Wednesday, June 29, 2011

The Spoon Foundation Survey

Ladies and Gentlemen it is a double post today so don't stop at this one.

I found a nutrition help a few months back called the Spoon Foundation.  It had information about nutritional needs for adopted children.  I was quite interested in what they were trying to do with education and getting needed nutrition to children in orphanages around the world.  Of course it is started by moms who have adopted children that had special needs.  These needs turned out to be nutritional and not severe medical needs.  They asked me to put up this survey so they can help more adopted parents with there questions about transitioning children from their native diet to their new diet when adopted.  Please take the time to fill it out.  I think this is worth it.

The link is:


Swedish Summers

As most people know Scandinavia is not known for it's warm weather.  But I have to say, that when summer does come it is the best day of the year!  Ha ha... when it does finally get warm and stop raining Sweden is one of the most beautiful places I know.  However, last week was very discouraging.  It was very cold and rainy.  

During all the rain of last week, David and I went to the store to buy him rubber boots (an essential in Sweden).  I learned a lesson from buying those boots for him.  Apparently, he had noticed that we all had them.  When I started trying them on him at the store he lit up and wouldn't take them off the whole time.  He clearly communicated that he wanted to wear them and not the ones he came in with.  Of course I thought it was cute, but didn't think much of it.  When we got home David made sure to show Andreas and Sam his new gummy boots.  Again, very cute, but the lesson was about to come.  He ran into the house and took his boots off and put them right next to Samuel's gummy boots.  He pointed the them and said ''Amel'' (David's version of Samuel), then he pointed to his and said ''Avid''.  Then Andreas was putting his on and David got so excited, pointed to Andreas' boots and said ''A..A'' (Pappa).  Then of course we had to name mine also.  His excitement grew each time.  He did this over and over again.  He loved having the same as the rest of the family, it placed him with us...on the same level.  I truly feel like it made him feel loved and like he belonged here.  What was to me a necessity, to him meant that he fit in.  

And it makes me think again what it means to belong in a family.  To him it was as simple as boots and to look the same. What does it mean to me to be in the family of God?  What do I need to feel like I fit in God's family? How can I look like my family?  Not only the outside, but inside my heart and mind.  

Romans 12:1-2 
Therefore, I urge you, brothers and sisters, in view of God’s mercy, to offer your bodies as a living sacrifice, holy and pleasing to God—this is your true and proper worship. 2 Do not conform to the pattern of this world, but be transformed by the renewing of your mind. Then you will be able to test and approve what God’s will is—his good, pleasing and perfect will.

So I rejoice with my son that he is beginning to understand family. I understand that I still need to work on being a part of my family.  I need to continually renew my mind and look more and more like Christ and less like my selfish self.  I believe I forget that so easily and yet a little child can be used to show me once again.  Adoption is not just bound to the physical form that we experience, but the spiritual that we  base our lives upon.  

Romans 8:14
For those who are led by the Spirit of God are the children of God. 15 The Spirit you received does not make you slaves, so that you live in fear again; rather, the Spirit you received brought about your adoption to sonship.[f] And by him we cry, “Abba,[g] Father.” 16 The Spirit himself testifies with our spirit that we are God’s children. 17 Now if we are children, then we are heirs—heirs of God and co-heirs with Christ, if indeed we share in his sufferings in order that we may also share in his glory.

I am thankful to be reminded of this and am humbled to be parenting two boys that continually show me God's grace every day of my life.  I simply have to take the time and look.  


Here is David in his new boots and rain gear.

Enjoying the outdoors even in the very cold weather.

For those of you who don't know there is a Midsummer Festival in Sweden.  They dance around the May pole (which still looks very much like the fertility symbols of the old pagan rituals) and sing about small green frogs and other silly little kids songs (I think you have to be Swedish to get it).  We don't actually participate in this fun, but Sam managed to get the flower head wreath from Andreas' cousins who were celebrating at the other summer home just down the lane.  The boys looked adorable.

We decide to go up to the ocean house and join the rest of the family for a little fun and the sun finally came out and warmed this beautiful land.

Mom knows how to enjoy a warm day!

We had lots of fun on the new slip and slide.

If there is water...David is there!

Then this amazing thing happened.  David actually went into the grass without shoes!  This is a first folks.  He hates to get his feet on anything.  I was so proud.  

Andreas relaxing and enjoying some warmth.  

Today we went to our favorite lake and rowed out to the ''Island of Sodor'' as Sam so named it years ago.  David was a bit sleepy but I love how he looks in my sunglasses.  He is so hip!

Wednesday, June 22, 2011

Yes, everyday we do see progress and below are two ways that has happened.  On another note that needs some prayer... David has night terrors.  They seemed to be getting better and he would even go some nights without whining, but the past two nights he has been sitting up in bed and fighting with something when I come in (tonight I only heard two whines before I was with him).  He calms down immediately once I get to him.  I just need to put him in my arms and he stops fighting and sleeps again.  He doesn't fight going to sleep so he obviously doesn't remember anything.  I don't know what he is fighting in his sleep, but it breaks my heart, but I know that Jesus can calm this fear we just need to ask.  Will you please pray for him with me?  

Thank you,
This is the boy that a month ago would not let me put him down and would hold his feet up as far as possible so that the dog would not get him.  He was terrified (no exaggeration) of this dog.  Today he did this spontaneously!  Praise Jesus for even the simplest of progress.  

I love this picture.  The boys are so interested in Pappa working with tools.  I am so thankful that David was not afraid.  When we first got home he was afraid of all loud noises.  

Monday, June 20, 2011

New Days, New Jealousies, New Steps to Normal

Lest anyone thinks that this is all ease and fun....think again. 

I watch as Samuel struggle with not wanting David around to wanting David to pay a ton of attention to him.  I watch David want to do everything that his big brother is doing, but then scream anytime Samuel gets near the toys that David happens to be playing with.  I watch them both be jealous of each other with mom and dad.  However, there are moments when they are playing together beautifully and giggling with each other and it makes my heart melt.  I really believe that they will be good friends one day, it will just take time and effort.  

Even though Sam has had his moments, I have to say that never once has he hit David, even when David has repeatedly hit him.  I am really proud of Sam for that. He will be a great big brother (once he is allowed to get near David without a scream).  David is learning that Sam will not always (just sometimes) rip the toy away from him.  However, a lot of the screams comes from lack of ability to communicate with us.  I am hoping that we will get the ball rolling on speech therapy soon.  David is also doing a lot better with the hitting and his anger is subsiding.  I know he has had to go through a lot (understatement).  So it is good to see him relaxing more and not hitting everyone...except his brother...and that may never go away!

But this mom (and dad) are in love with both of these boys and thankful for them despite the jealousies.  


This boy adores water... even the freezing water of Sweden. I love to see him laugh and be free of the cares he has had to deal with.   

Sam is about to take a horse ride and I think he looks precious in that helmet (or helmhat as he calls it).

Here is a typical jealous picture.  Sam wanted me and David will not let go either.  They are getting better though. We are making sure that they both get us one on one sometimes.  

Friday, June 17, 2011

14 Years

Yesterday was my 14 year anniversary.  My wonderful husband has actually put up with me and loved me through it all for 14 years.  Yes, I can hear the applause now.  In all seriousness, he has been an incredible husband, friend and father.  I continue to be blessed by this amazing man of God.  I am thankful for who he is and what he is continuing to become.  I love his passion for theology and apologetics and his desire to  show others the practical love of Christ.  I look forward to what God has for us in the future and walking the path with him, side by side.
I really love this picture.  We were in Urumqi and they were flying kites in the square.  So sweet. 
This is my husband the last night in China (after his shaver stopped working).  He is a handsome man!

Samuel's Kindergarden Avslutning (graduation)

This past Wednesday Sam graduated from Kindergarden.  Yes, all you Americans are thinking...but he is six.  Here in Sweden they start Kindergarden a year later.  For Sam this has been a really good thing.  It has helped him mature a little more and face the challenges that have come down the pipe.  So this Fall he will be in first grade.  Where did the time go? Unfortunately I cannot share the pictures because they have other kids in them.  However, if anyone would like to leave Sam a graduation wish feel free.


Sunday, June 12, 2011


There are moments and days that I wonder if we are moving forward and progressing with David.  Then there are days that I absolutely know we are.  However, as I am judging how well or not well I am doing I have to remember that it has been less than a month that he has been with us.  This Thursday will be a month and it will also be my 14th anniversary.

I am truly amazed at how children adapt and learn.  I know it is not always easy, but I have seen a lot of adopted children and they always amaze me (even those who have a harder time with the adjustment).  To think that less than a month ago this precious little guy walked into a room in Urumqi with no idea that he would be wisked away to Sweden, have to adjust to yet another placement in his life and learn two new languages when he has enough problems trying to speak Mandarin.  Yet, he is blooming.  David changes a little everyday.   We learn new things about his personality and his audacity, his sense of humor and his stubborness.  Yet there is one area that he cannot express yet, but I know it is there.  That is his saddness and insecurity.  He must wonder what has happened to his foster mom and his foster siblings.  He must wonder why he went from a place where all the people look like him to lots of blonde people (he watches any Asian person he sees with great intensity).

I know I will have to wait for some of this sadness to come out, but I hear it in his cry at night.  He kind of wakes up and cries.  He has only actually cried for mamma once.  All the other times it is just a cry.  It is really sad for me to hear and breaks my heart that he has gone through so much in his short life.  I lay down beside him and caress his face or arm and tell him mamma is there.  He eventually calms and falls into a deep sleep again.  I wonder when that will disappear.  I wonder what it exactly is.  I wonder if he did it in China also.  So for now I just comfort and pray over this precious child that we are falling deeper and deeper in love with.

I remind myself that there is a Healer and He has placed David here with us.  How humbled I am yet again to be a mother by the grace of God.  How humbled I am to lead both of my precious boys to the cross and pray with all I have that they take hold of it and live for Jesus.  I may not know what happened to David or Sam before we were blessed with them, but Christ does, and he wants to redeem it all.

So we will continue to live and learn as a family and as children of God.  I will continue to enjoy the bedtime routine with David as he jumps on top of me and kisses me with all his might (the kissing thing is new to him).  I will continue to enjoy hearing and seeing my boys learn to play and laugh together.  I will continue to watch in wonder as Andreas fathers our children in such a Christ-like way and David learns the wonders of having and incredible daddy.  I will continue to be amazed as both Samuel and David become the men that God wants them to be.  And I will always be thankful for the gift of being a mother.


This was taken at the Heavenly Lake outside of Urumqi.  It was the first time that David and Sam really connected and eventually even held hands together.  It was quite precious.  

Tuesday, June 07, 2011

Random Pics from China

You know to be perfectly honest I haven't even seen all of our pictures from China.  We had tons of video also that we need to get through... hopefully this summer will allow us to work on that.  I think we have some great pics we just have to get them together.  So if you are patient with me I will work on it.  Tonight I just picked a few that I liked to share.  (one of these days I will have some great funny signs to put up).   China seems like a blur right now, but I once we get a little more settled and collected maybe I will have more time to reflect.  

Tonight was a hard one.  Andreas had a meeting...Sam was overly tired and went to bed crying and thinking I was a bad mom because he couldn't play on the computer anymore and David didn't want to go to bed either.  I didn't win any awards today!  I need sleep too otherwise I am going to go to bed crying.  I keep sending skygrams to Jesus, I am truly thankful that he is listening.  

David continues to adjust.  He still wants to be in my arms 24/7 but we are working on that.  A huge breakthrough today is that he actually pet the dog!  We are making progress.  Sometimes it is hard to tell what is adjustment and what is simply just being a three year old (and again, this boy is stubborn!)  But I love both of my wonderful boys they are truly a blessing and it times like tonight I need to remember the loving Father that allowed me to be a mother.  


(left to right) Eas, Dad, Mom, Kirina, Mikaela, Eric, Sam.  The other couple was from Sweden and adopted a 2 year old son.  We are at the Forbidden City in Beijing.  

Just one section of the Wall the we went up.  The best Stair Master EVER!

needs no caption

Sam doing his amazing hand stands and mommy being scared he is going to break something!

David being adorable

His very first popsicle, which he would only lick in 90 degree weather so it ended up on him more than in him.  

Saturday, June 04, 2011

Quick Post

Sorry I haven't posted but the only computer I have is in the room that David sleeps in and the only time I have to post is when he is alseep.  However, everytime I type he squirms around like he is waking up.

So here is my quick post.  Andreas has been away for 4 days now and will be back tomorrow night. I have had wonderful friends who have let me hang out with them and fed me.  This helps so much for Sam to have friends to play with.

Mainly, I am TIRED!!!!! Single moms are amazing!

Thank you for your prayers during this time, it is greatly appreciated.

I would appreciate prayer for me with Sam.  He is such a neat and wonderful kid, but in my tiredness and his regression with his new brother I know I am a bit hard on him.  Please pray that I will be understanding and loving even when it is frustrating.  I feel like such a bad mom, but I know this comes from a place of complete tiredness.  Thank you.