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a really, really, REALLY great day…

One thing I have learned about our princess–is she needs 100% of this momma to really feel loved. Soooo…momma bird had a babysitter today from 9am to 4pm so I could totally focus on giving quality time to our biggest love. I waited for her to wake up–but at 10am…not rising yet…so I did what I always do with my little birds who need to rise–politely make a little noise close by their rooms and some times a little rise and shine birdy knock:)

She came down not feeling so well:(. I felt her head–and it was hot. I grabbed her and gave her the biggest bear hug–and her head fell into my shoulders. Bless her…she felt sick–and sick for this girl I guess means NEEDING me…she’s been tough as nails–but this fever thing…was a blessing today. I told her over google translate that she was hot, I’d take her temp and then momma bird would care for baby bird” (She has to think I’m crazy–but she DOES laugh when I refer to myself as momma bird and give out a little tweet. Okay–I shouldn’t have told y’all that because now y’all think I’m nuts;). Hey–when you have so many little birds to love you have to have a sense of humor and entertain YOURSELF or you might fly like a bird…far, far, away;). (Like my Forest Gump line thrown in there;)

SO–she had a temp of 99. REALLY not much of a fever…but I wasn’t going to tell HER that because it was an opportunity! I escorted her BACK up the stairs, got her some Pedialyte, Children’s tylenol (had to up the dosage for an almost 16 year old;) and crackers…I tucked her under the covers, put a rag on her head and did what momma birds do in times like these…I sang a song over her quietly…and once again…I think she loved it! Oh my heart…

She dozed off back to sleep–and momma bird waited. And waited. And waited. I had a sitter here after all–and hoped that she’d feel better by lunch. She came down the stairs in time for lunch–so I fixed her lunch and then did a momma bird scurry around the kitchen feeling her forehead and taking her temp again. I think the cold rag really got it down because it was under 98.6. While I was tempted to fib for the sake of bonding–we should always be truthful…so I confessed–she was feverless.

Time to hit google translate and the “Say Hi” translate app!

Wanna go some where?? Just me and you??


And off we went. I had some ideas–and I’ve learned that choices are VERY overwhelming to a child who has never had choices. SO–you simply make their choice for them. I’ve also learned that you TELL them–you don’t ask…but I really stink at that second part. I pull up to a pottery painting place…she’s very artsy so I thought she would be stoked!

“We are going to paint pottery together! Do you want to? (Note: I shouldn’t have ASKED.)


Aw man. Okay. Another idea. I knew her tummy was still not feeling well–so we couldn’t do anything very active. WHAT else could we do that involved…SITTING. No painting. No pottery. What girl would turn down…a pedicure? Pull up to nail place.

“We are going to get our TOES painted! Yay!!! Do you want to?


Oh…okay. Ummm…clearly out of ideas. I put my hand across the car on the back of the passenger seat and thought maybe if she wasn’t feeling well…then maybe she is sore. I rubbed her shoulders and said, “Massage??? You want someone to rub your feet and shoulders?”


Okay–the stinker has an opinion. I know…I know…I know…some of your regular host moms are saying, “That is NOT how it goes. You tell her, you take her, you teach her.” You must know my little/big bird. She really is precious. She is just really tender. Truuuuuuuuust me. So off we went–to Heavenly Foot Massage (my absolutely favorite secret in my town where you get a 1 hour foot, arm and shoulder massage for just $30!) The funnest part though was walking in to the tree hugger music–and we sat down the couch. ANY time you are SUPPOSED to be quiet–I maturely get the giggles. She was telling me to SHHHHHH! and I was rolling laughing on the couch. THEN her trying NOT to laugh at me made her start laughing. We have NO idea how to communicate by words–but here we were rolling on the couch, slapping the arm rests and wiping away tears because we were laughing so hard together.

Here we are waiting…just before I started cutting up…

Please take note of my tired eyes–not much sleep happening over here…teenagers will do that to you even more than your babies did!

I was sitting beside her…watching her get her first royal treatment…part of me wanted to whisper, “Do you KNOW you are the daughter of a KING?? Really–you ARE a princess my T!” and part of me wanted the lady giving her royal treatment to know just who she was loving on…one of THE most precious children in the eyes of God…truly a precious jewel…a child that is going to change the world…she just doesn’t know it yet;)

After our hour of R and R together—we decided to plan her party a little bit. She LOVES anything to do with cooking–so we hit up my favorite bakery to let her pick out and order her 16th birthday cake for her party on the 30th. She keeps telling me who she wants to invite to her party–and it’s so much fun getting to plan her first birthday party with her…but for this mom it makes my heart ache too–knowing what turning 16 actually means for these kids. STILL…she is choosing JOY for this day–so I am too. It is NOT the end (where so many of these kids begin living on the streets as they can no longer live in the orphanage) but it just has to be her beginning. I tell her EVERY DAY that she is going to change the world–and I just know this is the beginning for her. We may not be called to adoption–maybe we are called to something just as big and even crazier than that with this sweet girl. I know know–but I know the Lord has a plan. And she is a STINKER–and I totally believe the book “Nice Girls Don’t Change the World” is totally legit. She has had to fight to make it this far…and we are going to join her fighting team for her future.
So by golly–let there be CAKE!

I wasn’t sure if she would really enjoy designing her own cake–especially all the talking that would be needed and communicating over my iPhone apps from English to Russian can be mind boggling. STILL–she LOVED it!

LOVED that this baker saw my pain…girlfriend looked through EVERY last album and said NO to every last picture…until she finally saw ONE she liked!

The baker was like, “You gotta be kidding me?! Are you telling me that THIS is how you two seriously communicate all day long??” Yes sir. Welcome to our world for just 20 minutes. You feel like your head is spinning and about to fall off? Oh I’m sorry. Maybe you need to eat a piece of your chocolate cake.

Now-I’m really glad I let HER pick out the cake because I would have NEVER in a million years chosen the cake she chose for her…

So–she decided on a 2 layer HEART cake. One layer vanilla. One layer chocolate. Pink icing. Basket weave around the side. TONS of flowers on top. “Happy 16th Birthday Tonya” (her new nickname) written on top. I asked her if she was SURE she wanted it to say Tonya–yes! yes! yes! Alright then. See what I mean–this girl has an opinion…it matters…and she is going to change the world:)

After that–we came home just in time to let my sitter go at 4pm. We had a great heart to heart over google translate–that included how much we love her–AND encouragement to just TRY to talk in English…to just practice a FEW things that would make her time here easier for her. She said NO–and did what she always does and went off on me in Russian. I politely typed that I still don’t speak Russian. She let me know that I should be the one learning it. I said we could both learn BUT to please see my heart and to please see I have 4 other children that are under age 7 and it is hard for me to care for all 5 children well AND pick up another language…could she just TRY to learn some. Because–after all…how will be Skype and talk on the phone about how we are going to change the world if she doesn’t? I got a pouty “OKAY”…so I’ll take what I can get. THEN we loaded up to visit a friend and her littles…

T read and relaxed on the swing while I got to pour into my other littles a bit…

Thanks Addie for letting us play with your boat AND your baby to bring smiles to all my little birds’ faces!

Princess T was in such an amazing mood…truly she needed and needs that longer one-on-one each day to fill her cup. We came home and she was OKAY coming home (she likes to go, go, go). We cooked TOGETHER. Laughed quite a bit. And I’ll confess I looked at the microwave clock here and there–because Rico Suave has been out of town and he would be home tonight! We finished dinner–and T helped me CLEAR the table AND LOAD the dishwasher. Not only was she feeling better but being a helper–and we were laughing at the littles doing and saying crazy things around us. She helped me change Isaac and brush his teeth and we put him to bed–TOGETHER…tenderly tucking in his covers and turning off his lights–together…sweet bonding with my T!

She asked for a bike ride…so out we went. She asked to call a friend or two–so we TRIED but no answer. All the while my other 3 were so sweet and patient and do what she requests to do with us…even if they aren’t up for it. (I have the coolest kids in America people.) And then Rico Suave walked in the door and I literally RAN and threw my arms around him! He of course laughed…he knew momma needed a break.

He was left to put the other 3 down while Princess T and I went to her room and made necklaces out of beads and hemp. I made her a bracelet and carefully tied it around her wrist…and then my other 3 snuck in and made some with us. Princess T worked on her cross stitch piece that says, “Nothing Is Impossible With God”…and we sat there singing Christy Nockels praise worship as we beaded and sewed. (I thought 2 things…1. JOY…this is JOY. In the hard–whether or not it’s happy–there is JOY. Joy is being in the hard and staking your feet in the ground to say I will NOT be moved. I am going to stand right here Lord where you have called me and I will love with your love until YOU move me. And the 2nd thought was 2. Where the heck is Richard and why is he not putting down the younger 3?! Just being honest;). The man was in his garden loving on his tomatoes. MEN!

Princess T was getting tired…as were the others…so momma bird tucked in her baby birds…closed the doors…and wanted to crash. But instead…she held back tears–thanking God for everything He has done and everything He will do. Y’all, He really is good all the time. This is the hardest thing I’ve ever done–I want to freeze time and run at the same time…I daily release fear for her future and then I wonder what in the WORLD is my King up to??? He isn’t safe…but He is good…and I’m gonna trust Him.

Love y’all…good night!


Contessa - July 12, 2012 - 1:44 am

Oh how I am enjoying reading these daily installments. It’s going to be such a sweet thing to go back and reread. Just like how it’s so easy to forget the little things with a newborn, because it’s such a blur. It’s like a God approved soap opera for me I swear! 🙂 You are doing such an awesome job with her. I prayed for you yesterday. I do have to ask where the life jackets were!? 😉

-Just a blog stalker from Alaska

Mama Mimi - July 12, 2012 - 3:01 am

Wow! You are in inspiration! Thank you for sharing daily hOw God is working in your life and in T’s.

Corinne Cline - July 12, 2012 - 3:09 am

“He isn’t safe…but He is good…and Im gonna trust Him.” I needed to hear this specifically tonight, thank you.

KT Pierce - July 12, 2012 - 3:50 am

I love these. I think you should print out all the images you take of her and your family while she was there and make a little scrap book WITH her that she can take home. 🙂

Alison - July 12, 2012 - 8:51 am

Oh, Andrea, I am in tears! Thank you for sharing how the Lord is moving in your family and in sweet T’s life!

Sandi - July 12, 2012 - 3:07 pm

You are absolutely doing the right thing! She deserves to feel like a princess. Structure works but when foster parents get too rigid it robs these kiddos of having a little choice in a lifetime when so many of the choices have been taken from them. You are helping her to see that she is worthy by your treatment of her raising her self confidence. You are showing her how to love her own little birdies if she becomes a mother even in harsh circumstances. You are teaching her how to trust and how to give and receive love! You are getting it right 100% Praying for you all…

Rachel N - July 12, 2012 - 5:48 pm

Seeing her sitting in that chair getting pampered brought tears to my eyes. The way you are loving her and totally dependent on Father for His grace and strength is such an inspiration. Yes, she’s going to change the world.