Tuesday, October 20, 2009

Snipets of Our Life

Medical appointments are finally set up. The renal ultrasound and audiologist will cost us over $700, but by simply waiting another 12 days for our appointments her deductible will carry over into next year. YES!!! I figure we've waited three weeks already, what's another week and a half?!

I was able to snag some clothes for Elizabeth and myself at Old Navy on Saturday. Got a $20 shirt for myself for $1.50. Yahoooooo!!! Love those kind of sales!

The hours in my day are never enough. Really. I stayed up until 3am Saturday cleaning the kitchen, folding laundry and putting it up. Yeah, yeah. I usually get the kids involved and I know I should. But that just didn't happen last week and I am really tired of finding 4T shirts in my shirts, or a child complaining of how they have no pants and come to find out the 5T are with the sz. 10's, or the classic is walking into the living room and finding one of my undergarments on somebody's head. Any suggestions on getting kids to sort? We set up "stations" for the sizes/people and we still end up with confusion! Fortunately, they are able to distinguish Elizabeth's clothes from their own. Don't know how Mr. Incredible would handle one of his sons in pink jeans :)

Mr. T asks when we are going to adopt him. Apparently coming out of Mommy's tummy isn't as cool as being adopted.

National Orphan Sunday is November 8th. Please consider how God would like to use you.

Thursday, October 15, 2009

Why Evolution Just Can't Be True

If evolution was really was how animals were made and us intricate humans as well, then things would still be "evolving" and getting better, right?! However I have some examples of how this just isn't happening. My children would remember the first time that they aren't supposed to speak that way to their brother/mother/father. The dog would understand that I don't like senseless barking. The bushes in my yard would stay in their pruned shape and not grow out in all directions. My house would stay clean or clean itself! But alas, the kids need my parenting, the dog needs my instructions, the shrubs need trimmed, my house doesn't clean itself and the dirt doesn't "evolve" and walk out the door on its own accord. The clothes don't say, "Wow, we're dirty. I don't like feeling this way. Let's get clean!" and jump into the washer.
If evolution was in existence and things were getting better, you wouldn't have parents leaving their baby at home in a crib while they went out to party or get drunk or high. Or parents spending all their money on things for themselves while there is no food in the house to feed the kids. There simply wouldn't be a need for foster families and Child Protective Services, if evolution were actually occurring and things improving.
Unfortunately, we live in a world filled with depravity. I am a depraved being, I am not evolving into a better person on my own accord. It is by the grace of God, I am who I am and where I am today. It has not come easily, God is patient though and carries us through those times of us kicking and screaming that we want our own way. It is God's grace that saved me. It is God's grace that helps me everyday. It gives me insight into how to best help my kids understand something in an area that they are struggling in. It is God's grace that fills in my low places as a wife, mother and daughter. It is by God's grace that we will raise our children in a loving home when there are very unloving things that surround us. It is in God's grace that Elizabeth will receive the unconditional love that every child longs for and HE will help us figure out what is the "good and perfect" path to take to help Elizabeth be the best she can be.
Today has been a tough day for her. I am unsure whether the "honeymoon" is over (her adoption was final 1 month ago today) or she sensed that Daddy was going out of town tonight. Whatever it may be that caused her upset it also brought her closer to us. She willingly let me rock her to sleep for the first time tonight while singing "Jesus Loves Me" and "Amazing Grace". HIS grace is sufficient.

Wednesday, October 14, 2009

Emotions- What Really Happened

I have tried for the last three weeks to put into words the emotions of all that has happened with adopting Elizabeth. I can't, but I will try. This will probably be a long one.
The whole experience was AMAZING. There were many ups and just as many downs over the course of the 21 1/2 months it took from filing our application till she was in our arms.
Knowing that your getting on a plane to get a child that you have never met and might not have all the "right" background information on, but that you love so much already is a WONDERFUL and terrifying experience at the same time- EXTREMELY SURREAL. We had never done anything like it before. There was always the question (at least in our minds) of is this really going to happen? There were so many delays with our paperwork in China and then the whole new deal of the US requiring TB tests for adopted children (2 and over), but not regular immigrants....there was always this "catch" in the back of our minds that something would happen. We had that "what if?" looming over us for over two weeks- until we got her US visa. It's not that we didn't trust God, we just know that God will sometimes stretch us (even when we already feel stretched to the breaking point, He can usually find something else we need to work on).
So we arrived in China, Rick almost got quarantined (that wold have meant me too and who knows how many people from our plane) and then we had two hours to shower, repack and ready ourselves for the business part of the trip. The business part went well- now we could focus on the adoption. There is a point where your body is so exhausted it doesn't know how to sleep (really sleep)- I was there. There was the sleep deprivation in traveling to China and flipping days and nights, but since July 2007 I have "heard" a child crying out for their mama. (It may sound strange, weird, psychotic, etc.) I remember one morning "hearing" it so clearly I began crying, I was powerless, Mr. Incredible had said he wasn't ready to adopt. So, back to China. We had two days before we were to get Elizabeth, remember the whole cleaning freakout blog? Yeah, that was in those two days.
We finally arrive at a VERY CHAOTIC room filled with somewhere between 30-50 adoptive couples, families started being united and then we found out that Elizabeth wasn't there yet. BIG "WHAT IF?" HIT ME. When Elizabeth finally arrived and we saw her and then got her moments later, it was like it was happening in slow motion and fast forward at the same time. You've been waiting all this time and it can't happen quick enough in one way. But then there is this child you have never met before, you see her, take her and then the person who brought her is gone! I have read books about toddler adoption and attachment. All of them say the child will grieve and should grieve. So here we are in a VERY LOUD and CHAOTIC room because children are screaming EVERYWHERE, but not Elizabeth! Oh no, another "what if?", she's not going to attach to us! She's not grieving!!! Now the books had said that there were a few children that never cried and still attached well to their new family. I had also been praying that God would prepare Elizabeth for us. That He would prepare her heart for her new family. (A family that got to meet Elizabeth the month before we traveled even commented on how it looked like she was looking for her family.) So her not crying was a bit alarming, but I also thought that maybe God had answered our prayer. That night I slept, really slept. The child that I had "heard" more than two years before was finally safe in her mother's arms. Elizabeth adjusted very quickly to us and continues to bond with her new family.
There have been struggles. I can't say that I relished feeding her with a syringe for over two weeks, but we were able to provide the nourishment she needed in a way that she would take it. Thank you God that I remembered to pack a syringe for medicines and that she coughed all of twice so that I gave her some immune boosters and found out that she would accept a syringe. She had accepted nothing else other than a bottle and cheerios before that.
Our lives are settling down some. We have something resembling a schedule going. We continue to have moments of elation as well. She now gives kisses to Mommy and Daddy. She will feed herself cheerios now. She has learned the sign for "more". She sleeps well in her crib at night. Each day is an opportunity for her to learn and bond closer to our family.
Someone asked me the other day if she was Chinese after hearing we had recently returned from China. I paused for a moment and then replied in the affirmative. During that pause, I stopped to think if she really was. I don't think of her as Chinese, she's my daughter. I may have had to travel to China to get her, but she has been in my heart since before she was born.

Monday, October 12, 2009

Check Ups

Well we've been to the pediatrician and seen ECI. Waiting on pediatrician's office to schedule our audiologist appt., optomitrist appt. and sonogram for kidney stones. Been waiting to hear on the appointments for over a week now, arrgh. Our dentist appointment is later this month. She is finally letting us brush her teeth! We rejoice in the little things!!!! It is hard to believe that in two days we will have had her for a month. Time flies.

Thursday, October 8, 2009

The Goings On Of Being At Home

Our lives are currently consumed with getting back to life. We are adjusting well to five, but every afternoon I find myself dragging physically and having to lay down for a couple of hours. Maybe it's still the flipping days and nights throwing me. We now have one running a fever and so maybe I'm just trying to fight something off. Hmmm. School is taking a LONG time each day. Hmmm. Life must be starting to resemble normalcy : )
We press on further toward the goal, with Christ (is it in front of us or behind us?). My brain cells are starting their afternoon lull...