Monday, January 16, 2012

Field trip #2 was today!!! I took the kids to Indianapolis to the Children's Museum! We had fun, though it could have been better. lol!

We decided to go today, since it was a FREE day!!! And I had to pick up a craigslist find, so two birds.

It's a 3 hour trip for us each way, so we left about 8 this morning. It started out pretty sunny!
I wished it would last. We got there about 11:15 (they opened at 10AM) The parking garage was were the closer lots, according to the sign. I was a bit sad to have to park outside, I knew the rain was coming and the garage with covered skyway would have been so nice!! But that was ok!
Isabelle's favorite thing at the! Silly girl!

First stop was the garden of miniatures. It was so cute that Isabelle knew waht most everything was. She did ask why there were 3 egyptian pyramids, though. Glad I had already planned to make that a unit! I nearly cried when Isabelle started talking about going to see the Great Wall if we still planned to adopt Serenity.

Why didn't they chip his nose?

From here we had lunch in the food court. Oh my goodness!! It was SOOO packed. The ladies cleaning were helping find tables. One was found for me, then a lady and 2 girls sat there. It had 9 seats, and neither of us minded, so we sat together. Food was ok, nothing to write home about.

Then we were off to explore!!! The Treasures (mummy, sunken ship, and terra cotta warriors) exhibit was our first stop, since our unit is Pirates. They have an exhibit for the ship that was discovered as Cpt. Kidd's. Well, it was WAY to crowded to see hardly anything!! Isabelle did get to play as an archaeologist for a bit. Poor thing kept being rushed by kids and families RUSHING! She wanted to read, but everyone was so pushy. I kept taking her back so she could read.

We also explored the dino area, and pretty well everything else except the Barbie exhibit and 4th floor. I was bummed, because the 4th floor is where most of the "play" stuff is, including the carrousel. We couldn't get through. It was a bit of a nightmare trying to even get back out after walking 20 feet!

Gabriel really liked the trains!

Super Croc!

Poor thing was SO done. He was stuck in his stroller the whole time. 

Poor Gabriel was stuck in his stroller the WHOLE time(3 hrs) and in his seat for about 4.5 hours in addition. He just kept saying"out"! So, after I picked up the trailer,  we stopped for some leg stretching play at a McDonald's on the way home.
Just happy to be out!!  
Overall, it was a fun day, but we learned a lesson. We will NOT be visiting anymore places offering a special FREE day!! I will just wait until midweek and pay. One benefit of homeschooling!

We will likely return next month....on a Tuesday! :)

Saturday, January 14, 2012

God speaks to us in ways we sometimes don't understand right away. I want to thank everyone for their prayers. I should have news about our family growing by the end of next week!! It weighs on me and I wish I could say more, but I need to wait a little longer. :)

Homeschool has been slow to start. I still think Isabelle really loves the freedom and stress free environment (most of the time! lol) of being home. We have only been working for less than 2 weeks and we have a LONG way to go on getting things down. Monday should show some new routine in our schedule that I will be working on. I have tried easing in slowly, but I fell we aren't accomplishing what needs to be done.

We went to Target yesterday and picked out some different diapers to try. I already miss my Disney characters, but I HAVE to do something about leakage!! We got a small pack of Luv's (NEVER used them before) and a box (no smaller packages) of Pamper's overnights. On inspection of the Pamper's I was FLOORED at how THIN they were, but let me tell you, NO LEAKS LAST NIGHT!!! We also bought a new potty chair. I have one of those toilet seat converters, but it's a pain for him, he doesn't like to just sit on it. He loves to "try" but hasn't gone pee pee but twice. I was also concerned that the cup wasn't tall enough. Well, he LOVES his new seat!! He will sit on it for quite awhile and wanted on it first thing this am.

In other notes, I picked up Gabriel to put a diaper on him this morning and pulled something in my back. It hurts badly right now. Of course, with my buldging disks, I knew this could happen, so I have been careful. I hope it stops soon. I had planned to take the kids to Indy on Monday. The Children's Museum has a pirate exhibit and since our unit this month is such, and it is free on Monday it will be perfect. Sadly, if my back doesn't get better I don't think we will be able to go. I also planned to buy a second hand bike trailer for Gabriel. I am ready to ride again!!!

Hope your weekend is GRAND! And warmer than mine! God bless!

Friday, January 13, 2012

Biggie decision... Sadly, without knowing at least if she can crawl and if her development is otherwise normal with the exception of walking I can't go further. I am so sad, already. The agency just doesn't have enough info and can't get it. They can't even tell me if she is crawling. I asked if I could send things for her, she really touched my heart. So far, the agency says this orphanage is too afraid of outsiders.
Thank you for all your help and prayers. My prayers are with Serenity.

So last night after my prayers and through my tears, I fell asleep trying to think of what I could do...Hoping it will come to me.

Thursday, January 12, 2012

While researching this morning I stumbled upon Bai Jia Bei, which means " 100 wishes".

There is a tradition in northern China called the "Bai Jia Bei." In Mandarin, it's 百家被, which literally means Quilt United by 100 Families. 家 is the character for both family and home. The following is a story of the origin of the Bai Jia Bei...

"The last Empress of the Qing dynasty was a mere concubine, until she had the good luck to birth the Emperor’s only son. When forced to leave her baby alone for a while, she conceived a plan to protect him from the senior wives and obligate the other powerful Manchu families to back his claim to the throne. "From the head of each of the highest one hundred families in the Empire, she required a bolt of the finest silk. From the silks she commanded the palace tailors to cut one hundred small pieces and from these make a robe for her child. Thus he belonged, by symbol, to one hundred strong and noble families, and under their shelter the gods would fear to harm him."

I think this sounds like something I would like to do! Now I LOVE to sew, but I have NEVER quilted, so wish me luck!!

I would love to start gathering wishes for our future daughter, wherever she may be. If you would like to help here is what I need:

1.  1 8" x 8" square of pre-washed 100% cotton fabric to be used in the quilt.
2.  A second 2" x 2" piece of fabric attached to an index card or piece of cardstock or in a card, whatever you would like.  On the card please include a wish, or poem, or message or special song decide!  These will all be compiled in an album for her so and the fabric swatches will let her know which quilt square you contributed.
  HERE is a great post about how they should look!!

I also found this in my research today.


Once there were two women who never knew each other.
One you do not remember, the other you call Mother.
Two different lives shaped to make you one.
One became your guiding star, the other became your sun.
The first one gave you life, and the second taught you to live it.
The first gave you a need for love. The second was there to give it.
One gave you a nationality. The other gave you a name.
One gave you a talent. The other gave you aim.
One gave you emotions. The other calmed your fears.
One saw your first sweet smile. The other dried your tears.
One sought for you a home that she could not provide.
The other prayed for a child and her hope was not denied.
And now you ask me, through your tears,
the age-old question unanswered through the years.
Heredity or environment, which are you a product of?
Neither, my darling. Neither. Just two different kinds of Love.
~ Author Unknown

Very touching. :) Have a blessed day!

Wednesday, January 11, 2012

Oh wow!! I was emailed back about midnight about Serenity!!

This is what I was told!

 "You may be what Serenity is waiting for. She needs a family that is as compassionate and strong as can be. One that could accept that she may have cp or maybe not. We just don't know. She has low muscle tone and isn't walking yet but we have high hopes a family can step forward and take this leap of faith. If you can do this just fill out the attached pre-application and get it back to me and I'd be thrilled to send you her file."

So I filled out the preapp, barely awake this morning and headed to the gym. I had a small heart to heart with Matt while there and broke this to him, out of the blue. We didn't talk too much.

After a good workout with my husband, I drove to KY to pick up Isabelle from my parents. I occasionally checked my email for word back. On the way home I talked to Isabelle about it. She had a few opinions, like she wanted a GIRL! And she was concerned about the long flight! LOL! Then, 20 minutes before I got home, I saw it!!! I teared up immediately!!! There were attachments and I wanted to look on my PC, so I called my best friend to pass the time faster!!

I finally got home and started getting everything downloaded and opened. Matt was on the phone forever and I wanted to share with him, but I couldn't wait!

I started reading her file and looking at her pictures. The medical jargon in translated English is not too clear for me. I couldn't wait to show Matt her picture, though!!

While I waited for him to get off the phone, I started asking for some help from some friends. I hope they can help! From the report last July it sounds like she is pretty well caught up with her peers. I am not sure of the risk of Cerebral Palsy, here.

I was SO excited when Matt was finally able to look other the pictures and file with me!! I asked him, with a lump in my throat, trying to hold back tears, "Isn't she beautiful?" I gave him a little time to read and absorb, though I did spring it out of the blue!

Finally, I asked him, "Do I dismiss this or keep praying and researching for help?" He isn't sure what to say, I can tell. He said that he worries about the expense of the adoption as well as medical expenses and raising a handicapped child. Then he says, it would be nice to open our home, I wish we had more space for 3 or 4. And several other if, ands, and buts.

I feel overall, he was saying I don't know if we can, but then he would say, but later I might feel like we could have.

Help!! Please!! Keep praying!! I think I recognized her as my daughter last night, but I am afraid to admit that to anyone, because my heart has been broken so much already. I love her, my heart swells thinking about what her sweet smile must look like, just as it does picturing my other babies doing the same.

Can we do this? Is this God's will?

Any experience in CP or international adoptions? I need help! I don't understand CP enough. Funding is also a BIGGIE!

Thank you for your thoughts and prayers- xxx- Alicia

Tuesday, January 10, 2012

Ok, major prayer request coming.

We have 3 beautiful children. Isabelle, 9, Gabriel, 19 months, and an Angel, Levi. Levi would be 5 this year. We lost him in 2007 when a truck running a red light struck our car. Awhile after my husband and I decided that we wanted more children (before we had felt 2 was enough, though I think sooner or later I would have said otherwise! ;) ). We even discussed adoption! I told my husband I wanted our next child's name to be reminiscent of Levi. Something special.
Isabelle was a GREAT big sister from the start!  

Levi at 5 weeks old.

Levi, Halloween 2006.

Levi, just after his first birthday. 

Levi really shows his "shy" side here. He was all smiles most of the time, but he was quite and introverted. This was our first night at WDW, in 2007.

Our last night in WDW, 2007. We lost him only 8 days later.

I have very difficult pregnancies, so Gabriel was my last. Between him and Levi I had 2 midterm miscarriages. I nearly gave up, wondering if God didn't want me to have anymore children. Adoption came up again. Soon I was carrying Gabriel, though, and to term, too!

When I became pregnant with my 3rd child, Gabriel, before we knew he was a HE, I had picked the name for a girl, Leila (which reminded me of Levi!) Serenity. Gabriel's middle name is Ian, after the other name we struggled to decide between when we named Levi. I admit, I was a bit scared when we found out our 3rd child would be a boy. I had convinced myself we were having a girl, after all, I KNEW with my first two. I was afraid of what people would think and say, and of how much alike they could be. Other than blond hair and blue eyes, they couldn't be more different!!  I love each of my children so very much!!
Isabelle and I. I am 8 months pregnant with Gabriel here.

Time for ANOTHER C- section!!
A wonderful sissy!

If this is where God wants me to stop, I am ok with that. After all, I love my children with all I am and I am blessed for them. I have room in my heart, though. I have been praying and considering, considering and researching, oh! And praying!! Knowing there isn't a rush (unless God says otherwise) and time is on my side.

Through all this time (months), this is what I concluded, thus far, anyway; there is something about a baby being turned over to an orphanage or abandoned....not because she wasn't wanted, but because her mommy desperately wanted her to LIVE! I understand... After my losses, I can empathize and maybe offer hope to a precious little girl. <3

 So, while researching, I stumbled on THIS page. When I saw a beautiful little girl and my heart skipped!! And that was just staring into her deep, beautiful eyes!! When I started to read and saw her name I cried. Her name is Serenity. Maybe God is speaking louder than I think! And now, I keep going back to look at her and into those precious eyes! I can't get enough.

Serenity. This is an older picture, she will be 2 in March.
 I have contacted the agency about her. It may be all a fantasy or maybe it is meant to be. I have to wonder....

MUCH prayer is needed. If we decide (of course, I have to TALK to my husband about it first! lol! And the rest of our family, that I am afraid will judge and why I haven't said anything to them.) to adopt there is a LOT to consider. If Serenity isn't meant to be, but has led me on the right path as a sign, the referral process to adopt from China can take 6 years!!! And cost almost $30,000...which is the major hold-back.  I know God will provide if it is they way, but that figure will scare my husband away! So many considerations. Please, I need prayer and a LOT of it. This is a BIG deal. My heart is big, is this the way?

Monday, January 9, 2012

Sorry I have been MIA lately! Did your New Year start off with a BANG! I was hoping mine would, alas, it seems slow and steady it is!

Matt and I FINALLY made it in to the gym today! Yay! I had hoped we would get there much sooner, but we made it! I started out slow and light, per my PT. So happy to have taken that step!

Another slow and steady??? Homeschooling!! I put off starting a bit so that I could get the basement done and avoid the pile that is now on my dining room table. Lots of heavy things to be moved, though. I can't do it. And, short of a cattle prod, Matt isn't going to do it. Poor thing had a dozen projects going his head!!!! Thus not getting any done. I think I will prod a bit more tomorrow. :)

We did get started, though. I could see the path we were heading down. The put it off game was NOT going to be one off Isabelle's first lessons at home. So we began our first Unit...Pirates! ARRR!

Most of our lessons and activities are themed around the notorious lot! We started off with a short history and pirate fun, including a pirate name generator, pirate personality quiz, and a class flag design by Isabelle. She even drew herself as a pirate!! For all of 10 minutes, Isabelle became Capn Tiny Jezebel Dawkins. Then she changed it! Apparently she has an animal pirate ship! lol!!

Meanwhile, Gabriel flitters about the room like a tornado. His new favorite activity being throwing things, for the sheer joy of the BANG! And getting STUCK! lol!!

For the next couple of nights, Isabelle is visiting with my parents. Oh the freedom of homeschooling!! She took along her homework, quite happily, a comic type copy of Treasure Island and warm play clothes!! Now if I could only convince mom to keep Gabriel, too....hmmmm......

I have been sewing, as well. I have a sweet 1st birthday Mickey Mouse shirt all ready to be pieced together, as well as finishing up 2 of 6 dresses ordered for 2 special girls to wear next month in Disney World. Busy am I! Busy! Busy!

Monday, January 2, 2012

Popping in to wish you a HAPPY NEW YEAR!!! May it be prosperous and beautiful!