Saturday, March 15, 2014

Two Weeks Home!!

I must say, it feels like I've been home for months. I keep pulling out my calendar and counting the days home...nope, two weeks. The progress that's been made is mind boggling and I know it's only God. Roman and London still need to pick up some more English. Something we're dealing with is the two of them jabbering in Mandarin all day long, so there's no real pressure to speak our language.

That is about to change though. 

Roman will start school on Monday. This was not my plan or my intention, but this little man wants to go to school SOOOO bad!! It is spring break here and he's irritated that he gets to wake up everyday and play!! Hello!!! I've had to count down the days for him until school just to give him hope that it will actually happen. 

So what have we been doing?

Well, other than breaking up the trouble makers (Roman and Lily Anna), we are just being a family!

Want to hear some Lily stories?

Well, she decided, along with Roman, to eliminate the need for drinking water AFTER you eat Doritos, and combined the two in a huge tupperware container. Yes, dumped her water into the whole container. Guess what she had to eat? Yep, I made her enjoy her snack. Brianna doesn't call me Military Mama for nothing. ;)

Then she decided to throw her yogurt drinks away...upside down. As in, she tipped them upside down and walked them to the garbage can leaving a trail of dripping yogurt behind her and running down her hands. She's not three y'all...the girl is 6. 

But the mother of all her dirty deeds was about a week ago. Things were quiet...too quiet. I knew Lily had gone to the bathroom, but this was taking WAY too long, so I went to locate the little rebel when I came upon the bathroom door shut and locked. My littles have an understanding that they are NEVER to lock the door. So I told her to unlock it and let me in. I heard the sink water running so I figured she was having fun washing her hands...I wish. 

She opened the door and had her hands behind her back. I told her to hold her hands out...there in her hands was Roman's Ipod. She was washing his Ipod off in the sink. After I woke up from passing out, I called my hubby in to take a look at it. It was fine and still worked but, man, has this little lady been in trouble lately! 

Someone asked me recently if she is acting out because of the new little ones home. No, really she's not. She has just teamed up with the male version of herself...Roman. And it makes sense to her to clean off a dirty Ipod. And why not mix water and Doritos? Well, why not? 

Because it's gross, that's why.

But who am I? My brother, sister, and I mixed peanut butter and milk together in a cup and decided to eat it one night when we were young. I think one of us might have thrown up.

I am also catching up on my photography assignments I missed while gone. I have a supper cute one of London from when we were at the Garden Hotel in China. 

She usually turns away from the camera, so when she struck this pose I snapped away!!

I am looking forward to warmer weather so I can get outside and get some pictures of my whole crew!!

Friday, March 7, 2014

Pics Of London's Gotcha

So the post-placement visit wasn't horrid.

I survived. 

So here are some pics from London's Gotcha Day.

We were to meet on a Monday, but they upped the Gotcha so we met on Sunday afternoon. We walked in the building and were waiting for the elevator when I saw someone come into the building through the front doors. I knew it was her so I bent down to meet her and this is the picture that was taken.

We rode up the elevator together...all of us crammed in there and London kept hiding from me. Upstairs was the "official" meeting room. I knew I had about 1/2 hour of paperwork in front of me, so I didn't force anything right away with her. 

She let me take a few pics with her. 

The two ladies in the pic with myself and my Mother were the director of the orphanage and one of the nannies. London was closely attached to both of them, as they were to her as well. It is a very small orphanage, so they were in tears as she left. My heart broke for all of them. 

She was one sad little girl when we left. Her cry was so quiet. All though she was crying with all her was just silent...just a helpless cry. Broke my heart. One day later though, she was a changed little girl. I don't know what it is...I can't wrap my mind around it, but the next day, she would have NOTHING to do with the director or nanny. She was loved, she knew I loved her, and she committed her heart to me. I am still amazed at the strength of these little ones. They've been through so much...there should be NO reason for them to take a chance on trusting an adult ever again, and yet they do.

Chilling out with big brother after an emotional afternoon. Roman was so sweet to her. The guide translated something he said to his new little sister. He told her, "It will be ok. She's a nice Mama."

More pics to come. I'm getting there...slowly!! 

Thursday, March 6, 2014

Not A Moment To Spare

Y'all, jet-lag is kicking my hiney. I can't believe it. And it's not getting any better due to the new littles in our home. Just this morning, Roman woke up an hour earlier than our usual time, so did I have mercy and get up to entertain him? Nope, I made him go back to bed. Literally two minutes later he was asleep, and there I was, wide awake. Cruel, cruel, cruel. I wanted to wake everyone else up in the house, just so we could ALL be on my sleep-deprived schedule. 

So, here are some more promised pictures:

 My little entertainer. Will these pictures come back to haunt him someday, like say...his graduation? Probably.

 Answering his fan mail, tee hee. 

This is the stairway in our hotel in Roman's province. This is the same hotel we stayed at for Johnny's adoption as well. Indescribable feeling being back here two years later.

I am up to my eyeballs in doctor's appointments, dentist visits, and today is our first post-placement visit, which I totally disagree with. This is one of China's new rules, not the agencies. When I am jet-lagged and feel like death, please don't visit me...just call. But no, we are to tell friends and family to stay away during our bonding time, but heck, let's invite a complete stranger into our home to distract us for four hours while someone else has to watch our new kiddos so we can tell this stranger how we're doing. You know how I'm doing? I was fine until you showed up on my doorstep, ms. social worker. I know, I know, you're just doing your job...but please let me do my Mom-job, so GO AWAY!!

I'm probably just a tad bitter because I was informed upon landing that I have a new social worker...the one I had for two years is all of a sudden gone. This EXACT same scenario happened two years ago with Johnny and Lily's adoption. We landed and had to scramble to find a new social worker...a stranger, to come into our home and ask us how we were doing. Please, for the love of everything holy, can someone who has some pull try to get them to eliminate the 1 month post-placement visit??? Please, for our sanity...just CALL us! (Btw, I haven't even received THAT from my agency). Ok, off my soapbox.

Monday, March 3, 2014

As Promised...Some Pictures!

Here are some photos of Fu Chao's Gotcha Day in Henan province. Btw, his American name is Roman and he loves it! We are keeping Fu Chao as his middle name. And Min Jia's American name is London. She will also have a long name like Lily's...London Luo Min Jia!

Coming through the same door Johnny did exactly two years ago...

 I had no expectations on how he would be on this day. He walked in and said, "I love you, Mama." (In Mandarin, of course).
He gave me a huge hug and I lost it.

 When in China, do as they do. ;)

 Roman Fu Chao signing his approval to his adoption with a hand stamp. He also signed his name with his Chinese characters. So impressive to see him write his name.

Giving him his lollipop, just as I did two years ago with Johnny. It is now tradition that Johnny gets a lollipop on every Gotcha anniversary.

Those are just a few pics to start with. The kiddos are transitioning well. The volume in our house has gone up ten-fold all due to Roman!! Him and Lily Anna have teamed up, which was my fear. I told my hubby we are going to divide them and conquer. The boys will be kept together for a while as will the girls. I asked Johnny what he thinks of his new brother and he said, "Well, he's crazy." Yep, and that's why I like him! Everything is new to these little ones, so they run from room to room exploring...sometimes in things they aren't supposed to. Min Jia wanted to see something on top of the counter so I caught her stepping up onto the drawer handle. Had to be stopped and it brought some tears. So we're in the beginning phase of what another adoptive Mom calls "The Awkward Phase." Love that term because with older child adoptions, it's so true. They are a stranger in the home, as we are to them, and they are having to learn rules. Most of the older children have never been disciplined. Not even in the foster homes, really. They need structure, boundaries, and spoonfuls right now, and increase as we go on...or to fit the crime, ha ha.  Roman has already come a LOOOONG way in the three weeks I've had him. He is learning what family is. 

The adoption of Roman and London are so different from Johnny and Lily Anna, just because I'm experienced and I've seen what God can do in a short period of time. I'm taking this time to be patient, teach some ground rules, and re-iterate them to Johnny and Lily. As I told them yesterday, Roman and London are to follow your example. When they misbehave, you are not to follow them (ahem...Lily Anna, cough, cough).  

It takes time...and I am loving this right now. It's a journey, not a race. 

I will post pics of London's Gotcha soon...gotta get the kiddos up for school!! (Yes, I've been up since 4:00 am...don't you just love jet lag)?