Hebrews 10:23- "Let us hold unswervingly to the hope we profess, for he who promised is faithful."

Saturday, May 11, 2013


So today is "Birth mom" Day........I have such mixed emotions. So many people post thanks and love to their children's birth mom, but I'm really having a hard time with it. The bottom line is the orphan crisis sucks, and I so wish "orphan" was a non-existent word. That babies weren't being left, abandoned for whatever reason or excuse they were or were not given. The truth is I have no idea why Olivia's birth parents abandoned her on a road in a VERY cold time of year. Am I thankful they didn't abort her, of course, am I thankful she's now my daughter, ABSOLUTELY. But adoption comes with trauma, the truth remains that she lived her first three years as an orphan, for three years she had no family, and for the rest of her life she will never know her biological family history or even her true birthdate. She will however know love and she will know God, who will give her the most comfort. Unfortunately life is never easy, many of us go through trauma. Mike's mom suffering from cancer for ten years and dying when he was 19 was a horrible traumatic experience for him and his siblings. Many know the sufferings of Cancer or the loss of a loved one, divorce, or even abandonment. Many people all over the world are starving or homeless, and don't even let me get started on the problem of children led homes. Did you know that America, being one of the richest countries in the world, is failing horribly in Faith? These third world countries of starving and homeless people and abandoned children have more faith in God (Christians) than us Americans could dream of having.......but that's another post for another day....
It is said over and over in the Bible that we (Christians) will suffer and we will have sorrow. Just google "verses about suffering", this one was my favorite.

Romans 5:3-5
More than that, we rejoice in our sufferings, knowing that suffering produces endurance, and endurance produces character, and character produces hope, and hope does not put us to shame, because God's love has been poured into our hearts through the Holy Spirit who has been given to us.

Olivia is an amazing little girl, with indescribable character, she is determined, headstrong, and independent. I often wonder is that something she got from her birth mom or birth dad, or was it a God given gift to help her survive at 3 1/2 pounds while waiting for someone to find her that cold February day. There are so many unknowns, I have often wondered why and I have answered "hopefully it was because they just couldn't give her the help she needed, they hoped someone else could." I have anger too, I'll admit, and I HAVE to find it in myself to forgive them. God commands us to forgive others as He forgives us. I just love this little girl SO much and I think "How?" "How could you just leave her there?" Many what ifs run through my mind often. Then God reminds me "I love her more, I took care of her then and will always." So at the end of this day I have learned I must forgive. It doesn't matter why, it's done, and thankfully God lead me to her and I now have another beautiful, amazing daughter. As I watched her tonight specifically call each of her siblings to give them kisses and tell them "I wuv ooo 2, nat (night)!" I was filled with such joy, she now knows love. It was precious and wonderful and I am so thankful that God loves ME so much that He would trust me with another child to call mine while on this earth.
I don't know if Mother's Day is celebrated in China but I do hope that her Birth mom has some feeling of comfort and can rest that her baby is being loved and is no longer an orphan.

I use this blog as a journal of my feelings and experiences and even more a place to talk about God and His amazing works in our life. I felt the need to write the feelings I've had today without really knowing how this post would end. As I typed God showed me, I need to find forgiveness. What an amazing God we serve!

Wednesday, May 8, 2013

May 8th.......

May 8.......today has been a rough day for two parents miles apart. Today is Chase's birthday and as many of you know Olivia had her first surgery on her legs. I am here with Olivia and Mike is at home with the other three. All day Mike has had a hard time talking to Olivia, and not able to hold her and love on her, seems like he calls when she is the most upset. She had her Achilles lengthened in both legs and tendons in her hips released. Hopefully she will have more flexion in her hips and in return will help her to not hold her legs Indian style as much. Since she has always sat or laid with her legs open, her hips rotate out. We're hoping (praying) that this (and fixing her feet) will help her to turn her legs in. If her legs continue to be externally rotated then she will have to have the hip surgery that involves cutting the bone, turning it in, and pinning it.....sounds pretty rough. The dr said her feet are looking good. I wasn't able to see her feet out of the casts because they took the old ones off in the OR while she was asleep and put the new ones on before they woke her up. He said I will see a big difference next week when we're back. I can already tell a difference with her casts, her toes are pointing up and there is more flexion in her ankles. So I'm very anxious to get back next week and see the difference. Olivia has done ok today, she has had a lot of pain but the pain meds have worked pretty well. I think she has been the most traumatized by the IV and pulse ox on her finger.....she's sleeping well right now, praying for a good night!

God knew that we both didn't need to be here for Olivia's surgery. As upset as Mike has been not being here, I have felt the same with not being home. Today our oldest turned 12 and he probably had one of his best games of the season. I hated not being there to celebrate his day with him, but his Dad was, I would have felt even worse had neither of us been there.

With Mother's Day coming up, this is a perfect time to say how lucky I am to have my mom! She has helped us so much and never complains. This week she is running kids between karate, gymnastics, and school, taking pizza last minute to the school, making sure homework is done, and worrying about us up here. Not only does my mom help me A. LOT. She is also my best friend, someone who has taught me so much about life, about myself. She listens to me, still gives me advice, even when I don't ask......and always gives me an amazing role model to look up to as I continue to figure out this whole adult thing....;-)
Thank you Mom, I Love You!!

          We did get to celebrate Chase's birthday a few days early with Japanese!


They let me take Olivia back to the OR and get her to sleep.  I was so thankful, even with versed, she wasn't too happy.  I DID NOT want her to feel fear from them taking her from me.  If you've adopted then you understand, she's been "taken" once before, by me, and I don't want her to feel that fear ever again.

Thursday, May 2, 2013

3 months home.....

We have now been home exactly 3 months with our precious daughter.  
Wow, what a crazy 3 months, time has flown by.  I remember thinking we would never get to China......
Olivia continues to do well, she talks constantly and still gets around like she did before the casts, they haven't slowed her down a bit.  She is very feisty, I have no doubt that she will one day walk and excel in this world.  
We leave next Tuesday to go back to Philly for her Achille's lengthening surgery and she will also have some tendons in her hips "released" to give her hips a little more flexion.  
I am not looking forward to it at all......
I just keep thinking about how uncomfortable she will be. 
 I can't imagine having surgery and then being confined to casts.  
Yes, she will have casts put on after the surgery.  Then we will start the weekly castings again the following week.  
As of now we are scheduled through the first week of June.  The doctor said she may need the Achille's lengthening procedure done again after the castings are complete, so it may be July before she gets them off for good.  
Looking like a long summer.....

I must admit this traveling and working full time are a little harder than I expected.  I honestly don't mind traveling, I have always enjoyed traveling, but having to work my lovely night shift on top of it has made for one tired mamma.  
 Olivia is also pushing limits....a lot
 I think she knows she can.......
 so she does......
 like most 3 year olds.  
I try to remember that she 
1.) is 3, 
2.)has only been home 3 months, and 
3.)has casts all the way up her legs.  
In everything I've learned about adoption, any big change is a lot harder on these kids than a child who has been in the same home with a family their entire life.  
She has her moments, I have mine, we get through them and move on......
She is still a very sweet and loving child.  
She LOVES to snuggle, especially with me.  
I went from being her least favorite in China to her most favorite here.  I am so thankful that she has bonded so well with me, with all of us.  She loves her brothers and sister, and has no problem telling them to leave her alone when she's had enough of their constant.affection.  And of course she still loves her Daddy.  He gets the biggest grin when he comes home, she'll say "Daddy's home!".  It's precious.  And if you dare mention talking to him on the phone, she will pitch a fit to talk too and run up some minutes!

As I mentioned earlier, she talks a lot.  She'll talk to anybody who will listen, or not, she'll keep talking.  
Somethings we can understand, some we can't, but she knows what she's talking about and she knows exactly what we're talking about.  
We can tell her anything and she will understand it.  
She's so smart. 

 I'd say the hardest thing has been her eating. 
 She still does not eat well.  Some days are better than others, some days are just plain horrible.  
For example, yesterday she inconspicuously threw all her food on the floor for the dog to eat. 
 I worry because she's so tiny, but the problem is that it has become a power struggle between us.  This is the only thing she can control, so she wants to control it.  
Again, I have to relax and leave her alone.  I seem to only make it worse, especially when she'll be eating well and I sit down, then she's done and just wants me to hold her......

So things continue to go well, but things get hard at times.  If anyone goes into adoption with the thought that it will be perfect, thinking "we will show this child love and give it all it needs, so how could it be hard?" is only lying to themselves and everyone else. 
Adoption is hard....at times....but it is beautiful......all the time. 
 This precious little life has been such a blessing on mine and I am so thankful to have her. 

God adopted us just as we adopt these children, it is an amazing sight to live and understandGod loves us and wants us to love Him.  We're not always easy to love, we mess up a lot, but He never leaves us, He fights our fights and answers our prayers.  He wants to be the only reason we exist, He IS the only reason we exist and for that I am thankful!