Wednesday, June 29, 2011

What do you see?

The treasures are there! They are waiting for you to find them!
This little guy sat and sat and sat on the waiting child list. Then he was listed as "file to be returned".
We couldn't let that happen!
He has what may be considered a tough disability.
IA- Imperforate Anus otherwise known as anal atresia.
When I look at this picture I don't see that? 
Do you?
I see a whole lotta cuteness going on!

He has a colostomy. The products/supplies that are out there now make it pretty easy to deal with. We change his bag about every other day. Every three days in the cooler weather. We empty it about every 6 hours or so- actually as often or as seldom as we want to- doesn't matter. He lets us know if the bag is heavy and he wants it emptied. 
He can do everything any other child can do! Even pass gas!!

When ever the girls smelled something that wasn't quite right they immediately blamed it on Sammy!
BUT when Sam passes gas it goes into the bag and doesn't smell- so will the real gas passer please fess up!!
Then Sarah says - it wasn't me!
And of course then I hear 4 more- it wasn't me!

We are planing to have his repair in Cincinnati. They are #1 in Pediatric Anal Atresia and related issues.
They should receive all of his information and test results this week. We have no idea when we will first meet with them and when the repair will be scheduled for? BUT we are looking forward to hearing from them and getting an appointment!! (Just hoping it's not scheduled for the same time we are leaving for China for Luke and Mia.)

All the kids have seen Sam's colostomy and have seen us care for it. It's no big deal anymore. What may have looked a little shocking at first is now just part of their little brother.
We read the book "Everybody Poops" to the kids.
And every one does poop- Sam's just poops a little differently right now.

Now that we're experienced at this swimming is working out great! When I see him playing in the water and smiling from ear to ear it warms my heart and I can't help but thank God for this incredible little boy!
He is so filled with joy!!

Don't shy away from an adoption just because of the diagnosis! Pray about it- it just might be one you can handle! And even if you think you can't handle it- God can! He will not leave your side!

So thankful to have this little boy home!!

Tuesday, June 28, 2011

A heart warming surprise!

Thank you so much for your input on Luke's middle name! We have almost decided and are leaning towards Luke Lewis. We love both names but we are thinking Lewis will have more meaning. It is the last name of the foster family that has been caring for him in Ch*na!

When we think of the different pasts all are children from Ch*na have had- we are so grateful for where Luke is right now. We are praying that they will not send him back to the orphanage before we meet him in China. Actually even the thought of it is upsetting. He is not from a good orphanage but because of his health he was sent to a special needs foster care home run by an American family. What a blessing that was- Luke's life was forever changed. God is so good and we are so grateful to HIM! If you want to check out the foster home/ special needs orphanage look on my sidebar- it is Morning Star Project. They have some beautiful babes that need forever families!

Hubby and I have been going on a few dates lately! It has been wonderful. It refuels us and give us a chance to visit and relax a bit! 
Last Saturday night we came home to this! Our sheet were in the dryer, while we were gone Sarah decided to make our bed
Wow, we were so surprised! It was so thoughtful of her to do! What a treat!

Then she turned it down and

put mints on the pillows!
What a sweetheart!

Between the pillows were these notes form the three older girls- Sarah, Emma and Ellie!

It took my breath away! I had to take a photo of them!
I hope you can read them! The sitter said it was all their idea. I am sure she helped with the spelling.  Honestly it warmed my heart to read them!
If we ever questioned what we were doing- we would question no more!

We are so thankful for our little treasures!

It's hard to think of those that don't get to come home...
If you're thinking about adoption but are on the fence- We encourage to step out in faith, trust God that it will work out and bring home a treasure or two of your own!!

Saturday, June 25, 2011

A Name Change!

This little guy is getting a name change. We have decided not to name him Luke Benjamin (we do love that name but we decided to make a change).
It will just be the middle name we are changing- could never change the first name- there is just no way 
around it, this little guy is LUKE!!

Here are your choices and yes I need a little help!
Tell me which one you like best!
Luke William
Luke Robert
Luke Lewis

Luke's middle name will be after his foster father in China!

Let me know in the comment section which one you are leaning towards!

And since your here, reading my blog, I will tell you a little story-
A long long time ago...
excuse me!
Yes, the car had been invented!
Yes, we had TV!
Your going to far back...
 I'm thinking it was around 1994-95.
My friend said to me-
 Jean, what on earth were you thinking?
You have Matthew, Mark, and John! Why did you name your other son Billy?
The Gospel according to Billy???
What ever happened to Luke?

Well, now we know what happened to LUKE!
God had a wonderful plan and Luke was part of it!
Our sweet little boy was waiting in China for his forever family. 
Actually he wasn't born yet but God new the timing!
He knew I would stare at the picture of a boy in China named Luke and that he would speak those words to me!
"He is your son!"

(Our son Billy is actually named William. He is named after my father. He is fine with us reusing the name William as Luke's middle name.)

OH, and if you've gotten this far and your still with me- don't forget to vote on the name!!

Thursday, June 23, 2011

A Snag... What do you think?

We are working hard to get these two cuties home. We have USCIS approval and should be DTC's in about 2 weeks.

We decided to try to ask Ch*na to expedite their adoptions based on their medical conditions.

Often times I do not think of the seriousness of their diagnosis,  but I can't lie ... it scares me. I get a nervous feeling in my stomach and then immediately hand it over to HIM.
It is so much bigger than me...

We know that they are ours. 
That God has planned for them to come home to our home and that we will be their forever family.
This amazes does he do it? 
How does he have everything happen at just the right time so that it works out perfectly!

We were able to contact the local adoption clinic who reviewed Mia's file and they wrote us a letter requesting Ch*na to please consider expediting her adoption based on her medical diagnosis.
When I read the letter, it once again reminded me that our dear girl has to get the Dr asap. GULP...

 We also asked the local Pediatric Cardiologist (who has Luke file and is planning to see him when we bring him home) if he would write a letter for Luke's adoption process to be expedited. 
The list of Luke's heart ailments is very long...
He supposedly had a complete repair in Israel- which is totally possible- God's hands have been all over this little boy since the day he arrived at his foster home.
However, even if he is totally cured I would think that any physician would want him home asap- to monitor, to have tests to see where he really is at- health wise...

His Pediatric Cardiologist refused to write the letter...

Honestly- I was shocked...
As we have adopted we have come across wonderful physicians who have gone out of their way to help the children... and this one said "No, he wasn't comfortable because he has never seen Luke..."

"Of course you have never seen Luke...
He is an orphan in Ch*na..."

Even as I type this I am shocked at his response...

5 minutes, that's all it would take to help an orphan...

I find myself getting completely irritated all over again... as I type this...

I can only think, he has not reviewed Luke's file, he doesn't understand adoption, he is dealing with something else right now or, or, or, or...
I am trying to give him the benefit of the doubt but it's hard to do... 

I have sent another email and called the office.
If we continue to wait for them to finally act appropriately we lose precious time...
So we are thinking of proceeding and having only Mia's request submitted and pray that Ch*na will allow their adoption to be expedited based on Mia's health...

I have considered behaving badly and going to the clinic... tomorrow and talk to whoever will see me... I am a very determined person.

usually behaving badly isn't the answer...

So would you pray for them?
That they would do what is right and good!
That they would take the time for a child.

Yes, it makes me not even want to bring Luke to them if they are so lacking in compassion, ugh. (however they are the best group in the area AND if we find they are not experienced in Luke's situation we will go elsewhere)
Maybe there are circumstances that I do not understand right now that has caused this very poor reaction to our request? Maybe we can let them know so the next time they make a different choice?
But maybe I need to swallow my pride, trust God and just move forward as is-
 We are so close to being DTC'd.
We can't let the opposition detour us.
If we just keep going in the right direction and trust HIM and don't let a snag get us down then maybe all will be well and we can get these two darlings home asap!

What do ya think?

Wednesday, June 22, 2011

Please Help This Little Girl Come Home!!

Kathy and her family are in the process of bringing home their little girl- Alivia. 
They have received TA but are still short the money they need to travel to get her.
If they cannot raise the funds soon they will have to put off their travel dates.
She will have to wait even longer for her family to come and get her.
They have a wonderful fundraiser going on- please check it out!!

Their fundraising blog is-

Please keep this family in your prayers!
They are completely trusting God and stepping out in faith!

Sunday, June 19, 2011

Two Baptisms and Father's Day!

Ava and Sam were baptized today!
The children are in front of the old church that was built in the early 1900's- it is so pretty and quaint! 

Everyone that could be there was there! Billy is at the US Open and Matt lives in Colorado. We missed them- I would have loved to had a pick with everyone but that is very hard to do nowadays!

Here is Sam being baptized! It was after the church service so they let us take pictures! Deacon Sam presided! He is a wonderful man! 
The kid weren't so sure about the water being poured on their heads! 

The holy water ran down Ava's back.

Both of the kids behaved so well! 
The loved their candles and their sashes!

It really was a joyous occasion! God was so present!

Deacon Sam said he has never had a baptism with so many children present, go so well!
Of course Anna did have to do a few twills in her twirl dress!

We were so happy that it all went well! Just a few hours earlier we were thinking we may not make it to church or the baptism (see previous post)!

The God parents and their God children!

Okay Deacon Sam may have slipped up once and called us the grandparents but hey, that happens! AND it will most likely happen a lot more!

Happy Father's Day Honey!
Thank you for being a wonderful father to many dear children!!
You are such a blessing to all of us!
We love you!!

After Brunch we went home to watch the US Open and open a few gifts!!

There seems to be quite a few people that want to help open gifts at our house!
He loved his home made cards and the adorable children that made them for him!!

This has been a whirlwind of a week and weekend for us. VBS, Ava's Birthday, our niece's wedding reception, a fallen tree, two baptisms and Father's day! It was a all wonderful and it went well but I am hoping that this next week will be a little more peaceful!

Road Block!

Literally a road block!

This is what we woke up too!

Hubby was going to sneak off to the coffee shop this morning! He got into his car and noticed the "road block"!

This is a "cheap tree", it's a boxelder tree. The roots are shallow and it grows like a weed! Probably because it is a weed!

We have been driving under it and thought wow it's growing so fast but really what was happening is it was leaning further and further over. So thankful it happened at night when the children were safe in bed! And very thankful it did not land on a car!

Today we had Sam and Ava's baptism scheduled- right after the 10:30 service!

We wondered if we would make it to church and/ or the baptism!

There homes were trapped by the tree!

Thank goodness our neighbor knew somebody with a chain saw that would come over and take care of it!
Honestly, chain saws and my hubby do not go together!

We all made it to church and the baptism!
I will post on that next!

He is coming back tomorrow to clean it all up!! Yay!

We have a few other leaners that may have to go before they land on the deck, the garage or our neighbors house and garden!

So far it has been an eventful Father's Day!

Friday, June 17, 2011

Happy 6th Birthday Ava!!

This was the last day of VBS for the children! It was so joyful to see them all singing songs praising our Savior Jesus!!
As they were singing my friend noticed that Emma was having a hard time.
 It was all too much for her... the noise, the crowd, the movements... She was starting to cry as she stood in front of the crowd. She was wiping her brow- it was warm and overwhelming. I was able to get her off stage and have her sit on my lap for the rest of the program. She calmed down and then chose to join her group again as they went back to the classroom.

After VBS we came home for lunch and Ava saw her balloon bouquet! 
I don't think Ava knows what a birthday is- she had a quizzical look on her face each time I mentioned it! She would appropriately smile and then give me a look as if to say- "what on earth are you talking about"!
She gave out suckers to her class for her b-day!

In the afternoon we went to "build a bear"! The children have never been there- they were thrilled to get their own stuffed animal and an outfit!

We are so blessed to have this precious girl in our family!
My heart cannot believe that she is 6 yrs old! Oh how I wish she would have been home for years by now instead of only 2.5 months.

They were all so happy with the final results!!
And yes, we had Sarah pick last so there were no duplicates!

Feeling so thankful for these 6 blessings!

In the evening we had  dinner and gifts!
It was just the right amount for Ava! She did well and it was not overwhelming for her!
Such a sweet child!
The other older children had previous commitments such as a wedding, US open, living in another state, etc!

She was so excited to open her gifts! 

All the children gathered round her!

Johnny noticed that some of the kids had... well... feelings... while Ava opened gifts...

Why, you ask? Maybe because this boy could not stand... anyone... ever having a birthday... for about 8 years... oh ya... he's come a long way!

Happy Birthday Sweet Ava!

Thank YOU, Jesus!

Thursday, June 16, 2011

VBS this week!

The children are in VBS this week! They absolutely love it and want it to continue on to next week... and through the summer!

It was Emma, Ellie, Ava and Sam's first time doing VBS!

The first day- I worried. Ava was a little overwhelmed- she had the deer in headlights look in her eyes. Both Anna and Sam managed to be carried by the teachers! Emma and Ellie spent the whole time in their class without recognizing their good friend Michael.

Sarah was fine- it was her 3rd year doing VBS! When she left the room everyone said in unison "Bye Sarah"!

We regrouped after the first day!
Everyone had an assignment!
Anna and Sam needed to WALK with there precious little legs that GOD gave them!
Ava needed to hold a teachers hand if she was confused about where to go!
Emma and Ellie needed to say "Hi Michael"!
Sarah needed to learn her teachers name and the names of the children in her class!

They were successful!! For the most part! Anna did manage to sit on the teachers lap during story time!
The good thing is there are plenty of sibs to tell on her!!
Next day she sat on her own!!

They love VBS and we are so thankful!!
One day they learned about attitude, then inspiration, then honesty and today was trust! What wonderful lessons to learn!  

As the Mom- I love VBS, too!!
They are doing a great job!
(and I did not volunteer- so I've been able to check off many things on my to do list!)

The children all brought planted flowers home! Marigolds... I'm allergic to them and my allergies have now set it! The marigolds have gone from the kitchen counter to the deck 

Tomorrow is our last day. We're sad it's over with 

However, from a Momma's point of view it has been incredible BUT this family has a hard time getting anywhere at 8:30 am!

We're exhausted!
Thank you Jesus for this wonderful VBS and thank you Jesus that next week- when we will get back to our regularly scheduled programing!

Monday, June 13, 2011

Not Me, Not Me... I do, I do!!

Billy decided to join us after we were already out boating so we picked him up at the dock.
I asked the children who has to go to the bathroom since one was right there and once we took off... well, there would be no bathroom!

Sarah said "Not Me"

And echoing right behind her were five others saying "not me"!

I was having a hard time believing all those "not me's"!
So I said...

Sarah has to go to the bathroom... now who else does?

And right away I heard "I do, I do, I do, I do, I do"!
Yep... that's what I thought!

We are finding that the younger 5 want to do what Sarah is doing and Sarah is tired of being copied all the time. 
Now we ask everyone else and then she gives her answer!
We are trying to have independent thinkers!

And this goes for -
what kind of cereal they want for breakfast
what clothes are they going to wear for the day
what activity they want to do when they have free time
their favorite color
where they will sit for lunch
in other words