Two China Dolls and a Prince!

This blog chronicles the story of 2 of our adoptions, both older children when they came home. It begins in 2008 and will continue in the hopes we can be of encouragement and information to anyone thinking of older child adoption.

Friday, October 19, 2012

School pics!

It's been a bit since I posted, but life has continued as usual.  NingNing is continuing to do well both at home and at school.  He is already so different from when in China.  Whereas in China, he didn't seem to be able to perceive situations where help was needed, now he willingly jumps in.  He keeps himself organized and has a good standard of personal care.  I just spoke with his math teacher yesterday and she said he is doing well in class and participates's apparent he really enjoys math and though he said he wasn't good at it, neither I nor the teacher have seen evidence of it.  The only thing he's struggled with so far is integers, positive and negative numbers.  He's a voracious reader and we've managed to find several books in Mandarin for him for Reading class at school; he's even started on the Bible a little thanks to an app I found for my Xoom that shows the verses in Chinese and English at the same time.

Jaxon (NingNing) - 8th grade

Jazmin - 4th grade


Judi - 2nd grade

James - sophormore

Seth and Jaxon taken about a month ago.....ornery, but happy, boys!
He still prefers computer time over outside time, but we're working on that. We visited his friend SongSong last weekend and our families had a great time.  We stayed outside all afternoon, playing washers and watching the "older" fellas take on James, Jaxon (NingNing), and Zane (SongSong).  Tomorrow, all 3 families are getting together at the park to play and cook's hoping for beautiful weather.

Monday, October 8, 2012

Two months ago.....

I met my new son for the first time.  I remember being so nervous walking up the stairs to the office at the orphanage.  My thoughts centered around "what if he doesn't like us?"  "What if he changes his mind about being adopted?"
As we walked in, we saw a lady first and then from behind her stepped NingNing.  My first two thoughts? handsome he was in person and how tall!

James and I smiled at him and said hello, but our guide rushed us into the paperwork, so there was no time for anything other than awkward smiles and trying not to stare at each other in fascination.  NingNing was so nervous; my heart just went out to him; what an overwhelming position for a teenager to be in and to make such a life-changing choice!  He knew he might never see China again and that life with us was a complete unknown, but he still bravely walked out the door with us.

I remember sitting crammed shoulder to shoulder in the back of the taxi on the way back to the hotel; me reveling in the nearness of him and he, I'm sure, wondering what lay before him.  What was he thinking as we drove away from all that was familiar and safe?  Was he thinking ahead to what his life would be like here or was he just taking each moment as it came?  Someday I hope to ask him these questions.......

In just two short months (has it really only been 60 days??), he has left his homecountry, traveled to places he'd never been in China, climbed the Great Wall, flown on 7 airplanes, flown across the ocean, seen a beach in HongKong, became a United States citizen, gained a family complete with one brother, 3 sisters, grandparents, cousins, and a multitude of animals; started school (4 days after arriving home); discovered he likes ice cream, chocolate cake, spaghetti, and much more; began making friends at school; wore "official" pajama pants to bed; signed up for a soccer team, learned what an "alarm clock" is, and much, much more....

Could you have made such a momentous life-altering decision at that tender age?  I'm not sure I could have...

Monday, October 1, 2012

A post from NingNing (what I imagine he might be thinking).

So.....I've been here for what seems like a long time, but really it's not even two months!  Everything is so different.  The food is ok, but kinda boring after the hot stuff I'm used to.  The lady my brothers and sisters call "Mom" tries hard to make Chinese food many times and she has a list of foods I don't like.  I'll try any food once; we had something called "Taco Bell" yesterday.  I ate everything because I was hungry but it's not my favorite.  People in America eat a lot of sweet stuff; some of it's ok, and some is just too much.  The chicken sandwich at the eating place with the big yellow "M" is good and I really like chocolate-flavored things!  "Mom" sticks these things called "chocolate chips" in something called "pancakes" and they are good.

People here change clothes every day!  No wonder they are always stuffing clothes in that big white thing that washes them!  I like my clothes from China, they make me feel more comfortable.  "Mom" and "Dad" don't make too much of a fuss about it except when "Mom" wants me to dress nicer for church or something.  A few weeks ago, we had pictures at school; talk about embarrassing! 
  The father of the family, who they call "Dad", is goofy a lot and so is my brother.  Sometimes it can get pretty crazy and loud around here, but my family laughs a lot, so that's good.  My little sisters are cute and sweet, but can be kind of annoying too.  Oh, did I mention the LOUD thing??  Those two little girls get going and even having earphones in doesn't help!

Don't know what to think about school, still working it all out.  I'm trying to learn English as fast as I can, but sometimes it feels as if my head will explode! Everyone seems very nice, and have helped me a lot.  Some days though, I just can't wait to get home and talk to my friends on QQ or watch a movie in Chinese to give my head a rest. When my parents told me there was no school today, I was soooooo happy!

On Sundays, we go to a place called "church".  It's confusing. They sing a lot and then a guy gets up and talks for awhile about someone named God and Jesus and then we sing again (I don't; NOT a good singer!).  I was pretty much lost until "Mom" (still not ready to say that out loud yet) got a function on her little internet tablet that has a Chinese//English bible; it shows both languages at once; she had it up while the guy up front was talking and it was kinda cool.  At least it kept me from falling asleep!

My family is busy; we are always driving someone somewhere it seems.  That includes me, since I'm playing soccer now.  It's ok, but I'm not used to so much running and my legs are so sore after some of the games!  Like tonight, we played against this really fast team and we just couldn't score against them.  I almost had a goal, but it went just a little wide; I hate it when I do that!

A couple weekends ago, my best friend, ZhangYun,  stayed the weekend with us; that was great!  My parents asked if I wanted to spend the night at his house in November; of course I said YES!   Then this last Saturday, SongSong and his family came to watch my soccer game and then came to our house for dinner.  We had a good time watching Chinese movies while SongSong's sisters played with my sisters on their video game system and our parents talked (probably about us!).
I thought SongSong's new family was very nice.

It is so great having my friends close to me.  They are the only people in my life who have been there for as long as I can remember.  I couldn't believe it when ZhangYun's family came to get him; it kind of scared me. I mean, yeah, we had all 3 said yes to adoption, but I guess we really didn't expect it to happen because we are older kids and people usually pick the little, cute kids.  I knew both ZhangYun and Songsong had families, but it wasn't until ZhangYun's family Skyped with him that I found out I had a family too!  I still worried that something would happen and when ZhangYun really left, I was afraid I might never see him again.  I don't usually cry but I did when he left.

By the time SongSong's family came, we knew my family was coming right after them, so I wasn't as sad knowing I'd see him soon in America, but it still seemed like forever until they came and then, there they were! 

Better go, "Mom's" telling us to go to bed because we stayed up too late last night :)!

For more older adoption stories, click on the link below....