Friday, August 30, 2013

Lily's First Day Of Kindergarten

She was ready...

I thought I was...

I was not.

I walked in the school with her, taking excited and oblivious at the same time that I would actually have to walk out...without her...and leave her. 

Agh!!! I'm not an emotional person (or so I keep telling myself) so when emotions hit me, I want to crawl under a rock. I walked her to her room and realized other parents were making their exit and my hubby and I were the last ones standing there. I gave Lily a hug and kiss and then began to walk out of the room...and then she said, "Bye Mom."

Be still my heart. 

I said goodbye really quick and the tears started. I put my shades on and walked out muttering to myself that I'm an idiot, this is my fourth child, what the heck is wrong with me, yada, yada. To my horror all the teachers are lined through the hallway waiting for the stragglers to come in, so they all see me crying behind my shades and they all have words of comfort for me. "It's harder on the parents than the children, etc."

At the end of the school day I picked up a beaming little girl! She had a great day and survived with out me!!

You know, I've taken 6 months of photography of the first things you learn is to not have your subject staring directly in the sun. Oh well, kind of funny.

So what does a little girl do when she gets home from her first day of school?

Strip down to her skivvies and belly up to the Funyun buffet, of course!

Thursday, August 29, 2013

Johnny's First Day Of First Grade

Isn't there a Veggie Tales song that sounds like that??? "On the first day of first grade..."

Yesterday I met with the children's teachers and I found out Johnny's teacher is a Mr. not a Mrs. like I thought. I felt a little out of wack this year because I had no idea who their teachers were. Not only had I never met them before, I didn't even recognize their names. 

So I had the wonderful privilege of informing the new teacher that Johnny likes to be the class clown. He thinks everything is funny. 


The teacher nodded and said, "That won't be a problem."

I didn't know if I should be relieved or scared, ha ha. 

Johnny was actually excited to start school, which surprised me! He's not fond of reading, but is an aspiring scientist, I tell ya. Well when he walked out of school at the end of the day he was all smiles!! He loves school and it has been soooo good for him! 

Even smiles all the way to the car!! Hope this trend continues!

Tomorrow is Miss Lily's day!! 

She is beyond excited but I'm a little nervous! I'm not sure what I'm going to do with that many hours of quiet in my house!

Wednesday, August 28, 2013

How Do They Do It???

One of the things I have wondered in bloggy world is how do these Moms adopt so, ummm....gracefully???

They post day to day pics of their beautiful, happy family and then randomly post...Oh by the way, woo hoo, we received our Pre-Approval for this precious little cherub. And then a month later they receive PA for another child. And then a month or two later, they miraculously receive both their LOAs and are on a plane shortly thereafter. They fly through the process like pros. If they have bumps in the road they don't post about it.

Meanwhile, I'm sitting in a corner wringing my hands like my Grandma Bradley, having a tantrum/begging session/counseling session/gripe-fest/pleading the case of the orphan to my God.

There are ups and downs in adoption. If I were in charge, it would be more consistent, among other things. But the heartache is what I despise. I went from having to turn down a referral of one of the most beautiful little girls I've ever laid eyes on, to now being told that if I don't receive a referral for a girl before Fu Chao's LOA shows up, it could tack on 3 more months to my wait. 

I know, I know. God's in control.

But I'm starting to wonder what little secret all these blogging Moms know. I wish they would blog about it!

 How about title it: How to go through the adoption process in lightening speed with nary a bump in the road, and with the grace and composure of June Cleaver. 

Yep, I'd read that blog post. 

Cuz right now I'm tempted to have a flying fit. 

Yeah, I get ugly like that.

I don't think June Cleaver and I would be very good friends. ;)

Friday, August 23, 2013

Update On Miss Liberty

I received news that Liberty 
(the little girl pictured on my sidebar of my blog) 
is on the Shared List now. What that means is that anyone can adopt her...she is not designated to a specific agency. 

If you click on Liberty's picture, it will take you to the post I wrote about her. If you would like more info on her, you can email me, or you can still contact the agency who had her listed before. They are very nice and their number one goal was trying to get her adopted, so do not hesitate to contact them as well. 

Tuesday, August 20, 2013

Final Photo Assignment

For my final photography assignment I had to pick out a picture to use as an example and "copy" it, but give it my own flare. I had to stage it in a similar fashion, etc, and try to edit to the best of my ability. 

The purpose was to find a picture that inspired me to reach out of my comfort level and go beyond my normal photos. Originally I wanted to do a photo shoot with Brianna that was more of a fashion shoot, but I wasn't comfortable with Photoshop yet, and I didn't know how in-depth that would be editing-wise. 

So I found a staged photo for Lily. Let me tell takes work! Buying twine, clothes pins, spraying Lily down with bug spray, entertaining Johnny off to the side to keep him out of camera range, gathering all the props, telling Lily to "read your book" ha ha. With the exception of the Bible, fashion magazines are my kind of books anyway. :)

And then the's ok for my first time ever of using Photoshop...kind of a little over-blurred because I didn't like how crisp the original photo was and I accidentally blurred Lily a bit too. Oh, and I put the basket in the wrong place, but other than that...not bad!!!

Would you like to see the blooper photo? 

Yep, she fell over. And that was it, the photo shoot was done!

I'm telling ya, I know I've only been taking these classes for about 6 months, but I have a new respect for photographers!

I'm convinced you either have the eye for it or you don't. And don't get me started on the editing part. Thank God I'm only doing this so I can take cute everyday photos of my littles, because if anyone was thinking I was ever going to do this professionally they'd be waiting a verrrrrry looooooooonnnnng time!!!!!

No way, no how, not now, not ever!!!!

Monday, August 19, 2013

She's With An Agency!

Last week I opened my emails and there was a link to new kiddos listed with an agency. I have no idea why I clicked on it, but lo and behold, there was the little girl who we had to turn down previously. Thank you, Jesus, she's listed with an agency! They also had video of her. I knew that if I watched that video, I would either feel confirmation that we had made the right decision or I would feel total regret. I watched the video and knew we had made the right decision...but that face! Ugh. What a beauty! She just has issues with her motor skills that affect all limbs and balance. Our entire house is stairs...on both sides of the house. It honestly would not be fair to this little girl to put her in a family as busy as ours and in this house. I would need to get permission to advocate for her. She is a little firecracker and stole my heart! But I have to consider the whole picture with adoption. You can't play God and rescue every child. You have to truly think about this child and think about if you can truly, TRULY acomodate their special need. Umm...3 flights of stairs on both sides of the house, which are all hard wood and a family that is always on the go? That would not be fair to her at all. She is meant for another family, and I know she will be adopted. 

The shared list comes out in a few weeks and I sure am having a difficult time keeping my concentration!

My mind is always on this future new daughter of ours: 

How old will she be? 
What will she look like? 
What province is she in?

So I wait.


Tuesday, August 13, 2013

Turning Down A Referral

Nobody likes to talk about it.

But it does happen.

It happened a week ago, and I'm just now posting about it, because, well frankly, I just wanted to avoid talking about it for a while. 

The shared list comes out once a month and people act like lunatics with anticipation...hoping they get THE CALL...the call from their agency saying they have a match. 

The shared list for August came out on Monday, one week ago. And I didn't get a call, I got an email...and my email wouldn't open. Shane and I were out of town for a ministry conference and I had a gut feeling I needed to bring our laptop with us. Well, fantastic, but out email wouldn't open for us so I was emailing and texting my agency worker and his email was messed up too. So I was frustrated and went to bed. 

I laid in the hotel room and didn't sleep. It reminded me of something that I didn't want to even think about. Before I received my referral for Lily, I received another referral and we had to turn it down. I didn't sleep that night either and I was doing the "should we, shouldn't we" thing. Before Lily, we had been given a referral of a baby, which was not written into our home study, nor did we want to start over with a baby, not to mention she would have needed surgery immediately upon coming home to the States. It was a horrible experience and I begged God to not ever put me through that again. 

And here I was with a gut feeling I was about to go through this again. The next day Shane and I were in the church conference when his Ipad notified him of an agency worker's email finally came through. Shane opened it and there staring back at me was a little girl who looked like Lily. The tears started and I didn't want to read her file, because I knew. I just wanted to look at the pictures. I left the meeting and sat in the foyer and read her file. What's odd is, when I read her name I knew she wasn't the one. I don't know why. Sounds crazy, I know. I knew after reading her file 5 times that this would not work. She doesn't even really have a diagnoses...just a label they slapped on her. She can't walk, can't sit up without tipping over, and needs help sometimes with feeding herself, and she's almost 5. But they haven't done a CT scan of her brain or anything. It's not labeled cerebral palsy or anything, it's just delays. Her medical file just has way too many unknowns.

What I don't understand is that I am logged in to China's system. When you are logged in, you can request a child with milder special needs...this little girl is clearly a special focus child...there isn't even enough medical info on her to help someone make an educated decision.

So I had to say no. 

And it hurt. 

And I fell in love with that face.

So now I have to wait until next month for a referral. When I initially asked how long it would take for her referral the answer I received back was, "just a few weeks." That was way more than a few weeks ago, and now will be longer.

I know that our little girl will be worth the wait.

But oh, how I hate waiting. 

Waiting - not my greatest strength. 

So, once again, I'm trusting in God's timing, trusting in Him. 

He's the one who ultimately does the matching anyway. 

1 Peter 5:7 Cast all your care upon Him because He cares for you.

Thursday, August 1, 2013

Waiting For A Referral

Adoption can be summed up in one word: 


Some people may say money, some may have a hundred other words, but the waiting is the most difficult part for me. I get my part done and then sit and watch time go by at a snails pace waiting for people to do their job.

I never understood how (or why) people searched waiting child lists to find their little ones. Now I get it. With our last adoptions I waited for my agency to send me our referrals, because I didn't know there was any other way.

Now that I know that I can take this time to look on my own, I'm doing it. If my daughter is not on the lists, fine, but now I've found a couple little girls I'd like to advocate for.

And maybe in this time my agency will have found a match for us, but until then, I'm looking, because patience isn't one of my strong all. ;)

And my photography class is wrapping up. I knew going into it that this was going to be hard trying to find time to do this because of summer, but I'm glad I did it. 

I also knew it was going to be a tremendous challenge for me because most of the ladies in the class have photoshop and edit their pictures. Some of their pictures are UNBELIEVABLE!! The teacher had me convinced half way through to get photoshop so I did. I have about 10 tutorials from her that I need to go through. I know that's the next step in taking pictures of my littles...I just need the TIME!!!! When school starts will be a great time to brush up on it.

Not to mention, I'll have a little bit of peace and quiet. ;)

This was from last weeks lesson - backlighting.

This wasn't from a lesson, just Lily looking off, sitting by the wall at the lake. I wonder what she was thinking...probably malls and shoes and clothes...just like me!

Prayerfully soon I will have a referral...either from my agency or by my own doing!