Monday, November 19, 2012

Now THIS is Brave LOVE

 OK....This is one of the most powerful stories about adoption that I have ever seen.  Amber is a picture of brave loving strength as she chooses an adoptive family to love Lily.  Amber shared this with BraveLove, and I want to share it with you!  Click on the link below and enjoy! 

Friday, September 28, 2012

BraveLove has launched!

Join the BraveLove Movement! Watch the video and go to the   BraveLove     website and find out how to get involved.  Help us share this hopeful message. 

Tuesday, September 18, 2012

I could have missed this!!

When I was teaching 3rd grade, my students would SAVE their loose teeth for me to pull.  I would put on a rubber glove, and they would sit on a stool in front of the class, and I would pull their little bitty loose teeth.  If I had missed the FIRST Porter loose tooth while in China???...well....I just might have really lost it for good!(OK...So that might be a little tear coming out of his left eye. I didn't prepare him that it would bleed.  Rookie mistake! 3rd graders know there is blood involved. Oops!)

How cute are these pumpkin pies in the cabinets?

Saturday, September 15, 2012


I cannot tell you what this picture does to me.  (THANK YOU to my sweet friend, Erica, who came to photograph us at the airport!  ) To finally be home with the rest of the kids, all in one piece, was truly a dream come true.  Just thinking about the airport moment of seeing them once again brought tears to my eyes for days after. Yes, those are homemade "Welcome Home, Micah!' t-shirts the kids are wearing - thanks to some AWESOME babysitters!

Micah is adjusting beautifully!  She is sleeping by herself in her crib through the night without a peep.  Let me tell you, if I can have a full night sleep, I feel like I can conquer the world (or 4 young toddlers).  She is loving playing with her brothers more and more, and we are seeing more of her true personality come out.  She is really pretty darling.  It is sort of like an onion where we are peeling back the layers as she begins to feel more at home.  And her hair is already getting longer!  I know that really doesn't matter, but I just CAN'T WAIT to get some Asian pigtails going!

Sure enough, Micah is beginning to feel more and more "like ours." If I am not around, she LOVES being with her daddy, but she can still give him a run for his money if I am in the room, too.  Thankfully, I married a patient man, and he treasures the time with her when they are alone.

We are a family of 6 now, and I certainly feel the weight of that.  However, the Lord has been gracious to give us joy in the journey and energy when we are exhausted.  Thank you for caring about us and joining us on our journey to Micah! 



Friday, September 7, 2012

We made it home!

All I can say is that you all MUST have been praying!  The flight from Hong Kong to Tokyo was a little rough, but the big flight from Tokyo to DFW was GREAT!  We had an extra seat on our row so she had her own spot and she slept probably 8 hours! Now, I paid for it last night when she was up most of the night wanting to get out of bed, but I would rather duke it out at home than on an airplane ANY DAY!

The airport moment with our boys was so wonderful! It was like a dream when I finally laid eyes on them.  I was so excited to see them I could not even contain myself.  They are so sweet an patient with Micah.  She loves having playmates already!

We are home.  All the P's are in the pod, and we are praying for God's gracious gifts of patience and peace every day.  I will post more pictures when I have them.  For now, I just can't thank you all enough for caring and praying for our journey to Micah.  She is finally HOME! 

Wednesday, September 5, 2012

Heading home!

Ok. So maybe I spoke a little too fast about Micah being a daddy's girl.  She still prefers being held by me, having me push her stroller, and me more or less being at her beckon call.  She hasn't made a habit of running to her daddy with her arms open yet.  However, Reid STILL doesn't get to take a sleeping pill for the plane ride home!

I cannot overstate the progress this little girl has made in less than 2 weeks.  She has gone from being sad and grumpy almost all of the time to being pretty happy and contented most of the time.  We know how to get her to smile and laugh, and she sleeps like an absolute champ! (A HUGE answer to prayer!) She has gone from having a hard time being in the same room with Reid to sitting on his lap readily and even asking to be held by him from time to time. She says "please" when she wants something, and she lets me leave the room for more than a minute without totally losing it. She doesn't cry just out of sadness anymore.  When Micah does cry, it is usually because we have said "no" to something or because we are not jumping high enough when she says jump.  Most of it is pretty basic stuff that ANY 19 month-old needs to work through.

We have a HUGE day of travel beginning 5 a.m. China time. That is 4 p.m. your time on Wednesday.  We will get home around 4 p.m. on Thursday.  So, if you read this blog and think of us, please pray that we are sane somewhere midair and that the other passengers around us are being patient :)  We can't wait to be stateside with America's newest citizen!  Love you all! 

Last night sleep in China! Notice she STILL likes to sleep with a terry cloth towel.

Monday, September 3, 2012

She did it!

Woke up this morning. Took Micah to see her daddy. She toddled over to him with arms up and sat on his lap and smiled about it. I am seriously excited! Thrilled actually! I would say she is officially daddy's little girl! This is one mom who is hopeful that she won't have to hold a wiggly toddler all the way from China to Dallas on her lap.  We will definitely be working in some additional daddy bonding time en route! And to think... he was hoping to take a sleeping pill and check out for the flight.  Not so fast, Mr. Porter...Not so fast!

Sunday, September 2, 2012

We can see the sky!

We made it to Guangzhou with out incident.  Thankfully, we had an empty seat next to us on the plane, so Micah could roll around and play.  She took the flight like a champ! Still not looking forward to 13 hours on a plan to come home, though... But at least HOME is on the other side of that flight. YIPPEEE! 

Guangzhou is a huge improvement from Jinan.  First of all, we can see the sky, sun, and clouds.  I don't think I realized how oppressive the pollution really was until we saw blue skies. The Garden Hotel is beautiful and the city feels pretty western.  We have all sorts of restaurants within walking distance, and today we went to the zoo. 

Micah has ups and downs, but she is more consistently up for sure. She still wants me to hold and play with her the lion's share of the time, but sometimes she will let Reid pick her up without a battle.  If she does battle, she usually calms down after about 30 seconds.  We try not to push her limits or exasperate her, but sometimes, mom just needs a break.  Like yesterday. 

We were at the medical examiner's office for 2 hours with 100+ other adoptive families all crammed in a noisy space with no AC.  Micah was having a meltdown where she didn't want up or down and there was nothing I could do to make her (or myself) happy! Of course (I felt like) everyone was staring at me. Thankfully, this was an adoption friendly crowd, so I wasn't overly embarrassed.  At lunch after that, she had another full on melt down in an all Chinese crowd and they ALL WERE staring at us.  The Chinese people don't let their kids melt down. Because of the one child policy, they do everything they can to make their children happy. If she starts screaming because we won't let her play with a knife or throw food on the floor, the Chinese people think we have something seriously wrong going on at our table. Strangers will even come up and say, "Whass wong wit da baby?"  It is pretty stressful parenting under a microscope. Micah is still suffering a pretty hefty sense of loss, so she is going to be more sensitive, whiny, and tearful than the average child.  We are not beating her, pinching her, or purposefully making her sad. Try explaining that in Chinese!

Today started out pretty rough. Our guide was not picking us up until 10 to leave for the zoo, and Micah did not want to be in the room any more.  She would pull my arm toward the door and scream and cry.  We told her we loved her, gave her some books and toys, but this did not fly. All she wanted to do was sit on the bed and scream at us.  So, we just let her have at it while we just sat in the room with her.

After a while, Reid sat the screaming child next to him (which is never her favorite thing) and started reading some of the books that we brought her. After about 10 minutes, she finally calmed down and started listening to the stories and mimicking animal noises Reid was making. The rest of the day so far has been WONDERFUL! She let Reid hold her tons at the zoo and never fussed when he pushed her stroller. We found a Mexican food restaurant for lunch and made it through without one screeching whine. When we got home, Micah went down for a nap without a battle.  It almost felt like what we would think of as a "normal" day!  How is that for a sabbath blessing!? Thank you guys for caring for us and praying for us.  It really is getting better and better everyday.  I know she sounds like a handful, and she is.  But she is also a delight to be around.  She can be completely adorable! Her little high-pitched raspy voice is so cute and when she wrinkles up her little nose and scrunches her eyes to smile, it makes your heart melt.  She is learning a lot and trying very hard to hop on the Porter program, bless her little heart.  We can't wait for you to meet her!

Micah and Mom had had enough of the doctor's office!

Truly happy in Daddy's arms!
Despite all the "Do not feed animals" signs, Chinese people throw human food to the animals all the time.
I didn't expect to be intimidated by these guys.  They are really cute, but they are definitely still bears

Our FIRST picture with everyone smiling

Micah's first quesadilla

Thursday, August 30, 2012

One step closer to home!

Hi!  We are packing up and heading to the airport soon for Micah's first plane ride.  We are heading to Guangzhou for some more  governmental paperwork before we fly HOME on Thursday.  Micah is doing better and better each day.  She smiles more often and even though we haven't seen the same warmth we saw at McDonald's, she is more patient and open to Reid.  I am praying that switch flips permanently before the long flight home.  A spider monkey clinging to me for 13 hours on a plane sounds pretty daunting :)  We will keep you updated from Guangzhou! 

Wednesday, August 29, 2012

Praise God for McDonalds...

And I am not talking about the food!

Tonight, something amazing happened. We were waiting for our dinner at McDonald's. (Let me please say this is the FIRST non-Chinese meal we have eaten since Friday. Everyone needs a little comfort food every now and then!) we were waiting for our meal and Micah grabs REID'S hand and pulls him over to the display of the happy meal toys. Then he picks her up to look at them. Not a peep from Micah.  THEN our food is ready. I go bring it to the table and Reid picks up Micah and puts her in his lap to eat, and SHE DOES IT WITHOUT SCREAMING! Wait! Wait! It gets better! Then we go to leave and she let's him hold her all the way down the block. SHE EVEN SMILES!

She then asked to be put in the stroller without shrieking or wining, and then she let's him PUSH THE STROLLER!!!!! Well, we were high fiving like idiots for the next block and a half! It was like this little light bulb went off in her head that, "OK...maybe this guy is not so bad after all."  People, let me tell you it was like the skies opened up and God reached down to give us this little blessing.  She still swatted his hand away and wouldn't let him hold her when we got back to the hotel, but WHO CARES!?!? There is hope! Yippee!

Thank you for your prayers. We had a great night! We may go to McDonald's every night! (ok...not really!) 

Tuesday, August 28, 2012

Pictures! :)

Hello from nap time in Jinan China! Things are getting better since my last post, but I can't say we are in parenting heaven by any stretch of the imagination.  Micah is still suffering a lot of grief over the loss of Ms. Zhou and anxiety about who the heck we are.  We knew this would be the case so it is not shocking - thankfully!  If we weren't prepared for that, this would be a lot harder than it is. But to be honest, it is still pretty hard.

What does this look like?  Well, for starters, she can be pretty grumpy and whiny.  There are times when she doesn't want to even look at me, much less be held by me.  However, she will hardly let me go into another room without her, door closed or not.  When we leave the hotel, she clings to me out of desperation not knowing if I will leave too.  Not that she really likes me very much! But I think she views me as all she has got, so she tolerates a spider monkey.  She will not let Reid hold her unless she is getting to push a button on the elevator, or reach something that she wants, or if they are in the pool together. It takes a lot for her to even let him touch her.  She'll fuss and swat his hand away or reach for me and whine or scream. And this girl has some PIPES! It is disheartening for him and a real beat down for me.  I have to do all the feeding, rocking, consoling, carrying, dressing, etc... Again, we were prepared for her to pick one of us to cling to, and we are trying to be patient.  After all, this is really only day 2. Cut this baby some slack!  Trust me, we ARE!

Last night, we took her for a swim, and she absolutely loved it.  Reid was already in the pool when we came out of the locker room, and she practically leaped into his arms.  Again, not because she likes him, but he was the one in the pool, and that is what she wanted.  I stayed out of the pool and he ate it up! We'll take it! We will be swimming again everyday to help her bond with Reid more and more. 

You may be wondering, was it worth putting her in foster care for only 4 months.  Without a doubt the answer is yes!  Since being with Ms. Zhou, her brain is now capable of attaching. She knows what it feels like to deeply trust an adult, so we assume she will develop trust in us more quickly than if she had never felt that.  She can eat solid foods and has grown a lot in Zhou's care. Until living with Ms. Zhou, she had only had bottles. The pain is great for her right now, but 4 extra months in an orphanage does a lot more damage than being separated from a foster mother.

Last night, I sort of lost it.  Let me be honest, not sort of, but really lost it.  After she was asleep, I  felt really homesick missing the children who I am already attached to. The little ones whose smells I can imagine and who understand me when I speak English to them.  The little boy who turned 2 yesterday (and I wasn't there), the other one who starts his VERY first day of school today (and I am not there), and the third one who I experienced all this adoption stuff with 5 years ago.  I REALLY miss that guy! Perhaps it is because his presence in my life gives me hope that I will one day feel like a mommy to Micah like I do to my Caleb.  Ugh! It physically hurt! I know that Micah will "get there." I know that Reid and I will "get there" too.  Probably before we know it, we will feel that mama and papa bear sensation arise and she will "feel" like our daughter.  But right now,  it just feels like we are babysitting this cute little Chinese girl. The Lord is clearly ironing out some gracious patience in me that I am lacking.  I just want to get to the other side RIGHT NOW! You see that?  I obviously need this lesson.  I went to sleep last night at 7:30 and didn't get up until 7...and that is with jet leg! I was pretty exhausted. Clearly this "patience lesson" takes a lot out of a person!

Some things to be thankful for:
1) The boys are doing really well at home.  We have been able to Skype and they love it.  Although, they keep asking if we are coming home "tomorrow" even though they know we are not. They are holding it together MUCH better than mommy is! Jo Lena and Beth are the BEST!

2) When we put Micah on the toilet, she goes to the bathroom.  It is amazing!  She can't tell you that she needs to go (not that we could understand her if she did), but she will go if we put her on it. Don't worry, she still wears diapers wherever we go. Welcome to Chinese early age potty training.  Pretty cool!

3) She is a GREAT sleeper! She does sleep with us in the bed, and she does wake up through the night and whimper.  However, we just pat her back and talk gently to her and she goes right back to sleep.  She takes great naps, too! She and Reid are asleep right now in the bed together.  Of course, she has no idea he is there, but hey, you can bond while you are asleep, right?

4) The Lord does give us moments of real love and empathy for this little girl.  She has the sweetest smile when we see it and she can be so playful.  She runs to me with a big smile on her face and arms open sometimes. She was an orphan, and now she is not. She has a mommy and a daddy, and 3 big brothers who can't wait to hug her, and kiss her, and love to yell at her through the computer! "HI MICAH!!!!"  She is officially a Porter and we feel so grateful that the Lord has chosen this little girl to be a part of our family. 

Now for the pictures :) 

 The view from our room.  That is not fog. It is smog. Yes, I am serious.

 Micah and Ms. Zhou.  Clearly M is not thrilled to be in our hotel room yet.

 With this smile you can see why our hearts melt for her. 

 The entourage plus one more behind the camera!

This is .5 seconds before she melted down completely.  Camera flash...then wailing for an hour. 

 Precious girl absolutely worn out on the floor with our robe.

 LOVING the pool, and her daddy...sort of.

 I guess Micah and I were both a little bewildered here.  She was a REAL trooper while we had government appointments ALL DAY LONG!

Today we got to sight see around Jinan.  This is our faithful tour guide, John.

Sunday, August 26, 2012

We have our little girl...

and she is asleep on the floor of our room!

We have had quite the roller coaster day. After 4 hours of sleep, we were picked up at 7 a.m. for the airport in Beijing.  (The Beijing Airport is unlike anything we have seen, by the way.) We arrived in Jinan at 10:30, and went to the hotel. We were supposed to meet Micah in our hotel room at 2 pm, bu she was taking a nap. So at 3 pm, our room doorbell finally rang. In walks Ms. Zhou (foster mom) carrying Micah, Ms. Zhou's daughter, our facilitator/translator, the orphanage director, and one of the orphanage caretakers who took care of Micah for the first 15 months of her life.  That is a lot of Chinese speaking adults in one small hotel room with a toddler. I tell you it was a circus!

Micah wanted nothing to do with us with all of the other wonderful Chinese people around to choose from.  Who could blame her?  The following 2 1/2 hours consisted of a lot of craziness: trying to get Micah to interact with us by playing peek-a-boo, giving her crackers, getting money exchanged (they didn't like the bills we brought so we will have to try again tomorrow at a different bank), getting "official" photos taken with our screaming child (they will be in frames for SURE!), asking questions about Micah's history through a translator, a lot of trying to hand over Micah to us followed by crying.  What we really wanted was for everyone to just LEAVE and let us figure it out!

When they finally did, Micah was GREAT...for about 7 minutes.  Then she realized the entourage wasn't coming back.  Well folks...she lost it!  I mean REALLY lost it!  She was crying so hard she threw up all over me.  It honestly broke my heart for her. We prayed and we sang, and she screamed.  She didn't want to be put down, but she didn't want to be held.  She was inconsolable for about an hour.  Then she did the craziest thing.  We were in the bathroom, I was holding her, and she was screaming.  She grabbed my hand and put it on the hotel bathrobe hanging on a hook in there.  I took the thing off the hook and handed it to her. She immediately put her thumb in her mouth, flopped over in my arms, and calmed down.  The girl loves terry cloth! Who knew!

Well...I lost it then.  I just felt so sorry for this poor little orphan girl who didn't know who to trust and didn't know if she would ever get to see the one person in the world she knew to be mama (Ms. Zhou). And I was really missing my other thumb sucker at home.  It seems that Silas and little Miss M already have something in common! We laid her down on the floor, covered her in the robe, laid down beside her, rubbed her head, and she went promptly to sleep.  She still is...on the floor...with her thumb in her mouth...clutching a huge robe.  Lord, give us the grace and wisdom to give this little girl just what she needs! 

We will try to post pictures in the next day or two. Thank you for praying for us!

Saturday, August 25, 2012

We made it!

We are here in Beijing for all of 9 hours. It is 2 a.m. and we get picked up from the hotel at 7 for a 9:30 a.m. flight to Jinan.  We will be meeting Micah in about 12 hours.  We can hardly wait! 

Wednesday, August 15, 2012

Hi Family and Friends!  I am going to try to fill you all in on what we are up to while we are in China. Wish me luck with that!  If you want to follow us, you can look here. (That is if we are able to figure it out over there!) Micah, we are coming soon!