What life looks like after 6 months!

•September 20, 2012 • 10 Comments

Hey all, this is Carin and I guess I am back. I say that because I am not really sure who I am as a blogger but some of you have seemed to enjoy it and have asked me to continue doing it. So from now on I will blog periodically on Restoration’s Blog site currently found here. I mean let’s face it any more than that and the truth will come out about how boring I really am in life. This blog will chronicle my journey in life as a wife, mother of three children and Gospel partner at Restoration Church. It will be real and open-never any fluff. So for all those 3 people out there who are going to read this-including my mother-here we go!!!

So today’s post is going to be about none other than the amazing MIA!!! Can you believe today marks six months since we adopted her? Monday, March 19th was our Gotcha Day-the day we first met her. But on Tuesday, March 20th we finalized our adoption of Yi, Qiu Rui-Amelia Jane Orzo- AKA Mia. Six months ago we went to a civil affairs office in China and met the tiniest little girl. (For a moment I thought there is no way she is the girl in the picture..she looked like a one year old. But Anthony knew it was her. He said it looks just like her pictures.) She screamed bloody murder and hated us with a passion despite the fact that I’ve never knew a child couldn’t hold. She never smiled or talked. She was so lost. God has used that raw and open wound in my heart to teach me so much about myself and Mia.

 

Like how you can read every blog and book but NO ONE can prepare you for that coldness and hard heartedness from someone you love so much. But God in His love showed me a big idol I held in my heart. One that was so covered in a mask of purity you really could go your whole Christian walk and miss it. CHILDREN.  These little people you ache for because you love them so much. They are the best thing you will ever do and you love them with such an intense love it hurts. So when Mia was rejecting me-and Anthony-day after day God was showing me that I was bitter because I needed her to love me. WHAT? I am a grown women. I pour my life into these little people and get nothing from them right? Well, no that is not right. Aiden and Adelaide love for me to hold them and they cry when I leave…well not Aiden but I think Adelaide will still be crying when she is 15. They love and need me. That is why I was bitter. I wanted to be loved back. And don’t hear me wrong. It is good and right that your children love you back but you can’t find your identity in anything other than the love of Christ. I had to ask myself if he took away my children’s love for me (if they grew up to hate me), or their life, or their happiness would I still find my JOY in him? So I had to let her hatred of me go, love her, and really rest in the love of my Savior.

 

Today is a different story though…today she loves me. She asks for me to hold her, she cries when I leave her, she let’s me kiss all over her and she kisses me back. Mia runs to me and smiles when I come into the room. She loves school and Restoration Church, but now I know she loves us too. Her journey to full healing is not done…I am not sure if you ever really get over being abandoned by your mother. But she is healing. And I can show her that I know where her real identity lies. It’s not in her last name, her country, her looks, or her past..but it is in a Savior that never abandoned her and was with her every step of her life. He saw her in her mothers womb and knew her name, he shielded her while she lay on a freezing street in front of a trash dump crying and alone, he guided her to a whole new family and world in America. We chose Mia a long time ago because God in his grace chose Mia for us. I  hope and pray she learns to rest in the love that our family has for her and Christ.

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Come Join us this Sunday for RCPO’s Autonomy Sunday Worship Service!

•April 28, 2012 • 1 Comment

Hey RCPO.

This Sunday marks the official Autonomy of RCPO!!! Please join us for a special time of Worship as we celebrate and give thanks for this historic day in the life of our church!

We start at 10am at the Hollywood Theaters.

Get all the details at:

http://www.restorationpo.com

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•April 11, 2012 • 3 Comments

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Shopping will never be the same.

How are we Doing???

•April 11, 2012 • 3 Comments

(This is Carin and I think this will be the last time I high jack Anthony’s blog. I think I am ok with letting him be the blogger in our family.)

So many people have been asking us how are we doing? (I take a deep breath) Well, we are better today than yesterday. I have experienced so many “bumps in the road” this month but our family is making it. Let me fill you in on Mia first. She is doing better. She is letting Anthony hold her, kisses all of us, runs and plays, sleeps through the night perfectly (addie was making noise last night and Mia told her to shh.) she loves Aiden, she loves bath time now, and lets us brush her teeth with no more tears. These are such big milestones. I have to look at the whole picture not just one day. Adoption is a long journey and if you fix your eyes on just the immediate you will want to quit. I read so many blogs about adoption so I don’t know why I wasn’t thinking it would be this way for me. I think deep down I was telling myself that I am a better mom and she will immediately love me because I love her. Ha. I was so blind. It has just always come so natural for me to love my other children. It was so immediate and intense from the first moment that I figured it had to be the same with her. I think I set her up to fail. I mean I had all these visions of coming home with a child that was so grateful to me for how I saved her and how I loved her so deeply. WRONG. She is perfectly fine to play and run around with us but the moment she needs love or intimacy she fights it with all she has. It is like a poison she wants to protect herself from. How can a mother’s love feel like poison?? But it does to her…right now. I have to keep saying that to myself…Right Now. This is not our forever. This is not our family or our truth. She will learn to let me in and will desire to be loved. Just not today. I am just being honest. I know one day she will read this and I hope she feels my desperation but also my commitment to love her. My commitment to take all that she can give and still be here with unwavering faith and love. I am reminded daily in this journey that love isn’t always pretty. It can be so messy and ugly but at the heart is a faith and belief that you will get to the other side. How can I quit on her? In a world where we quit everything I want her to see that there was never, ever an option to leave. Never an option to quit or retreat. That is love. Do we only want to stay “in Love” when it is the intoxicating kind?  When it shows you respect and loves you back…does love have to be reciprocated? I think we know the answer. But the only love I ever really hope she finds is in Christ. The love that never turned His back on a world that was killing him. He never ran or said  “wait you ungrateful little snots I take it all back”. And in that picture I am reminded of what Love is and how to love her-with patience and dignity. I pray she will find that love herself when she is a mother and feels like she is alone and far from hope.

 

Aiden. Yes Aiden is a trooper. I believe he can handle his diabetes with such courage and faith unlike any other person I know. I have been through my grieving process. I cried, I got angry, I begged for it to not be true, and now I am in acceptance. Grief is a funny thing. It is something I had to go through and work through but it takes years off your life. I mean it takes to much energy to not just accept it and find a way to cope. Everyone is so different but I was ready to feel like me again and I knew God was saying, “ok child now let me have it back and you can rest”. Letting him go to school the first day was like sending him to college. It was my first real experience letting him go and hoping the world would help him and be kind to him. I had to trust a school nurse could treat him and truthfully not kill him. I had to trust he wouldn’t switch his lunch with another student and eat 2 cupcakes and 3 little debies. I had to trust that his teachers would see signs of him getting sick if his sugar were to go low. I had to really trust God and know I can’t be there every moment and I am really not in control of his life. RIP MY HEART OUT. I mean I knew I would have to face that lesson sometime but really at 6…I thought I had a few years to keep him before I gave him back to God. But I need to take a few moments to praise his school. The nurse has been great and so kind with him and his teachers…where do I begin. I think so highly of both of them-he has 2-and I would not have been able to walk away so calmly had it not been that I knew these two women love these students and Aiden as much as I do and they are just as concerned for him as his mother is (I mean they are so great I have visions of dropping Aiden off and letting Addie sneak in there to and just leaving her till they notice.) So that is where God has worked on my heart. He has reminded me you really need community. No one can do it alone and we weren’t meant to. Aiden has his amazing school, we have family, and friends. And Restoration who has loved my children and treated them as their own. The meals and support they have given is priceless. This is the first time that Anthony and I have had such an amazing church family and people we know love us and our kids.

 

So Adelaide. She is my stinker. She is so confused and doesn’t know if she loves me or hates me (She only wanted my sister on Monday, called her mommy, and pitched a fit when she couldn’t go home with her. Yes, I have two children that don’t want me as their mother.) But she has so much personality and life in her I know she will be ok. She will be leading this family in a few months. But please keep her in your prayer because she has really become a challenge for me to handle-throwing a lot of fits and crying uncontrollably.

Anthony and I are making it. I know that sounds so half hearted and some people would wish I said we were so happy but those people are fake. There I said it.(Don’t worry I Said I was done blogging and giving it back to my husband who has a lot more tack.) If you think this blog is too depressing then please don’t have children because at some point or anther they will rip your heart out and I just want to be one of many people who talk about it so you don’t feel alone. Also adoption is not for the faint of heart. It is a commandment in scripture so I do encourage you to read about it and make sure you are working to help orphans. But it is hard. The process is horrible, the money is astronomical, and the emotions are hard. BUT I see families who have come out the other side and they look AMAZING. I mean really beautiful and such a wonderful picture of the love of Christ. (Seriously if Angelina and Brad can do it and they look happy then Mia will be just fine.) So we are so much better than a few weeks ago and a few weeks from now we will be even better. We are tired and broken but God has promised not to leave us this way. Can’t we all find joy in that promise?  JOY IN HIS PROMISES.

 

The new face of the Orzo clan

•April 4, 2012 • 11 Comments

This is going to work for about 6 months! Aiden's a trooper!

Hey All.

Just  quick pic I thought you’d appreciate.

This is what the back seat of a 2003 Honda Accord looks like with three kids.

Some thoughts from 33,000 feet

•March 31, 2012 • 5 Comments

Please note I wrote this on the first day of our 2-day journey back to the US. I am just now able to get it posted.

Hey all. This is going to be a longer than normal post as I’ve been percolating on a lot of stuff this week. In case you’re wondering I (Anthony) am writing this one. As I’m writing my family is about 3 hours into our Trans-Pacific flight from China to the US and it’s midnight. I’m flying approximately 700 miles an hour over the islands of Japan. If my map reading is correct, Nagasaki is slightly to the West. I must admit, it was my hope that I’d be sleeping right now, but the events of these past weeks have afforded me little of that luxury. Recently, all the talk in my blog has been about Mia. This is for good reason as we have worked for 4 years to bring her home. It’s a true blessing to see her sleeping on my wife’s lap just a few inches away from me.

All that being said, my son Aiden is what is mostly on my mind right now. In case you hadn’t heard yet, he was taken by ambulance to Arnold Palmer hospital earlier in the week and was diagnosed with Type 1 diabetes. No parent ever wants to hear that or anything like that about their child…especially when you’re on the other side of the world approximately 10,000 miles away. I can honestly say, there are few if any times in my life I can recall where I have felt pain like this. Emotionally I am grieved to the core of my soul…I’m not much for crying and my wife will vouch that I have genuinely cried as many times as you can count on one hand…with several fingers to spare, but this week I added another to the list.

This unexpected news got me thinking particularly about the day I first met my now 6-year-old son Aiden. It was March 27th, 2006 at Ochsner hospital in New Orleans. Carin had a C-section because Aiden was over 10lbs. I mean he just about came out of her womb with facial hair asking to borrow the keys to my car! He was like a miniature man!

I remember throughout Carin’s whole pregnancy people would always ask me if I wanted a boy or a girl. I refused to answer that question…in fact I can honestly say not once did I even answer that question in my own mind. My reasoning behind all of this was that I would give thanks for whatever way God chose to bless us when it came to the sex of our firstborn. As an about to be dad–the last thing I wanted to carry on my conscious for my whole life was hoping for a boy or girl and then getting the opposite of what I hoped for. I wanted my child to know that what I wanted from the day of their conception was them and nothing else. When Aiden was born that’s exactly what I told him the first time I got to hold him and it was absolutely true.

I vividly remember that one-way conversation. He was lying in a bed in the room he was delivered in…he was big…purple in color and wrinkled like a raisin…he was screaming violently. I grabbed his little hand and remembered telling him, “Son, I don’t really know you yet because you’ve just made your entrance into the world, however I want you to know that I’m your dad…and that I love you in a way unlike any other love I have experienced in this world. In that moment, I promised I’d try to be the best dad I could be to him. I took his continued screaming as an approval. Since that day, my love for him has done nothing but deepen and I suspect I’ll being making that claim until the day Jesus takes me home.

As a father, I’ve tried my hardest to oblige that commitment I made…to protect him from any and all things that would seek to hurt him. I’d do anything to keep him safe, but this week I learned my limits in my ability to do just that. This is the first time since I have been his dad that I have been faced with a situation in his life that’s totally out of my control. I’ve thought countless times since his diagnosis that I wish there was a medical procedure that could export his illness out of him and into me. I’d do it the minute I got off this plane and would never look back, but you and I both know that’s not possible.

Years ago I heard a pastor I deeply admire say, “a person will never know a greater pain then when they see their child suffering.” That made sense to me then, but has been confirmed in my heart now. That reality has forced me to turn to my heavenly father to seek a needed strength beyond my own—because I must be strong for my son. I’ve been reminded once again that the calling God has placed on my life to preach the Gospel to the hearts of people includes my own. This has been my battle cry over these past weeks.

As we approach Easter and prepare to celebrate the Resurrection of our Lord…By the Grace of God I’m focusing the thoughts of my heart on the truth that when Jesus came out of the grave…he showed the world that life and death–and all the circumstances we face in-between those two major bookends bow to him–because he is the author of all life and the ultimate conqueror of death.

This is what Jesus reminds his disciples of in John 16 as they face their own trial…the impending reality that their Savior is going to be crucified and life as they know it is about to get very hard for them. It is in that instance that Jesus reminds them of the blessed assurance of his joy and peace no matter how difficult things get in their lives. It’s a promise that still exists for every believer today and he bases that promise on the soon to be seen reality of his Resurrection. It is in that truth that I dwell today. I am constantly asking God to remind my heart that there is no trial or life obstacle–not even death itself that can separate the Christian from the love, peace, and joy of Jesus. This is what Paul tells us in Romans 8 and it is the promise I hold to.

This is an important promise that Jesus has made to me–because I deeply believe the promise I made to be a good father to my son was much more than just a promise. I believe it was my covenant pledge to a child whom God had known from all of eternity—the child he then ordained to be my son. On this Earth he has given me the sole responsibility of being his Father no matter what he faces in life. So the more I reflect on this diagnosis the more I realize my pain, grief and sorrow are proper human responses to a situation like this. In John 16 Jesus says it’s OK to feel this way. They are emotions God has created us with in part to deal with the difficulties we face in life. They are a necessary season we must go through to heal, however genuine Christianity says that while grieving is necessary–the evidence of the Grace of God in our lives means that we can never permanently dwell there. In short, because of Jesus there is always a warm Spring that follows the cold Winter.

In this case, my Spring is moving past the grief and sorrow of all this and helping my son to see that in Jesus he has already conquered the trial that has been set before him. The troubles and pain we all face in this life remain in the grave Jesus walked out of–they are firmly resting under the heel of his foot. Now I must believe this Gospel truth so that I can live in that blessed assurance of his Joy and Peace. This is the Gospel I preach to my son and myself–and I am ever thankful that God has revealed it to us both.

 

 

March 30, 2012

•March 30, 2012 • 17 Comments

So how do I start this blog? What words do I use to express my emotions? Just believe you can’t. There are not enough words in the english language for me. These last few days have been so hard on every Orzo. First Mia. She is so stubborn and hard at times I wonder if she is a 72 year old Italian or a 2 year old Chinese child. I feel like she is such an old soul who has seen too much for her little eyes. Every night when we start to head up to the room she pulls me to the other direction. Then when it is time for bed she just wants to be alone in her bed. She doesn’t want me to hold her…she just lays in her bed and cries out for Mama. But she is better in the day. Right now she is showing her baby doll out the window and wrapping her up with her blanket. That makes me happy. Adoption is so raw. It is so intimate and personal. The multicultural family looks so good in adds but up close there are many hurts and long nights till the happy family comes. BUT I AM FOR ADOPTION. I know that it is so important. There is so much joy that she brings me but so much heart ache as well. I see so many children here that have come back with their parents and they are so happy and healthy. I know there is hope in the future. I actually know there is hope in today.

Then there is Aiden. Oh my brain can’t even write words on how I feel. I hurt, I am angry, I am depressed, confused, lonely, my son has diabetes. WHAT IN THE WORLD??? I mean really what is this just a bad dream I will wake up from…nope it is still here. Aiden is diabetic. The first time we heard it my best friend face timed us to tell us. She started off with some of the details and I just said say it. Say the words I don’t want to hear. And because she knew people need to hear the words..she said “Aiden has diabetes. He was in DKA and on his way to Arnold Palmer.” That was it. I don’t think I heard any other words the rest of the day. The worst things I learned in nursing school came back…don’t think like that. I can’t help it. Think about your friend Becky from college who has type 1 diabetes and who had a little boy and is adopting from China also. Think about that stupid Jonas brother…what is his name?? Oh the diet, the shots, the calloused fingers, will he need a pump, he won’t be able to join the military-is that bad?-how do I pack his lunch, he is only six, will he have to wear a medic alert bracelet, did I give this to him, how long has this been going on, my mind won’t stop. Then we face timed him. He looked so sad, so tired, so broken. My mom keeps saying he is doing great-is she lying for me? I told her to lie to me but now I want to know. Can I really handle the truth though? I can’t get home. Mia’s Visa appointment was yesterday and we had to do it to get her home. I can’t get to my son. I can’t get to my son. He doesn’t look good. Anthony breaks down and walks away. WHAT? I have never seen Anthony cry since we have been married. So I can’t cry in front of Aiden. He doesn’t sit up and talks very little. I know he doesn’t feel well and wants to go home. I CAN’T GET TO MY SON. My husband is broken with pain and my son is so sad. How do I get through this in China?

Today is another day. Nothing has changed. My son still has diabetes and my daughter still wants to go back to being an orphan-and HATES me when I brush her teeth. Anthony said we have two special needs children-Mia’s heart, Aiden’s diabetes-and one special child-Adelaide. Ha. It is kinda true though. Nothing has changed but somehow we take a deep breath and move forward with the truth we have. A new way of living. I laugh as I write this. Isn’t that life as a follower of Christ? Shouldn’t that be how we live everyday? I would love to write all the wonderful ways I have been growing in this but the truth is I am just hanging on. I am fully convinced that God always gives you more than you can handle. It is not meant for me to handle but for Him. I believe Christ will lead us through this and will get the glory. But for today I am just a mother who wants to hold her child and be at home with ALL her children. I am BROKEN that I couldn’t be there for all of them. I think it will take sometime for all of us to heal but I am holding on to something other than my own strength. Thank you all for all of your prayers. Please continue as we come home and try to settle in and deal with all of our children’s needs.