Thursday, December 11, 2014

Babyland General Hospital (home of Cabbage Patch kids)

We had a girls day yesterday, visiting Babyland General Hospital (just a bit north of Atlanta) so that Clara and Aria could could adopt children for Christmas.

After watching the birth of a new baby from the cabbage patch, the girls watched while the nurse checked his heart and gave him some shots.

Then the girls had a chance to hold this brand new baby.

The hospital is filled with many children available for adoption and all of them are permitted to be loved during the visit.

Clara made her mind up early, and although she listened patiently to her mother's advice to consider other options, she firmly rejected every other potential candidate and took home baby Elizabeth. 

As other adoptive moms understand, sometimes you just 'know' when a child is yours.

Aria briefly considered many orphans before disrobing Solomon and beginning to fix dinner.  

I am afraid I may have secured his rejection when I suggested that a purple bottle for him might not be a good idea.

After her mom took her on 'one last look around' at the other children, Aria chose Rosita Grace and happily received her adoption papers.


Saturday, November 15, 2014

Life in America

This is the banner the kids made for us while we were gone. They are so sweet.

Praying with Jerry before bedtime. At the moment Jerry and Dominic are reffing soccer games in Charlotte and took Jed with them.  Without D and J, Will and Peter have had to learn some new skills.   Yesterday Simon showed Will how to use the microwave for breakfast, because in the past D and J  have been cooking for them.  Today, as we were running out the door for lunch and, I saw that Will's pants were way above his ankles again. When I sent him upstairs to change, I wasn't sure he would be able to figure out what to change into because I think Dominic has been telling him what to wear. He came down wearing some new pants I just bought for church.   Early next week I hope to sort through all the boys winter clothes again and give them better directions about what should be worn when.  Children from orphanages have never had more than two outfits at a time in their lives, perhaps only one.  Boys especially do not always adjust easily to the American custom of having so much stuff , at least where clothes are involved.  

After lunch we went over the mountain to order Will's glasses, but somehow United Healthcare didn't put the boys on our eye plan yet.  Or something.  When we came home I got my sewing machine out and Will and Peter both watched intently for about 20 minutes.  As I was only turning a hem under on some fabric for a Thanksgiving tablecloth, there wasn't much to see but they seemed pretty impressed.
Dominic designed, ordered and bought a cake for my birthday and Katrina made one from scratch and brought it from Asheville.  Jerry tried explaining to Will and Peter that birthdays are a very frequent occurrence during certain months of the year (like July) but that only Kathryn's is between now and Jesus's birthday.

Wednesday, November 12, 2014

Warmer Than Sweater Weather

Today was a beautiful autumn day, just a bit warmer than sweater weather,  which diminished the sadness of having to empty the pool and put the filter away.  I told Dominic to get one of the boys to help him with it. He chose William, who seemed very happy to help.  Will is younger but taller than Simon, Jed and Andy and he is more assertive than any of them.  It will be interesting to see where he falls in the pecking order.
  I included him in our math class today (Teaching Textbooks , a computer program that I do with all of them except Dominic on  tv, with worksheets) and even though he couldn't read the word problems and probably couldn't understand most of the words in the lecture, he was first to get many of the answers.              When the others chose to play outside today, Peter and Ric chose the Lego room.  Jed was just passing through.

Simon spends hours and hours every day with the chickens. He gets up at the crack of dawn in the morning and spends an hour or more with them and bring in the eggs before school starts.  In the afternoons, he goes back out to feed them and work on the fenced area, or their house, or nest area while they range free (or is it free range ?).  Honestly, I have never even walked down there to see what he is doing.  I am not exactly an animal person. I like my kids to have pets but I don't want to have to touch them.

Nellie was inside using this hairbrush as a microphone to practice her singing. I hear we may have some really cold weather approaching so tomorrow we will all get out and enjoy these last few days of fall. 

Tuesday, November 11, 2014

Normal :)

I know it is a bit premature to believe that everything is really back to normal, but for a brief window of time, today it felt like it. We did some school. William stayed awake the entire day. Everyone was cheerful and kind to one another. We even went to Walmart. How normal can you get ?

The six oldest younger kids have been absolutely wonderful with the two new boys. Jed is a born teacher and loves taking responsibility to help them learn new things.  Dominic has settled into his role as the oldest brother, who everyone looks to for the final word on everything.  

The boys are working on phonics singing along with Sing, Spell, Read and Write.Ric's mom gave me this vegetable. I have no idea what it is or how to cook it and I really needed a hatchet to chop it open. (Nellie is just posing for me here.)  It looked a bit like applesauce when I finished cooking it, so I added just a touch of brown sugar and cinnamon and the kids liked it. But they will eat just about anything. 

Sunday, November 9, 2014

World Adoption Day

As you might suspect, William was unavailable to pose in this World Adoption Day photo because he was sleeping.  But it was only a few hours today, so that was a huge improvement.  When I went upstairs to check on him this morning at 10:00 he was still sleeping. Dominic had told him to get dressed for church but he refused. When I discovered that he had drunk all the water in his water bottle, I quit worrying about him being sick or dehydrated, Jerry and I told him to get  up and get dressed for church.  Jed fixed him another water bottle and a small snack to eat on the way.  As he walked in the building he started to chike like he was going to throw up, but instead of showing him where the bathroom was, I pointed him to the row we would sit in  -  a risky move, but successful !  He stood threw all the singing and dozed only a bit through the sermon.  When he went to the edge of the parking lot to throw up afterward, I ignored it other than to tell him to get in the car because we were leaving.   Afterward, at Dairy Queen we put all the boys together at a table and he ate and we even saw some smiles.  When we returned home, he tried going back up to his bedroom but Jerry told him to come down and help the boys get the playroom ready for our evening home group/Bible Study.  Later in the afternoon when he was falling asleep at the Lego table we told him he could go upstairs and sleep and we would wake him up for dinner.  It took Jerry going up to wake him again, because he apparently doesn't realize yet that a request from one of his siblings, authorized by us, is the same as a request from us.  He will learn.  So, I am feeling a million times better now that I am assured that he is not sick but only jet lagged and miserable, as he has every right to be.

Our granddaughters, Aria and Clara came over to meet their new uncles and receive the gifts we bought them in China.

Saturday, November 8, 2014

Jet Lag

Yesterday, after 8 hours of sleep, I thought maybe I had avoided jet lag.  Today is beginning to feel like nighttime will never arrive.

Peter is doing wonderfully. He has been playing with the other boys both inside and outside.

He obviously remembers all his grown brothers and sisters as well as nephews and nieces who have come to visit and has responded to everyone with hugs and smiles.

William is not doing so well. Since he went outside and played with the boys yesterday morning he has done nothing but sleep or look totally miserable.   I had Dominic explain to him that it is normal for him to feel very tired and to take alot of naps while his body is getting used to American time.  He ate nearly nothing for breakfast, went back to bed and later threw up his lunch.  At this point I do not know if it is from stress, as it seemed to be during the first few days after we met him, or if he is sick.  I am inclined to believe the former, but since I am not sure I am letting him sleep.

It won't be fun for him to wake up during the night and find us all asleep, but I do not know what else to do. We are planning to go to church in the morning, so perhaps that will give us the structure we need in the morning to help him stay awake at the right time.

Thursday, November 6, 2014

Home Sweet Home

We arrived home about 10 tonight, just about 30 hours after we left our hotel in China. It was wonderful to see all the kids again.  Having Chinese speakers already here made everything so much easier for everyone. The boys showed William and Peter where we keep clothes, hang towels and even explained to Will that he can quit washing his clothes in the bathroom sink because we have a washer And a dryer. (Just wait until they see the dishwasher and find out we can drink the water that comes out of the sink.)

They all loved the swords, of course and had fun trying them out. I hope to still be asleep tomorrow morning when my kids have to admit that American breakfasts are very substandard.  None of my kids are very fond of that cardboard tasting stuff that comes in a cardboard box that we call cereal.  Mine usually make themselves either eggs or oatmeal, but even those are a poor substitute for what they have gotten used to.  I will try to make something exciting for lunch to compensate.

We did have two unfortunate occurrences on the way home, both involving Will.  He threw up several times on the 11 hour plane flight and since I wasn't sitting with them, no one thought to ask me for more medicine.  Worse than that is that his suitcase with all his clothes, the helicopter and all the toys and books we bought him in China is missing.  And it was lost on an airline called Juneyao Air which we flew from Guangzhou to Shanghai so although they said they would send it on to Japan, I don't really think they will bother to track us down here in America.  I am soo sad for him about this, but so far he has taken it in stride.  I am not sure he suspects he may never see it again.

I confessed to our travel group that the real reason I came to China was buy squeaky shoes -aren't they cute ?  see the KINEs?