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.

Tuesday, November 16, 2010

My Grandstone.....the update

After a looonnngggg day at the local Children's Hospital on Friday it was determined that Jordan does in fact not have a kidney stone.
I have 2 things to say about that:
1. Yippee!
2. Then what on earth is wrong with him?

Apparently a CT scan is the best way to detect these...which he had done two weeks ago in the ER. To which they said, there is no stone.
The morning after that ER visit he had an ultrasound that blatantaly detected an 8mm stone in his left kidney. So sayeth the ultrasound tech, the radiologist that read the ultrasound, and his pediatrician.
An ultrasound 3 days later showed the same stone.
But alas what they were seeing was something else....of which I don't remember what he called it but apparently the kidney can do things like that which is why ultrasound is not the preferred method of detection...CT scan is. So the ER people that we all thought were wrong, were actually right.
Again....Yippee!....and....what the heck?

He is feeling MUCH better than he was a couple of weeks ago fo sure....but still having some lingering symptoms of which I'm sure he wouldn't appreciate me going into on the blog. ;)
So the mystery continues....though decidedly a much less painful mystery than it was previously.

I shoulda married a doctor....this AF pilot thing isn't doing me much good. ;)

Monday, November 15, 2010

Jacob LIVE!

video

Here is our 5th son....doing what no other son before him has been able to do.
Gracious I love this boy!

This video is from the talent show that was put on by the kiddos that were part of AAC's camp last spring.
AAC is not our agency but they did agree to transfer his file to our agency months ago when I found him again on their website. And for that, we are ever grateful.
His interview video from the camp was unfortunately damaged but they did say that during the interview one of the nannies walked by and pointed to his picture and remarked how handsome he is...
to which he replied,
"I know."
LOL
He is SO my son! Sassy as can be! Love it!

Sunday, November 14, 2010

Christmas Jesus Style




You simply must go here and read my friend Tina's blog post today....and then after you do that pray that she feels better and then pray how He might lead you to do things a little bit different this year. 

A sweater he doesn't need or helping to drill a well to bring water to a community that has never seen running water before.
That toy they definitely don't need or a box of cleft bottles to help save the lives of babies like Jacob.
The choice is easy.
We're making that choice.

I think so often giving to organizations feels so abstract. I know it did for me, for years.
That the money that we give just sort of floats somewhere out there and may or may not actually help someone or make an impact somewhere.
And it has really taken this journey to Jacob and Joey to open my eyes to the fact that there are very real faces and very real lives on the other end of these programs.
That our giving really does have a direct impact on lives.
A trip or 12 to the local stuff mart to procure more useless gifts....or impacting a life for ever.
Wow.
This is the new tradition. 

Wednesday, November 10, 2010

It still makes me laugh

I have so many recent blog worthy events but alas we are on our way to the urologist in the never-ending saga of my grandstone so for now enjoy a post from our old-pre-adoption family blog....this is one of my favorites and it was entitled:

The Best Gift EVER

Okay, so that title is not entirely accurate. The best gift EVER would be God's gift to us, Jesus, a perfect man without blemish whom He sent to die for us as a way for us to live eternally with Him. So the Second Best Gift Ever would be this:

which on the flip side reads:

Which just frankly makes me laugh every time I walk into our bedroom. I purchased it as a joke for John, and boy oh boy the laughs just keep comin. I may at some point do a post about ulterior pillow worthy phrases that often pop into our heads and keep us laughing but for now I will let you think of your own.

Monday, November 8, 2010

Breathe.

Well, I was going to do a post tonight....
but then I was backing out of the driveway and ran up and over a basketball...
I still can't feel my legs and my heart has yet to descend back down where it belongs.
I thought it was one of my children
and the scream that came out of my mouth...
well, let's just say it wasn't pretty.

We'll return to regularly scheduled blogging tomorrow after I kiss and hug my kids no less than 1.6 million times tonight.

Sunday, November 7, 2010

"Baby" Watch Day 14

This is Jordan

This is Jordan's kidney stone


Ok, just kidding.
This isn't Jordan's actual kidney stone...
that'd be weird.
This is some other unfortunate person's stone....that I found on Go*ogle.

They say this pain is much like or worse than childbirth....does that mean that he is about to give birth to my first grandchild?
Should I feel a little bit cheated that my first grand-baby is comprised of calcium oxalate crystals and uric acid?
Yes.
Yes I do feel cheated.

Little Mr. Baby Stone is still residing somewhere in his kidney though it seems to have floated up to higher ground as it has found quite a little happy place to be in there that is currently not causing Jordan any real pain. He has a kidney "spasm" every now and then but nothing like last week...
which begs the question....
what on earth are they going to do about it?

We go back tomorrow to the doctor for the plan and another ultrasound to see where my first grandstone is.
Ha
Grandstone....
I crack myself up.

Saturday, November 6, 2010

For my Bible Study ladies

I posted this awhile ago but this is for my Bible studies ladies, we were discussing this a few weeks ago...
not to mention I could watch this clip 100 times and never tire of hearing this message.
It takes a minute to load, but trust me....it's so worth it 

12, 6, 7

12 months apart.



6 minutes apart.



7 months apart.


In Air Force kid life this is an amazing thing.
Your best friend goes everywhere you go
no matter where in the world they send us.

"Irish" twins
"Old School" twins
"Artificial" twins
everybody's got a buddy.
Love that.

Friday, November 5, 2010

LSC packet x 2 back to China!

Praise the Lord and a Hallelujah!

Now the wait for Article 5 has begun.
Oh.
My.
Goodness.

This is really starting to feel like we are really about to get on an airplane and fly halfway around the world to meet our sons.
Really?
Oh yes, really.
When words like "travel phase" start being mentioned by your totally rockin agency it becomes
very
very
real.

Oh.
My.
Goodness.
Wait....did I say that already?

In a matter of weeks these two chuckleheads will no longer be classified as "orphans"



they will be forever ours.
Safely in the arms of their forever family and man ohhhhhh man
I cannot wait!

Can't think...
too excited....
must.
go.
clean.
something.

Thursday, November 4, 2010

The Mama Bear *Updated*

UPDATED*
Survey says: 
Kidney Stone. 
Who knew that a 12 year old could get a kidney stone?! Apparently they can so despite a CT scan in the ER that didn't show a stone it showed up on the ultrasound yesterday. So our kiddo is on some hefty meds until Monday and if it hasn't passed by then they are going to re-evaluate. 
I wish everyone could have seen the look on his sweet face when he was told how a kidney stone comes out...funny, funny stuff I tell ya. Poor little guy.

Kinda had my butt kicked by this past week.

It is all fun and games around here until someone gets sick and then
well,
and then it's not fun and games anymore.


Jordan has been having some kidney pain the last week and a half or so. Off and on, but ever increasing until it reached a breaking point a few days ago. Well, I won't bore you with the details but suffice it to say he was seen by and tested and poked and tested and poked and then the next day I was on hold and transferred and passed on to waaayyy to many people until finally I was told that they want him to have a renal ultrasound......and that I should call the base clinic and schedule that.

No problem....
until they said they could get him in...
in
2
weeks. 

Ummmmm...,
hold, on.....
what's the word I'm thinking of....
ummmmm....oh yeah, I know....
NO.

More phone calls, more transferred, more holding, more transfers and not being able to speak to the doctor's nurse, more holding, more holding
until this mama bear couldn't do it anymore.
And that was it. 
I loaded my sweet baby....ok, he's 12....but he's still my baby when he doesn't feel good....into the van and drove to his doctor's office.
I deposited him in a chair in the waiting room and then very politely walked up to the desk....looked at the receptionist who had been blowing me off for 2 days
and said,

"Someone
is
going
to
help
me."

Only I did it with a smile on my face.

Seriously, I am a very nice person darnit.....but when one of my babies doesn't feel good and I don't feel as though they are getting the care they need...
this mama bear is going nowhere until they help.
And I mean no where. 
Miraculously, they were able to fit him in for an ultrasound first thing and now we go back today for results.

Oh how I miss the days when they were little and sick and  you could send the husband to the couch and throw the baby in bed with you so that you could roll over and check on them compulsively throughout the night....
now I get up and out of bed 100 times and walk down the hallway, and climb halfway up a bunk bed to check on him.
So yes, I am the slightest bit sleep deprived, but I've still got a smile on my face....
a highly, highly caffeinated smile...
but a smile nonetheless.

Please pray for Jordan that they will figure out what on earth is going on with him and that he will begin to feel better! He has a big youth retreat this weekend that he is going to be so bummed to miss if we can't fix this by then.