Monday, August 11, 2014

Swimming….or not

It took Sarah a few times to warm up to the pool this summer but by the end of summer she was really enjoying it.  I decided to take her by myself one evening after Shane got home.  I thought it would be a  fun way to spend a little time and get her good and tired.  It was overcast whe we left the house but I thought it would be fine.  We stopped at Walgreens to get a floatie and it started to rain but it was just a quick shower and by the time we got to the pool it had stopped.  But then the clouds rolled in.  Fast.

I got her floatie on.  I put the ring around her. I sat her on the step of the pool.  She laid down and smiled really big.  And then it thundered.  Did it?  No surely not.  If I pretned it didn't maybe it wont again.  

Nope.  More thunder.  Have to get out.  Thirty seconds after she got in.  I looked at the girl working and gave her fair warning that this would not be pretty.  And it wasn't.  No way on earth to explain to my partially deaf, no language until 6 months ago child that the thunder she can't hear means we can't swim.  It's impossible.  Trust me.

This is what she looked like all the way home.




I let Shane take over once we got in the driveway because, well honestly because she had screamed for 10 solid minutes and mamma needed a minute.  This is how things went for him.



I know it's probably not great parenting to take a picture while your child is pitching a massive fit but you've either got to laugh or cry.  She was crying plenty so we just had to stand back and let it run its course.

She recovered and she has had plenty of swim time!


9 Months

She's been home 9 months now.

Here's what we've been up to.  July was a stay at home month.  The boys were back from their big trip.  Jenny had been to youth camp.  Will did go to Super Summer during that time but other than that we pretty much did a whole lot of nothing.

We played in the rain.  We walked out to the garage with Shane one morning and it was raining.  She kept  motioning to go out on the driveway and I kept telling her no and then I just thought "What the heck!"  She LOVED IT!!!





Will continues to amaze me with how natural and relaxed he is with her.  She adores him and squeals whenever he comes home.  He comfortable keeping her and is just so great with her.



This is how she rides in the car when he is next to her.

Watching TV- SportsCenter probably


Jenny wanted to take her to the Children's Museum so we hung out there one day.  She really enjoyed it!



My lefty!
She played so hard she fell asleep on the floor.  She was organizing her wipes one minute and was sound asleep the next!



Her brother and sister dressed her up again- at least she doesn't look like a gangsta this time.



She watched Will weed eat the yard and fell asleep watching TV with Jenny.  This time it was probaly Little Couple on the TV.  





She painted.  Her face.


And then a tile at the ceramics shop.

Lefty!
She conitnued with her gym class.  To say she enjoys this would be a lie.  She LOVES it!  Everytime we pass the shopping center it is in she cries. She has really come very far and for the most part follows the directions.   Her precious teacher Mr. Jemarcus has gone back to school now so we will see how that transition is but I am very glad we attempted this this summer.  It makes me feel good about how she will do in school.  It took her a few weeks but she got the routine down really well.  She only went once a week and we missed a couple of classes so I know going several days a week at school she will get it even faster.  Physically she is doing really good too!  She is jumping and running with no problem and can even jump and twist around.  So proud of how far she has come!




Will and Jenny finished up the summer good too.  Jenny had a date with her daddy!
She has grown up so much this summer!
Will had his first college visit!  Gracious!  It wasn't an official visit, but we tagged along on a business trip to Birminghm with Shane because Will wanted to look around.  We introduced him to Mr. Beeson.


As we walked around Samford I texted Shane, "I am walking around my old college showing my teenager around while pushing a stroller with my Chinese baby in it.  Life is funny!"

He answered, "Yes. Yes it is."

It's also good.  Hard, busy, but very, very good.








Saturday, July 19, 2014

Encouragement

I've been a little bummed this week.  We have entered the great unknown as far as the wait for Emily goes.  We are 16 days into our LOA wait.  Sixteen of how many.  Who knows?  Last year for Sarah it was 42.  That is very fast, especially for last summer.  Last year the central authority in China underwent a major database change and it was, in a word, disastrous.  We somehow managed to skirt past that and came out just as things straightened out and started working again.  Things are working fine now but wait times tend to cycle.  I don't really understand why but they definitely do.  You will see several weeks or months of LOA waits in the 40-50 day range and then it will get a little longer and a little longer and then suddenly it corrects itself.  Who knows?!  The fact of the matter is though that right now they are stretching between 70-90 days.  Almost twice as long as last year.  Once you get LOA you travel about 10 weeks later.  The days add up quickly and we are looking at Christmas at least.  I have prayed that somehow our whole family could go.  I have prayed for her heart to be prepared.  The thought of her waiting that much longer hurts my heart but maybe she needs that time.  It's just been a little discouraging this week.

Until…..

One of the most precious things about adoption is the relationships with other adoptive mammas out there.  We just "get" each other.  The best thing this time around is that Emily's orphanage is a long time partner with Lifeline and many people are matched from that orphanage.  I have been able to send several letters to her and that has been so nice.

 This past week a precious Mamma was headed to China to get her sweet son who is from Emily's orphanage.  She was taking a letter and some stickers for her from us.  I knew what day she was going and so I woke that morning wondering if maybe she had messaged me.  Goodness knows she had way more to deal with than my letter but I checked anyway.  All of a sudden a message popped through!  A message with this precious picture.



Not only a picture but a reiteration of what everyone who meets her says.  She is sweet and soft spoken and precious.  And not only that but a letter.  A Letter!!!  From her!  She wrote us back and it is the most precious thing I own right now.  I am holding it close but I can tell you it did my heart good.  I have been doing some reading on teen adoption and it is deep, hard stuff y'all.  We are peaceful and are preparing and we are not under the delusion that because she is sweet that it won't be hard but this little letter just made things ok for today.  I can not wait to love her  in person.  She deserves that.

We are encouraged by her level of care.  The nannies at this orphanage are so good and we here nothing but good things.  She always looks cute and taken care of.  It is just a different experience for sure!  But she needs to come home.  She needs PT and school and her mamma and daddy.

I am so thankful that the Lord hears the cries of a mother's heart and has without fail during both adoption given us just what we needed.  It is such an exercise in trust and faith.  He is stretching us!  

  

Saturday, July 12, 2014

8 Months

Eight month sure flies by fast when you are in the thick of life.  And that's what it feel like right now.  It isn't always easy but we have a front row seat to what God is unfolding not just in Sarah's life but in all three, four, of our kids lives.  June- July have been busy and fun.  We've kept fairly busy but have had planty of lazy summer days.  We hit some MAJOR milestones in Emily's adoption.  It's been a good summer!

We started off June with a BANG!  VBS was so much fun and Sarah did great in her class.  We have been putting her with the 3 yr olds at church and that seems to be working well.  

The best part of VBS though?!?!?  Our precious church raised over $4,000.00  for the new foster home Lifeline is opening for the kids from Sarah's orphanage.  We were so blessed to be able to share about those children in church and our church responded in a huge way!  We are blessed and humbled and grateful!  The foster home is scheduled to open this week so keep that in your prayers!


Boys and Girls were dead even!

Next up, Sarah "ran" in her first 5K.  Actually she was pushed in a stroller by her Aunt Cam and uncle Josh but you know… it counts!  Sarah went to the Flash Dash with them while we took Will and Jenny to see Tim Hawkins.  Fun was had by all that night!

  

Sarah has continued with her gymnastics and is doing great, pretty good, getting better, getting in some good practice on her listening skills as well as gymnastics skills.  Girl still can't find the Big, Green wall and she can do a mean front roll.

On your belly Sarah- or not- whatever


We said goodbye to our boys for 16 days during June! Shane and Will spent 16 days in New Mexico on the Philont Scout ranch.  I have known this was coming since before we even started the proess for SArah so I had been praying for almost 2 years about those 16 days.  We did just fine and Sarah even slept pretty good. I was sure happy to see them home though!!  


Sarah also had her first taste of the ice cream man when a new ice cream truck made an appearance in the neighborhood.  Jenny was thrilled as well and used her quick math skills to figure an ice cream treat into her daily sugar/carb/insulin balance.

Enjoying the ice cream truck treats.

We played at the park with cousins.



And made a few early morning runs for biscuits.



We finally made it to the pool and Sarah has slowly learned to like it.  I can't imagine what was going through her head the first time.  You can see her clinging for dear life to Jenny.  But she has warmed up to it and squeals when we pull out her swim suit.



This was her favorite spot for awhile
While the boys were gone we made a road trip to Collins mississippi.  I know, living on the edge!  We went to the water park for the day and then drove over to Hattiesburg and spent the night in a hotel.  We ordred pizza, swam in the hotel pool and watched TV.  It was a fun, little road trip with my girls!




Sarah got new pink, sparkly crocs and to say she was thrilled would be an understatement.  They don't fit with her AFOs so we mostly use them for the pool or a quick errand but she has gotten better at walking in them and she just loves them!  


She went to her first MS Braves game.  In her pigtails no less! Her hair has finaly gotten long enough to put in pigtails and I love it!!




We had a special treat this month too!  One of the biggest blessings of our adoption journey has been the new friends we have made.  These relationships have been invaluable to me especially.  Most of these frienships have been "cyber" in nature.  Finally we were able to all get together.  We will add another sweet face to this group in just a few weeks!!  And then Emily will join in as the big kid this fall hopefully!

This was the best we could do


Fourth of July was so much fun.  We spent the fourth at home (and at the ER- Will popped himself in the eye HARD with an exercise rubber band making what should be a round pupil really really not round.  All was well though.)  We ate and played outside and watched fireworks later that night. It was a fun, family day.

Making Blueberry muffins

Enjoying the muffins out on the porch.  The weather was fabulous!

Corn on the Cob!  Even with no front teeth she can do a number on the corn!

Swinging with Daddy!

Legos with Daddy!

Sarah discovered the joy of poppers!

Fireworks!  She is still not sure how she feels about fireworks but she tolerated them for us.




It was a fun month full of lots of firsts.  She has made some big leaps in her language and I will post about those separately.  For now, I will leave you with what is my favorite picture from the last month.

 


Happy summer y'all!









Monday, July 7, 2014

A HUGE Leap towards China

It has been a great few days around here!!  We had a great fouth of July weekend and enjoyed being with our family!

Just a few days before that we got a great surprise!  Lifeline had sent a team to Maoming and I sent a small care package with them.  I emailed our SW and asked if I could just make sure she had gotten it.  She did way better than that and sent me 2 videos of our girl getting her package and reading our letter. To here her sound out "Mishishippi"  was too precious. It was not only so great to see and hear her voice it was confirmation to us that she can read Chinese characters. Our precious girl is only alloowed to go to school at the orphanage and so she is a class with younger kids.  The sweet nanny that was with her while she was reading it helped with a few words and encouraged her and gve her a big thumbs up when she finished.  I'm so happy she is being taken care of.  It is an entirely differernt expierence this time around!

Here are some screen shots from the video we got.




And then today we got a very important email!!!  I had a good feeling about today!  We found out we are offiially logged in China!  We were actualy logged in on July 3 so we are already 4 days into our next wait.  Yep!  From one wait to the next and this is a yucky one but I am excited to have four days behind us without even knowing it!  We were logged in last year on 7/8 so we are just ahead of Sarah's timeline.

Its been an exciting few days.  Please pray for our sweet girl.  Pray for her heart as she ponders over our letters and pictures.  I can only imagaine how she is feeling and I am praying for peace for her heart.  Please pray with us!