Wednesday, January 15, 2014


I became a "real" mom this week!  No one can understand how happy that makes me.  I have always wanted to be the real mom. 
Adoption is a weird thing.  It is not anything I can explain to someone who has not adopted.  I went into it blind and I have been very educated in the past 8 years.  Over the past month Mark and I have been taking adoption classes.  I think in all we have spent about 30 plus hours taking classes. As I have sat and taken these classes I have learned a lot about many different aspects of this process. The first time around we had to read books and basically give them a list of what we read.  I think I read about 8 books.  None by the way helped me prepare at all.  This time around it is webinars.  I love a webinar.  Honestly, I do.  You can take them in your jammies with head phones on or not and really take notes comfortably.  What an amazing gift the Internet has given us.  I have learned from these classes that we basically handled Flo's adoption all wrong when it came to attachment and discipline, etc.   We did it all the opposite of what we should have done, but there is always room for improvement.  So here we are eight years later and I am still trying to figure it all out.

Anyway, we have really been talking a lot about Sweet Boy and the adoption and things we can and cannot say to brother.  How to deal with brother and things like that. 
We have been in deep conversations over the past year about biological moms and birth moms and real moms.  That has been a major topic at our house since Flo turned 8.  We have a close friend that put up a child for adoption as a teen and in the past few years she met her daughter and her family and has formed a relationship with her. Our friend shared her story in a religious magazine and since reading that magazine all kinds of questions and answers have come up about that. At the time I had no issue with Flo reading the article.  In hindsight, I should have read it with her the first time instead of  letting her read it and then her asking me questions and then us reading over it again together.  Anyway, she got this idea that her mother in China would be just like my friend.  That everything would work out just like her story and we would all be one happy family.  I have spent months and months trying to explain to her in a way that she would understand that it may just not work out that way. China adoption is different than the United States. Nobody keeps records of biological parents there.  I really just tried every way I knew how to let her know it just might not happen that way. 

With all of my new found webinar adoption knowledge I have tried to make her understand more and more that this is permanent.  We can't change her circumstances, but when she graduates from High School I will take her on a heritage tour.  When we do that, if she wants to put up posters where she was found I will do that with her.  I will do it for her and for her heart.  I know she really wants to know about her extended family and a part of me really understands it.  Another part of me does not want her to hurt and there is no way to know if that will happen.  It is painful to think about.  I love her so much and I know this pains her heart, but the answers she seeks could be more painful. 

This week we have had several heart-to-heart talks about this topic and brother and his family in China and where he was found etc.  I explained to her what we can and can't discuss with him until he is much, much older.  We were talking about something today and she said my "real" mom.  I said, "Oh".  I then asked her a question about the "real" mom and she said, "You are my real mom!"  And she said it like -Duh, you should know that. It never occurred to me until that moment she was really talking about me.  She has been saying real mom to refer to her biological mom for about a year now.  Each time she said it I never corrected her I just said biological mom or birth mom when I was part of the conversation.  I was taken aback.  I did not know really what to say!  I think she figured that out because she came and hugged me and she told me how much she was glad I was her "real" mom!  I will take that title all day long because it has been a long year and there have been a lot of tears.  I am grateful to God for her and for the words she said today!  She will never know how much that meant to me and I don't care if she ever says it again.  I just needed to hear it once.  I will be whatever mom  she wants me to be for the rest of her life.  I love her with my whole heart and then some. "Thank you Lord for this gift!"

So, no matter how overwhelmed I feel about this process God gives me little boosts to let me know it is for His Glory.  Our son will come home in the end and he will be ours forever.  Maybe just maybe some day I can be his "real mom" too!

Adoption Paperwork is not fun!

I am having an adoption paperwork is not fun day!  It really is a lot of things piling up this week and it is making me a little nuts.  All of this paperwork is crashing down upon us and I feel like I am overbooked and underpaid in the paperwork department.  I just want all of the bulk of it done so I can go around and have everything verified and certified.  We are for the most part getting there, but as we wait a child in another orphanage passed away this week. The cutest little bug you have ever seen.  She never knew the love of a family, but tonight she is cradled in the arms of God.  People may ask, well that couldn't happen to your son? Could it?  Only God truly knows the answer to that. There is no way to know.  Our son is, we believe, healthy, but he could have problems the orphanage does not know about. Our son has a minor urology SN.
 I once followed a little boy who appeared to be completely healthy.  He had a very minor special need and I looked at his picture more than a few times, then out of nowhere it was posted on a blog that he passed away from a seizure in the middle of the night.  No one seems to know why.  If your child had a seizure, you would probably hear something or some way some how get to them in the middle of the night.  In a room full of children, 20-30 there is so much noise and it is amplified because everything in an orphanage is about cleaning.  It is a hospital type environment.  No carpet, nothing to stop noise from bouncing in the room.  This little boy died and no one heard him. Honestly, the Nanny on duty was probably tending to other crying children and got to him too late.  Adoption is not easy to follow or endure.  It is not for the faint at heart.  A baby died this week in a hospital that LWB was taking care of.  She could not recover from a respiratory infection.  I remember praying for her this week. God decided to take her home.  Her little weak body had had enough.  

People get this weird idea that an orphanage is like a preschool.  Nope.  It is like a hospital with tiny little metal beds, metal cribs, metal cots, and some have metal mini bunk beds. When you go there you are amazed at how many can fit in such a small room.  There is a part of the fireman's wife in me that wants to know how they would all get out. It cringes me to think how so few ladies could get so many babies out or so many toddlers or so many 4 and 5 year olds.  I think about these things when we do fire drills at school.  It just comes to me.  How would they get them all out?  God would have to.  I am not even sure they have fire drills.  I just don't know.  I hold these things close to my heart.

Luke 2:19
19 But Mary treasured all these words and pondered them in her heart.

Have you ever thought about what that meant in the Bible? I have.  I can not erase what I saw in our daughter's orphanage and I am sure our son's orphanage will live with me forever.  I remember reading a book by Kay Warren where she discusses her experiences in Africa when visiting children effected by the aids epidemic there.  She says many times in the book she was ruined.  I am forever ruined by what my heart has seen in China.  I am not the same person nor will I ever be.  So as I ponder these words about Mary I think I understand them in a sense.  I will hold and treasure all of those memories in my heart. These things will not be forgotten.  I will always remember.  I can not adopt every childl but I can pray for them all.  I can ask God to remember them in His Kingdom in Heaven. I can ask for prayers and I can lift them up.
I can treasure these things in my heart. My heart is forever ruined .

Friday, January 10, 2014

Happy Birthday LUKE!

So our boy is officially 5 years old.  He had a birthday December 19th.  We are working hard to get paperwork done and move this mound of paperwork to China.  We are hoping and praying that we will have everything to China by the end of February, but it will probably be more like March.   I feel like we are in slowmo.  We are currently waiting on forms from our doctors.  We hope to get those this week.  If anyone wants to help us out there please keep us in your thoughts and prayers. Our friends moving to Africa always lists their prayer requests and I like that.

Things to pray for:

That we can continue to fund-raise by selling the rest of our shirts and come up with more things to do.
That the paperwork will get done quickly over the next few weeks.
That sweet Luke will stay healthy until we get there.
That all of the people we need to get this done like doctors, state department, secretary of state, and USCIS will move quickly.
That we will not grow weary of all that we have to do to get it done.
That we as a family will give each other strength and support through this process.

Thank you all!