Tuesday, July 27, 2010

Family of 5 update!

Hello Readers. Thanks for checking in.

Miss Beautiful moved in last Saturday, so we have been a family for 10 days.
For those playing catch up, this is the child of our heart. We started the process with the state to adopt an older child from foster care last August and now Beautiful, age 12, half Native American, half African American is living in our home. We cannot share her real name until after adoption, which will be once she has lived in our home for 6 months, but the meaning of her name is "beautiful". And it fits, beautifully. wink.

She is adjusting very well. Everything is new in her life (and ours too). She is handling new parents, siblings, family, school, friends, church, foods and more! Can you imagine? Honestly, put yourself in her place. Tough stuff for a adolescent or anyone, right?! She went to a swim party today to meet all new friends from her part-time school. I was so proud of her for going. The host said she wanted to give her a badge of courage. I couldn't agree more.

The hard stuff... We have encountered one bad dream, several talks about birthmother and her past foster families and she faced her first consequence, but ended up making a wise choice and did not have to receive that consequence. We have had some typical bad moods and tears about this or that, but overall, really proud of her.

Now, on to me. Hear the song in your head, "It's all about me Jesus" oh wait, that is not what it is supposed to be! "It's all about You Jesus!" If I could get that straight, I wouldn't have to deal with half of the stuff in my life!

BUT, adjusting is hard. What is hard for me is busyness. I hate it. It causes me to stress and be fatigued, have anxiety and shut down. Other people can handle many things, but not me, I know I cannot do it all. One of my favorite words is NO.
But what do you do when so many things are changing and you have to say yes? Like new glasses for school, DHS appt's, school uniform fitting, testing for school, dentist, on and on, things that must get done? What do you do? I get tired, then the witch picks up her broom. And it is not pretty.
I do not want to just survive this transition of our new child, but thrive during this adjustment. The thing that pushes me over the edge is errands. I can realistically only do one (or zero) errands a day. With a 2, 4 and 12 year old in tow, it is taking some prayer and planning on my part to do things successfully. This part does not have anything to do with bonding, just the logistics of doing life- like going grocery shopping or going to the post office. But sadly, it is those little things that can seem HUGE to accomplish. A few of you will understand this and totally get me. Others who can do it all, will think I am a weeny. I am weak and flawed and that is ok. If I tap into Christ, His power is made perfect in weakness. But this part of adjusting to a new kiddo is for me (and was for each past child as well) a challenge.

I want to specifically say thank you to some friends who encouraged me. It feels good to be supported and have an encouraging word. Also to RR who called and asked me to cash in a coupon she gave me for Christmas for a date night. She said, "Oh, you will need it, and soon." So we booked a date for our 9th anniversary in a week. It is the little things.

I debated back and forth about sharing this because I do not want it to come across "pity-party-ish" but, I am glad (for me and my personality) that this particular adoption came third and not first. It is no secret to those who have adopted, that women having a biological child receive, in general, more attention than women adopting. (Exclude Jolie and Madonna, of course.)

There are the core friends/family who will ask you how you are doing, feeling, naming, planning, etc for the whole two+ years of your adoption journey, but you just do not get asked that often. Towards the end, when it becomes more real and you have pictures of your child, you will hopefully have a baby shower and be asked more often about travel and such.
But during the wait, it can be a lonely time. I learned this the hard way with our first adoption. God quickly showed me to always come to Him first when I was feeling sad about not getting the same attention as someone else who was expecting. See, comparison is always a killjoy. I knew this going into our second and it was much easier. Now, going into our third where our child is older, we received more controversial questions than the "oh you sweet thing, you are expecting, tell me all about it" type support.

I am not sure why I needed to get that off my chest. Probably because when I say, "thank you for your love and support," I mean it. Like, really really whole-heartedly mean thank you. I CANNOT do life without the support of my Lord, my husband, my family and my friends. I cannot fulfill this calling without you.
I have learned that the smallest kind word actually speaks louder than what money can buy. Those "things" are nice of course. We have had our parents and one friend give a gift to Beautiful and it was such a joyful moment for her and us. We are going to have a "love you around the clock" celebration when she is officially adopted into our family. And I cannot wait for it. A huge celebration after all these transitions will be such a sweet reward.

Funny's of the week:

Avi Joy- While I was cutting her hair, I told her to watch daddy unloading the dishwasher. She proceeds to loudly sing, "I am watching daddy unload the dishwasher. Isaiah 18." Apparently she took the liberty of adding to the scriptures.

Nehemiah- He has started to put on his own socks. (Which amazed me because little-joy just started doing that like this year.) BUT he puts BOTH socks on the SAME foot. Not just sometimes, every. single. time. One barefoot and one double socked foot.

Beautiful- While driving down the highway we passed some new construction. She said, "I cannot believe that new wall already has confetti on it." I said, "Confetti?" She said, "Yeah, like spray paint all over it." Ok, Ok, graffiti!

Psalm 3 really touched me this week.
The Perryman's

Friday, July 16, 2010

Last night as a family of four

Well, from here on out, we will be a family of 5.
Miss Beautiful will be joining our family tomorrow. It was scheduled for the end of July, but everyone (being our social workers, counselors, foster family and us) all felt that the time had come for her to move in.
We have an all day journey ahead of us to pick her up (about 5 hours one way). We will visit with her foster grandparents and have lunch with them at a local restaurant. Then we will head home to start life together. Amazing that you can sum up someone joining your family in one paragraph!
We have been working on all the details for her to start school, dance and youth group. We are doing both homeschooling and part-time school at a local private Christian school. She will be able to be involved in drama, band, hands-on science, study hall, lunch and "house" time. House time is where the kids spend time doing things together (sports, projects) and also compete against other houses like in debate or bible-bowl.
Our main goal this year is family. Education is secondary at this time. We never saw ourselves as a homeschool family, but we are built differently and this schedule is beyond perfect. I do not function well if we are an over committed family, so we are taking one week at a time. Making sure we spend time together, complete school work, worship at church and have outside activities. This is a whole new world for me!
Needless to say everything in my 12 year olds life is about to change. From living in the country to the city, from foster care to a family, from all that she knows to everything being new. So many changes.
Please pray for our family that every detail will be smooth. And that all emotional times (homesickness, grief) will be handled with love and grace. Pray for Beautiful to have understanding, strength and peace. And for us to find rest in the Lord when we feel overwhelmed by all the changes.
I shared with someone this week about our newest daughter joining our family this weekend. Their exact words were, "Oh, I could never adopt an older child." In a moment of bravery and defense of our child I answered, "You are right. You couldn't. It is not for everyone. But it is for us. God put this in our hearts and had equipped us for our daughter."
It is true that adoption is not for everyone. Either is adopting a child of a different ethnicity or a child that is older. But Adam and I believe more than ever before this is our calling in life. Why are we passionate about adoption? Simply put, God put it in us. Walking in it is so rewarding, so moving, so spectacular, I cannot imagine life any other way. I am so grateful for the gift of parenting through adoption. Lord, thank you for choosing us. I feel so lavished in love when I think about how our family is built. I know you feel the same way about your children, either from your belly or from your heart, they are precious in His sight and we would lay down our lives for our children.
Our Beautiful is precious and we know that God has and will continue to work all things together for her good. We appreciate your love, support, kind words and gifts from your heart. Thank you. Thank you!

"And we know that in ALL things God works for the good of those who love Him." Romans 8:28

We headed out for a playdate with the Homan and the Sweet families this week. It is such a treat when we get together as we have so much in common. Two husbands in the ministry, every child has joined through adoption, all serve Jesus, the list goes on. I love my time with these ladies, but weirdly enough, probably love the time my kids get to spend with their children a bit more. I love to see the connection they have with one another. Avi Joy just showed me a picture of baby Sarah today in VN at the center and told me how they were both there at the same time. Such special friendships. Heather posted some amazing pic's of our time together too!
Here was my favorite of the day. I just love it.
Laying out.
These two peanuts are so funny. They love their dress-up time and Avi Joy was beyond creative when she asked me if she could put one of her bows on Nehemiah as a bow-tie. I have never thought of that! It has now been done with each bow and he looks just hilarious.
Sarah celebrated her 5th birthday! More pic's from her party!
The princesses showing off their lipstick.
Please share to sharpen our family... We are putting together a "never bored" list. One of our goals is to show our kiddos that during free time/family time, there are hundreds of things that we can do. Please share your favorite things to do as a family/individually. Everything from writing a pen pal, crafts, cleaning, serving, etc. We want ANY & EVERY idea for our list. AND we will share it soon with you! Thank you.

The Perryman Five!

Sunday, July 11, 2010

Gentle Kisses

(I am a wee bit behind, hopefully May-July will be coming soon!)

Several things broke around our house (remote, printer, weed-eater, my van's engine vacuum, phone- so many things... weird!) BUT it did not get us down because this was a super wonderful week!
We started off by enjoying some time with the Butter's family. Everything is better with butter, right?! She is expecting her fifth and us, our third, so this pic will have 8 kids very soon!
We had some serious fun flying. Everybody at our house takes a turn, as Miss Beautiful found out. Even at 12 and as big as me, I flew that girl all over our living room. I flew Adam, Adam flew all the kids. Big fun around our house. I am working on applying this flying fun to real flying. I have to pray a.lot. to fly.
Look no further gals. This hot look is straight off the Middle Eastern Runway.
Beautiful's house shoes. You can see a glimpse of her behind him. I even asked if I could post some pics privately on FB or somewhere of her Beautiful face, but no... catch me in person and I will proudly show you pics of her. : )
Beautiful took several pictures of the butterflies in our garden. Symbolic, don't you think?
Ummm. You would think this kid has sisters or something.
Then we headed over to my girlfriends house for the 4th. We hung out last year and it was just the best. Shooting fireworks, feeding the horses, letting the kids play- oh my heart loves her and her family so much! Here is her little Zo.
Another little peanut there, Jonathan.
My friend bought a water slide for the kids. A great investment, I'd say. They LOVED it! Delaney (Korea) played so well with Avi Joy, I was thankful for her befriending my daughter.
Bethany helped Nehemiah slide down. The big kids were such a big help with my little ones.
A very cool and touching tattoo. American flag heart in the middle for her and her hubby, and both the Ukrainian and Korean flags for their kiddos.
Great pic of Steve and his youngest of 4. We so enjoyed getting to catch up with this family. We met in college in 1997 and have remained friends. Steve took care of my hubby while he went on a ride along with him last night from 10pm-4am. It took me a long time to be brave enough to let my man go play COPS, but he enjoys every minute each time he rides along, so how could I say no?!
Watching fireworks. Note that we tried the new mosquito fans. They did not get any bites, so I am assuming they worked. We were up for trying anything, so we would not have to go through this again....
Being beat up by a team of Olympic Mosquito Champs. These 4 face bites swelled up SO bad they sent her to the doctor for a round of steroids and medicine cream. Sad, isn't it, just sad.
I booked a mini-art camp this summer. I am teaching 7 kids (ages 8-13) three times in July. A total of about 6 hours of art. They will complete many projects including making clay cupcakes, cave art and shown below, a study of Starry Night. They did awesome!
It rained several times this week. Oh, how I love rain. We put the kids in their swimming suits and headed outside to play in the rain. I tell you what, this boy is oober handsome.
He adds so much to this house: joy, noise, laughter, discipline, just all boy. O- and yeah, he doesn't want to grow up. Which is good because a counselor told me that when adopting an older child, it is good to let your youngest child stay the baby for as long as possible. This will not be a problem in any way, shape or form. He has reverted back to asking me to rock him and scratch his back every night. I do it and it is filled with lots of kisses, songs and rocking- if I slow the rocking part for even a minute, he Yells, "ROCK, mama" quickly followed by him lifting his shirt and saying, "and scratch." Oh this kid.
Playing in the rain.
So many gifts in life. Her curls are one of those sweet gifts.
Then we headed off to to teach (and Avi Joy attended) China camp. We had eight (or so, as they came and went) 2 year olds in my class. There was much playing, singing, reading, wiping, cleaning, bubble blowing and more. Here the class is playing dress-up. I love how the siblings of the Chinese kids are thrown into the mix. In order: China, Bio, VN, China, China and Ethiopia.
Lots of giggles from my girl before and after camp. But during the day 9:30-3:30 she attended as a camper. She learned her Chinese numbers and two weeks ago learned that Indian Tigers were in danger at India Camp.
As if you didn't already know about how much I love these heritage camps... Dillon highlighted our family as ROCKSTARS this month! (Article on the right.)
The best three bro/sis helpers in the WORLD. I know you all will read this and I have to say, you are simply amazing. And I will NOT say "Just kidding." So helpful- serving, cleaning and obeying The Boss, i.e. me : ). See you in two weeks.
And now for my favorite thing that happened at China camp. This is melt your heart good... One little gal in our class had a little hand. Nehemiah seemed fascinated by her and kinda sought her out to play. He kept looking at her hand and I showed him that she had baby fingers and to be gentle with her and love on her. Each day, he held her hand and they got along beautifully.
And many times I would look over and he was kissing her hand. Each day, many many kisses. This was the last day as we were leaving. This was not staged people, he was giving kisses to her baby fingers. The amazing thing to me was that it did not bother her. I really felt in my heart that he loved her just the way she was and that she enjoyed being loved just the way she was. These two were a perfect match at camp.
"Greet one another with a kiss of love. Peace to all of you who are in Christ." 1 Peter 5:14

The Perryman's