Thursday, July 15, 2010

Swearing In and Preparing for Our Journey Home!


Our version of the red couch picture!


All of our daughters!


One happy Momma with her girls!


After the swearing in ceremony, in front of the consulate!



Big Sissy and her two new sisters!


We were blessed to have such a wonderful family with us in GZ!! The Holts were in China in 2005 and now the returned for a little sister! They kept us laughing!


Today was the swearing in... it has been an incredible journey but now it is winding down. Tomorrow we get the girls passports and visas and head to HK for the night. We will fly home early Saturday morning and arrive home Saturday afternoon- I love that about this trip- we get two Saturdays!!

There are more posts to post, pics to see and experiences to tell about but for now we are focused on our journey home. God has blessed us with our daughters and sons. How lucky we are to parent this crew!

I have mentioned before that our dear Emma is a challenge. She has so, so much to learn. We are putting our faith in God that he will help us every step of the way. Hubby has been the one to deal with her misbehaviors. Once we get home it will be just me and the girls- Please pray for wisdom and patience for me as I deal with the challenges of two new daughters throughout the day. I do not doubt for a moment that God can do it but I do doubt whether or not I can do it- so as long as he is in control we will be fine!

Today we had the girls sit down with our family, our guide and the person in charge of the guides. We discussed expected behavior in America (seatbelt, stay with your family, etc). We discussed family expectations- respect older brothers, respect parents, respect our home, listen to parents, the parents are in charge, all children in America either go to school or are taught at home... it's the law, etc!

In all honesty - they made it very clear that if she(Emma) wanted to be in our family this is what she needed to do. We were glad they did! We know that kids are defiant at times, we know they test the limits and challenge the rules, we know they want control, we know that everyone makes mistakes. We are a happy family, we treat each other nicely, we love each other, we respect each other, we help each other and we believe we can be a great family to our new daughters but they need to work hard to make it work out. We believe they heard that message and now we will all move forward.

It was interesting because Emma then behaved perfectly and Ellie acted up. There are interesting dynamics when adopting bio sibs! I am sure this will not be the last time they act as a tag team. For too long they have been labeled good and bad. It is my goal, my mission to stop that. We used it a little to encourage better behavior from Emma while in China but that is not a game to be played at home.

I want... I dream for both girls to feel for once equally loved, equally treasured, equally admired and equally respected. This is not a task I can do on my own- this is so much bigger than me. It has to be all God, and only God.

Please pray that all goes as well as possible on our journey home!
Please pray for our journey as we become a family of 11 (2 parents and 9 children)!
Truly the Lord knows my heart! He knows my dreams! I am so grateful to him! He knows that as a child I played "big family"! My family had 13 in it so stay tuned!!

There is some other interesting news but I will wait to share it. It's all up to God and I completely submit to him!

28 comments:

Mama Fish said...

Jean- I think you are awesome! I can "hear" your heart and will be praying for each of your girls to feel "equally loved, equally treasured, equally admired and equally respected." You are right... God knows and He will give you just what you need.

You inspire me!!

Janet and Kevin said...

What an awesome attitude Jean! You all are wonderful! With God's guidance, soon your new daughters will be fitting in with their amazing new family - you all!

Praying for your safe and uneventful trip home.

Hugs from Indiana
Janet, Kevin, Ted, Philip, and Elijah

Sue said...

Glad to hear that you had a heart to heart with the girls and have them understanding better about how life will be....email me and let me know when you want Jade to come over to help out

TracyA said...

Jean, It is such a pleasure to read about your journey. Darrell and I are both so thankful to have met you and your amazing family. You all are graduate level adoptive parents! We will continue to keep your family in our prayers.

I would like to post a link to your blog on our blog. Would that be okay?

Love,
Tracy (and Darrell) Adcock
Freshman Class Adoptive Parents :~)

TanyaLea said...

Jean you are such a wise mama! I will be praying for this transition for your family and the girls to all feel their equal place and the deep love your family has to give. Afterall, that is what "family" is all about.

Sorry I haven't been commenting...Khloe is almost always on my lap or climbing on me when I'm reading your posts, so it's almost impossible. She is having lunch right now, so I'm ceasing the moment! ;) I will continue lifting you up in my prayers and pray for a very safe and pleasant travels home! MN can't wait to welcome our two newest citizens!!

LOVE the matching dresses on your girls...they all look so beautiful in their sisters dresses!! It's hard to believe that we were standing on those same steps only 7 weeks ago ourselves...so many memories!

Sending big hugs your way, dear friend!

Love and Hugs,
~ Tanya

Nancy said...

Jean, I'm here if there is anything I can help out with - taking Anna and Sarah for playdates, stealing you for a mom's night out, or just to listen if you need to say things out loud without little ears listening! I'll even deliver Starbucks for you!

Nancy

Angie said...

Congratulations on becoming a family of 11! Praying for an uneventful trip home, and for God to work miracles in the girls' hearts. Pray with them, Jean...miracles will happen!! Now...no fair leaving us hanging, especially since you'll be in the air and can't post for a while! :)

Acceptance with Joy said...

Love following your journey!!!

May I make a tiny suggestion?
When getting ready to transition to mom being home alone with the girls start taking over all direction and behavior management a couple of days before your husband goes back to work. Our twins would listen and respect my dh but would spite me and I found that even though I needed the break and was falling apart I had to deal with the behaviors while I had him to back me up or when he left all He** broke loose! The twins switch off on who is cooperative and who is not. We've come a LONG ways... some miles still ahead of us.

BLessings on your girls!!!

Nancy said...

Praying for your safe journey home and life with your two new daughters.

Victoria said...

Hi Jean,
I have been following your trip and praying for you all along the way, but have not been able to comment before today! : )
Your comments were such an encouragement to Tom and I when we traveled to bring home Piper! We have so much in common..our age : ) our bio-kiddos, (one teenaged son still at home not ALWAYS thrilled with his sisters...)...I was a Minnesota girl too...
We just passed the 6 month mark with Piper and have many adjustment miles behind us...
God's SOVEREIGNTY is what keeps me comforted in my tough moments of this life of adoption that the Lord has brought us into. Where He leads us, He will sustain us. The image of MANNA in the wilderness, provided faithfully each day...just enough for the day...is an image of comfort and trust that I often meditate on. I have some other Scriptures that He comforted me with the first weeks home that I will share with you later. This is an eternal work, and as my husband often reminds me, "We'll rest in heaven!" : )

Blessings and Prayers,
Victoria

Faye Verquer said...

NO fair to be leaving us hanging....however I will pray even more for you while you travel, I think you are going to need it! Lots of fun times ahead for you and those beautiful girls!

May God Bless you through and through!

Faye

Karen said...

Jean.. I love your blog. Our daughter is from Guilin and we visited there when we adopted her in 2006. I would love to be in contact with our daughter's foster family and give them updates. Thanks for allowing us to follow your journey to China.. it has been amazing!!

God Bless,
Karen R
Louisiana

Karen said...

I will continue to pray for you and your travel home. I love how Emma is snuggled up to Katie in their picture.

Sally-Girl! said...

Love being on this journey with you. It doesn't end once you are back at home. I am your forever adoptive friend forever!!!!

Can't wait to chat once back home and settled!!!

Love you, your wisdom, your courage and your ability to see the positive!!!

Sara W. said...

Hello Jean,

What an amazing journey you are on. Thank you so much for sharing it with all of us :-) What a huge heart you have...and sweet!!

We adopted our son 18 months ago (age 6). We, too, had the amazing experience to meet his foster family and some extended family. It was by far the best day of our trip. What a blessing it was. We keep in touch with them, and our guide we had in Nanjing. She was wonderful and was such a huge help to us. I treasure the pictures of his foster family, and so does he. We really call them his China Family (grandma and grandpa, aunt, big brother). They made us a dumpling lunch in their home, then we "talked" and talked. (and cried).

I LOVE the pictures you posted of the girls waving/looking at their foster parents, saying goodbye. Gave me goosebumps. We have some just like that. Oh the memories...brings tears to my eyes.

Congratulations!! You have a wonderful family!!

Pam said...

Love those red couch photos! Your 5 daughters are beautiful!

Praying for safe and uneventful travels home! Godspeed!

Susan A said...

praying for YHWH to continually guide you and bless you with His wisdom, you're doing great!!! :)

I've enjoyed reading all the previous entries :)

Are These Kids All Yours? said...

OK so now you have me guessing...what the other news is....

Praying for strength, patience, and great transitions as you come HOME! God will guide you, and nurture you and your children as you find your new normal.

I don't have doubts in you because I hear your heart on your blog....your desire to be fulfilled by God, and your desire to parent with HIM in the No 1 spot. Whatever happens....God will give you what you need :)

Motherbird said...

Jean,
I have been following your journey and wanted to let you know that you all will be in my prayers for a safe journey home and as the girls start their new life in America.

God bless you!
Sheri

Karin said...

What a great idea to sit down as a family and have that talk! I do think it helps kids soooo much to have all the expectations laid out for them. Praying for your trip home!

Karen said...

I do have to say that I have enjoyed all the matching outfits. Too cute!!

Praying for you guys and your trip home.

mom2eliza-mom2ava said...

Jean, are you seriously ending this post with a teaser?! Hmmm... I definitely want to hear more. I'm the 9th of 10 siblings (same parents, had been married 58 years until my dad passed away 2 years ago). Big families are a blessing! You are suited for it.

Glad you had the guides explain things to the girls. I did that too. It helped. I really think you will see huge and fast changes in Emma. I bet most of what you're witnessing, is fear of the unknown for her. That's what I see in her eyes anyway. If she's had the role of big sister too, she's probably feeling that loss and out of control. Hang in there.

Remember the "triangulating" that you might see when you get home too. Just stay firm on boundaries and zero tolerance for the first 2 weeks home. They'll get it really quick. I also remember that once Ava didn't have the upper hand with the language (once we left China and she could no longer speak for herself w/ me trailing behind her saying, "what did she order or what did she say?"), she went thru a couple of weeks of fear, testing, stages of infancy on up, and then compliance and peace all over again. So hang in there; you can do it!

Congrats on Oath Ceremony! You all looked fabulous and I loved the red couch photos! Hugs and prayers for a smooth journey home. Call me if you ever need to talk as they settle in okay?! Sarah

Kim said...

Praying for your trip home, and for your continued journey of transitions.
Thank You for sharing your journey with us.
Kim and Mandy

Serving the King said...

Jean I love your heart!! Thank you for allowing us to follow along and to get such a real up close glimpse of what this is all like! You are making such a difference and you inspire me. On a slightly different note, could those dresses BE any cuter?! Love it!

Difference2This1 said...

Praying this last few hours of your trip home that all is well on whatever plane you are on, kids are calm, no airsickness, etc, etc. The journey to bring them home is almost complete; now the even harder journey begins. I will continue to pray that little start to heal. It is has been a blessing to follow your journey- and will continue to be a blessing to watch all that is to come with your family unfold. God bless, Jennifer

Ashton said...

Congratulations!!

Tracy said...

Jean,
Im so happy that you all made it home safely. I almost commented the other day about how funny it is to look at all four of the girls together and it is always Sarah and Ellie that have these Huge smiles painted from one end of their faces to the other and then you have Emma and Anna that are about as serious as could be. Two sets of peas in their own pods. : )
My heart actually did an extra beat when I saw the picture you posted today of Emma, she not only is smiling, but as you said she is truley smiling. She looks content, as if a weight has been lifted off her shoulders. Ahhhhhhh! Blessings to you and all your little kiddos. You are one of my heros Jean! : )

Suzy said...

How nice to read your story & find we have a few things in common: daughters from China, we've both met the Darrell & Tracy Adcock, and we both sponsor Sarah at An Orphan's Wish. I'll be praying for your family especially for the adjustment your two newest family members are making.