Friday, April 25, 2014

He's gone

Yep, our "extra guy" is gone. A week that passed by wayyyyyy too fast, it seemed like I had just gone to the airport to pick him up and there we were going back to send him home:(

And what a wonderful visit the teens all had.

 They caught up not only with Titus but with at least 4 other kiddos that they all knew, calling/video chatting while Titus was here to reconnect with them as well. Some younger and adopted to the US, some aged out and in China. 

All special to these teens, children that were living together and who built bonds with each other, bonds that do not disappear. 

I was very glad to see this help the teens, to know where certain friends were now and didn't cause them to become sad, upset, even angry at the unfairness and guilt of them being adopted and friends they love not having that:(  Sometimes it does cause them to hurt and behaviors to show that pain.

And it was fun to see the teens all reconnect with Titus and to enjoy his visit to the max. We made dumplings and a potato dish they would cook for themselves when allowed at the orphanage before he left us. It was yummy and fun. 

The teens spent tons of time just enjoying each other and I got to see what a wonderful blessing  Titus is, a child o' my heart, a child I prayed and advocated for knowing for some reason God had placed this precious treasure on my heart. To see him CHOSEN, now a SONshine for years and such an amazing young man of God. WOW.  Just WOW.

Makes my heart happy.  Because so many times having 1, or 2 or even 3 children on my heart, praying for them to get a family in a sea of faces of orphans, seeing needs that could be HUGE, medical needs, ages, emotional needs, etc. that seem sooooo daunting to finding a family. 

But then to have a child who was one of those children and see him so loved and loving. Such a blessing to many people. It renews the hope that the others, the ones on my heart NOW, could indeed be chosen. That NOT ONE is lost to God, He knows every-single-one of the 163 MILLION orphans world wide. 

He has the Master Plan for each one of these precious children.  He knows the ones who will become a son or daughter and found by the family meant for them.  God's perfect matches. He never goes wrong. 

One such child----

T.  Almost 9, just days till her birthday-- another birthday with NO PARENTS:(
She's from Phoebe's orphanage and has had surgeries for a facial tumor (not cancerous)  and her surgery addressed the pressure of the tumor on her brain which was causing seizures-- staring incidents with headaches for her afterwards. She's also got very typical orphanage delays. 

More importantly for this girl-- she's a treasure. A gem who wants to be adopted. Is not afraid of Americans. Is ready to be CHOSEN. Knows what adoption means, has seen it first hand and wants to be a daughter. Wants to be loved, wanted, accepted as is.

I have permission to advocate for her from the agency who has her file at present. Including sharing our pre surgery picture of her (above). The agency has post surgery pics and her file to share if you are looking and saying "This is my daughter" or even "I think this is our child."  

God could be whispering to you right now, "She's the one. Here she is."  Do you hear Him?

If so contact me at or 

Chinese Children International Adoption at

 to get more info on this sweet girl. We've used this agency, they are SUPER!

 This is a child who really needs a family, is there a family that NEEDS her?? Please join me in sharing the need and praying for her family to be FOUND!

Sunday, April 20, 2014

Easter Blessings

Easter, Our Savior has RISEN!  Such a special day we celebrate as we are blessed to have God in our lives and to be so very loved by Him.  And you are too!!!

Lots of pictures of the busy-ness. Keeping Titus BUSY, these kiddos of mine are, luckily he comes from a family with 10 children because he's keeping up the pace well.  Since he has arrived we have --

Had a surprise party

Roller skated

Hid and hunted eggs twice

Lunch out at the kids favorite Chinese buffet

Colored eggs

Easter basket hunting

Church Easter program

Easter lunch and the fun of chopping up a tree for Grandma (Chance was thrilled to do this)

Up next, mountain biking....... then?

 Who knows?

All kinds of fun we are having/ getting in to:)

Poor guy will need to go home and sleep for days to recover from his week here....


 I'll leave you with the pictures to enjoy and our wishes for your families that you have a lovely Easter Day. 

Wednesday, April 16, 2014

A Surprise

And yes, it's another kiddo.  

Just for the record, he's not ours to keep.  But WOW, do we love this guy.  

Child o' my heart--- first one I ever got to meet in person, I prayed and prayed for this (now) young man to be CHOSEN.  

And he was!  A great, loving family he got, only they live in.... Washington STATE.  Yep, and we are in..... Pennsylvania. 

So far away:(

BUT----- today, this young man arrived after saving his money for months to pay for his own plane ticket to visit our teens, his former orphanage buddies. 

They haven't seen each other since they were all adopted, 3, 4 and 5 years now.

AND it was SOOOO much fun to keep this visit a surprise, showing up with him at the kids' youth group for a surprise reunion and party for these precious teens.

I'm pretty sure Chance hasn't stopped smiling yet, they certainly aren't sleeping yet, I can hear them chatting away as if he will be gone tomorrow.

 Nope, we have the pleasure of his company for the next week. Yep, a whole week to catch up, enjoy,and  reminisce. 

We've already heard many stories of things they did, mostly Chance and Titus, they were best friends and it's amazing the things they remember and are sharing with us.

And for those who will wonder, yes, he's a blondie like Phoebe. And Phoebe didn't know what to think of him. She's not met someone like herself, Chinese, but blond, but Chinese!  It was quite funny to see her reaction.

Haven't these kiddos all GROWN?  (Sorry, no picture of Chase, Chance, Chloe and Titus all together from China)

Welcome, Titus, it's gonna be a fantastic week, I am sure. (They are STILL laughing,and oh, what a JOYFUL sound-- even if it's now wayyyyyy past bedtime:)

Saturday, April 12, 2014

Work and Play

It's been a busy week in our part of the world. It's really starting to feel like spring is here and what does that mean?  Projects, of course.

Dad and the boys worked all week on a new sidewalk. It looks nice, although it's still not completely done, it's going to need lined with smaller paver blocks to keep it in place.  It's circles, 4 blocks together make one big circle. Neat looking.

I, on the other hand, headed to the attic. Yes, the dreaded chore. 2 1/2 years after we moved we still had unpacked boxes of stuff. And I mean STUFF. Stuff that I looked at and thought "WHY?" Why did I bother to pack it, why didn't I throw it away, why did I think I needed it?  Cause we downsized/simplified a lot when we moved in, thus I do not want to bring this "clutter" in to the house.

So after a HUGE pile of donated clothes went, and a HUGE pile of "trash" happened, the attic is much less full.  Hubby has some stuff to go through, once I got through all the stuff he came and said "Wow, my stuff looks bigger."   Ha ha hubs,  IT IS. Bigger than the other stuff now.

I worked with Chloe, I love, love, love working with Chloe. She's great at organizing. She doesn't PLAY with things we are going through. She's tireless. When I ask for something she gets it QUICK. And she's an EXCELLENT stink bug collector. Yep.

Any ideas on how to rid ourselves of those buggers would be totally welcome. Disgusting things. We put them in a sealed bag, didn't smush any of them yet they stunk anyway:((

Thankfully we do not get them in the house often, but they sure have decided they like the attic. And by attic, I mean the space above the garage, so it's probably why we don't get them in the house, it's not heated out there and most of them were dead.

I can't-stand-the-gross- things. They need to go live somewhere else. They get in everything. And they STINK, of course. Stinky, stink bugs. YUCK.

What I did find that made me happy--- hubby's leather jacket (been looking for that since we moved).  Fun pictures, of all the kids from years and years ago.

I had to kick Kat and Camden out of the attic, sadly they thought it was playtime with everything being sorted and then when I told them that wasn't going to happen they started bickering with each other:(   I didn't think it was gonna work with Kat when she came up and said "Wow, this looks like an episode of Hoard*r's."   Since we have MUCH less stuff than that, I was less than amused with her.  Such ATTITUDE for someone so small in size. Hummmm.

More good stuff I found---a  bunch of clothes that will fit the younger girls this summer and next fall:)  I even found 6 or 7 shirts I had bought for $1 on clearance (brand new!!) and they are perfect for Kat and Phoebe for the summer.  It was almost like shopping again- ha ha.

When Chloe was adopted she was a tiny size 10/12  (at age 13!) and that's where the girls are heading now.  Paisley remains in size 8 girl bottoms, 10/12 tops. So it was super to find so many items of that size.

Once we were all done, I headed to the shower and hubby headed off with 5 kids and the clothes to donate, they stopped off on the way home  and loaded up on fixings for a camp fire supper. WOW.  

What a super idea--- it was a gorgeous day out and perfect ending to our day of work. Easy, yummy, fun, the teens LOVE to play in fire--- I've never seen kids so fascinated with fire from the time we met them. At least now we can sit back and know they won't set themselves on fire...........

Our doggies and the kitty cat joined the picnic, we always laugh at our cat, she's got the maddest facial expressions, she's really so mellow 90% of the time it's funny that she looks so MAD/ disgusted when she's really not. (at least we don't think she is:)

So we've had our first cook out and s'mores of the year. The attic is clean and sidewalk almost done.

 A good start to the spring, I do believe:) 

Thursday, April 3, 2014

It's a cell...........

And it's still not a jail cell (MOM).  Nope another cake. Remember Paisley's cell cake last year? Well, follow up with a brother a grade behind and guess what he had for an assignment this year?

Although I'm pretty sure he ATE most of the candy meant for the cake, *might* have even fudged mom and dad about what all candy he needed for this cake because he had me get some, then dad get some MORE...... and he was eating an awful lot of those "leftovers" while laughing, and it just seemed, well----- FISHY.

And I don't mean little red gummy fish either CAMDEN.  Keeping my eye on you SONshine. Yes, I am.

I also noted the remains of the cake looked suspiciously as if it had been used for a FOOD FIGHT..... along with some remains in a certain someone's hair. No phone calls from school YET, so whatever happened to it apparently was not enough to warrant a call home.  I didn't ASK, don't want to know.......

Chance came home with a funny looking dude, no, not his brother Chase. (Can you believe he let me take this picture of him?)

A fake head/part body dude that he carried around saying "Anyone know CPR around here?" I *thought* about pretending otherwise, since I am a nurse after all, but apparently it didn't occur to him that I would have training to save a life via CPR?

Once I fessed up he came and showed me his "technique." OIY.  I told him I was gonna be mad when he broke all my ribs if I ever collapse and they let him do CPR on me.  Don't worry (MOM) he was NOT offended, matter of fact he was laughing so hard he could hardly do the CPR.

I've been trying to figure out what Chloe wants from me.

She said "Mom, I want something." And I said "Don't we all?" 

 And she said "Yeah, but I'm your daughter, you wanted me and I came and I became your daughter like you wanted, so I think I should get things I want." 

 As she's smiling her beautiful smile the whole time she is claiming this.

And I said to her, "I became your mother because you wanted a mother and maybe I should get things too?"  That made her laugh and reply "But I'm a kid, I have things I want to have." 

She's working up to asking for something, probably won't be anything too big or crazy but that's my Chloe, she's testing the waters before she leaps:)

 Gosh, I love that girl... she makes me smile.  I DID note that she didn't say "I NEED things."

It's funny but I have been noticing lately how different/ far the kids have come. From being unable to know how to ask for something, to thinking they were being denied things they SHOULD have, to understanding life is NOT a fairy tale, and what is reasonable to even ask for. 

Some huge issues with adopting teens can be the feelings on the part of not just US, as parents, but other kids, other adults thinking our kids "SHOULD" have/be doing things that are normally considered with their ages.  When in, fact, our kids have 2 ages.  Their number age and their maturity age.  And we have to go by the MATURITY age.

It's not an insult to our children. No way. It's a PROTECTION for them.  Because they are NOT a typical 16, 17, 19 year old young person. I almost feel like I should say "this is Chloe, she's 17/ 15."  Because that's where she is.  And it's really okay, because firstly ages were guessed in China.  So there's no way to know for sure she is 17. 

The lack of life experiences, common sense not being fostered in orphanage care, delays from orphanage care, the adjustment to a new culture/language/parents/home/foods/schools--- even time home--- all these things factor in to where their maturity lies.

And yes, they are "catching up."  They have come very far from when we first met all of them.

It's interesting to see Paisley right about where Chloe was at almost 2 years home with us.

 And Chloe much further ahead, home 5 years. It shows us we are on the right road with them even when it is HARD to explain  to others. 

We get things like---"She's 16, oh, will she be driving soon?"  Now my answer will not reflect what runs through my brain because I say "Oh, she's not ready yet, she needs better English to take the test."  Meaning she needs more time.

My brain is thinking "People ARE YOU CLUELESS?  Would you put a 9 year old behind the wheel of a car?" Do you want to be on the road with a child who says, "Just run them over" when someone is going too slow?

(Disclaimer-- this is ALL of them, I'm not fingering out just the one who happens to be 16 now and not saying it to "put any of them down" it's just the fact of the adjustments and difficulties of being adopted as a teen.) 

It's tough when they *think* because the other kids have this or that, that they shouldn't have it too. One thing that does help with this, along with just being SOOOO much better for our kids was placing them so much lower in school.  Yes, I totally get that schools want to place a 16 year old in 10th or 11th grade.  Ours is in 8th grade. And she fits there just right.

It's not going to do anything but HELP her and the others to have EXTRA school time.  You see, we started at square one, not a lick of English for any of them. And it's a struggle for ANY of them to "catch up."

  So adding on school years for them to get an education base is a WIN/WIN.

Anyway-- here's some more pictures of Paisley, doing one of her favorite things- reading a book.

This is her favorite chair too, she "hangs out" in it most every day, in the afternoons it had the sun shining right in on her, thus it's probably the "warmest seat in the house." For her arthritis, this is a GOOD place to be, in the warm:)

And Chance, again, looking like he's up to something:)

He's not. Just sorting out pencils, dad brought home  2 packs of 10 pencils and there are 7 children here, how many should each person GET?  

I fixed that issue--- I take the "extras", that way no one can get upset that someone else "got more than them."

The bean counting again------ taking stock, making sure no one else is gettin' ahead.


Don't worry (MOM) we are used to it.

 It doesn't make us toooooo crazy:)