Wednesday, October 31, 2012

Somehow God Knows

So this blog is turning more into an adoption blog rather than a family blog-I promise to fix that soon. I need to download some photos from my camera and get them on here to share, along with sweet stories of what the boys are up to now.

Everyday is amazing, yet simple and mundane. We go to school, we do chores, we eat, we do homework...and somehow in that mix, amazing things are happening as our children grown and we grow watching them. It is the everyday, but it is wonderful.

For our adoption news, Bill and I are still waiting to hear if our homestudy has been approved-I'm really hoping we hear soon, but I'll let go of that.

In other adoption news, I wrote recently how nervous Bill and I were after reading and studying up on the "worst case" issues of attachment, mental health, and all that such stuff that is just so up in the air with any adoption.

And we have been really talking about if we are ready-can we do this? What if she is a worst case, what do we do?

And we prayed, and I spent hours finding local therapists with experience in international toddler adoption (though sadly I couldn't find any with specific India experience, but international toddler adoption mental health issues at least have to be somewhat similar, I guess).

So armed with those, we have just been praying that we don't ever need to use them, or call them for help. And then, a couple we met through our adoption agency, who are also adopting a sweet little girl from India-and from the same orphanage our sweet Princess is at, had the opportunity to come over for dinner.

And they have actually been to India, and met our sweet Princess many times, and they showed us some videos of her that had me working really REALLY hard not to cry.

Because watching her, made me SO BADLY want to scoop her out of the orphanage, out of the mass of kids there, and bring her here to our home, to her room, and celebrate Halloween with us. It hit us so hard, watching her, that we are doing the right thing and that everything is going to be fine. Hearing stories about her at least help to indicate there aren't any blatant issues to be worried about-and that her attachment to her caregiver is strong. Which is good, since is shows she can trust and places trust, but also sad, since she will be devastated to lose her caregiver.

Thank goodness for the internet, right? We will always be able to look up the orphanage, or maybe even skype, and send photos and letters, and keep in touch. And I have hundreds of photos already of her orphanage, caregivers there, and of her and her friends that I plan to put into a detailed book for her, so she can see them any time. I also plan to print out and frame the photo of her and her caregiver for Princess's room.

But somehow, God knew, we needed a little help keeping motivated, and to keep going forward and shake off our fears. To just TRUST that we are doing the right thing and that we can handle it. He knew, and he let our path cross this sweet couple's path, and I am so grateful we got to see her, and hear her giggles (she is certainly the giggle machine I can turn into at a lame joke; I'm so excited about that!)

The boys got to see her and hear her too, and it looked like love at first sight. JR was completely smitten and has since been pointing out toys in the big catalog that came for Christmas what we need to get for Princess. Champ started smiling so huge when we watched Princess laughing, and Little Dude actually seems pretty wise about the situation she is in and points out that we could put two more kids in our home, since the empty room could easily have bunkbeds, so maybe we need to bring two kids home. I love him and his sweet heart so much.

We had not shared much yet with them about her, since we still were so unsure about getting matched to her, but now, it looks like we should be good, with almost certain chance of getting matched to her because of her special needs, the area she is in, and our amazing agency.

And apparently our Princess LOVES tickles, which made Bill super happy, since he is always trying to tickle me and the boys and we all hate it. Bill will finally have a kid that loves to be tickled :)

Every time we have felt defeated, scare, or questioning by the whole adoption process, God has put someone in our paths that keeps our hearts focused on bringing our Princess home.

Sunday, October 21, 2012

For The Ups and Downs

Life is full of ups and downs, but to be honest, we have been so blessed with so many ups. Even the downs, in reality, are first world problems that wen reflected upon, don't really matter for our happiness.

This adoption journey though, while still in the begining, has brought a lot of ups and downs.

Downs that we are scared about what we could face with an adopted child. Things that we never though about, that are heavily addressed in the reading materials and videos we are doing. Reactive Attachment Disorder has me severely scared.  I'm terrified we will go through all this WORK, EFFORT, MONEY and TIME from our kids, only to bring in a huge bundle of extreme trouble, terror and disorder to our family.

Our family is SO perfect. I love our boys, and they love each other so much. They play so well together, they play so well with others....we have GREAT kids.

And in one moment, I want our little Princess here RIGHT NOW, so she can feel this love and enjoy the fun of siblings, and know the love of three brothers that will always look after her and two parents that will help her become a strong, independent, proud woman. And I go buy Barbies.

And then in the next minute, we are talking about race issues from our "Inside Transracial Adoption" book, and talking about how we can handle preparing her for racism, since she sadly, will certainly  face it in some form at some time in her life. And we talk about Attachment Disorders and what we will do if she has a mental disorder and becomes violent.

How to reach the kid that doesn't want to be reached. The kid that wants to create chaos, anger and turmoil  because that is what she knows best and love will scare her.

And do we put the boys through that?

I don't know. We go back and forth so much. I want her here, and I want to adopt a child so badly, and I specifically am in complete love with HER. But what if we can't have her? What if we get a match to a different child, and that child has one or more of these disorders?

Honestly, it scares me to death. I don't know that I'm a good enough mom to help. What if I make it worse? And then, we will always have the comments that we already are facing.

"Why don't you just have your own?"

But people don't get it. It isn't about just having a child, it is about listening to God. There are SO MANY CHILDREN that die without having had a person to keep them safe. Without having parents to hug them and kiss away boo boos. Children that have to dig through the trash to find something to eat, ALL OVER THE WORLD.

And I'm here lamenting that our master bathroom is tiny.

We want another child very much, but that is a huge calling to us that we should bring an orphan into out home and grow our family that way. And it is scary to study and read everything that can be wrong. And it could all end up being very wrong, but that doesn't mean we shouldn't do it, or that we still aren't the right family. We might fail miserably at helping our child cope with the losses and pain and abuse she has endured in her short amount of time on Earth, but certainly not trying out of those fears seems almost as bad and inflicting the pain ourselves.

Who are we to worry about the questions and stares and inconsiderate comments, when we have plenty of food, space and love to share with a child that may otherwise never, ever know them?

There are just so many ups and downs to face-excitement and fear all at the same time. I pray we can do OK at this task, and that we can be the family she needs and deserves to have. That we can help her to overcome everything she has been through, that we can parent in the ways she needs and deserves, so she can become everything God has for her.

Saturday, October 20, 2012

I Bought Our Daughter A Doll

AHHHHH! I bought our sweet princess a doll off ebay awhile ago, and ever since I've been crazy looking out for the ups truck.

And TODAY the doll came! AHHHHH! Her first doll!

Isn't the doll lovely? It is a "Barbie in India", new in the box. The Sari is SO very lovely. And I can't get over the beautiful jewelry details and the little detailed shoes. I really hope our little Princess loves it.

I'm a bit embarrassed to admit that only recently have I realized that there are very few dolls that reflect the features our princess will have. Being white, I never really noticed or thought about how the lack of dark skin  and medium shaded dolls might impact the way a little girl's self esteem grows.  And I really want her to be so very proud to be an Indian, and to see Indian women the way I do-as some of the most intelligent and breathtakingly beautiful women I have ever met.

And I have tried to find an "Indian heritage" doll, and so far the only close thing I have found that I could also afford was the Jasmine baby doll from Disney, and that just wasn't going to cut it, because frankly the doll looks white.

I am excited to buy her dolls, and I know she will end up with some white and black dolls, but I so very much wanted to find at least one that had her Indian features and showcased the beauty of her heritage. So I hunted some Indian themed dolls down on ebay and finally won a bid. I'm so in love with the Sari this Barbie is wearing, too!

I found more on ebay too, (yippiee!) but I'll have to wait out for good deals on them, as I guess this series is a bit of a collector doll more than a "play doll", and the prices are a bit too  high from something I need to be OK with letting Princess color on, haha :)

I can't wait to get down on the floor with our Princess and play dolls.

And in the meantime, we are just waiting to hear back that our homestudy has been approved. Then it is off to beg for grants and fund-raise! We are getting closer!

Wednesday, October 17, 2012

And We Are OFF!

So much has been going on lately, that I have really just found no time or energy to get on my own blog and update. But, I know that I need to keep up some of this stuff because I'll want to reflect and look through photos later! Here is what is currently going on in our world:

Little Dude is loving school. He is obsessed with Ninjago and reading The Magic Tree House series. He is also loving soccer, so we will probably be signing up for the spring season here soon. He is really into Egyptian stuff right now and we went to the art museum to learn more-he was totally in his element talking to the art guide there! It was so cute, as soon as I get my camera back from my father in law I will share photos. He is growing into such a little man and I try to remember every little hug now, as I am noticing that his head now reaches my chest...he is just growing up so quickly!

JR is loving preschool and comes home talking about all his friends. He is obsessed with Scooby Doo and Batman and I have gotten him more obsessed with reading by finding every single book possible on both subjects. He is also really enjoying soccer, though I absolutely hate his coach this yer, so we will be looking for a different group if we can't get a different coach in the spring. Let's just say the coach is horrible for little kids. Simply horrible. Enough said.

Champ is starting to talk and often walks around speaking gibberish all day. I love it. Lately at bedtime he runs around giving out HUGE hugs and patting us all on the back. Cutest hugs ever! The other night we were eating soup and I let him have some of the liquid from my bowl-he slurped it and said "ahhh" after. THAT was so cute! Bill and I couldn't stop laughing.

I am still watching HOss, and he is quite a joy. He and Champ have tons of fun playing together.

As for our Princess, we FINALLY have our homestudy OFF to be reviewed/approved for India! YIPPIEEE!!! I am anxious to hear back, BUT I have been told it will be 4 weeks til the review is done, at the soonest. -And please pray that is the soonest I REALLY want to have this all done for the Show Hope Dec. deadline for adoption grant money. Anyways, from this point, I am working on getting grant applicaitons ready to send off as soon as we get the homestudy back (approved!) and then from there, we start all the immigration stuff for our little Princess. If things keep going on track, and we get grant money in a timely fashion (or win the lottery....haha) then MAYBE we might have our Princess home by this summer. And wouldn't that just be the BIGGEST blessing ever to have her here before her 3rd birthday? Oh I am hoping so much!

As for Bill and Me, we just got back from my brother in law's wedding at the beach. It was so nice to catch up with so many of our friends, some that now live far away and we miss very much! We did all kinds of fun side trips with the kids to see the Wright Brothers Memorial and the Aquarium, and it was just so a wonderful week with all our family, but I will be glad when I have finally cleaned all the sand out of my car! I think I am finally caught up on laundry.

So, for now, I am working as much as I can to save extra money for our Princess to come home, and starting on all the grant stuff. Keep us in your thoughts and prayers-we could use some help to find the ways to afford everything we have to do to get her here to us!

Overall, life is amazing and wonderful and we are just so very very blessed to have each other and our amazing kids.
My little scientists, Champ and JR, at Marbles Kid's Museum