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!

Tuesday, January 13, 2015

Here we go!!

Tomorrow morning is the day we have prepared for, prayed for, prepped, for, cried over, and thought would never come. Tomorrow we leave for China. People keep asking me how I am feeling. I can not even put into words the emotions that have gone through me this past week. Ups, downs and all arounds, lol. Happy, Excited, Scared, Tired, Elated, Fear, Uncertainty, Joy, Anxiety, I have felt it all. Even sadness as I prepare to leave our youngest home. Please keep her in your prayers as this could be hard on her, she knows something is changing, and we talk and talk about the plan and the kids, but we do not really know how much she really understands. We wrapped 17 small gifts with notes for her to open everyday so she knows that she is loved and thought about even while we are gone. I know she will be loved on and safe while we are gone and it is for the best, but still this mama heart hurts to leave her behind.

All our bags are packed, I never thought I would get them packed, but tonight made it final, there was no choice, I had to zip them shut. So now it all is what it is, and we will survive with what we have in the bags. We are carrying over some donations. Medical supplies to the healing home where our son is living and also some gifts to children who's parents are working so hard to bring them home. One such family had sent a gift on short notice in hopes we could deliver it to their son. Today at 3pm I sent them a message saying I was freaking out as their package had not got here and the mail already came for that day. I had a couple errands to run and told them to check the tracking and see if they could find out where the box was at. They were trying to locate the packing slip and I was done running errands and had just pulled into the driveway when I get a text stating that the package had tried to have been delivered but there was no safe place to leave it? Unsure of what that meant as we have a porch and I actually have a sign on my porch telling postal men to leave packages between my screen door and front door. Also it did not require a signature. So I get this text at 4:30pm, the family tried to tell me I did not have to worry about it, but I could not leave knowing this package could be sitting at the post office. So Kids, house sitter and I hauled our way (we drove the speed limit) to the post office. I got there at 4:50pm, they close at 5pm. At the desk he says he will look but it is possible it is at a different post office. Quick prayer in my head, please be there, he looks one place, not there, I tell him it is a Priority Express and he says oh well that makes a difference and goes to another area in back, comes around the corner, box in hand! I could have cried happy tears. I thanked him and told him this box contained a package headed to China for a special little boy tomorrow!! I literally hugged the box, yes I am serious! I felt so responsible for this gift getting to China. I feel like I am paying it forward for the families that carried my children's gifts over before we were traveling. So I have the gift packed safe and sound!

Tomorrow please pray for safe travels and that all our flights are on time with no issues, and that all our bags make it to where they need to go. Thank to our House Helper Amanda, who helped me get my blogger password etc. I am hoping to be able to keep this updated. Every now and then, lol! See you on the other side of the world!

Friday, January 2, 2015

TA and Travel Plans

We received our TA and are full swing into making our travel plans. We have a CA (Consulate Appointment) for 1/29. That means that we need to be there 2 weeks prior to meet our children and do all the paperwork needed prior to this appointment. So the official day we will meet our children will be 1/19. To say this is all coming fast is an understatement. When you work on something for over a year, praying, filling out tons of paperwork etc and then finally you get the all clear to go get your children. Let me tell you, the night we booked our tickets and it was really, really real, this mama's anxiety got a little out of control. I have since calmed down a little enough to be able to breathe. HAHA.

We have booked our flights to and from, we have got our hotels booked and we have started the packing process. We have 13 days, well technically 12 days as today is almost over. So lots to do. I have lists and lists. Trying to figure out how to pack for 6 people, but not over pack is sort of difficult for me. Layer, Layers. Two of the Cities we will be in will be in the 40'-50's and then our final City will be 60's-70's, let me tell you as an Oregonian in the middle of the winter I can not wait to get to that last stop!

I am doing all I can to try and be successful with internet etc in country and so hope I will be able to post whether on blogger or on our facebook page I have heard communication can be iffy in some places, but we will try our hardest so make sure to like our page and check often. Last if you all can be praying. Pray that our children's hearts are ready to receive us and the love we have for them, that they may be able to let us comfort them when they grieve and feel afraid. Pray protection for us and our health while we are in a foreign country. We so love all our supporters! We could not have done this without you. We have a fundraiser going on right now that has been started by our friends. Please go check it out it looks like a fun one!

We are still trying to reach $4000 in our FSP to announce our daughters Forever Name also. We are less than $200 away. If you would like to make a tax deductible donation to our FSP here is that link

YAY, YAY, YAY, Here we come kids. It has been a long year, but this year is going to be amazing. What a way to start the year off!