Monday, January 18, 2016

Now THIS is Shanghai!

Just arrived and checked in. Fortunately both Wifi and VPN are working...that's reason to celebrate in itself! The flight was actually great! We upgraded to something called Economy Plus seat slightly bigger and about 6" more leg room...still a grade below business, and then there was still first class...BUT I will say that section of the plane was half empty and Mike moved up to the seats in front of me and we each had 2 seats!!! I actually LAID down and slept! Now don't get me wrong, it was kinda like sleeping 7 hours on a park bench...but considering the other option was sitting up, I am ONE HAPPY CAMPER! and to be honest I feel better than when we arrived in Beijing. My first impression of Shanghai is cleaner more modern and less crowded than Beijing. Our hotel is nice and right smack dab in the middle of the action! We are going to shower and hit the streets in just a bit. Unfortunately the weather leaves a little to be's only 40* and sprinkling....kinda yuck. BUT it maybe an omen....last time we landed in Beijing on the tail of a monsoon...(no kidding a real monsoon) and we had a great trip and Sam did fab! So if a little rain to welcome us to China is necessary...I'll be superstitious and take it!!! Three days to Will, it freaks me out a little how close we are to him now...can't wait!!!

Saturday, January 5, 2013

I hate New Years Resolutions....

I general, I think they just set most people up for the past, I include myself in that statement...I just quit making them a few years ago.  Don't get me wrong..I love how positive they make New Year's Day...I love how everyone is so hopeful...and I will say...I am VERYVERY hopeful for 2013!  I'll just say it...

2012 was officially the worst year of my life

I am a thankful person...I am very thankful everyone I love is healthy and alive...and I am very thankful The Lord has blessed me with so much...I DO count my blessing...BUT last year was filled with the biggest, worst most awful challenges I've faced thus far...I'm not going to relive them here...I was just VERY happy to toast 2012 goodbye....I've set some personal goals for 2013...and I've started this new year out smilin', and grateful and positive...somethings I've let slip away...somethings I miss about myself and my house...

Thankfully things have been looking up....

pulling Sammy and Will out of school was a fabulous has really simplified and created alot of calm in our lives....Sammy has been a lot less aggressive, is sleeping in his bed @75% of the time, seems just more comfortable in his skin....I'm glad I trusted my gut...trusted that sometimes you have to pull in closer before you let go....sometimes you have to foster dependence to blossom independance...and I'm SEEING IT!! and I LOVE IT!!!  and bottle therapy and been amazing! for him....who knew???

Will however, is needing a bit more patience...I think he has felt stifled, and as happy as I am to see him stand up for himself....aggressiveness is coming out...I'm praying hard it's just a short phase....

Not sure this Mamma has the patience to go through this again...(please NO)
and a wonderful consequence of being able to let Will and Sam play alone unsupervised for longer than 3m is more time for my of 'Sorry, Headband"  American Girls...reading Harry Potter....and Mike and I went out for dinner ALONE!!! seriously for the first time probably 3-4 years....amazing!!!

So please pray for our families continued healing....I'm feeling hopeful!

BRING IT ON 2013!!!

Tuesday, December 4, 2012

Sunshine...because I say so!!!!

It's easy to get hung up on the 'rainy' parts of I've decided to make a sunny post, just because I said so!

So here are some things to feel 'sunny' about around my house

1. I have a near 16 year old who still really likes to hang out with me or is the best actress ever...Don't get me wrong...she's a teen.  She can be a bit moody, a bit dramatic and sometimes I'm not sure WHY she appears randomly chronically miserable to be alive...and I've actually had to train myself to stop trying to investigate her every misery to help perserve my only happiness and sanity

LESSON TO SELF: teens sometimes are miserable, let them be...they will likey snap out as quickly as they regressed in!!!

That being said we still laugh together ALOT...we watch our TV shows and both really look forward to it and go out of our way to  make it happen...we intentionally see all the coolest movies TOGETHER...even if other friends come along (even her's)  I'm talking...Breaking Dawn and Harry Potter Premiers even!  And the greatest thing is not once is it ever Disney or animated and I actually LIKE ThEM!!!

We go to concert together....YES! Music concert!  Ichtus (christian Rock) Taylor Swift...and tickets for Pink later in the spring...(I know her lyrics are awful and she has a foul mouth, but i just love me some I'm human - sue me!)

Feeling Sunny about that!!

2.  My 12 yo is growing into this fabulous young lady...we were a little worried about middle school for this little angle!  She's had some struggles with her academics, attention, organization...but her first report card showed her best grades EVER!  Only one tiny annoying B!  All A's otherwise!!  Boy did we happy dance!!  That girl worked HArD!  PROUD Mamma!  She's also maturing so nicely...a little more inconsistenly than I'd like but HEY! Rome was NOT  built ina day and we are being sunny here...I just wish the chore consistensy was a little better and the boy interest a little less...just sayin!  But she sure makes me smile...and brings alot of energy to the house

3.I have the most loyal pup ever!!! My fur baby is the best...I love her mad...yes I'm crazy dog might not know how nuts I am about my 2yo old Cavalier Spaniel...and she's nuts about me...I apparently am NOT as annoyed by some of her less than charming habits since I'm blinded by her devotion....she barks at the front door to much...squirells, people, blowing leaves some days...It can be annoying...but she just beautiful..and a love sponge....for example..over the weekend I was VERY sick with a GI virus...literally! in the bathroom for SOME reason or another 3x anhour all night!  Not only did this sweet baby lay on the couch with me, but she got up and walked to the bathroom every single visit ALL NIGHT LONG!  at about 3am...she'd drop on the bathroom rug with a heavy sigh and just look at me with exhausted eyes like "REALLY>>AGAIN!"  but not until my husban got up at 6am did she stop the trots down the hall...sweetsweet little fur baby!....sunny to have a fur baby by your side while you retch in toilet...right??!!

On that sunny note, I'm calling it a night...
My hubby on a work trip in Vegas and I'm single parenting it awful to admit I'm enjoying it just a tiny bit??SHHHHH  I did tell him on the way out the door...If he found a tiger in bathroom or a naked guy in the trunk he was on his own...but a baby in the hotel room...CALL ME...I was on my wah...THAT ONE...he might need me for   :)

Tuesday, November 27, 2012

Growing, Learning....and great improvements!!!!

We've been hard at work here in our house for what feels like a veryveryveryveryvery long time.  We've been rewarded with some wonderful progress lately...REAL progress...stuff you feel in your heart is different....the good stuff....the STUFF you've been waiting for....praying for

Behavior changes are easy to report..less hitting, no rages, less tantrums, sleeping through the night ect....they have predictable...sort of..OK not really...they have been 2 steps forward, 1 step back...then 3 steps back and 4 steps forward...a good month here, then a crash and burn for weeks...sometimes explainable, sometimes not.  We have tried our best to parent through it...I've failed horribly at times and just turned the whole thing over to faith and the Lord...I've celebrated and you know it's been a big strain on our family at times.  But we have been so blessed with sure wonderful kids...such amazing boys, it's hard to give up.

But I feel so joyous inside about something that's just hard to's like the day you realize the terrible two's are gone...hard to explain, but your child has just changed...their different.  This isn't like a 'maturity''s like the tools, the therapy, it's SWEETSWEET Sammy suddenly seems calmer, safer, more secure in our really bring me to tears to type's a small healing of his heart, what we pray for...

The few months we did some BIG things in therapy and at home...we started home school. I think this was a GREAT decision for Sammy...he's been much calmer and has learned tons!!!  He 's so very smart...spelling and sight reading in just 6 weeks...Mamma is so very proud!!

We put him back on a bottle...yes a bottle...a baby's been 3m now and I was soooo nervous about this...did tons of research to make sure my therapist wasn't nuts...made sure others out there had put older kids BACK on bedtime bottles for attachment....and it's been him nurturing it missed out on..and bonding you only get once when your a tiny baby...and I learned tons how that 'dance' that feeding eye contact nurturing is SOOO important for human connection and how many of us just DO it....we remember the warm feelings with our birth kids...the smiles...the sweetness...but don't think about how propping up the bottle in a row of cribs while looking at that same ole ceiling, with no human to hold you, look at you and give you that 'baby talk' MIGHT affect you...and for Sammy it did...he LOVED it...I saw him just melt in my arms the first time...I could just see the that tiny baby just DYING to be held and loved on in his eyes...I cried so much those first few times..he.even said to me once "babies feel special love when they get their bottles"...and my therapist told me the time would be limited...he wouldn't 'graduate highschool taking the bottle' and he's already telling me he doesn't need it as much..not asking for it every night anymore....and he's different now when have 'bottle time'...more chatty...less 'baby sucking''s provided what he needed...and I'm SOOOO grateful for my brilliant therpist who really does know her stuff!!!

We have some work to do still...especially with our sibling relationship...but I want to celebrate this!!  Want to share THIS, because my heart feels this is something fabulous! and I've shared so much of the ups and downs...the hard work, the persistence...I REALLY see a change and it's soooo fabulous to feel like you've helped start some healing in a little heart that never deserved to be broke in first place....There have been time when I've felt so very sad at what our decision to adopt has done to my relationships with many of those I love the most.  But this,  THIS is God's work...I feel the reward, inspired by my boys courage....inspired by my girls willingness to love uncondionly...

Feeling very blessed today...and hoping this makes sense as I type away at 4am after not being able to sleep all night from a migraine...sure this will need editing tomorrow...but also wanting to encourage those who visit for my 'keeping it real'....keep fighting...advocate for you child....take care of yourself, your family...the rewards COME...and celebrate when they do!!!!

Tuesday, October 30, 2012

Boy did my sense of humor need this....

Life is welll, intersting around here!  But isn't it always!  We are living our journey, blazing our path and grateful for our blessings. 

The girls are shinning stars!!!
 Jessa is Happily! back at Catholic and being a teenager in the gentlest way possible..

.Kenna - still! taking middle school by the horns!  Love how she is growing and learning! and looking so darn grown up!!!    

Brynn...."the one who doesn't drive me insane"  ;)  that sums it up!!! and still a little girl at 9, and in no hurry to grown up!!!

 We are giving homeschool a shot for preschool....we decided preschool just shouldn't be stressful for the boys or the family...and so far, good!  Will is such an amazing little guy...he's so TOLERANT.....Sammy, personality plus, FUNNY!!!  We are stumbling, bumbling, falling, rising, celebrating, crying, along this path withan  attachment disorder....we never dreamed....but we'd do it again...NO regrets.  It's just awful to see how the early neglect, and experiences  you will never know  hurt your little one's heart hurt so much and how it affects them nose to toes...and affects your family, your relationships your sanity....we pray...

The most incredible love and rewards come from the most selfless acts and sacrifices.....'s the real reason for this post....a GOOD LAUGH!!!  I wish I could tell you I have gone out in public with boys just ONCE in the last 3 years and not heard at least one of these comments!!!  As an individual, we KNOW you mean no harm, and are only a gets a little tough on a mamma's nerves sometimes!!  ;)!

Thursday, August 23, 2012

Another...Keeping it real!!!

First of all, I would like to welcome back another school year.  It came back dispite my protests.  It hasn't been as awful as I feared though.  (Did I just say that out loud?)  My kids are doing reallyreally great so far.  I am a 'preparer'  I've learned it's best to be ready and not need it, than to be scrambling last minute trying to clean up a preventable mess.  So I MAY have done some unnecessary prevention work for my kids...but ain't it great to be wrong about that stuff?  GO DELUCA KIDS!!!! 

Sammy however is pretty miserable.  Poor guy has had to wait an whole TWO weeks to start school after everyone else.  It's genuinely tough to be little and watch everyone else go off to school when he is soooo excited about going back to his beloved Co-Op.  Let's just say the 'Popcicle Social' on Monday to meet his teacher was the highlight of the month of August so far!!  As predicted, the new schedule has left him a bit disregulated, but I DO think I'm getting better at this!! pays!!

                                       MY BABIES (MINUS SAMMY) ON THE FIRST DAY OF SCHOOL

I also wanted to share a REALLY great keeping it real post!  I'm by far NOT the best blogger...but I have gotten alot of wonderful responses and 'thank you's' for my honesty about our difficult second adoption,  our first adopted son 'spiral' after bringing home our second, our experiences with attachment disorders ect....  Unfortunately, I do think there is a painful shortage of those willing to be real and share the difficulties of adoption.  But MANY of us need to know it's normal, it's ok, it passes, and there IS someone out there to reach out to.  We are still growing and learning in our house.  It's a rollercoaster.  But I am more confident, my spouse and I are more on the same page; we have more and more family member that I THINK 'believe us' that this IS real, attachment disorders do exist and it's not just my bad parenting.  (yes, I have had that said to me)  All of it helps.  However, my point is...THIS post is very well written...we have experienced everything this woman expresses and I'd love to add a few paragraphs from our four walls.  I would have LOVED to have read this about a year and a half ago!!!  I'm providing a link to the entire post...and below is my favorite highlight!!  I hope someone reads this and finds comfort, inspiration and knowledge!!

 You  need to remember how your dear social worker told you on your 3-month visit, as she looked into your bloodshot eyes and you burst into tears, that attachment takes time…for everyone. Adoption is not the normal way, biology is, which helps us love that screaming, no-sleeping baby just madly, irrationally. But in adoption, it takes everyone time to fall in love.

And that’s okay.

So in those first few stages, you might feel like you are raising someone else’s hysterical kid. You might be chockfull of resentment, anger, disappointment, and regret. Love may feel elusive, even impossible for awhile. You might wonder if God called you to something then left you.

Normal, dear ones. So very normal. You are not a terrible person, nor is your new son or daughter a lemon. There is so much hope for everyone.

I read this paragraph by
Melissa Fay Greene on the first year of adoption, and I’ve never forgotten it:

"Put Feelings on a back-burner. This is not the time for Feelings. If you could express your feelings right now, you’d be saying things like, “Oh my God, I must have lost my mind to think that I can handle this, to think that I wanted a child like this. I’ll never manage to raise this child; I’m way way way way over my head. I’ll never spend time with my spouse or friends again; my older children are going to waste away in profound neglect; my career is finished. I am completely and utterly trapped.” You see? What’s the point of expressing all that right now? Put Feelings in the deep freeze. Live a material life instead: wake, dress, eat, walk. Let your hands and words mother the new child, don’t pause to look back, to reflect, or to experience emotions. “Shut up, Emotions,” you’ll say. “I’ll check back with you in six months to see if you’ve pulled yourselves together. But no whining meanwhile!”

Here is the good news: eventually, you can pull Feelings from the deep freeze, and you’ll discover surges of genuine love sneaking up on you for this kid. You’ll find out: Oh! He’s funny! She’s sassy! He’s good at science! She is compassionate! I had no idea! You’ve mothered with your hands and words, and God did the heavy lifting, just like He promised. You don’t have to be a miracle worker; that has always been God’s territory. You just have to be the ordinary disciple who says yes.

Is adoption easy? No it is not. Is this simple? Nope. Complicated and long-term. Will bonding be immediate and seamless? Maybe, but probably not. Will you struggle with guilt and fear that first year? Yes, but you shouldn’t. You’ve agreed to partner with God in some difficult, heart-wrenching work, and it’s no kum-by-yah party. Give grace to yourself; God already has.

Anything worth fighting for is worth fighting through, and adoption is one of them. I can hardly think of something closer to God’s character, who is the “Father to the fatherless, defender of widows — this is God, whose dwelling is holy.” Certainly, we are his difficult children who spaz out and pull away and manipulate and struggle. We distrust His good love and sabotage our blessings, imagining our shame disqualifies us or that God couldn’t possibly be faithful to such orphans.

But He is. We are loved with an everlasting love, and it is enough to overwhelm our own fear and shame and humanity. In adoption, God is enough for us all. He can overcome our children’s grief. He can overshadow our own inadequacies. He can sweep up our families in a beautiful story of redemption and hope and healing. If you are afraid of adoption, trying to stiff-arm the call, God is the courage you don’t have. If you are waiting, suffering with longing for your child, God is the determination you need. If you are in the early days of chaos, God is the peace you and your child hunger for. If your family feels lost, He is the stability everyone is looking for. If you are working hard on healing, digging deep with your child, God is every ounce of the hope and restoration and safety and grace.

In Him, you can do this.

He is enough for us all.

Where are you in adoption, and how has God shown Himself to be enough? Our stories give each other hope and courage. Thank you for being truth-tellers for one another.

AND, if this tiny glimpse leaves you hungry for is the link for the whole post...which is equally as yummy!!


Friday, August 10, 2012

Happy Gotcha Day Sweet Sammy

In some ways the last three years have flown by and it feels like  you just came home, but most of the time I don't remember life before and it feels like you've been here forever....

You defiently taught what all the fuss about a "Mamma's boy" was.  It only took about 5 minutes actually.  They'd coached you to say "I love you Mamma and Babba" in English, and you were obviously quite proud, and my heart was obviously gone.... handsome guy can still get on his Gotcha Day shirt....and is the source of MANY of my funniest tales. His personality is such a HOOT! AND is Mamma is as crazy about him as ever, and is wrapped around that charming little finger most days!!!   We LOVE you sweet boy....more than you know, and for all the ups and downs, smiles and tears, growth and groans...I'd do it again in a second!  We just can't wait to see what God has in store for you!!!