Wednesday, March 30, 2011

And I'm Back!

I know, you all were probably worried to pieces that these kids of mine tied me up and locked me in a room! But no... although that doesn't sound like a bad idea... To say that we have been busy is an understatement! Having a 3 and 4 year old is w-o-r-k! They are busy and don't take a nap so that = one busy gal! I love it though. We all fall into bed without much todo and sleep like champs. All of us. Sam is doing good. He has picked up on a few English words. We sign a few things and he understands alot of what we tell him. He LOVES baths and if we speak of such a thing we spell it. If we don't he will be naked in .5 seconds! He loves to eat. Anything. That's the truth y'all! I was slicing a tomato for a dip and he swiped a whole half! Of course I let him... he was just precious sitting at my feet with juice running all down his chin! There isn't much that he turns down and he is a dipper. Ranch, ketchup, salsa, cheese dip. Doesn't matter, just dip it! We have had a few set-backs with his attachment, although after locking ourselves in the house for a majority of the weekend and this week it seems to be helping and he didn't want to go home with the check-out lady at Target!! Whoot whoot! As a matter of fact, he got out of the buggy as we were checking out and he and Norah were paying right there in the isle. There was a lady that was a little taller than me with her hair in a pony (like I had) and jeans and a black shirt on (like me) and he went to grab her leg and she looked at him and smiled and he came running to me, "momma!!" and I picked him up and he burried his head on my shoulder :) It was a good time :) He LOVES Elias and usually falls down running to him when he gets home from school. They have a really cool relationship and it is super cool to see them on their tummies as Elias tried to teach him about Legos. Norah and Sam are doing alright together. You have to remember she was the baby and the girl in the family. She has had a few set-backs and every little thing that gets done to Sam (hug, kiss, a look, a wink, a high-five) we just double it. There have been many times that I have been holding them both and they think it's soooo funny. My poor arms don't find it so funny! But for the love of the kids... I let them work out their worries over toys for the most part. I will intervene when there are tears, but on 2 occassions now they have sorted it out without too much drama :) So here are a few pictures. Some are from the airport that my friend Tara took and 3 are from a babyshower that I had for my dear friend Rene this past weekend.

Tuesday, March 15, 2011


So many people have asked me how Sam is doing. The only way I can answer that is... great! He has single handedly wrapped the rest of us Sharps around his chubby little fingers and really, it's his world. If he is thirsty, there is a big brother that has already gotten him some juice. If he is hungry, daddy is on the pretzels. If he needs some toys or crayons, sissy has that under control. If he needs a hug, kiss, or some momma love as I call it... he is taken care of :)

Sam came to Shannon with no tears, just smiles. Now whether that was because he was well prepared for his arrival, I don't know. But he has had a few meltdowns over the word NO (gasp) and other than that I am telling you I feel like this kid has been here forever. He is understanding more and more of what we say to him. I am amazed to be quite honest with all of you. I certainly prepared myself for the worst, I really did. I know that the honeymoon could be over anyday now. But I am certainly rejoycing in the here and now.

Here is a little bit about Sam that we know...

-He is super ticklish!
-He loves to do things himself like put his socks and shoes on, and his shirts and pants for that matter!
-He likes to be neat and tidy
-He LOVES bubbles
-He is a deep sleeper and not an early riser! WHOOT WHOOT!
-He loves to be praised for a job well done and the party isn't over until EVERYONE in the house gets a hug, a kiss and a high 5~
-He isn't too fond of Lucy. Bless her sweet old heart. Sam is coming around, but no time soon
-He goes into the "zone" as I call it where he will stare off, very stoic like and bit his right bottom lip
-He is non-stop talking.... in Chinese. I would give my left arm to know what he is saying

I don't know what to say about this little boy. I have loved him since the very first time I saw him 10 months ago. I wonder what he thinks about us. About leaving behind all he ever knew in this world. I wonder if they miss him. I wonder if he misses them. I hope that he is happy and I hope that one day he will trust us fully, to come to know the love of a family and the love of a God that so beautifully orchestrated this life and this family.

The very thought of him being "homesick" makes me so sad. And I know that he thinks about all that has happened to him. He has been through so much in his 3 years of life, yet he can still smile.

My heart is so tender towards him now and I cannot help but just scoop him up several times a day and tell him "Wo Ai Ni Sam" over and over again. I want him to get that in the blood that flows through his little veins and his heart. I want him to know it when he is awake and when he sleeps. I want him to be so secure in our family and in our love that he is able to do whatever in this world he wants to do. I hope that if his heart is healing that it is healing quickly.

So thankful everyday that I am his mother. I hope that I do right by him each and every day and that I radiate love for being his mother. For being THEIR mother. I am blessed beyond anything that I EVER deserve. They are all so special to me in their own way.

Elias is my first born and the joy in my heart. Norah is my only girl and she is so tender and kind. She is loyal through and through and she loves her momma. Sam is my baby and my sweet spot. These kids of mine.... They make me one happy momma :)

Monday, March 14, 2011


It has taken me 2 days to finally sit down and post this! Life with 3 kids is tiring but well worth the lost sleep! Where do I begin???

My sister in law Liz and her hubby Dallas were down with their 3 kiddos (Zoey, Delaney and Cooper) and my MIL Nancy was here as well. They stayed a few days with me and the kids to get ready for the homecoming. A few hours before we left for the airport Liz and Dallas took all 5 kids out and about and then would later meet us at the airport. I am so incredibly thankful to them for doing that because I am not sure I could tell you which end was up at that point much less be coherent enough to help with the kids!

Nancy and I got dressed and headed out a little early and headed to Starbucks. We sat there for a few minutes and both agreed that we were just torturing ourselves and headed to the airport. We got there about an hour before the plane was to land and after 15 minutes of tapping my foot, thumping my cup and twirling my hair I looked at the monitor and the flight had been delayed 25 mintues. Torture. So I called everyone I knew was coming to meet us and most had already left so we had a little party before their arrival. It was so nice to see everyone and made the time go by soooo much faster!! We had about 15 people at the airport and I cannot tell you how much that meant to me!

We were all counting down until the plane would land and it was time! But no one was coming around the bend. Hmmm...

Just as I thought I may just go crazy, my friend Heather said, "Wouldn't it be funny is they came in from over there?" and pointed to the other end of the airport. Just as I turned around I heard her say in sloooow motion, "There they are Penny! They are coming towards you! That's them!!"

I couldn't believe it. My husband, my son and my FIL were walking towards us.

I ran to them and was practically dragging poor Norah who was so giddy with excitement that she could barely breathe.

I hugged my husband tighther than I think I ever have. And then I looked into Samuel's eyes. I could not believe he was right in front of me. He was beautiful and in shock with everyone around him. He did great! Not a tear and he let me hold him with no tears involved. Except by me of course :)

I put him down so he could meet his new sister and brother. And then his counsins and the rest of the family and our friends. He did amazing.

We all went back to our house and had a big dinner. Shannon has so sweetly asked for a ham and homemade mac and cheese upon his return and I was more than happy to oblige!
Sam is doing great. He has a little trouble with going to sleep but other than that he is a trooper! I honestly feel like he has been here forever. I am so blessed to be him momma :) My heart is so full :)

I will go into all of the mushy detailed stuff later, but it is after midnight and I am pooped. I know why you really came though... I hope you enjoy...

Delaney, Elias, Zoey (holding Norah) and Cooper walking towards the airport...

Elias and Delaney waiting patiently...

Proud to be an American

Uncle Dallas, Cooper and Sam

Sweet boy

Norah and Sam

Saturday, March 12, 2011

A quick post before bed. Everyone is sleeping but I just wanted to introduce everyone to our new son :) He has taken this house and these hearts by storm and I swear I cannot for the life of me remember him not being here....

Tuesday, March 8, 2011

Please help make him ONE LESS

I interrupt this travel journal because something is weighing so heavy on my heart.

A little back story if you will...

In August of 2009, Shannon and I had the absolute pleasure of meeting JD and Nicole in a required DSS class. At the time, Shannon and I thought we may want to adopt through the SC foster care system and this was a required class. I still feel very strongly that although our hearts would beat for China alone, we were to go to that so we could meet these two incredible people.
Over the next year we would pour our hearts out over chips and dip, Starbucks and email. Each of us clinging to the hope of becoming mothers. For me, a mother for the third time and for Nicole, a mother for the first time. JD and Shannon got along great and the four of us always had a great time all the while building this incredibly strong friendship based around the desires of our hearts.

Nine months ago, JD and Nicole were chosen to be the family of this precious little man...

Stunning isn't he??

Of course I am a little partial :) Shannon and I were asked to be his God parents and of course we fell head over heels in love and said yes :)

As their adoption finalization date gets closer and closer, JD and Nicole have had some very tough obstacles to overcome. They handle each with grace and faith. Jaden also has come a LONG way since they brought him home. It is amazing what a little love can do for a boy :)

Nicole sent a letter, and I will let her explain a little more about their situation... a situation that is truly breaking my heart.

As much as it kills me to write this, JD and I feel the only place we can turn is towards people who understand us and where we are.
We haven't shared much lately about our current situation other than a few vague Facebook status updates about needing your prayers, but its time for us to share with you and ask for your help and prayers.
Jaden has been home for 9 months this week. We were supposed to have had his finalization court date after 6 months home. *Thats how long the wait is in SC for placement to Adoption finalization* There were some issues with the ICPC (Interstate Compact for the Placement of Children) paperwork and there were several delays. We didn't really look at this as a problem because were just happy he was home!!! And that he was adjusting SO well. About 2 months ago we received a call from his caseworker in Missouri that said that she had a phone call from a biological Aunt of Jaden's who wants custody. Our hearts sank! Jaden is OUR son!! Apparently, she had tried for custody for the other children (He has 2 other biological siblings) and they were already finalized in their forever homes...Jaden is the only one that has yet to be finalized because of the delayed paperwork.
We have been praying and kindly rushing our caseworkers to GET THIS DONE! The "Aunt" has hired an attorney and is in the process of a homestudy. If she is approved she can request our process to be STOPPED until a decision is made. On top of that....they COULD take Jaden out of our home and back to Missouri until a final placement decision is made. This would DEVASTATE Jaden. He is FINALLY settled and feels safe...he would never trust anyone again if he is ripped from this home and us as well. He has no clue about what is going he shouldn't at 6 years old....and we don't want him to have to know about any of this.
We got a call from our attorney today that said we could fly to Missouri for our court date April 7th!!! We were so excited and started looking for airfare....10 minutes later we received a call, again from our attorney that said she advises us to push up our court date due to the Aunts progress and she was able to squeeze us in for March 17th. THATS 8 DAYS AWAY!!!!!
We have found ourselves unable to get the funds for this trip in enough time. Airfare alone is $800 a person.
I understand it is a tough time for everyone right now and in no way are we begging for your financial assistance. I am, however, begging for your prayers. I have seen the power of prayer and ask that you include us in yours.
A friend of mine has allowed us to use her PayPal account if anyone is interested in contributing.

Thank you

Nicole and JD need our prayers, so if you are reading this, please pray that things will be favorable for them and their family. If you can spare $5.00 or $10.00 that would be an amazing start to helping this family at this time! Every little bit will help in their travels!!

Nicole was the sweet friend that made all of those delicious sweet bites and the amazing website "Sweets For Samuel". All of this from her own money. That's just the kinda girl she is.
I love them both will all of my heart, and as a friend, God mother to Jaden, and an advocate for adoption I ask that you open your heart so he can be ONE LESS...


Saturday, March 5, 2011

Another day in Guangzhou

So the guys are having a good time in GZ! I knew Stuart would love it there and Shannon enjoyed it when we were there the last time.
Samuel is doing great as far as I can tell, we are able to skype a few times a day and it is so good to see that sweet little love bug! His personality is just amazing and I know that he is giving Shannon and Stuart a run for their money!
They had their medical appt today and by the time that I talked to Shannon it was about 8:45 at night for them and he was too tired to even talk about it. So I need to make a mental note to self to see how it went!!! I will upload some pictures tomorrow. I am at work right now and can't do it. Sorry I have been such a poor blogger!!! It's hard doing it from the other side of the world!!!

Thursday, March 3, 2011


I am so sorry that I have not been keeping up with this! It is HARD being a full time mom to these kiddos! Between homework, dinner, dance, baths and bed I am pooped!!!!

Here are some pictures, since I know that it really why you came :) I will not add captions to these as it will take some time on my part and I am ready to hit the hay :) I will come back later and caption them! They are on their way to Guanghzhou today and that makes me sooo happy! One step closer to home :)
Samuel is doing great! He is eating and pooping like a champ and is sleeping well. He is a really funny kiddo!

Tuesday, March 1, 2011

More pics :)


Sam's nanny, Sam, Shannon, Orphanage Director and Asst. Director

No thanks, I'm with my dad :)


Let's get dressed for the day!

Tubby time!!

He doesn't like to have his hair washed :(