Saturday, June 30, 2012

Happy Weekend

Hope you find a way to stay cool this weekend. I know I am just by hanging out with some cool people I know ;)

Friday, June 29, 2012

Fun with Elise

Enjoyed another evening with my girl. So cute!!!

Thursday, June 28, 2012

Date Nights

This week the middle kids have been going to vacation bible school in the evenings. I must say it has been a nice break in routine to have the evenings to spend with just the big and little. Caleb was at a friends house, so last night it was just a date night with the baby. This girl is such a blessing and oh SO spoiled rotten. She knows how to bat her eyes and get just about anything she wants. Love love love my baby girl!

Wednesday, June 27, 2012

Tuesday, June 26, 2012

Favorite Fishing Hole

The boys have discovered a new little fishing hole stashed in the back of a subdivision. Looks like they are really enjoying their summertime fun!

Monday, June 25, 2012

Let the Games Begin

Well I do believe that the honeymoon period is officially over.  Part of the honeymoon period that I had never really thought about until now, was how each person's attitudes change-not necessarily their actions.  You know how like when you first get married, one might think it is just so cute how your husband accidentally leaves the cap off the toothpaste every day.  Then after a month of marriage, you think you are going to accidentally sling that open toothpaste tube upside his head ;)  Yeah, you get the picture.  It wasn't that your husband changed his actions, but that YOUR attitude has changed towards those actions.  This apparently is the same for the honeymoon period in adoption.

Some of those little things that Ian does regularly used to not bother us so much.  Oh and when I say "we", I mean that the kids are really now on a short fuse with Ian.  We thought it was neat that he wanted us to watch him learn how to play a new game on the ipod.  Or call us by name 101 times every hour to see what he was doing.  Even when he was eating, it was fun to watch him eat things so quickly and crazy.  We never knew which way his clothes were going to turn out, most of the time he would put them on backwards.  It was great how he wanted to be with me or the kids all.the.time right next to us seeing what we are doing every minute of the day.  Well now...not so much.

We are tired, weary, and just plain worn out by some of the things Ian does every day.  The older kids are really struggling with tolerating some of the Ianisms.  I know that I am getting less tolerate of some of the Ianisms as well.  Ian is now more comfortable with us, so that means that he is now "testing the boundaries" in all different directions.  I have to be firm and on my game 24/7. 

As much as I would love to just simply ignore some of his behaviour, or turn the other cheek, or only choose the big battles, or just let him get away with things, I can't.  I am responsible for teaching him how to behave and act properly here in the US.  I only have about one more month to get him ready to go to public school.  I know the kids at his school are not going to appreciate any of the Ianisms that he still does.  So for now, it is my job to be the mean mom.  That's OK. I know from my past mommy experiences...this too shall pass.

Saturday, June 23, 2012

Beach First

We spent the day at the lake playing at the beach. As far as I know, this was Ian's first experience at the beach. He had fun digging in the sand and swimming in the lake. Fun day spent with my favorite people :)

Friday, June 22, 2012

My Big and Little

Oh how my heart swells when I watch these two together. I see a little one who is SO in love with her big brother, she trusts him with her life. She loves him unconditionally and knows that she had him at hello ;)

Then I see my big who takes such good care of this little treasure that we almost said no to. I see Caleb turning into a man that will be such an incredible father one day.  He is such a kind hearted person who loves his little sister to pieces.

Not sure if life gets any better than this!  How did I get so very blessed?!?


The thief does not come except to steal, and to kill, and to destroy. I have come that they may have life, and that they may have it more abundantly.--John 10:10

Tuesday, June 19, 2012

Save the Adoption Credit

Please take 5 minutes of your day to email your local representative today.  This is SO very important to future adoptive parents.  With all the budget cuts, I believe that this credit is in serious danger to not get renewed this year.  Make a difference with your next 5 minutes PLEASE!!!

This article explains the need pretty clearly.

If Congress does not act, the tax credit as we now know it will expire on December 31, 2012.
 If the adoption tax credit helped you or someone you know to adopt a child or if it could help you in the future to adopt a child, call your Representative today and urge that he or she cosponsor the bipartisan bill H.R. 4373, the Making Adoption Affordable Act.
 We are asking you to call or email your member of the U.S. House of Representatives today!  You can reach your Representative by calling the U.S. Capitol Operator at 202-225-3121 and asking for your Representative's office. If you don't know your Representative's name, visit  enter your zip code.  You can simply click on your reps email form as well.
 We are not asking people to contact the Senate until there is a Senate bill introduced.
 When you reach the office, you'll be able to leave a message for your Representative that includes the following information (or email the following as well):
  * I am a constituent in your district and the adoption tax credit is important to me. (Explain why it matters to you.)
  * I urge the Representative to become a co-sponsor of The Making Adoption Affordable Act, H.R. 4373.
  * If Congress does not act, the credit as we now know it will expire in December 2012.
  * H.R. 4373 is bipartisan, and it supports children in all types of adoptions (foster care, domestic private, and international adoptions).
  * This tax credit has made adoption a more viable option for many parents who might not otherwise have been able to afford adoption, allowing them to provide children with loving, permanent families.
  * Thank you for your support of H.R. 4373.
 If you want to learn more about the adoption tax credit go to
 To keep abreast of future activity and advocacy on the credit, like Save the Adoption Tax Credit on Facebook at
 Thank you for taking a few minutes to make this important phone call!

Sunday, June 17, 2012

Daddy Day

I was lucky to spend the day with the two special dads in my life.
Hamburgers, hot dogs, ice cream, and a car show...what's not to love!

Saturday, June 16, 2012


Spent the day hanging poolside with Evelyn and the girls today. All the kids had a great time. Looking forward to adding her new son from China into the mix next year!

Friday, June 15, 2012

Xian CWI Pics

Here are some of the pics Travis took on his iPod when we visited Ian's orphanage.  As I have said before, it is quite sobering to walk the halls of an orphanage...especially when YOUR child had to spend their past 8 years of life there.

I wondered why somebody didn't do something. Then I realized, I am somebody.~ Author Unknown

The Baby

She is fearless! Can do anything the other kids can do, and smiles the whole time doing them :)

She is the baby.  My baby girl growing up so fast before my eyes.

Thursday, June 14, 2012

Wednesday, June 13, 2012


My hubby surprised me with the tag he ordered for the bus.  Pretty much sums us up! 

Faith still tells me daily that we now have 8 people in our family.  And she always adds, "I love my family"

Elise still calls Ian, "Ianbrudder". (Ian brother)

We are doing quite well with our little family of EIGHT :)

Tuesday, June 12, 2012

Another White Water Day

Enjoying another day at the park with my favorite people!

Monday, June 11, 2012

Why Adopting this Boy

The views from the Chinese people on why foreigners come to adopt vary greatly.  Here are some of the things people in China have personally spoken to me when I was in China.  Some say we are "wonderful and kind people".  Some say "what a lucky boy".  Some have said "will he marry your daughter".  But this weekend, I discovered another reason why some Chinese think we adopt their children...

I have been able to put Kobe in touch with another family who will be adopting a 10 year old boy from Xian in about 6 months.  Kobe has agreed to visit with this boy to prepare him for adoption like he did Ian.  The difference this time around though is that this boy lives in a foster home in the countryside.  The foster home is about 3 hours from Kobe by bus, yet Kobe has still agreed to visit the boy twice a month for his new family. (can I just say how amazing I think Kobe is!!)  Anyhow, Saturday was Kobe's first visit to see the foster family and the 10 year old boy.

Of course Kobe asked all kinds of questions about the boy and his history.  Then Kobe stopped and asked the foster family if they had any questions about the new adoptive family or the adoption.  Here are Kobe's exact words:

Now the foster parents also have a question: "will they sell my kid for money (later they mentioned Organ trafficking) when he is in the US? " I answered for you that you are ok. I took sometime to explain for that (in medicine, law, and religion, even my personality). The foster mom cried.

OMWord, can you imagine this poor foster mother who has raised this kid for the past 9 years thinking that her son was about to be adopted for his ORGANS?!?!?!  How awful is that, I cannot even fathom the torment she and his entire foster family has gone through since finding out he was going to be adopted.  Needless to say, Kobe eased her mind and hopefully convinced her that no he would not be brought into the US and cut up for his organs.  Kobe earned his weight in gold for being able to inform this foster family that NO their foster son would not be harvested.

Oh how I wish the orphanages were more open to the new families meeting the foster families.  Most of the time the foster family never gets to meet the new family.  I wonder just how many more foster mothers out there are thinking they are raising a child to one day be an organ donor.

Sunday, June 10, 2012

First Home Haircut

Cousin Time

We spent the evening with CJ's brother Jesse and his family. Ian was able to meet his living namesake too. The kids had a great time playing in the hotel and they were all sad to leave.

As you can see, Jesse has a big family too. Just our families combined there are 12 kids!! Yes, we make a scene anywhere we go. lol

Saturday, June 9, 2012

Toys r Us Visit

Ian's first American lesson in delayed gratification ;)  We stopped by ToysRUs just to kill some time before we made it down to a baby shower.

Oh and that was interesting to try and explain to Ian where we were going before we got there.  Think about it, baby and shower, neither of which he actually "saw" once we were there-lol.  Our English language can be one tough nut to crack ;)

Friday, June 8, 2012

Rib Boy

I think he needs to eat something! We can see every bone in his little body. Nana is working on it for sure with her famous chicken and dumplings. He eats 3 bowls every time!

Thursday, June 7, 2012

Mad and Sad Sometimes

Lots of you have commented about how it looks like Ian is just so darn happy all the time-LOL.  Well considering what he has been through in just 30 days (yes, today marks the 1 month anniversary of our Gotcha Day), then I would have to agree that he is doing very well.  But "happy" all the time, well no-he is human after all.

This is the look I get when I ask Ian to do something he doesn't want to do.  He stares at the ground and pretends he can't hear me.  If I make him do it anyway (gasp! yes I am that kind of mom), then he starts with the silent tears rolling down his face.  It isn't very often thankfully, but indeed he does get mad-sad-stubborn sometimes when things don't go his way.

The reason he is pouting here in this picture is simply because he didn't want to get out of the car when we went to the park/playground.  He motioned it was "hot" outside when it was time to exit the car.   The reality was that he wanted to go swimming again that day(even though I had already made it clear no more swimming for the day).  When we pulled up at the park he realized that indeed we were not swimming again, this made him mad!  He told me it was hot, I got the "look", made him get out anyway, he eventually got over it, and we had fun at the park in spite of his pouting.

So as you can see, he isn't "happy" all the time.  We muddle through each moment of saddness, frustration, disappointments, and anger.  Always doing the best we can with what we are given :)

Wednesday, June 6, 2012

Latest Averages for Adoptions

Average Adoption Costs:

The information below was taken from a survey by Adoptive Families.  You can see the entire survey and a comparison with past years by CLICKING HERE.

South Korea
Homestudy Fee 
Document Preparation & Authentication
Adoption Agency Application & Program Fees
In-Country Adoption Expenses 
Child's Passport, Visa, Medical Exam, and Other Fees
Post-Adoption Expenses
Major Travel Expenses
In-Country Travel Expenses
All Other Expenses

**If you adopted a child in 2012, you may be eligible for an adoption tax credit of up to $12,650 for each child you adopted in 2012. The tax credit can be used to reduce the amount you owe in federal income taxes.

Tuesday, June 5, 2012

Chinese At Home

I know can you believe it?!?! Yes, I cooked a real life Chinese dinner all by myself. Ian thinks I might not be so bad after all :)

Life's Moments

I just discovered that Ian's original advocate has been blogging all along about his experience he had with Ian during his summer camp volunteer week last summer in China. 

Pop over here to read what Rob wrote about the last day he thought he would ever see Ian. 

Fortunately, it wasn't the last day for Rob to see Ian!  Ian was able to video Skype with Rob the day he became a part of our family forever.  What an amazing journey Rob put into motion on that very sad day last summer.

Monday, June 4, 2012

Monkey Joe Fun

I was SO excited that I talked Monkey Joe's into taking my expired coupons. Kids had fun except for Caleb who has officially claimed he is "too old" to play :0/