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Thursday, June 30, 2011

Baby Steps

Life is certainly different here these days! I never realized how easy it was with six kids until we added our seventh!

Both Avery and Hope are in summer school—Avery for math, Hope for English. Hope enjoys the structure; I enjoy my son having something to do under someone else’s authority! Some days Avery is up on time, ready to go (other than needing to pull up his pants)—other days I am pulling him out of bed 5 minutes before we need to leave and putting a granola bar in his hand for breakfast. Neither one really dislikes school—it is a lot of educational play that adds to their learning.

Avery is very proud of himself—he stayed awake during church last Sunday without me making him stand through the service. He also said that he learned from the sermon, so much so that he e-mailed the pastor and told him such. He was singing a song from church on the way home—he couldn’t remember all the words, but he said he really liked it. The chorus is:
        You are stronger, you are stronger, sin is broken, you have freed me;
        It is written, Christ is risen, Jesus you are Lord of all.
Of course, the day he was singing this was also the day that he was being defiant and argumentative about EVERYTHING. The devil didn’t want to lose his foothold! But the words are working their way through his mind and into his heart.

This evening I had the opportunity to show Avery how to use a Bible. We looked up Ephesians 4:29 (a family favorite!) and talked about what it meant. At first he thought I was punishing him, but I explained that I wanted him to see that we didn’t make up our family rules just to bug him—rather, it was based on something much bigger than ourselves. I think he liked at least some aspects of it, as he leaned against me and watched TV for a while after we were done.

Hope has been reading some Christian romance novels. (I know, I know…not my first choice, but they seem to be capturing her interest and she is reading 300+ page ENGLISH books that include scripture and are biblically sound. It is a lot better than what she could be reading!) She has asked me what the verses mean that are included in the stories as they are written in KJV. I have been blessed to be able to explain what it means in Matthew 7:21-24. The door was cracked—I pray that the Holy Spirit did a better job illuminating the scripture to her heart than I did. I am glad that it was important enough for her to ask instead of just skipping it.

Hope and Amanda have settled in and seem so much more permanent now, especially since they are not the “new” ones any more. Avery has been here only 2 weeks, but it feels much longer. Yet I know that we have a long way to go. As Austin prepares to go away to school in the fall, I am desperately trying to not squander any moments with him. I pray that God gives me the same motivation for ALL my children—my blessings—my gifts from God himself.

All my best,

Tuesday, June 14, 2011

He’s Here!

Today’s the day!
Avery is here to stay!
Stay tuned…
All my best,

Saturday, June 4, 2011


Still here and…

It has been months since I have posted and so much has been happening! For a while I was afraid to post, as I didn’t know what was permissible and what was against the rules. Now, I think I may proceed!

It is true that once your eyes and heart has been opened to the blessings of adoption, you are forever changed. It’s not that I am discontent with my family; I am not lacking anything with the children that I have. The problem is that there are thousands and millions of children who ARE lacking and who want/need the basics of life…food, safety, a family. I can’t promise designer clothes, big vacations and cruises are out of the question, and even ordering anything off the dollar menu at Mc D’s on the rare occurrence that we go is forbidden! BUT, I can offer a place in our family, a place to come home to, a place to belong. I can offer my heart to be stretched to encircle another, my arms for a ready hug, and my prayers for a lifetime.

It is for these reasons as well as others that I can proudly announce that we are adopting again! This time our foreign land is Detroit, MI; our new child is a 14 year old boy. Avery has been visiting us since April 1st (no fooling!) and will be with us full time by mid-June. Being an older boy, he knows that adoption for him means that some past behaviors, vocabulary, music and activities must be left behind. He also knows that exchanging those for what he has offered with this forever family makes it a very tempting deal.

What has been interesting has been watching Hope interact with Avery. Hope, being a very reserved girl, is forced out of her comfort zone with Avery, who is very much “in your face.” Instead of retreating more into her shell, Hope has been blossoming into a more self-confident, smiling young lady. This is just another example of how God’s hand has been in the midst of the adoption…and there are many stories to tell!

Hope has been enjoying everything so much more here. She has started reading English books (and really liking the Shadow Children series!) and rarely misses an opportunity to watch English movies, even over her Chinese movies and books! She still is in contact with her Chinese friends, but also has a lot of fun with her new friends from church and school. She has been blossoming into such a beautiful girl, inside and out.

Amanda is still Hannah’s virtual twin. They dress alike, play alike, and even talk alike! Last week I brought out last year’s summer clothes for the girls to try on, thinking it was going to take about 30-40 minutes to complete. Instead, they took 2 hours trying on the clothes and giving me a fashion show, complete with naming the outfits, coordinating hair styles and props, and walking up and down the sidewalk as their catwalk. There is rarely a dull moment, as Amanda’s imagination has developed as well as her English skills. For a little girls that could only recite “Twinkle Twinkle Little Star” in English when we got her January of last year, she has completed her first grade reading curriculum and spelling with excellence! Her 9th birthday is coming up next month and the planning for her party has occupied both her and Hannah’s imaginations for weeks. She doesn’t want much, just treasure hunts, pool parties, music recitals, slumber parties, petting zoos, and bike races, all rolled into one extravaganza. I love a girl who can dream big!

Often people ask about the girls, and inevitably they ask how their transition has been. I can honestly say that we have two girls that fairytales are based upon—if I were to write a book about how well things are going, no one would buy it because no one would believe it. Things were TOUGH in the beginning, but that has all faded away. I only hope I can be a good enough momma for my girls, as well as all of my kids.

On another note, we just finished cleaning up after Austin’s open house—he just graduated from high school on Thursday. Hannah is already crying daily because he starts college in 90 days (she‘s counting) . He has finished the race of high school well—academically, socially, and spiritually. I am excited for his opportunities at MIT, but the natural sadness of missing him definitely creeps up on me when I’m not looking.
Well done, Austin! I am so proud of you!

All my best,