Tuesday, January 10, 2017

You know you are adopting when you are watching tv with your family and your 14 year old son sees a commercial about HGTV's dream home giveaway and he tells you, you should be entering it. Not because he wants to live there, but because if we win and sell the house it will help get his sister home! LOL 3 

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Friday, November 18, 2016

One Child

Many are the plans in a person’s heart,

    but it is the Lord’s purpose that prevails.  

Proverbs 19:21

Soon after my husband and I were married we started our family.  Our oldest son was born in the spring of 1998. After a hard pregnancy, bed rest for five weeks, and an emergency C-section. We were blessed with a precious healthy baby boy.  Well until he was 6 months old, that was when he had first gotten very ill with pneumonia.  This was the beginning of his battle with asthma.  Until he was three years old he was in and out of the hospital regularly until we were able to get the right treatment plan since then he has only been hospitalized a handful of times.  Due to his health we chose to wait before adding to our family.  So 4 years and one day later our second son, Owen was born. Then 2 years later we were surprised with a precious little girl, Mae.  We had a complete, perfect family!  Or so we thought....... However God has a way of changing our plans and our idea of the "perfect family".  Our hearts changed and we knew our family wasn't complete. Even though it didn't happen right away, we knew when the time is right God will work it all out and he did with Jean in May 2015.  We know "Adopting one child won't change the world, but for that one child the world will change" and for all of us!  After our trip to China, visiting, Jean's orphanage, and looking into the eyes of all the children who desperately wanted us to take them home our hearts will never be the same.   It didn't take long and we knew we were going back.  There was a little boy who would soon age out that had grabbed our hearts back when we were in the process for Jean. We prayed and prayed for him and our hearts broke at the idea of him aging out.  My husband and I talked about possibly going back for him.  However, sadly no matter how much we wanted to go after him we knew our home, vehicle, etc was not set up for a wheelchair. We even considered moving bedrooms around, but no matter what we came up with we knew in our (broken) hearts it just couldn't work.  I couldn't give up on him! We continued to pray and I advocated for him on a China adoption facebook page.  This was when we saw a precious little girl who's eyes reached out and grabbed us! We could see her beautiful soul behind her sad eyes.  We contacted the agency that had her file and knew she was the one, she was our daughter.  Even though it didn't go as we thought, God placed the sweet little boy in our hearts so we would consider going back and led us to our daughter. I am sure you are wondering what is going to happen you the young man? Well through all the advocating he has a wonderful family that saw him,fell in love, and is in the process of bringing him home!

Wednesday, November 9, 2016

"It Hurts"

When we were in China after we first met Jean one of the things we had to do to bring her home is take her for a medical exam.  We sat there waiting for her turn to have bloodwork done when it was her turn a lady came and took her from our arms(we weren't allowed to go back with her).  My husband and I sat outside the door fighting back tears waiting and preparing ourselves for the scream from the other room.  We were in early stages of bonding and building her trust and here we let them take her and poke her with a needle.  We waited and waited wondering is she scared? Is she looking for us? Should we have insisted on going back.  Then here she came back with the nurse not a single tear just a band-aid to prove they truly did do it.  We hugged her and told her we will take care of her.  Even though she didn't cry she hid her arm behind her back.  We figured since it hurt she wanted to hide it, protect it.  Later after coming home we had several medical appointments and again she never cried.  She got more bandaids!  Finally we realized it wasn't the pokes it was the bandaid that upset her.  Everytime she got one she would hide it behind her back.  We don't know what has caused her to dislike bandaids was it some sort of trauma, or maybe with her special need she doesn't like things sticking to her skin however what ever it was we knew for her they don't make things better.  Kisses work best. Not too long ago she got ill, and got a bad rash from her infection.  Then a couple weeks later she started losing her fingernails. :( Well tried to stay away from bandaids, but after a nail got caught on carpet at school and ripped her old nail and her new nail badly we insisted she leave them on.  We went and got some "Frozen" bandaids which made them special and we played a guessing game every time we put one on "who do you think it is?" she loved guessing.  For about 2 weeks or so we did this to protect her new nails until the others completely fell off.  After all the nails came off would you believe she was asking us for a bandaid for every hangnail :)  This may seem small to most but this was huge for her she was overcoming fears.

Another thing we noticed right away is that most children when they fall down or scrape themselves they belt out a loud cry.  The first time Jean got a little scrape we were so sad for her, not just because she got a scrape, but mostly because she didn't cry.  This is as sad as it is it is not uncommon for children from orphanages.  They stop crying because it serves no purpose, nobody comes to them.  This took love but after time of receiving love and compassion until she realised if she fell down we cared! I remember one day Owen, Mae,and I were at home with her when she came around the corner and fell both the kids and I came running to her rescue!  I will never forget that look in her eyes as she looked around at all of us and realized we were there to love on her.  We all hugged her and kissed her boo boo.  She teared up and cried just a little.  Her cry was forced, horse and not very powerful like she just didn't know how to do it.  Later that day Daddy came home and as soon as he came through the door she ran right up to him to show him her little boo boo, and instantly started sniffing and whimpering.  He looked at me in shock because she had never done this before.  My heart literally melted!  She knew that he loved her and that he to would care she bumped her finger. This is huge and are so glad that she feels loved enough that it is ok to cry.  Every day she grows more and is better at letting us know "It hurts" "I don't feel good".

Monday, October 10, 2016

Children and Pets

A playful dog or a purring kitty can no doubt bring owners (young and old) much joy.  However the advantages of pet ownership go well beyond the fact that they are cuddly and fun. I grew up in a dog loving home.  To me a home isn't complete without at least one four legged family member. Dogs are so good for children! Children that grow up with dogs develop nurturing skills, responsibility, empathy, a caring attitude, and communication skills.  Children who have dogs tend to have improved social skills, and are more physically active. With a pet in the house children can pick up a few pointers and  learn about responsibility. Depending on yours childs age, children as young as toddlers and help with feeding and watering.  Older children can help with bathing, and grooming. Dogs need to go out so, having a dog will keep your child physically active.  A dog will keep your kids active and fresh air is good for everyone. Another great thing is when children grow up around pets, they instinctively learn the right way to approach, touch, and interact with them from the start and it teach them the importance of being kind and gentle. This is also very beneficial for their safety by knowing how to act around dogs. Some dogs if they have the right temperament could be a perfect candidate to be a therapy dog. Dogs can pick up on many things that we cant. Things from seizures to cancer.  They can be good therapists as well.They provide constant companionship and a child with a dog rarely will feel alone. Research shows that children that have pets in the family have higher self-esteem. Dogs provide relationships with our children that give them comfort, esteem, support and confidence. Contact with your pet like brushing, petting, can lower stress levels. The relaxation and relief from stress provided by animals also has health benefits for parents.  Owning a dog can be a delightful family experience and has enormous benefits for the child and family. When Jean first came home she was terrified of our dogs.  It took about two weeks before she would get close enough to touch them.  It wasn't long and she was hugging our dogs and kissing them. Also did you know they are even good for their health? Experts say that children who grow up with pets are less likely to develop common allergies thanks to the early exposure of certain bacteria and therefore become sick less often. 

I guess what I am saying is: every family should have a pet ;)

Thursday, September 29, 2016

Go Fly A Kite

Building relationships between our children is so important us.  They can either be life long friends or lifelong enemies.  Positivety should always be encouraged with them.  Plus it is a sanity saver for us parents.  I like to look at misbehavior as a learning opportunity.  The older kids were at each other all day and I had, had enough! So instead of listening to who had to do what I took the opportunity to teach them about working together.  Mae had a kite that just would not fly. So I told them they had to work together to build a kite the would fly out of things we had at home.  It had to fly even though we didn't have any wind :) They totally loved that idea and were scrounging around the house for things to use.  They tried many different shapes and had to work out how to string it so it wouldn't crash.  This kept them very busy and while they didn't start out agreeing on everything, they worked out a plan and had a lot of fun together.  As you can hear in the video Jean was soooo excited when the kite flying so it was great for the teens, but it also was exciting for the little one.

Wednesday, September 14, 2016

"On The Wall"

Growing up my mother always framed our school pictures and hung them on the wall.  She even had frames that you could put wallet size pictures in for every grade.  In fact my husbands family did the same just as I am pretty sure most families do whether it is school pictures or professional. We all love to display our family in our homes.  For us we hang our children's pictures above our fireplace so they are the focal point of our living room.  We didn't want Jean to feel left out so we set a framed 5X7 picture of her (a cute one we had received from the orphanage) sitting on our fireplace until we had a picture of her to hang up.  I anxiously waited for all the pictures to come in so I could hang them up, but what I didn't even think about was what that would do to her.  After we had everyone's pictures I updated them and excitedly added her picture.  Later that day she said and pointed out to all of us "Jean on the wall".  We thought wow, she is so observant but actually after about the 3rd or 4th time of pointing out her picture we realized it was more than her "picture on the wall".  It was way more to her it was identity, she realized this meant she was truly part of our family!  Weeks/months went by and she continued to happily point and say "Jean on the wall".  How special, every time she did this it touched our hearts because we knew it told her she was truly part of our family, but it also told us she happily accepted being part of our family.  It didn't just stop there when every we went over to the Grandparents house she would find her picture and point it out.  She truly loves being part of a family, our family!

Daddy's poem:
Adoption is a gift
A gift from up above
Introducing one of God's Children
To His unfailing love
Caring for those without parents
according to God's plan
love them, pray for them
do what we can
when we brought our first daugther home
her staring at our wall
the reaction on her face
well that said it all
she saw her picture
for everyone to see
prayers were answered
she now has a Family
we are in the process
adding to our story 
Another picture on the wall
To God be the glory.