Friday, January 2, 2009

Life experiences

For Christmas the kid’s aunt and uncle sent us a check to buy them Christmas gifts. They said they were not sure what they needed so they thought it would be easier for us to do the shopping. After some discussion Todd and I decided what the kids needed more than anything were ‘life experiences’. There are just so many things they have never gotten to do or experience- so many things we take for granted on a daily basis. So, we loaded up all 11 of them and headed to big city of Dallas. We took the kids to see the Cotton bowl parade in downtown Dallas -which they loved. After that we went to dinner at the Rainforest Cafe. Now going ‘out’ to dinner was a new experience for them all together. Going to a restaurant where elephants trumpet and the crack of lightening and thunder bolts surround you was something else. So after about 20 minutes of Todd and I convincing them that they were not going to get rained on and that the elephants were just pretend they finally believed us and settled in to enjoy. (Okay, so I admit maybe it was a rather ‘wild’ place to take them for their first big outing- but we had to show them there really were more exciting restaurants out there then McDonalds.) We did a lot of coaching on manners, reminded them how important it was to thank the people who were waiting on us and to sit like ladies and gentlemen in our chairs (and not climb under the tables) and then they even got to ordered themselves. They were so proud! After we finished up our wonderful meal - we checked into the Embassy Suites Hotel. They were so excited to be there that they were actually jumping up and down- that is, until they met the elevator face to face.

Not just any elevator-an all glass elevator.

An all glass elevator that went all the way up 10 floors.

An all glass elevator that you could not only feel moving- but see moving.

Yep. You guess it... the elephants were no longer their biggest fear…

So, after convincing them we could not go to the swimming pool until we got onto that all glass elevator that would take us up to our rooms where we could change into our bathing suits- they finally stepped on. (Yes by now pretty much every single person in the entire hotel was staring at us- and yes we did realize we had 'quite a crew'- just in case they thought they were the only ones who had ever said that to us. :0)

It took about 12 times up and down, up and down, up and down, but they finally discovered that this thing called an elevator was not going to hurt them in any way shape or form- and that it was actually kind of fun! We clapped and jumped when it went up- we squealed with delight and counted numbers as it went down. (And I am happy to say that by the time we checked out they were regulars to the elevator thing).
After our elevator experience we enjoyed the pool which thankfully wore them all out for a good nights sleep. The next morning we headed down to the all you can eat breakfast buffet- and let me tell you, these kids can EAT.

Like linebackers.

Took them about 2 hours- but they definitely got their full. Food is a HUGE deal to them. HUGE. As a matter of fact, when they first moved in that was one of their big fears- the girls actually asked us if we ate every day. I promised them we always had food- and plenty of it. But even now all meals have to be served on time and they ask me over and over through out the day what we will be having for dinner. They eat anything and everything and usually seconds and thirds.
We headed home in the afternoon and in the back seat I could hear them talking and giggling about what their favorite part of their ‘vacation’ had been. I couldn’t help but smile. Yes we were tired, yes it had been work packing for 13 and work comforting the little ones through their fears. But seeing their joy- seeing them grow in confidence and live like normal, healthy children- was one of the best gifts in this world.

“I have come that they may have life, and have it to the full”. John 10:10
Father, thank you for giving your life so that we could have life and have it to the fullest. Through you we find joy and purpose- a quality of life that is impossible any other way.


Pam said...

oh I just love hearing about their first experiences! How much fun! So happy for you all!

Did you ever find that adoption-hair care yahoo site?

Unknown said...

I'm enjoying reading and keeping up with your new little ones. Those life experiences are definately the things they will remember. We are so blessed that my husband works for the airline and we have been able to take our children to have lots of those experiences. Those are the times they remember much more than any gift. What a blessing from the Lord they are to us. Cherish every moment.

Anonymous said...

Hi! I just read your blog and I must say, I've really got to hand it to you. You are a VERY special family and God is definitely leading you! I am so amazed at the blessings you've recieved and how you choose to deal with them. Thank you SO much for the honesty and love you and your family have... it's so encouraging. May God continue to bless you richly!

Jman's momma said...

I love the way God has gifted you as a mom, LOVE IT!!! I can just picture them at that elevator :)

Lisa said...

What a wonderful family bonding time you all experienced. You may have not had them from birth, but there is something to be said for experiencing these kinds of first too, and to be able to provide them with this kind of life with God's wonderful blessings.

Recovering Noah said...

My word, Amy. You're a rockstar! I start to panic just imagining taking my 3 out to a restaurant. I can't believe you took all ELEVEN to the rainforest cafe. Was this at Grapevine Mall? You are brave! Do they walk beside you and not run off? Please share your secrets because I'm feeling a bit embarrassed that you can manage 7 kids under the age of 6 in a public place, but I'm restricted to the confines of my home because of my rowdy three. :-)

I'm so glad you all had a wonderful time. It's so great to hear about your kids!

Leslie :-)

Jenny said...

Oh my golly...I miss you all so much already!!!! I could totally picture their faces during all that! Move to Illinois!!!!!! Love you all! Titi

Mary Ann said...

Wow! What a wonderful little vacation for them!Sounds like they are starting to fit right in! You all are so awesome!! What a great family!

Unknown said...

Sounds like a wonderful time, and what memories you will have!

It does sadden my heart to see children whose life experiences have brought trauma instead of pleasure. The Lord has placed your children in the perfect family for them.

Kathleen said...

You Go Girl!!! It is wonderful to see these kids having "normal" moments and adventures and there is nothing like family time to build trust and relationships too. Thank you for showing us all that what we do for one child, we can do for many.

Lori said...

I have been following your blog because, we are also a foster family. We have had the same three kids for three years now and the meals are still a huge deal for them. It doesn't ever go away. We have given these kids life experiences that they have never seen either and it is awesome to see their faces! They love to go to the Cheesecake Factory and the Olive Garden for dinner! We just recently took them to Burnet to see the Living City of Bethlehem and that was totally awesome! It was such an enlightening experience for them in so many ways. Remember, everything you do is making an impact on those kids. :0)

Anonymous said...

Oh how fun! So neat for all of you to experience these "firsts" together with them. What an awesome family for these children to be united with. This is going to be something that none of your children will ever forget! Way to go Block family! Happy New Year!


Sara said...

Isn't it amazing the things we take for granted, that these sweet children remind us to treasure. I am glad you are being able to enjoy these firsts with them.

Holly said...

You just get it. You and your hubby. Must be wisdom from the Lord.
I am just amazed by your energy and your insight to what your kids need. I know it comes from Him.
Thanks for sharing yourlife.
Can't wait until you can show face shots of your new kids!

Elizabeth said...

That sounds like a WONDERFUL vacation!! My kids would love to go do all those fun things too!! Here's to more fun adventures as a family of 13!!