Everything changes

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Boy oh boy!   It is always something when you have 5 boys.


For whosoever shall be ashamed of me and of my words, of him shall the Son of man be ashamed, when he shall come in his own glory, and in his Father's, and of the holy angels.
Luke 9:26

I'm teaching my kids to pray, not only before they go to bed, but before they eat.  If they forget to pray before their first bite it is an automatic 10 jumping jacks.  If they argue, which they don't, it is 10 more and so on.    

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When I was growing up my Grandpa never failed to bow his head before he ate and no one in the family after forgot to pray if they were in front of him.  My Grandpa's reputation was spotless.  He was respected and loved by all his family and friends.  I named Boone "Forrest" after him, my sister named her son Eliot "Baker" after him and my Mom named my brother Michael "Earl" after him.  I'm sure plenty of my cousins were named after him too.  My Grandpa had 10 kids and I know they all cared about what he thought of them.  My Grandpa didn't come from a Christian family.  I think his father was an outlaw and his mother was married 5 times.  That is bad now so can you imagine back then?!!  His mother did accept Jesus on her death bed and believed an angel came to her warning her she was dying.  His parents didn't stop Earl Forrest Baker from being a "real" Christian though.  Two of his sons graduated from Anderson University as pastors.    


What got me on this story though was Shepard. 


Shepard is very concerned about where he is going after this life.  Shepard is also concerned about the people he cares about and where they are going.   





Last week Shepard told me when he prays at lunch in school a boy tells him God is not real.  He didn't seem too concerned about it, but did mention it.  I just told him to ask the boy where he thinks he came from.  Shepard said he did and the boy said from his Mom.  OK,  so the boy isn't a deep thinker. 


About two days later I got a call from the Principal.  Apparentally, Shepard had taken matters into his own hands.  Can't say what happened, but  I don't think the boy is interrupting Shepard's prayers anymore though.   


My boys are all boy though. 


Arden Shan


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Bret came home from school today and showed me their school paper.  Arden had an article in it.  And, just in case you can't read it, it says this:

"Being adopted changed by life.  I had to adapt to a new lifestyle, and language and basically, a whole new world.  For me, it was easier than for most adopted kids.  I was adopted into a family who also adopted children before.   I wasn't alone in this transformation and my parents helped me tremendously.  Having siblings who were also adopted helped me adjust to my new life.  They experienced what I was going through and that really made things less terrifying.  My family helped me learn English by reading with me every single day after school, being patient when I messed things up and most importantly, loving me for way I am.  It took roughly three months to learn English,  but that wasn't the biggest challenge.  The biggest challenge was adjusting to American food.  For the longest time, I would not eat anything besides bananas.  Now I deeply hate bananas with a passion.  With that being said, nothing is perfect.  "But what I can tell you is how lucky I am to be adopted by my parents and how much I love my family."

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In China adopting Cokie, but finding Arden.  Yes, I did pull a fast one on Mike, or at least I like to think I did. 

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This was Mike meeting Arden in China.  I just kind of sprung her on him.  You can tell Arden is trying really hard here, but is not so good with this strange white man putting his arm around her.
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Meeting Arden one year later with our legal documents in tow. I'm sure Arden was in a little bit of shock. She told me later she just thought we looked really clean. : - )

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This little girl was never adopted, but was with Arden the first time I saw Arden in the orphanage.  Just a couple of years later,  Arden's best friend and I became very good friends.  She actually found Arden here in the US- long story.  She told me she saw this little girl out in China.  The little girl's birth family came back and got her.  Arden's friend was crying when she told me the story.  She said the little girl was dirty, crying and sad.  She said her birth parents were mean to her and "wished we had adopted her." 


As soon as we picked Arden up and got on the bus, I had the guide asked her if she wanted to be called her old name, Shan or her new name,  Arden.  She said, "Arden!"  Never again did she want to be called Shan.  I did talk her into letting me keep Shan for her middle name, but she wanted to change it too.  

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There is a small window of opportunity between the time the new kids learn enough English and the time they start forgetting their "prior" life in China.  That just gives me a little time to ask them questions about their past.  Which makes me a "pryer."  Not really, that is what I'm supposed to do.  And,  "Pryor" is who I am talking about.  : - )

Prior:  preceding in time or in order; earlier or former; previous: A prior agreement prevents me from accepting this.

Pryer:  a person who pries  

Pryor:  A boy whose name I got from my friend, Ginger.  Ginger got it off her family tree from a person she doesn't have a clue about.   


Me:  So how do you like America?  Is it ok?

Pryor:  No, not ok.  Veeery good.   


Me:  Why do you like it?

Pryor:  You and Dad and the food is good.


Me:  I thought you said you liked the foster parents a lot.

Pryor:  They don't like me so I don't like them.

That came from a phone call Pryor made to the foster parents a couple of weeks after he got to the US.  He had always said very good things about them.  He looked fairly healthy too, so I do believe they took good care of him.  When he called them he was only on the phone a couple of minutes.  He told me they asked him if he liked it here, but that was about it.  When all the kids asked him why he got off the phone so quick he told them it wasn't any of their business.  Those weren't the exact words, but more or less I could tell that was what he was saying.  I could also tell he was hurt and embarrassed.  

I have no idea why they didn't talk more to him.  Maybe they thought the phone call was costing them money.  Maybe it was the Chinese Communist way and they were just doing what they were told, since they aren't really supposed to be talking to the kids after they leave their home.  :  ((  Either way, that call changed the way Pryor felt about them and it has moved him along closer to us.  I'm still sad though that they did that to him.  
















Stafan can draw????  Who knew. 


Stafan with the school board.
Stafan Allen was selected as a finalist in the 63rd Annual Symphony in Color art competition.  Symphony in Color is a children's art competition sponsored by the Indianapolis Symphony Orchestra Association.  It is a state wide competition that is open to grades first through sixth.  Students listen to  music selections from the Orchestra's current season and give their visual interpretation of the music.

Ian, Destiny and Stafan were selected out of 388 entries from 65 schools representing 22 counties throughout Indiana.  The ISO Association estimated that about 18,000 students participated in the program this year.  A panel of judges selected 100 finalists for exhibition.  Ian, Destiny and Stafan's artwork will be exhibited at the Indiana State Museum from April 1 - May 4.  The purpose of this program is to encourage children to appreciate symphonic music and use their imagination to interpret the music through visual art.

 Symphony in Color Young People’s art contest for children in grades K – 6, presented by Ronald McDonald House Charities and the Indianapolis Symphony Orchestra Association.
Symphony in Color is an enrichment program of the Indianapolis Symphony Orchestra Association offering a unique blending of symphonic music and visual arts.   Involving more than 30,000 Indiana school children each year, it culminates in a juried exhibition at the Hilbert Circle Theatre and the Indiana State Museum.

 Each year, five musical selections are chosen from the current Indianapolis Symphony Orchestra concert season. One hundred finalists and 36 blue ribbon winners are then selected from the thousands of pieces of art entered, and one entry will receive the Renato Pacini Award and be put on display in the Hilbert Circle Theatre for an entire year. A Maestro Award is given to the teacher with the most finalists. Also, at a fundraising Premier Party, guests vote to choose the People’s Choice Award from among the blue ribbon winners.


Stafan with two of the winners.  Sorry the museum has the art work and I haven't even seen it yet, but I will when it goes on display.  



 Here is the amusing part.   We thought it was Lyric who won!  We received a letter in the mail from the museum saying our "child" had won.  It didn't say a name or even mention boy or girl.  The next Sunday at church a lady said, "Congratulations to Lyric getting to show her art at the museum."  Well, that solved that puzzle!  It did for about 2 weeks.  Then, their art teacher called and said it was Stafan.  Stafan???  Stafan can draw?  We knew Lyric had some artistic talent, but Stafan?  Stafan has shown no interest in art to us whatsoever.  Show him any kind of a ball though, and a boy to play with, and he is one happy kid. 

 Turned out their art teacher had submitted Lyric and Stafan's.  He said it was the first time ever he had submitted siblings.  : - )

Happy St. Patty's Day!