Sunday, August 29, 2010

Hard conversations....

Elise came out of her room last night around 10pm very sad. She crawled up in my lap and said, "I miss my China mommy." We talked, she cried and my heart broke for my little girl.

I know she's always going to carry this hole in her heart and have to deal with the emotions that accompany knowing her birth parents gave her up. The fact that she knows nothing about her birth family and little about the realities of what life might have been like in China just add to the hurt.

This is not the first time we've had this conversation. She'll go in phases. But clearly this has been on her mind lately. She said she has a hard time not crying in school because she thinks about her China mommy all day.

We pray for her China mommy and I assure Elise that her China mommy did love her because she left her in a safe place (we don't even know this for sure). We talk about other friends of hers that don't live with the mommy who gave birth to them. We talk about how some mommies can't take care of their babies.

I know my joy at parenting this child comes at the expense of heartache for others. I celebrate her in my life but she grieves the loss of her first family.

So, for those of you who have walked this path, what words of wisdom do you have? What comforting words do you share with your child? How do you try to ease that heartache they carry?

Wednesday, August 4, 2010

River shots

A few more pictures from our camping trip. Just shots of the river.

Monday, August 2, 2010

Camping Recap!

I don't really fancy myself much of a camper. Perry has talked about camping for years. But, for 20 years, I've managed to dodge that camping bullet. Until now. Some friends convinced me to go camping.

Here's our home away from home. We drove to the campsite in pouring rain, had a brief window of clear skies to set up the tent, only to have it pour again. I wasn't convinced this whole camping thing was going to be much fun!

Fortunately, the rain stopped after that first night and we were able to do some really fun things! The campground was right on the Black River in Missouri. The river was very shallow, with a few deep spots with rope swings. The kids had a blast playing in the river.

We went camping with 2 other families from our neighborhood. The boys are all the same age and the girls are a year apart. It was so nice having friends along! (I did steal this picture from my friend's FB page because it turned out way better than mine - Carson looked like he was smelling his armpit in my picture.)

This beautiful spot is Elephant Rock park. HUGE boulders. Amazing to see in person and fun to climb around. (We intended to go to a swimming spot first, then change to hike in this park...but the swimming spot was full so we hiked in our swimsuits - like true rednecks!)

Elise and Carson at the top of one boulder.
Do you spot the tiny girl in the HUGE rocks?!?

The girls!

Striking a pose - 'cuz everyone should go hiking in swim gear!

Either Carson has really grown, or this is a dwarf tree.
Carson! :)
And - because I have no problem poking fun at myself - I'm including this picture (again "borrowed" from my friend's FB). Hiking off trail in your swimsuit with knee surgery scheduled for the following week and having broken an ankle within the last 6 months probably wasn't the smartest idea. Well, that and being a clumsy person with no balance leaves one a little scared of what might break or tear next. I honestly think I tore skin off my bum sliding down a few of these boulders when everyone else just jumped. Of course, shorts might have also been a good idea.

We then headed over to the swimming hole - Johnson Shut In's. Can you see Perry and the kids in there?!?

Look closely!

Our friends relaxing in a calm, less crowded spot. This was the site of a devasting dam break several years back and there were very prominent evacuation signs. That really freaked Carson out. Plus it was super crowded and slightly dangerous. So, he and I sat out and enjoyed the beautiful view.

The last day, we embarked on a 9 mile canoe ride.

Elise all ready to go.

Carson - all ready to go!

Proof that I was in a canoe!

Elise taking in the sights.

One of the other families. I laughed so hard this weekend!

Playing in the river during a break.

We found a great spot to hang out for a bit. Shallow enough to play around but with a current that the kids could ride.

What a great way to spend the day!

We kept finding fun little spots for breaks. This one involved a great rope swing.

But all good things must come to an end and off we rowed down the river. We had a GREAT weekend and I'm looking forward to trying my hand at camping again. But, I really need to work on a better list of things to pack next time so I'm more prepared!