Family 2014

Family 2014

Saturday, March 14, 2015

Where have I been?

Sorry it has been so long since I last posted.  It has been so long I am having to learn all over how to navigate this blog.  On Wednesday, March 18, 2015 it will be 3 years since we met our Renee.  I will post pictures that show how she has grown over the last two years since my last post. :)

It was a mother daughter evening.  We went to build a bear and came home and watched Cinderella.

Riding a horse at the fair.  She loved this! Summer of 2013

Riding the merry-go-round at the fair with Daddy and Daniel!

First Ballet class. Fall of 2013.

Daddy Daughter dance. February 2014.

Birthday February 2014.  Four years old!

Chinese New Year 2014 with Family and Friends!

Christmas 2014!

We got our hair cut before Chinese New Year 2015.  Renee has only had her hair trimmed since we have brought her home and there has been very little cut off.  Today we had  4 inches taken off.  Wish I would have had a before picture.  Her hair was to her waist!

Birthday February 2015!  She so wanted a princess bike and her Uncle and Grandfather thought she needed this bike helmet!  She is very girly!  After 4 boys I am loving this!

Daddy Daughter Dance February 2015.

Last of all a picture that was taken December 2014 during our family picture time.  Love you Renee!  So thankful for these last 3 years with you!  You are my beautiful daughter.  So proud to be your mama!  I want to say thank you to the sacrifice of Renee's birth mother.  Thank you for your courage to give her life and help her find a family!  I am beyond blessed and will never forget you!

Tuesday, April 23, 2013

Why did you adopt me?

Isn't 3 years old alittle young to ask this question?  I have really felt an urgency to process things in my own mind so I would be ready for these types of questions.  I guess this is why I felt the urgency, but I never thought I would be answering this question so soon. So what have you said when your child asked this question?  Have you had this question yet?  Are you ready for it?  Keep it simple.  That is what I have been told.  I don't think I kept it simple and quite honestly I don't remember exactly what I said.  I had to think on my feet.  I said that God laid on our hearts that there was a little girl who needed a family.  We found you and knew you needed a family and we needed a little girl.  We loved you and wanted you as our daughter. Don't know if I like my answer.  It was first thing when she woke up.  We were looking at a picture that her brother drew for her.  There was a dragon on it and she didn't like it.  I told her that people from China feel the dragon is very special and that we adopted her in the "year of the dragon."  That is probably why the "why" question came.

We talk quite openly about the day we first met each other.  I have pictures hanging on her door that we sometimes look at before she goes to bed each night.  The first one is a picture of her and her foster mother.  I tell her when she sees it that this is the lady that took care of her until we could come and bring her home.  The next picture is my husband and I meeting her for the first time.  The next is her in my arms with my husband, my son and the orphanage assistant director .  Renee is crying with her mouth wide open.   The last is a picture is taken back home in a park of the whole family together.  I always affirm to her when we look at this picture that we are a family now.  When I point to the third picture I tell her that she is sad and scared because she didn't know who we were yet.  Months ago on her own after I had said this,  she pointed to the last picture and said, "Happy now!"  So this is the routine many times before bed.  It just amazes and overwhelms me each time that she points to herself or the last picture and says, "Happy now!" 
We have also talked enough about things that on her own she has said to me, "You weren't with me when I was born."  I know that this is the first step to realizing that there is another person for her to think about.  It won't be long until she realizes in a new way that I didn't give birth to her.  Just last night we saw baby kitties and baby chicks and I wondered if this would bring up new thoughts.  I don't have any friends who are pregnant.  I am sure that when she does see someone who is pregnant she will be asking questions.  She said to me just a few days ago, "I was born in China."  Then she looked at the person sitting next to her and asked where they were born and went around the table asking everyone the same question.  She was quite surprised to hear all the different places people were born. And so it begins.  I am so glad that we have made it a natural part of her life.

Here are some pictures that were taken at Easter.  Enjoy and let me know your thoughts on how you would answer the question, "Why did you adopt me?"
 Hunting for Easter eggs.


This last one is her doing her school.  I homeschool my boys and when we go to do table work she has to have her paper too.  So we are starting her letters.  She knows several letters already.  Sometimes she even knows the sound the letter makes.

Monday, March 18, 2013

Happy Family Day!!


This evening we celebrated with Renee the day we became a family. I can not believe it has been a year since we met Renee. I think about the many people that we met during our time in China. I miss you all very much. It was an amazing time and it has been an amazing year. God has been so good to us. I think back to the years that I held onto the dream of having a daughter. I prayed for her for the very first time in Dec. 2000. I still have the prayer I wrote. God heard my cry and my prayer and after many years of saying wait, on this date a year ago, He said yes! Yes, it is time to meet your daughter! One thing for sure that I have learned on this journey is that it is not about me and it is not about God's blessings. God is God and God is good no matter what happens in this life. It was not just about me having a daughter. It was also about Renee having a family. I love her with all my heart. She has been such a blessing to our family. Thank you God for each one of my children. I am so very blessed.

She is eating pizza for lunch.  She wasn't eating pizza this time last year.

Eating Pork Lo Mein with our chop sticks. 

Renee surrounded by her brothers.

Here is her present.

I decided that we would celebrate each  year of her life with a charm.  The one on the right is a heart that says "Family"  The one in the middle  says "Sister" and the one on the left is just for fun.  It is pink and it sparkles! She loves bling!  Each year to celebrate the day we became a family we will give her a new charm.

I  bought an ice cream cake because she doesn't  like regular cake, but she loves ice cream just like her daddy!!
Here is a verse that someone shared with me during the wait of this long journey.  I am thinking of you Heidi!  I hope that this will encourage you. Habakkuk 2:3 (NIV)  For the revelation awaits an appointed time; it speaks of the end and will not prove false.  Though it linger, wait for it; it will certainly  come and will not delay. I wish the appointed time wouldn't have taken so many years, but I am so glad I waited.  It was right on time.  I give all the glory to God and I am thankful for each day of my wait that led me to my  beautiful daughter.  God taught me so much and I pray I will be faithful with the things that He taught me.

Wednesday, February 27, 2013

Daddy/Daughter Dance

The dance took place at the beginning of February.  I just didn't get a chance to post the pictures.  Soney came from Chicago for the dance.  This is the 3rd year for her to go and Renee's first!

This is Grandpa with his two granddaughters.

I just love this one with Renee dancing on Baba's toes.

We are finding out the Renee is an observer.  She watches everything and you don't realize til days or weeks later that she was even paying attention.  You sing a song day after day and she never sings along and then one day she sings the whole song by herself.  Same with stories.  One of her favorites right now is The Very Hungry Catipillar.  One day she was quoting the whole book right along with me.  She definitely was an observer at the dance.  She really doesn't like crowds or loud music.  She did ok and just watched people, but it wasn't until the very end when most people had left that she really ran around, had fun and giggled with the other girls.
One more picture.  My  niece bought this for her for Chinese New Year.  She looks like she is a little executive ready for a day at the office. 

Friday, February 15, 2013

Happy Birthday Renee!!

This pretty girl is three today!!
I love you my sweet Renee!  My mama's heart is so full today.  You add so much fun and giggles to my life.  I am so thankful to have you as a daughter.  But I have not forgotten the mama who gave you life.  I know that she has been thinking about you.  I can not replace her, but if she could read this blog I would want her to know that I love you as my own! You are an amazing smart girl and your first mother would be so proud of you!!  One of the great events that has happened this week that shows just how smart you are and how you are developing is the wonderful word "why!"  It is the word you say after every statement I make.  It is like a light switch was turned on and you went from never saying it to saying it 20 times a day!!  You make me laugh!

Sorry for being so silent.  There is much to catch everyone up on, but first pictures from today's events.  We have a homeschool co-op that meets 2 times a month and today was co-op so we celebrated there.  We are having a family party Sunday.

She got to open 2 presents tonight after dinner at her Pap Pap's house.  Her youngest brother told her to close her eyes and wait for her surprise.  I love this picture.
So Daniel brought them out.

Paper dolls have changed a lot since I was a little girl!!
It has been a very busy day and there was no time that we could all be together as a family to celebrate.  That is why we are waiting until Sunday for her official party and then we found out today that our oldest son has to work on Sunday. Ugh, I give up!  Our family schedule is crazy right now.  But by the end of this week there will be no more basketball games and by the end of February, my husband will finally be a graduate after 13 long years of, off and on again college classes.  He only went back to school a few years ago because he realized that if he lost his job, that it would be very hard to get a job if he didn't have a bachelor degree.  Little did he know that that decision would mean so much.  He lost his job with 3 classes to go.  He took 2 classes during the 3 months that he was laid off and he is in his 3rd and final class!  Our other important news we have is.... drum roll please............ He started his new job on Jan. 17! It is amazing to me just how slow companies can move at times.  It didn't help that it was the end of the year.  Tim found out about this job 3 days after being laid off.  It was approved for 2013's budget so it took awhile until they were willing to interview him.  He interiviewed before Christmas, but the whole fiscal cliff had the company concerned.  Big sigh of relief to be on the other side of unemployment.  No fun to go through, but I have a whole new understanding of what it means to be unemployed.  Just one of many things that you have to go through so you can empathize with others in ways you couldn't before.  Thanks so much for your prayers and kind words during our time of waiting.
I have more pictures to post, but I will save them for another post.