Sunday, May 27, 2012

Animal lover

This girl of mine has such a heart for baby animals!  While we were out buying a cat post for the kittens (her purchase) apparently our momma cat "caught" a wild baby bunny.

Daddy tried to get the bunny to safety and put the cat inside.  Unfortunately as soon as the cat got out again she went right back after the bunny.

SO now the baby cottaintail is in the bunny cage and we are praying she will do ok with the bunny food and water until we can let her go again in the next day or so.

Shot with my Canon and 100mm macro lens.

Ni Hao Yall

Saturday, May 26, 2012

Groupon - Swim!

I love Groupon and living social although I have learned that I am not the best at redeeming the certificates LOL!  BUT we have been wanting to do swim lessons through this company for years - but frankly we didn't have the disposable income.

One thing about my children with dwarfism - they are TOP heavy.  Brahm has NO body fat so the child jsut SINKS!  I am talking two floaties and the kid is jsut barely above the water.

Yesterday was the 1st lesson for Cav and the 2nd for Brahm and FeiFei.

Apparently water is . . . um not fun in China?!?!  THey haven't done very well any of the times we have tried getting inot the water, it's actually pretty sad.  So this time around I talked it up BIG! and also bribed with a happy meal LOL!

We had the MSOT awesome instructor for Brahm.  She figured out that because his head is so big (as in normal size for a 6 year old on a 2 year old body,) he has to have his head in the correct position to counterbalance his body.  He GOT it and the rest is history.  I was crying tears of joy for that little guy!

FeiFei finally was ok blowing bubbles in the water AND she is great at the starfish float LOL!

Cav - first let me remind you of the child who screamed at the plants in fear when we picked him up.  He was amazing!  He finally figured out how to blow out and NOT drink the entire pool!  He did jsut amazing.  We chose to do one lesson before his surgery and the other two after surgery.

Ok this child has the squishiest face I have ever seen, 
I was dieing laughing trying to get his swim cap and goggles on 
so he could open his yees LOL!

DOn't mind the pink cap, 
he was supposed to go first and I had 1 pink, 1 blue cap 
and no way was Brahm going to wear pink LOL!

Also Brahm graduated from kindergarten
I would be sad but oh yeah we get to this again
 next year, 
and the next year 
and then a few years later bwaahaa!

Wednesday, May 23, 2012


I grew up in a family where perfection was expected.  What others thought of us was THE most important agenda.  I have to even say way back when my oldest was little I still had that thought process.  I was so caught up in what others thought of my parenting based on how my kids acted, what my kids looked, what car we drove, etc.  I found myself yelling a lot more, stressing way more and plain not happy - with anything.

Then almost 6 years ago our little Brahm was born to our perfect little family.  You know the one with the 2 kids, boy and a girl, dog in the backyard, PTO, etc.  Except this little angel was different.  He would have struggles, he would look different and frankly our perfect little world came crashing down around us.

Because really when all you teach is perfection what happens when life is no longer perfect, when you fail, or your life doesn't turn out the way you thought it would?

BUT . . .

He was also incredibly dynamic, and could reel people into his world like nothing I have ever seen before.  Slowly the negative comments and the apologetics turned into "I want one jsut like him!?!?"  Yeah pretty sure that wasn't gonna happen.

Still I was caught in the world of perfection.

And then we looked at adopting.   Our big excuse . . . we were NOT the perfect people.  Well, as I started reading blogs I came across one that changed my life.  She had a lot of kids, she said she was not organized, wasn't a great cook, and on some days didn't even like kids . . . ding, ding, ding!

 I have always know God has had a plan with Cav, his story is jsut to . . . well God.  I am slowly beginning to realize that maybe just maybe part of HIS plan is to teach us that different is ok,
in fact different should be celebrated.
With a child who destroys a pair of pants everyday,
you quickly get over how your kids look.

Cav is an in your face and hard to ignore difference.  While my children with dwarfism are "cute" and have incredible personalities, Cav has to work for EVERYTHING.  He requires people to either move away from their comfort zone of perfection, or delve blindly deeper into it.

We have encountered both.

My perfection seeking relatives, only see Cav's legs.  You can watch them and FIVE months later they still only see the disability and NOT the little boy behind them.  Do you know how sad that is - not for him or us because we have a ton of people cheering for this little boy, but for them.

On the flip side we have seen (in our perfect little sheltered community) true character.  There was a wrestling program which Brahm LOVES, the coach said bring Cav too.  Although it was a bit much for this timid child with intensely ingrained orhanage behavior, these teenage boys played with him, thought through activities so he could also participate, and cheered him on.  They touched my son, they carried him and not once did they turn in repulsion.  These are the men of our future and although I don't know their names, I do know one very important thing - they will succeed in this world, and I pray everyday that my own children will be men of character like these boys.

You know something else, imperfection is freeing. . . if you can handle our house then truly you are more than welcome to come as you are.  I will no longer run around, cleaning, changing children, . . . OK I will make sure the toilets are flushed and their is toilet paper LOL!

Tuesday, May 22, 2012

Flight Path!

I absolutely LOVE May ~ we live directly across from the Air Force Academy and all week the Thunderbirds have been practicing for Graduation tomorrow.  Our house (partially because it is open space) is on the flight path.

The unmistakeable sounds,
the smoke clouds,
did I mention the sounds
. . . the all mean summer is HERE!!

Yesterday we walked out of preschool and 2 jets flew right in front of us!

Can I say there is nothing cuter than my little Fei jumping up & down squealing in delight!!

THe triangle is the gorgeous Air Force Academy Chapel

Pikes Peak ~ still covered in snow

 Fly over!!

Love this pic!

Love this of my little man running out to make his own picture!

Oh and his Gracie!

Monday, May 21, 2012

And they're off!

I can NOT believe that when I wrote this post that less than a month later I would be in Denver getting our documents certified!

I am speechless really, because HE so has a plan for this baby.  Last year it took FOREVER to get where we will be at next week!

As in we sent our paperwork to our homestudy agency BEFORE we left for spring break at the end of MARCH and our DOSSIER was not sent to China (DTC) 07/08/11.  We were approved for our I-800A on 06/20/11.  It took 65 days to get our approval last year plus the time it took for our homestudy agency to realize they forgot to ask for the correct amount in a check AND we were RFE'd because they forgot our marriage certificate (which we were able to email.)

Also last year we paid Great Wall entirely to much money for their Dragon Dossier service because frankly getting items notarized, certified and authenticated jsut sounded like a LOT of work for this disorganized ADHD person.

FOLKS, you basically HAVE to get everything notarized because it is your signature they are agreeing to.  One down.

THEN the certification is a joke.  You take your little stack of paperwork (ok you can mail it too) to the secretary for state's office, fill out their little paper and pay your money (CO it is an extra $10 per document to stand their and get your papers back in 10 minutes, but when you figure in gas it's worth it.) They look in their magic computer and determine your notary actually is certified with the state.  Then they print out a nice little paper and STAPLE it to your notary page.  Do NOT ever remove those staples!

It is downtown Denver on 17th street, in the Wells Fargo building.  The elevators on the right take you to the 2nd floor, the other ones start at the 12th floor.  Best of all there is a Starbucks in the lobby, Wells Fargo will notarize, and the bathroom is on the 4th floor but don't tell anyone LOL!

OK, authentication - this requires sending your paperwork to the Chinese Consulate for one more agreement that everything is official.  You can use your designated Chinese consulate (Colorado's is Chicago) OR everyone can use Washington, DC.  IF you have birth certificates, etc from different states and they would then have to go to a different consulate THEN use Washington DC.

I think most consulates require a courier but truthfully for less than $100 it's worth every penny to make sure you documents are done correctly and NOT lost!

Sooo, since the Chicago courier doesn't go on Weds & Fri delaying my paperwork until next Tues (Mon is a holiday) I chose the DC office.  They sent me a list I needed to include in my packet.

In Denver if you head UP 17th street you will see Fedex (ok really you will think you are lost but when you see the shoe repair sign your there!)

Glass building is the consulate (behind me on the other side of the street is Fedex.)

They have a copier - we had to send the originals PLUS a set of copies.  AND I needed a copy of our update too!

Oh BUT I waited to read my list from the courier and realized that I needed a MONEY ORDER! ugh for the Chinese Embassy.  Well, I was directed jsut one block up the street on the right and there was a 7-11!  I have never gotten a money order LOL!  Apparently they need to be signed - the checker thought I was a total dork!

Ok the money order was purchased and back to Fedex! (did I tell you I had signed up for an account a few days before so all I needed was to fill out the airbills and include them in my package - everything will be charged to my account!!)

Also, the fabulous courier agreed to send my originals back to me AND copies directly to our adoption agency.  I made an extra set of copies (in addition to those for the consulate) and included them so all they have to make copies of are the authentication pages!  I included an airbill for Madison and one for me!  Theirs is overnight and mine is slowboat home LOL!  I was able to pay the other fees with a personal check.

You can overnight from Fedex until 7:15 PM and I think the consulate closes at 4:30 (I got there at 4pm and there weren't any time issues.)

So, tomorrow our paperwork arrives, AND then Weds they should be delivered.

Ok BUT I HAVE to tell you about this God moment.  I was looking through my cash stash and was so disappointed that I only had grabbed $120 and I needed $160.  I went back to the car and dug through my purse, my husbands car looking for enough money.  I had gotten so far WAHHH!  I dug, ugh it was hot, I prayed, I dug, and then I googled the closest bank which isn't close, I prayed again and then decided to see how close I was.

I somehow missed a $50?!?!  I dunno but I sure LOVE when prayers are answered.

Thursday, May 17, 2012

Trust in ME

It has been a rough week!

Last night I spent in tears wondering what I was thinking bringing another child home.  Cav spent FOUR . . . yes FOUR freaking hours screaming on Mothers Day.  He was ticked that he couldn't have a donut after church. 

NO ONE else got a donut
We were going to BRUNCH.

He screamed all the way to Brunch, kicked seats and had an all out fit with no hope of calming.

THankfully, we have been parents long enough to know bailing on Brunch was the smartest idea.
We felt terrible for the other kids ~ but this was one of those opportunities where we saw their true character.
They truly made me proud.

We have had an unexplained backslide in Cav's behavior all week.
Tantrum's everyday
Inappropriate behavior at school

Then today we had to run up to Denver Children's to meet with the Dwarf specialist.
Fei will need surgery (tonsils so not a huge deal)
Brahm had to have blood drawn as his latest genetic test came back WITHOUT answers again.
In the midst of his tears he asked some pretty difficult questions, about WHY's.

I got home and found this waiting in the mailbox.

For those not in the know our I-800A approval
OK I dreaded the thought of running BACK up to Denver in the morning, but was able to make arrangements to be in Denver by 8AM so I could be back be 11AM Kindergarten pickup LOL!

AND THEN. . . 
I remembered we still needed a copy of our homestudy update which our social worker said she mailed on Monday before she left 

TEARS, ok ugly cry, and then I realized.

I had been so stressed, so distracted that I allowed Satan into our lives.
As I drove the kids to their activity tonight, I fiercely prayed for direction and that's when I had not been in the word as much as I should.

Of course I had to laugh when I went to my easy brainless got to on BibleGateway

AB Simpson    Abraham believed in God
 Abraham's faith reposed in God Himself. He knew the God he was dealing with. It was a personal confidence in 
 One whom he could utterly trust. The real secret of Abraham's whole life was in his friendship with God. He 
knew God to be his great, good and faithful Friend. Taking Him at His word, he stepped out from all that he 
knew and loved and went forth upon an unknown pathway with none but God. In addition to trusting in the 
Word of God, have we learned to lean our whole weight upon God, the God of infinite love and power, our 
covenant God and everlasting Friend? We are told that Abraham glorified God by this life of faith. The truest 
way to glorify God is to let the world see what He is and what He can do. God does not so much want us to do 
things as to let people see what He can do. God is not looking for extraordinary characters as His instruments, 
but He is looking for humble instruments through whom He can be honored throughout the ages. 

Ok I got it!!

Love the LORD your God with all your heart with all your soul and with all your strength.

Sunday, May 13, 2012

Sunday Snapshot - tears & joy

AS I stood looking over our brood today I laughed at how much we have changed in jsut a year.

It has been an emotional weekend AND I have cried rivers!

  1. We celebrated Cav's 4th birthday on Saturday.  (joy)
  2. It was also the 1 year anniversary of when we chose to follow God's path to a sweet little baby who had been on the shared list for over half his life.  We sent LOI for Cav on his 3rd birthday. (tears)
  3. When we asked Cav about his birthday - he went up to his room and brought back the picture of the cake we sent him in November (of course I cried again.)
  4. I had asked for prayers that the weather would be nice for his party.  I made the decision to cancel his party at 10am.  At 4 when his party would have started, the clouds parted and it was beautiful.  Trusting in Him is still something I struggle with still.  He has such incredible plans for this boy of ours.  We still celebrated with one family - our go to family LOL!
  5. Our sweet baby Tao turned 2 today (rivers of tears)
  6. Another birthday missed, another child not celebrated, arms aching. (ugly cry)
  7. My big kids are so incredible, their hearts so wonderful. (joy)
  8. All day my littles would run to me with their special items they made for me. (my heart exploding)
  9. My sweet husband put together an organizing system for the littles toys (I love this man)
  10. By the time Tao comes home we will have doubled the number of our children in one year
AND I feel so incredibly blessed that THIS is the life God meant for me!

Happy 4th Birthday big Guy, we feel so incredibly blessed to have you as part of our family!!

All shot inside with Canon and my 50mm - fiddled in Lightroom trying to create a yummy B&W!

Ni Hao Yall

Friday, May 11, 2012

Updates and prayers

I-800A ~ YEAH!  We were able to walk in this morning and got our fingerprints done in about 15 minutes!  I immediately called to have them add this information to our file, so we hope to be approved soon!  Kind of getting excited - so close, jsut a few more steps.

Tao ~ Our kids couldn't believe that we were already almost done with the paperwork.  It was nice because we were able to use their comments as a teaching moment about God and His ability to move mountains.  I hope once little man Tao is home, they will always be able to look at him and remember the mountains that God moved to bring Tao home  and what HE will do for them.

Brahm ~ Please pray for my sweet little guy.  AS you saw in the movie yesterday he LOVES jumping out of the swing.  Today his sleeve got caught and he landed on his back.  I went through the whole body check, BUT he is now complaining about a headache.  Please pray for this sweet, sweet angel of mine, he has such an incredible spirit but such a tiny body (barely 30 lbs at almost 6).

Cav ~ His BIG day is tomorrow - his 4TH Birthday.  As the day has gotten closer we have gotten more and more excited.  

He also gets it.  Today he brought daddy the picture we had printed of his cake we sent to China.

We invited several of our little friends to come celebrate the day (although not a true birthday party as we have found it is to stressful still for them.)  Just pizza, . . . pop (our kids never get pop LOL), . . . cookies and playing outside on the tramp, swingset and his very special present!

Since Cav & Tao's birthday are a day apart (and we had rewards to use up) we got them something that we thought Cav can use shortly after his surgery.

BUT it's supposed to SNOW! 
ugh are you kidding me!

Please pray that the weather patterns change and we can still have our friends come over at 4pm on Sat.

Thursday, May 10, 2012

Watching Cav

I have had a ton of questions about Cav.  Also since we are jsut weeks out from his amputation surgery I wanted to document his before movement.  Remeber this kid who was terrified of plants when we received him, and had probably been outside TWICE in his entire 3 years in China.

I can partially understand keeping inside - he started the day with completely intact pants!  Goodwill LOVES us as his pants last one maybe two times.  I guess it cuts down on laundry LOL!

I wanted to share for those who might be contemplating a child with significant limb difference.  We believe he will do phenomenal once he has his new legs (and shoes LOL!)  As a matter of fact my other little guy in the video has dwarfism so really . . . so much for disabilities!

Wednesday, May 9, 2012


Announcing our newest little guy has weighed very heavily on us.  Last year we did not receive the best reactions.  We have learned that most people don't always know what to say on the spot.  Tao has become such a normal part of our children's speech that we also knew keeping him a secret until travel jsut wasn't going to work.

Although we still thought showing up at Christmas dinner with him would be hysterical we decided we should probably send the announcement now, before we saw most of our family over the summer.

Heehee it was a surprise but the title page gave everything away and I didn't realize it until I hit send LOL!

Click to play this Smilebox greeting

God has been so good to us, AND in this particular need He also has shown us His Grace.  

Funny, this is the sermon series we are going through right now, and I'm not sure if I am starting to look for His grace in more areas or truly He is showering us with an extraordinary amount of His grace - but it feels like sunshine and a giant hug!

Monday, May 7, 2012

Moving Mountains

 I am beyond shocked - the prayers are being heard and He is so incredible.  I can see the mountains being moved right in front of us.  And on days like yesterday (waahaa) it so helps me to see His hand in the midst of this adoption.

To catch you up - our homestudy agency is NOT renewing their Hague when it expires in June.  We have to be DTC by June.  The I-800A process was our biggest hurdle in meeting this timeline.  Last year when we did this process it took 65 days for I-800A approval.

Our paperwork was supposedly sent April 16th - we finally got notice that it was received April 23rd and notice given April 25th.

Friday I opened the mail and what did I see?

Our fingerprint appointments!!

This means we can try and walk in this week.  Unfortunately we can't go in until Friday but still I could jsut cry when I see Him move mountains for one little guy!

At the latest our fingerprint appointment is for May 22, so even then we should be able to be DTC within our timeline.

Saturday, May 5, 2012

Sunday Snapshot - Focus

 This girl of mine is finding her way, 
she is incredibly aggressive (which can cause problems with the cliches in school)
but is awesome for sports.

She would prefer to play with the boys - so she could wear pads and check LOL!

Until then, she will dominate - as long as she gets ice cream for goals!!

Oh and she is a big girl LOL!
We think she will be close to 6 feet which jsut makes our family dynamics just all that funnier!

Three goals today = ice cream and a movie!  Now she is also the favorite sibling!

Ni Hao Yall

Shot with my Canon 5D and 70-300 mm lens
edited in lightroom using Sarah Ji presets (top photo with texture added in photoshop)

Friday, May 4, 2012

A must see show!

If you have contemplated adopting a little person but wonder what it is like - there will be a phenomenal family featured tonight on 20/20

Amber and her husband are both little people and have 2 bio children, and 3 adopted little people.
I hope when you watch you will see that besides being little spitfires, they just are like you and I.

Here is a preview on GMA this morning

Tonight (Friday) on 20/20 with Barbara Walters will air the entire interview.

Available children can be seen

Come on folks, everyone needs a princess!

Cuz, "little's are superior race!" 
(yeah mom did a good job with my self-esteem!)

cuz, sometimes, the unknowns are scary
 but everyone deserves someone to call their own.