Saturday, November 16, 2013


So, I see it's been a while since I've been on here.  Time keeps going by so fast.  I'll try to update you on what is going on.

Bill took the 4 girls to Sea World a few weeks ago. They had a blast.

Hope wants to learn to cook. She made Tacos this night.

Hope's 2nd period teacher chose her as student of the Month.  

Date night with Hope, Maggie & Ethan. Hope learned the difference between "restaurant" and "restroom". She thought it was the same thing.  ha ha ha

Maggie is crazy!  :-)

Hope's 5th period teacher chose her as student of the week

Hope LOVES puzzles. She did this 500 piece puzzle in a few hours.  

Maggie is changing FAST!  

Hope is changing in her own ways.  :-)  Becoming more and more sweet & trusting towards us.

Halloween.  Love that our girls used costumes we've had for years.

Hope's Loot

Maggie's Loot

I did a side by side of the girls.  It's hard to notice it every day. But the girls have changed SO much.  Thankful for the miracle of adoption. Thankful God trusted us to be their parents. Thankful for everyone who has been there with us and for us.  

Thursday, October 10, 2013

Where have we been?

Wow, this is the longest I've gone without updating the blog.  You would think I would have plenty of time since the kids are back in school.  But honestly I just have not had the time to sit and write.

The girls have been with us for 14 months now.  Wow!  14 months.  Time is really going by fast now.  They are doing great!  They LOVE school.  We have some challenges. Homework is one.  The girls are in Civics and, well honestly, I don't know why.  But they are doing their best and actually learning how to research a text for their answers.  Hope is doing amazing with reading. She has found the library at school and checks a few books out every week.  The very first time she checked out a book, she told me that it's due back in 2 weeks.  I told her that if she finishes the book before then, she can return it and get a new book. Her eyes lit up. She was so excited. I think she finished the book in 1 day.

The girls only have 3 classes together.  This is a good thing.  They need their space from each other.  They are making their own friends.  They do eat lunch together which I'm glad about.

Maggie is getting more comfortable with trying.  She has told us a few times how the math teacher will ask for volunteers to go up to the board to answer a math question. She gladly raises her hand.  She also told us in PE that the teacher asked for a volunteer to get up in front of the class to help with the stretching. And she volunteered for that too.

We had a conference with most of their teachers last week.  Bill & I needed to just discuss what their expectations are from the girls. The teachers who arrived were great. They love the girls. They reminded us that the girls have come a long way in a year.  And that we need to look at how far they've come, vs how far they have to go.  Their work is being modified so they won't get overwhelmed.

We were thrilled when the school finally hired an ELL teacher aid.  Her first day was the day of our meeting with the teachers.  She spent the whole day with Hope.  She planned to spend the whole next day with Maggie.  We met her and she seemed nice.  Well, the next day the girls said she was not at school.  On Wednesday they said she quit.  After 1 day the lady quit. She told the school it was more work than she could handle.  The school was VERY upset.  She quit in an email.  The school told me to make sure the girls know that this had nothing to do with them. That this lady was not the right person for the job.  But what really is interesting, is that Hope & Maggie would have been her ONLY students.  This is not the norm for ELL teachers.  So, she most definitely was not the right teacher for our girls.  Now we wait for a new teacher.

Maggie was having nose bleeds last week at school.  They suggested we take her to the doctor. So we did.  They wanted to do some blood work.  While we were doing that, I asked if we could do more blood work because we never did some basic things on the girls.  They agreed to do the same for Hope.  So we took them to the lab first thing in the morning. They had to fast.  So when we left they were hungry.  We took them to McD's.  They could NOT believe you could have breakfast at McD's.  They LOVED it.  :-)  We still don't know what caused the nose bleeds.  We go back next week to get the results from the blood work.

This past weekend we went to Magic Kingdom.  The girls were brave.  Maggie tried Thunder Mountain. LOVED IT.  Hope tried Splash Mountain. LOVED IT.  Then they both tried Space Mountain.  And LOVED IT.  :-)

We stayed for the 3 PM parade.  Hope & Maggie were so excited. They waved at every character.  Maggie had her hand out to give "high 5's".  The smiles on their faces were priceless.  Maggie asked for me to take a picture of Belle.  She is her favorite princess.

This weekend they are going to their first birthday slumber party.  This is one of Maggie's friends and they invited Hope too. They are excited.

The girls have to dress out for PE.  Maggie has had her PE uniform for a month now.  Hope just got hers yesterday (they were waiting on a size small).  She asked me to take her picture.  :-) She's so cute.

OH, and probably the most important thing that has happened.  Maggie prayed and asked Jesus into her heart.  We still need to explain it more to her. But she is starting to understand.  She loves to pray to Jesus and Jadyn is reading her bible stories.  It's so amazing to witness.

So this has basically been what is going on.  Lots of things to keep us busy.  :-)  Thanks for checking in on us. Thanks for praying for us.


Friday, August 23, 2013

First Day of School (7th Grade)

Tuesday was the first day of school.  We were ALL ready for this day.  The last week of summer was a hard one. The kids are done, we were done, it felt like the longest week of the year.  :-)

We had open house last week and met each of Hope & Maggie's teachers.  7 of them.  And the girls only have 3 together.  My first reaction was "this is going to be interesting".  But after seeing how the girls reacted to this, I now know this is going to be a good thing.  They were happy to not have every class together.

I was terrified because everyone kept saying "this year is going to count".  Maggie's 1st class is Civics. I wanted to cry listening to the teacher. I knew there was NO WAY Maggie was going to pass this class.  And then she introduced the ESE teacher.  Whew!  I talked with her and she said not to worry about the girls (she is with Hope in her Civics class as well).  She said every teacher knows their situation and they will only expect them to do what they understand.

The girls were ready for school. They were excited.  They told us they wanted to eat breakfast at school because they knew it was free.  So, we told them they could try it.  Maggie said they went through the line, picked their food & milk, and then she asked to make sure it was "no money".  They were very sweet to the girls.

They love their teachers.  They have friends in most of their classes.  But the big shocker was Hope. She made a NEW friend.  ON....THE....FIRST....DAY!   If you know Hope, you know this is HUGE!  Hope does not make friends easily.  She does not understand why anyone would want to be her friend. So when she told me this I just wanted to cry and rejoice.  But the kicker is this......The girl speaks Chinese. This is her first year at the middle school.  I don't know who approached who first, But Hope said they were talking with each other and she can speak Chinese, English AND a little Spanish.  Hope said they talked to each other in Chinese.  I was SHOCKED!  Because Hope refuses to speak Chinese at all.

The first week of school has been good.  The girls come home every day wired and non-stop talk.  They are trying to do their homework and we are realizing how much they still need to learn.  Basic math facts for one.

Amazing how much the girls have changed.  So thankful for this.  It's amazing to see the transformation.  God is good!

Tuesday, August 6, 2013

One Year!

Wow, what a difference a year makes.  One year ago today, Hope & Maggie were no longer orphans.  One year ago today, we became the parents to 6 kids.  One year ago today, all of our lives changed forever.

Has it been an easy year?  I will not lie.  No, it has not been easy.  Why?  Well, so much has changed.  Hope & Maggie went from living in an orphanage, with no real boundaries, guidance, love, nourishment etc.  To living with a family where there are boundaries, rules, love & plenty of food etc.

It was hard for the girls to adjust. A new language, new smells, new people, etc.  It was hard for us to adjust.  Two preteens who don't speak the language, who have habits that are not acceptable in the states, who don't know what it's like to be loved etc.

We all learned a lot this past year.  We learned to love each other. We learned to like each other. We learned to accept the new "normal".

Has it always been difficult?  No.  We have had some amazing moments with the girls & our entire family.  Experiencing their first Halloween, Thanksgiving, Christmas, Easter etc has been amazing.  Teaching them to ride bikes, to swim, to try new foods has been awesome.  Even though the girls were preteens, there was still so many first that we got to experience with them.

We had our 1 year post placement visit with our social worker last week.  I told her how some days are just exhausting.  She told me to sit and really think back through the past 12 months.  She told me that I will see the growth in the girls, and in us, if I just sit back and reflect.

And do you know what?  She was right.

You've heard a picture is worth a thousand words.  Well, I believe that.  I'm so thankful for photos, because it does help me to reflect back to the past year. I can visually see the changes in the girls & in us.  Sometimes when we are in the thick of a tantrum, it's hard to see that there are changes. But there are changes.  There has been growth.

Here are photos.  I don't think I have to explain which ones are from last year and which ones are from today.  All I can say is God is so Good!  He has stayed with us and will not leave us.  He has watched over the girls the entire time they were in the orphanage.  And He is still watching over them.

Sunday, July 21, 2013

It's Been Awhile.....

Since I've been excited about something that does not have to do with my family or adoption.  ;-)  Right now I'm very excited about what Omnitrition has done for me.

I was skeptical at first.  I saw my friends losing weight and feeling great and wondered if that would work for me too.

So I started off with 1 product.  Charge.  Charge is described as "Energy & Attitude in a bottle".  Well Energy is what I longed for.

Within 15 minutes of taking my first dose, I literally felt the bags under my eyes puff out and I felt an energy I haven't felt in many years.  I was hooked.

So I asked about the weight loss.  What do I need, how do I use it, will it work for me?????

I did not tell anyone (other than Bill) that I was doing this.  I was still unsure if it would work for me.  Would I stick with it?  Will I see the results others are seeing.

21 days later, and I lost 14.4 pounds and over 12 inches.  I was proud of myself. I felt good about myself.  And I was hooked on what Omnitrition has to offer.

I decided to sign up as a distributor because a few people saw my results and they wanted to try.  My goal in signing up as a distributor was not to sell to others.  It was selfishly for the discount I would receive.  But once people started buying and liking Omni, I got excited because I was finally doing something to help with finances.  I have not had a paying job in over 18 years.  Not only am I excited about how Omni makes me feel, I'm excited to have a part time job.

I would love to share my excitement with you.  I know you're probably skeptical too.  "Is this a gimmick. Does this really work.  Will this work for me.  Can I do this" etc.  Trust me, I had the same thoughts.  But I still tried it. What did I have to lose????  Honestly, I had 14.4 pounds (and 3+ pounds more since).

Omni has more to offer than just weight loss.  Like I said I started taking the Charge capsules for energy.  I still take them and I love them.  I love that I can make it through the day without wanting a nap.  I wish my body produced the natural chemicals so I did not need help with energy. But it doesn't.  I'm so grateful for Charge because now I am enjoying my kids and not complaining how exhausted I am.

I would love to talk to you more about Omni's products.  Whether it's weight you want to lose, energy you want to gain, wanting better sleep at night, needing help with stress/anxiety.....Omni has the product for you.

Please contact me.  My email is   I what to share my excitement with you.

Here are a few pictures of REAL people who have used Omni to help them achieve their goals.  What are you waiting for????  Contact me today!

Wednesday, July 10, 2013

July 6, 2013. 11 Months

I know, I'm 4 days late journaling about the girls 11 months with us.  Honestly this summer has been busy and I just don't have time to blog.

But this month on their Gotcha Day anniversary we were actually in the Caribbean.  We took a 3 night Disney Cruise as a family.  I LOVE the Disney Cruise.  The kids had a blast.  We had some good family moments, and some stressful family moments.  Lets just say, being confined on a boat with 6 kids is challenging.  :-)

I look at the girls and think 11 months ago they were living in China, in what they thought was a good place.  And now, they are in the Caribbean playing in the ocean at Disney's private island.  Can't get much better than that.

Here is a photo from the 6th.  We are scheduling our 1 year post placement already.  Time flies!  Praying that this next year will get even better, that our family will feel more normal and not as stressed out. That the girls will continue to learn what it means to be apart of a family.  There are days when it's hard.  Old habits come back and it's stressful.  We're just praying through those moments.

Thanks for following along.

Thursday, June 27, 2013

A New Me! Feeling Healthy & Feeling Great!

I'm a stress eater.  And I've been under a lot of stress these past 11 months (longer if you count waiting for Hope & Maggie to come home).  Anyway, I've gained 15 pounds since last August and I just felt HORRIBLE!

I've never had the energy to make it through the day without wanting to take a nap.

I've never felt I have gotten a good nights sleep.  I sleep a minimum of 8 hours and wake up EXHAUSTED!

I was tired of feeling like this.  Tired of not having energy to enjoy life.  To enjoy my kids.

So I changed!

I saw a friend at church who lost over 60 pounds (at the time) in a few months and asked "How are you doing this?"  She told me.

She started taking Drops to lose weight and some other products from Omnitrition.

I started taking their capsules for energy.  Immediately noticed the energy.

I started taking their night time product and am sleeping soundly at night.

So I decided I needed to do the weight loss plan.  And I did.

May 4th I started and when I finished the journey on June 20th, I was 14.4 pounds lighter and over 12 inches smaller.


I would LOVE to share with you how it works.  PLEASE email me at and I will help you to feel GREAT too.

Don't believe me?  Well take a look at my before & my now photos.  It works.  I'm happier. I'm healthier. I'm eating better.

This is NOT about being skinny.  This is about being HEALTHY!

Email me.  And please if you have friends who would like info, let me know too.  I'm so excited about this company and I want to share it with you.


Thursday, June 6, 2013

10 Months!

Seriously, I know. Hard to believe it's been 10 months since we became Hope & Maggie's parents.  Why do the days/weeks/months go by so fast once you are with your children, but when you are waiting, and waiting, and waiting to meet them it seems to take FOREVER!!!???

I feel like we have gotten through most of the "rough" stages.  Adopting an older child is not easy.  Neither is adopting TWO older children.  We have definitely had our challenges.  But I'm starting to feel a little normal now.  Family life is starting to feel a little more normal.  The girls do not feel like house guests anymore.  (yes, for a while they felt like house guests.  We did bond, but it was still different.....)

We can now be silly with each other and not hear "you're mean" or "stop it".  They know we are playing.  And guess what??? They play/tease right back.  Maggie likes to jump out of places and try to scare us.  Hope likes to be silly and make us laugh.  It's starting to feel normal.

We still have a way to go.  There are still things that we all need to adjust.  Like boundaries, and personal space.  But we're getting there.

Summer officially begins tomorrow at our house.  The last day of school is tomorrow.  Hope & Maggie are sad.  Yep, you read that right.  They are going to miss school.  I like that.  Because that shows me they love school.  Shows we made the right decision in choosing to send them to school.

So here they are today.  10 months later.  10 months after the orphanage handed them over to us.  10 months after they cried tears of sadness and fear.  10 months after their world changed.  All I can say is WOW!  God is So Good.  Even though we have had some rough times, He has always been here with us. He has guided us. He has brought people in our lives to help us, encourage us, love on us.  We are thankful for the help, support, prayers etc that we have received these past 10 months.  THANK YOU!

Wednesday, June 5, 2013

And The Slacker Mom Award Goes To........

That would be me.  Yeah, I'm slacking on updating this blog.  And I feel horrible for not recognizing Maggie's birthday on blog world.

Maggie joined the "teen" club on Saturday, June 1st. She is officially a teenager now.  (pray for us, we have 3 teenage girls living in our house right now......scary).

Maggie had a great day on Saturday.  She woke up to presents from all of us, and then we went to my parents house for more presents & celebrations (we celebrated her birthday, Hope's birthday and my nephew's birthday).

Friday night we had 8 friends from school over to celebrate Hope & Maggie's birthdays'. They had a blast. It was precious to see the kids helping Hope & Maggie read their cards.  And it was priceless to see their friends get generally get excited when Hope & Maggie opened their gifts and were excited for the gift.  I wanted to cry a few tears in the corner because a year ago we were so scared about them having any friends.

Maggie is changing a lot. She is growing up.  Some days are still hard for her, but she is trying.  You can see by the photos how much she has grown.

I've said it before and I'll say it again, it's amazing what love & a family will do to and for a child.

Happy Birthday Maggie Faith Chunwei.  We love you!

Sunday, May 19, 2013

Hope is 14 Today!

Today is Hope's 14th Birthday.  This birthday is very important.  No it's not a sweet 16 or even the 18th birthday.  You see, if Hope had not been adopted by today, she would not have ever known what a family is.  When I think of how important the 14th birthday is to a waiting child in China, well it just brings a whole new excitement to this birthday to the child who is home.  This is also Hope's first birthday with a family.  I took her to the grocery store this morning to buy her birthday lunch (and to get her out of the house so the rest of the family could decorate the house to surprise her).  She was so excited to just go by herself with me.  And I let her sit in the front seat. Another big deal for Hope.  I let Hope get the free cookie (she asked "does this cost you money?").  And then she got a sample of some chicken & veggies (she asked again if it would cost me money).  When I told her no, it did not cost money, she lit up with a big smile and gladly accepted.  On our way home, I asked if she was happy. She said she was very happy. I asked her if she remembered her last birthday.  She said "Yes, I was in China. Mommy & Daddy gave me a cake".  Then she said "That was my first birthday party". I said "Did you know when your birthday was before the party?"  She replied "No, I didn't know my birthday". I wanted to cry. I knew her answer would be that, but hearing it from her mouth just made it real.

So today we wanted to spoil Hope with her first birthday at home.  Bill & I went and bought Hello Kitty supplies (she LOVES Hello Kitty).  Bill & I also picked up a cake (she asked me at the grocery store if we would get a cake and I told her no, just ice cream).  When we brought out her cake after lunch, she was HAPPY!

Hope has come a long way. She is really trying to fit into the family life. She does still need more attention, but she is getting better.  She moved downstairs into her own bedroom and she is SO happy.  9 months ago, Hope was terrified of the water.  Today she was jumping into the pool and swimming under the water.  She loves the pool.

I think Hope had a great birthday. She LOVED her gifts, she loved her lunch, she loved her cake. And at the end of the day everyone had a root beer float.  Yes, our kids were on a sugar high, but it's okay.  They were all having fun.

I am so thankful that Hope will NEVER have to spend another birthday in an orphanage.  Or alone.  She is surrounded by so many who love her.  And I know that she knows she's one lucky girl.  The smile proves how happy she is.  And we are happy that she is happy.

Enjoy the photos.   Happy Birthday Miss Hope. We love you!

Monday, May 6, 2013

9 Months

9 months ago today we walked into the Civil Affairs office in Hefei, China and we were very nervous. We waited a little while for the girls to show up.  And then they walked in. Not a care in the world about us.  They were told to say hello to us. They were told to smile and take photos for and with us.  They wanted to just ignore us.  Then the tears started.  And they pushed us away.  That lasted about 30 minutes or so.  Then it was time to leave the office and then we got smiles, we heard "Daddy" for the first time, we got giggles.  Then the "fun" began.

So much has changed in these last 9 months.  The shy, scared girls that we met that day are no longer visible.  They are strong girls, full of life.  Full of spunk.  It's been 9 months of new, for the girls and for us.  Parenting 6 kids has had it's challenges.  Adopting 2 older girls from another country has had it's challenges.  We have our good days and then our bad days.  Maggie seems to have adjusted well.  She loves the family, loves to laugh, loves to play, loves to help out.  Hope has not adjusted as easily.  Not sure why.  Not sure if she is overwhelmed with the size of our family (you would think she would be used to noise & lots of kids but I don't think she is).  Hope is trying now. She wants the family to be happy.  But she still has her bad moments.  And we are trying to work through them.  We have started to see a therapist, her, Bill & I.  So far they have just been asking us what we want to get out of these sessions. Our answer is basically "we want to feel normal. We want to understand what Hope needs".  Hope does not want to go.  She acted up during the hour we were there.  The therapist said nothing. Maybe she was watching how we react.  I'm praying these sessions can help us.  Because the behaviors that we experience are starting to affect the entire family.

On a positive note, the girls are learning so much. Their English is amazing. They do not speak Chinese to us or each other.  They have chatted a few times on Skype with friends and they speak Chinese & English.  They did a presentation in front of their entire class the other day. And the whole class cheered. Their teacher cried.  Hope & Maggie were beaming.  They are making friends and they want to have a birthday party. So we are trying to coordinate this.

We are thankful that God chose us to adopt.  There are days I question what was He thinking when he chose us to parent 6 kids.  :-)  But I know He's with us, and he's helping us get through the difficult times.  We cherish every happy moment we have.  We are thankful.

This is my favorite photo from today.  I love how Hope is looking at Maggie.

Please pray for Hope.  She is getting an expander put in her mouth tomorrow. This is the beginning phase of her dental work before she has a bone graph next summer.  She is not too thrilled about having this done.  Thanks!

This is their favorite shirt. They wear it every Monday. It says "Friday Makes Me Happy. (on the back) Monday Makes Me Sad".  

Thursday, April 11, 2013

Doctors, Doctors and MORE Doctors

So, the fun is beginning.  Some of this "fun" we anticipated.  Some, we did not.

We met with Ethan's surgeon on Tuesday.  He's the one who repaired Ethan's cleft lip & palate almost 3 years ago now.  We like him.  So we took Hope to see him this week for a consult.  To see what he feels needs to be done.  You see, we saw another cleft team in Feb and we left there not too thrilled with them.  They basically scratched their heads trying to figure out what to do medically with Hope.  They threw out ideas, but we still felt like they were playing a guessing game.  So we decided to let Dr. S see her.

She was great for him. She opened her mouth, let him look inside.  And then he lifted her top lip and we saw a hole that we did not know existed.  He's surprised she does not have food coming out of her nose.

What does he suggest?  Well, first we need to see the orthodontist who is familiar with cleft kids.  We saw him for Ethan and loved him.  We made that appointment for April 23.  Dr. S wants to have an appliance put into H's mouth to expand her palate.  Then he wants to put a scope down her nose to see how the back of her palate is working when she talks.  (Yeah, that won't be fun).

Depending on how that test comes back will determine if she needs surgery on her palate.  BUT, she needs a bone graph.  This is something that should have been done 5 years ago.  About the same time they were closing her palate.  This is a painful surgery & recovery.  This will be done this year.  So please start praying.

He also said we will need to break her top jaw and move it forward. She has a really bad underbite.  This surgery will take place when she is 17 or 18 years old. He said this is a very painful surgery and recovery.  But it needs to be done.

We also got Hope's hearing tested today.  And to our surprise, she PASSED!  Praise God. This means we can check off the ENT from our list of doctor visits.  (at least for Hope.  Ethan needs tubes again and has mild hearing loss).

We are taking Hope back to Shriners in April for a follow up to how she walks.  We were supposed to have physical therapy but we have not found the time to do it. I do think her walking has improved since she's been home.  I'm also praying they can confirm that she is growing.

And today, we called a therapist.  We have been putting this off. Praying the behaviors we've been witnessing would go away with time.  But they aren't. And it's taking it's toll on the other kids (and Bill & I).  Today she had a toddler tantrum because she couldn't have lemonade.  Last night she had a meltdown because she doesn't want to go to a thing for the girls NEXT YEAR!  So, we are going on Tuesday to see if we can figure out what is going on.  And hopefully will be helped with how to handle the meltdowns when they happen.  Because I don't think we're doing it right.

So many doctors.  Sweet Hope said "Why I see so many doctors? I don't want to. Doctor all done".  I feel so bad. I wish she did not have to see so many doctors. But then she tells us "Mommy, I want teeth like yours.  I want a nose like yours".  And we explain that is why we are seeing the doctors.

Today while she was waiting for her turn to get her hearing evaluated, she drew Pooh.  Freehand.  No tracing. She just looked at a Pooh Bear that was on the wall.  I was totally impressed.  I could not believe this. I honestly had no idea she could draw without tracing something.  I think we need to sign her up for art classes.  She is so proud of her work.  (BTW, Pooh only has 1 arm because before she could finish it was her turn to get evaluated).  She also drew Piglet.  I love watching her creativity come out.  :-)

Hope with the Piglet she drew

Hope's Pooh Bear

Sunday, April 7, 2013

8 Months!

Another month has passed.  We've been the girls parents for 8 months now.  Wow!  What a journey this has been.  Still having growing pains, but for the most part things are going very well.

Maggie is blossoming into an American teenager.  She loves the friends she's making. She even received a phone call from a friend the other night. Her first phone call!  She was beaming.  She walked into the other room so we would not listen.  LOL.  Typical teenager, right?

Hope is trying.  She has her good days. And they are becoming more the norm for her.  BUT, we still go through some rough times.  The other night was one of them.  It's hard when she breaks down like this, because it disrupts the entire family.  The other kids are starting to be affected by the breakdowns.  And it's not just crying, it's a full blown toddler tantrum, from a 13 year old.  The other night's lasted an hour.  Maggie ended up in a corner crying.  She said she's mad at Hope for doing this.  She informed us that Hope was kept with the little kids in the orphanage up until they found out that she was being adopted with Maggie.  Then she was allowed to go upstairs with the big kids (kids her age).  This broke my heart.  I literally broke down crying.  So for 12 1/2 years, Hope was not allowed to grow up. I don't know why they did this.  It makes me angry.  Our sweet Hope has so much to overcome.

After Hope finally calmed down, she told us "If you & daddy want to send me back to China it's okay with me".  WHAT??????  We asked her "Do you want to go back to China?"  She said "No, but if you want me to go back it's okay with me".  BROKE.....MY.....HEART!!!!!!  We told her we DO NOT want her going back. We know that she had a hard time there.  We want her here with us. We are her mom & dad.  She said she did not have a hard time in China.  But then she told us about the kids who would be mean to her.  Physically & emotionally.   :-(   After all of this was discussed, we found out that a couple of girls that they knew, were being adopted by families.  And they acted bad so their families returned them back to the orphanage.  SO....Hope's thinking that since she is bad, that is what families do, return the kids.  Again....broke my heart!  

We have a lot to overcome and we are praying that God can give us the right words & actions.  It's been 8 months, and she is finally sharing more with us.

These past 8 months have also shown me how many people there are who are helping us.  It's the little things that are HUGE for us.  Friends who are here when I need a shoulder to cry on, or laugh with; family who supports our family and loves our kids. And then there are the strangers who are becoming so important in our girls lives. People we did not know before we adopted the girls.  People who did not sign up with us to bring the girls home.  I'm talking about the teachers.  I am just blown away with how much these people are loving our girls.  They are priceless to me.  Showing them compassion and also guidance. Teaching them things that the girls are loving.  Being there for them.  Even spoiling them.  I was scared to adopt an older child.  How would we teach them. How would we communicate. Well God has provided.  I'm in awe with how much love & support we and the girls receive.  We are forever grateful for the kindness of those around us.

Now I will leave you with some photos.  Yesterday marked 8 months like I said.  And it was a busy day (that's why this post is a day late).  It was a good day.  Hope was in a better mood.  The kids had fun playing with their cousins.  And all 4 of our girls donated their hair to Locks of Love.  Hope was scared and even cried.  I know her fear was she would look like a boy.  In China, they cut her hair to look like a boy.  Another emotional scar we need to get through.  But we promised she would not look like a boy and once they cut her braid she smiled and we gave high 5's.  We are so proud of our girls donating their hair. They know why they donated.  And I think it made them feel happy to be able to help other kids.

Thank you for being here for us.  We do have good days, but the hard days I can't get through without the love & support from others.  Thank you for praying for our family.  6 kids is a lot.  Exhausting. But also rewarding.

Look how long their hair was

How much was donated

Hair looks so cute 

40 inches of hair being donated

Cute hair, all ready for summer

8 months as sisters



Hope on rope swing at her cousin's house

Watching their cousin play baseball.  

Maggie on rope swing

Maggie LOVES playing "baseball"

Hope is fascinated with baseball

A precious, happy moment with Hope