Monday, March 7, 2011

3rd Birthday

This is how you will find me most late afternoons, my own personal sense of style

My brothers are alot of fun

We celebrated Maggie's 3rd Birthday on February 20th. Although we know her real birthday is around the 1st of April (give or take a few days) we have decided to not change it legally. I looked into and it is a tedious strange process. Even if you get the birthday changed at the state level you still have to have it changed at the federal level and there are no gurantees. So when you go to get a passport it can cause issues. Instead it will just be a part of her story.

She totally enjoyed her birthday and recieved some of her favorite things. Her papoo fixed an antique doll highchair for her. She also has enjoyed a pretend wok set, doll potty, dora doll, and plastic kid chair. She had many cousins, grandparents, aunts, and uncles to help her celebrate. She now knows what "Birthday" means and is gets excited when we talk about her jie jie's birthday that is coming up in a few weeks.
She is still doing really well. I personally think she is the cutest 3 year old around. She has such a fun personality. She is sassy and so smiley. When she smiles her whole face lights up and she smiles ALOT. Now it is good that she is so darn cute because she has resorted back to spitting. When we first came home she would spit on us when she didn't like something we did or said. It got better and she really went a good month or so with no spitting. But now it is back. I can see the bubbles of saliva collect on her bottom lip as she thinks over wether or not she will hit her target. If this was my first or even second child I would probably be in a twit. Sometimes I have to hide my smile when I see her get so sassy and spittin like a camel. Why do I smile - because I know this shows she is a little fighter and she is strong. So now I just have to brag a bit more on my sweet baby .......
Maggie plays hard, laughs hard, can get really mad, yell really loud, smile big, climb fast, run in high heels, sleep through the night, whisper I love you, I love you, I love you in my ear, poops on the potty in about 10 seconds, begs everyone to read "pinkalicious" (yes she can say that word), brings me the phone when it rings, finds my coffee mug after I have sat it in 20 places in the morning, get in and out of her carseat, peddle her tricycle all over the place, gives BEAR hugs, gets bashful when we catch her playing imaginary play but readily lets us join in, mix mandarin in English (says Bu want it aka no I don't want it), won't stay in her sunday school class without us (always did love 3year old sunday school - NOT), loves to sit and have Davis read her books, loves shoes - all shoes - will melt down over shoes, favorite outfit is underwear, sunglasses, high heels, and a baby doll, and is a few inches off the ground from doing the full splits - we think she is so talented. After watching her brothers swim team for weeks her newest talent is to stand in a chair get in the diving pose and jump on 3, and her form ain't so bad.
I love my Bunny and my chair

We can BRING It On with my Mama and P90X extreme Yoga

Monday, January 24, 2011

Designing For Hope

My cousin, Sharla is an amazing jewelry designer. She has a heart for orphans (adopted from China) and loves Jesus. She has recently opened a website where she is selling her jewlery to raise funds for mission trips to Swaziland. She has been 4 times and her one of her sons has also gone with her. All excess money raised is given away to the people in need in Swaziland.

For the next month 10% of her sales will go to help a family adopting 2 boys from china. Click here to go to the families blog

Click here to view her jewelry website. What a great way to have a nice piece of jewelry and help a family.

Thursday, January 20, 2011

A few photos of the going on's around our home. For the past few weeks Maggie has been trying to put a baby on her back while playing. Yesterday morning I found a long strip of fabric and tied up a baby sling. I think for her birthday I will sew up something a little better with velcro so she can more easily put a baby on her back. She is such a little treasure and radiates joy.

Our Saturday Morning hooked on"kid crack"
aka TV
Baby on the back swaddled in blankets

I love babies, especially on my back they way my grandmother carried me

This is what homeschool math looks like

Maggie always seems to find Graham's lap

They all wanted to make silly faces

wrestling with older brother, Maggie loves to have fun and stir it up

They consider each other pretty special

Tuesday, January 4, 2011

What they need

What do they need - orphans that is. If you are like me when posed with the question "Can I adopt" you think "how will we pay to educate them, raise them, do family vacations, save for retirement, ect". I get caught up in the lifestyle I want to live and what I want to provide to the children in my home. This is Satan's snare. It is so easy to rationalize why it is ok to want all these things. The deal is none of those things in and of themselves are sinful or wrong. It becomes sinful when that is what rules our life and decisions. In James 4 it says

"Now listen, you who say, Today or tomorrow we will go to this or that city, spend a year there, carry on business and make money. Why you do not even know what will happen tomrrow. What is your life? You are a mist that appears for a little while and then vanishes. Instead you ought to say, "If it is the Lord's will, we will live and do this or that.........Anyone then, who knows the good he ought to do and doesn't do it, sins."

This verse tells us first "To listen" and then poses the question "what is your life". As a believer I know that God should define my life. But I am a sinner and often fall way short. I like to define my life. My heart tells me, my culture tells me, my wealthy county -tells me that my desires are reasonable they are good, but in my heart I know that it is not true. I really desire a Christian education for my kids and would then like to pay for their college- sounds ok, right? Sure there is nothing wrong with that. Problem is private school is expensive and so is college. More kids you have more money it cost. So what is the answer? Change expectation and change the life of an orphan or keep desire. When we decided to adopt the 4th time we knew we were changing all of our kids future education. We certainly can't put them all in private school and college loans are in their future. I think all my kids will be ok with this. They would choose Maggie and Corinne.

When we adopt Maggie I would sit at Breakfast at our hotel and look around at all the children with their new families being adopted. I kept thinking there is not one child who would say "Well if you can't put me in private school, or pay for college, or give me my own bedroom then forget it I would rather be an orphan". In an orphans world that sounds ridiculous but in safe little Williamson county we call it being reasonable.

In China our Maggie wasn't being raised in material wealth. But She was being raised in a wealth of love. It is so evident in her pesonality, security, and self esteem. Below are photos of her house of love. Doesn't look like much. Just a good reminder of what it takes to raise up a child that will one day call Jesus Lord and Saviour. There are so many children that need a home please consider praying if God is calling your family to adopt.


Bedroom for 4


No fancy dryers here

A Yard to play in that requires a wonderful imagination due to lack of toys

Results are in the next photo. 2 orphans lives forever changed because the Father comes first in this amazing community in Ch...

Sunday, January 2, 2011

We have done a bad job of taking photos since coming. Don't know if that is cause it is #4 or it has been busy during the holidays. People have asked about Maggie. I have to say she has done better than we expected. She is sharing a room with C and doing well. She fusses for a minute or 2 when we first tell her time for bed but settles down quickly. She loves dolls and playing kitchen. She also loves playing with her sister. Whenever the phone rings she tells me to answer and she also instructs me to put on my seatbelt when we get in the car. Tomorrow we start back to our regular routine and I am ready. Not sure what she will think when her brothers go to school tomorrow and her sister goes later in the week.

I think of her foster family often. I know that must wonder how she is doing and worry about her. I wish I could give them a snapshot and glimpse as to how she is doing. She is doing well because of them. More on that later. Want to leave you with one thought and something I read on another blog- see below.
Seeing his baby turtle

Really shocked that there is a baby turtle

Maggie understands presents
He is all about crystals/rocks
Corinne wants to sew like her mama

Still enjoying noodles

Saturday, December 18, 2010

LiTao's Post

I seem to have been taken in by a family from a nomadic group of Chinese about which I was previously unaware. They don't seem to settle in one place too long and like to graze hotel all you can eat buffets. I was well prepared for my very own, brand new family, but I have to admit I thought they were going to move in with us. I was really sad at first. I really miss my foster grandmother a lot, and the rest of my family, but I'm hoping we'll visit soon.

I'm still sad, but things aren't too bad with these folks. They like to buy me things, and give me all sorts of treats that my foster grandmother wouldn't let me have. Candy, ice cream, sweet milky drinks that I still don't know what they're called, more candy and so on. As a matter of a fact, these people do a lot of eating. I'd worry about my waistline, but they're making sure I walk it off. In the past two weeks, I've walked enough to circle all of China at least once. I've learned that all I have to do is stand in front of my new mom and act like I'm about to cry, and she'll pick me up...but she insists on carrying me in her arms. Doesn't she know I'm easier to carry strapped to her back? Her choice, I guess.

Their Chinese is getting a little better, but we still have a lot of communication problems. I'm patient though, and hopeful that they'll get the hang of it soon. My mom has a few phrases that she utters. I think she really thinks she is talking to me. I appreciate her effort, and sort of nod, when she gets close. I talk all the time, thinking that they'll pick it up soon.

They've taken me to what must be a very rural area. We were on a plane for a long time, so it must be in the far corners of China. When we were driving to the hotel, I saw almost no other cars on the street, maybe only a couple hundred. And people...where are the people? The sidewalks are nearly bare of people. And the sky...where is the sky? They've got some odd blue haze covering the sky here. I hope it's not toxic.

I've met my other brother and sister. Their Chinese is much worse but we all speak the international language of "play". We played all morning today and had tons of fun. They must be joining us on our journey now. I hope so. It's nice to have traveling partners. The more the merrier. They also keep talking about a person named "Maggie". Maybe we'll meet her soon.

I really like this hotel though and hope we can stay awhile. It's much larger than the others. There are all sorts of plants outside, but they don't eat any of them. And the toys...there are toys all over the place. I need to remember this place. Maybe they do birthday parties. Oh, and they don't boil the water here. I freaked out a bit when they brushed my teeth with tap water, but so far, so good. My stomach is still intact.

It's really cold here too...must be Northern China. Still, they don't bundle me up in all those cloths that me and the other kids in my old neighborhood were forced to wear by our grandparents...why did they do that to us? I mean, it's 21 degrees Celsius outside; beautiful fall afternoon, and I've got three sweaters on over my long underwear and under a snow suit. Can't they see I'm sweating?

Tao Tao

Thursday, December 16, 2010


WE got to the Marriott in Hong Kong a little after midnight last night. It is now 10:35am Hong Kong time and we are waiting to board our 11:40 flight to Newark. Maggie is doing great. Going to Brook alot more and allowing him to carry her when my arms are give out. She still doesn't like him to put her shoes on. Please pray for good weather in Newark and Nashville so there will be no flight delays. We will make a post once home our homecoming and recommendations on lodging, stuff to do and what to bring and not bring. I will say that the Garden Hotel was the best hotel. I would be my first choice above the other common places like the White Swan, China Hotel (marriott) and the Victory. Will go into the why's later.