Friday, October 30, 2009

Preview of Things to Come

Oh and yes, Faith is officially addicted to candy!

Wednesday, October 28, 2009

New Movie

Sandra Bullock has done it again with an amazing movie called The Blind Side. Well at least it looks to be an amazing movie. I can't wait to see it!

Tuesday, October 27, 2009

Baby Torture

No really I promise she is enjoying every minute! The Tickle Monster- I mean Mommy- is her favorite :)

Sunday, October 25, 2009

Kai-Lan Adopted?

Ha! I had no idea that the voice of Ni Hao Kai-Lan was of a young lady that was adopted from China. Who knew??! Read about it here. No wonder we LOVE this show so much around our house-LOL

Saturday, October 24, 2009

Can't Save Them All

Oh my I can't tell you just how many times I have heard this one lately. It usually goes something like this..."Well you know you can't save em' all." Really?!?! I always want to respond back, "Oh, well how many have you "saved"?!" Although I don't ever say that, I really want to.

I was just reading another blog I follow and her latest post really hit home for me. Fortunately I haven't had to deal with all the issues she speaks about, but we have had our share. I know a LOT of adoptive families out there deal with some of the same issues as well. Really makes you go hmmmmm sometimes. With the latest circumstances surrounding the possibility of us taking in another child, this phrase "Can't save them all" is starting to really tick me off frankly.

So for a reminder folks, here is the Starfish Story some of you may have forgotten lately...

Do you remember the story about the young child, walking along the beach among thousands of starfish that had washed ashore with the tide? The child stopped every several yards to throw a starfish back into the ocean. Another child, a bit older than the first, stopped and asked, "Why bother? You can't save them all. Do you think it'll really matter?" And the younger child, tossing another starfish back into the waves replied, "It will matter to THIS one."

Friday, October 23, 2009

Reading Up

Since Shelby's p-flap surgery is sneaking up on us, I have been trying to do my homework and reading some other families' posts regarding their experiences. Here is one that was just posted about her child's surgery. I am so NOT excited about this next adventure :(

Hi all,well, Monday was our son's p-flap. We have had a trying time from the minute he was brought out of anesthesia to his first hours on the floor. I find it a little theraputic to write on here so I hope this helps those going through this in the future...When he was coming out of the surgery he stopped breathing and had to be put back under very quickly to have the breathing tube reinserted and it even gave the c.n.a. as she says a "run for her money." He had a difficult time breathing for several hours post op and we were in the recovery floor for almost four hours.

The next 24 hours were a nightmare as we somehow ended up on a "short stay floor" where the nurses were less than familar with our surgery. They were used to transitioning kids out in 24 hours or less and started trying to only push oral pain meds despite the docs and my telling them no. Even the charge nurse was calling our doc directly saying things like "well, with these orders you realize your families could be here for days." When she told me she said this to the doctor I was flabergasted! I just looked at her and said YES we know, knew we would be here for the better part of a week.

So now for hours he had been spitting out most of his pain meds that I was asked to give him orally. He finally got some comfort Tuesday afternoon with the correct pain meds b/c a resident was smart enough to cut an oral med order. So he got some IV morphine and started to really rest. Then late that night his IV went bad. They removed it before 9pm and we waited until midnight to get a new one.. Now keep in mind I'm not a patient or nice person when even waiting to long at a restaurant. But it was like fighting underwater trying to get my point across that our son had just gone almost a whole day with bad pain management and then hours with no fluids or IV pain meds again - ugh!

Finally I started telling them how ticked I was and their response was that he was drooling and his vitals were fine so he was o.k. - so what, they were waiting for him to literally crash before they cared?Needless to say I started to voice my opinion. Keep in mind the hospital is under flu restrictions for visitors so it is literally just my husband and I that are allowed up to his room at all. So it has been more than exhausting to say the least. I went home Wed to shower and see my other children. When I finally got out of the hospital and ran through the events in my mind I was getting more upset.

Fast forward to yesterday, Thursday. Our son is finally getting the care he should have gotten the first hours post op. I was able to articulate my story to hospital staff that claim they can help fix this in the future. And I tried to explain that we hired our doctor for a reason and to be told by nurses they were questioning his orders was ridiculous! If that happens do it behind the scenes, listen to us the parents and don't put us in the middle.

Be aware those going through this that the staff is not used to this surgery. Most nurses kept comparing this to a tonsilectomy and our docs were ticked when I told them this. One doc told me there is nothing similar and he was fuming. Be aware that you have to tell the staff up front you realize this is a long recovery and you don't plan to rush it at all. Day one post op is literally just a day of managing pain and that is it. I just thought the doctor's words and orders would be enough for them but apparently it wasn't. We have had nurses every day tweaking the orders to how they think things should go - ie let's just try and stretch the pain meds to get him home faster. Hello, how is he going to want to eat or drink with more pain? They just do not get it.

Our son wanted to try and eat and drink on Tuesday after surgery. B/c his pain was not under control he screamed when trying to get anything down. Since then he has been terrified to try to eat or drink until last night when my husband got him to eat. We literally wheeled him down to the hospital cafeteria just so he could smell food to try and encourage him a little. It took the staff until Thursday to realize he isn't getting any oral meds down b/c he is either choking or spitting them out so he finally got supposotory (spell?) tylenol.

I can't believe this happened to us at the hospital that is supposed to be one of the best in the country. And I can't believe nurses would question a doctor that is the head of his department, a known specialist in this area and one that also runs the volunteer program at the Shriners here in town for cleft kids.

Bottom line our son seemed to be turning a corner last night - wanting to eat but cautious to do it while super sedated with morphine. His surgery was Monday and we just hope he can manage to drink enough to come home today, Friday. It has been exhausting on me to spend three sleepness nights there and on our kids here that miss Mommy and can't visit their little brother at all. But we're still moving forward and thankful that this hopefully will change our son's speech for the best.

I want him home and comfortable here but am not too anxious as I'm afraid he might be in more pain and stop drinking or eating. It is really a balancing act that we have had to micro manage every minute of every day and night. Thanks for letting me vent here it really is helpful. Now I'm just waiting to get the kids on the bus so I can get up there with my husband and see how our little guy is doing today.

Thursday, October 22, 2009


I just read this post from Amy who heads up my favorite charity Love Without Boundaries. I thought I would share with you all:

"I think it is a fair statement to say that most of us who have adopted internationally think that our child's birthparents made the decision to abandon their child. I have read many essays and poems where adoptive parents imagine the birthmother hiding in the bushes or watching until the tiny bundle is found. Perhaps that is how you imagine it to be as well. I know I certainly did, until I helped run a cleft mission where many of our patients were rural children with families.
On that trip, parents told me one story after another that quite simply turned everything I thought I knew about abandonment on its head.

I want to share one of those stories today, as I have been thinking so much about my son's birthparents lately.On this particular cleft mission, we had far more babies needing surgery than space available, so very sadly we were having to turn families away. We had set a weight requirement for the kids' safety, and we soon learned that parents were sewing rocks into their babies' clothing in the hopes that their kids would meet our 10 pound requirement. We also had begun turning away babies who were obviously younger than 5-6 months because we wanted to make sure the kids would do well under anesthesia.

I was sitting in the intake room one morning when an anxious young woman came running in holding a tiny bundle. I could immediately tell that the baby was a newborn, and I asked our Chinese director to break the bad news to the woman that the baby was far too young for surgery. As she was given the news, the young lady burst into tears and began pleading and begging to have her child be seen. My friend came over to me and told me that I needed to go and speak with the woman in private, and so I did.

She pulled back the blanket to reveal a tiny baby girl with severe cleft lip. The mother told me that her daughter was 28 days old, and that their period of confinement was over in just 2 more days. As she was crying and talking, the mom kept kissing her baby's forehead, and she kept telling me again and again, "I love her....I love her so much." But then she went on to tell me that her extended family would not accept her daughter since she had been born with a cleft lip. They felt this tiny baby would bring shame to them all. With tears streaming down her face, she told me that her mother-in-law was coming to take the baby away from her in two days' time. The mom was begging me to heal her daughter, to make her daughter beautiful, so that she could keep the baby that she had carried inside of her for 9 months….the daughter she loved completely.

When I explained that the baby could not safely be put under anesthesia at four weeks of age, she fell on her knees and was sobbing at my feet, pleading and crying and begging me to help her. Right now...even typing this brings a pain to my chest that I cannot describe.Over and over on that trip, I heard stories from birthparents who adored their children with cleft, but who were told the children could not stay in the extended family.

I met a woman whose daughter with cleft had been taken from her by her in-laws while she slept. She never saw her daughter again. She had come to our mission after reading about it in the paper, to thank us for giving parents a chance to keep their children.....a chance she herself did not have.

That trip changed everything for me about how I view birthparents in China. Many people give pat explanations about infant abandonment that cover the issue in blanket terms: “Babies are abandoned because rural families want sons.” “Babies are abandoned because the medical needs were too great.” Simple, one line sentences, to explain a personal life event that is often very complex.

When it comes to human life, and heartbreaking decisions…..abandonment and loss.....I have learned that there are rarely simple explanations. Every single one of our children faced a great loss in their lives, but the reality is…..we have no idea about the deep, personal stories of the people involved. We have no idea who made the decision that a child couldn’t stay in the family. We have no idea of the anguish, or sacrifice, or resignation experienced. It is easy to think it was a birthparent who lovingly placed the child by the orphanage front gate, but it could have just as easily been an in-law or an uncle who was given instructions by the head of the family to remove the baby from the home.

Every child has their own unique story. It certainly hurts more, however, to think that any of our kids have birthparents like the woman I met on that very somber day. There is still such a stigma surrounding children born with special needs, especially in the rural areas of China. For those of us parenting these amazing kids, the unknowns of their beginnings are very sad to think about, aren't they? Have you thought much about this issue? Do you normally think of a birthparent making the decision to leave a child? Or were you already aware that especially for children with special needs, many become orphaned to not bring shame to the family at large?"


Tuesday, October 20, 2009

Pumpkin Pics

We had a busy and cold weekend. We started Friday night with Nana's birthday party. Shelby just couldn't wait to have Nana's Party. Now Nana really wasn't planning a big party, so we just had to improvise for Shelby's sake of course. So I invited some friends over and got a yummy Bruster's ice cream cake and we had a "party"! Happy Birthday Mom- oops I mean Nana!

Even though it was chilly, we still managed to make it out to our annual pumpkin patch adventure. This was Faith's first time at the pumpkin patch and she slept right through it! Oh well, she woke up as we were leaving and as long as she could hold her pumpkin Shelby picked out for her she was good.

Sunday was an emotional event for us as we almost had a new addition to the family. It is a long story but in the end it turns out that the baby is already in a good foster home and hopefully that is where she will stay until she can be adopted. So needless to say it was a very busy weekend!! How was yours?!?

Oh I almost forgot, anyone who would love to take in 2 wonderful guinea pigs please do! We have posted them on craigslist to find them a new home :)

Thursday, October 15, 2009

Thought for the Day

"Life's journey is not to arrive at the grave safely in a well preserved body, but rather to slide in sideways, thoroughly used up, totally worn out, screaming "HOLY CRAP what a ride!" ~unknown~

Wednesday, October 14, 2009

Back to Normal

Well we made it home safe and sound on Monday night. No problems. The kids were happy to see me and I was of course happy to be home with everyone. CJ did fine without me, so hey maybe I can plan another trip soon-LOL.
C took us to the airport and mom did well without any crazy crying or long goodbyes or anything. As I have said before, I really believe we will see him again soon :)

Sunday, October 11, 2009

O Happy Day

We had a another great day today in the big city of Dallas. Sheila and I started the morning off with breakfast at a bakery. We walked about a mile to get there so surely there were no points in what we ate ;) Next, we went out to lunch today at a real authentic Chinese restaurant. It was very good and actually took me back to our days we spent in China. Yes, it makes me want to go back (just for the good time, not another baby!). Little C went to his Chinese school today while we were at lunch. I found it very interesting that they take him to Chinese school just like the one we have at home. My SIL thought it was a great idea to get the girls in Chinese school when they get old enough. So maybe next year Shelby will start going. Anyhow, after we picked up my nephew we were off on our next adventure...bowling!
It has actually been a few years since they had been bowling and little C had NEVER been. Needless to say it didn't take the little guy too long to figure it out. He had a blast and so did everyone else. I think the best part was just watching him light up every time it was his turn :) After bowling we did some more visiting and just hung out at the hotel until dinner time. We had reservations at the Magic Time Machine tonight. What a fun place. We ate WAY too much and of course had to top ourselves off with a big banana split in the end. It was a great day.
I am still amazed at how comfortable it is to be around our "new" relatives. You can tell that they aren't really used to this much activity on a regular basis. I am sure we are probably a lot to take in if you aren't used to be around us. They are handling it quite well and they too seem to be having a great time. It was really neat to hear that my SIL said to my mom yesterday..."I have never seen him this happy!" Yes, she was talking about my brother-how cool is that?!?!?
We only have a half day left visiting on this trip :( However, I really do believe that we will see them again. Hopefully they will be able to come out and visit with us next year. I am thinking a nice summer time visit in GA would be a real treat for us. I could definitely keep them busy at my house for sure. They may need another 6 months to recuperate after this visit ;)

Saturday, October 10, 2009

Donna does Dallas

Now now get your mind out of the gutter ;) We did a little touring today hanging out with my new fun relatives! We made to the JFK Memorial Museum today for a little history lesson, especially for me. It was really neat and at the same time kinda creepy being in the same place JFK was killed. It was very interesting, more interesting was of course the company we kept all day :)

Fortunately it wasn't raining today, just a little cool especially for Dallas since the high was about 65 today. So we went to McDs for lunch since I promised the little guy a happy meal toy and an ice cream from his Aunt Donna. As you can see, he seemed to enjoy it. We got to visit alot together today which is a lot of fun learning more about my brother and his life past and present. I sure hope after our visit that he continues to chat with us and hopeful that he doesn't think that just because we don't live in the same state that we can't continue to get to know each other. Again, I would just love for them to be able to meet the rest of my crew.

Starting to really miss my family at home. However, I hate to think about the fact that we will only be here one and half more days getting to know my brother and his family. The kids had a much better day today with their daddy. Oh and all the little ones were already asleep tonight at home by 9PM. I pray they have a better night and don't miss mommy too much :)

PS: Don't we make a cute family!!

Attached or Spoiled

Well it sounds like the girls didn't have such a great night :( Of course this is the first time ever Faith has been to sleep without mommy, and only the second time away from Shelby (first was when Faith was in the hospital). So this of course means CJ had a terrible night! I know in some ways it is good, but of course I feel bad not being there for my girls.

So I talked to everyone on the phone this morning telling them that I love them and miss them. Hopefully they will have a fun filled day with LOTS of exercise so they will go night night tonight more peacefully. Praying they enjoy their alone time with daddy and Grandma Linda this weekend.

Here are a few more pics from yesterday. We had afternoon coffee (hot chocolate for me at a whopping 8 points!) at Starbucks, then enjoyed a great seafood dinner together. We get to go watch my little nephew play soccer this morning. He is such a great kid. I can't wait to get him together with my bunch. They would have such an awesome time playing together. It's great to add more family, especially the fun adorable happy kind! Hopefully they can make their way out to our house soon so we can introduce the newest cousin to my crew. How fun would that be to get a picture of ALL of mom's grandkids together?!?!

Friday, October 9, 2009

Gotcha! Well you know...

Mom finally getting to hug her SON after 45 long years!!

God is good all the time, all the time God is good :)

It's For Real

That's right, HE is for real. My real brother! Talk about weird...but not really even feeling weird. We left out for the airport early this morning, arrived in Texas at 11Am. We got off the plane and were hoping we could get to the potty to "freshen up", little did we know all that was separating my mom and her son was a clear glass wall! I looked at mom and said we can still go potty if you want and she looked at me like I was crazy. She couldn't get through the door fast enough to finally hug her SON, her real-thought about every single day for 45 years-REAL SON :)

I whipped out the camera and at least got the first hug on video. Sorry for the bad pics, but obviously it was a little crazy. Everyone hugged and ever since then, well it has just felt "natural". Doesn't sound possible, but that is how it feels. It is kind of like I already know him. And his wife is just wonderful too! Oh and don't forget how stinkin cute his little one is. I could just eat him up, but he isn't too sure about Aunt Donna just yet. Good thing we have a few more days to hang out with these guys. So far so good, it has been just great!

Thursday, October 8, 2009

Tick Tock, Tick Tock

The official countdown has begun! Tomorrow morning we leave out for Dallas to meet my brother. I was thinking last night how surreal this must be for my mom. Tomorrow will in a sense be her long anticipated Gotcha Day! I thought waiting 6 months for my Gotcha Days were tough?! How about over 45 years?!?!?! I will have to say she is handling it quite well and obviously she is very excited. I know how surreal is was on my girls' Gotcha Days not so long ago were for me. It almost felt like a dream. Like you were watching someone elses Gotcha Day happen. So tomorrow, I get to be there to witness yet again another Gotcha Day... Only this time it will be for a woman I love dearly, my mother.

Please send up some extra prayers for her as she gets to experience one of God's greatest joys in life, hugging your child for the very first time :)

"For this child I prayed; and the LORD has given me my petition which I asked of him."- 1 Samuel 1:27

Wednesday, October 7, 2009

School Days

What an amazing transformation the girls have done this year about going off to preschool in the mornings. They both get their bags and head over to the door, just waiting on Ms. Libby and Ms. Vicki. Both girls absolutely LOVE going to school now. Really I can't believe it! This is an obvious testimony to their preschool and their teachers for loving on them all day and making them feel so comfortable at school.

Shelby loves telling me about all of her friends she has at school. And Faith loves loves loves to paint and color these days. I know she gets this from her "art class" at school. I am so thankful that they are having such a great year so far. What a blessing it is for us to have such wonderful women taking care of our babies :)
The girls hop right out of the van and wave bye, and of course Faith gives out her best "Havvvv gudd daaaaayyyyy!" You too baby girl...Have a good day!!

Tuesday, October 6, 2009

Counting Down

Only 3 more days until I am on the big airplane off to Texas to meet my brother! Crazy that it is already time to go. I will be gone for 4 days, and 3 nights. Yes, 3 nights without sleeping with my girls?!?!? I have no idea how CJ is going to manage the nights, but I know he will do GREAT with them during the days.

Now here is where CJ's weekend gets a little crazier... Remember that my mom and my sister will be gone with me to Texas. And my dad and Sandy are also out of town this weekend. So that leaves hardly any babysitter backups available! So all you great friends out there, if you get a call from my husband this weekend, please be nice to him :)
Here is my hubby with my babies, oh yeah plus this last baby too. I hope they have a great weekend without mommy. Not too great of course, just maybe a good weekend ;)

Monday, October 5, 2009

Bubble Bliss!

Oh the simple treasures in life...
Papa is the only one I know that has bubbles permanently mounted on the wall for endless bubble blowing at ANY time!!