Last Saturday was a great celebration. We celebrated the fact that less than a year ago a young man was just 3 days away from aging out of the orphanage (which means he would have been placed in a vo-tech type of situation and never known about the love of a family in a country where family means A LOT) and was adopted by his forever family. There were about 6 families all gathered at the N's house to meet face to face the children we have all prayed home. Several of these children weren't here a year or two ago! There are more on the way (not us, don't panic, but you never know!). The kids made new friends got reacquainted with ones they had seen last year or at China Camp and the adults chatted and ate and ate, and the adults ate, and then we had some food. Our big group picture is missing three China born babes (they had to head home early), so that makes 17 of 28 total children who are orphans no more. Technically, we are all orphans no more, right? Our heavenly Father adopted us all!
Jessa and Carlie had so much fun. Carlie was trying to squirt the dirt off of Jessa's legs. I think these two might be quite the pair if left alone for too long ;). Carlie came home and named one of her babies Jessa!
Ethan and Kaeleb did lots of boy things. They had their own squawky language going and got all kinds of dirty. Maggie and Avery kept a safe distance from each other. They both wanted the same toys a lot of the time, but kept a mutual respect for each other. I'm sure with time they will be two peas in a pod. Maggie just came home about 5 months ago!
She's been with us just 10 months today. Ten months and one day ago she was living in an orphanage, with no Daddy, no Mommy, no brothers, sisters. Sometimes I forget that because the girl has adjusted so amazingly well - like really well. We have our moments of fear where we are all doing something that seems pretty much normal to us, like a helicopter will fly over, and she'll get nervous and cling to me, maybe whimper a little and say, "What's that sound Mommy?" Or she'll touch something that is unfamiliar to her - it used to be grass - and she'll completely balk at the idea. She's learned a new language, learned to take a bath, learned to ride in cars (and a few planes:), learned to eat food completely foreign to her, learned to get used to having her clothes changed, learned to 'go' in a diaper, and countless other things. She's been through so much and come so far,
The "2's" are nothing for us. We can handle those like a breeze. It's the "3's" that get us every time. And seeing as how this is our 4th "3" to handle, and that she has 2 older brothers, and an older sister to stand up to - she's going to be nothing short of a challenge and a joy.
Yesterday she was asking me for goldfish and we were already late to go get a kid at school so I started off nicely saying that we couldn't get goldfish just yet. Well, she kept asking and getting a little more demanding. Finally I told her to hush, that we couldn't get them right now. She said, "YOU HUSH YOUR MOUTH!" The nerve of her!
I am a wife to a wonderful man, and a mother of five beautiful, healthy children. If I had time, I would get organized, read, research stuff, exercise (pressing on!), and take more naps. We live in the great state of Oklahoma. Life is good. God is great!
A List of Common Adoption World Abbreviations and Terms
SWI - Social Welfare Institution, the orphanage, but also sometimes an orphanage and a home for the elderly
SN - Special Need, some of the families request a child with a special need, we have chosen not to
LID - Log In Date, the date your dossier is officially logged in in China
Travel Group - All the other families who have the same DTC/LID date as we do and we will all travel together unless one of them chooses a child with a special need. Usually all the referrals in a group come from the same orphanage, which will be another thing we will have in common with our travel group.
I-171h - a PPP that we waited 6 weeks on so we could finish our dossier
USCIS - United States Citizenship and Immigration Services
Bethany - Our adoption case worker at Dillon who is very patient and has a great sense of humor
Dillon - Our adoption agency, which we love, is based in Tulsa, but serves many parts of the country, and it's Christian based
PPP - Pretty Peace of Paper, once you have received the pesky one it becomes the pretty one ;)
PPP - Pesky Piece of Paper, which is any piece of important paper you are waiting on
Referral - The first picture you see of the child you have been matched with and a brief medical history