How many moments have passed by that I haven’t logged? How many milestones will go by unnoticed? I am sad that I missed writing about them, because they won’t be remembered. Nor will they be able to be used to encourage anyone else. Although I can’t recall every point that has happened in these walls, but to try to catch up:
My momentary child, Avery, has decided to remove himself from our family. Although I thought he was our forever child, we were a step in his walk of life. I praise God for the opportunity—we have grown through it all and God has shown himself faithful.
My eldest son, Austin, has made his pilgrimage to MIT. He has now discovered that he was a big fish in a small pond while at home, but a small fish in an ocean at school! He has been doing problem sets on Friday nights, swim meets all day Saturdays, and realizing that even though the food is good and plentiful where he is, there is no place like home. J He is scheduled to come home for Thanksgiving; our holiday will have new meaning this year!!!
Hailey, our eldest daughter, is swimming at state next weekend. This will be her third time of swimming at the big house…this year is at Oakland U. She has done a good job so far—at conference her times for 100 back dipped into the 1:01’s which earned her the unique opportunity of painting her daddy’s toenails hot pink with blue polka dots. J It was quite a show!
Andrew finished his cross country season and is doing dry land conditioning for swimming. He is a diver, but keeping his options open. J He also is in the school’s musical of Footloose, opening in 3 weeks. His director wanted to know if any of the boys could do back flips as a part of the dance scenes, and although Andrew doesn’t know how, he decided it was time to learn. After a few attempts in the back yard, he was able to finagle a back handspring. Now he is attempting a back flip—I hope we can stay out of the ER until closing night!
Hannah and Amanda are still two peas in a pod. They are still homeschooling, much to my delight. Amanda is working a grade behind in reading, spelling and language, but is doing splendidly in the rest of her subjects. The two of them encourage each other to better things—Amanda was completing her spelling with better accuracy than Hannah at first; now Hannah is setting the curve. Amanda is amazing at math—she memorizes her facts and remembers them FOREVER. She and Hannah are working in the same book for AWANA this year—at the same pace, out-memorizing everyone else in their class. The biggest thing, however, is the imagination that Amanda has acquired! When she first came home, she would look at Hannah quizzically when Han would try to play house, my little ponies, etc. Now the two of them can be lost in “Imagination-land” for hours! Unfortunately, our house usually shows the effect of their imaginative play! J
Hope has been emerging from her shell more and more. My beautiful daughter has entered high school and is pulling straight A’s! Although she didn’t join any sports or groups this year, she has expressed an interest in joining the cross country team next year. Andrew has been very encouraging to her; she has also logged many miles with me this summer/fall! Although she sometimes tries to compete against herself and improve her times, she also uses the 1:1 time to just talk. I have connected more with my daughter while with our running shoes on than just about any other time. J Dave and I told her that when she finally gets the opportunity to go back to China and visit the Great Wall, she needs to be in shape to be able to walk it. She took us to heart and will either run on the road, on the treadmill, or do P90X in our basement. (If Tony Horton only knew!!!) I had the blessing of taking her 1:1 for a girls morning shopping trip this past Saturday. Although it was only to one store in the mall and grocery shopping, she was introduced to the fun of trying on beautiful clothing that we had no intention of buying, getting a makeover AND free makeup from the Clinique counter, AND lots of food samples since it was the weekend. Hope had told me in the past that her foster mom NEVER spent time with her 1:1—the eldest bio son was always there or she had work to do. She enjoyed 4 hours of mom-time, but more importantly, she allowed me to connect with her in a way she never allowed me to in the past.
Whew. It is therapeutic to journal! I hear about so many other people’s adoptions and their difficult times YEARS after homecoming. My girls are perfect for us—I have a connection with them that defies comprehension since they haven’t even been here for 2 years! Have there been tough times? YES!!! Even tonight Hope was short circuiting about going to a social event at our youth pastor’s house with her sister and brother. BUT>> through it all, God is glorified, we are edified and equipped to walk alongside another family who makes the FANTABULOUS choice to adopt.
Thank you for following up on us! I hope to share more soon!
All my best,