Category Archives: Tye

Especially those that don’t have it…..need it desperately.

This has NEVER happened to us before.


Our 4 yr old pup ran away from a friend’s HOME Sunday evening. “Nala” was sighted headed, south, towards OUR HOME Tuesday. This means a 6 lb dog, in 90 degree heat, has walked at least 7 miles, admist cars, in less than 2 days.

Poor thang..She WANTS to come home…She is SO close… She just wants HOME.


[THIS is Nala….sigh….Praying she shows up on our front step or we get a phone call that someone found her….some hearts hurt around here…]

I know this is SUCH a stretch but….But, pondering the instinct a dog has to return “home, even after months in some cases, has me contemplating what ‘HOME’ truly means. It’s a dang big deal.

Let’s pretend we are not talking about “Nala the Dog” for a second….but a baby that doesn’t have a home. I know…big stretch. Canine versus Human…HUGE difference…but…

I’ve been dwelling on getting Nala HOME since Sunday. It’s natural for my brain to meander into other avenues of what “HOME” means…to all sorts of all of us.

A baby…don’t you think…don’t you KNOW they have an instinct for a Mother? A Father? 

They KNOW when they do not have that. They KNOW when they do not have a HOME. A PERMANENT place of love and safety.

If the baby grows into toddlerhood in this same situation…be it in an orphanage, a temporary foster home, etc., does an instinct kick in to LOOK for “Mom” or “Dad”.

I know for a fact it does. 

If they do not find a parent, or someone who functions like a permanent parent, they do not develop the ability to BOND. 

To know the safety net of “HOME”. 

To understand unconditional love. To know the feeling of falling asleep without fear.

And the longer they are without ‘HOME’ the more jaded they become. But…jaded is removable..ask us how we know …. phew.

Children…starting at a startling young age…yearn for ‘HOME’. A HOME.

Our Tye [this is how we know…] did not come “HOME”, from China,  until age 2.25. 

It was APPARENT that he HAD yearned for a home but had not found it and, as a result, had hardened himself against what he did find…which was chaos, transitional caregivers, boredom, and hunger.

How do we know he had an instinct for a HOME, A Mommy, A Daddy? Because he was so closed off from all that was normal for a 2 year old’s heart. 

He was walled up inside himself. 

He was behind a wall of protection he’d set up for himself, mentally, because he had not found the things he instinctively knew he needed. Up went the walls.

It took God, and us, over 2 years to break those walls down…and to let his instinct for ‘HOME” resurface.  

He had to learn to trust again….to learn to go to sleep at night without fear that there would not be food the next day or that someone would take his only possession…his shoes. 

When he came home, he REFUSED to take his shoes off for months. He WANTED his shoes to be there ALWAYS. He had substituted a pair of shoes for a set of parents. [this world is so hard]

high quality and good price for kid shoe
 [they are similar to these but orange..of course I saved them 😉

When we finally had him as ours forever… he went to sleep STANDING UP in his crib….flat-out-FEAR. He was on HIGH ALERT. 

He also screamed his lungs out while he tried to decide if he was safe or not. Was this HOME? He had lost the instinct for such a thing and was crazy-confused about what was happening.

It did not matter what we, new and -again- random to him, people did to help him sleep…he had to figure it out on his own. Decide that he was safe. That his shoes would still be there. That there would be food. 

That, what he wanted and needed the most but did not quite know what it was, our LOVE would be there when he woke up. Eventually…he knew he needed it but he had to be ‘taught’ to let those feelings back out and to rest in the security of his HOME.

It was an IMMENSE struggle. Some of the hardest years of our lives.

But…now Tye is, mentally, “HOME”. He’s been physically home for 7 years. He’s been mentally home for about 5 or a bit less. We knew when it happened. It was the 100+ days we spent, alone as a family, in Guatemala during Aven’s adoption process.

He ‘settled’ during that time. He decided we were his and he was ours. The timing of that trip was divine for so many reasons….And one was to help Tye’s give that one last “nod of the head” that ‘this is going to work’.



It’s instinct.


Especially those that don’t have it.

If you are called to adopt…If you think about adoption all the time…If you lay awake at night thinking about “your baby”…..

You know what to do. Do it . 

Adoption is not on everyone’s plate…but it is on some. As much as we are not to be ‘inside-the-envelope-type-people’ (snirk)…Others LOVE the routine of the corporate life.  We all have our own paths.

However, if you feel the adoption bug but think there is NO WAY….We have been there. Knowing we were to do adopt but it did NOT make logical or financial sense.

However…It has worked out. God stretched dollars, blessed business, and had our backs.

 I cannot promise roses and long walks on the beach (smile)…..but I can promise a sense of wholeness that is not found in ANY other way…if you are laying awake at night thinking about “your baby”….


Tye has his BIRD!!!!

[This relates to my last post…If you are wondering why the HECK there are so many birds and so much crazy…read that post…and the crazy just comes with being part of the “Cockrum Collection” 🙂 

 We didn’t tell Tye (or Aven) where we were going until we were GOING 🙂 

You can see the completely stunned look on both of their faces 🙂  Tye was ALL smiles after the initial shock…

 Tye almost knocked the door down at our friend’s house to get ‘his’ bird 🙂
 Tye in awe….deciding which bird is HIS bird…HIS bird from God in a beautiful way.
 Sweet birds..they are both over 10 years old. 

One was attacked by a dog and only has one eye. Aven wanted that one, Pete, so “She could make him all better.”  🙂

 Our friend who gave us the birds..I think Tye hugged her  20 times. BUT then again..Tye hugs any pretty lady he can 😉  

BUT…he said, “THANK YOU! THANK YOU!” over and over.

 Kiddos realizing we are really taking the birds home WITH us! 

[I don’t know why they were so isn’t like we don’t come home with some sort of random rodent or something quite often! smile]
 Tye’s new BFF, “Nelson”, was a rescued cockatiel and had spent most of his life in a cage. 

[I don’t know how one ‘rescues’ a cockatiel but that is Nelson’s sweet story. I, personally, think it is perfectly fitting for Nelson to be rescued again by Tye…sigh.]

  Even though Nelson was not used to nor did he even like being held, Tye acclimated Nelson very quickly!!! 

And, get this, Tye knows the bird’s name is “Nelson” but has nicknamed him “NOON NOON“…which was TYE’S CHINESE NICKNAME 🙂  cry.
 Just like “Noon Noon”…Tye has a whole new world to FLY …and maybe this small miracle of events falling into place has put some pieces of his mental puzzle together for him.

No..not a maybe. I KNOW it has.

Tye really understands how God stepped in and got “Noon Noon” to him in a neat way. 

(After Mommy and Daddy had said “No!” haha I still find that hilarious.  God was like, “Sheesh Jim and Andrea…Do have to do EVERYTHING for you?”  Um. YES? 🙂

 Aven giving “Pete the Pirate” a kiss. 

This is a PERFECT bird for Aven. 

Pete is not “perfect” in appearance but he already LOVES her. Crawls all over her. Jumps to her. Kisses her 🙂  

She’s getting a wonderful heart-lesson from “Pete the Pirate” [get it…he’s a pirate cuz he only has one eye … wink…]

 Within two days, Tye can hold Nelson/Noon Noon without any “barrier” like a thick glove, etc. “Noon Noon” really seems to love Tye 🙂
 We’ve had our “Icon” [on the right] for two years. We tried to introduce him to “Noon Noon” and “Pete” but “Icon” was NOT interested. 

I think we’ll keep them separate for quite awhile longer 🙂

 This is just “good ol’ normal” in the Cockrum household 🙂 Which I think is really fabulous 🙂
 Zane was feeling sorry that “Icon” was feeling ‘left out’ [the boy with the softest heart in the world I swear it!] so he was telling “Icon” he was still “King of the House” ….
 Our birds’ wings are not clipped. 

(cuz I’m scared to do it. I ‘clipped’ Trey’s newborn baby fingernails and made him bled profusely. Since then, I REFUSE to ‘clip’ anything. No joke.)

So, sometimes, they ‘take flight’ and it becomes a “find the bird” type of game. 

Then a “get the bird” adventure”…..

 “Noon Noon” has BIG feet (?) claws (?) talons (?) ha.  Took Tye a bit to get used to the feeling of them…but it wasn’t long before “Noon Noon” was climbing all over him….
 Another “Find the Bird” adventure. 

Can you find the bird in this picture?

 Yes, sometimes poop happens 🙂 

But, honestly, the birds usually keep this in their cages. I promise. My house does NOT smell. 🙂 

I ask my ‘would tell it to me straight’ friends if it does smell and they continue to say “NO”. 🙂

 Yet another “find the birdies” game……

Yep! My lovebirds love hanging out ‘in’ the light. They never leave our bedroom…cuz…that would be just crazy to have five birds all about the house at once 😉


It was, needless to say, a wonderful time adding the birds into Tye and Aven’s lives … It felt like pieces just fell together in perfect ways. 

That God orchestrated what, to myself and so many, would seem SO minor…but, apparently, to Tye’s heart is a MAJOR.

It’s really thrilling to be “corrected” by God and to watch it happen as it is SUPPOSE to happen.

Thank God for God 🙂

We also got to spend some “family” time with some of the “Guat Girl” families in our lives. Some of us were  together celebrating The Holloway’s new home 🙂

Again….Thank God for God 🙂  

Who else could have orchestrated and laid it upon the hearts of FIVE families, who were all friends but weren’t comparing notes that intently, to start the adoption process all within 6 mos of each other? 

The end result is giving our “Guat Girls” a sense of community that these girls seem to really need AND giving the five family’s involved a sense of beautiful history and sense of ‘family’ that WE ALL desperately need.

I’m gunna say it ONE more time…

Thank God for GOD 🙂

 Chase and Delaney. 

Delaney’s Momma used to watch Chase will I worked when Chase first came home from Russia!  And..for the record…Delaney has always had a bit of a cute, little girl crush on her “Chase”  🙂

 SEE! These girls need each other :)))
Bad Girls! 

These two fashionista raided Jessica’s closet … and come down to show their creations!  Happily, Jessica laughed. She’s cool like that 🙂

 Sophia…the Guat Girl that we are ALL rootin’ and prayin’ for. 

Her and Tye have alot in common…unfortunately. 

BUT, I know her parents are fighting the hard fight for her. She’s come a LONG way.  Silly girl can fall asleep ANYWHERE though! Makes me jealous!

There were boys screaming, adults talking, etc….but Sophia decided it was time for a nap?! lucky girl. 

I wanna nap like that!

 Emily (Sophia’s Momma..and Delaney..and Addie’s 🙂 and I have been family for about 19 yrs now. Not by blood but by bonds.
 My husband has another lady in his life…it is Tessa. I admit it. The man swoons over that girl 🙂
 I sorta kinda really luv her too 🙂 She’s Aven’s “Special Sister” as they call each other 🙂

Thanks for reading, commenting, encouraging, and lovin’ on us here in blog-land.

I don’t think you all realize the happiness you all bring me.

Knowing you are “out there” and I can always “come here” and be ME.

You all make me feel exceptionally happy…thank you Readers :))


Tye Walks Into Our Room…Crying…"my china mommy"….

Last night, towards bedtime….

Tye walked into our room crying.  
Not the “I’m hurt” or the “I’m about to tattle” cry, but a “HEART” cry.

As a parent, you know ‘that’ cry.

That is when you drop anything you are doing because something important is about to happen. 

I put my laptop down (rather, threw it too the side).  Jim and I motioned for Tye to come to us.

PLEASE come to us SON.

He sat on on the edge of our bed.

“Tye, what is wrong?”

[Tye has language difficulties but I am going to type out what he said in ‘typical’ speech versus ‘his way of talking’.  His words were to powerful to be typed in any other way.]

“I miss my China Mommy.” he cried.

Now, Jim and I glanced at each other. Neither of us knew where this was coming from. 
Trey and I had just got done goofing off and locking everyone out of the house (smile) and that made Tye really mad.  I immediately wondered if I’d ‘triggered’ something.

Had I brought up ‘abandoned’ feelings in him?  Did something remind him of the beginnings of his life that we know very little about?  I don’t know. Had I really messed up?

I do know that our angel was, suddenly, overwhelmed with many emotions.

I responded, “I miss her to Tye.  She loves you.”

“I miss her. She misses me.”


Of course, at this point, I am silently praying for God’s wisdom to drown me because, honestly, I have as many unanswered questions about Tye’s adoption as he does.  
How can I answer questions that I don’t have answers too?


Tye’s heart crying continues.

I wipe tears off his beautiful cheeks.

I try a different approach.

“Tye, what do you think she is doing right now?”  
(I wanted her to feel ‘real’ to him. Not vague. Not unknown. We do not have a picture of her. He was abandoned on hospital steps at approx. 5 days old. I can only imagine, no..actually I cannot imagine…her heartbreak.)

“Maybe she is night-night?” Tye said.

“China is awake right now Tye, remember? Maybe she is eating some delicious rice!” I said. 
Tye loves rice. I was trying to find a ‘commonality’ between them that he could relate too and that would be reasonable.

Tye responds, “She has a house? Maybe she is asleep and will wake up and have breakfast.” 

“I bet you are right Tye!”

Chase (also adopted) walks into our room.

I immediately, without Tye noticing, catch his eyes and look deeply at him and slightly nod towards crying Tye.

“Hey Tye. Chase thinks about his birthmom too. Don’t you Chase?” I say.


“Yeah I do Tye.” Chase says.  

I make Tye look directly at Chase and then ask, “Do you love your birthmomma Chase?”  

{Chase is supremely comfortable, for now, in regards to his adoption. He openly talks about it. Thinks it is cool. Cuz it is :}

“Yep. I do.” Chase says as Tye stares at him.

Tye doesn’t seem to respond. 
He knows Chase and Aven are adopted too.  I was hoping there would be some sort of “Well, if Chase is okay then I can feel better right now” groove happen. But it did not.


Chase quietly left the room.

I look at Tye.

His eyes are shut tight. His tears are wet on his face. 
My hearts folds into itself.  
[Give me his questions Lord. I will take them for him. I will hold them. I will hold the hurt Lord. This child has been through enough. Please Lord, Please give me his heart’s hurt.]

“Tye, what are you doing babe?” I ask as I stare at his closed face.

“Thinking about my China mommy’s house. You think she has pets?” 

“I bet she does.  What do you think she might have? A cat?”

Tye says, “ a bird. ”  of course 🙂 


“MY China Daddy misses me.”


Tye has never once (that I can remember) mentioned his China Daddy. 

(Wasn’t I JUST sitting on my bed surfing Facebook, having downtown time, and now I am in a bit of a battle with evil to keep from residing inside my son’s heart?  

Questions about his adoption can hinder him for life.  We must address them of course. But…how did my world shift so fast? I’m suddenly, I decide, have been having one of the most important conversations I’ve ever had with Tye…

Other than the one where Aven helped him deal with some of his adoption confusion by saying “Tye we all have pink tongues! It’s okay!” )

“He loves you too Tye.  But Tye, you had a really bad ‘owie’ [I touch the scar on his lip and nose]. They could not fix that and wanted you to be very happy. 

So, since your China Mommy and Daddy could not do that and they wanted you to be all better, God picked Jim and Andrea to have you forever and forever and forever. Do understand that Tye?”

“Yesh. I don’t like the doctor. The medicine is bad. I hate it there.” he says.


I think…Does he associate the surgeries with Jim and I? 

Are we to ‘blame’ for his pain in his thought process? 

Tye has no idea how his unrepaired clefts and cognitive delays would have impacted his daily life in China.  

He just knows he is here because of his ‘owies’. Or that that is at least one of the reasons he is with “Jim and Andrea”.

“I hate the hospital too Tye. I know you do not like the medicine sweetheart. But you had to do that so your nose would work and so you can learn to talk better. that way you can yell better at your brothers!” I say.

“You think my China Mommy misses me?” he asks again.


“Yes. I know she does Tye. She loves you. Just like Mommy and Daddy do.” I say. 

“My heart misses her.” he says. “Mom, we get on the computer and see her?”

(PLEASE Lord…I’m not doing good here…these answers do not seem right..PLEASE take over.)


If I could I would. I do not know her phone number. She is not on the computer. I do not know her address. If I did I would Tye. I am sorry.” I say…it must seem so simple to HIM.

….to find an anonymous chinese female that was, more than likely, pressured by her family, to illegally abandon her baby on the steps of a rural hospital. In a town where addresses and phone numbers are not typical. In a town of randomness, poverty, and confusion. 

In a town where no one inquired about him for two years in his orphanage nor responded to the “Baby Found Ad/Picture” that the Chinese government requires orphanages to publish in local newspapers before a child is released for international adoption.

But, to Tye…it is simple. sigh. 

“Mommy, maybe tomorrow we get a bird?” Tye says.  

I laugh.  Stinker. 

 “No Tye. I don’t think we will be getting a bird tomorrow but sometime we will.”

Did he want another bird because he thinks he China Mommy has one? 

Should I have said yes? But he asks for a new bird everyday…surely that was a random question? right? Was I wrong?  Should I have said, “YES! OF course!” 

Extreme confusion.


What if we got a bird and it died? (anyone who’s read this blog knows that highly possible). Would THAT hurt him worse than NOT having a bird?  

Tye is crying again. Not because of my “NO” but just “because” again.

I gather him onto my lap.

Mercy my baby is big.  

He is big, precious, stubborn, confused, angry, sad, and God’s creation right there on my lap.

“Tye look me in the eyes. No Tye LOOK at me. You are loved. You have more love than alot of people. You have a China Daddy, China Mommy, AND Mommy and Daddy who love you so much. GOD made you Tye. God loves you even more than I can explain to you. “

I touch his heart. literally..with my hand.

“Does your heart feel better Tye?” I ask

He doesn’t say anything.

Then he says, “I think about China Mommy in bed. She thinks about me at night. You think about me at night?” 


“YES TYE! YES! You have TWO MOMMIES thinking about you at night. TWO!” I say..finally seeing a bit of peace coming through his eyes.

I start touching his beautiful eyes, his scar, his cheeks, his forehead…

“Your China Mommy and Me think about how wonderful you are and how much we love you. “


“Tye, Mommy and Daddy will love you forever and forever and forever. 


You are never going away from us. God let us have you now forever. ” I say. 

Then I ask him something I have never asked any of my adopted kids because it never felt ‘right’.

“Tye, are you happy here with Mommy and Daddy?”



We closed up the (long) conversation with me cuddling him tightly, telling him he is loved. 



I woke up this morning to a text from a friend:

“Andrea, do you want two cockatiels? My friend is needing to rehome them.”

“WHAT? WHAT? YES! YES! Tye asked for a bird yesterday and that is what Aven wants for Christmas!”

SO, the answer to getting Tye a bird TODAY  was YES apparently! Thank you God for fixing my wrong answer!


Tye is getting a bird today…sorta from his China Mommy…and from God. 

A gift, of sorts, from China…in the form of a little creature every bit as amazing as the little boy that was gifted to us over 6 years ago in a barren Chinese government room.

I haven’t told Tye yet about the bird. I am to busy wiping tears from my face.



Tye "speaks" on adoption. You’ll wanna listen. I promise.


You can see some of the “fun” of adopting…you get a ‘bigger’ family (as in birthfamily)…you get to tell your kids how incredibly special they are…..just like EVERY kid is…

but…you can also see, through my Tye and his cognitive delays, that -sometimes- the idea or concept of ‘adoption’ is a bit confusing.

Tye, age 8, has, in the last 18 months or so (hhmmm…maybe a smidge longer?) started understanding the basic idea of ‘adoption’…whereas our Chase & Aven understood the idea of adoption around age 2.

The process of adoption is not for the faint of heart…but building a family in any shape or form isn’t!

Please let our Tye inspire YOU to promote adoption, respect adoption, or…be that last little nudge you need to finally sign that adoption application you have had sitting on your table for weeks….or at least call the agency that’s been on your heart.


I do not promise it will be easy.  

But I PROMISE it will be worth it.

A daggone proud Momma…..