Monday, October 29, 2012

~*Delightfully Mortifying Acts of Curiousness*~

We headed back to church last night for the first time with all our littles.  Every child is so different, yet we know our family and we know our newest littles...any sooner would have been too soon for going to church. 

We've encountered many families that are back with their new ones the first weekend home...that has not been our journey. Slow and steady is our motto!

The first person to come up to Dalton wanted to shake his hand and he grew very nervous and vigorously shook his head and his hands NO!  She understood and backed away a bit.  Another person touched the back of Analina's neck and she was downright peeved off!  Girlfriend whipped her head around and stuck her nose up in the air and went "Hmmpfff"!  I did request she apologize, because while we understand being nervous, we do not condone rudeness.

We should have been more vocal with our church family about the need to be completely hands off with our children.  Including hand shaking and hugs.  The new ones did receive a hug each as they left and by then were much more comfortable (and they KNEW we were leaving!) and we so appreciate how our church adores our children, so many have had a personal hand in bringing them home!

We truly loved being back at church for even just the evening service.  We have missed being filled up and fellowshiping with others!

So...moral of the story?  

If you see our blessings please be hands off and respect their need for space.  If they do come up to you please understand that they do not yet understand appropriate boundaries and may "pet" your arm, lift your shirt or skirt, or some other delightfully mortifying act of curiousness!  I will gently correct them....and work with them at home to stop petting the cashier's arm at Sams Club, lifting strangers garments, etc...

Sooo glad that ya'll understand!  The poor animal control lady who was over the other day (for a neighbors loose dog) was a bit shocked at being petted by one of my little ones....she's use to do the petting!  

Still working on their fear level...oh how far they've come!

Psalm 91:5
You will not fear the terror of night,
    nor the arrow that flies by day 
   

Thursday, October 25, 2012

~*Sylvia*~

We've added another member to our ever growing family.

Her name is Sylvia.

I haven't gotten to know her so well, yet, however, my sweet husband tells me she has a bit wild side to her.  She has quite the get up and go!  

Would you like to meet her?  



We plan to spend some quality time with her to get to know her a bit better!

(For those who don't know; its a Nissan NV)

 

Wednesday, October 24, 2012

~*Big D*~

Ahhhhh!

You hear that?  

That, my bloggy friends, was me, taking a breath. 

I hadn't realized it but I was holding my breath!

Ahhhhh...big sigh...big breath...

My, oh my, you've come so far my sweet, sweet son!  We are just now starting to get a peek at who you really are!

Finding flowers for Mommy!

Here's a pretty flower for you Momma! 
  
You were downright terrified when you first came here.  
You lacked self-confidence.
You were so unsure of everyone and everything.
You drew all your comfort from Daddy....not even Grandpa could keep you from being scared and trying to head for the hills when we were having baby Donovan!  

Look how far you've come!

You absolutely love when I give you random hugs and kisses and tickle you!  You love holding the door for me and you know it makes me happy to see you clean things up!

You are speaking more and more English and it is so cute to hear your husky little voice dictate everything we say!  

Your anxieties are lessening and your becoming more confident in familiar environments.  It is such a delicate balance, though, because around others you are so nervous. 
Watching Daddy and the bigger's use power tools!

A little nervous with all the noise!

We are so proud of you, Big D!

Much love,
Mama!
 

Sunday, October 21, 2012

~*Menu Plan Monday*~

I always get requests for menu ideas and now that we have a large family I find myself googling menu ideas for larger bunches! 

Here's how we're feeding this crew the next 2 weeks.  Some things we still have in the freezer but now I'm to the point of having to cook and bake (it was a nice month off!) but we're still in transition with this menu so don't mind the cheater chips, crackers etc...We'll get back to less processed in the next menu!

Chili, cornbread, salad
Burritos, veggies,cornbread
Hamburgers, chips, fresh veggies
White chicken chili, rolls, veggie
Tacos, cornbread, veggie
Sloppy joes, chips, fresh veggies,
Split pea soup and rolls
Salmon burgers, veggie, sweet potato fries
Meatball subs, chips, fresh veggies,
Chicken, veggie, rolls,
Pasta, garlic bread, salad
Waffles, eggs, applesauce
Pancakes, eggs and applesauce
Baked tators w/chili, salad

Lunches:
Mac & Cheese (x2)
Soup (x2)
Spaghetti-os/Ravioli's (x2)
Tuna (x2)
Sandwiches (x2)
Wraps (2)
Leftovers (x2)

Breakfast:
Oatmeal
Baked Oatmeal
Eggs/Toast
Sunbutter Toast or SB Banana Sandwich
 Homemade: Bread, Poptarts, Muffins, Coffee Cake,
Homemade Granola
Breakfast Casserole
Yogurt Banana Splits
Bullseyes (egg in bread)

What's on your menu?

~*One Month*~

Its actually been more than one month but who's counting, right?  

Donovan turned one month weighing in at just under 10lbs and grew a full 2".

The China blessings have been home for one month and have both settled in and are truly coming out of their shells.  There's some growing pains, though, as they figure out their places in the family, deal with anxiety and orphanage behaviors, and realize they are here to stay and are loved!


Starting tomorrow I'll be posting an update on each of them....

Have a great weekend!

 

Wednesday, October 17, 2012

~*No Such Thing*~

I don't know about you but I do not believe there are coincidences in this world.  More on this in a minute.  

I had the blessing last night of attending a Titus 2 conference led by the Maxwell family.  It was the quickest conference they've ever planned (24 hours notice) but it had a nice turnout and we came away so blessed! 

I have a blog post coming about how I was inspired later.

Now, back to "coincidence" I experienced last night...I'll be honest it was purely prophetic that 6 months ago I was walking down a random dirt road near my home on a 5 mile walk with my (then) 4 children when, what appeared to be, a random man pulls his car over and excitedly tells me about himself, his family (about to gain a diverse set of grandchildren) and asks about our, obviously, trans-racial family and offers to allow us the use of the trails on his property.  Now, as sweet as the offer was we never had the opportunity to take this man up on it.

Last night a beautiful lady, expecting a wee one in just a few weeks, randomly comes up to speak with me and asks me where I am from upon hearing where I live she tells me she grew up in the same town.  In the course of conversation her fathers name comes out and I tuck away the name for future reference.  As I sat there in the conference the Lord was working in my heart and mind to connect the dots.  

**DING** 
Dots connected and I sought this young lady out after the first conference session to ask her if her father was that random man.  She looked at me like I had 2 heads and must have thought I was a nutcase as I asked her if her parents lived on that random dirt road.  

They were one in the same.
Wow! 
I still cannot believe that 6 months ago this random man excitedly tells me about his coming grandchildren (from an African country and another homegrown one). I have wondered about this family of his but never had the chance to learn more...until now!  

Isn't God funny?

There is no such thing as a coincidence in this world!      

Saturday, October 13, 2012

~*Color Me Confused*~

There are words once used by our elders that are no longer relevant in today's society; words that are simply outdated and need to be put to bed.  One of those is the reference of "colored" for African heritage individuals.

We live in small town America...Michigan refers to itself as the Midwest (although no one else seems to refer to it as such)...our little town is pleasant and we enjoy living here.  It is predominately Caucasian and we love bringing some diversity to the sea of peach we are surrounded by.

That being said there was an interesting exchange between the cashier and myself (Why is it *always* a cashier this type of exchange happens with?). She was commenting on the food we were buying and remembered the food I bought a month ago before little D. was born...she didn't particularly like our choices, apparently, because it did involve a bit of junk...(we added 3 children at once I will  not apologize for the fruit snacks and canned soup on the conveyor belt!)...but the main reason she remembered me?  Because I was in the store with "them colored kids".

As almost all adoptive parents will tell you, we normally interject a bit of education toward the person making the uneducated comments, yet, this time I just didn't have the time available.  Said cashier made a few more comments, including a few regarding our family size (only 4 out of 7 were with us at the time).  

"Them colored kids"

The mama-bear in me gets all grumbly and the hackles go up.  Just like that.  

I wasn't offended in that sense.  Actually, I felt bad she wasn't more comfortable with our diversity...At first, I thought she was trying to come up with something polite but as she talked more and more I realized she truly wasn't trying to be nice or kind.  

The term "colored" truly is outdated and needs to be put to bed.  Its old, its uneducated, and "them colored kids" are my babies!  

I don't care if they grew in my womb and played soccer with my bladder, grew up in a Detroit suburb in a house where withholding food was used as punishment, or an orphanage in China that had no heat in the winter (none of them do).  They are all my babies!  

I'm confused as to why they can't just be called children...who cares what spectrum of the rainbow their skin tone favors!

As a sweet friend pointed out "red, yellow, black and white; they are precious in His sight"!         

Sunday, October 7, 2012

~*First Family Outing*~

With six children to get through our one bathroom morning and night, for teeth and restroom stops, things were getting pretty wild and chaotic. 

I set new expectations for the children and gave them a goal to reach.  The treat for reaching that goal was a visit to Michigan's best ice cream parlor, Moo-Ville Creamery.  

We decided to include our favorite local apple orchard in on the deal for our fave Jonagold apples, donuts and cider.  Due to the crazy Michigan weather we had this last Spring and Summer there we were unable to pick the apples ourselves.  While we were sad to hear this and what it meant for our local orchard I think it was for the best for our larger than average family.  The night was fun but overwhelming for our Analina.  

In this crazy small world we discovered that the owners wife is Aunt Bev...no, not *our* Aunt Bev. but the sweet Aunt of a family friend!  They delighted our family by buying the cider and donuts for us!  What a wonderful blessing!

Being the horrible tourist we always are we brought the camera and never got off a shot!  With seven children its hard to do that sometimes!  (With two of them always darting off without a care in the world!)  

Thanks, Aunt Bev, for the pictures and the cider and donuts!  We will be back, as always, many more times! 

Bathroom break! We're missing a few faces!

Missing just Dad!

There's everybody! Thanks Aunt Bev!
         

Saturday, October 6, 2012

~*How's it Going Really?*~

Whoa!  
Lets just say that things have been intense!
In many good ways and in a few challenging ways.

Our little princess, Peanut, is definitely a royal pain...joking, of course, however, all the "two year old" stuff that is typical she is finally just now getting around to doing....Oh, yes, the hitting has commenced, along with biting, pinching, shoving, yelling "NO", etc.  There are many sweet moments, though!  She surprises us, at times, with her amazing love for others (before she hits!).  She is, also, the only reason we ever get up before 7 a.m. She is in the middle of potty training and what a sweet little one she is! She was so ready and I am glad we waited!

Trying to do bunny ears...CUTE!

Holding baby Dono for the first time! (Ignore my older sons dirty legs! Sheesh, take a bath kid!)

Kiss the baby!

Sleepy little girl!
 
Donovan is doing fantastic despite some wicked reflux, gas, and the dreaded projectile vomiting.  His symptoms are not as severe as Peanuts were but he is in incredible pain, at times, and we need to know what is causing is discomfort! He actually slept for 7 hours straight the other night; while Peanut was up every 2!  At least Donovan was kind enough to sleep well!  Overall, he's the sweetest little guy who has some wicked tummy pain!





Sunshine varies between being a leader (a very bossy one, at times) and playing the victim for gentle correction (for being a bit too bossy).  When he is full of confidence he's such a huge helper and friend to these new little ones and when he's struggling and "stuck" in his behavior he isn't the most pleasant.  Praise God the good has far outweighed the bad moments!



Analina is full tilt all the way!  She hobbles (girlfriend can't run) and laughs with full abandon outside and LOUDLY bosses everyone who might possibly be in her way.  She truly expects everyone to stop everything for her!  Also, she is way too open with strangers and that, my friends, is scary stuff! She knows no boundaries and needs to learn them.


On the upside, Analina, is firmly attached to Mama and cries whenever I leave (which has happened only twice since I don't get out much).  She is very loving with us and is working on learning her place in the family...and its not as the leader of pack...sorry sweetie!



Dalton is very slowly opening up.  He is taking a bit longer time to attach and, honestly, that tells me that his caregivers set the bar pretty high to get into his little heart.  My sweet boy is coming out of his shell more and more with Mama and learning to be himself.  Silly, sweet, and so super smart! (Alliteration fans eat your heart out!)  


The more English he speaks in a day the more comfortable he feels....if he is using little to no English then we know he's having a rough day.  One of his most anxious times of the day (x3) is meal time.  He is always very anxious about mealtime...I can't tell you why, yet, because it could be many reasons but it makes sense to us.



Kitty and J.J. have had a few days of resentment toward all these new ones...once the honeymoon period was over we noticed the attitude creeping into their hearts.  I understand it completely and after a good heart-to-heart-to-heart they realized what they had been doing and things are going so much smoother!




Me?
Ouchie!  
This c/section is finally healing up on the outside (incision), yet, if I bump it a tiny bit (like while attempting to wash dishes) I hurt so badly!  So, while I hit the ground running for the first 10 days I am now slowing down.  I should be right?  Hard to do when you've got 7 sweeties and you just want to run and play! This is one of my favorite times of year, too!  

Devin? 
How could I leave my main man out?
Three weeks apart is way too much and I never want to do that again!  We work so much better together and we are completely loving having this big family!  What an amazing gift we have been given!

James 1:17
Every good and perfect gift is from above, coming down from the Father of the heavenly lights, who does not change like shifting shadows.