Saturday, July 31, 2010

How do you beat the heat???

It has been so HOT here!!!!  We are talking heat index's of 120 degrees people!! 

So what do you do when it is a bizillion degrees outside?

The neighborhood pool feels more like a bath tub and the Popsicles melt before you can even get the darn things open!

You can play inside, but after an entire day of playing treasure hunt, you begin to get a little stir crazy and the natives begin to get restless,  and when the inmates kids way outnumber the guards parents, it can get a little scary, ya'll!!!  Hehe!! 

So, you come up with another plan,

Who knew,

a bucket and a water hose could be so fun

but on a HOT summer day,

it was a beautiful thing!

What do you all do to beat the heat??

Monday, July 26, 2010

Soccer Camp

My eldest who is soon to be a "gulp" teenager, is (in this unbiased Mom's humble opinion - heh) a mighty good soccer player.  His position is goalie and boy does he know how to play this position.  We have been told that he has a natural ability to read the field and block those shots! 

It is a position that every Mom hates!  There is nothing more nervewracking than watching your child stand there as all the other players on the field desperately try to slam the ball as hard as they can into the goal and subsiquently at - your - child!  Then, if your sweet child happens to miss the block and let the shot in...

My hubby has already stated that if our kids play sports in highschool and college, his seat will be no where near this Momma Bear's seat!!!  Hehe!

Christian recieved a very special gift this summer.  He was given a week at a very well respected soccer camp.  It was a residential/commuter camp and it was a goalie camp!  He knew it would be a challenge.  We are talking 8:30 a.m. to 8:00 p.m. every day in 100 degree heat!  Yikes!  He wasn't staying the week, just commuting everyday, but for some reason, on his first day, I felt like I was sending him off to college and I didn't like it,

 Not one bit!

He looked so grown up.

 Kind of like a teenager!  sniff sniff!!

 He desperately did not want his picture taken

 and I got a lot of "Aw Mom's" from him that day.

Kind of like a, um, teenager, defintiely not like my adorable little boy who used to jump in front of the camera, any camera and beg to see the picture or video before it was even taken!!  He is way too cool for that now!

Hubby has always dreaded my empty nest syndrome and I have to agree, it is gonna be bad ya'll - way bad!  I had always hoped that once they were big stinky teenagers, (instead of cute little toddlers who think mommie can do no wrong) that I would be holding the door for them and turning their rooms into my own personal "mom cave" before they made it out of the neighborhood!

However, watching my own child turn into one of those stinky teenagers, I have to say that my first instinct was right - my empty nest - bad - way bad!!!   I mean, come on, I had a hard time sending him to a week long soccer camp!  When he goes off to college I think I might be the first ever 911 empty nest emergency call!!!  Course the only way that would help is if the paramedics were cute and cuddly toddlers!!

By the end of the week, Christian was exhausted with several new scrapes and bruises but he was proud of himself and felt as if he had accomplished something!  Me too!!  I was able to make it through the week, resisting the urge to load all the other kids up and drive out there - just to watch for a little while, you know, for only about 12 hours or so - every day!  Hey, it would have saved on gas money!!!  Hehe!!

For now, I think I will just keep appreciating any time that my almost 13 year old wants to spend with me and storing that up for when he doesn't. 

Today he left for his grandparents to spend a few days but this morning, he asked to walk the dogs with me and I treasured every single second of that walk (heat and all) and I stored it up.

I know the teenage years will be a bit rocky at times but I also know that I won't be holding the door open for them when they go and I won't be turning their rooms into my "mom cave." 

Well, maybe not for a little while anyway!!  LOL!

Sunday, July 25, 2010

Sunday Snapshot - Update

First of all I want to again thank everyone for all the encouraging and supportive comments on Our LITTLE Lizzie Sunday Snapshot that I posted back in June. 

It helped so much and helped me get her through the STEM test the very next day. 

I posted about it here

It took a while to find out the results of the test and as it turns out, Lizzie is not deficient in her growth hormone!! 

However, she is low in her IGF factor which we knew from her many (sigh) blood tests.  I was not quite sure how I was going to feel if her growth hormone test came back normal because Lizzie had (according to our doc) experienced "negative growth."

If she had been low in growth hormone, the doctor would have recommended a daily injection of a synthetic growth hormone.  A bit scary, right??

Even scarier to me, however, was the possibility that her GH might be fine and it was the IGF that was off, which would mean a recommendation of daily injections of a synthetic IGF drug.

Neither scenario was comforting to me but the Growth Hormone drug has been around for a very long time and it has been used for children for a very long time.

The IGF drug has only been around and used for kids for 6 years!!!! 

SIX years!!!!  That is like a hiccup in time as far as medicine goes and I did not want my little Lizzie to be somebody's guinea pig!!!

So.....  When I got the news, I really did not know how to feel about it all and started my research again and my list of questions for her Pediatric Endo doctor. 

Fast forward a bit to Lizzie 4 year old check up with our regular and wonderful Pediatrician.  This is a courageous woman who has had to talk me down MANY times!!!!  Hehe!!

The nurses weighed and measured Lizzie and we waited.  When Dr. C. came in her first words were, "Lizzie, you have gotten bigger!!"  Say what???

According to their measurements, Lizzie had grown 2 inches since we had been in there last! 

TWO INCHES!!!!  That is huge, people!!!!!

She was actually, just barely, by the skin of her teeth, ON the growth chart - the American growth chart!!!

Again, what???

I explained to wonderful Dr. C. that the Ped Endo doc told us that Lizzie had experienced "negative growth" and that she had better remeasure Lizzie herself!

She did and sure enough - TWO INCHES!!!!

WOW and what a minute here!!!

Lizzie's appointment with the Endo doc had been about a month before this visit (with the wonderful Dr. C.).  Had Lizzie grown 2 inches in a month???

I - don't - think - so!!!  That we would have noticed!

The only other explanation is that the nurse at the Ped Endo doc (you know, the GROWTH doctor), measured her wrong, and that the doctor recommended that awful STEM test for Lizzie based on those measurements!!!  UGH!!

I should have listened to my Mommie instincts on this one.  As soon as the Endo doctor said, "negative growth," I felt as if I had been blindsided.  I just knew she had grown, at least a little bit and this really threw me.  Now I know why!

Hubby thinks that I am dwelling on the negative and not the fact that Lizzie GREW TWO INCHES!!!!

I know he is right but I still have a hard time thinking about Lizzie going through that test when she may not have had to.  She has been through enough!

I am, however, very happy that she has grown and that we may not have to inject her tiny little body everyday and that she may not be at risk for any of the health problems associated with low GH.

She is still my little Lizzie and that's OK by me.

As they were leaving for their first dance class (soon after these appointments),

I was reminded of how small my tiny dancer actually is.  I honestly did not think I would be able to find tap and ballet shoes in her size, but I did and boy are they cute!!!

  The difference in the girls' size is so very apparent some days but,

it seems to work for them...

and they really do not like doing something new without the other!

Everything is an adventure with these two opposite ends of the spectrum - even the grocery store!

and I would not have it any other way!!!

Thank you again to everyone who offered words of support and wisdom!!!

To join in on Stefanie's Sunday Snapshot, go here:

Ni Hao Y'all

Friday, July 23, 2010

Ingenuity or Laziness???

You decide!!!

Who needs to waste breath,

when you have a fan???

I'm going with ingenuity - but - that's - just - me!!  Hehe

On a side note - is anyone else having issues with posting pics?  It seems like just the other day, it changed and I now have to wait for all the pics on the blog to load before I can upload new pics.  I hate it!!!  It takes sooooo long!  Any suggestions????  Thanks ya'll!!

Tuesday, July 20, 2010

Twirly Skirts and Rain Boots

These girls just make me smile:)

The fact that our back yard has been turned into a pond recently

did not stop the girls in their twirly skirts from sloshing around the puddles!

I never was a "fashionista"

I guess the apple doesn't fall far from the tree!  Hehe!!

Sunday, July 18, 2010

Sunday Snapshot - The story of my God given girls

About a month ago I was reading a post written by an adoptive mom who believes that God does not play a role of any kind in adoption.  She did not feel that God had had a hand in their child's adoption at all on any level. 

I read it.  I disagree with it but I read it and it got me thinking once again about God and how much I feel that having my girls (not just any girls, but Em and Lizzie) was all a part of His plan and how I almost screwed it all up!

I have not shared the story of how we came to have our girls, partly because it is a story that involves a surprise pregnancy and I know that many adoptive parents, some of whom may read my blog, have struggled with infertility and I do NOT want to hurt anyone who has struggled with that kind of heartache.

However, when I read that post, that particular post, I felt like I just had to share, because the story of my girls was what started me on the path of reexamining my faith, of figuring out just how I got to where I am (crazy most days but incredibly blessed) and where I my life is supposed to go.

First though, I have to start at the beginning. 

My brother was born with hands and feet very similar to my Lizzie's.  He has no fingers on his right hand and his left hand looks so much like both of Lizzie's hands.  He also has no toes on either foot, which at times was harder for him than his hands.  I can remember other kids and their comments and their stares and I can so vividly remember how desperately I wanted to protect him from it all but as a child, feeling so desperately helpless and inadequate in my big sister defense.  I think it was then that the seed was planted, although I was not to recognize it until so much later in my life. 

Fast way forward to my first pregnancy with our first son.  It was then that the subject of adoption first came up for hubby and me.  We talked about it as something that we wanted to do in the future, but during that first pregnancy, I began to get glimpses of that seed that had been planted so long ago.

Three beautiful boys later, the talk of adoption got more and more serious.  We had three wonderful little boys, wanted a little girl and wanted to adopt!  Perfect!

We selected an agency, selected a country and began our homestudy.

But the country was not China, it was Korea.

I do not like to fly.  You could say that I HATE to fly, so much so that we chose the country our daughter was to come from on the fact that I HATE to fly! 

It was great, you could choose to have your baby escorted to the United States and we would only have to make one short domestic flight, only I had doubts...

Not the kind of doubts that make you go, "Whoa, wait a cotton picking minute here,"

But the kind of doubt that festers, that allows you to continue on your chosen path but just whispers to you in the quiet.

Looking back, I know who was whispering to me but I still was not listening.

We forged ahead, even as I thought about and discussed with hubby the fact that in China, there are girls who are abandoned all the time for just being girls, but gracious goodness do you know how long that flight is???  Side note:  I now know how many boys are abandoned as well, but I was a China adoption dummy back then.

I can even remember one conversation about how we both wondered what a bio daughter of ours would look like, curly dark hair and brown eyes was the conclusion - yeah right!!!

But we continued to forge ahead, so much so that just a couple of months after submitting our paperwork, we received a referral!  We were shocked and elated and in love. 

Sung Hei was a very cute, non special needs, as young as possible Korean little girl with a ton of hair that stood straight up from her head!  We shared our joy with the world and just as we were beginning to choose a name for our new daughter, we got the surprise of our lives and our whole world got turned upside down.

We were not trying to get pregnant and were trying to avoid getting pregnant because we knew that getting pregnant would jeopardize our adoption plans, especially with Korea, but God had other plans for us and we were preganant.

One of those plans was that Sung Hei was not to be our daughter.  When Korea finally said that we could not proceed with the adoption, I was heartbroken.  The only thing that comforted me then was something that my very wise and very compassionate hubby told me.  He said that Sung Hei was never meant to be ours, that she was destined to be with another family, a family who perhaps was not quite ready and we just had to hold onto her for a little while and keep her safe while her true family got ready.  Boy do I love my husband!!!

God's other plan for us, His beautiful, wonderful, miraculous plan for us was...

Emmeline, our blond haired, hazel eyed joy!

I cannot imagine my life without this girl.  She is the sunshine in my day (most of the time - heh). 

She is my boy bathing suit (and underwear - usually batman or diego) wearing...

Ballerina and we are eternally grateful for the gift of her amazing spirit!!  She makes us laugh every single day and that is a gift!

His other plan for us was still in the works and He began to whisper to me again.

This time I began to listen, slowly at first but I did begin to listen.

When Em was about 1 year old, I began to research China a bit more and then I began to research special need children but I was still not letting myself really listen and we somehow ended up in a Vietnam Adoption program but again, I had doubts, serious doubts this time.  These were the kind of doubts that did make you go, "Whoa!  Stop the train! I wanna get off"  It was right around that time that the Vietnam program was coming under heavy fire and many ethical violations were discovered and we both began to question our decision. 

Just as all of this was plaguing our hearts, the whispers became louder and His voice became clearer and my focus turned to China and to China's waiting children.  I kept this to myself for a while because I just needed to, and then I began to test the waters with Hubby.  China, he was good with (he actually likes to fly - crazy I know), but special needs he was not sure about at all.  Even though he admires my brother tremendously, he was scared.  Scared, I think, about what it would do to his heart!

But the whispers didn't stop and I kept researching and eventually looking.  I began to start to figure out how the whole China thing worked and began to find agencies with waiting child lists and began to ask for passwords - and - I - looked!

One day, I was reading over some emails when I noticed one from an agency that I had not heard of before.  That agency was Lifeline and they had a waiting child list.  For some reason, I looked and what I saw took my breath away.

As I scrolled down the faces of all the precious children on their list, I saw her face,

The face,

The face that I had been searching for,

The face of my daughter, my beautiful daughter.

But there was a problem.  By her beautiful face were 2 little words, 2 little heartbreaking (for me) words,


OK, maybe I was wrong.  Maybe this was not my child, maybe I was not listening after all.

As I sat there and stared at her face, something inside me told me to inquire anyway.

With trembling hands, I emailed Lifeline and inquired and asked that if the family who had her "on hold" changed their minds, to please let me know and then I waited.

I waited all of about 5 minutes and received my answer, the answer I had been searching for, for I believe most of my life. 

The family who had her "on hold" had taken her "off hold" right before Lifeline received my email.

Now the whisper was loud and clear.

I asked Karla at Lifeline to send me her file and she did.

As I was looking again at Lizzie's beautiful face, I looked at the picture of her beautiful hands

and they were the hands of my daughter, the beautiful wonderful precious hands of my daughter.  They were familiar and I at that moment I understood.  I understood so many things in my life and I had answers to all the why's that had so far been unanswered.  I knew the path before me and I knew what I had to do - convince hubby.

I emailed Lizzie's file and pictures to hubby and waited,

Again, I did not have to wait long because...

As soon as he saw her face he knew she was his daughter and as soon as he saw her hands and feet, it did not matter, because she was his daughter.

Is God in adoption?

I believe He is.

How could I not?

I don't necessarily believe that Lizzie was born to be our daughter (although hubby does), but I do believe that I was born to be her mother and that God had been preparing me for that day for a very long time. 

Every time my brother suffered, He nudged me and prepared me and began to whisper.  I do not believe that my brother was born to bring Lizzie into our lives but I do believe God used my brother to shape my heart. 

I do not believe that Lizzie was abandoned to be my daughter but adandoned due to the very unfortunate circumstances in China and that God then brought her to us and that everything in my life up that moment helped me to recognize her face and her hands and helped me to bring my daughter home.

Thank you God for allowing me to hear you and helping me to finally listen.  I am still listening and am amazed at the path that has been laid out for me.  If you had told me even 13 years ago that I would be the mother of 5 kids and would travel to China with my 10 year old, my 8 year old (while leaving my preciuos 5 year old at home) and my 2 year old to bring home our other 2 year old, I would have told you that you were insane - and we nearly were (insane that is) by the time we got home - geesh!!!!

God was with me throughout Lizzie's adoption and the interminable wait and continues to be with me and all of my children and their wonderful Daddy and I pray that I will continue to listen and to truly hear what He tells me.  I can only imagine the blessings that will come, knowing the blessings that have already come!

To join in on Sunday Snapshots or to just read more (if ya can after this book of a post), go here:

Ni Hao Y'all