No more posts

Thank you everyone for following us on our journey. Now that the journey is complete I no longer will blog here. I am leaving it up though for encouragement for other families and also if anyone is interested in our timeline. I know I loved looking at others’ timelines during our wait.

I continue to blog on my historic home/renovation projects blog at: Please join us there!

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Repost from Adoptive Families: Little Ears

This is an excellent article.  It is the one year anniversary of our adoption.  Yesterday, was the one year anniversary of signing the official paperwork and Alex and Lillian becoming ours.  November 27th was Gotcha Day, or the first time we met our two little ones.

I received this email today.  It was interesting to me because I have been thinking long and hard about the topic it covers in the article: what to say to strangers now that your kids are old enough to understand what you are saying.  We have had our share of nosy or bumbling questions.  People just really don’t understand how offensive it is when they ask: Are they yours? Are they REAL brother and sister (I didn’t know you could be fake brother and sister).  To most of the questions, I don’t elaborate, but give short answers.

I really like how this article encourages you to discuss with your child what they are comfortable with sharing.  That way the child controls the information being given and if they don’t want a stranger to know their business, that is their wish and we should honor that.

Anyway, for anyone having issues with the same topic, here is the article: Little Ears.

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Orphan Sunday

Today is Orphan Sunday. We are celebrating that our babies are no longer orphans, but brother, sister, son, daughter, grandson, granddaughter, niece, nephew, cousin and friend.


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Gotcha Day and More

Ok, so, we finally were able to recover some of the Gotcha Day video. Unfortunately, it is not very good. The DVD was badly damaged and if that wasn’t enough, our 7 year old was the videographer (all in all I think she did a good job!!), so please keep that in mind and don’t say anything ugly or rude. This is when they brought us Lillian right into our hotel room. We were completely taken by surprise because were supposed to meet them in the lobby. While we were talking to Lillian’s nannies, Alex was right outside the door. Unfortunately either we did not get any footage, or it was damaged. I don’t have any footage of receiving him or his nanny (who did not stay very long). Next it is them screaming in the hotel, which is what they did a couple nights. It was hard. But, we expected it. Then you can see us at the Civil Affairs office and Lillian saying final goodbyes to her nanny and the orphanage director. It was very sweet. I have a couple more clips were able to recover and I will probably post them to Youtube soon. Without further ado, here is the video on Youtube…..

Forgive the crazy scrolling message. I did not want to commit to this program ruining the DVD.  I hope that technology increases and that maybe in the future we will be able to recover more from the DVD or at least a better picture.  The DVD was scratched to bad that we had to send it off to a company to resurface it.  That helped us retrieve a little.

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TIME?!?!?! (A total rant)

Ok, so if you don’t like to read rants, you probably should just go ahead and click the X in the top corner. This entire post is a rant.

We left for China nine months from today. I have had two Asian, non-english speaking, non-westernized toddlers in my home for over 8 months now. They were not potty trained, they wet the bed randomly or the floor or anything else…they did not like our food, they were grumpy, weepy, whiny and it took a while for us to get adjusted. Everything is not perfect now, but it is better.

If I could count or have $1 for every time someone raked me over the coals for not answering my phone, I would be a VERY, VERY rich lady. First, I would like to say that I bought a cell phone for MY convenience and not everyone else’s. If you leave me a message that says “Call me back” and nothing else, more likely than not, I won’t call you back. I have a life. I have had to potty train, set boundaries, reinforce boundaries, teach English, am a full time student at NSU, took 3 condensed summer classes, vacationed at the beach (which was NOT A vacation for me), try to keep the house clean, kids’ clothed, do my homework, make it on time to all doctor’s appointments (3 or more a week), be a good wife to my husband and spend time with him, AND YOU are wondering why I did not respond to your very generic message? I am very jealous of my time and everything I do has a time slot. It is the only way I can survive. If you call me and don’t tell me why, I am not going to call you back and be held captive on the phone for 30 minutes when you could have accessed Google for the SAME EXACT information you are asking me for. Generally, my friends know that if they want to talk or if they need a question answered, they will leave the message on my voicemail or text/email me the question so I can answer when I get a moment. A little patience please. A little understanding. However, I find that when people don’t leave a detailed message or they just say “call me” they generally find the answer later or don’t have anything good to say and I just wasted 2-30 precious minutes on the phone. That may not seem like a lot to many, but in order to finish up at NSU, I have to be jealous with my time.

The second thing that just burns me up is when someone says “You didn’t have time to call me back, but you have time to scrapbook?” Well, YES! Scrapbooking is enjoyable. Returning your call because you want the latest gossip about something (don’t ever call me to gossip. I might say some very rude things….ruder than normal) or are too lazy to look up the information online, is NOT enjoyable. Scrapbooking IS enjoyable. It IS therapy. It IS something I do everyday for about 20-30 minutes FOR ME. Because nothing and I mean NOTHING else in this life do I do for me. Everything is about everyone else, especially my kids. My few minutes a day to work a small project is ME time. It is generally in the mid-morning before all of my other obligations encroach. I have scheduled time for it. I make sure I do something to keep my sanity.

So, if you call me and I don’t answer, don’t be offended. I am probably cleaning up poop off the floor, slipping in a puddle of Glade Alex thought he would spray on the floor to see what happens, trying to teach Alex not to hoard or take other people’s things, homeschooling my 8 year old, doing homework (I have FIVE classes this semester), washing clothes, cleaning my house, at a doctor’s appointment or any other random thing that might have gotten thrown at me that day. Have a little compassion. Steven jokes with me, he said if my patience was as big as a lasagna noodle when we first adopted, then it is down to angel hair pasta now!! This is very true. I cannot wait until school starts next week. I NEED A BREAK! MY KIDS NEED A BREAK! So, for all of you who have taken me to task for not answering your phone call, if you really want to talk or ask a question, you can come by and sweep my floor or do a load of clothes while you talk. That would be helpful.

Thank you. I am done now.

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LWB: Article from the Realistic Expectations series: Post Adoption Struggles

Then…the day we arrived home.



Another great article by Love Without Boundaries. Our agency and social worker were both very good about preparing us for the reality of adoption.  They told us to not be overly concerned if Alex and Lillian cried or even rejected us at first.  That it is natural for them to grieve.  Look at it from their perspective, you are living in a place with a bunch of other kids.  You get fed, everyone looks and smells like you.  You don’t know any other way of life.  Then one day, you take this train ride or van ride (maybe even your first time in a car/on a train) and you are brought a hotel where there are bunch of strangers that look different and smell different than what you are used to.  All of sudden, your nanny is gone and you are left with these people and you are not sure what is going on.  That was Alex’s story.  He did not know he was getting adopted and the orphanage did not give him his package from us or photographs.  We sent him clothes and he came to us in clothes too small and he STANK!  He didn’t know who we were and he resented us “taking” him from his comfort zone…his orphanage…everything that was familiar.  What does orphanage mean anyway?  What does mom or dad mean?  To him, mama and daddy were empty words.  He had been in the orphanage since 1 month old.  He was not brought up in a family unit.  He had no concept of family.  So telling him I was his mama meant I was another caregiver, or his new caregiver.  Fast forward a couple days and with our guide’s wonderful help, Alex started to understand that we were his family and that he was coming with us.  We were going to love him forever. (again…what is love?  what is forever?)  It seems to me that some people expect to say these things to an orphan and the child feel grateful for being adopted or grateful that they were taken from an orphanage and brought to a loving home with a family.  The reality is, the child is resentful and wants to return to what they know.  It takes a while to earn their trust and to show them that you are their permanent caregiver.  How do I know that Alex FINALLY understands this?  I asked him yesterday: “Who is your mama?” and he said “You” and pointed his finger at me and I hugged him and then, he went on to say, without me prompting him or have said this to him before, this was completely a sentence he made up on his own “No more mamas.  Only 1 mama.  You Alex mama.”  AWWEEEEE!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!  I am so happy he understands that!

Lillian was a completely different child, from a different environment and with a different story.  She had lots of one on one attention and came from a small rural orphanage.  You can scroll through older posts to read and see that she had no serious issues at all with bonding. 

So, without further ado, here is the link: LWB Post Adoption Struggles


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