Tuesday, July 30, 2013

A Booming Voice and Home for 6 Months!

Mia's voice is not loud...


Today our girl went into church and before we could stop her, she loudly let one of her sibs know that surely they were wrong about something, who knows what the issue really was...
Guessing it was small and insignificant ;-)
But it was booming loud and the service was just beginning.

We sheepishly made our way to the seats and when it was time to kneel she clunked the kneeler down on Madeline's foot.

After this, she sees her VBS teacher, she points and loudly exclaims "she's right there"!

10 minutes into the service she says... "I can't see". 
I quietly say, that's okay try to look around him. 
One minute later I'm praying and I feel someone staring at me. I redirect her toward the alter.
One minute later it happens again, 
I redirect
One minute later it happens again,
I redirect
One minute... okay, I'll stop, you get it!
Next time I will make sure there is a very small person in front of her... ;-)

Then it was time for the second collection and she insisted on doing the passing of the basket... need I say more! 
Yep, the basket went in all sorts of directions but not in the one it was supposed to go in... somehow our envelope found it's way in there...

Then it was time for communion. We bring everyone up together. Not sure what would happen back in the pew if they didn't all join us! She folds her arms in confidence and I gently alter them so they are covering her chest and she is ready for a blessing. She immediately refolds them as if she has a bone to pick with the 
"Big Guy Upstairs"...
We go through the motions 3 more times until she gets her blessing and she is on her way back to the pew.

Of course she had to go to the bathroom during church too...
My response was...
hold it...

Then Luke had to go to the bathroom...
 our response was... 

She's outside now...
I can hear her loud and clear.

is the correct word to use!

Some days are like this. 
I have to chuckle at the mishaps!
She means well and really doesn't understand why I get my undies in a bundle.
Sometimes she is right and I just have to go with the flow and forget about the little things.
Other times she is aware of what she is doing and we call her on it.
So many behaviors are ingrained and it is just going to take awhile to smooth out the edges!

Most days go without a hitch but some days she likes to challenge us!

She has been home for 6 months now!

It amazes me how fast it goes!

She is only speaking English now 
but it's broken and more of a Chinglish.
Of course, with such a strong personality she has no problem getting her message across!

Mia has a sneaky sly side which we keep a close eye on! When the kneeler went down at church she immediately pointed to Ava... poor Ava looked at me like "What? I didn't do anything?"
Mia knows she's not fooling us, she smiles and we correct her and move on. 

She means well and loves us and our family. She just needs time!

She has a wonderful sense of humor!
Every morning she hides my cereal box and we play hot and cold until I find it!

We talk and laugh about how much she did NOT like us when she met us.
Now she wants to sit on our lap and have our undivided attention! 

She has become a good swimmer and a good gymnast!
She can do all three splits, cartwheels, backbends, handstands and more!

 She still chews super loud, walks heavy footed (so the people downstairs wake up), budges to get something, bosses other children and pushes limits.

Mia has trouble sitting still. She fidgets constantly and has trouble paying attention.
In her orphanage the children had no place to congregate they seemed to be on the move from room to room all the time. She was little so she would dart and dash all over. She popped into a group of children and then out again almost unnoticed.

She was also asked to leave school...
I think the teacher knew she was getting a family and Mia probably used that time to test the limits in the classroom.
So they recommended that she just stay at the orphanage ;-)
not return to school...

When she first came home she had something to prove to the other children. She wanted to get them in trouble and always get the right answer even if it meant cheating...
I think she thought she had to earn her spot in the family so she was going to prove she was better.
It was hard for Ellie to deal with because Mia was unkind to her.

Praise GOD that has resolved itself and Mia is humbly learning and trying to sit still and listen during school time.
In fact if we over reprimand her she looks so sad and confused. So we just correct and move forward, realizing it may take more time before she can incorporate the new behavior into daily life.

Mia is smart and she learns fast. We just need to keep plugging away at it and she will do well!

With all of these things that she does that can present challenges the truth is-
She is an awesome daughter!
We absolutely LOVE her!
She is so easy to LOVE!
She has sparkle about her and she just shines!

On top of that Mia is the best thing that ever happened to Sarah!
She challenges her, they challenge each other!
They are both very competitive and they like to win and be the leader.
They are learning how to graciously not win everything...

Sometimes they make bad choices together but it give us teaching opportunities!

I must say 
the Dear Lord blessed us with the exact right daughter for our family!

We are so thankful that she is home sweet home!

Friday, July 26, 2013

A Broken Record...

I brought madeline and Luke with us to Abby's transfusion.
Believe it or not the children want to go and the hemoc center has made it into a somewhat pleasant experience.

The kids played play doh, painted, we read books, watched some TV and had lunch in our room.

The doctors at Boston Children's feel strongly that they are right and that Abby has Congenital Siderblastic Anemia and NOT MDS. Our local University says it is MDS. I have also heard that sometimes they never really figure out what it is that the children have but for now we are going with the CSA. It's a better diagnosis and something inside of says this is right. I feel that if she would have MDS we would have more signs of leukemia. 

At this point we are back to no bone marrow transplant. Of course if things change we will re evaluate.

What I really have to say about two of these hooligans is this...

They are some of my littlest and yet they always want to lead the way... in medical buildings, parks, parking lots, stores- where ever we are, where ever we are going Abby and Madeline forge ahead  of the crew.
If it's not a dangerous situation I just stop and watch...
until they realize no one is following them.
The go the wrong way pretty much... ahhhhh.... 100% of the time.
I just have to laugh.
And they do it with such confidence and certainty!

When we are in a parking lot I stop them before they step into the road.
I am beginning to feel like a broken record!

"Okay, what are we supposed to do? Look left, look right! Hold hands!
Follow Mommy, stay together, stay close. You are too little, the cars can't see you."

The truth is I want a handicap sticker for parking.
I know you probably think less of me...
We are all able bodied...
We are not necessarily able minded though...

I tried to get one with Abby but they didn't go for it.
Oh well, looks like I'm going to have to continue to 
repeat, repeat, repeat...

Thursday, July 25, 2013

Two More Birthdays!

This weekend we rallied and celebrated two birthdays for two special girls!

Both girls wanted to go to a waterpark so we checked it out and surprised all of the children with all day passes at the Waterpark of America!

We all had a ton of fun but I did not take pics. 
We were busy every moment supervising our group of 11!

Saturday(Ellie's Bday) was the waterpark and church! 

Sunday(Emma's Bday) was swimming and a family birthday party for both girls!

A few more of the children can now go off the diving board and slide and then swim to the side!
Heeeerrrrrrreeee's Mia!

Heeerrrrreeeee's Melissa!

Heeerreeeee's Abby!

I love summers and swimming!
We are truly amazed by their progress!

The first time we came to this pool Mia asked
"Can I go in the deep end?"
I was glad she asked but it was a definite NO because she could not swim...
So awesome that within 6 weeks that has completely changed!

This is Anna!

And Abby!

And Melissa!

And Mia!

And Ellie!

Emma does a good job swimming. She can do the freestyle for a little while!
However, we cannot have her in water over her head without constant supervision.
She is so good about staying in the area where she can touch the bottom!
There is usually at least one or more other siblings there at any given time!

We have started giving showers in the locker room right after swimming- makes life a bit easier!

They get so excited about their birthday!
They never had a celebration while in China. 
Birthdays are not acknowledged for orphans in China

Sweet babies!!

We had hoped to get Emma a special bicycle- adult special needs trike- but she tried it out and she was unable to do it. Too many things to think about at once- pedaling, breaking, steering and watching were she is going. We know that she would have gotten hurt on it AND she would have hurt someone else...
We settled on a new pink scooter instead!

 Ellie got roller blades and safety gear!

But they were most excited about their Just*ce clothes, jewelry and nail polish!

The kids were a little out of control- I think we were all just trying to recover from losing our dear Aunt Kathy.

They lost the idea of personal space and started climbing all over the big kids.

We let much of it slide since we were in no condition to reinforce and reteach-
 sometimes ya just gotta do what ya gotta do...

And BTW the big kids were as active as the little ones!

Each day we are healing more and more and life seems to be once again falling into place!
Having the birthday celebrations helped us all!

Ellie had a chocolate Cake and Emma had a DQ ice cream cake!
Next year we will have 4 birthday's in 5 days-
Caitlin, one day off, Ellie, Emma and Joey!
There is always a reason to celebrate!

Happy Birthday Ellie and Emma!
We LOVE you two!!

Saturday, July 20, 2013

Birthday Boys!!! (Warning- Lots of Pics)

Thank you for your many comments and prayers regarding the passing of our beloved Aunt Kathy. We are planing her memorial service and taking life one day at a time. Many of our older children will be coming home for the service so we can grieve and celebrate her life together.
Please say prayers for Kathy's and hubby's other sister M. The two sisters were very very close and this is so so hard on her.
Your prayers are so appreciated and so needed.

Joseph's Birthday is in a couple days so we sent him a Birthday Party Package!

They had to celebrate a week early because they are busy on his special day.

It is such a day maker to have pics of your waiting child when you wake up in the morning!

Is it just me or is he just the most precious thing you have ever seen?

Happy 5th Birthday sweet boy!

Next year you will celebrate your birthday with your family and there will be even more people there...  to celebrate it with you!

I think he likes his Birthday Cake!

We have watched him on the waiting child list since he was 3 yrs old.
Now he is 5...
So thankful he will be HOME this year!

Such dear children wait and wait for their family.
The little boy on the right does not look well.
God Bless Him...

They all need Mommy's and Daddy's to take care of them...
Please consider bringing one of these treasures home!

It looks like Joseph got his piece of birthday cake first, then the other children got theirs!
In China they do not celebrate the orphans birthdays, so this is probably his first Birthday Party!

Okay- that little guy on the left is thrilled- his piece of cake must be on it's way!

We also got a video of him thanking his Momma and Babba!
He told us he liked the cake!
Melissa and Sarah translated what he was saying!

Praying for a quick LOA and to travel for the boys asap!

The children NEED TO BE HOME!

And while I'm at it, I might as well post pics of Benjamin's Birthday, too!

We did not post at the time of his birthday because we were just announcing our adoption plans!

Can't wait to pray, hope and dream WITH this little boy!

His birthday was in May and he turned 7 yrs old!

Okay, I have to say it again!
Isn't he just precious!

And look at his dear friends!
They ALL need families!

YAY! Candies and Cake for everyone!

Make a wish sweet boy!

How fun to cut your own cake at 7 yrs old!

He may take over my job as the official cake cutter at our house!

Praising God for two dear boys that will soon be ours!