Friday, October 5, 2012

The best day of our lives

Oct. 5, 2008, was indeed the best day of our lives. That was when we finally met the little boy we had only known through photographs and information from a few sheets of paper. Our meeting happened in our room in the Bell Tower Hotel, Xi'an, Shaanxi Province, People's Republic of China. Our little boy, a baby really, was 3 weeks shy of his 2nd birthday. Now, he's a big boy, in kindergarten and almost 6 years old. Look at him then and now.
We were very blessed that day and have been blessed every day since. We love you Jacob and are so proud to call ourselves your parents.

Monday, September 17, 2012

Well worth watching

This is an amazing 20 minute or so video. Well worth watching if you have adopted from China. All I can say is Mama Kong is an amazing woman. Her husband's not a bad guy either. ... Kevin

See Website HERE

Tuesday, May 8, 2012

Eyes on the future

Time continues to fly, and my goal of doing a better job at recording our lives seems to be falling by the wayside. But know as you read this some day son that our time as a family was the most fulfilling, fun and beautiful time of our lives, even if not every aspect was covered on these blog pages. Today you spoke of how you cannot wait to start kindergarten, and as I smiled and nodded in excitement for you, I prayed a little for time to slow so that you don't grow up quite so fast. While I probably always will try to rope in time's flight, I find myself learning to savor the moments and even looking forward to future memories and milestones, like kindergarten beginning. Good friends and family in our lives have made those times even more special. So here's to starting kindergarten, and saving ladybugs from certain doom, carnival rides and bedtime stories. All of these things we can savor a little more, until time brings us more joys and adventures. Love you Little Man, Mom

Saturday, April 14, 2012

Fancy Day - I Hope You Dance

Last Wednesday was Fancy Day for Jake's pre-kindergarten class. The kids were told to dress up in their fanciest clothes — and boy did they! Some were pretty fancy. Jake dressed in his suit and wore the hat he wore a couple of years ago at his cousin's wedding.

The kids learned etiquette — we're talking real table manners, such as putting the napkin in your lap, not eating until everyone had been served, putting your napkin on your plate when you were done and not getting up until everyone was finished.

They also had a dance, which must have been fun to see. Jake's teacher called it a "pre-K prom." Jake had a good time, and he even dipped a girl while they were dancing!

Jake's teacher is so good with the kids, she always comes up with fun stuff for them to do. We're going to miss her. Thanks to Mrs. Ivester for the following pics.

Sitting at the table like little ladies and dapper gentlemen.

Rice Krispy sushi, with gummy candies in the middle and fruit rollup wrapping. Yummy.


May I have this dance?

1 ... 2 ... 3 ... dip

One girl on each arm.

Here's to you!

Sunday, April 8, 2012

Parenthood is not Fireproof

Sometimes fear comes out of the blue, and that happened to Jake today in an incident that made his mother feel like the worst mom of the year.
We had just finished church, went home and changed clothes before heading off to grandma's and grandpa's for dinner.
The Hassler and Pringle gang was watching a Christian movie, "Fireproof," while waiting for dinner, when right before the yummy Easter meal a scene where a firefighter was saving the life of a little girl was seen. It was pretty intense, and even the kids stopped and watched, and I never thought a thing about it. In fact, I kind of remember thinking, "Wow, Jake's kind of into it." He never really sits with interest through an entire movie. (Not even beloved "Star Wars")
I cheered when the firefighter got the girl out and told the kids, "Yeah, he did it," so maybe I did see the intensity a little. I didn't think about it again until at lunch he mentioned to me he wanted to move back to our little house. (BIG deal since he loves the house we're in now.)
After talking a while, it came out he suddenly was scared of the alarms in our house, somehow thinking they were the reason we were all going to be killed by fire. Not sure where he got that from ...
We talked quite a bit and had a great day playing with family, but when he went to bed, he sat up and again said he wanted to move. He pretty much just lost it, and I'm kicking myself for not realizing how frightful that scene was in the movie.
Finally as I lay beside him he told me, "Mommy, sometimes I think about all the bad things."
So we spent a lot of time naming all the good things not only for that day but in days past and to come.
Sometimes it is amazing how much he is my son. I, too, tend to think of the bad things. I guess we both have vivid imaginations.
I've heard great things about the movie "Fireproof," and I probably will watch the entire movie one day, but not anytime soon!

On a good note, we had an awesome Easter Sunday, despite the fire fears.

Here is Jake in his Easter suit:

Running after eggs:

Playing with his cousins at the park:

He is the love of our lives!

Playing on the swings with Aunt Debbie:

Sunday, April 1, 2012

But by the grace of God go I

The fifth year of our LID to China is fast approaching, and it is so easy to think back to those giddy days when we were looking forward to the adoption of our first child.
Now, it is a day we hardly ever think about anymore, and I honestly can say I don't even remember thinking of it as special anymore. I don't think I marked its passing last year.
For us, April 4, 2007, has no meaning, but for others it is the date a dream began that was not to be realized.
The picture above shows evidence of a death of a dream, which was the last entry we saw when this blog was live.
Like us, the couple who created the blog five years ago were full of hope and dreams.
But then the wait grew longer and longer.
Kevin and I were running the numbers the other day, and in five years the China adoption organization only made 10 months of referrals.
The program is virtually at a standstill. If we were still in the non-special needs line our referral would be eight months away. Another 3 to 5 years.
We were blessed. We decided to adopt through China's special needs program and our son is the light of our lives and has been for three and a half years now.
I only wish it could have worked out for everyone. My heart breaks for the owners of the above blog.
I never met them, but we were just like them. As the saying goes, "But by the grace of God go I."
One of the posts on this blog above I loved to read over and over was about the couple, after getting their LID, going to the ocean in the Pacific Northwest and waving to China.
The author of the blog used to do that as a child, and she always wanted to adopt from China.
If things had been different and China had not slowed down, we may have met this couple — who were logged into the China program on the same date as ours — in China.
It's hard to understand why something that wasn't meant to be was the greatest gift for us and the end of a dream to others.
But I truly believe God has a plan and it is for the better of us all. Easy words for me to say as I kiss my child goodnight.
Though we may forget the once-meaningful date of April 4, we'll never forget the people we have met on our wonderful journey, both literally and virtually.
Some have children now, and some like this couple have given up the dream.
But other dreams will come. For us and for them. Because our God is faithful.
And so we give a farewell wave to April 4, 2007.

Tuesday, February 14, 2012

Hearts were the theme of the day

Jake and I have talked a lot, especially in the last six months, about how he was not carried in my tummy but I love him in my heart. Weeks after we first had the initial discussion, he told me out of the blue: "Mommy, sometimes a son is born in your heart."
My heart just melted.
Tonight he asked me, "Mom? When I was born was I very big in your heart?"
Heart melted again.
Some people have told Kevin and I how we have done a good thing through adoption, and while we know they mean well, we just look at each other and share that knowing look.
We prayed for a family, and God in all his wisdom led us through the disappointment knowing that three hearts would forever would be joined, as it should be and was meant to be all along.
This morning Jake made hearts for Mom and Dad. Dad told him to make a card for Mom, and he said, "I'm really good at making hearts." We think so, too.
I told him I wanted to share the hearts with Dad, and I asked him which one was Daddy's. He said the red, so mine is the pink.
I've been lucky enough in this life to have had my heart stolen by two wonderful men in my life.
Happy Valentine's Day.