Thursday, May 20, 2010

Ben's Day

Today, Ben turned 5! We surprised him by serving him breakfast in bed this morning.

He felt extremely special!

Now everyone wants breakfast in bed on their birthday!

We love you, Ben!

Monday, May 10, 2010

Still Adjusting

A conversation between Ben and Amanda.

“Ben, why are you using Jonathan's crutches?”
“I want to be just as cute as Tinga.”
“But Ben you are cute!”
“I am practicing because I want crutches for my birthday.”
“Ben, why do you want crutches for your birthday?”
“So that I can be cuter then Tinga!”

Yes, Jonathan is cute. We know this to be true, but apparently some of us are beginning to feel the effects of his cuteness.

We have been home for 6 months now. The last 6 months have been full of adjustments, growth, and more adjusting. In our house all the boys and Amanda are on an equal playing field. The problems arise when we go out. For example, the other day I took all the kids to BJ's. We had received in the mail a card for a free trial period. I decided to go check out their prices. Jonathan was of course exerting his need for independence and literally flying down the aisles on his crutches. People would smile at him. One employee took it a little too far (in my book). She called him over and told him how cute he was and then bent down and kissed his head. Thankfully, we were on our way out the door. I was kinda taken back didn't quite know what to say. We just kept going on our way out the door. In the past when someone has said how cute Jonathan is in front of the other boys I have responded that “yes, all my boys are cute”.

So the question arises “what makes Jonathan cute?” OK- I know he is just plain cute, BUT if he wasn't flying down the aisle with one leg using his crutches like a pro, would he even get a second glance. If he had 2 legs and was running down the aisle knocking into carts would people still think him cute? The balance for us as parents is NOT to separate him because of his disability. Yes, he has a disability that makes him unique, but all of my children are unique and special. You as an outsider may not see how special Ben is by looking at his outward appearance, but I as his mom can list a 100 reasons why he is special.

1 Samuel 16:7
But the LORD said to Samuel, "Do not consider his appearance or his height, for I have rejected him. The LORD does not look at the things man looks at. Man looks at the outward appearance, but the LORD looks at the heart."

We will always have to make adjustments in our family. We will continue to build Ben and all the children up. We will remind them daily that we love them ALL. Yet, I am reminded of what is most important: the heart. Only having one leg is NOT going to get Jonathan into heaven. Being cute is NOT going to get anyone into heaven. As parents we need to focus on the heart. We need to continually draw our children back to God and to His Word. Yes, our family may look a little different than the average American family, but in God's eyes we are no different than those around us. We are all sinners in need of a Savior. We talk with all of our children about our need for God on a daily basis.

I will close with(yes, a cute Jonathan story), but one that reminds us he has a past we were not part of.
We have used the same Baby Bible book with all of our children at bedtime as part of their story time. The other night Jonathan and I were reading the Bible Book and we came to the page where Jesus is ascending up into Heaven. I very smoothly told Jonathan that someday if he trusted Jesus as his Lord and Savior he would get to go live with Jesus in heaven. A look of pure terror came over his face. “ I NO go to Heaven. I stay here.” Realizing what I just said I quickly reassured him that YES, he was staying right here with us.

Today, Ben needs assurance that we love him 2 legs and all. The other day Jonathan needed assurance that yes he was staying with us forever. Tomorrow or maybe even in the next hour someone else will need assurance that we are there for them. It's all part of being mom and dad.

Friday, May 7, 2010

Happy Mother's Day, China Momma

#54 M. DOB 7/15/2006 (estimated) found on 10/25/2006 at 1st floor Outpatient Hall of Dalian Children's Hospital. Missing right leg. These words are taken from Jonathan's finding ad which was in the local paper in Liaoning. This ad must be run before any child can be placed for adoption.

She cared. She loved her son. We don't know why she felt like she couldn't take care of him. I can just imagine the joy at his birth. A boy. Then comes the realization that he is missing a leg. She took care of him for 3 months. We will never know what happened on October 25th that caused her to take him to a hospital and to return home with empty arms. She left him in a hospital. Knowing he would be found. Knowing he would be safe. Did she hide and wait till someone discovered him? I can only assume she is alive and living somewhere in China. A mother does not forget her son. I am sure not a day goes by where she does not wonder about her little boy. Where is he? Is he safe? Is he in China? Is he in America? I wish that I could let her know he is ok. He is better then ok, he is thriving. He is loved. He is part of a family that will love him and take care of him forever. She took care of him and loved him for 3 months. The first three months of his life.

This Mother's Day I am choosing to honor the mother of Li Futing. Wherever you are in the world, know that I love him. He is my son. You will always be his China Momma. We look at pictures of China, we talk about you. I tell him that he has a China Momma, who loved him so much, that she choose to give him life. We will probably never have the opportunity to meet but this Mother's Day it is my prayer that she will know in her heart that Jonathan is safe and most importantly he is loved. Thank you for choosing life, so that I can have the privilege of raising Jonathan Futing and calling him my son.