Glad it's not you who gets blessings from God? Who gets to SEE God's work right in front of you?

Who know that God honored us to fund the adoptions, spare the lives, give us the strength, get us through all the paperwork and we are HAPPY to have this family. 

Weird, crazy, and all, I can't imagine anything I want to be doing that's better than this? And just knowing that a child died today, yes, indeed, at least one child  DIED TODAY never having gotten the love of a family. 

 One died today that got a family and didn't make it HOME, they didn't get him fast enough to make it back to the States for the life saving medical care he needed.

I'm gonna say "Call me anything you want."  Because I care. I CAN and DO parent  6 children that were chosen and I will never stop caring because all 6 of mine have friends, children they lived with, children they called "brother or sister" STILL WAITING, STILL HOPING, STILL NEEDING to be chosen as well.

SO share PLEASE-- your adoption treasure with us, will you? 

Sunday, June 2, 2013

Regrets

I had someone pose this question-"Do any of the children that are adopted that are older ever have regret being here/ want to be back in China ?" So once I explained what "regret" was to my children and asked them, these were the answers ----

Chance does not have regret about being adopted or coming here. He misses foods, snacks from China. Sometimes he does things he should not do and gets in trouble and would like to be able to do anything he wants and not have a parent that corrects him. (wouldn't all kids?)   He does not want to go back to China to live EVER. 

He told me before that he did things in China, bad things. Stealing food, hurting people, etc. And we've talked about this. I have made it clear to Chance that the things he did in China he did to survive. That he doesn't do them here, because he knows it's wrong and God can and will forgive him for anything he did in China. Nor do WE love him less for anything he did in China. 

Good things Chance likes -- being loved, having fun, friends, playing outside more,  going to big parks (Hershey Park), getting gifts, getting money, that he can get jobs, that he can grow up and get a job to support himself and a family. (He worries that he won't be able to get a good job and have a good life as an adult.)

Chloe-- Her  only real regret-- she wished she could have come here earlier. (Ahhh. Break my momma heart right here-- she has always said this-- and I tell her I totally wish I had birthed her)

 She doesn't like that she can't do things that other 16 year old girls can do here, such as drive yet. (Not ready per her parents) She misses the foods, her friend who aged out without being adopted:(

She gets upset that their real birthday and even "for sure" ages, remain an unknown- at best they are guessed to be their ages:(  This annoys her even when I tell her I am pretty sure we are close to right on with her age. At times she likes to tell me she thinks she is 20 and I tease her and tell her I think she is 12.  She then happily goes back to being 16.

Per Chloe-- if she goes back to China it will be to "Go on Heritage tour,  help orphans / old people or adopt kids." Not to live there forever.

Chase--Misses the food, friends, freedom to do whatever and have no one to care what they did. Does not regret being adopted though:) Does not want to go back to China to live, wants to "get job, live here."

Phoebe-  Misses her grandma (foster mom), doesn't like that she had to leave her. She is not sad to have to come here to get a mom and dad, she "LOVE- ahhh US!!! " (she's so funny and sooo full of love and life) 

She worries about her "Di Di"-- a little brother, an orphan who is 5 who has some type of medical problem and lives with grandma, although she was thrilled when I told her HE TOO could get a mom and a dad. She was soooo excited and said he "Really, really needs momma and baba."  

Kat-- (Had to be included even though she was adopted at age 3)  No regrets, very happy to have us "come get her." Misses her Po Po and Gong Gong ( her foster parents we are in touch with-she calls them grandma and grandpa.) 

Then she wanted to know how come people leave their children in China and we talked about birth moms and the One Child law and how people have to abandon children anonymously so they don't go to jail but this also makes it almost impossible to find birth parents.


She was happy to know her birth mom did not go to jail and wanted to know if I thought her birth mom was in Mexico? 

I assured her there was little to NO chance she was in Mexico. (Don't ask me what the fascination with Mexico is here today?)

Both Kat and Phoebe have said before they never want to go back to China to live. No way. Too far from mom and dad:)

Paisley was in no mood to ask. She got in trouble today and I was sure she would say she hates all of us and regrets being adopted for sure.  Because she was rude first to Chase. 

Then she told Kat "Don't touch me" when Kat  came up behind her and hugged her very briefly (she's a prickly thing and not happy to be loved on) which I asked her this-- has your friend at school (K) ever hugged you?  Yep, she said. And I said "Did you tell her not to touch you?"  Her answer "No."  

So I made her apologize to Kat and hug her and she got very angry because as we have explained before, we DO NOT treat friends better than family.  Friends may come and go, family is forever and  she said it "Wasn't her THING." (don't think her size fools us, she is totally a teenager)

When this was her answer to why she had a problem with a sister trying to hug her to show her love, I knew she was trying to deny FAMILY love. NOT GOOD.

So I sat everyone down and had them write "What does family mean to me?"  Not surprising were her answers-- People to have fun with, to play with, to do things with.  Such a common theme-- NO FEELINGS involved. Not one. ALL about superficial things.

Not what THIS family is about. Not what a HEALTHY relationships are. So we went over everyone's answers and talked about what family REALLY means because any group of people can be thrown together and mean nothing, but that's not us either.  We are LOVE, commitment, respect, honor, devotion to God, we are HERS. And she is OURS. 

To say she "got it" today is true. She got it. She is loved. Even when she doesn't want it. Wants to reject it because it's easier than working on the hard parts, the hard feelings, the hard behaviors. We went over her behaviors and that ALL of us choose to behave one way or another every single day. And how she will be loved no matter if she chooses the bad behaviors or the good ones.  It's NOT going to change. 

I can say as far as regrets on our part--- we have NONE. We would do everything the same, adopt each of these kids, take Paisley-- as her second family, work through attachment issues, tears, fears, sadness, joy, hard questions, anger, upset, adjustments, educational/health needs, for each and every one of them. They were no less wanted than any birth child of ours. NOT ONE BIT.  

Our only regret if you want to call it regret is not knowing about the boys, but then we weren't looking for a sibling set of 3 so I can't say we regret not knowing in that way because we would not have set out to adopt 3.  God planned that whole story and He did it perfectly. 

I was able to ask Paisley here later-- did she have any regrets of her adoption?  She said she wished she did not have any health problem but she DID NOT regret being adopted. Huge, for her, this was huge. I was amazed to hear her say that considering her past.  And she does not want to go back to live in China.

Isn't it funny how WE think they must feel and when asked how they REALLY do feel?

And see how God has His way of showing us things will be okay?  

All I can say is they are treasures. Many differences of adopting very young children vs older--  issues at times, but also many times cool things that you don't have with adopting young. It's a different road but not one we have any regrets of. Not-at-all. It's been a huge blessing to have each one of these children join our family.  

We don't tell you to go in blindly, NO WAY!!  Get prepared, get educated. Be prepared to be stretched, lower your expectations, ask for help, struggle with communication, education and food issues.

I don't know how to explain things better than this-- when talking to the kids today they got to asking when could they date, get married, have kids, etc? And they were talking about how expensive it is to have children, to raise them. And Paisley said "How many children did we have before we adopted?" and I told her 6.

Then she looked at me and said "And you adopt 6 more children after paying to raise all those children?" And I said "Yes, we did. Because we WANTED you. We were happy to adopt you."  And she looked at me and said "WOW."

That's right, daughter o' mine-- I feel the same way--- "WOW" ----are you, your brothers and your sisters, special, loved, wanted, fun, chosen, blessings sent straight from God and I get to be your mom. 

WOW.