Thursday, December 29, 2011

To End the Year

To all, I pray that you have had a very Merry Christmas and a wonderful time with family and friends celebrating the birth of our Christ Jesus. We have had a wonderful, relaxing time at our home in the woods. It has been more than exciting to teach David about Christmas. He really got into saying Happy Birthday to Jesus and he had a good time setting up the manger scene. He seems very interested in all of it. He has had no idea why we had put a tree in our home, had special family nights and extra dinners with extended family. We didn't put the presents out until the night before. When he realized that he had presents and he got to open them it was quite exciting. He made this gutteral noise and tore right into them. I really think that it made him feel important that he received gifts also. Next year will be great also when we see him get excited with Sam because he knows something is coming. Praise Jesus to see him feel special and get to know he is a part of us. I haven't been able to post because our internet has been slower than molasses, but I did want to mention that yesterday on the 28th we recognized the 6 year anniversary of picking up Samuel in Nepal. What a blessing he has been for these six years. I can't believe how much he has grown and learned. It is quite exciting to see what he is and will become as he grows into an adult. I will always be so thankful for the blessing of being his parent. I can't link right now, but you can go to and put in kjernald, adoption, nepal and see the video of us picking Samuel up. The music is not so good (you tube made us change it and we haven't been able to get some good stuff on there), but it is still worth a look (at least I think). We are celebrating New Years up at the ocean house again this year. Just a quite time with the family. I will try to get some pictures up before then, but I can't promise anything. Until then, I am praying for many of you, miss a ton of you and hope to see many this coming year. If I do not get to post until after the New Years, let me say... Happy New Year...may we take stock in all the God has done and taught us this past year and continue to be hidden in Him and only Him this coming year. Blessings, Laurie

Thursday, December 22, 2011

This Day...6 years ago

Today I am flooded with one specific memory.  On December 21, 2005 we were living in Jackson, Mississippi, Andreas was in Seminary, and I was working for a church and working with amazing birthmothers for New Beginnings.  The day started like any other when I received a call from a social worker named Don.  He had 3 words for me...''you can go!''.  Yes, six years ago today we were given permission to go to Nepal and pick up our first son.  What a joyous day that was.  We went from assuming we would spend Christmas not hearing anything (and being incredibly sad about it), to having plane tickets to leave Lexington, KY on December 26th.  What a God given Christmas gift he was and continues to be.   I still get butterflies in my stomach thinking about that day and all the anticipation that it held.  However, I do praise Jesus that we are now 6 years on the other side of that adoption. What an incredible 6 years it has been.  

Love the food stuck in his teeth! This pic is from the small play that his English class put on for the parents.  Ironically, Sam was Father Christmas (ironic because we do not do Santa in this family).  Sam got a kick out of it.  

We are so thankful for you.  You are strong in body and heart.  You are smart and caring.  You are charming and funny.  You ask profound questions about God and can give daddy the simplest answers to his theological questions and be right (the faith of a child).  You are learning to be a good big brother and you continue to teach us as we try to parent you as Jesus would want us to.  We love you and always will.  

Mommy and Pappa

Sunday, December 18, 2011


In November, Samuel had Fall break.  We couldn't do much, but we did decide to take the boat down to Fredrikshavn, Denmark and drive across the country (only took 40 minutes) to the biggest aquarium in Scandinavia.  Now as impressive as that sounds, I have to admit, I was a little disappointed at the size of it.  It was a really good size for the time we had and the kids were done at the end, but when you make those ''biggest'' claims, the American in me comes out.  I expect really BIG.  I must remember where we live.  We had friends come along with us and a fun time was had by all (well, Kunal didn't feel so good, sorry).  One thing I love about aquariums is the cool shadow lighting I can get with the camera.  Yes, yes, I like the fish too.  

So enjoy the pictures below.  We had fun doing them and we appreciated that the kids cooperated (most of the time)!

This seal would follow our hand as we ran along the windows, it was really fun for Sam. 

There is a kid in the middle, but it didn't work so well.  I still think those water tubes are cool.  

My strong boys, love David's strong pose. 

That massive fish is called a Klump fisk in Swedish and a Sun fish in English (I think).  I don't think I had ever seen one before.  They had two of them here.  Apparently they are very gentle, but they are massive.  

Andreas captured this image.  Sam is looking at a screen that lit up his face.  I really love this pic.  
They aquarium also had a seal feeding that we saw and a wind tunnel that made hurricane strong winds.  It was pretty funny to watch the kids blow themselves away.  I couldn't capture any of it without blur because the wind was soooooooo strong.

We topped the night off with a great dinner at a place called Moby Dick Seafood Restaurant (how appropriate).  Then we took the boat back to Gothenburg.  The kids actually stayed up until midnight when we drove off the boat, but they were asleep in two seconds once we were on the road.  The next day all were exhausted, but glad to have gone.

Sometimes I wonder what David really thinks of all this being his first time to see any of it.  I wish he could express himself better, would love to hear his thoughts.  I do know that he really enjoyed it, so that will have to do.



Hey there you all...

I am sorry for the silence.  My hormones have come up again to attack and frankly that makes me exhausted and cranky.  One of these days I will share all that has happened in that area (because I feel like the Lord is prompting me to), but for now I will leave it at the above.  

One of the things that I came home from Ch*na with (not including David) was a desire to learn to cook some of the things that David liked to eat... as well as the rest of us.  The first thing I tried was Kung Poa Chicken.  We ate this everyday in Ur*mqi at a Muslim restaurant down the street from our hotel.  It was really good.  I was happy to get that one in quite soon after we got home.  I make it at least two times a month now. 

The second one I have tried is Ch*nese dumplings or pot stickers. Not an easy undertaking, but I have to say well worth the effort. I found many recipes online and tried them a couple different ways, combining, doubling and trying different ways of preparing them.  The last time I made them (I have made them about 5 times now) I finally got them just right for our taste.  I don't have the exact recipe on me, but will share when I get it all combined and written down.  

I will admit that I am not so good that I actually made the wrappers to the dumplings.  I did buy them at one of the Asian stores in Gothenburg, but they work great.   I have been doing pretty good at actually folding them also.  I watched a few videos on and off I went.  I served them with rice and a cabbage/carrot mix that I fried with a little soy sauce (really good as a side).  The kids and the husband really like them and we eat and eat and eat and eat.  The only thing that stops David is that the dumplings run out.  My husband took pictures the last time to prove that I was actually doing a good job.  I know it sounds silly, but I really enjoy doing this for David especially, just one of those little special things for him.  Of course he doesn't understand it, but maybe one day he will.  


Wednesday, December 07, 2011

Part 4

Okay, I hope none of these are repeats, but they maybe.  I know I haven't been on here much, but life seems to be going a mile a minute.  Christmas is not that far away and I am simply not ready for things to be moving so quickly.  The boys are doing great.  They still fight, but I have noticed more times that they actually enjoy each other between the fighting (PRAISE JESUS).  

David has his first meeting with a speech therapist tomorrow, which I am incredibly thankful for.  He is really trying hard to talk and so we need them to start with the therapy.  Please pray that he likes the therapist and wants to work.  

Enjoy the signs that we got a kick out of.  
Our guide said that this is suppose to mean...Keep of the grass.  Not sure how you get that out of the sign, but hey I'm not judging!

It is hard to see, but the shirt was bought in Urumqi and it says...''It be game with you''.  Again, I am at a loss as to what it means but thought I would at least get some conversation from people when they read it.  

I was just wondering what was ''Patriotic'' about this?

I love that they called the low season, ''slack'' season.  So do you get to ''slack off''' from November 1 to March 31?

Okay, this one had me laughing out loud...So are the railings the relics?

Hmmmm...Obama in a Mao uniform...what are they saying?

Awww, those poor seals! (for all you animal rights activists...they are talking about stamps)


Thursday, November 24, 2011

Happy Birthday/Happy Thanksgiving

First I would like to say Happy Birthday to Dad (my father-in-law).  I won't share exactly how old he is, but I will share that he is wonderful.  He has been an amazing husband, dad, and granddad.  As a matter of fact I believe David is a huge fan of his (David really likes to play with him) and I know Sam adores him.  

Tack Pappa att du är så tålig och underbart.  Vi är jätte tacksam för dig och allt som du gör för oss.  Våra liv är mycket bättre med dig nära.  Grattis på din födelsedag.  Vi älskar dig.  

David had only been home a week when this pic was taken.
Secondly, I would like to say Happy Thanksgiving.  Even though it is not celebrated in Sweden, I will be having an international dinner tomorrow night with several family and friends from around the globe.  The countries that will be represented will be...the USA (that's me), Nepal (Sam), China (David), Sweden (unfortunately not Andreas, he is in Riga, Latvia this weekend), India, Malaysia, Australia, Ireland, and Iraq.  I don't know if I missed anyone, but I hope not.  This years dinner is not nearly as big as the one two years ago when we had 16 countries represented, but it was not possible this year to pull off a big church bash, so it is a little more intimate this year.

I am very thankful to be celebrating at all and really miss my family in the States at this time.  I am thankful for so much.  This year has seen the end of our 3 1/2 year wait and David came to our family in May. God showed himself in so many ways through our journey and has been a comfort, a trusted friend and a sovereign God through it all.  I am always thankful for my family (immediate and extended).  My husband is a solid rock that continues to show me the way to Christ and loves me even when I feel truly unlovable.  My children (who can drive me up a wall at times) are the most wonderful boys that I can imagine.  I am continually in awe that I have been given the privilege to be their mommy.  I continue to be thankful for my Bible study group and how they challenge me and keep me accountable.  I am thankful for new and old friends and the blessings that they are even when they are an ocean(s) away or sitting in my living room drinking tea with me.  I am thankful to have seen a very faithful God answer so many prayers, heal so many people, place so many orphans in families and redeem so many lost.  This year has not always been easy, but the difficulty has also taught me to be thankful and look beyond myself.

I pray that today you all have a chance to stop, reflect, know God, and be thankful too.  Happy Thanksgiving to you all.


Wednesday, November 16, 2011

Six months and going.....

In six months we have gone from this...

To this...

I just love that I caught this on film!
David has bloomed and will continue I am sure.  He is a happy child, normally calm (but tends to whine because he cannot talk so well).  He has reached a new level of comfort with me.  I know this because he is pushing, and pushing, and pushing the boundaries.  Yes, this wonderful child is learning that with parents..not only does he receive love and laughs and security, but discipline.

He understands both English and Swedish while still understanding Mandarin (when my friend is around to speak it to him).  He will mainly answer in English (not surprising because I am with him the most).  He does have a vocabulary, but not one that anyone outside the family really understands.  I just laugh when people look at me and gasp because I know what he is saying.  The funny thing is it is mainly melody.  David has a great sense of melody and can repeat any melody that he hears.  So with the words I listen to his melody and am able to figure out what he wants (hopefully speech therapy will start soon).

He knows and seems proud of his name.  When we talk about him with doctors or the social worker he understands the difference between his Ch*nese name and his new name.  He will say no to his old name and yes to his new name.

David is curious, helpful, loving, playful, friendly (except to Sam, well sometimes), and quick to pick up on things.  He has great fine motor skills, but is still a bit clumsy with runny or walking.  He didn't have much muscle tone 6 months ago, so now I think he is doing great.  He has learned to run (without falling), ride a tricycle and a scooter, build with duplo and little legos (much to Sam's chagrin) and climb on most anything...he is a boy after all. 

He will still eat anything you put in front of him and continue until he is stopped.  But that is slowly disappearing.  He is sleeping in his own bed, feels comfortable enough to come get me if he needs me, or wander around the house before any of us are up (normally I hear him pretty quickly).  He loves books, cars, and anything that Sam says he is not allowed to play with.

David is recognizing friends, and remembers names quite easily.  He still very much loves Farmor and Farfar (especially Farfar).  I am still his number one pick, but Daddy has gone from number 79 to number 2!  He is learning to fully enjoy a Pappa who is loving, but will wrestle and kid around with him. David really does like Sam.  He will follow him and do everything Sam does, which of course annoys his older brother.  They are both still quite jealous of one on one time for the other, but we are working that out (David truly believes I am his and not anyone else's. He will even try to get in between Andreas and I.)

So far I think he is doing really great.  I love to see him pray and start mimicking the stories we tell from the Bible.  He perks up when I read a story about King David.  He is truly making his home with us, for which I am thankful.  Of course things are always perfect (did you read the he is pushing the boundaries earlier?), but are things ever perfect or normal?  Naaaaaaaa, that wouldn't be fun, at least now we are kept on our toes.

So please keep praying for us.  Six months is still a very short time in the scheme of things.

We can never express how happy and thankful we are that you are a part of our family. I love to see you shine!  You are a beloved son, brother, grandson and cousin.  You are not accidentally put here, but with purpose and love, from mommy and daddy's adopted Father.  As we always say, ''Home is where the family is'', and you are home!

mommy or maeee (as David says)

Thursday, November 10, 2011

Old Sorrow, New Grieving

Today is the year anniversary of my grandfather's death.  My grandfather (Po Po as we called him) was an amazing man.  He would never have thought it or boasted about it, but he has touch thousands, if not millions with his teaching on inductive Bible study.  Robert A. Traina, Po Po, was loved by many, admired by many, and was the most humble, kind, patient, and loving person that I have ever known.

As his book is so titled, Po Po was methodical.  He loved the Bible, studying and knowing it and God were a passion of his.  God also imparted to Po Po the love of teaching.  So he did not keep this passion to himself, but graciously gave it to many as a professor, dean and author.

On the more personal level he was a brother, husband, dad, grandfather, friend, pray-er, uplifter, listener, and laugher.  His laugh was deep and heartfelt...and he laughed often.  He loved us (his family) so deeply and lifted us to Jesus everyday of his life.  I am sure that the prayers that Grandma and him raised to heaven helped me come to my Savior and marry a man that was like Po Po in so many ways.

Not only in his life did he teach me about Christ, but in his death.  Last year I was able to make it back home a week before he died.  He spent that last week in my Aunt's home (his youngest daughter), with my mom (his oldest daughter) and my Aunt taking care of him.  Sam was with me and Po Po loved to see him and hold his hand (Po Po always had the warmest hands).  Sam drew many pictures for him (he was taking care of Po Po too).  When the rest of us would have to leave Po Po's room, Sam would go in and just hold his hand.  Memories I will always cherish.

We really didn't know he was going to die that last week until the final two days.  So we got to say good-byes and I love yous.  His dignity and calmness followed him into eternity.  He was ready to go home and we all knew it.  He did not need to fight it, or tie up loose ends, his life had been lived to be prepared for the moment he would go to Jesus.  And even though I have been taught about heaven so much in my life, it became all the more real to me as he entered it.  Not because I saw heaven for myself, but watching and being with this man all my life and then watching him die showed me the full circle of a life lived well for Jesus.  His words, his actions, his thoughts behind all of it, was for one purpose and he was ready when it came.  I am beyond sure that he heard, ''well done, my good and faithful servant'' as he passed from this world into Heaven.  

I know that I fail on so many levels to live up to what he has taught, but remembering makes me try harder.  Not because he said so, but because it is all REAL.  One day I will also step into eternity and I would like to be able to face it in the same calm manner because I am ready.  Because I have lived my life with this purpose in mind.  Which really means that I need to do that now, because eternity may not wait until I am 89 like Po Po.

So as Po Po would say, I have some ''wrong thinking'' that I need to deal with and simply go to my Bible.  It is all there, know what it says, know God who is seeping out of every word and page.  Live my life according to those words and love God wholeheartedly.

''In the beginning was the Word, and the Word was with God, and the Word was God. He was in the beginning with God; all things were made through him and without him was not anything made that was made. In him was life and the life was the light of men.  The light shines in the darkness, and the darkness has NOT overcome it.''  
John 1:1-5
Po Po and I, when I was about 3 years old.
Thank you Po Po, for not only loving me, praying for me, and being the most amazing grandfather that you could be, but for living your life for the God you so dearly loved.  You not only showed me the way, but thousands of others.  I will always be your ''kissy baby''. 

I miss you,
(please forgive the typos, it is hard to write through the tears)

Tuesday, November 08, 2011


I know that I have been silent for a while on how the boys are doing.  I just needed to get a little perspective.  We are coming up on the 6 month mark for David.  Wow, time flys and to be honest it has not always been fun, but we have had some great times.  

David is a wonderful boy.  He is much calmer than Sam, but they seem to enjoy each others humor, when they are not fighting.  He has a great smile and those dimples just make you fall in love.  However, it is the constant whine that dampens those dimples a bit.  I know, I know...he is learning the language.  But at this point it is actually more than that.  We were told that we would have to wait at least 5 more months before they would call us in for speech therapy.  Well, let me tell ya, that is not going to do.  David wants to speak, he understands AMAZINGLY well.  The problem here is that he cannot say the words.  I work with him the best I know how and he really tries, but we need a professional.  So we are pushing to try to bump up that 5 months.  My real fear here is that he is developing patterns of whining that will continue even when he can say words.  We do use a lot of sign language with him, but if we don't push him to use it, he will fall back to whining.  As much as a mom loves her children the constant whine really gets to a girl.  

David is also INCREDIBLY stubborn.  I know many of you other adoptive parents and some non-adoptive parents (my mom for example), are saying ''we understand'' (actually my mom is laughing at me right now, saying ''I told you that your stubbornness would come back to bite you!'')  The stubbornness served him well in Ch*na, but it is not serving him so well here.  I have been pretty good and kept my patience about me, but I have to admit that today I lost it a bit.  There was some yelling, followed by a time out (for both of us), and crying (on both our parts) and apologizing (on both our parts), then some hugs and cuddles.  When it was over, I cringed to think about how angry I allowed myself to get.  In my talk with God I am reminded that I too am stubborn beyond belief, and that I failed, but I still have more time and a God that is constantly patient with me.  So tomorrow I will try again, while trying not to be stubborn myself with my Heavenly Father.  

I am constantly reminded that my boys are an incredible blessing.  Sometimes that reminder comes in the form of other adoptive moms and dads out thank you.

So I would say that for now my perspective is still growing as we continue to grow as a family.  But when I do get a breather and I step back, I am incredibly grateful for the privilege of parenting these boys.  Awesome responsibility in the hands of Andreas and I.  Sometimes I question our abilities, but in the end I cannot question God, because He really does know EXACTLY what He is doing.


Tuesday, November 01, 2011

Part III

There is Arabic, there is Mandarin and off to the side (hard to see) there is even Russian.  Now that got confusing, especially since I can read or speak non of them! 

They have very intelligent grass at the Heavenly Lake outside of Ur*mqi!


Saturday, October 29, 2011

Crazy Signs...part II

This one made me laugh out loud.  Okay, so you give the bathroom a star rating.  So, of course, I had to try it... let's just say I am not so sure about the 4 stars.  Maybe a 2...maybe.  Considering there were no other star rated toilets, that we saw or that our guide knew about, it made me wonder about the basis of the Beijing Tourism Administrations.  Things that make you go hmmmmm.  

No explanation needed.

Many of you may wonder why I added this one.  (please ready the history on Mao).  This would be like putting a picture of Hitler in a prominent place in Berlin.  While we were in Ch*na I asked so many questions to our guides about Mao, history, different events, why people still worship this get the point.  Andreas really thought we were going to get in trouble, but I really wanted to know.  It helps me understand a culture more and how they think.  Needless to say, we were still allowed to adopt David and nothing bad befell us.  (very appreciative of that).  

Friday, October 28, 2011

Funny Signs From Ch*na...part 1

While in Ch*na we very quickly began to see signs that frankly made us laugh.  I know that every country has them, but it seems that you can pick them out more easily when you are traveling.  So here is the first part of my funny signs from Ch*na.  

We saw this at a gas station.  Translation: if you happen to have dynamite on you, you are not allowed to light it at this gas station.  This made me wonder how many people where walking around with dynamite?  

I really need one of these!

This is a new one! Why specifically brain disease?  

So they say no climbing, but did they see the flight of stairs in front of us!  (For those of you who were wondering, it meant not to climb on that particular wall, but it seemed funny non the less).

Stay tuned there is more where that came from.

For those of you wondering how we are doing, my answer is please pray.  Samuel is really struggling with jealousy and a lack of patience for a David.  Not easy, not fun but the souls of my sons are so worth it!


Monday, October 17, 2011

Another Good Memory

This video was done when Sam was three years old.  We are at my Aunt Judy and Uncle Marty's house in Wilmore, Kentucky.  Uncle Marty is a counselor and teacher of psychology and he is trying to do relaxation therapy with Sam.  I love the fact that you can hear my Aunt laughing in the background, she has a great laugh.  Miss you guys!  

Enjoy the memory with me.  


Sunday, October 16, 2011

Old Videos

While looking though our backup we found some old videos of Sam.  I will post this one tonight, it is by far one of my favorite.  I could watch this one a million times.  He is 2 years old in this video and we were living in Tupelo, Mississippi.  Andreas was still in seminary and I was working for New Beginnings Adoption agency there.  If you are having a hard time understanding what Sam says, think ''Jesus loves me''.  Andreas starts in Swedish, but the rest is in English.  Enjoy!


p.s. Today is 5 months since David walked into that little office in Urumqi, China and his life changed drastically.  Wow, time flies!

Wednesday, October 12, 2011

Helping Orphans with Nutrition

I have posted about the Spoon Foundation before and if you haven't checked them out yet, you should.  Their mission is to help orphans around the world receive better nutrition and supplements.  Right now you can go to  print out a coupon for YoBaby yogurt.  For every coupon printed they receive a dollar to help with orphan nutrition.  You can only print the coupon once and they can get up to 3000 prints.  So please go and print away!


Monday, October 10, 2011


Mr. Bear (yes, I know I am a genius at coming up with perfect names) is missing.  This little bear is the first stuffed fuzzy thing that David took a liking to.  All the other stuffed toys he was really scared of.  The cool thing about this bear is that he was the one that we sent to China for David's 3rd birthday.  Even though I am pretty sure he had never actually seen the bear in China, we got it back in his backpack of things and about 3 months after coming home David took a liking to him.  Mr. Bear has been his constant companion since.  At some point this past Saturday he came up missing and I am at a total loss as to where he is.  David has asked for him a couple of times, but doesn't show much emotion about it.  However, in my experience with David he doesn't actually show you how much he misses things until they show up again.  I would really like to find Mr. Bear because I would like David to learn permanency of things and this is a special thing.  

This may seem really silly to some (considering people starving, children being sold into slavery and the growing number of orphans in this world), but I know that Jesus knows where Mr. Bear is, so please say a little prayer that we will be shown where he is.  I know that Jesus cares, even about David's attachment to this little bear.  (Don't forget to pray for the things in the other brackets too).  


P.S.  If someone in Alingsas finds him you can call me at 0763402801.  Mr. Bear has David's name written in Chinese on the tag.  Thanks.

Just Being Together

Just spending time being a family, bonding, being crazy and loving each other.  Andreas is in full swing with being a pastor and with the second hand store.  Samuel is in school, English class, and gymnastics, David is home with me learning to be a kid and loving it, and I am...well tired!  But we are all happy and looking forward to the next step the Lord has for us (details to come in the distant future) ;).    


Mowing the lawn with daddy

David still doesn't smile on que, but Samuel has it down!

A bit fuzzy, but it was ''pile on pappa'' time!  

Friday, September 30, 2011

4 Years

Yesterday was the 4 year anniversary of our coming to Sweden (for the second time).  It is hard to believe that we have been here for 4 years already.  I was reflecting on my time here and realized that there are still moments when I feel like a foreigner.  I wonder if I will ever feel like a Swede or even want to feel like a complete Swede.  Being an American is part of my identity (funny how that happens).  I wonder if my boys will feel that way.  Will their birth countries be a strong part of their identity?  What makes it strong for me?

Samuel knows that he is Nepali, but identifies more with Sweden (naturally).  David is still up in the air as to how much he really understands! (that will come with time).  What ties us to a culture?  Is it our genetics, our childhood, our memories?  It really does amaze me the strength of these ties.

Reading some in the Bible on the Kingdom of Heaven, it clearly states that we are citizens in another place.  This life and place are temporary.  If I so strongly identify myself as an American, how can I switch that to identify myself as a citizen of Heaven first and foremost?  How can I teach my boys that their main citizenship is in Heaven and not in what we see or live on this earth?  Of course we are teaching our children about Christ, their salvation and future in Heaven, but how to make it tangible to a 7 and 3 year old?  Not so easy, but necessary.  If I do it now they will always know it.

So as for my story, I would like it to begin with I am a child of God and a citizen of Heaven (with a slight attachment to the US, and a foot in Sweden).  I look forward to seeing what my sons stories will turn out to be.  I pray that God and Heaven will be first in their multicultural lives.

Where are your ties grounded?


Friday, September 23, 2011

Pushing the Boundaries

Aaaahhhhh, those days that he just must push can be excruciating.  At every moment I am fighting agains his jealousies, wants, needs, fears, and angers.  He doesn't even seem to understand why he continues the path that he does.  I am patient... he pushes.  I get frustrated...he pushes.  I give hugs...he pushes.  I take mommy time outs...he pursues me to push all the more.  

His jealousies...
There are days that he is jealous of everybody and everything.  He cries if I have to let the dog out to pea or yells at the dog is he gets close for some petting.  
He will do everything and anything to get me off of my phone the moment someone calls.  I was on the phone with the doctors' office the other day and had to get to a quite room so I could understand the Swedish being spoken.  He grabbed his bottle of juice and followed.  I was sitting on my bed and he climbed up took a swig of juice and then proceeded to spit it all over my bed.  Yep... that got my anger  attention.  
That is just scratching the surface.  Of course most of his jealousy is directed at Samuel.  The moment Samuel needs my attention you can see the proverbial ''hair on his back'' raise.  I have to do everything to keep one on each side of me and then David is doing his best to get a foot or hand over to push Sam out of the way.  The hardest times are right in the morning or when we pick Sam up from school.  You think after having me for hours to himself that I could manage to hug Sam and talk to him about his day...not!  I try my best to stay calm and understand...harder said than done and I often fail.  I find myself repeating one phrase often ''I am both Samuel and David's mommy, you can both have hugs and kisses and love''.  To which David answers, ''NO''.  

Philippians 1:9-11
 9 And this is my prayer: that your love may abound more and more in knowledge and depth of insight, 10 so that you may be able to discern what is best and may be pure and blameless for the day of Christ, 11 filled with the fruit of righteousness that comes through Jesus Christ—to the glory and praise of God.

His wants...
Attention, attention, attention and food (potato chips to be specific... not a staple in this house).

Psalm 103:4-6
4 who redeems your life from the pit
   and crowns you with love and compassion,
5 who satisfies your desires with good things
   so that your youth is renewed like the eagle’s.
 6 The LORD works righteousness
   and justice for all the oppressed.

His needs...
Attention, attention, attention, food, comfort, love, daily reminders that I am here to stay.  A week ago was four months that he walked into the little office in China to have his world turned upside down (again). I have to keep reminding myself that it is only 4 months and this is a season.  He is progressing, things have gotten better, but when does he understand that I am permanent?  How do you explain that to a child that has never had permanency.  The simple answer is that you don't, you must show it everyday, sometimes every moment.  There are days when his personality shines as bright as the sun.  He says hello to complete strangers, he plays little practical jokes, he laughs and smiles and shows us who he really can be.  Those days I am in awe of him and I think that we have won some battles to get him to this comfortable place.  But other days it disappears with the Swedish wind (a constant thing) and it seems we have ended back at square one.  

Isaiah 49:13
Shout for joy, you heavens; rejoice, you earth; burst into song, you mountains! For the LORD comforts his people and will have compassion on his afflicted ones.

His fears...
are not too hard to figure out.  He is afraid we will disappear like his birth parents had to, like his foster mom had too, like the ladies in the orphanage had to, like China had too.  I can hear a little panic in his voice if someone walks between us at the grocery store, or if he doesn't know exactly where I am... even in our tiny apartment.  He has gotten past the fear that he will not get food again, and no longer hords like he did.  I am thankful for the progress I do see.  

Psalm 46:1-3
 1 God is our refuge and strength,
   an ever-present help in trouble.
2 Therefore we will not fear, though the earth give way
   and the mountains fall into the heart of the sea,
3 though its waters roar and foam
   and the mountains quake with their surging.[c]

His angers...
oh boy can this little one show anger.  About a month ago he started growling at us when he got angry. Andreas thought it was hilarious and growled back, which got David out of his foul mood and laughing, now that is there ''thing'' to growl back and forth.  However, David is a stubborn child (yes, even though they said he wasn't) and doesn't let go of his grudges easily.  Redirecting doesn't always work, sometimes we have to face the anger head on... with patience (easier said than done for this hormonal chikadee).  I am constantly saying I love you, which he replies ''NO'' to.  However, I can see glimpses of it sinking in.  I correct him and comfort him at the same time.  This seems to work, but not as instantly as I would like.  There are times when it takes up the whole day and I hate it when we end the night with one of his angry fits (as much as I try to avoid it).  If that happens he always wakes up cranky the next morning and leaves me feeling like a big ole' meany.  

Ecclesiastes 7:8
The end of a matter is better than its beginning, and patience is better than pride.

I cry for the scars that have been left on his young life.  I pray for his redemption.  I try my best to keep it all in perspective, but there are days that it gets the best of me.  Yeah, I know what you are thinking...''but you asked for this, for 3 1/2 years you wanted to adopt so badly.''  To which I will answer, ''yes, I did, and would do it again in a heartbeat. However, that doesn't make these days any easier, just gives them more purpose and God give them hope.''

Job 11:18
18 You will be secure, because there is hope;
   you will look about you and take your rest in safety.

Still my joy, my son.
After all, every child is worth what we have to go through to parent them, love them, and redeem them for Christ.  Not every child will get that chance though... could you be that parent for one child, or more?  Is God calling you out to love the orphans, listen...answer.   

The Truth Behind the Politics

For years I have been against UNICEF and had many people look at me very strangly. At one point during our crumbling Nepal adoption I also wrote a post about it, but took it away for the sake of other Swedish couples adopting from there. Today I came across the article linked above. It is a really good article and I am not usually political, but UNICEF will always put me on my soap box!

The one greatest hope is that God is so much bigger and stronger than any organization on this earth.  Now there is hope for the children!  (the Catholic church has withdrawn their support for UNICEF...if that tells you anything)


Wednesday, September 14, 2011

This is a MUST read!!!!

After the Airport

This article is a must read for adopters.  It is candid and true to life about what adoption is like once you get home.  This is especially true for older kids.  Everyones experience is different, but this expresses what many of us cannot put into words.

I totally agree. Thankful for this child...not quite living the domestic dream yet...getting down and dirty with the temper tantrums...exhausted...helping redeem God's child.  

Thank you Jen for your post!


Saturday, September 10, 2011

Samuel's 7th Birthday

Believe it or not, today my boy turned 7!  He was so excited from the moment he woke up to the moment he crashed.  And let me tell you I believe we kept Lego in business today.  He even received Lego from my mom in the States.  Here in Sweden 7 is a big deal.  It is the year you begin first grade, it is the beginning of more activities, and frankly it is a sign that the little boy that once was is trying to be the big boy that will be.  Sam struggles between the two sometimes and it makes me happy and breaks my heart at the same time.  It makes me happy because we work hard to help him love God, grow and learn to be independent.  However, it makes me sad because I do miss my sweet little boy that once loved to cuddle at night, preach on the packing crates and make the greatest face when things amazed him.  I am also sad because I see bits of his innocence disappear with age as he finds out more about the  world, people and life in general.  He still has an amazing heart for God and if he does something wrong it eats at him until he tells us.  I pray those things will stay.  

As he turns 7, I remember back to the day I walked into Sargamatha Children's home in Nepal and saw/held him for the first time. He was tiny, but happy and full of personality even at 15 months old.  He has always held so much promise (like every other kid is they have families to cheer them on), and captures a room with his presence.  He is contagious!  His energy flows to others, his spontaneity (which at times gets him in trouble) will enthuse anyone to go out and get things done.  He is God's gift to us when we thought there would be no children.  He was born in one of the lowest times of my life. 

I do not know exactly what happened on the day he was born, where he was born, exact day, or exact time, but I do know that God was there.  He was putting things in motion that would glorify him and create a new family.  He was showing a young couple His grace and a baby boy his mercy.  I have often prayed for his mother, whom we call Pria (beloved in Nepalese), I pray that on that day she felt the ministering hand of God also.  That in the few weeks he was with his biological family that they knew God was there and would take care of Sam.  That in their grief, there was hope and comfort.  

Yes, today my Samuel turned one more year older!  Samuel, you are an incredible boy.  You have given us so much joy, laughter, love and worry. You teach me so much about living life fuller.  You're honest, caring, crazy, and ready to live every minute to the fullest.  My prayer is that you will, with the heart of God that you still hang on to. That you will fulfill what He intends you to be and be so much more that this world would limit you to.  Please forgive me when I do not always appreciate your energy and independence.  I am blessed to be your mom, blessed to watch you grow and help in that process.  I will try to do my best to get out of your way when needed and to loving and kindly (not always so easy) correct you when needed.  I am proud of you and who you are becoming. Happy Birthday precious son.  I love you.  

Starting the morning with craziness.  This is right before the kids party.

We did tug of war, Andreas against the kids (Andreas won easily)

Against me and the kids, we won (but no so easily, this man is strong...I like it ;).

We did jump rope...I love how Sam is a little blurry...true to life.

We did red light, green light... love this pic.

We did church hide and seek...gotcha Ian.

We did spin the bottle, yep... it's true...but not what you're thinking.  We would spin the bottle to see who gave their gift to Sam.  Great game and the kids love it (thanks Kris for teaching us).

We did presents.

We did cuddles.

We did sugar cake cupcakes and candles (and hotdogs).

And we did general horsing around!  After the kids party we did an extended family dinner also...spoiled I tell ya.