Friday, January 25, 2013

Up To My Eyeballs

Yes, I'm up to my eyes in the home study process. And I was doing great; fantastic actually, but usual...there was more to do.
You're given a check stuff off...and then something you thought you signed wasn't, yada, yada. It's all a part of the process. 

But can I be honest? Can I bare my heart a bit? There are some things in the process that are completely hypocritical. For instance, I've done a home study before...the whole thing. I've done all the training, etc. But in our state there's an expiration date on that paperwork, so if you're not sure if you're going to adopt again and you let your home study expire, rather than just updating it (which is still a lot of work) you have to do the whole thing over.

Did you know there are some states that don't have expiration dates on home studies? That would make sense to me.

Let me tell you (vent to you) on why I think part of this process is hypocritical. They want me to re-do 10 hours of training, and re-read two very thick books on adoption and attachment on how to be a good parent (which I've already done). So, in order to do this, I have four children that need me for various things, two of which are new to our family, and I have to say, "Not now Johnny, please go play a video game or glue yourself to the t.v. so I can learn how to be a good parent." Hello???? Does that make any sense whatsoever??? If I had never done this, fine. But I did this...I JUST did this. Who makes these rules??? Who makes these laws??? Can someone who has a brain pleeeeeze use common sense and change this?? Here's another one: it usually takes longer than 1 year to complete an international why would the home study have a 1 year expiration date??? Ugh!!

Blah. This is all on the list of "If I Were In Charge." Which I'm not, so tomorrow I will yet again ignore my children and be a bad Mom because I'm commanded to by the powers that be, and complete my training on how to be a good Mom. But don't good Mom status is only good for 1 year, and then apparently I will magically forget how to parent my children and I'll be an incompetent parent once least in my state. 

Sheesh...I need a Tylenol.

Sunday, January 20, 2013

A Sweet Pic

You know, you don't really know how great your teenage son is until he scoops up his very tired little sister in his arms and carries her in from the car.

And you don't really know how rotten of a photographer you are until you make your picture bigger on your blog and realize the picture is completely blurry. Ugh.

That's why, in the midst of beginning another adoption, I am also taking a photography class. I really want to take better pics of my children, but I also need to learn some type of editing. (I cannot over-emphasize how incompetent I am when it comes to anything technical, so if I edit one thing in the near future it will be a miracle).

So I'm adopting again, taking a photography class, home schooling, running one child to pre-school, another to public school, and 50 other things. Occasionally I have time to bathe...if not, I just spray Lysol in the air and walk through it and head off to my next destination. 

Thursday, January 17, 2013

She turned 5!!!

It's kind of weird telling people that my little girl is 5 now. She looks (and still acts) a full year younger.  She was so excited for her birthday. I couldn't help but think of her birthday last year.

I had an unbelievably long LOA wait (Letter of Approval, from China). It normally takes 60 days, tops. Mine was almost 130. Yes, torture. I wanted to get to China sooo bad before she turned 4 and it just didn't turn out that way. I kept praying, crying, and begging God...get me to China before her 4th bday!! I could not understand why it wasn't working out, and then one day it dawned on me...what if Lily's foster Mama is on the other side of the world praying, "Let me just have one more birthday with her."

Yikes. I calmed myself down and just yielded my desires. I sent Lily a cake for her birthday...and the pictures I received back were priceless. And we have a photo of her with her foster Mom which has become a wonderful keepsake for Lily. She loved Lily and treasured her (and spoiled her). I thought of her Foster Mom on Lily's heart hurt for her. Lily was her only foster child. I do have plans to send some pictures of Lily to the orphanage and request they be given to the foster Mom. It's the least I can do to say "thank you" for taking care of my daughter.

You would think Lily received tons of toys for her 1st birthday with us, right? Nope. She's not into toys, she's not into dolls. She is 5 going on 15. She wanted clothes and hair stuff and lots of it. So that's what she got.

It was kind of funny watching Johnny's confused face as she opened her gifts. He finally said, "Why Lily not get any toys?" I said, "Because she doesn't like toys." Wow, he had a flying fit when I said that. He went off about "who doesn't like toys, yada, yada." I think he's afraid now that he won't get any toys for his birthday.  

Not to worry, he reminds me with every commercial that he wants that toy added to his list. I'm sure I'll remember that he wants toys and not clothes and hair stuff for his birthday. ;)

Friday, January 11, 2013

Today We Begin

I have been up since 2:00 a.m. 
 Lily was coughing a little bit so I got up and gave her a drink of water. She fell back to sleep and I went back to bed, and of course, you know the rest of the story! I'm such a light sleeper when I'm adopting!! It used to be 3:00 but lately it seems to be 2:00. Seriously God??? I know you want me to pray, but I'm starting to miss my 3:00 a.m. wake-up calls from you. 

Today we begin our home study. 

This is where a social worker comes to visit with the family and prepare them for adoption. Most people get nervous, etc. because they feel like they're not going to pass the social worker's "test," ha, ha.  I don't get nervous about it because I love talking about adoption. Plus, they're goal is to help you bring a child into your home, not slap you on the hand because you didn't scrub the toilet very well. :)

So it's kind of weird, I'm feeling all this de ja vu. (I bet that's not spelled right.) I've been down this road before, I know what's around the corner, but yet all the feelings are the same. I have this immense anticipation of when we will receive our referrals. I'm excited to travel back to China (did I really just say that???).

So I got on the computer a little bit ago and for some reason, I went back to my old emails and found Lily Anna's referral. I stared at her picture and all the emotions came flooding back. I remember when I received the phone call for our referral. It changes your life. You have a picture...just a picture!! And your life changes...from that moment, in an instant of time. How does your heart love someone through a picture?? How do you travel all the way to the other side of the world...because you saw a picture?

My mind cannot comprehend it, but my heart totally gets it!!

I love this quote:

The heart has reasons that reason cannot understand.

Get that? Our hearts have reasons that logic, intellect, our reasoning just cannot understand. 

I'm so happy to be back on this "ride" again. (You know, the roller coaster). I really, truly am. I know I've said it before, and I sound like a broken record, but...I wish more people would adopt.

Ok, enough on that, because I could write a whole post about it!

I will keep you all posted on our home study and how things are progressing. I loooove our social worker (she's super bubbly!!) so it should be fun!

Btw, we were finger printed yesterday...and Josiah had to get his done because he's going to be 14. That was a story in itself. I'll post that later. Let's just say it was kind of comical. ;)

Tuesday, January 8, 2013

11 Months!!!

Wow...I can't believe we're coming up on a year! In some ways it feels like yesterday, and in other ways China feels like a dream that I had. Sometimes I have to remind myself I was on the other side of the planet a year ago.

What's amazing now is watching Johnny get excited about our next adoptions. It's kind of surreal. One year ago, I was praying with Josiah and Brianna for these two littles in China, and now Johnny and Lily are joining hands with us, praying for the next two.

Most people celebrate their Gotcha Days with their children by going to a Chinese restaurant or something. I'm not sure...Johnny and Lily are meat eaters so I'm thinking maybe steak.

11 months...not much has changed...Lily is still a pill. :)

But oh, how sweet!

Chinese Marilyn Monroe

Pillow fight in the car

Ha ha, I couldn't help posting this pic; Lily's face cracks me up.

What a team.

Btw, Johnny now understands celebrating the day we met him...Lily, yeah, she's clueless. The girl is at the top of her class, learning her high frequency words ahead of schedule, but when it comes to her emotional level, or comprehension of events in her life, she's still at a 3 year old level. I just roll with it. 

Can't wait to post our 1 year mark!! It's crazy to think in one year we went from a family of 4 to a family of 6 and next year 
we'll be 8!!!

I still don't think that's very big. :)

Monday, January 7, 2013

Rylands Family

Want to help out a family adopting from China?

These guys are super cool and they just don't do adoptions like other people...they adopt out of birth order, they adopt at break-neck speeds, they adopt boys aging out of the system, they adopt two at once, they do back-to-back adoptions, and they have to get age waivers for one of the parents, tee hee.

But it's all God.

And Angie Rylands is a friend, a bloggy friend, a Facebook friend, and a fantastic Christian.

Here's a cool link to help people with the costs of adoption (it ain't cheap y'all!) And the Ryland's family is featured. All it costs is $1.00. We all have that, right?

Here's the link:

Tuesday, January 1, 2013

No More Orphans

This is an essay from a Civics homework assignment, written by a 14 year old girl who was adopted from China 3 years ago. I found this posted on another blog and thought it was worth repeating.

Btw, if this works, this is the first time I ever used my copy and paste function on my computer...and I'm 40. And NO I did NOT need my hubby for this, or my 13 year old who is smarter than me! Actually, my almost 5 year old is smarter than me as well when it comes to electronics. Anywho, thought this was the perfect post for Jan 1!

Here it is with part of the original blogger (Dennis and Ellen at "For the Sake of the Dream" blog) introducing it:

I want to share with you an essay from a Civics homework assignment, recently written by a 14 year old girl who was adopted from China 3 years ago. I know prior to getting into the adoption process, we had no idea of what being an orphan meant, not only during the person's childhood, but also after they age out of orphanages.  

Could God be calling you to come to the aid of orphans around the world?

I Believe There Should Be No Orphans

By Agnes Tucker
Once upon a time, three years ago before I was adopted, I lived 11 y
ears as an orphan. That life wasn’t as pretty as the life I have now. Although I miss my country and the other children I grew up with, I prefer this life. I lived with 600 other orphans who are still hoping to have the life I have now. People here have more than they need I have noticed, but yet they still cry that they are poor. To be considered that they are poor, it should be that they don’t have water; they should be starving, have no clothes, no car or any means of communications.

In civics and economics, I learned about scarcity were people have unlimited wants and limited resources. Well this is the definitely the case when you are an orphan. But whether you believe it or not, none of you, not even the beggars on the street in America, have faced the real life of an orphan. Because you have parents and do not have any of the things mentioned in the first paragraph. Being an orphan means you don’t get to see the outside world. The only thing you do is look outside through the same window everyday expecting someone to come for you. And when they don’t, sometimes you break into tears or accept what just happened as if you are tough.

I had been looking through my window for 11 years. And finally my time came. But before it came, I wondered if it did come, what will happen to the other orphans who are my family, friends and everything to me? Tears rolled down on my cheeks anytime I thought about the time they will age out of the orphanage. They only have one year left now for them to age out. They will be thrown into those dark, dirty streets. What will happen to them out there? Many things can happen to them.

Those streets are scary, I have seen them before. They are dirty because diseases travel through that air like blood travels through our bodies. People are raped and hurt on those streets. They have to hunt for food and they will be lucky if they find a piece of bread. Children die out there because of the dirty environment they are in. Imagine being on the streets, you wear the same clothes until they tear apart but still you wear them. Imagine sleeping outside on concrete, no blanket and no showers and no shoes. All these things make me cry and the sad thing is it’s true, real and happening right now.

That’s why I believe that there should be no orphans, because we’ve all got what it takes to save the life of an orphan. We got more than what we need, and it won’t hurt us to share what we’ve got. If we do this all together, I promise they will be no orphans left."