Monday, August 29, 2011

My Day in Numbers

Today I:

Changed 8 diapers.

Bathed 4 children.

Said "Be nice." about 50 times.

Kissed 6 sweet little cheeks, more than once.

Loaded 6 children up for a trip to the doctor.

Held 3 of said children down for their shot :(

Took 6 children to Chick-fil-a for lunch and felt like a circus. Yes, they're all mine! No, I'm not too young (well, maybe for Johanna).

Drove 1 15 passenger van around town for the first time.

Got in 0 accidents with said van!

Made 2 homemade meals.

Swept the kitchen 3 times.

Said "Mommy loves you!" more times than I can count.

Taught 1 child about rounding to the thousandth's place.

Listened to a 14 year old read her 1st story in English!

Stopped the van 2 times on the side of the road to deal with a bad attitude.

Sang 10 songs with my children.

Prayed 6 times with my children.

Ran 1/2 mile attempting to teach my oldest how to ride a bike.

Kissed my husband 3 times.

Yes, it was a normal day.

And now I'm off to kiss my husband a few more times now that the children are all in bed! :)

Friday, August 19, 2011

Life is Rough When You're Only Two


One little Ethan.

Asleep on the couch.

In a VERY strange position :)

Cookies and Children

I taught Johanna how to make Chocolate Chip cookies today.

She's quite obviously never been in a kitchen before. This was proven to me yesterday, when she asked to cut some bread for dinner and promptly cut herself.

Oh-How she LOVES the mixer! And measuring ingredients!

But the best part? Licking the dough while scooping the cookies onto the cookie sheet.

In fact, we had lots of helpers once we got to the licking part :)......

You know you have a bunch of children when you have to dip a CLEAN spoon into the cookie dough in order to give every child a turn to "lick the spoon!"  :)

Wednesday, August 17, 2011

Today was the Day

It started out like any other day.


School. Attempting to keep 3 little ones busy and 3 older ones on task.

Lunch on the deck, enjoying the sunshine.

Then, while I stepped inside for a moment, apparently a food fight with Cheetos ensued.

I rebuked all the children involved (and yes, it was the oldest three) and told them to clean up.

I'm not exactly why, but Johanna got upset.

Perhaps it was because I told her to sweep the Cheetos off of the deck.

Perhaps it was because she felt something wasn't "fair".

Perhaps it was simply because she's a young lady who just went through a tremendous life change and sometimes she just has an attitude.

Quite frankly, I'm not sure WHAT went wrong. But the rest of the afternoon she sulked and pouted, and treated Eliana poorly. Brent even had to rebuke her for the first time---she was pouting through dinner.

I worked with her as best I could, balancing love/gentleness/snuggles with "Mommy expectations" of kindness to others, even when we're upset. I really wasn't sure I was getting anywhere. I did reassure her that I LOVE HER, even if she has a "bad temper" and no matter what she does or doesn't do. I prayed and asked God for wisdom to reach the heart of this precious girl.

Tonight, after church, she came up to me unexpectedly, hugged me, and whispered, "Sorry."

When we got into the car, she told me, "Mommy, Johanna sorry to Ellie" (she had apologized to Ellie as well!). We all praised her and loved on her.

Then, when Brent and I went into the girls' room to kiss them good-night, it happened.

Johanna said, "Daddy, sit down!" He looked at me. ?? I shrugged my shoulders.

He sat down.

She ran up to him, gave him a hug, KISSED HIS CHEEK, and said "I love you, Daddy!"

Yes, dear friends, today was the day.

The day our daughter hugged, kissed, and told her Daddy she loved him.

All for the first time.

And to think, she was only 2 days away from NEVER having a Daddy to love her

Thursday, August 11, 2011

Coming Up for Air. I think. :)

Wow. It's been quite an interesting time here in the Bergey household since Johanna, Gabriella and I returned home. I DID expect it to be "harder" for awhile, but didn't exactly plan for how it has all played out.

I'm okay, though. God has been working on me this summer, teaching me to let go even more of "my" plans, "my" needs, "my" schedule. Beginning with two adoptions this year, then THREE adoptions in one year, I knew I would need to be flexible to HIS plan for our family. I tend to get overwhelmed at the immensity of the things that MUST be done....but I am learning (albeit slowly at times) to just take one day at a time.

When we found out about Johanna, and a week later committed to adopting her, I knew instantly that my summer would be very BUSY. And it has been! But I'm finding that if I just take ONE day at a time, and do what needs to be done for that day (and not think too long or hard about what is yet to be done) everything DOES get accomplished, and Momma is not overwhelmed :)

I've tried to keep this mindset the past two weeks. This Flu has been very difficult, in part because I got it first and it literally wiped. me. out. But there isn't time for Momma to be down, and so many little ones have needed me to "hold you!" After Nathaniel's trip to KidMed (pediatric urgent care) on Monday evening, Noah took a turn for the worse on Tuesday. We took them both back in to KidMed, and, as it turns out, they both have ear infections and pneumonia, among other things.

They were put on IV's for meds and fluids and spent all evening at KidMed. Again.

BUT---Praise the Lord---they are finally looking/acting better today! Their little bodies are still very weak, but they actually ate a little today! Nathaniel lost 5 pounds in less than a week, so he NEEDS to start eating.

Brent is still sick, and the two older girls have not gotten sick. Perhaps by next week we will actually ALL be healthy and fully able to enjoy each other :)

I'm so very thankful to two families from our church (the Tuckers and the Wingfields) who brought us meals this week. While adoption is certainly not the "same" as giving birth, I have honestly had a harder time the first two weeks home after adopting than I do postpartum with my babies. So having a couple of meals brought to us was a HUGE blessing!

Johanna is amazing. Today she wrote on Google Translate, "I love my mother. She is a good mother." :)  I am so proud of how hard she's trying. I cannot imagine having every aspect of my world changed in an instant. The smells, the sounds, the language, the people, the food, the schooling, the authorities......all of it is different now. Johanna is a very brave girl and I'm so thankful we said "yes" to the call of the LORD and brought her home.  He has a special plan for her life and I'm so glad I get to be a part of it!

I'm also very proud of Eliana. Her world has also been changed drastically this summer. She's been so gracious, so mature for only 9 years old. Ellie has literally shared EVERYTHING with Johanna. Her room, her toys, her clothes (they are the same size), her family. Everything. I've seen some sweet growth in my once-firstborn daughter through this process and I love her all the more for it.

Johanna likes to win when she plays a game. Today I played a new game with the girls, then left them to play it alone the second time. Turns out, Johanna was cheating and won.

Ellie and I were talking tonight about what happened. She said, "Mommy, I knew she was cheating. I just let her because I figured she wanted to win really bad."

Love these precious learning times with my children! Thank you, Jesus, for the blessing of being their Mommy :)

Have a good night, everyone. Thanks for sticking around while I just about drowned dealt with all the stress of the past two weeks! :)

Tuesday, August 9, 2011

Trip to Urgent Care

Yesterday there was marked improvement in Gabbey and Noah.

Unfortunately, Nathaniel was worse.

He was on day 7 of a fever, and just wasn't getting up or eating for days.

We took him to KidMed (children's urgent care) last night, and I'm so glad we did.

He has an ear infection, an eye infection, possible pneumonia in one lung, and was severely dehydrated.
They ran an iv for meds and fluids and he looked SO much better after a couple of hours of iv fluids.

The doctor said that when he got there, he was "headed to the hospital"--he looked so bad. But he did perk up with the meds so she sent him home. I have to take him back in today for a recheck and they want to run his blood again. His white blood cell count was VERY low.

Again, I'm sorry to turn my blog into a running tab on the health of our family, but, that's where we are right now. And Ethan started a fever yesterday, so here we go again!

Sunday, August 7, 2011

One Week

It seems as if we've been home longer than just one week.

Maybe that's because it's been such a very LONG week.

I thought adjusting to life with an adopted teenager, two elementary-aged kiddos, a preschooler, and two toddlers was going to be hard enough. Turns out, that part has been easy!

Unfortunately, it's been this sickness that has taken its toll on our family this week. I'm still not 100%, but mostly just dealing with nausea at this point. (and NO, I don't have any other "reasons" to be feeling nauseous right now :))

But Nathaniel (6) Noah (4) and Gabbey are still plenty sick. I got a little scared when Nathaniel's temp went up to 104.5 last night, but that was nothing compared to Noah's 105.6 tonight! Even though Nathaniel tested negative to Influenza last week, I'm not convinced the test was accurate. I really think we have a bad strain of flu. Oh well, I'm just hoping and praying it doesn't hit the rest of the family at this point. They're not likely to dodge it, although Brent has become best friends with his Lysol can the past couple of days :).....

On to other news.


There isn't any.

LOL :)  Well, I guess I can tell you more about Johanna. She's doing quite well, and growing to love her daddy now, too! He's taken to playing with her the same way I did in China, and she seems to love "playful" affection. I worried a little, early in the week, because she wasn't trying to say much of ANYTHING, just grunt or point, and I was thinking she'd never pick up any English that way.....but now that she's not exhausted from Jet lag, her personality has some spunk in it, and she's mimicking us in her cute little Asian way. :)

Apparently these are the things she's hearing the most, because they're the phrases she can say:
"Sit down" "Go to bed" "Brush your teeth" "Yes ma'am" "Don't touch" "Stop" "No" "Yes" "Come to Momma" "Smile!"  and my personal favorite, one she said for the first time tonight----"Be nice."  :) Yes, I do say this one. Alot.

She's got quite a few single words down as well now. And she and Ellie are having a blast. They giggled all afternoon today while playing games on the floor in their room. We instituted a "No shutting doors" policy when we brought her home, so Brent bought a baby gate for the girls room. Now  they can play without the babies making a mess, but I can still supervise their play. It's working really well!

The girls are excited to be starting school tomorrow. I found them doing an hour of math together on Friday and figured it's time :). I'll let the boys have a few more days to recover before they start.  Johanna didn't know she was going to be homeschooled (although I sent her a letter and told her, she probably didn't understand, since homeschooling is foreign to China) and was really worried that her schoolteachers in America would be "mean". Helen (our guide in China) told me that teachers in China are quite mean to their students and yell at them and call them names when they don't do well.  I reassured her that *I* would be her teacher and that I'm NOT a mean teacher. :)  Well, if you do your work, that is. No, no, no, I'm really a nice teacher all the time! LOL

I can't say that I'm really "settled" at home yet, mostly due to the illness, I'm sure. But I AM happy to be home, with all of my children, and with Brent, my best friend and biggest support. I have zero regrets, and don't expect any, because I KNOW how clearly God made this adoption HIS will for us. I truly cannot imagine this lovely girl never having a family! I'm so glad HE chose her for us!

That being said, I'm still growing in my love for her. There's a saying in the adoption world, "fake it til you make it" that describes the way sometimes we adoptive parents have to "fake" our loving feelings (by SHOWING love) even when we don't feel loving yet. I won't say I'm faking it, because I do feel love towards Johanna. I am daily CHOOSING to love her and do what's best for her, though. I don't mind that it takes a choice, because I know it won't always be this way. One day, I'll wake up and feel the "I would throw myself in front of a moving train for this child!" kind of love and I won't even know how or when it started. Sometimes it is a blast of emotions, like the moment your child is born and placed on your chest, and other times, it just grows slowly, little by little, moment by moment.

For Brent and I, adoption, love, and good, godly parenting is a CHOICE we make daily. It's asking God to channel His love through us, day by day, as we seek to raise a generation that seeks Him.

The responsibility is overwhelming at times, but that's where the "fake it" thing comes in. Even when my heart is overwhelmed, I just do the next good thing. Most of the time, that means I wash the dishes, and then sit down and read to my children. :)

Check out these smiles! Don't YOU think it's worth it!?

I do! :)

This picture is just because. Because Ethan was wearing his cowboy hat and no pants. Because he was bringing me his shoes and asking me to take him on a walk (with no pants).  Because he's about the cutest, chubbiest 2 year old ever!
Tonight he asked me for "one more kiss" and I must say, I obliged him! :)

Wednesday, August 3, 2011

Still Sick

I am still sick. 100-102 degree fever for 5 days now. I'm really wiped out.

Please pray that I will feel better SOON.

And that most of my family will not get sick---Nathaniel has a fever today, so here we go...

I'm thinking now that it's the FLU and not bronchitis (or maybe both?) since I'm still running a fever and the antibiotics don't seem to be doing a THING to help. :)

Tuesday, August 2, 2011

Sisters: It's a Love/Hate kind of thing for now....

Eliana is VERY, VERY happy to have a sister around her age. Most of the time, so far, it's been mutual. Johanna and Eliana have been buddies, wearing their matching clothes, getting dressed together, playing together, etc.

Today they had their first "rift". :)

Ellie was trying to figure out what Johanna wanted to play. They were using Google Translate to communicate. Apparently, Johanna just wanted to be left alone, but didn't know how to say that.

Instead, she wrote, "Hate you sister. I will never care for you. You just want to control me."

It's funny now, particularly because of the wording. I took it very seriously when it happened, however. Of course, Ellie started crying. I used Google to reprimand Johanna very firmly---we do NOT use hurtful words in this house. I let her know that if she wanted to play alone, all she had to do was tell Mommy. She started to cry and let me hug her.

Ellie apologized and then I tried to get Johanna to say she was sorry. No go. :)  I had to tell her that if she wouldn't apologize to her sister, she would have to go sit on her bed for awhile.

She said "sorry".

Then started her cycle a couple of hours later. Poor thing. PMS does make you feel kind-of hateful, doesn't it?

She's back to her cheerful self, and the girls are back to playing like best friends.

Or sisters. :)

The Trip Home, In Pictures

Our journey home began on Friday afternoon. We took the 4:12 pm train from Guangzhou to Hong Kong.
Johanna had never even seen a train, much less ridden on one! 
We spent one night in Hong Kong.
Breakfast at the Sky City Marriot in Hong Kong---yummy! It's pricey, though, so if you book a room there, be sure to include your breakfasts ahead of time.
At this point, all I could think about was getting HOME to my family. :)

Our flight from Hong Kong to Newark was LONG, but surprisingly uneventful. The girls both did really well. (Johanna did get mad at me when I wouldn't let her chose whatever movies she wanted to watch, but she eventually perked back up. :))
Gabbey loved playing with the headphones and trying to listen to a movie!

At one point, both girls were sleeping at the same time. Gabbey slept a total of about 6 hours, while Johanna slept about 2.

So our first flight went well. We were tired, tired, tired of sitting on an airplane when we finally got to get off!  After waiting in the immigration line, I found our luggage, rechecked it for our flight to Richmond, and asked the attendant there which gate I needed for my next flight. He said C20, which was a change from my ticket, which said C123.

The girls and I took the elevator to the train to Terminal C. We waited through the LONG line for security (and I laughed when Johanna got screened for an additional pat-down) then loaded up all of our things onto the stroller. I went to the screen to check my flight status, and about cried.

The board said my flight was taking off from Terminal A! Where we had just come from!!! I'll be honest, I was so tired at this point, I almost just sat down and cried.

I didn't, though, and we found an airport shuttle bus that took us BACK to Terminal A.

SO, a bus, a train, a taxi, an airport shuttle, an airplane, a train, a shuttle, and an airplane later.....


There was a crowd waiting for us at the airport.....and even more people met us at dinner afterwards. It was a special time, even though we were exhausted. :)

Our first picture as a family of eight!

Monday, August 1, 2011


I'm home. I've gotten several concerned emails from people wondering whether I'm okay or not.

We arrived home safely on Saturday evening, but I came down with a fever that night and have been sick ever since. I went to the doctor this morning and he said it's bronchitis, working into pneumonia....

Hopefully some meds will help my energy levels....I must say, diarrhea, jet-lag, a fever, and bronchitis are not a good recipe for a busy momma....

I have lots of pictures and info to share about our trip home. I will try to post it soon.

Thank you for praying and caring!