Saturday, August 6, 2016

First Big Surgery and Summer Fun

We knew this day would come and feel blessed that we got to wait a year and a half since arriving home with our children to have to experience our first big surgery. Now do not get me wrong we have been to so many drs appointments I can not even count nor to I even care to try. They were all necessary and great things have been accomplished. We have had time to grow as a family mentally and physically so we decided after all our big vacation plans were done we would start our first of many more to come surgeries. I figured this may be a good time to sit and open up my blog that I neglect so very badly. Since sitting is hard to come by these days. I will recap our summer first.

We have been having an amazing summer and our big family trip went so well! The two big kids competed in Taekwondo Nationals in Richmond, VA and did amazing. They worked so hard to prepare for the tournament and we enjoyed watching and cheering them on. Kopelan faught his hardest during his sparring match and though he lost it was a great learning experience. Kendall participated in board breaking and brought home a bronze medal! Their entire team just did amazing and it was just a wonderful experience.

While we were in VA we visited with family on KC's side that we had not seen for many years. Many cousins meeting for the first time or reacquainting after many years.It was so fun to see how our family has grown over the years and to have all the kids together to play was just so neat! A grandparents dream I am sure! We spent a couple days at Busch Gardens Williamsburg and Water Country USA, even watched the firework display at Colonial Williamsburg. It was beautiful. Meals spent with family around the table and just a slower, go with the flow, vacation attitude. It was so hot and muggy though. One thing about the East we are not really missing living on the west coast haha.

We returned home and the kids headed right into VBS where we had a little bit of an unexpected event as on Wednesday at the camp Kingston broke his right leg. We had planned on doing surgery on both legs to get it all over with, but that put a stop to that plan. He was very lucky and they were just able to cast it up and let the healing begin.

So fast forward to Aug. 5th surgery day! Shriner's bright and early! He got pushed back on the schedule some, but he truly has the best attitude about life and that carried over onto surgery day as well. We had already answered many many questions and informed him the best we could so I think that helped. He showed up at the hospital smiling and excited too.... wait for it... WATCH HIS OWN TV!! Yep that is the only questions, concerns, words that really he had. When do I get to my room with the TV? Is there a TV in my room? Yep there ya have it, no worries on the cut open leg as long as there is a tv we are A-okay! They quickly won his heart by handing him an ipad once we were checked in and I did not see his eye balls again until they came in to ask questions and I made a rule if a dr or nurse walked in to talk he needed to lay it face down so he could answer questions with out them repeating it 100 times to a zombie face, lol! So he did good with that rule. Once it was go time, they gave him the loopy juice, silly juice, relaxation meds, whatever the name you get the idea. At that point we enjoyed the breath taking view out his window of downtown portland and the river as his head got heavy and eyes started to roll, lol. It did not take long. The anesthiologist came in and handed him another phone with movie playing on it and with in minutes we said our see ya laters and I love you's and he was rolled off to surgery. Not one bit of anxiety. Brave Boy he is!

Friday, January 29, 2016

Life of a Mom with 5

Life of a mom with 5. So I never took into consideration that with 5 kids there is 5 times more the chance that someone is going to be sick, hurt or need a dr appt, lol. Not sure what my brain was thinking (well I guess about all the 5x the love, and hugs etc). But this week I got a taste of it and today I was spent and done and after spending Tuesday unexpectedly up at Shriners, then Wednesday PT, then Thursday back up at Shriners, you can only imagine how excited I was when I saw that on Friday, my schedule was clear. Yes you heard that right blank! So my plan was to get them all to school and come home and go back to bed. I like a good girl worked out Thursday night so I could get that out of the way and then went to bed so excited for my plan to unroll in the morning. I should have known it was all going to go wrong when at 3:30am I heard a cry and then scream for me, as a child was hysterical cause they had an accident in the bed. Now I could have said, change the sheets yourself, you are old enough. 3 is old enough right? But I rolled my groggy self out of the bed and got my child all cleaned up and nice clean sheets, while also waking her roommate to use the restroom as well. I mean we were all up with the lights on anyway, might as make it a group bathroom event! So by 4am we were all pottied and back to bed! I layed back down and boom oh no, that tension feeling, the light dull I know oh so well. A migraine is brewing, I can feel it, NOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOO. Yes it was definetly there. I was just so tired I could not get up to get my medicine. So I just layed there and attempted to fall back asleep. It was a in and out, very unrestful state until the hubby got up and I requested meds and a heating pack. He knows my routine with my head and brought them to me except I was so tired my hands would not work, lol. Seriously folks I could not open the little medicine cover. So of course I just layed there, because you know that made the headache better. When hubby passed back through I asked him to open the medicine and I quickly put back under my tongue knowing my hours to sleep are now like none. I close my eyes for what felt like 5 minutes if that and yep, there goes the alarm. Now I have to be mommy, nice, loving mommy, who has not slept and who's head is pounding. Oh but my plan!!! I get to drop them all off and come back to bed! Yep that was the plan until I woke up the little girls and out of the mouth of one, "mommy I can't walk, my leg hurts, I can't walk". "What do you mean you can't walk, I just saw you walk at 3:30am". Sure enough she was barely putting weight on her right leg now. I asked her where it hurt she pointed to her knee. Now normally I would have made her push through and technically I had on Tuesday, Wednesday and Thursday, when she had complained also. She would mention it hurt in the morning but by after school she was fine. Today was different and I knew there was no more pushing and we needed to go get it looked at and that was the moment I knew that I was not going to get to come home and crawl back in bed. This is also the moment I realised KIDS-5, MOM-0. #OUTNUMBERED #BLESSEDTOLOVESOMANY

Wednesday, April 8, 2015


Today Kingston started school!!! He started Kindergarten.

He was so excited to be going to school and even more the same school as his big brother and sister. He has been counting down the days and asking at every school meeting if he is going to school. We have been working at home on things like spelling his name and counting, abc's etc. He is so smart and I knew once we could get his medical stuff situated her would be ready to go. Well he has had his braces now for 1 week and he was ready to get this show on the road. There will be no stopping this smarty pants. He picks stuff up so fast.

Karis, Kya and I dropped Kingston off, walking him to his class. He walked at the front of the line holding his teachers hand. I could hear some of the kids talking. "That's Kingston", "He is new, he is from China". I am sure the teacher gave them a heads up on a new student joining their class. Kingston walked in and the teacher showed him his hook for his backpack and his desk with his name on it. He sat down quietly and started right to work on a math paper. Proudly writing his name at the top! I gave him a kiss and told him I would see him after school and that he would do great. We walked out as he worked on his paper and I could hear the teacher introducing all the kids at his table group. I really like his teacher and I am so excited for him. I know he is going to love school and making new friends. He was so ready for this new adventure.

After school I made sure to be there early, lol. No mommy fails of being late on the first day. I wanted him to see my face as soon as school was done. He came down with the rest of his class and saw me and was smiling a big Kingston smile. He came right into my arms once his teacher excused him and gave me a big hug. I asked him how the day went and like any kid I got the one word answer. "Good". I talked to the teacher who said he did great and was interacting with the kids and they all wanted to help him do everything and teach him the ropes. That as a mama is the best thing to hear, he was being accepted right away. I am just so excited for him! As we walked out he asked, " School tomorrow"? I said yes, which was followed by his cheering YAY! I knew then he had a GREAT day! So on to tomorrow and many more days of school and firsts for my brave boy!

Monday, April 6, 2015


I hope everybody had a wonderful Easter! We were so excited to celebrate such an important holiday to our family with our newest children.

I love decorating pretty much for every holiday and season of the year. I have a plastic bin or two designated for the holiday depending on what I have picked up on clearance here and there at the after holiday sales (yes that is how I shop) over the years. I am not sure why I enjoy it, but it just brings so much excitment and festivity to the house. We have a book basket that is always full of books for the different holidays, window clings, and love my table clothes, lol! So this year the 3 kids that are home with me got to help me decorate and they loved it. It got them excited for this holiday first they would enjoy in our family.

As much talk of Easter Bunny, Chocolate, Eggs etc started going around our house I wanted to make sure my newest children understood the real reason we celebrate Easter. I had just taken Kingston to his first church service on Palm Sunday and Easter Sunday would be Kya's first Sunday in church so I knew that alone would not do the teaching. We have books that I would read and that was great, but then my Mother-in-Love asked me what she could send and I asked her about sending a video that was age appropriate in explaining the Easter Story. We received this special video, along with some coloring books that explained perfectly the death and resurrection of Jesus and boy did it spark questions. Now right now we are still in the midst of a language barrier, but every day is about learning. Learning new words, meaning and phrases. Kingston caught on that the cross was a symbol of Jesus and then he kept saying, big man flying! I loved this! Yes we have a big Daddy up in the sky. Then he started asking, what about Daddy here? We talked about our heavenly Daddy and our Earthly Daddy, and he's a boy so we talked about who is stronger, lol. I just loved the questions that were coming. We do not watch a ton of tv in our home, but I have used videos as teaching tools a lot with the kids. They can see it visually and also hear it. They are learning.

We went to church Easter morning and I have to say my church has been amazing at accomodating our newest children and their needs. I feel blessed to be a part of a church family that is willing to make the children comfortable so I can go worship and refill my spirit too. The kids loved Sunday School Easter morning! Were excited that they made cross necklaces and left class with a chocolate egg. HE is the reason we have these children in our home and I feel so blessed that we get to teach them all about their Big Daddy in the sky who loves them!

I do not want to leave out all the fun details of the kids first Dying of Easter Eggs or waking to hunt for their baskets or their first Easter egg hunt outside. They enjoyed it all. We heard, "I Love Easter" many, many times. The smile and joy on all the kids faces never gets old and it is why we do all the fun decorating and hiding of these plastic eggs.

We had a special treat this year. Our 2nd to oldest daughter Kendall thought all on her own that she wanted to make skirts for the girls for Easter. She went with GiGi and bought the material and then had a special sewing party with a dear friend Rebecca (as her mommy is not talented like that), who helped her create and sew 3 beautiful matching skirts. She was so proud and we were so proud of her. Her sisters were so excited to be able to match as they both look up to her. Not only has Kendall started sewing, but she has really got into baking so she also made a special cake for our family to enjoy on Easter. She is a true blessing to our family.

Okay I will not hold out any longer, we took some adorable photos of course! Yes I would love, love to share, because my kids are just to cute to keep secret, lol!

Thursday, April 2, 2015

10 Years Old Today and Home at Last!!

Today is our now oldest daughters 10th birthday! Her first Birthday surrounded by her forever family. We do not know if she was ever celebrated on this special day, but I like to hold out hope that she was or that her birthmother thinks about her on this day. I can not imagine my child not being with me and we will never understand her families decisions, but we will always pray for them. Pray for peace that they know she is now loved and cherished. She is celebrating birthdays like other children. Blowing out candles and being sung too!

In the 2 monthes sincer we have been home we have seen so much growth in Kya. She is a happy, joyous child, who shows it usually loudly, lol! She is developing an opinion, likes and dislikes, she is learning new things everyday. We know God placed her in our lives for a special reason, and we can not wait to see her story unfold.

Shine your light sweet girl, share your infectious laugh and smile with all around you. Spread your wings and fly! We are right behind you every step of the way!

Wednesday, April 1, 2015

Settling In and Getting things Done

Since arriving home we have hit the ground running with medical appointments. We knew the children had special needs going into the adoption, but were surprised and concerned on somethings after meeting and being around our children longer. I started setting up appointments right away, with different providers, but knew that the majority of the appointments could not be set up until we saw our pediatrician for referrals.

We are attending evaluations and specific clinics to each childs needs. This is a huge learning experience. We have been very please with all the wonderful care the kids have recieved up on the hill at OHSU, Doernbecher and Shriner's.

To date we have had a eye dr appts,MRI, Dental surgery, OT evals, x-rays, molds made for leg braces, shots, and blood work. We took this week off due to spring break and all 5 kids being home from school, but will get back at it starting Tuesday! I have tried to remember to take photos along the way to document our time. Hard when I am also trying to be there for each child and take in all the new information given to me. Some things we already knew and recently we have hit some new territory that we will be exploring medically.

Thursday, March 19, 2015

Blog Slacker - We are home!

We have been home since January 31st now. So about 3 1/2 weeks now. Crazy to think that we have had custody of our children for over a month already. I feel so bad that I was not able to keep the blog going, but when people say that the internet is sketchy in China they are not joking (that and you go into survival mode). Then upon returning home we found our main computer had died. So my blog info which was saved was gone. My already fried brain could not figure out what the user name or password was and honestly I did not have the energy to give it much thought.

Our time in China was nice, we got to see Beijing and visit the Great Wall, an amazing wonder for sure! We went to Zhengzhou where we received our children and then flew to Guangzhou where we finished everything up before coming home. If I said our trip was smooth I would be lying. Adoption trips I believe test you in everything. Patience, Flexibility, Adaptability, Strength, Endurance, and Faith. We relied on prayer a lot. From the start, right up until we landed back at home.

On January 19th we took a bus with many other families to meet our children. At this point we had already spent a day with our son and were excited to be reunited with him. We have yet to meet our daughter. She was still just a picture to us. The night before we received a piece of paper about each child to help us adjust as their parents and make them feel more welcome. There was some info on our daughters paper that to us was unknown and a little alarming. Our son's paper was pretty much what we knew and since we had spent the day with him were feeling pretty okay with it. After arriving to the room where we would receive our children it was full of ready parents, nerves and anticipation was high as children started being brought one by one and sometimes two by two. They would bring the child in and call the child's name and then the parents name. The child would be handed over. The younger ones cried unsure of why they were being handed over to these strangers who looked strange and smelled strange and new to them. Watching the scene over and over, you cry right along with the joyful parent. I found myself tearing yes out of joy for the making of a family, but out of sadness for the child who had no idea what was going on, who was experiencing such extreme loss right at that moment.

And a second attempt at getting this blog post written, lol. I started it as written above and then life and appointments took over. Oh my, lol!

Our children arrived on gotcha day 1 at a time. Our daughter Kya arrived first along with quite a few other children from her orphanage that were being adopted as well. She was the oldest out of them and was helped up the steps by one of the orphanage workers. She came in and acted liked she recognized us, but I am not clear on that for sure. She was very excited to show us a princess purse that she had and its contents. I am asssuming it was given to her as a gift when she left that morning. I was also handed a backpack and a photo book. We all crowded around her as she proudly showed her belongings to her and then we guided her over to a couch. It became very apparent that her walking and balance were more of an issue than we had understood. She was pretty wobbly. She sat on the couch and I handed her the photo album, she looked through it naming all her foster siblings she had been living with for the past year. I was quickly called away to start signing paperwork. While I was signing paperwork Kingston was brought in buy a nanny from his home. He was quickly set in a stroller and had a big smile on his face when he saw us! We got all the needed paperwork done and then moved to a corner of the room to start the bonding and getting to know our children process. We had also brought our 9 yr old daughter and 7 yr old son so the kids were very interested in them as well. Lots of hugs and giggles were given. I learned the mandarin word for potty real quick that day also. When all families had received there children and filled out their paperwork we were allowed to leave. All the families we traveled with who entered that room with empty arms, were leaving with full ones. Some for the very first time of parenting. It was a very special surreal moment and there were a lot of emotions getting back on the bus.

To speed things up some while in China we had our ups and downs with the kids. Our sons bonding seemed to be going fairly smoothly. He is easy going, silly, curious and very social. Loving to everybody in the family, constantly offering a hug or kiss. I think he would get frustrated that we could not speak Mandarin, but he was very patient with us using hand gestures and repeating every english word he heard. The minute he could find someone to speak mandarin with though he chatted their ears off, our guides, taxi drivers, hotel staff, who ever would listen. We hoped it was all good, lol. Our daughter bonded instantly with my husband. She would allow me to be close and show her affection, but would not really give it to me on her own and when something did not go her way Mama was the one who was lashed out at. I know I am not the only mother this has happened to and this is the hard side of adoption. Rejection from a child you have prayed for and loved for so long is very hard to take. I knew this could happen with either kid going into it and knew my job was to keep loving her no matter her reactions towards me. While in China you feel so out of your element also that is so hard for day to day things. So we sort of allowed KC to be the main person to avoid meltdowns if we could, but certain things like hitting or safety issues had to be addressed on the spot and did not always go over to well. The word "NO" was not said to her much I do not think nor was teaching her to control that emotion or behavior. I will report she has not hit me since the San Francisco airport on the way home (pretty sure people thought we forced her to come home as I literaly had to drag her on the plane)! This is huge progress!

Being home for so long now requires its own post. We have been to so many drs appts now with each kiddo and are wading through learning their ins and outs, likes and dislikes. I will try and do another post sooner then later. I will add a bunch of photos, because pictures are fun!