Friday, December 31, 2010

They've Been Moved Back to the Orphanage.

....and I'll have more photos of that soon but for now I must share simply this:



Jacob.
Walking down a sterile hallway clutching his new photographs of his family, our family. 
In that picture is Justin smiling back at him.
And in 16 days we'll all be smiling at him in person.
I cannot wait.
13 days till travel.
16 days till Gotcha.

It's My Blog and I'll Cry If I Want To

Today I spent the better part of the morning sitting in front of my computer refreshing my email, my Facebook, my yahoo orphanage group site and the blogs of two families that were traveling to the SWI yesterday and bringing the boys their little package.

Nothin.
They must have gotten in late and are understandably exhausted.
As much as I am looking forward to that trip, I am also dreading the getting there and back.
It's 2.5 hours from GZ. Yuck.
I'll go back to refreshing late tonight anticipating the new photos!

Anyhoo, around 11 or so I decided to abandon the cause seeing as how it was approaching 1am over there, in favor of taking the boys fishing.
It is after all December 31st and 71 degrees outside.....so what better thing to do than go fish!
I headed up to put the hair in a pony to head out and that's when it happened.....

Yep.

It happened.

I
fell
down
the
stairs.

Ugh.
My poor husband who came to my rescue after hearing the commotion could only stand there and take in the sprawling mess that was his wife at the bottom of the stairs.

Yeah.
I
felt
like
an
idiot.

A crying heap of idiotness.
I slipped on one of the kids toys and my bottom.....ahem...lower backside....is huuurrrrting right now
but my pride hurts even more.
Sheesh!
One of these days I'll learn how to walk down stairs.

We're off for fishing fun take 2!
At least my hair is already rockin the pony so the danger inherent in leaving the house seems to have passed.

Wednesday, December 29, 2010

Itinerary!....Need Your Input

Alrighty....here it is!(along with my thoughts on how this will go)

I need your input....our three sightseeing tours....to go or not to go....that is the question.
(our 3 sightseeing tours that come standard with our travel.......as in....no choice, must pay. Argh.)

January 15th: Arrive in GZ!
We arrive off of the plane all hopped up on adrenaline, 4 kids tagging along behind us, John and I smile at each other, birds sing, flowers bloom, a rainbow appears over us and we are glad we brought all the boys.

January 16th: Free Day
Adrenaline starting to wear off, jet lag beginning to set in, but we're still ridiculously happy and can't wait for tomorrow! We'll spend this day getting our bearings before we get the boys the following day- we're gonna have tea with someone named Susan, eat a dumpling or 12 at the 7-11 and try to convince the kids to not spend all of their money on the first day.

January 17th: GOTCHA DAY 2:30pm!
Oh my goodness, I am now the mother of 6 BOYS! 
Must.
Not.
Hyperventilate.
I will try my hardest not to ugly cry all over them..I don't want to get snot on their shirt the first day.(it's important to save some things for the second day)

January 18th: Civil Affairs Office - the boys officially become ours!
We've hit our stride, all is going well, the kids are all behaving impeccably. Life is good. We are still glad the boys are ALL with us.....or it could go the other way.....and John and I could be realizing that we waaayyy overestimated our parenting abilities and we begin to wonder what on earth we were thinking bringing 6 boys to the other side of the world......and he and I are no longer smiling at each other.

January 19th: Sightseeing tour Chen Family Temple & TB Test
We're becoming braver and more adventurous in the form of food....except Jason and Justin who are still on a white rice & ice cream diet...and are quite happy about it.

January 20th: Orphanage visit
Words will probably fail me this day.

January 21st: Sightseeing tour to Yuntai park
The hotel rooms are becoming smaller by the hour....and the smell of 6 boys in aforementioned hotel rooms....ummmm...well, I'm just glad I packed Febreeze.

January 22nd: Visa, Medical exam
I  will have just spent 3 hours at the clinic with Jacob & Joey while John stays back at the hotel with the other kiddos. But through it all I am EVER so glad that we now have the right to waive the in country immunizations.

January 23rd: Sightseeing tour to Zhong Shan Memorial Hall
Everything is starting to look the same and every day is ground hog day. 

January 24th: Get passports & Jason's 14th Birthday!
Pearl River tonight to celebrate our oldest getting a little bit older.

January 25th: Take the oath
Are we home yet? I wanna go home? Are we there yet? How bout now? Now are we there yet?

January 26th: Free Day
If I never eat rice again my entire life that would be ok. 

January 27th: Get the Visa's & Depart for HK
Ahhhhh....so nice. Sad to see the birth country of my boys in the rear-view as the train pulls away and I wonder if we will be back.....

Tuesday, December 28, 2010

Their New Room!

We should be seeing some new pictures and/or video of the boys sometime on Thursday! There are two families over there right now each adopting girls from the boys orphanage.

This incredible amount of "access" to our kids has made such a world of difference during these last two months. Family after family has headed their direction bringing back more information, photographs and video and that makes this momma's heart feel goooood.

I sent a small package.....and by small I mean as much as I could humanly stuff into a gallon size ziplock bag......with one of the families to take to the boys. Thanks Amy!

Here's the picture of their latest care package:





Yeah.
There's no picture.
I was so excited I forgot to take it.
-sigh-

Anyhoo, in that I also included a bunch of photos of our house, their room



(if we weren't moving wherever the Air Force sends us this summer I'd slap a big old baseball player Fat Head up on the wall but alas, it'll have to wait until their next room.)

The twins and Jacob and Joey will share a room for now with one set of them sleeping on trundles that will be pulled out from the other bed. Then when we move we'll re-evaluate and see how everyone is doing and what's what.


Their playroom
which always.....ahem......never looks this nice and tidy.
Is that considered false advertising you think?



....don't cha just want to reach into that photo and pick up those stray legos that are hanging out on the floor by the basket???!!.....no?.....it's just me?.....ok......I'll try and let that go...

And of course we included some more family pictures along with a letter telling them when exactly we would be there, that we would be staying in a hotel for two weeks, and more about what to expect.

I can't wait to see their little faces when they get their package! We've sent things to them before but never recieved any photos back so we have missed out on how they react to it all.

Is it Thursday yet?!

Monday, December 27, 2010

THE Must-Have Adoption Translator App!

As we are dwindling down to these last few days until we leave to pick up the boys I am finding that my obsessive.....errrr frequent blog reading is coming in quite handy.

I know things now(thanks to all of you) like
Where to stay
What to do
Where to eat
What to bring
and most recently
this app.



Hello.
It
is
amazing.
(It's $25 amazing...
...but it's amazing nonetheless)

It's the Jibbigo app and if you are about to adopt a child that is old enough to draw a Mandarin character or even write in pinyin then this app is a must have!

And if you order now we'll double your order for the bargain price of only $19.99
that's right folks only
$19.99!
Just pay separate processing and handling!

Ok, just kidding.
I don't sell it or have any stake in the company or anything I am just geniunely amazed at what it can do.

You speak in English
It repeats back to you in Mandarin.
You type something in English
It types it out in Mandarin.
...and here's where it gets even better.
The boys can draw a Mandarin character or 2 or 12 of what they want to say and will translate it for me.
Hello.
This is genius.
Just ensure that you enable the keyboard in order to gain this function of the app.
It's incredibly fast, easy, and accurate.
We....(and by "we" I mean John cuz I am technologically incompetent)....has installed this on all of the kids iPod touches and such as well so that they can communicate effectively with their new brothas.



I know I'm a rookie here but to virtually take away the communication barrier seems to me like a perty nifty idea especially considering my Mandarin skills are hovering somewhere around Ni Hao!

Joseph and Jacob: Mom I'm hungry.
Me: Ni Hao!
Joseph and Jacob: We are thirsty!
Me: Ni Hao!
Joseph and Jacob: We need to go to the bathroom.
Me: Ni Hao!
Joseph and Jacob: Does this crazy woman say anything other than Ni Hao?!
Me: Ni Hao!


Yeah. It's not pretty.

And really, come to think of it, even if you are adopting a toddler or baby this could come in handy for you. Just record what you want to say in English and it will say the phrase or word in Mandarin.
This is big people!
Big, big, big!
Of course then there's the fact that everybody out there probably already knows about and has this app and my excitement over it is about 1 year behind everyone else.
But that's ok.
It's all good. 

Ni Hao!

Sunday, December 26, 2010

What's in a picture.....

So I have never met the boys....
duh.
but it is quite fun to see,
stare,
obsess
over the photos of them and try and glean at least a bit of their personality out of them.

Photos like this for instance:



and this



and sometimes you just know.

That they are silly.
That they are goofy.
That they are beyond cute.

And it's hard.
It's hard not to impress upon them some kind of preconceived notion of how they will be
of how they will react
of how they will respond to us.

I think that they will do well.
I think that there are a number of factors that are playing in our favor that will hopefully make this transition as easy as it can possibly be.
But I don't really know.
I won't ever really know
until we get there.

Until these pictures become people. 

And I have to remind myself that
it's not their job to fulfill the roles that I think that they will play in our family.
It's not their job to be the people that I have made them out in my head to be.
It's not their job to be anybody except
who
they
are
uniquely
created
to
be.

And how that fact meshes with the ideal that has been forming in my head over the past 10 months is where the rubber meets the road so to speak.
And that is where all of this adoption talk becomes our families adoption reality.
And I don't have any clue what that reality will actually look like.

Challenging?
Totally.
Keeping me up at night?
Absolutely.
Worth it? 
Definitely.
Change a thing? 
Not on your life.

21 Days till Gotcha Day.

Wednesday, December 22, 2010

Joey, Baby-Size.

Well, I honestly don't have a whole lot to say in addition to these photographs because just one word  keeps popping into my head:

Yummy.



Do you see him?
Those unmistakable big brown eyes?
See his little 1-2 year old little fishy face?





He is just so stinkin squishable,


kissable,


 huggable,

 

just
plain
yummy.

More on the people in the red vests soon, but please know that they are some remarkable individuals and I can only hope that one day I get the chance to say thank you. 


I am honored to be this little-not-so-little-anymore guys mommy.
25 days till Gotcha Day....

Tuesday, December 21, 2010

Unbelievable!

I just walked in the door from being away visiting my dear friend for a couple of days....
...it's 10PM.
I'll share more tomorrow morning as my eyes are currently being held open by toothpicks....
but I just had to show you what was waiting for me in my overflowing email inbox.


Joey.
Circa 2009.

This kid
takes
my
breath
away.


Gracious.

More tomorrow including more Joey....BABY sized!
I didn't know you could love someone so much that you have never met....
but indeed it is possible.
Very
Very
Possible.

Friday, December 17, 2010

Their last Christmas without a family.....



Why Wouldn't I?
Merry Christmas everyone!

Thursday, December 16, 2010

Confirmed!



JANUARY 25TH, 2011

The Down Low on Our Travels

Ok, I can breathe now.
Sorta...

Here is the low down.
Apparently the CA's are pretty booked.
-sigh-
So right now we are scheduled to depart the US on the 14th of January.
29 days from now.
Which both seems like an eternity and no time at all depending on the minute I'm in.

Flights are being put on hold
Hotel reservations at the V are being made
And I am spinning around my house not knowing what to do with myself....

And here is where you are all free to tell me I am crazy as long as you do it nicely....

we are bringing
all
four
boys
with
us.

Hello crazy,
I am Sonia.
Nice to meet you.

Jason will also be turning 14 in China.
Which is ridiculously cool.

That's all I know for now.
Breathe in
Breathe out
Breathe in
Breathe out.....

Thank you to everyone for your comments yesterday! 
And YES please if you have any tidbits to share, packing lists, anything, I am all ears(leave me a comment or 12 or my email address is on the sidebar).
I am especially confused regarding this VPN thing. I need some step by step instructions. Talk to me like I'm 3 please when it comes to technology. Is it something that dials into our computer back home? Is it something I plug into the computer when we get there? Is it a software I install before we leave? 
Good thing good technology skills are not part of the home study.

This adoption rookie thanks you!
More soon!

Wednesday, December 15, 2010

We.Are.Going.To.China!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!


Can't breathe.

We Had Dinner With Joey & Jacob Last Night

As we were setting the table for dinner last night Jordan went over to the buffet and grabbed one of the photos of the boys and brought it over and deposited it right next to him at the table.



And this momma's heart smiled. 

The boys have been excited about the adoptions from day one and it has been remarkable to see them....of their own accord....ask some really insightful questions or just do little things like bring their photo to the table.

I.
Love.
That.





Joey and Jacob then took turns sitting by everyone.....except Jason who was snuggled up on the chair not feeling so well....it was just pure sweetness and made me realize yet again how much we are all looking forward to seeing them live and in person at that table, no longer just a few photos,
but forever our sons.



And please do be envious of both the fine china we dined off of last night and the menu selection of parmesan pasta, chips and hot dogs. 
It's all 5 star around here people.
High class.
All the time.

Oh and don't forget! I'm in the "Followers" War with Emily until Friday at which point I'll also draw names for a winner out of my followers!
I decided the prize will be a $15 donation in the winners name to An Orphans Wish!
So clicky, clicky! Follow, follow!

Tuesday, December 14, 2010

1-2-3-4- I Declare a Following War.

Alright ladies......I am going to divulge something to you that I don't think I have ever said on this blog before.....
and after I tell you I can only hope that you don't think less of me for it....
but....
....deep breath...
....here goes.....
....no turning back now....

I.
Am.
Very.
Competitive.
when it comes to games.

True story.

Whew.
There I said it.
Still my friend?
Ok, good!

So now I need your help.
My friend Emily has been leaving me comments, all in good fun, pointing out the number of followers we each have. First she was up one, then we were tied, now I'm up two...yeah...you get the picture.....it's sort of become a game. 
Which of course gets my competitive juices flowing....

So all of that to say, if you stop by here every now and then and read my dribble that is my blog could you do me a favor and just click that little "Follow" button over on the sidebar?
Even if you don't have your own blog you can still be a follower. 
I would be ever grateful,

And just to cheat sweeten the pot, I am thinking of having my first ever giveaway here!
Perhaps I'll send the winner a new bag of Nerf bullets?!...Ha!...just kidding.....kinda.
In order to win all you have to do is be a follower of my insane crazy train of thought day after day after day blog!
How great is that?
AND she is on west coast time zone so as I am cheerfully typing away this morning she is probably still snoozing blissfully unaware of the following war that is raging around her
so come on my Central and East coast time zone peeps! Let's rally!

Oh, and Emily...
GAME ON!

(I really think I have too much time on my hands. ;) 

Monday, December 13, 2010

Why I adore having 6 boys...


who else gets to dodge Nerf gun bullets on a cold day?


Boys Rock.

Sunday, December 12, 2010

I'm Going to China....Whose Comin With Me?

I thought I'd take a cue from my friend Jean and start a list on my sidebar of any families that may be traveling with us!
How great would it be to get to "know" each other and our kiddos before we leave?!
Well, it'd be really great,
that's what it would be!

Soooo if you are awaiting your TA like we are and are hoping & planning & praying to be in China at the end of this month or early January leave me a comment and let me know and I'll link you on up to the sidebar!
I think this could be fun!
Unless of course......no one wants to participate.....and then it'd be sad.
Like
sad
sad.
Instead of being
fun
fun
and I'd be
bummed
bummed.
(Don't worry....I don't speak in rhythm & cadence in person...
...ahem...most of the time)

So comment away!
Can't wait to get to know you!

Saturday, December 11, 2010

I'm throwing in the towel...

...on trying to figure out where my kids live.
They seem happy,
They seem healthy,
They are apparently very sweet boys,
and that's just gonna have to be enough for me for now.

Another sweet family that is over there adopting their precious boy visited one of the family homes yesterday,
had McDonald's delivered to the home for a special treat(how great is that?!!)
and I just woke up to a bunch of new photos....

I'll give you one guess as to what two certain someone's were there....

 
Yep, seated directly across from one another at the table.
Joey yellow sweater,
Jacob enjoying a mouth full of french fries at the other end of the table.....
with 8 other children.....coincidentally the number that live in one home.

So do they live together?
Do they not live together?
Ummm, no idea.
But somehow I'm ok with that.

Course it could have a lot to do with the fact that now two families in one week have said what cuties and sweet boys they are.....and sent me lots and lots of pictures......and video.....and more video coming soon...

If I were in some kind of information blackout right now I would be sitting in the corner sucking my thumb and rocking back and forth.
(Just keepin it real....)

Praise you Father that you put people in place exactly at the moments that I would need it.
Soli Deo Gloria!

Friday, December 10, 2010

I take that back......they ARE separated. -sigh-

Well.....
I had a feeling this was going to be the case...
not really too much time to quite digest this news yet.....
6:41am
hot cuppa coffee sitting next to me
watching the sun rise
and checking my email before the kids wake up
and I see not only an email from the orphanage but also another email from the courier when I ordered the orphanage call.

Here is what they now told Katherine from Gifts to China with Love 
(I X'd out their names and locations)

"The orphanage said that they are in the different family since a month ago,.
LXX jun is now in XXXXX FAMILY MEANS SUNSHINE FAMILY

LXXX is now in XXXX FAMILY MEANS HARMONY FAMILY.
EACH FAMILY HAS 8 TO 9 CHILDREN.FROM AGE 6-10.
THEY  LIVE VERY  CLOSE AND PLAY TOGETHER USUALLY."

Ummmm.
Ok.
No idea why they gave her different information yesterday? 
Maybe whoever she spoke with was misinformed?
I also doubt that they live "very close" as I was told that the other family home is "quite a ways away."
I'll hope that's the case.....but still doubt it. 

And then the email from the orphanage which reads:
"Hello!
LXXX and LXXX and this time you have seen letters and photographs, and they were very excited.
Before they lived in the same family, then for some reason, LXX transferred to another family (LXXXX in the "Sunshine home", LXXX "Harmony House"). They live very happy. Recently, LX(Jacob) often curiously asked some people what the United States? When can I go abroad? U.S. parents is good and so on. LXX(Jacob) character more cheerful and lively, very smart, he second year, a great achievement! LXX(Joey) recently is learning to adapt to first grade, and now more sensible, or the like before, so lovely. They know they have been adopted, and am very happy for this, and hope soon to go abroad. They often look at your photos come out, and it sent you the gift of love. Want them to go abroad after living more than happy now."



So here I sit. 
Wondering....my first thought was to shoot an email back saying, 
"What the heck are you thinking separating them now?" 
Just kidding...
ahem.....kinda. 

But truly I am wondering and seeking you other adoptive moms advice....
better to request that they be moved back in together when in just a week or two they are then going to be moved again back to the orphanage to wait for us? 
Better to leave it be? 

I am still so grateful that the reason Jacob wasn't there(reference earlier posts) is not because he was sick or anything so I do have some perspective that this isn't the end of the world. 
I guess it just makes my heart hurt for them. 
They were together in the orphanage as infants and then moved together to the same "family(foster) home" for years and so for Jacob to be moved only a month ago, and for Joey to not be with his best friend...add to all of that the fact that they are going to be moved again when they go back to the orphanage in the next week or so as they wait for us.....gracious... that is a lot. 


So here I sit. 
Half asleep
sucking down more coffee
positively aching to hold them 
and praying for my two littlest boys. 


I'm sure I'll have more to say when I fully wake up but for now Mr. Folgers and I have a date.

Thursday, December 9, 2010

Updates on the boys and Jacob found!.....kinda!

So after going crazy being ever so slightly concerned as to Jacob's whereabouts I contacted Gifts to China with Love (love them!) and ordered an orphanage call to get a check up on the boys and specifically to find out if they had indeed separated the boys or what on earth the story was.

Answer:
They still live together in the family home(foster home). 
Still doesn't make sense that he wasn't there, or why they told my friend that all the children that lived there were there when Jacob wasn't.
But nonetheless, at least I know he's ok, not sick, not missing, and not moved somewhere else.
Praise the Lord and a Hallelujah!
It's so true that it is impossible to know everything and this lack of control I have over my own kiddos is such a weird experience to be living.

Anyhoo, along with the news that they still do indeed live together we recieved new measurements.
And.......well.......let's just say that the Toddler department at Stuff Mart and I are about to become good friends.
As in 4T and 5T.
Hello.
They are teeny tiny. 
Here are the deets:

Jacob 7 years old:
HEIGHT:109cm, (4 feet tall)
WEIGHT体重:19kg,(37 pounds)
HEAD C头围:49cm, 
CHEST C       胸围:56cm  

Joey 6 1/2 years old: 
HEIGHT :104cm (3 1/2 feet tall)
WEIGHT体重:15kg,(33 pounds)
HEAD C:头围:48cm
CHEST C  胸围:54cm

Though we haven't gotten them much, mainly because we are waiting to see them in person and then see what size they are, I did obviously need to pick up a few things just for that first day or two but I'm not thinking those couple pair of size 6 regular pants are going to anywhere near fit them. 
Wowzers. 
Back to the drawing board.....errr shopping cart.

Tuesday, December 7, 2010

3 Seconds of our Joseph....Live!

It's quick.
It's short.
It's beyond cute.
It's Joey at 6 1/2 years old barely as tall as a chair.
It was taken just a few days ago. 

You can watch it once but if you blink you'll miss it so you may want to watch it 475 times like I have so far.

Still no news on Jacob....

video

Monday, December 6, 2010

If Not Us Then Who?

Depraved Indifference.
Wow.
Let the flood gates open and the ugly cry begin right at about the 2:40 mark.
Enjoy.
Be moved.
Do SOMETHING.

What's What.

Well, I would blog....

but the tape running through my head the last 3 days reads something like this:

Where the heck is Jacob?
I hope he's ok.
Matthew 6:26
What's for hot lunch today on the twins lunch menu?
Why wouldn't Jacob be there?
Where are Jack's shoes? I hope he didn't leave them out in the yard again. Gracious I love that boy and his propensity for bare feet.
It just doesn't make any sense that he wasn't there.
Matthew 6:26
He's ok. I'm sure he's ok.
I need to have Jordan try on Jason's old basketball shoes for their first Upward practice tonight.
They haven't lost him in 7 years, they wouldn't lose him now.
Is he sick? I hope he's not sick.
Matthew 6:26
Surely they wouldn't have sent him to the other foster home and separated them when they know that we are coming to adopt both of them.
They have been together their whole lives, why would they separate them now?
Need to remember to pick up more milk and eggs at the store later after home school.
Need to go the library today to pick up their next novels for English.
Need to remember to bring a couple of dollars for my library fine for keeping John Adams the HBO mini series too long.
Matthew 6:26
Where on earth would he have been when all of the other children were there?
Why did they say that all of the children that lived there were there when Jacob wasn't there.
I'm so confused.
It's ok.
He's got them.
He knows where he is...
in His grip. 

Matthew 6:26 "Look at the birds of the air; they do not sow or reap or store away in barns, and yet your heavenly Father feeds them. Are you not much more valuable than they? 27Who of you by worrying can add a single hour to his life?"

Yeah.
A snapshot into my head today.
Just keepin it real folks, just keepin it real.

Saturday, December 4, 2010

Jacob & Joey the Early Years

So I think my obsessing, worrying,..ahem.....intensive thinking about where Jacob was(reference yesterday's post) has gotten worse over the last 24 hours....not better.
The more I think about it, the less and less it makes any sense that he wasn't there.
Hope to have an answer in the next day or so as my friend that is over there right now is going to ask his daughter and show her Jacob's picture to see if she knows if he still lives there or if he was moved somewhere.
Gracious I am so anxious to find out.

In better news, my friend mentioned that there was one little boy that stole his wife's heart and that she would have scooped him up in a heartbeat if he were available for adoption. I didn't think too much of that comment when I read it on our orphanage group site....mainly because I was frantically scrolling through all of the photos....but as it turns out she was talking about Joey! He is apparently "Mr. Personality" and was so, so sweet! Oh how that did my heart good to hear that!

The family also mentioned how petite their new daughter is and in one of the group shots Joey is at least a head and a half shorter than she so I think he's actually much tiny-er than we originally thought. I guess we'll find out soon!

As I mentioned yesterday, the family took a few pictures of pictures that were up on the walls in the orphanage and the foster home and in those pictures I found a couple of cute faces staring back at me including what is so far the youngest picture we have of the boys. They can't be more than 3 and a half/4 years old here. What do you think? (Jacob green sweater, Joey brown/blue striped sweater)




I think I want to go back in time and scoop them right on up and kiss those sweet little toddler cheeks!

This one was taken just last month at what looks to be a big park of some kind. Do take note of how in every photo they are right next to each other, love that!
Brothers right from the start!


And that's all I know for today! Hopefully sometime tomorrow we'll have some hot of the presses video of the foster home and Joey and maybe an answer as to Jacob's whereabouts.

Friday, December 3, 2010

New Pictures of the Boys!

A friend from the boys orphanage is in China adopting his beautiful little girl and he was able to visit the foster homes yesterday....
...in response to which I have been holding my breath for a day and a half waiting to see if he would get the chance to meet the boys.
He did.
He has pictures
and
VIDEO.
I haven't seen the video yet, uploading issues and all...but boy ohhhh boy have I been neglecting my housework all morning drinking in these new photos.

For some reason Jacob isn't in any of them and it doesn't look like he was there with all of the other foster home children.
Not gonna lie....
this makes me uneasy.
Not knowing where he is and all.
-sigh-

And sweet Joseph who is usually all smiles and laughs seems to not be doing so well that day.
-sigh- (again).

And now I'll stop pretending that you are still reading this and haven't scrolled down looking at the pictures so I may as well stop typing and show you what you came here to see! ;)

Here is the entrance to the foster home.

 The balcony.

One of the bedrooms in the home. That is the top of Joey's head. A sweet little head if I do say so myself!


And here is where my heart crumbled into a million pieces. Look at his sweet/sad/sick? face. 




 And finally, an oldie but here is Joey and Jacob(red shirt, front row) about(my best guess) a year and a half or so ago. Jacob is wearing the same shirt he had on in his referral photos which were taken July 09.


I love the goofy side of Joey(gray shirt, front row). They crack me up.
There are a couple more families on their way there now to get their little one's so hopefully we'll catch a glimpse of Jacob soon......ya know.....so I can like sleep at night and stop worrying....
I have a few more from a few years ago that I'll share tomorrow so come on back now ya'll ya hear!

Thursday, December 2, 2010

Chilly, Rumpled & Empty-Handed

I was flipping through this last night



and happened upon this


The Kings Christmas List by Eldon Johnson
about which the description says this,
"Emma can't wait to go to the King's birthday party, but is a homemade cake enough of a present? Along the way there, she bestows her cake and winter-cape to those in need. Now chilly, rumpled and empty-handed, what will the King think?"

Hello.
That grabbed me.
Chilly, rumpled & empty-handed 
approaching the King.
Wow.
Isn't that such the way that I want to show up in the presence of the Lord.
Not dragging my bags of money up to the gates of heaven, my fat IRA peeking out the top.
Not driving my supped up swagger wagon stepping out in my designer boots;
but empty-handed
because I
gave
it
all
away.
I just love that picture.

We are not doing the gift side of Christmas this year.
So if you typically receive a gift from us......I urge you not to wait in the cold by the mailbox. 
We're good with this,
the kids are totally good with this.
Christmas is our trip to China.
Christmas is pouring out the love of Christ to the least of these and caring for the orphan in a mighty big way.
And this no-present Christmas Christmas has been entirely refreshing.
No hussle.
No bussle.
Just us.
Doing what He has asked us to do,
showing up empty handed to His Birthday Party,
but holding two little hands that He so perfectly created.
And I can't think of a better birthday present for the King Himself. 


Luke 2:10 "But the angel said to them, “Do not be afraid. I bring you good news that will cause great joy for all the people. 11 Today in the town of David a Savior has been born to you; he is the Messiah, the Lord. 12 This will be a sign to you: You will find a baby wrapped in cloths and lying in a manger.”

Wednesday, December 1, 2010

Overdue......Start the Pitocin

I'm feelin a little overdue today.
In fact, I'm feelin a bit like I did about 8 years ago

yeah.....that's how much I love you guys that I am willing to post a picture like this. 
Very pregnant with two boys
Feelin a little overdue, even though I totally wasn't
Ankles swelling
Appetite totally out of control
Emotions all over the place.....could I have been a little more happy about my grits?! Sheesh!
And let's not even talk about the empty container of syrup. Anyone seen the movie Elf? Yeah. Syrup on everything. Buddy and I are tight.

Anyhoo, I try
for the most part
to not keep track of numbers and or dates along this adoption road.
In the beginning I did
oh boy did I ever...
and then when I felt like we were at a standstill on the side of the road while other cars zipped by us 
I was finding that it was just better for my emotional health not to be counting down the days until this journey ended or to be comparing our journey to the time line of others but to just embrace where we were at that time.

Sounds so easy to write it out.....oh sooooo much harder to live it out.

It's a bit like when I plug a new address into the GPS on a road trip and it tells me that we will arrive at our destination at 12:00 for example.....
well darnit, come 12:00 I expect to be there.
I will plan for 12. I hate to be late. If you tell me 12, I'll be there at 12. That's just how I roll.
I don't want to know nor discuss the possibility that there will be road work, construction delays, detours, if it says 12:00 then 12 it shall be.
Thus at some point it was bound to happen that I would need to be dragged kicking and screaming out of that la-la land where everything went seamlessly and according to my plan.

So when we plugged in our "We will be in China Date" into the GPS and it spit out that we should be there end of October/November I expected to be there the end of October or sometime early November.

And then we got schooled in the hard knocks of adoption.
And we are all the wiser for it.
So here we sit.......into December and we're not there yet. 

And I'm ok with that.
Ok, maybe "ok" isn't the right word.
But I have developed(man alive this has been a growing season in my life) tremendous faith that we have not missed the boat, we have not gotten behind, we are not late to the party, we'll get there.

So amongst all of this I had forgotten that I had even started a ticker at the very beginning of our adoption to track the time.
The ticker lives waaaayyyy down at the bottom of my blog so I don't often scroll down that far.
And today I happened to think of it when I saw one on someone else's blog so I took a little look:
9 months and 3 weeks.
9 months and 3 weeks since we said yes to adoption.
Said yes to two faces completely unknown to us at the time.
Said yes to this face


Said yes to this face


Said yes to what would turn out to be these two little boys, best friends, foster brothers, our sons.

 

So even though we are technically overdue and even though I sometimes find myself getting irritated that our projected arrival time on the stupid GPS isn't what it started out to be, at this point I am more often than not at peace with that......
even though I still do have my moments when I want to throw the stupid GPS out the window.
Shhhhh, don't tell my kids I said stupid.....we don't say that in our house. ;)

Tuesday, November 30, 2010

Making a List....Waiting for China...Checkin it Twice

2 more beds/comforters/pillows: Check, Check
2 more toothbrushes sitting by the sink : Check, Check
2 car seats: Check, Check
2 more sets of slightly smaller clothes: Check, Check
Visa's: CHECK!
Watched Elf 24 times since Thanksgiving making up for the fact and hoping that my Elf viewing season will be tremendously cut short this year: Check
2 standard rooms requested at the Victory: Check
Random hotel room entertainment purchased: Check
List of places to eat thanks to my bloggin posse: Check
Trip to the bank: Check/OUCH!
Oodles of noodles purchased and in the pantry for them as they acclimate to American food: Check
Having fun saying, "Oodles of Noodles": Check
List of things to do:
Safari Park
Circus
Dinner cruise minus the dinner: Check, Check, Check!

Dare I say I really feel like we are ready to go?
Yes, yes I think I shall.....
We are ready to go! 
Medicines are purchased, antibiotics are ordered, suitcases are pulled out of the closet, house compulsively cleaned, forms needed for travel, books on attachment and parenting the older adopted child read and read and read, and read check!

Gifts for the officials:
uhhhhhh.....
gotta go. 

Totally random things I still need to know: 
  • Should we stay at the "Old Victory"? The West side? Or the newer annex? Bearing in mind that SPACE is what we need.
  • What kind of rice should I buy for my rice cooker? I'm not thinking my Success boil in a bag is going to do it for them? Specific brand anyone? 
  • Is La Dolce Vita really closed? Anyone been there lately? I heard it was closed but didn't know if that was temporary due to the island maintenance before the games or if that was a permanent thing.  We are a huge Italian food lovin family.
  • Can we bring our own bottled water into each restaurant or is that frowned upon?  
  • How can I access Blogger over there? (Feel free to email me(address on sidebar) in regards to this one....) cuz really, ya'll would miss me while I was gone wouldntya? Please say yes. ;)  
  • Anyone wanna give me a ball park figure as to how much it costs per person to get into the Safari Park, do the dinner cruise minus the dinner, etc.....in USD please, my yuan to USD conversion abilities are not the best. ;)
I know there is more that I can't think of right now to ask......
We will return to this regularly scheduled blog once Sonia's full brain capacity returns.

Monday, November 29, 2010

Where to Eat, What to Do, Guangzhou Style

If one were going to be traveling to Guangzhou and staying there for perty near 2 weeks with a couple of hotel rooms filled with testosterone where are the places that one would most certainly want to eat at?

And where would one want to be sure to visit/experience whilst one was there?

And why does one enjoy referring to herself in the third person?
Never mind.....that was a rhetorical question.

One hopes she gets lots and lots of feedback from her blogging posse.

One thanks you in advance.
Peace out.

Friday, November 26, 2010

Article 5.....I think!

Our Article 5 should be ready for pickup today!
.....or....errr...ummm, last night I guess China time?!

Sooo at some point this coming week it will arrive in Bejing where they will immediately issue our Travel Approval and we will leave the week after that.
.....ok just kidding. 
That is what happened in my head.
Back to reality Sonia....back to reality.

It will indeed arrive in Bejing sometime next week whereupon they will then
at some point
issue our travel approval....which is like their invite to come pick up the boys!
And all God's people said,
AMEN!

I can see that finish line in the distance and ohhhhhhh baby does it ever look good.

Wednesday, November 24, 2010

The Orphanage

Here are a few pictures of the orphanage that were snapped by some families that have recently traveled to go pick up their kiddos.

I vasiclate between combing every inch of every photograph commiting them to memory and then on the other end of the spectrum,
not even being able to look at pictures like this......the toddler beds.


Where Joey and Jacob slept
for
years
all
alone.

I think between our four boys they probably got up and out of bed during their toddler years no less than 8.2 million times over the years. Whether because they were sick or scared or in need of a snuggle.
Which begs the question
who did Jacob and Joey run to?
Anyone?
Yeah.
I can't even think about the cribs and the infant days....
That's why those kinds of pictures are so very hard to look at.....
and why they leave me in tears, a complete puddle of goo on the floor.

They will be moved out of their foster home and back into the orphanage very soon where they will wait for us.
I can barely type that without crying.
The upheavel.
The loss.
The fear they must have.
The unknown.

And then I stumble across photos like this


where I catch a glimpse of one of them (Jacob, top row, middle) and
I
see
my
son.
Who will very soon no longer be called an orphan and will not ever spend another night alone and that thought fuels the fight for another day and fuels the love that is ever growing for two boys whom I've never met but love 
all
the
same.

Through all of this I am so very grateful for so many things, namely that I don't think the orphanage is a foreign place for them. They weren't moved into foster care until they were four so they have at least some familiarity with the place.
They also have each other.......this is big in my thankful book.
These thoughts are what I cling to when I think of the coming days for them as the anticipation builds and they experience that transition time between their home now and the home and family that is coming very soon. 
But mainly the knowledge that though I can't be with them,
HE can.
And He always has been.

Monday, November 22, 2010

Paying It Forward

Our fund raising raffle to bring Jacob and Joey home was a huge success and out of that blessing has come some opportunities to pay it forward!

Love that!

I have three items to contribute to a family.....well 3 families actually, that are looking at starting a raffle or are in the midst of one to help raise funds for their adoption fees.

1. A short sleeve Wild Olive tee of the winners choice that will be shipped directly to them!
2. A blog makeover by Alexis!
3. A blog makeover from Desiree and Blessed Mama Designs!

So if you or someone you know is fund raising please just leave me a comment and let me know if you are interested in adding one of these or shoot me an email(address on the sidebar) and we can keep the blessings flowing! Spread the word!

Sunday, November 21, 2010

The List.

I often get the bug eyed look from people when they see we have four boys and two more on the way.
But that doesn't really phase me.
It doesn't really feel hard or feel like I have my hands full
It just feels like our family. 
And in the spirit of keepin it real you should know there are of course days that I just want to escape the vast sea of testosterone that I am surrounded by and curl up in my comfy bed with some estrogen in the form of an Anne of Green Gables marathon. 
But I digress.

Anyhoo, what people don't know is that you just must have the basics in place to have a successful daily life with a few boys running around your house.

1. Love for the Lord.
2. Respect for others.
3. Food.
4. Sporting Equipment.

Now I know there are a kajillion books on raising boys, I think between John and I we have read half a kajillion. We are well versed in this area, but I'm tellin ya. It comes right on down to these top four things. Ok and maybe a few more hundred things. But these seem to be our top 4. :)
Around this time of year #3 undoubtedly becomes the topic of much discussion.  

Case in point.
Here is what I found on the computer when I sat down yesterday to check my email for the 300th time just in case there was any news on our Article 5. (Which there wasn't. Boo.)

So I hereby give you
The List
by Jordan.

WHAT TO HAVE IN A THANKSGIVING DINNER
1. turkey
2. pumpkin pie (gotta have lots of it)
3. Corn
4. mashed potatoes
5. Gravy.
6. peas
7. cranberry sauce (BLEC!! but if u want to go ahead)
8. Sparkling drinks :)
9. stuffing!!
10. rolls

WHAT NOT TO HAVE IN A THANKSGIVING DINNER
1. popcorn
2. toast
3. pizza
4. chicken (that is just a disaster)
5. milk

Ahhh man.
And I was soooo going to serve chicken with a side of pizza and a glass of milk on Thanksgiving.
Now I don't know what on earth I am going to do.....
I guess raising boys is harder than I thought.
Back to the drawing......errrr cutting board.

Friday, November 19, 2010

Jacob's video....need MORE subtitles!

And here's Jacob-the Kung Fu Master's video.
This boy kah-racks me up!
It's been pretty remarkable from the video we've seen of them and the photographs that Jacob and Justin seem to share the same personality and Jack and Joey share the same.
It'll be interesting to see if that turns out to be the case when we actually meet them.

video

These two videos of the boys(ref previous post) were made about a year and a half ago by their orphanage staff when their referral files were put together.
It's amazing how much you can glean from watching them in action....though I do wish it were just a video of them playing and interacting instead of the "formal" interview that they seem to do here.
But I'll take what I can get. ;)

Thursday, November 18, 2010

FINALLY Joey LIVE......need subtitles!

Here is our sweet 6th son in action.
Go ahead and tell me how cute he is
I can take it.

video

Wednesday, November 17, 2010

Sweet Kaleb!


We have been blessed beyond measure by our friends and strangers donating to help us get these boys home and if there is one thing that this journey has taught us it is this:

It makes us want to give all of our money away. 

John actually said that one evening as we were discussing the financial side of the adoptions as donation after donation came in to help bring our sons home.
"It makes me want to give all of our money away." he said.
True story.
We have experienced first hand the enormous impact that you have made with your giving.
Front row seat.
Backstage passes to a miracle in progress.
That's us.

All of that to say, you simply must head here and check out this sweet family's journey to bring Kaleb home.
That smile just melts my heart and they are having a terrific fundraiser going on over there.

This & That

I still need to pick up a couple of car seats for the boys...
but every time I go down that aisle I start to cry cuz I'm so incredibly excited that soon I will look in my rear-view mirror and see two more faces looking back at me. 
.... Then I leave that aisle because people start giving me weird looks. Do you see now why I don't yet have car seats?
-sigh-

We are waiting to hear about the status of our Article 5.
Mailed out on the 5th, waiting to hear what day it was dropped off at the Consulate so that we know when that two week tick tock time frame started.

I thought I had a pretty clean house until I dusted the top of the fan blades in my living room and bedroom yesterday....
...that's all I'm gonna say about that... less someone calls the Health Dept on me.

I have lost my Elf soundtrack CD.
...I am distraught about this.

We finally decided to have the twins and Joey and Jacob share a room...
4 boys within a 2 year age span of one another in the same room....it's either going to be brilliant...or incredibly stupid.
I'll let you know.

Joey and Jacob's dresser is cleaned out and ready to go. It is so far stocked with some Star Wars undies and brand new socks....
...I love that.

My bedroom floor looks like Target threw up all over it.
So much for our trip is waiting and ready to be packed. Little toys, their clothes, toothbrushes, medicine, books. I need still need to pick up some gifts for the officials.Totally open to ideas for this!

Jason and Jordan and I started attending a Mandarin class offered on base a couple of months ago to help get us through those first few weeks together.
....It's so true what they say about kids picking up a language quickly.
They amaze me.

But most of all
I am positively aching to see these little faces in person.