Monday, October 29, 2007

A Letter to Julia's Birth Family

I am posting this on both of my blogs. Where ever you are, I hope you have the chance to see this.

I know that I will not meet you on this side of heaven. This was the only way I could think of to tell you what is in my heart. I cannot imagine the emotions that you are experiencing as you prepare to give up your daughter so she can become mine. You are courageous and I love you. O know that you loved her enough to give her life. You loved her even more to hope for her things that you may not have. I want you to know that I love her. I do not know where she is right now. Somewhere in China you are loving her, and your heart is broken for the choice you must make. My heart is broken too. Your grief is a powerful thing. If I could wrap you in my arms to tell you thank you, I would. I am praying for you. I pray that the one true and awesome God of all creation will wrap you in his loving arms and be your comfort. I pray that He is your strength and your shield. I pray for your health and safety, and you will be in my heart for as long as I breathe on this earth. I want you to know that she will be safe. She is loved. She will have a mother and a father who love her and long to give her all that we are capable of. She will have older brothers and sisters who will cherish her as their little sister. She will be raised to know that she is Chinese born even though she will have full rights and status as an American. We will teach her about Chinese customs and culture to the best of our ability. I thank you for the gift of my daughter. We are working on the paperwork to be completed so that we can travel to get her. The estimates that we have been told are 2 or more years until we will see her. I promise you that we will not give up. As long as it takes, no matter what else happens, we will find her, and we will bring her home. Her name will be Julia Grace. If I could, I would tell her all about you. I know that we will not be able to meet. So I will tell her that you loved her enough to give her to me. Thank you for your gift and for your sacrifice.

Tuesday, October 23, 2007

The Brood Keeps Growing...

Well, parent teacher conferences and the grade reports came today. All A's (or the kindergarten equivalent) and all the teachers say we have terrific kids (Duh!). We have spent the last several months talking with the kids about responsibility, and earning the things that they want. Up until now, all of our pets have been family pets... alright, the dog is for Scott and the cats and birds are for me; but the point is the kids have been wanting their own pets. We set the standard of straight A's to get their own pet. They all earned it. They are responsible for the care, and keeping of them.

Joseph (age 6) now has his very own Beta Fish named Marlin.

Jacquelynne (age 9) and Jenna (almost 5) each have their own dwarf hamsters named Spirit and Sammy. Jacquelynne even said that she knows that she will be caring for Jenna's hamster.

I swore I would NEVER have a reptile. Never. Not gonna happen. I will not purchase crickets to eat.

Jackson (age 11) has a Bearded Dragon named Harry. (And, don't tell anyone, but it is kind of cute) However, I am still not purchasing crickets, that is all on Scott.

And as exhausting as it was to go to Petsmart with all our kids and purchasing assorted habitats, it was really fun. We got home and set up all the habitats, and put them in each of the kids' rooms (girls share a room so it worked out well). Everybody went to bed late, so sorry for the teachers tomorrow.

This is what makes family so much fun.

Monday, October 22, 2007

We finally got it started...

We have been planning this for over seven years. We have prayed, cried, planned, researched, and waited a very long time. Yesterday afternoon, we submitted our first batch of paperwork to adopt. We are planning on going to China to bring home our next child. Most likely it will be a girl, but a boy is possible; and most likely we will get a 2-3 year old, but a baby is possible too. Either way, God already knows the who, where, when and how. Originally, our plans would have already had us there and back by now. Jenna is turning 5 next month, and we really didn't want to space it out this much, but I trust in God's perfect plan for our family. I am learning to hand it over to Him, and trust. Of course, I have trusted in His will in the past, but this is just one more challenge to build my faith and when I finally hold my child in my arms, the time and prayer will be worth it. For now, we are content to call her Julia, and know that one day, she will fianlly be ours.

My Lots of Kids article for today:

Big Family???

Yeah, this is going to seem weird to some, and down right crazy to many, but I do not think I have a Big Family. OK, statistically, I have a larger than average family, but maybe the average is small, and my family is actually "normal." I know it is a stretch, but go with me for a minute.Our life has been blessed with four wonderful children, and yesterday we turned in the paperwork to begin the adoption process to bring home #5.

Our kids are like stair steps... 11, 9, 6, 4... one kid at a time, each unique and gifted and as individuals. Each one teaches me something different about myself, the world, and about the way God loves each one of us exactly the way we need it. They love each other, fight with each other, defend each other, and tattle on each other. It would be really quiet around here if even one was not here.

I have always known that I wanted a big family. Coming from a family with three children, my then boyfriend, now husband thought I was kidding when I told him that I'd like to have 9 kids. He has come around, and we both have agreed that we just take it one at a time, and we will add to the "bunch" when the time is right. We had each of our kids for a different reason... including a surprise, but we have known kids would be a big part of our lives. We enjoy the challenge and even the chaos.

I don't think I have a reason for choosing a "Big Family." My life has been blessed with children, and I pray that God continues to bless us with more children. If I can teach them to become responsible adults that do good for others, then I have done my job of leaving this world a little better than I found it.

Tuesday, October 16, 2007

Not me...

There is syrup in my keyboard. I usually type at a decent speed, but right now, I have to double check every "y" and "h" because those two keys are stuck together with syrup.


I knew you would ask that... because "Not me" must have eaten pancakes while playing on the computer.

Who is "Not me"?

I knew you would ask that too... "Not me" is my other child. The one I cannot see with my eyes, but leaves his/her mark all over my house. I know "Not me" lives here, because none of my visible children would leave blue marker on the basement wall, crumbs on my floor, or eat pancakes at the computer desk. It is all the secret work of "Not me."

"Not me" is a naughty little child. And now, every time I type a Y or an H, I get both letters on the screen. Ugh. Did you know that pancake syrup does NOT come out of keyboards? Nope, just have to get a new one.