A sparrow when I'm broken, and eagle when I fly.....

Welcome to my world. I am an ordinary wife and mom who has been extraordinarily blessed by an amazing husband and house full of beautiful children. My prayer is that you will be somehow blessed by our family's story. It is a tale of God's grace and forgiveness...His loving kindness and patience with us His children as we strive & struggle everyday to bless His name with our lives

Wednesday, April 6, 2011

One Way Life Is Measured: Birthdays!

I LOVE having a big family. So many birthdays and so many great reasons to eat cake! Here is a monster birthday blog to get caught up with family milestones.

Yes...I am 52 wonderful years old. And proud of it. Sort of. For a vain woman there is always a bit of pain with every years worth of wrinkles and gravity induced sagging...but hey the trade off is awesome. Every year, heck every day; I am getting closer to seeing Jesus face to face. So I'll happily hang out here wrinkling up while doing whatever He puts in front of me....just waiting for Him to come get me.

Me: Julee, Wife, Mommy, סבתא Hebrew for grandma and pronounce Savta

Anna: 9th child to join our family and 1st adoption. She was 20 mos when we met her in China. Cutie pie tomboy who would rather eat dirt than wear a dress. Always looking for a spare moment to play DS or kick a soccer ball

Michael: 8th and youngest bio child, now a "man"..sniff sniff. Where did my baby boy go?! Calm and steady like his dad, communicator like his mom...much smarter more talented than either of us. God has BIG plans for you boy*

*Michael was raised till age 10 as a youngest child with six teenage siblings. His brothers called him "boy" and we parents called him "the boy". It was always done in a total loving way...he was the little prince of the family. Then..Michael went from being adored little prince of family to oldest brother of many, many younger siblings after God brought our children through adoption.

Josiah: 11th child and 2nd adoption (along with Maggie) Sweet, sweet, sweet. Adopted at age 13 mos from South Africa. A miracle. All boy. Best friend to Berhanu

Mike: A hero. Married a messed up dirt poor welfare mom with 4+ kids and saved our lives. Steady and sure. A natural born careful leader who steps out of his safety zone to do God's calling. Handsome and kind. Great daddy. Most important...follows God no matter the cost.

My guy Mike who also turned 52...but never lets me forget I did it first and am two months older than him

Mike was happier with his cake backwards showing he was 25 rather than 52. You'll always look 25 to me honey


Towabech adopted from Ethiopia age 8 in Nov 2010. Josiah and Maggie adopted from South Africa at age 11 mos and 13 mos June 2002. Tamar MyHao adopted from Vietnam at age 5 in Jan. 2007. Berhanu adopted from Ethiopia at age 3 1/2 in March 2005.

In the adoption world there is much discussion and education regarding subjects like:

~~keeping birth order: adopting child younger than other children in home

~~artificial twinning: adopting child to create siblings that are close in age usually under 9 mos difference in age of two children

It is wise to be aware of all the various issues a family may deal with in different adoption situations. There are families that would only consider "keeping birth order" in a new adoption. It certainly may be the easiest and "safest" way to go. Adopting younger than youngest at home enables children to keep their "birth order" within the family. For some families and children this would be very important. Artificial twinning also has it's drawbacks. You may adopt two at once who are close to the same age or you might adopt a new child same age as child already at home. "Like Twins" can adjust smoothly and it is even helpful for some kids to join a new family along with another child at same time...kinda like a comrade going through same thing as you. Sometimes though it is very challenging to create "twins" that wind up both feeling short changed by their parents. It is hard to meet meet the needs of multiple new children. Newly adopted children are notoriously needy. A parent can wind up feeling that they are failing their new adopted children as well as the rest of their family. When you explore the idea of adopting out of birth order or "like twinning" during your homestudy your social worker should be able to go over all the pros and cons with you. They should be the experts. I have found it very helpful when faced with an adoption situation we have not dealt with before; to seek out other adoptive families and ask about their experiences. Some adoption agencies do not allow these disrupting birth order or "like twinning". Some agencies are not supportive of adopting two unrelated children at the same time. That should be something you look into before signing with an agency.

As for our family...we never set out to create these situations where we adopted out of birth order or created siblings that were the same age or very close to the same age. It is just how it all worked out. God has in His great goodness and wisdom lead us to each and every one of our children. They have all been a perfect fit. Not always easy. Not the "safest" way to go. Not wise choices in the "world's" thinking. But perfect all the same.

Above is a picture of our "like quints". Five Feser kids that are all 9 years old. I think this picture shows them to be just as different as can be. There really is no such thing as "like twins". Real twins shared a womb. They share genetics. Our 9 year olds are at completely different levels of development. Different sizes, differ ant personalities and behavior. Our five 9 year olds are doing school work in four different grade levels. My point in all this, is that I don't think adoptive parents have to get hung up on the age of a child. It really is just so hard to even tell much about a new adopted child before they get home. You might get orphanage reports that state developmental levels etc... But really you just can not know how it will all play out within your family before that new child comes home AND has several months at home. I would have to say that it has taken at least 6 months and more often a year before new kids settle into a family and for the rest of family to adjust to new child. The exception to this is a newborn adoption...their adjustment goes much easier. With newborns though it is nice to remember that the new mommy may take a year to "adjust" (feel normal) as it might take at least a year to get a good nights sleep.

I love my 9 year olds by the way. It is such a great golden age those years when children are about age 8 to 11 or 12 (depending on when the hormone storms start) They are not little kids...but not big kids either. Mostly they are still so moldable and holdable... and they like their parents! They suck up hugs and kisses still and love nothing more than time with mommy or daddy. There is great stuff about every age of childhood. Oh Lord that I can choose to love every stage of this adventure of parenting. May I keep my eyes open to the great gifts You bring me wrapped up in the wonder of childhood. And Father keep showing me how to love my children like you love me. I am such a slow learner in the lessons of "true love". Thank you for each day's new beginnings and opportunities to try too love others Your way.