Monday, December 2, 2013
Christopher is having surgery on his hand tomorrow. If you think of us, please pray that Christopher stays safe and is not in too much pain.
He is going to be in a cast from his hand to his elbow for 3-4 weeks. I am dreading this for my little man because he sucks his thumb and this is his number one self-soothing mechanism. I remember how traumatized Ellie was after her lip surgery, when she could not suck her fingers for comfort.
I know it is not a big deal in the long run; that it is much more important for him to have the best possible functionality from his hand. But, still, my heart breaks for any pain that my baby has to go through.
Thanks, my friends. xxoo
We had such a fun Thanksgiving week that started out with one of my best friends coming to visit from New Mexico with her sweet family. We have been friends since our first year of college, and it was surreal to get together as mothers now.
The kids really got along well and it was so fun to see them make memories together.
My good friend is also Peter's godmother. And he just loves her.
Our friends brought fun science experiments with them -- what else could a homeschooling family ask for?
On Thursday, we headed to Maryland to see my wonderful sister-in-law, Nickie. What a brave soul. She hosted Thanksgiving for 21 after only living in her new home for a few months.
She did a bang-up job.
The food was great, but we were really there for some Theia Nickie love.
And a turkey hat floated around the party. I had to try it on.
There's that turkey hat again.
Coloring with cousins.
Ellie, finding some time by herself. That was quite a feat.
Nicholas was giving rides to the little kids.
And Uncle Dave was just as entertaining as he whipped out his book of logic puzzles. (That truly is Olivia's idea of fun! She obviously got that from John's side of the family.)
There's that turkey hat again. But where is Gerry?
"Oh, Nickie, Nickie, Hug me!!!!"
So thankful to have Christopher home this year, being loved upon by his family. An orphan no more.
Next year, Elijah will be part of this craziness. I prayed a silent "thank you" all day long (and every day) for all of my children, and for our family who so warmly embraces them all.
How'd I get so lucky?
The day after Thanksgiving, we headed to the Port Children's Museum in Baltimore.
This is a blurry photo because Ellie was jumping up and down, but I like it anyway because she is so happy.
This girl loves horses. Even pretend ones. Even pretend horsey bottoms.
Cows are nice, too.
Peter also had so much fun.
Introducing, Sir Peter.
…and Queen Eleanor.
Even the big kids had fun creating sculptures.
I still can't get over how big my Olivia is. Wasn't she just, like, 1?
Nah, I guess that is this guy.
Peter gazing at the cool Christmas sculpture.
And Olivia at the hotel watching Harry Potter on TV. After a long few days of traveling and doing logic puzzles, she deserved a break.
Wednesday, November 27, 2013
On Friday, we "readopted" Christopher in our state. This is the third time we have been through this process -- first with Nicholas, then Ellie, and now for our newest little love.
Since John was not in China, we had to go through this process in order for John to be given full parental rights and responsibilities.
But, even for our last 2 adoptions, in which we both travelled to China, we decided to go through this process. This way, the kids get U.S. birth certificates, adoption certificates, and all the paperwork that could ever be useful in their future lives as Americans. It will just make life simpler for them when they need these forms one day.
Plus, it is also a special ritual that we like to do as a family.
It feels very official to go to the courthouse and have a judge tell you that you are stuck with each other for life.
But, we really didn't need anyone to tell us that.
It just happened to be the day before National Adoption Day so the courthouse was packed with adoptive families. It was so fun to see all of the love. The judge told us that this is one of his favorite days of the year. If you have to go to family court, I think this is the best reason to be there.
I am so thankful that we get to be your official family, Christopher!
Thursday, November 14, 2013
When we announced that we were adding Christopher to the family, I was asked (by someone I don't know very well, I might add) "aren't you afraid that you won't be able to give each child enough attention?" Of all the questions I receive about adoption and large family life, that is the one that made me think the most.
I was worried, too: how would I be able to give each child enough?
Enough time. Enough attention. Enough money.
One more means we will have to divide everything by 5 (and soon 6) instead of 4, right?
Well, now I know from experience that love has a different economy. I know I sound like a Pollyanna (or a Duggar) but I have found this to be so true.
Christopher has brought so much to our family, much more than could ever be taken away.
Where one son might need mommy to play with him on the jungle gym, now he has a curious little brother.
While one daughter might have wanted extra attention and cuddles from Dad, instead she has a baby to squeeze. And I don't think she minds at all, do you?
And Christopher? He needs a lot of attention himself -- learning to walk, learning to talk, and needing help with everything a baby can't do for himself. But there is always an older sibling there to help him.
They actually fight over who gets to help him!
And who gets to wash him that night in the bath. And hold his hand while he walks. Christopher's Occupational Therapist has asked that the older kids please stop doing so much for him so that he can learn on his own! (They aren't listening).
(I wish I had more pictures of Peter with him, because that is a very special relationship, too. Peter can make Christopher laugh like no other!)
I cannot convey adequately how much we LOVE this little boy. He has the best belly laugh, he is so cuddly, he is so curious and funny.
Christopher is completely adored, and we just cannot imagine how we got so lucky.
Our family life is not perfect. The kids are not always loving and helpful (and neither am !) Yes, they do fight. And, yes, all of them vying for my attention takes everything that I have on some days.
But, you know what? Amidst the chaos and amidst my very human inability to meet everyone's needs, I realize that we have enough love, enough time, and enough attention to make it all worthwhile.
(Now, as for enough money for college, we'll have to see..LOL).