Monday, May 26, 2014

Mini Golf

I am posting Mercy's first time mini-golfing.  I have two reasons for such a simple post.  One is because my oldest daughter took lots of great pictures and I wanted to share them.  My second is because I not only want to share life from an adoption stand point, but to also share life with a child who has Albinism.  I want anyone who is considering adoption to see that life is normal (well if there is such a thing).  There really isn't much that our little girl won't try and most times doesn't succeed at.  I have had the privilege of sharing with a few prospective families in the past year who were considering a child with Albinism.  I want to be open here too so that if someone is searching the internet and stumbles across our blog they will see first hand what our precious little girl can do.

She loved mini-golfing for the first nine holes, after that the novelty wore off and she got bored (totally an age thing). She could not see the hole from the putter point, but as she seemed to catch on quickly that she just needed to swing at the ball and send it somewhere down the green.  That became her goal.  Eventually tse would get close of enough to the hole that she could sink it.  We chose a yellow ball for her figuring it would have the highest contrast, plus it happens to be her favorite color at the moment.  She did great and we had fun.  She over shot the ball pretty often but we simply didn't count those against her.  That may be partially a vision thing, partially an age thing and partially just normal, because we all do it at one time or another.

Saturday, May 10, 2014

She calls me Mommy.

Mercy calls me mommy.  This is a new thing.  From the day we met her until just recently I have always been Mama.  While it was a word she used to recognize me as a Mama in her life there was always a lack of endearment.  Why?  Because I knew that she called every other caretaker in China Mama too.  That is what Chinese orphan children call those special ladies that meet there needs from day to day.  So I was just another Mama to her.  So the first time she called me mommy my heart melted.  (Actually she calls me "Money.")  But I know what she is trying to say and I will take it!!!  I know there is a difference in her calling me mama verses mommy.  It may seem strange to many, but I really believe in my heart she is recognizing in some way that when my other kids call me mommy there is something different in that word and so she now calls me "Money" too.

The other night she woke up around midnight crying.  It was most likely a nightmare.  We have had the same scenario countless times before.  But as she cried she called out "Money, Money."  (deep sigh).  As I went into her room to comfort her and assure her mommy was still here and hugged her she took a hold of hand and said "Money pray."  This girl never ceases to amaze us.  She finds comfort in praying when she is scared, at three years old!  Her heart of worship, her heart seeking her Heavenly Daddy changes me for the better.  She's such a gift, our little Mercy girl, such a sweet and precious gift.

Sunday, March 23, 2014

A Simple Kiss

I am writing tonight because I want to mark a long awaited milestone.  Tonight, for the very first time, Mercy impulsively kissed me.  She has kissed me a thousand times, but not without some sort of prompting.  Whether because I kissed her or because I ask her "can I have a kiss?" or someone else prompting her to "give mommy a kiss."  But tonight she was simply sitting on my lap at the kitchen table and out of the clear blue, no prompting, on her own accord leaned in and planted the sweetest, gentlest kiss right on my cheek.   I don't know if I can even describe what that moment felt like.  It was a wave of emotion.  From shock "did she really just do that?"  to surprise "oh my word she just spontaneously kissed me at her own will!" to overflowing joy because a new victory was won tonight.  It will be 10 months tomorrow that this fragile little girl was hoisted on a plane by two strangers who she barely knew and flown half way around the world to a unfamiliar and foreign land.  Ten months of hard work, hardship, hard times intertwined with easy days, good days and moments like tonight.  Moments where everything stops, including the beat of your heart because it has just skipped a beat as a surge of joy passes through it.  Moments when you remember this kiss from her marks a milestone.  It came with a price.  She let her guard down tonight and allowed her heart to love, spontaneously.  It has taken 10 months of her taking in and testing our love to bring her to a moment where she could lean in a kiss a cheek of someone she is growing to trust and love.  I am so so so thankful I get to be that person!!!!!   Thank you Jesus for a simple kiss, a memory I will cherish for as long as I live.

Friday, February 14, 2014

Mercy's First Valentine's Day

We have a few Valentine Day traditions at our house that we couldn't wait to share with Mercy this year. Sure it's a "Hallmark" holiday, totally man made, totally a money-making kind of day.  But it's still a celebration of love, and who doesn't want to celebrate that? 

Making silly faces with her brother, who loves her very much.

Receiving her very first flower from her Daddy.

He is smitten with her!

Pink, heart shaped pancakes made with love by her big sister.


Chinese New Year

A little past the day, but wanted to post a few pictures of Mercy celebrating her first Chinese New Year with us.  We attended a luncheon hosted by Living Hope Adoption Agency.  They are the agency that did our home study as well as does our post-adoption follow-up visits and reports.  They had it in a banquet hall with a Chinese buffet and brought in some Chinese Dancers. 

Mercy with her little friend Brynna

Mercy reading a Chinese New Year book from her friend Brynna.

Sunday, January 5, 2014

First Christmas

Mercy's First Christmas 

First Christmas Tree outing

First time seeing Christmas tree lights

First time on a ladder (sorry, couldn't resist making this one public)

First Ornament

First Christmas Tree group photo (notice how happy she is about it)

First time on a sled, very unsure about this

First Snowfall, not a fan
It has been a long standing tradition for many years that we eat Chinese on Christmas Eve.  This is her first time though.  We never knew when we started this tradition that so many years later China would hold such a special place in our hearts.

First Christmas Eve gift (PJ's)

First Christmas Morning wait

First Christmas stocking

First Christmas morning sticky bun.  YUM!!!

First time hearing Jesus birth read from the book of Luke

First present

Just because

First birthday cake for Jesus
And let's not forget her first New Year's Eve!  

What a wonderful Christmas we had this year celebrating our Savior's birth 
and celebrating Mercy's First Christmas with us. 

Saturday, November 30, 2013

Mercy Came Running

Yesterday we celebrated Thanksgiving.  This year we have so much to be thankful for.  The obvious would be that Mercy is here with us to celebrate her very first Thanksgiving with her family.  This year brought so much change to our life, and hers.

While we have so much to be thankful for in regards to all that has happened in 2013, yesterday's celebration brought a few thankful moments of it's own.  Mercy seemed to be much more comfortable around her extended family.  She didn't fuss or cry while visiting at my Aunts house.  This was a first for that.  She let Grandma Jane hold her, her cousin Mark play with her, and she sat on her Uncle Steve's lap and listened to music on his phone.  These are all people who she has been with many times, but this was the first time she let any of them get close to her.  It was nice to see her opening up and letting them into her heart.

The biggest blessing came in the way of Aunt and Uncle's dog Ruby.  Ruby is a gorgeous, sweet, friendly boxer.  Mercy was standing in the doorway of the dining room when she was gently greeted by Ruby's presence.  Mercy turned away from Ruby with a look of fear on her face, a bit of a wimper came out and she ran.  It wasn't a dramatic scene.  She didn't scream or anything.  She just made a sad face, cried a little and ran as fast as her little legs could go.  So where did the blessing come in?  Mercy ran straight for ME!  She ran in my direction and right into my arms where when she got there all the wimpering and the scared face disappeared.  She got scared and she turned ran to mommy for safety and comfort.  My tears swell up just typing it!!!  This is the greatest blessing I could have asked for this Thanksgiving.  She is growing in her trust of us and because of her growing trust she is finding security in our arms.  Mercy is learning that her family is there for her when she needs us.  She is learning that when something doesn't seem right she has someone to lean on.  She is learning that when she is scared Mommy (and Daddy) are here to protect and comfort her.  It's been six months since she came to live with her new family.  Six hard months.  Yesterday some of the hard stuff we have faced was blessed with the fruit of our labor.  We are thanking the Lord for His work in Mercy's life and in ours this Thanksgiving.