Saturday, January 14, 2012

Home, Reality, Blessed...and Prayers

Jael's at the International Adoption Clinic (first doctor's appointment).

As I sit here in the dark, after a night of vomiting (for some reason everything at NIGHT makes me nauseous...what's with THAT?!), I'm reminded of a reality that some may still believe exists...a reality of perfection.

I really am smiling when I write this, because I have found (through our many adventures) that reality doesn't stop just because you are in a foreign land. Reality doesn't stop just because life is harder than normal. Kids will be kids. Bills need to get paid. People will be insensitive. Illness pops up. Houses get messy. Life...goes on. Sometimes it feels like the world should stop as God's plan comes to fruition.

We see the beautiful home coming videos. Often a circle of friends await the plane in home coming. It's orphan no more. It really is AWESOME!

As Thomas woke at 3am to get ready to meet our plane, we kept it just family this time. We didn't share our flight information. Jael was overwhelmed. We kept it small.

If you've seen the pictures I posted, meeting her daddy was beautiful. Oh, my heart still aches when I look at them. I'm so thankful for Sarah who lived with a camera in her hand.

Yet reality does continue. My husband held the trophy while I was gone.

I'm gonna be honest here. I am so very thankful to be home, but I want those reading to understand (not feel sorry for US at all...we've done this before) that life goes on.

*My husband was ill with a extreme sinus infection (headache, dizziness, nausea...etc. etc. etc.)
*EVERY CHILD had been sick while we were gone, Rachel (2 1/2) still had it.
*My friends that always have our back, had everything possible happen while we were gone...including injury and illness. Yet they still tried to stand beside us.
*My house was pretty messy.
*One of my precious girls had cut her beautiful hair (our "hair stylist" decided to go farther than normal).
*One of our kiddos that struggles with bouts of lying (fine for six months and struggles for a few weeks) lied every day for a week once arriving home.
*I was sick...bleck...and my body is STILL trying to get on schedule.
*My kids were kids (smile).
*My body decided to hormonally go wonky until the plane trip back (no joke...Sarah was laughing outside of the bathroom when she heard me say, "Really?! Really??!!)

See...being honest here....

That is just a smidgen of what our first week held.

Did I mention we have a BEAUTIFUL new blessing who still has a hurting heart?

Reality doesn't stop.

Just know, perfection doesn't last very long. God is eternity.

It's not about some beautiful "ideal". It takes time for a little heart to heal. It even takes time for children, who have faced loneliness in the past, to feel secure after their mommy is gone for two weeks bringing their sister home. It takes time...

Here is what the time has been bringing around here (huge smile).

Our kids are all adjusting. We now have "triplets", not "twins". Gabe and Rachel absorbed Jael, with minimal jealously. It's been a fun cool thing to watch. Size wise, she is only about 6 lbs lighter than the twins at a year older than them. Yes, developmentally she's 3 1/2, but she has a blast with her siblings. They are close enough in age. The only (minor) issue we see is the younger twins occasionally copying some periodic oppositional behavior. They know better and we don't let any of it last long.

Jael LOVE LOVE LOVES her "Baba" (Daddy). We left yesterday for her first doctors appointment and when coming home...well, she doesn't recognize the word "home"...but I mentioned the word "Baba" and her smile got HUGE. She knows and loves her spinning around, throwing her in the air, cuddling "Baba".

To the older kids, Jael can do little wrong. Max and Bekah want to play with her constantly. Sarah and Anna still hold a sense of security for her since they were in China with me. 17 year old tough wrapped around this little girls finger. Not like THAT hasn't happened before, he's that way with the twins.

Grandma...grandma just longs to hold this precious one. She just awaits the day that Jael understands that she is family and not someone who will take her away. We don't use the Mandarin word for grandma. When we did, that set her off. Someone in her life must have been called the Mandarin form and it sets her off in fear.

Her Aunts and Uncles are in love.

Jael is cherished.

We still see superficially charming behavior. She doesn't let her guard down very often. Many of her actions are for entertaining purposes.
"See, I'm special, I can stay. You want me around. Don't see my hurt. I'll be good."

Yet, even amidst that we also see the, "Your getting too close to my heart. I'm gonna push you away. I'm gonna hit or do something you don't want me to do. I don't want to be hurt when you give me away."

Contradictory, isn't it? Yet we see all this going on in our daughter's heart.

This morning we are having constant challenges. Her Daddy took her oldest brother out so he can hang out with some friends and she's used to Daddy being around. We're pretty sure that she is trying to hide her fear of him not coming back. Monday he goes back to work.

The other day we went out for the first time. We dropped the teens off at co-op where someone else was to be responsible for them. A couple of precious women came to the car just to peek at Jael, not to touch her or pick her up (since we are doing
attachment work).

Panic, screaming, and tears....she is so afraid we will give her to someone else.

She is STARTING to claim our house. When our lovely brothers and sisters in Christ bring over meals, she's making sure I'm in running distance....but not AS fearful anymore.

She does well at restaurants or the store (we learned that in China), but not in more intimate situations such as the car, co-op, or going to someone's house where we are known. We took her to Wal-Mart the other day and she did great!

She has labeled us as safe and her heart is beginning to love. We can see it. She's occasionally fighting it, trying to hide it, but it's there.

So far, this transition has been what we consider peaceful (shhh...I didn't say that out loud). Maybe it's because we understand more than we even did with the twins? Maybe it's because we're experienced in this? I'm thinking it's a blessing from God.

There's tears, pain, and hurt...but we get it...TOTALLY.

Reality IS blessed to us. Reality means we have eight amazing kids sleeping in their beds (or

We still have prayer requests. Please don't think things are necessarily easy right now. They aren't...just blessed.

Prayer Requests:
*For Jael's heart to trust us. Especially for her to seek to love on us, sit on our laps, hug us, not seek to distance herself...not to seek others outside our immediate family for her comfort.
*For our bodies to adjust to the time change, back to our every day food, and new way our family is forging forward to create our new "normal". Also, for health to re-enter the picture.
*For Jael's medical future...the doctor's wisdom...our discernment.
*For our parenting skills (smile). That we are wise in this journey as parents...with all our kids. Oh, and for LOTS and LOTS of patience (smile).
*Finally, for God to be glorified in our lives. That this journey may set off a landslide of awakening to the little blessings out there that still need homes.

For Others:
*PLEASE PLEASE pray for my friend Donna who is currently in China bringing home her two boys (with her friend Mary Beth). Her journey has been difficult and adjustment...wearying and breaking. Please pray for peace for the boys hearts (trust, love, and attachment as well). Also, please pray they can sleep at night so that in the day they are better able to deal with whatever presents itself.
*Please pray for Ruby (home not too long) from Uganda with a SEVERE case of Hydrocephalus (around a year old). She is in the hospital and just had surgery. She now has to stay still for days...perfectly still or, very literally, her brain can basically implode.
*Please pray for Tripp (Toddler with EB) whose body is giving up. It's swelling to the point of not being able to hold his favorite toy as his body is shutting down.
*Praise:Katie, the toddler that was 9 and not quite 11 lbs when coming home, has made great strides, is home and gaining weight. She can still use prayers as her bones are so fragile from the long term malnourishment and she still has a ways to go.
*For adoptions specifically in Guatemala and Liberia. Their are children in these countries who have been "stuck" for years (Rolondo and Julia, Junior and Diamoh), as they wait for adoptions to open up.

"Therefore do not worry about tomorrow, for tomorrow will worry about itself. Each day has enough trouble of its own." Matthew 6:34


  1. Thank you so much for keeping it real as you share your blessings! You're in our prayers.

  2. Wow! Things are really going good Kat! thank God!
    She is already showing a few signs of anxious
    Attachment to you and Daddy, awesome news so


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