Saturday, May 24, 2008

The Graduate!

Today was Cameron's graduation day. He is officially done with high school. He'll be living at home next year while attending college so I am dealing with it fine...even though my mom keeps telling me how OLD I am. Still younger than her..he he.

Friday, May 16, 2008

Brady Day!

Last Mother's Day I awoke to realize that we had overslept and were very close to missing our flight out of the Tri-cities on our way to China. We threw everything together and got to the airport only to learn our flight had been delayed. Big sigh of relief...or so we thought. Our flight kept getting delayed later and later until they cancelled the flight altogether. The woman at the ticket counter told Jeff that we could catch a flight out in two days. Jeff told her that she was lucky that his wife wasn't standing there when she said that! He told her that two days just didn't work for us. We were going to China to meet our new son and we needed to flight out that day. She found us a different flight and we were fortunate to get to LA in time to make our China Southern flight to Guangzhou. Even so, my stress level was through the roof. I know I should have just turned it all over to God, but I am stubborn sometimes. When we got to GZ, we were waiting and waiting and WAITING for our luggage. We had one suitcase but the other never came. We had to stand in this insanely long line to report it. While we were in that line, our guide left the airport thinking we had not arrived. So here we were at the GZ airport with no guide, no Chinese money and no way to communicate. Thank GOD another American passenger who also had lost luggage struck up a conversation with us. He happened to speak Chinese. He found us a cab and told the driver where we needed to go AND negotiated the fair price. Otherwise, I have no idea what would have happened. We had the whole day alone and were scheduled to get Brady the next day.

On the afternoon of the 16th, we headed to the Civil Affairs office to finally meet Brady. There was one other family also meeting their son for the first time. The boys hadn't arrived so we waited. Finally the nannies came in and scurried into the next room. I snapped a few shots but couldn't tell which was Brady. When they were ready to unite the families, they brought out the other boy first while Brady peeked into the room. His eyes were so big and his eyelashes just as long as they seemed in pictures. They brought him out and the next part is blurry to me. I remember talking to him, not wanting to push myself onto him but they wanted me to scoop him up quickly so I did. He didn't protest and didn't have much emotion at all. All the info that we got about Brady before the adoption talked about how QUIET he was. We sat him on the couch and pulled out the snacks and toys that we had brought. He quietly looked at what we had brought and I thought to myself that we were adopting the most sullen and timid child I had ever seen (please take a moment to chuckle over that one). I honestly thought this child might never smile. A few minutes later, he was belly laughing at Jeff. He took his hand and led him out of the CA office. I thought it couldn't be more perfect (again, go ahead and laugh). Then the bottom fell out. I won't lie. The next two weeks were the worst of my life. Brady screamed, hit, pushed, beat his head on the floor...I really can't even go back there yet. It just wasn't pretty. Thanks to many, many prayers we made it home (and with only one person asking us what the heck was wrong with him on the flight). We considered that a true miracle. The first weeks home were rough; last summer is a fog. I honestly could barely function. I asked myself many times what had we done. People always asked how we did it with five and it was always so easy. Then we had six and I DIDN'T know how to do it. I was overwhelmed. And during it all Brady was pushing me away. The minute Jeff got home from work, Brady would go crazy if I came near him. It was all so hard for everyone. All 8 of us. But through it all, I remembered one thing...God planned Brady for our family. He was ours and we were his. And then one day things just started getting easier and we fell into a groove and Brady's tantrums became less and less and he started feeling more comfortable with us. He started coming to me for comfort and wanting me to love on him. He became a happy, loving little boy. He has even just recently started asking for mama to do things for him, which is so awesome. This morning when he got up, he wanted me to carry him and didn't want me to put him down. It's so nice just to have him in my arms and not be fighting to get away. I know we still have a long way to go with Brady. Poor little fella has so many things to overcome. But today, on the one year anniversary of meeting Brady Daniel LeQiang Loos, I can say without hesitation that I am so glad he is my son.

Thursday, May 15, 2008

Flowers for Mama

It is closed!

Brady had another appointment with his surgeon today. We usually get the latest appointment time so that I don't have to take the girls, but they didn't have an opeing available this time so I had to drag them along. It was a nightmare. Brady and AnnaClaire fighting over a chair and both refusing my lap THEN minutes later fighting over my lap. Allie then started elbowing AnnaClaire. I guess if your brother and sister are causing your mom to become a sweaty, frustrated mess why would you want to miss out on that fun? There were two other patients in the waiting room. One (a man) said to the other (a woman) 'makes me wish I had three'. As she looked at him like she was trying to decide whether he was on drugs or just kidding (I really think he was serious), I was making a note to self to never ever even consider bringing the girls again. Ever. Did I say never? Cause I mean never. When they called us back, I said 'thank you Lord!' and I am pretty sure I heard an amen from the woman. It didn't get better once we were in the back. Brady threw a fit because they didn't have time to ride him up and down on the table and then because I wouldn't let him play with the magnifying glass when the nurse wasn't there to help. Then AnnaClaire whopped Allie in the nose with her HEAD. When the doctor finally came in, both Allie and AnnaClaire were crying and Brady still had big tears rolling down his face. But the minute the doctor came in Brady calmed down and did everything he was told. I told him he was like the 'Brady Whisperer'. It's really amazing. He looked in Brady's mouth and said the palate was closed! How awesome is that?! Brady doesn't have to go back to see him until July. I am so happy for my little man.

I am so blessed

As we pulled out of the garage to go take Allie to preschool on Tuesday, I said to the little ones 'What a beautiful day the Lord has made!' Allie excitedly said, 'Yes, that tree is growing!' (referring to what I consider a glorified stick our landscaper put in our front garden...but I digress) So I asked who made the tree and Allie said 'Jesus' and so I asked who made Brady and she answered 'Jesus'. I said yes, that God created Brady and he has a special plan for him-that He has a plan for us all. Then I asked who made 'Allie' to which I get another 'Jesus!' so I said 'I wonder what God's plan is for Allie?'. Then in the most joyous voice, Allie answers 'to have a family!' Seriously, how do you drive when you can't see through the tears?