Archive for February, 2016
Hello! Cassie again (tired of me yet?)
Mom and Dad have Jessica, and she is precious. Her orphanage loved her, they really did. They sent her with money, her stroller, clothes, and a backpack full of toys. They also made Mom and Dad promise to bring Jessica to the orphanage so they could say goodbye. As you can tell by her face, she was hesitant at first…
This is her timid face. Her disposition instantly turns to this sweet face as soon as she is unsure of the situation.
She made daddy work for her attention; she really wasn’t sure what to do with him. Give him an hour, some chips, and a backpack full of pretty things, and his daddy powers won her over. 🙂
Little one is tiny!! Her orphanage called her “little one” instead of her Chinese name. This is her compared to my mom’s standard-sized backpack…
and her little shoe next to a Coke can.
Even Liam got in on the glamour and glitter. A little lip gloss goes a long way…
As you can see, she loved Daddy’s bracelets!!!
Liam and Jessica have bonded quickly. The Kindle has movies on it, and Big Hero 6 seems to be a favorite.
Liam loves to draw; he was super excited to see Maisey drawing on one of our Skype calls.
Daddy made a fort, and they’ve spend all their cuddle times in there.
Cassie, again. It is Monday morning in China, and my parents will soon be on their way to get Jessica. Their guide has met her, and says she is an absolute doll. She says that she is sweet, kind, and loves to take care of the babies. I think she’ll fit in pretty well. 🙂
Mr. William is doing splendidly. He loves to play and dance and draw. When we were skyping, he got very excited when he saw that Mei Mei was drawing too! I don’t think he’s going to have any problems fitting in here. 🙂 The kids are all excited, and I constantly hear about all the things that Liam is going to do with them.
Jasmine and Elyse made Jessica a video for Mom and Dad to show her this afternoon. I don’t remember everything they said, but there are about 15 “I/We love you”s and “Mama and Baba will keep you safe and love you” and “we can’t wait for you to get to America!” I thought you would enjoy. 🙂
Cassie, here. I didn’t realize that I was supposed to be posting…. oops! So, quick upload with some cute pictures. 😉
William is settling in great. He’s been happy and giggly the whole time. He fully recognizes that Mom and Dad are HIS mama and baba. He loves having a family, and seems to be adjusting very well. He loves Hot Wheels, the Kindle, and Big Hero 6.
Here are a few pictures to hold you over until I get a post from Mom. Make sure you check out the facebook group for all the updates!
As we get ready to leave, I am thinking and feeling many things. I am nervous to meet our new children. William has known for a little bit that we are coming so hopefully he will be a little prepared. I am not so sure with Jessica. I have heard that her orphanage often doesn’t tell them until the day they leave for the Registration Office. Hopefully, with all the mamas that have been taking her picture for her new parents, she understands what is happening. Friends of ours e-mailed our family picture to the orphanage so hopefully she knows what we look like too.
I love the new pictures we got of Jessica.
These children are so brave. They will leave everything they have ever known and trust us to take care of them. Can you imagine leaving with people who look different than you, who speak a different language, and trying to make sense of it all? Every time it has been different. Mostly it has gone well and for that we are thankful. We have been amazed at how quickly they have come to us and settled in. There are a whole lot of reasons for this and some of those reasons break my heart but I am happy they feel safe with Dan and I.
It is really hard to show up at that Registration Office and meet your new child, who you have loved for months and months, but they don’t know you and they might not necessarily like you. That is to be expected. They don’t know you. It’s hard to put yourself on the line and put your feelings aside. It’s hard not to take things personally. You are tired and nervous and anxious and so many other emotions. You’ve traveled 15 hours in a cramped plane. You’ve waited so long and it’s almost here. You haven’t slept well. The day when you meet is emotionally draining. It’s a hard day on everyone’s hearts. It starts early in the morning as you wait to go. By the time you get to the office you are a bundle of nerves. You don’t want to scare them but you want to hold them and let them know how much you love them. To this day I can not watch videos of those meetings without crying. It takes me right back to that moment.
I was thinking about all the emotions I have been feeling and thought it would be fun to find out how the kids are feeling. I asked them one simple question. As mommy and daddy get ready to leave to get Jessica and William, how are you feeling.
CASSIE – I’m just hoping everyone stays in one piece while you are gone. I can’t wait to see the little guys!
HOPE – Help me! Hurry home!
JASMINE – I feel so happy that you are going to get my sister and brother but I feel sad because I will miss mommy and daddy. I’m so excited to finally see them.
GRACIE – Ahhhhhhh….. I’m so happy that you are going to get my sister and my brother. I want Jessica and William to be happy and know that their family loves them.
ELYSE – I feel so good that you are getting Jessica and William. I’m a little bit stressed because I just want mama and daddy to come home. I hope that William and Jessica like us. Thank you so much for getting my sister and brother.
BENJAMIN – So excited to get William and Jessica. I’m really happy because you are going to be home as quick as soon. Everybody loves William and Jessica.
Max – (thumbs up)
MAISEY – I’m so excited. I will miss you.
EVIE – Sad because I will miss mommy and daddy. I so excited to get them. They are going to play with me!
ELI – I want you to get my buddy William. I want to play with Jessica even though she not a boy. I miss you.
I think the consensus is we are supposed to hurry home! I couldn’t agree more. I just want to have us all together under one roof.
Remember if you are on Facebook you can follow along on our family page, Seriously Bless by Adoption!
Please pray for their little hearts as they adjust to their new lives.
We will be updating soon.
Dan and I have often discussed the differences in having a biological child who has a disability or illness and adopting a child that does.
With Codey and Kyle, I spent most of the first year in shock. Watching your child take their last breath as you hold them in your arms will do that to you. And there is nothing like standing there with the ground open and your husband carrying a little white casket to that hole in the ground, to change your life. It will rip your heart right out of your chest and you will wonder how you will ever make it through another day.
As the days in the hospital turned into weeks, and weeks into months which lead to over a year, dreams slowly faded away. I went through times of sadness and mourning over all Codey wouldn’t do. Just when I would think I had a handle on my feelings, another milestone would come up and my heart would break again. At one, he couldn’t walk, couldn’t talk, and was still in the hospital. We celebrated there in his ICU room with a cake and family and a news crew filmed it all.
When he turned five, I mourned the fact that he wouldn’t go to kindergarten. I mourned that he wouldn’t make friends and go to birthday parties. I cried tears over the steps he would never take and the games he would never play.
As time went by, I settled into a routine. Life seemed normal and then another milestone would remind me that life was anything but normal. When he turned fourteen, it was not being able to get a permit. Sixteen was the driver’s license and dating. Eighteen was graduation. Then there was not going to college, not getting married, not having children of his own.
Codey would always be a little boy in a man’s body. The pain wasn’t over what his life was. Codey is, for the most part, a very happy boy. He has a family that loves him. He has his room and his toys that he loves. He enjoys football and basketball games. He has changed everything about who I am and how I see the world.
My pain was not over what Codey couldn’t do, I knew before he turned five that he would never do these things. My pain was mostly because I still had these dreams in my head of what it was supposed to be like. I was supposed to have two little, blonde haired boys. They were supposed to be best friends. They were supposed to play football and baseball and cause messes. They were supposed to run together in the backyard and bring in critters that would make me scream. They were supposed to grow up and have families of their own.
Sometime during that first year or so, I received a poem about Holland written by Emily Perl Kingsley. I remember the first time I read that poem and I thought, “Well, isn’t that nice. I’m just supposed to be happy about Holland. Well, I’ll get right on that.” (Insert sarcasm here!) It wasn’t that easy. I had dreams and hopes and plans and none of them included a trip to Holland, but as time went on I realized they were right. I had to quit mourning Italy and keep my eyes on the beauty of Holland. The shock of not being in Italy slowly wore off and the awe over the beauty of Holland slowly emerged.
So what had changed? Codey didn’t change. Our circumstances hadn’t changed. We were still broke and Codey was still not going to do what I had dreamed he would. So what was it? It was me. It was my heart. I was no longer bitter and angry over what I felt had been taken from me; instead, I decided to be thankful for all that had been given to me. The glass is the same whether I see it as half empty or half full. The glass never changed, but I had.
Which brings us to adopting special needs children. When you know what the cognitive, physical disability, or illness is and you choose it, you know right away that this is the way it is going to be. You buy books to educate yourself. You find a support network. You don’t have to go through that mourning period where nothing is what you had dreamed. You actually purchased the ticket to go directly to Holland. You weren’t expecting a different destination. You are right where you were chose to be. You can get off that plane and actually be excited to have your feet land on the ground in Holland.
I can say that I have learned to love the slower paced life of Holland. I have learned to appreciate and stand in awe of all that our children do. All those normal daily things that are so easy to just take for granted. I found myself actually celebrating the little things like holding a spoon in your hand for the first time, the ability to run and play, the first word spoken even if it is at three years of age. Being able to put a shirt on by themselves. Being able to write their name. Living past their first, second, and third birthday. .
These are things to be celebrated. I learned that just because these are things we take for granted, they are NOT little things. A child’s smile, a child’s hug, a first step, these aren’t things to be overlooked or expected, these are things to be celebrated! A child’s worth isn’t based on what they can accomplish.
If we instead measure a life by lives and hearts changed, then our children’s worth is immeasurable. Dan and my heart have been forever changed. Our eyes have been opened to what matters. Time has slowed down. I don’t rush to and through things. I try to walk and enjoy the journey. I’m not worried about trivial things. I appreciate the little things, the joys we miss while we are busy waiting for that thing that will make us happy – school done, the perfect vacation, getting married, finding the right career, retirement. I have learned to not wish my life away waiting for something to make me happy. You learn pretty quickly not to wish days away when you aren’t sure there will be another one.
The truth is there are many other things that Codey will never do. He won’t lie. He won’t cheat. He won’t judge you for the things you say or do. He won’t make you feel less than. How many of us can say that? How many of us can say our words have never hurt another person?
You can say I have on rose colored glasses or a PollyAnna attitude, I won’t take offense because, the truth is, I do. I choose to be happy. I choose to enjoy my children’s lives. I choose to wake up thankful that I get to do it all again – the monotony, the diaper changes, the g-tube feedings, the teaching the same thing over and over again, all of it. Every day is a choice. For the longest time, I refused to be happy in this place I found myself and now I thank God daily that this is where my life took me.
Every day I wake up to the most beautiful, joy-filled faces and I know, beyond any doubt, that I am blessed. I am in awe of this life I get to live. I am in awe of these little souls that I have been entrusted with.
A life of worth isn’t measured in the money made, the titles held, or what you take; a life of worth is measured in the lives you touch, the love you give, and the difference you make.
Today is our day to share on the 28 Days of Hearts blog. We’ve shared for a couple of years now. I love reading through the stories of faith, love, and adoption. Day 6 is the story of Rachel, who waited 3 years for a heart. Rachel got her heart and is living life to the fullest. Jamie does a great job every year putting these together. I promise these stories will move you.
- Chinese Children Adoption International
- Hats for Gracie
- Love Without Boundaries
- New Hope Foundation China
- Show Hope
- China 2013
- China 2014
- China 2016
- Congenital Heart Defect
- Evangeline Faith
- Family Life
- Food for Thought Friday
- Jasmine (Shuang Shuang)
- Jasmine's Dream
- Lainey Rae
- Love Without Boundaries
- Making a difference
- Muscular Dystrophy
- Orphan Care
- Thoughts to ponder