My Family

My Family
Summer 2015

Tuesday, August 30, 2011

sage advice from Lucas to Isaac

"Isaac, when you in school, no kissing need to be married to kiss girls...."

this  momma smiles...
such a wise 7 year old giving sage advice to his 16 year old big brother

Sunday, August 28, 2011

Isaac's Photography

I have permission to share some of Isaac's photography with you...I happen to think he is very talented with a film camera.

Saturday, August 27, 2011

Lucas's first day of school 2011--Grade?? TBD

So, I'm playing around with a new video thingy to post pictures.
It's really addictive and fun.  Here is my 2nd attempt.  The first one is actually gonna cost me money and I haven't paid yet, so you have to wait on that one for a little while, but this one is free cuz it's 30 seconds long.  I highly recommend them.  They are fun and easy to make.

Lucas's first day of school was August 9.  We haven't really put him in a "grade" per se because we anticipate he is going to learn rapidly and don't want to label him yet.  He is doing kindergarten work right now and learning how to be "in" school.  How to do the work he's asked to do, etc.  Sometimes that is challenging, but it's improving.

His first day was also our little Buddy-dog's 7th Birthday, so of course we had to make cupcakes and have friends over to celebrate.  Batman even showed up...
here's the fun....

Lucas's first day of school August 2011

A phone call to Lucas:

I called home...
Lucas picked up the phone

Lucas: "Hello"
Me: "Hi", "How are you?"
Lucas: "good"
Me: "Is Isaac there?"
Lucas: "yes"
Me: "Can I talk to him?"
Lucas: "yes"
then:  CLICK.....he hangs up the phone....not realizing he just hung up on me to go get Isaac....

I'm just sitting here chuckling...
why does that make me laugh?

I dunno.
Just chuckling...

Friday, August 26, 2011

I HATE shots....

Lucas had 2 immunizations yesterday.  DTP (or whatever they call it now) and Chickenpox.  They decided he was "good" on the other immunizations for now.

He didn't flinch really during the shots.  And most of the day yesterday was great--no complaints, etc.

Until....around dinner time.  He began to look blurry-eyed.  Then he felt warm so I gave him some ibuprofen.  He went to bed ok, but said his arm hurt---that is a big deal, cuz normally he doesn't say much.

At 1:30 a.m. he came into our room whining and crying and complaining and he was HOT!  Took his temp and it was over 103.  Ibuprofen and soon he was asleep again.  Then at about 9 a.m. same thing 103 range fever...called the Dr. cuz I really don't remember my kids have that high of a fever at this age from immunizations.  She said yes it could be.  Another high fever showed up at about 6 pm.  More whining, complaining, lethargy, etc.

I didn't fully believe her so we ended up in urgent care tonight for 2 hours.   Long story short he is ok but he is definitely battling high fevers and lots of pain in his arm.  He is so tough normally, that I cannot imagine how much it must be hurting him and how uncomfortable he must be.  He may have a secondary thing going on--she did a throat culture (came back negative), but overall it really could be the immunizations.  Now we know I guess.

He has never been afraid of shots/needles, etc.  But now he knows/thinks all of this pain and ickiness is related to the shot (which it likely is).  I wonder if he will give us more grief from now on about needles.

more "fun" at the Jundt household.

Oh, and Isaac had another gig tonight and I guess it went REALLY well and a lot of people gave them great feedback.  So proud of him yet again!!  love my boys!

Thursday, August 25, 2011

A delicate road....

We are homeschooling Lucas.  One of the things I love about it is our time is our own, and we can grab teachable moments and go with them.  Also, if an opportunity arises, I can have conversations with Lucas about his life--if he has questions or if I feel now is the time to share with him another piece of his story.

Today was one of those days.

We were talking about our Almighty God.  Over the past several days we have talked about God our Creator, God who Knows all things, God the Father, God the Son, and God the Holy Spirit.  I could spend a week or year on any one of those subjects, but I am just trying to get some very basic knowledge of who God is into our boy.  Today as we discussed our Almighty God---a God so Great, so Big, the King of Kings and Lord of Lords it came to me that it would be a good time to share with Lucas again how much we prayed for him while he was still in China and how God heard our prayers and reached over to him and loved him and held him close even when we could not be there.  God is so Great-God is so Big-God is beyond what we can comprehend...
For some reason the Spirit led me to tell Lucas for the first time that indeed he had a Chinese Mama and Baba (daddy).   Up to this point he thought there were no mama's and baba's in china because nobody he lived with had one, so they obviously don't exist there...
I told him that he DID have a mama and baba there and they could not take care of him and that is why he grew up in the orphanage with his Ayi (name for nannies in chinese) and friends.
He asked their names.
I said "I don't know"
He didn't ask further questions but I just kept telling him how much we loved him and will be his mama and daddy forever.

As we were talking he had an interesting response.
He welled  up.
He looked at me and said "'sank you" (thank you)
I said "for what?"
he said "For praying for me"
He hugged me with the biggest bear hug and gentle tears.  He just kept saying how much he loved me and thanking us for being his mom and dad and praying for him.

This whole adoption thing is a very delicate road to tread upon.  I'm just glad that I listened to God's lead on the timing on this.  This conversation has been on the forefront of my mind for months.  But, the timing of these things is such a hard thing to know.  Now it's "out there" and if he has more questions we will address them.  I feel he can at least ask the questions now.

We want him to feel he can be open with us and ask questions.  We won't have all the answers, but we do know the ONE who does.  Some questions will remain unanswered in this lifetime.  Our job is to love him through it and continue to pray that the Holy Spirit does His work in Lucas's life.

we love this boy

Wednesday, August 24, 2011

"In Mongolia we have 'dis"

So, if you recall, several weeks ago I posted about The Weeping Camel and how Lucas had basically turned his back on his culture and all things Mongolian.

Well, as we learn more and more while we parent him, we also learn that there is an eb and flow to this whole journey.

Lately, Lucas has come back around to talking about Mongolia and the things he did there.  He says "In Mongolia we have 'dis" a LOT lately.  Or "in Mongolia we do 'dis".  He is reaching back and sharing a piece of his past.  It's been a lot of fun.

One way that he shares his past is through food.  I served him tomatoes and cucumbers the other day and he said "In Mongolia we have 'dis".   Today we found a 2nd Chinese grocery store called of all things "The Great Wall".  Go figure!

Lucas went with me shopping and was giddy with excitement as he wandered the store and found things that he recognized.  From Moon Cakes to some pickled asian radish thing.  It's all chinese to me, so who knows what half of it even is.  But, he found some bins of candy and began loading up bags with delight.  Then he started talking about fireworks.  The best we can surmise at this point is that he was talking about Chinese New Year which comes in February.  It is a HUGE holiday for them.  And apparently it involves fireworks outside after dark and also coming back inside and eating candy.

So tonight, Lucas and Isaac played with sparklers that were left over from the 4th of July and a few other things we had laying around.  Then we all had to come inside and let Lucas distribute candy to us.  He was just giddy.  It may be August, but I think we just celebrated Chinese New Year.

Also, while we were at the store, he was telling me all sorts of things about items in the store---there were some large tubs and he just went off on telling me all about how he would wash his feet in them and then wash his socks.  Then he found a small washboard and he told me that they washed their clothes "like this"  (by rubbing them on the washboard).  There was another larger tub and that one was used for washing clothes.

These are like pieces to a puzzle.  The puzzle of our boy's past which we will never fully complete.  But, if he can help us now to fill in some of the gaps, we are going to try to cataloge as best we can what he tells us.  Even small pieces are valuable.

Braggin' on my "big" boy

Isaac has been chosen for a very special program through his school called the Governer's Honor Program. We are so proud of him.  This is a huge moment for him because he is the only student that has been chosen from his school in the Art department to participate. (there are other fields of study as well ie math, science, history, etc)  If he makes it through 2 levels of interviews, one at the local level and one at the state level, he will be offered 4 weeks of paid intensive study program at Valdosta University here in GA.

At this point his job is to gather a portfolio together, be prepared to answer a list of questions in a face to face interview, be able to relate well to art history, critique his own work, and more.

Thousands of kids will be going through this process but out of that group only 690 will be chosen to participate in the coursework next summer.

This would be HUGE for Isaac. 

Right now we are proud of the fact that he even was selected by his teacher as the representative for his school of 3000 kids.  We are also very humbled by it because we know for a fact that there are so many talented kids in the art department of his school.  His teacher thinks very highly of Isaac and wants to see him succeed with his art.  This is a moment when we sit back as parents and encourage, pray, and support him as best we can to succeed.  But, we are already proud of him.

Please join with us in praying for him to be afforded this opportunity.  But, also that he would learn even simply from the process itself.

Saturday, August 20, 2011

funny things that kids say

Isaac(age 16): "Lucas will you throw this popsicle stick away for me?" (while laying on the couch being a lazy bum)
Lucas (age 7): "you have hands. You throw away."

I'd say Lucas is mastering the English language pretty well.  Wouldn't you say so?

And Kudos to Isaac for this one:

Peter and I were laying in bed the other night and heard a knock on the door.
It was Isaac

He sits on our bed looking all profound and says:
Well, there are 2 things I know to be true about this family.
1.  We believe in Jesus Christ.....(pause)
2. And burglars only enter through the front door.

He checks all of our doors every night to make sure we have locked them.  Apparently, we had only completely secured the front door and had not fully secured the back door (only one lock was locked) or the door into the house from the already locked garage.  

We laid in bed after he left and laughed.  At least he started with a "real" truth in our famiy before he got to his paranoia.  Funny that one doesn't cover the other but there ya go.

Friday, August 19, 2011

Dolphin Tale

I was just made aware of this movie coming on Sept. 23rd.   It's about a dolphin without a tale that gets a prosthetic tale.  It's based on a true story. Sept 23rd is the day we have our pre-op appointment for Lucas at Shriners.  His surgery is scheduled for Sept. 28.  We will have to go see it before surgery.  What sweet timing.  Just had to share.

my hubby

Can I just put a plug in for my hubby?

He started an exercise and eating plan almost 3 weeks ago and I am so proud of him for all his hard work and dedication.   He is doing P90x and Insanity.  The eating plan has him measuring food, eating healthier, and working out for an hour everyday (6 days a week).   And let me tell you the workouts are H.A.R.D. After not exercising for many years, he just decided now was the time to do it.

I'm just so proud of him.  And becuase he is asking for so many fresh fruits and vegetables and lean meats, etc. we are all benefiting from his leadership in this area.  We are being very purposeful in our eating.  Although, I have to admit I'm not doing as well as he is.  He is very dedicated.

love you honey....

Thursday, August 18, 2011

Few and far between

We really have not had many meltdowns over the past several weeks.

After a day like that, I always analyze.
My turn to ask "why"?
"What brought it on"
"What should we do in the midst of it?"
"Could it have been avoided?"

Factors to consider:
I was at work,
our school routine had been disrupted yesterday
he didn't eat well in the morning (late morning) and this happened mid afternoon--before "lunch"
He hasn't "done school" with anyone but me--and dad was subbing yesterday.
the discussions we have been having the past several days about death/Jacob
his hope to go to a friend's house yesterday that didn't work into the schedule

The interesting part about it is after it's all over, he tests everyone in the house for limits and when he finds them, he is a happy camper.  When the line is drawn, he relaxes.  We had a really great eye to eye contact chat as he was getting ready to go to sleep.  It was like nothing ever happened.  Weird to me, but he was composed.

So many questions
and sometimes no very good answers but we try to learn from any mistakes we make and also try not to repeat some of our responses which are not always perfect.  I think the biggest thing we need to consider is that schedules and routines need to be very intentional.  (i'm not so good at that-just a little too spontaneous sometimes)

In the end...I also think that a boy just "needs" a screaming fit once in a while to work things through.  We just need to find a healthy way to allow it.
He really is communicating better and better all the time, his demeanor has calmed overall, his hyper vilitgant behaviors are reducing, so when it happens now it just stands out more.  The truth of the matter is that he still has been through a lot in the past 5 months.  I think if I were him, I would be having fits a lot more often than he does.

I have been reading more and more about something called "Strong Sitting" and I think I'm going to use it starting today.  It is NOT a punishment, but insteead a way to refocus and calm the brain before the crisis hits--sort of like Yoga.  Here is a video of some kids deomonstrating it.

I seriously don't think he has RAD--he doesn't have those type of symptoms,  but I think it's still a good calming therapy.  It's done 1-3 times a day.  It allows him time to just refocus and use both sides of his brain.  I think I will do it with him (although I don't think I should sit there for 46 minutes--my age--even if my eyes were open I think I'd fall asleep).  I'll keep you posted on it's results.

Tuesday, August 16, 2011

Fly Away Home

Remember this movie?
Peter picked it out a few nights ago to watch.
If you are like us you might think,
 "this is a great movie about a girl saving some birds"
"a sweet story"

Until you start the movie and realize at the beginnig there is a terrible accident to set up the story which includes the mom dying in a car accident and the young teen girl surviving the accident.  She goes to live with her dad who was divorced from the mom years before.  He's an artist living out in the country somewhere in Canada.  Then she rescues some goose eggs and hatches them out and trains the birds to "Fly Away Home" to the south to migrate.

We just didn't really think about how impactful this would be to Lucas but it was pretty much too late to pull back on it when the accident happened and she was dead.  I knew I'd be answering questions for days.  And I have been.  What is "dead"?  and "why is she never coming home again?"  and "where is the momma?" Then all the questions about doctors, hospitals, ambulances, etc. etc.

Today, it struck Lucas that our Jacob---was dead.
We have pictures around our house of him with us.
So, we've told him that Jacob was in heaven with Jesus, but these are hard concepts to convey.  Not only is death in and of itself hard, but the language issues do come into play too at a moment like this.

Lucas went to one of our pictures and he sat in front of it.  And sweet tender tears began to form.
The picture he sat in front of was a different than this but the same sitting day.  All of us were piled on top of eachother with Jacob at the top.  I don't have a digital version of it.  This was taken the week after Jacob's first surgery and diagnosis Dec. 2002.

He looked at the picture and started to weep.  Tears just welled up in his eyes when he realized that this boy...Jacob, was part of our family, but won't ever be coming home again--when he realized he would be another big brother for him to share life with.  When death suddenly had a more personal meaning.

We hugged eachother and shared some tears.   

Then he said these things:

"Lucas, Isaac, Momma sad"
"Jacob not coming home......anymore"
"Lucas, mom and dad very sad"
"Jacob Sweet"
"sweet boy"
"I love Jacob"
"Jacob die"
"why didn't he see me?"
"Jesus loves Jacob"
"Jacob loves Jesus"
"Jacob not coming home"...again and again and again

Such a hard moment, but he needs to know this part of our family history too.  7 years ago,  Lucas was born in China--January of 2004.  7 years ago, our boy Jacob was dying of cancer---April 2004.  Do I understand God's sovereign plan and ways?  not at all.  Do I trust Him with all my heart?  Yes!  Do I always agree with His plan and direction?  Not always willingly.  My emotions can take over and really mess with my head.  But, I DO know that He is the author of our lives.  He writes the story.  And the main theme?  His Glory!  So whatever happens I WILL give Him Glory--even if it is the hardest thing I do.

But, today...Lucas grieved.  Today, I greived yet again...with him.  There will be more questions.  But, I know we will get through it and hopefully in the journey we will be able to share our Faith with him and show him there still is Hope in the future and seeing Jacob again alongside grandpa (my dad).  I tried to convey Heaven and Jesus.  But these are big concepts for someone only here for 5 months who never even heard those words in his own language.  The Holy Spirit has got to convey these concepts because my words fall short.

Monday, August 15, 2011

Shriners Appointment Report

Well, we have an appointment for surgery on September 28.  Shriner's is going to help us give Lucas FIVE toes, which seems to be his dream come true.

Yesterday we went for a walk/run together, and he had to stop a few times to rest and we had a conversation which in so many words said,
"hey lady, you said when you brought me to America, that you were gonna give me 5 toes....where are they?  Come on people, let's get the show on the road already..."  (he didn't quite use those words, but the tone and words he did use gave that impression)yt7u75.

So today he was pretty excited about finally meeting with the doctors that are going to help him get his dream.  His only hesitation today seemed to be when he saw the prosthetics, he saw the toes don't actually move.  hmmmmmm  .... I think he's ok with it now, because I told him, "ya that is true, but hey your shoes won't fall off anymore...that's pretty cool".  He smiled and I think that helped.

So here is the story:
he will have both feet amputated at the ankle area.  And for the prosthetic geeks out there, he will be getting Symes Prosthetics.  After surgery the end of his legs will just be covered with skin where his ankle should be so it will appear like a stump.  The prosthetics will look like this:

So he will still have the lower part of his legs but they will slide into the prosthetic like a sleeve.  And it will appear that his lower leg is all "prosthetic" but his leg will actually be inside.
He will also be having 2 small plates put into his knees because they are bowed and they are going to try to straighten the growth of them.  These will stay in until the desired change has occurred and then removed.  This could be 6 months to a year.  These incisions are only about an inch so they shouldn't be much problem.  The interesting part of today, was this doctor does not recommend any additional changes to the right leg with the bent tibia.  He said as long as it fits into the prosthetic, that is the goal.  It is not bowed enough to be a problem.  They can alter the length of the prosthetic on that leg and compensate for the shorter length that way.

So surgery is set for Sept 28 -- we should be in the hospital 2-3 days.  He will wear casts on his legs for 6-8 weeks--be in a wheel chair (ha ha...we will see how long that lasts).  Then about 2 more weeks of healing to let swelling go down.  Then fitting for the prosthetics back at Shriners and then one day they just show up in the mail....(I happen to think that is hysterical--his legs just show up in the mail one day)

There will be checkups every 6 months or so and possible new legs every year or so depending on his growth rate.

So there ya have it.

By the way, Greenville, SC is a beautiful little city.  I love the downtown area and Falls Park.

10/2011 edit
I've learned that I made an error in the name of the prosthetic.  The type of amputation he was scheduled to have was a Symes Amputation.  The prosthetic is not called that.   (He ended up with a Boyd Amputation instead).  just wanted to correct my error

Sunday, August 14, 2011

Shriners Appointment tomorrow--and a note about Isaac's band

Please pray for us as we head to Shriner's Hospital in Greenville, NC tomorrow for our appointment with Lucas.  We were told to allow 4 hours.  We need to be there by 9 am and it's about a 2 hour drive.  So, just pray the morning wake up call goes well for the boy and that we have full cooperation from him tomorrow.

Also keep our "big" boy in prayer as he is feeling sick and we would need to leave him alone tomorrow which would be hard.

On a lighter note, Isaac's band performed on Saturday night for the first time and it was a great success!!!  We are so proud of him and to quote him from his facebook status.... "I now know what I want to do with my life"....He really did a great job and we are very proud parents.    The sweet moment of the evening was when his biggest fan, Lucas, plopped himself down right on the floor --dead center in front of the stage, surrounded by teenagers----and sat there the WHOLE time Isaac's band played.  It was so great to see Isaac in his element, playing music, performing, throwing his head around as he played his bass.  Makes me smile as a proud momma to think about it.  I would post pictures, but I was forbidden from taking any, because I would have needed a flash...and THAT would have been embarassing, per Isaac's request.  It was hard for me, but I survived.  I'm hoping to get some copies of some that some more professional type people took.  If I do I'll post those.

Friday, August 12, 2011


One thing we learned and now have experienced with adopting a formerly institutionalized child is that we can experience a range of developmental stages at any given time or day.  It comes and goes.  Sometimes our 7 1/2 year old acts like a 16 year old--but my bio kids were like that too.  Sometimes he acts like he is a toddler--ie language development.  Except with him everything progresses at a more rapid pace.
At the beginning of our time home, he and I even had some "baby" time.  After a bath I would gather him up in a towel and cradle him and talk to him like a baby---he would giggle and purse his little lips.  We haven't gone "that" far back very often, but I do tell him I wish I had been there when he was a baby.  And that I'm sorry I wasn't there when he was 2 and so on.  The stages he goes through don't necessarily go in order either.  He can jump around all over the place on each day.  It isn't really that obvious to most people that encounter him.  But, I notice it because I am with him practically 24-7.

Most of the time I'd say he acts like a 5-6 year old.  Professionals say kids who spent time in an institution can be developmentally behind by 1 month for every 3 spent in an orphanage.  That puts our boy at about age 5.  Sometimes I do think that is about where he is at.  He can get away with it now too because he is still pretty small for his age.

Physically speaking he is STRONG!  I mean the kid is toned and can get himself around very well.  So that part I don't think is "behind".

In the past several days he seems to be "stuck" at about age 3.  Everything is "WHY"?

"Go get your pajamas on Lucas"----
"We are going to the store"
"I'm going to work now"
"Plants have leaves on them"
"It's time to do your math"

Sometimes that question can just be annoying--as anyone who has raised a 3 year old knows.  And sometimes I feel like it is a form of disobedience--to question our authority.  But, the reality is he is playing around with the language.  And he is learning.  He wants to know how much information he can get out of a person.
So, head's up---
if you plan on having a conversation with the prepared to answer the question "why" about 30 times.  And sometimes you will even get a "why" response to your answer to the first "why"....

This whole experience is like child development in fast forward mode.  I turn around and he has the next thing mastered and is progressing rapidly to another thing.  And then again sometimes he takes a step backward to pick up something he left behind previously.  It's quite entertaining and keeps us on our toes.

He really is a lot of fun right now.  And his personality has been blossoming like crazy.  We are really blessed!

No TB Meds Necessary

Here's the full story again.

TB test done in China flared up to 10mm which is the breaking point for further testing and suspision that Lucas could be a carrier.  OR that he was exposed. OR that his BCG (TB) vaccine caused the flare up.  They let us "go" in China by reading it as a "9"--I LOVE that nurse---we could have been "stuck" in China.  I am so grateful to her on so many levels and thankful to God that we didn't have to go through other testing there.  I also watched how they measured that test.  It was the raised bump they measured and not the entire red area.

Jump forward to May--another test done here--by inexperienced people.  Long story short they measured the entire red area and it showed up and was recorded as a "24mm"...I questioned it, but was told "if the Dr. did it, then it's right"  ummmm I don't think so.  Nobody even searched for the induration.  They just measured the whole red area.

He had an xray and it came up clear.

They wanted us to go to the health department for treatment.  I hesitated, but made the appointment, then it got delayed.

After I mentioned this on our blog, my neice, Holly, who is a nurse practitioner mentioned the Quantiferon (sp?) Gold blood test to me.  That got me on a roll.  I did research on it and talked to the Dr.  But, everyone was inconclusive on it.  I really wanted to do it, but the Dr. wouldn't do it.

They said he needed to do preventitive treatment for NINE months---Medication I did not want to pour down him if not necessary.  But, they basically said I had to.  Yes it was our choice too because who wants to take that risk?  TB is serious stuff.

Jump forward to August--last week.  I finally got in to the health dept.  I explained the whole scenario---
After LISTENING to me.  Yes, she actually listened to the whole scenario.  She said, well, if I were you, I would just have the blood test done.  Like "why wouldn't you"?  I questioned it's validity, etc.  She said "it is what WE use"  ...and might I add, they are Public Health professionals.  In other words, they would be taking some pretty serious risks to the population if they thought this was a questionable procedure.  I was so relieved.

The results came in the mail yesterday.....

Can I just say, if you EVER have reason to question or get a second opinion DO IT!  Use your knowledge and instincts and prayer and counsel and persue what you think is best.  We just avoided some very strong drugs flowing through our boy!  THANK YOU JESUS for helping us find the right people along the way to give us wise counsel--
Thank you Holly for bringing that blood test to the forefront of my mind and helping me persue it.

Wednesday, August 10, 2011

tidbits and fun facts....

Just a few tidbits and fun facts:

**"someone" taught Lucas this phrase the other day....
"No way Jose"
and it has come back to haunt me multiple times.  I have to say it is very funny when he says it.  It just rolled off my tongue about a week ago, and now the "parrot" has it and won't let go.

**Lucas LOVES if we could just get him to say "Cup" cake instead of ....
"PuckCakes" ---again, very funny and sweet...he just can't get it to roll off his tongue the right way.

**speaking of things on the "tongue"...
The other day we went to FireHouse Subs to get food and they have a multitude of hot sauces you can choose from on their counter.  Isaac thought it would be funny to give Lucas "85% Pain" hot sauce...
As soon as it hit Lucas's tongue he hit Isaac with his fist and said:
"Isaac you broke my tongue"--
gotta say, I would have punched him too so couldn't blame the kid for that one.

**If you recall, several months ago we talked about how Lucas had turned his back on Mongolia/China.
Well, lately he is obsessed by telling us about all the things he used to do there or have there.  He will say:

"in Mongolia--have 'dis..." or "do 'dis"
so he obviously is not tossing it all out the window and is letting us in on his past life.  This is part of the eb and flow of life with an internationally adopted child.

**Yesterday he picked up a ladle and said it was called a "baba doe" (I have no idea how to really say that)
and when I looked up ladle on google translate it didn't come up this way.  But, whatever the case he thought it was hysterical when we began to play with the words.  Because "Baba" is daddy in chinese.  So we would say "baba's baba doe"...etc.  He just thinks we are crazy I think.

**Last night at the swimming pool, Lucas swam at least 2 full laps of the pool the long way.  I mean swam.  By himself. Deep end to shallow end, without touching the bottom.  This from a boy who hadn't stepped foot in a pool until this spring.  This from a boy who has just blossomed right before our eyes.

***Also, I have to say over the past several weeks we have seen some pretty significant changes in our boy. I didn't write a lot at the beginning about the "fits" he would have.  He didn't have a ton, but we had our share of hitting, kicking, spitting, and the ocassional bite.  Now, with his added language development and bonding and attachment coming along quite well, he is using his words more.  We have a ways to go, but overall he seems more at ease, and can get through "issues" more quickly and more sanely.  

Thank you Jesus!  I am totally serious.  We also have seen a huge leap in his faith and talk about God.  I think this is a huge reason his heart is settling.  He feels the love of God, he experiences things in prayer, he LOVES to sing praises to God and lift his hands to worship.  His level of faith is amazing.

And finally a drum roll please....
as of 
August 6, 2011
41.4lbs (lost a pound)--
43" (grew another inch since June)

...and then school started

Monday was Isaac's first day of school for his Junior year in high school.  Man, where has that time gone?  He has a pretty easy load this semester I must say.  Almost all of his electives ended up in first semester.  Next semester is gonna be killer but this one is a breeze for him---all art classes except Physics.  Now if I can only convince him to grab a few pieces of classical literature to read or something this semester.  He has virtually no homework.  Hopefully he will get a lot of hours at work to keep him occupied.  Sometimes I wonder about the mentality of the "system".  But, then again, he did choose these electives.  All of them are to prepare him for his desires to do some sort of graphic design/photography/videography, etc.  He's still trying to decide what direction he wants to go with his life.  And he may need to work to support himself before he goes to college anyway.

He has had some real interest in his work already which has been very cool.  He has one company interested in purchasing a photo he took to put on some t-shirts.  He has someone else interested in putting a design he drew on a t-shirt.  He has been doing a lot of aprentiship type work with a professional photographer he knows.  He's already making his way in this field so it is fun to watch how it progresses.   Right now he is working toward purchasing a really nice digital camera--professional level stuff so that he can do even more.  It will take a while to gather all the funds, but we think it will ultimately be a long term wise investment.

on another note:
Lucas started his first day of Homeschooling yesterday.  I am gonna blog about that---since I photographed a lot of it.  But, I need to use my time wisely this morning while he is still sleeping and go for a run.  Structure is good for all of us.  It is good to get back into some semblance of order again.

Saturday, August 6, 2011

Tubing down the Chatahoochee

Sometimes I have great ideas for fun things to do with the fam.  I like finding the next fun thing to do.  So, one day I saw this bus go by near my chiropractors office and noticed it said $10 River Tubing.  I thought "that sounds like fun".   And it was pretty cheap for entertainment. There are other places to Tube but are further away.

This place is only about 15 minutes from our house so as long as Aunt Linda was here, "why not?"

So, as we got onto the bus---with people that were obviously planning a "floating party", I began to question this decision.  Then when the guide gave us our tubes and said "the river is is 55 degrees"  "You WILL likely scream when you put your toes in".....that is the moment when I REALLY began to question.

AnnaB, Isaac, Aunt Linda, Lucas and I all got into our tubes with our "tuchies" in the water and legs and head resting on the tubes.  OH MY GOSH was it COLD!  The warnings about possible hypothermia if you get disconnected from your tube were flashing through my head.

But, off we went ...  it took about 2 hours to get from the drop off point to the end spot.  The river was so cold compared to the air that there was fog floating on top of the water and it looked almost eerie.  But, pretty too.  Then we saw Turkey Vultures flying overhead....that's just a little disconcerting shall we say?

My fingers were blue.  I was shaking and cold.  Poor AnnaB was wearing a bikini.  I'm not quite sure how she survived.

In the end, I can still honestly say it was a fun day
Definitely Memorable!!!

off to find something a little safer and even more memorable tomorrow.

Tuesday, August 2, 2011

"Jesus makes me so happy happy..."

Tonight, Isaac laid down with Lucas at bedtime.  He asked Lucas about what people in Mongolia thought about his feet.  Lucas said they didn't like them,
 "but here in America it's ok because Jesus is very strong"
 "Jesus makes me sooo happy, happy".
And he said in Mongolia he didn't pray to Jesus but here he does and he loves to pray.  Then he asked to listen to "Our God" (Chris Tomlin song)  which is his all time most favorite song ever!

Peter immediately saw this:
9 But he said to me, “My grace is sufficient for you, for my power is made perfect in weakness.” Therefore I will boast all the more gladly about my weaknesses, so that Christ’s power may rest on me.  (2 Cor. 12:9)

We've never had this discussion about Jesus before, where he brought up Jesus as a source of joy and how strong He is.

We do pray with him everyday.
 His prayers always start with...

"Thank you Jesus for our food"....morning noon and nighttime....
then he ususally gives Jesus a dialogue of the day's activities.  It's quite cute.
But, the reality is
How do you explain God? and this person we are praying to: someone who doesn't speak your language-and is just learning to fine tune a new language?
...who hasn't really experienced God or heard of him until now?
...who has never had a father or family until now?

It really is a good reminder to me that we have very little to do with the process of coming to faith.
Yes, we place music in front of him that is loaded with the message, yes we take him to an awesome church, yes we pray.  We do what we can in many different ways to introduce our Jesus to him and pray for him regularly to come to an understanding.  We believe in the power of that prayer.
But, honestly the true work is done by the Power of the Holy Spirit working in him.  We cannot create faith.  We cannot cajole or convince him of the love of Jesus.  He has to experience that himself.  That's really the truth for all of us.  We like to think we have something to do with the process--whether we are the parents or we are the "believer".  But the reality is---ONLY the Holy Spirit is able to convince, create, and solidify our faith.

Our job as parents I believe comes from Duet. 6:6-8

6 These commandments that I give you today are to be on your hearts. 7 Impress them on your children. Talk about them when you sit at home and when you walk along the road, when you lie down and when you get up. 8 Tie them as symbols on your hands and bind them on your foreheads.

God asks us to participate in these ways.

But the work and change does not come from us---faith is by grace alone:  
Eph 2:8-9

8 For it is by grace you have been saved, through faith—and this is not from yourselves, it is the gift of God— 9 not by works, so that no one can boast.

It is all a process as we continue to build into sweet Lucas and continue to make it a part of our daily lives.  But, please pray with us that he continues to grow in his faith and desires to follow Jesus.  Please pray that we are effective with both of our boys in helping them to grow and better understand the reality of Faith.

You Gotta' Keep Dancin'

Not sure why I feel led to post this other than I have a friend experiencing some deep physical pain right now and it reminded me of a book that I read 20 years ago.  You Gotta' Keep Dancin'  by Tim Hansel

here is a link to it on Amazon:

I am not experiencing "pain" per se right now, but there are some hard things with adoption that are challenging and hard to understand---primarily the unanswered questions about our boy's past---the 7 years we were not together--the events of his life, the people who influenced him, the loss he  has faced--I ask myself "why"...."why does a sweet young baby boy need to experience all of that before we find eachother--before the Lord puts us together?"  Why so much pain for him, and so much time for us to wait----FIVE years before we "found" eachother.  And in the midst of the questions and wondering there is pain.  There is pain in our boy's past.  There are circumstances we could not control.  There was pain and heartache in our losses.  There was the waiting.

Ultimately I don't think I always responded with "joy" like I should have.  But, in recalling this book I have a few favorite quotes that have stuck with me for some time---I just wanted to share them....

"In the midst of life's hurts you can choose joy"
"pain is inevitable, but misery is optional.  We cannot avoid pain, but we can avoid joy"
"One of the most exciting things I know about joy is that it can be restored, no matter how impossible our situation may seem. "
     re: Psalm 51:12--Oh Lord restore unto me the joy of your salvation"
"God is in the restoration business"

a few other favorite quotes: (Carey Scott)
"True joy is given to us because of our relationship with God"
"Spiritual joy rises from within the soul and is not based on circumstances"
Neh. 8:10  "The man who strives for wisdom and knowledge will find joy"

Just felt led to share that today.  I am not really sure why.  But, there you go.

Monday, August 1, 2011

Isaac returns from Costa Rica

On Friday, Isaac got home from his mission trip to Costa Rica.

The look on his face and the way he looked at Lucas, swept him up and ran off with him to introduce him to all the friends he'd been with for 10 days, made this momma's heart beam with pride.

He talked the whole way home about his experiences there.  I don't know how to tell the stories as well as he can.  But, let's just suffice it to say, he served the Lord in ways that were life changing for him I think.

He spoke of "anti-missionaries" that were also in the same area, sacrificing dogs and drinking their blood.  He spoke of healings that they experienced first hand.  He spoke of Bible distribution and sharing God's Word with some unreached people.  He spoke of leading worship with kids and others.  He spoke of a many hearts touched and changed by the experience.

he also spoke of tarantulas and scorpians in their laundry....(quiver....) I have to say, I was a tad creeped out doing his laundry.

I am thanking God for this experience for him and for the way the Holy Spirit moved in the kids that were there to serve as well as the people being served.

Lucas anxiously counted down the days "till gege came home" for 10 days...everyday.....

He decided a week before he came home that we needed to get flowers for Isaac ...

I love these pics...

"Let's play Friends"; Coca Cola; A Braves Game; and Painting Lucas's room

Thought I'd share a few pics from the past few weeks activities....

so after all our company left on July 20, Lucas wanted to "Play friends".  He packed a backpack and went out the front door and rang the doorbell and had me come to the door and welcome him...He wanted to set the table outside on our deck and eat food out there.  He kept talking to me in the sweetest voice and saying things like "hello friend" and talking like I was company.   This is all very cool for several reasons...  One being it's "pretend" play; one being that he must have loved having our company here because he wanted to pretend they were still here;  and also because it was just fun.

a few days later we went to the Coke Museum for a visit--thanks to Tante Lilli leaving a free pass behind for us.  That was "sweet".  Lucas tried almost all the 154 flavors I think---he is VERY thourou

we found this to be so cool---a display in the main hall of the museum of traditional dress of people from Inner Mongolia.  Coca Cola does a lot of work all around the world for various people groups.  This was about a teacher.  

getting ready for the 4D movie about The Secret Recipe (hint---it's not revealed in the movie---just in case you wondered)

taste testing.

Last week we enjoyed some free tickets to a Braves Game---we lasted ---ok I lasted 2 hours and then said "I think Lucas has had enough" (is it wrong to use the kid as an excuse to leave the game?)  I'm not a huge baseball fan and it was STINKIN' HOT!!!  Just to be fair---the game lasted until TWO O'CLOCK in the morning (fortunately the Braves won).  So we never would have lasted till the end anyway.

 and then last Thursday, my sweet friend Katherine took Lucas for the day, while I painted his room finally.

the "boy" seeing his room after being painted for the first time.

the "touch" of approval

then he wanted to put all the face plates back on...he is quite handy with a screwdriver.  Why the shirt on his head???I have no idea.

I have to take "final" pics yet---but wanted to get these up now while I had a little time.

Aunt Linda comes tomorrow for a fun fun to come.......

A few Medical Updates

Today we have 2 pieces of Medical news...

1.  Shriner's has set up an appointment for us for August 15th in Greenville, North Carolina.  We are excited that they are willing to see us and are moving forward at a decent pace.  We didn't know exactly what to expect.  But, all the information we have indicates they are willing to take us on as a patient.  This is very cool for several reasons.  One of them being, they really work well with children.  It's what they do.  They specialize in kids with limb deficiencies and we are looking forward to their opinion.

2.  We had our appointment finally for the TB meds for Lucas.  Our pediatrician recommended and sent us to the Public Health department because they felt more comfortable with that.  I think I mentioned several months ago that I was hesistant about the way the TB test was read here in the States.  It did not seem consistant with the way China read it.  If this makes any sense to you---China measured the induration (bump) which was smaller than the reddened area.  Our ped. measured the entire red area and did not even feel around for the induration.  I believe this is due to inexperience with TB tests that actually come back positive.  I did research on this and found out there is a blood test (thank you Holly for your input on that as well).  I asked, and our Ped told us this did not always give good results.  He didn't really support it.  I do not want to take a risk of TB for my child so we decided to go forward with the meds.  But, something has still been in the back of my mind about all of this not being done right.  In the meantime we had to wait for our appointment with the public health dept.

TODAY...finally....the nurse in the public health dept that deals with this stuff everyday said "do you want to just do the blood test?"..."it's what I would do"....seriously....I wanted to kiss her.  She totally agreed with me.  She said "why put him on unneccessary meds if you don't have to?  THANK YOU!!!! This is my whole point.  I did question it's validity.  She said "It's what We use"..  "it's extremely accurate"  ... and they are responsible for the public health.

I am so relieved by it.  Even if it comes back positive and we have to do the drugs, I just feel like it is a more valid test.  So this is good news.  The meds will have to be taken for NINE months if we do need to do it.  That's a lot of medication in his system.  Willing to do it but not if we don't have to.

We will know the results in 2 weeks.
Prayers appreciated.