It is the last week of summer vacation. We have been busy buying school clothes and school supplies, and getting K’s 4 year old well-check and all of those lovely vaccinations. (She actually did very well. There were tears, but no hysterics.) Within the next day or two, I’ll be pulling out all of the new school clothes and washing them, then organizing them in the girls’ closet and dresser--uniforms for K, and regular clothes for MJ.
K will spend her pre-K year at the same Christian school where the girls attended last year, and MJ will transition to our local public school. It looks like I will even get to dip my toes back into the teaching pool by doing some substitute teaching at the Christian school. There will be a logistical adjustment as we get all of our car rider and bus schedules figured out. And of course, the girls will be adjusting to new teachers (and a new school for MJ), along with new classmates. MJ will also be adjusting to her first year of all day school.
My prayer for the new school year is that my children will learn and grow in the course of this year, and that they will be a Christlike example for their classmates and teachers. My prayer is also that their teachers will be loving, encouraging examples for their students.
To all of the teachers and students who might be reading this, have an amazing school year!
On Saturday, we had K’s 4th birthday party and had an experience that was a first for us...as the kids were sitting down to eat lunch, this little boy who was in the play area at the Golden Arches came over to the table where we were getting all of the party guests sitting in their designated seats and kept trying to sit down.
I found myself saying things like, “Sweetheart, where is your mother?”
“No, that’s ___________ seat. He/she needs to sit there.”
“We don’t know you.”
“Where is your mother?”
“Can you go find your mother?”
Finally one of my friends went and found the little boy’s mother, who then came to get him. She had been dealing with her younger child and hadn’t seen what was happening. She was, to say the least, terribly embarrassed by her child’s behavior.
The poor child stood at the edge of the play area and watched the party. I felt for him, but this is a child we had never seen before today and did not know at all.
Four years ago today, our family grew from a family of 3 to a family of 4 with the arrival of K. She was born 9 days after her due date, and managed to disrupt a Sunday morning worship service with her impending arrival (even though she wasn't actually born until Monday morning). She has grown to be such a loving, precious little girl. K always has hugs and kisses to share. She is our little girly-girl, too.
I have to admit, I started this blog post a couple of months ago as I began work on MJ’s lifebook. Then life got in the way with VBS, vacation, and all of those other summertime things, so the project got put on hold for a bit. Most of this blog post was written early in the process, with some editing to make it read correctly for today’s date...
I am finally in the process of putting together a lifebook for MJ. I knew this was important...that it was something she needed, and as she gets older and asks more questions, I realized it was imperative that she have as much of her story as we can give to her. I have done one of the “fill in the blank” style books like this one, but it is more of a baby book. My problem was getting started. Awhile back, via a bloggy friend, I came across “My Story Lifebooks.” An adoptive mom has created a templates that can be used to make a lifebook for your child. She gives the framework, and you provide the personal details. I ordered my template and set out on this journey that is the lifebook.
And, wow, is it ever a journey. Somehow I didn’t realize how much of an impact this would have on me as MJ’s mother. As I delve into paperwork that has been filed away for several years now, and as I search through photos from our adoption journey, I am on an emotional roller coaster. I am once again realizing that our precious girl was left to be found as a one day old infant. I am again facing the reality that my knowledge of our oldest daughter’s first 9 months of life is extremely limited. I just want her to have every bit and piece of information that I can possibly gather.
A month or two ago, I was doing some work on her book. It just happened that the page I had up on the computer screen was the one with pictures of her finding spot and the SWI. Until that point, even though she has seen the finding spot pictures in a photo album, I don’t think she had ever fully grasped that her birth parents had left her to be found. I’m still not sure that she does fully understand. What a reality to be faced by a 5 year old... But it is part of her history, her story...
And so, the process continues...
I have one picture left that I need to fill, and then I'll be uploading MJ's book for printing. I will share some pictures of the finished product once it comes in.
Five years ago today, we were anxiously awaiting news of our China adoption referral. We knew via Rumor Queen and our July Dragonflies DTC group that we were included in the current batch, but our agency’s referrals always seemed to take a couple of days longer because we were umbrella’d under another agency. We had news that one of the families in our travel group had received their referral, but the rest of us were all still on pins and needles. When we hadn’t heard anything by end of the business day on August 1, we figured it would be at least one more day before we got any news. Since we were pretty sure we weren’t going to hear anything that evening, we decided to go out for supper to attempt to get our minds off of things. Just as we were getting ready to walk out the door, the phone rang, and I heard those amazing words, “This is your call!”
We grabbed the cordless phone and headed to the computer so we could see the pictures our agency rep was sending to us. And that was the day we saw our MJ for the very first time...
Now, she is a vivacious, energetic, smart, and creative 5 1/2 year old soon-to-be kindergartener, and we cannot imagine life without her.
Our lives have never been the same, and for that, we are eternally grateful...
I am a child of God, a wife of 12 years to my wonderful husband who happens to be a pastor, a mother of 3 precious children (one of whom was born in China), and an elementary school teacher. Life is busy, and God is good!