Harder Family

Harder Family

Friday, March 31, 2017

Two Weeks Home (Almost)

1 Corinthians 13:13 "And now these three remain: faith, hope and love. But the greatest of these is love."

On Sunday, we will have been home from China for two weeks. I cannot believe it has been that long. It probably doesn't seem that long because we have been super busy the last two weeks. We have been spending time as a family bonding and building relationships. As we learned in our training, we have had a few moments where the boys have struggled with being homesick and with seeing how committed we are to them. Overall, they have done a great job adjusting to life in America and have bonded great with Wayne and the girls. 

We started school again this week after taking a week off for spring break. It has taken us a few days to find our new normal, but we are getting there. I'm glad we only have 8 more weeks of school though. The boys are very diligent students. I write down their work on the white board and they get straight to work. I'm hoping that they wear off on my girls.

Working on their English

I purchased books in China in Chinese so that the boys can keep learning in Mandarin. I am going to do my best to make sure that they retain their language while learning English.

Monday we were gone all day (literally from 7:50am-7pm) at doctor appointments. In the morning, Shan Chen and DJ were seen by Dr. Ochs, a doctor in the north side of Chicago that sees a lot of adopted children. He also adopted four girls from China! He is super sweet and was great with the boys. After that long appointment, we headed to Chinatown for lunch. I knew that it would be a long day, and I wanted to make sure that the boy's basic needs were met. What better way to feed them then to let them choose their favorite dishes? The loved their meal and we had a ton to take home for dinner and lunch the next day. After our meal, we headed to Lurie Children's Hospital for Shan Chen's MRI. They told us to expect about an hour MRI. When I finally emerged with Shan Chen, I asked Wayne how long we were in there. It felt like the longest hour of my life. I found out we had been in there almost 3 hours!! Hopefully we find out some answers from the doctor soon as to what they can do for Shan Chen.

Tuesday morning, I woke the boys up at 6:00am to take them in for blood draws. They had to fast and I knew that the only way we could avoid food for 8 hours was to go first thing in the morning. I learned an invaluable lesson Tuesday morning. Shan Chen asked me if he would have lots of boo-boos, and I told him only one. On Monday, they had to poke two arms to put his IV in. Unfortunately, his blood vessels weren't cooperative Tuesday morning either, so they have to poke him twice. He looked at me with the saddest eyes like I had broken his heart over "lying" to him. He literally sobbed in my arms for 15 minutes after that. Thankfully I was able to communicate to him what happened and all was well. After that ordeal, we headed to our homeschool co-op. The boys had a blast there doing AWANA games, physics, and art appreciation.

After co-op, DJ found our cotton candy maker. He asked so politely, "Mama, please cotton candy!" So, I told everyone they could make a little cotton candy. His smile and excitement for the little things makes my day!

Wednesday morning I received a call from Shriner's Hospital. They informed me that if I wanted to register DJ to be seen, I had to have a MRSA screening done for him. Our local pediatrician didn't have any openings, so I called Dr. Ochs. They could take him right in and have the screening done. So, I packed everyone up and all their homework, and drove to the north side of Chicago for literally a one minute screening (they had to swab his nose). We had originally planned on meeting Ting Ting, a sweet lady from church, in Chinatown for lunch so after the appointment, we headed to Chinatown. The kids had a blast. It was our first official big outing that included everyone. I felt slightly outnumbered and kept counting kids. Thankfully, my older girls each took on a buddy and helped them cross busy streets. We had a great time with Ting Ting and her daughters eating dim sum. 

Thursday and Friday (today), we have just focused on doing school and not going anywhere. it has been nice to try to recuperate after a long week. DJ loves to help me cook. The boys got to experience Chicago weather last week. On Friday we went to the park wearing shorts (85) and Saturday, during the girls soccer games, it was 40 and raining!! We did have a fun experience on Friday. After we played at the park for three hours, I took the kids to Chick-fil-a for ice cream cones. I pulled up and ordered 9 ice cream cones. The lady hesitantly said, "9 cones???" LOL! 

DJ loved feeling the whiskers on Wayne's face. Wayne decided to grow a beard for DJ.

God is doing amazing things in their lives already. I am so blessed to be a mom to 8 wonderful kids and an amazing, godly husband. God is good!!!

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