Thursday, May 27, 2010

words can't express

My little buddy 'winning' at a game of horse shoes... It is hard to miss when you are standing right over it.

No, your eyes aren't fuzzy. Maylin is blurry. I find it hard sometimes to capture her any other way.
These two have captured my heart fully. That sounds so simple and obvious, but I feel like I have to say it out loud. Everyday I think I couldn't possibly love them more than I do right then, but everyday I am amazed by how much deeper that feeling goes.

Today I also caught myself mourning for them. I can't even begin to comprehend everything they have been through in their short little lives. All the changes they have endured. It makes me wonder if they fully understand that when I say "Wa Aei Ne Yon U.N." (not sure of the spelling of part of this but it means "I love you Always") that that really means ALWAYS. I guess I'll never really know how secure they feel with us right now. Do they think they'll just be with us until the next family is ready to take them home? I don't know? They were originally taken away from their biological family, put in a foster home, taken back to their biological family, taken away again, then they were in a foster home for two years. I know that this family loved them very much... but then they were taken away from them too... What must their little minds be going through.

One major hurdle we have overcome is that Pierson no longer feels the need to take everything with him every time we leave the house. When we first got them he stuffed his pockets and backpack full of everything he possibly could every time we went anywhere. I know that it was because he was afraid he wouldn't be back again. They left the foster home with just one little bag of things. I can't imagine all they left behind. It makes me want to cry thinking about it.
He also has slowed down his eating. He ate everything he could as often as he could. I believe he was making sure he was full all the time in case the unspeakable happened again. But today he actually turned down a snack. I about fell over! Maybe he is starting to trust me.

Maylin hugged my neck tonight, kissed me and said "Tank you Mowmee, I Lobe you". I was clipping her finger nails... I had to stop for a while and just enjoy the moment. That was the first unprompted "i love you" from her. My heart smiled deeply!

My heart still mourns for them and probably always will somewhat. I am finding myself not wanting them to speak English, not wanting them to stop slurping their noodles... I don't want them to lose their Mandarin, their culture and heritage. I don't know if anyone who hasn't adopted can fully understand what it is like, but I feel like a terrible person for taking them out of what they have always known. (I know this isn't a fully rational thought... but it is real to me.) This is a thought I may always struggle with to some degree. However I do know that God put them in our lives and we are their parents forever and that is not a mistake.

It is now 2:00am and I better get to bed. The kids sleep late, but not that late! When they wake up we are going to see Daddy at CCC staff training! We'll be gone for a few days, but we'll be back to the bloggy world before you know it.

Wednesday, May 26, 2010

Mommy's Little Helper

Pierson has such a sweet little spirit. He is tender hearted one crooked look makes him melt down to tears. He wants to help me do just about everything! Last weekend at Mom's house I was planting a little more in the garden. I trimmed some limbs off a couple of trees that were hanging low over the garden. Pierson desperately wanted to help me so he started hauling off the limbs. He was taking them up to the house and I guess I assumed he was taking them to the other side of the house and throwing them where I always throw brush... (I know! Was I really expecting him to instinctively know where that was? Sometimes I just forget they haven't always been here). Instead he was actually taking them in the house to Mom. LOL! Mom eventually had the sense to tell him to take them back outside.

So where does a 5 year old take them...? Of course in the folding chairs! Isn't that where you keep your brush?!

"Look Mommy! I am such a good little helper!" At one point while walking across the yard he stopped, put down the limbs, brushed his forehead with his forearm, patted his chest with the other hand and said "Whew!" Then picked the limbs right back up and kept going. He is so funny!

Maylin really cracks me up she just comes out (without putting down her duck or raisins) looks at him for a minute, rolls her eyes and walks back in the house. lol

Tuesday, May 25, 2010

Smiley Faces or Glasses?

Who needs smiley face stickers when you have the sticky paper that goes around them?
That is way more fun!!!

Every day I am thoroughly entertained by these two and their creativity!
What a blessing they are to our lives!

Monday, May 24, 2010

A Picture of Sunday Morning

For those of you who don't know; we live about 45 minutes from my mom's house. About 7 minutes further away is our church where Adam leads praise and worship on Sunday mornings at 8:30. On Sunday evenings he holds practice for the praise team and band so it doesn't make sense for us to drive back and forth from home to church twice in one day so we hang out at Mom's house. This is what a typical Sunday looks like for us.

6:00 wake up- Shower get myself ready
6:35 wake the kids get them dressed and fed
6:55 load all 5 of us and our stuff in the car. (Yes I said 5... considering that Chaucer weighs more than the kids put together we say he is the 5th person in the car!)
7:40 arrive at mom's house and drop Chaucer off.
7:45 get to church so the praise band can warm up

Then on to church and Sunday school.
Then to Mom's for lunch/play/naps/gardening
Back to church for practice
Back to Mom's for dinner
load the car back up to head home around 9:00pm
At the end of the day unbelievably we are all pretty rested.
There is something to be said about being out in the country and soaking in the fresh air.

We do look something like the Beverly Hillbillies on our way though. The trunk is full with guitars and clothes for the day.

Which leaves the back seat looking like this....

Look very closely at the bottom center of the picture above do you see anything other and children's feet?

Yep you got it...

Poor puppy! He gets to lay on the floor under the kids feet while going over the river and through the woods. To Grandmother's house he goes!

Think we need a bigger car?

Friday, May 21, 2010

Friday night with 2nd Cousins

What can be better than a Friday night with some of your cousins?... A Friday night with cousins and pizza! These 5 play together so well. The older ones pamper and take care of the little ones. It is so sweet to watch.

Maylin is showing off how well she was eating. Pizza is a BIG hit in her book.

Adam. Was enjoying slurping his noodles 'Asian' Style. I just missed the last of the noodles sliding through his lips.

Pierson likes his pizza too! Here he was getting a little supervision from "Grandma" Miller. (to clear up any confusion Grandma Miller is my brother-in-laws mother... She has been so supportive of us adopting P&M she feels like she is their Grandmother... and it makes it less confusing when the Miller 3 are around so that everyone is referred to by the same names from all five kids!)

Andrew was so excited about his pizza he just had to show me! :)

I am not sure if Abby was giving me that look so I would stop taking her picture or she was amazed at what Maylin had been doing... Either way it is pretty darn funny! You are welcome Abby!

We are so blessed to have family around. I can't imagine life any other way!

Wednesday, May 19, 2010

Tuesday, May 18, 2010

Three puppies?

Is this a good dogie or what? He puts up with a lot from his new siblings. He barely even looked up when P&M decided they wanted to "take him for a walk". Since they couldn't reach Chaucer's real leash they decided to improvise with a jump rope.
After pulling and pulling they realized that their "big brother" didn't want to get off the couch... eventually they gave up. Chaucer then sighed deeply (he really does sigh... it is pretty funny) and looked at me as if to say "Can't we send them back?"

But of course they weren't totally satisfied with those results. So they turned to each other. Now all of the sudden I have three puppies. "Woof, Woof!"

Aren't these puppies the cutest things ever?

Monday, May 17, 2010

Sleeping Beauties

Why are sleeping children so precious?
I don't know but they sure are cute!

Pierson fell asleep after about 30 minutes of playing/cleaning his room on his on accord. When I peeked in I was so surprised to see all his toys put on the shelves, his bed made and him sound asleep like a little angel!

Friday, May 14, 2010

It is all worth it.

I have learned that there is nothing better than spending the evening with my family.

The first few days home with the children I mourned the loss of individual time I had with Adam. I'd be lying if I said I didn't shed a few tears while wondering if we were in over our heads. (I blame part of that on jet lag and the 'bug' I caught but none-the-less I mourned). This transition was the hardest thing I have ever done. While we were still in Taiwan we were all in Honeymoon phase. Life couldn't have been better. Fast forward to the 30 hours of travel time with no sleep and the honeymoon abruptly ended. We were exhausted, I didn't feel well for about a week, the children were trying to get used to their new surroundings and I couldn't just sit down on the couch with my husband and watch a movie. It was hard. It was very hard.

I had anxiety about Adam going back to work and leaving me at home with these two children who didn't speak my language and were crying and having frequent tantrums.

Fast forward a couple weeks of GREAT friends and family members helping me out and supporting us through this transition. Each day things became easier and slowly but surely life began to calm down and we started settling into our new normal.

Today I can't imagine life any differently. I love being a mom and I love my family of four.

Evenings playing in the backyard bring so much joy. Everyday I learn something new about the children and pick up on their likes and dislikes a little more.

Here are a few shots of a 'baseball game' happening right in our backyard.

Pierson still insists on his own style of baseball. Here he is using his golf club to hit a golf ball off the T-ball stand. This is a little boy who marches to his own drum.

Maylin's attention span is a little shorter than Pierson's. She gets bored with games and moves to the sidelines to bounce on her ball. (maybe she is going to be the cheerleader of the family?)

Daddy has proved to be quite the T-ball player. If you are on our street you better bring your A game. I am not exactly sure what Maylin is doing in this picture it sure looks like she is trying to bite Adam's tushie.

How fast can your little feet go. Thankfully Daddy is a good sport and runs slow enough to let Pierson tag him out every once in a while.

Having nights like this is what I live for now!

Wednesday, May 12, 2010

Who Needs Launguage?

I find it amazing how children don't need language to communicate. A smile and a nod is all
3 children needed to collectively say, "Hey guys let's get in Gwam-ma's spinny chair and see how fast we can go!"

And before you know it the other two are in the chair and spinning right along with them. No verbal communication needed. Just a few giggles and grins.

Luckily 'spinny' chairs are very soft. Because two children standing in the chair and leaning over are a little too much for the center of gravity. Down, down, down they go. After assessing each other's faces they said (with no words). "Well that wasn't so bad, lets do is again maybe just not stand up this time! Yay for spinning!"

"Pierson is the best spinner!"

Unfortunately all too often good things come to an end when one child doesn't want to stop when three others do. This is what that picture looks like.

But never fear Daddy/Uncle Adam is near to take their weary little minds off of the troubles. And suddenly all is well on the earth again.

I love non-verbal communications. They are the best!

Tuesday, May 11, 2010

My first Mother's Day

I guess I didn't know what to expect for my first mother's day. Was I going to magically wake up and feel different because it is a special day? Were my kids going to care/understand what the day meant? Were they going to be perfect all day so that Mommy could relax a little more than usual? ...ummm NOPE to all of the above! :)
Apparently Mother's Day is just like any other day... It is filled with as much 'child chasing', boo-boo kissing, and squabble breaking as the day before.
As it turns out the only difference between Mother's Day and the day before is what you make of it (and what your sweet husband makes of it). I did wake up to a spotless kitchen and beautiful pink roses thanks to my darling Adam.
Then it was off to church followed by a day at Grandma's house.

Once again Grandma has outdone herself. She got two more bikes along with training wheels, knee and elbow pads.
Maylin tested out her pads before taking on the challenge of a new bike. Isn't she graceful? She likes to glide on one foot.

And then she was off on her first bike ride. This will make a Mother's day exciting. At first she stayed in the garage for a while just testing it out. Doesn't she look cute?

As she got a little more brave she got a little faster...

And then down she went. I really did put the camera down and go rescue her! I just happened to have the camera on her as she was going down.
After the fall she decided to go back to the tricycle for a while while Grandma helped Pierson steady his new wheels. (Yes he is on a pink bike... when you shop consignment that is what you get. And yes he is wearing a purple helmet. As it turns out his was too small for him so Maylin is wearing his and he is wearing Maylin's which was bigger. Fortunately he is young enough to not care.)

There is my big boy becoming a little speed demon. He would race down the slopped driveway into the garage where he would screech to a halt. Only once did he have a big crash which left a bump on the back of his head. That didn't slow him down though. He just kept on going.

Then we had a surprise for the Grandma's. The Miller clan drove up. Below are my precious little nieces and nephew enjoying the riding toys in Grandma's garage.



And Kylie

Monday, May 10, 2010

How does your garden grow?

Well I had the brilliant idea last Friday that we would go to Mom's house and plant a garden in her beautiful raised garden beds. One reason for this is because I thought the kids would love to dig in the dirt. Another reason is because I want the kids to eat as many organic veggies as possible. The final reason and one that I consider equally important is to reduce the carbon footprint of the Cline family by not buying veggies that are trucked in from all over the world.

When we got there I got out a shovel for me and small garden tools for the kids. They followed me enthusiastically to the garden and looked amazingly at all the plants and dirt... and that was it. Off they ran to find something more interesting to do.

Pierson ran to get a tricycle... it was tough to pedal through the grass.

Maylin ran to pet the horses... So much for my great idea. I spent the next 5 hours in the 90 degree sun planting the garden and running around making sure the kids weren't getting in trouble or getting hurt. Not as much fun as I imagined, but it will still be worth it.

Later that evening we met Grandma and great friends at the park for movie night. We ate picnics and watched "The Princess and the Frog". The kids loved it as well as all 10 adults who
were there to enjoy their company! My camera died before the movie started but I got two which showed their excitement before hand.

Pierson sporting Mr. Andy's hat and enjoying his chair.

Maylin loves her daddy! She also likes Mr. Andy's sunglasses. :) (Can you tell Mr. Andy is a good sport?!)

Saturday, May 8, 2010

One of these things is not like the other.

...well they used to be.
When we ordered car seats I thought it was a great idea to get identical seats so that they could switch back and forth between the two. I thought it wouldn't matter which side they sat on and we wouldn't have to worry about which side was who's... Boy was I wrong! There have been way to many tantrums, races to the car and all out fights over who was going to sit where. And you could never predict which side was going to be the "chosen" side of the day. It varied from day to day.
So; as you can see we reverted to iron on patches. P for Pierson and M for Maylin. So far so good! They seem to be proud of their 'own' seats.

The following is just a funny little picture for those of you who are "The Office" fans. While I was ironing on the patches Maylin found herself too close to the freshly ironed patch. It was still hot, but not hot enough to really burn her. However, in Maylin's mind it was a terrible burn. Usually she asks for a band aide but this time she reached for a piece of bubble wrap in the garage... remind you of Michael Scott's foot burn?
Here she is showing off her bubble wrap bandage! While Pierson is sporting a grape juice smile.