Monday, March 23, 2009

Care packages and Funky Hair

First of all, going back to my post 2 days ago, I was told that I sounded a little bitter. This is one of the problems of blogging-- sometimes the tone of the message does not come across as it is meant. If you could see my body language and hear my voice, you would know that it wasn't written with any bitterness. They were just honestly things that are a concern to me because my children hear them so often, and I want them to feel very secure in their position in our family. My friend, Kim, added a couple of points on her blog (click here). One thing that I want to reiterate is how much I love the birthparents of Elli, Graci, and Chu Chu. It hurt so much when I first realized that Graci hadn't been taught how much they must have loved her to give her a chance to be adopted. You can be assured that we speak VERY highly of them. Birthparents are amazing people who show the purest love there is by making a plan for their children to be adopted. She loves to have me tell her over and over about how in heaven, she will get to see ALL of her parents whenever she wants (birthparents, foster parents, and us)!

On another note, it's been awhile since I've written about our little Chu Chu. I suppose that this is because I have become very frustrated with the SLOWNESS of the adoption process, and sometimes even thinking about it just gets my blood boiling. I am trying very hard to turn it over to the Lord and not let it get to me, but I'm not succeeding at that very well. Because of the Hague Convention, the adoption process has changed this time around. We had to get different paperwork done (including a police clearance from THAILAND because Jeremy spent time there as a missionary before we were even married)! The kinks in the new process have not all been worked out, and we are finding ourselves a little overwhelmed at how everything seems to take a lot longer than is needed. Just last week we found out about another problem with our dossier, and another added step for all the families who are adopting under the new rules. When we first decided to adopt again, it looked like we would be traveling in June. Now I think we would find ourselves very lucky to go in August. It's so difficult when you have these precious pictures of a child you already love and there is nothing you can do to speed the process. AGH.

Still, I am trying to dwell on the good-- and we did have something fun happen last week! We sent Chu Chu his first package!! We had permission to do this last fall, but we decided to wait until it was closer to the time we would get him. He is so young, and we know it will already seem like forever between the time he learns of us until the time we travel to get him. But we couldn't put it off much longer and had so much fun putting together this little care package:

The package will be his way of finding out that he is to be adopted. Can you imagine hearing that? We've asked Graci what it was like for her, and it is precious to hear her talk about. We sent him an album with lots of fun family pictures, and also letters from each of us. We also sent a shirt, camera, toy car, treats just for him, and treats to share with his friends. I am so excited for him to get it!!!!!! As for his name, we are still undecided. Someone made a comment on a previous post that we should consider keeping his Chinese name. We have found through research and lots of adoption classes that children adopted from other countries usually prefer to get a new name. It can give them a sense of a fresh start, and also make them feel more a part of their new family and culture. With Graci, we gave her the option of going by her Chinese name, Chun Ling, or the name we chose for her, Graci Kate. At first, she preferred Chun Ling, but gradually decided on Graci. I think that had something to do with her being frustrated at the way Jessica pronounced it "ching-a-ling!" We will of course give Chu Chu the same option. By the way, his name is Dang Xu Chu, but we understand he probably goes by Chu Chu, just as Graci went by Ling Ling (at least with her foster family) and Elli went by Hui Hui (pronounced Hway Hway). Anyway... if you have any other great ideas for names for this little darling of ours, feel free to share, as we still can't quite seem to find the perfect one.

Changing subjects, the older kids had crazy hair day at their school last week. The boys were set on having "Y"s in their hair, and because Jeremy couldn't find any blue hair dye (kids from the school had raided all the nearby stores) he put blue food coloring in white gel. I was a little worried about it coming out, but it wasn't a problem.

The best part was when Jeremy painted a "Y" on his own hair and went and surprised them for lunch. I don't think that dads come better than that. He's not doing too bad as a husband either-- last night we began "Pride and Predjudice" with Colin Firth and Jennifer Ehle and he is actually excited to watch more of it with me tonight! What a great guy! (:


  1. I didn't get any 'bitterness' from your post...but hey...maybe that's just me!

    What a great life you guys are living - I can just see Jer with the Y in his're alright brother! And the picture of Graci - never thought about her as a blond!!

    I would never have thought that Hague would apply to residences 'outside' the US (It's a stupid change to the process anyway) -that one must be a real drag!

    Blessings on you guys - aus and co.

  2. okay, I just had to scrape myself off the floor after the Pride and Prejudice comment.

    The only way Adrian would watch another Jane Austen is if Jack Bauer came through and killed all teh bad guys.

    And got shot himself.

    And still managed to save the ENTIRE world. Again.

    And he thinks I watch things that aren't realistic!! haha

  3. I also have some fun stuff for Chu Chu that I've picked up recently... can't wait to have the boys give it to him! He'll have lots of fun w/Trey & Colten!
    Love ya!

  4. HOwdy!
    I hear you on the wait - I thought we'd have Calliandra home by Christmas and it looks like we're traveling the first of May.
    If you're desperate for color for hair, you can always use koolaid, unsugared of course.
    take care
    Heather BT

  5. I'm so excited for Chu Chu to open that box and find pictures of your family! That is so sweet.

    I loved crazy hair day when I was younger. One year, Mom curled Mason's hair so he looked like he had a grandma-perm. Jeremy is such a fun dad. All of your kids are lucky to have both him and such a sweet mom, too.

    Please tell Parker that I am very impressed by his bubble-writing skills (seriously)!

  6. If you have a guy who will watch five hours of P&P with you, you really can't ask for anything more! Have you seen the newer two-hour version? I had to watch it three times before I liked it because I couldn't get past longing for Colin Firth. :)

  7. Didn't notice the bitter--I just figured it all must get old. I cannot guess how many times an honest question I had about adoption, might have stung a bit, to my complete ignorance.

    If it is not too personal, I would be interested in hearing a bit about Graci's reaction to the fact that she was being adopted. Was she scared? Happy? Both? Wondering *why* she had to leave? I honestly cannot imagine how that must feel. wow.

    I love the crazy hair pics! Such a hoot. Graci is a beauty and the boys are small... well, ummm...testosterone-filled sports fans of some sort. hahaha

  8. Chase loved the pics of your boys. Unfortunately, our Daddy would have to wear a wig to do anything cool with his hair! :) Just a few days ago we were asking the boys who their favorite friends were (after cousins)...without any hesitation Chase said, Taylor and Parker! We miss you guys!

    I wish we could see Chu Chu's expression when he opens his box! Can't imagine the emotions. I thought your suggestions were great. They totally make sense. We apologize if we have ever said anything inappropriate.We think you guys are the BEST! Love you!

  9. I love the name Luke. We were planning on using that for our next boy...but two girls later we still didn't have one and then to our surprise, Glen named his boy Luke! So I guess we won't be using the name Luke anytime soon! Good luck finding the right name!

  10. The name game?? I am still stuck on the "er/or" ending to Chu Chu's new name, since you have a Taylor and a Parker.

    So, with that in mind, here are some suggestions I have for a new name for your darling boy...

    Xander (Zander)

    There. Discuss amongst yourselves... (smile)