Sunday, January 29, 2012

新年快樂 新 Happy Chinese New Year!! Year of the Dragon

It's a celebration!  Chinese New Year.  
We celebrate the Year of the Dragon for our children to retain and remember their culture.  To enjoy another culture that brought us quite a few of our treasures.

Red envelopes with "lucky" money.  Door decorations.  Going to the teens all time fave Chinese restaurant where they cook for them while they watch and salivate- ha ha.

We have a Dragon boy, Camden will be 12 this year making him born in the Year Of the Dragon.  And he is quite the typical dragon child, fiery, bigger than life heart, intense, smart.  A joy even when he's spittin' fire:) after all he does get that red hair honestly

So at this Chinese New Year's time, we enjoy the treasures we have been blessed with. We had a special surprise for them. We don't have many opportunities to have Chinese people over living in a rural area, so we make our own celebrations.

Via our pastor and wife, we were asked to come to movie night at their house Friday.  We kept the movie a surprise.  It was the Jesus film in CHINESE.  The teens really enjoyed it.  Kat got a kick out of picking out a few words she knew.  I heard "son" more than once:)  We had a ton of snacks, even so, the pastor was shocked how much these kids can eat- ha ha. Not us, we are used to it.

It's a standing joke with Chance, who has little impulse control when it comes to food.  He ate himself sick for Chinese New Year and when I exclaimed I forgot my camera for our meal pics, Chloe went and took a picture of Chance in the WC!  (Don't worry mom, she put the camera in the door and snapped the shot, she didn't look) I will not be posting that one.  You all can thank me later.

We have some interesting conversations with that boy, Chance, he got in trouble this week in school because he thought he could throw out some one's notebook and he could pretend he didn't know better.  WELL..... he now has detention to prove to him he will not get away with that any longer.

He really thinks he is Joe Cool and needs to get over himself.  He  said in the van  today when he was asking what he needed to do to get his Ipod back and Chloe chimed in.  He said "Mom, I thought we were supposed to keep our own mouth on self?"

After I deciphered what he was saying I realized he was meaning something we tell them OFTEN.  Mind your own business, don't worry about someone else getting in trouble, keep yourself in line.

Other than Mr. Funny guy's issues in school, we have continued to see everyone working together, EFFORT being made, harmony working in our home.  Oh, the JOY of that is huge.  

Even better is Chase, who saw the Jesus film and then asked the Lord into his heart.  WHOO HOOOO, our son is saved.  Not even 3 years home with these 3 teens and all 3 have learned of Him, want to belong to Him and serve Him.  

Our pastor and his wife have been so incredibly supportive and we are so blessed to have them helping us plug away with the teens::)

 It just blows me away that all 3 have been able to take this step, are able to feel the love Our Father has for them.  It's huge for them and yet again, have to feel thankful that God brought them here.

All of them:)  Children of God. Orphans no longer. 

 Hope your New Year is as blessed as ours.

Thursday, January 26, 2012

Gettin' deeper

I don't respond every time someone leaves a comment on the blog. Honestly I don't have time. I read them all, trust me, I do. 

But this comment left me with a door, that I see needs closed.  You see I give a window view into our lives, I do not expect an open door.  I give the window because people need to know what is involved when you see that post "child aging out, someone needs to do something!!"

And you feel the tug.  I am NOT saying if God shows you this is YOUR child to ignore that, no WAY.  But if any family *thinks* any older child is going to come with NO issues, quite frankly, they are gonna get slammed.  And THEN WHAT?  One of the burdens of my heart is these older kids who are or aren't prepared for adoption, parents that are or aren't prepared for adoption, and the issues cause them to NOT be able to stay in the home.  

There are NOT enough resources for these families.  There are very few helps, very few choices, and it's wrong.  Support, love, understanding, care and most importantly EDUCATION should not end with the airplane touching down.  Oh, got them home, now live a happy ever after? For these older children it's not that simple.  
So here's the comment-

Let me begin by saying that I enjoy reading your blog and appreciate your honesty and commitment to your children. I know this may sound like a criticism or judgment but it is not meant to be. It is a sincere question. How do you think Pheobe's adoption will play into this? In an earlier post I think you mentioned that one of the children might have RAD and you reference attachment issues that are so severe that you mention that the children may not be able to stay in your family.

And let me respond.  

I do honestly feel it's a little critical.  Ouch.  But I'm gonna address this 'cause it's more important than me feeling a little judged.

Phoebe's adoption is God planned. God knew what child would fit in this family.  It was no surprise to me she was as young as she is.  I don't have any doubt that it would be a rare (if any)teen aged child the 3 bio teens would accept in their lives, as they are so bonded.  And not feel threatened by their standing in this family.  I can't see taking a teen with an unknown personality and trying to get the 3 teens to accept that new teen, no matter where they are from. And how awful would that be for the new teen:(  So Phoebe being young is right for this family.  As in any family, our littles are treated as littles, different from the teens.  She is not competition to them, she's a little girl.  

Also she has a condition that one of the teens best friend's has and they understand the issues it brings.  They are very willing to help her and are excited to accept her as their sister.

Now as for the kids with RAD. I mentioned they all have signs of RAD and SO DO I.  I have no doubts these teens and possibly the adopted littles may have "signs" of RAD forever.  Just as God accepts us as is, He doesn't take away our past hurts, our past pains, but He and only HE makes us WHOLE in Him, we don't expect to make our children WHOLE.  We expect to help them get as far as we can take them.  We expect them to get that our commitment to them is unending. We give them everything they need, we give them God to choose or not, they must make that decision, as we all do.

I want to clarify the "children may not be able to stay in our family" Uhh, did you read the whole post?  No offense but I think you took that wrong.  I said we told them we thought about if they needed another family because we wondered if WE were the issue, our family makeup, our parenting style.  But that was just plain silly and I pointed that out to them because they would take their issues right into another family and no family makeup, parenting style would change that-- we had to make them own the issue, to understand that NO FAMILY would accept them not being nice to each other or being disrespectful to the parent/s.

I even told the boys that them blaming US for their behavior was like me cooking supper, burning it, then blaming them.  It was that silly.  It makes NO sense. But that's what we get from them, WE cause them to behave with disrespect.  They actually SAY THAT.  

And I felt we were home long enough and the boys understood enough to see what they were doing. And they DID.  They got what I was saying, this was HUGE because it's been an ongoing issue of blame on us for how they act. Which is NOT going to/ has not worked.

We told the boys they are STUCK WITH US.  We told them our commitment was to them.  Forever.  That we want them to be HAPPY and enjoy being here, enjoy being part of a family and all that gives them.  Whatever it takes.   And it took pointing out to them that they wouldn't be able to be happy and make it even in another family- they HAD to work on these behaviors of theirs for them to get it.

Because with these older ones, it's different.  It's not lollipops and roses.although I like lollipops and roses and haven't gotten either in a really long time It's WORK.  It's the reality they do not want to be here sometimes. They WANT to go back and forget all about this family.  They don't enjoy having parents at times. They don't know how/don't want to behave in a family.  And the issues aren't for 6 months while they can't speak good English, it's ongoing. It's trying on a family. Draining.  

And sometime like any teen, they need a swift kick in the butt (it's a saying MOM, I'm not kicking any kids here) to get that the behaviors they are doing are ruining their happiness. NOT US. Not being adopted, not this family.  And they have to choose to work on their negative behaviors or  not, we can't force them to follow the rules here and accept being a family member. BUT we give them every opportunity to BE a complete and happy member of our family.

With teen treasures, it's a whole world of difference, some super, some not so super.  And if no one addresses how they handled it, then how does anyone else learn? Trust me when I tell you I am NOT the only parent of a teen treasure who blames ME for their behaviors. OIY.

It's hard.  These children are very precious, no doubt, but they come with pasts that give them heavy burdens to carry.  We have to lighten that load, give them big shoulders to carry the load for them, but often they won't hand it over.  They keep the burden and let it bury them.   We willingly take the fears, the pain, the lack of feeling worthy, to be the parents.  But some of them don't WANT to be parented. They are too used to carrying that load.

We have Chase who has been that child.  BUT we see him trying so hard to figure out, can he trust us, can he possibly hand over some of the load?  And with each TINY step we make with him he is making it.  NOT just living here, getting from us food, shelter, clothes, education till he can get out.  That's how he HAS been living.  A huge struggle.  Hard for us to take. Hard for the other kids to deal with him not caring about anyone but himself and what he can get. His survival has been his life. And at times he has been miserable with hanging on to just surviving, not thriving. Because thriving is enjoying his life, understanding he CAN let his guard down.

And honestly I'm so excited we are getting there with him.  We WANT him to be happy.  We want him to heal and find his way. He is our SON.  We love him so much. We want to see him be able to have normal healthy relationships in his lifetime.  We want him to know he is worthy of our love, God's love, a woman's love.  

We also know that there may be parts of his life we can not heal, we can not get to him in time but that he may see later in life what we were trying to do for him.  Just as sometimes we stray or need to grow in years to understand God's love for us.  How we are meant to Love Him.

But even as I shared this struggle, our children have continued to work together, to work at being family members.  Even their ESL teacher e-mailed me and said "What happened, Chase is speaking to Chance?"  Because I haven't shared this because it was a "sibling" issue more so between our 3 that I didn't think could help anyone else, but Chase decided a while back that Chance was blending into this family and he was mad AT CHANCE.

He hasn't spoken to his brother except for complete necessity for MONTHS.  And I have spoken to both of them with no change.  Chance even came to me and said he thought "Chase hate me" and I assured him it was Chase's issue NOT him.  Can you just see how hurting my sons were?  Chase hurting because Chance was "making it" here quicker and easier, Chance hurting because his brother was jealous of him but him not understanding that or being able to change it.

And this talk with them, this breakthrough, has brought back their brotherhood.  They chatter in their Chinese. They laugh with each other.  The tension released from this being resolved is soooo good.  

It's ongoing, it's taking work.  But I share because I want people to see, even these tough ones, they are worth it.  It can be done.  They are our children.  For good.  Even thinking of them in another family makes me want to vomit. Seriously. And that would be the sound of a door closing.  It's not our road.  And these 3 know that.  

They know they MUST give their all here, because this is it. It's make it here, we are offering it all to them, or not make it here, just live here and "hang out" till they are adults.  They WANT to make it, they WANT all it means to be FAMILY.  They WANT to be able to accept they are LOVED.

As for Phoebe, she, like Camden and Kat, would have been asked to go play in their room, Kat and Camden found a fun game to play together in her room and they had no issue doing it for the 30 minutes it took to address the issue with the teens.  Chloe was in on "the talk" just as a help for me to tell them she has made it here, she will help them in any way to make it here. They couldn't say it was not possible with her sitting right there:)

And the littles were thrilled at the end result of the teens being willing to work to be a part of this family.  They got treated better by the teens, as they started right away making efforts. It was a win-win situation for this family.  

And that, my friend, is what we are all about.  Helping these treasure make it. Helping them take the past, accept that it was but moving them forward and not letting it cripple them.  Too many people we know have "some" issue that they use to cripple themselves for LIFE.  Something that happened to them.  And we are not without "things" that have happened to us.  Things we don't know how to get/how we got through without God.  But taking that "issue" and using it to learn, to grow and even give back to children who need it to help THEM overcome and become good people who can give back-- well that's just plain amazing.

God paired us up PERFECT with these kids.  Not one doubt about that.  And I for one, thank Him every day for them and thank Him for using me for His purpose with these children as well as in every way He wants in my life.

Note to all: Chloe and I  (and once in a while the boys chip in)  are working together to assist families who have adopted teen treasures,  to offer calling, video calls, for older adopted kids who are struggling, lonely, scared, unsure of what is expected of them.  Chloe said "It's like being a missionary at home!"
It's something we see a huge need for, and as our kids  are bilingual and  have such wide differences in personalities, needs, struggles, it could turn out to be a HUGE help where it's badly needed. 

 Yet again, we see God using our family in a positive way:) And we are very thankful to Him.

Monday, January 23, 2012

Gettin' Deep

It's gonna get deep here.  And I'm not talking snow.  So if you have no interest in older child adoption/adjustment or you are not my mother, why are you here? and  you want fluff, go back and look at the last post of pretty snow, otherwise hang on to your seats, we're goin' in.

This weekend we had a breakthrough.  Don't get too excited, it's been one of many.  You see, there is no magic day, no magic number that brings you to a time that you can say "yup, they are totally adjusted."  

It's a constant work.  That sometimes we get tired of. Just as the kids get tired of working at it.  And they slack.  And they revert back to survival living.  Which is not fun.  We get frustrated  addressing it over and over. Yes, MOM, I know I never listen either, don't call to remind me.

I touched on empathy once before, our kids LACK empathy.  They have HUGE compassion for others.  Huge.  They are the first to see a commercial saying just 50 cents a day will feed a child and they want to know how to send their own money to help that child. They HATE the thought of a child going hungry because they have known true stomach-aching-hunger. 

 But put a child in their world, one they have to compete with? Empathy is GONE.  Bye, bye. Outta here. Not possible, you see.

Why?  Well it goes back to orphanage care, having to survive.   You can't feel sorry for someone who is getting more food than you and you have to swipe it from them because you justify needing that food- to survive.  See what I mean? You lose empathy, because you have to.  You have to be strong.  Empathy is seen as weakness.  Not good when you are fighting many kids to survive in your environment.

So as we bring these treasures home, many of these behaviors come marching right along.  Because for years, our children have used these ways to make it. And we thank God they have made it.

Then we sit in wonder of their lack of empathy.  How to reteach it.  It's not simple.  It's deep.  It's so hard to have them live with siblings, even BIO siblings they will throw under the bus without a back wards glance to get what they think they NEED.

We have the burden to prove to these children that we will provide for them- ALL OF THEM, that we do NOT play favorites. That we do not look to make things unfair to them.  That we do not adopt them to do anything but love them and make them our children. 

Granted, we had a leg up, if you will, with trusting us from the boys, we went back for them. But that only lasted so long.  Then the deep seated fears, the doubts, the lack of trust in us had to be addressed, for them to move forward.

It all came to a head again, yesterday. Both boys refused to listen to me, to even respond to me.  Their lack of respect has been tough, not gonna lie.  Dad told them to "knock it off" and they refused to respond to HIM.  So after they sat for a while to "cool off" and mother's urge to slap them up along side their heads eased and the flames off my red hair died down I called the 3 of them to the living room.  Chloe, Chance and Chase.  

And I told them the truth.  That there were 2 roads here. One road is accepting us as their parents.  Making it as our children.  Trusting us, letting us teach them how things work in this culture, correcting them when they are wrong,  caring about them.  Getting an education, having us at their backs.  

And I asked Chloe, "Did she feel she was a true part of this family? Did she feel we are fair with her?  Does she feel we love her? Does she love us?  Does she trust us?"  And she said "Yes."  Then I added "Did you feel this way right away or did it take time and work to get here?"  And she said it took time.  

So I pointed out to the boys, it's gonna be 2 years soon. It's decision time.  The decision is this-- make it or not.  

And I made it clear what NOT making it means.  It does NOT mean leaving us.  It means staying in survival mode and hanging out here, just living, using us to get their needs met till they are old enough to be on their own. A sad way to live, but one that Chase has chosen so far. And he's struggled to be happy, they all know that, they have seen it.

The other road is accepting we are their parents.  Doing all they can to be a part of this family. Accepting they must respect us, both of us.  That it's not acceptable to disrespect me and my rules even when they don't agree with them.  It's clearly possible because Chloe has done it, we are trustworthy. 

I made sure to tell them, we are committed to them.  That God gave us them.  That we promised from our hearts to God that we would be their parents and all that means.  We would provide for them, we would treat them as ours.  That we would give them everything we give the others.  AND we have done it.

  Not always been HAPPY doing it when they act like they do, but we aren't going to always like their behaviors any more than they are always going to like all of our rules. That we are human, just like them, we bleed red.  

But that doesn't change our commitment to them.  That we will live with them either road they chose.  That we would be deeply hurt and sad if they choose to just hang out here using us, but we would not "garbage them" as Chase says. We do not do that with children God gives us.  It would not honor our promise to God and to them. (Chase has finally gotten it that we can't/ won't send him back so he has changed it to "garbage" him)

But if they want to choose the road of accepting us as their parents, that it takes WORK.  Chloe worked hard to get there, to overcome behaviors that they used in the orphanage that she had to learn did not work here, within a family.

And we would continue to work with them but they had to understand other people in this family have feelings too, other people are being hurt by the behaviors they have had here.  And they are teaching the littles behaviors that are not acceptable.  

I also told them, we really wanted the best for them,  that we had thought about if another family would be best for them, we cared enough to want them happy.  But that we didn't see how that would help them, their behaviors were not going to work in ANY family setting.  It wasn't our family, it was them, and they HAVE to take responsibility for these behaviors and commit to working on them. Just like we committed to them to be their parents. 

*Note here* We have never mentioned another family situation to them before, we do not think it's WISE to let any older child think there is another family as an option at ALL. We have fostered teens who would go from home to home on purpose to use people, it's just sad.  We have told our children they are STUCK with US.

But for things to work here they must learn to have empathy for this family, the people in this home.  We can survive without it, but it's not going to be the BEST life they can have, the life we WANT for them. Empathy is not looking to see if Kat is getting more noodles than them.  Keeping count on EVERY decision we make in regards to the children and deciding we are wrong then not having respect for us. As the parents we ARE.

So they responded.  They cried. They apologized. To me, then to dad.  They promised they want to work on their issues and will respect us, even ME, the one they try to blame:(

 Then they went into family mode. I don't know what else to call it.  Chloe asked to make noodles for all of them.  And they worked together.  I have never seen them so committed and kind with each other. EVER. They boiled a bunch of eggs and offered them to all. I found the eggs in the fridge this morning  like this---

 I thought it might be a dream but it continued into this morning when I heard Chase and Chance talking, laughing together. When they helped Camden wipe the dogs paws when he let them out this morning.  

Now lest you all think I have totally lost my mind, I have no doubt this will NOT be the norm of our life. I have not one doubt I will have to sit these children down again and have a talk with them again someday.  Might even be next week.  Let's hope not they wear me out with this. 

BUT I also have no doubt that at some point we will know, just as I knew with Chloe, that if we ask them,  "Do you feel a part of this family, do you know you are loved, do you love us?" That their answer will be  " YES".  And they will mean it.

Just as God never gives up on us, we will not give up on these treasures. They really are  Teen Treasures.  Worthy, Willful.  Work, Wonderful.  Worth it.  

Totally worth it. And today, just like yesterday and tomorrow, we love them.


Saturday, January 21, 2012

Our corner of the world

Here's what our corner of the world looks like today.  Isn't it pretty?  Messy, per dad, who is out shoveling, but sure looks pretty from my window view inside.

We got about 6 inches of snow, but are supposed to get ice on top of it today, we are hoping to just get all in snow.  Much nicer for all.

The kids are out playing, Chloe made snow angels on the way down to get the morning paper, she took all the great pics of the house all snow covered. And herself, of course.

It seems like it should be Christmas or something. Oh, that's right, that's over. Phew. Not going there again so soon:)

My doggies went out and Tommy turned around and came back in. He is not fond of snow higher than him. Teddy was amused, he was bouncing around in it like a bunny.

I called yesterday to get our tax appointment set up. I gave our name and was promptly asked, "Oh, who did you adopt this year?"  "Ha ha. Very funny," I said. "NO ONE."  But then I did fess up and admit we are working on the next one:)

Enjoy the pictures of the kiddos having a snow filled fun time.

At least they aren't saying they are "bored",right?

Tuesday, January 17, 2012

Sibling love

My wonderful children had off school yesterday.  And they were soooo happy to have time to spend with one another.  It just shined through. I adore their creativity.

I posted this card Camden left Kat and her loving response back at him. Don't ya just feel the love? (Kat's says "Quit annoying me you mean brother)

This was the result of Kat now having a little friend who knows our phone number. too well Her name is Paige, but Kat calls her "Paigey." 

 Chance asked if her name was  PG-13?  Obviously someone is watching too many movies. And Kat's friend better be "G" rated, anyway.

Anyhoos, now close to the top of my list of things to do before the children are all grown and released on society, is to teach my daughter phone etiquette. You know, putting the phone on speaker phone, hanging up on each other just to call back over and over, blowing whistles in the phone, telling each other to "talk" to their dogs, etc. is not so funny after a few hours of this nonsense.

They even managed to paint their nails the same colors, all while they hung on the phone, of course.  

Beside the phone ringing, I got a ton done yesterday, even with the kids home. I taught 2 boys how to clean bathrooms (their wives can thank me someday).  I wrote 3 letters long over due.  I had hubby pick up a picture order, now that the holidays are past, I decided to get caught up on the kids life books, and start Phoebe's.  

WELL--- I was VERY far behind on every one's, like a year behind!  Ahhh.  So over 500 pictures later, I can now get busy scrap booking.  The kids love their books so much, I normally don't get more than a few months behind, but with the move and all I let it go much longer. Shame on me.

I trimmed hair too, Chloe's bangs, Kat's bangs are FINALLY grown in from the mystery bang issue, and Chase's.  I try to keep their haircuts staggered, but Chase's hair grows incredibly fast.  I figured I have saved us about $7-8K over the last 25 years of me cutting hair for my family.

Not bad for a nurse/hair dresser/cook/cleaner/ laundry queen/scrap booker/ momma, oh you  get my drift, just another hat I wear:)

God makes mothers "women of talent" for a good reason:))

Saturday, January 14, 2012

A Precious Gem

  Cute.  Precious. Stinkin' adorable, it's all I can say over the pictures we got of Miss Phoebe girl:)  

I could just squeeze her, she's that adorable.
It's so hard to wait for this treasure.  It's been a long road, just to get our paperwork moving.  

And knowing she is there, waiting.  Growing more each day:(  

So to be able to send her things while she waits, to let her get to know us through pictures and letters is such a wonderful comfort.  And a bonus when we get to see HER.  In pictures with the things we sent to her.

She's a fan of Hello K*tty, thinkin' her and Kat are gonna get along just fine.  

For those of you wondering, since we who is this WE, it's all ME blogging here have been amiss in our home remodel, moving, home study hardships, to tell you much about this newest treasure.
She is in fact, Chinese.  I know you all figured but she is blond after all.  She does have albinism.  She was born with the lack of pigmentation.  She has low vision, she can see but has difficulties in bright light and likely has depth perception issues.  

She is wearing glasses in her picture which is good, that someone cared enough to get her eyes checked and glasses for her.

We sent her the pink adorable sun glasses.  She's full of spunk, of that we can SEE.  Fun, fun, fun.

 We asked for her hair to be let grow out, which they did agree to.  We sent a red hair bow to remind them:) 

Poor girl needs some girl hair.  Not that we don't love her as is. We sure do.  Kat draws pictures constantly and always includes Miss Phoebe.  She can't wait for her to get here.

I'm enjoying thinking each holiday we celebrate  we should be able to say this is it, never another Valentine's Day, Birthday, Easter, etc. without her here.

We all thought it is way too cute that she obviously likes to play, has great fashion sense --check out those candy striped leggings!!  She'll fit right in here 

Isn't she just a gem? We are so thankful to God for news of our precious treasure:)

Wednesday, January 11, 2012

Who is this?

Anyone know who this girl is?

  I *thought* she was Miss Kitty, my daughter. My daughter I adore.  You know, the grouchy one I get ready each morning for school, not knowing if I will get tears, dirty looks, non speaking mornings, it's ALWAYS an adventure.

So yesterday morning DAD stayed home because Mal was getting her wisdom teeth out and he was taking her so he didn't have to leave till after Miss Kitty got the bus here.

And do you think there was any grump in sight? No, not this girl, she SKIPPED down the hall to the bathroom.  She SANG in her room.  She got dressed without a tear.  She SMILED when I told her to brush her teeth.  

I have no idea what happened to this child, except that the girl I know, that grumpy one?  She returned for sure this morning, when DAD was no where in sight. Tears, drama, shoe issues, fussing over packing lunch- it was ALL there.

I *think* she's messin' with me.  Big time.  I don't know what her teen years could bring. OIY.  Good thing we love her tons:)

I'm rewarding myself for getting her to the bus without raising my voice I won't tell you all what I said in the laundry room while loading the washer, where no one can hear me with nice warm fresh baked cinnamon rolls.  

Thus is why mother is fluffy.  It's all their fault.  No stress, mother wouldn't NEED cinnamon rolls. 
 At least that's my story and I'm sticking to it.  Just like those cinnamon rolls are gonna stick to my thighs- sigh.

Sunday, January 8, 2012

Chloe thanks

Chloe is so thankful for the 29+ people who have answered God's call and are helping her to get to Costa Rica.  She said "Thank YOU ALL SO MUCH, thank you!!"

She's just absolutely thrilled she will be going. 

I said 29+ because please don't think we discount the people who could not donate, but they cared enough to pray.  Prayer is power, an amazing way to ask God to use us, as well as a way to care as we  lift each other up in prayers. I love to pray, talking with my Father is so special.

Now, if for some reason, you hear God telling you, donate, donate! Make a difference--

Let me tell you, you have NOT missed the boat. No way.  He's still aware of a need.  Not for Costa Rica but for a China girl that needs to come home.  Miss Faith, whom we can show our FAITH for, we can go on over to her parent's blog and give, give, give.     Miles of the Heart  Go on, check it out.

Can't you just see her in 3 years or so, heading off on a mission trip?  Or even just learning what her name MEANS.  Learning for the first time about GOD, the awesome difference He can make in her life? 

 It's one of the most wonderful things I love about adopting our kiddos, giving them GOD.  They had NO clue about God before they were adopted.  They believed in evolution, and that some people worship a dude with a big belly (Buddah)  They were CLUELESS as to the Word of God.

And yet, when they were offered it, they have taken to it, some more slow than others, but they are  open minded and willing to believe in Him. That He loves them, He is there for them, and we live for Him. And even wanting to go on mission trips to teach  people who don't have Him yet.  WOW.  Does that amaze you like it does ME?

Oh and while you are donating to Faith's adoption, you get some wonderful yummy smelling soaps, a perk for your donation:)  How cool is that? 

So please, head on over there, since I know there is NOTHING better than seeing a girl /boy get a God loving family and  knowing you were able to play a part in it. 

 It has to make God so stinkin' happy, I wonder if He can do cartwheels in a robe? (Don't be thinking our God doesn't have a super sense of humor, I KNOW He was laughing like crazy when I figured out Chloe had siblings and His plan became obvious.)

So I'm telling ya, head on over, get some sweet smellin' soap and give, remember we can't possibly out give GOD:)

Wednesday, January 4, 2012

Wanna Help?

Update-- Did you all read this-- the 1 comment left on this post?? Besides being THRILLED about the Chip In total and soooo thankful for you ALL---you gotta read this--

Blogger Caleigh said...
Hello I'm 14 I was called to missions over this summer and wish I could help with tbe funds but can't I hope this is a LIFE changeing thing for her I will be praying and if there is any way for me to email you or her to tell y'all my whole story I would love to and just so I can let her know how much love other people have for other people.just like she has for them

Caleigh Jordan in GOD I trust love y'all

Do you know how special that comment is?  Do you not think God is so incredibly tickled over these girls? Do you?  This touched my heart, so much, because here is a girl, another one of God's precious children who went on a mission trip.  Answered His call.  At age 14!!  I mean, do any of us ADULTS have trouble answering His call?  Really? At times we question and wonder but these girls, young and innocent as can be, they ANSWER and--

---they make a difference. WOW.  I am blown away.

And yes, Caleigh, you wonderful child, you may e-mail us, as can anyone who would like to at

Now-how is Chloe reacting to the Chip In?  WELL--- I think I am now deaf from the ear splitting squeal she let out. Good thing blogging is writing, huh?

Then she got quiet and serious, and I knew, here comes the questions.

Chloe: "Mother, who are these people, do they know me?"

Mom: "Some do, most don't. These are God's people, answering His call."

Chloe: "How they know He call them?"

Mom: "They feel it in their hearts and they want to be a part of you helping people on your trip. They know you are taking the teaching of God to these people in need. Not everyone can go on a mission trip but this is a way they can go- through YOU."

Chloe: "Oh, so this what it means that God uses people? "

Mother: "Yes, He can call us for many different things, we just have to listen to Him when He asks."

Chloe: "Mother, why didn't I ask before this for all the money I needed, oh, that wouldn't be right, would it?"

Mother: "No, Chloe it wouldn't."  (As I am thinking- she is a teen after all:))

She's so thankful for each and every one of you, praying, donating, caring, it all matters so much.

And WHOOO HOOOO, she's at 96% and can't wait to see 100% funding!!   Anyone want to put her there??? I can handle another squeal (I think) and don't need my hearing to blog, so go for it.

Thank you, thank you THANK YOU!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!
God is SO GOOD!

Once upon a time there was a special little girl who needed a family.  And God showed a family they needed this girl.  She came home to this family and brought with her brothers, as well as a wonderful spunky attitude and teen spirit.

As her parents got to know this precious and wonderful girl, now turned daughter, they watched as she grew, she learned to trust and they saw what a  HUGE, bigger than life, HUGE heart  she had.  For those in need.  

She wanted to help in any way she could.  So it was no surprise to this family of hers when a mission trip plan came up and she signed up to go along.  She is eager, excited, and has worked very hard to earn her way.

She has saved every gift (birthday, Christmas, etc) given to her to add to her funds to go.  She has participated in numerous fund raisers.  She took a job at an ice cream stand over the summer and saved everything she earned from it toward her trip.

She has 1 week left to come up with the remaining funds she needs.  She is stressing. BIG TIME.  For she has not yet learned how God will provide when the heart is pure.  And the need is for Him.  To do His work.  

She is $750 short.  We have helped her with her fundraising, from buying products, to helping make peanut clusters, and we have paid for her plane ticket to and from Costa Rica.  She leaves the end of next month and although this momma is struggling with her being gone from us for over a week when it seems like we only just got her home and I want to hang onto my girl, I KNOW this trip could completely change her life.

Give her a way to give to others, which she so deeply desires to do. She is so caring and so giving, we are just thrilled to call her our girl.

So I am hoping you all will show Chloe, our teen treasure, God's love once again, how He will answer the need she has in order for her to go.

Some of the highlights of the trip will be building a classroom on to the church there, hold Vacation Bible School for up to 500 children, a baby shower for the family that hosts our church group.  It's a group of 25 people going who will make an amazing difference in the short time they are there.  

They will even leave behind the clothes they take to wear on their trip for the people there to have because they have so little. And learn a little Spanish, which is very funny sounding coming from my Chinese daughter.

I know she is going to have such a special time and I know she will be able to be a wonderful asset to the group having come from where she did.  She exudes HOPE, LOVE, GOD's LOVE for His people.

So I ask, would you like to be a part of Chloe's journey?  She's asking very nicely and has made a promise to do all she can for the people they are going to help:)

Sunday, January 1, 2012

Happy New Year!

Wow, 2011 is gone.  What a mixture of emotions and experiences we have seen go by.  

Our blessings were many, a new larger home, the sale of our old house, learning we have another daughter to bring home, a new puppy, time under our belts with the boys equals adjustment for all.

We suffered some losses, a beloved uncle and cousin lost their battles with cancer. And we struggled with one of our children, heading down the wrong path of life.  We also struggled to move forward with Phoebe's adoption.

 Because it's not been an easy road.  Our home study took MONTHS longer than expected, due to circumstances out of our hands.  And it came with huge difficulty understanding "why?"  Not that we are saying we "get" why it happened, no, I don't think we do.

But we DID come to understand it was something we had to hang tough through and we prayed hard and never ONCE felt we were not meant to go forward for Miss Phoebe so we didn't give up. No one guarantees an easy road when you follow God's call, and even us "old veterans" of adoption can be slammed with issues you could never expect. 

But we have been able to see the paperwork issues finally get resolved.  Our home study is on it's way to immigration FINALLY.  Yeah, we are STILL back at that step.  

It's a huge relief to us and we are hoping and praying all other steps move along quickly from here on out, because through all this our concerns were for this little girl, needing her family to come get her.  And delays for us, mean delays for HER.  

As wrong as that seems to us, we really do believe in God's perfect timing so we as we enter 2012 we can't wait to  move forward to get through the steps required to adopt this precious treasure of a girl and know that next New Year she will be here.  In our family photo, part of our lives.  We are very anxious for that.

Can't you just see where she fits? Right next to Kat, in front of dad, beside Chloe, a blondie beauty meant to be.  2012 hopefully will bring this girl to her "spot" in our lives. The year of Phoebe.

We wish everyone the best in this New Year, from our family to yours:)