Wednesday, July 30, 2008

Sammy's 7th Birthday

Sammy celebrated his 7th birthday on Monday, the 28th. We celebrated by going to the circus on Sunday and then going to the Addis Ababa Restaurant downtown. We had a great time eating injera and ZilZil Tibs. Monday, the actual birthday, we got to go swimming at the Fun Pool with our friend David Fedder. Later we ate a checkerboard cake that Sammy picked out for mommy to make. I can't wait to see what he picks out for next year. Sammy, we love you!! Happy 7th Birthday!!

Fun with Mawmaw and Pawpaw

My mom and dad got to meet the "new" kids for the first time a couple of weeks ago. We had fun just hanging out with them. Pawpaw got to wrestle with the little girls and play some baseball with the boys. Mawmaw helped Samantha and Michaela sew two quilts, make two covers for Karissa and JoHanna, and she helped Michaela make some cute pillows. Thanks Mawmaw and Pawpaw for a great and memorable time!!

Friday, July 18, 2008

JoHanna's Gotcha Day!! #3

Well, today was a fun day of celebrating our third year anniversary of adopting JoHanna from China. Three years ago, a nanny brought her to the Chinese Civil Affairs office, checked our passports and paperwork and gave us our precious Chinese daughter. She was terrified of us and of what was transpiring. The only way that I could stop her from crying was to sing to her. That night she had her first dinner of Cheerios. She wouldn't eat anything else. For the first few days, she only wanted to be outside looking for her nannies. She would get so mad at us when we would take her inside of our hotel room. She would bang on the door and cry to be let out - so that we could go out again to look for her nanny. It took her three days and 5 hours of crying on the third day, to finally come to the realization that we were there to stay and that her nanny was not coming back. It was very heartbreaking to watch her make the transition. By the end of the first week though, she was a pretty happy little girl who was ok with her new mommy and daddy. Today, she loves to tell make believe stories, she can swim by herself, and she loves to play with anyone who is available. When I look at her now I think of how far she has come. I am so glad that God has brought her into our lives. She is such a blessing and I can't wait to see what God has in store for her life. I love you JoHanna Grace!!

Thursday, July 10, 2008

July 4th

We had a wonderful 4th of July with my sister, Donita and all of our friends here in Houston. The kids loved going to the pool and then to the Bosticks house for food, fun and fireworks. The kids really liked the fireworks except for the grand finale - it was a little too much. But it was great to see our "new american citizens" having so much fun!

Thursday, July 3, 2008

Karissa gets a new hairdo

Ok, we have restrained ourselves long enough! Michaela and I finally "tried" to do Karissa's hair. Karissa actually liked it. Her brother's just laughed. All I can say is that we tried (and we had a lot of fun)!!

Six Flags

Last weekend we had the opportunity to take 7 out of 8 kids to Six Flags. (Mom and Dad Wegner graciously let Karissa stay with them.) We had a great time at the park! David and Sammy rode quite a few roller coasters but most of the time, they asked not to ride them again. JoHanna rode just about every ride in the "Kiddie Park". She also rode a grown up ride, the Parachute Drop, with her Daddy. When I asked her afterwards if she was scared, she said, "No, I'm fine." She was quite the daredevil.

Monday, March 24, 2008

Training Wheels

I had to buy some training wheels for a bike for Sammy the other day. Don't get me wrong, I already had two sets of training wheels in the garage. We had one set on JoHanna's bike and one on Michaela's old bike, now ridden by David (formerly Yoftahe), we didn't have any training wheels to throw on the bike that some friends very generously donated to us for Sammy. He and JoHanna were sharing her bike, but that wasn't always peaceful. But who in the world keeps three sets of training wheels in their garage? Well, I guess, for now, I do!

I got to thinking a little bit about training wheels and the first thought that came to mind was that I felt like an experienced parent who should be able to "ride" the parenting role pretty comfortably. But when you throw in multiples, not much previous exposure to discipline of any sort, and a language barrier that is frustrating them even more than it is frustrating us, somehow, this time around seemed very different from the first five. Training wheels - that's what I need - training wheels for parents. Praise God, He is more than that for us. He supports us and when we don't have the balance to keep moving forward, he sustains us with his mighty hand. We still feel like we fall a lot and some days we feel pretty beat up by it, but we are so grateful for the sustaining strength of God's loving arms - our training wheels for now.

It wasn't but a couple of days later that David found himself complaining that his training wheels were still letting his bike lean too much. They weren't making things as easy as he wanted them. That sounds familiar right now as well. When the boys have nightmares (something that's happened about three or four times since we've had them), I sometimes wish God's sustaining arms would put them back to sleep so I can get rest instead of having to sit on the floor with them for an hour or so until they fall back asleep. He is so powerful and can communicate His love despite any language barriers. In fact, if there ever was a good time for the gift of tongues, where it could edify those who speak and those who understand, this would have to be an optimal time - yet he lets us struggle through the communication process. We knew it wouldn't all be easy and some days we wish it were easier than it is. But I guess that's the way training wheels are supposed to work. Because the very next day, we took off the training wheels and David took off on his bike, without any supports at all. My analogy falls apart here a little, because we will never not need God's support and sustaining power. But it is worth noting that we grow stronger in our faith the more God allows those tough things to come at us and to be overcome in His power.

Can God make His Glory known in training wheels? Well, yes. But He is proving Himself to be worthy of our trust and He is keeping us upright as we learn to ride this parenting bike all over again.