Long Road to China - Our Adoption Story

Trustmark National Bank account set up:

Donations can be made nation wide at any Trustmark National Bank through the account:
Phillip Smith or Niki J. Smith's Adoption Account

If you would like to mail a donation, please mail it to
Phil or Niki Smith
P.O. Box 332
Rienzi, MS 38865

Friday, September 21, 2012

The day I'll never forget...

2 years ago today was a day that changed not only my life forever, but our entire family!  The last few weeks, my mind has constantly replayed the events from that day & the weeks leading up to it.  I remember the fear, complete hopelessness & vulnerability I had the 1-2 weeks leading up to September 21, 2010.  I felt something was wrong due to symptoms, but there was nothing I could do to change the inevitable outcome.  A mother’s hopelessness & pain, as you know your baby will probably pass before you is unexplainable!  It was a day of great sorrow & joy! 

Many never think about that day or the baby we lost.  Many may minimize the loss since our child had not lived a day out side of me in this sinful world.  The ones that still remember may never mention our child as they might feel awkward mentioning our baby they never saw or they may not speak of it afraid of making me upset.   

I remember the days I carried our love.
I remember the days of fear I spent of the unknown.
I remember the day I gave birth to our child.
I remember our great loss & hurt from losing our Landon!

Many try to comfort me by saying things as
“This was God’s will.”
“Even though it hurts, it’s better off as there was probably something wrong with the baby.”

As I do appreciate people’s words & understand their intentions are not meant to be mean spirited in the least; they were only trying to comfort me.  However, I’ll be honest in saying that none of that makes me feel any better! Please don’t take that to mean I didn’t appreciate your thoughts; I really appreciated that you cared & took the time to say something. 

You see, my brain cannot comprehend how it would be God’s will to take our child.  I will be honest in saying I do not understand why God does not prevent the death of a child.?  I just don’t understand it & do not think I will ever be able to comprehend until I’m in His Kingdom.  Until then, I walk in faith because I know our God is just and loving!

If something was “wrong” with our child, it just didn’t matter to me as Landon was perfect in our eyes!  You can see from the children we have adopted as our own, we don’t find these special needs as being “wrong” but a “special” need – meaning they need special or extra attention or will do things differently.  I know that our children we have adopted (nonetheless ours – just arrived in different route) are not the most severely sick children nor have an extreme or very intricate special need.  Am I being hypocritical or naive saying that it wouldn’t have mattered if something was “wrong” with our baby, but haven’t adopted a child with the most severe/toughest special needs? No!  God has led us to & given us ALL our children!  We did not just spin a wheel & say hummmm, this is the child we want.  Not at all - just like we didn’t spin a wheel for our bio children!  Actually, we’ve spent many hours praying & being prayed for that we would do God’s will!   These are the children our Lord has blessed & entrusted us with!  I don’t know what the future holds & I will just walk in His light!

You see we Loved our Landon before we ever met – just as God Loved us (His children) before we were ever born.  Landon was our child just as much as any of our other children. 

Today I can finally say that I hold a peace that our Landon is with our Maker!  I’m selfish to wish our child was here instead of a place of perfection in all ways!  Do I miss Landon?  Of course and I’d be highly surprised if that ever changed!  Landon is our child & I know we will meet again so that makes the pain bearable! 

This maybe the only pictures I have of our angel 
 but there is not a day that goes by that I don’t miss our baby!  And  Landon will live in my heart until we unite again!

In our bedroom, you can find this at one side of our bed:

Framed are priceless words that Phil wrote about his Dad when he left this earth & were read at his funeral.  The cross was a special gift we were given at the funeral home.

On the other side of our bed, you will see this:

Even after 2 years, I haven’t had the heart to frame our only pictures as I’d planned.  One day I think I will find that strength.

These are a sort of memorial of the ones that have gone before us!  They are so close in our hearts! I feel both of them so near many days in things I see & do, something that happens or is said.  There are signs that are extremely special to me! I know they may not live on this earth but they are still with us!

BW I feel like I live with you every day through my son - your first grandchild!  Those that knew you know how he is like you in so many ways – including not being able to stay on his feet even at the most inappropriate times! Yeah, we chuckle frequently about you falling while carrying the casket to the grave side along with many many precious memories.  Oh the funny & fond celebrations we hold of you!  I wish I had all the stories written down that have been told to us over the years.  I’d say you were one of a kind, but then I have one too much like you to be able to say that!  You would love all your grandchildren, but you & Colt would really relate.  I know it would have tickled you!

Landon, Mommy Loves you very very much!  I do not believe I will ever understand why you did not stay, but I have to not dwell on that today!  Instead, I concentrate on the time I had with you 
& all the joy you brought me in your short stint. I focus on the fact we will be together again!  I miss you every single day, but I’m glad you did not have to deal with this world & you've only known complete happiness!  I thank God for the time He gave you to me & I cherish those moments! I love it when I get special signs of you being close and I always smile! I wish I could hug & kiss you today……..until we meet again, you will forever live in me!  Landon, you may not be walking on this earth but never forgotten...........Love you Forever, my angel!  I will do my best to make today a celebration of your life & not focus on my selfishness of wishing you were here!

Sunday, September 16, 2012

Our interesting life, introduction, & fighting for justice.........

I have about 4 blog entries almost complete that needs to be finished & posted, but I thought I'd give you a laugh into our crazy life from this weekend!  

As you know Friday we were blessed with new pictures of Guan Ya.  Then, we had a homecoming & football game.  At homecoming, GiGi was overwhelmed with all the people, noise, & commotion.  For the most part she did not want out of my or Dada's arms.  However, there were some little boys that kept coming back to her to "talk" to her.  GiGi loved the attention & she returned the flirts by teasing them! Yeap, DaDa & Bubba have got their hands full here!  And some boys have already been hinting they liked Guan Ya from her pictures so it's not stopping anytime soon! ha

I don't know if it's the change in weather or if there is some little something going around, but most of us here haven't felt the best this weekend so we stayed inside. 

Yesterday, GiGi continued to throw shoes in the floor - like all of them!  The first time, I said "No, No - Don't do that GiGi".  I was in a hurry so I picked them up as she just looked at me.  

The second time she threw them on the floor, I said "No, GiGi.  You cannot do that.  Come help me pick them up."  Well, she was very resistant & I used hand-over-hand to make her pick them up.  She was not happy about it this time.  
A short time later, she AGAIN throws down all the shoes in the floor.  I again (never raising my voice but getting frustrated as she completely understands) said "No, GiGi.  I've already gotten on to you.  Come pick these up." 
GiGi replied loudly "I aiiin't!  I aiiin't!"  (Yeap, I told you she was already country!)  Yeah, she yelled it twice as if the first time wasn't enough!  Well, I couldn't keep from laughing but it wasn't getting her out of picking them up.  Well, let's say I've met my match with stubbornness & G!  I just thought Macy Jade was stubborn but GiGi, she takes the cake for that prize!  It was at least a 40 min stand/stare-off between she & I.  She used several words during that time such as "No", "Quit It" (because she didn't want me to make her pick up the shoes), & of course more "I Aiiin't".  Well, after a few tears, I'll just say this........she kinda picked up one shoe so I guess I won!  In the words of George Strait, "If you'll buy that, I've got some ocean front property in Arizona."

Ahhh, can you believe that this sweet face

can be so defiant? 

 Whew, this weekend Miss G has been full of loud "No", "I Aiiin't", "Quit It", "TOOOP" (translation STOP) along with a lot of throwing herself on the ground kicking & making puddles of tears within seconds.  DaDa, Macy, or Colt will run pick her up immediately & if I'm close Miss G, yells "Maaaa"  with the biggest grin!  Yeah, she knows the tricks!  If you see me standing in Wal-Mart & I say something like "Don't touch that" & GiGi falls on the floor screaming & crying, I'll probably just stand there and watch her for a bit.  I guess I'm the bad mom, but if I immediately picked her up, I'd have these fits all day!  Trust me I know this to be fact! ha

However, when she says "Love Lu!" or says & signs things like "More Eat" or "More Milk" (yes, she is already signing some that we've taught her) our hearts melts faster than a popsicle on a Mississippi July!

I've failed to introduce you to someone & I feel it is appropriate to let you in on the story.  

Friends, Meet Ricky! 

For Macy's birthday in August, she got a hamster.  Yeah, I wasn't so fond of it but I have to admit Ricky has grown on me over the month.  After Macy got him, we asked the first question most people ask
"So what are you going to name him?"  You know our family is not the norm so when she said Ricky, we were kinda puzzled, but o.k.  But wait, we don't know a Ricky so where did that come from?  So again, we ask the next normal question 
"Why did you name him that?"  Well pals, the rodent was named after Ricky Bretherton.  Who, you may be wondering?  "You know Ricky as in Billy's brother." Macy would explain.  
Billy - who?  "You know Billy the Exterminator."  Oh my, yes, our daughter named her mouse-relative after an exterminator!

You see, Macy likes Billy.  I don't know why she didn't name her hamster Billy.  Maybe it would get too confusing knowing if she was talking about Billy the Exterminator or Billy the Hamster.  Why would one even wonder that?  I mean come on, if my daughter will name her pet rodent after an exterminator, nothing else really needs more explanation! 

We were so busy with getting home from China, school starting, blah, blah, blah that Macy didn't have a birthday party thrown by us like usual.  Some family got together, but not our typical birthday party.  Macy was fine with this.  However, earlier in the year when we asked her about her party, she always told us that she wanted a "Billy" Party.  What's that we'd ask?  "A cake with bugs, snakes, and all the animals that he (Billy) exterminates."  "Plates & napkins" as she continued explaining "would have Billy's picture on it." "For the theme (sometimes we do things as princess make-over, bounce-arounds, fingernails painted, bowling, etc) , Billy will be at the party."  Yes, I know only my child, but she will watch that show as long as I'll let her at a time!  I guess if she couldn't have a "Billy the Exterminator" party then we'd do the next best thing........get a rodent & name it after Billy's brother! 

I'm sure you can see that DaDa & Bubba REALLY have their hands full!  Colt says to me 
"Please mom, No more girls!  The next one has to be a boy!" 
I asked him "Do you not like your sisters?"
 He said "Yes, I love everyone of them, but 3 girls are enough to drive me crazy.   How am I gonna keep the boys off of 3?  At least get me back up before you adopt another girl!" 

I don't want to leave you in fear of our dilemma so....
I will reveal a quick glimpse of our superheros

Til our next stop at fighting for justice!

Friday, September 14, 2012

Yeah - Update on Guan Ya.....

We were so excited to get an update of our Guan Ya!  Phil will definitely have another "go to" model when she gets here!  Isn't she beautiful?!?!?!  Phil may have to buy stock in Black Cat!  I mean really we have 3 beautiful daughters!  ;0)  It wouldn't be the first time he fired up some fireworks (sounding like a machine-gun to "want to be" sneaky boys) to run them off..... I won't mention any names but I still laugh thinking about some boys (about 6 years ago) rolling our yard & then rolling down the hill at the sound of flashlight firecrackers! hehe

From looking at her pictures & reading about her orphanage, it appears she has a nicer orphanage than GiGi was in.  From our understanding Guan Ya is in a foster home at this time.  As we've said tons of times, all orphans need a forever family & love!  We are so blessed that God has chosen us to entrust our newest daughter!

Guan Ya is in the red coat.  These were from her birthday in March.

 I'm guessing this was a birthday for another child from the orphanage.  It was taken about 4 months ago.
 Guan Ya in white shirt & long hair.

   Again, I'm guessing this was a birthday for another child from the orphanage.  It was taken in January.
 Guan Ya has on the pink coat with poka dots.
Can you say typical teen look? lol

Guan Ya in the middle. These were taken in June.
Guan Ya peace out!

It never ceases to amaze me how much you can love your child!  We will be traveling to get our daughter before March 9 (her 14th birthday).  This adoption is being expedited so she will not age out before our adoption is complete.  Please continue to pray for all of us!  Blessings!  Niki