Friday, December 31, 2010

She Is Amazing, And We Are Lucky...

I have wanted to write this post for a long time. For months, actually. You see, I am torn, because there is so much I don't know or understand. So bear with me, I am going to do my best. Do you see that picture above my writing? Havensong was abandoned in this very spot. It has come to my mind all week. I will be going about my day, and all of a sudden I will think of this tiny place in the world, and I will have to stop what I am doing and catch my breath. To the millions of people who live there, it must seem a very insignifigant spot. People rush past it nonstop and have no idea how much it means to me.

But there is another person who thinks of this spot quite often. The person who chose this very place to leave a one day old baby girl..

 I wonder, did they look for days, trying to find the best place so she would be safe? I know there are different ideas about what the parents feel after they abandon their child. I choose to believe it hurt them to leave her. I choose to believe they did it for her own good. I choose to believe there is, in fact a mother mourning for her child and hoping she is loved and happy.

 I imagine she was left under the cover of darkness. The street light above competing with the moon to illuminate her. The chilly air forcing it's way around her. The nightime sounds fading away as morning made it's appearance.  A sweet baby wrapped in a blanket, abandoned because she was a girl, and waiting for someone to find her and take her to a safe place. Maybe it was her Father who set her there, tucking the blanket around her little face to keep her as warm as possible before he turned away.  I can picture him crouching in a not so far away spot, watching to make sure she is found, and whisked away...safe, but very much alone in this big world.

 He had no idea he just had given me a dream come true....it wasn't a thought in his mind as he walked away from that spot. She wasn't unwanted, she was chosen to be Havensong and just had to wait a little bit for all of us to figure that out. I am nobody to her birth father. I am nobody to her birth mother.

But I am somebody to her.

I will be her Mommy. I will kiss her scraped knees, sing her songs and read her books. I will cuddle her to sleep and watch her dream. I will teach her bible stories and her ABC's. I will fix her hair, and tie her shoes. I will brush away her tears, and tell her to not be afraid. I will dress her baby dolls and fix Barbie's hair. I will laugh at her when she's funny, and hold her when she's sad. I will brag that she's the cutest, brightest most endearing child walking the earth. I will protect her and pray for her at night. I will look into her eyes and tell her how thankful I am to God for bringing her to me. I will kiss her perfect nose, and all her toes. I will try to discipline her. ( I really will) And I will cheer her on in life as she grows into the woman God created her to be....

I keep hearing how lucky she is and how amazing we are. But I think it's the other way around. We are the lucky ones and she is truly amazing.

I will never be able to thank her birth parents for this incredible gift. Somehow, I hope they feel peace in their hearts, knowing she is just fine. Can they somehow know that I will love her with everything in me and try my best to be the Mommy she needs and deserves?

 I am so excited to see her face...My eyes are already red and swollen. I can't stop the tears and I am not even trying. I am just allowing myself to feel this....it has been a very long road, and if I cry for the next 24 hours, then so be it. This is no small thing...

This is my child who has grown not in my belly, but in my heart, and I am anticipating her arrival just as much as the first four. The beautiful thing, is it seems she is eagerly awaited by all of you too....thank you so much for caring  about her the way you do. It has touched me more than you will ever know....

Wednesday, December 29, 2010

So Thankful She Is Safe...

From the title of my post you might think I am talking about Havensong. I am actually referring to Tayler. She is 17 years old, but no less my baby. I have tried very hard to let her go bit by bit. I have been keenly aware that I can't keep her next to me forever. I didn't know how I was ever going to be okay with her leaving my side and just roaming around in this big world.  The thought of her growing up and away from me for any length of time worried me to no end. I think I have done pretty well...until tonight. I might be back at square one now for a while...

My friend, Brandy and I had just returned from Bellingham earlier this evening.We were home no more than fifteen minutes when we decided to go BACK into town. We thought we would go browse through the stores for baby bedding without any kids. Also, I needed detergent so I could scale Mt. Laundry tomorrow. As we were driving, I got that kind of call that every parent hates. It was Tayler and she sounded terrified. She asked me if I was anywhere near Walmart. She was quiet. Really quiet.

"DID YOU GET IN A WRECK?!!" I yelled.

Thoughts of her recent wreck came into my mind. Her climbing out of her smashed car and stepping over live wires that had fallen down around her after she hit a telephone pole. I felt total panic. But she was on the other end talking, so that meant she was alive. I heard her whimper and then she just full on started to cry.

"WHAT???" I wailed.

"A man tried grab me in the parking lot." she said, sobbing and taking deep breaths. It took a minute to sink in. I told Brandy to hurry. I just kept pointing in the direction of Wal-Mart. Tayler said she was inside, by  the make up aisle because that was the only place she had reception. Brandi parked out front and I ran inside. I called her name and saw her come around the corner. She didn't look like my independent, self assured, almost grown daughter. She looked like my baby girl. The one who needed me to sleep with her when she was afraid at night. I hugged her and closed my eyes, so thankful she was safe. And then I felt mad. I wanted to get a hold of that man who tried to harm my daughter, take him down, and yank his eyeballs right out of his head, and then rip him to shreds. I am sorry for the strong language...but that is exactly how I felt. I'm just stating the facts here.

It was a blur to her, but she somehow got away after he went for her and ran back inside the store. She said the man had earlier followed her for forty minutes while she shopped. She kept trying to lose him, but she couldn't shake him. He was peeking around corners at her and he waited while she paid. He purchased nothing. She was afraid to go outside so she tried to look for her friend's Mom who she had just seen. Not finding her, she decided to go out to her car which was only parked four spaces back. As she got to her car he tried to grab her. She remembers very little at this point. Hopefully the footage will show what happened.

(WHY HAVE I NOT TALKED TO HER RECENTLY ABOUT THIS KIND OF SITUATION????)

 Later an employee told me he had noticed Tayler leaving, and the man was right behind her. Tayler said she knew he had followed her out, and she was so afraid. She couldn't even scream. But she ran. And that saved her.

 We called the police and they were there in minutes. They took the description of him from Tayler. She said he was Eastern Indian, medium build, short black hair, with a large nose. She didn't remember any color of clothing. They said that Wal-Mart has the very best video surveillance and they would check it and have her come in and identify him tomorrow.

I decided to write this post as a little reminder to women out there. If you feel unsafe, do not disregard that feeling. Ask someone to walk you out to your car even if you are parked closely to the store.
Talk to your children and tell them to be SO CAREFUL.
Especially your girls!

I would like to say again how thankful I am that she is safe. Oh, I am so thankful. I am going to be smothering her a little lot more in the near future. But I think this scary experience will cause her to be more aware of her surroundings.

Did I mention I am thankful?
My girl is safely tucked into bed...
Thank You Lord...

Tuesday, December 21, 2010

Havensong Eleanor Joy


I thought I would write a little about her name. For about 12 years I have loved the name Haven. In fact, I even tried to name Autumn that, but it just didn't fit and we changed it after her birth. (Sorry if you didn't know that, Autumn)

I felt the name was meant for the little girl I wanted to one day adopt. So I held onto it. She has had poems and songs written for her, all using the name, Haven. When I talk to Chinese people they tell me that the meaning of the name goes something like this;


"One who has flown across the sea to find paradise and live in perfect happiness."

I am guessing Haven is akin to Heaven and that is what they are referring to. I think it sums it up nicely. Throughout the years I have daydreamed that when I one day received her file, I would open it and her name would be Song and we would use it for her middle name. Autumn and I have a favorite book that we read, and the little girl's name is Song, and we would talk about how much we loved that name.
The day before we got the call, I wrote one sentence down in my journal. It said;

"God, give me a new song in my heart".

And my FB post that week said:

"Come dance with me to the Song of all Songs."

 So while on the phone with a representative from our agency I joked and said, "If I open this up, and her name is Song, I will know she is the one. I saw the name Song Zihan in the subject line and got the chills. Song is her surname, but still....it was too much. I laughed all day. It was so obvious this was going to happen. On top of all that, do you remember me talking about the little girl I fell in love with when I was 15? The one who was adopted from Korea? Her mom recently told me that the name they gave her when she came home to them means......A Song.

So I thought about calling her just Song, but I loved Haven so much too. They were equal on the scale. I couldn't choose one over the other. I didn't want Song to get lost in her middle name, I didn't want to let go of Haven. So we put them together into one name.

As for her middle names, Eleanor and Joy are her two Great Grandmothers. Eleanor is her only living Great Grandparent, and we are excited to honor her this way. My Grandmother was abducted at three years old by her nanny. Her name was changed  by her "adoptive" mother from Joy to Josephine. I always felt sad that she lost the name her Mommy gave her. I feel this is a beautiful way to bring it all full circle.

Monday, December 20, 2010

New Pictures Of Havensong

The photo of her and the bunny blanket made me cry. I bought this for her years ago. I have looked at it folded in the drawer countless times and have wondered if she would ever really use it. And she looks quite cozy......and happy.....and content. I am glad this happens to be her first blankie.....




Sunday, December 19, 2010

Havensong...

 It's overwhelming and wonderful to finally see a dream I have carried in my heart for so many years finally coming true. So many of our dreams stay just that....dreams. They never make an appearance. They stay just our of grasp, forcing us to wonder if the end result we hope for will ever take place.

Proverbs 13:12 says; Hope deferred makes the heart sick, but a desire fulfilled is a tree of life.

It can be so hard longing for something you want so much.  We have been in this adoption process for over five years, and I had it in my heart long before that. We were matched with a little girl in July.

Song Zihan, born November 20th, 2009 was available for adoption. She was on the special needs list because she was in the less than 2% for height and weight. (In fact, I hear the nannies call her "Thumb" because she is so small. I prefer Thumbelina...more girlie...) Finally...here she was...

We made the decision a long while back that I would stay here with the other kids and Scott and Beau would go. I could go into all of the reasons and dynamics that caused me to make that hard choice, but I don't have the energy. It was well thought out, and not easily made, with only Havensong in mind. It was not a slip on my part that I didn't go, as if it just didn't cross my mind. It was a decision I thought about nonstop. The night before they left, it was very difficult for me. I felt frantic that I had, in fact, made the wrong choice. It suddenly crushed me that I wasn't going. I would rather not even be typing this now, except for the fact that I have received so many comments, messages, emails and posts from people either questioning me, or telling me of my certain future regrets, that I felt it would be best to share my thoughts all at once.  I just needed some time alone while I processed these unexpected feelings. So...I crawled into my bed and I cried for two days. I  wasn't being dramatic, or wanting sympathy, I just needed to grieve what I knew I was missing, and fight the feelings of guilt for not being there for her right away. Also, there was a deep longing inside of me to see her homeland. To write it all down so I could share it with her.

I was just plain old sad and was being a cry baby... but as C.S. Lewis said;

"Crying is all right in its own way while it lasts. But you have to stop sooner or later, and then you still have to decide what to do."

I decided to stop crying, and get ready for my daughter to come home. And besides, China isn't going anywhere. On top of that, I am not a selfish mother, because I handed an amazing journey over to my son, and I hope he never forgets it. Autumn looked at me last night and said,

"Mom, you know how you are so sad and don't want to get out of bed because you want to be in China?"

I nodded. She said,

"Well that's how I would be feeling if you were that far away from me."

That did wonders for me to see her little face and hear her say that. I got up, washed my tears away and took her to the mall.

Havensong just spent her last night in the orphanage. I am sure as I type this they are gathering her things together, and getting her ready to go the the Civil Affairs office. I am praying for two things right now.

1) That she doesn't feel afraid. She has suffered such loss already...the loss of her birth parents, the loss of her nannies, and the loss of her homeland. I'm not being negative, I just refuse minimize what she's had taken from her in her short one year of life.

2) I pray Beau doesn't forget to hit "record" on the camera.

So while I'm not there buying her squeaky shoes, pearls and Jade, nor am I seeing China with her in a little front pack, I am here getting ready for her here, with her siblings.

I will be seeing her face via Skype in four hours. I can't quite believe it. I am crawling out of my skin due to the anticipation. And on January 1st, she will land in Bellingham, and I will go get her and be her Mommy for always.

From the bottom of my heart I thank you all for your shared excitement and prayers and support. It means so much..

Friday, December 10, 2010

Christmas Open House


I haven't had much time to blog. I miss it! The thing is, I decided to have a little craft show with my friend,Wendy. So I have been spending  my time hunting in thrift shops, craft stores, and elbow deep in paint. Cream and black paint, to be exact. It all started when Wendy and I were at a craft fair a while back. We walked into one of the booths filled with amazing and pretty things. On one of the shelves there was a tiny little sign that read,

Yes, you CAN make it, but WILL YOU?

Well that just made us mad. Wendy called me a few nights ago and said,

"So I did make those things! Come over and SEE!" 

She was right, and her things were even better than theirs. Since we didn't sign up for any craft shows, we decided to make our own. That's how we work....Let's just do our own show! In a week! I mostly talk big.  I have spent most of it worrying....and whining...and being drug off the couch by Wendy. I would open my eyes and she would by pointing at me with her glue gun.

 We have gone to bed around 2 AM most mornings. And have made more than a few late runs through McDonald's for Coke. We have spent hours in Michael's. The last time we were there I was tired and grouchy. As I was paying, I told the checker and all of the people behind me, that this was my final purchase at a craft store. That I was tired of making things and I would never show my face in one of these places again. Wendy just shook her head and laughed at me. But I was serious.

"I hate crafting. I am sick of it!" I told the lady directly behind me.

 I then handed her a flyer and told her she should TOTALLY come to our show because it would be amazing. I told her about all of the fun things we made and that there would even be a bagpiper there. She and her Mother said they would love to come. I said goodbye and went out to the van. As we were getting in those two ladies came running outside yelling for us.
"You forgot your bag!" they yelled.
They were laughing as they handed me my supplies. They said they wouldn't miss our show and would tell their friends. When they said "show" I don't think they meant our crafts.

What started as "nothing" has now turned into something quite nice. My living room rivals any boutique in Whatcom County. I wish we would have filmed ourselves these past few days. We would make a great reality show. I commend Wendy for keeping the vision alive. I loved the thrill of finding a diamond in the rough at the thrift stores, but it's Wendy with the real talent here. She has a gift for making something beautiful out of nothing. We invited my friend Erin, and my Mom to join us. Erin makes jewelry and vintage items. She has a flair for all things whimsical with an artistic twist. My Mom paints on wild turkey feathers and frames them. She is so talented. I am always amazed at those tiny little scenes she creates.


 I am just here to help them show off. I may have come along for the ride with a pout on my face and a paintbrush in my hand, but I am now thrilled for you to see the end result. We spent an entire afternoon trying to come up with a name for ourselves. That in itself was so entertaining. We decided on

Vintage Ever After
Because we just might do this again. We will see how tomorrow goes. I will let you know for sure.

See you tomorrow at 8075 Rodeo Drive, Lynden
. Starbucks Coffee, treats, crafts, and live music. And like I said before....LOTS of glitter. :)

Friday, November 12, 2010

Draw FOUR!!


Chase LOVES board games. He is amazing at chess. He gets frustrated with me because I don't quite "get it." He tries to be patient, but at times he just puts his face in his hands and moans. It's a strange feeling indeed when your child has mercy on you and "lets you win." You realize at that moment, that you do not know more than they do about everything. You feel grateful when you hear them say,

 "It's okay Mom, you can go twice."

His new favorite game is Uno. I don't  like it that much. I prefer Phase Ten. Uno gives him that element of...surprise. Phase Ten sort of ambles along at a nice pace. Uno lets you skip someone, hand them ALL of your blue cards, reverse direction, and allows you to laugh all the while your opponent groans and takes more cards. He loves it. He follows me around with the stack of cards in his hands. If I am asleep, he will set the deck up next to me in bed and say,

"Ok, you first."

Autumn had a dance lesson up in Canada last week. I asked Chase if he would like to go along and hang out with me. He said "No" until I offered to take him to Starbucks and play Uno while we waited for her. He ran and got the case and hopped in the van, tying his shoes while we drove.

We got there, grabbed the comfy chairs, and ordered our hot cocoa. He seemed a bit hesitant to be there playing card games while the whole world watched. Of all the kids, he likes attention the least. He's not a ham like the rest of them.

I knew we could fit a LOT off rounds into one hour. I was bracing myself. In between rounds I told him we should talk a little. I asked him how his childhood was going. I asked him if he thought there were any "Mom Skills" I could work on and improve. He pretty much just wanted me to stop making Taco Salad for dinner. If I could please do that, he would be happy. ( He is also the picky one...lettuce makes his skin crawl.) After the next round he said we should tell a couple of jokes. I agreed that would be fun.

Chase: What is  pirate's favorite animal?
Me: Ummmm a parrot?
Chase: No, a shark
Me: You mean because he has a big boat and sails all around and there are sharks everywhere?
Chase: No...because of how he says shark.
Me: How does he say it?
Chase: Ya know.....like a pirate.
Me: Oh, like SH-AAAAAAAAAAAAARRRRRRRRRR -K!!!!!! (with one eye closed and swinging my arm)
Chase: ( looking around) Mom....Shhhhhh...
Me: What? That's how pirates talk! Tell me another.
Chase: Ok...Where is a pirate's favorite place to go?
Me: The AAAAAAAARRRRRR-CADE????!
Chase: (sinking down in his chair) No, Antarctica.....
Me: (opening my mouth)
Chase: Mom, don't do it...please. I know how they say it....

Oh I laughed. And I told myself to remember this moment. Because it was precious. Him across from me, sipping his drink, happily dealing cards. Me watching his smile and his sweet eye lashes brush against his cheek when he looked down to choose his card and seal my doom. He wanted to be right there with me, but I know that will change. He will have a world to explore and conquer. But for now, he was my little boy. He was my Uno opponent. He was my "reluctant joke teller,"..... he was my Bubba Bear.

And yes, he beat the pants off of me and cackled all the while....

Wednesday, October 27, 2010

Parkour!

Le Parkour, primarily considered a philosophy, includes the physical practice of traversing elements in both urban and rural settings. The goal is to move from one point to another as quickly and efficiently as possible. This discipline was created in France, Sarcelles, in Smooth and Evry by David Belle, Sébastien Foucan, and the founding members of the Yamakasi. It is inspired by "the natural method of physical education" by Georges Hébert. It was then spread world wide by films, television reports, and amateur videos on the Internet. (Wikipedia)




I first heard of this while watching an episode of The Office. I had to laugh because I feel like every single time I take Chase anywhere he is doing this. I just didn't realize it had a name! Nor did I realize it was a sport.

He runs and jumps and rolls from point A to point Z. He slides down hand rails, kicks through doors, and rolls down slopes. It is so tiring even being next to him. I wish I had the amount of energy he has. I can honestly say he never falls, or trips, or stumbles. He must be very coordinated indeed. All I know is by the time we arrive home I feel very, very spent!
Parkour!!!

Monday, October 18, 2010

Don't Meet Your Meat

The chicken theme follows me every where I go. A couple of weeks ago after grocery shopping, we somehow lost a pack of chicken breasts and a box of oatmeal. They had gotten covered by a bag of clothing in the back of the van.  A couple of days later we smelled something horrible. I looked in the back and saw a hole chewed in the oatmeal container and oatmeal strung around the floor.

"Great," I thought, "There is a mouse in here and he ate the oatmeal but had no water and then died of thirst."

 I figured he was in there somemwhere and I had to find him fast. I got pair of gloves and started sorting through the clothing. Instead of a dead rodent, I discovered the long lost chicken. Autumn and I gagged all the way to the trash. It took days for that smell to give up and go away...it was so gross.

Today a friend called and said he had a very strange favor to ask. Earlier  he brought four chickens to the slaughter house to be processed, but they didn't get noticed and everyone left for the night. They were still in a dog carrier on the back porch. He wondered if I could swing by and grab them. I wondered how lucky can a chicken get? They survived a slaughter house?! He needed me to go pick them up because they weren't allowed to be on the back porch all night. I guess they have strict rules about live animals hanging around there causing trouble. He said he would bring them back the next day. :(

Lynden is very unique because the cemetery, the funeral home and the slaughter house greet you as you drive into town. I hate it..I try to go the back way whenever possible. I tried to talk my friend into giving the chickens a reprieve. Why kill them after they had been so faithful? Not everyone sees things my way. He told me they only lay an egg about every four days so they were of no use. Why throw feed to chickens who don't give back? I saw his point but my question is.....What do dogs give us? I don't see them laying eggs, nor do I know of anyone who milks their cats. And hey, his chickens were more productive than my dumb chickens who lay "none eggs a day," and then just keel over.

 I decided to stop being a baby and go pick them up. I told him I would bring them to him that night. I couldn't have them at my house because I would get too attached. I loaded the kids up and drove to the processing plant. It was almost dark as I turned down the gravel road behind the cemetery. Of course it was beyond creepy. Why wouldn't there be huge barrels, piles of metal, cages, and heaps of wooden pallets? It looked as if they tortured the poor things for information before they knocked them off.

We pulled around back and got out of the van. I kid you not, I could smell blood. I stepped over a skull of some kind, teeth and horns still intact. It's hollow eyes could barely see me through all of the dirt and grass covering it's face. Chase put his shirt over his nose and started gagging. Autumn told me to hurry up because it was the scariest place she had ever been to. We walked up the steps and were met by thankful clucking sounds. Little did those birds know I was only the transporter, not some hero.

I couldn't lift the carrier so I had to employ the help of the kids. The water, urine and poop spilled and poured onto the kids' feet because I lifted first. (oops) They screamed all the way down the steps.  The chickens were clucking with relief, and I couldn't bear to look them in the eye.

It REEKED..

.Autumn said ,.

"MOM!! This is NOT going to help the bad smell in our van at ALL!!!"

Once we got home we opened the back so they could have air...which seemed a bit silly to me. As we were walking in the house Autumn pointed out how crazy it was that our friends had to kill their chickens to get them to die, and ours just did it on their own...

Well, I am supposed to meet him in ten minutes with the chickens, so I guess I better get going. I could say they broke out somehow and ran away, then hide them in my hen house. But I am too overwhelmed and busy to start some underground chicken sanctuary.

THE NEXT DAY.....

OK................I brought the chickens to the specified location. I unloaded them, so grateful to get that smell out of my vehicle. He kept talking about that darn soup they were going to be made into. It just didn't sit well with me. I could understand a DINNER, but just SOUP?  Before I knew it I was saying these words...

"Well, you could always let me have them...I mean I have lots of room and the chickens I have don't lay eggs anyway."

I looked over at the chickens. Their little faces were peering though the bars at me. I knew I had to step it up a notch. I told him they would have five acres in which to free roam and a beautiful hen house to retire to each evening. He reminded me about the bully chicken I have. What if it picked on them? I pointed out that the butcher is WAY bigger of a bully then some hen, and they stood a better chance with me. (Yeah right)
He called his wife to see how set she was on getting chicken stock.

"I'll buy her some organic soup and bring it over!" I yelled.

Wow...I thought, this is getting silly. Why were these birds so suddenly important??? I didn't mention to him that my chickens don't really survive that long. But really, they didn't have a lot of options at this point. He called his wife and she agreed to let me have them as pets. You might be wondering if I am against eating chicken. Or if I eat it....

I'm not
I do.
I know, it's crazy.
It just boils down to one thing......

I can't eat meat I've met.

Saturday, October 16, 2010

AAA Loves Me

I lose my keys on a daily basis. I  learned my lesson today....maybe. I lost them last night after we got back from running errands. Chase realized he forgot his candy in the van right as he came through the door and needed to go back out to get it. The keys were already long gone. He was having a mini melt down and I was checking my regular spots. The refrigerator, the dryer, the bathroom counter, the mud room floor. I went out to the van to see if they were on the seat. Nope. I gave up for the night, feeling a teeny bit frantic. I don't like being without wheels.

I told myself they would  pop up while I was cleaning. I finally accepted that with all of the nooks and crannies around here, they could be gone forever. Maybe they fell onto the floor of the van and I couldn't see them from outside. I didn't want to waste time looking in the house if that was the case. I decided it was time to call AAA. Yes, I was at a safe location  It's just that I really need to go to the pumkin patch, so could they please hurry, I asked her.

They guy came out and had the van unlocked in about ten seconds. The alarm starting blaring. But with no KEYS I couldn't turn it off. Right at this point Tayler's boyfriend, Kyle pulled up... smiling. The AAA guy asked me if we had the Classic or Plus membership. I didn't know. He asked for my card, but I told him I couldn't find it. I saw Kyle covering his smile out of the corner of my eye. Mind you, we are yelling the whole time because the horn was going off. He disconnected the battery, and told me he could come out Monday and make a new key for $300.00 dollars. I kicked myself for not going to make a spare key for $3.00. Ugh........

I decided to inspire the kids to help me. I told them I would give $20.00 to anyone who found the keys. It was better than paying $300.00 to a total stranger. (Don't judge me...bribery works) Right as the words left my mouth Kyle said,

"What are those?"

There, in plain view, were my keys on a dining room chair. The chair wasn't even pushed under the table, it was up against the wall for the world to see. I stood there blinking....I had walked by there dozens of times.

"Ok! You get $20.00 Kyle..." He shook his head and told me to consider it a gift. Two things went through my head.

1) I am thankful it was Kyle who found them. My own offspring would have told me to cough up the cash.

2) I am going to make a spare key. TODAY.

I looked out the window and saw the brake lights of the AAA truck pulling onto the main road. I am glad he wasn't here to witness the finding of the keys the second he left. It's better he doesn't know he wasted 30 minutes of his life.

Monday, October 4, 2010

Camp Out Sleep Over


Autumn decided to have a Camp Out for her birthday party. I thought it sounded like a fun idea. She went with my friend Wendy to pick out her decorations. She came back with red and black. That is what she wanted, but I thought it was a bit scary looking. I would have talked her into brown and green, or any other color combination possible. Wendy told me they had a plan to make it look like a camp fire. I knew my feelings about it were correct when Tayler pulled the stuff out of the bag and said,

"Wow, what's with the devil party decorations?"

I asked her if it was really that bad. She said it was pretty freaky. It didn't seem very little girlish. The thing is, we have no party store in town, and I didn't have the time or energy to go exchange it in Bellingham. The Old Me would have had a melt down over it and just done it anyway. But I am trying to let little things slide. You know, the Grand Scheme Of Things and all. Besides, Wendy said she had a plan. The red foil grass looked like fire. (Yes, and that was scary to me) But she said she would bring sticks with marshmallows on them to put on the table. Fine......Tayler went to the store for white streamers to cheer it up a bit. It helped....a little.


I was busy making the Sleep Over Cake. It was a sheet cake with four girls on it. The bodies were made from Twinkies, the heads were Vanilla Wafers, and the pillows were Marshmallows. They had cute little decorated faces and little jelly belly feet. It all would have been perfect had it not been for the other theme we had going on.  I walked the cake over to the table covered with the black table cloth. Sure enough, there were broken sticks over the fake fire. As I set the cake down it was very clear to me I had just combined two different themes. Suddenly their little faces looked afraid. Pleading with me to pick them up and fast. I had just set them on top of  burning sticks. My Sleep Over Cake now looked like a tiny human sacrifice cake! What could I do?? I was out of time! Maybe it was just my imagination....Still, I met the parents at the door so they wouldn't see the table and take their children back out to the cars. Tayler said we should have put BYOD on the invitations.

Bring Your Own Dove.

Very Funny.

I was so glad to get to cake time so I could remove the decorations. Sometimes you just don't see a plan unfolding incorrectly until it's too late. The girls didn't seem to notice. I do love theire faces in the first picture though! SO serious. So afraid.
Here, I will add one more to prove it was a light hearted and happy time for all.

Friday, September 24, 2010

Excuse Me, but Uranus Is Tilted

I have been accused of having a loud speaker attached to my brain. My family tells me I commentate life in real time. Like when you watch a movie and the director is talking the whole time. Words just tumble out of my mouth. Many times they aren't the right words, or even real words. I admire those people who are quiet. They only talk when they have something really great to say. Those are the kind of people who you really need to listen to. They are accused of being shy, but really they are just wise. I am not a shy person. But at times I feel nervous around new people. Usually it is because I am worried I will start to babble. Some people are good at following me, others look at me like I am crazy. I know a kindred spirit instantly. If we are laughing within the first ten minutes of meeting, then it's a friendship in the making.

The kids recently started at a new home school program. Have you spent any time around home school moms? They are so nice. But they are usually so darn perfect. And you stand there looking at them thinking..."Please have just one flaw." Then you say out loud to them, "Are you serious?! You constructed Ancient Rome out of PRETZELS and LINT this morning??"

Yesterday I found myself in the family room surrounded by new home school moms. We don't have to hang out there while the kids have classes, but I thought I would just mingle for a few minutes. They were talking about how sad they were that Winter was arriving. We didn't get much of a Summer. When that happens in the Pacific NW, we all get a little panicky. They were so bummed about it, so I decided to give them a little bit if information I had read  to the kids the night before. I was reading about the planets. I found out that the Earth is tilted about 23.5 degrees. That is why we have seasons. The axle of Uranus is tilted at an angle of 98 degrees compared to the sun's orbital plane. So while the other planets are like spinning tops, Uranus is like a rolling ball going around the sun. Uranus' poles experience 42 years of darkness, then 42 years of sunlight. I was amazed at that. Can you imagine a 42 year span of darkness? Suddenly it didn't seem like we have it so bad. (For those of you who live in parts of the country where you see the sun during the winter, you won't relate to this post at all.)

SO, I say all of this to set up why I said the following sentence to these Moms. I wanted them to feel better about Winter coming. I wanted to give them a little perspective, because sometimes all we need is a little perspective to make us feel better, right?

I held my hands up as if I had a big ball in my hands. And I said to the Mom closest to me,

"You know how Uranus is tilted?"

SILENCE  

Well, it was as if all of the air was sucked out of the room. I stood there thinking to myself,

"That did NOT just come out of my mouth."

They had NO idea I was talking about planets. They thought I was speaking about some medical term. I didn't even know how to recover that one.

I quickly said, "I mean the planet! They have 42 years of darkness at a time!"

 I then said, "THEY? I don't know why I said they, I know there are no people living on Uranus,"

They were trying to listen. Nodding and smiling. Then one Mom said,

"Aren't you Beau's Mom?" 

I nodded. I asked what time classes ended. I left. I got into the van and laughed so hard. When I told my sister, Jodi what I said I could barely get it all out. Go ahead, walk up to someone and ask them if they are aware that Uranus is tilted.

I dare you.

Monday, September 20, 2010

New Pictures of Havensong

Here are some new pictures of Havensong. She is SO cute. I couldn't open my email fast enough. I had goosebumps so big that the kids were freaking out. It is the most amazing feeling looking at her face, knowing she is mine. I am so happy she has gained weight. I hope she doesn't get anymore teeth until she comes home though. Her hair looks wet in the photos. Maybe it was hot out. Or maybe they gave her a once over with a wash cloth before they snapped the photo...

 Here are her updates

68cm, 6.2kg, 41cm head, 41cm chest, 10cm foot, 3 teeth
                                              

Sunday, September 19, 2010

Only In Lynden.....

I was trying to find a parking spot today. There were very few empty. I was late (surprise, surprise) and was getting frustrated.  A nearby church was celebrating their 100th Anniversary so there was quite the traffic jam. I finally found a place but needed to circle around the block to get to it. Just as I came around the corner, this guy cut me off and swerved into the spot.
Autumn told me to hurry, but it was too late......grrrr....

Lynden is all Dairies and Berries...so I guess I shouldn't be surprised that it was a tractor that beat me out.  At least it wasn't a Canadian tractor. All of those were at Target, I suppose.


Wednesday, September 15, 2010

My trip to the DMV

If you didn't read my post about how much I hate to wait, you might want to refer back before reading any further.

I am sure none of you allow your driver's license to expire, right? You are diligent and organized and watch for the letter to come in the mail.  The thing is I didn't see the renewal come in the mail. (Well, I did find it yesterday while looking for scissors to open a box of cereal.)  But I didn't realize my license was so past due until I was in the bank last month, notarizing some papers for China. I was there with Scott and our friend Cindee....

Teller: Oh lookee here! Your license is expired!

Michelle: Yep, I guess it is ( with pursed lips)

Teller: You better get that taken care of. I am sure you are going to have to take the whole test over again since it has been so long.

Michelle: I don't think so. I am pretty sure you don't have to take the drive again.

Teller: Oh I think you do! (sweetly)

Michelle: Well then, (insert steely eyes) I hope you are correct. Because I would love to take that drive test again
.
Scott: You  would want to take the written too?

Michelle: Yes, and I rock at parallel parking, so it would be perfect.

I was clearly being stubborn. I should have gone the next day to the DMV....but I didn't want to wait in that line!!!

Well, fast forward a month. I was on my phone while driving...OH YES, I KNOW......I am not supposed to do that. I admit it. I was wrong. It's just that I have lost about eight of the ear pieces, and I was on a tiny little street, so I did it. I feel bad, and I told that to the motorcycle cop who pulled me over.

 I leaned out the window and said in a bright voice,
"But sir! I was in a school zone and doing 5 under! Doesn't that count for something??"

I think the police have a new tactic these days. Have you noticed they are so darn nice now? He nodded and told me good job. He smiled and agreed that it is so hard to keep those silly earpieces from getting lost....Oh and he also knew how renewing your license can just slip right BY YOU..... YES EVEN if your birthday was in MARCH.

He was so kind all the while writing me a ticket for $ 672.00.  I hate to admit it to you, but I even threw in the I am adopting an orphan and my mind has been on that and all of that paperwork. He said,
"Oh, I KNOW there is so much paper work. I am a notary. Our friends are adopting. I notarized all of their paperwork, even in the middle of the night sometimes."
 Really........

He told me if I went in the next day the judge would most likely drop the fine. So I had no choice. I woke the kids up and announced we were going the the DMV. They gathered crayons, snacks, the portable DVD and water bottles. I stopped and got them lunch to eat while we waited. I was prepared. And I couldn't wait to come home, and blog about my long, horrible wait. About fighting kids, rude people, and bad photographs.

It was 11:47 when I walked in. I took my number. It was 63. They were currently serving number 62. It was eerie in there. So empty. One man sat to my right reading a John Grisham novel. He had on the darkest sunglasses, I don't know how he could see anything. There were no others.

"63!!!"

I began to walk forward. I know this is not a good analogy, but I felt like I was walking towards the pearly gates or something. The huge echoey room, my expired license in hand and a sorrowful face.

"Wow, it is empty in here," I said.
"Don't ever expect to see this again in your lifetime," she said.
She asked me to read the top line in the view finder. I asked her to please attach the little papers for my forehead to lean on. I passed with flying colors. I wrote my name on a piece of paper. I handed her $25.00 plus $10.00 for the late fee ( I told you, Bank Lady) and she told me to take a seat until they called my name. I laughed as I walked over to the seat because there was nobody else there to call BUT me. I barely sat down and she yelled my name.
I walked toward the counter with the camera. There was one lady who just had her picture taken. "62" I assumed. She told me to stand behind the green line.

FLASH!

"Oh whoops, she said. "You have a tiny piece of hair sticking up."
"Thank-you!: I said, fixing my hair in the mirror.
 I looked over at # 62 and smiled. She said how wonderful that was that she actually told me my hair was messy.

FLASH!

"OK! All done!" she said, and handed me my temporary license.
The picture was great! It looked like a glamour shot!
I went out to the kids. It was 11: 51!!!
Autumn was so surprised! She told me we were all prepared for nothing.
And now I can't even complain about long lines, rude people, OR bad photographs.

Now I just hope the courtroom is the same way...

Tuesday, September 14, 2010

The Bending Moon

There seems to be one thing on my mind at all times these days. It's sort of hard to concentrate because part of my heart is in China. The Moon Festival is around the corner. It's a very important time in China. People celebrate the moon at it's fullest...I thought of how envious I am of the moon looking down on my little girl.. I imagined the moon wanting to swoop down and pick Havensong up just like I want to....

So I wrote this poem for her in honor of the Moon Festival. And in honor of how much I already love her.

The Bending Moon

The moon she waits the whole day through
She glides across the sky
She longs to get a glimpse  of you
Although she's way up high

The moon she hides her pale fair face
She turns the other way
Until it's time to take her place
When night replaces day

She bends and leans and dips her head
She squints her pearly eyes
She finds you resting on your bed
And hears your tired sighs

She longs to touch your soft sweet hair
But cannot fall that far
 She tells her secret to the air
He finds you where you are

Through the window oh so light
A breeze to touch your cheek
As you dream all through the night
You make the sky feel weak

The Moon must go, she blows a kiss
And lets the day shine through
When she's gone she'll sadly miss
                               ......my tiny little you

Merry Christmas

This song is so precious. I used to listen to it and cry because I knew another Christmas would pass by and she wouldn't be here. But now I listen to it and know that is not the case.
She will be here.
She won't be in an orphanage a world away.

 For those of you who are waiting still...don't give up hope.


I love this song and wanted to share it with you.



There's a little girl trembling on a cold December morn
Crying for momma's arms
At an orphanage just outside a little China town
There the forgotten are

But half a world away I hang the stockings by the fire
And dream about the day when I can finally call you mine
It's Christmas time again but you're not home
Your family is here and yet you're somewhere else alone
And so tonight I pray that God will come and hold you in his arms
And tell you from my heart I wish you Merry Christmas

As I hang the tinsel on the tree and watch the twinkling lights
warmed by the fire's glow
Outside the children tumble in a wonderland of white,
Make angels in the snow


But half a world away you try your best to fight the tears
And hope that heaven's angels come to carry you here

It's Christmas time again but you're not home
Your family is here and yet you're somewhere else alone
And so tonight I pray that God will come and hold you in his arms
And tell you from my heart I wish you Merry Christmas

Christmas is a time to celebrate the holy child
And we celebrate his perfect gift of love
He came to earth to give his life
And prepare a place for us
So we could have a home with him above

It's Christmas time again and now you're home
Your family is here so you will never be alone
So tonight before you go to sleep, I'll hold you in my arms
And I'll tell you from my heart, and I'll you from my heart

I wish you Merry Christmas

Monday, September 13, 2010

Waiting....I am not good at it.


I hate waiting in lines. I hate waiting at stop lights. I detest waiting rooms. Especially the cold, greasy one where I get my oil changed. I will do anything to avoid it. Heck, I even hate waiting for someone to pick up their phone while it's ringing. So you can imagine how much I have hated waiting in this five year line for our adoption?

 At first I counted down days. The I counted down months. Then the years, and soon I knew I would be counting decades. I bought things for her. I decorated a room in a house we don't even live in anymore. I moved her dusty little dresses to a new closet, but with less enthusiasm. The wait grew and grew until people stopped asking about the adoption. We had a huge concert in May 2005 that raised $5,000. I am sure some people thought we just took the money and ran.


The thing is, we had no control over it. China had reasons for slowing down. They slowed down so much, it seemed we were going backwards. It was the only line I have stood in that got longer the longer we waited. We didn't have any options until our agency began to represent Special Needs. We decided to switch and there she was, within 24 hours.

Now many of you are asking how much longer until we get her. Here is where we are at:

When we got matched with Havensong our paperwork was starting to expire. We have to stay current or we fall under this thing called the Hague Treaty...and that would mean a big headache. More paperwork. More hoops. No Thank You. So we had to have our Homestudy updated....again. We then sent it off to Missouri. Now they will review it and give us an appt. in Seattle to get our fingerprints done......for the fourth time. When they clear us.....yet again, they will then send us our new I-171H. When we have that, our agency can make us an appt at the consulate in China. So I think it will be Mid November. China has sent us our travel approval. She is ready to go....she just waits because of paperwork. And yes, that drives me crazy. But it is what it is. So I wait. But at least I am not counting decades or years. Only months. And pretty soon days.

Hold on baby......we are coming to get you soon.

Friday, September 10, 2010

100 Good Wishes Quilt

There is a tradition in Northern China of giving a  Bai Jia Bei quilt to a new baby. It means 100 Good Wishes. As I read about it I found it was mainly reserved for newborn boys. The international adoption community  grasped onto this lovely idea and have used it to also welcome their daughters into their lives. It is a beautiful way for friends and family to work together to create this amazing token of love. It consists of 100 squares of fabric. A piece of each fabric is also placed into a book along with a "good wish" or a "blessing" for the child. She can then look in her book to see who gave each square and then find it on her blanket.

I started working on this five years ago. This morning I looked at what I have collected so far. I have ten pieces from a few friends and family and from adopting families in Denmark and Spain. I need something to concentrate on while waiting for Havensong so I have decided  to collect the rest of her "Wishes." My sweet friend Mary has offered to help me put it together. Tayler and Autumn sew, so I will employ their talent too!

If you would like to help here is what you do.


1. Choose a 100% cotton fabric that you like. It can be from a
fabric store, fabric you already have, or something that is special to you, or maybe even fabric that has special family meaning.

2. Prewash the fabric so it shrinks and is clean; then iron it
so that it is straight enough for cutting.
3. Cut one square measuring 8"x8" and smaller piece to include in our scrapbook with your wish.

4. Add your wish. The wish can be your own words or thoughts, a favorite poem or quote, a blessing for the new arrivals, a prayer, or a favorite verse Place it on a card with a scrap of your fabric glued to the card. Your wish can be as simple or as elaborate as you'd like. You can also include a picture of yourself so she can see who sent the wish. We'll have scrapbook for the wishes. I am sure she will love looking through it.

Thank you! Oh.... you can just message me through FB if you need my address. :)

Michelle

Thursday, September 9, 2010

Havensong's new picture!

There is this amazing lady I know. Her name is Ann. She has a company called Red Thread China. I ordered a care package for Havensong from her two days ago. She said she would call the orphanage and asked for updates and new pictures. 

AND SHE GOT THEM!!!! THANK YOU ANN!!!!! She is so cute! And her hair is adorable!

Here is what I now know about Havensong:

height :67cm

weight :5.9kg

head :41cm

chest :40cm

feet :10.5cm

teeth:3 
 
 This is priceless because we have been looking at the same three pictures everyday for weeks. I have wondered how she is, and if she is growing, and all I get for my wandering thoughts is a whole lot of silence. I feel every inch of the ocean that separates me from her.
 
 I hope that if she wakes up in the middle of the night crying, someone will go to her. I hope she eats until her little tummy is full. I hope she gets played with and cuddled. I hope she stays safe and sound until we get to her. I hope somehow she knows she is loved and wanted....and needed.
I can't tell you how hard it is to wait.
How much I want to have her in my arms.
How long I have waited for this sweet little girl.
 
 
Havensong...you are beautiful. And you have THREE teeth!! I wonder if they are on top or bottom?
I can't wait to see you smile so I can see for myself.

Sunday, September 5, 2010

There oughta be a law...

That Sun Chip bag is loud.

Beyond belief loud.

Beau was eating them the other day and I got agitated listening to him. I was on the phone and couldn't even hear the person on the other end.
"Stop it!" I yelled.
He looked at me and rolled up the bag....smiling.
It is crazy.

My Mom came over last night. We were standing in the bedroom talking when she started jumping around.
"What is the matter?" I asked her.
"My feet are cramping up!" she said.
She took  her shoes off and walked into the kitchen, curling her toes. She told me it was the stupid cork sole in the shoe. Her feet form to them and then start to cramp up.
"I need to warm them up!" she said,
I told her to get in the bathtub. She hopped in, pulled her pant legs up and ran the hot water. Her friend Melanie was with her. We all stood there, kids included, talking while she un-cramped her feet. Swishing back and forth.

"Hey!" I said. "Have you heard how loud the Sun Chip bag is?"
"No," she said.
"Oh it's amazing! And it is 100% biodegradable so when you can't take it anymore you just toss it out the window!" I said happily.

I went to get the bag to demonstrate. She stood there in the tub, crinkling the bag, now ankle deep in hot water. She couldn't believe it. She ate a chip and crinkled it again, wincing and holding her ear. Glaring at the bag, as if it was trying to annoy her.

It struck me as funny......

All of us in the bathroom.
My Mom in the tub.
Water rushing.
Bag screaming.
Us shocked and angry at it.

"There oughta be a law" she said


Hey, as the saying goes...".Bad publicity is good publicity."
I don't even like Sun Chips. I bought the dumb bag just so I could drag it around and show people. As long as nobody else drags it out while I am on the phone.
Or reading a book.
 Or sleeping.
 Or taking a bath...  :)

Oh, and I hopped in too. My feet were cold.

Friday, September 3, 2010

Laminin

I thought  this was so cool. I am by no means a Science Buff. In fact, I have to really force myself to get excited about it. But this amazed me. I am not going to try to be technical ....You can easily google it. But from what I read, I discovered that Laminin is a protein in our bodies that holds us together.
 It's our "glue" and it is found in every living thing.
It just happens to be in the shape of a Cross.


Colossians 1: 15-17
15 He is the image of the invisible God, the firstborn of all creation. 16 For by [1] him all things were created, in heaven and on earth, visible and invisible, whether thrones or dominions or rulers or authorities—all things were created through him and for him. 17 And he is before all things, and in him all things hold together.

Wednesday, September 1, 2010

Pet Cemetary 2


Ok. I have to tell you something. I don't know a thing about chickens. I am sorry if you feel misled, but it's true. I like to WRITE about them. But evidently I don't know how to actually keep them alive. Much less alive and laying eggs. And if they do lay eggs they do it in hiding. Never in the nesting boxes. Honestly...I buy my eggs at Safeway. I treat my chickens like royalty, and then go spend $4.00 a dozen on free range, organic eggs at the store. Some of you are so sweet as to write me and ask me questions about my chickens. It's hard for me not to respond with my own burning question....

HOW DO YOU KEEP YOUR HENS ALIVE?!

This week alone we have lost three chickens and a rabbit. (And I LOVED Edward the bunny. snif...)

Stephen King should base his next novel here. It's that freaky. And the chickens never just fall over dead. They insist on doing it slowly. To torture me. I don't have a hen house I have my own little morgue. We have a cemetery  with little ROWS and a grounds keeper.

Our hen house is clean. The food and water are fresh. They roam and play and run through sprinklers. There is no good reason why they should die. I have one right now looking a bit wobbly. I guess I have no choice but to take her in to Dr. Berry and have him run some blood work. I have to know what the deal is. So far Chick Magnet 2 is happy and healthy. But he could go at any moment. I am tempted to close up shop.


My friend Shelly has great luck with her chickens. In fact, she sent me a picture last week of one of her hens that had just hatched DUCK eggs! Sheesh!

My chickens could never pull off hatching CHICKS much less ducklings.

Am I loving them to death?

Thursday, August 19, 2010

The Boat People

I went and had a pedicure the other day. Don't get the wrong idea, I have had exactly three pedicures in my whole life. I like them, it's just I don't care about my toes that much. I'm not very detailed orientated, so if I'm going to get "work" done, my eyebrows usually take priority. Our friend Cindee was visiting from California. We stopped by Industry Tattoo to see if Nick could throw a couple of Daisies on our necks. They were booked  so we ended up next door getting pedicures.....Cindee's treat. :)

 We were happy to find out that we were the VERY first customers. I was secretly envious Cindee was first. I love being the First at things. Instead I was third. Autumn was before me too. There was one lady working. We told her we were not in a hurry. I was just happy to sit there and chat. I realized I had parked in the ten minute parking spot so I hopped out of the chair, dried my feet and ran outside to move the van. When I came back in there was a guy waiting there to do my pedicure. His name was Dave.

We all had fun talking. Both of the employees were from Vietnam. Usually I sit in those places and I wonder what they are saying about me. I just know they are making fun of my outfit, or my eyebrows...haha. But Dave refused to leave us in the dark. Every time they would speak Vietnamese he would translate for us. I just knew she was telling him my laugh was loud and annoying, but what she really said was
"The new brushes were in the back room. "
We found out that she had come to America alone at age 12 and had married at 16. Dave looked at her and asked her if she was a Boat Person. She said "No." I asked what a "Boat Person" was. He looked at me sideways and said....

"Google it."

I asked him to please, please tell me what they were. My toes faded into the background as he began his story. I was leaning forward so I wouldn't miss a word of it. He told me that in the 80's Vietnam was not an easy place to live. He said people couldn't do business and were starving. He asked me if I knew what the word "Embargo" meant. I nodded slightly, hoping he wouldn't ask for an exact definition. I told him my Dad fought in the war and still struggled because of it. He looked me right in the eye. He told me to NEVER EVER ask my Dad about things. He told me to just let him be.

He said thousands of people tried to escape by boat to the United States. He said he lived in the city. He had never been near the water. But had tried and tried to escape. After twelve times he got caught and put in prison for one year at the tender age of fourteen. He had determination. On his thirteenth try, he made it out.

I wanted to grab his shoulders and yell, "Tell me more!" He looked at me very serious and said,

"My story would amaze you."

Well! That was too much. Cough it up, I told him. He joked and said I would have to come back to hear the rest. I told him I would get a whole set of fake nails if that is what it would take. Cindee explained to him that I liked to write and a good story was too much for me to bear. He put my right foot up on the towel and started on my left. I hate my toes. They aren't cute. I apologized for that fact. And for the fact that my legs were hairy. I didn't shave that morning. I didn't know I was going to get a pedicure. He waved me off. I guess he had seen a lot. And my ugly toes and hairy legs didn't phase him in the least.
This man had really lived......

He talked quietly.... When he got on the boat there was a mean man sitting there. He took every one's food and water before they stepped aboard. This boat wasn't made of steel. It was a canoe. A canoe built for 70. But there were 141 people in it. He was alone. No family. No friends. Just a fourteen year old boy, about the face the whole ocean by himself. That's how bad it was in Vietnam, he said. And thousands upon thousands perished trying to reach our shore. He told us about one woman who was a sole survivor in her boat. They found her barely alive, floating on a piece of wood with the leg of a man next to her...it had sustained her long enough for them to rescue her....55 days.  But they sent her back, afraid she would want to continue to eat people....after all of that.

It took his boat six days to cross the ocean. He pointed out how lucky he was it didn't take longer. Or that they didn't get lost. He looked at Autumn and told her to imagine the scariest movie she has ever seen. Then take that feeling in her stomach and times it by 100. He said the water was BLACK it was so deep. Then his eyes widened and he asked her if she had ever seen a fish FLY??!! He said it was just wrong. Fish shouldn't fly!!! And when the sun went down it was terrible. It was so dark. It seemed like forever before the sun came back.

Throughout his story I kept asking him the same question over and over.

'WEREN'T YOU THIRSTY?!

But he wouldn't answer me. He just wouldn't. I told him I was so angry they took his water bottle. Cindee reminded me there were no water bottles back then. I then asked him if it was TORTURE being surrounded by water and not able to drink. I asked him if he found water the second he hit land. I posed the question about his thirst in every possible way I could think of.
No answer. He wouldn't go there.

He finished my pedicure with my promise of two things.
1) I would read about the Boat People.
2) I would come again.

Yes and Yes! If Dave risked his life crossing that ocean, the least I could do is allow him to paint my nails. In fact, I felt honored.

 I now look down at my toes and do not lament their lack of cuteness. I don't admire the nice color of polish I chose.

I think of my son Beau. I imagine taking him to Bellingham Bay and putting him in a rugged canoe. I imagine taking all of his food and water and pushing him into the current. Praying he finds his way to the other side. What would the chances be that he would survive, and what would he have to face either way? How could things be that bad that someone would risk that? What kind of strength did it take to endure that?

I don't know...but I admire the Boat People. I am sad for those that didn't make it. I am thankful for those that did.

And as for flying fish....I hope I never have to witness that one.


Tuesday, August 10, 2010

Introducing Havensong.....

I am trying to properly form the words that are in my heart. I have been waiting for five years for our little girl to come home from China, but she has been in my heart much longer than that.

I had the privilege of spending a lot of time with a dear family while I was in High School. They had adopted the sweetest, most beautiful little girl from Korea. I was so taken with her. Her smile melted my heart, and her adorable laugh made my day. She was a blessing to everyone around her. I truly felt that there couldn't be anything cuter in existence. She even had a birthmark shaped like a tiny pink heart. I loved all of the fun times I spent with her and her family. I knew that I would one day also adopt.

Our paper work was logged for our adoption on September 13th, 2006. As most of you know, China adoptions have slowed down for various reasons. This has resulted in a very long wait. Rules were starting to change, and our paper work was starting to expire. I wondered if this would ever really happen. I began to question things. But I felt God had put her in my heart so long ago, and she had been tucked safely there all this time. Just as snug and cozy and real as my other children were in my womb.

We made the decision to switch to the Special Needs program. Our agency had become certified in November to represent special need children so we had a new option. I got a call from our agency while we were on Friday Harbor in the San Jaun Islands. We were sitting there with our friends eating ice cream by the water. I didn't know that after that phone call my life would forever change. They told us about a 7 month old little girl who was available. She was on the Special Needs list because she was very small. She was measuring in the less then 5%. They asked if we were interested. We asked them to send her information and her photo. I marched into a store that same minute and bought a charm necklace with the kids' names on it, including Haven. I felt she was the one. I just knew it. I wasn't even afraid to hope. That's how sure I was.

We didn't receive her info until the next morning. When I saw her serious little face in the photo I got chills. She was so cute. So small. So mine.

We didn't know her name yet. We were waiting for that still, along with her medical file. Autumn and I have a book we like to read. In the book is a Chinese girl named Song. I always thought I would love it if our baby could be named Song. It sounds so pretty. When the director called to say he sent the file I told him how happy I would be if her name could be Song. That it would mean this was the little girl God set aside. I clicked the file and it said

Song Zihan

I couldn't believe my eyes. I knew that despite the fact that the timing of this was a bit overwhelming, that she was for us. I laughed out loud all day. Is God really THAT GOOD?

Evidently He is...because we said yes. China sent the pre-approval in four days. We received the official referral today. I told the kids to watch out for the Fed Ex truck because I HAD to take  picture of the them delivering the package. I was doing dishes when Chase and his friend, Wes came running in with the letter.

"NOOOOO!!!" I yelled and grabbed it. I lept down the steps to stop the driver. She stopped and climbed out of her truck.
"I need a picture of you! Please!" I said.
She looked skeptical.
"You are sort of like the stork!" I explained.
"Well, not really the stork, but maybe like the ultra-sound guy" I went on...
"Not that women don't perform ultra-sounds..I didn't mean that..." She nodded.
"You have just brought me my baby from CHINA. She is in this envelope!  And I think I am supposed to take your picture with it....Thank you!"


I took the picture and she told me she understood. She said she delivers real little babies in a box to In Vitro parents. She said she even says hello to two of them on a regular basis because they are now three and five.

I promised her I would bring Havensong out to meet her. Oh...I forgot to tell you! We are going to keep both of her names. We just made it one. I think it is beautiful! And she will be here next month....

And I have tears streaming down my cheeks just thinking about it....

Havensong...  <3



.

Wednesday, August 4, 2010

Well, they ARE Walla Walla onions!

We all know that Burgerville is the best fast food money can buy. When I say this people like to throw in their two cents about  how In-N-Out burger is way better. I just shake my head in amazement. I then ask them if they have ever had a Burgerville cheeseburger with extra spread. They say No. I just look at them sadly.

I like that Burgerville uses range fed beef, raised with no antibiotics or hormones. They compost their waste products. They use 100% wind power for all their chains and headquarters. They allow bicyclists to use the drive through window and their slogan is "Choose Fresh, Local, Sustainable. Choose Burgerville." I don't know how they do it, but those cheeseburgers have a unique taste I have yet to see duplicated or matched. Their veggie burgers are amazing, and that is a rare find.

But high quality comes at a price.  I took my brother-in-law there a while back and when they told him his total, he asked where the white table cloths and candles were. Still, when I am in town, I never miss it.

Scott took all of the kids to see a movie the other night. Jodi and I found ourselves alone so we decided to go get Burgerville. We each ordered a cheeseburger basket with onion rings. We also ordered my nephew two cheeseburgers. It came to $20.00. I thought she read it wrong. We got to the window and I asked her how it could possibly be that much. She just glared at us. I asked her if there were diamond rings included. She said it was $3.00 more to upgrade to onion rings. But they are just onions I pointed out. "WELL, THEY ARE WALLA WALLA ONIONS," she told me. I told her I have grown onions out of the ground and they are not that rare or priceless. Jodi handed her my debit card. She tried to take it from her but Jodi held on. They had a little tug-of-war before Jodi gave in. The manager came over to oversee this little transaction. I asked if we could get less onion rings to bring down the price. He said they were $1.50 per ring! So I took two off. He walked away angry, the girl helping us couldn't figure out how to change the order. "Oh just leave it, I don't want to be high maintenance" I said.(haha) While we waited Jodi told her how sorry we were for making her feel responsible for the high price of onions. She admitted  to us it was a daily hurdle to explain to people why Walla Walla's were so expensive. It got old, she told us.

When our order came out it was missing onion rings. The manager said, "You said you only wanted THREE not FIVE!" I calmly told him we didn't want to be difficult, so we left it as is. He stomped off with his tongs to collect four more rings. "Don't worry," she said. "They are HUGE!"

I told Jodi that they couldn't be THAT expensive. Jodi suggested we swing over to WinCo to see how much they were per pound. Just for kicks. We marched over to the onion display. $1.28 per pound. Each onion weighed about one pound. Just as we suspected...you could get a lot of rings out of one Walla Walla.

We were taking pictures of me and the onions when  a guy strolled up with his plastic bag. Other people were wondering what the big deal was. You usually don't think of Walla Walla onions as something exciting. We stopped and stepped aside so the guy could get his onions.
"No go ahead," he told us.
 "No, no, no....you go ahead, I don't want you to watch while I get my picture taken with these onions," I said.
I then went on to say that we had a really good reason for doing this. He said he was sure we did. He then started choosing his onions. "You know, these are the best onions you can buy," we told him. He smiled. I then went on to tell him the WHOLE story of our Burgerville trip and how we came to be here, taking pictures for my blog. I told him to google MY KITE DREAM and he would see it was the truth. I asked if he wanted to be in the picture. He said, "Don't involve ME in this." It was too late. Jodi snapped a picture while I was expaining away.

We laughed about it all the way home. We told Scott and my Dad about it. All we got were courtesy laughs. We were told, "I guess you had to be there." But we didn't agree. We thought it was hilarious. My nephew told us were were strange. Jodi asked him, "Who would actually go take pictures with onions at WinCo?!"

"Nobody," he said. Well, there you have it. That in itself is funny.

Oh, and the onion rings really were worth it.