Tuesday, January 17, 2012

Happy 1 Year Gotcha Day Will!!!

One year ago today we met a very frightened and overwhelmed 4yo in a freezing Civil Affairs office in Nanjing China. It's hard to believe that's the same child we love today...my how we have all grown! I made this video shortly after arriving home...it still brings tears to my eyes and butterflies to my stomache....I hope you take the time to watch it!

As our family celebrates, my heart aches for those that still wait, for the Sammy's and their zanny personality that sit undiscovered, unloved. CONSIDER PUTTING ALL RESERVATIONS ASIDE, ALL THOUGHTS OF WHAT YOU HAVE PLANNED FOR YOUR LIFE, AND CONSIDER PRAYING....JUST PRAYING IF GOD HAS A CHILD OUT THERE THAT NEEDS YOU, THAT IS YOUR! CHILD. TAKE ONE MONTH...THAT'S ALL...ASK... AND BE OPEN TO WHATEVER GOD ANSWERS. Once adoption gets in your heart, you are never the same!!


Saturday, January 14, 2012

Back to the good stuff : Will's Big Day!!

**One last comment about my previous post, then on to the good stuff....

After reading it, I didn't want to sound whinny, ungrateful, or wimpy. Life is just hard sometimes, but for those of you who didn't know, we did have a lot of 'challenges' in a short time in addition to adopting and adding a new child to our family. From February to September the attachment/Sammy issues, Wills health issues, Mike starting a new job, then having hernia surgery, a water leak in our kitchen and a complete kitchen remodel, the death of just about every appliance I owned, starting high school and middle school for 2 of our girls and the ADHD worsening this year. (wonder why??) SOO I'm done whining...I HAVE been counting my blessings more and trying to simplify...but just wanted to share all the reasons for the "Keeping it real post"


As I mentioned in my last post, Will turned five a few days ago!!! It was a sweet special day!!! I just love firsts, and I just love how excited kids get over their birthdays, and for Will this one was something else. In a family of five it's really something to get to pick, to be 'in charge'. This was something poor Will didn't understand, he'd obviously never given this privilege, even in the whole year home with us!

I asked, "Will where do you want to go for lunch?"....(it was just the two of us mind you, a special Mommy and Will date) All I hear is silence from the back seat....."Will, honey...what do you want for lunch?"

"Cheeseburger, Mommy"

"Where do you want to go eat your cheeseburger, you get to pick since it's your birthday!"

silence again...finally he says

"Mommy, what's You Pick??"

Poor little guy! I got very specific after that, of course we ended up at McDonald's, followed by a trip to ToysRUs. He PICKED! "Chinese Noodles" for dinner (Mom made Lo Mein) Which he LOVED! Check out the pics! What fabulous chop stick form in the beginning, but then he decided he could shovel more in using two hands after a few bites a few big YUMS!!! Lightning McQueen still rules the little guys in our house and the highlight was singing and blowing out candles..twice!! A BIG DAY for Will indeed...one I hope he really will remember!

It wasn't so easy to be Sammy however. He put on a brave face most of the day, but had to be reminded over and over his Bday was in 10days. Whales of "NO SAMMY" could be heard periodically throughout the day.... *sigh*

This is the tough stuff. I really struggled with caving and having a small gift for the other at each party...but opted to hold my ground and give each their own day from the beginning. Will will tolerate it better, watch and see ;)

Tuesday, January 10, 2012

Keeping it real.....part 3

AWWWW..keeping it real posts. These always feel heavy, liberating, necessary. I'm very sentimental, and reflective right now. Today's Will birthday!!!!! My baby's five ...his FIRST birthday with a family. I've been an emotional fool the last few days. I've wanted to see him smile - BIG and frequently, and so far so good. It's the simple stuff when they are little. Line leader at preschool, McDonald's date all by himself with mom and a trip to Toys R Us to pick out ANYTHING he wanted. (it's still safe to do that when your 5) He's napping now...but he still has alot to come..."noodles" for dinner (his fav - Lo Mein) and 'Matter' Cake for dessert (translation - Pixar "Cars" movie...you know, Lightning McQueen and Tow Mater???)

It's hard to believe it's been a full year since he's joined our family...WOW, a year. It's been a hell of a ride. He's come sooo far, we all have. I could easily sit here and candy coat it for you...hit the highlights, focus on only the positive...but if I did, I wouldn't have titled it "keeping it real" huh? Truth is, this has been one of the most challenging years of my life. I'd do it again in a heart beat....but there were times I wondered if my sanity, marriage, and finances were going to make it. It's been a big year....there have days even weeks that I've convinced myself that I must have been crazy for doing THIS. Times when I was just SICK of APPOINTMENTS... doctors appts, for Spina Bifida, for ADHD for Asthma, OT appts PT exercises, breathing treatments and 3 or 4 trips to the school a day, and organizing everyones schedule and falling asleep everytime I sit down, and not having seen an adult movie in 6months, giving up bathing so I can answer emails and read blogs, the VOLUME of noise in my house, constantly hearing "MOMMY", the never ending laundry, my house never ever ever being clean, the damn budget...did I mention I have a job??? when I think if I didn't have so many kids we could travel and have the house paid off...and God was INSANE when He thought I could handle this!!!!!....weeks when I felt so damn selfish and the thoughts in my head where soooo far from Christian....My husband was useless, and how can I try this hard and my kids be so ill behaved and FIGHT all the time and scream everytime I leave the room...God wouldn't cross my mind for days. I hated it all....I felt alone, overwhelmed and sick of faking it!!! Because Lord knows when you CHOOSE to have five kids you better put on a happy face and be the best darn mother around....if you complain or have a bad day, you get that half smile "LOOK"..... OR sometimes if your related they can just come right out and say it.......

"What did you think would happen you adopted all those kids"....it was a very lonely year at times

BUT then......You get on your knees and count your blessings.....you ask for strength......you remind yourself WHY..... you see it in their faces....in their toothless grins....their morning snuggles....bedtime stories....Saturday night dance parties under the disco ball....homemade "I love you" cards....Thursday night "vampire diary" dates.....Stories of "the first kiss".......Walks to Starbucks....Watching them ride their bikes for the first time......Jump roping in the front yard....Watching a boy who had NOTHING just weeks ago get his first bike......Gotcha Day Celebrations.....Celebrating first birthdays with a family...

THEN you Dust off your knees, wipe your tears, focus on what matters and realize God didn't say it would be easy....He just said He would be there.....


Sunday, January 8, 2012

The worst blogger award goes to......(drum roll please).....

Well me of course...

I'm not even sure how to paraphrase the last 2 month...they were big ones!!! Thanksgiving, Christmas, School plays, finals, OT/PT Wills first holidays, a White Trash New Years Eve Party...a blissfully uneventful week after Christmas...and now, back to the grind! and crazy me did a small bathroom remodel the first week back to real life....but never forget a chick CAN use powertools....

The highlights....

Will is doing well with his PT...balance is getting better, he maybe looking a brace for his foot to help him not twist his ankle...He also went through a 10 weeks "observation" time at our states "Early Start" preschool. He just missed qualifying so he was 'observed' It was a fabulous place, really in touch with sensory play ect...HOWEVER, he didn't qualify so after 10 weeks they told us goodbye. I had mixed emotions. It's a good problem to have that your kid with Spina Bifida is ready for main stream preschool 8m off the plane...but it WAS a great school! He's just starting his new school and doing great!

Sam was referred to OT by preschool. Once there they dx him with a sensory issue. I've shared some of the difficulties he and Will have had, such as Sam being aggresive and regressive. After 10m I felt like transition time was over and something still wasn't right but I just couldn't put my finger on what it was. When I filled out his evaluation forms, they picked up on sensory stuff right away and I was relieved to talk about it something "not sitting right" with me. His therapist feels some of his excessive volume might be a sensory issue!! I told her if she could make his quieter I'd kiss her feet and give her a FAT bonus hahahahaha!!! We are already seeing some good improvement, he's learning some great calming techniques. He's still the sweetest kid ever and Mommy's boy through and through! He tells people I went to China and got "the cutest boy in China"!! Love it and how true!!

Brynn....she's just BRYNN! When people ask me about her I say she should just have "YUMMY" over her head in a big bubble :) She's sweet, affectionate, funny...she fights with her sister WAY! more than I'd like, but other than that...I'd love to freeze her...she's kinda perfect....**sigh**

Kenna is growing up and up and up!!! I think she's a foot taller than this time last year and ALL legs! She'll be eleven in a few weeks and wears a bigger shoe than her soon 15yo sister..and is almost as tall, and stealing her handme downs from last year!!! She's fabulous in soccer and had a great season...just joined the art club which is SOOOO her. She was also chosen for selective choir and got to travel and spend an entire day out of school at KMA learning from some of the best conductors in the state!

Jessa is rocking out high school...now that we are half way through her freshman year, she's got it!!! (change isn't easy for my big girl) Just a fraction short of straight A's (BUT in two advanced classes!) Active in every club that would let her in, and acting and singing her heart out! My favorite club she is in is "Harry Potter Club" They have a sorting hat and everything!! She's in Slytherin and was actually happy about it since Gryffindor is so passe'...hhmmm who knew?? It's basically a philanthropy club and they do community service and try to throw in the Harry Potter theme when they can, but have fun HP themed meetings, games ect...I WANNA JOIN!!!!

and how about mom and dad??

WELL...I drive ALOT. 3-5 trips to school a day is the average...The boys appts, the girls extracurricular activities...At one time I was shopping for a minivan with a toilet in it so I could just never get out...I've figured out how to travel with food and clothes already..but unless I buy and RV...I'm still going to have to get out for THAT reason!!! hahah....Christmas was more challenging than usual this year...but the restful week after I enjoyed more than usual because I was tierd more than usual...I enjoyed my kids...OH, and I'm going to have Grandpuppies....my furbaby Nelli left yesterday to be bred to a beautiful tri Cavalier...I'm missing her already...but the babies will be stunning....I just hate that she will be gone @3m while her puppies nurse and get old enough to be placed.....Luckily, she will be close and I can visit alot!!!

I'm not sure how I manage to work two days a week in all this....and did I mention we are considering moving....I guess it's no surprise with 5 kids, 3 dogs a cat and a goldfish the house feels a little 'tight'??? Wouldn't life be dull if we chose the 'easy path'?