Saturday, July 31, 2010

Answers: Part 3

It's about time to answer more questions... so here you go!
(This was the view out my window the other day. It's hard to see, but it's actually a double rainbow. I LOVE rainbows. And this was by far the most beautiful one I've ever seen.)

On with the questions. This post is going to be long, because I'm answering all of the ones that are left! So bear with me :)

My question is, do you plan to adopt when your older? And if so, would you adopt from China, or some of the other countries you've visited?
*I DEFINITELY want to adopt when I'm older. No doubt in my mind about that! If China is still processing adoptions in 13 years, I will for sure adopt from there. However, I'm not limiting myself to just China! Wherever and whenever God calls me :) But I know I will adopt. How can I not when I know the need around the world?!

What are your life goals, and if you could change anything about yourself what would it be??
*Life goals... hmm... these aren't huge, life or death goals... but I do want to visit every state in the US and every province in China. On a deeper level, one of my life goals was to help lead someone to Christ. I was able to do that on a missions trip to Romania in July 2008 and it was AMAZING. One of the times I've felt God's presence the most in my life.
*If I could change one thing about myself... I would not rely so much on others. I know that sounds weird, but I'm one of those people who always wants someone with me. I HATE being alone, I really don't like doing things by myself, and I am not very comfortable in new situations if there's not someone I know with me.
What do you want to be when you grow up?
*A wife and a mother to many children! I would also LOVE to do missions eventually!

I know you were homeschooled for a few years, which do you like better that or going to school?
*I LOVED being homeschooled when I was homeschooled. I swam year round and so really just had no time home while I was still in school. On top of that, I had a lot of homework for being so young. I was homeschooled from 5-8 grade and I think those years are SO important. My mom and I became very close (and still are) during my homeschooling years, I think having a strong mother/daughter relationship is HUGE. However, I am so glad that I went back to school for high school! I go to a small, Christian school (that I also went to for a few of my elementary school years). I have amazing friends from my school and also, I have really great relationships with my teachers. I just LOVE that about going to a small school! They are so much more than people who stand at the front of the room and teach. They truly care about us and make an effort to connect with us. It is not unusual to go out to lunch with a teacher and a group of friends, have a bonfire at one of my teacher's farms, etc. I am also a pretty social person and enjoy everything about the social aspect of being at school! It is also a nice time to sort of get out of the house :) So really I cannot say which I liked better. I loved the years I was home and will always look back on them with great memories, but I am definitely glad that I am at school for my highschool years!!!

Oh, and do you think you'll homeschool your children someday or not?
*I definitely think I will homeschool my children some day. Maybe not all the way through, but at least while they are younger and maybe in middle school. I just think that people are so quick to whisk their children off to school. I want to spend time WITH my kids, and I think homeschooling is an awesome opportunity for that. I will also say that going to school for 7 hours a day, 5 days a week is a bit over rated. :)

Do you think your family is done adopting or is that little dossier in China going to get matched with another someone special?
*How can we ask for our dossier back? As one of the families we were in Nanjing with said, "that would be like having an abortion!" Mom says her hands are full. But... I'm still praying that God will make a way for precious Ling Ling (the little girl I fell in love with last summer...) We're praying and seeing where God leads us.

I would have to ask, why blog?? Why do you do it? Did you start because of adoption? What made you start, in one question, why do you blog?
*I started my first blog on the day we were DTC for AnnaClaire in July 2006. I was 13 years old at the time. That blog was over at I posted almost daily for a year and a half until the entire blog ran out of memory from so many pictures being on there! In Nov. of 2007, I started this one, and have blogged here since! Anyway, I started it completely because of adoption. I really just wanted a place to be able to write everything down about our journey. I have continued to blog, because I just love doing it. I love to write, I love looking back at what I have written, I love having a place to put down pictures and memories so they will never be forgotten, and I love being able to keep friends and family updated!

 I'd like to know what your favorite memory is from your elementary years...specifically, what memory growing up with your brothers + parents is most dear to you?
*I have LOTS of favorite memories... tying our scooters together with a long rope and scootering around the neighborhood with my 2 best friends, doing all sorts of arts and crafts with them, etc. I have a LOT of really fun memories with those two, who still remain VERY good friends of mine. I also have a bunch of fun family memories. A lot of them involve traveling, as my Dad worked out of town (and even out of the country!) when I was younger. We went to Canada with him once (he worked there for 2 years) and it was SUCH a fun trip. I have such fun memories of walking around Toronto, staying in huge suites (since he traveled so much, we flew free, stayed in hotels for free, and were upgraded to really nice suites for free!) and putting the couches together to make a "cave bed" for Drew. I always slept on the roll away, which was referred to as my "princess cot." We took a trip to San Francisco when I was younger and that was another fun trip that I'll never forget. It is SO beautiful there and I have such fun memories of just sightseeing around with my family, finding the biggest hills, naming them, and driving up and down them, etc. A favorite memory from home happened on Christmas Eve one year. Drew, Will, and I used to always sleep in the same room on Christmas Eve. This particular year, we all slept in Drew's room. I will never forget waking up around 5 that morning and Drew telling us he had heard Rudolph's bells and seen his nose over night. We were all so excited we could hardly stand it. We started singing Christmas carols (very loudly) before 6, trying to wake Mom and Dad up. We just had the best time, as we all sang together, laughing, and trying to get Mom and Dad to wake up.

Do you have (or have you ever) had a boyfriend? You hardly mention friends and I can't imagine you wouldn't have any... you're such a beautiful young woman.
*I do not have a boyfriend, but have in the past. To be perfectly honest, I find dating at this point in my life a little pointless. Not always, but I do find that a lot of people date for all of the wrong reasons and I just don't see the point. Too many guys (I'm not saying all... I am saying many of the ones I know. I'm also not saying that girls aren't like this... because a lot ARE) are so wrapped up in themselves that they just don't even look beyond what they want and what's " best" for them. I don't think that high school dating is wrong, because I do know people who it has worked out for. My own parents, in fact, were high school sweethearts. However, for the most part, it has always bugged me when girls and guys find a need of always having someone, which I think is a lot of what dating in high school is. They move on so fast, and seriously, what is it teaching them for a future *long lasting* relationship when they just move from person to person like that? Anyway, that's just my personal feelings on the subject. High school boys just seem, for lack of better words, a bit immature. Not all of them, but the vast majority of the ones I know! That's not to say that I don't have friends! I have a bunch of really good girl and guy friends. We just prefer hanging out in groups, rather than "coupling off" if you know what I mean :)  

When you hang out with friends, do they enjoy entertaining your siblings? The pictures from ChickFilA were too cute!
*My friends LOVE the littles! It isn't like every time I am with friends, we are entertaining the littles, but they do enjoy playing with them and they all just love them!

Do you have any family traditions (however crazy or boring they may be) that you definitely plan on passing down to your own kids? What about traditions that you don't want to pass down?
*I needed help with this one, so I asked Dad. He said to put that we go to China every other year :) Anyway, for real... One of my favorite traditions growing up was Dad taking Drew, Will, and I to get doughnuts every Saturday. We always had SO much fun picking out which doughnuts to get and spending lots of time eating them! Another tradition we have is going to the mountains each fall in the peak leaf season. It is BEAUTIFUL in the fall, and we have such fun memories of hiking Gran*dfather Mountain, eating Ki*lwins (best ice cream EVER!) in downtown Bl*owing Rock, etc. We also have Christmas traditions of cutting down a Christmas tree in the mountains every year on the day after Thanksgiving. It's fun to roadtrip up to Bo*one, go to the tree farm, cut down a tree, walk around the Ma*st General Store, and eat dinner at the Dan'l Boo*ne Inn! :) When I was younger, Drew, Will, and I would always sleep in the same room on Christmas Eve and I have SUCH fun memories of that. We also take a yearly "steps" picture of all of us on the stairs! We'll have to use quite a few rows of steps this year! :) Anyway, those are a couple of my favorite traditions that I would love to pass down to my own kids. We don't have many traditions that I wouldn't pass on. Maybe making pancakes with hotdogs in them! We haven't done that in a long time though!

It's obvious God has a plan for you. What is it? What do you plan to do?
*That, I have no idea. Just have to keep praying and let Him show me just what he plans for me! I wouldn't be surprised if I am one day living in China with my family, ministering to the special needs orphans over there... they are just a HUGE part of my heart.

Also, what is your parents' parenting style with you and what are your thoughts on how to foster good daughter-mom and parent/child relationships, from a teenager's perspective? =)
  *My parents have always been the type that are not over-protective. I really, really like that about my parents. Rather than protecting us from everything, they have allowed us to make mistakes and have taught us through those mistakes. They have given us their opinion on things and have set different limits and boundaries, but they have never been overly strict. They have built a trust with us and let us do things because of the strong trust that we have! They have always encouraged time as a family, which is think is a huge reason of why our family is so tight-knit and enjoys doing things together. As for fostering good parent/child relationships, I think the most important thing is spending time together. My parents and I have found things that we can really bond about and talk about for very long times. These conversations can sometimes be pretty deep, sometimes I am just venting about things, and other times, it is just a conversation about football with my dad. Anyway, I think that spending time (occasionally doing activities one on one) and really bonding over different topics of conversation is VERY important for a parent/child relationship.  

is it difficult to have your own space in a family so big? Being a teenager how do you get time to be with your friends, study and spend time with your siblings?? =)
*Actually, it's really not difficult to have my own space, despite having a big family. My room is off a little hallway sort of out of the way of the other rooms. It is a decent size, and I never feel like I don't have enough space or time to myself. Typically, if my door is closed, the littles don't come in. Either I am studying, or I just need some time to myself. I have plenty of time to be with friends, and actually do spend quite a bit of time my friends. Thankfully, I can drive and so I just tell the littles that I am going out and I will see them later/tomorrow. Of course I love spending time with them, too. I have yet to take all 4 somewhere by myself, but before we went to China, I would occasionally bring AC and Kate to do different things with me. Obviously I can play with them all at home, too... giving the girls manicures and pedicures, baking with them, facepainting, playing games, etc.
What are you looking for in a future husband?
*First and foremost, a man who loves the Lord. And I'm not talking a man who goes to Church every Sunday. I want to marry a man who absolutely adores his Savior. I honestly believe if he has that one quality, that the little things that I would like in a husband will be there... passion for the least of these, a desire to have many children, hardworking (but always putting his family above his job, and his Jesus above anything else), a godly example for our kids, etc.

I was wondering what your parents do for a living?
*My mom is a stay a home, homeschooling mom. My dad works in the banking industry, but I'm actually not quite sure what exactly it is he does. :)
could you come over and help me find all the waiting child list that you follow?
*No Hands But Ours has links to all of the agencies that have waiting child lists/access to the shared list. They also have a list of children who are waiting with descriptions of different children from different agencies. I just go there and click on different agencies to see their waiting child lists. Some require passwords, others don't. Most of the agencies that do require passwords don't make you fill out much info to get them. Also, WACAP has a link to the entire shared list. Did you know there are OVER 1900 kids on the shared list RIGHT NOW?!??! Heartbreaking. Lots of boys of any age... even really young ones with pretty minor needs. And lots of older girls, too.


Dana said...

Love all the answers to your questions. Thanks for taking the time to share about you. You are a wonderful person and it is great to know you personally!

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Ellie said...

I love how you're answering all these questions. Although our stories are so very different, I think that we have a lot in common! It's so refreshing to see such a kindhearted teen blogger who's interested in some of the same things as me!

FullPlateMom said...

I linked your blog to mine because I'm so super impressed with you as well. My husband and I have seven adopted children as well. Now we're looking at China Special Needs adoption. I can only hope that my daughter (8 years old currently and just adopted from Ghana in March) has as much love for her Savior and her family as you do.


Wife of the Pres. said...

OK, I said I was taking a break from blogs but I am still reading a few favorites now that the dust has settled! So I just caught up on your answers posts.

Emily, you are just a gem!!! I know you'll make a wonderful wife and mother someday and your parents, brothers and sisters are so blessed to have you!!!