Thursday, May 28, 2009

Busy as a Bee

It has been one week since my last post, and I have had not one dull moment since then. Our plane tickets and passports are in Jamie's unmentionables drawer, hotel reservations are made, our driver in Taiwan is secured-- we are all set to head off to the airport hotel tomorrow!

Friday I spent cleaning the house, and had my last day serving at Cracker Barrel, at least until August.

Over Memorial Day weekend my brother and his wife came for a visit. We took them to Old Sturbridge Village, and even up to the G's farm for chores Monday morning. I think it was Anna's first time bottle-feeding a calf. In return, Zach and Anna introduced us to geo-caching. It was a lot of fun, and I think there is one of those GPS devices in Jamie's future. We found three hidden caches, and Zach even helped my Zachary (named after his uncle in part) and Alexander to hide one under an old train bridge near here. It made for a very nice weekend.

Tuesday I took Zachary and Amelia to Gilmerton Farm in Littleton for a goat seminar. The kids were so adorable! Amelia enjoyed the trip, and Zach and I got a peek at keeping goats. We are still hoping to obtain two Nigerian Dwarf Goats in the Fall or next Spring. I then went to the library to get three novels for the airplanes. (Nikita has 15 dvds to watch!)

Yesterday I did some last minute food shopping, made sure my cell phone will work in Taiwan, and bought an outfit to wear when we meet Sunny-- next Tuesday!!! Jamie's mom is all set to be here each night, and we are praying that Dante just sleeps at night so Alexander does not get exhausted. Paul will be here several days, Meridith twice, and a wonderful woman from church who Micah and Amelia adore will spend all day Wednesday here, giving Zach and Xander the day off. God is good!

Today I have spent with my head spinning, wondering what I am forgetting. I am half packed, Jamie has not even started! We have two small packages in my suitcase for two adorable little girls in the orphanage who will hopefully be home with their families soon. In the meantime, I am privileged to deliver these packages for their moms.

Also this morning, Nikita and I made a quick trip to Old Sturbridge Village so she could see her friend Sam, who is apprenticing there. He looked quite dashing in the 1830's garb, if Nikita's grin was any indication. She had an interesting quote I will share as we walked through the common area, "It is deserted here, except for all of these people!". HUH???

26 hours until our journey begins!!!

Thursday, May 21, 2009


Proverbs 3:5,6 says, "Trust in the Lord with all your heart, and lean not on your own understanding; in all your ways acknowledge Him, and He shall direct your paths."

Is it really that easy? In 8 days Jamie, Nikita, and I will be leaving the two boys and three little ones for 7 days. Yes, my mother-in-law will be here each evening and overnight, and a young man is coming in to help each day, and my incredible home school friends are providing dinners, and my best friend is stopping in with McDonalds for lunch twice....but I still worry.

It's Dante really that is worrying me. He loves 4 people, and 3 of us are leaving. Oh he loves Zach too, I suppose I should say he loves 5 people. But Zach isn't much for babies, he is however Amelia's hero. Alexander is the one who will bear the brunt of Dante's behaviors for a full week. We never know what to expect. Tuesday night he slept straight through; last night he was up at 1am for over an hour crying inconsolably. We have decided that while we are gone he'll take his dinners in his carseat so he cannot head bang on the wooden high chair. And I have set up a portacrib with foam around the top rail that Alexander can put him into if he has a temper tantrum that won't calm down.

And Sunny worries me too. I know she is our daughter, but I am already feeling the guilt at the sadness we will be causing her during her adjustment period. One part of the what the Bible says has been easy lately -- "pray without ceasing"!!

Here is a quick picture of Dante and Alexander. Dante just climbed up on the couch to "read" next to his big brother... these are the moments I cherish.

God is good!

Tuesday, May 19, 2009

They've Gone GAGA !!!

I am not sure about the rest of the country, but here in New England all the Christian retreats and camps have gone gaga. It is hard to describe, kind of like dodgeball-below-the-knees-in-an-octagon. After my kids first played it years ago at Rumney Bible Conference and then Camp Good News, Jamie built a "gaga pit" in our yard...

I love this one where you can see the smiley face on their ball.

Zachary is doing some fancy foot work (hand work?) to avoid the ball.

Nikita can't help it if she's good...

Alexander has his own personal style of avoidance...

It is a beautiful May afternoon, and my three teens (ok, Nikita is not a teen for another 26 days) are playing gaga together. Getting along. One of the blessings of home schooling.
God is good!

Thursday, May 14, 2009

We "Met" Sunny!

Last night we had our webcam visit! It went pretty well, although for some reason our microphone would not work. We could hear them just fine, but I had to type in my comments. We have another visit next week and I hope the microphone works then.

She is SO adorable!! She smiled and waved, saying "hi". Then she sang some songs and played on a toy piano. Afterwards she went through a photo album of her foster family and "introduced" everyone to us. Whenever she saw a picture of herself she would say she is cute.

I guess she goes by both Sunny and Shan-Lin, so we will see what she prefers and go with that. Officially, her name will remain Shan-Lin.

AND, she gave herself a haircut! It is now trimmed in the exact style Amelia wears!! She was so cute and bouncy, full of energy. What a team the two of them will be.

Our plane tickets are purchased, hotel is reserved, and our final fundraiser- a bake sale- is this Saturday! 16 days until we fly out of here to bring our daughter home.

God is good!

Tuesday, May 12, 2009

My Mighty Micah

There is not much cuter than a couple of kids blowing dandelions. And not much funnier than Micah blowing a yellow dandelion. The poor flower was not exactly ready for his huffing and puffing. He gave up, and instead started pulling off the petals, saying "loves me", "loves me", "loves me". He knows how charming he is and with that killer smile, there was no "loves me not" for him.

I was outside preparing a strawberry bed while Ame and Micah were playing with the dandelions. Amelia carried over Pip, Zach's favorite hen, to eat the grubs in the ground I was turning. It is embarrassing to admit, but there I was digging through the fresh dirt pointing out all the grubs to her. She even comes when called! That hen was feasting today; it was pretty funny. Amelia even gave the scratching in the dirt a try with her feet, but decided it was a waste of time. She preferred to get her hands down in the dirt.

As a Sunny update, I have been working on the travel plans and it looks like we are leaving early Saturday morning the 30th, and getting home late Friday night June 5th. We will actually stay at a hotel near the airport Friday night before we leave, since we have to get there so early.

AND- tomorrow night is our webcam visit!
God is good!

Monday, May 11, 2009

The Tears were Flowing...

Amelia has hypothyroidism, which is not uncommon for people who have Down Syndrome. Her six month check-up is this Friday, and I had to take her for the bloodwork today. Despite the blood draw every 6 months for more than 6 years now, she still does not take it well. The poor girl begins crying when we go into the exam room and she realizes it is not a routine appointment. She starts the screaming and writhing about when the little butterfly needle appears. It is hard to help hold her down, I would almost rather leave her to the team of nurses and come "rescue" her when they are done.

Today wasn't actually too bad. One nurse and I held her while another took the blood, out of her hand this time. Amelia screamed until the needle went in, and then stopped. At first I thought the hand would be worse, but she actually wrenches her arms more when they go for the inside of her elbow. She did start to cry again when the band-aid appeared; she has never liked them and associates them with pain. The McDonalds french fries afterwards helped her calm down; she even insisted on bringing them home to share with Micah.

Micah also has hypothyroidism, but he takes the routine blood draw much better. The poor guy had so many health issues in his first two years that he practically lived in the hospital. Now when we go for bloodwork, he helps the nurses poke around his arm, and points to the best spot.

Maybe he could teach Amelia to be a little less scared? At least it is six months before she has to go through it again!

Friday, May 8, 2009

Travel Date!!

I received "the call" today! We can be in Taiwan the first week of June! Jamie, Nikita and I will leave Boston on Saturday May 30th, and meet Sunny on Monday June 1st. We'll be home again on Saturday June 6th.

I am beyond excited! And nervous too. There are a ton of details to work out for childcare while we are gone, and now I must practice my Mandarin in earnest. I gave my two week "Leave of Absence" notice at Cracker Barrel, that felt really good!

The family dynamics are soon going to change, and I know it will effect Sunny the most. I have been praying for her a lot. Lately I find myself thinking of her in the middle of the day, and since she is 12 hours ahead that is the middle of the night for her-- so I pray that she dreams of us and through that we will not be strangers to her. She does have several pictures of us, and we will still be doing a webcam visit with her.

God is good!

Wednesday, May 6, 2009

Birthdays and Whine

The two have nothing in common, but will both be subjects of this post!

Today would have been Mom's 60th birthday. I'd like to think she is celebrating with Dad. Yesterday Amelia drew a picture for Grandma. Naturally, she doesn't understand Grandma's death. I am glad she is still remembering her and wanting to send her a picture.

And the whine, maybe I should get some cheese and crackers to go with it? Yesterday was four weeks since our hearing. I had thought we would have our travel call for Sunny by now. I am told to expect it to be up to two more weeks. I know, the end is in sight. Unfortunately, I have been thinking the end is in sight since February. Last week was to be our webcam visit, but it was rescheduled for tonight. Or at least I thought it was.

I messed up. The visit was last night. But then it wasn't, because I went happily off to a mom's homeschool meeting (only 50 feet away!) and Jamie ignored the TEN skype calls from Sunny's social worker because he did not know who it was that kept trying to call!!! He feels badly, but really, I am the one who messed up. AND, I had told him I would be home at 8pm, but then kept on talking/sharing and did not get home until 9pm. It was first thing this morning that I noticed the missed calls on Skype and had a mini-breakdown. If I had come home when I said I would have been here to see the calls coming in.

So, missing mom, wanting to meet Sunny, waiting for travel, oh, and probably searching for a new church. The last one is so heartbreaking I can't even go into it. We live across and down the street, and I don't know what it will do to Amelia not to go there anymore. AND, Dante is officially diagnosed with Autism. I'll make that a separate post sometime.

On a positive note-- Jamie thinks we should get two Nigerian Dwarf Goats!! Then I can make Dante his yogurt fresh. Zach is pretty excited. We are thinking next Spring!

God is good!