Tuesday, July 27, 2010

Our Sweet Sam

With Julia gone for a week of fun, we decided to treat Sam to a special night out...without the TK's-Teeny Kids. We got our favorite babysitter, to which Xin did really well, and off we went. We went to dinner first where we all ate way to much and then off to see a movie. It was such a nice time to spend just with him. Sam is our most tender-hearted child and our peacemaker. He is such a kind and caring soul. Not to mention very handsome with beautiful blue eyes, freckles splashed across his face and curly hair tossed across his forehead. Oh how I love this child! He had our undivided attention last night and I loved that special time. I got to hold his hand for a change instead of a tiny little one. Our night ended way too quickly but I will tuck away those memories in a special place in my heart. We will have to do it again soon! I love you Sam......with all my heart!

Saturday, July 24, 2010

My Girls

God has blessed me with two girls. One has blond hair, the other black. One is 12 the other 3. One is my strong, independent, driven child the other is my prissy, dependent child. One is my oldest. One is my youngest. I am crazy about them both! I sent my 12 year old, Julia, off on an airplane by herself this week. She went to visit her best friend in Florida. A very hard "Mommy" day. To watch your child walk down a jet way which leads to a metal tube that will fly 40,000 feet into the air and land in another state without me there to protect her is a very hard day indeed. I miss her so much. It was just yesterday she was my 3 yr old, cuddled in my lap and bringing me a baby doll to rock and change. I watched her beautiful blond hair disappear down that jet way and I wanted to run screaming "Wait! I need her back!" of course that didn't happen. I would have been arrested for sure. Even with my "unaccompanied minor" gate pass in hand I am pretty sure they would have taken me away in handcuffs. She landed safely and is having the time of her life. I miss her so much!

I had a"girls night out" with my 3 yr old, Jaida. The boys went to a baseball game and we headed out to do "girl things". Since Jaida has been, in her own words, "dying to get her nails done" we put that on our agenda. We met some friends, another Mommy and little girl, and went out to eat, got their nails done and had ice cream. Sitting there in the booth with my 32 lb bundle of love warmed my heart. Her stringy black hair tied up in a pink bow, brown little arms, constantly- moving- body, never -stop- talking- cute- little- mouth self sitting next to me, sharing a pizza, brought me such joy. On the ride to the pizza place she never stopped talking-so excited. This was the dialogue, well monologue really: "Where we going? How far is it? When we get our nails done? Mason-Kate be there already? Ms. Beth have her pretty hair and pretty make-up on? She have her high-heels on? What shoes Mason-Kate have on? When we get ice cream? Where dat mall at? Where boys go? They have baby cones at that ice cream store?" and on, and on, and on....... She was very adamant about me having pretty hair and putting make up on and wearing high heels and looking cute. I tried to comply... I did take a shower, fix my hair, put my make up on, thought I had a cute outfit on until she said it was Ok (Xin told me it was cute) but the high heels....... sorry baby. She did tell me my flip flops were kinda high heels, they do have a wedge, and that passed inspection. Seriously.... where does she get this stuff? Such a fashion diva! It was such a PRECIOUS night. I savored every moment....knowing all too well that way too soon she would be walking down a "jet way" and out of my arms.

Not quite what she thought it would be..."Hold my hand Mama!"

Look at those sweet feet! Check out the cute teeny tiny flowers!!!!!

"Ok, loving this! I am now very comfortable...watching a little Barbie while they dry!"

Aren't they cute?!?!?!?!?!?
The much-anticipated "baby cone"!

Thank you God for giving me these 2 very different gems to love. What a pleasure it is to be their Mommy!

Thursday, July 22, 2010

Forever Family Day

Jaida July 2007

Three years ago today we walked onto the 20th floor of the Civil Affairs office in Nanchang, China. It was a Sunday, they don't use the airconditioner on Sundays...heat rises....July....about 120 degrees in the room. I am already sweating bullets as I am about to meet my 3rd child for the first time. We walked in and there were all of the babies, chaos ensued. Babies were passed to new parents. Babies cried, screamed. Parents cried. Photos flashed. Jaida, bald and coneheaded with an absolutely flat back of the head, was placed in my arms. She took one look at me with my blond hair and the corners of her mouth curled downward,( she still does this today and it is so darn cute) and preceded to cry, scream, thrash, arch her back, kick her little legs, and flail wildly. She clung to her name tag-the only thing she had that was hers. She wouldn't let go of it. It broke my heart. She was sweating, I was sweating, Sam and Julia were crying, I was crying, she was screaming, Will was trying to get his hands on her, and my parents were trying to record it all on tape and in still photos. At one point I remember saying a quick "Oh God, help me. What have we done? Please help me. Please help her." She screamed and cried the whole rest of the day. She stopped momentarily when Julia brought out the Cheerios and then started all over again. We ordered pizza. I cried. My mother came into our room and said, "It will all be ok" and hugged me. I was so glad she was there....I needed MY mommy! Jaida finally fell asleep after taking a bottle while giving me the evil eye and sucking furiously. She/we all woke up quite early the next morning and she was a new baby. She smiled. She ate. She never looked back. Her personality came to life. I fell in love. .........I adore her. I can't believe it has been 3 years. She was/is perfect for our family. Our youngest member. Full of personality. Loved beyond words. A gift. Thank you Lord for creating families in all kinds of ways. We celebrated our family with little gifts, a movie and dinner and ice cream out. *We celebrated earlier in the week because Julia left for Florida-by herself-whole "nother" post* It was a great day and I am so thankful the Lord placed adoption on my heart. I can't imagine life or our family without this little bundle of joy! I love you sweet Jaida and I am blessed to be your Mommy!
Jaida July 2010

Monday, July 19, 2010

Learning the English Language

One of my biggest concerns with adopting Xin was the language barrier. In China it was huge. Here...not so much. I have been amazed at how quickly he has picked it up. Not only does he know the words for tangible items but he uses phrases like, "I have a good idea Mommy." and "I'll be right back Mei Mei. Stay here." and "I slept late this morning Mommy." Amazing! Once he gets his additional palate surgery his speech will be wonderful...well I guess we will have to throw a "few" speech therapies in there too:) before it is wonderful. He does still occasionally get words mixed up. Colors, he just can't seem to grasp-oh well, that is what pre-K is for right:) He said the other day, "Mommy, I have the helicopters." He meant hiccups:) While lying on the couch watching Dora (which by the way he gets the colors in Spanish-go figure) he said., "Mommy, I cold. Please put that napkin on me." He meant blanket:) Too cute! Keep it up sweet boy. You're doing great!!!!!

On another note, 3 years ago today we boarded a plane headed to Beijing on the 1st leg of our journey to Jaida-wow!!!! What wonderful memories. I can say that NOW, really the flight was a nightmare as our flight was delayed in Detroit, oh 7-8 hours, which caused us to miss our and any remaining flights to Beijing which in turn had us spending the night in Japan. Nice country-very clean and very hospitable! The next day we made it in time for the Great Wall tour with the rest of our group, slept one night in Beijing and off we went to the Jiangxi province where our precious Jaida and newest family member waited! Like I said wonderful memories!

Wednesday, July 14, 2010

Happy 12th Birthday Julia!

Me and my "baby"-she is almost as tall as me...where did the years go?

The birthday girl...... as her crown says!

We have a birthday chair and depending on the age/sex of said birthday person it is decorated accordingly.
My Dad/Poppy had to be out of town the day Julia was born so he sent us flowers in this bear vase. Every year I fill it with flowers for Julia.

Julia loves to bake. She made her own birthday cake-gotta love a kid who bakes their own cake-and boy was it DELICIOUS!!!!!

Twelve years ago today my heart changed. Never to be the same. My 1st child was born. Weighing in at 8lbs-14oz after hours of labor without the epidural working, hours of pushing, only to be taken by c-section with me under general anesthesia and Will shoved out the door of the operating room without a clue what was going on. WHEW!-it all ended well-thank you Lord! We had a girl. I became a mother. Before I became a mother, I could never quite find the "right" occupation. Nothing really made my heart soar. Motherhood made my heart soar. This first child of mine taught me so much. How could something so tiny change your world like that?

Julia was born wide-eyed and ready to take on the world. All the nurses commented on how alert she was and with those big eyes open all the time(yes, that means she slept very little too). She did not want to miss a thing. She still doesn't. She is still ready to take on whatever challenge comes her way. She is smart, strong, beautiful, funny, thoughtful, creative, athletic, kind-hearted and she loves her family. Julia came to me as a 7 year old and asked Jesus into her heart. He lives there and shines through her. She shares my passion for orphans. She is a fierce competitor. She is my friend and I love her dearly. As sad as it makes me to see her growing up so quickly, I love the new relationship we are building as she becomes less of a child and more of a woman. Happy Birthday my sweet "brown-eyed girl" I love you with all my heart and I thank you for teaching me what mother-love is. I am blessed to be your Mommy!

Monday, July 12, 2010

Can we PLEASE go to the mall?

Seeing that we have a pre-teen in the house, this should be a common and frequent question. But the question did NOT come from my pre-teen,who will be 12 on Wednesday, it came from my cherub-faced 3 year old! Yes, she came down the steps as I was drinking my coffee and asked, "Mommy can we PLEASE go to the mall and have a girls day and get our nails done?" Said with much body swaying and head movement. The very funny part of this is that I am not a pretty nail kind of girl, never have been. I admire pretty nails on others but have just never made that a priority.I can honestly say I have had 1 manicure in my life and that was a gift when I turned 30, LONG ago! The other funny part of this statement is that I am not a mall kind of girl either. We don't have a very good mall in our medium sized town and I would much rather just head to Target. I am not even sure she knows what a mall is?!?! When I questioned her about this she just replied with more drama, "Can we PLEASE just go Mommy?" Boy am I in trouble when SHE hits the pre-teen/teen stage!!!! This child just cracks me up and I absolutely adore her!

Saturday, July 10, 2010

How does your garden grow?

Well ours is doing very well. This was our 1st attempt at a garden and Will and Julia have done a great job. They went to Lowes and purchased all the supplies, put it together, choose the plants, planted, watered and watched. It has been fun. Julia feeds Peanut, her rabbit, with the herbs they planted and we are waiting for the 1st eggplant to be ready to cook! Above are the 1st tomatoes. The straight-from-the-garden veggies are so much tastier!!!!!

Monday, July 5, 2010

The 4th of July.......

........is always a lot of fun for our family. My parents live at the lake and we all gather there for swimming, playing, eating, water balloons, water skiing, tubing, eating, corn hole,Balderdash, eating, fireworks and eating! There are lots of flags, red, white and blue attire, and patriotic attitudes. We are thankful we live in America and have the freedoms we do and the men and women who so bravely fight for our freedom. A few years ago this holiday started to mean even more to me. As we went through the adoption process I imagined our 1st 4th of July with our newest family member and American citizen. I will never forget July 4th 2008. We had Jaida home 11 months and every time I looked at her that weekend I got teary. I thought of how blessed we are to be BORN into this country. I thought of where my daughter might have grown up and where she was now, waving her little American flag. She had no idea what all this really meant, but I did. She was free..... to be whatever God has in store for her. Citizenship, American, or as a part of God's kingdom, is beautiful and a gift.

This year we added another new citizen. Again, I got teary as I watched his little face gazing at the fireworks and waving his flag. He is happy. He is free. He is an American. He has no idea what this means but again, I do and the enormity of it overwhelms me. What will he do with his freedom? Only time will tell what these 2 little American citizens will grow to be and do. I am so thankful the Lord laid upon my heart the desire to adopt. I am so blessed to be an American. I am so blessed to be a citizen in God's kingdom. Happy Birthday America! Thank you to all of you who have served and are serving this country and those of us who call it home!