Archive for December, 2015

  • Jasmine’s Blog – Why Mommy and Daddy Want to Adopt Me?

    Date: 2015.12.23 | Category: Jasmine's Blog

    In China people say I can not get adopted because I can not walk. But one day they told me that a family did want to adopt me. Mommy and daddy thought I had spina bifida, but the paperwork was wrong. I have something else.

    When mommy and daddy see me on adoption day they thought I had muscular dystrophy. After mommy and daddy meet me I was really worried that they would take me back to the orphanage. The nannies told that when my mommy and daddy saw me they would take me back because I can not walk. In China you have 24 hours to decide if you want to keep the kids or not.

    But mommy and daddy didn’t take me back to leave me there. They took me back to the orphanage to hand out clothes that mommy and daddy had brought for the kids. The kids were so happy when I handed out the clothes. It was so much fun!

    I come America and I have back surgery for my scoliosis. After they did a muscle biopsy, the doctors know I have spinal muscular atrophy (SMA).

    When I was in China, I thought no one could love me because I couldn’t walk or do anything. But after that I tell mama and she said, “She doesn’t love me because I can do anything.” Mama said that she fell in love with me the first time she saw my face. Daddy said the same thing.

    Before they saw my face, mommy and daddy had said they would not adopt older kids. They said they wouldn’t adopt anyone over 4 because it wouldn’t work in the family. But mommy and daddy saw my face and fell in love and thought God was saying “that is your daughter”.

    Because mommy and daddy love me they adopt me, not because I can walk. They adopt me because they love me. Mommy and daddy went very far to come adopt me.

    In China, mommy and daddy take me shopping and out to eat. I didn’t talk to daddy very much because I was a little afraid. The boys I knew in China were mean. They not nice to talk to. I talk to mommy because she is so funny. I didn’t understand what Cassie and mommy were saying but they were so funny. They make me laugh because they singing songs like potty time.

    One time in China mommy and daddy dance. They so cute. I knew daddy was silly and he is ok because he dance with mama.

    I didn’t know very much English so I couldn’t understand. I learned to say and sign “eat, potty, drink, and thank you”.

    This year has been hard for me because I think mommy and daddy will leave me too. I think it would be better if everyone else hate me so my heart won’t hurt again. I try to make everyone mad. Mommy and daddy said they know I do this because I am afraid they are going to leave me so I want to leave first.

    But now I know mommy and daddy won’t leave me because I said bad things and made everyone mad but they still love me and forgive me.

    I believe I have a purpose and God has a plan for me. I don’t know what all I will do yet, but I know He has plan.

    Sometimes it is hard for me and I get jealous that my sister can walk and do things like have a boyfriend and go shopping and out to movies. But sometimes I think she has her own life and I have my own life too. Jealousy is not good though. It just makes you really, really mad. Mama say it is ok to get mad but you can’t be mean to anyone else.

    Sometimes when I hear people say something, I think people mean one thing and they didn’t really say that. I let me get really mad and I shouldn’t do that. I should ask people what they said and be sure. God doesn’t want me to get really mad and be mean. He wants me to trust.

    Sometimes if you are sad you should talk about it because that way you won’t be mad all day long. Talking to mommy and daddy helps. You can play games with your sisters or do something else to take your mind off of it. They understand.

    Everybody has problems they go through and lots of people have it worse than me. I have to see the good stuff in my life.

    The last couple months I have been really mad and thinking I shouldn’t write my blog any more. I think I don’t have anything to say. I just being mean to everyone. I am mad and sad.

    Mama says I can do whatever I want to do. I decided I want to write my blog so other people understand what it is like to be older when adopted and what it is like to not be able to move. I realized that there are lots of people who are worse off then me. They don’t have food, or a house, or a family that loves them.

    I have a power wheelchair. If my stuff breaks, mommy and daddy will fix it. Mommy and daddy came to adopt me and gave me lots of brothers and sisters. I have a silly mommy and daddy. I have lots of brothers and sisters who help me do stuff. They all take care of me because they love me.

    I know why mommy and daddy adopt me…because they LOVE me!

     

  • LOVE in AcTioN!!!!

    Date: 2015.12.20 | Category: Adoption, Family Life

    I have noticed over the years that my feelings toward Christmas have changed.  Obviously when you are a child it is all about the presents.  You can’t wait to wake up on Christmas morning to see what is under the tree.  As you get older it changes, some of the excitement of the season seems to be lost.  You head into your twenties and it’s much the same.  You get married, have children, and some of the joy comes back.   You look forward to their anticipation of those early mornings when they are so excited to see what is under the tree.

    Christmas pic

    As we started our adoptions, my feelings changed even more.  Our journey with Christ had become so much more meaningful and Christmas became about so much more than gifts given to others on the day of Christ’s birth.

    We went a little crazy that first Christmas after adopting Ben and Maisey and then again when we adopted Lainey, Jasmine, Evie and Eli.  We were trying to make up for Christmas’ missed.  It was eye opening when our newly adopted kids were clearly overwhelmed by the toys.  They were more interested in the food, the pretty lights, decorating the tree, and being with family.  I started to think about why we shop and spend so much.  Does anyone even remember it a few months down the road?

    This year, I have cut way back on the decorations.  I have hung pretty lights because the kids love them.  I got rid of my tree with all the perfectly matched ornaments and just put up the kids tree with its ornaments strewn every where.  I let them play with the ornaments.  I let them mess with the branches.  I didn’t put out my nativity set that is breakable.  I donated many of the items I once held so dear.

    We asked our middle girls what they want for Christmas.  Their answer?  Their brother and sister home.  That’s it.  They don’t want us to spend money on them.  They just want Jessica and William home.  When we got our LOA (letter of acceptance) they were ecstatic and said it was the best Christmas present ever.

    We have cut way back on gifts for the littles too.  When you buy so many toys, your house can get easily overrun.   I realized this even more, a couple months ago, when I hit my limit and bagged up all their toys.  I put the toys up and told them they had to show they were responsible to get them back.  I told them I was tired of constantly asking them to pick them up .

    They got to pick one toy back each day.  As long as they put it away where it went, they would get another one the next day.  After the third day, they didn’t care anymore.  They each picked a hotwheel car to play with on their track, their Paw Patrol pet and one other random toy that had meaning for them.  That is all they wanted.  It’s all they truly needed.  I noticed their free play time went way up.  They were able to run more because the floor wasn’t covered in little toys. It had only been a week and they couldn’t remember what was in the bag anymore.  What an eye-opening moment.

    For Christmas they are going to get one big toy for the boys to share and one for the girls to share.  We have implemented the one thing you want, one thing you need, one thing to wear, and one thing to read.  They’ll get p.j.’s (what they need), they will get a personalized t-shirt this year (something to wear), a book (something to read), and the one big “want” item to be shared by all.

    They look forward to the traditions we have started.  Breakfast for supper on Christmas Eve, in our new p.j.’s, watching a Christmas movie.  We have a personalized shoe box that they open on Christmas Eve that holds their p.j.s, and some treats to enjoy during the movie.  These are the things they are going to remember.  They may or may not remember what toys we bought, but they will remember these times spent together as a family.

    I’ve been thinking  a lot about this this year because so many people have asked me “Are you done with your Christmas shopping yet?  I bet it takes forever.  Wow!  I can’t imagine how many presents you have bought.”  When I tell them I am done with presents because we keep it very simple, they think it isn’t possible.  The reality is that these past two years have been the easiest shopping years ever.  We truly have simplified. We don’t worry about the biggest, newest gadgets and out doing anyone else.  We are keeping it simple and that in turn keeps our minds where they should be – on Christ!

    Give more of yourself this Christmas.  People would rather have your time than a gift.  Just ask your mama.  She doesn’t need a new coffee pot or the newest gadget, she wants time with you.  This is why I love the phrase that Love Without Boundaries has implemented this holiday season “Love in Action”.

    I tell my children this all the time.  Love is a verb.  Love requires doing.  Words are cheap.  Your actions speak louder than words.  What are your actions saying about what you love and value at Christmas?

    Please+help+this+holiday+season

    Help an orphan in need.

    Take a meal to a neighbor.

    Purchase a gift from an Angel tree or for Toys for Tots.

    Spend time with someone who feels alone.

    Serve a meal at a local mission.

    Support a family that is adopting or fostering.

    Shop for someone who is shut in.

    Brighten someone else’s day.

    The list of verbs is endless.

    Give of yourself.

    Find the true meaning of Christmas.

    From our family to yours – Merry Christmas!

  • Wish Me Luck

    Date: 2015.12.14 | Category: Adoption, Jasmine's Dream, Jessica, William

    One of the fun things you get to do, as a family that is waiting, is send care packages to your child. After a certain time in the process, your agency will allow you to do this. The agency will send you the address and you are allowed to send small toys, clothes, and other items. We have always enjoyed doing this, spending time shopping for just the right gifts to hopefully show we care.  We love trying to guess what their personality is like and find just the right gift.
     
    The problem is that none of our children, except Jasmine and Maisey, have received their gifts. I have no idea why they never received them. They may have been lost in the mail or customs or maybe someone took them. I don’t know but it is frustrating just the same. Jasmine was the only child who came with any of the stuff we gave her. We received Maisey’s disposable camera 2 1/2 years later from Show Hope when they found it at the orphanage in a drawer. We had no indication that Maisey had received anything else from us.
     
    Its frustrating because you send pictures and letters. You want them to know your family and be prepared, at least a little, when they meet you.  You take the time to pick out those special gifts and hope that they feel the love you are sending.
     
    Today Jasmine mentioned the letter than Dan had sent her.  She was talking about how much it meant to know that her daddy loved her and thought she was beautiful.  (Jasmine’s Letter)She said she reread that letter over and over again as she waited for us. Elyse said it must have been nice to get a letter like that. It was then that I realized Elyse never got our care package. We had sent her jewelry, hair accessories, clothes, toys, and tons of pictures and letters from everyone.
     
    I never even thought about it when we met her because Elyse did come with her locket and some of our family pictures. That locket and those pictures were hand delivered by another adoptive mama who had just adopted her daughter. I am thankful that there are other adoptive parents who are willing to ask for and carry items to the children who are still waiting. Thank you Krista for doing that for us. If you are adoptive parents who will travel soon, put the message out in the families of _____ orphanage Facebook groups.   I’m positive other parents will appreciate it too.
     
    Luckily, Dan had typed the letter and it was still saved on his computer. Today his little girl got to read how much her daddy loved her before he even met her. He told of falling in love with her sweet face when he saw her picture for the first time. He told her how much he loved hearing her sing and how he couldn’t wait to get her home to be his daughter forever. She cried reading these words. Her foster father didn’t treat her well. She thought she deserved this kind of treatment until she met Dan. She had no idea that she should be adored and loved just for who she is. She couldn’t grasp the unconditional love of a father when we adopted her. Elyse knows what that means now and this letter is just one more thing that proves she has always had worth and she will always be loved.
     
    I have heard that the orphanage that Jessica is in is hit or miss with packages.  Some people have said their child came with pictures and their items and others have said that their child said they never, ever received the package. It’s so frustrating because I would love for her to know we care about her.  I would love for her to know what we look like and be prepared for her new family.
    I wish I knew the rhyme or reason behind why some get them and some don’t.  I know there are orphanages who wait until right before the child is adopted because they have been burned before by a family backing out.  I can’t imagine what that would do to a child’s heart.  How horrible to wait for that forever family you heard you had, who never, ever showed up for you.   So I can understand the orphanage wanting to be careful.  I can understand somethings getting lost in the mail, but 6 out of 8 packages never making it are pretty bad odds.
    I think I may just take the chance that our children will get their packages.  I will pray that if they don’t get them, then the person who does get them feels all the love that went into the package and will have their lives changed by it.
    Wish us luck.  Maybe say a prayer or two that our newest family members actually do get their gifts so they know that they are loved and have a forever family that will be there soon.
  • Jasmine’s Blog – We Can Adopt Again

    Date: 2015.12.03 | Category: Adoption, Jasmine's Blog

    One day mama show me and Gracie and Elyse the photo of a kid in a wheelchair.  Her name is Belinda.  She is very cute!

    She has kidney issues like Gracie has.  Her legs don’t work like Elyse’s.  She has a curve in her back like me.   We ask mama if we can adopt her but mama say no!

    Mama say we are not adopt any more. We ask mama “Why?”.  Mama say, “We have a lot of kids.”

    We keep asking mama we can adopt one more.  Just one more time! But mama say, “No!”.  Daddy say, “No!”.  I ask mama can we try adopt her please, please, please, please mama?!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!  I say, “I don’t care if China say yes just can we try?”

    Mama said, “No.  We not adopt.  You can talk about her on your page.”  My friend, Alice’s, friend just got adopted.  Alice talk about her and I talk about her and she find her family. She almost 14 on October 14.  Mama say we can do the same for Belinda.

    One day mama show me the video about Belinda.  She is very pretty and very cute and she very pretty and she also very sad.  She want a family!!!!  🙂

    I tell mama we have to adopt her or find her family.  Mama say ok.  Later we see on Facebook that she have a family.  I say ok and Elyse say ok and Gracie just cry.  We all upset because we think that God told us she is our sister, but now another family will go get her.  Gracie cry all night and Elyse so so sad.  I am very sad too cause she is my sister.

    We are sad all day long but we try to be happy for her because she has a family.  The next day daddy say he can find who her family is so we can watch her get adopted.  That day Jan came to update our home study.  She has to do this after we are adopted for China.

    That night daddy said, “Sit down on the couch so I can show you the picture of Belinda’s family.”  Daddy showed us our family and says we are going to adopt her. He says her name is going to be Jessica.

    We are so really, really happy that we can adopt her but Elyse keep saying that daddy and mama are lying.  It take Elyse a long time to believe it but then she is so happy.

    Every day we pray that Jessica can come to America very fast because she is very sick.  We got a message that she was in the hospital for 23 days.  She is very little.  She is almost 8 and they say 24 pounds.  That is pretty little.  We want her to come see doctors and get better.  Mama try to do the paperwork really fast so mama and daddy can go get her.

    We really love our new sister.   We tell daddy one is okay.  Elyse say 3 would be good but she ok with one right now.   We adopt one more time.

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