Thursday, January 3, 2013


It may not seem like it but I have been in somewhat of a blogging funk.  Over the years I have learned to never blog in the heat of the moment or even the same few days that something is going on.   Nothing is ever as bad as it seems then right when I am in the midst of a trial and so I like  to wait until the storm has blown over before I blog about it.  By then, I can't remember all the details which is probably a good thing.  However, I still try to blog about it to a certain extent and yet I hold back deciding it probably shouldn't be shared.  Why?  My kids are getting older.  More people read our blog.  The trials we experience are not really adoption related as much as they are kid related and I don't want to confuse people by painting a negative picture about adoption by sharing our parenting trials.

Over the years I think the purpose of this blog has changed.  It started out twofold.  One being a place for me to journal about our family's journey through life with words and pictures-- the second being a place to offer adoption support through sharing our ups and downs.   I wanted to provide encouragement to other adoptive families by sharing our life in hopes that they would feel some shred of support.

Now I think I blog to entertain my kids and keep in touch with all of you.  Sure I try to keep it real, but how real-- you will never know.

Seriously.  If I was keeping it really real my blog posts would read like this.

Today came way too soon.  I was way too comfortable in my bed even with Oliver standing in his crib in the corner of the room cooing and flirting with me across the way.  As much as I adore my little Olliepop, for the moment I adored sleep more.  Until, I heard the all to familiar sound of Alex making his way to the toilet.  Sleep time was over as he loudly called out to Nolan, Dennis, and whoever else popped into his mind. 

Morning was here whether I liked it or not.

We were out of milk again.  I made Jonny and I some cinnamon toast.  As I ate mine, I whipped up some instant oatmeal for the little boys.  Yes I was eating before them.  As I sat down I realized that I had a gazillion tings to do today and no one had made coffee. 

Thankfully I have amazing daughters who love to get Oliver changed and dressed in the morning.  I asked the girls to help get Nolan dressed too.  I nearly forgot to give Alex his medicine as I rushed out the door to take Jonny to an appointment.

Back home for only a few minutes, I received a call with some of the kids' lab results.  One with elevated cholesterol levels, and two needing additional testing-- it was not the news I was hoping to hear.  Neither was the second opinion the ophthalmologist was requesting we get for Jonny before deciding on a course of action for his exotropia.

Home school went fairly smooth today unlike most other days these past  two months.  Sveta and Anastasia blew me away with their 3 digit multiplication skills.  As usual, a few of the kids didn't seem real interested in school today.  Oddly, my boys who go to public school and are still on vacation had more excitement as they asked for me to give them stuff to do alongside their siblings.

A few times throughout the day, Dennis would break out in this exaggerated "I'm hurt" cry just to get one of his siblings in trouble.  Sadly, he has been doing this more and more over the last few weeks and I didn't catch on to him until today.  I hope the kids could forgive me for sending them to their room so often.

This afternoon the middle boys came running into the house from playing on the trampoline-- screaming and acting frantic.  I of course thought one of the younger boys were badly hurt outside and nearly go berserk because of their rambunctious  behavior.  Quickly the middle boys see that I am not a happy camper and tell me that they are sorry for scaring me.  Nolan, Alex, and Dennis are okay-- the middle boys just thought it would be funny to run away from them instead of helping them out of the trampoline.

Nice.  That's my boys.

Since we ate breakfast so late, and the kids had a later than usual snack, I only fed lunch to Oliver and those who asked for something to eat.  I then made Nolan actually finish his food before giving him a piece of candy.  Bad mommy, I know.

I did get around to changing Oliver's bedding this afternoon and was thankful to see that Julia had put the clean sheets back on his crib mattress when I was giving the little boys a bath.

Speaking of bath time. 

Oliver pooped in the bathtub while taking a bath with Dennis.   And Alex gave me quite a scare.  800 CCs  of water went in and only 50 CCs came out.  I spent nearly 40 minutes massaging and pushing on his poor tummy.   Alex was so thankful for my help that there was no screaming in my face whatsoever.  What a trade off I suppose.

If I went back through the whole month of December you would have heard about the story of finding a bag of dirty underwear with a water bottle filled with pee.  And the catcher-- I didn't believe it was pee.  Enough said.

And you would have heard all about our drama with one daughter.  Hateful words even if they aren't meant when said still have consequences.

Or the fact that $3 is still missing from the container where money is kept for the kids to practice counting coins for home school.

Or the day one of my sons fingerpainted with poo.

Oh yes-- if I shared like this, I would be keeping it really real.


At this point in our lives, I do wonder if being this candid is still helpful to those who find encouragement from this blog or if it is merely just fodder for strangers to poke fun at the expense of my family.

In a perfect world, I like to believe that someone finds comfort in knowing that one of my children did the same thing that theirs did.  In my heart, I choose to believe that our story shares Christ's love and example of adoption regardless of the hardships one might endure.   It is my hope that seeing Dennis or Alex or Annalyn or Oliver blossom by reading about even the little things in their life brings a smile to someone's life.

Your thoughts?

It is so much easier to just be a little bit real.


  1. Life isn't always easy, pretty, or full of smiles, and we as Christians shouldn't pretend that it is. When we do, we discourage people who are hurting and need help. We make them feel inadequate and not as good as we are. That's either just flat our lying about our own abilities, or it's boasting. I have long admired you for your honesty on this blog. I agree, you don't always have to name names of which kid did x, y, or z, but it is encouraging to hear that other families struggle and that you find a way to work through it. I am so sorry some people are jerks and criticize or are rude. I don't know what to say about them, other than the joke's on them in the end, and they are the ones who deserve the pity. God bless you and yours, Christine.

  2. All what you said is understandable, Christine. It is normal that your kids may not want that you tells some things they do sometimes, it is normal not to want to share everything that happened during your day. But when you do, I want to say that it has ab impact on at less one person's life. Sometimes reading your thoughts help to feel less alone in some way, or to see that we aren't the only ones to go through some trials.
    It is sure that there will always be people who'll read your blog "just for having fun", but I personnaly think these people aren't the ones who read your blog the most. Maybe you should do a "private blog" (I don't know the right translation, sorry) so these kinds of people won't be able to access it ? Or maybe take a break from it ? These are just suggestions of course but sometimes when you don't know what to do with something it is better to leave it for a moment.
    I do hope you'll continue blogging because your smiles make me smile and your trials make me reflective or feeling less alone sometimes or... You're an inspiration to me, even if I know that everything is not always perfect and that sometimes we just wish to skip some events.
    I sebd you a bunch of hugs !
    - Elizabeth

  3. Dear Christine,

    I'm not one of your regular commenters (although I did leave one once, anonymously), but I really wanted to respond to this post.

    I've been reading your blog for a while now and I can't stop coming back because through your example (not just your posts, but also the way your respond to comments) I learn grace and how to live in God. I have very little in common with you, except for a shared desire to live in God. And it is through your blog, and another one I read (which is on your blogroll as well)that the desire to adopt has slowly grown in me, and adoption has begun to look and feel natural and real. I'm twenty five and single and I don't know where this is going to go for me, but if God wills for me to be an adoptive parent some day, I'm going to be very greatful and thankful that you shared your journey. And that you kept it as real as you wanted to (I, for one, don't need to know everything. God finds a way of letting me know what I need to know: it's my job and responsibility to be receptive).

    So I just wanted to say thanks for blogging! And thanks for sharing your love for the Lord through your words and your precious family. I keep you all in my prayers every night.

    Best regards,

  4. Christine, I have to say personally: I enjoy your REAL posts much more...or the usual blog posts spiked with real stuff....because they make me feel more connected to you....cuz sometimes when it seems you have this house with 15 kids and no big issues, it seems so pèrfect that one asks, Why can´t I get it together with 2 or 3 or 4 kids??? KWIM?What am I doing wrong?

    Although I admit I sometimes have assumed some of the issues you may go thru and not mention...But just your confession that sometdays you don´t want to get out of bed...just like ALL of just is...nice...

    You are a amazing Mom and no matter what you write, I love hearing about your family...I hope no one keeps you from keeping it real....ever.

    P.S. I fingerpainted with poop when I was baby...only once....but I did it...

    Hugs, Gina

  5. I love real. It makes me feel not so alone in this battle to raise post institutional kids. I sometimes think though when you are not real that I must be the only one who gets upset or raises my voice now and again. Maybe im a bad parent if all the other "big fams" can handle it and I can't. Maybe my bio kids are the only ones who feel slighted by the attention demanding behavior of their adopted siblings. Maybe my adopted kids are the only ones who do x y or z. When you are real I see that happens in other families, sometimes gaining ideas what to do about it. In short, I need you. You could always say girl or boy instead of names if you worry that it will bring fallout. Ps I always think of your beautiful daughter from pryluky when I think of my daughters growing up. So you must be doing something right

  6. Hello, I have been following your blog for over two years now and - frankly - lately I have been getting disinterested. I have four daughters myself - daughters I have accepted when they where 5, 11, 18 and 11. I love them dearly and I have been experiencing my own smiles and trials. Your blog is amazing and well written. First I wondered how you do it that you have so little problems. Then I realized that you keep some things for yourself on purpose - and trust me, I understand the reasons behind that very well. Still for me, your last post was a great relief :-). It read so well - and finally - I could really imagine the life in your family - before that it was nice but unballanced fiction. Hope it does not offend you - it is just my opinion - opinion of an interested reader. I can understand you don´t want to share certain things for the children´s sake. Still for me the last post was very helpful - and proved you were a human being :-)). Love, Hana

  7. Christine, I absolutely adore your family and love reading your blog. I want to encourage you to keep it only as real as you feel comfortable doing. I have four children and find inspiration and encouragement in reading about your family. You seem to be an amazing mother, even on those very rough days that challenge us to our limits. Thank you for sharing your life and the way God works through your family! May God continue to bless your family and those whose lives you touch. Much love to you and every member of your family!
    Tracey (in WA state)

  8. Guess we all have those days. But you're right. If we shared the truth all the time, people would wonder. The good thing is that you have enough kids to say, "One of the girls" or "One of the boys" whereas if I talk about one of the girls or one of the boys, people immediately know who it is due to age gaps and such. Plus I pretty much have two who make poor choices 50% of the time and one who is trying to turn things around but occasionally makes a really poor choice. Like coming home from work 2 hours later than he said without calling and then smarting off instead of apologizing. Hope you have a good day today!

  9. I think your blog is completely worthwhile!! The good parts and the bad! Because of your blog I decided that I want to adopt and it really helps me to know that it won't always be great but look at how wonderful your children are overall. It gives me hope that my children will grow up to know god and want to help each other.

  10. I really have to thank you for being so honest and open. With all my kids being home for the last 2 weeks (normally 2 are in public school and 2 are home schooled) there have been too many frustrating moments to count. Sometimes I feel like I am the only parent going through this and the only parent who gets angry and yells at the kids too much. Often I think that my kids are the only ones making such silly mistakes or doing such unimaginable things. It is good to know that other moms go through the same frustrations that I do, make some of the same mistakes that I do, have kids who aren't always perfect and most importantly that there is nothing wrong with that. When you share your struggles and the ways that you have dealt with certain issues it really helps me as a parent. Thank you for being willing to take a chance and put yourself out there. There are more similarities in our families than you will ever know! You help me to find the humor in my life...thank you!

  11. I appreciate your blog- and completely understand when you hold back... not because you want to paint a picture of perfection- but to protect your children and to avoid feeding the trolls that have nothing better to do than to judge and leave ugly comments on blogs.

    My blog is private with only family, real life friends, and a few "adoption" (internet) friends allowed to read it- but I hold back too... because even my extended family can't be in my home all of the time and experience all of the emotions that we have- if I write about a tough time- they miss out on the really sweet time that happened later in the day, and may just think an irritated thought about a child..... If I write the good stuff- family thinks life is all peachy at my house, and they don't understand why there would be nights I would cry myself to sleep....

    It's a hard thing to balance- even for me when the people who read my blog are mostly people who know the inside goods- I still feel weird putting the bad stuff on the internet, because my parents didn't announce every time we made bad choices when I was little (thank goodness) and I fear that one day my kids will be quite irritated that I shared what I did... and at whose expense?

    That being said, it is nice having a journal of our life over the last six years... in pictures and words.

    All that to say- I appreciate you and what you do share- but completely understand the importance of holding back to protect your kids. That truly is what is most important.

  12. My thoughts.....I enjoyed this post, very much. It is real, it is raw and it is honest (not that you are not honest in your posts). I'm a mom of 6, 3 born in the heart and 3 born under the heart. I don't regret our adoptions, but adopting the older child comes with GIANT challenges. I sometimes feel like I am doing something wrong because I am, daily, dealing with issues....from the mundane to serious. I feel like I want to know your secret to your faith, to your sweet family, to wondering how your children have overcome RAD and if it is my faith that is lacking. I love reading about your smiles but I also find comfort in reading the trials and how RAD doesn't go away and how you might deal with it.

    For those who are tacky.....monitor and delete....let the dust be shaken off your feet because they have nothing better to do than to hurt others.

    For those that deal with what you deal real, not at the expense of hurting your children, of course, but enough to make people realize that although adoption is beautiful, it is also challenging and not for the faint of heart.


  13. Thank you for a keeping it real post. I worry about you when you are silent because I know you are enduring a trial in silence because of the criticism you face when you share. I wonder if you might consider an open blog for ministry and a logged in blog for friends. You need the same encouragement as everyone else through the ups and downs of raising kids.
    Much love,

  14. My husband and I have looked into adoption numerous times. That is how I found your blog. It is a source of inspiration to me to see how you parent with struggling to keep Christ first. Although we don't have our own children, we are in situations where we teach many others and reading how you have handled certain situations has greatly helped me a few times. Please keep keeping it real.

  15. Just want to say how much I love your family and your blog. Only you (and your husband) can know how much to share and how much to hold back. Thank you for sharing you family with us.

  16. I'm a bit of a lurker, but I really love your posts and am quite endeared to your family. I'm in my late twenties and newly married with no kids (yet), but have a passion for older-kid adoption and disruption stories just break my heart. I can see myself headed there once I get a more stable family foundation and I like that you give a fairly full picture! Your approach to your kids' issues is refreshing and level-headed -- on the blogosphere, it's rare to find a person who talks about it without that tinge of self-service. (You know, the sarcastic "I don't know why so-and-so would be so rude and ungrateful!" You really recognize where your kids have been hurt!)

    I think of your family often, and am happy to read blog entries whether they're every day or once a month. :)

  17. I'm sorry that you hear negative comments from some. I appreciate how honest you are in your blogs. Life - parenting - is not perfect. We do the best we can. We make mistakes. We learn from them and try harder. Our kids - ourselves - do well some days, not so well other days. The title of your blog says it all - there are trials and there are smiles. Thank you for sharing both with us. I still think you are a
    wonderful example of what a Mom - what a family - tries to be! Ann

  18. When I think of you, I think of the word "grace". You are a constant source of encouragement to me in the way that you show grace to your children on a daily basis despite the reasons you might have not to. I am not very good at it, but I am trying. I know it takes effort for you too, and seeing you do it, knowing it's not always very easy, helps me to do that work too. Of course in order to give examples of showing grace, it usually has to follow the trial that got your there. This is a way you sharing your trials really helps me. I think showing grace vs being lenient can be a fine line to walk, but it's important.

  19. Christine - I don't comment much, but i do enjoy your blog, how you keep it real. I know adopting and parenting adopted kids is tough, but i like hearing how different parents parent adopted kids.

  20. Oh Christine! I love you, your family and your blog! I am blessed to read here and every word you type whether it's really real or just a little bit real it's all still parts of your very blessed life that we get to be a part of cyberally. :)
    Thanks for sharing your life with us!

  21. I have been reading your blog for a year or two now, always with admiration but sometimes, I have to admit, with feelings of complete inadequacy because in your house there seem to be so many smiles compared to trials, and with my own teenagers that is not the case. And I love to read about your little ones, and remember how it used to be here, when cardboard boxes were toys, and the park a treat. It makes me happy and less lonely on many levels, but your last post was the best, thank you. Hilary from rainy England.

  22. I have to say, I like both ways equally as well. Let me explain. There are some women who have adopted children from the hard places and they blog as a form of venting or therapy, etc... and they only focus on the trauma. I parented one child from a hard place, which nearly was my undoing, but I am still pretty private with his story and when I do share, I do it as I'm doing today, anonymously.

    So, I wildly approve and applaud your desire to keep things private and not tell the nitty gritty about specific children, but I like the real posts as well. I like that you shared about your daughter that said hateful things without sharing which daughter it was. First, it honors and protects her, even when she might not act like she deserves it. Second, it doesn't allow us, as readers, to have a slanted view of her. Even hateful and horrible things are only a snapshot of her, not the totality of who she is. Also, we are all in the process of working out our salvation with the Lord. He moves us at a pace that is right for us and others might not see it as such, but even those hard moments of yelling are not wasted. Your response to her will show her that you are faithful even when she isn't and you are giving her a glimpse of the Father.

    I have a biological child that is now an adult, who has chosen to take the difficult route to work on his testimony. He has said some of the worst things to me and even still, when I dwell on them, the hurt will flare and take my breath a bit. I want to encourage you with this: It's when I dwell there. The majority of the time, it's not even on my radar and I love him and I want him to be healed and whole through Jesus, and I have learned to take ownership of what is mine and leave the rest behind. Praying for you!

  23. I like it when it is real and raw just like life with kids...adopted or not. The more real, the more I can relate....and whether you know it or not, you help me on the harder days. I have kids from 15 to 9 months and I "get" it. I hope you will continue to keep it real and I look forward to knowing I'm not along out here.
    Hugs to you...

  24. I love your blog. You do keep things real, yet are respectful of your kids. I can relate to much of what you write as we have bio and adopted kids. And although I really enjoy the Duggers, I can not relate to them at all. I find things a little to easy for having 19 children. So thank you for your honesty and your respectful distance in telling it all. :)


  25. Everyone has made such nice comments, and there is really nothing for me to add. But, of course, I will! It sounds as though you have a family of perfectly normal children. And, I will tell you that both of my boys fingerpainted with poo. Both instances, while serious at the time for the poo cleaner, have been turned from trials to smiles! And blackmail fodder!!! Love you and your family, Christine!

  26. Yes, I also loved this blog post! Obviously many of us like your blog alot, because we keep coming back to see what's new! I think I also understand why you blog like you do - protecting your children, and protecting yourself and your family from those who are ready to throw stones. I admire you very much!! I'm very used to large families, and recognize the reality of this in your blogs ... my opinion is this: there is almost no greater blessing than a large family. A couple quotes I have heard at some time, which make sense to me are these: 'If a child is received as a blessing, they will be a blessing. If received as a burden, they will become a burden.' Of course in day to day life, there are many burdens and trials, but I do believe that you will be blessed all the days of your life, because you are mothering these children with love! The other quote: 'As each member is accepted into a family, there is not less love to go around ... but love multiplies, so there is more love to go around.' Know what I mean? :) Wishing you many blessings in this New Year!

  27. Love, Love, Love this post!!!

    I so enjoy reading your blog every day. But, I will admit that there were times I wondered, "Do they ever have problems?" So, a glimpse or two into the trials is really helpful to see. It shows other moms that we are not alone in our trials.

    Keep writing. Keep sharing. Keep allowing the Lord to guide you as to how much to share. I think you give a pretty good balance.

    I'm coming to Southern CA in 3 weeks and would LOVE to meet you. :)

    mama of 12

  28. Oh, Christine, I love it when you are real. We only have six kids and not all of the same issues as you guys, but it is so comforting to see another parent in the midst of trials. I love knowing that another mom "blows it" on occasion in responding to different issues since I certainly do! You are such an encouragement to me!

  29. I think keeping things real is important... and it is also important to make sure that there is a well rounded view...meaning real trials and real smiles. You do well with that balance.
    But, as you said, your kids are getting older as are ours. Our youngest will be 13 next month. Which means 13,13,14 and 14. :)
    We ask permission from our girls before we post anything. "Would it be ok if I shared this, it might help somebody else." 99.9% of the time, they have said yes.
    A couple of times they have said, "just don't use my name."
    And that is ok!

    There is no way to go from being open on a blog to privacy anymore. Everything is out there. May as well be honest. :)

    So who peed in the water bottle? LOL
    When I was a kid we went camping and one of my uncles peed in a bottle and told his brother it was lemonade. We all watched him taste it! Nice kids. :P

  30. I find your honesty very encouraging! I love reading your blog and it does break my heart to think that others would criticize you and/or your parenting style. Your family is inspirational...for love of all kinds! Blessings to you. Karen

  31. I love your blog and your real posts. They are not cupcakes and ice cream all the time which is real life. You are human and make me smile, cry, and laugh almost every day keeping up with your family. How do the kids feel about your blog? Do you ask the older ones if they mind certain subject being discussed? I have always found your blog helpful with parenting.

  32. Christine,
    I know it has to be a hard decision when, as you say, your kids are getting older, and may not want personal stuff said, and that has to be given some consideration, but I like that you keep it real and are candid. As a parent if two rambunctious boys that just so happen to have been adopted, most of what I am dealing with is just typical parenting stuff, and I guess it does make me feel better or feel like it's not just my boys when they do things purposely to annoy each other, or to get a rise out of me, or telling me they don't want to be my friend because they think I'm a mean mommy. I think you can keep it real and provide support and uplifting messages at the same time. Curious to see what others comment.

  33. I love when you keep it real. It helps those of us facing the same trials. Makes us feel less alone. Thank you for sharing!

  34. Keep on, and do what is right for you. I keep dropping by because there are so few people with adopted kids, with special needs kids, that are honest about the issues in life. I also think the long term seeing how well your kids are doing is very encouraging to us who have "new" kids.

  35. 33 comments is too many for me to read through tonight. So, I apologize if I repeat what others have said.

    Trust me, I understand your dilemma(s)! Especially because, as you know, I began blogging with you as my example and model. That worked well for a few years, then somehow I needed an outlet to share the challenges (which were often more interesting and inspiring to write about). And, I began to feel that I could help others and be helped in return.

    Problem there is that it is harder to break form and write about the fun family outing, or the "cute thing" someone said, when your main readership is now looking for "trauma-mama" posts.

    Then the kids get older, and do NOT enjoy googling themselves (or worse yet, being googled by friends). Yet your family is so pronouncedly unique at this point that your kids are probably used to it, but my older one really wanted anonymity (his personality, for sure)....and I began to think it might not be very nice for me to have been so candid about some of the problems on the internet as I expect the kids may be able to grow up and easily find what I wrote about them. Not so good. Not that I say anything that isn't loving, but no one would relish their personal issues being publicly available.

    Thus, the private/secret blog is now working better for me. Downside is that it won't work as a sweet "memory book" of the nice times and good things, as I primarily write about the dramatic and less savory aspects of family life.

    YOUR blog, though. I do enjoy reading about your family, but I can tell you gloss over most things that are less pleasant. But I think that is appropriate since you are using real names, etc. Still, as things are in my life now, that tends to make me feel like such a loser.

    This particular post touched on reality without letting us know the who and what. We don't get the satisfaction of knowing how you handled things, or enough detail to empathize, really....but at least you seem to be more real.

    I am not sure what the answer is. I think there really is a place for the blog as you write it, and I don't see how you can have this many readers and your children's names and faces there and be more candid than you are.

  36. I love reading your blog and i love that you keep it fairly real while keeping the privacy of your older ones. Keep on blogging!

  37. This post was, as usual, awesome. I have four children-two special needs-and it makes me feel a bit better at the end of the day to know that maybe another mom was so busy that a lunch was forgotten, there was drama between kids,etc...we are all human and if we do what we do with love then we have done our best...keep writing....please....

  38. Hi!You are doing the best you can with God as your pilot .As long as you trust God and follow your heart on your adoption and life journeys you will continue to be blessed.Large families are a blessings but a lot of work and money.I have had to hire help on days I had a lot of appointments or want to do special homeschooling projects or large shopping trips.Children will be children they will just do stupid things or things they feel are right at that moment. But when they think about their action at a future date they realize that their action was a very poor choice.Children and families grow from their children's and parent's mistakes and joys.If these children were left in the orphanages in their native countries what would their lives be like?Very poor.You are giving these children a chance for a better life and God is blessing you with the joy of a child.God has blessed your family with the means to provide for the children you have and you are doing it.If you ever want to talk give me a call.You Rock Girl .Pat

  39. I really love you blog. I love the realness and everything you share. I think you share it in a way that still protects your children.

    I blog and try very hard to be real also. I think it does great damage to others for us to only blog about happy things and seem as if we are perfect.

    Thanks for sharing your wonderful and real life with us.

  40. Thank you all for your encouraging comments. Each one was like a big hug. Thanks. And Laurel-- I would love to meet up when you are here in Ca.

  41. Christine, I've been reading your blog regularly for a while and I think I've only commented once - I believe it was when you encouraged any "lurkers" to post. :) I am 28, not married yet, but have been in a relationship with the one I want to marry for almost seven years. We want children, biologically and through adoption, and reading about your children and your adoption experiences, both the smiles and the trials, is so refreshing. I love reading and I love that you keep it real, while at the same time being respectful of your kids' privacy by not naming names when you blog about something sensitive.

    I know that when you blog, you open yourself to both encouragement and criticism from people all over. I want to be one of those to encourage you to keep blogging and keep it real!

  42. I'm glad you're normal like me. And the finger painter? I've heard that nasty habit can be cured rather quickly with a cold bath or two... providing he's old enough to understand why.

  43. Without writing half a book-let me say that I look forward to reading your blog--You are an inspiration-and the smiles you write about help us to see who you all are --the trials well they let me know that our family is not the only one struggling with a child with an attitude and some of the other issues we have that come along. I think that you do a great job in keeping it real-yet protecting the kids privacy.

  44. Real is good. Sunshine and light is good too. But encouragement to adopt - I honestly believe it is a far better witness to be real about how exhausting and overwhelming life gets sometimes. If all people ever read is sunshine and light then either they think adoption is kittens and rainbows, or they think adopters are strange saints and a million miles away from "normal" people. With the first, they're in for a big shock when the honeymoon is over, and with the second, they'll never get as far as the honeymoon.

    With reality, you'll not put off those who are looking to adopt. You'll encourage those who are also walking this path and stumbling over the rubble. And you'll ensure newer adopters are prepared for how it is.

    That said, it's your blog. And it's your record of what you want to look back on. Personally, I find recording some of the trials help me to see how far we've come when I look back. But others I'm equally happy to forget.

  45. Christine, I LOVE reading your blog, and have for quite a few years now, and one of the loveliest things is how 'real' you are. As a mother of six kids, I find your parenting ideas and examples absolutely challenging and encouraging. I often chat about you with friends. It's very difficult for Aussies to adopt in and outside of our country, something a lot of us find very sad, but when I read of your passion for adopting and your love for your children, I know that even though I can't adopt, I can pray for the people like you who have the opportunity.
    I also find the struggles that you do share with us very encouraging and insightful. Thank you so much Christine.


I find your comments so inspiring! Thanks for visiting our family blog, and sharing your thoughts.