Monday, January 30, 2012



Yesterday was a horrible terrible no good day!  Our honeymoon period is OVER!  The kids were all FIGHTING - they usually are pretty good, but every single one of them was at the throats of the other, bickering, goading, and just putting each other down.  I would have expected this when we first got back from China.  Of course since Daddy's only day off is Sunday - it doesn't help that they were acting up either.

After some extra chores which included cleaning up most of our 5 acres and animal . um . . excrement they seem to have gotten it out of their systems.  Also I have noticed that FeiFei and little man seem to pick on Cav so I have been very conscious about putting an end to that.  Apparently having virtual triplets (Cav is the biggest of the 3) wasn't the smartest idea.

To end the day, and against my better judgement, I sent Cav along with the other kids to kids club last night (at church).  I was assured that they "could handle him", he couldn't be nearly as difficult as I make him sound and he so wanted to go -

and we were two doors down

Ummm, he wasn't invited back LOL!!
Good thing he is so CUTE!!!
I think we will wait until next school year to try again.
Atleast I feel slightly better and that I am not crazy LOL!

This one however has everyone eating out of her hand!

Oh and as a side note, between China and all of the Dr appt's I have given these two more freaking suckers then the other three have eaten in their entire lives. 
 Yes, I am the mom who goes through the Halloween candy and throws out all of the suckers!

Friday, January 27, 2012

Daddy's big day!

Whew what a packed 24 hours!

I co-lead the women's ministry at our church, and in November I made the committment to help host the wonderful ladies on our team for a thank you dinner.  This has been the first real night event we have done since we got home.  It also left without an evening to help the kids with everything they needed to accomplish.

Today was daddy's birthday AND daddy day with FeiFei at school.  Soooo, I got my older kids to help make a card for daddy, help FeiFei decorate the hat they needed for school, and find her a daddy outfit.  They also decided to decorate the - ummm - the burnt slightly dark cake which I couldn't serve the ladies and left for the kids to devour.

When I got home, I found this cake - heehee those are grapes on top, and I have NO IDEA where they found frosting!

A darling card which was a collaborative effort.

 FeiFei this morning in her cute little Daddy's busy bee shirt, waiting to show her beloved Baba his hat! We realized this week she had no idea what a daddy was since have maintained the Chinese term for daddy - Baba.  So we tried to explain that daddy and Baba were the same.

Gotta love this hat!!

So cute together!

Makes me fall in love with this man all over again!

Wednesday, January 25, 2012

Why adopt

As I sat in the Dr's office AGAIN this week, I finally got it.

WHY adoption makes a difference.

Yes, we are giving them a future,
Yes, we were following God's plan,
Yes, Yes, Yes.

But as I sat for 1 and 1/2 hours as 3 people worked to get THE EARWAX out of Cav and FeiFei's ears,
I got it!

I didn't expect to leave almost in tears, but I did.

It bothered me more than I ever expected, and these sweet angels hardly made a peep.

NO CHILD should be left
so abandoned, so untouched,  so uncared for ~

That the wax is allowed to build up.
That their head is completely flat in the back,
That their torso is covered in bruises from being tied to their bed,
That his skin is so dry he "walks" on deep cracks,
THat you can see the fibers of his muscle through his skin,
That their hair is thin and sparse,
That they are scared of a world of plants, animals and outdoors,
and on,
and on,
and on.

I once read a post about the deep sadness the author felt when she witnessed a room full of orphans singing to ~ NO ONE.
No one to cheer,
No one to clap
No one to care.

That is why these children need homes, parents, families.

Saturday, January 21, 2012

Reality Check

Well today was a reality check!

Daddy works Saturdays, he has for as long as we have had kids and most of the time it isn't a huge problem.  I usually am pretty good about organizing the kids events so that although I spend a lot of time in the car, they get there on time and I pick them up ON TIME!

Today was the first day since we got back from China that our big kids had activities.

Lets jsut say I am super thankful for the kindness of those around me.

We were late for jsut about everything except princess's activity since she tends to worry about being late and starts getting everyone out the door WAY early!!  In fact today she had all the littles in the car and I was still making sandwiches . . . cuz

I somehow forgot lunch.

Then I was so late picking up our big boy, you know when they call and offer to drive them home since they are going out for some frivilous reason anyhow!

Oh she was so nice, and I have a feeling that our paths were meant to meet at this time, heehee she even prayed for us as she is in bible college.  By this time I was so tired and my back hurt (see below) so bad I jsut said we can take all the prayers we can get.

Cav missed his nap.

I have come to two conclusions, almost doubling the number of kids affects logistics when it comes to strollers and cars.  So do the kids disabilities.

 Cav is big for 3, although he can move he needs to be carried everywhere.  My back just can't take much more of carrying him everywhere.

We have been using a single stroller but that leaves two little ones walking.  FeiFei is obviously NOT happy about walking everywhere.  Although little man hasn't complained much, he is also used to riding too.

So, I took ALL my kids tonight to REI after picking up Big boy and tried out  the BOB double stroller.  As I suspected with the new model we can actually get all three on the stroller (2 in the seats and little man on the front foot area.)  Besides they have the navy blue on clearance.

As far as the car, we have a Toyota Sequioa - which I LOVE, but it has NO trunk space!  Like 12 inches.  Even with a single stroller I can't get anything else in the back (ok a few grocery bags but who goes to the store and gets a few bags!)

We have to have AWD, or 4WD, minimum room for 7 people including 3 carseats, running boards so our shorter people can get in, and I would prefer flex fuel.  Oh AND trunk space!

So anyone love their vehicle?!?!

Also I will be trading in my beloved bug

Really it'll be several years before I can even begin to think of driving it. 
I can't fit 3 carseats in it.  

It was a HARD decision.
(although I had discussed it previously when we needed adoption money and before our house sold.)

I always told my husband that I wanted a convertible bug before I turned 40.  
He bought it for me as a surprise several years before that, and this year I turned 40 and I jsut have to laugh at God's humor.  
I got my bug by my deadline
and how much my life has changed.
 It is only material things, and I will gladly give it up for our little blessings.

Now it is 6:30pm and oh yeah

Somehow we still haven't had dinner either!

Thursday, January 19, 2012

Outside Fun

One of the nice secrets about Colorado is that even in the depths of winter we will get beautiful days!  I have learned over the years that if it is nice even for an hour - kids need to go outside!

One of the true blessings of our life was falling into this house.  It is even more of a blessing now that we have a 3 preschoolers at home!!  The front yard is atleast an acre and was completely enclosed by a fence before the sellers had to sell due to divorce.

We have a long driveway for the kiddos to ride bikes.  I jsut close off the gate and let them ride to their hearts content.  I was even thrilled that I hadn't given away the little green 4-wheeler.  It's electric so Cav can ride too!  
(Now if I can figure out where the cord is we will be golden!)

This child amazes me and I know that it truly is due in large part to  
When we got her picture book we saw her riding a trike.  This is a huge accomplishment especially with someone with dwarfism but man is she awesome!

Love these squeaky shoes (minus the squeakers) with bows from Hobby lobby

We got this darling little playhouse from Costco this summer on clearance and they all LOVE it - momma needs to buy them some pretend food and plates!

The swingset was left here by the sellers!

All day FeiFei asked if she had school.  Not sure how to explain she is only going M-W-F, but apparently she loves it.  Oh and she asks me in ENGLISH!!  

Cav woke up with a smile and has been great all day, after two days of grouchy, and mean spirited behavior it has been a welcome relief!

Wednesday, January 18, 2012

First Day of Preschool

She did it!

Our little FeiFei was used to going to Half the Sky preschool twice a day everyday while in China.  She was content being home while the kids were off for Christmas Break, but once they all started going to school she jsut was so sad and every morning would point to herself.

When we would go drop off little man (late as always) she would stand in the back and jsut look so longingly at the class.

Of course our illustrious school district (ok the district is great but the child find focuses primarily on speech delays,) decided she was to "perfect" to qualify for one of their preschools.  Wait 6 months until she acquires language and then we will see if she qualifies, they said.  Really that will put us six weeks before kindergarten.

Anyhow, our fabulous church's CDC agreed to take her despite speaking Mandarin, and needing help on the potty (due to dwarfism).  We asked her all last week, using our fabulous iPhone app Jibbigo, if she wanted to go to school. Each time she would shyly nod but with her big grin.

Man, was she so excited this morning, and of course our big princess had to make sure she looked perfect for her first day.

All this sweet little girl could say was xie xie mama (thank you mama) over and over again.  I could have just cried.  Not just because she is as sweet as honey, but because in China all school is paid for.  It means you have a family to go to school.

She was thankful for something that most of our kids take for granted.

I was a freak of course, I hardly slept last night worried about how she would do.  I had a full page of notes about her including phonetic spellings of her most important Chinese words she might use.  

With one last xie xie mama she hung up her backpack and went right to the activity table!


If someone before we traveled had said that she would be in school less then a month after we got home, I would have told them they were insane, but as with everything adoption, I guess taking my cues from the little ones is the best idea.

Monday, January 16, 2012


I'm not quite brave enough or have completely synthesized the information enough to discuss our first days in China with this little guy, but it is safe to say that we would have made a horrible mistake if we had allowed Satan win.

Has his adoption been hard, YES.

Are we seeing enormous improvement on all parts, YES.

THis little guy is incredible - he should not be mobile by any counts, but that is also a different post.

THis child who has been all God since the day his file arrived to us, came to us so depleted, with only the skills needed for survival.

It is absolutely incredible to see him SMILE, to connect, to slowly try to communicate with us.  THis child who FREAKED, and I mean lost his mind with plants the first weeks he was with us, can now go outside.  The same child who only knew how to take and beat on the other two little kids (he outweighs little man by almost double,) is slowly beginning to understand boundaries, that somethings are just HIS, and somethings are everyone's.

He is slowly beginning to spend a few minutes with a toy (although this is still rarely,) instead of pacing like the lions in the zoo.

He has stopped whining ALL DAY LONG, and is beginning to seek us out individually jsut to spend time with us, see what we are doing.

He is starting to communicate his wants, and we are very careful to not allow him to ever feel hungry.  

One of the turning points came when I bought each of them a water bottle.  They carry it with them everywhere, but it seems to have helped with the constant need for water and almost fear of going without.

 If he communicates his want then we will give him whatever he wants . . . yes even his now favorite Kiddie Crack!  He has learned several useful signs and finally today said EATSA for breakfast!  
We are incredibly thrilled to call him our son, we know that the journey will continue to be hard, but we can see potential.  I so look forward to seeing what God has in store for this little guy, I have a feeling he is part of a greater plan, more so than any other of my children.

Friday, January 13, 2012

One Month

Wow can you believe it we have had custody of our sweeties for a month already.  I feel like I have lived a years worth in that month.  Funny, during the paperwork process I felt like the days couldn't come fast enough and now I wonder where the days have gone.

Here are their pics from the first few days

I can honestly say that although we have been through the ringer, this has been the single most important month of my life.

I have seen my older children grow and our princess find herself.  The kids scream like crazy when she gets home - they call her LaLa jsut like little man did when he was a baby.

Little man is still having a little bit of a hard time but he is learning what it means to be a big brother.  He loves introducing the kids to his friends.  Even this morning he helped Cav find cloths to put on (apparently the ones I laid out were not good enough!)

FeiFei, well you know she is just part of the family, she has started giving me kisses and her language is really impressive.  Going through Costco repeating products helps!  Cereal say c-e-r-e-a-l.  She loves her fashion, pink, and toy guns!

Cav - he we have seen the most improvement.  He even kissed my hand this morning - let me repeat that a KISS to my hand!  Of course he will kiss Lala's cheek but I will take what I can get.  It shows me he is understanding what a family is, that we love him, and that we care about each other.  Just like Stitch we repeat over and over to him -

We are a family,
We don't hit,
we share,
we care about each other.

My husbands jsut laughs when he hears it but I truly believe that he jsut has no basis.  He is also smiling much more.  I started using my fingers to show happy and when he starts to freak a little I do that and it seems to bring him back.

Funny thing, I really, really have needed to get the car washed but I figured he would freak out.  FInally, I had had enough and decided with little man in the car to help make it sound fun we would try the carwash.  Do you know he started freaking out WHEN WE LEFT!!  I swear.

But truly, my attitude changed thanks to the book The Connected Child and he has slowly started to come around.   We are thrilled that he no longer goes hungry, that we can provide stimulation as well as the medical he will need.  But most importantly, this little boy needed a - well a Family.

I have also learned that he really needs routine.  So now I make sure we are home by two for his nap - period!

This is huge I never was a regulated mom.  Even when my kids were babies.  I always had to lie at the pediatrician about how often they ate.  Really, they cry I feed them, I don't count!

Sorry, I digress!

So yes, a month and we are slowly all becoming a family.  I often think that if we had only brought FeiFEi home it could have been easier.  We would almost already be a family.  But then I look at this little boy who works so incredibly hard to keep up with his brothers and sisters, and I am so glad we followed God's path and decided to bring him home

for he is our Hudson
 (watch the video).

And we have come full circle from this post

Thursday, January 12, 2012

Medically Crazy!

Can I jsut say I am exhausted!  We had regular pediatrician appointment that lasted almost 3 hours yesterday and then an orthopedist one today.  Since I formerly worked as a nurse, I do hand pick our kiddos Dr's to ensure I am not just a number.  I am truly glad now that our kids are medically unique to say the least!

Pedi - everything was pretty good all the way around.  Mainly, I was thrilled that their hearts sound good as we were a little freaked about Cav in China, 4 limbs having issues can include heart issues also.  Now don't get me wrong, I am absolutely in awe of the parents who adopt children with heart issues, but I think my nursing past jsut gets in my way.

We got the scripts for lab and stool, urine etc.

FeiFei's vaccines were translated into English so she only is minimally behind.  Cav however I think they are going to start a catch up - redo plan.  I think the fact that his medicals completely missed his hands really left the Pedi with little confidence in them.

FeiFei - will also see an audiologist simply because we have no idea how many ear infections she had and if she has an damage (dwarf thing.)
And have a sleep study since she snores really bad and oh yeah it's another dwarf thing.

Cav - Consult for a developmental evaluation aside from the schools.
Genetics - this is because we now have something wrong with all four limbs

THEN today we went to the Orthopedist.  Since our three youngest are all in the ortho realm this was our BIG appointment we made in Nov!

Let me jsut say DON'T FORGET THE IPAD when you take 3 preschoolers to any Dr appt!  I felt like this by the time I was done!

Seriously, they were all very good it was jsut a very LONG appt!  

We played in and made a mess of the room for quite a while!  Luckily, FeiFei had her purse and momma brought snacks and a pack of Go Fish cards!

After we introduced each one to the Dr we went for x-rays.

Let me jsut say this was NOT one of my finer moments but the inconsiderate and idiotic jsut doing my job ma'am x-ray tech threw a fit that I was bringing all three little ones into the x-ray room when he called for little man.  He said I have 8 x-rays to do - I was like Dude, the next three are all my kids besides where exactly do you want me to leave the 2 non english speaking ones!  Besides the fact that we planned on little man missing school today so he could show the other two that it was a no owie appointment and to stand still.  

He finally went to get the Dr to complain about ME and she was furious with him.

Anyhow, we got it worked out.  And all of my sweeties did fabulous!

Checking FeiFei's cervical spine

I was so proud of this little guy, he calmed when I went to him and of course it helped that I had little man run and get my iPhone so i could use the jibbigo app.

Sorry for the crappy cell phone pics, but an 8:30 appt I was just glad everyone had underwear on!

SOOOOO. . . 

Prognosis ~

  1. Her cervical spine looks fabulous and NO evidence of instability!
  2. Her legs are . . . STRAIGHT!!  Awesome, as most little people have some bowing over time.
  3. Definately has Achondroplasia
  4. She is so good we don't need to take her back for a YEAR!!

Little Man -

  1. Ugh he all of a sudden has a 19 mm leg length discrepancy
  2. She sees NO evidence of his epiphysis being different
  3. He is now classified as UNDIAGNOSED again!  I could jsut cry as this was out of left field!

Cav Legs -
  1. He definitely has Tibial Hemimilia (1 in a million birth defect)!
  2.  Left side actually has a smaller tibia, and she is thinking a below the knee amputation or symes
  3. She did say she thought he had no ACL in this leg so I am not sure how that will play out.
  4. Right side - NO TIBIA at all.  This also means no knee joint so this will be a through the knee
  5. we will wait for bonding and language before amputation
  6. His hips were great
  7. His spine abnormality will correct and she thinks it was due to laying in bed so much in the orphanage (similar to the dwarf kyphosis that disappears when they begin to walk!)
  8. She gave me the idea to buy shin guards to help him not get so wet when outside!

Cav Hands - 
  1. If you remember my in China post we had no idea he had anything wrong with his hands before meeting him.  But I immediately noticed they looked like 5 fingers.
  2. We found out that the 1st metacarpal is underdeveloped
  3. His thumbs are NOT opposable at this time
  4. We have an appt with a hand surgeon for Feb 2nd
  5. We are possibly looking at lengthening the bone that is there
  6. The current "thumb" might have to be rotated down 
  7. I am thrilled to know we can do something to "fix" this!
After we were done we ran down to Daddy's shop and stole him away for lunch.  We discussed x-rays over pizza as I knew he would be livid over little man's newest non diagnosis, diagnosis (this is probably the 11th in 5 years.)

Oh and the dishwasher STILL doesn't work, you know the new one installed on Jan 5th, the motor doesn't work and they will be back on the 18th!

I have to laugh as one of these things would have sent me into a tail spin even 3 years ago, but I guess our new normal is so crazy that we jsut go with the flow - oh and believe that God has a plan for all of us!

Wednesday, January 11, 2012

Care package photo albums

One of the things people "DO" when they are waiting to go get their angels overseas is send or purchase care packages.  THere can be a debate about this but I was very strong in the mindset that kids are kids regardless of how they grow up.  You would have a hard time getting me to believe that the kids in an orphanage don't notice the following steps.

1. they go to the Dr
2. They may go to a camp
3. they get their OWN package or birthday cake
4. They may get new cloths
5. They get to go in a new car BY THEMSELVES and get a picture done
6. THey have parents.

There is only one step in here which I have any control over, so YEP I sent them BOTH care packages, and I sent the ones with the albums.  In the beginning when I was still new at this whole thing heehee! I wondered about these albums.


They are the single most important thing I did to help with the beginning stages of their bonding.  BOTH of them came to us with their books.  THey would look at the books and then name us.  Even when we got home they continue to look at the books.

I jsut had to smile when I checked on Cav during his nap.  And who doesn't love a sweet sleeping baby!

But when I looked closer I really had to smile.

Do recognize what is by his head?  May be you remember this post!  Yep those are the extra pictures we sent with his cake.  His beloved GeGe's (little man had a playdate this afternoon) pictures taken out of his family picture book and looked at until he fell asleep for his nap.

Now that just warms my heart all the way to my toes despite him fighting with the kids right now!

Tuesday, January 10, 2012

Adopting children with dwarfism

First let me begin by saying that I could really adopt 12 of FeiFei, she is delightful, sweet and so happy. She has felt like she has been a member of our family for years instead of not quite a month.

 Dwarfism is such a DO ABLE special need.

 There are currently over 24 children with dwarfism needing homes RIGHT NOW!

 I ask that you look into your heart and question how much does size make a difference!

 As the parent of two children with dwarfism I can tell you that the famous saying women love "Fabulous things come in small packages" holds true for these guys too!

 THey have all of the spunk, love and energy they just are a tad bit smaller.

  In addition, the very unique part of adopting a child with dwarfism is that you KNOW!

 Most times you can guess on the type of dwarfism the child has (although most will have achondroplasia like FeiFei.) You know how bowed their legs are, if they are walking, if they are having numbness or tingling which could indicate spinal issues.

 Frankly the scariest time as a parent of a child with dwarfism is prenatally and the first year.  And although as much as I hate to say it, it appears that adoption and dwarfism is truly a case of survival of the fittest.

 Did you know that children with dwarfism are considered a BAD OMEN in most countries. After traveling in China I finally understand why. THe subway and most of the specialty things charge based upon height. My children with dwarfism may never meet the pay price even as adults, and in a culture which values paying your way, people with dwarfism are given a bad image due to no fault of their own.

Our day to day is figuring out the basics -
 can they get in this chair - oh wait that one has a bar they can step on.
 a step stool in the car allows her to get into her carseat
 oops those pants are to long, but these capris are jsut perfect and so are the leggings.

 I would say that self image can be an issue and mind you our children with dwarfism are only 4 & 5 but if you asked the kids in our sons classroom they would tell you that little man is their favorite friend.

I chuckled today when I saw the two of them surrounded by 8 other kids at the playground.

THey might be little but they are mighty.

 In addition, their is a phenomenal yahoo group of parents who will answer your questions along the way. THe LPA is incredible, and BTDT parents have layed out everything from IEP information to area specialists.

 Does FeiFei have a large head, tiny fat fingers, and short little legs. 
But she also has an award winning smile, and a whole lot of sass! 

 If you are thinking of adopting would you please consider looking at one of these children.

Monday, January 9, 2012

Little Stars & Preschool

We had the app Fun Mandarin by innokidz when we went to China an in those first hours we played the sing along to try an distract the kids.  Boy did we have a surprise when they began singing along!  It was so fun.  Now they will run around the house and sing Twinkle Twinkle Little Star in Mandarin and even little man has begun to learn some of it.  I jsut had to video them before they forgot it!

On the home front.  I knew I was in a bad place last week with Cav.  So I downloaded the book (I knew I didn't have time for mailing from Amazon) THe Connected Child.  It has been a lifesend and I would recommend it for everyone.  

The kids had their child find eval this morning and despite the fact that FeiFei doesn't speak the language or has issues with self care due to her dwarfism she was determined to be up to par and will not qualify for preschool.  I would have to say that this is due to a fabulous foster mom and Half the Sky program.  

Cav will have another evaluation on the 20th but we are pretty sure he will qualify for special ed.  I think that there is a smart little guy in there, he just is so lacking in his experiences that with a little intervention he will be caught up by kindergarten.  In addition, I am at a total loss over his hands.  This was NOT something that was disclosed on any of his reports.  We would have made a different decision on our medical coverage in November if we had known.  We are fortunate to have great coverage EXCEPT for therapy which is only 20 visits (combined specialties) a year.  His hands look like 5 fingers instead of 4 and a thumb.  He appears not to have a pincer grasp.  In his own resiliant way he has figured out how to use them for most things, but I can see where he will have issues in school with writing, cutting etc.  

Lastly, our new social worker came for the 1 month visit report.  She was awesome, and actually said things looked much better than she expected LOL!  THankfully, the kids were pretty good, and she was able to give me some pointers on working with Cav and his fighting and hitting of the other kids.  I DO have to say though that looking back even a week ago, this little man has come a long way!
We also learned today that he HAS to have a nap!

Saturday, January 7, 2012


The one part of going to China with everyone was finding pet sitters for our manageria!  One way we bribed people was telling them they could have all of the fresh eggs from our chickens.

Do you know that those stinkin' chickens did NOT lay a single egg while we were gone!  Not ONE!

Apparently they missed us because this is what we were presented with this morning!

And this array of eggs is why exactly we began with backyard chickens - I dare you to find pink and blue-green eggs in any grocery store.  Funny thing is we don't have a single normal size white egg laying chicken this year - I think I was a little to zealous in selecting brown egg layers though!

Almost anyone can have chickens in their backyard and they eat tons of scraps.  Heck, they were thrilled when we first got home as they LOVE and I mean LOVE noodles and with the amount of noodles Cav was or wasn't eating everyday they were in hog  chicken heaven.

A great resource is and they have an awesome resource whether there is an anti-chicken ordinance in your town.  I'm thinking omelets for breakfast!!

Friday, January 6, 2012

Project 365 - christmas lights

So I mentioned we only put up two little bitty trees this year.  Before we took them down I wanted to try out some light pictures with little man.  There wasn't a ton of ambient light from the little trees and a great big tree would be better, but since I set a goal of trying to take photos everyday I wanted to take the opportunity.