Sunday, July 28, 2013

The Naming Process

Why is this naming process so difficult for us? With each of our children we have struggled to find the perfect name. With our newest daughter it was a little more difficult. We needed to find a name that is one she will be able to pronounce. We are probably over-thinking.

For some reason my husband has been the one to name most of our kids. How does that happen? Each of our children are named after a close family member. Then to complicate things, because that's how we roll, we also wanted to include a biblical name as well. The only name I get full credit for is Ben's. I loved the name Benjamin and it's biblical/Hebrew meaning....."son of my right hand." The middle name needed to be after a family member. No one had used my grandfather's name for their child so I knew it had to be part our son's name.

All of my grandparents are very special to me. Only one of my grandparent's did not have a namesake. My grandfather's name was Robert Franklin yet, no middle name was chosen until I was in labor and we were on the way to the hospital. I told Jeremy he had a choice. We could either choose Benjamin Robert or Benjamin Franklin. Needless to say we have a Benjamin Robert.

I have little girl's name that I am in love with but for some reason it just did not seem to fit. We started from scratch. Well almost. We returned to the list of names we had considered for Mariah. Still not quite right.

Then I saw the name Selah (Say lah). Selah is mentioned a total of 74 times in the Bible. The first mention of Selah in the Bible is when King Joash conquered a city by that name which is located in Edom. It is mentioned 71 times in the book of Psalms and three times in the book of Habbakuk.

While researching this name it was clear to us that she was indeed Selah. This is what was so neat to us. The word is translated as "valued" which is the same as the Hebrew word for "measured". When this is used in Psalms it simply means to value what was just written. Selah is in the pink top below. Notice the Minnie mouse that is embroidered on her shirt? Mariah saw it right away.
Job 28:15-16   It (wisdom) cannot be gotten for gold, neither shall  silver be weighed for the price thereof. It cannot be valued with the gold of Ophir, with the precious onyx, or the sapphire.

She is "valued"! I want to scream that from the mountaintops! She is a child of the King! She is not forgotten! God sent his son to die so that she can have eternal life. We pray that she will learn and understand what this means.

Her middle name was also tough. Our oldest son is named after his 2 grandfathers. Our next son is named after Jeremy. Our Rebecca is named after  a great-grandmother. Ben is named after my grandfather. Jeremy was named after his grandfather. Jeremy's mom has a niece named after her. Then it dawned on us that my mom did not have anyone named after her. So we thought long and hard. 

Jeremy also wanted our daughter to have part of my name. I finally came up with Jannae. Since my mom's first name is Janet and my middle name is Renae we just used the first three letters of my mom's name and the last three letters of my middle name! Finally she is named. 

One day, Selah, I pray you will read this telling of your story and understand how deeply you are loved. If we could get on a plane today to come and get you, we would. We pray that the Lord is protecting your heart and preparing you to meet your forever family! Blood does not make you our daughter. God has made you our daughter. You were created to be our daughter. You were created to help make a more complete family for us here. 

Above all, you are a child of the King. We pray you are adopted into God's family as we are adopting you into ours. We pray that me and Baba (Daddy) are a physical example of just a portion of the love that God will pour out on you if you only accept Him as your Savior. 

Right now we are preparing our house for your arrival. You have five siblings that are ready to make you an instant part of our family. We believe the very fabric of our family was woven to include you! Daddy and I are making a few changes to our house that will help make it more comfortable for you. A bedroom will be created for the older boys in the basement. You and Rebecca will share the largest of the upstairs bedrooms. Your school desk is just waiting to be occupied. Daddy and I cannot wait to give you the love that every child deserves.

You are treasured. You are loved. You are beautiful just the way you are!

Saturday, July 20, 2013

Details, Details, Details!

The past couple of weeks have been all about the details. We began our new home study for our adoption one week ago. Our social worker is well aware of our time constraint with this adoption and is committed. She came again on Monday to conduct the parent interviews, child interviews, and home safety inspection. Then she came back and we had our final interview on Friday. The neat thing is this interview was really a chance for Jeremy and I to look over the home study and make sure it was accurate and that it met our approval. She had the whole thing done! This is a record!!! We know a family that has been waiting just shy of a year to have their home study completed.

We will have our home study completed soon then Jeremy and I need to have yet another set of fingerprints taken by USCIS (United States Citizenship and Immigration Services). After that our dossier (paperwork) heads around the world to Ch*na. The wait for approvals begins then.

We had a week of some fun too. We reserve late evenings for adoption paperwork. Of course, we do take many unnecessary breaks too. Who can say no to this? We want our kids to know they are equally important. Here was what they all did one evening/night!
These "night swims" are so much fun. We bought a light for our pool a couple of years ago. This single light has provided hours of fun and entertainment to our family. 

I think the days of her playing in this pool are over.
 She seems to prefer the likes of this one.....
She actually pushes Jeremy and me away from her. She is independent! Honestly, she has no fear. That is scary. She needs a healthy respect for the water. Thankfully, our pool area is inside a privacy fence with a self-closing latched gate that she cannot reach for many years.

We seem to be chased inside by threatening weather these days.
After a busy week of social worker visits, speech therapy, and very hot, humid weather, we did this today.
Her first real haircut.
I admit, it was difficult trying to encourage her to look at her toes and take a picture. This was the end result. Notice how bored Jeremy is in the background in the red shirt? He was a trooper!

Giggles and all!
Her happiness went down hill quickly! We then took the kids into a shoe store to find new tennis shoes for Rebecca. Mariah was a mess! 

Even these did not help much.
Then it dawned on me.......she was due for her medicine. Sometimes it affects her more than others. Today, it affected her. Four hours later she is loving these new Hello Kitty sparkly silver shoes.

Rebecca has started to take piano lessons. I have to say she absolutely loves them! I wish I had just started her sooner. She showed no interest before. Really, until I made the first lesson for her she still had no interest. Now she loves to practice.
A few more pictures of the Kaminski kids having fun. My Ben!!!
When we questioned what he was doing he answered that he was throwing water in the air and trying to catch it in the bucket. Hmmmm, ok.
And whose pool is this?
 The Diva!
More fun! Notice that Mariah is no where to be found either.
What is so interesting over there?
Just contemplating, I guess.
We hope to have a bit more of an update on things here this week. We have arranged for a care package to be sent to our new daughter. We also hope to be able to announce her name. Seems as though we cannot agree on a middle name.

Until our next update we ask that you pray for our family. We are beginning the process of a minor renovation. Our older boys will be moving to the basement after we move the theater room upstairs and make the former theater room their new bedroom. At least we think that is what we will do. 

Pray for our daughter in Ch*na. She is probably just learning that she has a family waiting for her. She has to be so scared. We pray for her health and her heart to be ready for us.

I never thought I would be mom to six kids! God has so many surprises and blessings for us if we only open our hearts and listen to Him speak. We are blessed to know that many strangers have been praying for our family. 

Our daughter's picture had been out on some advocating websites (we were unaware). Once it was announced that "Halle" had a family, I have had several families contact us to let us know they have been praying for our family. "Halle" is the name our agency gave her just to advocate for her. There have been countless people praying for "Halle" and her future family. I am humbled to know that many we have never met or even know have been praying for us and our sweet daughter.

Sunday, July 14, 2013

Thirteen Long Years

Be anxious for nothing, but in everything by prayer and supplication, with thanksgiving, let your requests be made known to God: and the peace of God, which surpasses all understand, will guard your hearts and minds through Christ Jesus.     Philippians 4:5-7

I need to take a few minutes and write a special blog post about our new sweet daughter. We have not chosen a name yet for our daughter because we need a little more information about her. We would love for her to possibly have some input on her English name but we may not be able to get that information. We should know in the next couple of weeks.

Our daughter's Ch*nese name is Huiyi. That is a very difficult name to pronounce in English. Keep in mind that we will be calling her that for a while after we get her home though. She has had this name for 13 years, probably 14 years by the time we get her home.

The above picture is a very serious picture but we do have a few happy ones. I think there must have been some kind of a cook-out and she was preparing her meal here.
I am not entirely sure why these pictures were taken in the dark at the playground but we will take any pictures we can get our hands on. You can see how tiny she is. But she is smiling!
I am not entirely sure what this next picture is but she looks so sweet here. I zoomed in on her. The original picture shows her sitting with other girls. Maybe school or a class of some kind.
We also are unsure when these pictures were taken.

With our preliminary approval this week, the kids and I decided to make some Toll House Chocolate Chip Cookies. With all the stormy weather we have had, the kids have been chased inside. What better way to celebrate? Of course, Rebecca had to save a few spoonfuls of cookie dough for Daddy!
Jeremy and I have spent the past few days getting things together to send her a care package. Her file states that she has been living in foster care since last August.

We were also in contact with another mom who adopted from this orphanage said her daughter's file stated the same thing but it was a mistranslation. We just don't know where she is.

This is just an example of a small part of the paperwork we have completed so far. We have finished more but I wanted to show you a portion of what adoption looks like. Hence the lack of blogging!

The orphanage director described our daughter as quiet and rather obedient. It sounds as if she is very shy. The translation is funny and states, "Few talk and vague personality." Poor sweetie was probably so overwhelmed with all of the changes in her life. The file states she lived in the orphanage for 12 1/2 years then was transferred to foster care. I cannot imagine how she was feeling. 

She also likes to draw. I cannot wait to see the artist we will have in our home. 

We cannot wait to see any updates on our sweetheart. We are hoping to get something back this week. We sent her a care package through a service in China. We were able to send her some digital photos of our family and letters to be translated. 

This process will go super fast. We had our first home study visit this past Friday. It lasted 3 1/2 hours! We meet again tomorrow, Monday. She will give individual interviews for Jeremy and me. She will interview the kids and give a home safety inspection. Can you guess what we did yesterday? We cleaned!!!!  Everyone pitched in and cleaned. 

I also wanted to share a few pictures of the other kids enjoying the summer. 

I took a few of these through the screen. I apologize for the poor quality of a few.
Keep in mind we do have a much larger pool in the yard. Evidently Mariah's pool on the deck is a lot of fun.
It is likely a tie as to who had the most fun!

I will add that the kids taught Mariah how to blow though those pool noodles and spray others with water. It is safe to say that while Jeremy was watching Mariah yesterday, he ended up a little wet! Mariah is good at that!