Sunday, March 29, 2015

It’s Their Father’s Fault, I Blame Eric

Eric has been reading the Lord of the Rings series to Noah recently in the evenings. This came about due to Noah asking to watch the movies. Until he has read the books, he is not allowed to watch the movies, so says his father. Currently they are reading The Two Towers. Noah enjoyed the Hobbit and Fellowship of the Ring. We are NOT however, letting him watch the Hobbit movie as it is overkill on gore and violence. So this evening at the time the guys usually go read Eric says to Noah,

“Boy, go get in bed.”

To which Noah responds, “You have to read me a book.”

“No I don’t.”

“Yes you do.”

“No. I don’t.”

“Yes! You do.”

“No. I. Don’t.”

“Fine. You’ll ruin my childhood.”

Bwah ha ha ha ha! I love that Noah has such a quick wit and humor. They are reading together as I write this blog.

Hope apparently has also gotten in on the quips today. Hope is not a big fluid drinker. She is probably close to dehydration all the time. I have to stay on this child 24/7 to drink water…or anything really. But currently my push is water. When children (or anyone) are properly hydrated their attitudes are better, they feel better, and behave better. Okay, enough backstory. So today, while Eric was on the computer, he reached over to a side table to grab his water bottle, only to find it missing. He peered around the side of the table and found Hope sitting against the wall sipping on his water. Laughing, he said, “Hope what are you doing?”

In a sing-song fashion she replied, “I’m drink-in’ your wa-ter.”

“What?! Give me back my water!” Eric stammered.

She cut her eyes and quipped, “Mama said I have to drink water.”

Somewhat stunned and very amused Eric simply replied, “Well alright then, you go ahead and drink my water.” Which she did.

Last, but not least, sweet Eden. I probably should not write this until I get further clarification on what actually transpired, but I feel it may actually have more comedic value without any explanation. Running the bath water, Eric and Eden were cutting up in the bathroom together. I could hear them laughing and screaming at each other. As I walked by the bathroom door, I hear Eden bellow out, “Back ninja bastard! Back Ninja Bastard!” Pausing, I turn around and walk back to the bathroom and stick my head in to see Eden jump into the bath screaming once again, “Ninja bastard!” I catch Eric’s eye. You know how you can have an entire conversation with someone through just one glance? This is what I picked up: “Make no comments or sudden movements! Move along! If we say nothing, she will forget she even said it! She thinks she made up the word and she hardly ever remembers her made up words. For the love of all things holy, just close the door quietly and move on!”

Yep, that’s my girl.

It occurs to me that all these interactions were ones between the children and their father, I’m sure that means something important, however, I am too tired to pontificate on it now. So I will simply leave you with a picture of my little cherubs…

P.S. Happy Palm Sunday


Sunday, March 15, 2015

Love Manor Staff Visit

On March 12, 2015, the Director of Love Manor orphanage in Chongqing, China was in Birmingham. This of course was Hope’s last orphanage. Our guide while we were in the last leg of our trip, Rebecca, was in town as well.  Knowing this would be a hard visit, we still decided to take the whole family to the meet and greet at Lifeline. We got some good pictures with the Director of Love Manor but I don’t think we ever saw her during our process in China. My goal is to have as many touch points with China as we can. Developing a relationship with this woman is important. As the relationships between Lifeline and the partner orphanages grow, we will continue to see visitors from these partnerships. It is my hope that this director takes Hope’s pictures back to people that may recognize her and that she does this year after year. I want to grow a relationship such that should we ever visit China, we would be welcome at Love Manor. While we were at Lifeline the director qq’d one of the “teachers” at the Love Manor and when Hope saw the phone she turned away and buried her head in my shoulder. The teacher shook her head “no” like she didn’t recognize Hope. Quickly I pulled up a picture of Hope on my phone from when she was at Love Manor.When she saw the picture she said, “OOOOHH!” Then the director turned the camera to Hope once again. Had I not been so distracted  I would have asked some important questions, “Did the teacher recognizer her? If so, what was her role ?  Can I have a picture of her?” So I emailed Lifeline  to see if they can get those answers for me.  Any piece of Hope’s past I can acquire are like precious gems to me and hopefully will be to her one day as well.

Chongqing Lifeline visit 1Chongqing Lifeline visit 2

Thursday, March 12, 2015

C.C. Crazy Hair Day

Another exhilarating day at C.C. South Shades Crest-Hoover! Stylin’ and Profilin,” the students (and Mama’s) totally embraced, “Crazy Hair Day.” I had hopes of capturing each incredible hair style. Sadly, I only was able to snag a few  hair style shots before duty called and I had to officially start the day. But I’m sure the other Mama’s got some great shots and will be posting them on FB soon! Love this C.C. Family!

CC Crazy Hair 1CC Crazy Hair 2

Monday, March 9, 2015

What’s in a name? A lot.

On February 10, 2015, our sweet Yaya made a huge change. As  her teacher was putting her in the car after preschool, she nervously relayed to me that Yaya had asked the entire class to start calling her Hope. She also wrote Hope on all her papers that day. This sweet teacher had a panicked look on her face as she anxiously asked me, “Is that okay?” To which I responded, “Well yeah, it is her name, but I doubt this will last long.” Then as I strapped Yaya in to her carseat she asked me to start calling her Hope. Sure hon, no problem Yaya, I mean Hope. Struggling and fumbling along, I was doing my best to call her Hope when Friday of the same week rolled around. Hope and I showed up in class after speech and the room mother was there. She looked at us and said, “Hi Yaya, I haven’t seen you in awhile, how are you?” When I say the class turned on her like a pack of wolves, I am not joking. All the children left their toys to form a circle around this poor mama and inform her in no uncertain terms that Yaya’s name was Hope. Yaya was but a nickname she was leaving behind. As this was happening I saw her teacher putting a new name placard on the table where Yaya sat. It read: Hope Williamson. And it hit me… she is serious about this.

With this new name change an increase of anxiety has appeared for her. Our attachment therapist explained that Hope deciding to change to her new name is a huge step for her. What it means is that she is letting go of China and trying to embrace her new life and reality here. It is terrifying for her, hence the unexplained anxiety rearing up everywhere. Prayers would be greatly appreciated as she is processing through this season. Also, her “Gotcha Day” anniversary is coming up quickly. May 14th will mark our 3 year anniversary of welcoming Hope into our family. Because this is always a hard anniversary for Hope we have started seeing a new “friend,” Ms. Michelle. She has a unique form of therapy that we pray will move Hope along faster in her processing and thus alleviate some of her suffering. What kind of therapy are we doing, you ask? It is called EMDR, but that is a separate post, feel free to Google it. This therapy has already been a huge benefit to our family, so we are excited about the possibilities for Hope.

Now back to ME! Can I just tell you how hard it is to call Yaya, Hope? Not only is it hard, it is sorta heartbreaking for me. Because, do you know her?! She is such a Yaya! But Hope is starting to gel with all of us. Eden and Noah seem to have it the hardest but they too are making a huge effort. And don’t you worry, she will indeed correct you if you call her Yaya. She is insisting that all things labeled, “Yaya,” must be changed to Hope; including her life story book (which I just edited and ordered today, thank you). Changing everything to now say “Hope” is also a huge undertaking. Even my sweet friend Julie is gonna help us out with a new shirt that will say “Hope”. Julie is my official birthday shirt maker if you recall. 

It’s hard to imagine our girl leaving, Yaya, behind but God gave us the name Hope for a reason. Clearly she is supposed to live into that name. I just thought, or wished, it would be later. But I suppose later would be even harder to make the change. Whether it is Yaya or Hope, it doesn’t really matter, as long as she is comfortable with her name. And she is still stinkin’ cute as Hope, am I right?



Friday, March 6, 2015

Oobleck Day at C.C.

Oobleck Day at C.C. of Hoover was fantabulous! So. Much. Fun. Nikki, Eric, my parents, and myself put in a lot of hard work to make this our most spectacular science experiment ever. It took 150 pounds of cornstarch and over 15 gallons of water to make our non-Newtonian play day a huge success! Everyone seemed to have a super time and it will be a day we will never forget.

All fluids have a property known as viscosity that describes how the fluid flows – commonly thought of as how thick or thin a fluid is.  When a fluid’s viscosity is constant it is referred to as a Newtonian fluid. Oobleck is an example of a non-Newtonian fluid whose viscosity is not constant, it changes depending on the stress or forces applied to it. If you poke it with your finger and apply a large force, it becomes very viscous and stays in place. If you gently pour it, applying little force, it will flow like water.

CC Oobleck Day 2 copyCC Oobleck Day 1 copy