* twins * adoption * princesses * recipes * life*

Wednesday, January 10, 2007


Ok, warning, deep stuff in this post as it is a bit of me in the raw ( like the whole blog isn't!) and it is LOOOooooonnnnnngg.

I almost didn't write any reply but the mother in me feels as though she is protecting her pack, so to say. If you go the to post "lab woes", previous to this one, and look at the first response under comments you'll understand what this post is about.

I feel the need to reply to the comment and since it was posted anonymously I have no other means to reach this person than here. I also want to respond in the case that there are others whom feel the same way. First off, I want to thank you for your concern for my older two children and to let you know that I really hope you have been reading into things on my blog a bit differently than what was meant. Second off I feel the need to set a few things straight:

I never, EVER, once went into adoption as needing "to save kids from poverty, and pain". There are so many children in need, how would you know where to start and would you be doing it for reasons of raising a healthy family? If all you want to do is save children, invest time and finances into charities that do so, don't bring an orphan into your family. This is simply the means that my husband and I have used to expand our family. When faced with the option of a difficult pregancy and the idea of me not being able to provide for our birth children during that time, we both revisted our earlier dreams of adopting a child or children that needed a home.

The birthday party is not being done at my birth daughters' expense but rather as a extra-special treat for them. I am sure you read it wrong as this is their first one, before or after adopting. They are big sisters now and that comes with big changes. We discussed finally having a party and agreed on some very basic ground rules (the number of guests and amount of "fluff" that would transpire.) They are as excited as anything about the party and it is about all they can talk about since the decision. Where I come from not everyone has a big party every year and I do not see how finally doing a party for them is at their own expense? Besides since when does throwing a huge party every year with themed cakes, plates, napkins, games, etc. mean that you love your kids more than the person who chooses not to or perhaps can not afford to do so?

The relatives are allowed to hold the babies and love on them and kiss on them and talk as silly as they want to them. However for a short time (approximately 6 weeks) we choose to be the only ones to feed, diaper, and bath the babies as we prefer to be the ones to comfort them when they are upset. Not some strange idea on our part to hog the babies or selfishly hold onto them and exclude others, but suggestions from attachment specialists. This is not to deprive them of family, to deprive the family of them, or to make them different from our birth children. It is to make them feel more like our birth children in the long run. (In fact the older two are more than welcome to help out and they love to help with diapers, as long as they aren't stinky, and to hold bottles... the babies bonding to them are almost as important as the babies bonding to my husband and I.) Trust me I have two grandmas chomping at the bit to do a bottle and bath with these guys and I can't wait to have them let loose so I can spend more one on one time with my older two. We actually did this with our older two, not on purpose like this, but I nursed and both grandparents were uncomfortable with that decision so for awhile they kind of kept their distance until they realized they can help care for a nursing baby.

The Easter Egg hunt in question involved HUNDREDS of kids from the ages of 3-7 all running around and screaming during theatrics done before the hunt would even begin. It was a mess, with no order, and I simply admit of myself that I can not handle large amounts of other peoples children like that. That experience has put a bit of a fear into me of large brithday parties, especially where I am responsible for others' children and the happiness of my own (it is their birthday) all at once. I know how to handle my kids, what makes them tick, how to calm them down, and comfort them. This is something that changes with each child and I won't even pretend to know this about anyone else's child. The birthday party is being planned as to keep me from stressing while providing the girls with a bit of the birthday party little girls dream of. The whole family has been through changes and it is a bit stressful trying to adjust to a new normal, as my husband calls it. A party with 7 young girls (my 2 princesses and 5 others that I know and trust) I can handle and I am so sorry that you didn't read into the sarcasm expressed at the end of the birthday party post.

When we decided to make adopting the twins a go we had to decide a few things that unfortunately were not things we thought about before. When starting this journey we had planned for an acutal adoption date of this coming summer. The idea of adopting twins so soon was one we had to fiscally look at to see if it was possible. We were assured we would arrive home before the new year and therefore the tax returns would help to pay some of what we had not yet saved, so yes I was stressed about tax credits (the adoption credit of $10K per child, not simply another dependant) as they were part of how we financially planned to pay for the adoption. Tax returns, I believe, are mentioned in two posts that are posted under much stress and added finance. The main cause of that stress, more than anything, was missing my older two (a re-occuring theme if you have followed along.) If you recall, my Christmas wish was for my girls to come to me since I could not go to them.

Princesses is a loving term I use for my children, not the pampered, spoiled, and snotty image it may procure, but that they are everything to me...all four of them. It is a term the older two prefer right now as they are at the age of fascination with Cinderella, Barbie, and all girly things in between. I am amazed as each day goes by at how much love can mulitply in the heart. I have the same love for all my children equally, no matter where they came from. It truly is amazing that love isn't something that is just grown in the womb!

My blog is not a need for attention or selfishisness. In fact it is here for long-distance family and friends to read, for fellow adopting parents to read and hopefully learn as I did from other blogs, and more importantly it has evolved into a journal for my children to have when they are grown.

I also want to say that it wasn't simply a "God moment" that has drove me here, but moment after moment and day after day. In my profile it is stated first that I am a follower of Christ and that is part of who I am as much as being a mother to these four precious girls or being a wife of my husband, so yes God is included in everything I do. Adopting these girls was not something done on a whim, or jumped into lightly. I believe whole-heartedly that these twins are part of God's plan for our lives and to that I will make no apology. The turn of events that has happened from the beginning of this process to the very day I arrived home is nothing short of a miracle to our family. My older two are so in love with their litte sisters and I am so proud of them for jumping right into their role of big sisters. I have been meaning to address how it seemed like God disappeared from my posts while in Vietnam, be assured I did not change or forget my faith and relationship with Christ while gone, but did not share that part for the reason of being tagged for censorship while in a communist country. I have heard first-hand accounts of those who have received a visit from the local police to their hotel room after posting what they call "propaganda" in an email, let alone to a public blog. I was there to adopt the twins and did not plan on doing anything to endager that. Even in emailing to friends I typed words differently than normal and omitted words/letters as to keep from being suspicious of wanting to turn the entire country to the Christian faith. I can not tell you all how frustrating it was to not be able to post how deeply I felt at the first sight of the twins that God would entrust them to me, and how unworthy I felt. How upset I would get not being able to daily post how people could pray for me and how God was working through my days. I accounted for much but was unable to give God credit where due.

As far as neglecting my older two, that is a pretty high charge. You are not here for the time we spend reading, the building of hamsters out of puff balls, and the making a lasagna for daddy to eat. I may not journal the early morning hours spent doing paper dolls while the babies sleep near by as the older two just want to be near them or the time we spend working on party invitations, making books, dancing to music in the kitchen, putting glitter in our hair, and all the things that we mothers do with our little girls. I don't include all this mainly because it is an adoption blog and also because my life is so full that if I included it all it would be more like a daily newspaper than a blog! If my older two start acting like they need mommy time, I know it is time to turn on the bouncy seats or find a soft blanket and let the babies play with each other a bit as it is always at the front of my mind that I am a blessed mother of four princesses! If the babies cry for a few minutes while we finish up the last paper-doll, that is ok. If the babies spend some time alone with each other, rather than with mommy in their face all day, that is ok. I have a household of 6 to run and not one person in this house is treated any differently than the other. Adopting two children, in our case twin babies, out of need for attention is not what this mother is about, though perhaps wanting a larger family can be percieved as selfish I feel the charge is unjust.

I am so sorry that you have read my blog and derived things so incorrectly. In the future I will try my best to communicate more clearly and to let it be know when there is a hint of sarcasm (even my husband sometimes asks "is that serious or joking".) Hopefully this post clears any unease you or any reader may feel at my writings, especially my children when they read this in the future. I assure readers that while at first I was a bit ruffled from this response, I will not delete or discourage discussion on here. It is my hope that it was posted in honest concern for my children and I can not fault that.

To the poster of the comment: I hope that your fears are calmed and that I have responded respectfully. I apologize for any confusion my communication style may have played in this. I end with not only asking God to bless just your family, but you as well.




At 1/10/2007 11:23 PM , Blogger Jo said...


First I want to say, you are a very classy lady for taking the higher road. You should not have to apologize for your own blog. It is very obvious to me you love all 4 of your girls.

At 1/11/2007 1:12 AM , Anonymous Anonymous said...

hi jenn,

Thanks for checking out our new site! I have been following your amazing blog for a while, and i have been very impressed wtih your positive attitude in difficult times. Thank you for the honesty and encouragement you've given to us other adoptive moms (and moms-to-be!). I feel sad and embarrassed that blogging sometimes turns into criticism of eachother, and Im glad that you continue to remain positive. You are a great example of a wonderful christian wife and mother! Keep up the great work!

At 1/11/2007 7:13 AM , Blogger Nicki said...

Jenn - you are an amazing Mother and a good person, period. I don't think that comment even deserved a reply but I definitely understand your need to defend yourself on your own blog, of all places. I wonder why, if this person was so offended, they kept coming back over and over? All of those defenses you wrote were clear and evident to me all along. I think someone had to do some pretty serious twisting and warping of your words to come to the conclusions that they did. So please don't think others are reading into it the same thing. It just isn't there.

At 1/11/2007 8:50 AM , Anonymous Anonymous said...

I just knew that you would turn that comment into an awesome post. Good going!


At 1/11/2007 9:14 AM , Anonymous Anonymous said...

I'm sorry that you had to defend yourself and the way you mother your children. You are indeed a great mother and special person. Just reading your blog everyday makes me smile. Rasing children is the hardest job anyone could ever have. I know you love all 4 of your girls very much. I believe God brought you all together for a reason. You are a thoughtful and caring person. Anyone who has taken time to read your blog would be able to "see" that your reasons for adopting came out of pure love.
Thanks for addressing this post so eloquently.

God Bless,


At 1/11/2007 9:20 AM , Anonymous E. said...


I've been following your blog for a while. It's great. You're great. You're response was great. I had no idea about censorship of personal emails and blogs while in Vietnam, so thank you for that heads up. You and your girls might enjoy the book "Gigi God's Little Princess."

At 1/11/2007 9:43 AM , Anonymous Anonymous said...

You know Jenn, I think that you not posting what you do with the girls during the day is completely normal. Those are YOUR moments. They aren't ours or whoever's. Those moments belong to you and your beautiful girls. It's no one's business. I know that you have lots of those moments with the girls. I know I've walked into the restaurant and either Gracie or Olivia has come running to tell me about some wonderful thing that they have done. Granted 9 times out of 10 they are talking so fast and they add their own little twists and I don't have a clue what they're talking about but they're always excited about something they've done. Just some more reassurance, not that you need it, that you are a good mom. No worries. Well there are worries with that many girls in the house but none about being a good mom. :) Have fun with those girls and give them all a hug for me. Martha

At 1/11/2007 11:11 AM , Anonymous Anonymous said...

I can tell you that Jenn and Brian are wonderful parents and people!! I have 5 boys and I know how hard it was to bring home one of my childern from the hospital and find the time the others needed. And that was only one baby at a time.
Jenn I have always been impressed how you do it...the house always clean, the girls well taken care of, work, and keeping us girls on track with SU and then you home schooling!! You are WONDER WOMAN to me!! With Brian as the BOY WONDER!! You two will and are doing a great job. God Bless your family!!
I may have the 5 boys, but in no way do I want to take on a task of entertaing that may kids at a egg hunt. I would of been sick if I just said yes to the question.
My kids have never gotten a big "Theme Birthday" I think too many parents give their kids WAY too much. A couple of freinds, a cake and presents is enough for a Birthday. I am also impressed you are doing one this year with all that is going on in your house!! Now I sound like a crappy mom!! :) (That was a joke Anonymous) Mary Spearman

At 1/11/2007 12:10 PM , Anonymous Anonymous said...

I totally agree that comment did not deserve a response, but I can understand the desire to set the record straight. It is abundantly clear how much you love your kids. To the anon. poster, a theme birthday party does not make a child feel loved. There are ways to celebrate a birthday without turning it into a zoo...especially in an age when some families give ipods as party favors, in fact it will serve children better in the long run to demonstrate love without all the stuff.

At 1/11/2007 1:08 PM , Anonymous Anonymous said...


At 1/11/2007 2:24 PM , Anonymous Jodi said...

my oh my oh my! well I wrote a big old post, but I deleted it as I just went on a rant. Jenns girls, any of them, are so not deprived in love, attention, or things. Guess I'll stop there. Look forward to seeing the girls Saturday!

At 1/11/2007 3:00 PM , Blogger Sarah said...

Very well said, although you shouldn't have had to in the first place. I love reading your blog. You and Brian are wonderful parents and all four girls are blessed.

At 1/11/2007 7:16 PM , Anonymous s said...

although I read your blog daily, I do not usually read the comments. Your last blog concerned me, so I read the comments. I would not have dignified that insulting comment with any response. You answer to God, not some "adoptee" who clearly has her own issues that SHE needs to deal with.
I admire you and I think you are a wonderful person.

At 1/11/2007 11:19 PM , Anonymous molly said...

ahhhh, Jenn you are an amazing woman!! Such grace you bestow. I don't know whose blog "adoptee" was reading but it couldn't have been yours. I don't see how any of what she wrote could be about you. You are a wonderful, gracious, humble, thankful, loving mother and friend and I am a better person for knowing you.

At 1/12/2007 5:41 AM , Anonymous LaurieW said...

Jenn- prayers and blessings for you - reading your response was like reading a section of the bible where God was speaking through a person. Although you didn't have to respond as you obviously knew in your heart what was true- your response was such a lesson for the rest of us about dignity and grace.

At 1/12/2007 9:08 PM , Blogger Susan said...

Jenn, it's unfortunate that there are individuals who feel the need to unfairly pass judgment on others.

I've never met you but I've enjoyed reading your blog for quite a while now, and I can't imagine how someone could criticize you as a mother. Thank you so much for responding the way you did. Not only did you clarify things for that one individual, you helped all of us remember there are very positive ways of dealing with issues like this one.

At 1/15/2007 3:12 AM , Blogger Jenny said...

Jenn, just wanted to delurk to say I am so impressed with your response. You are a grace filled woman! What a great example you are of a mom, woman and a Christian. Although it is a pain to see anyone have to defend their life on their blog, I admire your approach. Blessings to you- all your princesses are beautiful!
Jenny V


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