Wednesday, November 30, 2011

Qingdao

Our sweet little FeiFei is from the fabulous Half the Sky program in Qingdao, Shandong province.  I am part of a great yahoo group specific to this province and had heard all the fabulous information about the orphanage and city but resigned ourselves to not visiting due to the dual adoption.

5 kids + 450 miles roundtrip = one set of crazed parents!

We had heard all along that parents "got" their kiddos in Jinan and then had to travel to Qingdao and back.  Of course this ruffled my feathers a bit after making the decision to not go.  When asked our agency was unaware of the need to travel again etc.  Yesterday I asked specifically as in if we are going to Qingdao it WILL be by bullet train and we WILL be spending the night.


Sure enough I found out today that there is a requirement by the police for parents to pick up the passport in person!

We also after many emails were confirmed that yes we would be going by bullet train (only 2 hours each way) and staying the night.  But I have no further information from there.  Hopefully tomorrow we will get our itinerary . . . oh and bill LOL!

Let me jsut say though that after seeing my friend Renee's pictures of Jinan (they adopted Cav's cribmate and their darling son was also at the Tiger Camp 2 with FeiFei) I am thrilled to be going to the coast for a few days.  My lungs jsut seize up thinking of the smoke!

Hopefully, we will get our new pictures of Cavanaugh in the next day - they are lost in cyber space somewhere : 0(

Friday, November 25, 2011

Holy Cow!

We leave on the 7th!  Man, I have a lot to do! 

No fun pictures today, or anything, as I am finishing up work.  I went ahead and booked my tickets, even though I have been told a hundred times I need the adoption agency to check them over first.  BUT . . . they left at noon on Weds and won't be back in the office until Mon.

The weeks of tracking flights on Kayak.com really helped, as there is a $300+ price difference for tickets between the 7th and 8th.  I was able to tell Delight Travel which dates I wanted specifically.  We fly out of Denver onto Seattle and then to Beijing.  We have an almost 4 hour layover in Seattle, BUT we leave at almost 6pm so I think I might actually get lucky and the kids will sleep most of the flight.  Those trying to budget for tickets, our little ones - you know with the one way ticket - yeah they were $30 MORE than our roundtrip adult tickets!!

Off - oh yeah to PACK!! and ugh repack some of the donations, since my dear sweet husband decided he would rather carry suitcases then totes grrr!

11 more days and a wake up!

Thursday, November 24, 2011

Blessed Thanksgiving


On this day of Thanksgiving, going through old pictures to express how I feel, THIS might not immediately come to mind for most, but so describes my life!  Hands and face to the Lord, and although things may not always seem perfect and neat, in they end they create the most beautiful picture.

The past year has been the most intense and amazing of my life.  As I look forward jsut two short weeks, we will be welcoming into our family, our home two amazing children who will continue to grow us and with God's help grow our family, and those around us.

I also can't close today without acknowledging the most amazing people I have met online and in person through this process.  I absolutely feel blessed by each of you and thank God every night for such amazing, Godly women who know jsut what to say at the right time, or laugh in frustration through lifes messy times.

Happy Thanksgiving, I look forward to our children growing old together.

Wednesday, November 23, 2011

Daddy's prayer

Ok before I even start this post, please know that I have known my husband since I was 18 years old!  Yep, I would "kill" my own daughter now.  But he is my heart and my soul.  We kid around a lot.  We use humor to deal with stress, challenges and jsut life in general.



This man came home last night with a cheshire grin on his face last night,

He said - Pastor was in the shop today, I told him God answered my prayer.

Me - Really, what prayer was that?

Him - I prayed "Please Lord, please stop trying to teach my wife PATIENCE, or we might have to strangle her!"

WHAT!

I wasn't sure if I questioned him praying this prayer more or telling the Pastor LOL!!


Atleast we got our TA - and who says prayers aren't answered!

Tuesday, November 22, 2011

Oh Yeah!!



Pretty excited over here in Colorado!!  We "got our paper today!!"  according to the kids.  For those wondering - it's our last real piece of paper - we got TRAVEL APPROVAL  which means -
WE ARE GOING TO CHINA!!

We got the email while sitting in Qdoba having lunch and I almost started crying!  We asked to leave on the Dec 8th plan which means - we leave in like 15-16 days!!  With the holiday weekend we may not know until Monday but that's ok, we will plan on the 8th until we hear otherwise.

Now that;s what I call a fabulous reason to celebrate - there will soon be two less orphans in the world!

Monday, November 21, 2011

Home by Christmas

I have tried being strong an faithful all day.  Although I checked my email a hundred times today, looked at my phone jsut to make sure the ringer was on a thousand times, NOTHING. . . NADA. . .ZILCH.

Oh I tried so hard to be ok with it as I saw all those around us getting TA today.  Please know I am absolutely thrilled for them, but it makes it so hard for me.

I KNOW His timing is perfect, I KNOW that others perhaps are more in need, our kids might need a little more time, I KNOW His timing is perfect, but my arms physically ache to hold these children in my arms.





Of course this video I found on another friends blog sent me back into tears.  You see when we started this process for our sweet little FeiFEi in January - really it hasn't even been a year! - all I prayed for months was that we would have her by Christmas.  So much has changed in that year, but I think my very cells see Christmas trees, holiday music and snow and I physically can almost feel her. I am not naive enough to think it will be roses and lollipops but atleast I can know that they will have the bare minimum including our undying love.



Sunday, November 20, 2011

Jesus Calms the Storm

I hardly ever work at the computer on Sundays - it is my sweet husbands only day off.  BUT I jsut had to post what I heard in church this morning.  It has so changed my attitude, calmed my soul, and refocused my vision.

Matthew 8:23 (rewritten as best as I can remember from today's sermon but you can listen here)

The disciples followed Jesus into a boat, remember that some were fishermen so they knew how to handle themselves at sea.  AS the winds picked up and things became worse, they looked around for Jesus and where was he but asleep.  They woke Him, and out of his sleep he basically said . . . be calm and went back to sleep.  As the disciples calmed, so did the environment.

Although there were an awful lot of people in the church today, this part of the sermon "was jsut for me". I have let the craziness of this process overshadow everything else.  I know in my head that His perfect timing is just that.  In fact, I just blogged about it and then turned like a child and fell back into my humanness - ugh!

Are we not so blessed that words spoken can so directly change our attitudes.  I am calm, He has this, I am good.

Saturday, November 19, 2011

13 years ago today . . .

The moment a child is born, the mother is also born. She never existed before. The woman existed, but the mother, never. A mother is something absolutely new. ~Rajneesh

13 years ago today my greatest dream came true and I became a mother.

A tiny baby at just 5 lbs was born to us after a very difficult pregnacy.  The fact this tiny baby had survived and was "normal" was a miracle in it's own right. 

More importantly though, this sweet little baby made me a mom and us a family.  He solidified my place in the world more than any other occurance I can think of.

What a hefty responsibility was placed on his little shoulders. 

I think as with any first-born I look at all my failings with him.  So many things I once worried about, now no longer matter.  Somehow, God knew to send me the sweetest most forgiving young man as my first.

He is a nurturer


He is smart, athletic and funny



I love his friends and the person he is around them



He is accomplished, playing sports, acting, cello and trumpet.




This big boy still leans up to me and says "love you mom" atleast once a day.  I am so blessed to have him as my son, and so excited to see the man he becomes!

Happy 13th birthday Buggy, you are such a treasured part of our family (now if we can jsut get you to take a birthday pic!)


Friday, November 18, 2011

Hit the Wall!

It finally happened, I hit the wall yesterday.  I was in a growly mood most of the morning, fretting over the TA and travel, vs the holidays and plans.  Having myself a good old fashioned pity party.

By afternoon I was done.

After all my little ducklings were safely at home, I gave them dinner advice and went to bed.  Man that sounds terrible when I type it LOL!


I feel so much better today, it's amazing what a little regeneration and a couple of alka-seltzer cold can do for one person!

Here is to a great weekend of actually getting everything done!

Wednesday, November 16, 2011

Wordless Wednesday - Ransom!




THIS is what it takes 
for two of the most precious children to join our family!




Interestingly, my very large husband had to file a paper at the bank which strongly advised him NOT to remove this much cash from the bank.  

However, it is perfectly fine with our agency!


Tuesday, November 15, 2011

AFRAID!

Ok, I am jsut going to say it - there are parts of this process that scare me!

I have spent countless, and I mean countless hours worrying over the logistics

I will have 5 yes FIVE kids - we don't even particularly like most kids, and FIVE - what am I thinking!  I stress in public here, people DON'T LOOK DOWN!  I have a child with dwarfism, he IS SHORT!  What - and I mean WHAT am I going to do with 2 LITTLE spitfires.  I am having nightmares of them running in opposite directions, while trying to run after them with our youngest (who is bigger than the 2 littles) in my arms because - oh yeah- he can't walk!



I am afraid FeiFei won't like our princess who has prayed for a girl.  She won't want to do girl things, won't want to have her hair done - do you know how many bows we have bought!

I am afraid all the smoke will cause my lungs to become a total wreck

I am afraid little man will be in horrible pain due to the cold weather

Did I mention I am afraid I will lose someone

I am afraid our guide, rooms, flight etc will be a disaster

Heehee, my husband is afraid I will say something and end up in jail and HE will have 5 kids to himself

I am afraid I will miss an appointment, not have the right paperwork, or run out of money

I am afraid I am being a burden to others, that one of our hundred pets will die while we are away, it'll snow, the house will catch on fire . . .

I AM AFRAID my new kiddos will think that our family is the worst thing that has ever happened to them!

I AM AFRAID  .  .  .  they won't like us

There I have said it - for the whole world to see.

And then I hear once again the song Courageous by Casting Crowns.  I LOVE this song, I will probably listen to it for all 18 hours we fly.




I know this song is for husbands, but it gives me power.  I love the watchers on the sidelines part as our families slip away.  i don't care what anyone says that speaks volumes on adoption of SN kids to me.

And I realize I can do this with HIM!

Recently, there was a discussion on international adoption and non believers.  I know in my heart I would NOT be courageous enough to do this own my own!  I am so blessed that He is there either leading the way or carrying me.


Monday, November 14, 2011

HIS Perfect Timing!

First let me say that at times I feel like a toddler in my relationship with God.  I get it, I get to see His magnificent workings and then bam! something else happens and I go right back to being the toddler in a temper tantrum!

If you haven't been reading my blog (all 5 of you LOL!) I'll sum up our journey to our paperwork.  We were delayed 3 times.  I have spent a fortune on Fedex.  I have been ORGANIZED (this is no small feat!) and still we have been delayed by OTHER PEOPLE!

Can I tell you how absolutely frustrating this is!

My last post about my son got me thinking even more.  Then it dawned on me - THIS was why our Article 5 was delayed a week.  If it had been picked up on Oct 27th like we expected, we would have been in the TA wave (25 families) that came on Tuesday.  Knowing myself, I would have had airline tickets scheduled by Thursday.  Long story short - I would have been in China with a kid in a full arm cast who needed it removed - oh yeah that would have been good!  Besides the fact - I need him for this trip.

Ok I felt so in awe of Him, this weekend.  What a nice and amazing place to be - just saying.  I couldn't help smiling, I couldn't help telling those around me, I mean it is cool.




Of course I got another email today from our agency and low and behold ANOTHER delay!  I mean really, I lost it, I balled, I typed up a ... um ... not so nice email.  The only saving grace was that I had a tiny bit of thought to call my husband before hitting send.  He of course calmed me, reminding me of who really is in charge.  I am disappointed, people's incompetence jsut makes me mad.  Please pray for us, this has to be one of the hardest experiences I can remember going through.  

Friday, November 11, 2011

Broken Sherpa! and His grace.

That's right folks, 
jsut weeks before we are hoping to leave for China 
to get our treasures 
my oldest 
fondly referred to as Our Sherpa 
looks like this ~





His arm was hurt last Saturday, at his first wrestling tournament.  Which he still placed 5th out of 70 boys even with a forfeight!






I was really surprised today when someone said "you must have really made God mad for this to happen."  Besides the fact that MY GOD is a loving God and I don't believe this, it did make me think.  Do I just see the good happenings in my life as acts of God and not the bad?

And then it dawned on me.

This has nothing to do with our trip but how our adoption will bless our family.  

You see we had a consultation on Monday - which took 6 weeks to get - to develop a plan of care for Cavanaugh's legs when he gets home, as well as thoughts on FeiFei.  While I waited for the fabulous orthopedist to see us, her PA came in to introduce himself and talk about our family.  I asked him to look at our big boys x-ray and explained the situation.  He said he thought it was ok, but that elbows are really hard to diagnose.  He left me saying if it still hurts in a week to come see him.

My friends these words were His Grace.


By Wednesday, although he was still in a half cast splint, my big boy said his arm hurt MORE - ugh!  Also it jsut looked kinda weird and he couldn't straighten his elbow.  Now my experience is NICU, I know a lot but bones - not so much!

My husband and I decided he should be seen jsut to ensure everything was ok before the trip.  I called around without much luck, and then I called the orthopedist office and asked for an appt with the PA.  One nice thing about adopting 2 special needs kids and of course little man - we are memorable.  Once the receptionist called the PA he quickly agreed to see big boy on their first available!

So does the situation suck is difficult - Yep, but knowing we are firmly placed in His hands makes everything better!


Don't worry little man's is an empathy cast so he could get ice cream too!

Wednesday, November 9, 2011

Future Dreams & proverbs

I mentioned yesterday that I so feel like I am at the end of a pregnancy, jsut sitting waiting for labor to begin and this new baby to arrive.  It is absolutely the oddest experience, actually not being pregnant, without a date and looking over the edge of a cliff to the other side.

The other side will be neither better nor worse, jsut different but we are ready, ready to be a family filled with love for two incredibly special children who grew in all of our hearts.  Two amazing children who will get to experience their very firsts with our amazing older children, loving them along the way.

Yes I can hear the tires screeching 
That this will be not our reality.  
But for the next few weeks I have decided I will indulge myself in dreams.  

You know the dreams, the ones you had before your first was born, as you held him in your arms for the first time and that little 5 lb baby would one day become a famous football player, a God fearing man who would change the world, whatever you dreamed for your first child.

I think we dream these dreams for all of our children, but I find myself spending the past weeks and months dreaming, and planning for what our new children will be like.  They will show up with personalities, likes and dislikes.

So for the time being I will continue with my 
All roses and lollipops.
'cuz I am pretty sure things may go to hell in a handbasket soon after we come home LOL!

On another note ~

I so haven't been able to think over the past months of the adoption, I have gone back to jsut letting the Bible open and reading until I feel God speaking to me.  Recently, as in today, I came to the beginning of proverbs.  Somehow, I had forgotten that it was written by Solomon (we have been doing Kings for our Sunday bible study.)  He was so smart, he had the wisdom of God, but he sure made a lot of mistakes.  I found it so interesting that the purpose of Proverbs,

1 The proverbs of Solomon son of David, king of Israel:
 2 for gaining wisdom and instruction;
   for understanding words of insight;
3 for receiving instruction in prudent behavior,
   doing what is right and just and fair;
4 for giving prudence to those who are simple,[a]
   knowledge and discretion to the young—
5 let the wise listen and add to their learning,
   and let the discerning get guidance—
6 for understanding proverbs and parables,
   the sayings and riddles of the wise.[b
7 The fear of the LORD is the beginning of knowledge,
   but fools[c] despise wisdom and instruction.

8 Listen, my son, to your father’s instruction
   and do not forsake your mother’s teaching.
9 They are a garland to grace your head
   and a chain to adorn your neck.




Tuesday, November 8, 2011

Natives are restless

Ok, I know this is so bad, we are 4 YES FOUR days into our wait for Travel Approval.  

My sweet husband ( below shown with my son) called me today and 

ASKED ME

Soooo, do you know when we are leaving yet?  

Really

REALLY?

Pretty sure this is NOT something I am going to keep from him LOL!!

Then these three have been all out of sorts. 

I know I am lucky, I have great kids, but they are about ready to make me strangle someone.

Little man is spending most of the time worrying about being a good big brother.

THe oldest is spending his time forgetting everything.

Princess - ok 2 out of 3 are making me crazy LOL


I know they are getting ready for their new roles in the family, for their new siblings and of course the unknown.  I know this is normal behavior, but the difference is that with a pregnancy you have a DATE to plan around.  Please pray for us all during this very last step.

Me, well, I have either been checking the computer or shopping LOL!  BUT I got a great deal on a double stroller.

Did I mention we are only FOUR days into the TA wait!!

Monday, November 7, 2011

Orthopedic Success & our princess!

What a weekend we had.  Our big boy was in a wrestling tournament on Saturday.  Just as we getting there, I got a text from one of the other moms.  Sure enough he had gotten hurt and needed to go get an x-ray.  Poor kid was white as a ghost.  Apparently the other kid tripped over my sons big feet and landed on his hyperextended arm.  They splinted his arm at the emergicare and gave me a copy of the x-rays.

Thankfully, I had a consult with a fabulous orthopedist for this afternoon to discuss a plan of are for when we brought our new members home.  The PA looked at the x-ray and confirmed that he didn't see a break but big brother needs to stay in the splint for a week - NOT what he wanted to hear LOL!

As for our littles, we developed a plan of care and have appointments for all three of them for early January.  This way little man can get new x-rays while showing the two new ones that it is ok.  I am praying they will go with the flow and we can get x-rays of them also.  

In addition, with 2 children with dwarfism and a little guy who doesn't walk - she got us set up with a permanent disability sticker for the car.  Did I mention our kids go to a K-12 school.  Well, it's definately NOT a one room schoolhouse and parking is in the back 40.  Besides this and winter coming I have been really stressing over HOW I am going to do this.  Now, we can be sure to get a close enough spot that atleast we will be close to the sidewalk.

Lastly, the Dr. thinks we might be able to save more of Cav's better leg which is a huge plus.  Anyhow, things are starting to fall into place and I am actually starting to get excited for travel.

And because I have no pics of my son in his purple wrestling singlet and my pink coat on the way to the Emergicare, I figured I would include some of princess I have been playing with!






Sunday, November 6, 2011

Photograph yourself!

The one surprising piece of being a mom is how profoundly God speaks to us through our children.  I remember when my daughter was 3 she left me with so many jaw dropping and speechless comments and questions.  Although at times I did feel like a failure it also brought me closer to my walk with the Bible.  

Now that little man is 5 and we can actually get him to GO to Sunday school most days, I am finding the same things beginning to happen.  Along with the adoption journey and the most incredible Sunday school teacher!

Yesterday, little man overheard me asking my mom to keep an eye out for cheap digital cameras.  We have decided to give each of the children a camera to document the trip.  I LOVE pictures taken by children, they see the world so different then we do.

Anyhow, I forgot Mr Big Ears was in the car with me.  He was of course very excited.  Then he said the most profound thing.

When I am nice and playing with my new brother I am going to take lots of pictures of him.  BUT, when I am being mean to him, I am 

GOING
TO 
TAKE
A
PICTURE 
OF MYSELF!

because God doesn't like us to sin!







Thanks little man for reminding me to look inward.  

Thursday, November 3, 2011

Waiting Children

There are several places on the web which help adopting parents get through the process.  From packing lists, advices on places to stay and ensuring paperwork is ready to go and questions answered.  On of these great places is called Rumor Queen (RQ).  There has been a very interesting discussion about waiting lists and being matched.  Those that know me, know there was no way in hell  the world that I could just sit by and wait to be matched.  In fact I am in awe of those that can wait month after month.

But . . .

There are currently over 1600 children on the "shared list" with probably another almost thousand on individual agency lists.

The shared list adds new children every month or so.  As new children are added the "old" ones go further and further down on the list.  When I first started this process I thought that the "old" ones were already picked over.  They would never find homes because those that came before me had already "checked" the kids out.

See this angel -


He was made available for international adoption at 16 months old.


He sat on the list for another 20. . . YES, TWENTY MONTHS!  Does he have a limb deformity - yes, the pictures of his legs are surprising but most importantly he is a little boy, without a family.  He has the most kissable lips, and a spirit the will surpass his disability.


We submitted our LOI on his 3rd birthday.  But really it breaks my heart how many people passed over his picture, 

how many nights he went to sleep without a mommy and daddy to tuck him into bed, 

read him stories, 

celebrate his birthday

tell him he is loved . . . by us and by God.

He is our little gem, hidden for us among 1600 other children.

Maybe, just maybe there is another gem at the bottom of the list jsut for you.

There are several fabulous resources ~
Rainbowkids.com
Reecesrainbow.com
http://groups.yahoo.com/group/AdvocateforWC

Wednesday, November 2, 2011