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! :)


  1. I'm sorry your family got hit with the flu -
    We brought home an 11 yr old from Ethiopia (2+ yrs ago) and noticed when he was tired his language failed him terribly! It doesn't take long for these kiddos to be able to express themselves in English, but when they're tired, they are tired! I am praising God that Johanna has a family, and that you stepped out of your comfort zone for her. It's a choice to love, you're right, and it's hard at times, when you're tired, or when their grieving and you've done everything you know... but to watch them learn and grow because you love them is so rewarding!
    I am reminded that our children did not ask for this in their lives, and it's up to me to help them feel loved and nurtured by me as a parent, but also to lean on God as their father!
    Please know you're family is in my prayers! I found your blog b/c I did a search for Nanjing adoptions. We have a referral from Nanjing!

  2. I'm so sorry that you're still sick and it must have been scary when the little ones followed you. Glad things are going so well otherwise. Your comments about faking it and doing the next thing comes right out of my devotional reading from yesterday. Good luck with the start of school and with continuing to get well.


  3. I'm glad to read that you are finally on the mend. I hope that everyone else is well soon.

    I like your open door policy with the baby gate. What a good idea.

    Have you ever home-schooled before? Have your chosen a curriculum? I am faced with this right now for my 7.5 yr. old who has never been to school and has only been home 4 months.

  4. Selena, Thank you from the bottom of my heart for such a beautiful and honest blog entry. I adopted an older child in September of 2010, and she is my first child. We've had quite the struggle trying to attach to one another, mainly because she had a foster family whom she loved dearly, and being a first time mommy to a child who doesn't want you is tough. Hearing that it is normal for things to take time in the "love" department and to fake it until you feel it, is such an honest gift, especially coming from such an obviously wonderful God-fearing Mother such as yourself. My daughter and I are attaching more and more as the days progress, for which I am very thankful! I too pray that God will open our hearts to one another, and bond us together as a "Forever family." God bless you!


I welcome any and all comments as long as they are Christ-honoring. Please let me know what you think!