Sunday, August 18, 2013

Two items of business

I know I said my next post would be about Conner-- but I have two time-sensitive hings that I wanted to blog about first.
1.  Many people expressed a desire to come and see our new home after the parade because they didn't want to buy tickets for all of their kids or they couldn't make it before for whatever reason.  We decided to have have an open house tomorrow from 4:00-7:00 to give anyone who wished a chance to walk through.  Kids can go up in the tower playroom (we didn't allow it during the Parade because of liability issues) as long as they have parent permission (the rails are still not up on the bunk beds) and can play on the playgrounds outside.   We'll have cookies outside.  We will start to move in the following day, so this is the last chance to see it staged with all of the cute things we borrowed from our darling friends and neighbors, and it's likely the last time you will ever see every room clean at the same time again!  (: 

2.  I have a friend who was planning on hosting a Chinese exchange student this year.  They have met the student through Skype and she will be arriving on Tuesday.  Last week, this family found out that a job transfer would be sending them to Rexburg, ID.  Unfortunately, the high school there will not accept their exchange student.   They have no other choice than to find a new family for this cute girl, who has already been accepted by Jordan School District and is registered at Herriman High School.  Is this something that you might be interested in????  Again, she arrives on TUESDAY.  As in, two days from now.  (:  Here is some more info from my friend:

Our exchange student is a girl from Tianjin, China.
She is arriving on Tuesday, the 20th of August in SLC. She is currently visiting family in Seattle.
She'll be a Junior in high school.
A family would need to provide her a bed of her own, but she can share a room with one other female.
The family also provides her food.
She is bringing money for all other school expenses, etc.
The company that she is coming through would need to do a criminal back ground check on the family. (Super easy.)
They will also want to come and see the house and meet the family.
The family is asked to treat her like a member of the family and include her in their activities, etc.
We are not allowed to publish photos on the internet, but she is adorable.
She speaks really good English. She had to score high enough to get into school without taking ESL.
She LOVES little kids and doesn't mind a big family.
She will eat anything, and is willing to do chores.
She has no allergies.
We've spoken to her twice on skype and she is just excited to be in America. She is also excited to go buy Apple products! (Pretty typical.)
She plays volleyball and likes singing and dancing. Her favorite color is blue.
She also plays piano.
Her favorite music is Kpop (korean pop) and she wants to learn to speak Korean.
Her family wants her host family to visit China one day so that they can show them around.
She really wants a family with a mom and dad in the home.
She is a leader at her school.


Our lives are filled with joyous moments, aggravating moments, love, joy, pain, laughter, fatigue, and so on.  In other words, we are just like every other family.  One way that we are perhaps a bit different is in the number of poignant moments we experience.  For example, yesterday.  Lexi was in the room while I was loading the dishwasher.  She said, "Dad, have we had enough special needs?  Cuz I'm tired of blind."  What do you say to that?

I was thinking the other day.  We have gone through a lot off stress in our lives lately.  I've heard people say that moving is one of the more stressful things that can happen to a person.  I googled a list of the most stressful life events.  It had 43 items on it.  Marriage, death of a loved one, marital issues, adding a family member, getting laid off.  Lots of things that are most definitely challenging.  But as I perused that list, "leaving everything and everyone you've ever known to travel across the globe with people who look, smell and talk funny and trying to acclimate to a completely different culture with food that is awful and in a place where almost nobody understands you and fit into a family you had no say in choosing" isn't even mentioned.  So I hereby request that future lists of this type include, "being adopted into a foreign country" as one of the top stressors a person can experience.

I am so proud of Cali.  Despite the massive amount of change she has dealt with in her life, she remains strong, upbeat and resilient.  For the most part she is a ray of sunshine in our home.  But from time to time she gets down.  It may be a misunderstanding with a sibling.  It may be one too many times she looks down at an American meal she can't stand the taste of.  The language barrier used to really be difficult on her, but that is improving dramatically.  

A couple of months ago I heard her crying softly to herself.  I helped her into my room and sat her on my lap.  I cradled her in my arms and tried to see if I could help with anything.  I think there were a variety of issues she was dealing with, but I couldn't get her to open up about anything.  I kept asking, "What do you want, Cali?"  Finally she answered.  In her soft, broken English, she said, 

"I want to stand up."

I look forward to the day that I better understand why some people must deal with such outsized hardships.  Why do some of the purest among us suffer so much pain?  Or perhaps, does dealing with these special needs actually help to purify a person?  There are certainly few people more sweet or innocent than Cali, Lexi and Sophi.  I don't know the answers, but I do have faith in a loving Father who does know.  I have faith that when the time is right, I will understand.  And when the time is right, all will be healed and whole.  In the meantime, I will endeavor to be more patient and willing to deal with my own struggles, which pale in comparison to the struggles of so many in this world.

Thank you Cali, Lexi, Sophi, Xander, Elli, Graci, Jessica, Taylor and Parker for your tremendous examples to me.