Sunday, March 31, 2013

No Foolin'

I'm going to bed.  To sleep.  In theory. 

Tomorrow is the big day.

I am usually a big joker for April Fool's Day. 

One of my best was when I told the kids that school district test scores were so low they were going to keep all the kids in school for an extra month.  Even the teenagers fell for that one. "What??? They can't do that!!!  I refuse!!!"  FUNNY!

And then, of course, the shot jokes.  Which is funny--unless you have newly adopted kids who had to get five shots all in the same day before leaving China.  Then, it's not so funny! 

Oh!  And then the, "Guess what? We're adopting again!" joke.  But that one isn't any fun anymore, because people just say they aren't the least bit surprised!

But I digress.

Kim will go into surgery tomorrow (Monday) at 8:30 am (Pacific time).  Surgery will last about five hours.

PLEASE keep her in your prayers!  I'll update when I can!

Here's a picture from today.  I hope you all had a blessed Easter!

Friday, March 29, 2013

Life and Lights and Love

I feel I have no words to share.  No emotion to spare.  My energies spent on the urgent.  My prayers sent on the fly. 

Last week Patrick asked where his "smiley, happy mom had disappeared to?"  I love that my ever-sensitive boy not only sees it and feels it, he calls me out on it

This week I decided I can only live day-by-day, and in those days I want to make sure I am smiling at my kids, loving those around me, giving it over to God again and again (and yet again when I fail). 

Kim's surgery is Monday.  It's hanging over us, heavy as all the adoption paperwork we have ever completed!  We are just ready to be on the other side. 

My dad continues to decline.  Cancer sucks.  We don't use the "sucks" word in our family, except when it comes to cancer.  Let me repeat that.  Cancer sucks.  We spend as much time together as we can, relishing each precious visit. 

It's another reminder of how truly precious life is--you would think I would never forget that truth. 

And yet I do.  But I am also reminded of the healing power of love. 

"Love falls to earth, rises from the ground, pools around the afflicted.
Love pulls people back to their feet.  Bodies and souls are fed.
Bones and lives heal.
New blades of grass grow from charred soil.
The sun rises." 
~  Anne Lamott in Help, Thanks, Wow

I've been enjoying special time with the kids over spring break.  It included a trip to the video arcade where I solemnly swore I would not give them more than $15.  And after double that, Paul hit the jackpot, which made it all worthwhile. 



He ended up with enough tickets to become the proud owner of a red lava lamp.  Which now lights up his entire bedroom window with a bright red glow (I just hope it's not sending the wrong message to any passersby!). 

And, he had enough tickets left over to surprise his mama with a new case for her i-phone.  Lime green.  Rubber smell.  Given with a shy smile and love.  How sweet is that?  Let me tell ya, it's sweet enough that I will be taking that kid back to the video arcade in the near future--smart boy!

Sunday, March 17, 2013

Fisherman Tales

Happy Birthday to one very special boy!
Cupcakes, a Beaver football, Eragon books, and salmon fishing!
Patrick's Chinook went out 250 feet and gave him quite a fight!
Hubby asked if he needed help reeling it in--
Patrick looked over, grimaced, grinned, then said,
"Nope! That Mountain Dew is really kicking in!"
 



Memories of a lifetime!
Happy 11th Dude!


Saturday, March 16, 2013

Hope

I am spending the weekend with my parents.  I was reading through The Best Loved Poems of Jacqueline Kennedy Onassis, and found this lovely delight.

 
Hope is the Thing with Feathers
Emily Dickinson
 
Hope is the thing with feathers
That perches in the soul,
And sings the tune without the words,
And never stops at all,
 
And sweetest in the gale is heard;
And sore must be the storm
That could abash the little bird
That kept so many warm.
 
I've heard it in the chillest land,
And on the strangest sea;
Yet, never, in extremity,
It asked a crumb of me. 

Friday, March 15, 2013

What's Next?

Oh me, oh my!  Coming up for air!  I completed my final term paper last night.  I'm too old for this college stuff!

I am SOOO looking forward to spring break.  I desperately want some down time with my kids!   I want to spend time with my dad and mom!  I want to spend time with my husband!

At the Temple of Heaven in Beijing 

Since I only have one term left (PTL!) people have been asking me (and asking me) what I plan to do after graduation.  Honestly, I'm not sure!  Maybe become a hobo???

(Wait.  "Hobo" is not a word a social worker should be using.  Did I really just say that?  What I meant to say was employment-seeking-wanderlusting-free-spirited-human-being.)

I know I'll work in child welfare or adoption, but want to work part-time or at least flex some hours from home.  With international adoption slowing down, there's not as much available.  With the State, there's not a lot of part-time opportunities.  Private agencies?  Non-profits?

Lan Lan on a very cold day . . .

It's enough to cause my stress-o-meter to start ratcheting up.  Which I've been doing.  Which doesn't help.  And it's not like I don't have enough to stress about already, ya know?

So at this point, I'm just trying to let it go, and trust that God will put me right where He needs me the most!


finding a ladybug!  A sign of good luck!  

And if He decides that won't be until after summer vacation, I'm good with that!

Wednesday, March 6, 2013

Random Thanks and Thoughts

I want to thank each and every one of you who left a sweet message, e-mailed, called, offered dinner and prayers.  I cried when I read your messages.  I even received an e-mail from a reader who has never posted a comment, but said she has been reading my blog for years--she wanted to tell me we have friends we don't even know who are praying for us and that she was holding my hand from afar. 

WOW!  GOD IS SO BIG!! 

THANK YOU!!!

And with that, I am happy to bring some random thoughts (since I'm still trying to find coherence.)

My dad is hanging in there.  Good days and bad.  He has now been moved to assisted living, but is two hours away.  Sigh.  BUT, he is surrounded by a MULTITUDE of friends, family members, and my mom is always by his side.  We were hoping to go up this weekend except . . .

My kids did NOT get the memo that they are ALL supposed to get sick at once. 

NOT ONE BY ONE.  That is just not cool.


Now Lan Lan and Mei Mei are down for the count.  Yuck.

In other news--something amazing occurred.  I DID hire a cleaning crew!  I now know what heaven on earth is!  Please, please, come and look at my house right now so you can see it amazingly clean.

Oops too late.  They left an hour ago.

Need some good advice?  Are you the parent of a 5th grade boy? 


Here is goes.  Never, ever, ever, EVER, NEVER put a juice box in their lunch. 

Or rather, a CLIFFORD juice box.  You know?  Clifford the Big Red Dog?  He is apparently NOT cool with the in-crowd (or any crowd) in 5th grade.  In fact, Patrick might need some counseling over the issue.  It doesn't matter if they were on sale!  It doesn't matter if Mei Mei picked them out.  They are for worse-than-nerds.  For TURDS.  TRAUMA-DRAMA!

Here's another bit of advice. 

You know those Clifford juice boxes?  They will be cool again when boys are in 8th grade.  So will Hello Kitty Band-Aids.  Go figure. 


In other news, we celebrated three birthdays.

 
 

Blog posts coming soon about how wonderfully special each and every birthday child is/was/forever shall be. 

Actually, since I'm into time management these days, let's just get that checked off the list.

Happy Birthday insert name here.  I love you to the moon and back!  You are amazing!  You will always be my favorite child!

DONE! 

(I seriously need one of those "That Was Easy!" buttons!)

In other, other news, we've been able to postpone Mei Mei's bone graft until summer.  Yeah!  She does need oral surgery next week.  Boo. 


Just in time for Kim's surgery April 1.  Double, triple, extra quadruple BOO!  But thankful for excellent doctors, a great children's hospital, and insurance.  And incredibly thankful doctors know the cause of Kim's pain and can fix it (and keep it from causing even more problems). 

That, my friends, is all I got!  More mindless posts coming soon to a blog near you!

Friday, March 1, 2013

Be Still

I am sorry to say my peace has been replaced with stress.  Sometimes my faith is so small.  And honestly, at this point, I can't decipher what's stress and what's the emotion of deep sadness over my father's devastating illness. 

It's all so intermingled.  Sometimes I feel too weary to even pray more than just a desperate plea.  And I find myself wondering if my faith in prayer is lessened because of the loss of our son?  Do I still trust that God will answer my prayers to miraculously heal my father?  Should I stick to "safer" and "smaller" prayers?  Do I simply stick with, "Thy will be done." 

Westminster Abbey St. Catherine's Chapel Garden

My dear friend Barbara sent this in a card today.  The timing is perfect. It comes from Jason Jackson.

Be Still and Know I am God

"So as your world crumbles around you, the call from Scripture is: don't flinch in your faith in God.  Stand still--not because of a self-made confidence, not because you are the most composed person in the face of disaster, not because "you've seen it all."  Be still because of what you know about God.  It is God's past that provides calm for our future . . . He is your God.  He is the ruler of kingdoms of this earth and the all-powerful Creator of the Universe.  If you are the last man or woman standing, be still."

I have much to accomplish this weekend, but first and foremost is to find a way to BE STILL.  To pray the big prayers while trusting that God WILL answer--even if it's not be the answer I might be praying for.  I will be still and know that HE is God--not me.  I will be still, and put my trust in HIM.