Thursday, December 26, 2013

Merry Christmas and Happy New Year

We wish you all the most Blessed Christmas season filled with joy, love and family!!

The front of our card

The reality of our family LOL!

** We know many out there pray for our family - we are days away from getting LOA (they think) and Satan is attacking like nothing I have ever seen.  Dawson is an amazingly special child and we are begging you keep our family covered over the next days and weeks.***

Saturday, December 14, 2013

God's Hand

For those of you who have been here a while you know Tao is our little "fisher of men".  Part of is what we call the puppy factor, but the other part is that I truly believe he has God's work to do.  It is nothing short of shocking to witness, shocking and oh so humbling.

Believe me when I say that I have had to put away ever bit of adoption knowledge we ever read, (and we read a lot because of Cav.)

So today was such an amazing experience . . . so much so I wanted to stand on top of the mountains and scream so people could hear me.

This story is as much for us as it is for you.  To remember that God very much is at work, uses the least of these to do His work.  We are his humble servants, listening at His whispers without including our own humanness.

So we have transferred from football to wrestling.  Besides our big boy I have 2 little ones who are crazy about wrestling.  In addition, the high schoolers love Brahm and Tao ( they love Cav too, but he just isn't quite ready to wrestle yet.)

Tao sat to watch the mat be lifted to the ceiling, and two high schoolers plopped right down next to him!

This morning as I was getting kids ready to come for our first all day tournament, Tao threw a fit (far and few between but really the kid is 3 - it's normal.)  I just felt he was supposed to be with us, so we finally calmed him down although we ended up missing big brother's first match.

Anyhow, midway through the day, this big cowboy stood next to where we sat on the bleachers, and struck up a conversation with Tao.  I am talking cowboy hat, huge belt buckle EVERYTHING!  We left and came back and the man drifted towards us again (not in a creepy way - he had come from Oklahoma to watch his nephew wrestle LOL).

AS this cowboy was talking to us and playing with Tao - one of the coaches from the christian school came up and asked if Tao was Chinese, I told him his story and we got to chatting.  The cowboy told my friend his parents had been a missionary in Korea.  We chatted with the cowboy some more and the baby gravitated towards him.  I think I have mentioned before but Tao loves being up, and held.  I assured the cowboy it was ok to pick him up.

Now comes the God part!  We asked if he had any kids - one he said and she was 32.  I asked if he had grandkids, because truly this man was wonderful with Tao.   I saw the tears behind his eyes (and I thought oh no don't make him cry in this noisy auditorium filled with wrestling matches and screaming parents LOL).  As he proceeded to tell us this story I watched Tao snuggle against this man's chest, heart to heart and lay quietly, completely at peace.

He proceeded to tell us he got a girl pregnant at 18, and paid for an abortion.  He entered the pro rodeo circuit and knew he would never be home to care for a child.  She couldn't go through with it, and luckily was able to go into a home for unwed mothers.  They cared for her until she delivered the baby. He had to go to court to relinquish his rights as a parent (and it sounds like it was a horrible experience.)  The child found him years later.  She was raised by a doctor and had, had a great life.

And as I stared at this gruff man, in the black hat, snuggling a once unwanted baby, I prayed that this somehow would heal a heart that was still wounded 32 years later.

I assured him that he had made the right and most unselfish decision.

He held that baby for another 30 minutes, as he slept.  Hours later when we left, I sent Tao over to say good bye (he also bought the little boys candy LOL!)

He hugged our little boy, and then quickly left the gym, head down.  I pray for his healing, and marvel at how God can use a tiny 3 year old in the craziest of places.

I know nothing of this man's faith, but I did speak of ours.  IF he isn't a believer I pray that this would open a door for him.

Monday, December 2, 2013


I thought I finally had it all together - we scheduled Cav to get his new legs made in Nov (you know so it would fall under our already met deductible).

Getting his leg casted for new spiderman legs!
His prosthetist suggested we make an appointment with the amputee clinic for the same day . . . and we were able to get in which was our first God sighting (and I probably should have know something was up LOL!)

I can't remember if I have mentioned this hoopty walk Cav has developed.  We first noticed it shortly after getting his arm casts off in April.  We thought it was either a bad habit or the weight of the casts had somehow changed how he felt his center of gravity was.

It just became more and more noticeable.  Our PT thought maybe it was his hip and core strength.

Heck, even the PT at the amputee clinic thought the same thing.

Yeah it took our fabulous orthopedist one look and he ordered x-rays.

TO catch newer people up Cav has Tibial Hemimilia - they were able to save, and straighten his tibia when he had amputation surgery - summer 2012.  They did this by chopping the tibia in 3 pieces, and placing a rod through it - which also meant 8 weeks in a cast which lasted 10 days before he had to be recasted - it was a VERY long summer.  We were warned he would need another osteotomy in the future but it was my impression it would be closer to middle or even high school.

NOT 18 months later.  I just wanted to cry, I was sure I was close.  When we accepted Cav's file, I read as much as I could.  I never saw anything about curving tibia's, continuous surgery AND we had no idea about the mild radial club hands or neglect, or sensory or, or, or.  My heart breaks for this kid.  God, he just needs a break - I prayed right there in that room.

They decided to do another x-ray because he hyperextends his knee backwards.

Even as a nurse I don't quite get how this makes a difference and really I DON"T CARE!!

AS I looked at the surgery schedule I realized a January surgery (the soonest he could do (heehee so much for our deductible.) would put Cav in a cast until MARCH - oh no March is when I am supposed to be getting Dawson (you know because you can plan these things LOL).  Of course he would have to be recasted for new legs after getting his cast off, and this would be another 2 weeks at least ugh


And then we received HIS blessing.

We still have surgery scheduled for January 20th, but they are only going to do a 2 plate (usually you hear 8 plate surgery) where they place screws and a plate into the growth plate on the outer side and let the inner grow until it evens out a bit.

The second x-ray bought us time.

He will still need the osteotomy within the next 2 years.  So please keep him in your prayers.  He asked if we were going to take the rest of that leg.  We assured him we weren't and it wouldn't look any different.  But my heart breaks for him - he meets every challenge head on and I know he will do amazing but it's a lot.

He will be 2 weeks without his prosthetic.  They think he should be able to use forearm crutches (mainly because the weakness in his hands.)  THey will lock the prosthetic knee and they think he will be fine.  PLEASE specifically pray for no snow or ice during the end of January.  We do have his wheelchair (and scored the next size up at goodwill last night for $30!!) but the concern is without the physical activity his sensory issues will raise it's ugly head.

For those who are freaks like me here is the second x-ray.  You can see the pressure indent just above the white circle.  This shows how the forces of his leg and alignment are off and how much his center of gravity is off (I think that's right.)

Wednesday, November 20, 2013

He made it

SO Tao arrived home the 1st of December to a world ready to celebrate Christmas.  I am sure in retrospect it was an amazing time to arrive for him.

What we didn't realize is that the dates people start putting up their trees and lights would coincide with his adoption date.

This is my little guy who has eagerly gone off to preschool everyday even the first one with a huggie and a kiss and never looking back.  On the 18th as we excitedly celebrated his hope day ("gotcha") we had a very special breakfast and the kids expressed how thrilled they were he was part of the family.  He clung to my leg at school drop off and then I found out he cried for 2 of the 3 hours - oh no!

We had seen him getting a little more subdued and/or clingy since Sunday.  We couldn't figure out how he knew, how much he remembered but marveled as we drove to dinner on Sunday and he explained "Christmas Trees" as he saw lit ones.

COuld he possibly remember that day a year ago when his life changed so drastically?  Most say it's impossible for him at 3 1/2 but he is pretty bright.  I wondered if his soul felt it as he spent a year in the orphanage, then just over a year in foster.  Did he wonder if there would be more changes as another year passed.  Or was it the Christmas trees - the one thing he related to first coming home.

And for me, my heart just broke.  I just reassured him, held him, and continuously reminded him of us all sharing the same last name, as well as we are a family and would always be together.

It's so good so see his little impish self back to normal.  And today in the car he explained

"Mom, me made it!!"

"what, TaoTao?"

"Me Made it, mom"

"Do you mean you made it home sweet boy?"

"Yes, momma me made it home!"

And I just sat in the parking lot and cried.

Tuesday, November 19, 2013


My new favorite saying is "The days are long but the years are short." 

I think all mom's have a special place in their heart for their oldest.  THe baby who changed the dynamics of the household from a couple - two individuals living a life together but fully capable of caring of themselves ~ to a family.  When a tiny little baby enters the picture- in our case fulfilling a dream we were unsure would happen - helpless, needy, and in so many cases forgiving of so many mistakes.

AS I look at the young man who turns 15 today, I can hardly figure out in my mind how this tiny baby born with so many possible complications is now taller than I.

Despite his size, it is heart, his gentle spirit that we are most proud of.  This boy of ours who had not walked into a church until 3rd grade now hears God calling him and my humanness realizes I must step aside.

I can honestly say that the changes we have seen in our boy over the last three years have been amazing.  Our journey through adoption and his two trips to China has opened up his eyes, it has shrunk the world, and dare I say lit a fire in his adventurous spirit.  It is so fitting that our oldest shares his birthdate with our official adoption date for Tao.

I know there will be many more nights of worry ahead, but also feel an excitement for what the future holds.  I know that there will be bumps along the way, and desperately pray for smooth sailing.  But already the man we see emerging astonishes us everyday.

The boy who hates pictures, I absolutely love this from his big hands to his adoring look

Monday, November 18, 2013

One Year - Tao

One year ago this picture we prayed over for months 

Became our youngest son and truly our greatest blessing.
The child we tried to ignore,
excuse out of our lives even though God was making it VERY clear the direction we needed to go.

We were afraid, terrified in fact,
but nothing like the tiny boy sitting in the huge chair by himself. 

So shut down, so scared

Our oldest and our youngest - Tao bonded quickly with him and would have nothing to do with me.

I was beyond worried.

And the intense sadness,
the loss this little one experienced.
It is profound to think,
my heart still aches to think we caused him so much pain.

And one year later our little "fisher of men" has changed so much.

He is pure joy,
He absolutely is now a momma's boy

He is inquisitive.

And those dimples we had no idea existed,
well, they are gorgeous and almost always present.

A child who sat for over a year on the shared list,
listed with 5 different diagnoses,
all sounding scary,
passed over by so many others.

Sitting, & waiting,
to become a brother,
a friend,
a blessing,
a Son!

Wednesday, November 6, 2013

Signs to adopt

One of the God sightings I didn't mention involved his name (to an extent.)

Right after we got our giant black sprinter, Brahm's teacher from last year mentioned we should fill the back window with those stick figure people ~ hmmm she said yoda's would be funny for your littles.  I was slightly amused and slightly offended.  That was in February.

Remember when I said I finally decided to get his file and really go through it.  Something nagged at me all night, so I awoke the next morning and just stared at the open file on my computer.  How could he be our son, no similar dates, just nothing.  (all the previous kids had some similarity with our bio kids in some way from Fei's red shoes to Cav and Tao's birthdays being a day apart.)

And then I looked at his name.  Forgive my lack of Mandarin (and very western ear) but I looked at the letters closely trying to decipher a name YUEDA - it is really what I thought.  I pulled up google translate and sure enough it sounded as close to Yoda as a name could get heehee.

AS I transferred screens over to Facebook one of the first posts I saw was this.

Believe me when I say I have never seen Yoda on any Facebook posts before or after.

Tuesday, November 5, 2013

Help during the hard times

When we first brought Cav and Fei home, I walked off that plane and into the Dr's office.  I spent the first week in the hospital and in bed due to pneumonia and Norwalk Virus.  

People were so excited for us to be home but I couldn't answer the phone.  I wondered how long I could stay under my covers without facing the new world we had created.  I was in a very bad place.

Just now almost 2 years later, I look back and feel like I had been underwater that whole time, holding my breath.  Working so hard to just stay alive, keep from ruining our family, that when people wanted to know what to do to help I couldn't even imagine.

I definitely did NOT want them coming to my house, it was beyond shambles and I was so embarrassed.  Never mind the haunting thought that Cav would start raging or even worse they would find one of his disgusting events I had missed.

My brain was so unfocused, my entire body was numb, walking one step in front of the other.

Now I know that I/ we were in fact normal.  God was truly carrying us, and we should have let his followers the body of Christ in to help.

If you have a friend who has newly adopted or even within the last 2 years this is an incredible article on how to help!

I finally feel like we are swimming out of that abyss.  For those that are having a hard time please know that through all of that struggle, through all of that fear of having done the wrong thing, of ruining my family.  I am here to tell you that the contrary is true.

We all grew over that journey.  

Our kids, the people they are today are not who they were 2 years ago.  Their understanding, their compassion I can only stand in awe.  

I truly believe God allowed us to show our humanness - versus the supermom powers we all try to portray so that others around us can let down their guard.

For those in the struggle, especially those who have experienced the heart wrenching loss of dear friends, know that He will bless you with new ones who love you for who you are.

It is an amazing journey, take a breath, relax, you were made for this very moment.


Friday, November 1, 2013

His Story (part 2) - finding a son.

Part 1 is here

So we found the giant ladybug in our towels after we evacuated due to the Black Forest fires this past summer.

We were out of our house for 4 1/2 days and during that time I had little computer access.

When we arrived back at our home it was in shambles - you could physically see the panic and stress we had encountered trying to evacuate all of our kids and some assemblance of important belongings.

This was now the middle of June and Darwin was weighing heavily on my heart.  I decided to call Madison and see if there was any news etc.  As I searched my email for their number I saw an email I had missed on the the 6th of June.  It was an email from Madison Adoption Associates not only checking in with us but also telling us that the orphanage was willing to waive the orphanage fee on top of his large agency grant.

I know that God's timing is perfect and I marveled at the lost email.  After the devastation of the previous week our last barrier - really our last humanly excuse as to why not to follow God's request was gone.

I made one very important phone call and then I called my husband at work to tell him.  

Heehee I was also done being patient so in the same breath I told him the social worker would be over on Thursday.  Even now I laugh and am astonished at my boldness and in retrospect know it was God's hand.  I remember holding my breath as the line went silent - full well knowing I could cancel the appointment, but praying with all my being that he would be available both in schedule and heart.

And you know what he WAS!!

We received PA on 7/15 and we were DTC this past week. 


I wish I could say that this was the end of our story but it wasn't.  AS the long summer months drug on I started to doubt.  I think that is why God wanted me to be patient - so that it all was HIM!  So I wouldn't have the what if's start to creep into my mind - I mean really who has 7 kids, how were we ever going to put all of these kids through college, and his age 10 years old and only in the 2nd grade God HOW can I do this.

I worried and fretted on my own.  Was this a rescue, was this my humanness and my personal heart trying to fix the world or was this truly God's will.  As friends continued to encourage me I had a nagging doubt and a fear that almost troubled my soul.  I didn't see the things in this boy others did.  

I did NOT feel bonded or any emotion towards his picture at all and that worried me fiercely. 

I desperate prayed for the same feelings I had for Tao's picture as well as Cav and Fei's.  I wanted to go to China and already feel bonded to him, in love with him with the desire of a momma's heart.  
Was I making the BIGGEST MISTAKE of my life?
Oh the worry I carried for the summer months.  The prayers that God would comfort my heart, to find something in his file that meant something to me, to rest my worrying heart.

I couldn't even imagine backing out on this kid, so we just put one foot in front of the other and the process moved quickly (which did confirm a little this is what God wanted us to do.)  Mid August, the nagging in my head (lets call it for what it is Satan) got to be to much.

I pulled up every single email I could find about Darwin.  I reviewed each one until I got to the one from March that had his Chinese and English files.  Darwin was a little unique as this kid has been on the shared list since 2008!  Hidden in the 45 page Chinese file was his complete 2008 file and on page 27 and 28 God calmed my heart.
Instead of the heavy kid with bad teeth I had seen in his English file

 I found my son.

Hidden in that file I found a boy (6 or 7) with such a shocking to resemblance to Tao (3) that I knew he was ours.

You see even the Chinese questioned Tao's nationality.  I finally had to us amy phone to translate that he was a Chinese orphan we were adopting as no one could figure out why we were there.  Darwin and Tao are just one province away from each other on the southern border.   I am sure the chances they are related are astronomical but what if.

So we race to our finish line, still afraid of the education piece but knowing fully and completely that God not only has this, but our new son is completely His will.


What a Blessed day we spent yesterday.

It was Tao's first Halloween and that boy is a rockstar.  None of the fear, or overstimulation we experienced with Cav (He did well also which was the truest blessing.)  His little personality shined as he commented and talked with each new homeowner.  I have to believe my little fisher of men renewed people's spirits and brought them joy.  He is also the biggest class disrupter but how blessed we were that our teachers love him and encourage his presence.

I finally broke out the sewing machine after 3 years and made them all outfits
Made minion marshmellow pops for 3 classes (Cav's class only did healthy belch heehee)
These were super easy and when I had to race home was quickly able to make 5 more!

THe preschool party was an easy success and all the littles had fun!

Cav's party was earlier than last year so i got to just be a mom in his class!

Our little class disrupter

Brahm's cute teacher loving our baby! (and yes I lost my mind and let them purchase a fart gun!)

I still haven't figured out the big family thing completely.  With 3 ~ I always made the special snacks, was room mom and made outfits.  Reason would stand that with twice as many I could do half as much but truly God has blessed me in still being able to provide my momma's desires with joy and not feel overwhelmed or stressed.

Halloween is always a bit different for our house - mainly because we live in a community that has all 5 acre plots of land.  There is an official don't come to our doors rule for our community.  Luckily, every year we are Blessed by friends who recognize this and invite us over - THis year our bigs went on their own with friends - which was bittersweet to say the least.

It was fun though to be at our friends home and open the door to squeals from the children, the laughter and sense of community as the streets were filled with children and even the community firetruck came by.

Today in bible study a friend uttered such profound words.

May we always knock on God's door with the eagerness of a child and utter anticipation everything He gives to us is good.

Tuesday, October 29, 2013

His Story ~ the Ladybug (part 1)

SO last post at the end I announced our newest son - this is the back story.

We came home with Tao on Dec 1, 2012.  You know the child who's middle name is Taomega which is a combination of Tao (his Chinese name) and Omega which my husband insisted on. As in ~

Revelations 21:6
He said to me: “It is done. I am the Alpha and the Omega, the Beginning and the End. 

This was my husbands declaration that we were done.  Of course he also wanted to name the baby Goliath (he is a dwarf - I don't care who you are you absolutely can NOT name a child with dwarfism Goliath LOL!)

SO I came home with my sweet baby thinking we were done.

AS I advocated for the children with dwarfism and excitedly tracked down families due to travel within the next 6 months.

One in particular was Darwin - a 10 year old boy who had been part of a visit Madison Adoption did the year before.  He was darling and we so looked forward to watching him come home (although we did not know his family that had committed to him).

Then in February, 2013 I found out that he just might NOT have a family any longer.  I called, emailed and tried to get to the bottom of this news.  The more I found out the more my heart broke.

I think it was that hope taken away that broke my heart the most.  Not only are we talking about a 10 year old boy who lived with his birth family until he was 2 years old.  But now, all these years later he was once again promised a family.  I do not know all the specifics but I do know they sent him pictures of the family who would come get him before the year was out.

Even typing the words and imagining the scenario brings me to tears.  Which is better - to never had hope, or for it to be taken away.

I desperately tried to find him a family, quickly so just maybe he wouldn't notice that the white people in the photos looked different than the ones on Gotcha.  But I also knew that there were (3) 10 year old boys with dwarfism on the shared list and another 5 within a couple years.  I also heard that 9-12 year old were the least age range to be adopted.  People either adopt younger or race to get those aging out. Lastly, he had the kiss of death - having a committed family return his file.  No matter the reason I think it is human to fear that something was found wrong with him.

So I prayed and slowly our journey began.

Our biggest obstacle was he was born in 2002.  Although Morgan is not our oldest she acts like our oldest and we have been told numerous times displacing her could be disastrous.  Since we were still reeling from Cav - the last thing we wanted was more upheaval in our family.  So we saw the 2002 and said NO - wish he was younger but that is NOT gonna work for us (yeah right).

Still he sat, still we advocated.  I printed his picture out with 2 others - basically thinking these are the most hopeless cases.  Hmmm maybe if I got his file maybe I could advocate better.

That was when I noticed his birth date - YES he was born 2002 but not until DECEMBER.  That was for all intense and purposes almost a year younger than our Valentine girl.

This was our first glimpse that maybe God wanted us to bring him to OUR home GASP heehee.  This was the end of March.  All the denial that this could be God's plan.  I mean really our baby was named OMEGA for a reason right.

And that Omega kept gnawing at me.

And then it dawned on me.  It says the beginning and the END not the LAST . . . the END!  My husband says it's semantics but I don't agree.  There is a big difference between LAST and END!  And the lightbulb went off - Tao may very well always be our youngest,  our caboose, but possibly not our last adoption.

That daddy though was sure Omega meant last we were done ~ no more stinking kids.  All the while Tao worked his magic on his daddy.  I - the ever so loving wife kept reminding my husband how much he didn't want Tao's adoption either (I know not the nicest LOL.)

I spent most of April in deep prayer.  I searched everywhere for answers and NOTHING!  The only thing I got was to be patient AND silent.  NEITHER are attributes I possess.  I have to say it was the hardest thing I ever did to not hound my husband about making this decision.  The only saving grace was I thought my answer would come after my husband went to the men's retreat the beginning of May.

My heart literally felt like it broke into a thousand pieces when he returned from the retreat and still nothing.  I had Darwin's picture up in our house by the entry.  I had my kids praying he would find a family every day.  The silence was deafening, and my faith it remained strong.  In a way I did pray that he find a different family - because truthfully it would be easier.

Mid May our social worker came for Tao's 6 month post placement.  The last straw was when she asked him if we should do an updated home study and he said NO!!  I literally held it together as best as I could and cried as soon as he left for work.

But I also knew that this time I could NOT hound, beg or plead.  We are talking about adding a 10 year old boy with minimal education to our home.  This had to be ALL GOD or not.

Beginning of June, Madison checked in with me to see if hubby had made any decision, and to share some new pictures and video.  It was kind of a shock out of the blue.  This time I shared them with my husband.

I shared but didn't ask.  I showed him the boy with clothes as old as he.  I showed him how his shoes were 2 sizes to big.  I shared my fears, and I shared that I felt he was ours.

Just over a week later our neighborhood began to burn.  Although it was the second time in a year that we were evacuated for a fire - the process never changes.  You stand in your house (if it is like ours it is full of CRAP . . . period.  You go from room to room searching for the most important items that are worth filling your van and somewhere after the first floor you wonder what you have done with your life.  You look around and know with your very core most of it could burn up and your life would be inconvenienced but not destroyed.  I know everyone reacts differently to crisis but this was MY reaction.

So we packed up our possessions, and most importantly our kids and left our home.  A new friend was gracious enough to find us rooms at a youth hostel.  Knowing this we grabbed our bucket of towels and headed over with all of our worldly possessions.

No sooner had we arrived and were getting acquainted with the others while swinging on the front porch, my daughter opened up the first towel and found this surprise.

I know it doesn't look like it but it was the largest ladybug I had ever seen.  

I looked at my husband and said "You know what that means?"  
Heehee "Yep, the ladybug didn't want to burn up either."  he said
But I knew the look in his eyes and we both knew what God had planned for us.  We weren't obedient originally and God did come after us with a 2x4 but luckily we saw his calling before we missed out.

Friday, October 25, 2013

A plea and an answer

AS we wrap up the month of October and this years Dwarfism Awareness I hope I have dispelled some of the fears related to having a child with dwarfism and replaced them with our personal love for these amazingly happy little people who meet life with gusto.

I am excited to see young ones with dwarfism being quickly chosen and finding families within weeks of being made available for adoption.

Unfortunately, we are seeing a plethora of older kids with dwarfism jsut sitting on the list for years and years.  I personally am feeling a panic as they inch closer and closer to their 14th birthday and they are sent out on the streets, uneducated, no resources, many without even an appropriate name to pursue employment.  How can they possibly fill out an employment form with a name that means "I entered ____ orphanage on the year of 2008."

Because many in China think these kids with dwarfism are also mentally delayed (they are not infact the contrary is usually true), they are only educated in the orphanages, only obtaining true schooling once an agency assures them that a family will come.

Not only are these kids handed their walking papers on their 14th birthday, but it is estimated that many will either die that first year on the streets, or sold into the sex trade . . . yeah, shocking and heartbreaking all at once.

When I look at my Fei and Tao I jsut can't even imagine.  Our oldest turned 14 on the day we signed for Tao in China, and I looked at him in shock.  This child of mine who has had all the privilege of family, of money, of schooling - I still couldn't imagine him alone on the streets.

So I am coming to you to search your hearts.
To look into the eyes of these kids,
Imagine them as a son, a child

All of there information can be found HERE

Believe me it is scary to even contemplate adopting an older child.
It is easy to come up with 1000 excuses why it won't work for your family.
A thousand fears for the future.

But let me assure you I am not talking about rescuing these children in the sense of being a savior - there is only one of those.

I am not talking about putting your family in jeopardy for a last minute run to keep an unwanted child from aging out of the system.

I am talking about if God has laid one of these children on your heart, if He has laid adopting an older boy on your heart ~ DO IT!!

How do I know?

Because we have struggled with this,
spending countless hours worrying, wondering and questioning.

But the story of Queen Esther has played out so many times in our life over the past few months I can not even tell you.  Realizing that we are asked to be God's hands and feet on earth.  And you know that we can say NO!! (I know gasp who would ever say NO! to one of God's requests.)  The kicker is ~ we will also lose out on some of His greatest Blessings.

13 Then Mordecai told them to reply to Esther, “Do not think to yourself that in the king's palace you will escape any more than all the other Jews. 14 For if you keep silent at this time, relief and deliverance will rise for the Jews from another place, but you and your father's house will perish. And who knows whether you have not come to the kingdom for such a time as this?”
                                                                                                                  Esther 4:13-14

Ann Voscamp's post on Why You Are Where You Are: For Such a Time as Now was life changing for our families understanding of this ( well more than that which I will get into later.)

I often look at our Tao - just the miracle of him being in our family.  The blessing he is to not only our family but our community.  I now know that Tao had to come to us, to renew our belief in the adoption process and renew our souls.

So that when God presented us with a little boy who has sat on the list forever (his original file was completed in 2008!)

Who is just a few years from his 14th birthday and the unimaginable repercussions of that date.

Who has had minimal schooling,

Who has suffered unimaginable loss in his life and still he smiles,

Who we will soon call son.

Thursday, October 24, 2013

Living life together

When we were in the process of adopting Fei and Cav I saw an amazingly heartbreaking video.  I wish I had kept a copy but let me paint this picture for you.

THe person who shot the video heard an amazing sound during her orphanage tour, as she got closer and peeked around the corner, she saw a stage full of children singing. . . . the heartbreak was that there was not a single person in the room besides the children.  

No audience, 
No rows and rows of chairs filled with clapping and cheering adults.  
No siblings,

Just orphans singing and performing to blank and empty space hopefully oblivious to the absolute heartbreak of the situation!

Fast forward to today.

Frankly, it's been an emotional day
I let Satan in 
as I questioned the number of kids we had.

You see I had to be at 3 places at once - all miles apart.
I fret for days how to duplicate myself, 
weighing who should miss what etc.

All the events were important - the most important was Fei's musical - the problem it's a first grade musical and I knew it would last all of 20 minutes.

But for days all I could think of was the children from the orphanage 
without any family cheering them on.
Over and over this played in my mind.
I prayed for clarity,
AND THEN. . . .
I realized that the difference is that by adopting our girl, we also have established her in a community that not only loves her, but adores her.

Even if we were not at each performance, I slowly realized that God places us in community and asks us to do life together for this very reason.  

She will always be part of family, there will always be people to cheer her on, love and celebrate her.

So we went to the afternoon performance and although we tried desperately to make the evening one, I rested in the assurance that our community, our friends and teachers who cherish her clapped their hearts out for our girl ~ filling in where we could not be.

(AND I think I have finally figured out a pattern for pants for her - they are a tiny bit to wide but we are finally getting the perfect fit. . . . . versus Tao's which I can't even get over his thighs LOL!)

Tuesday, October 22, 2013

Dwarfism Awareness ~ Little Football

When Brahm was a toddler I distinctly remember crying about how unfair it is that God gave our poor disabled boy a heart for sports (yeah we have come a long way.)

Now it's more of a matter of finding sports he can play without further damaging his joints.

Some children with dwarfism can play almost any sport

Some children with dwarfism are very limited on the types of sports they can play (most specifically those who had the neck surgery Fei did and those that have spinal issues.)

And then we have Brahm who suffers from joint pain
and because the round ends of bones are jagged 
we have to protect his joints. 

A break especially near the epiphysis could be detrimental.

So we find sports,
weigh his heart, mind and body
and give him a chance to try.

Mind you at 7 he only weighs 33 lbs LOL!

Anyhow, flag football was our newest try
AND he loved it!!

He actually did great on defense ~ mainly because his mind was so amazing and he gets the game
and we had to laugh at him trying to block etc.

And our Tao - well he is another sport kid.

One of my all time favorite pics - he is trying to get Fei to hold the ball
think Chuck and Lucy from the peanuts LOL!