Sunday, September 21, 2014

A different look

In this world where small look alike families are the norm, my girls and I "stand out" as being different! My son, Matthew says that we can't go anywhere without being noticed! He's right!

I love that God called me to adopt my girls! Each one is a special gift! The real adoption journey begins after the airport! Each new day brings about new opportunities to love, teach, love, grow, and did I say love? With adoption each child has their own set of "triggers" that bring on tantrums, tears, and grief. I have been blessed not to see tantrums, I have seen first hand the tears and grief that comes from being separated from all that you have ever known.

Birthdays are hard for one of my girls! A birthday celebration brings on a quiet reserve, that usually leads to tears before the evening is over. How I wish I could erase the pain that comes to her on these days! This is where love comes in, again and again! I acknowledge her pain, and allow her to talk if she wants, we pray and hug! While she accepts my love she doesn't always talk about the whys! 

Acceptance is a HUGE part of being an adoptive mom! I have to accept the fact that she may never open up to why she is sad, (At this point I think a lot has to do with not having the English words to express herself).
My job is to acknowledge that I know she is hurting, allow her to hurt and love on her through the hurt! I fully trust that in God's timing this pain will be eased and healed by my redeemer, Jesus Christ.

I see so many older girls waiting and my heartaches knowing that many will age out without a family! If God allowed, I would gladly go back for more! I know it seems crazy yet I can't close my eyes and heart to those that wait! Please join me in praying that the hearts of others would be opened up to these beautiful girls!

I praise God for my children, from the oldest to the youngest! I love them with all my heart! God has blessed me indeed!

Until next time . . .

Wednesday, September 10, 2014


Sunday was Eden's 15th birthday and her first US celebration. Last year we celebrated in Guangzhou just days after her "Gotcha Day". Eden is a delight to my heart, a precious daughter, and a wonderful sister!

Her morning started in Dothan! I ran by the Mac Shack to get her the breakfast of her choice. I ended up ordering for everyone but her! Major mom fail! She ate her hash brown and Kendall's and was satisfied! I offered to go by and get her choice but she said she was okay. See, she is sweet!

Once home we jumped into action and prepared for the delivery of our new breakfast room table! At eleven we loaded into the van and headed to lunch! We didn't look our best but at this point we didn't let that stop us!

Eden had requested Chinese dumplings for lunch. I had planned to buy some but without a table I thought it best to go out! We had a wonderful lunch and picked up our moon cake for the mid-autumn moon festival!

The birthday girl enjoying her dumplings!

We held up on the birthday cake while we waited for our new table! We were all looking forward to a bigger better table that fit better into our space and one that would enable the girls to sit together to school! Isn't it beautiful!

Due to some unforeseen delays the table delivery was rescheduled for Monday evening! We moved on with Eden's cake and gifts!

Eden selected this cake because it had all her sister's favor colors!

Monday we had a mini Mid-Autumn Moon festival celebration!

I know the above photo is dark, sorry! A quick photo of the girls with the moon in the background! Then they came into enjoy their moon cakes. We had four and cut them into fourths as each was a different flavor.

On Monday evening the girls went to their small group meeting for girls their age. They had a good time and look forward to going back next week. 

After enjoying their moon cakes they quickly went into action to set the table up for their school work.

We have several appointments and surgeries coming up over the next couple of months! I thank God that step by step we are making progress on our health care issues!

It's been a great week and I thank God for his love, care and provision!

**I'm looking for the mom that contacted me when I was in China and again once home, your daughter knows Eden, Xu Yun and she wanted to talk with her. I thought I had responded to your email however I can't find it! I told Eden and she would love to talk to your daughter. Please contact me again if your daughter is still interested! Thanks **

Until next time . . .

Sunday, September 7, 2014

Called to adopt

Called to adopt! For those that have followed my blog know that I was called to adopt later in life than most!  I feel that adoption is a calling, it was and is a deep desire that God placed within my heart! For me it was for older girls, those close to "aging out".

I strongly feel and know that God led me to each of my girls. I knew the moment I saw their photo that they were to be mine. Adoption is more than reading a file and shopping for the most "perfect" child!

Adoption is putting your faith and hope in God and allowing Him to lead you to the child he wants for you and your family, trusting Him to equip you for the calling of being that child's parent.

Yes, I looked at many children and files and as badly as I wanted to want them, I didn't! Then it happened, I was sent a video of this little girl dancing in a director's office and my heart was clearly moved and I knew before reading her file that she was "the one"!

It happened again when I was sent my second child's photos. My heart leaped within me and clearly she was "the one"! I have her referral photo hanging with her sister's and I will never forget that first moment when I saw my daughter's picture.

I realize that God works differently in each adoption story, the thing I want to say is TRUST GOD to lead you to your child! Many of the medical files are wrong, some for the good and some are far worse than could ever be imagined! I personally believe that God leads you to a child for a particular reason and He will equip you for your child's needs.

All four on my girls are considered special needs, they range from delays far more than I expected to medical issues that have and will require multiple surgeries to help correct. I cannot thank God enough for putting my girls together and for blending us into a family.

Just as Jesus loved me in my broken sinful state, that is how I am to love my child. Love and acceptance for who they are yet slowly guiding and teaching them how to handle their feelings, how to behave in new situations, and what is expected of them. Giving lots of grace and acceptance along the way!

When I adopted the second time, I again trusted God to put the perfect daughters and sisters together! I had to look past what I thought I wanted to where God was leading and directing! He is not to be out done, no sir! Once again I was blessed with two wonderful girls.

I guess what I'm really trying to say is look at the medical but please don't let that keep you for pursuing a child that you feel led to, TRUST God. He knows what he's doing and that child you think you can't handle due to their "special" need may be just the right fit for you and your family.

Praying that God will lead you to his perfect match for you and your family!

Until next time . . .

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 . . .