Thursday, October 27, 2011

The Girls Preschool Halloween Party

The girls had their fun little Halloween party at school today. The girls sported their cool costumes and off to school we went!! I was in charge of the cookie decorating station so I did not walk around with the girls but they came through my station and I was able to get some cute pictures then.

Finley enjoying some awesome frosting. Finley was Jesse.

Mia and Addy getting ready for one of the fun centers.

My pretty little girl!!!

She is so sweet at school :)

Mia getting ready for one of the fun centers

Mia decorating her cookie

Addy and Finley at the cookie decorating station
Finley showing Mia her loot. I love the look on Finley's face-- it is so cute!

Looking at their candy

Waiting for the next center

Love how Finley is sitting. She actually sits like that often.

The teacher made me take a picture with the girls-- not overly thrilled with it-- love the bags and wrinkles-- this is why I stay out of pictures-- yikes!!!

Saturday, October 22, 2011

Is Mundane OK?

Sorry for the recent lack of pictures but lots of thoughts have been going through my head but not a lot of camera time to take pictures-- so, you are getting lots of narratives.

With lots of time taken on my off work days to complete adoption paperwork, my sweet little girls are spending lots of downtime being board. They are watching lots of TV, doing lots of coloring and just sitting around being board. I am not normally a sit at home and watch TV mom but I have to say that has been the way things have been for the last month. I feel guilty for letting the girls just sit around and play and not giving them lots of activities to do but a part of me wants to get rid of that guilt because is it really THAT BAD that my kids just chill? The mommy guilt really gets to me but I keep thinking that letting my kids chill should not be a source of guilt.Yes, they are probably watching too much TV but it that really that bad? They go to preschool 4 mornings a week so a chill out afternoon is kind of nice.

I'm starting to realize with our new little one coming home in spring that we are going to have to have a bit of a new normal. With 5 kids and 3 little ones, I think we will probably be spending more time at home just playing and chilling. If that is going to be more of the new normal, I need to kick the guilt thing because if I don't, I think I'm going to be feeling guilty all the time.

So, what can I do about that? Are lazy afternoons and doing nothing Fridays (they don't have school on Fridays) OK? Is it OK to just have maybe a couple days a week where we go out and do something-- other than preschool-- OK? I am just such a busy person and like to be active that these down times are freaking me out a bit. I hear other moms talk about all the activities their kids are in and that they do this and that and those are the times I look at the girls schedule and I feel bad. Honestly, a lot of our time centers around the boys hockey so we do go to hockey together as a family but the girls are just not in a lot of activities right now. I don't see this getting better anytime soon-- especially adding our new little one to the family-- so how do I get OK with this?

Anyway, any input would be appreciated. I honestly am struggling with this right now and would like to have others weigh in if this is OK or not.

Thanks for the input and also for all the help so many of you are willing to give with regards to clothes for our new one. All of your generosity is amazing and I thank you so much for that!!!!

Wednesday, October 19, 2011

What??? Another One???

When you announce to people that you are adopting # 3 and moving onto # 5 you get some interesting reactions. Some think it is great and others just say very little. It is not like when we adopted Mia or even Finley-- it is just different. People are never rude, but they have different feelings about adopting "AGAIN!" Many think we should be happy with our 4 and why are we putting the ourselves through this stress and strain again. Many think it is not fair to the kids we have and others think we are crossing the line into a LARGE family and that is not our societal norm. Many are very happy for us and understand our calling to adopt, but others do not get it and frankly, are not overly thrilled.

I had an awesome email from a family member who admitted that when he saw we were adopting again he thought "What-- again??? When are they ever going to stop?" He proceeded to tell me what a hypocrite he felt like because he remembered after having that thought that God calls us to be outlandish-- to do things that are not normal and challenge the rules-- to be WEIRD!!! He referred me to a book that I am going to read about being weired for God. He said he felt so bad about his thoughts and was so happy we were following the Lords calling in our lives and that we were being WEIRD for the Lord. I genuinely appreciated his email and it really made me think.

I wanted to post this article written by an adoptive mom who explains the reasons why many of us adopt and grow our families into bigger than average families. She experienced peoples judgement upon growing their family outside societal norm and continuing to adopt children. She explains things so perfectly and I encourage you to keep reading as it really sums up what I am feeling.


Over the years, starting even when we had just two kids, I have heard statements (from friends, family, and strangers alike) such as “you don’t need any more kids,” “you have enough kids,” “well, surely now you have enough kids” and “why would you adopt again? You have enough kids already!”

These types of statements used to make me feel like I had to explain our decisions or they used to make me feel like I needed to be a better parent because maybe if they saw that I was the best parent in the universe, they would think that I could “handle” more kids.

I have tried (in vain) to explain to people that we are adopting children WHO DO NOT HAVE A FAMILY, kids who NEED A HOME, but this does not seem to matter to those who continue to make this statement after or before each addition we have made to our growing family. I know that some of it has been said by those who are concerned because they do not want to see us overwhelmed or having a harder life than we could have if we chose the easier path, but this is the path we have chosen, and all we need need is support.

Recently, a family member said to me again, “you have enough kids” and for the first time, instead of feeling like I needed to justify our decisions and make excuses and explanations, I felt angry. I thought about all the other times that people have said to me similar things and I realized that many of those things were said before the addition of some of our kids, kids who those same people now love and adore. Kids who now have a home and a family. Kids who are no longer orphans. Kids who I could not be more proud to call my children. Kids who have made our lives richer, not harder. Kids who have taught me more than I have taught them. Kids who have given me more than I have given them. Kids who we would not know had we thought of our family in terms of “enough.” And, I was angry.

I have listened to well-meaning friends or family members over the years say things that have hurt, badly, and for the most part, I have remained silent. Some people said this when we only had two kids or three or four, if four was “enough kids,” then what does that say about the last three?

Another reason it has me so upset is that we are talking about human beings here, precious children, not possessions. To say that one can ever have “enough” children sort of sounds like they are shoes or something.

Another is that I have never seen how it is deemed okay for people to question our personal decisions and give unsolicited advise and judgments, but it is not okay for us to do the same to them. What I mean is that when it comes to things that go against the norm, things like adoption, having a large family, and homeschooling, it seems that everyone and their neighbour thinks it’s somehow acceptable to tell us what a terrible thing we are doing.

Can you imagine how inappropriate it would be for me to say to a friend that I thought it was a selfish decision to go back to work full time when their baby was 4 months old because they wanted to pay for a nicer vacation or to say to a family member that it sickens me to think of all the starving children who could be fed for the cost of one of the brand new vehicles they buy for themselves every year? People judge it wrong that we went into debt to pay for an adoption of two children, but think nothing of going into debt themselves for a newer car, a bigger house, or even the latest computers, gadgets, and fashions!

I do not walk around telling people that they should not move because the house they have is “enough” or that they should not get another TV because the two they already own are “enough” or that they should not buy the latest iPhone because they just bought the last version and that should be “enough.” And, if you are shaking your head thinking, “yeah, but those are things, not children” then you are starting to get the point here! It is actually pretty uninformed to say “you have enough kids” as though they were objects. If there were ever anything I would want “too many” of, it would be children. Children are a blessing.

In response to the inevitable question, “are we going to adopt more kids?”, the answer is this: I don’t know. If you look only at logic, then the answer is…probably not. Logic dictates that seven children is nowadays, in North America, a huge family. Logic dictates that seven children is a huge expense. Logic dictates that I have a husband who is much more rational than I am and is less apt to make decisions based purely on emotion. Logic dictates a lot, but it does not dictate the size of our family. For now, we are done. That could mean forever. Or it could mean that tomorrow we will start the process for another adoption. Because God trumps all logic in my mind and in my heart. Our family size will be determined by God. He has called us to adopt, and I know that He is still working in our family.

As a message to our friends and family and to the friends and families of others who choose paths that are less socially acceptable…

Please support and love us where we are at, on the path that we have chosen. Pray for us, because the path that we have chosen is not an easy one. We know that you did not choose this path and we are not asking you to adopt yourself or have a large family yourself. We are not even asking you to understand or like the path we have chosen. If you choose to come and visit us on this journey once in awhile and ask how we are or offer your help, we would appreciate it greatly, but if you can only offer judgment and harsh words, please heed the wise advise of Thumper in “Bambi”…”if you can’t say somethin’ nice, don’t say nothin’ at all”!

Monday, October 17, 2011

Clothing Plea

Ok, many of you who know me or have read my blog for any length of time know that I am a clothing freak!! I love clothes and nothing is more fun for me than to dress my beautiful little girls. With that said, dressing my beautiful girls is NOT CHEAP!! I have managed to do pretty well up until now and did not have the spending restrictions I have now that Kevin is retired so the girls clothes have been filled with Naartjie, Baby-Kid Gap, Gymboree, Janie and Jack and other great clothing makers. I am not a huge saver of clothes so I have made it a practice to pass the girls clothes down to friends or people that need them. The problem I am having now is that I have passed all the little clothes to others but have not wanted or needed them back since I didn't ever think we would have a little one again. Well, things change and now we are going to have a little one and we are going to have to outfit her. I have no idea where all the 12 month to 3T clothes ended up so I cant really get them back so I am asking others that might have 12 month to 3T clothes who might want to pass them down to let me know! I would be happy to save them all and send them back when our little one grows out of them, but I am trying to figure out how I am going to clothe this child with our non existence budget. If anyone has tubs full of about 12 months to about 3T clothes that they would like to pass down to our little one, I would be sooooo thankful!! Honestly, that would be a tremendous blessing as it is kind of stressing me out thinking of how I am going to dress her. Thanks guys for any help!!!

Also give me your thoughts-- and my parents and sister are not allowed to contribute because I know what you think --lol!!!

Harper Song- still my fav

Ella Song- getting way too popular

Kendall Song- really like this one

Elsie Song (Elsie is a family name)

So which of the above names does this little face look like???

I need help. Seriously having issues and Kev and I just cant commit. I'm thinking we may have to wait to see her updated pictures but I am getting sick of calling her our "little one". I would like to call her a name-- sigh....

Saturday, October 8, 2011

Swimming with friends!!

We had the Yingling's over for a nice swim/ moms relax day. The girls had a great time reconnecting and the moms had a great time talking. We swam, ate lunch, decorated cupcakes and even got in a naked swimming time too-- the girls love that!! It was a wonderful day and I always enjoy spending time with Karen as she always challenges me to be my best. She holds me accountable and I always feel like we have known each other for 20 years.

The girls love swimming and had a blast. Finley is not quite as brave as the other 3 but she is coming along.

We also decorated cupcakes which the girls loved!!
My pretty little thing
Katy really loved the cupcakes as evidenced by the frosting all over her face.
Miss Mia
Miss Becky

Sorry the following pictures would not separate but the kids had a blast swimming!!!