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! (: