Monday, September 1, 2014

A look back

August 30th
I can hardly believe that one year ago I was on a flight to China! 

It was a long flight yet each step of the way I witnessed first hand the favor of God! At just the right moment there would be someone in line that spoke English that helped me find my way. Only God!

September 1st

It was Sunday and I had one day to rest before Gotcha! I was staying in an older hotel, yet it was perfect for me! My favorite "go to" restaurant was next door and just off the lobby a coffee shop! In 24 hours I would meet my two new daughters. What must they be thinking and feeling?

Having welcomed two new girls into the family just 15 months earlier I was all two familiar with my feelings! There was an excitement of being so close after the months of paper chasing and there was concern for the girls and for what they were thinking and feeling. The change they were about make is truly indescribable! 

My two girls had each other and didn't have to make the transition alone! Look as those beautiful faces, so brave! Eden on the left was moved back to her orphanage prior to my arrival and Mackinley was allowed to stay with her foster family up until she came to meet me. God's hand clearly upon them as that is exactly what each girl needed!

After our first night together, I knew that they would sign their adoption paper work! God had blessed me again with two wonderful girls. While alike in so many ways this experience was totally different as these two girls had a maturity about them that came from being in good foster care.

My experience with older child adoption is unlike most! My girls have not had tantrums, sleep or eating issues. They have had lots of tears and grief yet each is working through these times in a non-aggressive manner. What is most obvious to me is their use of English has been slower as there are four at home that speak Mandarin.

God's hand was clearly evident in the selection of each of my girls. Four strangers coming to live together as forever sisters! The trouble with girls is that they sometimes form a "click" and someone is left out! Including everyone is an ongoing process, some days are better than others.

I had a difficult time with one of my girls when she first came home. It was all me, it seemed everything she did got on my last nerve. Again, God intervened and gave me a love for this child that is second to none! I cannot praise his name enough for this heart change in me!

I am thankful that God called me to adopt and that he opened the door for me to have and love each of my girls! I am especially thankful for Amy H, Karla, Mallory and Sherry from Lifeline Children's Services! This team of ladies went above and beyond to make it possible for this "old woman" to bring home her girls.

I love that God had a plan and purpose for my life that included my girls! I have already begun to see his hand of each of these special treasures as their faith and trust in him grows.

As I reflect back on this past year, I choose to remember the good times and the progress we have made, I choose to learn from my mistakes and move forward. I choose to thank God for blessing me with two (four) of the most beautiful girls. I choose to be thankful for what each as taught me through their joy and grief. Life is choice and I can focus on the negatives or I can focus on all that is right, leaving the rest in God's hands for him to handle in his timing! My choice is to honor God for his faithfulness each and every step along this journey as an adoptive mom.

Until next time . . .

Saturday, August 23, 2014

Fun with family and a new friend!

Tuesday we visited Jordan and Jimmy after my dental appointment. Kendall snapped this photo and of course I closed my eyes!

Jackson loves Thomas! Jackson turns 4 in October, and he is such a love!

Jimmy and Kayte! Kayte will be 1 next month! She's so cute as she waves!

Mackinley's turn to hold Kayte! She's a live baby doll and the girl's love her. Jordan is so sweet to let them hold and love on her precious daughter.

Wednesday, our Lifeline Social Worker visited for Mackinley and Eden's one year post placement visit! The girls talked with Sherry and were interested in the process and interview.

I took this photo of the girls as they waited for our next visitor. Journey and Eden were the patients. They had hearing test, speech evaluations, genetic consult and finally the visit with Dr. Grant.

The good news for Journey, her ear bud/skin tag on her right ear is scheduled to be removed October 8th. We have several options to consider for her left ear.

The disappointing news for Eden is that she must wait before getting any type of work done. We are probably looking at more than a year wait. This is not what Eden wanted to hear!

After catching a quick lunch we went to visit our new friend, Yong Li! I was so impressed with Yong Li's english and she has the most beautiful smile.

The girls enjoyed swimming with Yong Li and her mom, Jennifer!

I loved my visit with Jennifer and I am amazed at how much we are alike, although she is much more gifted! This mama enjoyed her day out too!

I admire these older girls, they all left everything they knew, truly they stepped into a whole new world. I think each is a hero and I applaud their bravery!

Until next time . . .

Sunday, August 17, 2014

Almost a year!

I can hardly believe that I am preparing for the one year post placement visit for Mackinley and Eden!

Just look at these sweet girls on their Gotcha Day! An instant bond was formed that day! I cannot begin to tell you how thankful I am that they had each other in those early uncertain days of becoming a family!

These girls are a complete delight to my heart! I love that they are home and that they are mine! I am truly blessed!

Wow, what a year! Tears, frustration, sadness, love, learning, growth, and bonding! I admire Eden and Mackinley for their strength and bravery!

Eden and I have had a lot of one on one time with her many doctor's appointments, procedures and surgery! Oh, how I have learned to love this girl! She is a delight to my heart!

Eden is extremely intelligent, focused and strives to do all her work with excellence! She is very kind hearted! Eden wants me near by when facing any type of new medical procedure and tries her best to be brave!

Eden loves to write me notes and she is kind to her sisters! How I thank God for allowing me to become her forever mom!

Mackinley's hair has grown out so much this year! She now wants contacts. She will be getting braces in the next few months and a possible needed ear surgery!

This year has been hard for my sweet girl! Mackinley internalizes her feelings, yet little by little she is opening up! I have seen real signs of bonding from her and my heart rejoices at each little sign of progress. 

Mackinley and Journey have really bonded, two kindred spirits! Mackinley has beautiful penmanship and I admire her spirit and determination! Like Eden, she strives to excel.

Quiet in nature and reserved around those she doesn't know, Mackinley is fun loving and she can be somewhat of a tease!

What a blessing to call Mackinley my daughter! This year has been filled with many first for both girls and I feel so privileged to be a part of this part of their lives.

Older child adoption is filled with many emotions, ups, downs, steps forward and backwards, yet I would do it all again! The blessing has truly been mine!

Until next time . . .

Sunday, August 10, 2014

Fun first and bonding!

It was another afternoon of first and thanks to Aunt Bobie I have a few photos to share!

Just look at Kendall's sweet smile! Coming from nothing this child loves life!

Mackinley is amazing, she did the inflatable obstacle course climbing a huge wall with only one hand! 

This is so Eden, my sweet timid girl! I love the way she tackles new experiences!

Larger than life and ready to roll, that's my sweet Journey! 

Next up, a balloon sword fight! Poor Mackinley it looks as if she is out numbered!

Posing with the Angel House Queen and Mascots!

Mr. Josh the talking police care!

One of the activities of the day included coloring the following photo! 

Look who saved theirs for me! The rest of the girls gave theirs to Aunt Bobie! 

The girls have been making bracelets. Eden made me the one picture above. Y=You, A=Are, B=Best, M=Mom, FE=Forever, Last sign=Love

This afternoon Journey shared her candy. She wanted me to have it for work tonight!  

Yes, I'm feeling the love! I'm proud of my girls and so happy they were able to try so many new things today!

The girls made this bracelet for Kendall. They wanted her to know that they love her. Her favorite color is green. The pink (Mackinley), yellow (Eden) and blue (Journey) hearts represent each of the girls.

I'm thankful for all the signs of bonding and love! 

Until next time . . . 

Thursday, August 7, 2014

An evening at the theater!

With excitement we dressed for our night out at the theater! 

A few photos before leaving the house!

I joined the girls for a couple as our one year post placement visit is coming up and I needed a family photos to send to the social worker!

The grounds around the theater are lovely and made the perfect back drop for a few more photos!

We wanted to include a photo with Nena and Poppa our guest for the night!

 Nena and Poppa love the girls (all of us)!

What a treat to see the girl's reaction to Mary Poppins!

While we waited to enter the theater we explored and snapped a few more photos!

At last it was time to take our seats! As you can tell we had a view of the stage!

We had a wonderful time!

Until next time . . .