Sunday, November 9, 2014

God says "I got this!"

Well, alot has changed since the last post in May but one thing holds strong. The lesson God is trying to teach me. He has shown me and told me over and over... "I got this!" Our whole adoption journey has had many bumps but God kept saying "Kathi, I got this!" Even now, He screams this at my deaf, worrying ears! I try so hard to remember this when things are tough.  I am getting better at it but still sometimes forget. So God started using Liberty to show me... God's got this!
Liberty has started school and she is just a miracle child, I swear!
Her dad and I were very nervous about her starting school, about who her teacher was going to be & if she could handle it, both socially and emotionally. There were so many fears we all were facing.  We decided to meet with the school staff to explain our fears, Liberty's challenges and to see if there was anything we could do to prepare Liberty, us and the staff for this journey.
The school was wonderful and took all of our concerns to heart, gave us some ideas to prepare her and get her started with extra help she might need and really helped us to understand they were on our side to help Liberty reach success.
The day had come and we had prayed long and hard that God would give Liberty the teachers and friends that she needed to flourish. The Lord answered our prayers!! She has a wonderful group of teachers that just love our little girl as much as we do. They all look out for her and give her the loving she needs while she is with them during the day. Mr. Ron on the morning bus, Mrs. Richardson (her teacher), Mrs. Palicki (her PE teacher), Mrs. Saindon (her speech teacher), Mrs. Wenzel (her math teacher), Mr. Emerson (her principal who she adores!), and Mr. Bob on the afternoon bus are all exactly what she needed! She just had her first report card and is doing so great!!  None of her teachers believe me when I say she has only been here 18 months.  Of course, she has a few issues with some things but hey! When we think of where she was 18 months ago.... We can only smile. :)
As always, I had been worrying about everything for no reason!  As we were driving over to school the first day, I could see it on Liberty's face. She was saying "I got this!" and she surely does!

She has been enjoying music class with Ms. LeighAnn at King Music. They had a Halloween recital where the kids has to make up their own song. She made hers about her family. It was so sweet and touched our hearts! The kids got to wear their halloween costumes. Liberty was "The Statue of Liberty"! I figured it was the only year she would think that was cool!

She had her check-up with the cardiologist and all is well with her heart! Yay!! Its so funny because she is such a go-getter we sometimes forget she has a heart condition. When the time comes to have her check-up, we start getting nervous. But once again, God says "I got this!"

This month is National Adoption Month. I think about all of the 153 million orphans who are still waiting for their families and my heart breaks for them. My prayer has always been if our adoption story helps even one family to choose to adopt, We will keep sharing it!

Prayers to all of the little ones waiting to be adopted.
Prayers to all of the mothers and fathers who have chosen adoption for their little ones.
Prayers for all the families that have adopted even though it's tough, trying, tiring, heart-breaking, and WONDERFUL all at once.
Prayers for all of the adopted because the process is most definitely more difficult for them than it is for us.

Thank you, Lord for choosing us to parent Liberty Jane-YiRun.... The most important little girl in our lives!
And Lord, I know... YOU GOT THIS! :)

Saturday, May 17, 2014

They told us she's smart! I think we knew that! :)

 Liberty has been growing like a weed!!!!  Physically and socially! Recently, we had her at her kindergarten physical where we learned that she had grown 5 inches and gained 10 lbs!! She has gone from 24 month shorts last spring to 3-4T! She wore a size 6 shoe when she first came home and now she is a size 9. It's crazy!!
When we were at the doctor, we decided to have her visit a pediatric urologist and have a sensory screening since she still struggles with potty training. We want to make sure there isn't anything physically wrong.
We had that visit last week. The urologist wants to be very thorough since we have no family history. Something these little ones have to deal with their entire lives. :( So we had blood work, X-rays, ultrasounds and are waiting for the results. If these tests come back normal, the next step is a over-active bladder medication along with the strict potty schedule we have her on now. We not only are dealing with having to potty train her but also trying to break 4 1/2 years of habits she has of her own. Its a struggle but we are dealing with it.
She had her sensory screening and the OT was truly impressed with her abilities. When she heard that Liberty was adopted from China just one year ago, she was shocked to find this little girl who is very well adjusted, speaking wonderful English and who is super intelligent. :) The OT said that Liberty blew every test out of the water and we should have no worries that she has any sensory issues! YAY! We are happy about that!!
She is doing very well writing her name, coloring in the lines, cutting out shapes and following direction. We think once we have met her kindergarten teacher, we are going to ask that Liberty be able to go into the classroom before school starts to become familiar with her surroundings. She can get overwhelmed with a new atmosphere. This will help her on Day One of school.
We had our 1 year follow-up with her cardiologist and she passed with flying colors!!  Thank God for that! We are so happy that her heart continues to grow stronger and stronger without any issues! We don't have to go back for another 6 months!!   Thank God for that! It gives us time to save the $ to pay for it!! Haha!
She has recently had a few incidents with other kids making comments about her scar. One little girl said ,"EWW! You have a worm on you!!" Liberty responded as she lifted her shirt, "Oh No that is just my scar!" We hope her positive attitude continues. We explain to her that her scar is part of who she is and a part of her story.
As we continue our journey with Little Miss Liberty, we are filled with humility and gratefulness that people continue to read her story. We feel as though God is telling us He is not done with us. We feel He wants us to continue sharing her story... our story because you just never know who you are going to lead to adopt a child who desperately needs a family. If our story helps, then I will keep sharing.
We are getting a presentation ready to share in November for National Adoption Month. It will be a great opportunity to share Little Miss Liberty's story from the start.
As always, Thank you Lord for giving us this little ray of sunshine to love and raise! Love her to pieces.... now and forever!!

Friday, February 7, 2014

Almost a year....

It's been awhile since my last post....And so much has changed. :)
We have had almost a year with our Little Miss Liberty! A year of firsts, a year of exploring, a year of growing, a year of change.... for all of us.
It has been such a crazy year for us! There have been so many awesome and cool experiences for Liberty and for our family! 
First, Liberty's health is excellent! She has had a few check-ups with the cardiologist and all is going perfectly with her heart! Praise God! She does have a slight arrhythmia but it is very slight and needs no treatment at this time. A special shout-out to Grandma Clark (my mom) for helping us with Liberty right after her surgery. She watched Liberty when I had to return to work but wasn't quite ready to send her to daycare. Love you for it, Mom!
This summer we decided NOT to send her to school in the fall. We were really stressing about what was best for her but then we both realized that she had been through so much already this year that we chose to wait a year before sending her. She does go to pre-school and has been learning so much thanks to all of the wonderful teachers at Stepping Stones in Manteno. :) She LOVES going to school and playing with all of her friends. and she adores Ms. Kristen and Ms. Kirsten. :)
Our next challenge is POTTY TRAINING!!  She has done so great but is still in a diaper at night and nap time. But realistically, we are trying to break habits that she has had for 4.5 years! Like Dr. Batish says, "Give her a bit of a break, Kathi. She's been through quite a bit this year." This is very true and in the grand scheme of things... WHO CARES! :) She will get it!
Liberty's language has come a long way! She speaks 98% English. She has a bit of trouble with "S", "ST" and "CH". but we have had her evaluated and were told she will catch on and not to worry about it. We are sure she will catch up quick. She is doing much better lately.
We were super excited to get into a Mandarin/ Chinese Culture class which met at Olivet. We were with about 7 other families with children adopted from China. I really loved that Liberty was learning that being an Asian child with Caucasian parents was no big deal. :) She loved getting together with the kids. She even would answer questions in class when the teacher asked in Chinese. We were thrilled! We really want to do all we can to keep a lot of her culture and language in her life. We were sad to learn that after 8 weeks, the teacher has to take a hiatus for a bit. We are hoping to pick back up in the Spring.
Liberty took a dance class and was a bit confused and really didn't seem to understand why she had to kick her leg up.. haha
So we started Music class at King Music with Ms. LeighAnn and she LOVES it! She really enjoys music of all kinds. Loves playing the instruments and dancing to her own beat. :) 
We also have her in gymnastics which our doctor said would be good for her heart and for stretching her torso out. I guess a lot of babies who grew up in orphanages have stiff torsos. Not to mention her core has been opened 4 times. So we are at Golden's with Ms. Donna and we love it!
Halloween we laid low and just handed out candy. She was Minnie Mouse and loved seeing all of the kids come to her house to visit. Thanksgiving was so fun. Her eyes were popping out of her head at all of the goodies she was going to get to try! And being able to play with all of her cousins, ALL DAY was a special treat too!
Christmas was so fun even though she doesn't really get the whole Santa thing. We have a Santa statue in our foyer. I would say, "Santa is watching you... You need to behave." then she would go over to the Santa and say, "Are you watching me??" I think it kinda creeped her out. haha!
We talked more about Jesus' birthday and she seems to maybe understand that a bit better than a fat, white-bearded man sneaking into the house at night. 
Not having Damon home for Christmas was sad but Sammy and Liberty are keeping up traditions. :)
My Brother-in-Law did an awesome sermon this Christmas season about adoption and how we all are adopted by God. He used Liberty's story to introduce the adoption concept in a way people understand it. The love we felt from the sermon and from the people of the church was so overwhelming! Liberty has been her just under a year and so many people were talking about following this blog during the process and how touched they were. She has touched so many with her story. We just hope it will help to bring many other families together.
Liberty has been Sam's little cheerleader this year during wrestling season. She's like a little parrot yelling everything her dad and I yell out.. "C'mon, Sammy! You can do it!"  It is so cute and a bit entertaining for the crowd. :) She sure loves her brothers...even tho they butt heads a bit. I think it is because Sam and Liberty are both a bit bossy. haha
We just celebrated Chinese New Year by reading about the Year of the Horse, making Chinese lanterns, swept the "evil spirits" out of the house , received red envelopes, and shared Chinese gold coins and Chinese sweets with her friends at school. We also dressed up in our best Chinese Dress we bought while in Shanghai! She loved it! 
One more thing to share! She can verbalize things much better now and is realizing that she didn't have parents in China and now...she does! She said one day "Mama, in China I didn't have a Mama and Baba but now I do.  I love my family so much! They keep me safe!" Talk about needing a tissue!!  
Thank you God for the blessing of this little light!!  We couldn't be more blessed!!
Now onward to another year of adventure with Little Miss Liberty!!!  Let's see what she can do this year!! :)