Saturday, March 29, 2014

It has been awhile!

I always hated it when you follow a families adoption up to meeting their child, and then they stop blogging.  Don't you?  You want to see the new child at home!  I did ok for awhile but then nothing exciting has been happening and life is just busy!

Everyone is doing well.  Meilin has settled in but it is still an adjustment.  She is still trying to figure out her way around her new life and family.  I also think she is trying to see where she fits in with the little two.   Her English is really coming along and I believe she understands everything we say.  Pretty soon we will understand her 100% too.  It will be nice when she can fully communicate in English though.

She is still attending preschool four afternoons a week with Max and Mia.  She really likes going to school and doesn't like days without it.

Something new is getting to play outside as the weather has finally gotten nicer.  She loves being outside!  We have had some nice days here and there and she will be outside as much as we let her.  It is fun to watch her just run around the backyard exploring everything.  It opened a whole new world for her!

Everyone else is doing well too.  Travis will graduate in two months from High School! That is so hard to believe.  Maddie and Macy are adjusting to a new sister and life after China.  They are such a great help and good girls.  Max and Mia are in one word... crazy.  They keep us busy and are also adorable and loving.  They have changed our lives for the better for sure and there is never a dull moment.

I will now find some pictures of our crazy little life!  We joined the Courage League in town.  It is a gym with classes and open gym times for kids with special needs and their families!  It has been so much fun for our entire family!  It also helped us use up some energy during the long winter!

There weren't many days warm enough to get outside this year.  It was an extremely cold winter!  The first day it was nice though we took the kids out to go 4 wheeling in the snow.  We all had a great time. It was Meilin's first time on a 4 wheeler and she loved it!

Wednesday, January 29, 2014

Time for a quick update!  Things are just always busy so I haven't done a great job with the blog.  I know a lot of people care about Meilin though and wonder how she is doing.  Overall she is doing great!  She has now been home 2 months.  Sometimes it seems longer and sometimes it is still hard to believe that this little girl we saw on the New Day blog is actually in our house!
Adoption and the transition into a forever home is a process.  That is why I am at loss of words sometimes on what to say when people ask us how she is doing.  It changes by the minute but in general she is doing amazing.  From the moment we saw her in China she knows we are her family and she seems to fit right in.  She loves all of us and we all love her!
There are a few moments of sadness, missing China and her foster family I am sure but she tries so hard to be strong and brave.  She is a very outgoing little girl and knows what she wants.  No one is going to push her around, ever!  She is also loving and of course entertaining.  Such a happy spirit.
After a little time her and Max and Mia have re established their roles in the family.  She is at the top of the pecking order with the other little ones and once Max and Mia accepted that all was well.  Lucky for her they are pretty laid back and didn't put up much of a fight! 
She tests us a lot more in public.  She is not shy at all.  Part of that comes with having Williams syndrome and part from her past where she met a lot of people.  We are trying to keep her world as small as possible and go back to the basics we learn in our adoption trainings.  She needs to understand we are her parents and all her needs will be met by us. Not a stranger and especially not a stranger when you are in trouble by us  :)  The girl has charm and personality and is not afraid to use it on unsuspecting strangers!  But, we want her to know we are it through good and bad. She is a smart girl and picks everything up so quickly!  I am sure people will think we are mean if we don't let them hold her or give her treats but it really is for her own good and for her attachment and bonding.
And she has to learn that not every stranger is a friend.
I am overwhelmed at times though how well she has adjusted to so many changes.  It really is like she always belonged here and her little self knows it too.
I tried to get some cute pics the other day to post of her.  Well they are cute because she is but she likes to pose, A LOT!  So this is what you get!

Some of our nights are spent at basketball games.  Travis is a senior so this is it for him.  Meilin likes to go and cheer her big brother on too!

Life is busy with three little ones, 14 months apart, and all with special needs.  It is also crazy and exhausting.  BUT, I wouldn't trade it for anything.  This is exactly what God has called us to do and we are blessed with these three.  Maddie and Macy are awesome big sisters too.  Macy told me in the car after school the other day that she wished she could have adopted them instead of me. I asked why and she said because she wants to be their mom!  She also makes it clear she will adopt a lot more than I have and I am sure she will! 
There are plenty of people that think if you adopt, and especially a child with sp needs, that it will hurt your bio kids or they will be a burden to them.  Yes people actually say and think that!  It is obvious they don't know what they are talking about.  Maddie and Macy will be better people because we adopted.  They understand so much more than they would have if we hadn't.  They understand the world is bigger than they are.  They understand that they can't have every material thing or go out for every activity and why.  They understand what it means to follow God's callings and not just taking the easy way out.
We would have never guessed this is the path our lives would take. Even when we started with Mia.  It really hasn't all been easy.  Adoption is hard.  Very hard.  It is costly and exhausting.  It is amazing and beautiful as well.  We have three children in our home that were orphans and now have a family to love them forever!  I can not think of anything I would rather do with my time.
We get judged by many because of our choices.  Most adoptive families seem to.  That always amazes me because I don't feel it is their place to judge how many kids I have just as it isn't  my place to judge them yet we seem to be a prime target because our family stands out.  There are people, one specific person right now, trying to do everything in her power to tear our family down.  It is very stressful but we have God in our life and will get through.  We will keep doing what we are called to do.  We can't worry about those who have nothing better to do with their lives then attack us.  I almost feel sorry for them because to wake up each day with the goal to hurt people is no way to live.  That is their problem.  I know we probably need to get some pretty thick skin and we will.
We get asked often if we are going to adopt again or I often hear that we need to be done now!  That one always gets me.  Again not sure why it is anyone else's business how many kids we have.  There are so many ways I want to respond but in the end a friend who has a lot more children than we do does.  She sums it up perfectly!  We are done when God says we are done!  you can't argue with that!
The bible is packed full of talk about helping orphans so how did our world become so backwards that the people that follow that are the ones targets and attacked?  Quite often by Christians!  Having just a couple kids and giving them everything they could ever dream of and then some is acceptable in this culture but adopting children is looked down upon. 
 Pretty interesting and sad if you think about it!

Friday, January 17, 2014

Gotcha Day for Mia....2011

This is the picture that started it all.  We had started the process to adopt a little girl between the ages of 3-5.  We kept seeing children but kept wondering when how we would chose.  Someone told me when you see your child you will know.  Then one day Larry was home from work and our SW sent us an email.  There was a little girl that was going to get listed.  She thought we would want to see her.  We opened the picture and there she was!  We knew instantly she was ours.  I burst into tears, there was no doubt!  The funny thing is she just turned 1 so much younger than we had planned, yet she was ours, no doubt about it!
A year later we were preparing to walk through these doors and bring her home forever!

From this day forward she was Mia Sze-man and this crib would be filled with another waiting child.
Yesterday I posted how scared we were when we met her.  This is a picture of the exact moment we knew everything was going to be ok.  This was day two and Gotcha day.  We were playing on the swing with her and saw her smile for the first time. Our hearts melted and we were done.  This baby girl was ours and it was going to be ok!

Leaving Mother's Choice forever, no longer an orphan!!!
We loved Mother's Choice and are so greatful for the care and love they gave Mia while she was there!

Mia's favorite thing to do then and now is to snuggle.  She is the most cuddly child ever!

So thankful we took that leap of Faith 4 years ago.  We are incredibly blessed by this little girl!

Thursday, January 16, 2014

3 years ago today

Three years ago today we walked into a room in an orphanage in Hong Kong and waited for them to bring Mia out to us.  This is when we first saw her.
The first time we held her in our arms.

We went with her orphanage on a field to trip a mall.

Then we got to bring her back to where we were staying and put her down for a nap.

It brings so many emotions back.  The day was so overwhelming.  We had flown half way around the world and met our daughter for the first time.  It was wonderful, scary and overwhelming for us and her.  I wish I knew then what I know now.  I wouldn't have been so scared.
As wonderful as adoption is, it is difficult.  We had this nice little life and now in a moment it all changed.  We were handed our little girl with down syndrome that was as scared as we were.  She didn't make eye contact and she didn't cry.  She wanted to sleep and shut out the world and everything that was going on.  She did everything she could to get out of our arms and to her caregiver that she knew.
They went through her needs with us and for a moment, we wondered what we had just gotten ourselves into.  Had we just ruined our comfy cozy little life?  We fell in love with this adorable little girl and now here she is.  More than a picture!  A real child with real needs. 
Luckily it wasn't hard to fall in love with this adorable little girl.  We were right that our lives had changed forever but for the better!  We were changed for ever.  Our other kids lives were changed forever.  And most importantly this little orphan girls life was changed forever.  And all were changed for the better!
Many people tell us how lucky Mia is, or how blessed she is to have us.  They have it all wrong.  WE are the blessed ones.  WE are the lucky ones.  We aren't the angels, Mia is!  She is as close to heaven as we can get here on earth.  God has big plans for this little girl and we are so glad he chose us to be a part of it!

Tuesday, December 24, 2013