September 30, 2011

"The Heart" has a brain, too

We like to kid around that G0D gave us one child of every flavor: The Brains, The Heart, The Braun, and The Beauty.  It is not that cut-and-dry, though, of course.  For example, The Heart, pictured here at our school table, has a pretty darn good brain.  He just turned four in May, and is reading at a late kindergarten level.  He does his big brother's math when we're not looking.  He reasons like a kid twice his age.  Don't be fooled by his charm and his sentiment; he is thinking way harder than anyone knows.  He might look like he is standing off to the side chewing his nails, but he is taking it all in.  Between his way with people and his sharp mind, I predict politics, or business, or perhaps the leader of a world-wide movement of change?  For now, however, we'll continue to type-cast him as "The Heart."  Its easier that way.

p.s.  Glory's surgery went well!  Praise G0D.  

September 29, 2011

sugar buzz ramblings

It is 10:35 p.m. on Thursday in East Asia.  Glory is in surgery in Little Rock.  Daniel is perusing the town with his buddies.  I told him to go, so he wouldn't hear all of the intimate things we ladies sat and talked about over frosted brownies in my living room this evening.

I shamelessly ate two of my own brownies.  Is it terrible to like your own baking?  Aren't we supposed to be too self-critical for that?  Maybe its a sign that I'm moving past self-criticism.  Maybe that happens in your 30s?  Or maybe I just really like chocolate and it matters not how I get it.  Or both.

I just have to say that I LOVED our Women's Time tonight.  We meet ever-other Thursday evening, and it really is time invaluably spent.  Tonight, however, was sweeter than I'm used to.  A new woman has joined our ranks, and we are thrilled because she is 60 and knows about life beyond raising gradeschoolers.  My pen was racing across the back of my printout as I scratched down nearly everything she had to say.  There is nothing like the wisdom of those who have lived longer than we have.  Not to mention she is an adoptive mother of two kids who came to her from Russia in 1996 and were nearly teenagers at the time.  This woman has been through it, and has lived to tell about it.  Somehow I feel like I'm going to make it, too.

I am looking at the back of my printout right now, and I will share the top three tidbits from the evening (not necessarily from our new friend, but mostly spurred on by her presence, I think).
1.) PROBLEM: We (moms of young children) feel like we've lost ourselves.  Where did I go and who is this bedraggled, used-up, butt-wiper staring back at me from the mirror?  Why don't I get to go out every day like my husband and feel the cool breeze lift my hair?  ANSWER:  Perspective.  Choose to say, "Thank you, G0D, that I GET to stay home with these kids!  What a privilege.
2.) PROBLEM:  I find myself stooping to their (the kids') level.  ANSWER:  I am a woman, and women are gifted with empathy.  In this case, it is a bad thing.  I am taking on the anger of my four-year-old.  Wow!  How enlightening is that?!
Snapshot just taken: ready for surgery.  xoxo
3.)  PROBLEM:  One of my children needs a heart-issue addressed, but I am changing an explosive diarrhea or I am baking brownies for Women's Time (hopefully not simultaneously).  ANSWER:  Carry a notebook around in my pocket and write down whatever needs to be addressed so that I can come back to it with that child at a better time.

Well, now that my sugar-buzz is wearing off, and Daniel seems to have found something really fun to do out there in the streets of our fair city, I think I'll go check the progress of Glory's operation on her Facebook page and then wash my face and climb into bed to read another chapter of THE HELP (thanks again, Lance and Leah) until my eyelids get too heavy and then I'll pray for Glory and go to sleep.  I hope that when I do, I'll be thinking about the 4th tidbit I would have shared if I would have shared 4:  G0D is faithful, and he has never, nor will he ever, take his hand of guidance from me.  Amen and good night.

September 28, 2011


The surgery has been moved up to today!  At 7 a.m. Thursday morning, September 29, and for the rest of the day, please be praying.  Glory will be undergoing open heart surgery.

"When I said, 'My foot is slipping,' your love, O L0RD, supported me.  When anxiety was great within me, your consolation brought joy to my soul." -Psalm 94:18,19 

September 27, 2011

to carry on

Dear Friends and Family,

Glory is in the hospital, after having been at home for some months with her lively, dinosaur-loving sister; her awesome mommy and daddy; and her grandma-extraordinaire.  She had a heart cath done recently to check the progress on that one stubborn artery (the one we are all waiting on to grow so she can have her next big heart surgery), and the cath yielded disappointing results.  The stubborn artery is not growing like it needs to be, so there can be no surgery for now.  The waiting commences.

In the mean time, however, the doctors are going to perform a different surgery, in an attempt to give that artery every advantage to grow.  That surgery will be in a couple of weeks.  It will be a hard surgery for Glory, and it will not be "the one" that she desperately needs.  She can not go home now.  She will remain in the hospital until the surgery, because her oxygen is too low.  Her heart is trying its best, but she only has half of it, you remember, and it has been operated on several times.  Everything hinges now on the growth of that artery, and the fighting spirit of our precious Glory Girl, and the will of G0D.

Please pray.

Also remember Glory's family in your prayers, especially her mommy, my all-star sis-in-law, Kerry.  I will never understand what she has been through, and continues to go through.  Those of us moms who worry about our kid's stuffy noses (that includes me) need to be carrying Kerry right now.  She needs to carry on, and sometimes, carrying on is not all that easy to do.

For His Glory,

September 26, 2011

a Rupp day off

Monday is Daddy's day off.  You would think that one more adult in the house would mean less stress for everyone.  On the contrary.  It simply amounts to one more stressed-out adult.  Therefore, on Mondays, to keep from going crazy in our tiny apartment, we pile into our mian bao che and drive to places like this:
Pick your battles, so they say.  Today I let Zion wear dragon pajamas to lunch.  Is it clear how many battles I am fighting?
Questionable, at best.  We've gotten to where we hardly notice this stuff anymore.

to play games,

and eat pizza with "pepperoni" and Chinese peppers,

and dance (be forewarned, you might get jealous of my dance moves).

September 24, 2011

no apologies

I would apologize (to you and to my boys) for all of the Jubilee posts these days, but I missed two whole years of her life so I think my behavior is completely justified. Not only that, but I am certain that the boys will understand, when they are old enough to care two hoots about their mother's silly blog.

*a smile and a wink*

So here is another pic I had to post, because even though it is fuzzy and makes her look like she is plugged into the wall, she just looks so darn Chinese!  I love it!

September 23, 2011

Thank you for giving!

Though we've not yet met our goal, I couldn't wait any longer to say a big "Thank you!" to all of you who have given to our Lifesong grant so far.  We are that much closer to wrapping up the financial side of Jubilee's adoption.  We are SO thankful that you felt moved to give on behalf of this amazing child.  We have your names and will be sending each of you a personal message (on a card which was handmade by a deaf Chinese woman), but please except this general extension of gratitude in the mean time.  May you be blessed as you peek in our blog over the years and watch our little girl (who you helped bring home) become the woman G0D intended her to be. 

For now, she is a giggling 26-month-old who loves music, routine, kissing and hugging, Nerf guns, salmon cereal, her mommy's Coke Zero, folding and putting things away, Band-Aids, and her family.  We feel so honored that G0D has chosen us to be her mommy and daddy! 

September 22, 2011

my little heroes

We climbed a mountain last weekend.  Our three little dudes skipped all the way to the "summit" and looked out over the city that we call home.  Bright, the walking dictionary; Zion, the walking heart; and Brave, the tank in a diaper.  He looks so strange in a diaper, since he is as big as his four-year-old brother, but we aren't about to go there right now.  Best to leave well-enough alone.

I just can't say it enough: I am so proud of my sons.  The way that they have embraced their new sister, and the way that they have obeyed their frazzled mommy, and heeded the wisdom of their daddy - I have truly been blown away.

I love you to the ends of the earth and back, my precious sons, the wonderful Rupp Brothers Three.

September 20, 2011

like the lyrics to that Turtles song

Me and you,
And you and me
No matter how they tossed the dice,
It had to be
The only one for me is you
And you for me
So happy together.

p.s.  The overalls she is wearing in the first pic barely fit her, but I just had to squeeze her into them; I bought them before I ever had children, in case I should have a girl one day.

September 19, 2011

Daniel Rupp has a daughter

He freezes up with terror when he thinks she's gotten away from us in a crowd.  He never does that with our sons.  I guess he figures they can fend for themselves already (you know, all the Jiu-Jitsu he's taught them and all).

He worries if stains are going to come out of her clothes.  I'm pretty sure he wouldn't care if the boys were even wearing any clothes.

He worries if the glue is going to come out of her hair.  "Please don't say we're going to have to buzz it!!" he says.  I grab the shampoo right away and gently assure him. 

A twinkle comes into his eyes when he looks at her.  I hate to use cliche, but twinkle is the only word that fits.

He tries to hide his disappointment when he gets home from a really long work day and she doesn't reciprocate his affections immediately.  Like any great daddy, though, he keeps pursuing her, ever so sweetly, until her heart-melting smile transforms her face into a thousand creases and dimples; until her long, fine eyelashes, like two Chinese fans, are the only things left protruding.
Yes, its true.  Daniel Rupp has a daughter.

Don't worry, though, the world is still spinning in the same direction: he'll still brag on how many manchildren his loins were able to bring forth.  Some things never change.
And to further boost his machismo factor, here's a blast from the past.  Somewhere around '02-'03, cave-crawling with Clay Newcomb. 


September 18, 2011

the cute card

When she shouts, "NO!" at me, or runs off in the buff after going potty instead of stepping into her panties, she warrants a stern look, at best, and a little sting on the knuckles at worst (the orphanage disciplined her in preparation for family-life, and I could kiss them right on the mouth for it).  In an attempt to put a smile back on my face in such circumstances, she plays peek-a-boo.  I usually don't back down.  Cuteness is nothing new to our house.

And yet, there are times when even Kayla Rupp puts aside the Dr. Dobson techniques and just gets out the camera.  I can't help it, people! 

September 16, 2011

woe is me

There are seasons in life that strip us of everything we've ever used to cope, exposing all of our un-dealt-with junk, and we find ourselves crying for no apparent reason (female) or flying off the handle at everyone in our path (male).

This isn't one of those seasons for me.  I've been there, done that.  When I flew across the world by myself at 19 to hike the Australian outback, for example.  The wallabees must have thought me nuts, as I sat in the crags of the rocks with my journal and wept like a child.

The first six months of my life here in East Asia were another example.  Take away my superstores and my drivers license and my ability to communicate, and give me the runs and a jetlagging baby and mountain altitudes at which none of my previous baking recipes could be followed, and I could again be found curled up in fetal position with a journal, blubbering all over myself.

There are more examples, but I won't go on and on.  Enough such seasons have passed in my almost-31 years of life that I am pretty sure there is nothing left in my deepest parts but a very strong desire to see JE$US face-to-face. 

No, this is something different.  The tears are here.  The fetal position is here.  The journal is here (only now they call it a "blog").  This time, however, the "no apparent reason" does not apply.  I struggle now because my life is unquestionably, verifiably non-doable.

Will it change?  Will this pass?  Oh yes, of course so.  I know this.  And yet, when I look at the clock and it is 9:47 a.m. and I am already done.  Had it.  Nothing left for the day.  Yikes.  That ain't good.

So I just let myself cry.  I let the Heddens take my boys for the afternoon.  I eat Nutter Butters from Betsy and Alex (something I can afford to do leisurely at this point because I am burning more calories mothering right now than I did during college soccer season).  I pray like my life depends on it.  Oh wait, it does.  I remember that G0D has never, ever, ever let me down.  I thank him for my precious, unbelievable children and husband; particularly, at this point, my daughter, who is more-or-less knocking me over with her beautiful heart as I fall daily more in love with her.  I write all of this out in a blog post called "woe is me" and anyone who reads it thinks, "geesh, I'm glad I'm not her."

And I take Mandy's advice;)

And time will pass.  Two-year-olds will become three-year-olds and "newly adopted" will become my long-standing daughter and there will be laughter again in my heart.  And if none of that should ever come to pass (which of course it will), I am redeemed by the blood of the lamb and sealed for an eternity of serenity and joy.

Ok, time for a shower.

September 15, 2011

September 14, 2011

love is learned

When I had my second child in 2007, I asked my mentor and dear, dear friend Allison HOW she got two teenagers who naturally get along.  She said, point blank, "They don't.  I have never allowed them not to."

I had never considered that before.  Not giving one's children the option of not getting along.  Not allowing a moment of strife to go unresolved.  Not allowing eye-rolling and huffy tones.  Reminding the children all day, every day, that they love each other, and that they are to strive to love each other, in all things, at all times.  My boys are tough roughnecks, but they can be seen sharing their feelings with each other on the rug, apologizing, forgiving, hugging and kissing.

Giving and receiving love is learned, and I am this subject's greatest pupil.  You can ask Daniel and the kids.  I am right there with them on the rug.

So, among many, many other things (like we don't pull all the DVDs out of the DVD book and scatter them all over the living room), we are teaching our precious Jubilee to love her brothers, particularly Brave.  It is clear that this is a brand new concept for her.  I'm pretty sure she never before saw other children as anything but a threat.  It takes a lot of hands-on diligence on my part, assuring her and encouraging her and modeling love for her, but she is catching on.

Jubilee is learning to love and be loved.  Welcome to the hardest class you'll ever take, my sweet little girl.  My prayer is that these lessons will lead you to the great, faithful arms of True Love himself.

working with construction (paper)

As it turns out, one does not need peace and quiet to cut and configure toilet-paper-stuffed prehistoric sea life.  So, while the demolition next door continues to rattle our brains, we are building an ancient aquarium, of sorts.  Most boys like dinos, I understand that, but my boys like dinosaurs' tiny, underwater counterparts.  Bright reads everything, and I do mean everything, and then teaches all of us about what he reads; then we build replicas. 
Meet "Terry" our pet pterygotus.

Meet "Armlots" our pet michelinoceras.

Meet "Max" our ammonite.

On a side note, can you tell that this is Bright's favorite shirt these days?  I am letting him dress himself now, and since we rarely leave our address, it doesn't much matter what he wears.  I told him the other day that we should try to match our tops with our bottoms, if possible.  He asked why.  I said that it's important to look like we care about ourselves.  He said, "Mom, the B1BLE tells us we should hate our lives."  Grrrrr.  Don't teach your kids to read too early.  Seriously.

September 12, 2011

Would you help us adopt Jubilee?

Hi, it's Daniel.  A lot of people ask me, "Where did you guys get the money to adopt?"  It's a good question.  The average Chinese adoption costs more than $30,000.  That's a lot of money and certainly not the kind of cash we have sitting around.  We keep (or I should say "used to keep") a six thousand dollar emergency fund on hand.  That's been spent plus some.  We borrowed five thousand from our parents in a pinch (they're good sports).  We were awarded a matching grant early on that some of you gave to, which ended up blessing us with about eight thousand dollars.  We're working on tax credits, a health insurance kick back, and I met a student the other day who could possibly help me sell my kidney on the black market.  I'm not kidding.  Though I'm also hoping it doesn't come to that.

Basically, we didn't do this because we had the cash on hand.  We did it because she needed a Momma to put a pink bow in her hair.  When her musical-wind-up-tea-pot stopped working this afternoon, she needed a Daddy to fix it.  She needed a home.  And while we may not have a lot of cash, we've got one of those. 

What we'd like you to consider is helping us with the cash part.  LifeSong for Orphans is a non-profit organization under the umbrella of Family Christian Stores.  They've blessed us with a $3,000 matching grant.  Which means that anything we raise up to that amount, by November 20th, will be doubled by them!  It's a HUGE blessing, and if the tax credit works out the way we're hoping, this $6,000 would cover almost all of our remaining expenses surrounding the adoption.

Would you help us adopt Jubilee?  You can Click Here, or on the link that we've put on our side bar, to give.  It takes you to LifeSong's giving page.  All gifts are tax deductible and every penny goes to us.  You can give in just about any form you'd like, just be sure you specify that you are giving to "Daniel and Kayla Rupp's adoption."  THANKS guys.  Really.

September 11, 2011

Bye, Bye Mary Poppins

The Bib1e tells us that the fatherless have a special place in G0D's heart.  He crafts them with great care.  He brings them into this big world.  His eyes never leave them.  His angels surround them.  He puts a yearning in the hearts of nothing-special-people like Kayla and Daniel Rupp to run after one of these children, in the craziest season of their lives, taking the most precious little girl in all the world as their very own.  He gives that child a new name, Jubilee Sue, and The Rupps become a family of six with a little red book to prove it.

It's all sunshine and roses after that, right?  Uh, no.  Tears and fears mark their early days together.  The whole group clings to G0D and each other, the six of them learning to trust like they never have before.  It is a painful process.  The old (in all of us) has to die so that the new (for all of us) can be born.  For this kind of birth, however, there is no available epidural.  The whole family feels every single thing.

Tomorrow marks four weeks since the day we first held our beloved Jubi Sue.  These days she is no longer grieving.  The only thing that makes her cry now is being smothered by her big-hearted, rhinoceros of a "twin" brother (she'll appreciate your awesome girth someday, Brave, especially in college when some ogre from psychology class can't take a hint).

I make her cry, too, every now and then.  Gasp!  I know, I know, adoptive mothers are supposed to be perfect.  Well, we're not.  We're just like everybody else.  Right now, at least, it really gets me when I fail her.  It's like I feel responsible for making the next 16 years of her life blissful, in order to make up for the way she had to spend her first 2.  Talk about having too high of expectations!

I'm pretty sure Jubilee thought she had been adopted by Mary Poppins at first. I tip-toed around her with a goofy smile plastered to my freaked-out face.  Not anymore.  Mary Poppins has packed her leather handbag and left, leaving sweet Jubilee to be raised by regular ol' me.  Daniel reminded me again today that she doesn't need a perfect mother, any more than our boys do.  She needs a real mother, a forever mother, a through-thick-and-thin mother.

That's me, sweetheart.  Real, forever; thick sometimes, and thin others.  I'm going to look at you crossly.  I'm going to lose my cool.  I'm going to need your grace and forgiveness over the years.  But you know what?  That's what makes us a family.  Daniel, Kayla, Bright, Zion, Brave, and Jubilee.  Family. 

Forever and always.

September 09, 2011

looking ahead

Is it a crime to look to the future with a longing that could walk around on its own if you put shoes on it?  If so, then I am going to prison.  For a long time.  I might actually welcome prison at this point.  Three squares a day (that I don't have to cook), time to work toward a masters degree, and nobody needing me to wipe their butt.

Daniel and I have started dreaming about our golden years.  I am most looking forward to the quiet mornings.  He is most looking forward to sleep.  We talk about the big salads we will eat for dinner, and the long walks we will take, and the weekends with the grandkids.  We talk about nights that won't end with me crying into my pillow, anticipating 7 a.m. the next morning.

Kids, if you're reading this years from now, please know that you were desperately loved.  In fact, our love for you is the reason we are so exhausted right now.  We are putting everything we've got into this business of raising you.  These are the most important and precious days we will ever live.

And yet, we will be a tiny bit happy to see them go.

we know the drill

As if the whining in two languages from two two-year-olds every two minutes from dawn until dusk was not enough noise for my ears, the folks who own the apartment beside ours have decided to begin renovating. 

Let me brief you on how renovations go in this country (because we've been through this before).  The construction is 100% concrete, which means the slightest change in decor requires a concrete drill.  What does a concrete drill being used for 10 straight hours sound like?  Imagine that someone recorded a thousand monkeys screaming, then played it back to you at volumes beyond description - add in some feedback - and then put the whole thing on the other side of your newly-adopted toddler's bedroom.  This is the soundtrack of our lives, until the (currently gutted) apartment is sparkling with new fixtures and tiny tilework and built-in storage units.  In other words, we're looking at 4 months minimum of face-splitting sound.

By the way, teaching home school is a bit challenging when your pupils can't hear what you are saying.  Home school is even more challenging when toddlers can't take their afternoon naps.  Only my grandpa, after Thanksgiving dinner, could have slept through noise like this.

So we are looking at a semester of nothing getting accomplished, no one getting any sleep, and nothing that can be done about it.  Whatsoever.  Except, as I mentioned to Daniel earlier today, asking for a transfer to the African bush (the furthest place I could think of from concrete and its correlating equipment).  I don't think he is game for starting from scratch on the language-learning front, and I don't like mosquitoes, so I guess we are staying put.

Yes, I have been overstating, but I feel a little better now.  A little.  I guess we will get school done each day, somehow, and I guess the toddlers will adjust to sleeping through WWIII, and one day in the freezing middle of winter, the sound will stop and that will be that.  Until then, please don't call me during the day.  I won't be able to hear a word you're saying.
And for a little perspective, here's my precious family.  Ok, so I guess I have nothing to complain about.

September 05, 2011

as we go

Every so often I find myself alone in the kids’ room.  The wind picks up and blows around the large, gray curtains, gracing my weary face, and I stand up from my task of tidying and look around me. 

An alarm clock sits ticking beside the fishbowl, its reflection distorted in the glass.  Impromptu artwork is pasted on the window, made from green construction paper that has faded heavily in the sun.  A blown-up photograph of the three boys, on the day that Brave was born, hangs cock-eyed in its frame above the futon in the corner.  The three-sleeper bunk bed stands empty, haphazardly made up, with stickers on it, and black-and-white copies of the face of CHR1ST, taped above their pillows, to ward off night fears when the city sounds start whistling in the dark.

Yesterday it occurred to me that one cannot design a child's bedroom.  It designs itself, over the years, playing off of the needs of the child, of the things they like to look at, and the way they live their little lives.  In the same way, one cannot prepare to parent their children.  We learn as we go.  If someone had plopped me into one of my present days say, 8 years ago, I would have died before lunchtime.  My life as their mom has evolved, like their bedroom; and like their bedroom, I need to stop every now and then and admire it, faded and haphazard as it may be.

reaching our handsome Brave Ransom

Brad Pitt has met his match.

Because Brave is such a stronghearted little guy, with resilience to spare, we've assumed things to be hunky dory on his part, in these early weeks of the adoption.

Then yesterday we took a video of Jubi Sue learning English (which she is doing very rapidly), and it wasn't until the third time viewing it that I noticed Brave jumping around in the background of the video, pointing to his nose and pointing to his eyes and pointing to his mouth.  I don't know what was sadder, the fact that he was cheering for himself because no one else was, or the fact that I didn't even notice he was back there.

By the time I realized this horribly sad thing, Brave was already in bed.  I shared this with Daniel, and we prayed for him immediately, my mothers-heart telling me that he had been affected by the attention Jubilee had been getting.  It wasn't a few minutes later that we heard him crying from his bed (something he never does) and we rushed in to get him.  We brought him to our room and tried to talk to him, but he wasn't awake.  We have found our toddler sons in this state several times: not awake, not asleep, eyes moving around the room, not looking at anything in particular, bodies limp, mouth loose and drooling, whimpering slightly.

I decided a little brainwashing/hypnotic therapy was in order, seeing this as an opportunity for healing that G0D had provided in a direct answer to prayer.  (Stick with me, I know this might sound a little hokey).  We started by telling him we were proud of him, just like we were proud of Jubilee.  Instantly his not-awake face turned down into a deep pout and big crocodile tears rolled down his cheeks.  I realized he could hear and understand me perfectly.  So I took his limp hand and role-played/dream-played with him, saying, "Brave, where's your nose?" and then touched his nose with his limp hand and then cheered, "Yay, good job, Brave!"  The more I did this, I noticed a strange, dreamy smile come across his face.  I knew his heart was healing right before our eyes.

Either that or he had had a stroke in his bed and we were looking at the first night of the rest of our lives.

Thankfully, the former turned out to be true.  He woke this morning more confident and happy than I have ever seen him.

What have I learned from this?  That Brave is suffering and we should feel guilty?  That I should have been a hypnotist?  No.  I've been reminded that G0D is completely faithful, and can be trusted to care for the deep, tucked away parts of our childrens' hearts; and that prayer is smokin' powerful and we should do it more often.

September 04, 2011

studies in Jubilee

She snuggles with me.  Every night when I sing to her beside her crib (poor thing, I am a terrible singer), she curls her petite frame over my shoulder, just like any 2-year-old would do with her mom.

Her mom, that's me.  The buck stops here.  I am her mom, like I am Bright, Zion, and Brave's mom.

I study her when I'm holding her, in an attempt, I think, to make up for lost time.  She has a small brown birthmark on her left calf.  It kind of looks like she was splashed with mud.  When she smiles, a crescent-shaped dimple appears beneath her cheek on her left side.  Her feet are wide and long, with offset pinky toes and nails like discs.  Her feet flap when she runs.  She swaggers when she walks, which I contribute to her flexible joints.  You could tie that girl in a knot.  She has a raspy laugh.  Her fingers are nimble and controlled.  Her eyes are knowing.  Her hemangioma (large, blood-filled tumor on her chest, shoulder, and armpit) was daunting at first, but it wasn't long before I was washing it and drying it like I would clean behind her ears.  A small part of me will be sad when it is gone.  The first act of trust between us was when I rubbed lotion on it that first night.  I took off her dress and she looked at me like, "What do you think of me now?"  I scooped her up and held her close, hoping that she could understand my answer.

September 02, 2011

all our expectations

When we decided to adopt, and over the course of the year-and-a-half that it took to bring our daughter home, we acquired some expectations of what this whole thing might look like.

We expected that she would not feel as pretty as other girls because of her special need.

We expected the boys to withdraw into a depressed and confused mess.

We expected her to sit in a corner and rock back and forth in fetal position for a few months.

We expected the boys to be jealous and bitter toward her.

As always, the L0RD far, far, far exceeded all our expectations.