Sunday, July 18, 2010

Home Sweet Home! What we found out in China!

Leaving the White Swan!

New faces at our kitchen counter!!

Look at Emma's smile- that is a for real smile!! She loves to dress up and loves that doll she found in our house! They both love the dress up shoes!!

Everyones happy we are home!!

It feels so good to be home! Thank You Jesus!! I am so grateful that our travels were uneventful. It was exhausting but we made it!! The girls were giddy to be home! They both ran and hugged their Ge ge- Johnny!! We were surprised they were so affectionate to him. He was genuinely excited to meet them and show them their new home. After about 4 hours- he was getting tired of all the activity- that is understandable. We are going to move a few things around so that the older kids can have the basement and the younger kids can have all of their toys upstairs. Everybody need s little space to retreat too!! My shower and the computer are my two spots!

The girls are loving our toys- nothing new just stuff from Sarah and Anna, but to them it's all new! I like seeing it get used and so much joy coming from their playing!! Emma and Ellie are really into dress up!! They can't get enough of it- it is so cute. We have seen some wonderful natural smiles from Emma- which is good!! The dear girl had no idea how to deliberately smile - like for a pic! She needs more mirror time!!

Sorry to leave you hanging but I have had to think about this for awhile because I don't know what it means, or what to think.

When we were in China we found out that our girls have another sister. It is so wonderful to know that... I mean - I have often wondered about Sarah and Anna- do they have birth siblings in China or are they adopted somewhere. We love them so much we would want to give their siblings a home too if it could work out!

In this case we have heard that the little sister still lives with the parents. That's good... the children should live with their birth parents, if they can. Isn't that what we all want? I mean of course it is, but it does bring about confusing feelings and then twists the whole adoption thought process. I had to think this through a bit because my first thought was maybe we could adopt her, too! HOLD IT, she is where she should be- with her birth family. What am I thinking? She is not an orphan, she has a home. She is right where she is supposed to be.

Then I started thinking- oh my- of course most of our children have siblings- we just don't know who they are? That thought drives me crazy- it's a puzzle that can never be solved.

What are your thoughts?

(I'll add a few pics when I find my camera!)


Lori said...

Oh I'm so glad you are home and that the girls are enjoying their new surroundings! What a blessing!

About the sibling thing...yes, it's true that whether we know about siblings that exist or not, it's likely that most of our kids have brothers or sisters somewhere. It's so sad. I think it's great that your girls' sister is still with the parents. You are should be with their birth parents if at all possible. That's God's design and plan. But it certainly could bring up challenges for your girls from time to time...confusion and sadness. God will lead you to tell them the right thing. Avoid flowery stories. Just be honest with what you know. And always assure them that Jesus loves them so much that He made sure they were adopted into a happy family.

connie said...

I can't believe it's taken me this long to find your blog! I can't wait to go back and read about your journey to the girls. We brought home our last two Treasures in November, one a teenager.
The sibling issue is so overwhelming to me. All five of my China Treasures were too young at 'surrender' to know whether they had sibs, and we have no information of any siblings...but if I ever found out they had siblings who had been orphaned I would definitely try to bring them home forever!

Pam said...

Welcome home, Jean!

Jennifer O'Cain said...

Jean, This is such a difficult subject but of course I think Lori's response is great. Our daughter says that she has an older sister in CHina.I do think the child should be with her Bio parents. But it would be so hard knowing...

I am so happy to see that ya'll got home safe and without incident. I was worried for you, I know how hard that travel is and with 4 little ones...You are my hero!

Mom to my China Posse said...

Glad you are home and I continue to keep you and yours in my prayers. Older child adoption is so very differant and its good to read when somneone is keepign it real. As you know we have been home with Rachel since 2008 and I can honestly say its taken this long for her to really start fitting in with the other girls and it is so great to see. She was so use to getting her way thru bad behavior that she thought she could do that here and for awhile it really alienated her sisters because they didn't understand. We stood firm and its wonderful to see the progress we have made. God Bless your beautiful family!

Sally-Girl! said...

So happy you are home, probably almost as happy as you are!!!

Love that the girls are enjoying dress-up and being at home.

To see a for real smile is for real a good thing!!!

Talk soon!!!

Mom Of Many said...

Welcome home!! So very thankful you are all home...praying for the continued adjustments...much love!

From the Erben Gang..... said...

Yah! Welcome home. The look on emmas face is relief!!!
Maybe being in china and all the talk of a new home didn't seem real...and now it does. Maybe now she truely believes she is yours. Sarah just looks so proud. Off to a great start! Xo

Angie said...

Emma's smile is beautiful and looks so natural! What a blessing to see it emerge! As for their sister in China...ouch. That's a tough one that will need lots of prayer for all involved. Welcome home!

Cari said...

Welcome Jean and family!!

Glad that you are back. Don't be surprised if it takes up to 2 weeks to get over the jet lag. I know you've done this before {so have I}, but for some reason I kept wanted to sleep at 6pm at night for a couple of weeks.

Your girls look amazing together. I agree with you on the bio sib thing. Being with the birth family is where they should be if it's safe, but maybe if the family ever had to make an adoption plan for her then could you be contacted by someone to give you this option?

I look forward to seeing your family learn to be together and hopefully we can help support each other through the process. Email me anytime!

Mary Kate said...

So glad you are home safe and sound!!! Also very grateful you are taking the time to blog on your first day home!!!!
Emma's smile is so wonderful...You can see a huge weight lifted off her shoulders in that smile....She looks more her age, and like a child (the way she should look)...Things will be fine, PTL!!! I do have a few questions, if you don't mind? Did the girls see their bio parents? Did they have a relationship with the bio sibling? My heart breaks for them, because they knew they were abandoned and possibly they thought the bio sibling was the "favored" sibling...So sad! My husband and I fostered two siblings for a while and their bio siblings were with the parents...The pain we saw was incredible, so my heart breaks for the girls and what they have been through. I think Emma was probaly leaving school, running, trying to get back to the bio parents...I don't know, just a guess...Did the foster grandparents know the bio parents? Sorry for all the questions, my heart just breaks for them, even though they may not realize, yet, how wonderful their life will be, and how much they will be loved! Bless you and your family for taking on these girls, two at once surely has its challenges, but the rewards you will receive will be endless....
When things settle down, any other tidbits on Shasha's personality would be appreciated!!! We still do not have an American name for her, I am finding it difficult not knowing her personality!
I cannot thank you enough for all the photo's...that has been one priceless gift!!!!
Mary Kate

Difference2This1 said...

Welcome home!! It brought tears to my eyes to see Emma's smile...even before I read your comments about it, I noticed that "real" smile...even had to blow up the picture just to enjoy it a bit more :) So good to see it.

I guess it's not so common in the China program to find out such details about bio siblings (happens yes, but not as common due to why/how kids are not with their bio parents); but I have learned it is common in so many other countries including where we are going next. I would suspect both our boys have siblings we could find out about while there. It adds a different heartbreak- better to know or not to know...I still don't know the answer. It's just a different hurt :( However...regardless, He has brought these particular children to you and they will be blessed to be a part of your family now. Praying for energy and joy as you work through jetlag and adjustments and move forward!! God bless, Jennifer

Karen said...

Welcome Home! Love Emma's "real" smile. Precious pictures of your girls playing dress-up. Praying for a smooth transition into family life and your home routine.

The Heald Family said...

So glad to see them sitting at your counter. Anna seems glad to be back with Johnny:) I am sure that was hard to hear about the siblings. I will be praying for Ellis & Emma as they adjust to life at home! THanks for letting us in on your journey.

Janet and Kevin said...

Jean -

Welcome home! So glad you got home safely and that you are actually seeng sweet smiles on your Emma's face! Whoo-hoo. It's a start!

Janet and gang

Dawn said...

As far as the sibling thing, I have a had time with it thinking that our daughter may have younger sibs that may NOW be in her old orphanage! My heart breaks as an adoptee myself who found her bio sister, I grieve for her. But I know we are Hers and she is ours and we do the best we can for her! Our daughter has been home 3 years and it has taken this long for her to really come out of her shell and be free...from her fear in China.

joeks said...

So glad to read that you are all safely home! The smiles say it all!

姿柯瑩柯dgdd憶曾g智曾 said...
This comment has been removed by a blog administrator.
Wright Family said...

What a striking difference in Emma's demeanor! How different is life in a country where parents give away their children! Keep mind that if a son comes along the little sister will end up in the orphanage, too. thank you, Lord for the blessing of living here, Catherine

Wright Family said...

What a striking difference in Emma's demeanor! How different is life in a country where parents give away their children! Keep mind that if a son comes along the little sister will end up in the orphanage, too. thank you, Lord for the blessing of living here, Catherine

Are These Kids All Yours? said...

I think it is hard when your children have sibling elsewhere- all of our children have siblings that are either with the biological family still or have been adopted by others. It is hard because we would love nothing more than relationships with them, but that gets tricky. I will be praying for wisdom for you and praying for your transition to being home. It is sooo GREAT to see you all HOME!!!!!!!

Susan A said...

delighted to see Emma's smile, she must truly be enjoying herself :)wonderful to see and may He continue to give you wisdom and guidance.

Mandi said...

Oh Jean, I am SO glad to hear you made it home safe and sound. The girls look like they are going to fit right in with your family. Love Emma's smile.

As for the sibling thing, I wonder alot about whether my China kids have siblings out there, especially Jaxon. I dread the day he is able to tell us if he does or does not remember a brother or sister. However, each and everyone of our kids are right where our God wants them to be. The fact that you know they have a sister is amazing to me.


Adeye said... glad you're home, Jean. The pics are absolutely priceless. Rest and get over the jet lag. Praying that everyone adjusts beautifully.

Love and hugs

Nicole A. said...

Happy that you are home! Thanks for sharing the journey! Your pictures are great, and the girls will love having them when they are older. Praying that your transition and the girls' transitions are as smooth as possible. Congratulations!

All the best,
Nicole A. in OH

Sue said...

Welcome home and see you soon.....will talk to you later.

TanyaLea said...

Welcome Home!! As brutal as re-entry can be...Home never looks so good! ;) Glad to see those natural smiles and that the girls are already finding their place in their new home. I think it's also great that you are going to make the lower-level for just the big kids's important that they have their own get-away spaces, too. You are one SMART mama!! :)

Wow, that IS a deep subject. One I do think about, but it troubles me every time. Especially since I have no info at all that I can give Khloe about her birth family. It's amazing to me that you have as much info as you do about their sister. I know God will give you wisdom on how to deal with this as you continue to seek Him on this. Honesty w/out fluff is always best, I agree. Keeping you all in my prayers!

SO happy to see you all HOME together! :)

Blessings and Hugs,
~ Tanya

ourchinagirls said...

I really enjoyed following along on your trip with you. I am sure that you will have your hands full for quite a while. We, too, have adopted an older child and are getting ready to do it again.

As for the sibling. I am really amazed that you would be given that kind of information. It is supposed to be against the law to abandon your child in China and the children are not supposed to be available for adoption unless they are true orphans. This has been Chinese law for many, many years. So to be told that your daughter's parents are still alive and have another child living with them seems strange. If you can take your child to the orphanage why would so many children be abandoned? And if you abandon your child in China you are fined and or put in jail. I think I would take that info with a grain of salt.

Congratulations on the newest addition to your family.

Kathy said...

Welcome home!!!
I loved following your journey!
Love seeing the smile on Emma's
sweet face! What joy to see them
all sitting at the kitchen counter!
I am so happy for you Jean.
Praying for all of you during this
time of adjusting.

pbfoster said...

I'm so excited that you're finally home with your girls, AND when I saw the picture of the three girls playing dress up I did not recognize Emma right away. When we met the girls last year we never saw a genuine smile like that. It totally changes her face and hopefully the beauty that is being revealed on the outside will be accompanied by glimpses of the beauty within!

Wright Family said...

you know, Christie has a point,we tried to adopt an older boy whose mother was last heard of 4-6 yrs ago....the CCAA said he was not eligible