Monday, April 13, 2009

Hoppy Easter!

Between ALL of the girls being sick in the last week and then our first rain of the season, and no day off from school (had to make up a snow day)we were still able to have a fun, happy Easter!
Hopefully this won't be a new tradition, but the girls were allowed (by dad) to hunt eggs in their pj's and before church. He was afraid that it would be raining later. It was kind of funny and I felt bad for the neighbor boys who were watching outside their window!
It was a great Easter and another first for Lilly!

One tradition that I LOVE...the Bunny Cake! This year we all had a hand in creating the cake and I have to say it was the BEST one ever!

Wednesday, April 8, 2009

Macey's 9 !!!! (finally the blog)

Macey turned 9 last week! I waited to post her birthday blog until after her party, so that I could have some cute pics from the party...then the camera was MIA. So now, only a week later her birthday post.

9 Really Neat Things About Macey!

1. Macey has a very kind heart and has really shown that all people should be treated fairly. I have had the opportunity of watching her talk with others that had physical or mental impairments with great ease.
2. She has a strong sense of right and wrong. In fact, when she gets in trouble she almost always has a strong argument about why she did what she did. We actually pause sometimes to try and see it her way.

3. Macey jumped right in from the very beginning to teach Lilly things such as vocabulary, writing, and the rules. It wasn't accepted well by Lilly at first, but because of her persistence, Lilly quickly learned to go to Macey for help.

4. Macey shares her mom's fondness for organization and is a SUPER helper with household chores! Yeah!

5. Macey has a strong loyalty to her friends. It may take a little while for her to warm up, but once she does she considers the other person a friend for life!

6. She is very smart and catches academic concepts well, but more importantly that "smartness" carries over to her Bible study! I am so proud of how well she grasps and thirsts for God's Word!

7. Macey has a very generous personality. She has no problem giving her whole allowance to church or to people she feels are in need. We have all learned a lot by watching her do this in a very quiet manner.
8. Macey is a great sister and would stand up to anybody that she felt was being unfair or mean to any of her sisters!
9. The jump start to our adoption had a lot to do with Macey and her not understanding why if we could adopt that we hadn't done it already. She came to us several times and sinply asked "Why don't we adopt?"
We are so proud of all that she has done, accomplished, learned, and given. We are blessed to be her parents!

We love you Macey Moose!

Friday, April 3, 2009

Sisterly Love

Just wanted to share yesterday mornings events...
I always send the kids out to the car first in the morning to load up for school. I then stand in the kitchen and enjoy 1-2 minutes of complete silence. It has become a habit and seems to be a very therapeutic way to start the day.
Well, yesterday I go out to the car and Haley is crying. It is not unusual for someone to be fighting over a seat, backpack, etc., but crying is not the norm. Apparently Lilly's head made contact to Haley's mouth somehow and her braces cut her lip. Haley was very quick to tell me that is was an accident and that she was fine, but that it did hurt. So, we leave the garage and about 1/10 of a mile from the house, Lilly bursts into tears. She felt SO BAD for hurting Haley. We were quite surprised! Haley was VERY nice and told her it was okay, she was fine, and she would be her best friend forever (inside joke between them). Lilly felt so bad, but the tears went away.
Later that day, I received a phone call from Lilly's kindergarten teacher asking if everything was okay with Haley. Apparently when Lilly arrived in the classroom, she began crying about how she hurt Haley's lip and that she was very sorry. I felt so bad for Lilly, but at the same time was so grateful that she feels so much love for her sister.
You better believe Lilly was one happy girl to see her Best Friend Haley when she got home from school that day!

Wednesday, April 1, 2009


***Macey turned 9 yesterday! I did not forgot to do a birthday blog, but her party is Friday and I want to get pics then. We are also going to see Annie tonight...with dad...more details later!***

It is now time to schedule our 6 month post placement visit with our social worker and it (along with a few other things) has got me to thinking. For most people, that is a good thing, for me that is not always the case. Anyway- I have been thinking...

I can't believe that Lilly has ONLY been with us for 4 1/2 months!

There are many times that it seems she has been with us forever and even last night we had to stop and remind the girls that Lilly is picking things up and learning as fast as she possibly can. She has truly amazed us! She speaks almost completely in English, although it it's still difficult to understand. She is thriving at school, learning to read, learning to add, and she is not really "behind" at this point in school. We really learned at Spring Break just how much she loves school, she was the only one in the family that was counting the days down until she could go back.

Not only is she doing great academically, but in the last 2-3 weeks she has really blossomed socially. While camping she started playing with another little girl at a neighboring campsite and spent the afternoon playing with her. This was the first time we had witnessed her spontaneously initiate play with a person she did not know. It was fun to watch. Also, she has decided that boys are not that bad. At first she really wouldn't have much to do with them, but now she will name 3-5 from her class that she wants to have at her birthday party. Her birthday is not until the end of July, but ever since Haley's birthday party, she has begun to plan hers. It has nothing to do with the presents (a lesson my girls and I can certainly learn)but has ALL to do with having friends over! Her list is growing almost daily, but I have decided that if she wants a BIG party, she is going to get one! Oh yeah, and she watched Nemo over Spring Break, and now she wants a Nemo cake. There have also been some struggles with her being so social. She can't seem to understand why she can't go to friends houses the way her sisters do. I get the blame for this, but in reality I feel like I still need to keep her close. I know that at some point I will need to loosen up, but I don't know that I trust myself to know when that will be.

I know that I usually paint a really rosy picture of everything on my post and that is mostly because I feel it's my post and I can filter out what I don't want others to read. But, there are a couple of really good blogs of others that have adopted that are able to share the good and the bad. I have found that I really value knowing how they handle experiences that are similar. So, I will share a more open view.

The biggest thing I have struggled with lately is that Lilly tells me I am "a little bit mean, but Daddy is not mean." I do really understand why she says this, because he travels some and I am a "little" bit particular about schedules, picking up, etc. There was even one day she said, "You mean, I go back to China." That bothered me, so I pressed her on it. I asked, "Was other mama mean?" Lilly didn't answer, so I told her that I didn't want to be mean, but that when she was asked to do something that she needed to do it and that we would go visit China as a family when she is older, but that we also would come back as a family too. I since have read a favorite blog that shared a similar story. She compared that to the Israelites wanting to go back to Egypt when God was trying to lead them out. I hadn't thought about that...

A little while later she came to me and said "I know you a little mean, and that's okay mama. Other mama in China a little mean too. I know. I know." I hope I translated that right, because I took it as "I know I don't always get to do what I want and you have to correct me, but that is okay, it was the same in China too." There were other times that she repeated the same thing and I really believe that is what she means. I do have to admit that I do wish Jay had to "be mean" a little more, but that is really the case for all 4 girls and I have come to understand that. He too understands and has tried to do more too, which really helps!

Lately, it has also been an adjustment for her to not have everything done for her or go her way. We probably went a little overboard and now it is time for "real life" to start. Last night she got upset twice because she couldn't interrupt a conversation to tell me something and she couldn't pick the table that we ate at. The really good thing about it though is that after taking her to the restroom to explain it to her and to be firm with her, she got over her "mood" quicker than usual. She didn't even mind having to sit by me. Also,I really think the other girls appreciate knowing that she will have expectations similar to theirs.

There are still going to be bumps along the way. But for such a short amount of time, things have gone super. I so believe that her foster parents must have been great, and even parented in a similar style because of how well she has transitioned. I also feel that sharing this has been helpful for me, so probably more to follow at some point.
BTW- a plug for those contemplating older child adoption. We were told that it was hard, and yes that is the case. But, we haven't found it any harder than our 3 bio. just seems that sometimes you have to go through the baby (nurturing), toddler (testing limits), and becoming a family unit, all at one time. That can be tiring, but also amazing!