recent pics and update

31 Jul

I haven’t blogged for so long

My theme this summer is: 1 Peter 4:12

“Beloved, do not be surprised at the fiery trial when it comes upon you to test you, as though something strange were happening to you.  But, REJOICE.  Therefore, let those who suffer according to God’s will entrust their souls to a faithful Creator while doing good.”

zinnia! Making a scrumptious meal for mom at the beach

I don’t know where to begin!

gigi our fish, still in the water!

summer is hard.  some of the children in our family need more structure and activity then others.  summer can be really hard for some of our family members, often “down time” can lead to “trouble making”.

Noah! He’s off at Honey Rock Camp this week, a last minute email that said we were off the waiting list. It’s going to be a great time for Noah. I pray that during these middle school years he makes a deliberate decision to live a Christ-centered life and that his time at HRC plays a role in that.





I constantly need to remember that our adopted Children are NOT on the same playing field as the biological kids, and to be okay with that.

I think because our bio kids and adopted kids are so close in age it’s easy to compare what they were capable of at certain ages (emotionally) and where the adopted children appear to “fall short”.

I honestly just want to accept them where they are at, to have the “Love is all you need” attitude.  But, at times I get annoyed at where they are at, or at how far they seem to have to go.

But then I remember: we are on a whole ‘nother ball field here.

And to remember where they are from and how far they have come!!!

Lainee STILL struggles with sleep DAILY.  Daily! Night time is so rough for her (me).  When we once slept in the same room as her we noticed that she grinds her teeth LOUDLY all night, and tosses and turns.  She told us that the foster mom in China bound her legs with towels before bed and that she had to sleep with them bound together.  I couldn’t believe it!  it seemed so mean.  But, I can see now, especially if she was sleeping with other children, she would keep them up!

She’s up, walking around and waking up whoever else.  She consistently falls asleep in places other then her bed, the car mainly.  She really would do best sleeping 10-6 and napping 2-4, that would be her ideal.  She can really get cranky, and I know it’s sleep deprivation.  So, we’ve been doing naps this summer, to survive!

lainee asleep outside!It seems the Chinese sleep pattern she’s had for so many years just stuck~

Chris gets the super-dad award once again this year.  A man of perspective.  spying earlier this week, you can find these two discussing behavior like this~ just about every day.  

He has a way with one of our children that amazes me.  I’m so thankful to be on his team.

This one has a very hard time socially.  Oh no!  We have a big family!  We are struggling daily, friends.  It’s hard and I can honestly say that this “non-special need” (a healthy 8 month old adoption)child is our biggest heartache and special need compared to our special need adoptions! Catching her before the blow-up is my new idea .  She needs daily alone time!!! :”Oh wow, look at the time!  Time for books on your bed! yay!!”  

“yay!  okay mom!  thanks~”

But I could catch it a little too late and EXPLOSION

or something else isn’t quite right and…a BOMB.

My other new thing this summer has been STARS, just a hand written star.

IT’s for the 3 littlest ladies of the Jones household.  I just have a scrap piece of paper that I use as a tally.  Zinnia (naturally) hit her goal first!  Each one has little goals that are individual to them. At the end of the day, as I tuck them in we talk about if it was a star day, or not.  I think at one point in my parenting I would have considered this bribing but now I don’t, it’s just fine, and working great~

Zinnia’s star goal was celebrated last night.  she has asked for a locket for Weeks and weeks.  We decided that when she got her stars we would go by a locket.  Hello!  Lockets are hard to find!  At 6:30 at night i was still on the phone calling different shops to find a locket!

Bingo!  we found one, in a shop we love.

zinnia checks out her new locket in a mirror at the store

She thought the waffle-type cones were so big and cool. She picked out her flavor and just had to try a waffle cone! She ate all the icecream and then pitched the empty cone in the trash! I said,” did you like the cone?” and she said, “oh mommy, i love it, i love it all today!” and we laughed and laughed, it was so sweet and funny. She said over and over on the way home, “thank you mom so much!!!” I asked her what pictures she wants to put in the locket. She said, “one mommy one daddy so I always remember you….” I about cried. She’s sweet. Now, how to get a photo in the little thing will be interesting!


she picked out a locket and eyed a  pair of earrings that were little crosses.  “little cross we thinking about jesus….”  Oh!  I had to get her the little cross earrings as well.  We had FUN and she was on cloud nine.

She is a MAJOR talker.  Her grammar will make your skin prick, at least it does mine.  She works so hard to get every word out and has tons of questions about everything, needing to process, I guess.  This is completely opposite of Lainee, who came home on the same day, same age, a little younger actually.

Example:  “Zinnie, we are heading to get icecream after we pick up the boys!  Fun!!”

Zinnia: “Wha?  who?  we, we we we we go, mom, we  we we we go get boy, mom? we go get boy get icecream?  mom? we go we go we going get boy get icecream or no? yes mom? or no mom? ”

At this point if I’m being a godly mom I smile and say, again, “yes, zinnia, we will get the boys and go get icecream!  yay!”

and she’ll respond, “who??what??we going icecream boys????yay!  i very very like!!”

And if I’m at Whit’s End because I’ve taken a beating  another happy jones camper I’ll smile my big smile but say, “we going icecreamboys???? can you say, are we getting icecream after we get the boys???”  or something like that, to correct her.

did I loose you?

So in the evenings Zinnia and I have taken a 30 minute walk alone the last week or so.  She talks and talks and asks and stuggles her way through the english language, yet forgetting all chinese, it must be a very strange place to be.  If we did not have Lainee I would not having anything to compare it too.

As we walked this week I had the thought that maybe she’s just yearning to connect verbally, to be heard, part of it and understood, to understand.

I’ve gently been saying to her as she struggles along repeating what I just said, or she also repeats everything that’s been done…”it’s okay, zinnia, just ENJOY!! ;)”  And after explaining it she understands that i mean, just BE ~

Zinnia has been home for 15 months now, she can read, she can do math at grade level, but HOKEY PETES, the girl cannot talk and wow, it’s getting up under my skin ( a little bit~)

The stars are working great~ most of the time :)

So, I’ve wanted to date all the children before school kicks in, Jonah, Mimi and Lainee are left.  Christopher and I ran to the grocery store one night together and then to MacDs, I’m counting that a date!

jonah has really bloomed this summer. The nights that Chris is gone he is so helpful around the house, he’s cleaned up after dinner several nights in a row, often on him own. I’m thankful.

Adoption seems hard and hectic and senseless at times, to be honest.  At times.

But most times I am amazed and blessed and thankful.

When I think of being in Ethiopia a few weeks ago and I think about how it all made sense.

It seemed so logical.  I remember playing with Adhanom (our luke) and looking up at Chris and saying, “I am so glad we did this!  I am so glad we pressed forward and took that step!”

You see, in Ethiopia it made sense!

-Precious 9-10 year old boy, needing family!  needing food and clothing and love and direction, guidance for life and our love and support.

-Loving family, with a bed, and a seat in the van, and lots of children to give him love and attention!

A perfect logical fit, so beautiful, so centered on ETERNITY and what matters most in life.

I need to go there in my mind.  I need to go to China in my mind.  The farther I’m away, the more I forget and loose focus and want to just do life a little easier, definitely not ADD anything else that would involve chaos or talking with an accent or clothes that need to be washed, or annoying habits etc.~

I need to remember Jesus and His call and His kingdom in heaven, that he asks us to die to self and live for him!

then I remember….

Why we’re doin what we’re doin


9 Responses to “recent pics and update”

  1. Wendy Hoff July 31, 2012 at 10:01 pm #

    I love your comments and really appreciate what you are saying about adoption and the fact that the kids are really not at the same emotionally as biological children at the same age. We have three biological sons and adopted our daughter when she was 5. She is now 10 and still remains farther behind emotionally. I know that I need to just embrace this and love her where she is at and I do…she does drive me crazy with her tactics and behaviors at times….they are so different from where my children were at. It is heartwarming to know she is not the only one with these issues and to be able to use ideas others have tried with success. Thank you!!!!

  2. smurf1154 July 31, 2012 at 11:09 pm #

    i totally and completely needed this….thank you :)

  3. Gina August 1, 2012 at 1:09 am #

    I just recently followed a link to your blog and just have to say thanks for writing this. It gave me a bit of a knowing giggle reading it. Made my evening. Blessings!

  4. risleyfamily August 1, 2012 at 10:16 am #

    Thank you for sharing so openly about the struggles you face every day with your kiddos.
    Our daughter whom we adopted 4 years ago still rubs me the wrong way with her speech and even the sound of her voice. How’s that for awful? I have a sweet friend who prayed very specifically for me to learn to not get so irritated with it. I am a very auditory person and it helped to understand that about myself so I wouldn’t continue to beat myself up over it. Extend grace to yourself and lots of time. Pursue a speech evaluation if necessary. It’s okay. Four years into my girls are still years behind socially and emotionally. I am far too impatient; I am still learning how to pace myself on this adoption/redemption road.
    He is able.
    He is faithful.
    Sarah Risley

  5. Laurie August 1, 2012 at 3:59 pm #

    If you need to make some photos tiny for the locket, I might be able to help you with my computer and printer. :):):)

    • August 1, 2012 at 6:56 pm #

      I would love that, Laurie. We’ll stop by when I’m back in town after summer, our printer is not up and running anymore

  6. k August 1, 2012 at 6:10 pm #

    LOL! We HAVE to meet and get our kids together!!! My first daughter can do everything very well, except talk and sing. I do notice her repeating herself and struggling more just before reaching a new level, but I’d really just love to hear her sing a real song, all the way through (my own selfish wishes because she loves to sing, but makes up her own songs)! Then again, 15 months ago, she could only speak baby-talk Mandarin, so yes, she’s come very far. She is a visual learner. I know your kids are in public school, so reading this actually reassures me that it’s not education, but something else that makes our kids this way.

    Now, the sleep issues you are having must be hard. I am so spoiled. I get 12 solid hours, at least, out of mine, and have from day 1. The only thing I can think of for your little one that might help, is to put her to bed way earlier. This way, hopefully, she won’t release any adrenaline that might be keeping her awake or thrashing in her sleep. If that doesn’t help, perhaps a sleep study could unveil something. She will need something to protect her teeth.

    It can be very hard not to compare. My weakness is that I’m always correcting and I need to stop, back off, and give my daughter time to learn without nagging at her. I need to remember that it takes time to learn, it can’t happen immediately.

    Now, I’m starting over with dd#2. I’m stumped in just two days. How can the kid multiply, but not understand division? Easy division?

    • August 1, 2012 at 6:55 pm #

      kimi, i have loved your blog and am so thankful for your honest posts. you are in my prayers and wouldn’t it be wonderful to get the girls together someday. Lainee and Zinnia are not in the public school, but a Christian school in our area and each of them gets one on one tutoring for 30-45 mins a day. The language is a mystery to me still…amazing minds!

  7. Sherri August 9, 2012 at 10:31 am #

    Back to China in my mind! I love, love, love that thought! It’s so true. So very easy to FORGET and just want them to “fit” into our life. The repeating…I don’t know much about it but Z copies us a LOT and he told us that it helps him learn English to repeat what we have said. So….maybe it’s a learning method, altho it can drive one nuts :) “Very, very like” …that is SO cute and just what we’ve been hearing lately.

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