Friday, May 11, 2012


That is the only word that describes Monday night's experience. It's taken me this many days to be able to relive it without wincing in pain.
Dex has been doing a great job with going pee-pee in the potty, but pooping has eluded us (until Wednesday night, but that's another post). Because he has such anxiety about pooping in the potty, he's been holding it and going every other day, so far in his pants. I was expecting him to need to go Monday night, so I was delighted when he suddenly yelled "Dexter have ta' go poop!" from the bleachers at Abi's ball game. So, away we ran to the bathroom. No poop. Only tears. We return to the stands. A few minutes later, "Dexter have ta' go poop!" So, away we ran to the bathroom. Again. No poop. Only more tears. We return to the stands. A few minutes later, "Dexter have ta' go poop!" So, away we ran to the bathroom. Again. (No, my computer is not stuck on copy/paste). The only poop is the streak in his underwear. More tears ... and underwear wrapped up in cheap, paper-thin toilet paper. We return to the stands. Again. A few minutes later, "Dexter poop!" (I should have noticed the change in tense here.) So, as we are headed toward the bathroom, I smell it. Ahh! At the bottom of the bleachers, DEXTER FANS HIS SHORTS LEG AND HIS TERD FALLS OUT ON THE GROUND!
Mortified. Speechless. Disgusted. Potty-training for the last time.

Sunday, May 6, 2012


Today was day 8! I have hesitated to get my hopes up, jinx myself, whatever one might call it. It has been 8 days since Dex left the diaper-booty behind. He has had only one pee-pee accident in that time. He threw an all-out fit last Saturday morning when Nick tried to put a diaper on him, yelling "Underwears!" We had been practicing wearing underwear on Saturdays, having lots of accidents like the one at the Easter bunny's feet. We were going to run several errands last Saturday, so I was a little remiss about venturing out for the morning in "underwears." However, the fit was so intolerable I resigned myself to putting him in a diaper somewhere down the road and tossing some pee-soaked "underwears" in a parking lot trashbin. Since then, we've been to church, pre-school, the ball field, Wal-Mart, and restaurants sporting "underwears." Now, once a day he still has to deposit a terd in his "underwears!" But it will come. And then, after 8 long years of changing diapers all day, we will be diaper-free. Just like that.

Wednesday, April 18, 2012

Back to 100

For a while now, I've only been responsible for trimming 90 nails ... my 10 fingernails and 10 toenails and 20 each on Brandon, Cami, and Dex. I haven't trimmed Abi's fingernails in over 3 years, since she became a nail biter. However, Abi decided to let them grow out a few weeks ago, and tonight I got to trim her fingernails! Awesome, Abi!

Sunday, April 1, 2012

April Fools

The first every April Fools joke in the Coston house .... and I never saw it coming. I had a good friend in graduate school who played the same joke on her husband every year for nearly two decades, and we used to laugh that he fell for it year after year, as he was the spacey type who rarely knew what day of the week it was. Every year, Peggy would put a rubber band around the sprayer nozzle on the kitchen sink, and when her husband turned on the water to make coffee in the morning, it would spray right in his face. I now regret telling Nick the story of Peggy's joke. Funny, honey! :o)

Sunday, February 5, 2012


Tonight, the most amazing thing happened! Excuse the weaving around on the highway through town, as I had my arm wrapped around the seat, firmly holding Dex's hand, tears streaming down my face so hard I could barely see the lines on the road.
Two weeks ago, Dex initiated a hug with me for the first time. For several months, he has been okay with me hugging or kissing him if I approach him, but he had never been the one to ask for a hug. Before that, he would pull away or become rigid when I was affectionate with him.
Tonight, driving down the road, his sweet little voice said, "Hold hand, Momma?" I could hardly believe it ... he had asked to connect with me, when we weren't face-to-face or having a transition of any kind ... just because he wanted to. After fifteen months, he wants to hold his Momma's hand.
Amazing. Love. Joy.

Saturday, December 24, 2011

Our Merry Christmas Letter

The Coston family has been blessed beyond measure this year. It has been a year full of change, chaos, adjustment but, above all, blessing.
We’ve celebrated birthdays, our first forever family anniversary with Dex, lost teeth, a year in business, deaths into heaven, brokenness and healing, friendship, new schools and teachers, scrapes and scraps on and between kids, answered prayers, and lots of love. Each of the children has grown and changed immeasurably this year, each growing more distinctly individual. Abi is thriving in school, definitely academically-oriented, loving reading and writing, the monkey bars,
and children’s choir. Brandon loves to build and invent things, mostly from cardboard and tape, is in love with his kindergarten teacher, and is becoming more of a rough-and-tumble little boy every day. Camryn is our spicy, spirited little preschooler who loves to learn, coerce others, be in-charge, melt into a puddle when things don’t go her way, and make us melt into a puddle with her beauty and sweetness. Dex is becoming confident in our love, confident enough to be completely “two,” and loves to blow bubbles, play outside, color, sing and dance, eat candy, and kiss Momma. Each of our babies is such a blessing and opportunity to see what we’re truly made of each and every day.

Our vet clinic has been open almost a year now, and there have certainly been bumps along the way as we’ve learned. But, as we say daily, we haven’t starved to death yet, and it is an honor to serve our community in this way. Mischelle started working in the clinic full-time in April, which has meant significant adjustments for the whole family, but we’ve survived the transition. We work together and play together.

Our days are gloriously filled with rocks in the dryer, learning to spell “big” 10-letter-long words, booger emergencies, potty-training, lost coats, applying God’s Word to our family, fixing puppies
and kitties, a messy house, lots of noise, more new tennis shoes and blue jeans, scooter rides, board games, sidewalk chalk, spankings and kisses, discussions and decisions, snuggles, and “I love you’s.”

And we are blessed.

The Coston Clan

Sunday, December 18, 2011

Is it or Ain't It?

Great line of questioning, drawing a parallel between the two . . . there's no middle ground. Either abortion is or isn't right. Watch with an open mind.

Saturday, November 12, 2011

Cloudy Day ....

Today, my mood just matches the weather. Cloudy.
I have so much to be thankful for - I certainly haven't lost sight of that. Just a bit gloomy.
I was told by an elderly man today, who had just come within 2 inches of plowing over my cart full of children groceries in the crosswalk, that his time (all 20 extra seconds it would have taken him to stop and let us pass had he chosen to do so) was more valuable than the four precious faces in my cart. I generally ram my cart into the fenders of said crosswalk offenders, but I had exercised self-control, much to my chagrin now. Just kidding. Kind of.
I put away the highchair for the fourth and final time.
There are home repair projects that desperately need to be done, but I can't do it myself (enter the sobbing when I came home to discover my 85-year-old neighbor brushhogging our pasture because it's embarrasingly overgrown).
We have this puppy that I really like but can't seem to fully housebreak, and even I am tired of steam cleaning.
Dexter won't quit vocalizing through his nose - think nails on a chalkboard.
Remission is no longer a likely outcome for Nick's grandfather.
I have become a last-minute, procrastinator out of necessity.
My momma doesn't feel good lately.
Everyone's bedsheets need to be changed.
I miss my best friend.
There's a 6-inch hole in my living room carpet - let me tell you that cleared a room when this Momma discovered that!
I have gained 5 pounds and haven't exercised in weeks, unless you count holding down a 100-pound obnoxious puppy yesterday.
My kitchen is still half-painted.
Despite 3 hours in town this morning, I still have a list of errands a mile long.
I haven't vacuumed along my baseboards in months, and my plants are droopy and begging for a drink.
My first-ever Smartphone just died. So much for technology.
I have a massage gift certificate that I haven't used in almost 2 years. Thankfully, it has no expiration date.
I just feel gloomy, and then I feel guilty and ashamed for letting these things, most of which are horribly insignificant, bug me.
Attitude is a choice, and I will smile.

Sunday, November 6, 2011

No Whining

As I grew up and envisioned my life, my visions of family portraits certainly didn't include a fiesty little Asian man. In retrospect, I'm not quite sure how our life journey wound up here, but I'm so thankfult that it has.

I've always been a "suck it up; get up and get moving; get tough" kind of gal. I run a wee bit short on mercy and find it difficult to coddle those whose only affliction is apathy or laziness. However, orphans don't fit in that category and somehow God has used that small loophole in my "No whining, Git'r'Done" edict to bring a little compassion and Dexter into my life. I don't think there's any question that as Christians, we all share a role in the plight of orphans.
"Learn to do right; seek justice. Defend the oppressed. Take up the cause of the fatherless; plead the case of the widow." Isaiah 1:17
Scripture doesn't have any qualifiers on this passage .... those are action verbs (learn, seek, defend, take up). They require action. Not everyone is called to be an adoptive parent. I didn't think I was. But, you can help support orphans and foster/adoptive families in so many other ways.

It was a year ago Friday that we returned home with Dex. I think it's really neat that our coming home date will always coincide with National Orphan Sunday. The National Christian Alliance has marked the first Sunday of November "Orphan Sunday" (visit for more information). Now that I'm beginning to have my feet under me as an adoptive mom, I'd like to start planning for a local event for next year to raise awareness for the need for adoptive and foster parents for the world's 140 MILLION children without families. I encourage you to take action for an orphan somehow, in some way.

Wednesday, October 19, 2011

Tomorrow Will Be Very Boring!

Tomorrow will be very boring compared to October 20th of last year!

We are not boarding a plane to travel to the other side of the globe. We will not be having a day that lasts 37 hours. We will not be stranded in an airport where no one speaks the same language as we do. We will not be with people who would understand why the t-shirt "I'm huge in China" is hysterical. We will not be eating something unidentifiable, but with a strong similarity to fish, at 33,000 feet altitude. We will not be trying to get through each airport security checkpoint without our around-the-waist money pouches looking obvious because we didn't want to try to explain to Chinese-speaking guards why we have $10,000 in US currency strapped to our bodies. We will not be squatting over a porcelain-lined hole in the ground to urinate. We will not be nauseous from the anticipation of meeting our 4th child for the first time, as well as leaving our other three children 6000 miles behind. Going to work in Greenwood, AR, and eating leftovers for dinner seems relatively boring, in comparison.

I cannot believe that it's been a year since we left for China. Sigh. Smile. Cry. Sob. Smile.