Monday, March 23, 2009

OOPS- I misspoke!

In my last post I stated I had about 200 bookmarks. I guess I was wrong- my computer tells me I have 1644 bookmarks!! Wow- Yikes! I guess I have a lot of blogs I like! I also have quite a bit of organizing to do- so I can finally find what I am looking for! oh my my bookmarks are looking like my storage room- ahhhhhhh!

Feel free to leave a comment whenever you want! I love them and it connects me to you- bloggy friend! I have thought about combining my blogs- is it a hassle to read each one or do you usually tune into one and not the others? I would be interested to know. If one goes- it would be this one ;-(

I feel like they all have a different purpose but we will see.
Blessings to you!

Friday, March 20, 2009

Amazing Blogs and Amazing People!

I love to look at blogs when I have a free moment and since I can never remember which ones I love- I have been book marking them. Well, needless to say I must have 200 plus bookmarks and of course that makes it difficult for me to find them or anything else! 

I am amazed at how many incredible people there are out there!  I love to read about them, their thoughts, and their life/family stories. They are really jaw dropping incredible!  You probably already know many of them but for me some are new discoveries and some I have been following for awhile. I love to see the connections between bloggy friends. One good blog leads to another! Some families have been through tragic situations that has lead them down this road. Their stories are heart warming and you can see the hand of God in their lives. Those that I like best are usually written by individuals who love the lord, love children, family and adoption. Some are homeschooler and some are not.  A little humor is a good thing- we all need a laugh! A smile to lighten up our load and to remind us of all the joys and blessings we have. 

Here are 3 new favs of mine!

Trina's blog - she is a mom of 6 children! Her daughter Alexis 15 yrs, does blog makeovers. She was the one that did the Saunders' blog makeover! 

Christy O.'s blog - They have 5 children at home and 2 more from Ethiopia on the way!

Beth's blog - They have 9 children! They just brought 3 sisters home from Ethiopia, one month ago! 

I hope you enjoy them! They are incredible people with awesome families! Thank you Jesus!!

I added a pic in of our family from Christmas- it just doesn't seem right to have a post without a pic!

Wednesday, March 11, 2009

Wild Olive Tees!

Hey Gang-although my gang on this blog is quite small I just want to put in a good plug for a brand new business that just got off the ground! My guess is it will do quite well! Check on this blog ! Or this website !

It's all about "spreading God's word and raising his kingdom!" Wild Olive donates 10% of its profits to Christian based charities and non profit organizations! This month they are teaming up with Shaohannah's Hope! I wonder who it will be next month! The tee shirts they are selling are so cool! I am planning to put in an order soon! If you order before March 31st you get free shipping!

My only question is why didn't I think of this! 
God's blessings on your new business!

Saturday, February 21, 2009

Think about it! Maybe God is calling you!

This post was taken from another persons blog. I think it is so important for people to read this and know this. You are not adopting a clean slate at 2, 4, 6, 8, 10, 12 or 13 yrs old. You are adopting a child that has a life and has a history- you need to know that, respect it  and work WITH it. These kids are incredible and so deserve our admiration, time and love. It has been a joy for us to adopt our daughter Sarah at 8.5 yrs old but it does come with challenges. 

While preparing for Sarah's adoption I read many books. The information was hard to hear- I often had to put the book down and pick it up a couple days later. While reading it I would be praying for her and hoping that she would not have all the issues I was reading about. We have seen many of the institutional characteristics in Sarah but in a mild, manageable form. When I see them, I also see how she needed them to survive- it is not a bad thing. 

I know we will be adopting another older child. It has been such a joy and such an adventure! Pray about it, think about it, read about it and consider it! Thank you, Jesus!

One last thing- a friend said to me after we got home. When you were in China did you look at the other children and wish you had a younger child. With all honesty I was able to answer "No, not at all". Thank you, Jesus! (again and again and again)

Letter posted by Amy E. of Love Without Boundaries

"I most definitely wish there was a way to educate ALL adoptive parents about the truths of institutional care, however I have come to realize in my daily work that just as many parents are not online reading everything they can find on adoption as are reading.There are hundreds and hundreds and hundreds of parents out there who have no idea what life is like for a child in an orphanage, and who head overseas to pick up their "China doll" only to be handed a baby who is unresponsive, thin, unable to eat...and on and on and on.While adopting my son last month, I walked several times over to the White Swan (Hotel where parents stay in China) to talk to parents, and over and over I spoke with moms and dads who had no clue whatsoever about the issues their kids were having.I heard so many times things like, "she won't eat solid foods" (oral aversion), "she has no muscle tone" (muscle atrophy from lying in a crib all day), "she won't smile" (pure grieving from being taken from her foster mom).I guess since I live China 24/7, I assume everyone adopting does, too, which is not the case.I was trying to process how many parents get all the way to China without ever reading about post-institutional issues.It was sobering to me.Babies in the NSN (non-special needs) as well as the SN (special needs) path can have issues with attachment, motor skills, emotional issues and more.Again, I am often surprised to talk to parents leaving soon and to realize they are not prepared. One family was adopting from our foster care program, and when I told them that the child was DEEPLY attached to the mom,the father said, "guess she might cry for an hour or so then?"An hour or so? She had been in foster care for over a year!I tried to explain that this little girl was about ready to lose everything she had ever known, and that they should not expect her to be sunny, happy, and full of personality after an hour.I told them to please remember the 72 hour rule.......that after 72 hours they would probably see her spark, but that she would probably grieve for a long time after that as well.I think for many adoptive parents, they just don't want to read the "bad stuff", and so I do think that ultimately it is the parents who are at fault for not doing more to educate themselves.There certainly are books galore out there about post-institutional issues.I think adoption from China is very similar to giving birth.. it is much more rosy to only read the happy stories on APC (another website for adoptive parents), but I now encourage every family I meet to read the harder ones as well.It is always a very sad day for the orphanage and everyone involved when a child that they know is absolutely fine, but perhaps thin and grieving, is returned by their new parents for being "delayed".I think far too many people believe their child's life is going to begin the moment they meet them.The truth is, and everyone must realize it...a child's life is going on RIGHT NOW in China, and all of their experiences are shaping who they are.The one thing I have learned over and over again about the kids in China is that they are fighters and survivors.But for some reason, people seem to want to ignore these issues in public forums.Recently, one of our medical babies that we had met several times in person was adopted, and we all knew that this child was a "spitfire".When the family arrived and spent a few days with her, they decided she was too much of a handful for them and they wanted to disrupt.She absolutely was not what they expected.I think all of us, who do realize that delays occur and that babies can usually overcome them, should be these children's advocates by continually trying to educate new parents on what to expect in China.By helping them be better prepared, we just might help stop a disruption in the future.I love Chinese adoption with my whole heart, and it is my life's work…but I also want every family who goes to get their baby to go with their eyes open and to be as emotionally prepared as possible, for the child's sake."

Amy E-
Love Without Boundaries"

Tuesday, February 17, 2009

Survival Skills

We have been having a wonderful vacation in Florida! Lots of great family time! But there has been something that has been bothering me. It's not big, just a little something but I couldn't pinpoint it until today.

I happen to be married to who I think is the nicest guy in the world! he is an easy going sort of fellow and has very few needs- in other words he is low maintenance! We have been married for 27 years and in the beginning- I probably was a bit bossy- let's not hurt my self esteem by being too critical. Over the years we have both become fairly easy going, we just work together to get things done. The evolution has been good and blessing to our marriage. 

So here we are in Florida, having a nice time but the kids are away from their usual schedules. Our dear daughter Sarah was described as having a strong personality and I must say- that was accurate! I feel like since we have been down here our sweet daughter- being away from her schedule, is starting to take over- I finally had to say to hubby- dear we are all in big trouble if we let an 8yr old who doesn't have a complete understanding of the english language lead us through out the day. The last straw was when she was successfully insisted he come and watch Barney with her instead of doing his work on the computer. BTW- he was going to do it until he thought what am I doing- I have to get this work done! My dear hubby was being bossed around and it wasn't even me doing the bossing! Yikes.

Once I could pinpoint what was bugging me I shared it with him. Thank goodness he was beginning to see it too. It is not even good for Sarah to let that behavior continue. When you are in a family you work with the family. Things don't always go your way- you have to compromise. 

She is an incredible child and we love her so much! But we will have to make sure she knows her boundaries and make sure she knows who the parents are and what their/our roles are! I am sure this personality characteristic is what helped our little girl survive in an orphanage in China for 8 yrs. I don't want her to lose her survival skills- we just want her to learn more appropriate ones for her life here in a family in America. She is an incredible little girl and we are so blessed to have her in our family! Thank you Jesus!

Wednesday, February 11, 2009


Well because I am who I am... I have a little trouble with waiting... I feel that it is important to be ... proactive, assertive, on top of things...etc.
So... of course I am already scoping out the children ready for our next child to pop up and say "I am yours"! If only it were that easy! 

I have seen many children that I would love to bring home and be a part of our family. It makes me wonder how will I really know who is our child when I fall in love with so many of them- God bless these precious children.

I found a little one that stole my heart. I new it would be a long shot BUT there was some hope. Hubby was open to it but cautious. We prayed BUT not enough. I knew my answer was with the Lord. We found out more info but with each step there were obstacles. At first I would step back and then feel challenged and wanted to push forward even more. No one should get in the way of a mother and her child. I continued to try to gather more info but never could connect with those I needed to talk to. I prayed through out the days, hubby prayed. 

By the end of today a feeling came over me... be patient, trust me, live in the present, be peaceful. This child is so precious, she so deserves a family, I will pray for her but I will not be her Mom. It makes me sad because I know we could do it and do a good job at it, but country restrictions make it impossible. What a shame... God Bless her...

Later in the evening as I was talking to my sister and I mentioned that I had her Bible that mom gave her when she was confirmed. As I was talking to her I opened it and found 4 pieces of paper, handwritten quote from the bible by my mom on "patients, wait for Jehovah". 

Psalm 27:14
Wait for Jehovah
Be strong and let thy heart
take courage.
Yea, wait thou for Jehovah

Our child is out there... God will lead us to her in his perfect timing.
Thank you, Jesus.

Sunday, February 8, 2009

Until You Are 8 yrs Old...

Hubby and I try to connect in the evening to make sure we are both on the same parenting track. This weekend Daddy took over many of the responsibilities because I was just feeling like I needed a little break. We have a family wedding coming up and I needed to get something to wear and get something for the girls. Just so you know that is not an easy task- if you did not buy a dressy holiday dress in December you are out of luck because now we have the spring line- in MN., oh please- don't I wish! So the girls are wearing a dress from the GAP cruise line WITH a little sweater and thank goodness I was able to get tights to match. Not exactly what I was looking for but it works. We will be dropping them off at the door and hopefully doing some serious dancing to warm up!

Hubby realizes that it is very busy and a bit tiring with the girls all day! - although very fun and not too tiring to add another special little girl to the family- I just want to make that clear JUST in case my agency is reading this post!! So we are talking about the fact that we have to set limits and if we bring them to an event ... okay lets just say big brothers soccer game that we do not need to hand out quarters for candy and little worthless prizes throughout the whole game. Yeah , you guessed it- Daddy is a favorite now!

Well again- I need to get back on track- so we have set a few limits-
1. We happily carry Sarah in the house whenever we can. We do not carry her outside of our home.
2. No gum- IF you have been following along you will know that we have been to the dentist/endodontist 7 times. NO gum and no sticky candy or fruit snacks.
3. As far as bargaining goes- Mom and Dad make the decisions. We listen BUT we make the final decision
4. We are done with school when we are done with what we need to get done. No bargaining about that either.
5. love is never ending- we will hug, kiss and hold anytime.
6. okay, there are more that we discussed but they are evolving. We will be working something out for that 4-5:30 timeframe when we all are tired, a little crabby, hungry and maybe need a little space (hello- me!)

So then hubby says to me can you imagine not being loved until you were 8 yrs old............

Gulp, I was speechless. I have never thought of it like that... it breaks my heart. She is so incredible, so precious, such a gift from God and we love her so much! It almost takes my breathe away. Older child adoption is so wonderful, we love it, we love her, we love our family with her in it. She was the missing piece to our family puzzle. Bless her sweet heart! I feel like canning the rules and I think patience will be the theme for this week... and the next... and the next...! 

( I know that Sarah was deeply loved by her birth Mom but was unable to experience that love due to their separation.)
(yeah- right now I just want to forget the rules and go hug my sweet little girl)

Tuesday, February 3, 2009

My Dream

It is a family thing that once someone passes away they usually show up in their families dreams. I have seen my husbands parents , my father and my mother. When Mom and I talked about it, she was all set to come back pretty quick- I made it clear- no weird, scary stuff. After she passed away I prayed that I would not see her in my dreams because I wasn't ready- I knew I would cry and cry. Well, 9 months have gone by and I am feeling stronger. I miss her so very much but I am doing just fine. I want to share these beautiful children with her- I know she is enjoying them from heaven! Slowly sweet Momma is making her way into a few of my dreams. At first she would just be there- they didn't seem to have any meaning. The other night I was with her (in my dream of course). We were having a great time, talking a mile a minute- about everything! We sat down, I looked at her and I said "I love you so much, I am going to miss you so much when you die." I hesitated on the last word because I then realized what I was saying. She looked at me and smiled with eyes that said "I know"- the dream was over but hey it was a good night with MOM!

On a side note- I just want to let Mom know that in the dream her teeth were very white! She always wanted white teeth! She always had such a good sense of humor! 

Tuesday, January 27, 2009

Why Girls? Why not a Boy?

I have been asked "Why are you planning to adopt all girls? Why not a boy?" My answer- I don't know? When we decided to adopt we envisioned girls. It started out as 2 girls and then grew to 3-4 daughters. We have 4 birth sons and one birth daughter. Our desire for another daughter was one of the reasons we decided to adopt. It was kind of the bait that God used to lead us to adoption. I think it was very smart of our dear Lord! 

When we had our "last" child I was pretty certain it was a girl. We had 3 boys and one girl. Katie was aching for a sister and I was thinking it was time for some pink in this house of blue. Because I was just over 35 we had an ultrasound. Being a nurse and already having 4 children I could read it. It was as plain as day-that little thing was a boy! I was shocked! I announced to the ultrasound tech and she agreed! I quickly did some fast praying- I had some experience in the Lord's miracles so I figured- no prob, he can do this! We checked again... it was still a boy! Well, I kept praying and after checking 7 times , he was still a boy. I am not proud of this but it took me 3 days to be able to tell others my darling little unborn child was a boy. Before that I would burst into tears (I am sure the hormones had something to do with this because we couldn't be happier with our wonderful son!). We told Katie that we knew how much she loved having her own room so the good news was - she didn't have to share because the baby was a boy.  She was a bit disappointed but handled it well. After our little adorable Johnny was born- Mark moved into Katie's room. She would hear Matt and Billy talking at night and thought it sounded like so much fun! So Mark was given the okay to move in! She didn't give him much space. Just a bed with a blue comforter and a blankie in the sea of pink. He was on the bottom bunk and she was on the top. That worked out okay because then the robbers would get him first. Poor Mark- he had no idea he was bait for the robbers. He is such a good sport!

Okay- I need to get back on point here- I think the fact that we did not have another birth daughter helped lead us to adoption. I truly believe that was part of God's plan! When we were trying to decide what direction to go in, what country to go with we saw the Stephen Curtis Chapman video. That was it- we knew our daughters were in China! We felt like God was talking to us through that video.

So often in this process we go one way and then we are quickly lead in another direction. We started out in the China healthy child program but I felt that we were being called in a different direction. I felt our daughter was in the WIC program. When China changed their rules and the wait was increasing we began to consider the wic program. Within a few days we saw a picture of our darling daughter Anna. We scooped her up in seconds flat! It really didn't matter what the adoption clinic said- we knew she was ours! With Sarah we were planning to adopt another little one with cleft L/P but we saw her and fell in love! So we usually don't go with our well thought out plan!

Okay, I need to get back on point here! I have dreamed we adopted a boy. His name is Luke. In case you haven't noticed that is the only gospel we don't have... our friends would tease us- the "gospel according to Billy???" What were you thinking? where is Luke?? We already have Matthew, Mark and John! 

It is weird to choose a boy or a girl- it seems right to let God choose and then go with it but in adoption you usually get to choose. I can tell you reasons why we will probably go with girls but it really doesn't make much sense. Children are such a blessing that it doesn't matter if it is a girl or a boy. They are incredible gifts from God and they are only on loan to us- they are his!

Hubby and I talked about it tonight. Of course when you sit down and when you talk it SEEMS to make sense but having lots of kids doesn't always make sense. We have learned that usually you trust God and just go for it!

I know we have another daughter in China. I know she is alive right now. I can hardly wait to get to her and bring her home. Her name is Ella- we will call her Ellie. Maybe she is a twin (doubtful) maybe there is another little girl after Ellie, maybe not. Maybe we have children in another country... I don't know? I guess we have to wait for God to reveal his plan to us! I am so grateful to God for even having a plan like this for our family! Thank you Jesus!

BTW boys are easier! They are such a joy and they love their Mommies soooooo much!

Friday, January 23, 2009

Hebrews 13:6

The verse to remember for this week is-
That is why we can say with confidence "The Lord is my helper, I will not be afraid. What can mere mortals do to me?"
Hebrews 13:6

When we were in China with Sarah I never verbalized this but I thought how different if felt to bring an older child out of her country. She could speak chinese beautifully, she seemed to love her culture and her homeland. To her we were odd looking, we talked funny and what on earth could we offer her to make her want to leave her home? I felt for a moment like I was abducting her. I really felt like I needed to completely trust and rely on God because to me it didn't feel quite right. Don't get me wrong- I knew she was our daughter, I knew I was meant to be her Mama. I was excited and up for the challenge that laid ahead of us BUT I still felt like- is this really okay? Is this what is best for her? Am I being selfish and seeking my own desires? 

I have learned more and more about the children that are left in the orphanage- about their future and what happens to most of them. It is not a pretty picture, it is not a happy life- they so deserve better than that. They are God's beautiful children and they so deserve a Mommy and a Daddy- a home, a family, love, education, food, clothing, warmth and hope for their future! We didn't do this to get a better spot in heaven or because we think we are wonderful - We adopt because we love children, we love parenting and we feel this is where God is guiding us. 

Today our sweet little daughter has been home 7 weeks! I have known my daughter for almost 9 weeks. She is a perfect match for our family, a decision made by our dear Lord! Sarah is doing so well but doing so well is relative. She runs into knew frustrations each day- whether it is language related, feelings related, situation related- who knows? Today I asked her during one of her whining spells that turned into a crying spell- "Are you sad?", "Yes, Sarah sad." "Why" I asked- "What are you sad about?" and then we didn't have the words to continue our conversation- so we hugged. Sarah does so well at home- home is safe, familiar and comfortable. Today we went to playgroup. She is not confident enough in her english to talk to other children, she played but I am not sure IF she played WITH others. There was another 8 yr old girl in the group and she was too shy to talk to her or acknowledge her- I hope with more time this will get better. At one point I had to say to her as one of the little girls was trying to hold her hand " how much the younger children LOVE her just like she loves Katie. They want to play with you" I said. She did better going downstairs with the kids but I think she just needs more time to get comfortable with these new experiences.

Everyday I need to trust the Lord. He is my comforter and my refuge- their is nothing to be afraid of - so each day we forge ahead! It is such a journey- I am grateful to God that he allowed this to happen. I am amazed with this little girl and all she has been through. Everyday has it's challenges! I feel like I am always trying to evaluate the situation. At times Sarah acts 2 yr old - like Anna and at times she acts 8 yrs old. Sometimes she needs comfort, other times she is crying out for attention and then there is times that she is fiercely independent and competent. We try so hard to do what is right for her, for us and for our family. All in all, I think things are going very well. It would be nice if there was a play by play manual for this journey but I guess all kids are different. I want to give her the love and comfort she needs and yet help her to grow and be all that she can be. We also need to create an environment that we all can live in- where Mom and Dad have a moment to breath and the older kids have a little space too. Sarah understands here needs but she does not always understand others needs. We need to teach boundaries- which can be challenging. She would love to tear through the mail but then bills get lost- so we have to set limits on that- we actually have to do a lot of teaching on boundaries, limits, manors, appropriate behavior. She has come a long way and we look forward to the journey continuing! I am really looking forward to the next level of communication/talking!

This is a picture of the 2 girls and their Momma during a whining spell that turned into a crying spell. I had to be quite creative to reach the camera and take the pic! I look a little silly but I thought - hey- this is my life... and I love it!

Thank you to Jesus- the ultimate comforter and protector! There is nothing to be afraid of!

Sunday, January 18, 2009

Dear Linny,

I think Linny sounds so cute! I like calling you that!

I just have a few things I wanted to say to you so I figured since you still read blogs this might be a good way to reach you! Plus this is my personal feelings and ramblings of a christian woman blog, so here it is! 

I know you are incredibly busy and you have soooo much going on- with all that you are going through right now you are still so kind and thoughtful of others. When I see that you have commented on my blog- I think wow- what a neat person. Here, she is going through probably one of the most challenging times of her life and she is thinking of others. You amaze me, I am honored to be one of your bloggy lovin, adoption lovin, lord lovin friends. You are a shining example of what the Lord wants us to do in the face of tragedy. Love him even more, thank him, serve him, trust him and move forward with him! Linny- you are too cool! I want to encourage you to keep going girl! The opposition would love it if you crumbled and were filled with anger but that's not you - you, just love and trust him more!

You should know that your bloggy ministry is such a good thing- keep it going! You are reaching more and more people out there! We all come with different needs and desires but we come with one thing in common- we are hungry for Jesus! Your blog, your ministry, sharing your life like you do is so helpful to sooooo many! It is so encouraging!

One of the things I love the most is what we have in common- the children (well okay, our age, too). It is all about the kids! It's all about loving them , serving our Lord and spreading the joy!
You focus on the good and the positive- everyday you spread the joy!

What you and your family have been through is awful- I cannot imagine the grief you all must feel, and the fear you felt as it was happening. When I try to think about it- I feel so sad and actually have to stop thinking about it- it is an overwhelming thought. You are all in my payers throughout the days. 

I want to thank you from me and I am guessing sooooo, soooooo many others. Thanks for being a great bloggy friend, thanks for your "yippee Jesus", for your spiritual guidance, for being a great mom with awesome kids and for your thoughtfulness!
God's Blessings to you!

Monday, January 12, 2009

What is wrong with me... Or maybe it is what is right with me?

Honestly- I do not understand this? What is going on with me and why am I this way? I think it is a good thing but sometimes I wonder if I am crazy? I say God what is wrong with me- why am I kid crazy? For me there is no limit- I would continue to adopt until someone told me NO. With all of our pregnancies I was sooo sooo sick that 5 was all I could do but now I say perfect plan Lord- I love your children and now I realize my children are waiting for me... all over the world! 

I do happen to be married to what I believe is the most wonderful man in the world. He says to me- "honey, I am going to protect you from you"! This guy loves me a lot- what a blessing! He has set a limit of 4 adoptions. Actually I think he is pretty reasonable BUT there are times I don't want limits- I just want to see what God has in store for us. In reality, I think my hubby is wise and I need to be peaceful and see where God leads us. 

I feel so strongly (and actually hubby does, too) that there is another little girl in China waiting for us. Because I have seen the miracle of adoption actually happen, I am anxious to get to her and bring her home. I know we have a ways to go with our sweet Sarah but it is almost painful knowing that another child is waiting for us. Sarah tells us how she had no Mama and no Babba and now she does! We tell her "thank you so much Sarah for waiting for us!" We were meant to be together! You are our little girl and you belong with your Mama and your Babba, with your family! She says love ya, love ya family- it is so stinkin sweet!

It is our dream to bring our daughters home and then to help other families bring their children home. I want to be Mommy to all of them BUT I know I can't be- so it is my deepest/ our deepest dream/prayer that we can bring the children home to their Mommys and their Daddys. Thank you Jesus! Please help us make this dream come true!