Category Archives: adoption

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”….


It is Father’s Day.. And…

There’s more to being a Father than a DNA-connection or sitting on the bleachers with a phone to your head. 

I throw my husband a massive high-five and then jump and scream with crazy that my kids have him.

I find myself hard-pressed to think of anything better for my kids than their Dad…..

I am so daggone, up-a-tree thankful for Jim…, the Dad who loves, educates, protects, provides, disciplines, plays, leads, wrestles, jokes, races, challenges, and adores our 5 God-handed kids.

How desperately kids instinctually yearn for a strong, Father figure. I’m thinking of those kids without families…maybe in orphanages …. without a Poppa …. to lead them.

And, yet again, I think God for HIS Fathering and that He can step in where others have stepped out.

But, again, Jim….thanks for stepping in my love … Life’s okay as long as you’ve got our compass.

So…let’s take a glimpse into how you discipline, educate, disciple, and lead our kidz …. wink….

We all adore you…more than you know I’m pretty sure because days just roll by and you might not get told how amazing you are or how thankful we all are for you.

But, the sentiment is there and our children will be adults with exceptionally more impact with you as their “Daddy”….

thank you for holding the compass…


Happy Dad & Grandpa Day 🙂

Jim’s parents…who I fondly refer to as “Mommasita” and “Poppabear”…. the ‘PoppaBear’ moniker is quite fitting, eh?! 

And my Daddy….Bruce William. Cancer took him at age 42. Unbelievable. However, today I was (cyberly) talking to someone else who has lost their father and came to the realization that my Dad is NOT ‘just’ a MEMORY but still a strong force within my life.

 I am, symbolically, standing on his shoulders learning what it means to be have struggles and to fight them. I am learning from his sucesses and his mishaps…but that’s what parents are for I suppose…wow…that was fun to speak of my Dad in the ‘present tense’…that is hard to do. 

But what would I do to see him play with his 7 grandkids? Oh my…you name it. He never got to hold or kiss any of them…but they ALL know who “Grandpa Bruce” is. I am proud of that.

PSS: On a lighter note…I think the words at the beginning of this post are ‘highlighted’ because they are some of my thoughts from Facebook today.  My little brain is too gobbled to figure out how to un-highlight them w/o retyping (God forbid I retype something … smile)

So…please bear with my little brain tonight. It’s had a bit of a day…

My Son is fifteen. But. I share him with another Momma. Let’s talk about it.

Our Chase.

My Sunshine.

Jim’s “Orange Pumpkin”.

Aven’s “Squeezy”.

Tye’s Protector.

Zane’s Idol.

Trey’s Best Friend.

Irina’s son.

Max’s son.

An entire family’s son that they do not have the honor to encounter day-to-day.   Who know Chase was happily adopted at age 14 mos, from the orphanage where he was taken after being in the hospital for 3 mos. after his birth. He was in a rural Russian hospital for those 3 mos due to prematurity, bronchitis, and failure to thrive.

A family, a Mom, that was in desperate need and left her son in the care of the nurses.  

I have always tried to paint a mental picture of her having/chosing to walk away from her son… I will never get it pictured properly but I honor her for that long walk…where she left part of her heart behind.

BUT! Now, Irina knows Chase IS THRIVING. 

We hired a private investigator to find Chase’s birthparents 3 years ago. It took over a year. Record-keeping is not the same there as in our very organized nation.

But.  Now she KNOWS.  She has pictures. She has video. She has information on his interests, his talents, his love of Jesus.

Every one of Chase’s birthdays makes me feel, truly, connected to Irina.  

To a woman that lives on a different continent, whose daily life is vastly different than mine, who lives in a different culture that is steeped in deep, deep history whereas I live in a relatively new nation that is still establishing and finding our balance.  

I live in complete freedom, whereas Irina lives within a system of “supposed” freedom but one that is not practiced in actuality.

 (We always honor our adopted kids’ birthparents on child’s birthday. The ‘adoption triad’ of birthparents/adoptive parents/child … is represented this year by this neat flower arrangement I found 🙂

You are wondering if Chase minds if I talk to you all about his heritage.

No. Not at all. 

He is proud of being adopted. He understands, to the extent a 15 yr old can (which is pretty deep), what Irina did for him and why….  

He talks openly about “Miss Irina”, “Mr. Max”, and considers adoption as just one way God can construct a family.

I asked him, on the the 31st (his birthday), if he was thinking of Miss Irina.

He looked at me…sorta sheepishly…and said, “Not really Mom. Is that bad?”  

My response, knowing he is 15 yrs old and thinks about video games more than food, said,”No babe. But I am and I wanted to remind you of how much I love her and am grateful to her because without her I would not have you.”

 (HOW completely AWESOME, eh?! My sis and Bro-in-Law were in Ukraine a few weeks ago. They got Chase authentic (as in used 🙂 Russian military cap with ALL the pins that would denote “Lieutenant” !!!!!  WOW, eh?!!)

“You are right Mom.” …. and he’s back to doing whatever it was he was doing before I asked him 😉  Yep. He’s a teenager.

But, our goal has always been to keep his adoption (all the adoptions) an open topic. As easy to bring up as a “What’s for dinner” type question. 

At this point, we see it playing out in all three of our kiddos who were brought to us via the journey of adoption. And within our ‘homemade’ kiddos. They have questions too.  

We welcome any and all types of questions in regards to the adoption journeys we’ve traveled – first as just “Jim & Andre” and then it was “Jim, Andrea, Chase, Trey, and Zane” to get Tye home from China. And, finally (so far ;), it was “Jim, Andrea, Chase, Trey, Zane, and Tye” to get Aven home from Guatemala. It’s been a group effort 🙂

It is a beautiful thing. It allows a child to see a bigger world.  A world where love abounds….a world where Moms and Dads go to extraordinary lengths to keep their children safe, fed, to be given opportunity, education, and to be so amazingly self-less as to allow someone else to raise their child.

I am daily amazed by you, my Chaser-Bean.

You can be discouraged and confused one minute and laughing hysterically shortly thereafter.  You bounce back from setbacks or bad days unlike anyone else I have ever met.

I want your perseverance.  I want that gigantic smile that you just cannot hold back.

Most of all, my son, I just want you. And, thanks to Miss Irina and Mr. Max….I have my wish.

I have you … a son that is independently focused on growing his relationship with God, who knows he struggles with Fetal Alcohol Effect but does not use it as an excuse for bad behavior or to not conquer something that is very hard for you (math!!). And you have found your God-Given talents and RAN with them! (music is one of ’em!)

Tears are rolling down my face as I picture God forming you within the womb, giving you an extra dose of perseverance (because He knew you’d need it)..

…wiring your brain with the ability to heal and conquer FAE..

…piecing your heart together but apparently using larger than normal components because your heart, Chase, it fills a room within seconds….

God giving you a craving that is unlike others…a craving to be generous beyond your years – How many times have you asked me, “Need anything Mom?”, “You doin’ okay Mom?”……  God has never created another one like you my love.

 (Papaw telling all of us about a prank he pulled on Chase awhile back…adorable)

It would be impossible to for there ever to be another “you”.

You are a young man that has fought, (even if we were dragging you through the fight sometimes….years 6-9 come to mind :) to become who YOU want to be…not who we are telling you to be, not who friends are telling you to be, but who YOU THINK YOU SHOULD BE.

I am amazed…my son…Irina’s son…God’s son….

Amazed at you and you, without any doubt, have made our entire family something that it could never have been without YOU.

When they handed you to me in a freezing, colorless orphanage in Rostov, Russia on January 17th, 1998… I knew I was holding an angel…My soul felt your angelic spirit the instant I touched you…I felt that, somehow, I had your birthmomma’s permission to take you into the folds of my arms, into the deepest places of my heart and to keep you safe, loved, and nurtured.

It turns out…. that Irina knew you were an angel too and wanted to let you soar.

You are soaring our Angel….. Beyond ALL expectations my… I mean OUR son ….. SOARING.

WE, Miss Irina, Mr. Max, Mom, Dad, your brothers,  and your sister,  … we love you and please use that love to change the world Angel.

With ALL of our LOVE….
Your Momma….and, by proxy, Miss Irina.

 (but…I bet Miss Irina is WAY WAY WAY more normal than us. Sorry ’bout that Sunshine Boy.. 😉

"But Momma, he was my Grandpa Bruce. Aren’t you sad?" said Aven, about my (passed) Poppa…

oh vey.
It is ALWAYS in the car. 

I SWEAR the “big” conversation ALWAYS.HAPPEN.IN.THE.FLIPPin.CAR.

Kids KNOW they have you “stuck” in there.  You can’t whisk yourself  away and claim you have to do laundry, you cannot answer a phone (that really isn’t ringing but is a great way out of conversations you are not ready to launch into), there’s no where for the parent to “go”.


I promise, upon my purple hair, that I have had more theological, spiritual, and conversations of the deepest kind….while stopping at stop signs, hurdling down the highway, and looking at my GPS to figure out where in the heck I’m going (hm. kinda symbolic with the GPS and all, ain’t it?!)

Today…Aven decided she needs to talk about death. 

While we are coming home from dance. Luckily, this drive is only 30 minutes, at most, so I took the opportunity by ‘the horns’ so to speak (as if I had a choice…if you know Aven or have read at minimum 2 posts on my know what I mean ;).

“Momma, the only bones we can see are our teeth, right?”

[my brain tries to jump back to anatomy class cuz I’m really not sure a tooth IS a ‘bone’ but then I remembered she is FOUR]

“Yes Aven. You can see your teeth and they are alot like bones.” (ha. got her.)

…wait for it…wait for it… ……

“Momma, will we have bones in Heaven?”


we’ve LAUNCHED into yet another theological question while in a moving vehicle.

“Aven, we are made in the image of God and God was Jesus so we will look like we look now, so, yes, we will have bones.”

“Mom, will I still have brown skin?” asked the girl-that-wants-fair-skin-and-blonde-hair.

“Precious girl, God created you perfectly. He wanted you to have brown skin. Remember, Jesus had dark skin too…Just like you. You are lucky! Yes, will have your beautiful brown skin in Heaven.”

{insert Andrea whispering prayers that these answers are at least 90% to close to ‘correct’ within the realm of what Heaven will be like :}

….get ready for it….get ready for….the 4 yr old’s about to dive even deeper…

……AND we’ve hit every red light on our way home so I know God’s smiling at me saying, “gotcha Andrea. Now stop checkin’ your phone and answer Aven’s questions with your full attention.” dang….busted.

….Aven jumps too……… MY DAD of course.

“Grandpa Bruce was my Grandpa. It is not fair. He’s dead. Aren’t you sad Momma?” asks a truly inquisitive, soft-hearted little girl who my Dad would think hung the Moon.

“Yes, Aven. I am sad but I know my Daddy feels better now. AND, I just bet that he knows about you and your brothers and is very happy. I think my Dad is happy that I am happy.” I respond…

[anyone else sweating? and if you are looking up scripture to prove I’m wrong …. please don’t… just shut your Bible and role with me…she’s FOUR ya know ;)]

I am now whispering to God that ‘could He PLEASE step in any ol’ time cuz does He remember that I have driving anxiety with my stupid Post Traumatic Stress Disorder and talking about my deceased father, while driving, probably IS NOT the best mix for this girl????……..

“But Momma, dead people aren’t happy. They look like this…” 

I look in the rearview mirror and she’s mimicking a dead body by frowning as big as possible with her eyes squeezed shut and her pigtails all hanging to one side, drooping over the side of her carseat.   (HELLO!! Anxiety?!)


{okay…now comes the part where God takes over because I’ve NEVER EVER thought of this before}

“Aven, you know how we love matroyshka dolls. We think they are so beautiful and each one has more inside than what you can see from the outside?” I say thinking…’where’d THAT come from?’…oh yeah…God’s steppin’ in! phew!

“Yes. My favorite is the teeny-tiniest baby one …. the last one.”  said Aven, who’s no longer mimicking a dead person, which is nice.

“Well, sweets, the teenist-tiniest one…THAT one is like your SOUL! 

The soul that God put into your body.  Remember how that last, littlest one…your favorite…doesn’t open? It’s because that is the REAL, never changing part of the matroyshka doll…just like our soul never changes.”

[I’m thinking…’hey..I’m not doing to bad with this one! woot! woot!. Thank ya Jesus I CAN listen AND obey WHILE driving! who knew?!]

“Right now, the bodies we have are like the ‘outside’ matroyshka doll. The one you can see.” I continue.

Aven says, “Oh my favorite is the pretty red one that has blonde hair but I’m still mad that that dog, Benson, chewed part of her up.” 

“Yep, Aven, you are right. I get mad about that too because that makes me think of my Daddy. His ‘outside’ matroyshka doll got sick. It wasn’t his fault. 

But it is because there is yuck in this world that wants to keep us from being really happy and really healthy.  God hates that yuck, ya know that yuck is the Devil.”  I say, seriously wondering if God is stretching time because this car ride is taking FOREVER.

matryoshka rings.JPG

“I hate the devil. I would be like my brothers and just “Tae Kwon Do” kick him Momma.” said Aven.  (laugh:)

“You CAN, in a way, do that when you pray Avenita because the Devil is such a whimp he doesn’t even let us see him. Your prayers are your kicks.” I replied.

I wanted to get back on topic (if possible with Aven :)…

“Hey Aven, you know how we are the ‘outside’ matroyshka now, right?  Well, when we die and go to Heaven, which is not scary, it is like we get to be one of the other, inside, matroyshka dolls!  

No scratches, no doggy bite marks, no chipped paint!  We are brand new but we are still ourselves because that littlest ‘matroyshka’, your favorite one, is still inside….like how your soul will always be with you.”

She looks out the window for a second and I am PRAYING to the SWEET LORD ABOVE that she does not bring up that not EVERY ‘inside’ matroyshka looks like the outside one….kwim?!

She didn’t. {PHEW}

She said, “I’m glad that little one is always going to be there. It’s my favorite.” (from the mouth of babes, right?!)

“Aven, it’s who makes “you” you. Your soul is “Aven”.  No matter what the outside looks like….you will always be how God made you…which is perfect.”

I looked in the rearview mirror, and saw my daughter….who looks nothing like me, who does not share my DNA, but who is so much a part of me that I sometimes forget where she starts and I end….

…..who has questions that seem beyond her age….who will have questions I do not have answers too….who seems to know that the world curiously complicated….

…A child that was knit together within her birthmother’s womb with perfection……with a purpose and a plan for that baby to have hopes and a future…not for harm….

and…I saw this precious creation, my kiddo,  smiling BIG.  

Thank you Jesus.*503/matryoshka3.jpg

I do miss my Dad.

I miss that my Dad cannot enjoy my kids (oh my heck he would have LOVED them SO much!) but I am HAPPY that there is a hope for us which promises us a much brighter future that what we toil away for here on this rock we live on.

I  am thrilled that God helped me answer one of my precious treasure’s deepest questions using something she and I both love and share and see as “beautiful”….. matroyshkas.

God IS beautiful like that…always making it as easy for us as He can….wanting us to feel Him and His love. 

Not fear. Not doubt. Love.

A LOVE that can be described in SO many ways….and today….oddly enough……it was via a matroyshka doll. 

Happily….we pulled into the driveway before Aven ended her “looking out the window smiling really big moment” and launched into more theological questions….

[cuz my heart was on overload…]

Regardless….What a joy to know that there ARE answers to ALL of our hard questions.

And, a joy to know that inner-matroyshka doll that makes “us” us…will always be there.

God Is Good. 


A little video tirade about the Christian community and mental illness. Oh. and we have a pregnant dog :)

How was that for a tirade couched between cute kids?
Makes me seem less scary 🙂


Ya knows I gotta post some pics of my crew after that video tirade cuz now I feel ‘purged’ and can get on with my good ol’ self again.


IF you are someone who deals with what I addressed in my blog OR a Christian who thinks what I said was ludicrious please email me at:  andreacockrum at yahoo dot com or find me on Facebook under my my full name: Andrea Lowe Cockrum.  

I would love to chat with you…from whichever side of this you are coming from. I am ALWAYS open to new information and love making friends, especially where there’s a common thread already established.

Okay…pix 🙂

Tye WANTED “blue” hair…I SWEAR I had NOTHING to do with this request! 

 I thought he looked SO ADORABLE like this…but he refused to keep it ‘just bleached’. (btw: do you know how hard it is to truly ‘bleach’ asian hair???? It had to be on his twice the amount of time…!).

He demanded his “BLUE”…and…He got it!

I have no idea what he’s doing other than being deliciously adorable.


I got to spend a bit o’ time in my still totally wrecked Art Studio but twas fun to have paint on my hands again…LUV having paint on my hands…LUV it 🙂

 My twinnie needed this “vintage” window pair turned into a table display for her and her husband’s fundraising needs.  She wanted it to look like a ” really old Indian window” and then I put henna-ish designs on the corners. She’ll put picture of their work in the window panes, etc.

 AMY actually PAINTED! That’s equivalent to me RUNNING (and not just after a good sale at the mall but actually running in running shoes outside in nature)

When your daughter says, “Momma, you need to paint while you wear a tiara” You ALWAYS say YES!

 Maybe a perfect afternoon for me…painting with my kids 🙂 My sis was there too 🙂

 The kids make “gift bags” …. we are going to work on spelling this year in school.


There ya go.

A video tirade.

Cute kids acting weird on video.

Pictures of our daily lives.

I think that consists of a full blog post, eh?!

PLEASE LET ME KNOW, via a comment here or SOMETHING PEEPS, of your thoughts about my idea on the “church” and the “mental illness” issues.

I think the “Church” needs a seminar or something on “Mental Illness” issues 🙂

I’ll lead it.

errrr…..maybe not?


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…..