Monday, December 23, 2013

It's Perfect!

So I've been looking for a while. Knowing what I wanted, digging through retail sites, wasting far too much time on Am@zon and e-b@y trying to find what I knew existed in my head and must SOMEHOW, SOMEWHERE exist in real life. I could see it in my mind's eye. I knew it had to be out there and I was determined to find it.

What was it for which I was searching, you ask?
Why, the perfect family ornament, of course.

I was going crazy... crazy enough to start thinking about making my own. Really. Like I have the time or the energy or the resources to start ANOTHER project this month. Heh. Like I have the time to sit and search for hours, googling key word after key word. Oh, whatEVER.

In my defense, I think the 10,000 viewings of Despicable Me
has turned my logic skills to mush this month.
In my defense of the said 10,000 viewings,
it's the only thing that distracts Mei Mei completely
and totally from her pain and activity limitations.
There. I feel better. All those disclaimers and explanations....
Apparently, sleep deprivation messes with my ability to be succinct, too.

I slapped myself out of my delirium and put the word out to my very-connected F@cebook friends.Yes, I harnessed the power of social media for my own gain. Dude. I'm so 2013.

I knew it had to be something like this one, which I found the year after Li'l Empress came home. You know, back when we thought (ha!) we might be done building up our gang's population. I do love it. After all, it is perfect for our folk-art style decor but it's dated wrongly (she came home in 2008 and it's dated 2009). But it had to be different. And again, so far that different existed in my head but I was looking for it in "hard copy."

So, on the advice of several of those friends,
I turned to Etsy. I mean really. What CAN'T you find at Etsy?

Just a few clicks is all it took. A link here and a link there.

I found it. It's perfect. And I love it.

This is The Gang's un-officially official Forever Family ornament.

2013. The year that The Gang is {finally} all here. Home. Forever.

The Gang's All Here. And it's literally "set in stone."

And I love it.

If you like it, go check out Rosi's Place.
Tell her The Gang's Momma sent you. Check out all the beautiful stone work.
I'm certain you will find at least one or two things you will love.

Why don't you head over there now and look.
Come on back and leave me a comment about your faves!

For my friends who prefer to support businesses
that are run by adoption-hearted folks,
I'm thrilled to tell you that Rosi has two beautiful
children adopted internationally.

**(I was not paid or given any discount for the review of this product.
I simply am happy with my purchase and wish to share a great resource with you all.
And I might still be a little delirious, as I'm hearing minions in my head almost daily now.
And yes, I'm very aware that this is a lot of fuss and bother about a little ornament.
Again. I'm a tad delirious. Go with it. It's working for me for now.)

Monday, December 16, 2013

Moments. {two weeks}

It turns out, I was right in feeling {unprepared} for all that the last two weeks have held for this gang. Until you've lived through something like this, there's really no way you can fully prepare for the experience. EVEN if you have the most awesome support network of "been there done that" mommas sharing their experiences and advice. EVEN if you have an amazing crowd of friends and family praying you through and supporting you practically and emotionally. Which, I am so grateful to say, I do. But still. {unprepared} I was.

I'm not gonna lie. These last two weeks since Mei Mei's surgery have been hard. The day of the surgery, frankly, was likely the easiest of the days that we had while IN the hospital. (We waited. She slept. And oddly, I only felt momentary flashes of nervous anxiety over her care or well-being. SO. SO. grateful for that.)

And just this past Saturday we finally experienced the easiest day-into-overnight since we returned home from our four day stay. In between those good days, we've crammed all kinds of hard moments. Sleepless nights. Night terrors. Temper tantrums. Pain management gone awry. Lost patience. Ugly behavior. And not all of it was Mei Mei.

But in between those good days, we've also crammed a lot of really great moments. Those are the moments on which I am (sometimes hourly) choosing to focus. Those are the moments that the Lord uses to swing my eyes back to HIM and HIS perfect plan for Mei Mei. For our family. It's an act of discipline, this choosing to focus. Especially at this time of year.

Mei Mei got the honor of placing the first ornament
on her first-ever Christmas tree. Yes, I cried.
I could (and am sorely tempted to) stress over the anger and aggression that comes bubbling up out of her in those difficult moments. I could keep looking at that "holiday To Do list" that isn't getting smaller any time soon and despair of ever finishing it in time. I could sink into the flashing moments of Mommy-guilt and inadequacy, wallowing in the fear that I'm not meeting the needs of the other gang members, in the every day and in the fervor of the holiday. I could, I could, I could. And really, I've struggled NOT to.

But then there are these other moments. These moments when HE comes to me and whispers to my heart. Snippets of Scripture memorized as a child. Refrains of songs and hymns buried deep in my heart. I've said it before but it bears repeating. In these moments, I am so incredibly grateful for parents who trained me in The Word. Who taught me to seek His face in good and in bad moments. Who encouraged me and lived out the example that joy comes NOT in the circumstances but in the confidence and security of being HIS CHOSEN CHILD. It has carried me well in these last two weeks.

First cookie decorating party ever! Not sure how much icing went on the cookies.
Last year, only 3 of our kids were home for this tradition.
This year, The Gang was ALL here. Yes, I cried.
I am convinced, in all of these moments, both hard and healing, that the prayers of the Body of Christ carried us. I am convinced that His Word is powerful and full of Truth that rises above the difficult moments. I am convinced, now more than ever, that HE HAS CHOSEN ME for this time. For this child. For even in those moments where I feel like I'm failing miserably at all of it, He speaks to me. In those moments when I wonder if my inadequate and all-too human response to my daughter's broken-ness is doing more damage than good, He offers me HIS response.

It's those moments when I get the second wind to go just a little deeper into her heart. It's those moments when I get a fresh fire to escort her to the healing He has for her. Those moments, even the hardest of moments, I remember that they are just that: moments. By definition, moments (both hard and exultant) are fleeting. He is not. He holds those moments. Each and every one of them.

Sunday, December 1, 2013


today we are heading to a local children's hospital for the first in what will hopefully be just a couple repair procedures for our little mei mei.

it's a pretty big repair. big surgery. big changes.

i'm feeling quite unprepared for what all of this means.

when we left for china to meet mei mei, i had charts, graphs, lists, and calendars filled out, crossed off, and in process. every t was crossed. every i was dotted.

this afternoon, i'm still not sure who's getting whom where and when while i'm at the hospital and the boss is in and out of the office and the house.

when we left for china, i had meals labeled and frozen, groceries purchased, and all the school lunch supplies stockpiled.

this afternoon, i'm pretty sure there's not enough drink pouches in the pantry and the jury is still out on whether or not the milk in the fridge will last past wednesday.

when we left for china, i had laundry totally caught up and every one knew what day was "their" laundry day.

heh. who am i kidding? my laundry system has been out of whack since we returned from china.

when we left for china, i had an itinerary from the agency. i knew what day we'd meet mei mei. i knew what day we'd finalize the adoption. i knew what day we'd tour and when we'd travel on to guangzhou.

today, all i am sure of is we are checking in to the hospital before 6 p.m. surgery begins around 10 a.m. monday morning. the unknown of all the other moments surrounding those two points is starting to freak me out.

and really, that's the core, right there. the unknowns. that's the stuff for which i really feel so unprepared.

from the moment we enter that building, we are facing the beginning of a brand new normal. for us. for mei mei.

all weekend long, really for weeks now, i've been reminding myself that my prepared-ness, or distinct lack thereof, is not really all that important.

what's really important is that i worship THE ONE who holds it all in HIS hands. that HE is never caught unprepared.

and that's enough preparation for me.

it has to be.