Thursday, December 29, 2011

Yes, it's been a while...

When I said we were going to sign off for a while and just go be a family, I had no idea it would be almost 10 months before I posted any updates.  WOW!  Time flies!  It has been a wild, wonderful and yes, sometimes hard road since coming home from our nearly month long stay in China.  But one word sums up the entire time...blessed.  More about that later... 
Christmas was a bit more special than past years as there is no longer an empty place at the table, or an empty stocking holder on the mantle (well, there almost was...Marcie came through in the final stretch), or an empty corner of the living room Christmas morning.  We were full in the house and especially in our hearts.  Overall, the children (and even the parents) were pretty spoiled, and Maggie was fairly overwhelmed with all the activity.  But she just cranked up the cuteness meter and the meanness :) meter and jumped right in.  It was fun to watch...especially when we consider what the last two Christmases must have been like for her.

As a quick update on the kids, Trevor is nine going on 30 and it is fair to say he loooves his little sister.  On occasion, he has to be reminded he is not her parent, but it's pretty cute to watch him dote on her nearly every waking moment.  Brandon is four going on 10 and searching for his role within the new dynamic of our family of five.  This has been the most notable difference since we came home as Trevor focuses on Maggie more and more and Maggie seeks to interrupt any attention Brandon receives.  And he is very confused about the somewhat different parenting style regarding Maggie as we seek to bolster bonding and attachment.  Don't get me wrong, the little trooper is a happy big brother and even happier baby boy, but just keeping it real...we have some work to do and changes to make in order to enrich his overall experience (and everyone's for that matter).  Maggie gets more and more comfortable with every passing day.  She has come a loooong way with regard to considering Marcie her primary "go to" and me an OK alternate, and we can tell she really likes us, but they were right about the takes a while and others don't/won't really get it.  But we are blessed with understanding family and friends, and quite honestly, it's going better than we thought it would.  This experience has changed has enriched us...and we have been blessed beyond comprehension by every step.
Smile Week March 2010 with Teresa,
4 middle school students, the school
director, 4 nannies, 3 friends and
our Maggie (2nd from left)
Maggie Jane 8 months

Speaking of blessings...if you recall, Marcie & I were fortunate to meet Maggie's part-time foster mother on Gotcha Day.  She just "happened" to be at the orphanage on "that" day (God is so good).  We have shared several emails since returning home, but today we awoke to an email that contained pictures of our sweet baby girl we had never seen before.  We even learned a little about Teresa's program and the way she funded Maggie's cleft lip repair.  A middle school class in the International School of Beijing raised the money to cover surgeries during Smile Week, Teresa's program's cleft lip repair celebration.  WOW (we say that a lot these days)!  How neat would it be to thank those kids in person?  The blessings continue to overflow and we are thankful God chose us to walk this journey during this season of life.  What an amazing time it has been.  That's it for now...we pray that you had a blessed Christmas and wishing you a happy and healthy New Year!  (Marcie just now announced our Christmas tree is staying up and being redecorated for Chinese New Year) :)


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