Thursday, April 28, 2016

Looking Ahead...

We will be making a few changes in the near future at
There's No Place Like Home
and we are looking for your input!

The blog will continue to be about life in our large family
but we want it to be about more than just our family.

Life has been quite busy with 14 younger kids at home and 
5 older adults with growing futures and families,
so for the last couple years
I have been scraping by...

However, now it's time to expand my passion for the orphans
and once again begin to feature
these amazing waiting children.

Earlier in our adoption journeys 
we were blessed to advocate for a few kiddos on the old blog 
and watching them
get families, arrive home, get medical care and learn about Jesus
was beyond amazing.
Almost as amazing as meeting our children in China!

So advocating is on the top of the list!

What else would you like to see on our advocacy site?
What do you want to hear about the kids we feature and
what do you want to know in order to make a decision whether or not to adopt?

How can "There's No Place Like Home" help you?

What other concerns do you have?

I look forward to reading your comments!
I hope the new blog will be helpful to you!


Sheila said...

Thank you for appeared your account was hacked earlier....twice actually. 😳

Gina said...

I saw the hacks also. I would like to know more about managing specific needs. Having already had birth children with medical needs, I know that day to day management is often less scary than it sounds at first. Sometimes certain needs sound scarier because we don't know about them.

Molly said...

I am a seminary student's wife and momma to one biological child...we are waiting to be done with seminary and praying that the Lord then opens the door for our first adoption. I love reading about your family, and I hope you continue to share about that as it is encouraging to see what day-to-day life looks like for a family blessed with many children from hard places.

Mary Long said...

I'm interested in knowing more about the psychological issues older adopted children face. Several adopted kids in my church came out of the foster care system and have experienced horrible abuse and have subsequent psychological issues like RAD and problems trusting their parents. How does this compare to the trauma orphans from other countries have experienced? They might not all have experienced physical or emotional abuse, but they have all been abandoned. Do they need similar therapy once they're in their new families?

Nancy said...

Please don't stop blogging about your family. I check your blog every day to see what is new in your family.

Penny said...

Definitely also interested in the RAD/attachment issue.

Since you have experience with so many different needs, I also would love to learn the actual "down-and-dirty" on dealing with a specific need on a daily basis - the details - so I could wrap my mind around "this is probably what it would be like to have a child with this need as part of my family, and to be responsible for his/her care." I see so many cute photolistings saying "He just needs the love of a family," and OK, this is partly true - but if this kid is likely to need, for example, a full day at the hospital once every three weeks, then that would probably not be a good thing for these working parents to take on - whereas if it's some kind of neurological therapy for CP and you have to do x y and z with her every day, I'm actually trained in one and could do it at home. Ditto, for example, bathroom/plumbing issues - what do you actually have to do? Is this issue a little gross till you get used to it but perfectly manageable, or does it mean that you can never, ever go out to a restaurant with the family or take a vacation? For one family that might not make much difference, for another family with grandparents they want to visit in another state, it might be really impractical. And so on.

And yes, I know files are often inaccurate, etc., but if one's able t0 make decisions based on detailed information rather than just vague generalities, I feel it'll help both the parents and the kid to adjust.

ZetteLolo said...

thank for your blog. Your family issues are interesting too, and help me to see how this family adventure is a wonderful one; It helped me and hubby to decide to adopt SN older kids. We have 2 wonderful kids from china now and soooooooooo happy.
I'm always interesting in attachment issues, exemples of the way to help our children being more and more self confident, ...

Thank you for asking,
a french reader :

Jennifer said...

Congrats to Matt & Caitlin! I didn't know she was pregnant!

I have other sources for advocacy so I would be sad if your blog changed very much. I think you are uniquely equipped to educate and encourage those who have chosen older child adoption and I hope you will continue as best you can (respecting the privacy of your children, of course!). I also like to read about how you balance being a mama with being a grandma!

Natausha Manis said...

Hello! I love your blog and what the Lord is doing in your family! Your children are absolutely BEAUTIFUL! My husband and I are parents to two biological children, a son Elijah, who is 6, and a girl, Lily, who is 15 months. We are also travelling in late June or Early July to get our other daughter in China, who is only 5 days older than our daughter Lily. We are naming her Ava and cannot be more excited!! What I would love to see along with advocating for waiting children, are waiting families! Maybe featuring a family that is adopting, and how we can pray for them, and way we can support them financially? Also, maybe learning about programs that help the children who still wait, such as Love without Boundaries, etc. I know they are also large advocates for helping preserve families in China so that more children are not abandoned. Thank you and I really pray for you as you move forward. I am encouraged by your family as we move forward with the work the Lord has called us to do! Sincerely, Tausha Manis

Jenny Leong said...

Jean~~~ We have thoroughly enjoyed reading your blogs about family life. We hope there won't be any drastic changes to your blog postings. Your children and grands are beautiful and so well-behaved.

I also read other blogs~~Love Without Boundaries (LWB) and New Day Foster Homes (New Day North and New Day South). Love Without Boundaries have a Unity Fund ~~ to assist parents with surgical costs and hence, avoid abandonment at orphanages. (As Tausha Manis also mentioned in a previous response). Maybe you could highlight LWB's work in China?

AlbinoPrincess said...

I LOVE the new family picture!!! I love seeing ALL of the bigs, littles and grandbabies all in one picture. <3 And there's another on the way?! Congratulations!!!

I enjoy reading your blog the way it is so I will echo what others are saying and say that I hope that your blog doesn't change too much. I hope that any changes mean that you'll keep doing what you're doing, but also add in some advocate posts. I personally also love to know when adopting families are having (online) fundraisers so that I can hopefully do some shopping, support an adoptive family and avoid actually having to go to a store.

kate said...

It would be nice if you'd answer questions. I know I've posted several about adopting from China that were never addressed. I'm now looking at other countries.

puckettfarm said...

Thank you so much for sharing life and your lovely family. I am so in love with your family and inspired by your faith and family values. Please continue to share about the family, of course with their permission. I can understand if their desires and needs change, so may the blog. I would love to learn about how to help families and pray for families who are currently in the adoption process. I can understand the need and want to advocate, but sometimes it is hard for those of us with no hope of adopting to see and want to help so many of these sweet faces. It tears at my heart. A healthy balance on your blog will be much appreciated.

P.S. Can we have regular updates on Mark? I might have a bit of a blog crush. lol

Debbie said...

I agree with many of these replies. It would be helpful to know specifics about certain special needs I.e, exactly how many doctor visits, surgeries, etc and the length of such things. Also, we have been reluctant to adopt again because we have had some attachment issues with one of our children. I would love to here specifics on how you deal with any problems of attachment and what it looks like in your family. It doesn't mean you have to mention a specific child, but tell us what experiences you have had and what you did. Then maybe I could say, if they got past this so can we. I think what everybody is saying is that details, rather than general feelings and ideas, really help.

Wendy said...

Jean, I love your blog. I have been reading it for over 8 years after I found it while we were waiting to bring our China girl home. Hard to believe it has been that long. Your family has grown in that time and I have loved 'meeting' each new member. You are a wonderful advocate for the orphan child and I think setting aside part of your blog as a way to focus on a featured child or to answer questions about specific medical needs would be a great opportunity to help others who are searching for answers to medical questions such as what does the particular diagnosis mean and how would it fit into the family dynamics. It would be a great way to share your experiences and quite possibly help there to be less orphans. I recognize it would be very difficult to answer all the questions and comments you receive. Would you be able to handle the many questions coming your way with an advocacy blog? I would not want you to get into a difficult situation that would take away from your family time. Personally, what I have heard loud and clear from your blog over the 8+ years is you and hubby pray and put God first and foremost and this is what it truly takes to be successful in adoption. You went into it knowing God would provide. I applaud you for this and I think this is why you are such an amazing woman and mom. I am sure you are praying over this blog situation and I know He will help you find the answers you are looking for. God bless you Jean and hugs dear.

Anonymous said...

Love the new family picture-- so nice that everyone is in it, even the tummy babies-to-be.

As your kids get older, I'm most interested in how they process any identity and birth family questions and how you can help with those. As an example, I am reading the great series of articles written by Nicole Soojung Chung (Callahan) on the Toast. "On Race and Adoption: Did you ever mind it?" and others. I feel like Korean adoptees are the 'older sisters' to Chinese adoptees, and I've been reading up on adult adoptee stories from them.

Asian Americans are getting more present in American media and entertainment, as are Asian-American adoptees and biracial Asian Americans (as well as Asian Asians), do they feel any connections?

And how can we as parents support and encourage those efforts and paths of maintaining their Chinese culture? Especially when it's so difficult?


MayLynne said...

I agree with those who are reluctant to see the blog change much. I love it the way it is--and it is absolutely an advocacy site without changing a thing. Every post advocates for adoption and shows others the joy that adoption can bring and some of the challenges as well. Your site advocates for the idea of adoption and anyone who buys into that idea will have no trouble finding a child waiting for a family. I have looked at many advocacy sites over the years, but because we are Canadian we could never adopt any of the children because the files are almost always with American agencies.I didn't need to find a certain child, I just needed to be drawn into the heart of adoption and then I found my children. Your blog celebrates adoption by telling the stories of your family, and when you do that you give others the courage to consider adoption as well.

If your heart is set on advocating for waiting children, I would encourage you to consider the kids on the shared list as they have often been waiting the longest and anyone can consider pursuing their adoption no matter what country you are from or what agency you prefer to use.

I admire you very much. So many times I have said to my husband, "We're not too old and we don't have too many kids. I follow the blog of a family with twice the number of kids we have and they are even older than us!" I am sure our most recent child would not have joined our family, except that you gave me the courage to believe that I really could add another child. You didn't do that by advocating for my son specifically, you did it by making me believe that adopting another was possible.

God bless all of you, MayLynne

PS I hope you will tell us when Caitlin's and Matt's little one arrives!

Jessim said...

I would like to hear more about the challenges of daily life and long term management.

It seems to be glossed over on all but a very few blogs. I think to advocate for children should also mean giving a realistic sense of what family life will look like to the prospective parents as well.

And I do like your family updates as well.

Julie said...

I agree with everyone that would like more information about long term care and management. I read several adoption blogs and read so much about attachment and behavior issues that it is daunting. You have mentioned repeatedly that your kiddos are well behaved. Do you deal with any behaviors at all? How do you manage them? You are arguably one of the most successful adoptive families I have ever seen. We are getting licensed for foster care and possible adoption and are uncertain how to manage behavior while still working on bonding.