Friday, July 20, 2012

Happy Birthday my sweet Bella

How could my little girl be seven already ?

When you've missed any of your children's birthdays it makes the ones that you have with them extra special. With every birthday thoughts of birth parents come to mind. These days as Bella gets older those same thoughts invade her mind too.  In fact the last two years around the time of her birthday she's had a really difficult time. This year she's been able to talk about it more and be ok with it. No tears this year. She draws pictures of China Mommy when it comes up.  I think it helps her process it some. She is way too mature for seven. I've said that about her at two, three, four, five and six years old.... : )

We had to postpone her birthday party till August 4th because of an awesome but unexpected trip to Charleston next week. So I did my very best to make her day special.

I decorated everywhere that I could...just to see her smile this morning when she woke up

Pink roses for her birthday....well what girl wouldn't like that? Seven roses for the big seven year old and five roses for the birthday girls little sister. Convenient that their ages make a dozen.

She was tickled as usual to see her artwork published in her annual Izzy's Artwork. This year we also had published her first book of short stories. She's written and illustrated stories for the last year and I finally scanned and put them into book format for her. She was ecstatic to see it in print : )

Then we went have Chinese food for lunch...always her first choice.
We had a very sweet day with our beautiful birthday princess.

Happy Birthday my Bella Ting....oh, I love you so much. You are such a joy and a blessing.
How I wish that China Mommy could somehow see what an amazing young lady you are.

Monday, July 9, 2012


They make me laugh so hard sometimes. I come into the playroom and there's six chairs set up three rows of two each. They are in the back two chairs with their shades on and laughing. There's a stool at the front of the six chairs with a dog on it. It turns out the dog is the driver and they are popstars in a "long" car (you know Mommy the kind that bands ride in on the way to a concert) do they know this stuff? They are playing popstar.  At first I thought I should be five and six year olds playing popstar. Not exactly my idea of a healthy role model. What happened? Just last week they were still playing Cinderella and Snow White. So I'm watching and they ask if I want to watch them sing at the concert. Well of course. I live for these moments ! They get out of the "long" car and run into the concert. They have a stage set up at the other end of the playroom. Here they go....I'm thinking they'll sing some Taylor Swift song that they love. Maybe a Hannah Montana song that Izzy has on her Ipod...but nope nothing like that. They stood there and reminded me in such a sweet way that it is all worth it. Every minute, every word, every prayer, every moment spent pouring into their lives is worth it. My little popstars stood on their stage and sang "Amazing Grace" and it was amazing : ) Not that there's anything wrong with some age appropriate Taylor Swift music or some of Hannah Montana's music. It's just that for them to choose to perform Amazing Grace over all of the other stuff that swirls around in this world really made me smile.

So I asked Izzy "what made you guys choose to sing Amazing Grace?" and with typical Izzy attitude (that has gotten her in some trouble lately) she says "Um, hello...we are popstars for Jesus!"

I couldn't even get mad at the attitude that time : )

Sunday, July 8, 2012

These pictures say so much about their my girls so much

saving worms....

Tuesday, July 3, 2012

Time with family

We helped Uncle Noah celebrate his 14th birthday (cannot believe he's 14 already) on Sunday. Josiah and the girls love being with their family...especially when it involves swimming, jumping on the trampoline and dirt cake : )

Celebrating his birth

I know it seems as if I’ve been absent from life…from church, from the gym, from friends… from lots of things lately.  I know I have a lot of catching up to do.  

I could easily say “I’ve been busy”, but the truth is that I haven’t.  I’ve slowed my life down purposely.  I just had a feeling it would be necessary and it was. My time with Josiah has been wonderful. For the last six weeks I’ve been watching my son come to life. It’s been the most amazing and challenging time.  It’s been exhausting and exhilarating. Oh, gosh I'm just overwhelmed by it all...don't know how else to say it.  It was different with the girls. When they came home they were alive already. That probably doesn’t make sense. Let me try to explain. They were in an amazing place. An orphanage, Yes, but also a home. A home filled with people that love the Lord and love them very much and they poured love and God’s blessings over them every day. So when they came to be with their family they were expecting it. They have been prepared for it and they had already been living their life. Learning about everything. They knew our language. They knew Jesus. They were as ready as they could be for their family.
Josiah on the other hand didn’t really understand that we were coming which is the case with most adoptions from China. He wasn’t prepared in any way.  A few times he was showed pictures of us and that’s about it. I'm fairly sure he had not been prayed over. I doubt that he had been loved on like Izzy and Mari. I don’t really know if anyone there loved him or not I can just tell you by his overwhelming need to be held and hugged and kissed and loved that he didn’t have a lot of that. Having a book read to him was foreign.  He didn't even know what to do with a book.  When I sit on the floor and play with him it's like the biggest deal in the world. It's almost like he's shocked that I'm doing that. He's always looking into my eyes. So deeply. The look on his face the first time I sang to him was astonishing to me. He is absolutely amazed by me singing to him. He puts his head on my shoulder and holds me with a death grip like he's never going to let me go. It fills my heart and breaks it all at the same time. It’s been so evident in the last few weeks that he did not have much stimulation. No one on one with anyone. Just the smallest amount of time spent with him he grew developmentally in leaps and bounds.  I’m blown away by how much he has changed in just a short time. My family often remarks at how different he is each time they see him. It’s so true. He is coming to life every day.  For a little boy that couldn’t say much in Chinese and nothing in English to say “Jesus” just brings me to my knees. I’m in constant praise for what He has done for Josiah. The words in John 14 come to me often “I will not leave you as orphans, I will come to you”.  Thank you Lord.
I often think about how I struggled with God over bringing home another child. How I kept telling him that I couldn’t handle another one. I never imagined four….how could I handle five? I’m so grateful that His ways are not my ways. So grateful that He was relentless with me.  I’m so grateful that He didn’t give up. So grateful.
I had a house full of people on Saturday.  It was crazy, chaotic, overwhelming and oh so perfect. They were here to celebrate Josiah’s birthday.  It wasn’t until Sunday night when I put him to bed that it really hit me that we had truly celebrated his birth.  I know that it was his third birthday, but it was our first with him. And strangely enough unlike with the girls I didn’t have the aching whole from missing the first two birthdays. With the girls it was so hard to overcome the fact that I had missed so much time with them especially their other birthdays.  It was and is still hard for me for some reason. With Josiah it seemed like there weren’t any others. Like this was his first birthday…period.  I’m not sure why it feels that way. It just does.  Maybe it’s God’s amazing grace.  Isn’t that just like Him? Even when you don’t even realize that you need it…He pours it out on you anyway. He is so good to me.
So today I’m catching up on my blog and my pictures on FB.  I know it seems like I’ve been missing from life a lot lately, but trust me we’ve been doing a whole lot of living around here : )  
Thanks for all of your prayers. We truly feel covered by them.

My Pirate Princess