Love is

I didn't give you the gift of life, But in my heart I know. The love I feel is deep and real, As if it had been so.

For us to have each other Is like a dream come true! No, I didn't give you The gift of life, Life gave me the gift of you. --- Unknown

Friday, March 6, 2015

Elijah and Eva... and one crazy amazing year

Elijah Miles
This is a copy of my Facebook post from two days ago (March 4).

"Exactly one year ago, we waited anxiously in a room at the social welfare institute in Hangzhou China. We had seen his face and prayed countless prayers for him, but hadn't yet been blessed to touch him, or hold him in our arms. I will never forget how it felt when he walked into the room. He was scared and curious, but had no idea of how his life was about to be changed. I remember how it felt to touch his sweaty little head, and how hard it was to give him space to adjust, because I wanted to grab him up into my arms right away. Elijah Miles our family would not be complete without you, you are sweet and helpful, so kind to your siblings (most of the time lol, you are so gentle and loving with the baby, you are Ariana's best friend and your Mommas sweet boy. You are stubborn and silly and the world is amazing to you, you love to explore new things and your joy for life is contagious. I love you so baby boy. Thank you Father for allowing me to be this little mans Mother, I don't deserve the honor." 

It has been a great year,  we had to work hard to bond to a little man that from the beginning thought he was in charge :).  He bonded so quickly with his big sister and looked to her for anything.  He still tell her when he has a problem before us sometimes, but that is changing.  I love the random hugs and squishy kisses I get from him.  I love this boys heart and joy for life, it challenges me to see the beauty all around me. Elijah sees the wonder in everything and he isn't quiet about it.  He doesn't meet a stranger and we have had to work hard to teach him not to give affection to them.  We didn't know we needed another little man in our life when his face captured us, But...I cannot imagine a life that doesn't include his joyful little laugh.  He is a blessing.   

Eva Meili
I am struggling with how to capture the past year into one short post.  I could never have imagined the changes that would take place in this precious little girl.  She was a dream to us, a name without a face, the beginning of a domino effect that before the year was up would bring four more kids into our family.  Yes I said four, in a year, and no we didn't plan it that way, are you crazy? So anyway, back to Eva.  She was handed to me exactly one year ago today in Guangzhou, China. it was late morning, because she had to travel to the city from Goazhou.  Holding her as she struggled to process what was happening was like holding your tiny sweet smelling new born.  Only she smelled like the train she had come in one and nervous sweat.  She had barely spent any time outside her tiny little crib.  It was her world, her safe place, and it was gone.  Replaced by loud sounds she didn't know and too many scary strange faces. She was tiny and thin and terrified of everything.  She let me comfort her right away and latched onto my neck in her koala hold and didn't let go for weeks. Then even for months hiding on my shoulder with her face buried was her safe place. The place she would go if we went some where new, or a new person came around, where she would go when she thought mommy was leaving her.  A place she still goes even after a year if mommy goes somewhere without her. She could not walk yet,  she hadn't had any solid foods.  She was like an infant, a very fast growing infant.  She loved food and put on weight quickly and began to explore her world and building muscle and more importantly trust.  It wasn't long before she was running around the house with her siblings.  She came to us silent, except for her ear piercing cry, but she soon began to speak.  She now speaks in two and three word sentences and repeats everything we say. Eva has microtia/atresia... basically tiny misshaped ears, and no visible ear canal.  Those tiny little nubbies, where typical ears would form, are why she was given up, and I love those ears with every fiber of my being.  I love them because they rest on the sides of one of the most beautiful faces I have ever seen,  I love them because of the sweetest giggle I hear when I "chew" on them,  I love them because they are Eva's ears, and they are beautiful and perfect,  but most of all I love them because they are the reason the precious joyful little baby girl is mine.  She is getting closer to three years old but isn't quite there yet with speech and development, but she is still gaining ground quickly. It wont be long before she heads off to Kindergarden, with her sister.  Eva keeps us laughing, and discipline is so difficult with the cuteness that oozes out of her. I cannot imagine not kissing her sweet cheeks every morning, or seeing her face light up with a smile that could melt the hardest of hearts. Being her mommy is a joy.

I wish that I could talk to their China mommies,  I wish that I could tell them their babies are safe and loved beyond measure.  I wish I could say thank you for two of the greatest gifts of my life.  I cant,  but I can love the babies they gave life to fiercely and try to give them my best everyday. 

To all 7 of my babies, you all came from different places, but each of you are precious priceless gifts.  I am forever grateful that God gave each of you to us to raise.... even if we do screw it up far more than we get it right.  I love you all more than you know.


Wednesday, September 24, 2014

A beautiful gift.

So many of you know Eva has bilateral Microtia/Atresia.  We have been working with insurance to get her a hearing device from Oticon that essentially will give her normal hearing.  This device picks up sound and transfers it into vibrations while laying tight against the skull.  It is transferred through her skull and received by her inner ear. In normal hearing sound waves are captured by the outer ear and sent down the ear canal to the ear drum which in turn vibrates the small bones in the ear. Then it is sent on to be interpreted or "heard". That's the quick version :)  Insurance companies are trying to classify this bone conducting device as a hearing aide.  Hearing aides only amplify sound, they do not alter it. So basically we are trying to prove this to the insurance company and get these devices covered.  They are very expensive to buy. This honestly should not be an issue as hearing aides should be covered as well (but that is another story).Since Eva came home we have been going back and forth with insurance.  We are also without an ENT and Audiologist.  Which is also another story.  We are moving and kinda stuck in limbo until we get in with the new doctors.  So during this time we went looking and found someone who wanted to sell us a use bp100 from Cochlear.  Although this is not the device we want forever it does the same thing and would give her sound.  We had to fight to get a softband  (headband the BAHA ataches to to keep it next to her skull)for her as we cannot order direct from the company ourselves (the straw that broke the camels back with the audi), our audiologist wanted to mark the price up over three times the original cost.  We found another audiologist willing to order one, paid to has it shipped quickly and waited.  She received her baha in the mail first and it was in great condition,  we were so excite to see her face light up when we used a tester that came with it.  We waited on the band a few more days.  When we got it and she could wear it, it was amazing the change that took place.  She started to babble and talk and respond to her name right away.  She would jump at loud sounds and turn in their direction.  All amazing stuff!  We had a few precious days of sound and then her baha,  that didn't come with a tether (I didn't even know about them) disappeared. We narrowed it down to a trip to the airport to pick up our oldest daughter 2 hours away.  She had it in the airport but not when we stopped to eat after.  We started calling and calling and (praying) our niece even went to go look for it personally but it was no where to be found.  I was sick.  Not only about the several hundred dollars we had just lost, but now our precious girl had to struggle to hear again. I cannot explain the sadness you feel when something so precious is taken from you child.  You know the impact it will have on her speech and the delays it will cause. There was still no end insight to the fight with insurance.

We have since been working with her, she has been getting speech therapy and trying to talk.  She is progressing but very slowly.  She can say all our names but I am not sure an outsider would understand her.  We are not giving up, she will have her own hearing devices some how.  So yesterday a fellow adoptive momma (Jamie), with a beautiful little girl from China (Katie) who shares Eva's special need, posted about her loaned baha dying, I could relate.  She came home shortly after Eva and received her baha pretty quickly.  It was a loaner from another mother and had been used by many children to bridge the gap until they could get their own. It was worn out and now finished.  As you can imagine her mother was very upset,  I commented on her message to encourage her and let her know I understood.  We had a brief conversation and she was asked to private message someone else.  I figured this meant Katie would be getting another loaner.  I was so happy for her but so sad at the same time.  My heart ached because I wanted that for Eva,  I said a prayer to real my emotions in, chastised myself for being selfish because I knew Katie needed this as much if not more than Eva.  I locked up those emotions and was about to get off facebook when Jamie messaged me. She said she may have a device for Eva.  She said she received two offers, the first offer she refused, then the second offer came and she accepted.  She told me she asked the owner of the first device if she would send it to Eva.  I was confused, and asked her why she refused it.  What she told me ripped open the place I had just been sealing off, emotions to hard to deal with, so you push them away. Now they were overflowing into a puddle of tears.  This momma, who's baby needed this device so badly,  didn't really refuse the offer,  she asked for it to be given to Eva.  She felt Eva needed it more because Katie had been blessed with months of sound.  Let that sink in.  Can you see how beautiful that is? How loving and kind? Then add on top the kindness of two other woman willing to give up a backup to let to little girls hear again.  I can imagine as Jamie with an aching heart for her daughter, was giving away a device to mine, God was smiling.  Knowing He was providing for both of these girls.  Jamie got an email moments later offering Katie another device and she gladly accepted. 

I am in awe of God.  I know he does this stuff all the time, but when you get to be dead center, it is breathtaking.  He is so beautiful.  He loves us so much.  I lose sight of that so many times. This broken little girl inside me gets lost in the sea of lies the enemy is always whispering to me.  Telling me how God doesn't really care, that I am not worth enough to Him to have Him demonstrate His love for me.  I keep all of that hidden, tucked away inside.  Then God does something, many times
through one of His kids, that shows selflessness and kindness that could only come from Him.  I want to bottle up those moments and be able to open them when I get lost.  When the stress and shame of things I cannot fix or repay overwhelm me. When I feel like I am failing God because I cannot seem to figure out how to keep it all together. When I feel like a horrible parent because I cannot find the solutions, or provide what they need medically. When I get so frustrated and cannot understand why things seem to always be so hard.  When I am begging God for answers and He seems silent.  Those are the moments when I need the be able to open the bottle and pour our these feelings.  To let the videos capturing His beautiful love for me play before me.  Sigh.  So for today I am going to rest in His love, because today it is clear to me.

Thank you Jamie,  you gave u something more than a hearing device. I know you know how priceless that is. You also let God use you to give us light when things felt really dark.  Thank you to the ladies who so kindly gave our girls the gift of sound, you also know how precious this is. We will keep fighting our insurance to get our girls their own devices and make sure that these you have entrusted us with will be a blessing to another child who needs them. Thank you to everyone that prayed and those that helped in anyway.

Thank You Father for your love. Thank you for kindred hearts to share this journey with.  Thank you for these precious babies and the honor of watching them grow up.  Help us to live everyday in a way that honors and reflects your love to them and others.

Friday, June 6, 2014

Doodles Story

I have rolled this over in my head a million times as to how to start, how to capture this little ball of joy and energy into words.  So I will start at the beginning,  I wasn't by her side, so the details come from my distant perspective. 

This is the story of a precious baby girl hand crafted by God in her mothers womb,  a womb that didn't belong to me but there is no doubt she was shaped and designed to be a Ferguson (more on that later).   This is how her life began.  She was born way to early and her tiny body wasn't ready to survive in this world.

She was not alone,  She had family members who prayed for her and loved her and pulled her through.  The spoke to her and stood by her side and helped care for her.  Wonderful doctors and nurses fought to keep her alive. During this time through some sweet friends Lee and Kaykay (her great Uncle and Aunt) we heard about and prayed for this precious baby to survive and thrive.  She was a fighter and was (and is  still:) ) stubborn, she was going to live! We got to see glimpse of her though them.  I only saw her once briefly in person when she was around seven month old, she was tiny, closer to the size of a baby only a month old.  I had no idea that day what God knew.  Had I known can you imagine how differently that meeting may have been?  She waltz out of my life as quickly as she came in.  Months later this sweet girl had been through some rough times and her Aunt and Uncle took her in,  they knew God had a plan for her but I don't think they had any idea how it would play out.  In June of last year I got to meet her again, she was chubby and sassy and oh so adorable.  We were waiting (not so patiently) on our match with our daughter in China.  We had begun to wonder what God was doing :) When we heard this little girl needed a forever home we knew why our match hadn't come.  We felt almost immediately like she was meant to be ours but she had a family who were reeling with emotions and struggling with what would be best for her, trying to keep their own feelings at bay.  This little girl is loved beyond measure by so many.  During this time I began helping the family take care of her,  knowing that she might never be my daughter but trying to use every moment with her to pour all my love and prayer over her.  I tried not to get too attached,  I tried to love her as someone else's' child but my heart betrayed me :)) HAVE YOU SEEN THIS CHILD?  Not only is she beautiful but if that doesn't get you when she crawls up in your lap and opens her mouth you are a goner!  This is a picture of her the very first day I got to watch her.
We also during this time left the doors open with our China adoption, we had no idea if this sweetie would come to us or not, and without that assurance you don't close the doors to China :) We were also aware that there was a slim chance that we would end up with two daughters before this was over depending on how it all played out.  Now keep in mind we started our second adoption journey looking for one little girl, yet at the time we met doodle we had already opened our heart to our sweet Elijah and had changed the plan from one adoption to two.  So if the perfect storm occurred we would be adopting three children.  Yes I know you are asking your self if we are crazy right now.  The answer would be yes! Crazy blessed, and keenly aware of how many more children need homes.  Soooo (trying to keep this short) through prayer and love members of her birth family came on board.  God was weaving... so to shorten this story,  paperwork was file late last year to give temporary conservatorship to David and I and doodles great Uncle and Aunt.  We still had much work and paperwork to do.  Nothing was certain, and far from final.  As Gods crazy plan unfolded our sweet Eva (from China) was presented to us,  we had no doubt this was our daughter.  You can only imagine the roller coaster of emotion.  So we proceeded with a sure thing, praying for God to work all the details out.  It is amazing how our two adoptions in China were finalized and more permanent conservatorship (and termination of parental rights) aligned so perfectly that neither adoptions were affected.  So today... Three months after we held our sweet Eva for the first time... we walked into the courtroom and were granted final and forever adoption of this beautiful little girl, whom we have named Aubrey Kate Ferguson.  She wasn't born into the wrong family, God just expanded hers to make something beautiful.  She is silly and sassy and stubborn.  Her smile lights up her face and our hearts, and her giggle is infectious. She is so much like her cousin Alyssa its as if God modeled her after her.  She is strong willed like every one of my children.  She is creative and draws people to her just like her biggest sister. She is compassionate like her biggest brother. She can handle Ariana (lol) and is gentle enough to play by her baby sister Eva. She and Elijah will soon be teaming up to entertain us. She is God designed to fit just so into all our lives. She is her Daddies girl and her Momma's little love. She giggled her way into our hearts and we are more than blessed to call her our daughter. 
Aubrey Kate
I want to say thank you to those in her birth family that have chosen to love without condition, and to give her the gift of a family and crazy brothers and sister.  We know the grief and the pain you have walked through to come to that place.  We are grateful for your love for Aubrey and for your sacrifice.  None of us take it for granted,  we know the magnitude of the gift you gave her and the cost to you.  I am so excited to watch this little girl grow up and so happy that she has this huge family that crosses blood lines to love her. 
...And that is the best this writer could do to tell the huge story in just a few words.
Thank you God for this precious family you have woven, there is no denying your handy work... I pray I can live everyday honoring the gifts you have given us.
So moral of the story... go adopt... It is amazing! ( and yes hard too) (but mostly amazing) 

Tuesday, April 29, 2014

Finding balance

We are slowly finding a new normal, days are calmer and the kids are settling into routines.  We are still swamped with doctor visits and therapists as we figure out exact plans for the two new little ones and meld them into already existing therapy and doctors for the other two littles. Elijah and Ariana are definatly best friends.  I love watching them and I am so happy they have each other.  We are struggling with him following her lead instead of what we say, but that will come with time.  Eva is growing (developmentally) in leaps and bounds. She will be running with doodle soon enough.  They have begun to interact with each other and when they do it is always a giggle fest. So cute.

You would think in all the chaos my heart would be closed to adopting.  It isn't, and I have come to the conclusion it never will be.  I ache for each and every one of the children who have no home.  I always think, we could take in one more.  I know that is unrealistic right now so my heart is searching for other ways to help them.  I have a million ideas flowing through my head. I have to do something or my heart will burst! I cannot bear the thought that they are out there waiting and waiting as I allow life to trickle by.  So here is a little something...

If I could say anything it would be this,  if you have ever for a moment considered adoption... Do it! If you have made the list of all the reasons why you can't I beg you to look into their eyes and see if that list matters anymore. I promise it won't.  Your life will never be at the perfect place to do it.  Something will always get in the way.  Please hear me... They cannot wait for you to be ready... They are waiting now.  Every single moment of every day without a dad and mom is to many.  They need you! If you are beyond the place on life where you would consider adopting please pray about a way to help, imagine your child or grandchild all alone in this world, wouldn't you want more than anything for someone to come to their rescue? To love them and hold them and protect them?  There are families ready to go get one of these but are struggling with the financial part, maybe you could help them?  Do a fund raiser for them or stand beside them in prayer and encouragement. At the very least pray for each child to find a home.  Just do something... We are Gods hands and feet, and no God doesn't "need" is to do this, but I can promise you, you will find no greater joy and fulfillment than stepping out and letting God use your hands and feet to bless the least of these.

:) I love you all...

Wednesday, April 2, 2014

Happy Friendly Little Elijah Miles Ferguson

Elijah came to us, very unsure.  We won him over in the beginning with toys but as soon as his nanny left his world flipped upside down and he was going to fight it.  It took a couple hours but he warmed up and began to let us in.   Until we told him no the first time :) He would have major melt downs when he didn't get his way.  We stood our ground gently but firmly, letting him know that we would love him and take care of him, but that we were in charge.  Many parents of adopted kids shy away from this thinking they cant say no or discipline at all at first,  I feel just the opposite.  I feel that structure and strength help a child that has been on their own feel safe for the first time ever.  Some kids fight it, and you have to take different approaches for each child.  For Elijah he need it, he needed words and guidance for the first time ever, and it needed to makes sense.  He is very Uninterested in learning language.  Ariana came to us craving words and learned so fast.  Elijah has no time for learning he just wants to play.  When we talk to him he stares at us blankly and then nods his head like "ya.. that's great... can I go now?"  It is funny but very frustrating to not be able to communicate and to try and teach him things, we do a lot of sign mime sign to get the point across. Mostly he is confused.  he is very smart and sneaky and funny and happy and sweet and loving... He is kind to his siblings and loves his daddy very much, me he likes a lot lol.  We are working hard to bond with him, and it gets all jumbled up with teaching and correcting and day to day like. Adopting young child is amazing but it does take work to form a bond, it doesn't just happen naturally because they don't need you to do as much for them.  I love this sweet boy,  I am blessed beyond measure to be his momma.  He loves his big sister very much and they run around holding hands,  he even laughs when she dresses him up in girly clothes and high heals,  he ran around with a purple crown on his head for days.  Daddy says he needs some boy activities lol. He plays so well will each of the kids and wants to hug and kiss everyone,  which we are working on.  So when you see us please don't be offended when we stop him from running up and hugging you.  Yes it is sweet, but it is also not safe for him to give affection to total strangers. We have to teach him who it is ok to greet with a hug, and for now that must be restricted to family until he understands the difference.  Please help us by not picking him up or asking for a hug,  we are allowing him to hug people we know from church and friends but only after we do, we are teaching him to follow our lead.  So if you aren't comfortable hugging me and daddy please don't try and hug our new adopted ones :)

Here is a picture of Elijah when we met him. This is after his nanny left and he fought hard to get to here for a while, he was exhausted and clumsy ninja saved the day.

After a few days with us...

My sweet happy boy :)

Tuesday, March 25, 2014

The real Eva Meili Ferguson

On March 6, 2014 we received a tiny gorgeous baby girl.  She was handed to us crying and immediately went into what we call her koala hold.  She let me console her and even calmed down but refused to look at anyone on interact in anyway.  For the next few days she cried if we moved and wailed if we put her down.  She could only take about 3-4 ounces of formula at a time.  She clearly had never had anything in her mouth but a bottle.  She would stare ate food and watch us put it in our mouth but gagged and threw up when I put it in her mouth. Everything scared her, especially the water in the shower or bath.  She would not sit in a stroller of high chair.  Slowly over the next few days in China she let us put her down with toys (but only in the room) and she didn't know how to play with them and none of them when in or close to her mouth.  She would bang them together and rock side to side. She didn't explore toys or us or anything else. She couldn't walk and didn't really crawl, more of scooting on her tummy. She wouldn't make eye contact with us at all and would not interact.  I had prepared for this,  but even I began to wonder if she was ok, or if something else was wrong, I was afraid she couldn't interact.  This was the first (and only in China) smile we got and I had to work very hard for it.
 She has continued to slowly come out of her shell.  She is eating many different kinds of first foods (baby food).  She also eats rice cereal and bananas twice a day.  She is also taking 6-8 ounces of formula in between.  She is smiling at me all the time, and reaching for me.  She almost giggled at daddy and she is interacting with us now.  She plays with and chews on toys.  She even danced with her siblings when they played wii dance.  She comes out of her shell more and more everyday and it is amazing and beautiful to watch.  She is healthy and happy and trusting us more and more. She went from crying when put down to now grabbing toys to play with. She will now walk holding our fingers without crying, and I expect to see her crawling soon.  Her legs are cold all the time so we have been exercising them, which makes her smile like crazy.  I cannot wait to see what she does next and finally her her giggle and babble.  Oh and btw Idk if I missed posting this on the blog but Eva can definitely hear us, she responds to all kinds of sounds.  She is a silly fun amazing baby girl and I am so blessed to be her Mommy.

Eva after being home a week

Next blog to follow soon : Happy Friendly Little Elijah Miles Ferguson

Thursday, March 20, 2014


Well we have been home for 5 day and I am just coming up for air.  We had a loooong exhausting trip home.  Eva was fussy on the entire flight, never really slept long. She never screamed but she fussed and fussed and tossed around. Elijah slept a long time and then woke up grumpy.  We had toys and activities for him but we didn't get to use them like we did with Ariana.  He is a great kid, but so different from Ariana in many ways.  He is finally watching us enough to learn some signs.  However being a boy he would much rather play than learn words.  Eva is still very clingy but will play by herself some.  She hates getting strapped in the car seat, but she pretty much hates being put down for any reason :).  Our last couple days in China were good, we had a relaxed time at Shamien island,  I so miss staying there this adoption trip, but no one really stays there anymore :( it was just so nice to be on a secluded little island and be able to go out and wander around with your child.  Outside the Garden was very busy city streets with lots of traffic, and even though many adoptive families stayed there we only got to meet a few and didn't really get to know them :( I missed everyone staying close and all playing outside or in the hotel play room.  Anyway the hotel was amazingly beautiful, out room was so nice and roomy... And breakfast was yummy.  Outside was a gorgeous garden with a walking path and waterfall.  So I am not complaining, just missing what was.

So here is a brief blurb about adopting two at once.  Having done this both ways I have to say adopting one was much more relaxed, comfortable and fun.  I wouldn't have wanted to make either of my children wait another day, so I have no regrets.  However our bonding time with Ariana was much better and easier because we only had her.  She got more of us, and I guess I have some mom guilt because I couldn't give either of the newest ones my complete attention.  Elijah got is for two days alone, but they were busy days.  Eva was more needy and I felt like I didn't get to bond as fast with Elijah because I was taking care of her.  Again I am absolulty not complaining, but I have promised to be honest,  adopting two at one time is harder and more stressful.  Maybe had they both been older this would not have been the case. :)

Now back to the good stuff.  They are both gorgeous sweet kids and I love thems so.  I cried like a baby walking through the doors at the airport and seeing my other kids and all my family waiting for us. Elijah was a bit overwhelmed but it didn't take long for him to warm up. Eva let her big brother hold her first and didn't seem to mind others holding her.  I couldn't wait to hug my babies, I missed them so... I still miss my firstborn, there was a huge hole where she belonged at the airport and here at home since.  I hope to see her soon.  Elijah and Ariana are best buddies already.  I expected this, but it is so sweet too see.  She is (mostly) very kind to him.  She is showing him the ropes and they run off holding hands all the time.  We have seen a few more Eva smiles since we got home, and she is now happily taking cereal and also enjoyed some peas.  We have decided to take it slow and introduce foods carefully much like a younger baby.  We are not going to rush her out of this baby stage she is in, it is good for bonding.  It is bittersweet, sad that she is so delayed, but sweet that we will see her first steps and be a part of many other baby firsts with her.

I love having them here and the truth is this is so hard, physically and emotionally.  We are still getting use to Texas time again and so still very tired but much better than a few days ago.  I am so thankful for my family,  they took care of so much while we were gone and are willing to do whatever we need now that we are home.  I am truly blessed.  In keeping with my whole "truth on this blog thing". I have not done so well this last week,  sheer exhaustion and stress has left me with little patience and I have felt like a horrible mommy.  Please pray for me that I find my feet and get organized, and that I have the time to spend with my Daddy to keep my spirit calm so I can be a kind loving momma.

***Please keep our Children's pastor in your prayers, her mother went to heaven this week,  my heart aches for her and her family,  please pray God comfort them and give them strength and hope amidst grief.  ***

I will update more later, I know this one was long over due.

Love to all