Monday, July 30, 2007

Good Morning, China!

I wish you could hear what I hear over the baby monitor this morning. Most mornings while I'm drinking my coffee, piddling around in the kitchen, at some point I hear Piper wake up and start the process of trying to wake up Ella with her squeals and "dadadadada". This morning, like many others, Ella got up and put on the Chinese children's music that we got while in China. This was music that Piper heard in the orphanage. It's very lively music with children singing in Chinese. Ella dances and "sings" to the music for Piper who stands in her crib, clapping for Ella. This morning as I listened, it just made my heart tingle as I thought about how much I love this little family that God has made. I just love that Piper is Chinese and she is my daughter. It is just a beautiful thing to me and I don't think there's any way for me to explain it. I love what she has brought into our family and how rich the colors of our family seem to me.
Thank you, Lord for this gift. Help me to remember this later when their needs and nonstop chatter threaten to engulf me!

Thursday, July 26, 2007

VROOOM VROOOM!



Piper discovered this truck this morning and has been vroooming around ever since.

Monday, July 23, 2007

Sometimes I wish there were a stronger word for thank you. 'Thank you very much' just doesn't cut it when thanking friends who have taken there precious time to pray for your dad. It really doesn't. Since I don't know a better way to say it, thank you. We have witnessed some remarkable improvements in the last few days. My dad is really homesick, and for the first time in 20 something days, I can actually picture him being able to go home at some point. He misses his cat, "T", seeing his friends, and just being at home. He is working really hard and is making good progress. I am hopeful he'll be able to go home soon, and in a condition where he can do some of the things he enjoys. We went by my parents' house the other day and took a picture of his cat to hang on his wall, at his request. We have 8x10's of all the grand kids hanging along with a wall full of cards he's received.
My prayers during this time concerning my dad have been pretty simple. "Help us, Lord. Have mercy. Love on my dad. Heal him. Encourage him. Help him." I also have come to treasure this prayer:

God grant me the grace to accept the things I cannot change;
courage to change the things I can;
and wisdom to know the difference.
Living one day at a time;
Enjoying one moment at a time;
Accepting hardships as the pathway to peace;
Taking, as Jesus did, this sinful world as it is,
not as I would have it;
Trusting that He will make all things right if I surrender to His Will;
That I may be reasonably happy in this life and supremely happy with Him forever in the next.
Amen.
--Reinhold Niebuhr

Friday, July 20, 2007

The sweetest thing

What a little blessing came my way last night. It was late, I'd been up at the hospital with my dad and went to check on the kids before falling into bed flat exhausted. Just as I was leaving the girls' room, I heard a giggle coming from Piper's crib. I looked back in, and Piper was completely asleep - giggling and making the sweetest cooing noises.
I hope I never forget that moment.

Wednesday, July 18, 2007

A very important hair dilema - (I know, all hair dilemas are important, but this is really important)

"I can't take it anymore!"


What to do with Miss Piper's hair - it's constant source of brain activity around here. Everyone seems to have an opinion - get it cut, let it grow, bow, hair clip, hat...

I already have hair anxiety over my own hair and now with Piper, it seems to have quadrupled the amount of time I spend thinking about taming hair.

What's a girl to do?

Scott, I have complete control of the kids while you're out of town, really ...

That was a clean pile of towels there on the side of the bathtub

Piper gets in on the action


So I'm feeding Piper in the family room when Hunter walks by with that look on his face that means he's up to something. Occasionally Scott has to go out of town for work and the 6:00 hour is by far the hardest part for me. Dinner, baths, stories, bedtime...not a 1 person job in my opinion. So, after feeding Piper, we went to find the source of all the giggles...

Scott will be home today, thank you Lord, and I won't be so outnumbered!

Tuesday, July 17, 2007

Just because I need to remind myself...

I love this quote so much that I copied and pasted it from a previous blog entry:

I remember hearing Tim Keller quote Tolkien, saying something like - "God will someday make everything sad come untrue, but somehow the suffering will make our eternal glory and joy even greater for having been through it." Keller went on to say that somehow, through the cross, we can see that God will enhance our joy, through our suffering. It will be more glorious for having once been wrong and bad.

In different areas of my life I can really see this to be true, at least in part. I often think about how devastated the disciples must have been after Jesus was killed, before His resurrection. They had put their lives on the line, given up everything, and then - gone, He was gone, He did not save Himself. It's hard to imagine how horrible that must have been for them. When I start to get overwhelmed, I remind myself that I am only seeing a small part of the picture He's painting.

I've mentioned this before, but we had two difficult miscarriages when we were trying to start a family. One of them left me in the hospital for emergency surgery and without a fallopian tube. I can still taste the sadness and disappointment that ensued. Of course, God has not made that become untrue, *yet*, but He has blessed me with the sweetest joy in my kids. Part of what caused us to consider adoption is how difficult it was for me to get and stay pregnant. Adopting Piper has been the most surprising, wonderful blessing I've ever had. And even within Piper's adoption itself, something about knowing the difficulty of how her life started makes her smile and joy just so very sweet to me. I am in awe of her everyday, and the work I see God doing in her. I think of last night and how I attempted to read Hunter and Ella a book before bed. Piper kept diving on top of us, while giggling and snorting with delight. That's how she tackles life, just dives in and has a ball! What if we would have missed her and not known the joy of being her parents? I cannot even go there...
I remember being in China and telling God, okay, I get it...I trust you. Looking at Piper, and seeing for my own eyes how the Lord had weaved together all these strands of pain, hardship, waiting, disappointment, to create such a beautiful life, I resolved to trust Him more and fret less.

Monday, July 16, 2007

Funny comments I get when out and about with Piper:

Old Navy cashier: "Is her father Asian?" I am so tempted to answer: "Oh, that's who it was! Thank you for helping me clear that up."

And then there are the people who think I am Chinese or Hispanic and feel free to comment about that. One of our guides in China asked me where "my people" are from! To clear this up once and for all: I am half German, the other half is some sort of a European mix, part Scottish and other stuff. My own grandfather used to call me "my little Mexican girl". So now throw into the confusion a Chinese daughter. Piper and I are just going to have to get used to splain'n ourselves!

Friday, July 13, 2007

Just when you think nothing on earth could make you smile...


Piper's socks on Ella's hands, why of course


Before we left for China, we had a change of heart about Piper's sleeping arrangements and decided to put her in a room with Ella instead putting her in a room by herself. We made this decision based on a number of things, and for the most part it has worked out great. I think it really hastened the bonding process b/t the two of them. They are both little party animals and have a great time together every night. After their 30 minute "gabfest", they do go to sleep and don't wake each other up at all.
Last night, I went up to check on them before going to bed and this is what I saw. This morning I asked Ella why she was wearing Piper's socks on her hands last night. Very matter of factly she said "mommeeee, I wanted globes, of course". That would be gloves, of course.

Sunday, July 08, 2007

Well, look at me!


Getting ready
Here I go...
Why are they all so excited? This is soooo easy!

Just as I was getting ready to come up to the hospital to see my dad, Piper Grace stood up and took a few steps on her own! In typical Piper fashion, she then did it again and again and again and again. She works something with impressive focus until she thinks she's got it. My mom thinks it's a little OCD, I just think she must be brilliant.
I feel so proud of her!

It's been a good day, I'm writing this from my dad's regular room. He graduated from the ICU - hooray!

WALKING!!!



Just like my mama, I stick my tongue out when I'm really working at something.

It's Sunday morning and my dad is still in CCU but might be moved out later or tomorrow. My mom says he seems better today, so maybe he's making a turn for the better. I know he's got lots of people praying for him. If you are one of those people, THANK YOU. He has started to get some movement back in his hand, pray that it continues to improve today. The doctor also said his pneumonia sounded the best it has so far.

On the Piper front, she has started to practice standing on her own and has even added a side to side sway to it this morning! Her development is so interesting to watch, as she usually focuses intently for a few days on a new skill until she feels she's gotten it. She smiles so proudly as she does it. She has added "uh-oh" and "no-no" to her vocabulary. She also says: dog-dog, dada, mama, Ella (sort of), Hunter (sort of), water(sort of), diet coke(very sort of)! All of the sort of words, we can understand, but probably no one else could. Scott has been taking good care of the kids while I've been at the hospital, she just better not walk while I am gone!

Tuesday, July 03, 2007

"The price of anything is the amount of life we exchange for it."--Henry David Thoreau


I ran across this quote and have been mulling it over the last few days. It is really making me think, and that doesn't always happen a lot at this stage of life!
Hmmm, good food for thought for me today.

Monday, July 02, 2007

Just the girls

Beautiful girl
So this is how it works when mama's at the hospital with Papa

My parents have some very good family friends who invite my whole family to their lake house every 4th of July. We go and participate in the parade and spend the day catching up with everyone and enjoying the water. This year was going to be a little different, as my dad had finished up his 3rd week of chemo and daily radiation and wasn't feeling up for going with us. We were supposed to go on Sunday morning, but my mom called and said my dad wasn't doing well. After a long morning, my brother went over there to try and help my mom figure out what could be going on. After a couple of calls to the doctor, and his fever going up, they knew he needed to go to the hospital. By that night, he was in ICU with severe pneumonia in his good lung. It turned out that his oxygen levels were very low, so it is very good that they made the call they did. Thankfully they only live about 30 minutes away, so I was able to go and be there. It's Monday night and he's still in ICU, but very stable and doing better. Because of the chemo, he had very few white blood cells to fight the infection so the antibiotics are doing that for him now. Life can really change in an instant. It's cliche, but really ringing true for me right now.
I'm off to bed...praying my dad sleeps well tonight as his body is healing so he can get into a regular room.