Thursday, November 26, 2009

Happy Thanksgiving

Happy Thanksgiving! Hope your day was as wonderful as mine. Here are just a few photos of what I'm so grateful for:

Wednesday, November 25, 2009

A busy day

What a day! Even though the sun was shining and the temperatures near sixty, we paid a visit to Santa! Both Grace and Analiese were very excited to tell Santa what they wanted for Christmas. On the other hand, it was very obvious that Sarah was humoring us. Sigh, this is probably the LAST year I'll get a photo of all three girls with Santa!

After seeing Santa we came home and enjoyed the outside. Dave did some gardening, the girls played on the swings, Sarah griped about being outside and I just soaked in the wonderful weather!

I finally gave the camera to Sarah and told her to go take some photos. How interesting it has been to see things through her eyes!

Tonight Sarah made dinner for us from start to finish! We had sloppy joe's, tater tots, and broccoli. How fun it was to watch her get everything together. We might pick one night for her to make dinner each week. She really is growing up right before our eyes!

We watched Home Alone with the kids tonight. Analiese laughed and laughed! It doesn't surprise me that she got ALL of the humor! She thinks along the same lines. I sure hope we didn't give her any ideas. Grace, on the other hand, was very concerned about the mess the little boy was leaving around the house. We are really going to have to get her to lighten up a bit.

Tomorrow is Thanksgiving and we have so much to be thankful for. Some day, we hope, the children will look back on all of these traditions Dave and I have created with fondness. Hopefully they won't see them as corny but as something they want to recreate for their families. Life is good, really good this year!

Sunday, November 22, 2009

Thanksgiving feast

Dave and I were both able to celebrate Thanksgiving with Analiese and her class. There was turkey, cheetos, veggies, brownies, cheetos, cheese and did I mention cheetos? Since I had already had lunch with Grace, I passed on the food but enjoyed being with Analiese and her friends.

This might be the last year Analiese has Thanksgiving feast in school. I think it ends at first grade. Wow, Dave and I have been going to some sort of Thanksgiving celebration at school with the girls since 2001--is this really the last one? I guess we are going to have lots of "lasts" with Analiese just as we had many "firsts" with Sarah.

Kinda sad when I think about it...

Saturday, November 21, 2009

A hard reality

We were "asked" this week not to have any further contact with Matthew. It seems that our constant contact was causing Matthew to tantrum. The new parents think that less contact with us will allow Matthew to heal.

I actually am quite confused ( just one of the emotions I'm feeling). I guess I would not term our contact with Matthew as "constant". I've seen Matthew once since he left our family in June. We've probably spoken 6 times on the phone. Dave, of course, has seen him a few more times but certainly nothing I would term constant.

We did try to call Matthew the other day to acknowledge the all important day he left the orphanage. We also sent a package of his belongings that we've collected over the weeks. Before that we saw Matthew in the middle of September.

But other than that, a "constant" I will admit to is my constant wondering of WHY God chose us to walk this path. Or maybe my constant thankfulness that our family weathered the journey with Matthew and emerged closer. Or maybe it is the constant affection I feel for a little boy that was once my son.

The explanation we received from the family left Dave and I feeling so many emotions. There is no doubt the the new parents are holding us responsible for Matthew's anger. We know Matthew's anger all too well and know that he came to us with that emotion. He was angry at us for taking him from the orphanage, he was angry at us for not buying him everything he wanted, he was angry at us for not allowing him to do what he wanted, when he wanted, he was angry at us for not being the "rich American parents that would give him everything". Matthew was just angry and we in no way caused it. Did we try to understand and deal with it? Absolutely! Were we successful? A little. But so little that we were fearful that one day we would have a much older, angry child on our hands that we were not prepared to deal with. An angry child who would cause so much more havoc in our family that we were not willing to put our girls through.

I'm sure many of you are wondering--- Then Why do you want to remain in contact with Matthew? There are many reasons. One is that Matthew was a part of our family; a son and a brother. We raised our hand and recited an oath that we would never abandon our son and we intend to keep that oath. We also know that we made a choice to re-home Matthew for the good of our ENTIRE family. But that doesn't mean we loved Matthew any less. We know that Matthew is way too young to understand that what we did was out of love. But when he is older he might understand and we want him to see that we DID NOT abandon him as his first parents did.

We wish the new family much luck with Matthew. Right now they have us to blame for the anger. Later, after we've not had any contact with him? Hopefully they will be able to get to the root of his anger. For now we will respect their wishes and have no contact with Matthew. Hopefully we will, one day, be able to see him again. Until then the constant that will remain is the devotion we feel for a little boy once known as Matthew Qingnan Evans.

Sunday, November 15, 2009

There's a preteen in the house!

How do I know this you ask? Well there have been a few hints:

Wild mood swings--within seconds.

Request for a cell phone,

an iPod touch (no not the OLD one the NEW one),

iTunes cards,

and a cell phone with a keyboard for texting (!!).

Drama over what can and cannot be worn on a cold day (yes you need stockings!).

Friend issues.

Loud music.

Bedroom door closed.

The green-eyed monster.

Boy talk, mostly about one in particular.

Lack of tolerance for little sisters.

Impatience with parents.

Wanting more freedom,

Missing the little girl things.

Asking LOTS of questions.

Wondering about relationships,

ALL kinds.

Thursday, November 12, 2009

It's been FOUR years!

Min Qiu Xia in the orphanage

The first layer on Gotcha Day.

The top layer

Four years ago (November 7th, 2005 to be exact) our lives were changed forever. In the lobby of a hotel in China, a tiny little girl, sick with fever, walked over to us and uttered the words, "momma, babba". From that moment we have been on a wonderful journey. One that is filled with laughter, singing, dancing and happiness. Our sweet Analiese Qiuxia has the magical capacity to become a friend within minutes of meeting, to charm a crowd with her antics and to be the brightest spot in the day. On the other hand she can drive us all crazy with her nonstop talking, send our blood pressure through the roof when she uses permanent marker to draw on the walls and have us all wondering WHY DOES SHE DO THAT???

But, when the dust settles and the day ends we are filled with enormous love for this gentle, sweet spirit. At one time we actually thought WE chose Analiese. I mean, we were the ones who saw her photo and declared that she was the one we wanted to bring home. However, now we know better. Analiese CHOSE us becÄuse she knew we needed her laughter, her spunk and her goodness. For all that we have given to her we will never be able to come close to what she has given to us.

We love you Analiese and thank you for being our daughter. XX))