Thursday, November 29, 2012

Who's Missing?

Lately I have been asking the children-
"Okay, who's missing?"

I look around and quickly count to 8.

I guess we are all here?

I just feel that something is wrong, somebody is (or somebodies are) not with us?

And then I realize, it's our three waiting children that are missing.

I have been mentally preparing for the new and larger number!

I am ready to count to 11 (constantly) because that's what I'll be doing!

We are working hard to prepare for the children. Another set of bunk beds have been set up!
As soon as the rooms are in order I will post pics! 
And share with you our bedroom plans.

I am still contemplating how we are all going to eat at the same time/counter/table AND how I will be educating everyone.
I am not concerned about it.
I know God will reveal HIS plan and things will fall into place in time.

(I have heard that this little one is very thin - she looks so frail to me.
I cannot wait to love her and feed her!)

We are planning to order a new van, but we are not sure if it will get done before we travel to China.
I would love the sprinter but fitting into our garage, parking ramps (because we are often at Children's Hospital) and being able to get the van washed in our local car wash has taken precedence.

So a larger version of Vanna will be what we purchase.
They are making them safer and better quality now- which is good.

We have had a minor hitch these last couple days...

Our N*V*C cable was sent BUT I have had a very hard time getting them to send me the letter via email.

At first it was no problem BUT they only sent one of the three.

Then "I called back" and asked for the other two.
They said no, then yes- whew good!

BUT they never arrived so "I called again" and they said that I requested them to "mail" them to me, (that would be snail mail). I don't think so, but I then rephrased my request-
PLEASE EMAIL them to me asap!

and still nothing happened...
So "I called again" (are ya getting the theme) "I called again"
and they said
it was sent via email and may take 3-5 days to arrive in my email box.
At that point I thought I was going CRAZY...
REALLY, oh come on... Oh please...
I requested they be sent again.

After that last TALL TALE...

I had to "call again"...

 and they said they couldn't tell how it has been sent, either email or snail mail and the needed their supervisor to check on it
BUT the supervisor was in a meeting...

YES, it was obvious...
I could no longer handle this myself.
I finally gave it to GOD in PRAYER!

 delegated the calling to Hubby!

I'm just not a fast thinker and quick with words,
he is and with prayer this was a fitting job for him!

The letters arrived tonight via email!

And we are now in process for Article 5!



1, 2, 3, 4, 5, 6, 7, 8, 9, 10, 11 reasons to praise the LORD

Tuesday, November 27, 2012

In Need of a Christmas Plan and Gift Ideas!

We have been thinking about Christmas lately...
Trying to develop a plan that includes minimal gifts and lots of thankful, joyful little hearts.

We are thinking of two gifts per child- for the littles...
And then one simple thing for the bigs... 

We really have everything we need.
God's blessings are so abundant.
We have seen miracles in our home since opening our hearts and minds to the Lord.
Children healed, patience gained, little hearts opening to Jesus, a new language acquired by many, daily lessons learned of what it means to be in a family, abundant hugs, kisses and I love you's! 
We even look back and can see God's handy work in our lives in the past but often we were too busy with twaddle(Charlotte Mason's term for things that are/were very unimportant) to really SEE all that HE was doing...

I have asked the children what they want.
That is "kind of" a mistake.
First the wanted Build * Bear stuff.
I think that was because we got Mia, Missy and Maddie a bear and an outfit for China.

Then they wanted toys from our little shoes store.
I think that is because we got new winter shoes for some of the children and for Mia, Missy and Maddie.

Then they wanted a Dream L*ght or a P*llow Pal because they saw it on TV...

It is hard for them to understand that we cannot get 8 Dream L*ghts and 8 P*llow Pals.

I'm a little confused?
I want this blessed holiday to be joyful, 
but I don't want to spend much time shopping and blow the budget.

We do want 2 gifts per younger child.

Any ideas anyone?
What are you getting your kiddos?

Can you share some of your holiday plans?

How are you focusing on Jesus this holiday season?

Thank you for your HELP! 

Sunday, November 25, 2012


I forgot to tell you we got our I800 approval over a week ago!!

Now we wait for our NVC notice and then...

it's the wait for article 5.

We are hoping and praying and praying and praying to get to China and back home before Chinese New Year.

This long weekend was a perfect time for us to get some nesting done!

Since winter has arrived we focused on getting the snowsuits, shoes and boots for ALL the children, even the three waiting in China!
In MN once the deep freeze hits the children wear ugg type boots, lined crocs and snow boots for playtime.

Luke needs special orthopedic heel/ankles braces for the next year because his heels are colapsing. He will have indoor tennis shoes and outdoor tennis shoes along with winter snow boots. And he will need to wear his "sure steps" (ankle supports) whenever he is awake.

For the life of me, I could not keep "who has what" straight so I had to put them in order/rows so I could visually see who has and who needs ... what!

At the same time we are planning what we need to bring to China for the girls.
I will be able to "shop at home" for many of their clothes!
Praise GOD!

It snowed at the end of the day on Thanksgiving!
The children were thrilled and were eager to play outside!
Emma was the only one who needed a new snowsuit this year!
She is very happy with her purple theme!

I think there was more grass than snow but they still had fun!

Hubby carved the last of the turkey.

And we all enjoyed left overs!

I de- accessed Abby's backpack(IV) this weekend for the first time!
It felt good to use some of the my nursing skills!
I do not plan on doing the accessing(starting her IV in the port in her chest) - it is challenging to bond with your child while sticking a needle into their chest... we/I already have to give her yucky medicine everyday.

We spent the weekend nesting- getting the house ready for the winter and for the new children!

Sam and Luke have moved into their new room.
The girls were a little sad to see them go...

Okay, I know this is not a professional job... but... hey, it works!
The boys were so excited!

We cleaned the mudroom closet, got the little boys room ready, started on the girls room and went through all our childrens' clothes.
Mia, Melissa and Madeline have clothes, jackets and boots!
We will continue to work on the finishing touches and I will post pics.
It is different planning a room for 1 child verses 4-5 children .
All the spaces have to be used wisely... it's not all about the decorations...

The boys were so excited to see their room coming together!

I had to have the rocker in there just in case one of my little guys needed some rocking!

And this is the one "boys only toys" place!

They were so excited to go to bed tonight!

Sweet dreams!

Saturday, November 24, 2012

Thinking About Changing Mia's Age?

Mia turned 11 on October 10th?

But did she really?

Pic taken in 2/2008
(6 yrs 4 mos. old,  this is the youngest pic we  have of her)

The children in China are given birthdates. Often times it coincides with when they were found and how old they estimate the newborn child to be.

Pic taken 12/2008
(she would have been 7 yrs old)

But more often than not the records are not accurate... 

In fact they may even say that the child was found as an newborn infant and they were actually left around the age of 4 yrs old.
And then, maybe they estimated 5 yrs old when they were really 4 yrs old??

 Pic taken 1/2009
(she would have been 7 yrs 3 mos  old)


 put a child in an orphanage for 8 plus yrs and the result is a child who has not been exposed to anything and has not had much opportunity to learn.

When we read Mia's file something inside of me questioned the information given.

I did not question that she is indeed an orphan in need of a forever family.
her referral sounded pretty much like every other child around her age coming out of this orphanage. Why would they keep these children for 10 plus years with such a minor disability?

Pic taken 6/2009
(She would have been 7.5 yrs old)

With these thoughts we hesitated,
we do not want to reinforce untruths in adoption.
We want to bring home, love, raise, educate and care for children that really do need a family.
We do not ant to take a child away from an existing family.

( 9 yrs old?)

BUT, Mia was older and by the time we could get to her,
she would be 

We prayed about it and felt God encouraging us so we moved forward.
Just so you know when I saw her pic my heart leapt and hubby said an immediate YES!

Once I joined the orphanage yahoo group I found a plethora (I love that word and it may be the only big word I know, so I use it ;-) of pictures of our new daughter!
It was like Christmas in July!

All the pictures were from 2008 - present.

We also got her finding add, it was from 2007.
Now, before we come to any conclusions that was the first year they did finding ads in her Province.

So does that mean she had been at the orphanage for 5-6 yrs prior and they finally put it in the local paper because that's what they did for all the children who were previously in the orphanage? 
OR was she found in 2007 and so they put her in the local paper in hopes to find her family?

The point of this is to say we do not really know how old our daughter is? 

Now the orphanage could blow our hypothesis away by giving us younger pics of Mia.
I would love that!

We had seriously considered making Emma younger but once she was home and we went to the Dr, the dentist and other specialist we could see that Emma really was near her given age. 

This could happen with Mia, too.

Currently our new daughter Mia, is 4 feet 2.5 inches.
Her weight is unknown but we are estimating 55 lbs.
Her feet are 21 cm, about a 1-1.5 size shoe.
Mia has 13 baby teeth and 7 adult teeth.
(we do not know which molars she has)
BD 10/14/2001

Our Ellie has been home for 2.4 yrs.
She is supposedly 9 months younger than Mia.
Ellie is 4 feet 7.5 inches tall and 74 lbs.
She wears a size 3 shoe.
She has all her adult teeth and she is getting her 12 yr old molars.
BD 7/20/2002

(BTW- Being home makes a BIG difference)

Ava  has been home for 1 yr 8 months.
She is 4 ft tall and 54 lbs.
She wears a size 13 shoe.
She is supposedly 3 yrs 8 months younger than Mia.
Ava has 6 adult teeth and 14 baby teeth)

Mia's orphanage is very poor. 

our feelings are that Mia is younger than the age on her referral.
At this point we could easily see making her one year younger and having her birth year 2002 or 1.5 yrs younger and having her 9.5 yrs old when we meet her.

 we will wait until we see her and gather all medical, dental and developmental information.

What are your thoughts?
Have you changed your adopted daughters age?

Friday, November 23, 2012

Happy Thanksgiving!

The day before thanksgiving was Hubby and our oldest son Matt's birthday!
Our Matt is in Colorado so we could not spend the day with him.
What a blessed day it was to have our first child born on Hubby's birthday!
Since Thanksgiving was the next day we chose to celebrate it when everyone would be together (at least everyone that was in MN that is!)

The younger children and I had lunch with Daddy!
(The sun was very bright. It was a gorgeous day!)

Abby was supposed to have her back pack off on Wednesday but her medication did not infuse ;-(
It was a bit of a malfunction.
She carried around her pack with a full liter of fluid for two long days...
it wasn't until the nurse came to de-access her that we found it was still FULL.
I should have checked it...
lesson learned!

She is still such a trooper! She never complains about it!
We even washed her hair and had her take a tub bath with it on!
The tub only had about 3 inches of water, but she was thrilled!

I can't believe I forgot to take pics of the Thanksgiving Turkey and the table- my bad...

It was just us for the holiday but the little children were able to sit around the BIG table
(instead of the counter)
they loved it!

We sent the children(the bigs and the littles) DOWNSTAIRS because they got quite active.
This is NOT a good example of the activity level that we experienced!

This, on the other hand, is a better example!

The birthday boy and the children!

A more relaxed pic!

Our 6 yr olds and the big bros!

Daddy received many many many cards!

The blessings are abundant!

these two aren't feeling the love right now!
(let me in!)

It was a Blessed Thanksgiving!
A very casual day.
We took a walk in the early afternoon.
The children played outside.
Then a cold front came in and we hunkered down inside!
We even had some big beautiful snowflakes!

Kelly's sister, Jenna came over. 
The children loved playing with her... or would that be on her!

The Momma and Babba of this very large crew!
You never know when your going to need a pic of the parents ;-)

We feel so very blessed!
You are so blessed, too!
Please share with me some of your blessings!

God is so good!

It's all about attitude. 
It's all about thankfulness. 
It's all about just seeing the blessings!
We ALL are so blessed!


Tuesday, November 20, 2012

Happy Birthday Luke!

The weather has been beautiful and the children have taken full advantage of it!
Luke is now riding a 2 wheeler with training wheels!

He couldn't walk up the stairs when we first met him, because he would get to winded.
After his heart surgery in March he has made amazing progress!

His skinny little legs now have thigh muscles and he is able to run and pedal FAST! 
Which thrills him!!
BTW- these are action shots even though they look like stills!
I was actually running alongside the bike ;-)

Since we had Gotcha day right after his birthday, he had to wait while everyone else celebrated their birthday throughout the year- NOW IT WAS HIS TURN!

He was so excited to get his cake and balloons!
He had a multi theme party!
Cars, Superman, Trucks
anything boy!

Luke is a mellow little guy so we didn't want to overwhelm him.
The children played outside, ran errands with Daddy and then the big kids and Auntie Barb came over in the evening.

He loved the presents but wasn't so sure how to open them!

He did it very slowly and meticulously which then caused the cheering crowd to encourage him to "rip and tear"!

But he didn't listen to them and instead savored the moment!

Sam was every bit as happy as Luke was with Luke's new toys!

The three big boys get the children all riled up...

They are nothin but trouble!

Except when we need them to put a toys together!

Here's a joke for you-
How many Mulvahills does it take to put a playschool toy together?

A happy Momma holding her youngest little treasure!!

This is one happy birthday boy!

Finally Luke's turn for the traditional family birthday pic!

And the Happy Birthday Song!

Blowing out his candles!

Good Job Luke!
Happy Birthday to our 4 yr old!

Enjoy, sweet boy!