Friday, August 1, 2014

Life with 4. This is not a drill.......

I have been thinking a lot lately about siblings. Maybe because since adding our fourth child it has changed the "sibling" dynamic in our family. It's been funny, sweet, and overwhelming to watch. I say overwhelming only because when we load up the car, go to a restaurant or just to a target run I am a bit taken back how many of us there actually are.  I am constantly "game planning" in my head how we are all going to exit the vehicle ( this is when  D is not with me, oh how it is so much easier when he is with us. hehe)  If I have my teenager he is in charge of Regis- good match. He is strong and can unbuckle our tiny man and hold him. I wanted to cry happy tears last week when Regis had to pee in the drive thru of Wendy's and Clayton was with me and was able to walk him in and take him to the restroom! I wanted to do a dance around the parking lot! Moms of many- you feel me right?

I tease Clayton this is "The Duggar way" ( the Duggars have 18 kids, and a tv show we watch in awe that they can get so much done, thats a post for another day) 
So "The Duggar way " is every child is matched with a "buddy" they have to help, usually a "big" and a "little" He has jokingly called us "the duggars" now because we had to up size our family vehicle and well cause even though there are 4 kids, sometimes it sounds like there are 10! ( no lying,  momo be loud ya'll) 
Anyway- so just simple task like getting out the car can take a while. 

The strategy for when I DON'T have my teenager? 
I pray for a opening next the cart return, 
Hop out and grab a buggy
Get Regis out and put him in buggy
Go over to MOMO's side, crawl to the back and unbuckle her and pray regis doesn't roll away
she literally does a "trust fall" out of the car, you better catch her!

Yes Nicole helps but Momo is much too heavy for her. 
Momo walks along side the buggy and HAS to hold on or she may just take out a huge display of 
cell phone cases up in the Target.  (We Learned that the hard way) 

This is ONE example of how things have changed since adding a 4th. 
I could go on and on how things take longer, are a bit ( ok a lot) crazier since we became a family of 6. 

Last week after the ridiculous "someone stole my purse I am calling the police incident of 2014"
( yes this happened and my teenager found my purse in the kitchen where it had been all along, after I called the police in a crazy mom panic )

I met up with my fellow china adoptive moms ( who all have 4 kids ) 
 my 5 moms of 4, one mom of 3, crazy is what we live
 I took my opportunity to tell them "NONE of them had told me before hand I would loose my mind with having 4 kids" Everyone of them giggled and said yes- there is something about adding the 4th that simply makes you loose even more of your mind then you did with the addition of the other children.   Add on the addition of having a fourth with "needs" and I can best be described as "HOT MESS" most days.  
 Now moms of 5 and over please don't roll your eyes! I think we all have our "HARD" whether it be with 2, 3, 10, or 12 kids.  I am aware I still have it easier than some moms of many out there. But lets band together and agree even ONE child can be hard, just depends on how God has chosen to grow our family and I am very well aware these days he has a HUGE sense of humor and has had a lot of laughs at my expense lately. 
this wasn't even ALL the children between us  5 moms of 4 and one mom of 3, on our day of fun in Chatt. talk about crazy fun!
As I navigate this new world of 4 kids I am still learning how to juggle I am wondering how military moms make it, how mommas of several "special needs" children do it. How moms of 12 do it! Ya'll are my heroes! 
David and I now "game plan" everything we do. EVEN THEN we mess up, forget what the other one said and have to go over the plans of the day more than once.  The two older two have been renamed "the bigs" and our two youngest we call "the littles" this helps because I am now constantly getting EVERYONES NAME MIXED UP, good gravy there are only 4, you would think I could get it right.  ( I remember my mom doing this with just my sis and I and we eventually just became "KLEM" a combo of kim and Kelley, hehe)

David and I may have recently agreed to meet for dinner ( with only 3 kids mind you) after Momo's Physical and Occupational Therapy session only to drive to TWO different Long horns across town from each other. Both of us expecting the other to be there. Fun times- sometimes all you can do is laugh and move on.
That's become the theme around here.
"Laughter" has taken over the house and its kinda wonderful.
Among all the Crazy we are experiencing- 
the doctors visits, the unanswered questions, the sleep deprivation, the two football practices a day,  the ridiculous amount of laundry that one must have to step over in our house,  the adjustment to our "new normal" the overwhelming road ahead-

there is laughter.

Its the Laughter of 4 siblings, placed together by our heavenly father who's plans are BIGGER than I could have ever imagined.
One thing I have realized- I CAN do more than I ever thought, maybe it takes longer these days, maybe I do it now with no make up on ( this is huge) 
but the kids all have clothes on, hopefully shoes too.  
I know it is not thru any strength of my own but thru the Grace and strength HE gives me on a daily basis.  
So give us grace, when we drive up, a little late, in our "new to us" big ol LOUD "school bus like" family vehicle.....
Kids are inside who are all adjusting to our new family dynamic, and we have likely been at home laughing...

Moms of many, moms of 1, or moms of 17! I get ya, lets all agree motherhood is HARD however it comes. 
That mom of one may have a new baby who has never slept a night through in 6 months. Or maybe that new mom just adopted her first child and the child is having severe issues attaching or has many "needs" that are overwhelming. Maybe that momma of 2 has a daddy out on deployment and has been a "single mom the past year" maybe the mom you see with 3 has just learned her husband has lost her job and is drowning in sorrow. 
 Maybe these moms you see at the grocery store needs to hear " your doing great momma! keep up the good work" instead of you have your hands full and "are they all yours?"

When Someone tells me
"my hands are full"
I just reply
  "you should see my heart"

Thursday, July 10, 2014

Update on Brighton Mae (aka MOMO)

So yes, I stopped blogging in china, like on day 2. hahahaha oh well- many reasons, Internet was slow, the app I was using to blog was slow and we were pretty much exhausted by the end of each day which didn't leave much time to blog. Once gotcha day happened- my emotions were all over the place and I just didn't have the words to put together. I prayed and just didn't feel lead to write. I hope to go back and update here on each day spent in china but for now I wanted to just update everyone on our Momo. (This is the nick name they called her at the orphanage and it is just what we have been calling her because this is what she likes, and refers to herself as Momo. We also just think its the cutest nick name ever- so Momo it is for now!)

 Adjusting to a life with 4 kids is and has been hilarious to me in many ways. I THINK we are getting the hang of it- who knows, I constantly am forgetting stuff and doing crazy things, but life is good and we just laugh and move on.

MOMO is doing fantastic! Yes- she is older and comes with some very typical orphanage behaviors that will take a while to overcome. Yes she has medical needs and disabilities, both physical and mental ( and yes we knew all this when we said yes to her, just to clear up questions i know many have- no hard feelings, I know people wonder, I would too!) Our weeks right now are filled with lots of family time, and doctors and specialist visits. By keeping it just US right now, we are showing our Momo what a family looks like. Yes we go out and do things- and we are spending time with people who we have asked to not "engage" our girl,  but mostly we try to keep it just us right now. We have noticed that when we bring someone into our home and around our sweet girl we see some regression, and some acting out. So if you see us out- say HI and please limit interaction with our girl, I know it sounds crazy- But she feeds on attention right now- this is very typical behavior from a child who spent 7 years in a orphanage. The ones who seeks attention ( by any means) from the nannies and caregivers often gets the most and food, love ect.  Just to give you an explanation. :) We are not asking you to ignore our child just for no reason! ha! We are just trying to teach her she doesn't have to "do" anything to receive love, food ect from us.

 Despite ALL of this she is JOY! despite all she may not be able to do, there is so much she CAN DO! 

  anyone who has met her will agree with us! pure JOY!

and that is how she came into our arms on "gotcha day" with Joy! 
gotcha day 
just a few hours after we got our sweet girl 

I have to be honest and confess that the fist week with her was hard, and I STILL have extremely hard moments and days, but a very wise friend told me something the first few days after we got our sweet girl- she said "yes she will change these behaviors, she will come far, but YOU will change too" 

and gosh was she right!

I was the one that needed changing..... and I hope the changing never ends.

I am so thankful for the prayers, the friends and family that have rallied around us and showered us with love. From a weary adoptive momma- we need that right now, I am learning to accept help when its offered, one thing I haven't always been good at.  ( I like control- who doesn't?) We are so thankful for every message, every encouraging word, every meal, and gift, every prayer spoken on our behalf. I pray God blessed you in a big way for the Love you have shown us and continue to show us during this transition time for our family. 

I won't get into the "Hard" of it because you know what- there is just too much good and joy we have experienced that out shines the "hard."  Gosh- everyone has some sort of "HARD" in their lives.  Either thru a difficult child, a difficult marriage, work issues, family issues, ect. We all have "Hard"." I Hope thru any hardships we may have, we come out of it different and molded into the believers our heavenly father desires us to be. So we work thru the hard, and we give it to him (  I am not good at this!) we take one day at a time.  We are learning how to be the parents God needs us to be for this sweet gift. We are counting it ALL joy the gifts of all 4 of our children are, and the story God choose to write into our lives. I am thankful for God's grace he extends to us every day.

So thankful for our 4th child, she is a delight and every present light in our lives.

I took these pics of Brighton today because I wanted to capture the "light" in her. Many of you know that in her file from china they wrote that they gave her the particular name YI FUMENG- in hopes she would have a BRIGHT FUTURE.   Her neurologist even commented on it recently when reviewing her file.

Well I think she has that Bright! wouldn't you say?

also- No more covering up that scar anymore. Gotta teach my girl to embrace her scars and past-

SHINE on OUR Bright star!! 

Saturday, May 24, 2014

Day 2 in china/ Hong Kong Disneyland

Today we woke up around 5:30 am ( thanks to Regis- hehe) ate breakfast and decided to take on the Hong Kong subway train station! It was a blast! Really easy to navigate once we got our tickets and map and figured out when and where to switch trains. I wore Regis in the ergo and it was a huge help getting off and on trains fast. He loved it and thought it was so cool we were ridding "chungington"
We absolutely loved riding the subway. I told David we would have missed out on so much had we stayed close to the hotel and not ventured out. We saw people doing their tai chi on our walk thru the town, kids in their school uniforms heading to school, people heading to work. It's amazing how big and nice the subways are here. Everyone was curious but very busy getting where they needed to be.  We got some stares for sure. Especially once people realized we have a child of Asian decent with us. One lady was staring so hard at Regis with a weird look. I finally turned Regis around and had him wave and smile at her. She lite up and her and her friend wanted pics of Regis. I think sometimes we just mistake peoples reactions. They are just curious. I often thought today as I saw several women throughout the day staring so intensely at me and Regis-what if this was a woman who had placed her child at the orphanage steps years ago. Maybe she had always wondered what had happened to her child and had heard stories of Americans coming and adopting their children. Maybe she didn't know what that looked like ya know? A child of another race with a family. I found myself just smiling and waving and hoping that whatever wondering she had she just saw a momma loving her sweet gift of a boy.
David also got to share our story with another American couple we met in the train. It's so funny- if we see other Americans we get so excited!
See- we would have missed out on soooo much had we not taken the subway!

Disney land is on Lantau island. It's another island that makes up Hong Kong. I wish I would have had the camera out and taken pics of all the beautiful mountains and tropical scenery. So beautiful!
Once we got to the last train - it was a Disney themed train! So cool!

We absolutely loved Disney land! It was the perfect place for Regis to have his first Disney experience. It's a smaller park then Disney world so perfect for little guys. From the minute we entered the gates Regis sang and clapped and was soooo happy. Was just priceless watching him experience all this through his eyes.
His fav ride was the buzz light year ride where he got to shoot bad guys. He also loved the " it's a small world ride" was so cute. He sang "it's a small world" song the rest of the day over and over! Was sooo precious. Nicole said at one point- look at him! He has so much joy! He did, what a perfect day.
oh and there are people using "selfie sticks" everywhere! i will attach a photo of a family using one at the bottom of this post. its hilarious- its this long metal device that folds out that you can attach your phone to and hold out far enough to take selfies of you and your friends. we have giggled so much watching people use them. they are all over the place. now that i think about it- there have been a few times I wish i had a "selfie stick' ( we call them that, I have no idea what they are called)

Well my whole family is napping ( it's 5 and we haven't eaten dinner oops) we have the craziest schedule right now. We just go till we crash. Don't know how smart that is but we are sooo loving our time here!!!! ( ok resuming the blogging, feel asleep after writing this and we all just woke up 2:30 am HK time-oops)

Tomorrow we leave on a 11:35 am flight to wuhan!!!!!!! This is the provincial city of hubei where we will stay the next week and on Monday ( Sunday night your time) we get our Brighton Mae!!! Only
two more sleeps!!!! Yahoo!!!!!!!!!