"Take an action each day that alleviates suffering in the world. Bring light into darkness."
-Angeles Arrien

Here is the test to find whether your mission on earth is finished:
If you're alive, it isn't.
--- Richard Bach

I have come to realize more and more that the greatest disease and the greatest suffering is to be unwanted, unloved, uncared for, to be shunned by everybody, to be just nobody [to no one]
--Mother Teresa

We were not separated at your birth.
It was the moment at which we began our journey toward each other
-Nancy McGuire Roche

Thursday, December 25, 2008

Good bye Larry Girl!!

As I said in the last post we had to stay at home on Christmas because our chocolate lab is very sick. We are pretty sure she is dying and thought it might happen today. This is very sad because we have had her for almost 17 years, Almost as long as our oldest child. She is a very good with the kids and they all love her very much. My children are devastated. We are bringing her to the vet in the morning, if she makes it through the night, and we expect them to want to put her to sleep!! This photo was taken today. Good bye Larry Girl!!

Edited: Well it happened naturally at 1:00 in the morning. At least it was not on Christmas. She passed away peacefully with her Daddy rubbing her head. It is a sad morning here for our kids and family. 17 years is a long time. It seems like it was just yesterday her and Pman were digging tunnels, searching for treasure, in our backyard in 29 Palms.


Christmas was wonderful!! It is so great to have all 5 children finally together and to be settled into our life. I just loved seeing the babies actually, kind of, understand the concept of Christmas and presents. Last year we only had them for less then 2 months and had only been home a few weeks, It was very overwhelming to say the least. So very different this year. They opened their presents and enjoyed the whole thing. They are so attached and settled in now. It is such a wonderful feeling. We stuck close to home today but I will talk about that in the next post because it is a downer. Merry Christmas to all our followers!!!

Christmas Eve 2008

The kids put out cookies and milk on Christmas Eve. They also left our traditional letter to Santa. It was so fun this year to read over the old letters left in the past by the big kids. It was a late night, We could not get the 3 little one's in bed before midnight. I tried but they were so full of energy, I thought Santa would never be able to come!!!

Saturday, December 20, 2008

Decorating the tree 2008

We decorated the tree tonight, It was the first real tree for the babies. We got home a few days before Thanksgiving last year after being gone 5 weeks. I had no energy for the whole Holiday thing last year with 2 new babies adjusting and not sleeping. A lot has changed in the last year, Well it is 11:30 pm and they are still both up and running around so maybe not much has changed.


Stay tuned for the before and after pictures at the end. I know quite a few of these Vietnam kiddos and follow some of their blogs.

Friday, December 19, 2008

The photo session from H@@L!!

So we got all the kids pictures professionally taken last week for my MIL. It was the babies first professionally done picture. Well needless to say, Now I know why we did not do it sooner. Khai and Meliah do not love people. They are doing much better in the last year but they need to know you for a while before they warm up to you. Meliah does not like ANYONE to hold her but Mommy. She is laying on my lap right now while I write this. She will not sleep at night unless I am laying beside her holding her, If I get up she screams. Yes, She is officially spoiled. Still I prefer this over the way she was when we first got her,NEGLECTED. Khai will allow more people to hold him then Meliah but still has his preference of Daddy,Mommy or Sissy. Anyway, I knew if Meliah was placed down to get her picture and saw me she would immediately cry. I handed her off to my MIL while they waited (I hid behind the clothes racks). She does fine with my MIL as long as I am not around. I thought Khai would be okay, Probably not smile, but be okay. Well, I was wrong. For the individual pictures, Meliah did okay but never smiled and Khai screamed his head off. Neither baby smiled for any of the group pictures either. I honestly have to say it was a waste of money, We could have done a better job at home. I mean, I really like having a picture of all the kids but it does not in any way reflect Meliah and Khai's real spirit. They are happy children that smile all day long. My MIL ordered a collage with all 5 individual pictures clustered around a group picture of all 5 kids, $250.00 and poor Khai is screaming his head off. Oh well, At least the big kids look great (But of course, I had just spent a million dollars on school pictures of all of them).

This photo session reminded me of the first day in Vietnam when we had just picked up the babies. We had just had our G&R and after a 4 hour bus ride back to the city we had to get their Visa pictures taken. They both kept crying when we tried to take their Visa pictures. The picture people kept telling us that they could not be crying in their Visa photos., It would not be accepted. WHAT!!! They had just met us that morning and we had taken them away from everything and anything that they had ever known, How were we supposed to do that? It took about 20 minutes but we finally got them to calm down enough to get a serious picture.

What really annoyed me was the woman running the computer to bring up the pictures to order. First she asked me, when we came in, if Meliah and Khai's pictures BELONGED in with ours. Yes, They are ALL mine. Then when she made the first collage for my MIL she grouped the 3 other blond hair, blue eyed children together (No Melia and Khai). She wanted to know what we thought and my MIL kept saying "But I want all the children together". So she just kept rearranging the pictures of 3 of my 5 kids, still not adding Meliah and Khai's pictures. She was clueless. I had to finally say "They are ALL 5 brothers and sisters & ALL mine!!".

Then after all that, They will not even have the pictures ready until the 22nd. So much for a family Christmas card. I guess it will have to be a happy holiday,New year card.

Friday, December 12, 2008

Meliah and Khai might be MOVING

We just put an offer in on our dream house. Wish us luck. We are competing against another offer and don't know which the seller will accept. Couple of outside photos above. It has the most awesome yard. We have been looking at houses for probably 2 years but could never find a yard that we liked better then the yard we have now. What we have now is 1.7 wooded acres that backs to a stream. Every time we would find a house we liked it was always on a smaller clear cut yard. I would miss my woods so much. The only way we would have considered giving up the woods was to be waterfront. We never found a waterfront house that we loved. This new house has 9 wooded acres. It is a private wrought iron gated lot that is absolutely beautiful. The owners paid a $150,000 to have all the grass removed and it naturally landscaped with wildflowers,paths,and dry stream beds. Khai will be upset because no more tractor rides to cut the lawn but with 8 acres we will have more then enough work and fun on the tractor. We knew as soon as we got the babies home we would need a bigger house. With 2 little babies comes a lot of stuff(In addition to 2 teenagers and one kindergartner).The house we have now is no where near small at 3,000 sq ft but the way it is set up does not work for us anymore. The new house is double the size with the potential of another 2,000 sq ft when we finish the lower level. The owners of new house built in a up market 4 years ago and are taking quite a loss. It is a relocation so I am hoping his loss is getting reimbursed by his company. It is weird because new house is only about 2 miles away from old house but second oldest had a fit about moving away from the area. My kids are so spoiled.

I am trying not to get my hopes up too much in case things do not work out. I think it might be too late for that.

Did I also mention that Hubby agreed to another adoption in the future as long as I agreed to move to a bigger house that could hold all of us. My hopes are that Vietnam opens to the US again by 2010. Stay tuned for future updates and news about the possible further expansion of our family (Oh I can't wait for the reaction of our families this time. Some of their heads might explode. Will they think we are crazier then when we announced we were adopting 2 babies at the same time?)

Please wish us luck with all our new and exciting paths that we are on.

Tuesday, December 02, 2008

My poor babies

Well we just got over major illess in our house for 8 solid days. I have never had kids that sick. Poor little Meliah was the worst. It started out with a 102-103 fever thaat would not come down no matter how much medicine I gave her .Then the blisters appeared everywhere. In her mouth,in her throat,on her lips,on her chest.She could not eat any food for 8 days and was not able to take her bottle. I had to feed her liquids from a medicine dropper. That was all she consumed for 8 days. She was lethargic and laid on my shoulder 24 hours a day. She literally would not let me put her down for 8 days. She did not smile and did not play.It was terrible. Khai got it but nowhere as bad as his sister. He was still able to drink his bottle and consume some soft foods.It was not easy having two babies this sick.I spent many days sitting in the recliner with both babies laying on top of me. Thankfully they are now back to their old selves.
Meliah did officially wean herself from the bottle during her illness.I am not so happy about this but she won't have anything to do with it now.She looks at it like it is going to hurt her.