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Thursday, June 25, 2009

New Blog Leaf

I’ve struggled recently about what to do with this blog. It started out as a way to keep friends and family updated on our adoption journey and and how we came to be a crazy family of 8. Then after we came home, my head got swamped as we were struck with uncertainty for our children, and it was necessary to take a hiatus from public blogging. (So sorry to those of you who didn’t have access for a while. The fault entirely rests with me. I needed to take a break for a while.)

So I wrestled a bit, because really, a blog is SO self-centered and egocentric! But ultimately my sister-in-laws unknowingly gave me the answer. I still regularly check their blogs and anxiously await new posts to see new pictures of my nieces and nephews, (who btw are ALL cute as bugs) and after Aunt Martie’s second-hand note wondering what happened, and Aunt Nancy’s sweet email, I've decided to keep it going, but with some changes. Up till now the blog has primarily focused on Tess and Jujube. And as absolutely gorgeous and fascinating as T&J are, from now on I’ll try to chronicle the crazy adventures of all 8 of us. Patch usually keeps us all in stitches, (as well as himself as last week’s 911 call and ER visit will attest too) and watching my oldest turn 16 and all that that entails will be fodder for many posts I’m sure! And maybe I'll even cajole Papa to write something!

So I’m hoping that I can get Colleen and Missy and Melissa B. and the Tharp sisters and my baby sister, (who has the craziest adventures of all!) and many others to start blogs of their own. I’d love the opportunity to keep up when you are so far away. I miss you!

So here’s to turning over a new leaf in the blog world.

Thursday, June 18, 2009


Life in the AZ mountains for the summer! Lovely!

We've retired to our bitty cabin for the summer months. 10 weeks of 8 of us, 2 dogs, 1 Guinea pig, and 1 pet rat in 16oo sq. feet, and it's sheer bliss!

T&J and I go on a walk each day to the park, the phone rings less, and there are few errands. We dig in the sand, pick up pine needles and pine cones, and go down the slide again and again. The sun shimmers through the oak trees, and I'm always amazed how loud the wind can be blowing through the pines. Jude is practicing his kissing skills, and the big girls have taught him how to say, "huba-huba." Too cute!

Tess, although still not even close to talking, has started signing her first word, "more." She has the cutest gibberish that sounds like running dialog but makes no sense. We also turn up the music and dance dance dance!

Summertime... just wonderful!

PS-gotta new camera for my birthday! YEA! Still learning how to us it, but oh my, I'm having SO much fun practicing. My kiddos are starting to tire of me snapping away at them. Starting to borrow other people's kids to keep practicing.

Thursday, June 11, 2009

Official AZ adoption day!

For those of you that followed our journey from the beginning, you may remember our horrible experience with the U.S. govt. I am still bitter. I am still sad. I am still grieving the lost 4 months that our U.S. govt made us wait for Tess and Jude while our file sat on some one's desk doing absolutely nothing. I am still angry that Jude had to have a completely unavoidable surgery and physical therapy every week for months now with months to go compliments of our government's ineptness. I am still so so very angry that my daughter was forced to lay in a orphanage crib largely ignored for almost 4 extra months for no reason other than to promote some USCIS official's alternative agenda to close down VietNam adoptions. It worked... at the sacrifice of my children.

I've heard many adoption mamas say that the moment you finally hold your child in your arms, you will forget all the anguish and tears shed waiting for them. I didn't forget at that moment. If anything, holding my precious children for the first time magnified my feelings.

Today our gov't acknowledged our adoption in a "re-adoption" in a state court proceeding. Tess ran around the court room and laughed as Patch played, "I'm gonna get you" with her. (notice in the pic that Jujube has a handful of my hair which he is pulling out! Too funny that boy!) It was a good day, but I still have mixed feelings. Joyous that our Lord has found me fit to parent 2 more of his beloved children and that the corporeal world now recognizes this officially in name and documents. Yet angry that this is the same government, my government, that tried so hard to prevent this adoption from happening and at a bare minimum showed little concern for their well being of my children while they waited and waited and waited...

Today we will celebrate that we all finally share the same last name and in the eyes of our country and that we are officially a family of 8.

But our real celebration will still be September 1 each year, the day they came into our arms and our hearts forever and ever.

I love you Jude! I love your smile and your strong-willed personality. I love your wobbly, drunk walk and admire how you pick yourself up each time you fall! I want to be able to laugh with reckless abandoned more often like you do. It was no wonder you were a favorite of the orphanage director.

I love you sweet Tess. I admire your strength and will to survive. I love the smiles that you beam. I'm jealous of your beauty, and love how you show the world how much beauty there is in diversity. Each time you run into my arms, I want to cry tears of joy. You make me a better mama, and a better me, and it is a privilege to help you along your journey.

Tuesday, June 2, 2009

His Other Wife?

this one is for you Sherri-
When I was VERY pregnant with my 3rd child, I walked into a pharmacy with my 4 year old who was cranky after waiting in a doctor's office for over 1 1/2 hours, and a very fussy 1 1/2 year old with horrible ear infections, to get a prescription filled. Two older woman were chatting with each other, and as i walked in, one loudly remarked to the other so i could hear, "Maybe we should tell her there's a cure for that now! Birth Control!" They both laughed. I didn't.

Both of my sister-in-laws are pregnant right now. Oh my aren't we a prolific bunch! And my sweet sister-in-law, Sherri and Tommy are expecting their 4th child in September. They have a wonderful family, and I'm always thrilled when wonderful families have another child. As their family has grown, Sherri and I have gotten to know each other better and shared a lot. This morning she shared with me that shes has been getting a lot of those "comments" about having a large brood. For those of you with one 1 or 2 children, you may have no idea what I'm talking about. And those of you with 4+ children know exactly what I'm talking about. The tone of my response is most often based on if the inquirer is asking nicely just out of curiosity, or actually intended to be offensive & get a laugh at my expense.

So here's some of my standard responses. Anybody have more they'd like to share?

"Boy, you sure have your hands full!"
-----Both my hands and heart are full. ( My usual and nice answer)
----I'd rather have them full then empty.
----And we've not even Catholic or Mormon!

"Are they all yours?"
----Oh no! We left a a couple of them at home! (Usually true)
----If you think this is a lot, you should see how many my husband's other wife has! (this really is one of my favorites!)
----Of course they're all mine. Do you think I take six kids shopping for fun?
----I don't know. How many do you count?
----No, We're just collectors.
----No, this is my Halloween costume. People say I look just like Angelina Jolie.

"Are they twins?" (directed about our youngest 2)
----If I actually know you or care----No, they are 4 weeks apart. (Which leads to several
lengthy follow up questions.)
----If I don't know you or care or have the time for a long conversation----Yes

"I don't know how you do it all!"
----I have 24 hours in a day just like everyone else, 1 thing at a time.
----I look at them while they are sleeping and am reminded that they are all children from God, and it is a privilege to raise them.

"I'm so glad it's you and not me!"
----Me too!
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