Friday, August 31, 2012

Things That I Couldn't Know

4 years ago today, there was no way of knowing how our lives were about to change. We were so nervous and scared and excited. The emotions were all over the place and unless you have traveled the road it's hard to explain.
4 years ago we were in China about to leave for Nanjing where we would meet our daughter for the first time. We were the only family in our group traveling to that area and that was unnerving. We were on our own.
4 years ago we knew we were getting a little girl who was born with some unique features. That was scary. We didn't know what to expect or really how to plan.
4 years ago we had no idea where we would be 4 years later. We had no idea that the little girl that they handed to us, who was sick, scared, tiny, unable to eat, unable to talk, reluctant to smile, basically an empty shell of a child, would 4 years later be so full of life.
 4 years later, Emma has blossomed and changed and so have we. She is full of life and energy and quick with a smile. She loves her brothers so much and never lets them leave the house without that one last kiss.
4 year later, there isn't a day that passes that I don't think just how blessed I am to have this girl in my life. She is my daughter. She is not of my blood, but she is of my heart and soul. She makes me smile and cry. She makes me laugh every day. Yesterday's laugh was about explaining a time out on the football field. She kept asking me "are they in trouble". Yes, she knows a thing or 2 about time outs.
I worship the ground this child walks on. I long to see what her life will become. She is determined and feisty and smart. She has overcome so many obstacles already in her short life and by being her mother I have had the privilege to witness what determination and strength really are. When I see her write her name and attempt to tie her shoes. When I see her jump and run on the soccer field, when I see her do so many of the little things that you and I do without even blinking an eye, I realize just what an amazing kid my daughter is.
4 years ago, I remember the nanny that was with Emma asking our guide if we were "okay" with Emma's hands and feet. I wish that nanny could see this girl now. We were "okay" with her hands and feet then and even more okay now. She is our blessing. She is our miracle. She is our daughter.


Emma wanted me to take a picture or two of her "big mupples". She was is very interested in showing them off.

Monday, August 27, 2012

My 3 Favorite Kiddos

We went to visit Brady yesterday for the Convocation Ceremony and he seems to be doing well. He had not done any laundry yet.....We had a tutorial on separating clothes and the proper washing techniques. Surprisingly enough, his room was not as unkept as I suspected.

The Band of Blue performed for the ceremony and they sounded great. It's amazing to think they have only been together for a week and they really sounded awesome.

I think Ashton was pretty interested in college life. I think it may be related to the gazillion college girls that were there:)

We headed out to dinner after the ceremony and then made a quick trip to Walmart and dropped Brady back off. Actual classes begin today, so let the games begin.

Emma couldn't wait to see her brother. She packed a duffel bag yesterday morning and told me that she  was going to sleep at "brudders" house and she would be very quiet. It was adorable.

On the way home, she discovered that she really liked beef jerky. Ashton told her it was steak and she kept yelling "More steak momma". This girl has the most interesting eating habits. She can have all of the jerky she wants because momma certainly doesn't want it.

Tuesday, August 21, 2012

Kindergarten Days

Well my little girl reluctantly agreed to go to Kindergarten this morning. I didn't even hear about her "being sick" until I picked her up from school today. I guess she is getting her plan together for tomorrow.

Apparently the highlights of the day were wearing a name tag and helping with white paper. That is all that she has told me about so far.

Signing in for the first day. Let me just say, I was not too impressed with her handwriting. This girl knows how to write her name properly and she wrote it all over the page!

Emma looks BEAUTIFUL in her flower girl dress. The trick will be keeping it on if we ever get it on. She liked it for all of about 5 minutes and then she declared it was itchy!

As you can tell by the face, she was finished with the dress. Wish us look at the wedding.

I don't think Emma has it all figured out yet that Brady is away at school and won't be coming home for a while. She declared to me yesterday while we were in the car that she wanted to get her backpack and her pj's and go to "brothers house" because momma"s white house stinks and the bugs bite her. I explained to her that brother's house is probably going to stink a lot worse than momma's  house and maybe she should just stay home. It was a rather entertaining conversation.

So to help with Emma's dilemma, I have been cleaning all day!

On another happy note, Brady made the band and will be playing multis. If you are band person then you know what that means. I have no clue! I just know he is happy and it involves drums and if he is happy then that makes momma happy.

Monday, August 20, 2012

College Life Begins

Well, it's official. We moved our "baby" boy off to school yesterday and I may or may not have been a bit of an emotional wreck. I managed to contain my sobbing to some degree but I will have to say when he drove away yesterday morning to start his early day I might have fell apart just a little.

He left early because his band auditions started yesterday morning and by the time we got there yesterday afternoon to get him moved in he was absolutely exhausted and still had several hours to go before the tryouts were over. He has more auditions today and will hopefully know if he makes the drum line before too long. He was pretty excited and a little misty eyed I think.

So little Miss thinks that she is all that! She kept telling us after we left school yesterday that she wanted to go back to "Brother's house". I think I know a little girl who is going to miss a big brother and I suspect the feeling will be mutual.  

I guess I was the typical mom over the last few days. Brady kept joking about all the stuff I had for his dorm but I couldn't help myself. I tried really hard to anticipate things he would need and have them available for him. I don't even want to think about what his room will look like in only a short period of time. His roommate moves in on Saturday and I suspect that he will have to step over a lot of dirty clothes to get in the room. He will probably thank me for the air freshener that I placed in the room.

So a new chapter in our lives begin. Emma had her first full day of Kindergarten on Thursday and there are no pictures because it wasn't pretty and pictures of her being pulled off my leg would only make us all cry. Thankfully her sweet teacher called me a couple of hours later to tell me that she was doing great and was happy. She goes back tomorrow and I guess that will be the true test since all of the kiddos will be there tomorrow. She keeps telling me she will stay at "mommas white house" and isn't too interested in going to school. Hopefully that will change.

Our last day of freedom is going to be spent going to get our flower girl dress.....say a prayer. We are also going to visit my aunt which should be much more pleasant than the dress part of our day! 

Wednesday, August 1, 2012

I feel like I am in a very weird place right now. I have a child about to head off to college and one about to start Kindergarten. Throw in a Junior and that is my life right now. I'm not a big cry baby most of the time, but I feel it building and I suspect the next month is going to involve a lot of tissues. Beware.

Emma is officially registered for Kindergarten. We are hoping for a certain teacher that we have been told would be perfect for Emma. I am very torn about sending her to public school because right now our county is in some kind of "mine is bigger than yours" contest and the ones that are suffering are the kids. The teachers and staff are suffering as well and as a parent it makes me furious. There are some great teachers in our schools and then there are some really lousy ones as well. The school board needs a total overhaul and the latest "appointments" to the administrative staff - which don't even live in our county - have a lot to prove. I hope they can but I am very skeptical of that. So meanwhile, all over the United States, kids are not getting the education they deserve and that we as taxpayers are paying for.

I had a rather strange thing happen yesterday and I can't stop thinking about it. It was one of those moments that you don't expect to happen.

Emma and I headed out to the post office and local market yesterday morning, she dressed in basketball shorts/top, a red superhero cape and her batman mask. I was dressed very boring, running shorts/top.....Anyway....We made our first stop and then headed in to the store. She was pushing the cart down the aisles and enjoying being in usual. As we headed down one of the aisles, a man who was obviously working for a soda company spoke to us and asked Emma if she was a superhero. I commented yes and we moved on. Not another thought given to that. We continued to shop and eventually finished up, leaving the market with a new knife, sword, hand grenade, badge, gun, and a swim mask...hey, every superhero needs an arsenal.. As we were about to put things in the car this same guy came up behind us ..not in a creepy way, and said hello and asked me "Excuse, me, but are you a Christian person?" I responded yes and then he proceeded to tell me that since he spoke to us in the store that he just felt God calling him to pray with us and that he had been waiting in the parking lot so that he could speak to us. He was quick to point out that he doesn't do that on a regular basis but that he couldn't get Emma out of his mind since seeing her (and I suspect her hands) in the store. So in the parking lot, over a shopping cart, we prayed. He cried during the whole thing and I was moved by his openness and that he didn't hide his faith. I could just have easily said that I wasn't a Christian and he needed to leave me alone. I think the only problem that I had was that he was most concerned about Emma's physical differences. After he finished praying I was quick to point out to him that nothing slows this girl down. She is indeed a SUPERHERO. I also pointed out what an amazing blessing she is to everyone she meets and how she has touched out family. He said that he and his wife had talked about adoption and I was able to share some of our story with him and even gave him the name of our agency. So, maybe in some way, that moment will help him and his wife to make a decision about adoption and see that even though my girl may only have 2 fingers, she is as whole as they come.

What do you think? Would you or have you ever done anything like that? I have not. It's just not me. I have seen people that I have in turn prayed for silently in situations similar to that, but I have never had the boldness to do anything like that. I was very impressed by him. True Christianity. Isn't that what the world needs more of.

So today, we are putting the housework, the laundry, and everything else on hold and about to go swimming and hang out by the pool at my friends house. Emma can't wait and I am looking forward to adult conversation and downtime.

One more quick note, mostly for me so that I can remember some of these things...Emma's new favorite line is "AHH, momma, you Funny". She uses this line when she is in trouble or thinks she is about to be. Oh, this girl of mine!