Saturday, January 18, 2014

Teen Times

It's been a week of teen happenings around here.

First we had a dinner that was for Chase's senior project. We were invited as special guests.

He takes culinary arts at  Vo Tech and very much enjoys the program.

He did a wonderful job.  He cooked the food and then did a small presentation where we learned what we would eat and that Bon Appetite is a very hard word for him to pronounce:) 

Although it was better than him saying"Chow down," right?

The menu was -

house salad
assorted dinner rolls w/whipped garlic butter
green beans almandine
roasted new potato medley
barbecue rotisserie chicken
char broiled flank steak with espagnole sauce (round here we call that GRAVY)
baked Alaska

The food was delicious. I had to laugh when I got to the steak and Chase was cutting 3 slices for everyone and I said "I'd like just 2" and he gave me 3, saying "Teacher said everyone get 3."  

Okay then. That's our son, by the book:)

He did surprise us by making a joke, when they took a few pictures of us with him he actually smiled. When someone else made a comment about it he said it was his "Once a year smile." 

His ESL(English as a Second Language) teacher is beside him on the right. 

I'm quite certain he is glad it's over, he just has to complete his portfolio on the dinner  with pictures and turn it in.  I know he was very stressed about doing this senior project and it has to be done for him to graduate.

Graduate. Yep, I wrote it. Hard to believe. 5 years ago this Sonshine of ours was sitting in an orphanage. Had NO HOPE. None. Was losing his sister even. Knew she was being adopted and had somehow come to terms that she should go because she was getting chosen and they were being left behind. 

And yet, instead of being???? Alone. On the streets. Dead? Abused. Homeless. Here is our SON--- doing a senior project (that's his culinary teacher with him)  graduating, dreaming of his career, a future, living with his siblings he thought he was losing forever.

So many things to be thankful for and we are, that our children were not LOST. That they get to do "normal teenager things" and make a life that includes dreams for the future for them. All of them.

Here's another fun teen happening--- Chloe and Chance headed out to the semi formal dance. Chance having his very first real date-- He asked Hannah to go and she said "Yes."  

Off for a night of fun, looking soooo grown up and handsome/beautiful.  Just takes your breath away to see them and know how far their lives have come. And what amazing young people that they are. So very special. 

I know of one special girl this week, so sad-- she aged OUT. Her chance is GONE. And it makes my heart break. So many children, wanting to belong.  People often ask- "What happens to the ones who age out?"  It's really NOT pretty. Not at all.  

They do not have family to go to for anything. No home. They have a name that identifies them as an orphan in a country that believes orphans are "bad luck". Therefore they are not able to get jobs. They don't have good schooling. There's VERY LITTLE in their lives they can do to "better themselves."  They are not valued as people.  The suicide rate is very, very high:(

And yet they are so, well, NORMAL KIDDOS.  They want to have lives. Go to dances. Graduate. Get jobs. Go out on their own but always knowing mom and dad are here for them.  They want to be loved. 

They are God's gems, waiting to be discovered:)

One who needs to be "discovered"---- Holden (Click on link-- I can't stop wondering if he will get a chance to be a SONshine.  Will he get to go to a dance? Date a girl? A family to "have his back?" 

He has so little time until it's TOO LATE. For another child. He will be LOST.  It's a burden on my heart. 

Even while I rejoice in my children, so thankful to have them in our lives, even coming in "late" in their childhood, these kids really are sooooo lovable. So wanted. So FUN. Wonderful. I can't help but wonder if anyone will come forward for Holden. 

 I pray for it to happen. For his family to see him and know what God is asking. That they say "YES, that's our SON!"

 Most likely now, in order to make it in time, he will need a family already started in the adoption process since he will age out and not be able to be adopted in June 2014.

I won't lie, it's hard parenting at times. It takes a ton of patience, love, tolerance and God's guidance. You gotta be prepared for long term work on schooling, adjustment, guidance. 

But the "perks" are endless when you are blessed to parent one of these very special treasures:) 



Linette said...

I loved Chase's smiles! Ya think he might be just a little bit pleased with his accomplishment? He should be! That dinner looked delicious.

And, I'm still praying for Holden too.

Rebecca said...

Such blessings! Your Chance is one handsome boy:) Chloe looks so beautiful. Chase looks like he fits right in with that culinary thing;) awesome update!

K said...

Wow! They all look so great and so grown up!

Judy Deaton said...

Loved this post! Made me tear up! I have 2 China blessings too. I did hear yesterday that Holden has a family!!!!! YAY!