Wednesday, August 28, 2013

School news

So we are 3 days in to school. So far we are doing pretty well. One meltdown (Chloe) on the first day, one headache (Kat) from not eating breakfast. (They were all offered to eat here and/or at school MOM)

ONLY 6 emails and 3 phone calls. 

Not too bad. 

Chloe surprised me, didn't expect her to meltdown but apparently Algebra II teacher didn't have time to teach anything first day but assigned homework?  And Chloe was lost. So adjustments there had to be made.

And the ESL teacher for Phoebe knew that Kat and Phoebe usually went for breakfast and emailed me that they didn't show the first day. Excitement I guess, but the girls don't have lunch until 12:30 pm and I didn't want them to go that long without eating. 


Actually their teacher allows them to bring a 10:30 am snack just because they do have to go longer till lunch, which I think it a great idea because Kat tends to get VERY grouchy when she is hungry. And doesn't often realize that's why she's grouchy:(

Dad did a "supply run" last night, that would be the LIST of things the kids all NEED and needed, ASAP, of course. From book covers, notebooks, binders, to boxes of 24 pencils (how is 1 kid using 24 pencils in one year is beyond me) to fleece fabric, to scientific calculators. 

It doesn't matter how well I try to prepare we always have these lists every-single-year. Because I either have not enough of one thing, too much of another, and who buys "Back to school" 2 yards of FLEECE material?  

The girls have decided that all their clothes that have glitter (which is a lot of their clothes)should be called "Bling bling." So they get dressed then exclaim --- "I have bling, bling, LOOK-- here and here, and here and here."

 Silly girls. Aren't they colorful though? Just lovin' the bright and cheerful colors the girls get to sport each day:)  

And just so you all know, it took me over THREE hours to do the 7 sets of emergency forms for 7 children. BUT---- They got done. No beating, loss of points, crying (okay don't count me)or mixed up forms. 

Now, if I had ANY sense of fun left in me I *might* have sent Kat's forms in with Chase, Chance's in with Phoebe, Chloe's with Camden, Paisley's with Chloe, Phoebe's with Paisley-- just to mess with the teachers. But I didn't. (MOM) 

No fun. None at ALL.

Monday, August 26, 2013

School begins

They went. Yes, they did. Although there was one who wasn't too thrilled. As you can tell in the pictures. But off they ALL went. 

Hopefully they will all have a great start to the year, I have been in contact with our ESL teacher and have been assured everything is in place for all of them. And was thrilled to learn that part of teachers requirements this year is to explain how they are accommodating their ESL students-- whooo hooo. About time.

Guess we brought in enough ESL students now to make a difference:)

One thing I do not look forward to? The end of their school day. Not because I don't miss them (MOM) because I do. But because every-single-one of the kids will have multiple papers that need filled out BY ME and MUST be done tonight, or they will be whipped and beaten at school tomorrow. Okay, maybe not, but the way the kids tell it you would think so. Yes, not ONE of them will cut me the least bit of slack because ALL of their teachers will tell them "These HAVE to be back in tomorrow." 

Some even go so far as to bribe my children to torment me with these papers and their deadline, they offer incentives from "added grade points" to "no homework passes" to "candy prizes."  Oh, teachers, how I dislike thee for these tactics. 

Obviously none of their teachers have 7 children in school at once to fill out these forms and don't even think "copies" because that's not allowed,  NO WAY.

Grrrr. And so the year begins. Two 4th graders, one seventh grader, one eighth grader, two sophomores, and a senior. WOW.

That's all I can say. WOW.

Wednesday, August 21, 2013

Progress

It's been a while since I updated on teen progress. And seeing how we had a really great break through last week, I gotta share. Because sometimes it's just plain overwhelming to look at where our children still need to be and where they ARE NOW and not get a mite bit, well, freaked out.

Yep, it's not easy to know a number age is 15, 16, 17, 18 but maturity wise they are 5, 7, 11, 13 and that means all of those ages, each one of the 4 teens and sometimes all in ONE DAY! OIY.

So when we see progress I grab on to that like a drowning woman as it lifts my head above the waters to know we are getting somewhere on the crazy ride we call our lives:)

You see now that our adoption of Paisley has been finalized she is started to "get" the commitment this means.

Just this past week as she slipped in to old behaviors and I called her on it, I was shocked and delighted to see her make an IMMEDIATE change. Have never seen her do this before, not without pouting, shutting down, sometimes refusing to eat, all kinds of behaviors until she concedes to behaving as we want her to.

Because certain behaviors are not acceptable any where and we are not helping her by tolerating these behaviors. Nor is she learning she will, indeed, have people (and GOD) that have rules, expectations of her in her life. And that she will not go far with crap behaviors.

It was just STINKIN' exciting to see her "about face" and know what progress this is for her. HUGE, I tell ya. She wants to be a part of the family, she just doesn't always know HOW to be a part. So we guide and teach her:) Because we just love this girl.  She's one of our "team."

Which made me think of the other kids as well and this comment left on a previous post by Dawn--Dumb question, how are you going to "make" Chase go to school? I am truly curious because I can see one of mine doing that and I don't know how on earth I would get them there!!

Okay, now first, I believe you meant Chance. Not Chase. I *would* say that's okay but Chance HATES being called Chase, and when it happens says to me "Why you give us names that sound alike MOM?"  To which I totally blame Chloe. Yep, I throw her "under the bus" and take no responsibility. Terrible example I know. (Don't call MOM)

So now we have the right kid. Chance. Who is 5 ft 10 1/2 to my 5 ft 5. So no bodily force to get him to school.  So here's how we get him to school-- seriously--

The teens at best are about 13, 14 in maturity. So they understand police, being arrested is BAD, they also understand a bit about "Dad and mom work so that's how we have a house, food, cars, etc."

We have told them the truth-- if they do not go to school WE get in trouble and can be fined/arrested. The biggest thing that gets through to them is that DAD or I will be unable to work if we are in jail and that means NO INCOME  which directly relates to their stomachs, as in we have to pay bills, buy groceries, etc from our paychecks.  

 Because they want to continue to eat or not want anything to happen to "their family" they will not bring this kind of issue to our home/family over not liking school. Quite simple really when you break it down in way they can catch on/relate to.

It's part of them learning the whole "bill paying, life skills, budgeting, not wanting to put out money on unnecessary things" that they are starting to pay more attention to. Because the teens have expressed concern/fears about that very thing. How will they manage? How do they rent apartment? How do they get to work? How do they pay bills?

All things 12-13-14 year olds are thinking about and paying more attention to "How things work in life" more so than say-- Kat, or Phoebe, who at age 9 don't really think that far ahead.

Just a simple "Use your debit card to buy groceries" is learning to the teens. They know now that the money used is money we have earned through working and it's not just coming from some giant money pit in outer space:)

Things that Camden, sometimes even  Kat have grasped, but news to the teens.
And don't get me started on budgeting, bills, or how Chance has a plan to live with no electricity and bathe in a stream to save on his bills as an adult.

It's one of the reasons I "tease them" on purpose and say "You have to live with us till you are 30. No dating till 25. " At first they said "Really?" And I said "Yep." For 2 reasons.

1.They didn't get  humor at first.  (And needed to learn when people are kidding)

2.They also believed they had a lot of time to learn things if they were living with us till they are 30. Reducing the amount of stress they placed on THEMSELVES about being independent.

Now they are maturing and they know better. They even tell me so. Which is okay, really, because I doubt more than 1 will still be with us when they are 30 but if they are, that's fine too. Because, yes, that's what family means.

It's gonna take longer to get them graduated. Jobs. Apartments. Life skills. And when they are stressing and feeling pressured then it's awful frustrating for them. It's anger, it's pushing the rules, wanting to be on their own. But not with the skills of a typical 18 year old.

We ran into this about a month ago with Chase. He was angry. Wanted to do what he wanted and our rules were still in force and expected to be followed no matter his number age. He was going to "walk".  Be on his own. His anger boiled over-- he punched a hole in our wall:( Yes, yes, he did. (It's fixed now MOM)

And as mad as that made US, we did understand what he wanted to do.  Be independent. Make a go of it. But we also know, he's not really ready.

Once he had exerted this anger and it culminated in the police being involved twice-- once when he went to them and wanted them to force us to give him his "paperwork" and they told him he needed to "follow our rules, buck up and get back home with us."  

And then the very next night, the hole-in-the-wall-of-my-new-house incident, when we called them. And the police informed him we could indeed, have him spend time in jail if we charged him (we did not MOM) but that he had little to no choices right now since he--

Had no car
Had no money
Had no job
Had nowhere else to go
Could NOT live on the streets or trespass on other people's property

He WAS-NOT-HAPPY, and quite frankly, neither were WE. We did tell him this is it. He can not and will not think he can willfully disobey our rules, walk off, punch holes in the walls, and think we will tolerate this.

Because as much as we have a deep concern that he would not be able to support himself, we also have to temper that with "there's 6 younger kids watching what you get away with." 

Yes, we do. So there has to be an understanding on his part as to where the limit is and he found out.

Now he has settled down and he's fine with being with us, following the rules and getting his last year of high school completed, then looking to whatever future plans he wants for himself. WITH our help for as long as he is doing his part within our family.  That's him over there, doing his dish night turn:)

And even if he chooses wrongly and goes off on his own, we will STILL love him and be here for him. He gets it now. More PROGRESS. Thrilled to see it, even if it took a hole in my wall to get here. 

  Well, okay, I REALLY could have done without the hole. But still darned exciting to see forward movement on the "life and times" of our teens:) 

Monday, August 19, 2013

Poor Chance

That poor Chance.

All he was trying to do was help. For sure.

And what happens? 

Well, it all started today when I had done some laundry and he wanted to help by switching over the clothes from washer to dryer. He's really COOL like that- totally Mr. Helpful.

I was sitting at the table upstairs when he called me "Mom can you come here?" I said "Why?"  He said "I just need you to come here. And I said "Where?" He said "The wash room, can you come?" And I was wondering good grief what did he break this time what he needed and said "Why?"

So then after he said "Can you just come here?" Chloe chimes in. You know her, the ever helpful sister? She's laughing. "It's your bra, it's stuck in the wash machine."

As I rolled my eyes (Yes, yes I did MOM) and said "Are you kidding me? And what- you are afraid to TOUCH my bra to get it unstuck, Chance?" 

That poor boy, he must have turned 4 shades of red. Especially when I told him that "someday" he will indeed, have a girlfriend then wife and he will touch her bra and that bras "DO NOT BITE."

And then I told dad, "We really gotta talk to those teens AGAIN about the birds and the bees-- he's scared of a bra?"- to which Chloe said "Don't bother, you won't let us date till we are 30 anyway, you got plenty of time." 

The end. Poor Chance.

Friday, August 16, 2013

Kat's buddy

Kat's "buddy" has arrived. Yep, Jay is here. Making all the kids happy to see him and question him, as they are apt to do.

Phoebe was very funny. She looked him over. Up, down, up, and around. Then she said "You my brother?" And he said "Yep, I am." She said "You no have red hair?" And he said "Nope, I don't."

 Then later when Malaree stopped in Phoebe said "Hey, you know Brother, he's here." As if Malaree didn't know him:)

Now I would have thought JAY was about the easiest name to remember. But no, he's "Brother."  Guess we will have to work on that because with as many brothers as she has it could get pretty hairy if she's gonna call one "Brother" and not the rest:)

Camden has already had Jay in the yard throwing football, he started his practices for the football season, the same week Chloe started field hockey practice twice a day. So run, run, run we go. Barely time to feed them supper and they are off to practices every evening.

Thankfully the practices will decrease in time and number of them once school starts, which is less than 2 weeks away. I *could* say I'm sad to see them go back to school and that would, indeed, be true. 

BUT they are bored, picking at each other, getting snotty and I think it's really time for them to be productive again. Although, as usual the household is divided.

Chance has no desire to return to school. (But he will, oh yes, he will)
Chloe can't wait.
Camden doesn't want to go back.
Kat can't wait.
Phoebe can't wait.
Chase wants to go back but won't say he "can't wait"-- he's too "cool" for that.
Paisley is looking forward to school, hopefully moving around more will increase her stamina. 

I got a call this week and was so excited to hear someone in our very rural area is ADOPTING from China. 

She said she was told to "call me" 'cause you know we have 4 or 5 kids from China  (oops,  someone forgot/didn't know----it's 6 kids now folks)-- but she did call. We met up at Chloe's field hockey practice and chatted while the kids all played. It was fun and I'm just sooo excited for her.

We had another family stay with us recently for the same purpose, I love that God allows us to share the children we have adopted in such a way that they can be an encouragement to others to adopt.

I don't think anything can ease your mind or make you fired up about adopting like seeing a child/children who are home and are doing well, it's like God giving you a glimpse in to your future when there's an almond eyed sweetie you can call your own son/daughter:) 

So that's what we have been up to, how about all of you?


Wednesday, August 14, 2013

My Super Hero

Faster than the speed of light at asking questions, wearing her "cape" everyday-- it's our PHOEBE to the rescue!

Having a bad day? Come on over, she'll lift you right out of that funk:)  She's funny, smart, and her favorite thing to do? PLAY.

Yep, no matter if it's church, the store, just going outside, she is asking "Play time?"

Her "superhero title" began when she started wearing this sweater because she was cold in the air conditioning. Now as she has adjusted to the cold this former sweater-now-turned-cape has become her daily attire, as her "Super Hero Cape."

For sure, she's MY Super Hero! A dream come true, so very long time in coming--- seeing this girl home, playing, learning, a part of our family. Her "spot" was a gaping hole that we knew someone was missing in our family and now she has filled it to the brim with fun, love, laughter, the sunshine that is HER.

7 months since I met her, and it just keeps getting better and better. She told me today when I was cooking her supper, "Oh Mom, I  love you forever and ever and ever and ever." As she hugged me:)

Love this girl, super hero cape and all, could-not-love-her MORE:)

Tuesday, August 13, 2013

Adopting Older

This past week has been a tough week 'round here. Lots of folks struggling with their older adoptive children. I'm gonna try to shed some light on what happens when you adopt an older child. Keepin' it real, like I always try to do.

And by older I am talking 9 and up (can be younger) but mostly teenage. As well, I will share some of what we have seen, but not all, so please understand not everything pertains to us personally--(DO NOT CALL MOM)

First, you fall in love. With a picture. You yearn. You count days. You pray and ask God to help bring this child He has chosen for your family home ASAP. You can-not-wait for your trip to come. You envision what your child will be like home. You just want to go for your child, like yesterday!

And finally you do. Except, this child is nothing like the picture you have been looking at for months and months. They are totally different. Some ways, good, because you finally have this child in your sights, usually not in your arms, not with an older child, but at least in the same room with you. You have signed papers saying "Yes, you are adopting this child." And you are somewhat busy getting all the paperwork done, getting meals in, possibly sightseeing.

The down time, well, it's awkward, that's right, you can't really communicate, you aren't too sure what all your child is thinking, feeling, if they are okay to shower alone, are they scared, sleepy? How do you get them to change clothes, get them to stop yelling, touching everything? It's kinda overwhelming. But you are doing "okay."  You can "let things slide till you get home," right?

You learn a whole new language- body language, the first language you learn of your child. But don't forget, they are a teen or tween so they can often "throw you" on that language. You will make mistakes. And it's really okay that you do, that's life.

But once you get past the whole "Amazing trip to China" and probably before you are even half over the whole "jet lag" mess of your days, there's this nasty little thing that OFTEN happens. It's called REALITY. And it sets in.

You are looking at this new person you brought in your family, and you are wondering, "What was I thinking?"  Because this is WORK- it's not easy. In fact, it's downright HARD and day to day life is not easy.  
 You see, it's AWKWARD to have this big/little person, (big in body-- little in maturity/language/skills) you are supposed to love with all your heart and you barely KNOW this person. Yep, you feel like this is a stranger in your home.

 And as time slides on by, as it tends to do, you can find yourself looking up one day, or day after day, maybe even 2 months in (or 4 or 6 months) and thinking-- I still don't know this child very well, this is HARD.

They don't speak, don't seem to want to have much to do with you OR they are hanging on you and can't seem to give you a second to pee alone or inch of space to even breathe. 

 And you feel--------overwhelming LOVE? No, not yet and you wonder, when, when will the love come?

Because instead you really feel----- Guilty. Annoyed. Tired. Angry. Upset. Out of your comfort zone.  You feel-- well, kinda HOLLOW--do you even like this child? There's no warm fuzzy feeling there yet, for this child, and you wonder--- WILL THERE EVER BE?

And often we start to think we (the parents) are messed up, there is "Something's wrong with US." WE CAN NOT FEEL THIS WAY- IT MUST BE WRONG, right?

 But wait...... you are providing for, feeding, clothing, educating, trying to nurture this big/little person as much as possible, even when they seem like a total stranger to you.  One you brought in your own home and feel like there should be some date this "stranger visiting" will be "going home, leaving."

  Because it's still AWKWARD to have this person around. You don't really know them well and aren't sure what they think of the family, of you, of your rules, of their adoption, of maybe anything. (Even just going braless or hanging out in your jammies feels awkward so you haven't done it in front of this child yet-- can you imagine that?)

Because even though they have gained language they aren't sharing anything important with you. They are just polite house guests. That's right-- they still don't seem like they are FAMILY.

And there again, the guilt rises. WHY, do we not love this child with all our hearts yet? This is the child God meant for us, blessed us with, how can we feel like THIS?

And let me tell ya, it's REAL. We can and DO feel this way. We are very social creatures. So when you have someone who just exists, isn't really trying to be an involved part of the family, doesn't talk, OR is in your face, can't give you or anyone else in the family a second alone, driving you nuts annoying everyone ----it's stinkin' HARD to figure out a way to love this person.

It's hard not to RESENT. Resent the life you had before. Resent that the adoption of this child is not what you expected. Resent the child for seeming to not care, not try, try too hard, not understand. Resent what this is doing to the other children/ your marriage. Resent others, for not telling you how hard this could be. Resent how hard it is. Resent others who seemingly have "perfect" adoptions. 

It's hard when people are saying things to you like "Oh, you adopted a teen, how cool, will he/she drive soon?"  Other people, including your own family can be soooo clueless. Would you put a 5 year old behind the wheel of a car and let them drive? No, of course not, but that's where your teen/tween is and yet "others" see the child as their number age/size and expect/ think you should too.
   Adding pressure to your life because you are parenting a 5 year old in a 15 year old body with hormones and NOBODY gets that. Ya feeling like screaming yet?

  Seriously, it's not even funny when you have to tell them to stop picking their nose in the grocery store. To stop slurping up their food, to use toilet paper and that doesn't mean use it and toss it in a garbage can, flush the paper! To stop standing at the bathroom door crying because you went to pee alone. (I kid you NOT)

 Even once you get through all the "childish behaviors" and start seeing strides in that area, there are still times they will behave like a 5 year old and it's usually at a time when it's the MOST EMBARRASSING it could be to you. But, you learn their triggers and how to hopefully help them get back on track, and you see baby steps of growth.

 A funny thing happens along the way-- as you "Fake it- till you make it"--- yep sometimes that's ALL you can do. Fake it till you make it.

 
But often down the road you realize you DO CARE.  You are finding a new normal, they seem a little less like a pesky guest and more like your kid. You are finding a way to love them :)

It really will be ALRIGHT. And you are NOT alone. There's nothing WRONG with you when you are struggling through these tough feelings. It's not usually a "love at first sight" kind of thing. It CAN happen but usually it's the longer "I'm getting there" version. AND THAT'S OKAY. Seriously it IS.

You may need to reach out for support, you may need to go to counseling, take time out for you to recharge, you might need to respite (take a break) the child. None of these things are "wrong."

  That doesn't always mean things always end up peachy. Sometimes at this point things are better but sometimes sadly--- they are NOT. It may end up being YOU that changes to accept what loving your child looks like- different than you thought, but still a love for them.

  Because sometimes with these older kids, and this is mainly 14+ aged kiddos, you "may" get slammed. And what I mean by this is-- you may be 1 year, 2, even 3 years down the road and find out your child's only desire to be with you/to have been adopted is for what they can get. Education, job  skills. Food to survive. Clothes to wear. 

  They have NO DESIRE to be a part of the actual FAMILY beyond what is provided for them. They are only interested in what YOU CAN DO FOR THEM.

 And this manifests in 2 ways. (I've lived with both) They either ask for/want everything they can get. Even if it's not suitable for them, they will ask for it, just to see if you care enough to buy it/ get it for them.

The other way?  They ask for NOTHING. They try to take care of themselves, their needs as independently as possible from YOU. They say things like they will "take care of you when you are old." Meaning "Pay you back" because you are giving them what they have to have.

They want to "owe" you NOTHING. No commitment. No ties. No work to be part of the family. No strings attached:( And this is a biggie here--- You can't force them to want the family and all that means. You just can't.

This type of child is extremely hard to deal with, to get to know, to have a bond with, to love. It's HARD to feel used but to turn that other cheek in love and ask them to "Do it again."  Yep, sure is.

I mean, who wants to have all the monies, time, feelings, invested in an adoption of a child to learn you are looked at as their " free ticket" to America:(  Yet, sometimes this is your reality. Your teen has grown up for MANY years surviving on their "own." Their own smarts, guts, determination. And adopting them doesn't always mean to them what it means to us.

For some teens, it's like "Winning the lottery."  They are told how wonderful it will be to come here, everything they desire bought for them, no worries, Disn*yland like days, everyday. Golden opportunities, they will be RICH.  
  Then when they arrive, they find out fairly quickly the "golden dream" comes with work, hard work. They DO NOT WANT anything to do with the rules a family brings.

They don't like having to invest in FAMILY, sometimes due to orphanage behavior, sometimes due to one or many of these things--

Trauma from the orphanage
Their age
Their personality
Trauma before they went to the orphanage

Did you notice not one of these things we can change?  All things out of OUR control but your teen blames YOU for this hard work, the rules, the difficulties that they often make worse by not wanting to put in ANY EFFORT. Them blaming everyone else makes no sense but it happens.

  THEY JUST DON'T WANT FAMILY. (This would be ANY family, so don't take it personally because it's NOT personal) BUT this is a ROUGH road to walk if you find yourself there. 

Worse yet, your child can and will be totally "charming" to everyone outside the home-- they can do WELL in superficial situations. But the important issues, the deep connection that we adopted them for, to give them a family-- they have NO DESIRE to work to have that, so when you try to enforce rules, make them BE a part of the family you get ISSUES. BIG ISSUES.

  It's issues you never dreamed you could face with your new child. Running away. Lying. Stealing. Disrespect. Temper tantrums, anger, damaging property. Holes in your walls- gasp!  Trips to counseling, possibly even trips to a mental ward, contacts with police, children and youth services, etc.

A big doozy no one expects, STRAIN on your marriage. Lack of privacy, not feeling sure how to handle said child, one parent or both not feeling connected to the child, coping day to day just with the incredible amount of needs this child has----these all cause an amazing amount of wear and tear on you DAILY.

You may learn things that BREAK YOUR HEART-hearing your child has watched other children die. Finding out your child has witnessed/been party to abuse.

Teen adoption is NOT A WALK IN THE PARK. Even if you get a child who is easy going, wants to be adopted, only has clinging behaviors, immature behaviors, it's still gonna be TOUGH.  Probably the hardest parenting you have ever done.

Now, WHY? you are thinking should anyone EVER take this on?  Because God calls us to love the orphans. Because God loves them. Because we want to parent. Because these kids deserve a chance, they deserve a home, a family, love even if they don't want it.

Yes, yes they do. And you all know we have 4 adopted teens. AND NO REGRETS. None. And yes, some times things have been hard. REALLY HARD. Some days I want to cry "Uncle" and give up. But then God has given me the strength to go on, because that's what I need to do. It took us (both dad and I) longer to feel love for some, yes it did. BUT we love them ALL. Without a doubt.

Sometimes that love means accepting the disappointment that we aren't going to get as far with them as we wanted to. They don't want it. That our relationship with them doesn't look like we thought it would. It's different than we expected, but we still love them. 

This sometimes means that we have to hold out hope for their future, that we understand they *might* not get what family is till they are older and even have a family of their own. Or even accept that they may NEVER get what this family wanted to be for them. We very well could be only a "mentor" type person for a child we call son/daughter. We may have AWKWARD times with them for as long as they live with us, or even beyond.

And we STILL have NO REGRETS. None. We love them AS IS. And that might not be a warm fuzzy feeling love, it may be a we-are-here-for-them-no-matter-what LOVE, but that's still our love. For them.

Here's something another mom wrote (permission given to me to use this) to explain WHY to move forward in adopting an older child and how to cope when times are tough---

 If Jesus called you to this adoption, you had to obey, so no use saying "Should we have??"

What God calls us to, He equips us for (in that order)
 
 Equipping us for this is much different than the other parenting we've grown so used to (and fond of) but it's not a BAD thing

Release guilt about what you do or don't feel- since God loves our child more than we can even begin to love them, He's got our backs on this

Obeying God is an act of love- you loved when you obeyed Him to adopt your child

Feeding, clothing, teaching your child how to live in the world as an independent adult, etc,  IS AN ACT OF LOVE
 
Just as our bio children have disappointed us at time with choices they make, just as they must learn life lessons, so will our adoptive children and even WE, the parents have learned while raising all of our precious kids.

So yes, go forward and adopt--- please, if you are ready and God is showing you an older child, GO FOR IT. It's gonna change your life. You may have days you say "It didn't change it for the better!!" And I'm right there with you, sister.

But on the days that you see them learn, you see the progress they have made, you see the success of just one child and you know that God BLESSED YOU to be a part of this, and you say "WOW, I am so honored to be a part of this." Well, those are the days that let you know your child was --

TOTALLY WORTH IT. 100% WORTH EVERY TEAR, EVERY FEAR, EVERY ANGRY TIME, EVERY SMILE, EVERY LEARNING EXPERIENCE, EVERY MINUTE SINCE YOU MET THEM.

Even with the crap. (Seriously).  God takes us, crap and all. God never gives up on us, no matter the failings. Are we worthy?  Are these children worthy? Yes, yes, yes, yes, yes, yes, yes and YES.

Sunday, August 11, 2013

Who got wet?

Some very precious girls in our lives gave themselves to the Lord today------

Proud just doesn't cut it. Because we feel that if  we do nothing else by adopting these children but give them God, then all is well. Seriously. It means everything to us to give them the choice to know God and accept Him in to their hearts and lives.
  
This was a huge step for Chloe, to trust a guy to dunk her under water after she had to speak and say something out loud!  She is very shy and hadn't worked up the nerve to do this before.

And Phoebe, well. Here's what she said -----
"I give my heart to God, because I love- ahh Him." 


Quite a few "ahhhhh" came from our church family, yes, less than 7 months ago this child had no idea who God even was. 

And here she is, baptized.

A very special day, for sure:)

Friday, August 9, 2013

More hair

Well, add in Chloe to the hair equation and what happens? This is what happens.   Major braids. For sure!

Chloe braided hair, first Kat, who ended up Sunday morning with lovely soft waves of hair. 

Throwing Phoebe in to a severe jealousy mode. So then Chloe braided Phoebe's hair in 2 french braids, but it didn't stay overnight. So they tried again  and this is how she looked--

Now, don't mind that ornery brother behind her, he *thinks* he's funny and all that. 

Annoying big brother. It's a wonder she doesn't smack him. 

I think I might have to just not be looking if she ever decides to conk him a good one. (Don't call MOM- he will deserve it)

He was wondering how many braids were there-- any guesses? 

I'll give you a hint, it took 2 hours for Chloe to do it all. Yep, she's got some major patience.  

Needless to say, Phoebe was tickled as could be that her hair turned out like this today----

So now all are happy.  Hair braids, something Chloe is super good at. 

Last week Kat even had a star made of braids on her head. Too bad we didn't have some temporary hair color to make it stand out better, it's hard to see with her dark tresses.

But how cool is that? I even got my hair braided to be wavy the next day, no pictures needed. (Sorry MOM)

So  there you have it. Oh, and if you are wondering about Kat's hair, well- it's still to the tush. She remains undecided so we are making no fast cuts around here.

Drama over. (at least for today) And just so you know 56 braids. I kid you not. 56.  Kudos to Chloe:)

Wednesday, August 7, 2013

Hair drama

Looking for some good ol' feedback--

'Cause  Kat said this----"Mom, I want to cut my hair, it's too long."  AHHHHHH!

Because it's not as if this is huge in the grand scheme of life, BUT this is an issue that goes wayyyyyy back for Miss Kitty.  

I know I started blogging here long after we had adopted Miss Kitty (the original blog was on an adoption site that closed down and yes MOM I have a copy of it on CD) but Miss Kitty came to us with a shaved head.

And was very upset about it. I mean, extremely upset about it. As in, she cried when I got a haircut for the first  TWO years she was home. Did you read that- when I got a haircut, not even HER getting a haircut.

 And I promised her I would NEVER cut her hair except bangs and trimming. And this is the hair today- 6 1/2 years later--



Long. To her tush. Long.  Her hair is thin, not the super thick Chloe, Chase and Phoebe are blessed with. So it's not heavy or super hard to maintain, although she isn't super great at getting the back brushed through.

And for some reason she worries about "split ends" which I am sure she has some, but that can be fixed with a simple trim. 

  But she is talking about donating her hair. And I told her she's gonna lose about 11-12 inches of hair. So that what this looks like---

It would be cut right above the top of the hairband where the braid starts from. I'm having trouble imagining it.

BUT she "thinks" she wants to do it. 

BUT----- I just don't know. Yes, it will grow back. BUT, I can see her totally upset, mad, not happy day after day because it's GONE.

THEN WHAT?

Not even MOM wants to live with an unhappy Miss Kitty day after day, after day, after day. OIY.

So anyone else? Cut the hair? Don't, the drama isn't worth it?

HELP?

Saturday, August 3, 2013

Park fun

Off we went.  First thing in the morning. Meaning as soon as my face hit the door (coming home from work) at 6:15 am there were children ready to go.

 Up,  dressed, ate breakfast, even brushed their teeth (yes, they did MOM) READY to go.

Dad took the day off and we headed out. I didn't tell the kids we were heading to the local SS office, no I did not.

So first we wasted an hour of our lives there went there and accomplished NOTHING, man I don't like that place. Was trying to get Paisley's new card but they won't accept any documents I have without one showing all 3 of her names, Chinese, first family name and present name.

So after a call in to our attorney to ask for an amended adoption decree to address this, we put the disappointment behind us and headed to the PARK.

We arrived as it was opening for the day. And right off the bat some guy came over to us and asked if we could use "these"-- 2 "Buy one admission/ get one FREE" coupons-- uh YES!! 

I told him  "Yeah we had 10 people and that was so nice of him, thank YOU!!" And next thing I know he comes back with 3 more. So we got 5 people in for FREE. What a totally unexpected blessing! 

We hit the water slides first. And the kiddie pool for Kat and Phoebe. And the lounge chairs for mom, Paisley and Chloe. (Yeah CHLOE). 

After that the mini race cars, oh did Phoebe LOVE that, dad took her with him and he said she was screaming in glee.

Someone not screaming in glee. CHLOE. She got out of her car and barfed. Yup, she threw up:(   Was complaining of being dizzy.  Wanted to go to car and lay down. So she did.

We headed in to the park for rides with more fun to be had. I joined Chloe in the car after a bit, not sleeping was not working for me. So I napped, and dad got to handle everyone for a bit. Once Chloe slept a while she felt much better and off to the park she went.

We got home late, one tired crew, 8 bushed kiddos, 2 parents feeling their age:)

 Now before you all go "8 KIDS???" I'll explain (MOM) we have Dustin (my bro's son) for the weekend so he got to go along. 

 But the memories of the day will be with us for a long time, we really had such a great time. Who says you gotta go far and do big things for great memories to be had?

Silly them, we did just fine right in our own "neck of the woods."  And the kids want to go again next year and we sure will:)