Thursday, February 28, 2013

Joshua: Two Years Later

Our trip to Joshua started out a little more relaxed.....because we had done it before.  But, as Murphy's Law would have it, things got messed up really fast.  Our flight out of Tucson to LA was delayed for almost two hours which meant we missed our international flight to Hong Kong, and then on to China.  We were beside ourselves with worry. But God had something bigger in mind for our family. Because of our 24 hour layover in LA before our next flight, we met the most amazing family (the girls knew each other through blogs and the adoption community) that have become family friends for life.

This is a group family picture - minus Cassie - so here she is below!

Anyway, they fed us, made us feel at home, and provided wonderful fellowship until we could get back to the LA airport and onto our adoption journey!  Definitely a divine-appointment, orchestrated by God.

Our first glimpse of Joshua on March 1st was as he burst through the doors of the Civil Affairs Office, followed by many orphanage officials.  Once he got a glimpse of me............he lost it.  He screamed, cried, shook his head back and forth, and refused to have anything to do with me. 

This is truly the hardest part of adoption............having so much love already for a child you have never met, and the child being torn away from all that is familiar to him.  Having to go with a stranger you have never met, who looks different, talks different, smells different, etc. is absolutely heartbreaking.  But these children are resilient and the good times usually come pretty quickly.

Joshua didn't want much to do with me in China, but once we got home he became very attached.  Having Isaac there as an instant playmate was truly a blessing and made his adjustment easier.

These two boys complement each other in so many ways.  They play well together and enjoy each other's company tremendously.  And yes, they do squabble, but it's usually pretty minor.

Joshua is such a happy boy that "usually" goes with the flow.  We have always labeled him as a follower since he has copied most everything Isaac has done.  But now as he is approaching five years old, his own little personality - likes and dislikes - are coming out.  He is meticulous in his coloring and loves to do schoolwork.  He can be self-entertained for hours (unlike some other little boy I know :), loves to help around the house, and is a fanatic over Thomas the Train!  We are so blessed to have him in our family. 

Happy 2nd Year Gotcha Day, Sweet Boy!  We love you so much!

Tuesday, February 26, 2013

Fun at the Park!

While many of you are buried under mounds of snow and are huddling inside because of frigid temperatures, we enjoyed a lovely day at the park! Rachel and several older girls have a Bible Study going and the moms, who all have small children, too, decided we would make it a park and picnic day and let the older girls have the house to themselves!  Enjoy the pictures!

Yes, we are enjoying our beautiful Arizona winter.......lots of sun and very mild temperatures!

Friday, February 22, 2013

Trampoline Ice and Ovens!

You saw the "snow" that we got here in southern Arizona the other day and it was a real treat........especially since it was the kind that you don't have to shovel, drive in, or bundle up for.  The next morning, our trampoline was covered in ice.  Since the ice on the roofs and cars was melting at an alarming rate with the sun coming up, Joe took Isaac and Joshua outside for an icy experience before breakfast.  They had so much fun.  And yes, once the sun hit the back yard, it all melted!

Our oven stopped working the other day and once we got a replacement igniter it was time to put it in.  Isaac, especially, is so interested in everything Joe does, and has his tool set right by his side.  Joshua.......not so much.  He just wanted to go play.  But they both learned the difference between a flat scredriver and a Phillips.  They also got to use the ratchet and see how the socket worked with it.  Little boys wanting to be just like Dad and help out - so precious!

Wednesday, February 20, 2013

Winter Arizona!

Not much to talk about here, but we got some snow today!  We've had flurries before, but this was the big, fluffy flake kind!  The pictures do not capture the full effect, but the boys were entranced with this!

Well, it didn't last long, and the snow turned back to rain, but it was fun while it lasted!

Wednesday, February 13, 2013

What Came in the Mail Today!

Joe started the morning off by telling me that he was expecting something from FedEx.  I was to be watching for his "vitamins" that he had ordered because they needed to be out of the sun.  Okay......but hmmmm, I usually order his supplements, but hey, maybe he went ahead and took care of this particular order.

My goodness!  This does not look like the typical box of vitamin supplements that comes to our house!  Here is what the other side of the box said:

I called Joe and he told me to open it on the spot!  Oh my.........what delectable goods were inside!

Joe and I sampled them once he got home and they were scrumptious.  What a wonderful present from my dear husband, whose birthday happens to be tomorrow!  He's always been my special valentine!

There's just one problem with all this sweetness.................I gave up sugar for Lent this year!  What's a girl to do!

Tuesday, February 12, 2013

Missing My Girl!

Well, gosh.........these children of ours just keep growing up and then they seem to go places!  This week Miss Rachel is in California visiting some very dear friends. She's having a great time and getting a much-needed break from regular life............but boy, do I miss her cheerful smile throughout the day!
Have a great time, Rachel, and we look forward to having you back!

Friday, February 1, 2013

ISAAC: "laughter - son of promise"

Three years ago today Courtney, Rachel, and I walked into the very dingy Civil Affairs Office in Xi'an, China, to await the arrival of Isaac, who we had been waiting for for 18 long months.  Surprising to us.........he was already there.  My first impressions were, "He is SOOO tiny!" and "He is SOOO cute!"  I went right up to him and as he looked soulfully into my eyes I started to cry. 

Once we got back to the hotel room, my first order was to begin attachment.  The girls left to go post pictures and I just rocked, sang, and talked to this quiet little boy.  I had a box of animal crackers that he was entranced with - a smile started not too long afterwards!

Isaac had a hard adjustment.  He had giardia and scabies which didn't help matters any.  He woke up whimpering many times at night and I spent hours rocking and snuggling this scared little boy.  He was terrified of potatoes and the only thing we were told by others was that they resembled rats.  We have no idea what experiences, good or bad, he had in the 32 months before he came to us.  But God is faithful and slowly, oh so slowly, this little boy started to blossom before our very eyes!  We were encouraged by the following verse:

Joel 2:25  "I will repay you for the years the locusts have eaten....."

No matter what Isaac had gone through previously, we were here for him from now on - HIS FOREVER FAMILY!  It's amazing what love, attention, and physical touch will do for a child!

Isaac is so funny and keeps us laughing most of the day.  He gets so excited over the simplest things and his joy is contagious!  He loves preschool, being a big brother, helping around the house, playing Duplos, reading books, and helping the ladies.  He pulls out my chair at every meal - what a gentleman!

It's hard to believe it has been three years, little man.....we love you beyond belief and can't wait to see what the future holds for you!