Thursday, April 28, 2016


Update on us and our life.

ZhenAi is doing really well.  We are seeing more and more what her life has been like until now. She sits. And she stares. A lot. And I think I'm constantly pulling her out of that trying to stimulate her...and she's always dragging her feet.

She goes outside and squats. And just stares.  She sees the kids playing and she goes beside them and squats...and just stares.  She pushes the paper and crayons away, goes to sit on the couch...and just stares.  Ahhh.

She has a quiet, gentle spirit and it's going to be interesting to see how this year goes as we work hard to help her grow.


Not become.

Not meet our expectations.

Not catch up.


Just grow.  She is without a doubt a stunted flower. Having been nurtured very very little in the grand scheme of things.  She's weak. Frail.  Limp.  And often...blank.

So we don't have these big expectations.  She's not here to become our star daughter and make us proud.

No.  No...she's not.

We just want to nurture and love her and help her...grow.

To whatever she can be when nurtured properly.  Therapy. Medical help.  Food. Attention. Stimuli.  Love.


Life has been busy, it always will be.  But we are together. All of us.

Azahria turned 8.  Oh my Azahria Peace.  The child that owns her name.  She's purple, glittery, all about unicorns and rainbows....and dirt and tonka and bugs and worms. She's one of a kind.  Quiet. Sweet.  Doesn't say a lot but when she does she means it.

When we started singing Happy Birthday, ZhenAi started clapping EXACTLY like the chinese people do when they want to attract you into their stores! It was funny and clearly something she's done many many times.

I tried to get her help me with dinner a few nights ago. She would put the croutons on the salad then quickly walk away. Then I'd call her back to do more. And the moment I looked away she'd scoot off.  To sit and stare.  :(

Yesterday we all loaded in the van...all 13 of drive a now reduced total to 2.5 h round trip trek for 30m of speech therapy for Azlan. :) And you know what? It's wonderful.  We talk. Laugh. Sip on a coffee. Kids are singing, drawing, playing Monopoly Deal.... and that is our life.

Yes it's busy. And we are together. Living. Working. Doing school. Growing.

As I sit here tonight, Chazano just walked into my room and said "Mom...I've been wanting to tell are amazing! You have 11 kids, you cook all the time, you always have such a clean kitchen (I think this is important to him ;) ), you teach us all school, you work so hard helping other moms, you JUST got home from China and I don't even think you stopped to rest since you got home!! And well...I just wanted to say...I can see how hard you work and you are amazing."

I see myself so very differently. As do you.  Flawed.  Not as patient as I hoped to be today.  Didn't take Azahria up on her offer to go hiking the mountain tonight.  Caved to buy a coffee when I've been trying not to.  Ate way too much pizza for dinner.  The last load of laundry just got washed AGAIN b/c I forgot about it.  The clean clothes need to be folded and put away. No I don't have laundry day. Laundry is like cooking a meal. It's all throughout the day. Every day. And that moment you let it get feel like you could scream. I see the laundry room. And the fact that I didn't make it to the post office...yet again.  And how I have a pile of clothes to return to the mall...that's probably past it's date that I CAN return it.  I see how I didn't feel like drying and straightening my hair today b/c it takes forever and my coffee was already I've had the worst hair day.  I see that the pantry is empty and I'm begging my husband to do the grocery shop b/c I detest it.

You get it right...? That's what I see. But that's not what my 11 year old son sees.  And it's not what everyone else sees.  And it's a good lesson for all of us.

We are harder on ourselves than hopefully anyone else will ever be.  As one of my close friends recently said to me "hey...stop that. That's my friend you are talking about!" and I did stop. In my tracks. Convicted of how I talk and think about me.

Tonight I'm going to take it.

I can do hard things. And I'm doing hard things. Day in and day out.

And that...supposedly...I amazing.


  1. Totally would grocery shop for you... I love it! Now returning things not so much.

    1. You are oh-so-sweet. I don't think Dean hates it as much as I do ;)

  2. Tears..... I forget about the "growing" and spend far too much time worrying about "making me proud". The list of how you see yourself, yeah, me too. And my 17 year old walked up and said "Mom, your amazing", I scoffed. Need to change how I think about me.
    Thanks Janice for your honesty.

  3. Oh my heart!! Chazano is right! You are amazing!! 💕

    1. Sheryl you know all about the daily grind <3 Thanks for cheering another mom on!

  4. Hi Janice,

    I am a friend of Choosen and Dearly Loved in Kona. I filmed a story about them in Kona last year. I saw a post on Facebook about you and your family of 11 kids.

    I am a freelance TV Journalist for a Christian TV Show in Germany and would be interested in telling your story. How you decided to take on so many kids and adopt children and how you cope every day with 11 kids and also to inspire others to adopt children.

    Please send me an email to or if you are on Facebook you can connect with me here:

    Thank you,
    Alex Rau

  5. Hi! How is ZhenAi doing nowadays??

    1. Hi! I'd be happy to answer....a non anonymous comment ;)

    2. I understand ;

      Line Kristiansen, Norway. Adoptivemom to two kids from hard places 😉

  6. ❤️ She's doing well. 6 months in and her needs are much more apparent. We had seen very little progress. She's totally non verbal and developmentally about 2y. I do all of her care 100%. She has a very sweet demeanor now we are trying to get to the bottom of her medical needs to find a plan that best works for her.

  7. ❤️ Hope you figure out about her health. I admire you