Monday, January 31, 2011

I Feel Like I've Been Run Over By A Bus.


Yesterday was fantastic!
Church, Power Wheels, learning to bike ride in the cul-de-sac, trampoline, toys, food, brothers...
I'm tellin ya.

And then it was time for bed.
The 4 youngest were basically starting to fall asleep standing up around 7pm so I threw in the bath and showers(one or the other, not both.....that'd be overkill.....or more accurately overclean.)
and tucked them in.
I came downstairs where John was reading and said,
"Honey. We have 6 kids and listen to how quiet it is at 7pm. This is great!"

All was fine until around 8:30pm when I heard some kind of muffled sound coming from their room.
I went in there and found Jacob absolutely soaked with tears.
Turns out he needed to go to the bathroom and I guess he didn't know that he was allowed to get up.
This kind of thing breaks my heart for them.

So we remedied that situation, loved on him, and put him back in bed.

All was fine
until around 12:30 when I awoke to the sound of Jacob and Jack reading a book together wide awake.
We remedied that situation, loved on them and put them back in bed.

All was fine until about 2:00am when I awoke to Justin complaining that Jacob kept waking him up.
We remedied that situation, loved on them and put them back in bed.

All was fine until around 3:15am when I awoke to Jack and Justin wandering around and Jacob sitting in his bed wide awake.
We remedied that situation, loved on them and put them back in bed.

All was fine until around 3:45am when I heard Joey crying in his bed.
At which point

There is no remedying that situation.
Stupid jet lag.
I pushed through yesterday with no nap,
was so proud of myself,
thought it would help me sleep great last night
but alas

I think I've slept something like 6 total hours in the last 3 days.

I'm beyond tired yet oddly unable to could have something to do with the high volume of caffeine I am in taking....but there's no way to know fo sure. 
I have a cold coming on
and John went back to work today.

I've never been run over by a bus before but I have a feeling this is kinda what it feels like.
Gotta go now and find my second wind.
I know I left it around here somewhere.

Sunday, January 30, 2011

Home Sweet, Suh-weet Home.

4 airplanes.
32 hours total flying time.
8 taxi rides.
1 train.
2 minivans.
4 hours of driving.
1 private bus because no 2 taxi's in all of Hong Kong would take our family.(Totally not kidding. We had to rent a bus.)
2 hotels.
3 airports.

Praise you Jesus!

Flights went great......unlike my dear friend Angela, Lilly's mommy.
Oh my.
I was near tears from exhaustion when we landed and everything went seamlessly for us....I cannot imagine.
You go Angela!

We arrived back home with America's two newest citizens to this

 and this
 and this
 and this

which only served to make me cry with joy and thankfulness for our friends who love us.
I was overwhelmed by it all after I got everyone in bed and I came back downstairs.
I just sat.
Just sat

My fridge is stocked,
my house is sparkly,
my freezer is full
and they even went as far as to get their favorite snacks.
I have the best friends a girl could ask for.

My friend Lanette....bless her sweet little heart, drove 2 hours each way to pick us up cuz our minivan only seats 7 and adoption agencies frown on tying your child to the roof.
I was never so glad to see her smiling face as we got off of that shuttle bus.
After 16 hours on a plane we were smelly,
we were ragged,
we were smelly....wait I already said that...
and she hugged us anyway.
Cuz she be cool like dat.

So here we are.
Sunday morning, 7:30am.
Joey is bopping around the house oooohhhing and aaahhhing over everything which is like the cutest thing you have ever seen.
Justin is catching up on his DVR'd cartoons and the other 3 are still sleeping.

It was a great night!
Jacob and Joey climbed right into bed after their rapid fire house tour at 11pm and I am sitting here pounding down the coffee about to get everyone ready for church.
Anyone wanna take a guess on how long it's going to take me to get 6 kids ready for 9:30 service?
Me neither.
Well, there's always 11:30.

I'll be back later if I'm not comatose on the couch from jet lag with a post about how the boys are doing.

I've said it before and I'll say it again.
Thank you, thank you, thank you for your unending support over this last year.
You have lifted us up, encouraged us, made us laugh, made us cry, and helped to make this entire adoption possible.
We are ever grateful.

Friday, January 28, 2011

A Hong Kong Hello!

We have arrived in Hong Kong and as I sit here and leisurely sip my Starbucks the kids are playing in the waiting area behind me.
Ahhhh, life is good.
Well, life is harder than it was last week......
but still good.

The boys grieving stages have begun.
The tears have been flowing
The I'm not gonna walk because you won't let me have more candy episodes have started
But all in good time.
They're learning.
We are learning.
And together
A ginourmous family.

It is 10:51 am local time and soon we will depart to Seoul.
A few hours layover and then we head home.
This trip has been incredible, humbling, super fun, emotionally taxing, exhausting and just plain amazing.
God is good.

Next post from home where I will need to quickly get to a grocery store.
These boys eat like they are making up for lost time.
I think I will move into the produce section of the grocery store plant a garden.
Cherry Tomatoes
& Raisins seem to be their favorites.
None of which I of course brought before leaving.
I also desperately need a lesson on cooking congee.
But that's a post for another time.

Thank you again for all of your supportive comments,
our friends continue to amaze me!

See you on the flip side!

Homeboy Got Style

As I mentioned we are having some serious wardrobe malfunction here.
I knew their measurements before we left but convinced myself that there is no way that my almost 7 year old was that small.
I'm a dork.
He is that small.

Thanks to all of my totally rockin friends who have offered to drop off your used 4T's....ya'll are awesome and I am so blessed by all of you. 

Anyhoo, everything except their underwear(thanks Angie) is too big.
Even their socks.
Jacob tends to handle this ok
but Joey is a bit pickier about his sock wear.
He always looks at me, points to his gigantic socks, and wrinkles his nose as if to say,
"Hey crazy American you not see that these don't fit?"

So yesterday when I was getting them changed back into their normal clothes out of their red couch outfits he took the cuff's of his rolled up jeans and did this

and proceeded to walk all over the island the rest of the day

I love this boy.
3 Days till home!

Wednesday, January 26, 2011

At Which Point The Elevator Closed....

with only the children inside.

Yesterday after breakfast we were heading back up to the room and in case you were curious....trying to get a family of 8 on an elevator all together is a bit like herding kittens.

We approached the elevators and Jack, Joey & Jacob went inside
I turned around to see where Jason and Jordan, Justin and John were and when I turned back

Did I mention what an awesome mom I am?

Here's the thing though.
The elevator here will only let you go up to the 3rd floor without your key.
It requires you to scan your key to go any further

So I knew they had to be somewhere between the ground and 3rd floor.
Good times.
Good times.

John stayed at ground level in case they came back down and I headed up for the hunt, 25 seconds later they came back down on their own and all was well.

Yes this is the second time I have lost one or more children in China.
Yes you may laugh at me.

Kids are all still doing really well though Jacob and Joey have begun to show just the slightest hint of attitude today.
That's fine with me though because
A: I'm no stranger to attitude and
B: They can't be perfect forever.
The fact that they are starting to feel comfortable enough to show us some weaknesses is a really good sign that they are settling in.

Here's the face we get from Joey when he is unhappy about something:

Which frankly just makes me giggle.
Sorry kiddo, you've got some parents that have been around this block before.
I think the fact that the luggage has come out and we are beginning to pack has them feeling the slightest bit unsettled. Our guide.....who is absolutely incredible.....has had some good talks with them about what will happen and when as far as trains, planes and automobile rides so I know they are aware of what is happening but nonetheless, it's hard on them.

John and I are still doing really well though exhaustion is starting to set in as the adrenaline of this trip is starting to wear off.
I can't wait to go home and crawl into my comfy bed for 3 days.
Oh wait.
I have 6 kids.
I can't wait to crawl into my bed in 20 years.

Monday, January 24, 2011

Red Couch Baby

Today we took a walk over to the White Swan and met up with our travel group for the traditional red couch photos.
There is some serious cuteness going on over there.
Tons and tons of kiddos and their families....I could have sat there all day and watched all of these brand new families together.

And now here for your viewing enjoyment are my two favorite red couch subjects.

CA appointment today where we will take an oath swearing that all of the information that we have provided is correct and then the only thing left is to wait for their visa's which we will receive on Thursday at which point we will depart to Hong Kong.

4 Days till home!

Just Keepin It Real....

In case you were wondering.....
They are really doing as well as I am making them out to be. 
I'm tellin ya.
I'd be the first one to tell you if I felt like we were drowning but these two kiddos are absolutely incredible.

Truly the biggest adjustment has just been the jump from 4 to 6 kids.
And not even in a bad way.....just in a gotta keep up with 6 and make sure we're not missing anybody way.
Instead of a constant 1,2,3,4 we're good.
It's now a 1,2,3,4,5,6 we're good.
Just a retraining of the brain is all.
But we've been down this road before when we jumped from 2 to 4 kids.
It's all good.

Of course then I look at a few of our new family pictures and I am beginning to realize that 6 kids
a lot of kids.

Yes this is just now occurring to me.
No you may not laugh.

Academically speaking they have both come to us knowing waaayyy more English than we thought they would know.
They know everything from Hello, how are you, I am fine, to counting to 100 and beyond, mother, father, thank you, you're welcome, the list goes on and on and they pick up about 10 new words a day that they are retaining.
Wait, did I say that already?
Oh well. tis true.

They can both write their upper and lower case letters, have some off the hook yo-yo skillz and keep us laughing with their antics each day.
They are amazing, they are incredible, they are wicked smart but best of all

A Birthday, A Special Dinner & A Bath

Our oldest got a little older today.

Jason is 14.....which means I am old...

What a special birthday night we had!
I had asked our guide to order a cake for us and I would pay her for it, she did it one better by talking to the hotel who ordered one and had it delivered to our room for free.

We brought it to dinner where we met up with sweet Lilly and her family and blogging super star Sally!


Sally is just as sweet in person as she is in blog land that is fo sure.
We need to get a better pic of the three of us together and our ridiculous number of combined kiddos.
I think between the 3 of us we have something like 22 kids.
Sally did a lot to up our average.

The aftermath was pretty ugly but we had a great time nonetheless despite the fact that my children seem to be periodically suffering from the
"We are in China we can act like complete monkeys and behave like a bunch of wild people in the restaurant" syndrome.
Anyone know of any medication for that?
Me neither.

Back to the hotel after dinner and we were ready for "Baf!" as Jacob and Joey call it.
Seriously people.
I wish you could hear the giggles and belly laughs that come from something so simple as a bubble bath.

 5 days till home!

Sunday, January 23, 2011

I am the Mother of Institutionalized Children

And what that looks like in real life has been so captivating.

Beyond the books,
Beyond all of those "experts"
Beyond the research and theories and studies
is me.
Just me.
Their mom.
And them.
My children.
My previously institutionalized children.

For the most part I imagine that you can see us walking down the street and think nothing of it.
It isn't outwardly obvious minute to minute but it most certainly shows itself in the little things.

How they haven't ever had a bath in a bathtub before and the sheer joy that comes every night from having a bubble bath.
This is the bathroom in their foster home.

See that large "tub" on the right of the squatty potty?
That's where they stand for a "bath".

Or how they keep everything. 
As I sit here and type there is a McDonald's bag from 3 days ago containing 2 cold stale leftover french fries sitting next to me.
We can't throw it away.
It's theirs.

Namely for us, it has been their watches.
They came to us wearing their watches and it seems to govern and control their day. They are both near consumed by what time it is, what day it is, what time of day it is.
Remarkable really.

Then there is things like bedtime.
How they must brush their teeth, wash their hands, wash their face and then get into bed not once looking for a hug, a story, or someone to tuck them in.
Jacob is almost always asleep before his head hits the pillow(after double checking his watch.)
Joey lies here and sings a sweet little song to himself.

It's near heartbreaking how independent they both are.
I'm pretty certain that we could leave them alone for a week and they would be just fine.
If you are deserted on an island, these are the two people you'd want with you.
And they have each other's back......big time.
If they don't have it, they will find it.
If they can't open it, they will find a way.
If it's broken, they will fix it.

It is self sufficiency taken to a whole  new level.
And for a 6 & 7 year old it's just plain...

So bit by bit, day by day we have been here side by side with them showing them that they don't have to do it all. Or know it all. Or fix it all. That's what they have us for.
They can just relax. We've got their back now.
And those McDonald's fries, well,
there's plenty more where that came from.

A Look Around the Island

Here's just a few pics from the last few days with our chaos.....I mean family. ;)

My blogging is suffering tremendously due to the fact that I am collapsing into bed with the kids around 8pm and rising before the sun with a certain child named Joseph who likes to get up at around 5am.

Ever seen the sunrise in China?
I have.
Many, many, many days now.
It's beautiful......when I can keep my eyes open.