Thursday, December 13, 2012

and another...

i finally was able to snag this photo from my adoption sister's blog. they adopted two kids this week. they adopted B's foster sister early in the week and now the second child is officially an orphan no more.

meet beautiful Ashlyn- surrounded by her parents, three of her siblings and a representative from her orphanage.





let's celebrate as One, the redemption of another soul! sing Praise to the Almighty God who keeps His promises and loves us like no other can. He held this family in His protective hands while they journeyed through adoption. He leveled their mountains and made straight their path to their children. He called up the Body to raise the ransom money (they are still fundraising... http://loveisonthemove-hope.blogspot.com/) to make this possible. He provided help and family to care for the children still at home. 

let us continue to pray for their safety while they travel in China over the next 10 days. 

LORD, WE SEE YET ANOTHER FAMILY MADE POSSIBLE THROUGH YOUR GIFTS. YOU HAVE GIVEN REBECCA AND MATT COURAGEOUS HEARTS TO SERVE YOU AND YOUR CHILDREN. WE THANK YOU FOR THESE SPECIAL BLESSINGS. WATCH OVER AND PROTECT THEIR TRAVELS. MAKE SMOOTH THE OBSTACLES WHICH THREATEN FAMILY HARMONY. PLEASE TOUCH THEIR ADOPTED CHILDREN'S HEARTS WITH TRUST AND PEACE. PLEASE TOUCH THEIR BIOLOGICAL CHILDREN'S HEARTS WITH PATIENCE, PROTECTIVENESS, AND SELFLESSNESS.  THINGS WILL BE DIFFICULT WHEN THEY TRANSITION BACK HOME. HELP THEM TO STAY FOCUSED ON YOU AND YOUR WILL FOR THEIR LIVES. THANK YOU FOR GIVING US GOOD EXAMPLES OF DISCIPLESHIP TO FOLLOW. HELP US TO LEARN FROM THEM. LET US STAND TOGETHER TO PROCLAIM THE GOOD NEWS. AMEN.


Tuesday, December 11, 2012

another

rejoice with us...for He has made new another family. He has redeemed another child and set her in a family of faith and love.

we have lifted this special little one up in prayer ever since our darling B asked us to adopt her back in May. she is B's foster sister. through His great wisdom, He had already matched her with a family 1500 miles from us. but distance has no limits within the Body of Christ. He has blessed these two mothers and two sisters with a connection that will last a lifetime.  

B's foster sister has a forever family. Praise God! her MeiMei is safe and loved.

Gotcha Day with her mama and her big sister

this is my favorite photo. see her surrounded by love and acceptance? imagine being in the midst of that love. i cannot exalt Him enough or thank Him for our extended family.

they have another Gotcha today. their second adopted daughter may even be in their arms right now.

help us surround this family with prayers of peace, protection, love, and patience as they graft two more into their existing six.

one by one we can make the word orphan obsolete! i know we can!

GRACIOUS LORD, I AM AWED ONCE AGAIN. YOU NEVER FAIL TO AMAZE AND DELIGHT ME WITH YOUR WAYS. THANK YOU FOR GIVING TWO MORE CHILDREN FAMILIES TO LOVE THEM. PLEASE GUIDE THEM WITH WISDOM AND PROTECTION ALONG THEIR JOURNEY OF DISCOVERY. COMFORT THEIR FAMILY BACK AT HOME AND BLESS THEIR TRAVELS. HELP THEM TO STAY FOCUSED ON YOU AND YOUR PLANS. WE THROW OURSELVES AT YOUR MERCY, KNOWING THE PLANS YOU HAVE FOR US ARE GOOD AND PERFECT. THANK YOU. THANK YOU. THANK YOU JESUS. THANK YOU FOR OPENING THIS FAMILY'S EYES AND RELEASING THEM FROM THEIR CHAINS OF BLINDNESS. AMEN.

Tuesday, December 4, 2012

one more one less

our friends are currently in China adopting their second daughter. we are so excited and privileged to witness another family growing in faith and love!

introducing the newest member of our "faith family"...

juliana with her little sister hailie and mom kathy

(oh, how we remember that couch!)

please help us to lift them up in prayer...

LORD GOD. HOW AMAZING YOU ARE! WE LOOK AND SEE ALL THE WONDERFUL GIFTS YOU GIVE TO US DAILY. IN YOUR PERFECT WISDOM YOU CREATE FAMILIES TO GLORIFY YOU AND STAND WITNESS YOUR GREAT LOVE. HOW CAN WE EVER EXPRESS OUR GRATITUDE FULLY? HELP US TO CONTINUE TO CHAMPION THE LESSER OF US AND TAKE CARE OF OUR NEIGHBORS. WE MARVEL AT WHAT YOU HAVE DONE FOR STEVE AND KATHY'S FAMILY. PLEASE GUARD AND PROTECT THEM WHILE TRAVELING WITH THEIR TWO PRECIOUS CHILDREN. WE HUMBLY ASK THAT YOU SEND YOUR HOLY SPIRIT TO JULIANA SO THAT SHE MAY KNOW YOU. SHAKE THEIR MOUNTAINS SO THAT NOTHING STANDS IN THEIR WAY OF COMPLETE BONDING AND DEVOTION TO LIVING YOUR WORD. IN THIS ADVENT SEASON WE STAND WATCH AND PREPARE THE WAY FOR JESUS'S COMING. WE LIFT UP ALL THE FAMILIES WHO STILL LIVE SEPARATED WAITING TO BE UNITED THROUGH THE GIFT OF ADOPTION. COMFORT THEM IN THIS TIME AND HELP THEM TO SEE THAT THEY TOO ARE PREPARING THE WAY FOR NEW LIFE THROUGH JESUS. THANK YOU JESUS FOR COMING TO MAKE ALL THINGS NEW. WE REJOICE IN BEING ABLE TO COME TO YOUR FATHER THROUGH YOUR PERFECT GIFT. WE BASK IN THE LIGHT YOU SHINE ON US AND ARE GRATEFUL. THANK YOU DEAR GOD. AMEN.


Monday, November 26, 2012

where we are

i haven't a clue on how to share what we have been experiencing this week. but i think i should.

a couple of days ago, i spoke on the phone to B's foster sister's adoption momma. they are in process to adopt two children. she shared on her blog and also on the phone with me, about all the hard stuff she is hearing about adoption lately. it is daunting. of course, she expects tough, but it is really hard facing the unknown.

last year at this time, i was feeling similar things. my mind played out all sorts of scenarios, but mostly i prayed that whatever our new lives would look like, that God would be with us. the only way for us to get through the process is to place everything in His mighty hands.

 i expected hard stuff...

just not this kind of hard stuff. it has been HARD.

we spoke of if we should blog or share the bad. some adoption blogs get strangely quiet after re-entry(coming home after adopting the child) and all that gets posted are happy photos of vacations, holidays, birthdays, and first day of school pictures.

i am not saying that it is a bad thing, but these families must be having growing pains. we are talking about placing institutionalized children into homes of "wealth." institutional behaviors are distinctly different than children in established families behaviors. integrating these children is not something you can be completely prepared for until you do it.

so are these writers afraid to share? not willing to be the downer? unable to speak it? protecting their child's personal story? trying not to scare off yet to adopt families? concerned about others deeming it appropriate? simply too busy?

i have caught flack about some of my posts. i have offended some people too. i remind them that my blog is my faith book/online diary. it is not just an online scrapbook. others choose the style which suits them. this is mine.

still, i have been fearful of sharing some things. do people think that what i have shared is the whole story? trust me, i promise you, this...i do sugar coat.

i have gotten criticism for sharing certain information. i am told that their story belongs to them and that i have no business splashing their business about. BUT, isn't it my story too?

so bloggy friends and family who like to feel connected to us through my blog updates. i apologize. i do not know how to blog without saying the hard stuff. i feel like a hypocrite posting happy pictures.

i wrote this blog entry several months ago. yes, this one. i never made it public. it sat in my draft box. i only needed to get the feelings out. i didn't NEED to share my crazy life with everyone else i told myself. 

but, here i sit months later, feeling totally unplugged from all my support systems. my support group which i purposely established last year before the kids came home, has fizzled. perhaps the other members are just as much in the weeds as i am. perhaps they are fine and don't realize i am drowning most days. how could they know? we don't meet anymore. i am not blogging my reality. i put on a happy smile hoping people will not ask how things are going. 

they don't really want to know, right? when people ask, it is them being polite?

imagine the looks on their faces if i said, "glad you asked! i spend most of my days trying to piece together a medical history for two children who apparently had no existence before coming to America, my bio-kids are traumatized from the adoption, my marriage is strained, and i spend 10-15 hours in medical and therapeutic appointments every week. so, enough about me, how are you? 

what would they say if they saw this??



what is this? my calendar of course. over 27 appointments in october. we have 6 standing therapy appointments every week and then add in two or three medical appointments and it makes for a crazy week. this week we have only nine. i had to cancel two. more than ten is my limit.

don't even get me started about home schooling. home schooling will have to wait. we do some school on the road, some in waiting rooms, and sprinkle our off days with math lessons. but, honestly? this year we are trying to survive. i am raising saints-not scholars(at least i am telling myself that). if they get to 18 and can read and compute math, we will call it a success.

i didn't want to share originally because i am not complaining, but some will see it as just that. i am afraid others will say, "well, what did you expect? you adopted two older special needs children. others have it worse."

i agree some do. some of these "even worse" people are my close friends. does it negate what we are experiencing?

we had a hard trip to China. i blogged some of it, but not all. when people heard our story, they replied, "oh. i have no reason to complain, your trip was worse." it doesn't mean that the easier didn't impact or stress them. we all should have our experiences honored and respected.

look people! this isn't a contest of how hard our lives are. stop making it that. as a community we should be able to honestly share and not be afraid others will feel diminished or lash out with negativity.

i cannot promise i will be back to blogging consistently. i cannot promise i won't hide behind happy photo posts. all i am requesting is that people accept that adoption is difficult. adoptive parents weren't signing up for easy. many of us were called by God to this mission. did the apostles have it easy? no they were stoned, crucified, imprisoned, beaten...all to spread the gospel.

adoptive parents are living the gospel out loud even if we are not aware of it. we are called to take care of widows and orphans. we are called to die to ourselves, so that others may live. adoption is about redemption. it is about loss. it is about loving in a whole different way.

one last thought. i was sitting at Thanksgiving dinner and someone stated they could never adopt- i was horrified. it hurt. my heart was broken. they witnessed my children's first Thanksgiving. they saw the beauty of families growing, yet they miss the point. it is NOT about us. we are but instruments of God. my family's lives have been blessed far more from these orphans than we have blessed theirs.

would i do it again if i knew what my life would look like? yup. would i adopt again. oh, please God, let it be so. will it be hard? you betcha. but, oh, to stand in the presence of God at work. why would i want to miss out on that?

rise up God's people. support each other. love the lesser of us. and don't for one minute think that the blogs that have gone "quiet" are just from busy families. i assure you, they are probably in the weeds. lift them up in prayer. call them if you know them. ask if you can bring over a meal. send a "thinking of you" card. send them links to other blogs.

that is just what my friend, J, did today. she sent me a blog post on this subject and knew it was what i needed. http://cheaperbythehalfdozens.blogspot.com/2012/11/in-which-i-blog-againand-ask-you-favor.html

so now this goes public. please love us, pray for us, champion the orphan/adoptive families. 

HEAVENLY FATHER. YOU HAVE CALLED US TO CARE FOR THE ORPHAN. MANY OF YOUR DISCIPLES HAVE DONE JUST THAT. SOME HAVE DONATED GOODS AND MONEY. SOME HAVE ADOPTED. SOME HAVE PRAYED. WE PRAISE YOU FOR YOUR EVERLASTING LOVE AND PROVISION. I LIFT UP THE FAMILIES STRUGGLING TO FIND SOLID FOOTING. PLEASE SHOW THEM THAT YOU ARE THE ROCK ON WHICH ALL THINGS FIND SOLACE. FILL US WITH YOUR GRACE AND LOVE. WE EXALT YOU FOR ALLOWING US TO BE REDEEMED AND MADE NEW EACH DAY. THANK YOU FOR CALLING US TO BE YOURS AND GIVING US THE GOOD GIFT OF FAMILY. WE ARE NOTHING APART FROM YOU. SO BECAUSE OF THIS, I THANK YOU FOR EVERYTHING I AM AND MY CHILDREN ARE. WE LOOK TO YOU WITH JOYFUL EXPECTANCY OF THE PLANS YOU HAVE MADE TO PROSPER OUR FUTURE. YET, THERE ARE STILL MILLIONS OF CHILDREN WITHOUT FAMILIES. MERCIFUL GOD, TOUCH MORE COUPLES WITH THE CALL. PLEASE MAKE THE TERM ORPHAN OBSOLETE. I PRAY FOR EACH CHILD AROUND THE WORLD WHO IS SITTING ALONE AND HUNGRY, WITHOUT HOPE, WITHOUT KNOWLEDGE OF YOU. PLEASE SEND COMFORT, PROVISION, AND HELP TO THEM. ABBA HEAL THIS WORLD. FORGIVE OUR SELFISHNESS AND ATROCITIES WE HAVE COMMITTED AGAINST YOUR CHILDREN. BREAK OUR HEARTS FOR THE FATHERLESS. TEAR THE BLINDING SCALES FROM OUR EYES. MOVE US TO ACT. I LAY ALL THESE REQUESTS AT THE FOOT OF THE CROSS. WE ASK THIS AND ALL THINGS THROUGH JESUS.  AMEN. 





Wednesday, November 7, 2012

who likes a nor'easter?

i can think of two Chinese children that do! this is the first time they have ever seen snow. we were out shopping for Thanksgiving baskets when the snow started. all four girls ran outside to catch giant flakes on their tongues. the people in the check out line were looking at them like they were crazy, until i explained that it was their first snow(well, the Chinese children that is). then the people smiled the biggest grins ever. one lady even got tears in her eyes as she exited the store to witness my four children laughing and giggling on the store sidewalk. pure magic.

we got home and dug out the snow clothes. everyone has grown since last year, so we had to piece together enough sets to fit everyone. there were hats, scarves and mittens everywhere!




here is the ragtag crew ready to go out and conquer the nor'easter...



first order of business...snowball fight!!



i would have thought that the cold would've chased them back in after five minutes(i came in after two), but they are busy making snow angels and snow men. i better go get some hot cocoa going. i think i am going to have four frozen kiddos dropping soggy snow gear all over my kitchen floor soon! ugh! did i really say four sets of snow clothes?? good thing i have a new giant capacity dryer with a ten year warranty.

Wednesday, October 31, 2012

halloween's revenge: a cautionary tale

the quiet voice inside me has been leading us me to stop celebrating halloween.

total bummer.

i have always loved halloween. decorations, costumes, pillow cases heavy with candy, parties with doughnuts and caramel apples and cider.  fake spiderwebs everywhere. the sound of crunchy leaves underfoot-shuffling up to the next doorway. anticipation of shouting trick-or-treat...hoping it might be a full sized bar this time.

i love everything about it. especially the costumes. my mother hand made all our costumes growing up. she would make anything we wanted. smurfette, strawberry shortcake, mermaid, gypsy, unicorn, little bo peep,  i carried on the tradition with my children. i sewed many costumes over the years. snow white, belle, cats, leopards, sheep, dr suess characters, even a green m&m costume.  

the last few years i have been feeling that God tug. the quiet whisper, "this isn't for you." i tried denying it. no God...why??? but i love halloween!(whiny voice)

i would try to give it up. ok? i caved and made costumes last year, but to our my delight the storm and resulting 8 day power outage became the scapegoat for not partaking in the festivities...not me. 

i have heard other Christians make their case for not "doing" halloween. i understand. i cannot claim this to be my view. i just know that when the voice speaks...i listen. i am a brat and sometimes do not listen right away. but if i don't, He gets all up in my face-like He did with the adoption. He is speaking to me not to celebrate halloween in the traditional american sense. He hasn't told me why. kinda wish He would.

have you guessed that our children are bummed God is speaking to mom on this one? i did not make any costumes this year. i blamed it on the kids being too old and besides, why get S and B amped up if i know God is not going to be quiet on this one? this past weekend when Superstorm Sandy rolled through, i told the children that again halloween probably wouldn't be happening anyway. E exclaimed in typical tween drama fashion, "see? God does hate halloween!" 


i never said that. i only know it is not for us anymore. i do not judge those that still enjoy the whole package. i admit i was achingly jealous of my friends taking their kids out tonight. (the storm didn't knock our power out. God wasn't going to give me an out two years in a row!)

but how do i break up with halloween? i still love it?

i did allow everyone to carve pumpkins. i couldn't see a reason why i had to rip that unmade memory from S and B's grip. i already nixed the decorations, costumes, and trick-or-treating. even daddy carved his first.  



oh. but it didn't take halloween long to break up with me. it must have heard i was working on an exit strategy and it struck first. rotten holiday.

i arrived home from 5 hours of farming tonight with a full bladder(the farm outhouse is not fun in 50 degree weather) only to step stocking-footed onto a soggy/sloshy rug. the bathroom flooded? what the??? where is it coming from? were the kids playing in the sink again?

i went downstairs to look for veggies for dinner and the basement floor was soaked. puddles everywhere. the whole floor and 12 unopened rolls of paper towels. all soaked. guess they are not quite absorbant enough. 



i ran back upstairs to recheck the bathroom and smelled my entree burning-my pork roast-overdone and shrunken down to a tiny roll stuck to the bottom of my crock pot.

after i turned off my roast jerky, i popped a gianormous, what i thought was an acorn squash from the farm (no one knew what it was-they called it mystery squash) into the microwave to cook while i attempted to find the leaky culprit. 

with phone in hand, trying for the thirteenth time in five minutes to get my husband at work, i crawled all over the bathroom, mopping up the mess. halloween sucks i muttered.

ack! did it hear me? oh no... i think it heard me!

i noticed my neighbor pulling into the driveway and asked him to help me find the leak. he took off his nice jacket and poked around in the ceiling. as he pulled on some insulation, at least five gallons of cold water came dumping down on him. it just poured and poured all over the floor. after continued searching and repeated dousings, we gave up. (his jacket stayed dry...he must not have made halloween angry)



i had to get dinner on the table. i had to stop the water. what to do first?!? 

dinner. kids are hungry.

uh-oh. call CSI:SVU (special veggie unit) something happened to monster squash. ew...looks like brains splattered all over.
mystery solved. spaghetti squash. picture does not show the scope of the explosion.


two dinner elements ruined. better play it safe and just reheat the potatoes i made up in case of power failure. i first forgot to hand smash them and so when i turned on my mixer, chunks of potato sailed up into the air and came splashing down  in the kids' milks i had just poured. add milk to potatoes-do not mix up the order. ugh!

i hand smashed them. i know better. i should get a more appropriate bowl too. (i ignore my voice all the time) nah. everything will be fine. turn on mixer. mixer bounces, up, down, and then seizes up. it actually bounced out of the bowl and landed straddling the bowl with a metal death grip. i think i may have discovered this year's hottest kitchen must have. ta-dahhh...the betty crocker bear trap!



i leave the mess and unceremoniously serve up potatoey milk, spaghetti squash scraped off the microwave ceiling, chunky mashed potatoes, and terriake crockpot jerky. all i say to the shell shocked faces looking at me is, "if you think you have a glimmer of hope to stay up and watch 'Its the Great Pumpkin, Charlie Brown,' then all four of you will eat that scary mess without a sound."

they ate and then ran off to watch the television special. see halloween? i haven't completely banned you.

not good enough. halloween is still mad. i  had to brake the beaters (like trying to pry off a pit bull's locked jaws) to extricate the mixer from the poor bowl. ugh. then while washing dinner dishes, the dishwasher backed up nasty water all over the dishes that i had already washed and rinsed. then, dirt made a huge mess all over my newly washed floor when i put my veggie harvest away. so all the housework, cleaning the kitchen and bathroom, i spent hours doing yesterday is now undone!

now i am tried, wet, dirty, hungry(my jerky only fed four), defeated. halloween really sucks. but wait!!!

still i Praise God. thank you, Lord. i have electricity to explode squash, i have running water even if it floods my house, i have shelter from the cold, fresh organic veggies packed in my fridge, money enough to pay a plumber, a half bath upstairs so we still can use an indoor toilet, oh yeah, and a couple of awesome friends who love us enough to drop off a giant bowl of candy to my deprived children during the Charlie Brown special. every kid needs to gorge on candy while watching Charlie Brown. we are provided for. God has given us everything we need. we are not missing out.

so, how do you break up with a holiday you still love? i still don't know. i am glad my other favorite holidays celebrate Jesus though. i shouldn't ever have to break up with another one again. 

but this i did learn: whatever you do...don't let it break up with you first.

may God bless your All Saints day.


















  

Sunday, September 30, 2012

yummy and a little not yummy

we were blessed to have been invited camping with our friends F and T. the campground was only about a ten minute drive away, which was great by me, as S and B have never been real camping. we have practiced in our backyard, but so far daddy hasn't had enough time off from work to go. we took both cars just in case anyone wanted to sleep in their own bed.

we headed up on Saturday morning. the site T chose was perfect. right by the water. a short walk to a portapotty. and mostly private.

view from our shore to the back of the hall

T had the place all set up with an outdoor kitchen in the screen house, living area around the campfire, and sleeping areas for tents. that's my kind of camping.

the foliage was fabulous...best in years


T and B being silly, their dog, nutmeg, is not impressed

F and T with the kids

we didn't plan it, but the camp owners were hosting a Polish Potluck with an authentic Polka band for entertainment. we brought a cabbage and sauerkraut crock pot dish. the spread was AMAZING. hot dogs, hamburgers, kielbasa, chicken, baked potatoes, corn on the cob, stuffed cabbage rolls, casseroles, salads, coleslaws, and a slew of other dishes. yummy!

after we ate, the kids played on the beach while the band pumped polka music through the recreation hall and throughout the "wilderness."


F and B hanging out by the fire

because we are in the mid-autumn festival of the Chinese lunar calendar, a special friend, the translator we re-met at the doctor's appointment and we met at the dragon boat races last year, gave us traditional mooncakes. they are a Chinese treat that you give to friends and loved ones during this festival time. we saved them for this weekend because it is S's birthday week...stay tuned...b-day pictures will be coming.

let me tell you something about mooncakes...i think you need to be Chinese to appreciate their flavor and texture. we appreciated the decorative work in the cakes, but the flavor was lost on us. not yummy. the texture was weird too. let's just say we wouldn't give them to our friends-we'd like to keep them as friends, but we love Annette for loving on us.




the big one had an egg yolk inside...ummm...ok...



daddy could not find an appreciation for these little "treasures"


ok, so the mooncakes were not a favorite...but s'mores were



yummy


daddy took the kids back up to the hall to do some dancing while the other adults chilled by the fire drinking hot spiced brandy cider...yummy.

video
dance that mooncake and s'mores sugar out of your bods before coming back to share a tent with me! 

the kids settled down by 10:30 and the big people sat by the fire laughing and enjoying the company. the next morning we got up and snacked on pop-tarts and mini donuts while F cooked up bacon, hashbrowns, and eggs in a giant iron kettle. yummy.



on the way home, i just had to stop at the top of our pond and take some pictures of my neighbors' trees.


eye candy...yummy



because daddy has to work open to close the next 6 days, we had a small birthday party for S, who turns 14 tomorrow!


yummy

S loves her new Yoshi Remote Control Kart.

then yet another God sighting...

rain had intermittently poured and misted on us all weekend. i was on the phone with my mother and she said she saw a rainbow, so when we heard thunder in our town, yet saw sunshine, B and i ran around like mad women trying to see a rainbow. we have chased rainbows all summer and have yet to see one.

so worth the wait! we had a quadruple rainbow happening. the big one was a rainbow spectrum in both directions- that was two. then there were two more less bright rainbows above the big one that came and went with how the clouds were breaking. we all ran down the street for a better look snapping pictures and exclaiming "wow" over and over again. not caring that we were getting soaked. E and A pounded on the neighbors' doors telling them to come see.


hard to see...but it is a quadruple rainbow




walking back home completely soaked and exhilarated, B said that was the first rainbow she has ever seen. another gift of first. Praise God. i took that as a opportunity to read the children the Bible story of Noah and God's Covenant with us and the reminder that rainbows are evidence of God's promise. i read it to B in english and S read it with E in chinese. it was a perfect 26 hours. so thankful, so peaceful, so blessed. so yummy.  











Thursday, September 13, 2012

chimes and timers

today was the day B got her new ears as we are calling it.

she chose light blue for the computer parts and purple, black, and white swirls for the ear pieces. when we got home, she found the fancy stickers in her "kit" to further decorate them and chose a zebra print pattern that goes on the blue piece. they are sure something else!



they are not amplifiers like i thought that hearing aids were, but instead they have tiny computers in the aids, which take the higher range sound waves and compresses them to a point her brain can recognize and process. now she will be able to hear ssss, shh, sch, zh, zz, th, and tz sounds. i can't wait to see how much more language she acquires now that she will be able to hear EVERYTHING. poor A won't be able to sneak up on B and scare her anymore(a favorite form of terrorizing siblings in our household). A is a bit disappointed. B is most likely relieved.

this is the machine that calibrates and programs the hearing aids to specifically combat her hearing loss. i took some great video of the process, but Blogger is having trouble uploading it. i'll try again another day to get it posted.


wincing...oh my...too loud.

i asked her on the way home if there was anyone she wanted to stop by and see to show off her new ears. she said, "yes, nix and gramma." so we stopped by gramma's house on the way home. while visiting on their front porch she smiled and pointed to the wind chimes hanging above the porch. i asked, "could you hear those before?" she replied, "a little." i think more than a little. the fact that she noticed them and pointed them out leads me to believe that this was a new experience.

later we stopped by to show nix. we also visited on her porch and when her oven timer went off, B snapped her head up and peered into the kitchen to see what was making that noise. hmmm, she can hear timers now too! how lovely to be present for her first sounds(well with me at least...maybe she heard them before the nerve damage...we'll never know).

i am amazed that God has seen fit to bless us with so many firsts. parents of young children often take these tiny treasures for granted. we haven't completely lost out on her life, those ten years before we came into the picture, we are just being given different experiences and firsts to celebrate with her. for as much loss adoption holds, there are equally as many gains.

after we got home she asked to take them off. she stated all afternoon that everything was too loud. the audiologist explained to us that it might take upwards of a week for her brain to learn to process all these new sounds. she suggested we give her small breaks in the afternoon for some stimulus reduction. i am good with that. because i know that these tiny things are making a difference. she is going to want to wear them.

one more thought. i wonder at how lucky we are to have access to modern medical intervention. she did not have access to full hearing for her entire life and most likely would never have if she had stayed in China. yes, she has the gift of family now, but she also has gifts we never imagined a child might need. i feel a stronger sense of gladness that God brought her here. it is a better life for her.

tonight while making dinner she said to me very softly, "mom, i love america."

yes, little one, and God loves you!

Sunday, September 2, 2012

six months already

in just 10 days we will be celebrating our six month Gotcha anniversary. wow. this time last year we were waiting for our LID. funny how time speeds by.

BaoQing referral picture

B six months home


XiYuan referral picture

S six months home 

oh how our girls have blossomed! i am so proud of them.

PRAISE JESUS FOR YOUR REDEEMING POWER. THANK YOU JEHOVAH JIREH FOR ALL THINGS. BLESSED BE YOUR HOLY NAME.


Saturday, September 1, 2012

eight eyes

S and A got new glasses today. A already wore glasses, but hers fell apart after two years. we never did have an accidentally broken pair. i am sure we will be back at the store getting new ones in the next three months. we have a "bull in a china shop" type of kid in the house now. i suspect she will sit or step on someone's glasses in no time.

i thought S would have a "moment" when the optician put the glasses on her for the first time. her prescription is pretty significant. i took out the video camera and was so excited to see her reaction...chirp, chirp went the cricket sound effect...
video
for a child who has never seen clearly, she sure was unimpressed. perhaps her brain doesn't recognize her vision correction after all these years. we'll see if over the next few days she figures out she can see. i remember when i needed glasses a few years ago, i marveled at clear vision. i kept taking the glasses off and putting them on, delighted by the difference. well, at least there wasn't a negative reaction.

 A in her new glasses.
 A and S glasses shopping.
S enjoying all the fuss over her new look.