Wednesday, May 30, 2018

.....and It's the Reicherts for the Win!!!!

Time for a bit of blog keeping; ya know something like a bit of house keeping except obviously through my dusty old blog which has long been neglected. It’s not that there has been nothing to share, just no time to share it! Between new jobs, new grades (pre-K and 1st), baseball, soccer, ninja class (yes a real thing), swim lessons; weeks have turned to months and months nearly 2 years (at least since Jude made his great debut on our scene). He is doing amazing at just being a normal little boy. He just graduated from pre-k (yes that’s a real thing too!), is OBSESSED with power rangers, and is starting Karate class soon too. For so long he lived a life that was anything but normal. For so long he was constantly getting poked and prodded with test after test and surgery after surgery. He was constantly sick, and to be quite honest, I was really starting to question whether he was allergic to American air! He still gets sick and we are working closely with his pulmonologist to figure out a working plan. He also unfortunately has to undergo yet another surgery to fix a complication of his big surgery he had almost exactly a year ago. Poor baby, at least he had a year off of invasiveness in his life. A year to just be….him.

The past year as our little one settled more into life with us and us with him, some more tough feelings emerged. He went through a time where he constantly questioned whether we still loved him and asked us about 50 times a day, “Momma are you always going to love me?”. He would tell us nightly he didn’t want to go back to China, ever again. His life in China was nothing short of awful and the more he talks about that time, the more our hearts break all over again, but not just for him, for all the kiddos still living there without a mommy, daddy, or family. Unfortunately, a lot is happening at a governmental level that is only going to further hinder international adoption. China is also making changes and it is still unknown how their changes will shake things up, for better or worse. But what I do know is that orphans are still there, in fact they are everywhere and the problem is only getting bigger while adoptions (particularly special needs adoptions) as a whole are falling fast. Around this time last year Jay and I started looking at our lives a little more closely. We noticed we still had an extra seat in the van, an empty bedroom in the house, another seat at the table, and a huge area in our hearts…..

A lot transpired between those initial thoughts and feelings and our return to the paperwork bundle. We did try for a baby, I figured I should address that as it seems to be a question many have asked. We briefly went through some fertility treatments but our hearts were never really in it. We never shed a tear for this inability and it is not something we feel is missing or incomplete in our lives. As I told many close friends, I think perhaps our hearts were made for adoption from the start. We were still thinking about them…the little ones still abandoned, alone, sick, abused, and afraid. We saw many over there. We see many still being advocated for on social media (which I believe will be coming to end soon as well), and we see many families being told they can no longer adopt given new rules from China and increased fees from the United States.

So, we decided its time for US to go back! Time to shake up our home, our finances, our children, our marriage, and our hearts all over again. Two years ago we never saw ourselves going back but never say never right?! God tends to laugh at our well laid plans doesn’t he? And I am certain he had a chuckle to himself when 2 years ago Jay and I were sitting in a crowded train station in China whispering amongst ourselves how the families who were there for their 3rd or 4th adoption were “out of their minds!”. I distinctly remember asking one of the mommas, there for her fourth adoption from China, if the process was something like child birth (at least from what I had heard of it), ya know awful the process is but somehow your brain forgets and you willingly do it again and sometimes again... She laughed at me, and said “well kinda”. This same women, Beth, has been very instrumental in our return to China and we maintain contact to this day.   

So, we are headed back and back soon! What took 4 years the first time around for Jude will likely be 11 months from start to finish this time. It has been a whirlwind, but once again we are in love with a little person on the other side of the world who needs a chance at a normal life. We first heard about her in January and just recently got the official approval from China. She is one of the last files prepared from a partnership that has since been closed by China between our new agency and an orphanage and so our process will be very different from everyone else’s going forward.  She will be 2 in June (which puts all my kids, husband,  in-laws, and mothers birthdays in the same month) and we are hoping for a July/early August travel date. She is tiny but strong, darling but resilient, just like her big brothers. Jay and the boys will not be traveling to bring her home this time. I will be going with my aunt who I think has dreamed of this day for many years now!

Finally, last but not least, her name. Many already know it, we have been calling her it since we first saw her face in January. It is a name we knew one of our children would have, at least in some form. A name that dates back decades in the Reichert family and a name that carries with it strength, perseverance, and beauty. A name also in remembrance of not just the life that started a long standing family tradition, but also the name of a life who was taken away far too soon but whose legacy continues in her parents, brothers, cousins, aunts, uncles, and friends lives to this day. Our little girls name will be…

                                          Wynifred Bec Reichert (Wynnie or Wyn for short)

Tuesday, August 29, 2017


Is it just me, or do the years seem to pass by now more quickly? It seems the older I get, or perhaps the more kiddos we have, the more quickly life seems to speed up. And not only does time seem to go by more quickly, but we also seem to pack a whole lot more into that time as well.   As shocking as it is, Jude has been with us for a YEAR now(to the date!) and  every single experience with him these past 365 days have made this year not only one of our fastest, but also one of our best.  This time last year we were embarking on a new life as a family of four but also on the treatment of various new medical conditions we had no prior experience with.  Jude has seen 9 medical specialists, had countless shots and needle sticks, had his entire spine MRI’d, 2 Urodynamic tests, a bronchoscopy, kidney ultrasounds, several swallow and hearing evaluations, stitches, way too many x-rays to count, and undergone three major surgeries all in under a year.


All of these doctor visits, medical treatments, and hospitalizations would wear on any adult let alone a small child, but as I have stated before, our boy is a WARRIOR! He has faced each of these tremendously difficult tests and/or procedures with courage and unwavering bravery.  What’s more, he has been able to complete what needed to be done and get quickly back to just living and loving his life.

Jude has taught us way more about life and living this past year than we could have ever hoped to have taught him in many. He has taught us what is truly important in life, and it’s not what we were previously prioritizing at all. He has shown us what it looks like to make the most of every situation, how to roll with the unknown surprises and sometimes frightful things we face,  how to see the fun in even the mundane, to remember the past but not be paralyzed by it, to look forward to the future but be content in the present too, and most of all what a true super hero really looks like.

This little boy was not “saved” by us as some have speculated and vocalized; we were actually the ones saved by him; and I would be remiss if I didn’t state that his brother had largely saved us as well. Both of our boys are hero’s to us and I hope to many who read this blog as well. They both have endured many hardships in their short little lives and both have revealed more about life and love to Jay and I than 30+ years of living in this world ever could. I spend a lot of time on this blog discussing our international adoption of Jude, but we have adopted domestically too. Both forms of adoption are hard, both come with some really tough stuff, and one is not “easier” than the other in any way, shape, or form, but that is a much deeper topic and I don’t want to get off track for this post. But what about our oldest son, while we’re on the topic? How has he been affected by our international adoption and his life in a multicultural family? Ya know, in a world full of racism, hatred, and ignorance, Jude’s life and adoption has taught Jayden the true ability to see past skin color, culture, and ethnicity. He has learned we are all way more alike than we are different, and more importantly that family is more than the blood running through our veins. People often ask how Jayden has adapted to having a brother in the house that doesn’t LOOK like him.  Many times Jayden has been asked on the playground by other children why his brother doesn’t look like him and I love watching and hearing his response which usually goes something like, “He was born in China, we went there and I got to walk on the Great Wall, but mostly he is just my brother”. If we do nothing else as parents, Jay and I are striving to raise kiddos who are not only accepting of other people’s cultures, races, and backgrounds but people who grow up and change their world, people who leave this place better than when they were born into it, and people who teach others how to be respectful, tolerant, and loving as well (God knows many of the parents of kids asking Jayden these questions on the playground right in front of Jude were often too busy on their phones to help teach such important life lessons). We are immensely proud of our oldest son. He amazes us each and everyday. He watches out for his brother, accepts all of him with all of his medical conditions and is not bitter about them, he helps to make sure he is safe and healthily, and is proud of his little brother for being so brave in the face of all of his adversity.   Jayden struggled at first, not with having a sibling from another country, or with the thought of another race infiltrating his home, possessions, and space; he struggled with learning to be a brother as ALL only children do. But he is an awesome brother and Jude thinks the world of him. We all do.  

I personally always knew that love was powerful, but to watch how it has literally transformed ALL of our lives has been nothing short of breath taking. We have watched a little boy who went through a lot of very tough early life transitions grow into an amazing, intelligent, athletic, caring, funny, beloved son. We have watched another little boy who never knew the love of a family transform into a beautiful, smart, articulate, fun loving, gentle, much valued son. I say that last part because Jude in particular, knows exactly how we feel about him and he truly believes it too. That is so hard for an orphan to do who has never had someone place any sort of value on them or their life.  Both of our adoptions continue to change me, my heart, and my family. I thought  that it would be something great for Jude; being taken out of an orphanage, placed in a family, getting the medical care he desperately needed, and loved on by two people who were just trying their best after reading a bunch of books. But adoption continues to surpass my understanding of EVERYTHING, especially God, His Love for all of us, and our real purposes here. God made us to Love; even commands us to love, and He commands we care for these precious souls, and ya know why? Because He, the all-knowing, all loving God, knows it will be best for US to do so. That we, who answer the call to care for the orphan, WE will be the ones blessed by it. We are CRAZY nuts about both our boys (as my dear mother in law would say) and we thank God everyday we embarked on this journey WITH them. And ya know what’s even crazier? We are gonna do it again!(Yes, already!) God has done some amazing work recently in us, and we are getting ready to start this crazy journey all over again to add a little pink to our lives!  We are all tremendously excited and can't wait to see what God has in store this time around. Here we go again!
                                                (Another Adoption Paperwork Packet!)