For I was hungry and you gave me something to eat, I was thirsty and you gave me something to drink, I was a stranger and you invited me in,...The King reply, 'I tell you the truth, whatever you did for one of the least of these brothers of mine, you did for me" Matthew 25:35,40




Wednesday, December 28, 2011

YEA!

video

She's flourishing!!










Goodness! It's AMAZING what God can do when He places an orphan into a family...who then becomes an orphan no more, but simply part of the family. I am in awe of how much Sophia Joy has changed in just over a month of having her (our Gotcha Day was Nov 21st). She's only been home for a little over 3 weeks and it is truly a blessing to watch her transform before our eyes. The nannies who took care of her said she didn't speak much only said about 2 or 3 words. I was a little concerned over that, but she was ours so it didn't really matter. Well, I am so happy to report that this girl can chatter with the best of them now! No, she's not fluent in English, but she can say quite a bit for only hearing English for a month! She can say Daddy, Mommy, Odie, Up, No...No...No, Yea, Help Mommy, Night-Night, More, and quite a bit more, but I can't remember them all right now. Sheesh...for only speaking 2 words in the orphanage to a list of over 10 English words in a month...I am impressed. When my good friend and I traveled to China to get Sophia we felt she was developmentally between 12 months and 18 months old in most things (she is 2 1/2 years old). For example, she walked just like a 12 month old who had only been walking a few days or so. She fell a lot because she was so clumsy. She had ZERO concept of stairs and would have walked straight off the top step if we had let her. Now, only a short time of being in a family she can run around the playground, climb the steps like a champ and go down the slide all by herself. Then she's ready to do it over and over and over again! The girl can jump up and down with both feet coming off the floor. This really may not sound like a big deal, but the girl could barely walk at 2 1/2 years old a month ago! She has also gained about 4-5 pounds since her medical check up in China. In China with her clothes on she weighed about 22.5 pounds. Last night, naked after her bath she weighed in at 27.5 pounds!! Of course that was right after dinner, but still!! Speaking of baths...Sophia had no idea how to play in the bath. This was evident the first day I gave her a bath. She let me wash her hair and her body and then immediately stood up for me to take her out. Now....she is swimming like a fish in the bath! She plays and plays and plays some more and would stay in until she pruned up if we let her. Daddy did a fabulous job the first week home with her. He bathed her every night and literally encouraged and taught her how to play. I am sure I can go on and on, but I will just leave you all with some great before and after pics. I was trying to upload a video, but haven't it doesn't seem to be working. I will keep trying though.

Friday, December 16, 2011

Update and Pictures





(One picture is of all the kiddos eating popcorn after picking up Samuel from school and the other picture is of Sophia hugging her new doll and blanket from Grandma...she loves them both!)




UPDATE:


Well its been 12 days home and Sophia is settling in beautifully! The first few days were very hard on both of us. Although, I think she did better than me. I must have been really exhausted because I had the worst attitude when I was home the first few days. It was so strange, because instead of feeling overjoyed to have Sophia home...I was wondering what in the heck did I just do to our family. I couldn't eat for 5 full days...lost about 7 pounds and was just downright depressed. I am so glad to report that we are all back to our happy selfs...I guess it was the jetlag and stress of the trip that did me in. Those first days home were TOUGH! But, God atleast gave me enough sense to know that I truly did not feel the way I thought I felt. We are all doing so well now. And in case you are wondering...my appetite is in full force and I am pretty sure I have gained it all back. lol! All the kids are getting along wonderfully. I do not mean we do not have our struggles of sharing, bad attitudes, or pouting...we absolutely have that. But, to me...that's normal! The boys STILL hug and kiss Sophia ALL DAY LONG! Poor girl can't even eat her eggs without someone laying a big ol' kiss on her. She and Julia are slowly getting closer. It's actually pretty comical to watch them...I think I remember going through this when I was about 5 and my mom brought home my sister Lori. I wasn't too happy about this new person in our family, but or course I can't imagine life without her...or any of my siblings for that matter! So, just wanted to fill everyone in on how we are doing. We love this little girl with all our hearts and are thrilled she is home with us!








Thursday, December 15, 2011

Urgent need for a young boy.

I follow a blog called No Greater Joy Mom and today I read about a soon to be 16 year old boy. His birthday is approaching and once he turns 16 he gets about $30 and his small bag of belongings...and he is off on his own. Out the orphanage door and into the streets...alone. I can only shake my head at the thought of one of my precious sons being out on the streets, with no one who cares for them. The future of this boy is bleak. It doesn't take much thought to figure out where his life is heading. It's so sad. You can read about him here. He needs someone to step forward for him within a few days. Maybe you are that family???

Please pray for this young boy...I can't even imagine how frightened he is knowing what lies ahead.

Sunday, December 11, 2011

Giggles!

Today was so sweet. Sophia is adjusting wonderfully. And now that we have gotten some sleep under our belts, we are all doing so much better. She is finding her place in our family perfectly. Not too long ago, George took the kids downstairs to play while I cleaned up the kitchen...and all I heard was giggle after giggle after giggle. It really is sweet to see her mold into her family and for all of us to get to see her bloom! She has just started calling me Mama and really knowing it's me she's talking about. She makes kissey faces when she wants a smooch from mommy or daddy and she loves it when daddy throws her around! She is fearless! The boys continue to love her to pieces and Julia is becoming more and more lovey towards her new sister. She even said "I love you Sophia". Drew mentioned at dinnertime that Sophia is very pretty. It's so nice that they are loving her so much and she, in return, is loving them back.

We are blessed.

Thursday, December 8, 2011

5 days HOME!

I am thrilled to be home...I missed being home very much...missed my hubby, the kiddos, my bed, the familiarity, ENGLISH and a whole bunch of other stuff. However, being home brings along a whole new set of challenges. Yesiree...it sure does. Like....recovering from jetlag, being so very tired, acclimating Sophia to the other children...her room...the dog...pretty much everything. She has done really well when I remember that she is 2 and that her entire world has been turned upside down. If anything, I have to be more grace giving and remind myself to be more patiend and understanding and loving. It's easy to "expect" Sophia to act a "certain" way, because the other 3 acted a certain way at her age. However, the other 3 never lived in China, in an orphanage, with little food and no family...so really it's a completely ridiculous expectation. I am aware of my ridiculuous expectations and I am keeping that at the forefront of my mind. I really didn't know what to expect after I brought Sophia home, but I don't think I was prepared. Not sure if you really can prepare for it until you do it. But, it's been so rewarding and so challenging all at the same time. I think Sophia is a very brave little girl. She is transitioning into our family very well. I am thankful for her and I am really looking forward to what she will be like and how she will have grown in the next few months. Just as I am proud of the other kiddos, I am equally proud of lil' Miss Sophia for how strong she has been. Daddy just thinks she's so adorable and they are bonding well. We've had a little jealously between the girls, but again it's only been 5 days...God will work it out. I have no doubt!