Monday, February 28, 2011
I've been working on putting our video and photos from China into "movie" form and have been having a little bit of trouble. I use Windows Moviemaker. It is free and easy to use. It's not flashy, but it does what I need it to do.
For some reason, our videos from China do not like this program. I edit them and they show up on the screen unedited. Or the words do not match up with the picture.
When I play the video back in Moviemaker there are no problems. It is just the way I want it.
BUT, when I save and upload my movie to You Tube (which takes an inordinately long time) it plays back wrong, or in the case of the video below after 10,000 tries almost right and just a little wrong.
Yes, I settled.
It's going to be good enough.
I hope you like it. It's a little long and a little shaky, but it's done. Even though it is not perfect, I like it. It brings back good memories and reminds me of good friends, which is the whole point of a home movie in the first place.
Friday, February 25, 2011
Wednesday, February 23, 2011
Friday, February 18, 2011
I'm learning you do parent an adopted child different. It makes sense when you think about it. You pretty much have to parent every child you have, homegrown or adopted, differently to some extent.
But an adopted child, is a child born to you out of loss. And loss is hard and leaves a mark. If you ignore that mark and try to pretend it is not there more damage can be done.
I've been feeling insecure in my parenting of Suhn. Does she react that way because she is three years old or because of her great loss? Is she acting out of 3 year old selfishness or out of fear and insecurity based in her past? Am I too hard on her, or am I not firm enough?
I find myself wanting to react based on the fact that she is three years old and ignore the loss, but I am learning to stop myself and pray for wisdom to better understand her. And then parent from that new perspective.
It's not easy. I've made mistakes. But I'm learning.
I've been reading through a book called The Connected Child by Karyn Purvis, David Cross, and Wendy Sunshine. It is a great resource for adoptive parents, filled with strategies and reminders to parent your child with their past in mind in order to heal their wounds and give them a successful future.
If you are an adoptive parent I would love to hear your perspective on this or any resources you have come across in your journey. Please share in the comments!
Wednesday, February 16, 2011
Saturday, February 12, 2011
Sometimes the emotions burn along with the choice to love, but not always.
Loving is so much harder when the emotions aren't there to back it up. But I think when we love anyway, it becomes much more real, or mature, and many times the feelings follow the action.
In a recent Hearts-to-Go enewsletter (to get this free resource delivered to your e-box once a month go here and submit your e-mail address!), Jill Savage talked about this concept. It reflected a lot of what I've been learning, so I asked if I could share it with you.
Immature love is a noun. A thing we long for. A feeling. An expectation of what someone will do for us.
Mature love is a verb. An action we take. A decision. A choice to do something for someone else.
Unfortunately too many of us have yet to mature in our love, and our relationships bear the scars of that fact. But it's never too late to grow up. If we want our love to last a lifetime, we can't afford to keep believing that love is a noun. The feeling of love is short-lived. We have to transition to understanding that long-lasting love is really a verb.
But what does this English lesson of nouns and verbs have to do with real relationships? How do we take this concept and apply it to real life? Maybe these scenarios can help paint the picture.
Love as a noun spent all last week wondering what your spouse was going to do for you for Valentine's Day. Love as a verb spent all last week preparing your expression of love for your spouse.
Love as a noun feels despair when you no longer feel "in love" with the person you are married to. Love as a verb understands the ebb and flow of feelings. It focuses more on expressing love than feeling love.
Love as a noun demands its own way. Love as a verb works to understand differences and is open to new ways of doing things.
Love as a noun finds faults in others. Love as a verb gives grace and forgiveness.
Love as a noun expects others to serve them. Love as a verb serves freely.
Love as a noun expects to always feel warm and fuzzy and "in love." Love as a verb realizes that often we have to choose to love even when we don't feel like it.
Over the last few months I have been realizing that I am lousy at love. I've chosen to focus on love as a noun with my husband and kids more times than I'd care to recount by reacting to them with immaturity and selfishness instead of acting out love as a verb.
I am a work in progress.
I'm so thankful for my Savior who patiently teaches me these lessons. He shows me how to love through his example and encourages that I can love better because He first loved me.
May your Valentine's Day be filled with that kind of love today!
"Love is patient, love is kind. It does not envy, it does not boast, it is not proud. It is not rude, it is not self-seeking, it is not easily angered, it keeps no record of wrongs. Love does not delight in evil but rejoices with the truth. It always protects, always trusts, always hopes, always perseveres. Love never fails."
1 Corinthians 13:4-8a
Friday, February 11, 2011
My bread, that I put in the oven to rise, will most likely not be rising.
I am pretty darn sure I left out the yeast. The first batch had yeast, but the bread machine decided not to work. The second batch, the bread machine kicked in, but in my haste to refill the machine... no yeast.
I hate it when little things go wrong. They sometimes remind me that the world does not revolve around me. That the stars do not always align for my pleasure. That disappointments, little and big are a frequent occurrence. That I'm way over-reacting getting bent out of shape over something like yeast...
for friends no less.
Unfortunately my friends will have to deal with half the bread for dinner tonight. (The third batch, herbed dinner rolls, I did remember yeast and the machine is working.) But the sweet braids will be a no show. No dough, No show.
And no sweet braids for you my friends, no sweet braids for you!!
As for me, I must swallow the advice I dish out to my kids on an all-too-regular-occurrence:
It's not a big deal, shake it off, and move on.
This is me moving on.
Have a great weekend everyone!!!
Wednesday, February 09, 2011
Tuesday, February 08, 2011
Monday, February 07, 2011
As an adult, she wishes she had more of a connection with that part of who she is.
When we started the adoption process, I thought I'd like to incorporate a little of China into our lives, but having that conversation confirmed it. So as the Chinese New Year approached, I figured it was as good a time as any to begin and build our own Chinese traditions (although let's be honest, probably more like Chinese-ish).
So we invited some friends and got ready to celebrate.
We decorated the house. Mya made paper lanterns to hang in the windows and helped set the table. Our centerpiece included fresh flowers and oranges; New Year traditions that bring good luck.
Even Thomas and friends joined in on the fun.
We prepared a feast, including homemade dumplings (another New Year Tradition that symbolizes wealth), a noodle dish (which symbolizes longevity), sesame chicken, and sweet and sour veggies. (A special thanks goes out to Michelle for sharing her recipes and book ideas and Kory's mom for helping with the preparation!)
And then we ate, and it was good!!
Another New Year tradition is red envelopes containing money for the kids. All the kids loved that one (the homegrowns weren't so crazy about the food; they'll learn!).
And I refused to cook anything for the rest of the weekend. :)
Happy New Year everyone!
Thursday, February 03, 2011
What a year it's been!
Tomorrow we will be celebrating Chinese New Year (although officially today is the day), only we will be celebrating so much more than that.
Tomorrow we will celebrate the gift of our daughter Suhn. Handpicked for our family, or maybe we were handpicked for her. Either way God's fingerprints have been revealed over and over again throughout our journey and hers.
About a month ago, AH, the foster home where she lived in China, asked us to make a video of Suhn. They were celebrating an anniversary and wanted videos of the children who had passed through their doors. I thought I'd share it with you today as we celebrate Suhn Mikayla Rui.
Happy Chinese New Year!!