Saturday, November 30, 2013

Feeding The Fish!

One of the children's favorite things to do at the Garden Hotel in Guangzhou is to feed the fish!

We have picture of Mia, Melissa and Madeline feeding the fish, too.
It's just fun, simple and relaxing!
And... kind of biblical!

For some reason I have thought,
 they would come home and we would...
be back to normal.
Maybe because I/we am home and everything is pretty much 
"the same" here except we're missing Hubby.
I am beginning to realize that 
Hubby and sons are not going to hit the ground running but instead they will be exhausted with jet lag.

So my thoughts of -
Great, they will be home on the 6th.
We can get the tree on the 7th
We can decorate the house on the 8th.
Have a party on the 9th.

It just isn't gonna happen!

Reality check!
We will have the same adjustment period that all families have and that's okay because it's necessary!
I am saying this to prepare myself for the adjustment period.

The first month, two months, three months and four months are challenging as they learn how 
a family works and the family rules.
It is all, so new to them and with 11 siblings ready to run and hug them it will be a bit overwhelming for our two new boys.

Since Sarah was not in China this time, 
it will be interesting to see if anyone's Chinese returns and if they are able to speak to the new boys?
Sadly, they are "speechless" on Skype when it comes to Chinese.
It shocked our new boys - the children looked Chinese but didn't return conversation in Chinese.

This little guy(above) is very sweet,  athletic and smart

He needs to clean up his language!
And I am NOT talking about speech therapy!
Hubby and Mark had no idea until some men were laughing at what he was saying...

Looks like Ben got splashed in the face!

This little boy(above) is a rule follower!
Whereas Joey is an outta the box thinker.

 I love challenges!
And integrating these two dears into our large family will definitely provide a challenge!
It is so awesome to see GOD prevail and redemption happen right in front of my own very eyes!

The little guy below we be an incredible son - 
just you wait and see!

And this will be the last picture 
with his tongue like that!

I think he is adorable but I'm not a fan of the tongue sticking out...!
I think this dear boy desperately needed a family.
I think he has a lot to learn and he will, 
in time, 
learn it!
Hubby has tighten up on some of the behaviors and he is already responding well!

Luke just said
Hey, I have that shirt too!
Ummm, yes you did ;-)
(while he put the pieces of the puzzle together...)
Hey, I liked that shirt...
Don't worry honey, they will bring it home!

Our two little fish, 
"get fed" with the love of Jesus!

Visiting Joey's Orphanage

Just like Ben's orphanage, 
Joey's is considered nice, too.
That is, by orphanage standards.

We didn't try to adopt children from nicer orphanages, it just happened that that's where our children were this time.
But even a nice orphanage is still not a home and a family...

As they drove up to the gate, Joey mumbled, "I really don't want to be back here."
The guide translated the comment to hubby.

Joey rallied and happily handed out suckers to his friends and to many of the other children.

He was happily greeted by his favorite nanny.

The children were happy to see him.
When they asked if he had a best friend- he did not.
Kinda sad...

Such precious children, each one of them needing a family!
Together we can make a difference and give these children a home!

I always hope that in these pictures someone will find their child!

This is the lunch room.

She was the one that took care of him at the orphanage.
It must be hard to see the children leave.
I know she is happy for him but it is still hard.
She cried when she said "Goodbye".
Joey said, "I'll come see you tomorrow."
He knew he wouldn't be back
 but I am sure he felt like he had to say something to make her feel better.

He was sad and quiet for a little while but no tears.

This is his bed.
It's been his bed since he was an infant.
Sadly, it looks all to familiar to me
More on this, in another post.

It was a big day for our little guy!
So many changes, all happening so quickly! 

This sweet girl has a family!
They are in process to adopt her!
When you are in the adoption process it is so wonderful to get extra photo's of your child!
It's a day maker!

Ben is trying to be a good big brother to Joey.
He had a foster family for 6 years before returning to the orphanage for the last year.
He also has a peaceful personality.
He is more calm, appropriate and civilized that his dear little brother!
Our little guy will be a bit more of a project!
But we are confident that with time he will learn how to be socially appropriate.
He is in every way a dear child! 
Smart, desiring to please, loving, friendly and happy!
He's just a little active and rough around the edges. 
We plan to smooth those rough edges out, a bit!

So happy to have this pic of the 4 of them together!
Hope they get a few more of all four of them- hint, hint!

Mark is, is, is ready to come home!

He's getting a little tired of playing, playing and playing some more! 

Hang in there guys, your doing a wonderful job!

It's getting a little long for us at home too.
I try not to let my mind go there but instead fill it with prayer.
We still have a huge job ahead of us- integrating the boys into the family.
I know that will be harder than being without Hubby for the last 3 weeks.
It's a challenge any way you look at it.
But it is not too big of a challenge for GOD!
HE will see us through!

Thursday, November 28, 2013

So Much To Be Thankful For!

So thankful for these 11 treasures that are home with me!

Our two Guilin girls have come such a long way!
They are doing so well and they are so happy!
They are growing up and becoming lovely young ladies!

We had a wonderful day!
Auntie Barbie took us out for Thanksgiving Dinner!

It was such a treat!
No cooking, no messy kitchen and no unneeded stress!
It was a perfect fit for this year!

The children love their Auntie!

So thankful for these two big girls!
They are such a joy and so much fun!
They are both so capable and helpful!

 I'm thankful to be in a picture ; - )
I was getting photos ready for a post placement report and... I wasn't in any of them.
China likes to see the Momma with the kids every once in a while!

Our thanksgiving crew of 14!

I am thankful for this fun event!
We skyped with Katie and Andrew as the found out if their baby was a boy or a girl!

And there was pink frosting in the center of the cake!
It's a girl!

Thankful for new neighbors that don't yell awful things at us from the other side of the street!

Our new neighbor just whinnies and neighs!
Praise GOD!

Thankful for my strawberry smoothy boy and triple expresso boy- (who is now becoming only a double expresso as he gets more comfortable)!
In other words our two treasures in China that will be coming home in 8 days- but who's counting, right!

Thankful for these two guys that are in China right now with our boys above!

Thankful for this adorable couple and how much the enjoy the children!

Thankful for the two love birds in Colorado!
Can't wait for June 28th!

Thankful for how well these three are doing!
This pic is from June!
They have changed so much since then!
Wow, are they growing up fast!

I am so thankful for my Hubby of 31 plus years!
He is the man of my dreams!

Thankful to God for HIS continuous love, for HIS kept promises and for HIS many blessings!

I could go on and on!
There truly is so much to be thankful for!

Wednesday, November 27, 2013

9 More Days. . . but whose counting!

I begged and whined for pictures!
I needed them!
I am having my own little pity party tonight...
I know, there is so much to be thankful for...
I miss my hubby and really want our family all together.
I am already looking forward to next Thanksgiving!

9 more days and we will all be together!
There is two ways of looking at it.
#1. NINE more lonely, grueling, grey days until they come home
#2. Nine more days to get ready and prepare for our two new treasures!

I NEED to choose #2 for my sanity!

Mark is a hero!
He is so much fun!

Hubby even said, "Mark was a better choice to bring than anyone else..."
You know what that means, right?
Even better than me!
A hem, A hem... (major throat clearing)

I could NOT have created this much fun!
So maybe they're right!

Mark has become a play toy!
They are both going to be so bummed that he doesn't live with us!
Mia, Melissa and Madeline were so sad...
And they wondered when he would be coming back!
Mia wanted to marry him...
We had to make it clear


She is so embarrassed about that now!

Of course, in time they got used to it ...  but it was another little adjustment!

Because he is so much fun... they don't want to listen to him... at all...
So when they don't get what they want...
 they pout...
in a very adorable way!

And then to top it off...
Dad starts taking pictures.
Cause Momma asked for them ; - )
They or he was not happy about this.
This is one of the stories they will laugh about once they are home.
But for now, really Dad? 
Can you PLEASE stop taking pictures!

Hubby is trying to have a few rules now and trying to prepare them for coming home.
This was over the room key.
He didn't get it...
Seriously Honey, how could you be so mean!

I asked him if he has explained to them, through the guide, that Momma is home taking care of the other children ; - )
That's a respectable motherly thing to do... RIGHT!

Hubby's response... 
Nope, they think Momma is on TV(computer)!

Joey likes to do everything himself!
Just like Sam!
So when he tied his pants in a knot and then had to go to the bathroom...
there was a bit of a problem!
I'll leave it at that!

I asked them to describe the boys.
They decided to do it in the form of beverages.
Ben is a strawberry smoothie!
And Joey is a triple expresso!

A strawberry smoothie I can handle!
I need to get myself ready for my triple expresso!

Bring it/ him on!

In the end...

 We do what 
good parents do while in China!


HaPpY ThAnKsGiViNg!

Tuesday, November 26, 2013

It's Official- He Is Ours!

Both Hubby and Joseph agreed and he is ours!
So thankful that we are blessed with this sweet boy!

Look at those size 4 sweat pants on my 5 yr old!
I am surprised they are even staying up!

I am feeling abundantly blessed by all that is happening on the other side of the world!

This boy is precious and just like ALL OF THE OTHER ORPHANS- 
He needs and deserves a family!
They need and deserve a family!
Christians step up and help these children!

Both of our boys have special needs.
Special needs that would turn away families-
 BUT look at them!
They are amazing!

Love this pic!
So... if your wondering how this will affect your older children?
Just look at this pic!
Yes, it will affect them in ways that are beyond divine!

Giddy up!
if there are any doubts regarding dual adoption...
Please look at this!
Dual Adoption works!
It is good for the children!
They bond, they support each other while the parents are also bonding with the children and supporting each other.

They have memories together and later share their stories and laugh.
Can you imagine our last adoption trip if it would have only been Mia!
Oh, heaven forbid!
It was so hard on Mia-
any amount of attention we gave her wouldn't have helped.
She needed time and the distractions of the others.
She needed to see them trusting us and wanting us as parents, so that she could then follow along.
She needed to see how" this family thing" worked!
AND how is she doing now?
She is doing fantastic!

once these two are home there will be a few more rules than they are having right now!

They just look like so much fun!
Can't wait!
We are now over halfway!