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!

Wednesday, December 17, 2014

A Name!

We have said for a while if we could reach $3500 in our FSP we would share our newest sons forever name. We originally wanted to be able to share it on his Birthday as we as a family celebrated him and put his new name on the cake. We had a mini party for him, celebrating his last birthday without a family by his side. Even though we did not make our goal then we held true to our word and yesterday we finally hit $3500 in our FSP. This is a huge milestone, well any growth in our account is a huge blessing. We are working hard to grow our FSP and when it reaches just over $11,000 we will be fully funded for our adoption. I know it sounds like a huge number, but it can happen and I have seen it happen many times over with families adopting. God set us out on this journey and he will provide away. All donations are tax deductible so if you, a friend or your company is looking to make a huge blessing before year end please consider our family.

Sorry for getting side tracked, lol. Dang money talk. Back to why I started this blog post. The name, I know you all want to know what new "K" name will be entering our family. I say it like that as all 5 of us so far start with K's, we of course would never leave anybody out. I do have to say it is getting harder to think or come up with names. Everybody except my husband has the same initials KML. I have tried to change it, but now it is just sort of our thing. When thinking and praying about names though it can get difficult. Especially when this mama like now just run of the mill names. I love my kids to have names that stand out. That are a little unique. It was funny though Little man's first name came to me pretty quickly after looking at all his photos, seeing his personality through them. We did as a family sit down and do our name choosing game of sorts, just as my husband did with our first two, and the we as a family of 4 did when we add our youngest. We love that the children are as involved in the adoption as we are, they are excited to welcome a brother and sister into the family (that can change as all settle in, lol), but we will take all the excitement and happiness for now!

So we sat down, we all wrote out our "K" name suggestions, but I was pretty sure I had found the right name and so this mama of course let her opinion known, lol. To my surprise they all liked it and took to it very quickly. All though most of the time when we refer to him in our house, the kids still call him by his Chinese name and we will probably use it as a nickname if he would like us to continue that once home (he has also been talked to about his new name). I also had been looking over middle names beginning with the letter "M" and had found one that I really liked. Loved the meaning and liked how it sounded with the first name. So that was my proposal! It was a winner!

So no more stalling, I would love to introduce you to our newest little Man, he is so cute and we can not wait to meet him. Just look at that face, the smile, those eyes, lol. Okay, Okay!!!!

                        Kingston Matthew

So excited it is finally out in the open! Matthew - The meaning of the name Matthew is Gift Of God ( and that he is to us. He has waited so long for a family of his own and we are so excited to be chosen as that family.

Now for our next goal we are trying to reach $4000 in our FSP Once we have reached $4000 we will share our daughters forever name. I know you are curious!!! Please help us reach our goal!

Friday, December 5, 2014

Article 5 Drop Off!!!!!

On Monday our article 5 will be dropped off to the US Embassy in China! What is an article 5? This is the NVC letter we received, our children's visa applications, and our LOA- letter of acceptance. The consulate will review the kids visa applications to make sure they meet the qualifications for an immigrant visa. Then they will sign off that everything is in order for the adoption to take place! This is called the article 5 letter. Once our representative in China picks this up (in about two weeks) it will be delivered directly to the CCCWA for our Travel Approval! Yeah!! Let the countdown begin!! We are sooooo close. This seems so unreal that we last December were just starting the process of gathering info and first steps of initial paperwork. I am also in the process of getting all our travel visa paperwork sent off to a courier who will take it to the Consulate here for our Travel Visa's to China. That is paperwork x4 since we are taking our 2 oldest children with us.

Financially we are still working hard fundraising and asking for support. This is a perfect time to donate as all donations to our FSP are tax deductible. So if you, your company or a group are looking for a group or family to support our family would feel so blessed for you to join our village in helping bring our children home. We are still standing by our word as well if we can get our FSP to $3500 we will announce our sons forever name!

Also check our facebook page for current fundraisers We currently have a Usborne book fundraiser and I can not say enough about these amazing books. Can never have too many, and the gift of reading for children is always an amazing one. We also have a Jewelry Fundraiser by Nest Design. She makes personalized Pea Pod style or Bird Nest Style necklaces, to reflect your family, your children, your grandchildren etc. I have met this wonderful adoptive mama herself and she does beautiful work.

Tuesday, November 25, 2014

Date " F"

Get your minds out of the gutter people. We had such a fun Letter date "F". This was my date to plan and after Date "E" not ending so well. I was determined to have a great time. I have been listening to Love and Respect and just learning so much and loving learning ways to improve my marriage. Marriage is not always easy friends. Love is a choice. We have to choose to love our spouse everyday, even when we do not feel like they are acting lovable. So going in to date F, I put thought into it. Something he would enjoy, something that would have to allow/force me to trust him, something we could do together, I could learn, he could teach. I think I nailed it. Here is some of the equipment needed.

I have never been shooting before, but we have a live fire range that has just moved to Sherwood so I thought what the heck, let's give it a try. My husband having the military background enjoys this stuff and I knew would love teaching me. We own a shotgun and I am all about knowledge, so wanted this date to bring me knowledge to something we have in our home for protection. Living out in the country, this is protection from mainly wild animals if they should happen on our property. I will pray we never see them (cougar, coyote) and it never has to be used. Never the less knowledge is power. So here we go. I was a sort of nervous wreck just walking in the building. I filled out my liability forms, said prayers in my head and got all geared up. They lead us back through a few sets of doors onto the firing range. It was silent when we walked in and the gentleman was explaining all the rules etc and then someone shot and I think I leapt a foot in the air. Not joking. Every shot for the next few minutes caught me off guard, and I either jumped or had an obvious flinch. Slowly I started to relax. Then it was my turn to shoot. We of course shot at Zombies, because we had to prepare for the zombie take over you know, lol! There are no pictures of me shooting, but there is a video and maybe someday when I learn to get videos onto my blog it will be on here, but until then it will just get posted to my facebook page.

In the video you can see how nervous I am, and that is not the first time I had shot that evening it was like the 5th or 6th. The first time I was shaking so bad. I could not even hold the shotgun up. Hubby came along side me and helped and encouraged. It was scary, but I did it. Again and again. Each time though I had to get up the courage to pull the trigger. In the video you can see and tell by my body language as I shift, and hesitate for a long time between shots. My motto this year for myself though is "Love Life, Be Brave" I was being brave for sure.

After shooting we headed to dinner at Famous Dave's BBQ, we had a delicious dinner, way to big, lol. Wonderful conversation, hubby told me about the first time he ever shot a gun and also some of his experiences in the army. It was so nice to hear him talk and enjoy himself. I love still being able to learn new things about him. We actually sat and talked for a while after we were done eating, enjoying our time together with no children! When we decided that maybe the babysitter had had enough we headed home. My love tank was just full. We snuggled on the couch and watched a movie, and finished our date with the most important "F", FAMILY! Blessed!

Monday, November 24, 2014

Thank you Pie Lovers!

Thank You, Thank You, Thank You! To everybody who bought pies, cobblers and frozen fruit. To all who shared my posts and told their family and friends about our fundraiser. To Willamette Pie Company for their amazing support and allowing us to do the fundraiser for a second time. We raised almost $400 dollars towards our adoption. To some that may not seem like a lot, but really when you break all these costs down it truly is such a blessing. Every dollar is going to a fee of some kind. As we move closer to the end their just seems to be more fees! God will Provide.

So on November 19th My mom, Baby and I took a field trip to Willamette Pie Company to pick up all the pies, cobblers and fruit! We did not really know what to expect, but had an appointment for 10am. It was a cold, but sunny, dry day! So we drove the back country roads and it was just beautiful! The drive was only about 40mins and we arrived on time! We found the office and the potty since we were traveling with a potty training toddler it is a must find at every stop, lol! I let them know I was there to pick up my order and then we got to watch them make the pies! If you know anything about Willamette Valley Pies they hand make their crust, and the pies and it is amazing as they have big windows so you can watch the yumminess happen. Baby enjoyed this part only for a few minutes, I could have watched much longer!

They have a fun little farm store that has all kinds of cute things to look at, but the best part is if you go between 9am and 11am it is their "Happy Hour"!! $1 or $1.50 pie slices, and they warm them and put a scoop of vanilla ice cream on. So of course since we were there we had to take part in this yummy special. I chose Boysenberry, baby had Pumpkin Pie (mommy figured it would be the least messiest), and I am completely drawing a blank on what my mom had. She can chime in on the comments! It was so tasty! What a yummy breakfast, lol!

We got the pies all loaded up, there was so much they filled the back of my minivan with the seat laid down! The man that loaded them asked me all about our adoption and shared with me that his wife and him hope that one day that they also would like to adopt! We let baby play on their little playgroup out front. Yes they even have a little playground so on nice, warm summer days, "Happy Hour" would be even more amazing outside! Then we started our trip home to get all the pies, cobblers and fruit back to the two pick up spots. I am just filled with so much happiness, and love at all the support. I hope these pies and cobblers are eaten and enjoyed with family and friends! Thank you again for being apart of our village to bring our children home. Here is the address to Willamette Valley Pie Company, so if you are ever in the area you can look it up!
Willamette Valley Pie Company, LLC
2994 82nd Avenue NE
Salem, OR 97305