Tuesday, August 11, 2015

School Begins

The 2015-16 school year is underway.
We had a bit of a staggered start.

 Lulu began last Wed as a Kindergartner.
9:00am-1:00pm Mon-Fri.
She loves it!

We have loved the school Julia and Sam are attending so we decided to move Jaida and Xin there as well. YEA...my life just got a little easier!
Jaida started 3rd grade today and could not have been more excited about the first day of school!

Xin started 4th grade  today and was excited too!

Today was not quite long enough as it was only a 1/2 day for these two.
Just long enough to learn the ropes and meet some new friends!

Monday was the 1/2 day start day for Sam.
He is an 8th grader this year and towering over all of us but Will.
Can't say he was "excited" but his quote today was "Yea, it was a good day. School is school."
He is looking forward to football this year.
First game is Saturday!

And Monday... Julia...a SENIOR!
I said it.
Can't believe it!
SHE was just in Kindergarten!
She was NOT looking forward to school starting and her 4 AP classes and the workload!
But she is looking forward to her senior year.

Tomorrow I will have all in school on a regular schedule.

I will have about 3-1/2 hours to myself everyday.
It has been a very long time since this has happened.
It will be different.
It will be quiet.
I will miss them terribly.
But...I will enjoy those hours.
Can't wait to see what next adventure awaits!
Happy 2015-16 school year my precious babies!
Love you all so very much!

Wednesday, August 5, 2015


Today my baby started Kindergarten.
My heart hurt.
My constant shadow for 3 years.
My cling-to-me-child.
Like has to know where I am at ALL times child!
She has come a LONG way!

When we decided to adopt again for the 3rd time, our 5th child, our decision was not always met with positive feedback. It was suggested we were too old to have a child that age. We were also told 5 kids is a LOT of kids.
Her "special needs" were a bit intimidating sounding to some.
And we were still in the middle of "hard" with our last adoption of Xin.
Maybe we were crazy.
And 5 kids IS a lot!
And we were on the older side.
But God.
When ya feel Him leading...well ya just better go where He asks.
How glad I am that we didn't listen to the voices of those that meant well.
How glad I am that we stepped out in faith to follow a call to our little firecracker.
Miss Lulu
What total joy we would have missed out on had we NOT taken that step of faith.

And here she is today, 3 years later, trotting into her classroom, all smiles and ready to take on Kindergarten!
How I love this child!
Been at this school for 15 years. This will be my last :(

She had a GREAT day!
She told me every detail.
Said, "I made a new friend but I don't think I can remember her name yet."
So happy for her and so happy this little love is my daughter!
And on a side note...I might be the oldest mother...and I might be able to be some of the other mothers mother!

Saturday, August 1, 2015

Boy or Girl?

There is something that has really bothered me deep down each time I have been to Chenzhou.
Well, let's face it, there are many things that bother me very deeply.
But this is in particular, just makes me realize the enormity of it all.
It may sound silly or petty in the grand scheme of life.
But I think it sums up the depth of loss for these kids.
They have NO family.
They have NO home.
They have NO clothes of their own.
They have NO toys.
They have NO pets.
They have NO birthday celebrations to celebrate their entry into this world.
They have NO holidays.
And the list goes on...
And to take one more thing from them...their sexual identity as a boy or a girl is most often unclear.
Their clothes are never a reflection of what sex they are.
Their shoes either.
Their heads are shaved.
We are constantly asking, "Is this a boy or a girl?"
Now I know babies can be hard to tell sometimes. My own children were often mistaken for the wrong sex even when I had appropriate clothing on them.
But it is the fact that something so basic to human dignity, boy or girl, has even been stripped away from these precious little ones.
It hits me hard.
A 13 year old boy with a deep voice had a pink shirt on and pink Croc-like shoes.
 I have a 13 year old boy and I have never seen him choose this "look".
A little boy was sporting a shirt that said in English "Sweet Girl".
Yes, at least they have clothes on their backs, but my goodness, it just shows how desperately humbled they are.
I am sure the orphanage takes whatever they can get to clothe these kids.
I get it.
And they shave their heads.
Easier to care for I am sure.
In some cultures this is how everyone wears their hair.
But I have never seen a woman with a shaved head walking the streets of China. Or many men for that matter.
Couldn't the girls have their hair?
I know both my beautiful China girls had their heads shaved.
Just another reflection of their worth.
Or better yet...lack of.
But...if someone, anyone, decided to dress them according to their sex, or let their hair grow, it would show they were being thought about as a person, an individual, a soul that was created by God and has a unique purpose all his or her own in this world.
But they don't get that small little decision.
They are the "least of these"
What would it take to change things?
I have asked myself this question over and over again.
I don't know, somehow I dare to dream that if maybe that small, seemingly insignificant step of keeping their sexual identity for them were to take place that maybe, just maybe it might be the spark that set off a chain reaction of seeing these kids as beautiful creations full of worth and honor and dignity.
And maybe when we are there, I pray when we are there, that we all make these kids feel worthy
Worthy of love and dignity.
Like they are the beautiful souls they were created to be.
Boy or girl.
You decide.