Wednesday, February 20, 2013

Adoption Update

  I've been trying not to be a pain in the butt, not to call FOI too often.  Even the kids are getting antsy for a proposal.  Today I couldn't hold back anymore and I called FOI today for an update.
Here is what I learned:
We are 9th on the list.
FOI has been matching 3-4 families each month.
We've requested a younger child, which of coarse makes the match take longer because that's what most people have requested.
All of this means:
It will likely take another 3 months before we get a proposal.
This puts us in for a travel date sometime in late summer or early fall.
Yulin did mention that if we were to take a child with a more "severe" disability, it may not take as long.  A more "severe" disability means something like...blindness, deafness, more than one "disability".  For us, this is a no brainer.  We will accept any child God has for us... and yet it is a loaded question that is difficult to answer.  Yes, we would take a child with a greater disability than cleft lip/palate or club foot...but it would depend on what the disability actually was. 
I have an incredible sense of peace about this process taking longer, which is amazing.  Up until now I've felt this mama urgency that says we need to get to our son asap.  Would you join us in praying for us, for FOI as they search for a child for us, for our child, for the entire process, that it would proceed in the way God sees fit?  Thanks!

Monday, February 18, 2013

Family Day 2013...and a Sneek Peek

Today is Family Day in Canada.  That means no work and no school!  Yah!  We don't have anything special planned...other than to do what we feel like doing at the moment.  Love those days!
The kids are playing, and for the moment all is calm. 
Martin isn't home today, so we're not really having a "family day", but we'll enjoy it non the less!  Martin left on Friday to go snowmobiling up north and should be home sometime late this afternoon.  He's been trying to sell his sled, but so far hasn't had any reasonable offers.  Unfortunately, his sled has been having some mechanical issues, so I'm not sure how much sledding he actually got to enjoy.  I do know though, that he will have enjoyed the peace and quiet of the bush!
I am so grateful that Martin had this opportunity.  This man of mine has been working incredibly hard this past year and if anyone deserves or needs a break it is him!  He has pushed himself physically to the point of exhaustion.  He comes home day after day, tired, soaked and cold.  Yet, he never complains.  This adoption journey has once again pushed him and stretched him beyond what he thought he was capable of.  To see his strength come from God warms my heart and makes me proud!  To see him make the right decisions even if it is the most difficult of all decisions, to see him consciously work to truly trust God in every simply amazing!
As you all know, the child growing in our hearts is still not home.  As we wait, we pray, we dream, we plan.  I have been impatient, and am still trying to find the balance between trusting and pressing on, pushing to bring our little one home.  It is a delicate balance.
In the past 6 months I have slowly been collecting items for our little guy.  I've been looking for ideas for his bedroom decor and sort of had an idea of what I wanted.  We will be reusing Raina's white crib, so I wanted something to complement a white crib.  I was picturing soft whites, with some blue.  Something light and airy, but all boy. 
This fall I spotted the cutest monkey sleeper at Costco.  A few months later I found the softest little stuffed monkey at Osh Kosh.  Ok.  So neither item fit what I had in mind, but I simply could not pass up on these cute items!
And then...I found the perfect fabric for our little guys bedding!  And the above items are a perfect match! 

I think I see a sock monkey in this boys future!  :)

Wednesday, February 13, 2013

Oh Deer!!

We've been seeing a lot of trails on our yard lately.  This one cuts right through my garden.

We've also seen a lot of this. 

Unfortunately, we've also been seeing a lot of this. 

Yup!  My cedars have been demolished!... these beautiful, but pesky creatures!

Our dog disappeared late this summer and the deer seem to think they own the place.  They have nibbled at, and destroyed all the cedars on my yard, even the one's up against my house!  They did all the damage to the cedars in one or two nights.  That tells you there were more than a few deer having night lunch!

I must admit that when I first saw the damage they had done, I was sick to my stomach.  I even awoke one night thinking about all the damage, the cost to replace all those cedars...and it made me sick to think of it! 
Almost immediately I kicked myself back to reality!  Inspite of being disappointed, I reminded myself that they are only cedars.  Cedars can be replaced.  What a silly thing to stress over!
I suppose I know what kind of yard work I will be doing this spring!  I usually enjoy yard work, but after starting 2 acreages, planting thousands of teeny, tiny trees, weeding, watering, replacing them for the past 20 years...well, lets just say I'm getting tired of it.  For the past 2 years we have not planted any more trees and I seriously thought (other than a few more replacements), we were done...guess I was wrong!  Oh well!  At least I've got 2 capable boys to help me this time!  And in the scheme of things...what's a few more cedars?? :) 

Monday, February 11, 2013

Chinese New Year 2013

We celebrated Chinese New Year by ourselves this year.  Would have been nice to have someone over...but alas that was not meant to be.  In the end we thoroughly enjoyed ourselves and had a great celebration!
 Of all the Chinese meals I have ever prepared, this was by far the favorite.  Thanks Paige for your inspiration!  We had steamed buns, dumplings, and Hot Pot.  We all LOVED the Hot Pot and couldn't get enough of it. 
Raina and Malia were both determined to eat with chopsticks, and somehow managed to poke and prode the food into their mouths.  It was rather comical at times!

It blesses my heart to be privileged to have 2 beautiful and sweet Chinese angels to celebrate with.  Malia literally lit up as we prepared and when I thanked God for the blessing of having Chinese girls in our family her grin spread from ear to ear...yes, I was peeking while praying!  :)
We also tried some Chinese candy...Haw Flakes.  Haw Flakes are made from a fruit called hawthorn.  The candy is formed into disk like shapes and has a unique taste.  Unique may not be the correct word to accurately describe this candy as it has made the list of the Most Disgusting Candy Ever Made!  I didn't think the candy tasted all that bad although it has a gritty texture.  Our girls loved them, and asked for more.  The boys were content to only have one!

Tuesday, February 5, 2013

Crazy Girl

These pictures are not the greatest, but they accurately show the spunk of our sweet Raina.  She loves to wear jewelery and I caught her being super silly.  I quickly snapped a few pics before she realized she was the center of attention.

Sunday, February 3, 2013

Tipping the Balance

It's official. The balance has been tipped in our favour...or so we're told.  As of yesterday Malia has spent more time with us...her family, than in foster care in China!  I expect all the adoption related issues we deal with will miraculously disappear...NOT!  lol!  What I do know is that with each day that passes our beautiful treasure has another opportunity to trust that we are hers forever!  That even though we're not perfect, we love her and will for  FOREVER!  She is beginning to understand that her little quirks are silly and not necessary.  That she is indeed here to stay.

Malia loves China and cannot wait to go back.    We have told her from the beginning that someday we will go back, but that this time...when I travel to bring our little man home... I will travel alone.  For some reason she convinced herself that she was going.  She kept talking about it.   I think she thought we would change our minds.  About a week ago it finally sank in that she would not be joining me in travelling to China to meet our newest little one.  She was grumpy, irritable and naughty for an entire week! 

Malia is very proud of anything Chinese.  She understands that she looks different than us and sees it as something to be proud of.  She loves going to the local Asian Market and loves it when I cook Chinese food.
Malia loves school...except for the days when she gets in one of her "moods" and decides she can't do something.  She pretends to not understand or know things when she is in this "mood".  We are making progress though, as she is finally admitting that she has these "moods".
Malia is becoming a good reader, even taking note of exclamation marks!
Malia loves playing with her play kitchen, cooking up a storm or taking someones order so she can serve them.  She often talks about being a waitress or hairdresser when she grows up.  She also loves her Lego and Littlest Pet Shop.
Malia hates quiet time.  Hates being told to go to the bathroom...even if she's dancing so she doesn't pee her pants.  She wishes she was older and had all the privelages the boys have.
Malia loves to be in control, even in playing and tends to be very bossy with Raina.  It is one of the areas that I pray we can channel in the right direction so that it will be a strength...not a weakness.
Most importanly, Malia is really beginning to understand what loving God is all about.  She is beginning to see that good choices result in her feeling better about herself and that she can be proud of making good choices.

Friday, February 1, 2013

Surviving the Deep Freeze

This past week we've been sitting in a deep freeze as far as weather is concerned.  We did not expect the buses to run on Wednesday, but apparently the wind calmed down for the 2 minutes needed to record a temperature of less than -40.  By the time we rolled out of bed it was a chilly -43, but the kids still went to school.  Yesterday the buses did not run due to a temperature of -45!  We enjoyed a wonderful family day of pancakes, hot chocolate, making kielke and hanging out.
Believe it or not, this was my first time making kielke.  We had bought a noodle machine many years ago at a garage sale and had never used it.  Our first attempt at making noodles was a flop.  A quick phone call to my MIL confirmed that it could be our machine.  Martin picked up his mom's machine and it worked!  Yah!  Wasn't my incompetence at making the dough the right consistency!  :)
Our boys had a blast helping and were disappointed when I finished the last little bit.  I'm tickled to see my boys' love for cooking.  Not only because it's a good skill to learn, but it shows that they don't see cooking as the traditional role of women only.

I hung the noodles to dry the same way my mom always did...on a cleaned clothes rack.

The days that Morgun and Malia were in school, we did the regular school work...and one little cutie pretended to be studying Alex's Science!  lol
Alex and I each did one art project as well.  For those of you that are on Pinterest or follow me on Pinterest, this may look familiar.  It is my version of the "Be Still" canvas.

This is another idea we found on Pinterest.  It's very simple.  All Alex did was take scrapbooking letters, stick them on a canvas, finger paint, and then pulled off the letters.  This canvas should fit his bedroom decor once we get around to changing it...sometime this winter...hopefully!  Can you guess what he wants his room to look like?
I like the verse he picked.  It has such profound meaning and it is our prayer for him.