Wednesday, March 14, 2012


There are a number of things I want to change about the physical appearance of my bare with me while the blog transitions into those changes!! I figured as long as my good camera was not functioning anyway, now would be a good time!!

You all know by now that I'm not the most tech savvy person out there so this may take me some time!!!

Monday, March 12, 2012

More Details, Please

Ok, I've had some requests for more details concerning what the difficulties are within the first two weeks of coming home and requests for details concerning the progress part.

By far the greatest challenge was the language barrier. Next would be not knowing Johnny or Lily Anna's pattern of behavior. And those two things combined together was my nightmare. It's hard to describe but I'll give it a shot.

The first week I would wake up two hours before them in a stark panic and on edge wondering: when would they wake up, would they roll off the bed, what in the world would they eat now that we're in America and there's no hotel breakfast buffet, how would I get breakfast for myself, how would I entertain them the rest of the day, etc. Then they'd wake up and grunt, cry, whine, and point. I felt like a person juggling toys, food, etc. They could not and would not do anything without me...they needed to go to the bathroom...I pulled their pants down, put them on the toilet and yep, wiped them as well. Why, you may ask? Because I didn't know them. I didn't know what they were used to doing for themselves. And they acted like they had no idea what they were doing. Now that it's three weeks later, I know that is not the case, but that is in the progress section...we're in the needy and high-maintenance section. Another high-maintenance area: playtime...they did NOT know how to entertain themselves. At all. Not for a split second. I was the entertainer. And I was exhausted. To put it bluntly, the Mom becomes their "all-in-all."

And then your mind wanders and says, "before China I would sit and watch a movie with Brianna, now that's gone." You get the picture. As a Mom, these two little blessings from China have taken over the whole house, every facet of your life, every crevice. Everything. 

And you question whether you've heard from God. I mean, if it was meant to be, wouldn't this all be picture perfect? Wouldn't we immediately be the poster family for China adoption? Yeah, not in the first week. Not in the second week. And usually not in the first month or two...or three. 

Give it time. They need to speak your language first, don't you think? That would sure help.

I don't know about anyone else, and I can't speak for them, but the language barrier is by FAR the hardest for me. And I don't know why. Some people aren't bothered by it, but it actually kind of makes me feel like I'm in some Twilight Zone episode. 

Now about the progress, our communication is so much better. They understand most of what I'm saying, which is fascinating to me. How selfish of me to say the language barrier bugs me, when they get what I'm saying to them already!!! Not to mention they've come to my world with a smile on their faces! I do use google translator with them, but here's the deal: Johnny understands and responds to it, which is good, but everything he says does not translate because he has such a strong dialect. Even in China, our guide said she could not understand him because it was so strong. Then there's Lily Anna. Ahhh...strong willed, type A personality, Lily Anna. I type stuff in, it speaks Chinese to her and she refuses, REFUSES to respond. She folds her arms, turns away, and pouts. 

I have now figured out their sleeping patterns. Johnny sleeps like a pro through the night and would sleep 11 hours if I let him. Then there's Lily Anna...did I already say strong willed, type A? Anywho...she talks and talks and TALKS...AND TAAAAALLLLLLKKKKKKSS!!!! Where was I? Oh yeah, she talks as she's falling asleep, babbling on and laughing...loudly, and rolling over on Johnny, and putting her feet on him...sticking her finger in his ears. Just last night I looked over at her and she had her toes in her nose. Yes, you read that correctly. Her toes were in her nose and she was laughing. Brianna wanted to camp out in the living room with Josiah on the floor so I got Johnny and Lily sleep duty for the night and that's what my poor eyes were exposed to. I wish I had a picture of it so I could prove it.

And more progress: joy and peace has come back to my home! You may wonder where it went. It was all me. I was just too tired and mental. Yes, mentally exhausted, but also, just plain MENTAL. 

Most of how my progress, and joy, and peace has come back to me, is because I refused, REFUSED to shut down my life and who I was and am because I adopted. I'm not the type of person to stay home all day every day. I'm just not. I realized the days where I felt like a total psycho were days where I stayed home for days on end. So everyday I get ready and the kids and I head out; to the mall, to get groceries, whatever...or we all go out for supper as a family with my hubby when he gets home from work. Is it hard? Sometimes, but it's actually harder for me to stay home. I just have to be out and about and see the world. 

And Johnny knew the whole time how to use the toilet, getting off and on, etc. I hate to be so detail oriented here, but I know there are others reading this who are about to adopt, so there it is. And Lily Anna is potty trained...mostly. She came to me in diapers, the paperwork on her said potty trained, and I've discovered it's a combo of the two. She stays dry completely through the day and will at night if I limit her liquids after 6:00. Perfect. That's mostly potty trained in my book!!

And if you happen to adopt and the first few weeks or month scares you, just remember what God spoke to your heart all those months/years before you got on that plane.

When I was at my lowest point after China I remember God speaking to my heart and saying, "Watch Brianna, follow her." Really, watch a 10 year old? Yes, because she was as steady as a rock. She remembered all the nights of praying for these little ones. She remembered how God led us down this path. And being with them now was not a burden to her. She never faltered. So when I was at wits end with Lily Anna being stubborn and throwing a massive temper tantrum, I'd look at Brianna and say, "Where's your mercy level right now with your sister, because my mercy is GONE." She's look at me and say, "My mercy level is really good right now, Mama." And she'd get down on the floor and reason with her sister with a smile on her face. Wow, conviction from a 10 year old.

And words that are always spoken from my Father-in-law that have kept me going: This too shall pass. 

And it will.

They will learn English.
One day they will not dump water all over the bathroom floor and laugh hysterically.
They will not secretly feed the dog Ramon noodles from their plate.
They will not shove their toes up their noses.
They will not try to pee on their little sister because she got to the toilet first.
They will not put money in their diaper and have it fall into the toilet...making their mother have to reach in while gagging to get it out.
They will not scold the dog in Mandarin.

And one day, they will feel and sound exactly like Josiah and Brianna. They will be perfectly blended into our family. They will feel like "flesh and blood."

And when that day comes, I will read back to this post and probably cry. Lord, help me embrace this time in their/our life. I will never get these "firsts" back again. I have truly been led down this road. They have truly been sent to me; to join our family. It is and always has been God ordained. Thank you God for choosing me to be Johnny and Lily Anna's forever Mama!!!!!!

Yes, these are all pics from my phone...I'm really starting to think my battery charger for my nice camera is in China. Ugh!

 Josiah, Brianna, Johnny, and Lily Anna ready for Wed night church.

 Yes, Lily Anna with a cereal box on her head.

 Those Cheerios go everywhere with her, even to Daddy's office!!! 

Chillin' out on the floor together in their pjs.

Ok, y'all that's it for now...I know this post was longer than usual, but I had more than a few requests for the details...I hope I answered most of your questions...if not, let me know!!!!

Saturday, March 10, 2012

Bad Blogger

Yep...I've been absent. Every time I sit down to blog, my new daughter starts pressing all the buttons on the computer. But I've just figured out the perfect way to combat kiddos love bath time. They will spend up to an hour in the tub...perfect answer.

So, I'm sure people would like to know what it's like the first few weeks home. Well tonight marks three full weeks home, so here goes:

The first two weeks are a word that I cannot use because I'm a Christian...but I can tell you it's a place with fire and brimstone, ok?

There are way too many emotions that go through your mind and soul to count. You wonder what you've your family. You are driven to an almost psychotic episode if you hear your newly adopted son grunt and point for something like a caveman. You are ordering straight jackets on-line for yourself because your new daughter goes into a melt-down because you don't have food to her quick enough.

And just when you think you are at wits get an email...your first post-placement is over due. What? I have a month...we've only been home two weeks!!!'s one month from Gotcha Day, not one month home. So we scramble to get it completed; meet with our agency rep, and then she says the best thing in the world, and the very thing I needed to hear...she mentioned that the first month home most parents wonder if their lives will ever resemble what it was before.

That was it...that's all I needed. I needed to hear that I was normal and that other families felt this way.

You may ask why I didn't know this. I'm on tons of Yahoo groups and adoption forums, but I'll be honest...the adoption community kills its wounded. So people don't post their true feelings. They pull in the oars and just cope on their own. Some of these people on the forums and groups are beyond brutal. They cast stones so quickly and don't think twice...but that's another story. 

Ok, I'm done talking about that...on to the fun stuff:
Here are the words Johnny and Lily Anna are using:

Don't touch it!!

Ha, the last one...Lily Anna picked that up and says it all the time. I guess I do say it a lot. They go to mess with the dishwasher: Don't touch it! My dresser: Don't touch it! The stove: Don't touch it!

Today was a fun first for both of them...they got to go on our four wheeler with Baba!! (That's Daddy in Mandarin, btw).

Ok, enough of an update, here's some pics from the past week:

Johnny and Lily Anna playing with sidewalk chalk for the first time.

Lily Anna thinks she's so cool. She takes my shades all the time...she'll wear them in-doors too!!

 Johnny, so cool as well, but has the shades kind of messed up!

Lily Anna looking so pretty! Playing with a toy microphone in Baba's office.

Johnny and Lily Anna playing at our local park. They had a ton of fun!! It actually wore me out because their upper body strength isn't quite there yet so I felt like I'd lifted weights at the end of the day!

Btw, these pics were from my i-phone; my wonderful camera is currently dead as I cannot find the charger since returning from China.

That's all for now!! Don't forget: it's daylight savings so turn your clocks don't want to be late for church!!!!