Tuesday, July 31, 2007

A gift for Mommy!

After 2 weeks on the beach and two week of sickness...and trying my best to keep our house and bodies clean and presentable! I was made aware - by my wonderful husband - that i had forgotten about THE CAR!

Yeah....so we would get in and eat lunch...go to the beach and bring home sand...leave our school papers...gum wrappers...lolly pop sticks...toys...clothes...shoes...and so much more. Who is counting...it's my car right?!?! Well...the truth of the matter is that the car looked like a war zone and it was down right embarrassing. My theory was that we only had to get from point a to point b - we didn't need to live in there!

So after 3 weeks of trashing my car - Daddy, Ben, Kyle and Will spent an afternoon undoing the damage!! They had such fun! Watching them scrub and clean and laugh and get wet...was enough to make me want to trash it all over again!! Here are some photos of my team working together to clean mommy's car! And Erica, Bradley and Benjamin helped to supervise this event! You did good guys!!!

A 5 year old teaches his mommy how to apply herself!

A storm was upon us. It was about a week ago. Those of us who live in this neighborhood remember it well!! The power was out and we were really at a lack for something to do? Kyle was enjoying the flashlights and the possibilities of scary monsters hidden in the depths of the closest and Will was just tooling around - but Ben....Ben was scared! Scared that the lights would NEVER come back on - scared that we would get hot without air conditioning - scared that Daddy's Submarine would not be able to see land and scared that he would never eat again because I was not able to make cheesy mac or pizza? Ben was just a pile of negative nervous energy and he was asking one questions after another and truly - DRIVING US NUTS!
So I asked him "What can we do to take your mind off of this tragedy until the lights come back on?".....and I gave some choices: A Game, Color, Play with some toys upstairs or maybe even a puzzle? Yeah...my own fault because I put that option in there...but he latched on to the puzzle idea with the most enthusiasm I had seen him show in over an hour! Doing a puzzle was about to change our whole night!
Miss Erica bought Ben a Shrek puzzle for his birthday. The age says 5 and up? 200 pieces? And so we begin on the coffee table in the living room. Each piece turned the right way (will was helping to undo this very well) and we separated the end pieces from the middle and so on and so on. Ben had never done a puzzle of this skill level before but he took to it like a machine. One instruction from me and he was finding every piece with "sky" in it in seconds. He had the border done in about 30 min...and then we moved on to the inside picture. 3 hours later - we had our masterpiece! And while I yawned and had anxious moment of feeling like it would never be over....Ben was truly like a puzzle maniac...he stayed focused and intent and excited...very little frustration....no facial expression...just pure intense devotion to the project at hand! Amazing really!
Well...I am not a puzzle person...I am a "play t-ball in the yard" person ...or a "go swimming at the beach" person. I need to exert energy and run to be at peace. I don't think I have ever finished a puzzle in my life! Thank you Ben for helping mommy to get to the end of this little adventure!!
We saved the finished product for daddy to see when he got home and we will delve into 300 pieces next time I hit Target! Thanks Erica for the hours of Fun and Great Job Ben...your persistence and "stick-to-it" ism...will take you great places! Thanks for the lesson in self application and what it can accomplish!!

Saturday, July 28, 2007

If it is not my fault...then why am I suffering and he ended up with exactly what he wanted?

I am going to start by explaining briefly why I have chosen to write the following blog. I have had a very sad thing happen to a very DEAR friend of mine this month. Her story is tragic, but filled with hope and just a small example of how crazy and unfair the world can be. The world is so uncertain and can take many twists and turns that we maybe don't see or expect. Some may be small curves and some large bends. Some we may have control over and some we do not. All we can do is be the best people we can be, love with all of our hearts, trust in others, be wise, learn from our mistakes, and always - no matter what - always steer toward new experiences and greatness!

As the story goes, "she" - my friend - called me one night last week to say that her husband was leaving her. Was she surprised? No...she had known this was coming for over a year. She even knew the other woman's name. The affair was well hidden at first and then the charade became sloppy. Hints of the infidelity were everywhere. Poorly hidden in the receipts that she would find in his pockets, in the phone bills that they received, in the number of nights he was away from home, in everything that he did there was a hint of his crime. And at some point it all became so obvious - as if they were saying to her "we want you to find out".

Finally, after over a year...the affair became so blatantly obvious that she had to "catch" him in the act and bring it all out into the open.

So back to the phone call....of course I am immediately filled with a million questions for my dear friend as she breaks this terrible news to me. But I stay quiet and reserve my comments as I think quickly - my mind racing...I don't want to ask the "wrong" things. She is already crying and obviously beside herself with grief. I want to be a supportive friend, but I also want to know why she would let this man cheat on her for over a year - in full knowledge of what was going on - with a 3 year old son...and do nothing until now? And I want to tell her what a terrible JERK he is - and truly - I want to say it over and over and over again! I want to tell her how much I hate a man that would do something like this to his family! And I want to tell her how wonderful she is and that this is not her fault!

I was filled with such fear for her stability and her need to hear the right advice and to feel loved and supported at this terrible time in her life. So instead of talking I decided to just sit and listen. And while she talked, if a question was asked of me...I realized that if I didn't answer or give a response right away - that was ok...she would just keep on talking...talking for over 2 hours...and then after all of that time - I had enough information to put the pieces together in my head and to make sense of this whole terrible fiasco.

It was now clear to me "why". My friend was in love. She knew at some point about a year and a half ago that she was "losing" her love. She could feel it in the way he hugged her and in the attention that was lacking her. She could tell by the trends in their private life and in the way that he was pulling away little by little from their son. She tried everything she could think of to make him love her back the same way that she loved him. Everything including turning the other way when she saw all the signs of an affair blossoming on the outskirts of her family.

Why - well...she was in love with all of her heart? She blamed herself for his loss in interest and she blamed herself for not being the kind of person that her husband wanted to spend his whole life with. She lay in bed every night for the last year and a half praying that he would end his relationship with the other woman and love only her and her son.

One week ago - after all of the self doubt and nights of feeling less than a woman...she hears him speaking to a woman on the phone outside of their home at 1am. She wakes up and hears her own husband out on the deck talking to this person. She has heard it before, but this time around she hears them speak of a text messages that they had been sending back and forth that night. So after he goes to bed...she checks his phone and sure enough - not even an attempt to erase them - there are racy text messages between the two lovers. Her husband and the other woman.

She laid in bed that night knowing that everything would change for her if she confronted him? Her family would be torn apart. Her son would be devastated? She would have to leave him and start a life on her own as a single parent? But if she stayed with him she would continue to live this lie. A lie that beat her down and made her feel a sense of worthlessness every day of her life. A feelings that has become a part of who she is and a major part of her depression and anxiety. Can she be a good mother when she herself is so unhappy? But can she be a good mother on her own? The questions haunted her until early in the morning.

He is in the bathroom - getting a shower and she knows that this is her opportunity to change the course of her life. She loves him, and she loves the idea of her family staying together, but it is not real. He is not in love with her and she has no family if HE has no loyalty to she and her son! It was time for the charade to end. So while their son slept - she confronted him.

And he said nothing but "I am so sorry." With that, he packs up his things and heads to his car and leaves. This was the last she and her son have seen of their husband and daddy. He has been in touch via phone to talk about custody of their little man. But that's it - it is over. Done.

While I can only give a little detail in this blog, I have to say that my friend is one of those true - great people that gives more than she will ever take and who loves unconditionally. Never a moment in our 16 years of friendship that i have ever doubted her character. She is a super mom and an inspiration for the good she does in this world. After two hours of talking and sorting her thoughts out loud on the phone I said to her - "This is NOT your fault"...and she said...."Oh Renee, then why am I suffering and he ended up with exactly what he wanted?" Aghh....I could feel my throat fill up and it was hard to talk...as I wiped away the tears and tried to stay strong for my friend I could do nothing but admit to her that I just did not know what to say? It is all so unfair...yet the only choice for her is to move forward and to search for some good in her life - something that makes all that she has and will go through worth it.

In the end...she WILL come out ahead after she has shed herself of this year and a half long burden. She will start a full time job next week after being 3.5 years - a stay at home mom. She will move into her rental unit in two weeks with her son and begin a life as a single mother with a dad that has custody every other weekend (for now).

For all of you reading this blog - please pray for my friend, that she may find the strength to move forward despite her hurdle...that she will find a way to be the inspiration in her child's life that will make his world a spectacular place. And please pray that she finds a way to believe in herself again and to trust in people again and to find her way to a better place for both she and her baby! And also, please take a moment to be thankful for all of the good in your world and for the family around you!

And for my friend - I know the world has great things in store for my dear! You have loved with your whole heart and you can never be wrong in that! The future possibilities are endless and exciting for you because you are able to love so strong and so pure! Your story is unfair and tragic and I know you want to tell the whole world what this bad person did to you! I only hope my blog helps you to see that - by all world standards - the blow you have been dealt SUCKS! But in the end this tragedy till take you closer to where you are meant to be in this world and I believe that with my whole heart.

Never lose faith girl - you and your baby need you to stay strong and focused! I know this path is scary, but it is filled with hope and support and new doors that will open to you. In many ways your burden is shed and you will be able to love yourself again for all the good that you are to so many people!! I'll pray for you and love you through it all and no matter what - I will always be here to listen!

Tuesday, July 24, 2007

FAQ #1: How our Journey to China Began...

William was 3 months old and for whatever reason - this time around - I was sure that my body could not undergo another pregnancy. This one was the hardest and had taken its toll in much different ways than the other two. And I am here to tell you that knowing this made me cry. One night after the kids went to bed I said to Steve - I don't feel done? Yet my body is telling me I have to be and that make my heart actually ache!?

I cried and he felt so sorry for me. And so we talked about our options. When I was in my teens and 20's, I had some health issues that caused doctors to tell me that my chances of having children would be very slim. At that point in my life - before a husband, or before the knowledge that years would bring for me - I knew that I would be a mother! Some how, some way - I would have children. And if that meant I could not give birth to them - no matter! I would adopt my family and love them in the same way that any parent loves their OWN child!

Well, back to that night - when the kids were in bed and the anxiety of my desire to have more children weighed heavy on my heart...And probalby because we had our hearts open to adoption from the very beginning of our relationshiop...Steve and I decided that we would look into options for adoption. Research can't hurt and at least I would know what my options were. Steve was leaving for a trip with his sub and I was now given to go ahead to check out "options" without having to feel like "My husband is going to surly leave me if he knows what I am thinking!!"

After two weeks of reading everything I could find on all sorts of adoption avenues...I came upon a calling that will live with me for the rest of my days! There were all of these beautiful little girls in China with no home and no mommys or daddys...and they lived in such unspeakable conditions. Many families were creating homes and lives for these children and I wanted to do that too. I wanted to create a mother and father, and brothers, and grandparents and Aunts and Uncles and Cousins for one perfect little girl from this far away land. I wanted to bring her to America and show her a life full of any possibility that she could dream up! I wanted one little girl to be our baby/sister!!

It was that simple - it didn't take us months and months to decide. The decision came easy for both Steve and Myself. In soem ways we be believe it is because this was meant to be and it was only our job to find the path. Once we found it - it was very clear what we woudl do! After much paperwork and mistakes and more paperwork, the process was well on its way. The wait time was about 14 months at that point! That meant that we would have our daughter in the spring of 2007 and that seemed just around the corner for us!!

Of course that is when the governmental changes in China began to take place and as many of you know...our 5K became a marathon at some point! The Chinese Government has a one child policy in place to control their future population. At the rate the Chinese population was growing in the 1970's, they would physically not be able to support their people by the year 2025. It was a crazy plan that was fround on by many nations...but it worked. By the year 2000, the Chinese population was actually heading the opposite direction. This of course came with some unpredicted challenges. The elderly population was high and the infant population was very low. Who was going to take care of the elderly population with the numbers so drastically unbalanced?

The other side of the issue is this...It is rooted deep within the Chinese culture - Males are the dominant being. Males will take care of their families. If I can only have one child....I need it to be a Male. Now what happens when the one child I am allowed to have comes out female? I leave her on the street corner to be picked up by the orphanage staff and try again! There was no choice for these women...It was what they believed deep in their core and the values that we so evenly place on any child that comes into the world...was just not a part of who these women are. They just didn't see it the same way. They were not bad people...just victims of a governmental decision mixed with a cultural value making their decisions to abandone in many ways out of their control.

And so the female orphan population grew and grew and the adoption channels were wide open for other countries to take advantage of!

But now what...and here is the current problem. Who will all of these Male Chinese Men marry when they come of age? Well...by the year 2025, there will be one female for every 30,000 men (or a stat very close to that - I don't want to be quoted for 100% accurace - I am darn close!!) How will these men procreate? Who will serve them and feed them and care for them? No one at this point - Only the lucky will have a family life that we all dream of!

So, in short, the Chinese government is keeping some of their orphanages closed to adoptions now in order to supply the future female demand that they will have. Not for profit agencies are helping to education and give culture to these females that will live their lives in waiting. They are also helping to provide Chinese foster parents in order to give them a good life. And for the people - like us - who wait for our china doll - we will have to wait a bit longer as the supply and demand is off balance once again!

But there are so many little women who are in need of a home and likewise, so many families in waiting for their child! Time lines have increased, but the need for adoptive parents is still high. and the want for the Chinese children is high as well.

Many people ask me - "if you would have knows it would take this long would you have chosen a different path?" And the answer is not simple, because I "didn't" know and we made the decision to adopt based on a different set of variables than we have today. But I "think" I can say - NO - we would not have made a different decisions. My heart lies in our process and in the dreams of our little girl joining our family in the future! I wait for her and think about her each and every day. No matter 6 months or a year...we will wait for her.

God took our hearts to China and it is not for me to decide when or where...I just keep the faith and prepare her life with the Mongold family! She will come to a world where she is loved by so many. Time can't change that! The 14 month process is now going to take us approximately 2.5 years! That means we will have our little girl next spring or summer! And as times goes by we all get more and more excited with each passing day!

I will use this blog to keep everyone updated on our process! I'll poster her photos when we get it and all the information that comes with that photo! If the process speeds up or slows down - I'll share the info. Our agency is http://www.chinesechildren.org/. Feel free to check it out and read more! They are a wonderful agency with such love and passions for what they do! We are lucky to have been led to them!

Thank you to all of our friends and family who have shown such support and love during our wait! I am, who I am, because of each of you and I know this little girl will bring us ALL so much joy! Each and every waiting minute will seem like the the smallest price to pay for what she will bring to our lives! Thank you for being in this process with us! More to come.....

Sunday, July 22, 2007

Misplaced Blog

for the record...I started a blog about our vacation. Short and sweet, but just the same...it fell down the list a bit and it about three blogs back in case you want to read it!! :) I think it fell in order of the date I started making it and by the time I posted it I had other blogs in the way! FYI!

PS...I am feeling bloggy - I think I will be back in action with some new dish soon!

Love to all!!

The recovering and newly energized - LOVEBKW

Friday, July 13, 2007

Mommy near death experience creates Mongold Jedi's

Well, as many of you know, a crazy bacteria entered my body recently and wreaked havoc on my life. As of Tuesday afternoon I was no longer able to get up off the floor and my angel brother had to leave work and rescue me! I spent a day in the hospital and another day in my own bed before I even remembered I had a house or children to care for. And Uncle Brian had it all under control.

Their PJ's didn't match, and there were toys everywhere, but you would have though - by the look on the kids faces - that they were on week two of their family vacation...and the better half I might add!

As the story goes it is Friday morning and I am finally able to come down stairs and take part in my life again! So grateful for my brother and for my neighbors who saved me this afternoon with even more help with the kids! I just am so darn lucky that it makes my heart swell and my eyes tear to realize that I don't really know how I could have come through this without Brian, Erica and Sue? But lucky for me...I don't need to know that because they are here and they are my angels!

Anyway - small tangent of greafulness...but back to the story...Ben says to me when he woke up this morning as he sat at the table with Uncle Brian and Kyle eating Captain Crunch and seeing who could fit the most in their mouth. "Mommy...do I have to go to school anymore?". I asked him why? Did he not like school and he said "Yeah..I like school but Uncle Brian teaches us things too.". so of course i bite...I should have known better...but I go ahead and ask the question, "WHAT DID UNCLE BRIAN TEACH YOU?". And Ben jumps out of his chair...runs to the living room and grabs his light saber (star wars death weapon for anyone that does not know...) and he starts twisting his wrist and moving this light saber all over the room with this serious look on his face. And when he was done he said "So what did you think mom...Uncle brain taught me to use a light sabre like a real Jedi and Kyle can do it too!"

Yeah...we are sooooooooooooo going to school on Monday!!

But just the same...if everything happens for reason in this crazy world..the last three days of time spent with Uncle Brian have been very special for all of us and will never be forgotten!

May the force be with you!


The mom of two Jedi nights!

Daddy's Protege....or not?!?!

About a week and a half ago Daddy took Ben and Kyle to visit the navy base in Norfolk, VA. Their goal was to take the kids on their first tour of a submarine, to see and understand what Daddy did when he left the house for weeks at a time. And if time permitted there were going to just "see what else they could see" while they were on base.

The kids were enamored with the sub and all the buttons and lights and most of all the "bed" or rack that daddy sleeps in! They look small with a three and five year old in them...how the heck to grown men sleep there?

Steve showed them where he ate and where he had meetings and even how to drive the boat!
And in the end...the kids were even taken to the place where the torpedo's are launched and were able to see and touch the real thing!!! :)

What a wonderful day the boys had together and Steve was so proud to show his little men the place that he calls home when he is away from his family!

We are so very proud of what Daddy does for a living and for our country and it only makes me sad that the boys were not able to see the marvel of a real submarine sooner!

Now the funnies part of the day was this....After they were done on the Sub, Steve asked the boys if they would like to head to the airfield to see what was there. Of course they both screamed YEAH!!! And off they went. Just so happened that a friend of Steve's was there at the air base and was getting ready to head out on his helicopter. I am a novice at the names of anything that does not submerge, so I can't tell you what kind of helo they toured...but here are so photos of the fun!

What a perfect day! So the kids come home...just yelling and screaming all at once the stories of their day with Daddy!!! Now I, knowing only that they had seen a submarine at this point said, - in an effort to calm them down so I could hear individual words...So what do you guys want to do when you grow up!

And they said in unison "FLY A HELICOPTER!!! ha ha ha ha

Oh my how I laughed! Even a 2 hours tour on a submarine can't compare to 10 min in the hull of a helicopter! And Steve looked at them and said - I think that is a great choice guys!!! :) and we just shared a smile and listened to the next 30 min of detail about the day!

Tuesday, July 10, 2007

Childhood Dreams Come True!

It is my goal in this life I have been given, to create a special world for my children. I hope to create a world full of "Wow", a world full of reality checks, a world full of compassion, emotion, highs, lows and most of all, a mental box full of memories that can be shared into their golden years with friends and their own families!

Now the Mongolds just embarked on a weeks vacation to Kitty Hawk North Carolina with our very dear Friends Shelli and Hunter and their two little Men, Shane(5) and Ryan(3). I can say only this about our week of fun...it was just not long enough! Next year I am going for two weeks - even if it means selling a car! :)Did I do this many fun things as a child? I'm not sure...but I am sure of one thing...this is just the beginning for my little men! I want their box to be full to the brim with stories and memories and feelings of love !

So back to the memories.... (and for the record...we spent an entire week on the beach and it seems that no one had a camera on any single day that we were on the beach? Yeah...we sure kept those cameras safe from the sand didn't we! Of course we lost about 1000 and one photo ops...but hey...who's counting...at least I have the memories in my own mind! Fond memories!!)