Beautiful Life

Hey child up and go; A big world is out there waiting for us to live in every day. Outside you will find, there is love all around you; Takes you, makes you wanna' say; That it's a beautiful life and it's a beautiful world and it's a beautiful time to be here, to be here, to be here. -Fisher

Monday, March 14, 2011


I hope everyone will forgive me for my abrupt absence here, but to semi-quote my friend Anna, and put it bluntly, re-entry is hard!  You spend three weeks on the other side of the world, living in hotels and eating out everyday, devoting all your attention to that one little soul you are responsible for at the time, and BAM!  You are back in the real world, on this side of the world, that is getting up when you were going down, that means cooking and cleaning and sharing with all five blessings at home. 

Not that I'm not happy, thrilled, oh so thankful to be home.  I missed home. I missed my kids so, so much!  It's just that it takes time to pull it all together enough to sit down and put something here for everyone to see. 

Coming home from an adoption trip is not like ending a vacation.  It's more like starting something than ending something.  The adoption trip has ended.  Life as that child knew it, has ended.  But, coming home is starting something.  Starting life at home as a family of seven.  And believe it or not, one more child does make a difference!

It's a good difference, but a difference all the same.  And right now, it's kickin' my butt!  Of course, it doesn't help that I volunteered to be the coordinator of our homeschool Father Daughter Dance.....that was scheduled for 6 days after we got home.   So, in addition to introducing our new son into our family life, unpacking, dealing with jet lag, teaching co-op classes, taking kids to drama, art and composition classes, doing all the laundry, and cooking for the first time in three weeks, I was also working non-stop to make sure the dance came off without a hitch. 

So, down to the nitty-gritty!  What you have all been waiting for.  How is The L'il Emperor doing?  In a family? A large family?  Where he has to share us and just about everything else.  And he can't always have his way....or what he wants?  And we drive right on past McDonald's without a second glance! 


Better than expected on many levels.   The flights home were looooong.  We had our guide explain to him before we left that we were going to go on three planes and that it would take all day and night to get home.  He said he didn't want to wear the seat buckle.  We figured that out on the flight to Guangzhou when he sneakily unbuckled every chance he got!  She then explained to him that he had to wear the buckle!

He spent the first flight playing and listening to music with the headphones......oh, and pressing the call button for the flight attendants!  Nice.  We landed in Korea and let him play in the play area for a while before our next flight.  That was a nice outlet for him.  Because that next flight?  Yeah, that's the one that lasts thirteen hours!  He spent the first three hours watching T.V. and eating dinner......oh, and pressing the call button for the flight attendants!  Yep.  Even from the bathroom! 

He spent the next hour screaming.  And the next four or five, sleeping.  Thankfully!  Then he was back up and ready to go!  But, there was no place to go.  So that made for an interesting few hours with a mommy and daddy working on no sleep.  When we finally landed in Atlanta, we had to get into line with hundreds of others to have our passports checked and stamped and to turn in his brown envelope from the consulate.  Well, that darn brown envelope meant that after standing in line for 45 minutes to have our passports looked at, we then had to go to the Immigration processing room.   And wait.  Wait in a room full of people, most of whom were waiting on green cards, and one other adoptive family.  Wait for one officer to process the 15 or so files in front of us so she could get to us.  Thankfully, as the room got more full, they sent another officer.  After another hour, they tore open our brown envelope, typed a few things in the computer and sent us on our way.  To get our checked bags so we could walk them through customs and re-check them.  Then we raced to get our flight home only to find it delayed!  We finally made it home around mid-night.  Twenty-six hours after we left our hotel in China!  Whew. 

I have to say that even though the paperwork for international adoption is nerve wracking, that flight home is brutal.  I think it's the worst part of the whole process!

Home?  Well home was a sight for sore eyes.  And an eye opening experience for a little someone.  The first few days were a little difficult.  He wanted to explore everything, naturally.  But, there were things we didn't want him into. His "push every single button" tendency is not as bad as it was in China.  He still pushes buttons he shouldn't push, just not every single!

I thought he would be insanely jealous of his brothers and sisters.  Not so.  He adores them!  He and Claire do have an occasional scuffle over a toy.  But, for the most part he seems to really enjoy having all the kids around.  He is very upset when we have to drop someone off somewhere for something.  The boys take a class on Friday and Isabel takes some on Tuesday.  He calls for them until they return!  It is really sweet.

He is eating much better!  He has tried things I didn't think he would try and eaten things I didn't think he would eat. 

He chases Piper, the cat, loves the two little sister-dogs and is absolutely terrified of our sweet, harmless beast of a black lab, Georgia.  He has locked me in the sun room twice because I walked out there to do something and that is where Georgia is being kept right now.  I guess he thinks that she can open the door if it isn't locked so he keeps a close watch on that door! 

The hardest things is sleeping.  He cries at nap time and bedtime, which he rarely did in China.  He also cries out in his sleep a lot at night.  That part is very sad.  I don't know if he is re-living that moment when he his foster parents left......or the times we told him no.  Maybe it's the time I put him in time out at dinner that upset him so much?  Or could it be that he is remembering something we don't even know about?

He has learned very little English yet.  At least to speak it.  He seems to understand a lot of it perfectly well.  And he answers completely to Asher now.  We called him Jun An in China because it was the only thing he would answer too.  As for speaking.  He still goes on and on in Mandarin as if we understand him.  He doesn't seem to get frustrated either.  You know, that no one has a clue what he is saying! 

His nick name?  It's Crash.  He earned this name in China because the child leads with his head.  And it often results in a knot on it!  I do believe that he hit his head at the very least, once a day in China!  Well, it hasn't gotten better here.  Last night he tripped over a root, running in the dark, and landed, face first on those darn gumballs that drop from sweet-gum trees.  The side of his face looks like someone drug him on the asphalt!  Nice.  And just in time for our first post placement visit on Saturday! 

And life?  Has been crazy enough, that I have taken very few pictures.  I have no great shots of him with the other kids to share yet.

I guess I better get on that! 


Sally-Girl! said...

No wonder you haven't posted, I am exhausted just reading your post!!!

In 6 months, all will be your new normal and you will be ready for to do it all over again!!!

It was fun to follow your journey! Now, reality begins!

Christine said...

Welcome home!

schoolmom07 said...

So thankful you all are home. So thankful you are safe and thankful for you all! Take care. We knew when to not intrude. Just keep doing what your doing...

The Gulke Family said...

I am so glad to hear that you all made it home safe and sound. Of course he adores his brothers and sisters...who wouldn't. We love you guys and we are only a phone call away if you need anything or just need to talk! Love you!

Marti Pieper said...

I wondered when I saw on FB that you were in charge of the M-D dance. I'd say, "What were you thinking?" but I know you didn't know the exact time of Asher's arrival. And I also know you'd have done it anyway.

Thanks for your honesty. I'm glad he loves his new siblings. Sometimes, you'll have to go back to your calling and remember. I'm so glad God made it so clear--so long ago.

Christel and Family... said...

So glad you are home!! I agree... re-entry is very hard! :)

use vicks or something like it for all the bruising on little "crash's" head.. or anywhere! Our oldest boy was like that! the vicks will keep it from bruising, if you catch it soon enough! :)

Look forward to more updates as time passes! :)


Brad said...

Well, I have read your updates finally! Asher sounds wonderfully energetic :) I haven't posted an update yet because I am still getting over that looong flight! and I was chasing after a little one, but still it's brutal!

We brought our sweet girl home on april 1st. so far so good. God Bless! Terry