Sunday, 11 November 2012

Happy 13th Rykauna!

Well, today, Sara and I officially feel old!  Sorry for all of you who have already passed this stage, but we are now the parents of a teenager!

Thirteen years ago today, I received a page from Sara (yes, a page... hasn't technology come a long, long way since then) at the end of the school day while still at work.  Time to head into the hospital!  I had been getting my stuff ready to face my first parent-teacher interviews as a full-time high school teacher.  Instead of talking to parents that evening, I became a parent (as opposed to only being called a Parent) late that night!

I will never forget that feeling when I first saw the beautiful little bundle of joy that was Rykauna.  The following day, while Sara was sleeping, I remember walking the halls of the hospital with Rykauna in my arms.  I gazed down at the tiny little face with the beady eyes and prayed for her.  I prayed that I would be a good daddy.  I prayed that she would be saved early in life.  I prayed that she would grow to become a good woman.  I prayed that she would stay healthy as she grew.

Today, looking back at the past 13 years, I can thankfully say that most of those prayers have been answered! (I'll leave the good daddy part alone for now!).  Rykauna has been and is a very determined and ambitious girl.  She is full of energy and is so positive about life.  She is excited to try new things and perseveres through difficulties.  She is a wonderful big sister and a loving daughter.  She has indeed grown into a wonderful young lady!

Rykauna is really creative.  She opened up an Etsy store to sell scarves (  Her most recent interest and hobby is photography.  Last year at school she joined the Paparazzi Club and developed her budding interest in photography.  She pleaded for an early birthday present, and so at the beginning of the summer, we bought her her 13th birthday present - a new camera!  She has put this camera to much use over the last several months.  You have been able to enjoy some of her pictures on this blog.  Here are a few more that she has taken over the last little while.
Li Lin gazing through a fence
Hudson during family fishing week.  We didn't catch anything but we had fun!
Logan showing off his catch - more weeds!
Hudson enjoying eating rice crackers
Rykauna enjoys taking close-ups using the 'macro' feature!
Hard to get a picture of Rykauna on here when show-casing her photography talents.  Here are her feet!
Mom and Li Lin running in the park.
Daddy 'the playground' Parent giving a another ride to Li Lin
Happy Birthday Sweetheart!
Love Mom and Dad

Tuesday, 6 November 2012

Six months post adoption

Six months ago our family changed into an adoptive family, a biracial family, and a family of six.  That’s right, we met Li Lin in China six months ago.  Has she changed our lives?  You bet.

It is amazing what six months does in the life of a young child.  Li Lin came to us as a beautiful, angry, devastated, skinny, Mandarin speaking child.    Her skin had little scars all over from dry skin and bug bites.  Her locks were dry and felt like straw.  Six months later she is still beautiful, rarely angry, happy, no longer skinny, fluently bilingual girl.  Her skin is smooth most of the time, and her hair has the classic Asian glossy black sheen. (Love it!)  Her sense of humour, her love of life, and her mischievous personality have all really blossomed.  She used to hit the other kids frequently, take regular fits, and strongly resist being told, “No.”  Li Lin, along with our other three kiddos, is still far from perfect, but her behaviour has really changed for the better.  Her hitting has greatly reduced.  She still tries the odd fit now and again, but they are few and far between now.  As far as the word, “no” goes, Li Lin fully understands its meaning in English and Chinese and usually complies.

Other than a one week hiatus she took from discussing them, she still talks about her foster family nearly every day.  She is not asking to see them as much anymore as telling me about her life there.  Li Lin knows we would like to take her back to China for a visit when she is 10.  Her loneliness, though still present at times, seems to be abating.   She regularly tells Steph and I how much she loves us and how happy and excited she is about whatever we are doing.

 Here are a few pics I uploaded from my phone.  Not sure how I don't have any pics of Li Lin and Logan.  I will remedy that soon, hopefully.  Logan and Li Lin play together often but I guess they are often playing together while I am making supper...hence the lack of pics.

She insists on doing her "homework" after school when the other kids are doing theirs.
  Li Lin is an amazing and wonderful addition to our family.  We love her dearly, as we do all of our four children.  The kids all love her too, and she loves them in return.  We have been blessed by love multiplying in our home!  We know that we owe thanks to God for his mercies and grace to us.