Saturday, March 10, 2012

Adoption Don'ts (If "Don'ts" is even a word???)

Don't ask how much a child cost to adopt. Instead, ask how you can help learn more about the expenses of an adoption.

Don't ask if the child is a "real" sibling. Instead, think of how confusing it must be for a five year old child to grasp what is real and what is not real.

Don't tell an adopted child how lucky they are. Instead, smile and realize the life that is being celebrated through adoption.

Don't segregate adoption. Meaning, don't say to someone, "Well, that couple has their own children as well as their adopted children." Instead, realize they are a family unit. They are one.

Don't ask where the child came from. Instead, embrace that they are here.

Don't refer to a birth mother as a child's "real mother." Just don't.

Don't refer to a child as being "thrown away" or "abandoned." Instead, realize that there was a key moment when a child was born and their life was spared. Realize that most children, though they are what we considered to be "abandoned," are placed in well traveled locations such as hospitals or local markets or in front of an orphanage. These actions are taken in order to make sure that the child will be discovered and cared for - these are intentional, life-saving, unselfish acts.

And don't tell a perceptive five year old little girl that a dog is Chinese just like she is because chances are that five year old perceptive little girl will retort with great pride that she is indeed English, NOT Chinese!

Thursday, March 8, 2012

Embracing Maddox

Embracing Maddox

by Pryce

March 8, 2012

My favorite day was March 13, 2011, the day we adopted my sister, Maddox Ren. We traveled to the Civil Affairs Office of Guiyang, China, in a spacious van with our guide and a friend named Mrs. Laura. When we arrived, we advanced up the elevator and soon we were in the tiny office. Our friend’s baby, whose name is Allison, was ready to greet her mother. Our baby, who had not yet arrived, was soon carried in by her foster brother. We happily introduced ourselves to the foster family, which included a father, mother, sister and a brother. I offered some Gerber Puffs to Maddox. Shyly, she ate them as slow as a slug. In the meantime, my mom and dad were doing paperwork. The foster family departed quickly. Maddox, screaming ferociously, kicked and threw her head back. We were all sad. Her world had changed. She was scared. Finally, we left the cold, dark building. Driving back to the hotel, Maddox fell asleep because she was exhausted. When she woke up, we all had Papa Johns pizza for dinner and then gave Maddox a much needed bath. We had a perfectly peaceful night. March 13, 2011, the day we embraced Maddox Ren, will always be one of my favorite days!

Let The Confusion Begin....

Yesterday someone said to MK, "These dogs are Chinese like you!" MK quickly retorted, "No! I am not Chinese, I am ENGLISH!"

Tuesday, March 6, 2012

Imagine never knowing Christ.....that is the life our MK would have lived and yet now she knows Him. Her prayers are heard. And she loves saying them....

Tonight's prayer:

Dear God,
Thank you for my school. Thank you for my family. Thank you for my mom who loves me. Thank you for my dad who teaches me. Thank you for my baby sister, Maddox. Thanking for bringing her to us. Thank you for my brother, Colin, he loves to read and play basketball. And thank you for Pryce, he is nice. Thank you for Finley and Will. I just love my family. And Amen.

I asked her who taught her to pray like that and she confidently said, "God did. He gave me my words."

Monday, March 5, 2012

Happy 12th Birthday Colin!

12 years old. Apple products are key to his world so the cake speaks for itself. Ryan is quite the creative soul :)
12 years old. Gifts requested were a 2 lb. bag of jelly beans, Under Armor socks (this is the first year in his life he has asked for a "name brand" anything!), a wireless mouse, batteries, a book and an Apple logo cake.
So the morning began with all of the above.....
and we continued our day by celebrating all things Colin. With the girls in school, the boys and I headed out to breakfast followed by a game of racket ball followed by a shopping trip to the ever so popular Target.....and then a golf outing with Daddy and Pryce during which he was surprised with a new golf bag....and then C came home to a house filled with his favorite peeps.
C was so funny. He walked in and glanced at the balloons not really saying too much. Then he noticed one friend, and then another, and he grinned from ear to ear.
It wasn't long before a game of football was staged in our backyard.....
and we practically had to pry them out of their intense game and into our house for dinner!
Alas, dinner was had. Candles were lit (by Colin of course because he is 12 now and he can handle these things!). Happy Birthday was sung. Gifts were opened.
The party was on and the boys were.....
well, the boys were boys....wonderful, fun, well behaved, lets-goof-around-a-bit-more boys! Colin has some amazing friends and we are all so glad they were here to share in his special day!
Then the party was over. And reality will hit tomorrow. He is 12 now. 12. Wow.

Sunday, March 4, 2012


Look at this handsome little guy!!!! Here he is just nine months old. And tonight, I find myself going down memory lane as I remember when C, our oldest child, was born. It's Colin-Eve and tomorrow he will be 12 years old! Unbelievable.
12 years ago, Ryan and I found ourselves shopping for clothing to take to the hospital when the baby was born. He was the first, and even though we still had two weeks to prepare, we thought it best to get a few things packed, you know, We found a few things but I told Ryan that I would just come back one day during the next week and get what I needed, you know, because I had two weeks until the baby was to arrive. We left the mall, nothing purchased, not even the chicken nuggets that I was craving, and we went home.
Evening fell and we set out for an evening of celebrating our little bundle of soon-to-be joy with friends from church. A showering of gifts was upon us. Prayer time was had.....and it got LONG, very, very long. I was pregnant and I needed to go to the bathroom soooo badly during the prayers. I contemplated getting up, wondering if people would notice if I left for just a second???? I made it, though, and not too long after the prayers were said, I had my first pain. It wasn't "dull" like the Lamaze class instructor said it would be AND we had two more weeks to be pregnant so I didn't think much of the pain except that it was really uncomfortable. And when the second pain came not too long after, I realized it was just a bit more uncomfortable than I wanted to admit. With the car packed, and my pains coming and going, we said our goodbyes and headed home for a good nights rest. After all, we had two more weeks before we would endure our sleepless nights, right?
Wrong! Got home. Pains kept coming. And coming. Called the doctor who said, "Well, you do have two weeks until your due date. How about you drink some water and call us back if you are still having some pain?" Hmmmm. Water didn't help.
With the car still packed. And with my special pillow and a toothbrush, we made our way to the hospital. No bag. No realization that we were leaving our home as two and could very possibly return as three.
Triage confirmed what Ryan had thought all along, I was in labor. The staff was so calm. I was in shock. And Ryan was simply tired. The nurses graciously looked at us and said, "Well, here is your room. We will make a bed on the couch for you, Dad, and the two of you will have a baby sometime tomorrow morning." Ok. With that, they left the room and said to ring a bell should we have any questions.
Not thirty minutes later, we were ringing the bell with a vengeance. Could it be that said baby may appear sometime before tomorrow morning??? Say, maybe, really, really soon???
Yep! Our baby boy, all 7 lbs of him, arrived with the cutest little cry ever and he looked just like me as an infant....head full of black hair! He had no patience for waiting until the next morning. Instead, he was on a mission and maneuvered his way into our world in four hours flat. And from that moment on, our world was changed for the better. We became parents.