Tuesday, July 18, 2017

Is it hard?

Recently, I was driving with my daughter while we were eating some chocolate milkshakes. My daughter looked over at me driving and said... "oh, that's smart..."  

Miss P: Oh, that's smart!
Me: Huh? *mouthful of chocolate milkshake* Merfhe mrrrt?
Miss P: Your knee. Driving with your knee.
Me: Oh, yea, well, I need my hands to eat my milkshake. I used to do this all the time with my Slurpees.
Miss P: Cool. Is it hard? 
Me: *thinking* Well, no. Not really.
Miss P: Oh... looks hard.
Me: Well, I guess it was hard... you know at one time.
Miss P: Oh.  *seems unconvinced*
Me: But, you know, everything was hard at one time before you got good at it.
Miss P: *looks confused* Huh?
Me: Pooping used to be hard before you figured out how to do it right.
Miss P: Daaaaaaaad! Did you have to talk about poop!?
Me: No seriously. Have you ever seen babies poop?! The scrunch their faces up and they try so hard!!! Their little faces turn red and they grunt and just try so hard. It's like... WAAAAAAAAAH! They just eventually give up and cry. It's apparently very hard to poop, until you practice it and get better at it. Then, it's not so hard.
Miss P: I just. I don't. I mean. Whhhhhaaa?! Why poop!

I know I haven't been blogging much lately... *checks the stats*  Apparently, 8 post in the whole of last year, and what, 6 this year so far (and most from the Wife)?!  And I'll be honest the reason why I have not blogged lately is that life is pretty hard right now.  You would think after fourtermufff years or so, you'd have this life thing all figured out.  But nooooooope.

Or at least, I don't really have it all figured out yet.

Most days, recently, I feel like I'm in the baby phase still trying to learn how to poop, and every blog post I start ends the same way... like I'm just crying about things that aren't going super awesome.  :-)  But I guess that's not really the point... next week, next month, next year, the things that are hard now - are they still going to be hard?

... well, yes.  Probably.  But that's depressing to think about.

I'm just going to tell myself that things will get easier.  :-)

So, in no specific order, I'm going to list some things that have happened since I last blogged... (I'm not counting the posts my wife does... they don't count.  I should change the blog password.  But since she's the only one who has posted anything in in the last 3 years... maybe I best not change the password just yet...)  but anyway, some of the "less than optimal things which have happened which probably could have happened a different way and I'd have been OK with that... things..."!

... again... no specific order...
  • Wife broke her leg
  • Son broke his arm
  • Wife had an anaphylactic allergic reaction to a chocolate brownie (apparently, stress can cause allergies to start... who knew!)
  • Fireman standing in our entrance responding to a call says "Hey, this place looks familiar.  Have I been here recently?"  (When a fireman or paramedic asks this, it is NOT a good thing)
  • Car drove through our house wall (Teenage son slept through it like a boss)
  • Son broke his hand
  • Doctors started asking my son and wife questions separately to ensure there was no abuse as to why so many broken bones were showing up
  • Moved to China
  • Had VISAs denied and had to get out of the country in less than 3 weeks
  • Had VISA officals state our adoptions were illegal and had to get the wife and kids out of the country fast (unrelated to separate aforementioned VISA issue)
  • Left my job of 15 years 
  • Had one child out of the country for "Humanitarian Reasons" (ie: my son was basically a refugee for about 3 weeks ... hilarious story really... remind me to tell it sometime)
  • Currently unemployed 
  • Homeless (well, I don't own a home, but someone lets us live in their basement)
  • Canadian basements are bigger than most Chinese apartments
  • Wife thinks firemen are handsome... firemen keep showing up for some reason

I mean, that's just a few of the ones I'm able to laugh about now... then there are others...

  • Spinabifida is not going away
  • Doctors keep assessing one of our children for surgery - but the risk/reward isn't there yet to warrant a surgery
  • One child diagnosed with Non-Verbal Learning Disorder
  • Another child diagnosed with Attachment Disorder and ADHD
  • Emotional things have been an issue over the past 3 year
  • Stranded in Canada with no clear path to return to our home in overseas which we are still paying rent for

Really, the list goes on.  But I'm gonna stop there.
Because as daunting as that list looks, there are many other things I could add.... but it doesn't really matter.  I figure this is still me in my learning to poop phase.

I'm not worried, or panic'd.

I'm able to (try to) rest in His provision and know that someone is in control.  I've seen so many blessing each time something goes wrong.  Seriously!  How does a car drive through your house wall?!

But, if we are having a coffee, and your ask "How you doing?" ... just know, I'll probably just lie and say "Great, yeah, everything's great..."  But if you are left with this feeling of "Boy, he makes life look easy", or "He's got everything together" I don't.

I'm just a baby.
Trying to do something, grunting, turning red in the face, and probably crying.  Crying in a manly way though.  Not some wimpy cry.  Manly tears, that when they fall to the ground cause a mighty Oak Tree to spring up.

I know when I was a baby, pooing was hard.
As a young boy Super Mario brothers was the hardest thing in the world.
Then as a teenager, BattleToads was the hardest thing ever.
College was the hardest.
Marriage was the hardest.
Children were the hardest.
Work was the hardest.
Everything is the hardest!
At some point... I just gotta admit it...
... Life is hard at times.  That's OK.

But years from now, when I'm crouching behind some hollowed out building, dodging laser fire from the robot overlords trying to take over the world, and someone asks me ... "was that hard?", I'll think back to this time of no VISAs, children with special needs, life in China, uncertain futures and laugh...  Because I'm sure that whatever I'm facing in the future, all THIS, has just been training for THAT.

But BattleToads... that's just messed up.  I mean, WHO would MAKE that game and sell it to children!  That's gotta be some form of abuse or something!  BattleToads was just wrong, man.

And now that I'm finally got all this complaining out of the way, I can probably return to more regular blogging, NOT complaining about how hard everything is, but get back to the funny.

... Phew.  I feel better now.  Got that all vented out of my system...

Oh, and those pictures of Miss P?  Those are the photos I took while her Auntie was showing her an animated educational video about "Where Babies Come From"

Seriously...  BattleToads...  WHAT THE CRAP!  (I apologize to anyone who never played BattleToads and doesn't understand my frustration... for you ladies out there, think, trying to explain the colour difference between Bavarian Creme and Minced Onion to your man (Yes, real paint colour names, yes, they look identical ... well, maybe there's a hint of green in the Minced Onion... oh I can't tell!  Just PICK A REAL COLOUR!!! *sob*))

Tuesday, May 30, 2017

Ginger House ~

Well, when we thought our move to Beijing was inevitable, we made what we thought would be our last walk to our favorite Coffee House.

I took some pictures to remember it by.

It was a pretty quiet afternoon as we were trying to process the reality of moving 
and leaving the friends we've made these past 3.5 years behind.

Coming to the Ginger House to relax & refuel
or simply to meet up with friends has become familiar to us and our kids

And again, this last weekend we were there,

 but this time not with such a sombre mood.

 We are staying put here in Zhongshan, at least for now. and it's kinda great.  
We are diffinently looking around at our friends and our kid's friends 
with fresh eyes and deeper appreciation. 

You don't always appreciate what you have until you just about to loose it.

I need to remind myself of that....

Sunday, May 14, 2017

Lead me where my trust is without borders ~

We love Zhongshan.
It's where our sweet Ping is from,
it's been our home for the past 3.5 years...

...it's warm, always in bloom.
Like we L.O.V.E. this city...

So, as hard as it would be to leave this City behind,
we said yes to the request to move up North.

We love New Day and all that it does,
and we feel truly humbled to be a part of the New Day Family.

Adrian volunteers with them from all the way down here,
but it would make logical sense to relocate to the Main Campus. 
There is no longer a New Day Foster home in our Province.

So, we prayed and in faith believed that the Lord confirmed to us
 that we were to let go of all our other involvements.

We committed ourselves to be solely focused to ND.

However, we did not believe that we had received clear confirmation
 that we were supposed to move there.

I should clarify that Adrian is able to work from a distance 
and travel up there periodically throughout the year. 

So we asked the Lord to show us His Will,
 either Open the door or Shut it. 

Feelings aside,
If He Opened the door to move,
we'd go.

My heart was saying,
"If Your presence does not go with us,
do not send us up from here"

He always answers,
but we were not expecting the answer we got...

the 'Moving' door clearly shut...  

We were speechless.

We completely trust God's leading in e.v.e.r.y.t.h.i.n.g....
but we'd be lying if we didn't go
"Say whaaaa?......"

We all just sat there,
Me in the midst of boxes in Zhongshan &
Adrian and Gem while apartment hunting in Beijing 

And then the coolest thing happened...

 He showed up.
His presence filled our home, there was such a tangible Peace.
He's not called the Prince of Peace for nothing eh?

I know there are friends and family that think we're nuts.
That strongly disagree with our choice to live here.
But can I encourage you that He really is a Good Good Father.
He really does have a plan for your life.
He really is better at directing us then we are at directing ourselves.

 When He speaks to you, He will confirm it.
You don't have to guess.
Wherever He asks you to go, He will make a way.
Whatever He asks you to do, He'll equip you.

So, I can say we know our next step.
Not the one after that though.....

But we're cool with that.

We don't need to know the whys,
we aren't anxious at all.

We're excited.

He's moving.
And we're learning that it's better letting Him in the driver's seat then us... 

He's a perfect gentleman.
He only takes the lead if we let Him.

We're still figuring this whole life out.
We're meeting some pretty amazing folks along the way.

Monday, April 24, 2017

LangQingXuan Home

Well, yesterday started off with heartattack WeChat message from Adrian... 

...the landlord was sending someone over to take photos...
or was it an inspection regarding damage deposit....

...the joys of 2nd language learning...

You see, we've recently given notice that we'll be moving.

...and so like any experienced Home seller 
( trust me I have TONNES of experience 
with short notice house viewings ),  
I did what any sane mother would do...

I made my 2 oldest race home from school on their scooters to help me paint, and clean the place up...

I tore through all the rooms sweeping e.v.e.r.y toy, trinket and bobble off the floor, window sill younameit, into bags and boxes and hid them all away.

Sounds silly right?......
 I figure, this ain't my 1st rodeo...

Some Landlords here look for 'damage'  ...

 ...so they can insist you DON'T get your damage deposit back and you end up paying them even more 'damage' fees.

And I know we are good tenants,
not perfect...
...we do have a Lukai 
and 2 cats...

but seriously y'all should have seen this place when we moved in!

Three words...
Creepo Bachelor Pad

Just ask Carrie... 

So I wanted Photographic proof that the apartment
 is in very good condition!....

In other words...I want all my deposit back 

...we'll need all the funds we can get for our upcoming move.

And in true fashion, the Realtor / Photographer arrived not when he told us he was coming, but... 

...2 hours earlier
But in the end, it doesn't matter...

...I got some nice photos of our home for our Memory book

And I'm hoping and praying the Landlord is happy and we will not be unfairly gouged ....

...as we have been in the past.

This creepy bachelor pad, has become my favorite home to date.

It just was in need of some Cheap-o-Pinterest inspiration,
and some killer cleaning

Thanks to Carrie and Chris!