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We are glad you stopped by, we hope you are blessed, and enjoy your stay. We discuss a little bit of everthing here, from homeschool, parenting, adoption, farming, our faith, and our plain lifestyle. May God Bless Your Day!!

Monday, December 10, 2012

The summer of Dr's appts-part 1

I have been such a distant blogger of late.
I so appreciated the feedback after my last post, and decided it was time for some lengthy updates on each of the children.
This post will be about Isaac.

Our little peanut, our little man, our baby, our walking 1 man destruction team, our non-stop, revved up, little terror on 2 short legs!!!
He is a one in a million.
He is energetic, playful, LOUD, loves to throw, Loud, loves to be outside, LOUD, and loves IPAD and any other technology he can get his little hands on, and did I mention he's LOUD??????
BOY, if those sounds ever get channeled into words, we are going to be in for trouble-the guy makes noise all day long-but due to his lack of language at the moment, most of it is just loud shreiks, screams, squeals, and babbles.
He loves his family, and has graduated from his crib to his sister Kendell's bed, and boy, does he feel like a big boy now. She, of course, adores him, and is a very good second mommy to him when mom #1 is running others to Dr's appointments or doing other mom duties.

Isaac is very little, and still only weighs 26 pounds. He is wearing size 24-2T clothes-FINALLY.
He will be 4 in February:)
He moves-FAST-and he moves all day long-he wears us out trying to keep him out of trouble.
He has decided he is bored with most of HIS toys now, and wants only the school toys-and protests, LOUDLY, whenever he can't have what he wants-about 20 times a day:)
Isaac underwent a 2 day neurodevelopmental assessment back in July.
They look at speech, physical and occupational therapy areas of concern, neurological, genetic, audiology, IQ, and nutrition, just about anything that a guy can have tested, Isaac has had lately.
He also underwent a sedated brain MRI in August as part of this clinic.
PRAISE the Lord, the MRI showed NO physical issues with his brain.
That just leaves us with more questions tho, as we seek to find out why his neurons aren't connecting the way they should be for a guy his age.

YES, this is a mud puddle-did I mention heLOVES water? Especially COLD water???
He also had lots of blood tests done, including a test called CGH-which analyzed the chromosomes in his body's chemistry.
Little Isaac has a chromosome disorder.
It leads to cognitive delays, speech delays, and short stature.
an answer-of sorts!!!
NOW, the fun really begins, as we try to put more pieces of the puzzle together, and try to figure out how best to help him achieve all he is meant to achieve in life.
Will he ever live independently?
We don't think so.
How far can he go?
We have no idea yet!
I have stumbled upon an organization in PA called
Family Hope Center that specializes in empowering parents to heal their children!!!
I love their philosophy of assessing the things a child is doing, and by that, determining what areas of the brain aren't working properly, and teaching parents how to help their children's brains work better.
It is on my wish list for early in 2013 to spend some money on their DVD program and work my way thru their coarse.
I have also found out there are 2 women in our state who have some training from this program-and one is only about 30 minutes away-NOW, THAT MAKES ME REALLY EXCITED!!!!
I can't wait to contact her, and see what advice, help she can give us.

Isaac receives weekly speech therapy at our local clinic-actually, he is one of 4 that I take once a week-it is a long morning of shuttling children to and fro-and Kendell is my helper at home, preparing the next to leave, and keeping things on an even keel while I am gone.
Nick helps out when he is around, but these days are usually Kendell's and mine to "make it happen"
I can't say Isaac is responding well to therapy so far.
He has a few signs--but his preferred mode of communication is screaming, grabbing, and crying.
We have seen a change lately-from his very happy-go-lucky little guy antics to a more frustrated, I'm not getting what I want attitude.
It is frustrating for all of us.
He just doesn't receive instruction well.
No just has never meant NO for Isaac.
It doesn't help that he's the baby-and LOOKS so baby yet, that it is hard to treat him like an almost 4 yr old.

(SHHH, his photographer sister doesn't know I know these are on my laptop! It's a birthday surprise for me-but it's just too cute to pass up)

He has no interest in potty training.
His table skills are minimal.
Some days he eats wonderfully, most days he is a trial to endure at most meals.
He can be hyper, does not sit still, SOME part of him has to be moving at all times, and the only rest we have is when he is napping, or sleeping at night.
He is just always on the go, and he really controls our household at the moment.
We really do love him to pieces, but it is time to reel in this monster, before he becomes totally uncontrollable.
I'm just not sure how to go about it!

did I also mention he loves bouncing things? Even things that aren't meant to be bounced:)
ANY advice is welcome, because public school is starting to look like a real option for him next year. I just can't get anything done, and he won't let you work with any of the others without pitching a first class fit if he's not included.
He definitely knows what he wants-unfortunately, it's usually not what we want at that particular moment:)

This has not been an easy assessment for Chuck and I.
We had such high hopes that his delays were simply due to orphanage life and a heart condition that left him malnourished and under-stimulated until we got him at 16 months old.
WE still have hopes, and we love the progress he has made, and is trying to make.
Sometimes, its just hard, hearing stuff about your kids!
I mean, really hard!!!
When you watch your child go thru these battery of tests, and come up lacking, and you don't know for sure what to do to really help him the best-it can bring some sleepless nights.
But I am certainly thankful for the Dr's that I have gotten to know quite well over the last 2 years, and especially this summer, with 3 going thru testing. They care, and that really helps.

we sure do love him, and he can be such a ray of sunshine.

There will be 2 more parts to this little series, as I address both Lili and Rose's evaluations-stay tuned:)
Chris for all 9 of us!!!!

Tuesday, November 27, 2012

almost 6 months since a post....

I find it hard to believe it was June the last time I wrote a post, and put pictures on this blog. YET, I know the last 6 months have been more busy than I could ever have imagined, with more ups and downs than I would have dreamed, and life has yet to find a "new" normal for our family.
I have always loved blogging, and sharing joys, dreams, fears, discouraging times, and meeting new friends along the way. I have gone back and read all the comments since the first of this year, and it has brought me great joy to know that we are NOT alone on this journey.
Adoption is SOOOO not for the faint of heart. It is exhilerating, it is exhausting. It is joyous, it is sad and filled with hours of grieving.
It is painful, yet it is like giving birth (or so I 've been told :)  )because you do forget all the pain when the hours of labor are behind you.
It is bone-wearying, soul trying, and mind stretching.
It is days of peaks and valleys, hours of training, training, training; it is minutes of praying, Help me thru this moment!
This past year is like nothing I/we have ever been through before.
To say there haven't been times when I wanted to just throw my hands up and say, I GIVE, I CAN'T DO THIS ANYMORE would not be an understatement.
It has been a hard year.
It has been trying.
It has been filled with moments of defeat, yet hours of great WINS.
I have spent more hours on the road to or in Dr's offices ( and don't even go there with the $$$ for gas this year) and the year is NOT over yet.
I have spent more time looking at symptoms, analyzing behaviors, asking questions and researching chromosome deficiencies and talking to genetics specialists than I EVER thought I would be doing.
There have been days when we were sure we were tearing apart our family, instead of building a new one.
There have been times of deep grief over the family that was.
There have been days of deep pain over the family we are trying to become.
It has been hard.
no 2 ways about, just plain HARD!!!
and it hurts.
BOY, does it hurt.
The sleepless nights worrying about children's issues, worrying about siblings not loving one another the way we had hoped, worrying about why I/ we don't feel the way we THINK we should be feeling by this time into this new family.
The days of trying to stop 3 little dynamos with LOUD mouths from destroying the house,(and my sanity) yet trying to school 3 who don't have any issues, and trying to figure out how to school our oldest daughter so that some day, she can GET IT!!!!
Do we regret the past year?
I don't think so.
Do we wonder what would have happened if we hadn't gone this route?
I think we do sometimes.
Yet, I hate to say it, but those are the times when my selfish, what about me attitude really comes to the front, and I want to say, WHAT ABOUT ME.
Yet, it's not about me, or Chuck, or the 5 who were home first.
It is about 2 new girls, who are still trying mighty hard to find their way in a world that still leaves them quaking in their shoes.
It's about 2 sweethearts who, until 11 months ago, did not have a forever mommy and daddy, sisters and brothers.
Its about trying our hardest to blend all our lives together, and to give honor and glory to our Father, who orchestrated it all from the beginning.
The tears can come easily some days, but there are days when the laughter, giggles and simple joys win out over the night's tears.
We still have lots of diagnoses to ponder, lots of issues to work through, lots of PAIN ahead, as we continue to forge this thing called FAMILY.
Please keep us in prayer. Please continue to check in, leave encouragements, and keep loving us from afar.
We don't mean to be distant, we are just busy about our Father's work-even on the days when I think I have done everything wrong-and there are alot of those kinds of days around here-I am a very fleshly creature, I have discovered, and don't like to have so many unknowns, so many what ifs, so many unanswered questions still hanging.
And for those of you who knew we were buying a farm, the deal is off-yes, another MAJOR disappointment-and another MAJOR unknown as we ponder what next!!!
What is next for us Lord?
We are really trying to listen-even when our flesh gets in the way!!!
Blessings and love
Chris for all 9 of us:)
A few pictures from the last few weeks-
I'm not going to try to recreate the whole 6 months, blogger is way too slow for me!!
enjoying some fall fun in the leaves
a homeschool fieldtrip, and daddy got to go along too:)
the joy of cows in the barn, fresh milk in the fridge, and making butter and cottage cheese
another field trip-and a chance to hold a skunk
good byes are hard, and our beloved Speech Pathologist had worked with Isaiah for 1 1/2 years-but her schedule did not allow for 4 kids in Hillsboro on Thursday morning anymore-sigh!!!

yes, that's FOUR dogs-2still very much all puppy!!!!
fun on the gator this fall-all 7 fit!!!!
our first Christmas for this year-and 9 cousins gathered together at Grandma and Grandpa's house:)
I think we are stretching them a bit!!!
Rosalyn just discovered a BABY in her box-and she LOVES her
we might have a way to make these 2 best friends yet-they both LOVE dolls, and Grandma sewed some awesome clothes for the new dolly-who is named Jessa
after Christmas at Thanksgiving, some of us hit the woods with my Dad to bring in some wood for him-and it was a COLD day
mama duck hatched 4 ducklings, and did we enjoy watching them grow over the summer
I w as thankful to find pictures of the fireworks I missed as Isaac screamed through the whole show-the ONLY thing he is scared of, besides a car wash:)
 a family picture at the park after the girls' readoption in September
 Double the trouble, but 2x the amount of sweetness and cuteness!!!

2 little boys playing cars
gathering at the waters for baptisms this fall

Monday, June 4, 2012

Calls for Rejoicing, and some somberness!!

I am THRILLED to say there are 2 families stepping up to pursue Daniel's adoption!!!

Did you hear that??
and guess what?
They know each other!
They are in the same church!!!
How great is our GOD!!!
I love how He works!
I love how He answers prayers!
I just LOVE Him!
I LOVE the song "Dare to be a Daniel"-dare to stand alone, dare to have a purpose firm, dare to make it known-Our Daniel, the Bible reading, Jesus loving, compassionate and emotional Daniel!!!!!!!!
I am so happy that somewhere in the not too distant future, Daniel will have a mama and daddy of his own!!
They both sound like wonderful families, and I LOVE getting connected with others and we all love the same childen-and  love adoption, and  love the Lord!!

This leads me to my note of somberness-some sadness-some sense of loss-
I am a pretty relationship oriented person-I love people, I love others walking the same road, I love being connected with them.
One of the neatest things in the last year has been some of the relationships that were built while we were in process.
NOW, when the process is done, and our girls are home, I feel a sadness to not have notes and updates from the ones who had become so important to me during our journey.
There were so many along the way, and now, wow, hardly any.
Yes, I know life is tough once we all get home, and I know we are all super busy, and I GET that-but I MISS my friends.
I miss the connections, the times of sharing, the specialness of walking thru something together, the privilege of PRAYING together and standing together for a cause, a purpose, a call on our lives to change the lives of the fatherless!!!!
I HATE goodbyes, and I always cry when I have to say goodbye to my folks or any good friends that come for a visit-life is just so unsure, you never know when you "won't" see someone again-
SOOOO, if you are on the adoption road, and you find yourself making new friends along the way, make it a priority to keep in touch?
sometimes a note of love from someone who KNOWS what you have been thru can mean the world to them.
In this day of social medias, I don't do facebook, twitter, or any of the others available.
I like email-so I am old-fashioned-it's just the way I am.
But I do love my friends, all of them, whether I have heard from them in the last 6 months, or not!!!!

Friday, May 4, 2012


I have a confession to make-and it HURTS!!!
Before we went to China for Rose and Lili, we were pretty sure we would be heading back this year for one more-

I had fallen in love with one of Rose's foster brothers-actually, we had all become smitten with him-

It just seemed like something we would FOR SURE be doing-
but alas, I wasn't very far into our trip last January when something dawned on me-I didn't think I had it in me to do this again-it would be too fast, too soon, too much, and the mere thought of starting all that paperwork all over again made me about want to throw up.
Now, was this just my flesh?
Had God been calling us to move out in faith on this young man?
Or did we let the emotions of his circumstances sway us?
I still don't know
BUT, what I do know is that I have 7 at home right now.
We have 2 little boys with pretty intense needs-between speech, developmental delays, and cognitive delays, behavioral issues, and such, they keep me BUSY!
Then, we have Rose and Lili-home only 3 months-Lili with speech issues, health issues, motor skill delays, and quite a bit of behavioral attitudes that need lots of work.
Rose needs lots of time with schooling-her speech/vocabulary need lots of time and work, and she is facing some surgeries this summer that will be quite intense for all of us.
Then, we have our 7 yr old, Tyler the Tornado.
He is still a tornado, and really doesn't enjoy school, so it can be quite a process with him each school day-and throw in a bit of speech/vocabulary with him too.
Then we have Nick and Kendell, happily going about their 7th grade school work, but Mom NEVER has time to look at what they are doing.
Now, this doesn't really seem fair to Daniel, that these issues would keep me/us from wanting to add him to our family-except for the fact that he has CP which affects his arms, his speech is not very clear, altho they say his English is more clear than his Mandarin, altho he had learned to walk, and then ride a bike within a short time of arriving at the B's-that is pretty amazing-

YET I just don't know how I can try to do any more in a day than I do already.(yes, that's my flesh talking)
Are we just making excuses? Sometimes, it may feel like it-but sometimes, I think it would be a huge disservice to bring him home into our family, at this time, and not have the energy, excitement, and time that he would need.
Adopting older children is not an easy road-we have not had a horrible transition by any means, but it is still not easy.
YET, my heart is heavy for him.
He was returned to the orphanage last November out of Rose's foster family-strictly due to "business" decisions the orphanage was making to try to fill their new facility.
I HATE that he is not with the B's in their home.
I HATE that he chose to go, so one of his little foster brothers would NOT have to go.
I HATE that he wants to read his Bible, and was doing well with learning English, and is probably not able to do either right now.
I love that he is now being advocated for by the waiting children yahoo group.
I love that his paperwork is close to being sent to CC#WA to be added to the shared list.
I love that people are aware of him, his kindness, love and compassion, and that he may not spend very much time on the list without a family choosing him.
I love that the orphanage director will return him to the foster family once a family steps forward for him.
I so wish we had the resources, time, energy, space and DRIVE to add him to our family-but I am sadly lacking in all of those at the time.
We are also looking down the road to an imminent move to one more farm-hopefully the place we will finally put down roots, and raise our family and do what we love, loving God, and our children, and dairying.
I don't think Daniel is in our future, except to keep lifting him up to the Lord, that He would find him the perfect home, and in His perfect timing.
Please join me in praying for this special young man.
He so wants a family, he so NEEDS a family.
Are YOU his family?
God Bless you as you search your heart and pray for this sweet boy!
Feel free to email me if you want more info on him-there is a ton available-lots of pictures, videos, and stories that will warm you heart.
In Him
Chris and family

Wednesday, April 25, 2012

Our NEWEST family member!!!!

We have been invaded!!!

Puppy kisses abound
and oh my, there are so many giggles and squeals throughout the evening-hopefully we don't have too many yelps through the night :)

It's a new puppy for the Waughtals.
WHAT we are thinking, who knows for sure.
BUT, Maggie is adorable, we all love her to pieces, Sadie loves her, and Reggie is a bit jealous, but she fits right in!!!

8 weeks old yesterday, we found her Sunday night, hemmed and hawed about spending money on another dog, but in the end, her cuteness won out!
I am thankful her sister sold before we got there-2 may have put me over the edge:)
Puppy pictures galore, and such serious cuteness-and a bit of naughtiness thrown in for good measure!!

taking time out for a little snooze

what is it about puppies and little boys???
doing laps around Sadie-it's so cute when they "box"
that's an awful lot of sking to grow into Miss Maggie Mae!!

Chris and family

Monday, April 23, 2012

3 months HOME

That's ALOT of wheels!!!!!

What does HOME for 2 months look like? OK, This was going to be 2 months-but it has turned into THREE months home-where did the last month go??
Well, for each family achieving this milestone, I am sure it looks very different.
On any given day, it can run a whole gamut of emotions, reactions, events,
I have to say, again, we are truly blessed.
While not issue-less, it has been a very good transition.
Rosalyn and Lilianna are doing well.
They know they are HOME.
They know we are mama and daddy.
they know they have cousins who love and accept them!
They know they have 5 other siblings, which brings with it the issues of sharing, chores, sharing, playing together, sharing, and more sharing.
I think, for Lili, the hardest obstacle to be overcome is the need to share, and get along with others in the same home.
She is used to being spoiled, having everything to herself, including mama and daddy, and doing whatever she wants to, whenever she wants to.
Structure, sharing, and being told "no" are not things she has wanted to adjust to, but, yet, schedule and structure are 2 things that I see really making a difference in her life.
She loves her 2 little brothers. They are together much of the day.Yet, without a moment's notice, she can decide she is "done with them" and get quite ornery with them.
They play, then they need to be separated. Then she can't stand it, and HAS to be back in close proximity to them again, then she gets mad at them again and wants her space.

She is really feeling her way along here quite slowly.
It is hard to give up that ME-centeredness that she has lived in for 6 years.
I am so thankful for her foster family. She clearly loved them, and grieved for her losses.
It had to be rough going from the only 1 to 1 of 7 overnight.
And throw in 4 boys, 3 who are rough and tumble, and oh my, her little world can be in a tail spin for hours on end some days.
Yet, the beauty of it is that when I can't stand it anymore, and actually separate them (especially she and Isaiah) SHE initiates the "lets play together" every time.
SHE always comes to him altho, it could be more worrying about what he is doing in that other room without her, than actually wanting to be by him:)
We love her spunk, her energy and her quick wit. She picks up on routines very quickly, and has a HUGE desire to be mama's helper. Not so of the others-she would rather hang laundry with me, or set the table with me, than anyone else-I suppose from that 1 on 1 time with her foster mama that she had for 6 years.
Doing chores with a sibling usually brings frowns, sneaking away, and outright fits of despair.
BUT, she is starting to like being with the others doing chores outside,
Her language is slowly coming-I believe her comprehension is coming along pretty good, yet there are times when I feel she has not gained much from the first month home-and her expressive is very slow-her speech is not clear at all, and of course, her sounds she makes are very unclear and not like the english sounds we are trying to teach her.
We are pursuing some physical issues throughout April, so hopefully we can clarify if it is sinus or throat related, or speech related soon.
But she sure gets an A for effort.
At school time, when I work with Isaiah on his speech, she is right there, trying everything.
She gets some concepts like matching, and "the same", can match colors altho she can't name the colors, can button, put pony tails in her own hair, and scribble feriously for a long time. Her coloring skills aren't there yet-if she initiates coloring, it is usually scribbling-if I say, lets color, she can pout, do a horrid scribble job, and look away, and has very little interest in coloring a picture so that it resembles the picture.
Seems to be one of her little Lili-isms-when it's her idea, its a good one, when it's someone else's idea- NO WAY!!!
and pout, oh my goodness-she can stick that lower lip out yet-altho we don't have the tantrums we saw in China. She has figured out that screaming and such get her NO WHERE-
She is not good at sitting still. Not even to eat.
She bounces, twirls her hair-yes even with syruppy fingers-lays her head on the table, wolfs her food and then can't stand to sit there till we are all done, drinks gallons of milk at a time, and is a bit of a picky eater-she is not always so fond of our American diet, and altho she will eat most things put in front of her, we can really tell when she doesn't care for it-it takes FOREVER to disappear.
We love her hugs, her loves, her excitement over one of us coming home, she clearly loves mama and daddy, and we know she loves her siblings, it is just been a hard adjustment to learning how to love them and live with them 24/7.

guess who's pigtails???

waiting at the clinic today for one of Lili's appointments-more on that later!!!!

Rosie watching out for her little sister!

Lili learned to ride her bike in about 2 afternoons of trying diligently to master it-she is a hard worker when it is something that interests her-and she LOVES her bike-except for the other day when it "happened" to veer into a mud puddle, sucking her down and throwing her off, and giving her a good bump on the head-she was MAD at her bike, kicked it, and took it to the garage to be done with it for the day, grumbling at murmuring at it the whole way!! She is fine tho, although it was her biggest bruise so far!

NO, it really wasn't that bad, but Kendell thinks ACE bandages make everyone feel better-a regular size bandaid actually covered the scrape just fine but we love her big sis's show of compassion:)

She is truly a diamond in the rough, and we look so forward to smoothing out her rough spots, and loving on her and teaching her what FAMILY is all about.

Rosalyn is just a gem. She has the biggest smile, and it shines on her face MOST of the time.

She has made a smooth transition to having 6 siblings, as she was so used to all the action of her foster home, and all the children that were cared for there.
Rosie loves doing dishes. That is one job we can hardly give to anyone else-that may be when we see a pout-yet, while she loves doing them, she can dawdle, and take quite a bit of time, so sometimes, due to time issues, Nick or Kendell (or Mama) will insist on washing.
Being outside is definitely a favorite event each day. She is doing quite well with feeding the calves, and carrying grain and water to the calves is something she can do on her own now, without much supervision or guidance.
Playing with Isaac and Isaiah outside are tops on her list too-she really likes to be involved with them, altho we do have to be careful, as Rosie gets quite into her play, and sometimes forgets there are little ones who are trying to sneak away from her:)
School time is also something she really seems to like-of course, I really think it is the structure and "sameness" of the days when we are on schedule and do what we did the day before.
There is really something about structure that is freeing to children. Days without school time can be unsettled for her, and even put her in a bit of a funk for awhile.
Yes, she is a teenager, we see some days of emotional ups and downs.
Sometimes, its just plain crossness and crankiness. Some days, it might be just over-tiredness rearing its ugly head. Rose is a girl who just seems to need that downtime of an afternoon nap/rest each day.
She is MUCH happier in the evening on days when she gets that rest time.
Rose is not afraid to go places, yet it can be quite unsettling to her "schedule" and even days with visitors, or going to church, while lots of fun, can throw her next day off completely.
Eating is something that ebbs and flows. Some days she eats anything, some days she picks at everything-I suppose emotions and hormones can come into play-sometimes I want to think its just a bit of contrariness-it certainly seems like it could be some days.
We are doing lots of 1st grade math right now-lots of repetition, lots of drill work, lots of going over and over the same stuff-some days skip counting flows, some days it's gone.
Some days she can identify dimes, nickels and pennies, some days, it's gone.
We started working on time-that seems to be something she really wants to get-so I think it will come quickly.
The highlight of Rose's last month has been the new BIKE!!!

She LOVES her bike, and after an entire afternoon of working on it, she became quite provicient. She was very proud of herself, and beams from ear to ear when we are watching her.
Even after an afternoon of heading into the ditch because steering and balance came, but they came slowly, she was still beaming!!

 Venturing down our long road is lots of fun, even with all the hills, as it is a pretty quiet road, especially on Sunday afternoons.

Rose had a bout of influenza for a week, and that developed into pneumonia.
Oh the cough she had for 10-12 days-and she was miserable too.
But misery loves company, and she and Nick were both sick at the same time, and my, that is a pair I don't hope get sick together again-they are 2 peas in a pod, and it is all we could do to deal with all the moaning and groaning, sighs, and some more moaning and groaning :) I think they played off each other's misery-trying to outdo each other:)

Really, I know they were both sick, and I don't downplay it at all-it was just interesting to see how similarly they respond to illness-they are quite a bit alike in many ways.
Some of the things Rose doesn't like would be:
Blowing her nose-really I can't figure that out AT ALL!!!
not taking naps
staying inside all day
not doing school
she is on a kick of no butter, syrup, jam or anything on her biscuits or pancakes
getting up too early in the morning
staying up too late at night
She is a very agreeable girl-she is game for about anything, is very gentle, kind, soft-spoken ( and she is outnumbered in this household on that count)
and wants to please.
We have much to be thankful for, we have lots to work on, and we have lots to learn.
This older child adoption is not an easy road, it is not all thorns, but it is not all roses either.
It just isn't like scooping up a toddler into your lap, or your arms, and loving on them, snuggling with them, and bathing and dressing them-those are all the things we are used to doing to help with the bonding and attachment, and learning to love one another.
We are treading on new territory and sometimes we don't make the right decisions, sometimes we feel like we just stepped on a hidden mine, but most of all, we feel like we are mining for jewels, and that we know it will be hard work, sometimes downright dirty work, sweaty, tough, grit-your-teeth kind of work, but in the end, we always know it is worth it, and we wouldn't have it any other way.
We are family-we are blessed, and we love one another-even though it is different, and we have not been down this road before, we know the love is there for both girls, and for all of us, and that makes all the "issues" and detours navigable, because LOVE covers a multitude of things that can and do go wrong in a day.
Family-all NINE of us-and loving it!!!

Blessings and love to you all
Chris for all 9 of us!!!