Thursday, December 19, 2013

Christmas Is Here

It is Christmas time once again! The older I get, the more I realize just how short a year is. I love this time of year, and even through the stress of what we "need" to get done, there are always special moments to realize and reflect on what is really important.

Like getting out cards and wrapping gifts and figuring out who to visit when and for how long OMG and hating the post office....none of that matters at all.

What matters if focusing on WHY we celebrate. Beyond even Christianity, Saving, and what not, we celebrate because it is a lesson in giving.

To give is far grater than to receive. To be selfless and do for others. Especially in the tradition of St. Nick. He carried on the message of Christ, by picking Jesus' birthday to give HIM the most special gift-all of US giving to others.

Selflessly, anonymously, and without any gratification or recognition. We should give to others the thing they most need. A toy, a Bed, A friend.

We talk to the boys about Santa, and celebrate that tradition, but we call him St. Nick, after the real man that lived in Greece and is the source of all things Santa we see now.

We talk about how St. Nick is giving Jesus the most special gift ever, by getting all of us into the spirit of giving and helping.

This year, the boys are completely stoked to get legos-and Little Dude very much had me stressing because he kept changing his mind about which set he wanted. But. One huge Star Wars plane is picked and will be under the tree. JR has been focused on the same Batman Lego set since before LAST Christmas, so, this year, he will get it. Champ is getting a Thomas train roundhouse. I spent too much on it, but I'm so excited for him to have it.

Princess will be getting a doll from the Disney Store from the "It's a Small World" collection. Of course, the doll is a little Indian Princess that sings in English and Hindi. I love it and hope we can give it to her someday.

And, in the meantime, since we can't give her our gifts, we sent a lot of gifts to the orphanage in general, because otherwise, the children don't get things. We sent clothes and undies and socks-things they needed very much-as well as fun things, as you can see in the video below.

I love how excited all the girls are. Our little Princess is in there too, see if you can spy her in her cute flowered dress.

This is what Christmas is about. Those kids will never know who sent all these toys to them, but they will so much love the fun they have together playing, and knowing that is all the gift and importance I need to focus on this Christmas. The long line at the post office doesn't matter in the least, when at the end this is what you get:

Merry Christmas!

Monday, December 16, 2013

Princess' First Steps

I'm so blessed to know so many wonderful people at our Princess' orphanage! I got this wonderful gift and want to make sure I have it saved, so I'm adding it here.

These are her first steps. On 6-10-2012, she took her first steps. So awesome to see this and have it; I hope beyond hope I can show her someday this special moment.

Also, in big boy news, Little Dude currently says the phrase "Can I Tell You Something?" before he proceeds to tell us something ALL.THE.TIME. It is hilarious and annoying at the same time, because he doesn't before EVERY.THING.HE.SAYS. Though, I love him telling us everything and anything; I hope he always feels he can.

JR is SUCH a big kid now. He loves school so very much and I'm so glad he is doing so well. He is also quite the joker with a vast knowledge of poop jokes. I blame Bill for that, haha. He is also quite the cook and LOVES to help me in the kitchen. He tells us he will open a restaurant someday. I told him I'd eat there every day; and he agreed we could have lunch dates every so often. My sweet little man.

Champ is so funny and cute; it is sooooo super hard to not spoil him like crazy. I see now why the "babies of the family" are always babied! I hate seeing him grow out of being a baby! Right now his phrase is "Wait A Minute". LOVE. I think we are successfully out of diapers, too! We have gone quite a few weeks now without having an accident, so yippie!

Though, I am a little sad to pack the diapers away. Sigh. I'm certain though, if all the adoption stuff falls through, we will have another baby, so I may get them back out again in the future :)

We shall see.

Thursday, December 5, 2013

Slight Adoption Update

It is amazing to realize another year has flown by! It is also hard to realize 1 year, 7 months, 2 weeks and 6 days since we turned in our paperwork and homestudy to adopt our Princess.

That is a long time folks. That doesn't even include the time before we turned in the official paperwork, where we took classes, read books, had social worker meetings, took photos of our house and set up a room for her to show India we could provide for her.

It makes me super sad she was 15 months we I first saw her sweet face, and now, no matter if we got the call even tomorrow that we were granted guardianship, we won't get her home before she is 4.

That is such a long time we have been in this process and that has be down a bit. I wish we could just hear something, even a "no" so we would know.

I read this on another adoptive family's blog: 

From my perspective, adoption is kinda a bizarre thing.  I am paying insane amounts of money to take on the burden of raising two children that I’ve never met.  These children will come with a unique set of emotional and physical hurdles that will intensify the process and make it extremely difficult at times.  These problems include language barriers, heath issues, failure to thrive, learning to bond, disabilities, malnutrition, and a host of other struggles as a result of being institutionalized.  I know this to be true because I had to take a forty hour class on the topic and the material seemed to be created with the sole purpose of scaring me off.  But it didn’t work.  Despite the difficulties and brokenness and financial pressure that is coming with these two little girls, I’m not scared at all.  I’m excited.  And that’s a bit bizarre.

It is bizarre. And I know that many people think we are crazy-and many people have told us outright we have no business adopting a child from another race. But all those comments, outbursts, and negative reactions have really only strengthened our resolve.

YES. We COULD be GREAT parents to an orphan, regardless of race, blood, background, experiences.I know in my heart, that as much as I have loved the children I babysit as my own, I know that we will love and dote on our little princess without even a thought about the different genetics running through us. I know we can do it. Just something inside me says we are up for the challenge. And I hope and pray so much that we are able to give our Princess everything she needs and deserves to thrive and enjoy a most wonderful, peaceful, and optimistic life of opportunity.

And now that this blog is private, I'm going to share a photo that includes our Princess, but I won't identify her. See if you can pick her out; everyone approved to read this has already been shown her photo. :)

This is from the day the orphanage she is in opened a new part of their building and moved some of the older girls there. It kills me she is no longer in the baby room,but in the older girl's room. I hate we have missed that time with her just because this whole process is so slow and tedious.

One of my friends working in the orphanage let me know that her file was finally FINALLY approved by the Indian government, so it should be sent to an agency soon to match her with a family. We are supposed to be tagged in her file, so that it is considered and hopefully given preference for India to send her file to our agency because they have already submitted saying a family is wanting her now. But, it is India, and who knows if they will grant favor to the request or go the exact opposite and send her file to an agency somewhere else. She has enough special medical needs that if her file goes somewhere else, but doesn't get accepted, there is a strong chance our agency could request it from that agency and then we could get it. But, that will be time lost for her and us, and that will kill me to know we lost it for no reason at all.  But, it will kill me to know another family got her, even though it will be best for her and her needs to get a family asap.

It is going to be so hard, but it is also going to be amazing and wonderful to get her home. Will you help me pray that no matter what, she gets a home SOON; even if it isn't us? She (and all these girls) needs to go HOME to a family and not spend anymore time as an orphan.

And so, in that spirit, I'm doing my best to remain very THANKFUL for everything we have been blessed with-for our sweet boys that get older and wiser by the second, our wonderful home, sweet friends and neighbors, and rainy days like to day that make it perfect to get Christmas things out of our attic and set up in our living room. Thankful for the little boy I babysit that helped us raise the money we were missing to pay for a lot of the fees to adopt. Thankful for food, and heat, and the ability to be home with my children and watch them discover the world. Thankful for my education, that has enabled me to make a living writing at home.

This year grandpa Z's old O-guage train will be set up around the tree; I'm excited to see the boys watch it and get Papa Z a photo of it. These ages are just magical and I wish I could bottle it forever.