Let the Season Begin!

Let the Season Begin!

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Meet my amazing spider man. He wanted his sister to be a super hero too. So, here you go sweet girl. You have everything he has. You just don’t know it yet.

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I feel like today marks the beginning of the holiday season. I can smell the sweet pumpkin and cinnamon and spices. My mouth is watering just thinking about the sweetness of the season that’s upon us once more. There are memories to be made and traditions to carry on.

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This season will be bitter-sweet though because while memories are being made, I also feel like memories are being missed. Will and I both have said more times than we can count, “Who knew we could miss some one we’ve never met so much?” But we have to look at the positive side. As each day passes, we are one day closer to you, baby girl.

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I hope next year my 4 year old and 3 1/2 year old will agree on a joint costume! Oh, the excitement on their faces.  There is nothing like the holiday season through the joy and imagination of a child. This is going to be so much fun- times TWO! And in the meantime, we are going to pray for her, miss her like crazy and cherish every moment with this cute little guy with whom we have been blessed.

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At first he did not want to wear a costume until he realized that he got treats!

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This One’s for the Boys!

Let me just preface this post to say even though God brought us to our daughter, I am advocating for the ‘sons’ today.

As we know, there are hundreds of thousands of children growing up in China’s state run welfare institutions without families to take care of them. But what most people don’t know is that there are many more boys waiting in China for their forever family than girls.

Will and I were open to either gender – knowing full and well it was likely we were going to have a boy. We were fully prepared to have another son and, frankly, excited about it.  Sure, boys can be rough, messy and smelly at times, but they are also sweet, cute and cuddly.

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GeGe (translated is cute boy) is one year old. He is quite the little man. She loves to blow bubbles and play on the floor with toys.

There are many factors that contribute to China’s orphan crisis.  The situation is complex and probably bigger than I can begin to comprehend. But here’s what I’ve learned this year.

In the 1970s, China instituted the “One Child Policy,” limiting only one child per couple. When this policy collided with the cultural preference for boys, the result was abandonment of many girls. Although, it may be due to the long time cultural importance of having a son first (as in many countries), sometimes the reason is much more practical.  Much of China’s population live in rural areas and rely on males to farm the land.  When they marry, boys stay with their parents and care for them in old age.  Girls, on the other hand, marry and leave their families and take on the responsibility of helping care for their husband’s parents. In some ways, boys are China’s version of Social Security.

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Meet Daniel – Daniel is three years old and has more joy than you can imagine!!

It is a popular belief that girls are ‘unwanted’ in China. To say gender equality roles are not quite as evolved there are they are here in the states is an understatement. As I understand it, the “One Child Policy” is not as strictly enforced anymore and there is definitely a huge population skew left over from the decades prior. Since we, as Americans, have so long believed girls are not as valued in China as boys, for decades we have chosen to adopt girls.

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MoXi is a six year old cutie. Surrounded by many girls, this little guy is ALL boy!!

Being orphaned and a boy is one of the most difficult special needs to overcome.  I am told, if an adoption agency got a new list with eight babies (4 girls and 4 boys), the girls would be chosen first and the boys would need additional advocating.  Thankfully we are seeing that slowly change.  How wonderful that more boys are finding families now!  But we shouldn’t kid ourselves into thinking that the majority of families, even today, are more open to adopting girls.

If a baby (male or female) is sick or has a defect at birth, they may be abandoned. Parents often can’t afford to care for a child. Or if parents think they are only able to have one, they need to make sure it is going to be a “healthy one.” (Now before you judge, this is not much different than what happens here in America when abortion is a valid option because according to the amniocentesis, the baby has a medical deformity/desease). Yes, in general, many Chinese are not very accepting of people with physical disabilities. Often it is perceived that a family is cursed if their child has a visible abnormality.  They may not be allowed to attend school and it can be difficult for them to find employment.

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Sean is three years old and has Spina Bifida. He is extremely smart and is trying his best to learn to walk.

Even if the child is very loved and wanted, they may be abandoned if they are sick and the family is unable to pay for the child’s medical care. Medical care must be paid for upfront in China, and it is very difficult for many Chinese families to do this. Couples may relinquish their child so he or she can be taken to the orphanage and receive better medical care than the family can provide. How heartbreaking to think that this is the only way a parent may have at saving their child’s life?

We hope that our journey to our child is growing the sense of compassion in our family and in yours.  We also hope it will help people to understand that it is when you give that you truly receive.

The children featured in this post are all boys and are part of Journey of a Joyful Life foster home in China, all in need forever families! We also found our beloved daughter on this Asia waiting child advocate blog by our adoption agency.

“All our dreams can come true, if we just have the courage to pursue them”
-Walt Disney
NOTE: The views and opinions in this blog post do not necessarily reflect the views of Journey of a Joyful Life or Gladney’s Asia Waiting Child blog.

Waiting…

749b77274da625b041e77ce4a5046072 My mind has been wondering not trusting in God’s promises…

Recently I got an email from a fellow adoptive mom. Her daughter is home with her now but for the last 2.5 years lived in the same place our daughter is at this very moment. She was so sweet to send us pictures of our girl and she encouraged us in her email that our girls were/are well taken care of and loved. That night, after reading her email, was the first time in over a month I went to bed without fretting about how she was doing and wondering about how her day was going.

Sad to say two days later I was back to my “new norm” of fear and anxiety. In fact, it was the worst day I’ve had so far. I have these days, here and there, when I’m suddenly stricken with sadness. Most days carry with them a dull ache, the weariness of waiting, but I tread on trying to make the most of the day. Sometimes I let that fear take over and worry that she’s not well taken care of during her wait. My assumptions about her environment in the orphanage never add up to what having a home and loving parents intel–attention, touch, listening, belonging, instruction, nurturing, even adventure!

I do know her basic needs are being met. However, she is most likely not being taken care of the way that we would. Being in a family unit is different than an orphanage. There’s adventure outside these four walls. There’s plenty of time for one on one attention, listening to each other’s thoughts and sharing the joys and sorrows of our day around the dinner table. There’s time for stories, rocking, singing and even dancing. There’s time to wipe tears and noses. There’s time to snuggle and time to tickle.

I know her nannies are doing the best they can with multiple infants and toddlers competing for their attention. I can only imagine how crazy I would be if I were in their shoes. I have the upmost respect for them. For their job is NOT EASY! Lord give them patience, kindness, strength, self control, and love.

I know this wait is defiantly deepening my love for her. But when the fears overtake the functions of what I have to get done, preventing my from having happy moments with my boys, it’s not good. I’m trusting in my own knowledge and strength and not leaning on the One who loves her even more than I do, more than I can even comprehend.

This week has been pivotal. God has given me unexplainable peace about our daughter’s daily life. I still look at her picture multiple times a day, saying a prayer for her. Yet, I don’t have this constant worry. I had become so accustomed to the anxious feeling that I began to wonder do I love her as much? Am I not missing her like I should? The answer is, YES, I still love her just as much and miss her all the same. It’s just that now I am beginning to believe what I already knew. He’s teaching me to “Be still and know that [He] is God” (Ps. 46:10). The holy spirit has convicted me with one of my favorite verses…

“Let your gentle spirit be known to all men. The Lord is near. Be anxious for nothing, but in everything by prayer and supplication with thanksgiving let your requests be made known to God. And the peace of God, which surpasses all comprehension, will guard your hearts and your minds in Christ Jesus.” -Philippians 4:5-7

Some days are still harder than others but on the hard days I no longer find myself unable to function, worrying, sick to my stomach and sometimes even weeping. Lately I have been singing His praises knowing He is preparing my heart. He is changing my heart. He is preparing me for eternity. He is preparing her heart as well. He is knitting our hearts together and that takes time–especially for this stubborn heart.

I can’t explain the peace He has given me right now. He is so good.

You are missed, precious child. You are wanted. And you are loved, oh so very much.

Love,

Your waiting, so impatiently, Mommy