Sunday, May 1, 2016

It happened . . .

I have been very open regarding my struggle with Avery! I wanted to share that it finally happened! I can say . . . at last, I love her!

It makes my heart exceedingly thankful that God did His work in my heart and that he enabled me to open up and love her!

I'm praying that God will help me show Avery how to accept and receive our(my) love! 

The struggle was real, it was tough, yet it was so worth it! Even in the midst of the worst of times I could see a sweetness in Avery, this of course made the conflict so much more difficult. 

Avery is one very brave girl, she is amazingly gifted with desire to make things beautiful. The other night while helping to cook she placed the potatoes and carrots in a ring around the chicken that looked beautiful and would have been perfect for a table presentation. Unfortunately the pan I was using was just to shallow for cooking in that particular manner.

Avery is great at origami! She can and does make the best cards, they always have some sort of origami creation included on the front. 

Avery loves cats! She will stroke and pet them ever so gently!

Avery loves music and the iPod that she received in China filled with Christian music! 

I rejoice that God did his work and that he opened my heart to love this child that he called me to love and adopt as my very own. This conflict was deep and it took until now for it to be resolved. The conflict was mostly mine and it dealt with so many things that happened during this adoption process at home and in country, and really once home that it has taken until now for me to be "free" to love. 

Our rough start only added fuel to the conflict making it easier to want to run than to fight and love. I praise God that we didn't run and that HE did his work in my heart!

Yes, it happened . . . my heart is filled with love for this beautiful daughter of mine! Thanks be to the Lord God almighty!

Thursday, April 28, 2016

Ramblings

As many of you know, a year or so ago I started a weekly mother/daughter date with the girls! Each week one of the girls and I go out for special one on one time.

The girls keep a list and each takes a turn being first in the rotation! It is cute to me how they keep up with whose turn it is! It is great for me as I never have to remember who goes next!

A couple of weeks ago it was Avery's turn! We ran a lot of errands. When the girl's English isn't great we use the time to be together to run errands and slowly develop our focused one on one communication. 

This week was Journey's turn! We visited at Starbucks where we each enjoyed our favorite drink. Today, she ran with me so that I could renew the car rental for another two weeks! We stopped by the repair shop and work on the van has yet to begin! (Insert frowning face)!

Today, I had to make an emergency visit to the ophthalmologist! My right eye is infected, the good news, it is not "pink eye"! The bad news, I'll be on drops four times a day and an ointment twice a day for the next 10 days! Thankfully, with good hand washing on my part I won't have to worry about the girls or my patients "catching" this! 

Our school year is coming to a close! It seems each day we are finishing off various subjects! I have assigned three of the girls one page reports on the President of their choice! I gave them the facts that I wanted to see and have left the rest up to them. I have loved watching them research and can't wait to read their final report. Their paper is due next week! 

I'm thankful for ALL my children and know that God has a plan no matter what difficulty we may have walked through! 

Tuesday, April 26, 2016

Where are we?

Five months and three days ago, I met Avery for the first time in Kunming, China. It was not a good first meeting by any stretch of the imagination! I immediately thought I had made a huge mistake!

Those thoughts and feelings continued the next day as we returned to the civil affairs office to finalize paperwork. To be honest, I ready did not want to sign but felt pressured by myself and others to move forward!

I put a lot of pressure on myself thinking that if I didn't finalize the adoption this child's chance at a forever family was completely destroyed! I knew of those that had sacrificed so much to help supply the financial need for her adoption and I didn't want to let them down.

Facebook followers were very opinionated about what I should do. I can't tell you how many people told me that the child I was seeing in China wasn't the same one that I would see once home. As if I hadn't adopted an older child before and as if they could see what I was seeing first hand.

Please never judge someone that disrupts in country or put pressure on them to adopt when they feel in their heart that they are making a mistake. They need your love and encouragement not your opinion, especially when you don't know their particular family dynamics!

I have disclosed to my social worker my disappointment in my adoption agency and guides in China regarding this situation. I will forever feel that I was deceived by them and that regardless to what they may say, they were not equipped to handle this type of situation nor did they want to! It was easier to push us right through the assembly line to travel home thus making it nearly impossible to disrupt once home.

To say that we started out on the wrong foot would be the understatement of the year! Oh, and for the record, the child I saw in China is exactly the child that I see at home! 

So with all of that being said, how are we doing! Better! Our first days home were "hell on earth"! I wouldn't wish that on my worst enemy! There was no "honeymoon" period!

The things that made me question Avery's fit for our family are still issues. Issues that we are learning to work around, yet issues that remain and still make we wonder if she would not be better off with another family that could better meet her particular need.

The girls are learning to work together without as many melt downs although sometimes they still occur when Avery hasn't been as kind as she could be. Her unkindness comes in the form of actions and words. She has never been violent for which I'm thankful.

I'll be honest, Avery has been hard for me to learn to love! I didn't want to love her, I didn't want to let her in. I wanted her gone so that we could return to our happy family! 

I have had to pray about my attitude toward Avery and about the words I was speaking regarding our situation. I shared with my small group at church and asked them to pray as well. I have shared here about how hard this was for all of us.

Things are better! I see progress in so many little things, yet in saying this I almost cringe as each time I share this news we seem to have a major step backwards. 

Avery wants to love and be loved although she isn't always comfortable knowing how to give and receive love. She has bonded best with Journey and I think this is because Journey doesn't take her attacks personally like some of her sisters.

I am thankful that Avery wasn't left in China to "age out". I am thankful that she has a beautiful smile and laugh! I'm thankful for the progress she has made in so many different areas of her life. I'm thankful that I see a kind spirit within that peeks out from time to time. 

Are we there, no. Will we get there? Yes, with God's direction and help! Would I be open to re-homing, honestly, some days, YES! As a single mom, I'm still not sure that we are Avery's best fit. I believe that a smaller family with a stay at home mom would meet Avery's need far better than I ever could!

Would I re-home? I'm not sure! I will say this, Avery is a beautiful girl with a world of potential! I'm thankful that God has opened my heart to her and that is truly an answer to prayer!

No, we aren't there, but my of my we have come so far! I can say that I'm thankful for the work God has done in my heart for this child! The real change had to start in my heart and life before I could expect a change in our household. God is faithful and that change has begun. 

I'm thankful that He that began a good work in me will be faithful to fulfill that work!

Until next time . . .

Wednesday, April 20, 2016

A typical evening!

A few photos from our school room this evening as the girls work on their lessons!



We are loving our new desk! It is so nice not to have our books and supply caddies piled on the breakfast room table! We can eat our meals without clearing the table or looking over mounds of books!


I especially like that each girl has their own space and the built in shelves are perfect for all their workbooks and books!


The nice thing about home schooling is that the girls can dress as they wish! Some have had their showers and are dressed and others are still hanging out in their p.j.'s! It is perfect!


The boxes behind Eden will be unpacked shortly! They are full of next year's curriculum! We took advantage of a terrific sale back in February!



Now for an Eden close up! Her braces came off on Monday! Her smile is b-e-a-u-t-i-f-u-l!



Kendall decided that she wanted the puppies in her photo! Actually, she brought them in to eat dinner so we snapped a quick picture!



Our school room in a work in progress! I would like to  take out the filing cabinet behind Kendall and the stand next to it, freeing up a little more floor space!

My desk in the corner is a nice workspace for me! It makes checking work easy and keeps me near by for any questions the girls might have!

Last Thursday, I took the girls to see the Montgomery Capital Sounds. I free concert at one of the local churches!


As you can see the event was not well attended. Once there, I learned that they were telecasting the event live.


A few shots before things got started! Avery loved the harp!


This is an all volunteer band, they do a number of performances throughout the year! It is made up of community members that have finished college!



I'm still waiting to hear about my car. I sure hope it will be soon. I have a feeling that I'm going to have to extend my car rental! I'm thankful for something nice to drive that is large enough. I just don't like the cost involved! Thankfully, I will not be in this position again! I now have rental coverage!

Until next time . . .

Sunday, April 17, 2016

Just another day!

Friday, on the way home from work I was hit by a young girl. 

The facts: 
  • She was talking on her cellphone to her mom. Her mom said, "I told her to follow me!" She proceeded to move from the far right lane crossing over the middle lane to hit me in the far left lane.
  • Her mom told me that I was trying to tell her to look out for the van!
  • She did not have car insurance!
  • She does not have a job!
  • She never once said she was sorry she hit me!   







The police office said that I couldn't drive due to the side airbag being deployed! As you can see from the photos it goes the entire length of the van.





As you can see from the photos all the flush mounted devices along the top panel are all out of place due to the airbag deployment! 

Facts:

  • I missed a night of work due to my lack of transportation and stiff back/neck
  • I had to rent a vehicle (I didn't have rental coverage, this will be changed immediately!)
I have a wonderful loving supportive family! Matthew came and sat with me while I waited, and waited, and waited, for the tow truck. The office took a good while to bring me the offending driver's information!

Facts:
  • The office told me that she was ticketed for not having insurance.
  • The office said her car would be impounded! (Her car appeared to be totaled so I do not see a huge incentive for her to want to collect her wreck)!

Matthew also came over early Saturday morning and took me to pick up my rental, plus he and Gavin brought breakfast!



A special thanks too to my sisters and parents that called and offered their prayers and assistance!

Now the fun part begins. Getting an estimate for my repairs and praying the repair company does a good job!  Like I didn't have enough on my plate!

Facts: I have the young woman's name address and I even found her photo of FB. If my insurance company does not go after her to pay for these repairs, I will be forced to do so. I have no malice, but I do expect her to do the responsible thing and that is to pay for the damages and losses for which she is responsible.

I am thankful that the girls weren't with me! I'm thankful that I wasn't seriously hurt! 

The Bible says, And we know that all things work together for good to them that love God, to them who are the called according to his purpose. Romans 8:28

God is in control! He can do far more than I can expect or imagine!

Until next time . . .

Tuesday, April 5, 2016

A day to rejoice and remember!


Sunday
April 3, 2016

Kendall, Mackinley, Eden and Journey believe that Jesus Christ is the true and living son of God. That Jesus died on the cross for their sins and that on the third day he rose again. Each came to the realization that they were sinners, and they prayed and asked Jesus to forgive their sins and to be Lord of their lives. Making that decision public through believers baptism was their next step in their faith journey.


Kendall 



Mackinley





Eden





Journey 




Prayers after their baptism!


I shed tears of joy as the girls were being baptized! 


I believe with all my heart that God has a plan and a purpose for these girls. What a joy and privilege to be allowed to be their forever mom.

Until next time . . .

Sunday, March 27, 2016

A different kind of weekend!

I wasn't feeling well on Good Friday and missed work, (both jobs)! I don't like being sick and between the vomiting and headache I was in no condition to work! I know, TMI!

Thankfully, Saturday morning I was feeling somewhat better and that gave me the opportunity to plan a fun outing for the girls! We went to Paint and Clay! Matthew ate a late breakfast with us and I talked with Jordan. Unfortunately, our planned visit to see Jordan and her babies this weekend had to be canceled due to all of them being sick!


Mackinley selected a bride and groom and in the background Journey is diligently working away on her project.


Eden loves pandas and Miss Karen made sure she had plenty of pandas in stock for the girls! Eden admires her project while Avery naps. Avery did a penguin that turned out somewhat on the goth side!



Miss Karen helped Kendall with her brown bear's eyes!


Miss Karen loves the girls and is always so sweet to them. She knows their names and the order in which they arrived home. We think she's pretty special too!



Yes, Kendall painted her panda to look like "brown bear"! The couple in the back ground were on an anniversary outing! He had the table decorated and brought her in blindfolded to surprise his sweet bride of two years. So sweet!



A trip to Paint and Clay would not be complete without photos with our newly painted creations!



Do you see the tiny heart shaped piece? That is Journey's. She worked so hard making it special. It is blue and white stripes. The lid has a red heart!



This year there were no new clothes or Easter baskets! The girls each received one chocolate bunny,  The Peanuts Movie to share, and they selected one new song from iTunes to add to their iPods. That of course gave them 5 new songs.

I love that we attend a church where we aren't judged for the clothes we wear! With the closets packed up for the instillation of new flooring the girls wore jeans this morning. There was no pressure to "look and dress" a certain way to be accepted!

Our service this morning was wonderful and I plan to go back and listen to it again! We attend Church of the Highlands, Montgomery Campus.

We had a nice lunch at home, yes, I cooked! Don't be shocked! I can, I just don't always like too! After an afternoon nap for me and rest for the girls. I added the new songs to the girl's iPods! 

Our sweet Montgomery Grandma, Miss Margaret brought over candy and flower pots for the girls along with a stuffed animal, we think it is a lamb.



A few selfies with their new lambs! Miss Margaret is going to take the girls over to her house one afternoon to plant a special flower in their pots while the flooring guys are here.

While the adults in the house are at work, Miss Margaret pops in and out to check on the girls. This is their official "spring break"! All their books are packed and they are getting a much deserved break!

Oh, we had quiche last night! The girls seemed to enjoy it, this was another first for them. Yes, I cooked again!

We are happy that we serve a risen Savior and that he loved us long before we knew of our need for him! What a mighty God we serve!

Until next time . . .

Wednesday, March 23, 2016

New color!



I may have failed to mention that it is spring break! We have continued our homeschool lessons this week!

With the painters here it kept the girls busy and out of their way! Plus, we already have next year's work and need to keep moving forward!

Next week the house will be turned upside down with the instillation of the new flooring. I think schooling will be near impossible! The girls will get a well deserved break. Unfortunately, with all the upgrades going on around here and my lack of vacation time their break will be pretty boring!

Do you remember the orange and blue room? If not, let me remind you!



The painting is complete! Next shutters and flooring and this room will be ready! Would you like a peek?


The doors and trim have all been painted along with the walls! I'm so pleased with the progress and look forward to the next steps!



Needless to say, there is still much to be done! It is hard to believe that this room used to be orange and blue! The lighting makes the color on the bottom half look different, it is the same as the top!


The mirror in the hall bath has been framed and the walls painted!


A new light fixture was added as well! It really brightens this room and looks much more "girly"!


The second room also received fresh paint and looks great! I love that the doors received a coat of fresh paint. They looks new!



Today Kendall and I made a Sam's Club run! We stopped when we had completely filled two carts! Our last 20 pound bag of rice seemed to disappear over night. Today, I bought 40 pounds! Along with frozen veggies a total of 72 cans of corn, green beans and peas were purchased! I hope these will last two weeks! The girls love vegetables and often make sticky rice and veggies for lunch!

The only nonfood items purchased were paper towels and tissues! The good news, the van is large enough to hold all our purchases and it doesn't take long to unload with so many "helpers"!

Tomorrow after work my van is scheduled for a routine service appointment!



The maintenance minder indicator and the low tire pressure TPMS indicator have appeared hence my appointment! The service code 13B is displaced and from what I can gather this means oil change, transmission fluid change and tire rotation! The timing for this visit isn't perfect in light of all that is going on here, yet I am thankful for the "smart" features that keeps me on target with my vehicle maintenance!

Again, it is late and I need to be getting ready for bed as 4 am comes way! I thank God for my family and praise Him for all his provisions and love!

Until next time.