Saturday, February 14, 2015

Behind The Scenes

We will call this the behind the scenes tour.....

China Hosting program - this summer, our family will bring a little one into our home for 4ish weeks from China.  He/she will be available for adoption.  Our job, our mission, will be to find this little one a forever home!  We hope to know a face early next week!

Mission trip to China - Pryce and I will be returning to China in November for a 10 day mission trip.  We will be with a team of volunteers loving on kiddos in an orphanage in Shaanxi.  I believe this trip will be very eye opening to both of us.  We have had the opportunity to visit our girls' orphanages yet each time has been more of a sightseeing tour versus a real-life tour of how orphans in China spend their days.  We are both looking forward to ministering to the nannies and children!

"My baby girl".....while visiting Maryn's orphanage last summer, we met a 10 month old baby girl.  We took pictures and loved on her for the few moments that we were allowed with her.  There is an "angel" in Maryn's orphanage, an American volunteer.  I contacted her several months after we arrived home to find out how the baby was doing and asked specifically for her Chinese name so that we could look for her file with our agency.  All the while, I was speaking with some dear friends about adoption. They have always wanted to adopt.  I showed them my baby girl's picture and they were sold!  They began their paper chase immediately to bring her home....we found her file, they requested it, they accepted her referral and now they are in the midst of madness as they feverishly press forward in completing all necessary paperwork to bring her home!  In less than six months, Maryn will have a friend from her orphanage living here with her, going to church with her, homeschooling with her....and the best part?  The baby's big sister is Maddox's "sister friend" aka best friend!  They just love each other and we love being on this journey with their family!

Consignment sale.....twice a year I do a boutique consignment sale to raise funds for adopting families.  I love doing this sale!  Having people in my home, asking questions about adoption and sharing our story with them makes my heart happy!

Our life....Maryn's adoption opened my eyes to the fact that our family is growing up.  Gone are the days when we could all enjoy an activity together.  With a 14 year old, a 12 year old, an 8 year old, a 5 year old and a 2 year old, game nights and movies are a thing of the past.  The 14 year old isn't up for watching Barney and the 2 year old just wants to make a mess of the cards or board in our games.  Sigh.  This has been and continues to be our biggest adjustment as a family of 7.  And everyone is home this year.....I have a high schooler, a middle schooler, an elementary schooler, a pre-schooler and a toddler all under my roof 24/7.  Trying to wrap my head around Algebra 2 while telling the toddler not to eat food off the floor, well, it leaves me overwhelmed at times.  Being transparent here, it's realness in our life.  Would we change anything?  Absolutely NOT.  It's a season to embrace and grow in but one that I struggle with because I do not like change....the mommy in me wants to keep them all young in a world of easy! 

Friday, February 13, 2015

January 27 we celebrated Maddox Ren's 1/2 birthday with a mommy/daddy/Maddox date to ChuckECheese....
 She enjoyed her moment of being the "only" child!  
 Maryn was evaluated when we came home six months ago for early intervention services.  She qualified for occupational therapy, physical therapy, and speech therapy.  Today, she is almost all caught up!  She is learning to dress and undress, feed herself without making an incredible mess, hold her writing utensil correctly, puzzles, etc....she is doing amazing in OT!  Speech was never really a large concern but the therapist has come once each month to check in just to be sure all was well!  And, all is well.  She talks and sings all.the.time.  And still repeats everything we say!  Physical therapy is going well too!  We have been going to a local gym twice monthly for the past few months.  Maryn loves jumping on the trampolines, walking on the balance beams, kicking the balls, walking on the treadmill, and jumping into the pit of foam squares!  
 Our little one also loves to read and listen to others read aloud to her.  She was making me laugh one morning as she took our read aloud book for school and pretended to read to us!
 Maddox will be in my cousin's wedding in March!  She is super excited and could not wait to try her dress on!
Our sweet little-big girl is no longer taking daily naps but we can almost be sure that she will fall asleep in the car....
and she is just too cute not to photograph when she sleeps....
I love and admire that she has always been able to sleep regardless of where she is!