Thursday, June 30, 2011


I am finding that Joshua's adoption is
so much

Different than Jacob and Joey's.
Because this time around
I'm feelin it.
I feel the fear. 

It threatens to seize me daily.

Will we reach him in time?
Will the doctors firm warnings about possible brain damage from his chronically low oxygen levels be true?
Will he recover?
Will he be operable?
Will he survive an operation?
Will there be complications?
Will he have a stroke before we arrive due to his ridiculously high hemoglobin levels?
Will our lives be all about the PICU for days?
Will we reach him in time?
Will we reach him in time?
Will we reach him in time?


It grips me.
And I'm not gonna lie.
It's a battle.
A daily battle.

Jacob & Joey's adoptions were so much more about
what cute pj's I could send them in their care package,
when I might get some new pictures of them
should I have sent them the spider man puzzle instead of toy story? .

But this go round?
I am consumed with,
"Lord keep that heart beating."
"Lord thin out that blood."
"Lord let us love him."


I look at pictures like this that were taken about the time he became paper ready for adoption

and I think to myself.......what if we had reached him then?
Years ago.
What if
What if
What if.

Obviously each case of adoption brings it's own joys and struggles.

You worry whether your new baby will take a bottle from you.
You worry whether your toddler will throw a knock down drag out tantrum upon meeting you.
You worry whether your older child will accept you.
You worry whether your dying child will survive until you arrive.
It comes with the adoptive territory.

But it's overcoming that worry and fear that is critical.
I tend to visit the fear and worry
but I don't live there.

I don't snuggle up on it's sofa with a cup of tea and let it speak to me.

I'd rather sit on Someone else's sofa and let Him speak to me.
and let Him pour out his peace and His wisdom that He has gone before us in this.
He knows.
I don't.
And you know what?
That's fine with me. 


It overtakes it
it destroys it
it beats the ever lovin snot out of it.
And because of that
I rest. 

Isaiah 41:10
So do not fear, for I am with you; do not be dismayed, for I am your God. I will strengthen you and help you; I will uphold you with my righteous right hand.

Isaiah 41:13
For I am the LORD, your God, who takes hold of your right hand and says to you, Do not fear; I will help you.

Wednesday, June 29, 2011


Months home with Jacob & Joey.

Somedays it seems like they are still the new kids on the block
hold on a sec
I suddenly feel the need to break out in song.....
Step by step....oooooo babyyyy gonna get to you girrllllll..
I was raised in the 80's.
I can't help myself.
And somedays I forget that they spent their first 6 & 7 years institutionalized.

What grips me is that they will be 13 & 14 years old before we even "break even".
Meaning that they will be 13 & 14 before their days with a family become greater than their days as orphans.


Adoption is most definitely a marathon
a sprint.

Our bio kids were raised on Blue's Clues & Little Bear.
They were raised on Pokemon and inappropriate Chinese soap opera's.
There's still a lot of love and re-training, joy and healing to bring them.
But even at only 5 months home they are so settled.
So peaceful.

We've learned a lot from these two.

Did you know that if you leave the peels of the 8.2 million oranges you eat everyday up on the windowsill to dry in the sun for a few days that they will make a tasty snack?

Yeah. Me neither. But tis true.

Did you know that referring to yourself in the third person all the time
Joey go bathroom.
Joey have water?
Joey go to park.
Joey go swimming.
Joey hungry.
is slightly irritating?
But he's cute.
So we still like him.

They both started a summer reading program at the base school 2 days after we arrived.
They love it.
I love it.
The teachers love them.
As pre-jail Martha would say...It's a good thing.

Joey's in the kindergarten summer program and we are having him repeat 1st grade in the fall.

Ignore the shirt.

I don't know what kind of egotistical mother would buy such a thing

Jacob is in the 1st grade summer program and we are having him repeat 2nd grade in the fall.

He will be none to happy about that.
This kid is wicked smart.
But third grade is such a big leap academically
and with his early September bday
we...and his teachers....feel this is absolutely the right decision.

So that's the 5.
Lovin life
Lovin God
Lovin them.
And everyday humbled by the fact that the Creator would choose two sinners like us
to parent two perfect creations of His. 

For I know the plans I have for you, declares the LORD, plans to prosper you and not to harm you, plans to give you hope and a future. Jeremiah 29:11

Monday, June 27, 2011

Stroller Seeking

So not surprisingly our new little man lacks the ability to walk very far
or stand for any prolonged length of time.

If you ever wondered how important proper heart function is
let's just say it is up there.
It's kinda right up there with breathing.
Breathing is good.
Oxygen is our friend.

It's all I can do not to cry at the part in his file that talks about how when the other kids are roller skating he sits on the side and moves his feet back and forth and pretends to roller skate.

snot bugger
snot bugger

So as we begin to think about John's trip over to pick him up one of the things John will take with him alongside the portable oxygen and pulse oximeter is a stroller.
Adoption = walking.
Appointments, back to the hotel, through the airport, through the train station, appointments, appointments,

So I need fellow adoptive posse.
I need your wisdom.
I need a stroller.
A stroller fit for an older child.
Used? Great!
Cheap? Greater!

I have no idea how much he weighs right now.
If I had to guess I'd say somewhere in the neighborhood of 40 pds?
I know I can probably find one over there but honestly,
I don't want to risk it.
And I need something that is of good enough quality that it won't crumble beneath him the first time he sits down.

This mama has been out of stroller age for awhile now so I need you desperately.
In fact here is a photo of me the last time I had a child that was stroller age

Don't cha just love my hair?
I did it myself.

Saturday, June 25, 2011

Update on Joshua!


This just in from a family that was able to meet him:

Hi Sonia!

We were able to visit the orphanage yesterday and take pictures of your sweet boy!  We were taken to his classroom where he and about 7 other children were sitting around a table.  They were playing a game with one of the nannies.  She was holding toy animals and they were saying the names and sounds of the animals.  Then, she would cover the animals and take one away and the children had to figure out which animal was missing.  Your son is so handsome and smart.  He was joining in and answer the teacher.  He said hello to us and good bye (in English).  The director said that he now requires one hour of oxygen every day and wanted to make sure you have a way to provide that while you are here in China.

This is a new development for him.
I think he looks great.
So much better than I had anticipated.

This picture was taken in late April of 2010:

You can kinda see how blue his gums & lips are and how ashen he looks.

And this from 3 days ago:

His color looks.....well......better! The news that he is on oxygen was news to me......not surprised I guess as I had obviously anticipated that this would probably be the case eventually but nonetheless....its hard to comprehend that he is over there deteriorating and dealing with this alone and I am over here.....waiting.

Being the doctor mother I am, I'm thinking that the oxygen may be accounting for his improved color?{Not that blue is not a good color......but ya know......I vote for pink when it comes to your gums, lips, fingers and toes. I'm just sayin.}

Every single picture we have of him, his mouth is open. I think it's easier for him to intake more air this way.
Every single frame of video we have of him his mouth is open and he visibly struggles to take a deep breath every few moments.

Adoption will break your heart.
I know it's breaking mine.
But better that........than to not try and save his. 

I will not leave you as orphans, I will come to you John 14:18

Friday, June 24, 2011

Lessons I've Learned

in the week we've lived here.
  • I have got to figure out how rock a ponytail. It' here...and my hair is......ummmmm sweat-tay.
  • I like, like having these everywhere
  • Their beauty distracts from my sweaty, nasty, funkay ole head
  • I spend a lot of time in this recently missing my friends.
    • Wait.....let me get my bootie out of it so you can see how cute it is. {The chair that is.....not my bootie. I had four kids in five years.....there ain't nuttin cute bout the bootie.....let me assure you of that.} 
      • There. That's better. Isn't it cute? It was a going away present from my buds Lanette & Kristen.
      • I heart them. They are sweet, sweet people....even though Lanette doesn't drink coffee....which is typically a pre-requisite for friendship with me...I still like her....despite that glaring fault.
      • When you wear sunglasses sans sunscreen all the live long day you will burn every part of your face except your eyeballs and surrounding sockets. 

      • This will make you look funny.
      • Add funny face to your sweaty hair....and the result is not good. Trust. Me.
      • The boys have done more free activities on this base in the last week than they have done in the last 2 months. 
      • When you find yourself discouraged by your lack of trailer backing up abilities near midnight, don't be discouraged. This 
        may just be waiting for you when you check in from your dear friend Alisa. (Whose I-800A btw is also at USC1S with ours vying for attention. They are paper chasing for their sweet new baby!)
        • Because being given a basket full of yumminess {hello giant tub of cheeseballs!}by the lodging clerk will definitely take the edge off of your marathon day of moving and make you feel less like an idiot b/c of the trailer incident not so alone in a new state.
        • My hair does not like it here. 
        • I am considering getting rid of all summer clothes sans the swim trunks as these kids are submerged in water near 89% of the day and surely pajama bottoms can account for the remaining 11%. 
        • Ha. I just did math. 
        • I.Just.Did.Math.On.My.Blog. 
        • I don't like math.
        • I skipped 6th grade in school and I was supposed to do some math work that previous summer, but I did not. And no one cared. So I didn't. Thus when I showed up to 7th grade right out of 5th I was....well.....lost....which was.....well.....not good.
        • Thus math and I are not on good speaking terms.
        • It trys to thwart me.....I use a calculator and ignore it. 
        • That basically sums up our relationship.
        • Ha! SUMS up! I crack myself up.
        • Did I mention my hair does not like it here?
        • Mmmmkay. good. Just checkin.
        So that my friends is a comprehensive list of what I have learned Week 1.
        Hold your breath for week 2. Maybe I'll find a ponytail holder by then and learn the proper use of sunscreen.

          Thursday, June 23, 2011

          A Giveaway! Woot-Woot


          You know you want to look this good in a tee.

          and help our precious JJ come home right?

          Oh yeah baby.

          The deets:
          We are giving away one "Got Love" tee from Kelly over at the minus1project.
          Your choice of size.
          Your choice of color.

          • For every $10 you will gain one entry. 
          • For linking the giveaway on the Book of Face and/or your blog you get an entry. Just leave me a comment on this post letting me know you did so and I will throw your name in a hat....or a bowl.....or the bathroom sink.....or whatever entry collecting point I can find around here. 
          • And if you have already donated, no worries! I have you already entered! 
          Thus no purchase is necessary. (Our lawyers said we had to say that.)
          Just kidding.
          I have no lawyers.
          Although I do know one.
          And I like her.
          She's nice.
          And she doesn't yell things like, "I object!" at the dinner table. 

          But I digress.

          Thank you for helping Joshua come home! 

          Monday, June 20, 2011

          He Has A Name

          And it is

          Joshua John

          We will call him JJ. 

          Joshua means "God Rescues"

          It's perfect. 

          Have I not commanded you? Be strong and courageous. Do not be afraid; do not be discouraged, for the LORD your God will be with you wherever you go. Joshua 1:9

          Our sweet son will leave the walls of his orphanage that he has left only 1 TIME IN 7 YEARS because, according to the orphanage, his health is "too fragile".
          He will meet a man he has never met yet who already loves him
          fly across the world
          and go directly from the airplane into the arms of a mother he has never known
          and then directly into a hospital.
          Where he will shortly thereafter endure a marathon open heart surgery.
          The possiblilty of surgery being the best hope.....
          our other option is that they will find that day that he is inoperable.

          God will be with you wherever you go


          Joshua John, you are loved and regardless of what your future holds you will have the love a family walking right alongside you.


          Saturday, June 18, 2011

          Moving Mishap.

          Ya know what?
          We've done this a time or two or nine.
          But ya know what else?
          I'm still an idiot.

          We ended up leaving our hotel pretty late in the morning b/c instead of packing the night before like a good lil Air Force wife, I was instead sitting poolside with our dear friends that evening chit chatting and working up the hootspa to say goodbye.
          (It didn't work btw....I still ended up ugly-crying all over myself on the way up the elevator....I then almost ran into a bewildered man upon exiting said elevator with snot all over my shirt....I'm just sayin.)

          So we started out on the road and I started out......for the first time......pulling a trailer behind our nimitz size vehicle.
          No bigs.
          It went well.

          It went well
          that is



          Did you know when you go in reverse whilst pulling a stupid trailer that the stupid trailer does not in anystinkinway go where you need it to go?
          Unless of course you know what you are doing.....which I......well......don't.

          In fact I'm pretty sure that is where that phrased "fish tailing" was coined.
          Cuz that be exactly what it looked like.
          A fish tail flapping all over the dead end I managed to encounter.
          At one point I glanced out  my drivers side window and I'm not kidding...the thing looked like it was parked directly next to me instead of being attached to the back of me.


          I knew I couldn't back up a trailer.
          Granted....I'd never actually tried it before.....but I'd heard that it could be....well....tricky.....
          and I'm not.....well.....dumb.
          So my plan was to simply drive forward the entire trip.
          Pfft, duh.

          It worked.

          It worked until I discovered that the gate at our new base was closed.
          There are 3 gates.
          Gate #1: Closed. No bigs. I turned around {going forward, holla!} and happily proceeded to Gate #2.
          Gate #2: Closed.
          But here's the thing......I couldn't really tell it was closed until I got right on up in it's biness.
          And it.
          Was down a narrow road.
          And I?
          I was stuck.

          Now might be a good time to interject and tell you that it was nearing 11:30pm.

          So I turned around and smiled at the(still awake) kids, pretended that I knew what I was doing trying to back up with the stupid trailer and gave it a go. I mean come.on. how hard can this be? I gave birth twice in one day people, I can properly fold a fitted sheet, really? A trailer is going to take me down? I.Think.Not.

          And ya know what?

          It didn't work. 
          That stupid thing was going every direction except where I needed it to go.

          And ya know what else?

          When you are parked outside of a closed base gate after hours doing all sorts of zany turning maneuvers with a rented trailer
          the base po-po don't take too kindly to that.
          They will show up.
          With their lights flashing.
          And their big guns.


          I called John about 5 minutes before my armed entourage arrived to ask tell him to get his booty over here and rescue which he asked if I could wait a few more minutes while he checked in and got our keys.
 It is dark. There are 4 still-awake children in this car. This stupid trailer is not doing anything I ask it to do. I need help and a massive can of Febreeze.
          And like the good guy he is.....he showed up.....right about the time the guns did.

          Long story too late we hadn't been on(or near) our new base 10 minutes before we had our plates, names, DNA, eye color and what grade we received in 2nd grade Math run through their system and had the K-9 unit awaiting us for a full inspection as we eventually pulled up to the one open gate at that hour.

          And I was worried we'd wouldn't make a good first impression.

          Friday, June 17, 2011


          The owner of this blog address is currently in transition.
          And currently being held captive in confined spaces with boys.
          Thus she smells like sweat socks.
          And sweat socks aren't funny.
          Just gross.

          Thus she will return in a day or two once she is settled.
          And when she is able to stop referring to herself in the third person.
          She out.

          Tuesday, June 14, 2011


          Our sweet 7th son

          Roger Matthew.

          & Roger.

          We liked the name and frankly couldn't settle on another J name so Roger it is.

          I'm totally messin with ya.
          I crack myself up.

          Let's start over again shall we?
          Yes I think we shall.

          Introducing our sweet 7th son


          J somethin or other anyway.. 
          He doesn't have a name yet.
          Yes we are that lame.
          We'll figure it out eventually I promise but in the meantime let us bask in the cuteness that is


          We expect a pretty quick process in order that we may reach him in time to try and save his heart, PA came today and we pray that the rest of the process will go incredibly quickly.

          With such a short amount of time between now and travel we are humbly asking for your help in raising the remaining ransom required to reach him.

          Adoption is....well.....expensive
          God is.....well.....BIG
          our fear is......well.....small.

          3 international adoptions within a few months will collectively kick our financial boo-tay and thanks to the incredibly gift of $5,000 from an anonymous donor and saving we are not terribly far away from reaching the amount needed to save him.

          $12,000 and an ocean stand between him and us.

          We would also be so thankful if you would help us by spreading the word on your blogs with the button or linking the blog on the Book of Face.
          Book of Face.
          Come on, that was funny.
          I dunno.

          Also if you care to tell my husband how much you love the name Jude I would be so grateful.
          I love it.
          well, doesn't.
          But perhaps it's nothing a little peer pressure can't fix.
          I'm just sayin.

          To the donor: Wow. Weeks later I still lack the adequate words to express our un-ending thanks and gratefulness to you. Thank you, thank you, thank you for being a part of his story. I cannot wait to one day introduce you to the miracle that you had a hand in. Please know that we will never forget the love that you have poured out on us.

          Ever grateful,
          John and Sonia.

          PS I would like to state publicly that I like the name Roger and meant no harm or offense. I would ask that all the people of the world named Roger not write me a letter expressing your offense.....I mean you no harm. I'm just weird is all. Now if you would like to write me a letter telling me I'm weird then that, yes that, would be ok.

          Sunday, June 12, 2011


          I am not.

          I came across this post awhile ago and it so spoke to me
          cuz it's exactly how I feel.

          We do get a lot of questions
          we do get a lot of second glances
          we do get into a lot of conversations

          but honestly?
          It doesn't bother me.

          this could be because we've only been home about 5 months
          it could be because I love that our family might just have small itsy bitsy teeny weeny part in planting some adoption seeds in other families
          it could be because I live with a bunch of boys who aren't really chatty thus when given the opportunity to chit chat about darn near anything with darn near anyone I will.
          it could be that Joey and Jacob's English skills aren't yet at the point that they understand the conversation that is taking place in front of them.
          It could be a lot of things.

          But for now, and hopefully forever,
          what it isn't
          is offensive.

          I did want to share that I received my very first "interesting question" this morning.
          I was talking to a lady who works at the hotel.
          She is sweet.
          She fusses over the boys
          She brings Jacob extra eggs every meal and cherry tomatoes
          cuz she picked up on how much he loves them.

          But then she said
          Her: "How many kids do you have?"
          Me: "We have 6 boys and will soon head back to China to adopt our 7th son."
          Her: "Do you have any of your own children?"

          Did you catch that?
          Do I have any of my own children?
          They are all my children.

          And I know what she meant.
          And I know she didn't mean what I could have chosen to read into her comment at that moment.
          Use it as an adoption education moment?
          So I very nicely said that well, they were all my children and that we did have four biological sons before we were blessed by adoption blah-bibity-blah-blah.
          Or I said something like that anyway. 
          In truth I was at the coffee station while this conversation was taking place.
          It was early.
          My hair nor teeth had seen nary a brush.
          And my veins were screaming for their daily infusion of caffeine.

          But truly, regardless of my current caffeine levels
          We do have a story to share.
          We all do.
          No matter your life

          One of my favorite shows is Sunday Morning on does make me feel about 65 years old....which I believe is their target audience....but nonetheless.....I like it.
          I like it on the DVR anyway. It sadly comes on at the same time as church. Boo.
          Saturday Morning on CBS would be so much more convenient for me.
          And really, it's all about me.
          Insert tongue firmly in cheek.

          They used to have a segment called something like
          "What's your story."
          The correspondent would throw a dart at a US map and travel to that town whereupon he would randomly flip open the phone book and point to a name.
          Then he would go find that person
          and more importantly
          find their story.
          I love this.
          We all have a story.
          It's what you do with it that matters.
          How much more valuable to shine a light on it, Christ's light on it, than to hide it.
          Neither do people light a lamp and put it under a bowl. Instead they put it on its stand, and it gives light to everyone in the house. Matthew 5:15

          So if I can use our journey to point people toward the glory of God
          how valuable is that?
          How much more valuable than to be easily offended by mostly innocent, though sometimes, mis-spoken questioning.

          I don't suppose I have a point to this little story of mine
          other than to say
          ask me anything.
          I won't be bothered.
          Just let me have my first cuppa coffee first.
          Otherwise I am liable to shout something at you that sounds a lot like,
          "For the love of all that is good I BEG OF YOU TO GET OUT OF THE WAY OF MY FRENCH VANILLA COFFEE CREAMER."
          Only I will say it with a smile on my face.
          It's how I roll.

          Friday, June 10, 2011

          Move 2011

          It is finished.

          I am now left with the residual debris inevitably left behind.
          8.2 million nerf darts.
          Stale goldfish.
          9 stray socks.
          and filth.

          I thought I kept a pretty clean house.
          But ummm....
          Despite the fact that I believe our landlord reads this blog
          here is the proof that I was sadly waaay off base in regards to my cleaning capabilities:

          No picture.
          I'm not showing it to you.
          I do need to maintain some sense of dignity.

          You're right.
          I shouldn't be so prideful.
          Pride comes before a fall.
          Here are the pictures:

          Still no.
          I'm  not doin it.
          And you can't make me.
          I choose the fall.

          You'll just have to trust me.
          It wasn't pretty.

          We did have a great experience this go round I will say.
          Like that box of chocolates, at 7 am when strangers ring your doorbell, you never know what your gonna get.
          And unlike my good friends across the street that had to break up a near fist fight on the front lawn amongst their packers.......
          no I'm not kidding....
          both our packing and loading crews were schmantastic.
          And this year none of the crew used the restroom with the door open   
          WHILE talking to me. 
          Still not kidding.

          So off we soon go.
          The palm trees are beckoning.
          The waves are calling my name
          and I am googling how to treat jellyfish stings.

          Let the games begin.

          Thursday, June 9, 2011

          Deep Thoughts by Sonia Part Duh.

          Part Duh. Instead of Deux. I crack myself up.
          And it's late
          and waaaayyy past my 8:30pm bedtime
          so I may be getting punchy.
          Don't judge me.
          Yes I have the sleeping schedule of a 2 year old.
          I said don't judge me.

          • I met a lovely lady at the hotel yesterday in line for breakfast that recognized me from the blog. This was a first for me. She's a fellow AF wife. She's sweet. They too are headed to their next assignment. I almost sat down with them to eat tonight. But then I decided that would be intrusive. And then she would think I was weird. And then she wouldn't read it anymore and she'd be sorry she recognized me. So I didn't. And I ate with my smelly posse of boys instead. Hi nice hotel lady! 
          • My 13 year old was standing next to me when this happened. He thought this was ridiculously cool and I even made his face-book status today when he told his friends. 
          • That's right. I'm cool in the 13-14 year old age division.
          • We are in the middle of what is the easiest & smoothest move we have had in 13 years. 
          • Granted not easy on the emotions but easy on the process nonetheless.
          • Jacob didn't ask to call his China Baba today. Or his China Babbage as my friend Jean said. Ha. China Babbage. Crackin me up. I love that.
          • I still have my friend Emily's tea that I picked up for her from Don & Susan in Guangzhou. I haven't mailed it yet. Is nearly 5 months still within the appropriate grace period for mailing tea?
          • You should know I have post office issues. 
          • Emily, obviously, was unaware of this. 
          • I heart our adoption agency. I feel so confident that they will rally behind us in getting this kiddo home quickly. If you need a great agency let me know, I've got a name for ya.
          • Whilst packing up some plastic fork and spoonware for our transition time I also remembered to throw a couple of pairs of chopsticks in the bag. I think this small act cemented my Mother of Asian Americans status. Or maybe it didn't. I dunno.
          • We are at a bit of a standstill with #7's name. Had I known 14 years ago that there were going to be 7 of them running around.....well.....let's just say this J issue would not have taken flight. 
          • This experience has left me it too late to change all of my children's names? 
          • My husband finished his program today. This.Is.A.Big.Day. We took what was going to be a challenging year and amped it up a notch or 12,000 with all that has transpired with our family in the last 12 months.
          • I am considering making a tee-shirt to wear around our new base that says something like, "Hello. I am Sonia. I'm a nice person. I'm new here and I don't know anyone. Will you please talk to me?" 
          • Does that sound desperate?
          • Pathetic? 
          • I dunno.
          • Did I mention I dislike the getting to know everyone phase of moving? 
          • No?
          • Ok.
          • I dislike the getting to know everyone phase of moving.  
          • I can't wait to show you little man's picture. 
          • Gracious how you can love some one from so far away that you haven't met continually amazes me. 
          It's a new day.
          Sonia out.

            Wednesday, June 8, 2011

            Deep Thoughts by Sonia.

            • We are in the midst of our moving transition
            • Jacob is not handling it so well. 
            • He asked to call his "China Baba" last night. 
            • This is the first time that has happened......ever. 
            • I walked back into our home that is now filled with boxes this morning and cried. 
            • I'm going to miss it here. 
            • We have made some powerful friendships, most of them driven by our journey to the boys. Never in my life have I ever experienced such un-ending support and encouragement.
            • I accidentally donated a bunch of clothes to the thrift shop that a dear friend lent to me when we first arrived home with Joey and Jacob. In my jet lag fog I managed to miss the word lend. I feel like an idiot.
            • Jacob asked to call his China Baba last night. 
            • My husband is finishing his final exam today for the school that kept us here for another year. 
            • After 11 months I may actually see his face out from behind a book. 
            • I have forgotten what he looks like. 
            • I've decided to break with tradition and wear a simple back and white sundress to the graduation ball next week instead of a formal gown. 
            • The gowns are packed. 
            • I used to like moving so often way more than I like it now. 
            • Now it tends to make me more sad than excited. 
            • Jacob asked to call his China Baba last night.
            • The twins are at sleep away summer church camp until Friday. 
            • I miss them so much it hurts.
            • My dear friend Kim is coming into town this weekend and I can't wait to see her. 
            • My dear friend Lanette is leaving town shortly after us and I don't want to say goodbye to her. 
            • This Sunday is our last at our church. 
            • The thought of that makes me want to ugly cry. I'm going to miss my church & Bible study posse.  Those women amaze me.
            • Jacob asked to call his China Baba last night.
            Sonia out. 

            Tuesday, June 7, 2011

            Orphan Behavior

            I keep forgetting.

            It daily slips my mind.
            When I look at them
            I don't see it.

            I keep forgetting.

            I'm thinkin that's good.
            I don't watch them bound down the stairs each morning and think to myself,
            "Look! My two little former orphans! How cute!"

            The fact escapes me

            If I hadn't picked them up myself I wouldn't believe that they have only been here for four months.
            Not at'all.

            So yes,
            I keep forgetting.

            Until things like this happen.

            We are moving to wherever the AF sends us.
            Like soon-soon.

            I asked them to pack up their legos so that we could take them to the hotel
            and they instead managed to unearth all sorts of treasures that they had hidden away.

            Orphan behaviors.
            Front and center.

            They hoard.
            They don't steal.
            They don't hide food
            but the things they manage to pillage
            amaze me. 
            It fascinates me really.
            what they deem important or worthy of keeping.
            Course it wasn't until this afternoon that I realized
            it's all important apparently.

            Take this for instance

            that's a "baseball".
            A baseball made of one sheet of crumpled up printer paper covered in packing tape.
            That was their "China baseball."
            Furthermore, it's wrapped in a clear cellophane wrapper they pillaged from somewhere in the house.
            This is special to them.

            Then there's the random strands of Easter grass.

            Broken bouncy ball.

            Sheet of paper that they practiced their multiplication tables on 2 months ago.

            Broken pencil.

            All of it.

            Go ahead.
            Let your heart break.
            I'll wait.

            So when I sat down with them and gently told them that we should take a look and see if anything in there could be trash here was the result

            It's all still there.
            NONE of this is trash to them.
            Not the remaining plastic part of a ring pop
            not the 3 month old happy meal toy
            not the broken plastic mini frisbee
            No.Thing. is trash.

            Then there's this.
            This is what it looks like under their pillows.


            So here we are
            very close to a move
            and my very typically organized self
            is taking a deep breath.
            The baseball wrapped in trash will move with us
            as will the plastic ring pop piece
            all of it.
            It will come.

            But more importantly

            And though for now they view their trinkets as special
            soon enough
            they truly and fully will grasp how very special they are.

            Do not store up for yourselves treasures on earth, where moth and rust destroy, and where thieves break in and steal but store up for yourselves treasures in Heaven. Matthew 6:19-20.

            Friday, June 3, 2011

            Paper Cuts.


            You know how they say labor is painful and that as soon as you have that
            newborn in your arms
            you forget all about it?
            I guess that's true.

            But let me tell you....I'm in labor now
            with a 7 year old
            and my uterus is in China.
            That was funny.
            Or gross.
            I'm not sure which.

            there's no epidural....and I am a big, big, big believer in epidurals.
            {cuz I'm weak like that}
            and all those memories are coming back.
            Someone give me the happy juice ~ stat.

            Our home study is written and ready for submission to NBC.
            Just had to be re-fingerprinted.
            No bigs.
            No bigs only there seems to be a disconnect between the law and the process. 
            Our state and FBI prints that our state requires, are valid for two years.

            We are well within the two year time frame.
            But our home study agency is required to re-print all potential adoptive families as part of their vetting process.
            Except "the system" does not allow you to do so.

            So we have spent the last two weeks on the phone and on email with our local DHR office, the company in VA that runs these prints, their IT people(not kidding) and a couple hundred other people in between them.
            It's been big fun.

            We essentially have to be kicked out of their system in order to re-register for this adoption.
            They didn't so much want to do this as they kept insisting that we were cleared and our prints are still valid.
            Well yesterday that was finally figured out.
            And then not two hours later I got a call that our forms were out-dated so we got a rejection notice.

            Could anyone have noticed this a week or two ago?
            I told you I need an epidural. 

            Will someone puh-lease ring the anesthesiologist
            and bring me better hospital food
            these paper cuts are going to be intense.

            Wednesday, June 1, 2011

            The Plan

            You guys amaze me with your un-ending support.
            You have no idea how uplifted and encouragement we feel by all of you.
            Therefore, encourage each other and strengthen one another as you are doing. 
            1 Thessalonians 5:11
            It's so Thessalonica-ish of you! {Ha, I just made up a word}
            Or is it Paul-ish of you since he wrote the book of Thessalonians?
            I dunno.

            The plan is that John and Jordan and maybe Jason-who isn't sure he wants to do that plane ride again and I can't say I blame him- will go and pick up our little Mr.
            {who really needs a name by the way}.
            John and I will high five and tag team in the airport when he lands with him
            at which point
            John will go home and sleep off the jet lag
            and I will go directly from the airport to the hospital with little man.

            It's in that moment
            on that day 
            that we will know.

            He will either be a candidate for surgery after they run their tests
            he won't.

            We have had his file reviewed by the heads of cardiology at a few different hospitals including Boston Childrens,
            if you have a kiddo with a sick heart
            Boston Children's is where you need to be.
            We kept getting the same answer.
            There is no way to know.
            They need certain tests done,
            they need more information.
            Too many unknowns for them to tell us how this will go.

            we have tremendous peace about that.

            We are either going to be bringing home a child that can be helped by modern medicine
            we are going to be bringing home a child that we will love, laugh and have life with for as long as we are blessed to have him.

            No idea.

            But peace nonetheless.

            I'm not gonna lie.
            This is a lot. 
            A lot
            a lot.
            There is a tremendous amount of things going on right now in our family.
            We have some big adjustments ahead
            but really
            None of our reasons would ever be reason enough to leave this little boy to die alone.

            So we press on toward the goal that God has called us to and we do so no matter the trials knowing He is right there with us.
            He has gone ahead of us in this.
            We are doing what He has asked of us.
            He knows precisely how all of this will play out.
            And that,
            THAT is what I cling to.
            {and chocolate. I cling to chocolate. But not near as much as I cling to Jesus}
            Just FYI.

            Peace I leave with you; my peace I give you. I do not give to you as the world gives. Do not let your hearts be troubled and do not be afraid. John 14:27