Wednesday, February 29, 2012


Meet Jean.

She's amazing.

She and her husband have heeded God's call to care for the orphan in big ways.

Wanna know something else about Jean?

If not for her

Joshua would probably not be alive right now. 


That's what I said.

I would have never heard about Joshua if not for Jean.
She advocated for him.
She put his picture on her sidebar.
She and Jesus are the reason that boy is soundly sleeping upstairs in my home right now.

And now
Jean needs prayer.
Abby needs prayer. 

She needs healing.

Prayer warriors activate!

Monday, February 27, 2012

A Public Service Announcement of Sorts.

When traveling to
and henceforth
arriving at your destination
which is your local plastic surgeon's office to begin the process of your child's cleft repair
do not meet your friend there
who has also adopted a cleft affected kiddo

get out of the car
get the kids out of the car
and then begin chit chatting and walking toward the building.

Because you know what?
You will forget to put change in the meter

and then you wanna know what happens?


This is what happens.

Because even though you like to use big words like
they will still give you a ticket.

upon arriving home with said ticket
do not
I repeat
do not
place it upon your desk that may or may not be slightly unorganized.

Said ticket will get lost in the shuffle
and one month later when you unearth it
and wipe the dust off
you will see that said ticket clearly states that if not paid within 15 days your $25 ticket increases to



This concludes today's PSA.
I hope I have henceforth helped to edukate the public at large.

Friday, February 24, 2012


1 heart baby.
1 family needed.


2 years old.
Diagnosis: CHD: Persistent truncus arteriosus (PTA type); Dextropositioned aorta; VSD

That sweet face has a terminal diagnosis. 

But ya know what?

So did he. 

And he waited. 
For almost 8 years. 


And now

Which brings me to this



Just 1. 

Let me know if you want more information.

Thursday, February 23, 2012


I'm not sure how to go on.

Snot bugger.
Snot bugger.


Excuse me now as I mourn the death of my nearest friend through poetry.

Ode to my Vacuum

Dear friend,
I won't pretend
that I know how to clean without you. 

You've always been there for me
blue, black and sucky you see.

That dirt was no match for you
you cleaned up well after this crew. 
And now I don't know what to do
Oh boo. 

So it is with a full heart
and a dirty living room
that I bid you adieu. 

and to add insult to vacuumal injury
I'm having a really bad hair day.

....but I don't have a poem about that.

Hair oh hair
why you gotta be so unfair....
No poem. 

Wednesday, February 22, 2012

Lots Of You Asked For It, So Here You Go 5 people asked for it.
But since I am a stay at home mom and interact with exactly no one most days during the day
5 people is like a lot

So here you go
my thoughts on older child adoption.

The question of how we "do" older child adoption
how the intricacies of that play out in our home
how their adjustment is
quite honestly sets me back a bit.
When asked about "Older child adoption" I have to wait for that "older child/hard to place" label that used to define them rise up from the recesses of my brain and come back into my frontal lobe....errr...cerebral cortex?.....I that I can remember
because I truly don't look at them as "older children". 

They just fit.
They fit perfectly into our family.

I don't know that it is harder.
I don't know that it is easier than adopting younger kids & cute squishy lil babies.

It's just

In the beginning in China it was fabulous.
They were old enough to somewhat have a grasp on what was happening.
All 3 came right to us.

(other than Joshua apparently thinking he was going to live in Italy....sorry buddy)

There were
No tantrums.
No tears.
Just pure
adrenaline induced
For them
for us
we were one big group of really, really excited people.

Yet, ironically, if anything illustrates the udder brokenness of these orphans
it is that moment
because really,

children should not be that excited to be handed to
and walk off
with perfect strangers. 

But they somehow know.

They know that what is to come

a future
a bed

simply must be better than what they have now.
Because when I try to picture my biological children being handed over to strangers at the age of 7
and the definite opposite reaction that they would have
it illustrates just how big a void these kids sitting in those orphanages have.

There is nothing like a family.

There is
like a family.

Practically, older kids just aren't as needy in the physical sense and since we were far beyond diapers and nap times this worked well for us.
They could walk, go to the bathroom, understand that it was time for bed, shower, dinner.
(Man I am SO good at charades now. If anyone ever wants to play, let me know. I'll kick your butt.)

This I knew was a key to our families successful transition.
These kids were in the same phase of life that we were already in so the adjustment on our part was minimal. (Not to trivialize adoption itself but in this specific context(as it pertains to age) it was a minimal impact.)
I think had we chosen to go back down baby lane it would have been much more difficult (for us).
We just weren't there.
Our hearts weren't there.
Our sports filled evenings and weekends weren't there.
Our older kids weren't there.

I knew how to do 7 year's old.
Our youngest 5 are all within a 21 month block of time.
The twins are 6 minutes apart.
Push em out, push em out, waaaaaayyy out!
Sorry, that was a throwback to my brief cheer-leading days in high school.
But I digress...

Jacob is 14 months younger than the twins.
Joshua is 3 months younger than Jacob.
Joey is 4 months younger than Joshua. 
If we could do anything,
we could do the 6-8 year old age range.
I knew what their maturity level was, what would appeal to them, how to speak to them.
We were there.

Granted, some of it may have been lost in translation but I think the message is this...
Kids are kids.
Red, yellow, black and white they, at their core, are kids.


Experiences will color that,
Trauma will cover that,
Abandonment will change that,
Institutionalization will harm that

but somehow I could see right through all of that muck and mire
and  I could see that underneath it all
there was a little boys heart.
I didn't know how long it would take to unearth.
I didn't know the hardships would come along
I didn't know how much pain was in the process
but the heart
the heart is there
it's just waiting. 

It's the uncovering of all of the "stuff" that comes along with adopting older kids that is where the challenge can rise up

So though I don't change diapers
or warm bottles
or wake up for 3am feedings
and I don't hurry home for nap time
I fight a battle that is larger than myself.
A battle that will consume them
if it weren't for love.

So yes.
It's hard.
I do sleep all night
They do go to school all day
but I  have to be ever mindful that though their neediness doesn't lie in the physical sense
there are still 3 little hearts under my roof that are still in a state of mending.
Because not only do I have my own parenting wisdom, tips, techniques and training to impart on them,
I am simultaneously un-parenting all of the bad habits, harsh words, and lack of love that they endured when I wasn't there.

Have you ever tried un-parenting and parenting at the same time?
Pretty sure that's not the word I am looking for.

It's not just "Hey buddy, this is how we do this."
It's "Hey buddy, I know that was how things were done before and I'm sorry that happened, ~ hug ~ hug~ but here's why that's not ok. Now let me show you what we do. ~ teach. train. model. ~ hug ~
Then it's "Good job! I knew you could do it!" ~ hug~
All whilst speaking Chinglish and having about 50% of what you are telling them get lost in translation.

8,000 times a day. 

They will be 14 years old before we ever even break even.
They will be 14 before their time in our family becomes longer than their days spent in an orphanage.

This is a marathon.

I am not who I used to be.
My patience is bigger
My heart is heavier
My joy is tempered.
Just like a normal marathon
it's exhausting. 

It takes an inordinate amount of energy
of patience
of love
of patience
of patience
of teaching
of training
of patience
of love
to bring these kids out of the darkness.

And if I'm being honest....


And if I'm being more honester. (yep I know, not a word)
it's the reason I haven't been blogging.
It takes SO much to be continually pouring love, encouragement, discipline, and training into these kids that I often find myself


And most days
when the sun has set
when 7 sleepy heads are happily snoring on their pillows

I have nothing left to give.

Are we happy?
Would we do it again?
No doubt, yes.
Is it the hardest thing I have ever done?


Are there moments when I think to myself,
"Am I being punked?"
7 boys? Seriously?

I vastly underestimated the amount of life training that they would need at their age.
Things like

A stove is hot.
You knock on the door before you walk into people's houses, you can't just walk in.
Walk on the sidewalk, not in the street.
Kindly do not remove the food from your plate that you don't care for and place a big blob of it directly on the table.
Don't walk down the hallway from your room to the bathroom stark neked. You're 8.  

Small things of course.
But when each and every moment,
each and every action
each and every transition
requires explanation it takes awhile to get the hang of that.
it took me awhile to get the hang of that.

But last I checked my goal isn't to take up residence on Easy Street,
I think that is a crowded, overpopulated neighborhood. 

be more like HIM
It's what I want to do.
It's where I want to live. 

So is older child adoption really more difficult?
I don't know.
It's just

Tuesday, February 21, 2012

Deep....errrrr....Shallow Thoughts by Sonia.

Ok I know I said a post about Paul....
who, incidentally is one of my new favorite people selling some of my new favorite products...
but I just have some random things on the brain that simply must come out first.

Things like
I need a new blog redesign.
It's time.
It's been two's time.
Like time-time seeing as how most of my kids look downright infantile in their pictures compared to what they look like now.
Thank you puberty for stealing my babies away.
Did I just use the word puberty on my blog?
Oh my.
My street cred just went way down. 
And then there's the fact that their ages are outdated since they are currently
And then there is the fact that I don't know that I actually had any street cred to begin with
nor am I entirely sure what that is. 

And other things
like the fact that I have a neighbor who blows a whistle 3 times consecutively to call her children in from playing.

This intrigues me.

I can't decide if my shrill lovely voice nicely screaming talking at a loud volume calling my kids in is better
or worse
than a whistle.
Course then that got me thinking that it would actually be kinda fun and entertaining to train my kids to the same call as her kids....
but then of course her kid would show up at my house
and mine at hers
and before you know it the neighborhood would be one jumbled mess of kids coming and going and whistles every which way.
though highly entertaining I'm sure
might give me a headache. 

Speaking of the neighborhood I should give you a tour of our new abode.
After spending the summer at our new base in an apartment the size of a shoebox with 6 kids waiting for a house it was such a welcome relief to get out of the hospital and walk into our new house that is
quite larger than a shoebox.
2,400 sq feet with 9 people feels downright palatial. 

We love it.
We love it here.
We would love to stay here for a
AF you hear that?
A loonnnnggg time.

Our last 3 assignments we have been on a bit of a tropical tour.
Palm trees.
it has just about thawed me out from our 3 years spent in North Dakota....
but not quite....
I think my appendix and spleen are still frozen.

In other news of the random variety
my walls are filthy.
7 boys makes walls filthy.
Door handles.
I just thought you should know.
Yesterday I even found a booger on the wall
I didn't think you needed to know that one....
but I figured in the spirit of full disclosure I should tell you everything.
So I did.
You're welcome.

I loathe making lunches in the mornings.
I loathe handling lunch meat as I simultaneously chug my morning cuppa joe.
Those two things were not meant to go together
nor am I meant to handle lunch meat before sunrise.
It's just wrong.
Two things I know will be in Heaven:
and the absence of the necessity to prepare lunchboxes.
The teenagers school charges $5.00 for a hot lunch.

Hold on.

Let me say that again just in case you missed it.
$5.00 for LUNCH. 

What the?
So until that prices comes down to somewhere around .99,
I will continue to inhale the smell of smoked turkey and mustard and coconut creme coffee creamer all at the same time.
Mmmmmm tasty. Blech.

The hubs and the teens were at DNOW this weekend
which means two things:

1. I missed them.
2. I didn't have cook ginormous dinners whilst they are gone since they are the three top food consumers in this house.

So I have been making super fan-say things like
mac and cheese
grilled cheese
and soup....
from a can.
And man alive....have you ever closely inspected the chicken pieces in a can of chix and rice soup?
I don't recommend it.
Don't do it. 
Ok fine.
I know your gonna do it....just don't yell at me when you see the nastiness that awaits you.
In fact don't yell at me at all....
it makes me cry....
and then my makeup runs...
and my eyes get all puffy
and snot comes out of my nose...
oh never mind.
Forget I said anything about the chicken. 

As I mentioned on the book of face I am taking a break from my beloved Jesus calling devotional and switching gears into marriage.
I just finished watching the first session and have just began the book but if you too want a little marriage kick in the bootay and a in-yo-face reminder about how we should act in the sanctity of a marriage head right here.

I have some posts swimming around in my head now that I have
blogged two whole days in a row.
Posts about how I wish I were braver.
I wish I were braver when we began our adoption journey.
Joshua's experience has forever changed me
and if it taught me one over riding lesson as it pertains to adoption it is this:
Dying kids need families too. 

I want to share in a post or 2 or 12 or 20 about few heart kiddos
deemed inoperable
just like Joshua
that are still waiting for their miracle.
So standby.
Cute faces and broken hearts headed to a computer screen near you soon.

This concludes today's episode of Random Thoughts by Sonia.
I have walls to clean.

Monday, February 20, 2012

Breaking the Silence

....but I have NO idea where to begin.

Happy 8th birthday Joshua?
Merry 1st Christmas to Jacob, Joey and Joshua?
Happy New Year?
Happy 1st Gotcha day Jacob and Joey?
Happy Valentines Day?
Happy your heart scar has turned into a keloid scar and it's ginormous day?

No idea.

No idea where to start.

I'm thinking I'll just pretend that I have not committed the wretched sin of not blogging for 2 months 
and that you are just all caught up on the goings on of us.

Because really
to try and explain all that has transpired in the last few months to make this sweet child
go from this

to this

is waaay beyond my abilities.

So let's just pretend that we are old friends who chat on the phone everyday mkay?


Super, so I'll talk to you tomorrow about our weekend with Paul Newman's legacy, the Hole in the Wall Camp.
That's all I gotta say.