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Saturday, March 20, 2010

So long.... farewell

No, no, no I'm not going anywhere! I just gave myself a blog-over! This blog was primarily about our China journey. Since Norah has been home almost 2 years now and since she seems to be running the show and talking 24/7, I wanted to do a more family friendly blog. So if you would like to follow, go to:


Until then...

Monday, February 08, 2010

This is for a friend :)

This is the main street that the SWI was off of

The sign

As we were leaving the SWI. The buildings that you see are the back of stores

The clinic that is on the grounds in between the swi and the foster family housing

Laundry day :) The special care nursery is to the right on the second floor

The playground

Main awning

The main gate as you are leaving. The swi is behind us


Elder housing


The room Norah was in

This is where Norah lived. The bottom is the toddler room. The top is the special care nursery. See the yellow shirts that are in the blue left window? These were the "half the Sky" shirts for the nannies

Coming into the gates

Leaving... :( Turned around to catch another big picture. The pointy red top that you see us the SWI

Saturday, January 02, 2010

Her Arms....

There is a woman around the world, an ocean away that carried my daughter. She nourished her and kept her warm. She fed and clothed her for six months of her life. Their bond, no matter how deep, finds its way back to one single thing. Her belly button. The tell tale sign that there was another woman, another mother before me. I sometimes have to remind myself that I did not give birth to my daughter. I did not carry her nor did I endure pain and was not covered in sweat when she made her grand entrance into this big world.

As Norah's birthday approaches I find myself thinking of this mysterious woman. And the man that helped bring her into this world. To say that I am not curious would be a lie. But the unspoken contract remains. We will never know. We will never know of their existence, their circumstances around our daughters birth. The few things I do know I hold onto with clenched fists. She kept her for six months. How heart breaking that must have been for her. Were they married, were they young, educated, tall, short... the list could certainly go on and on. Norah has the longest fingers I have ever seen. And she is tiny. Very petite and very girly. I wonder who she looks like...

On her birthday, I will think of this woman. Her birth mother. As I know she will probably be thinking of Norah. The daughter she holds in her heart and will never again see.

If I could tell her, I would tell her this:

Norah is so gentle. She has a smile that would light up a room and sparkling eyes. She is funny and incredibly smart. She is beautiful and is so nurturing. She is the first to say Bless You after a sneeze. She is a Daddy's girl in the best way possible and I have never seen something so small bring a grown man to his knees.
She is the daughter that I always prayed for and how she made her way to our family is a miracle to me. I am so blessed just to know her and to be a part of her life.
I would tell her thank you. Thank you for making that sacrifice, no matter the circumstances. For loving her enough to do what was best for her.
She is the apple of our eye and the song in our heart.

So on her birthday we will sing and blow out candles. We will all clap and open presents and eat tons and tons of cake and ice cream. We will hold our special gift close as we welcome her third birthday. She will have been home almost as long as she was in China. I wonder how much of that she really remembers. I hope and pray she keeps it in her heart forever. That is the only link that she has to her "China Mommy". And I know that someday she will have questions. I know that one day I will have to explain everything as best as I can. And for that day I pray for strength.

And on her birthday I will remember that special woman. I pray that she has peace in her heart and if there was someway I could let her know that her daughter is loved more than anything, I would. I hope that she is thinking of us on this special day, as I am sure I will be thinking of her. And for a brief moment as my daughter blows out her candles, I will close my eyes. I will take a deep breath and I will whisper, "thank you." And maybe, just maybe, it will make its way to China and into that mother's heart.

"Heaven is the face of a little girl
With dark brown eyes
That disappear when she smiles"

~Steven Curtis Chapman~
"Heaven Is the Face"

Tuesday, December 22, 2009

Two days before Christmas...

It is two days before Christmas and I haven't sent out a single Christmas card. Haven't made any cookies. The lights on the tree haven't been on in 2 days. I admit it... no Christmas spirit here. No twinge of excitement that Christmas is 2 days away. I am really trying not to be Scrooge like for the kids. They deserve Christmas in their hearts and they deserve the magic that it brings. What I would really like to do instead is run away. Maybe bury my head in the sand somewhere or sleep until its over.
I took Elias to the doctor a few weeks ago because he had been throwing up since September. I honestly chalked it up to school stress or maybe something he ate. We did some blood work and an ultrasound and his white count came up high showing that there was an infection somewhere in his body. His ultrasound showed that there was something going on with his kidneys. We then waited for 2 (AGONIZING) weeks until he could have the CT scan and the urologist appointment. After the 5 of us held down a screaming sweating 7 year old boy his IV was ready to go and they proceeded with the CT scan. They also did an x-ray while we were there. What a draining day... I didn't sleep a wink last night and today feels as if it has lasted forever.
We met with the urologist, who was the nicest person that anyone would want to meet. Very kid friendly and took his time with us as he explained the diagnosis at hand. Ureteropelvic Junction Obstruction. Basically when Elias was being formed in my tum the junction between his kidneys and the ureter never formed properly, therefore he is not able to properly drain anything from his kidney to the ureter to the bladder. His kidney is distended and large and it is misshaped from continual kidney damage.
So we go back in the morning for another procedure - a renogram with lasix washout. It is about an hour and a half and it will tell us what his kidney function is in that kidney. Best case scenario from what I understand is a shunt to open up the obstruction. Worst case scenario would be to remove the kidney. So far the other kidney is working properly and that is what we want!
So that's where we are 2 days before Christmas. I am sad and I am angry. I am confused and concerned. One minute I am smiling and the next I am a blubbering idiot. But he is my baby. When I cannot fix him I feel insecure and scared. I want him to be okay and I want it now, please and thank you.
Everyone has been so kind with their well wishes and calls and positive thoughts. We appreciate them and please don't be offended if we don't want to talk about it alot. We are trying to make sense of this ourselves.
But I really don't want to be dealing with this at all. Yes he is 7, but he is my baby. He will always be my baby. The child I so miraculously gave birth to, weighing in at 8 lbs 2 oz and kicking and screaming up until he went to bed tonight. I want to be able to look him in the eyes and tell him that he is going to be okay when he asks. I want to be certain of that when he asks. But I cannot be certain. Yes there may be an operation. Yes, he may have to be in the hospital and yes, it may hurt. But when all is said and done I want him well. Shannon said tonight that it could always be worse. Yes, it very well could. But it could also be better. It could not be happening to my child. But it is what it is. I will be strong for him. I will hold his hand and I will pray for him when he is so nervous he can hardly stand up. I will wipe his tears away and I will hold him in my arms just like I did when he was a baby. All the while begging and pleading for God to keep his arms around my precious baby boy and to bring peace and comfort to his heart and to his body.

Merry Christmas everyone. May 2010 be a year of renewed hope for you and your family.

With much love....

Sunday, November 29, 2009

Oh, this gets me everytime I read it. Just sends shivers up my spine..

"And so my prayer is that your story will have involved some leaving and some coming home, some summer and some winter, some roses blooming out like children in a play. My hope is your story will be about changing, about getting something beautiful born inside of you, about learning to love a woman or a man, about learning to love a child, about moving yourself around water, around mountains, around friends, about learning to love others more than we love ourselves, about learning oneness as a way of understanding God. We get one story, you and I, and one story alone. God has established the elements, the setting and the climax and the resolution. It would be a crime not to venture out, wouldn't it?"
— Donald Miller (Through Painted Deserts: Light, God, and Beauty on the Open Road)

Monday, September 28, 2009

I feel like I am officially a part of the rat race. Always running here and there. Never a minute to just sit and play. BUT, with a 7 year old and a 2 1/2 year old there really is no time for anything!! I wouldn't trade it for the world!!
We recently got back from a 5 day trip to Disney. It was AMAZING! My mom, my sister, myself and the kids headed out on a Sunday and came home the following Saturday. The kids LOVED it and it was so nice to take a break! We all needed it! I will post pics soon!
Elias has joined the cub scouts and his troop meets every Monday night. Good thing is, his meeting are on the street over! How convenient!! He is such a cool kid. So witty and just down right hysterical! He will never know how much I love him. He will never know what a blessing and miracle he is to me.
Norah is 100 mph. She is now potty trained, talking her head off and extremely independent! Yesterday she got dressed... totally dressed by herself. Shirt, shoes, unders, shorts, socks and shoes. She even folded the socks down... I cannot believe how much she has grown and has become so totally comfortable in her skin. It is amazing to watch both of my kids grow and flourish.
We are meeting Norah's friend from Jiangxi this Tuesday at Charlestown Landing. Norah and Georgie were in pictures together that I got back from her care package. I was able to visit with Georgie when I took a tour of the SWI and when they said "Lan Ping's mama" her sweet little head was looking back and forth, I am sure expecting Norah to walk in the door. I asked them who Norah's best friend was and who she spent most of her time with and it was Georgie :) So it will be nice to get the kids together and see how they interact with one another. I wonder if they remember each other. I feel that they share a kindred spirit. I wish that Lindley could join this group too as I am sure that they spent alot of time together since they are all the same age. I will pot pictures of the visit soon.