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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!!

Sunday, January 20, 2013


Where does the time go?
I can't believe we have reached the mark of our first anniversary HOME with our family of 9!!
Today, when we should be in church, and 5 of us have a flu bug, maybe the dreaded influenza, but it gives me time to ponder a bit and remember what was going on 1 year ago.
All month, I have been remembering where we were 1 year ago, what we were thinking, how we were feeling while in China, and now that we are HOME for 1 year, I think it is time for a NEW beginning.
Rose and Lili have been thru SO much in the last year.
EVERYONE has been thru a lot. And it hasn't all been sweet or fun.
There have been so many days of despairing, of disagreements, of disappointments.... YET, thru it all, we have seen how sweet it can be when we are all clicking and things are going well.
There HAVE been good days, in fact good weeks. There have been lots of smiles, giggles, sharing, learning, loving, and bonding.
There have been moments when we see, AHA, it WILL work out some day.
What I need to keep in mind, is that what I expected, and what is reality, do not mesh, and I NEED TO ADJUST my expectations.
Reality is not THAT horrible.
It is not unliveable.
It is not unbearable.
It is just hard, BUT whoever promised me a simple life?
Who ever said parenting 7 children would be easy?
Who said parenting 7 children, 4 with special needs, would be a storybook fantasy?
I have been doing some real soul-searching lately, and while I still lose patience, and want things easier, I am trying to have a better attitude, and realize, its really not about me, or the family we were 2 years ago. Its about who we are now, and what Jesus is trying to do thru us and with us and for us.
Rose really enjoys days when life is predictable, and she knows what will be happening. When she can get up, dress, make the beds, and come down and help in the kitchen, without lots of rushing and being pushed because we are headed out the door for some unknown reason, she has a lot better day.
SCHEDULE is crucial for Rose.
She likes routine, and she likes doing things the same every day.
When we upset her routine, she does not do well.
SOOO, we need to work harder at having a better schedule, and FOLLOWING it.
WHICH, while we are moving, will be a challenge, but hopefully we can keep our eyes on the end result, a new farm, a new house, more space, and we can all work towards that, and keep our attitudes in check, even in the midst of the flu bug.
Lili is doing very well lately.
She ADORES her daddy, and needs a ceratin amount of time snuggling with  him, holding his hand while he was sick, sitting beside him by the parlor stove, anything.
She has been trying very hard to be a good sister to Isaiah and Isaac, and seems to really want to help with little chores with Isaac.
She loves being outside, but chores, especially egg chores, are not good for her unsupervised. We usualy end up with scrambled eggs when she is collecting eggs:)
Her speech is really not doing very well tho, and tho her comprehension seems pretty good most days, there are days, when I am sure she does not understand a thing we have said.
She has this horribly nasal speech, and many sounds are just about impossible for her to even try.
She loves the one on one time of speech therapy, and we have nick-named her little sarge, as she certainly likes to be in charge-even with the speech pathologist-who loves her anyway, and is always eager to praise her and tell me how hard she has worked during her session.

I often wonder what the next year will bring for the girls.
Moving must be unsettling to them, yet neither has the words to express what may be going on in their minds and hearts.
YET, we have such hope that more space, and more time working as a family for chores, and more school time will make a difference for everyone.

There have been times in the past year when I honestly felt like, "why did we do this!!"
YET, today, I have peace, and I know that I would have done it all over again, even knowing how hard some days are, how the emotional battles and behavioral battles can be sooo draining and frustrating, how the lack of communication skills for BOTH girls can hugely impact the family dynamics.
I really need to keep MY focus on Jesus, the author and finisher of our faith, who put our feet on this path, and who WILL give us all the grace and strength and wisdom that we need to make this family a cohesive unit.
Satan is dead-set against adoption.
We know he hates it when the fatherless find forever homes.
SO, we know he has been having a lot of fun with our family in the past 6 months, as we have been wallowing in pain and pity and despair, instead of looking up and claiming VICTORY!!!
I will always be brutally honest about older child adoption-IT IS NOT EASY!!
BUT, I will always stand behind the decision we made to follow Jesus and do it-it's like marriage, thru thick and thin, good and bad, sickness and health, we will survive, and be the better for it someday down the road!!
We are hunkering down for the arctic blast that is headed our way tonight-windchills of -35 are expected for up to 3 days-sounds like some good nights for snuggling, reading, and loving on our children-can't even think of moving on days like this, its all we can do to stay warm, and do the simple chores we have around here right now, and pray no one else gets the BUG!!!
Blessings to each of you
Chris, for all 9 of us
one year ago on gotcha day!!
gathering to sing Happy Birthday to Daddy via the web

from the lobby in our first hotel in Guiyang
I think they have all grown up a bit since last year!!!
Blogger is not letting me upload any new pictures tonight, so these will have to suffice for a quick snapshot of where we were 1 year ago!!!


The 4-O-7 said...

I admire your honesty Chris. And can I relate to so much of what you are saying. This has been a year of growth and adjusting expectations for our family too. Our family's biggest problem was that we all had a very bad case of the Screaming Me Mes. Yes indeed. I hope you all get well and settled into your new home soon. You are in my thoughts and prayers. Love and hugs. Your Sister in Christ~Tina

Desiree' said...

Doing the same dance at our house with our 7. Hang in there. God never gives you more than you can handle :)

Tammy said...

happy one year....what a sweet victory!

kimjax said...

I'm so glad to see this update, Chris! Please take some pictures and post - you'll be glad you did later. I remember our more difficult adoption and it was a chore to take pics when kiddo was challenging - but now I look back and smile. Time gives perspective, but it was many tears and frustration then. God doesn't grade us on results - just faith. The work is HIS part. Love and prayers coming your way - blessings, friend.

Michele said...

Thank you. I needed that.

Difference2This1 said...

Love your update...love your family. Prayers for continued movement toward balancing it all (or at least balancing what's important!!). Hope the illness passes quickly!! Blessings, Jenifer

Gail said...

Hello Chuck, Chris, and Family! I miss you guys so much. Your family has always been an inspiration to me:) I hope some day I'll be able meet Lily and Rose, and I can't even imagine how big everyone else is getting!
Hopefully someday I'll be able to come visit my Wisconsin Family again.
Always in my thoughts and prayers,

Annie said...

Hello Dear Chris! Sorry I haven't "stopped by" in awhile, I have been busy busy and not blogging as much lately, so trying to catch up.

So nice to see this recent post from you. You made it 1 year! I know it has been a long one with a lot of adjustments. You are amazing and true woman of God. You are inspirational and honest. Thanks for sharing. Glad you are figuring out how the girls work best and are coming together as a family. I will be praying for you planned move.

K said...

I've been reading all the blogs for those of us who did adoptions this last year of older kids and those with special needs and we are all thinking and feeling the same things! We are in good company, that's for sure. What we are doing isn't normal parenting, we are having go above and beyond and learn as we go minute to minute on top of all the tantrums and medical stuff and language barriers and I think a lot of us out-grew our homes because we were able to adopt when we didn't think we could, etc....

I'm curious about how you move from farm to farm. Do you bring the animals are sell them and start with new ones? I believe you've called your current farm the small farm and that you had a much larger farm before. What is considered a big and a small farm? Where are you looking to move to? I'd also like to move so I ask everyone I can how they like where they are or where they'd rather be.

Oh, about attitude and expectations. Yes, I'm in the same boat, wondering if I need to adjust each, and the easy answer is yes, daily! We are doing hard work, and Satan does love the orphan and hates when they come into Christian families. I am looking forward to the next year and reading about how we've all managed year 2. I'll be going to China this summer for my 4th!!!! Unless I find Mr. Right and get married, it will be my last, unless God has something in store that I don't know about.

Shauna said...

Think of you often, glad to see you are finding a good routine. Blessings, Shauna