"For I know the plans I have for you," declares the LORD, "plans to prosper you and not to harm you, plans to give you hope and a future." Jeremiah 29:11

Wednesday, October 13, 2010

terrorism task force

Dont let these innocent, adorable faces fool you.  We had a terrorism task force meeting.. ie family meeting at the dinner table.... A review of some hot topic issues that needed to be discussed in further detail.

Item 1:  All dogs must go outside to potty. Even if it is dark, even if it is raining. They are dogs.  They dont get to use my bathroom.

Item 2:  If ANYONE (child or dog) gets sick in the night, there will be NO vomiting exactly in the spot I would put my feet when I launch my body from a dead sleep to hurl myself from the bed.  AND IF by chance there is vomit in that spot and my feet do land in it and I slip and fall, DO NOT SAY SHHHHH I am sleeping!

Item 3:  It is my bed.  If you feel the need to sleep in it with me sleep on your own side and your own pillow.  There is no open forum for discussion on this anymore.

Item 4:  IF you are sleeping with me, keep your toes out of my ribcage, ears and spine.

Item 5:  IF I happen to go down the hall to use the bathroom, I SWEAR I am coming back.  I do not need to be escorted and waited for outside the door by 4 people a dog and a cat.  I have acutally been doing this for years and am quite capable of doing it on my own...  and I will come back.  Eventually.  I promise.

Item 6:  If you have a temper tantrum and kick and scream and bite and yell and then get up and ask for me to make you your own entree for dinner cause what I have made doesn't happen to be your favorite... DO EXPECT to be laughed at by all your siblings... hysterically laughed at, as in table slapping laughed at.  Followed up with comments like "Good luck with that one buddy!" or "are you freakin kidding me????"

Item 7:  If you spray yourself in the eye with your sisters perfume that you have snuck from her room, well, dont be offended if all your sibling say ewwww... you smell like a girl.

Item 8:  If you are not getting your way, PLEASE whine loudly and cry and complain.  I LOVE this really. 

Item 9:  There will be no more stealing allowed and from here on out EVERYONE is on high alert.  The thieving cat will be stalked until his lair is found along with it all the ponytail holders, earrings, socks, pencils and sink stoppers. If anyone sees a crime in process you will secretly follow said cat and notify someone older than you.

Meeting adjourned.  I will not negotiate with terrorists.  I am sure from here on out peace and harmony will reign in our house, the dogs will be fetching my slippers and my children will be laying their clothes out and packing their own lunches weeks ahead of time.  A girl can dream right???

Monday, October 11, 2010

Stupid things people say...

Gonna let you in on a little secret. Our family is made up of 3 countries. We are not a biracial family. We are a multi racial family. We forget this. We think we look like everyone else's family. We have heard some pretty stupid stuff over the years. We have heard some pretty offensive stuff too. While walking between stores awhile back we had a carload drive by slowly, honk, flip us off and yell out many racial slurs... most of the stuff is stupid and honestly people for the most part dont mean it, I am sure... BUT...

Lady at previous church: Are you planning on telling your kids they are adopted or keep it a secret.

Me: DEFINITELY keeping it a secret


Another Lady at previous church: Isnt it horrible to change a diaper of a child that isn't yours? I mean diapers are bad enough if they belong to your own child, but someone elses? Terrible.


Another lady at previous church: We will need a copy of your boys medical files so we can send a letter out to all Sunday School parents to let them know that there will be AFRICANS in their childrens classes... and they may expose them to AIDS... due to the fact they are from AFRICA... (really)


Another lady at previous church (see any patterns here): I have always wanted one of those - (pointing to Molly Shen in my arms) I need to ask my husband again and maybe he will let us get one as a early Christmas present.


Everytime I look at your kids it just reminds me of puppies in the pound


Grocery clerk to kids: Which ones are the REAL brothers and sisters?
Molly Shen to clerk: We are all real brothers and sisters. we all look alike and we all have the same mom.


Honestly, these are all things we have heard... It has gotten to be a joke almost when we go somewhere to see how many heads we can turn and "what" comments we will get...

So, here is the deal...
ask me which kids are my REAL kids. they ALL are my real kids (as opposed to fake kids i guess)
ask me about their REAl parents. If you are my BFF or family or need to know, I will tell you. AND I AM the REAL parent.
expect me to divulge personal details of my childrens life stories if we arent close. If you need to ask, I am probably not gonna tell you.
recommend DOG shampoos i should try, because your BLACK poodle has hair just like my son.
justify to me that your child is making squinty eyes at my daughter because your family doesnt really "do" orientals. (really??)
(in front of my children especially) ask me to tell you why they were thrown away, discarded, abandoned etc by their birthparents. Again, if you needed to know, I would have already told you.
ask me how much money my children cost. Buying children is ILLEGAL. I didnt buy my children.
ask me why I didnt just have kids of my own... ( I did have biological kids, but they don't look like me either and you assume they are adopted as well)

I dont think I am being oversensitive. These are things we hear on a daily basis... I only dont hear them if I dont leave my house OR i go somewhere without my kids... I know other families that go through the SAME thing. And honestly, for the most part, I believe none of this is said in a malicious way... I try to smile and educate or just let people know they are crossing lines that for some reason they dont believe exist...

The best thing??? Ask me about adoption. Look me in the eye and smile. Tell me my family is beautiful. That means the world. I nearly hugged a lady at Costco who did that exact thing.... but I didn't want to freak her out!


"God ordains broken things in order to make all things whole" I love this song. I can hardly make it through without the tears falling. I dont know why. It just gets me. Everytime. Molly loves this song. She falls asleep to it every night. She doesn't understand the words, but it moves her to tears.. She says she doesnt know what it is about, she just feels that it is how her heart feels about God. And it makes her cry. Not sad tears, but those happy tears... Heart tears...

Sunday, October 3, 2010


I promised a few funny conversation posts and those will be coming, not everything is tragic around here... and sheesh with this group there is plenty of opportunity for funny but not tonight.

This morning in church we spent time praying for our dear friends the Croffs, who will be leaving for China in a few days.  They plan to go to orphanages and be with the children... They talked of what an "emotional" journey it will be and I was instantly transported back to my emotional journey to China.  Even now there are no words...

Our house is filled with noise and laughter... sounds that some days make my head feel like it will explode... and the ring leader of the noise is my not so quiet Molly Shen.  She begins FULL conversation the moment that her eyes flutter open.  She talks WHILE brushing her teeth, while chewing her food and usually falls asleep in the middle of a sentence... she even talks during the night in her sleep.   Sometimes it is all I can do to not cover my ears and scream.  It drives her siblings wonky...  but it is music to my ears and it makes me smile.  It hasn't always been so.

Molly was handed to me at 18 months and she didn't make a sound.  She didn't cry, she didnt coo, talk or scream. She was silent.  When we went to visit her orphanage we entered a large concrete building that housed about 200 babies and infants.  And the silence will forever haunt me.  There was no crying.  There was no laughing.  There were no baby sounds at all.  The absence of sound still chills my soul. 

Molly remembers the silence.  She has pictures that we took that day, of her bed, of her room... She says she used to cry when she was a baby so that someone would hold her or talk to her... she specifically says she cried and cried for someone to "rock rock and tell her hush it is all ok",  she cried and noone came.  No mommy came. She says she cried until she stopped.  I ask her why she stopped and she looks at me and shrugs and says "why cry?"  Silence still haunts her...

The silence will always haunt me, but it is now a reminder of how far we have come... and it makes me smile (and groan) when I hear that blood curdling, high pitched, shrill voice of hers come barreling down the hallway.  The silence will always haunt us, but there is no silence here.

Thursday, September 23, 2010

long forgotten blog

It has been a long time. A really long time.  I thought I was done blogging... our story had changed so dramatically that there was no way to even blog... BUT we are back. AGAIN.  This has been a year from Hell, yet many good things too, old friends made new, new memories, ...

I am a single mom, of 5.  Yes somedays this seems bigger than it is... but it is...

My little kids have faced nightmares that no mother dreams their children will have to go through...

We have had to retreat to our little yellow house... no school, no church, no activities in order to protect little innocent children from evil. 

But, we have seen friends, true friends and family.  The ones that when faced with an ugly situation dig in next to us...

BUT we are back.  Still wounded, still hurting, still untrusting,

And so I will blog from my little yellow house... we will continue to survive... until we can begin to live again. 

Tuesday, April 20, 2010

2 years ago...

2 years ago we were in Africa... Gotcha Day... Africa was beautiful and we will be forever changed for having been there... We made wonderful friends and experienced everything we could. We hugged and held so many little faces... we are still praying for some that are still there... waiting after 2 years...

Our 2 years hasn't been without its struggles, but seeing all 3 littles snugged together reading a book under the blanket is amazing. They have come a long way... we are a family....

Thursday, April 15, 2010

dont tell her...

Conversation from the back seat:

Yordi: How old is mom?
Molly: She is ** but don't tell her because that is really really old and she will feel bad if she finds out.

great. apparantly I am old.  

Wednesday, April 14, 2010

new shoes...

Well, it happened for the first time yesterday... nearly broke my heart.  We decided to look for sandals for Molly while in town.  She fell in love with some over the top lime green ones.  She tried them on and then took them off and put them back on the rack. I asked her what she thought... were they keepers. She replied "no, I don't think I like sandals anymore.  They show my toes and people will laugh."  She has always loved little foot... she now sees that it is different.  She doesn't like that.  I knew the day would come... We settled on some adorable strappy gold ones that look a bit like her sisters... and we bought 2 pair.  2 different sizes... no use pretending that they are close in size anymore... little foot doesn't have to slip around in a too big shoe.... so... if you can use a size 9 right foot and an 12 left foot pair of little girl gold sandals... let me know... I just happen to have a pair...

Monday, April 5, 2010

April Fools and the Bunny

April Fools...

Noah doesn't really do April Fools so much... one year awhile back I made mini meatloafs with mashed potatoes on top died pink. They looked like cupcakes. Then made rice crispie treats out of cocoa pebbles so it really looked like meatloaf. I insisted they eat desert first... Noah layed under the table and cried cause of the cruelty of having to eat dessert for dinner... I thought it was hysterical.

This year Addie decided to have some fun.  Noah has an ipod that he uses to tune out the world when he needs to. And because he is a boy and a christian he only has boy christian music on it... makes perfect sense huh?  Addie snuck into his room, took his ipod and synced his ipod to her playlist... the result was hysterical... Noah thought it was pretty funny at first too, then he realized it wasn't going to get fixed till we got home... Addie cracked herself up the whole way to youth.... The look on his face was priceless.

God's Bunny:
Again this year the boys were stumped as to WHY a bunny brings eggs on Easter.  Why is that? Bunnies don't lay eggs... Noah did his best to try and explain this to the boys so that they might understand but also letting them know the true reason we celebrate Easter.
We got to church and someone asked Yordi if the Easter bunny had come...
Yordi says a bit puzzled... I don't think so... I think it was God's rabbit. He got all messed up and layed eggs so God sent him down here...

yeah... that sounds about right...

autism awareness month

The word autism strikes fear in the heart of many... I always thought it was a parents worst nightmare and I thanked God daily that he had only chosen me to work with autistic children and not walk that road as a parent...
until Noah was diagnosed as having autism. 

I am convinced that Noah was born autistic... and that he was born just the way that God intended.  He never liked to be held as a baby. He missed every developmental milestone... I was so thankful to have him that he could have had 2 heads and he would have been perfect in my eyes... but on that day he was diagnosed I was so scared and I grieved what Noah would never have... what he would miss out on... on what that meant for all of us... and then I got busy. I educated myself, I read everything, I prayed.

Noah amazes me. Autism didn't beat him. As a mom my heart still aches for him as he struggles with issues, when things are not as easy for him, but he has taught me so much.  And I thank God for that. Noah isn't private about his autism. He tells people. That is just how he is... there is nothing to hide or be ashamed of... he is how God made him... a special creation...

Noah sees things in black and white. No gray. Ever. Right or wrong... hard when there is so much gray...  He is so very literal... raining cats and dogs? not possible. Humor is hard for him.  He has a great sense of humor but sometimes struggles understanding jokes (although he loves to kid around).  He is sturctured and doesnt deviate from the plan...

I read somewhere that while the average persons brain is like a funnel...  we can take everything that is swirling around in the top of the funnel and pull out what the most important things out while still noticing the small stuff (lights, smells, noises) but not needing them to come down the funnel.  A person with autism has a brain like a collindar. Everything...every noise, light, sound, smell, touch invades their brain at the same time with the same intensity...  makes so much sense to me.  Pain is perceived differently... a hangnail can cause hours of anguish and true intense pain, yet Noah broke his arm and while complaining that it hurt finished out the school day. Cutting his hair and fingernails hurts.  Noises hurt.

I forget that I have to explain everything... in great detail. Whatever gets left out... gets left out.  I asked noah to turn on the water, shower and then turn it off.  And so he did. For quite awhile. And then he started not smelling so great.  I never happened to mention that soap and shampoo were involved. He was turning on the water, showering, and then turning off the water...

Noah is amazing. He loves, he trusts, he is good and polite and kind. He is smart and memorizes everything. I no longer grieve what Noah lost to autism. I thank God for what he has given us, blessed us with.  I wish we could all have a bit more of Noah in us... it would make for a better world.  I cant say that I wish autism on anyone on any family. I wish there was a cure. But it is no longer my worst nightmare. It is just a bend in our road. And i will continue to celebrate each and every milestone...

This year Noah played football for the very first time. We, all his friends their parents and our family, knew this was not going to go great. How could a kid who doesn't like to be touched play tackle football. Noah was determined.  He has all the plays memorized. He knows how to play in his mind.  The very first game Noah tackled a guy and didn't just make the tackle but cleaned this kids clock.  When I took my hands away from my face from cheering what I saw I will never forget. The game was still going on, the clock running, but the team had rushed the field, picked Noah up and were cheering him on like he had won the superbowl. I was immediately wrapped in the arms of his best friends mom who was sobbing... 'he did it"!  

"For you created my inmost being;

you knit me together in my mother's womb.

 I praise you because I am fearfully and wonderfully made;

your works are wonderful,

I know that full well." Psalm 139 13-14

Tuesday, March 30, 2010

Papalote, Mexico

Addie and dad just returned from a missions trip to Papalote Mexico where they spent spring break working and serving the people of this very rural area... the stories are amazing and the pictures are wonderful... I hope to get some posted soon... lots on my facebook page already... but this morning video was posted. So hopefully if you aren't on facebook you can see some of the video for now... check it out Papalote, Mexico 2010.

Monday, March 1, 2010

Why girls make terrible farmers...

I grew up on a farm. I live in town right now, but I am a country girl. Addie has inherited this gene. She is very much a country girl. My best friend is a serious country girl (picture her, Addie and I loading up 6 300 lb pigs by ourselves into a trailer to take to fair)... She raises pigs... We have spent much time in the barn when the sows are delivering...

Two weeks ago I get a text message at 10 pm... "sneak out and meet me in the barn"... so I did (don't worry- Noah was here with the sleeping littles). What we found were 15 newborn piglets. The average was about 3-4 lbs. The runt... 8 oz. She had to keep him in a container in order to not be smashed by the others... Kerri stayed up with him all night in the barn... holding him up to the mommy to nurse until 3 am when he was just too weak. She took him to the house and began syringe feeding him every 30 min through the night and into the next day. Then we took over...

He stayed by the fire... Addie fed him religiously but you could tell he was going downhill fast. We knew he was dying... even told the littles that he was dying... but we couldn't let him die in the cold barn. He died cuddled up to Addie.

This is why girls make terrible farmers... we farm with our hearts. A man would have wacked it on the head when it was born and slept through the night and not syringe fed a dying piglet every 30 min for 42 hours... Girls make terrible farmers... His name was "Nugget".

He did it...

Noah did it. He stayed all night. He didn't want to, but he did. He didnt even call home... until the next day to ask me to pick him up early... but he slept over!!!! Near catastrophe as his blankie suffered a near fatal rip, but it was repaired before bedtime last night... wonder how many more times I can repair those rotten little threads...

Wednesday, February 24, 2010

crossing our fingers

So Noah has been invited to apply to a Science camp this summer. It is the coolest thing. Mobil/EXXON is sponsoring this 2 week long camp at the OSU campus (the ONLY college Noah would ever think of attending... they are BLACK and ORANGE you know). It is a fully funded camp... 2 weeks, all meals, lodging, transportation, field trips... totally educational... Noah's idea of fun! They are only taking 52 kids from the entire state... It is intended to target kids from more rural areas who wouldn't normally have access to this sort of thing. He is SUPER excited... he has worked really hard to get his math and science grades up (even aced his math test today). He has filled out the application and gotten his teachers to write him letters of recommendations... So we will wait and see...

He is also going to his first "slumber party" this weekend. He has never stayed with anyone but Grammy and Aunt Lynde. He has tried, and tried and tried... and God love his best friend and his parents who continue to invite him and then meet me late at night, but even if he doesn't stay the night... HE WAS INVITED!!!! TO A BIRTHDAY PARTY!!! He doesn't get many invitations... He was so happy today... "mom I had such a good day. It was a happy day". I want to track down this kid and give him huge hugs. People take this stuff for granted... Do you think they even know??????

Tuesday, February 23, 2010

Our first day in China... 5 years ago

5 years ago today we were in China... our main mission... one adorable little Chinese girl named Shen Si Yu. We figured though that we needed to see her country and understand. We had the most wonderful tour guide in Beijing. Lotus. Even her name was pretty. She worked us hard... got in as many sites in 2 days as possible... I put all of our pictures to video... but it is too big to post in its entirety... so enjoy Day 1...

Thursday, February 18, 2010

Tuesday, February 9, 2010

Not sure how I feel

it has been one of those days... one of those days you think... Really???? Really???? Another stupid thing happens and it stops bothering you because it is just one more crappy thing in a whole line of crappy things....

And then I overhear this... and as a strict mom, a concerned mom I should be "concerned" right? But I am not. Tonight it is just terribly funny and I am laughing. And I keep laughing...

Conversation #1 between my 2 oldest, the 2 more responsible children I have...

Addie: uhhh did I tell you i got refocused today (refocus= time out at school to rethink what you are doing and to give you an opportunity to get it in gear) (*i have to point out here that Addie has NEVER in the history of 9 years been in ANY trouble at school)

Noah: YOU??? Nice work. What did you do?

Addie: I laughed after we were told no more laughing by anyone for the entire class... Went into Mr *** class and nearly made everyone choke that I was being refocused. B (a boy that is ALWAYS in trouble but super nice to Addie) said "what is this world coming to if even Addie is being refocused"?

Noah: that is just awesome.

Addie: yeah, just wanted the experience. Never done anything like that before. Might not ever get the opportunity to get refocused for something like laughing.

Noah: yeah I got sent to the principals office today for having a "dumb report and dumb notes".


Conversation #2

Addie: I am nervous about competing for the creed tomorrow (big FFA competition). i hope I do bad cause it will make mr A really mad.

The other boy competing with her: darn I did good today. If we do good tomorrow then we have to keep on competing... we gotta try harder to do bad.

Really, they are good kids. I don't think i should worry to much. i don't think they have crossed to the dark side. I am fairly confident they are not turning into the school trouble makers...I think we all have just had a bit too much and have snappedin much better moods... tomorrow (or maybe the next day) I will be back to normal... for tonight I am still chuckling.

Sunday, February 7, 2010

Big Week

I think we have a big week coming up.. I am gearing up... Addie has a FFA creed competition Wed. She hates this. She has to stand and recite the Creed while having stage presence and confidence. She HATES to be in the public light. She hates public speaking. She had planned to not win the first round and not have to progress on. Her evil plan backfired and she ended up placing along with 1 other boy, and now having to compete at sectionals. She then leaves on Thurs for a student leadership bus tour/community service trip. They are headed down to San Franscisco... stopping all along the way to work and volunteer and then spending evenings doing team building and leadership exercises. So proud of her for going... only 70 kids in the state of Oregon. I have the distinct feeling that this will be the first of MANY times we will say goodbye to Addie. She has travel, adventure, and missions in her blood... It doesn't suprise me anymore. I think I have accepted it.

Noah is gearing up for track. He plans to run long distance this year.

And... Dont tell the littles but I am signing them up for indoor soccer. My international triplets will make up 1/3 of the team... I am afraid the team wont know what hit them. I cant wait to watch... as much fun as they are individually they are hysterical to watch all together. Those 3 are tight. And trouble...

Wednesday, January 27, 2010

gonna have to read this one...

I came across this book Cowboy and Wills on another blog and I think I am going to have to read it. As the mom of an autistic child it still amazes me when I hear other things people say things about their own experience and find myself amazed that no, indeed ... it isn't just our story...trouble tying shoes, fear of public restrooms, lines of collections on bookcases??? I watched this video and I heard so many of the things that are just part of our normal life. In fact they are so normal that we forget that they are not. We don't have a Cowboy though. We have a Jack. And with Jack there are no more nights of no sleep and there is a someone who just wants his head rubbed and doesn't mind that fingers flap or that certain patterns must be repeated while rubbing his fur. I do know that without Noah, Jack doesn't sleep well at night- he paces the floor. When Noah leaves without him, he lays on the rug ,barks at the door and then waits. And I know that without Jack, nighttimes, afternoon times, mealtimes, playtimes, and mornings and showers are much more difficult for Noah. So I will have to read the book. We can relate.

Monday, January 25, 2010

CNN report- orphans in Haiti

This is the orphanage where some fellow adoptive friends little boy was at... after a long battle and so much red tape he is home... thank you God!

Sunday, January 10, 2010

New Normal

It is a New year... and along with a new year is a new start... hoping to make some changes to the blog and actually... drumroll please... start blogging again. We have survived and we are ready to live again... we have a new normal to our lives ( I feel like we have had alot of "new normals" in the last year and a half)

We moved... The kids and I have an adorable house we moved into. The kids love it... said it is their "favorite house they have ever lived in"... It is half the size of the old house (which has required some extreme organization) but we are all LOVING how much less time we spend on house cleaning. We have a huge backyard which has eased the transition of... living in town!!!! Buzzy did have to move to Grammy and Pa's but he seems to like his new home... We have found that one of the drawbacks has been that the cat and 2 dogs have become "big boned"...

Addie turned 15... celebrated at the movie "New Moon" with one her best friends- an exchange student from Austria, whom we already are hating the thought of saying goodbye too... Addie got her drivers permit and so now ... Yikes... I am the driving instructor ... double yikes... (yikes that I am the instructor, not that she is driving... she is cautious beyond compare)

Thanksgiving we welcomed our first company who came to spend the holidays with us. We had a wonderful, fun, relaxing time with friends and family. We needed some fun and relaxation!!

Christmas eve was spent with family- ALL 11 1/2 grandkids were gathered under grammy and pa's tree... Amazing how big they are all getting... plus all the gift wrap... holy cow!! The cousins all enjoy each other so much.

Bis turned 6 and we celebrated quietly after the hubub of Christmas and before the New Year... realized how "cheated" a Christmas birthday is!!! within 5 days you are done for the year... hmm... Might have to think about a 1/2 birthday instead...

2009 is over and we are truely thankful for all of our wonderful friends and family... you really become aware of your true friends in times of change... so thank you...

Looking forward to all the new and exciting changes that 2010 is going to bring...