Monday, February 25, 2013

Growing in Faith

You know in my warped sense of reality I thought if we weren't adopting then God would let us be for a bit - yeah NO!!

THe past few weeks have been huge soul searching, spiritual growing time.

I still have limits that I have placed on God
and on myself.

I have learned so much over the last few years,
and sometimes nothing at all.

For some reason I have had a huge stumbling block in my way
came in the form of a car!

Yeah stupid I know.

BUT for me a large capacity vehicle meant
we had a big family - um yeah even with 6 kids I thought not us.
I was wrapped up in what people thought of us,
I was afraid it made us even more conspicuous (cuz you know we blend right in now LOL~)


the saddest for me to even admit right now is that -

I was afraid it would open us up to what God might ask next.

Ugh can you see me and Him hitting our heads against the wall.

For some reason for us, the cars have been the keys to our adoptions.

Heck, the Yukon XL with the 2nd bench seat was the ticket to Tao coming home.

BUT I also know I wasn't ready,
I jsut couldn't make the leap to Tao as well as to opening the door fully for God at the same time.

THe Yukon XL was our baby step.

BUT He kept working on me, (I am sure while shaking his head - Dear child of mine, jsut trust me)

It took a mini trip (luckily only 2 hrs from the house) requiring 2 vehicles and cramped quarters for me see the light.  I say me because hubby has been hounding me for years to get a large capacity vehicle (ok a short school bus but you know LOL!)

Can I tell you that we (God & I) had a heart to heart the next few days.  My stupid scared self and God, compassionate as always.

I finally relented (yeah God & I have a toddler relationship many times.)  I test drove a Nissan NV, hmmm not as bad as I would have thought but not really for us.

Then I researched online.  And I found a possibility ~

The van was exactly as we needed/ wanted it.
You see with 3 dwarfs we HAD to have the side step thing.
I HAD to have heated seats (I know call me spoiled but still)
We HAD to have room for a wheelchair and/ or double stroller.
Our BIG kids had to be ok with it (BTW they LOVE it!)
We HAD to be able to pay cash for the difference.

I am proud to say we are the new owners of a 12 passenger van (currently set up for 9) that God also blessed us with being in our price range - jsut slightly more than what we got for our Yukon XL trade in!  Just the thought of that brings tears to my eyes.  Everytime I run the numbers I am shocked.

It's huge, it's obnoxious BUT it fits our family PERFECTLY!

I have no idea where this purchase will lead,
but I think we are open.

    Trust in the Lord with all your heart and lean not on your own understanding; in all your ways submit to him, and he will make your paths straight. 
                                                            Proverbs 3:5-6

Friday, February 22, 2013

Redeeming orphans

You know when you are in the trenches 
and you are jsut trying to put one foot in front of the other - 
your vision is clouded.

I have to say I was shocked when I saw this picture again the other day.


Oh my heart breaks when I see this picture, and our boy that was so emaciated.  I hesitated sharing it, but I also want you to see what our boy looked like 
NINE months home.
Remember we had to shave his head because he cut the front OFF!
He was so heartbreakingly thin when we got him, 
and we worked 
and worked
and worked to put meat on his bones.

His gut was ravaged by 
chronic giardia,
and indifference.

Now that I can look back I can say that it took us 11 months of 
strong antibiotics,
good nutrition
and love
before his body could finally absorb the food we were feeding him.

How many more before we can erase the damage to his soul?

What would have become of this boy of ours?

No, four year old should have to endure the life this child has, 
the abandonment, 
the heartache, 
the neglect.

HE is why God places the lonely in families, 
HE is why God asks us to care for the Widows and Orphans.
not to jsut adopt
but to care, 
to see this picture and know that this child is the child of not just one but TWO mothers.
HE is not an anonymous face 
but the boy who inspires people everyday.

HE is proof of God's LOVE & Redemption.

Tuesday, February 19, 2013


We have had this mini vacation planned since December.

And oh was it so needed, but oh was it so hard to get out the door.

Our normally fairly easy going children have been fighting - we are experiencing some pretty good spiritual warfare right now, and I have no idea why - maybe because this adoption was to easy, we have been waiting ofr the other shoe to drop and are finally realizing that our sweet little man is jsut that sweet.

Oh he can get his way, and is smart enough to realize with 7 others in the family he can usually con someone into getting him what he wants.

BUT how his fat little hands as they clasp my cheeks for a big smacker - oh that is pure heaven.

Anyhow, after a major fight with our oldest kids we packed up the car - oh wait that would be both cars (but that's another post LOL!)

I took the kids and hubby followed a couple hours later.

We haven't been to this particular spot for years and years, but we had heard they built cabis, and I had found a deal!

Can I jsut say pure heaven - we jsut can't do one hotel room any longer.  Eventhought I tell myself that half our kids are short, it jsut doesn't work, no many wiggles, noises and momma gets no sleep.

So the cabin had a loft with two queen beds and a large chair with ottoman.  THen downstairs was our own room with a comfy bed (so much PTSD after sleeping on so many horrible beds in China we now appreciate a good bed LOL!)

THe only thing we longed for was another bathroom.

Now mind you it's 20 degrees out so you can imagine the looks I got when I said put on your swimsuit I have a surprise.

Daddy wasn't there yet, so I braved the natural hot springs pool by myself with floaties and two majorly helpful big kids.

Tao hates water, he screamed as Morgan handed him to me, AND then he calmed, still clutching to my side.  He splashed and then laughed and we all cheered!!

Sunday we took the big kids snowboarding, - between the free pass with the room and Morgan's 5th grade pass (free skiing all winter) they were all completely FREE!!  Plus we still have an adult ticket to use later in the year!  Tristan & Morgan took in more runs than they could count.

Brahm practiced his snowboarding - and loved their covered magic carpet.  The lift operators all fell in love with him, and called him bull (bullwinkle) by the end of the day.

THe best part was we put the littles to sleep and slipped out to walk across the way for dinner alone - my hubby and I - two nights in a row!!

The second night Cav started having issues which lasted the rest of the trip.  We chose not to fight with him, and allowed him to pout by himself as we enjoyed our time relaxing as a family.

THe hot springs water comes out to my right and then the snow run off stream os to my left, you build dams to allow enough cold water in so that you and the kids can stand it, while still staying warm!!

We feel relaxed and a family once again!!

You can see Cav, we asked numerous times if he wanted to join us - (he did swim twice)
I jsut pray some day he will feel the natural urge to be part of our family.
So blessed!

Monday, February 11, 2013


I have shared many times how I mourned for the loss of my 'perfect' baby when Brahm was born.  All of my hopes and dreams for this child I carried simply vanished when we were told in those hours before his birth that he would have a disability.  

What I did NOT realize was how filled our lives would be.

Unlike our two older children who we push for the next goal, ensuring that they are in the right sports at the right age, get proper training, practice and the thousand other stressers that come with everyday youth athletics.  We have learned to cherish every single game, every single goal and every single attempt our mini marvel has - because it may jsut very well be his last.

Of course I feel the tinge of pain in my heart - one season of lacrosse and he is retiring - so hard to hear these words - "Mom, it jsut hurts my legs to much" he says in his high pitched 6 year old voice with the missing teeth lisp.

But such great joy was also experienced this weekend when he entered his first wrestling tournament.  

Now let me give you an idea of the environment our little guy is surrounded by.  We are fortunate that our school is a huge K-12.  The wrestling coach for the middle and high school offers a clinic twice a year for the elementary school kids.  THis is what ignited Brahm's fire.  

When I emailed the coach about letting Brahm try to wrestle this weekend and feeling the clock ticking on his physical ability to ever do so - he went above and beyond - making sure that the tournament director knew Brahm was tiny (33 lbs at 6) and short.

He also found Brahm a tiny little singlet to wear.  The coach sent his biggest high school wrestler (atleast 6'3" ) down to the 1st grade class to give Brahm the singlet, tell him how we could make it smaller AND pump him up.  Apparently, Brahm's status in the class also was raised because he knew one of the big guys LOL!

Little man's teacher even asked to come to the tournament - I really never thought an entire community would surround our son and love him like they do.

Oh he was pumped, and nervous for the tournament.  I - was jsut nervous.  I would prefer to keep my angel in a padded box but that isn't what God wants for this boy of ours.  So I put my brave face on and cheered.

We weren't sure how he would do, but we knew it would be fabulous or a disaster.  Although Brahm's body lets him down, his mind does not.  We could see that little stinker playing chess as he pinned each opponent.  After his final victory, our champion, danced around in joy.  We thought for sure he would come in second to this particular child but Brahm pinned him in the last few seconds.

His family rejoicing with him.  He knows the feeling of personal success.  We have no idea how long he will wrestle for before once again his body fails him.  But for today, this week he is our champion.  He has a larger than life trophy to remind him the sweetness of victory.  He is truly our inspiration.

 Then even the bravest soldier, whose heart is like the heart of a lion, will melt with fear, for all Israel knows that your father is a fighter and that those with him are brave.
                                                                   2 Samuel 17:10

Sunday, February 10, 2013


These two's souls speak to each other.  The other night Brahm wasn't feeling the best (he hurt) and it was time for Griffen to go to sleep, so they both crawled into my bed and this is what I found.  I HAD to grab my big camera and not wanting to wake them up I bumped the ISO all the way up to 1600 and
wait for it
wait for it!
I moved the little button I had once seen on the side
from Auto focus to MANUAL focus!

(cuz the stinking camera couldn't focus with only the light from the TV behind me)
I also learned I probably need some stronger contacts because I would focus snap, look at the back 
(I'm blind as a bat as it is LOL!)

BUT I love how these came out.

And for you photography folks give me your opinion on the big bed one - it isn't in 1/3's but I loved the look of the expansiveness of the bed compared to my 2 little dwarfs LOL!

Ni Hao Yall

Thursday, February 7, 2013

The Alter

This journey we have been on has been one of great blessings and of great change.  Little Griffen has been such a jewel but oh does God use this little guy to dispel all of those horrid impressions people have of adoption.  He is like a fisherman - reeling the ladies in like a master.

Anyhow, because he is so easy and so good we recently started Bible Study Fellowship   I know for a fact this is exactly where I need to be right now.  I have several very good friends who love my children in the child care center.  Anyhow, little man comes with me for half the time, and then I get an hour with him safely being loved on by my friends (and his biggest champions) just down the hall.

Anyhow, this hour by myself allows me to listen to the lesson and reflect without the fog that comes with ensuring my little angel is not getting into trouble.

BSF is doing the book of Genesis this year - I know ugh right - yeah not so much.  I have learned so much from the lessons I have done and they relate to me EVERY single week - gotta love when God is right there.

SO this week was about when Abraham took Isaac up the mountain to be sacrificed - his single ONLY precious child, his legacy and the fulfillment of his promise.

AS the lecture went on I was hit by a freight train.

The most interesting dichotomy of adoption in bringing a new child into ones home.  When people are pregnant ALL they hope for is a healthy child.  However, there is a huge a group of people - ordinary ones with no special training, who specifically seek out children who have special needs, some with incredibly great needs.

The light bulb moment.

We all welcome children into our lives knowing within months we will have to place that child upon the alter just as Abraham was asked to place his beloved son on the alter.

We could just love these new children never seeking the treatment that has so far been withheld from them but we have promised to provide them with the best medical care.   This also requires us to place our child on the proverbial alter AND trusting God to return our child back to us.

With each new child, each surgery and hospital stay I see people in the adoption community rally around these extraordinary parents, sending words of love, prayer and thanksgiving.  Holding their children close and cherishing the incredibleness of life.

Saturday, February 2, 2013

SUnday Snapshot - NiBa

We have another undie - wearer in our house!!

Our poor little guy wears 9 month pants - he is SHORT!

His parents on the other hand are stupid!

He kept saying NiBA

We kept thinking Daddy - which is Baba
or Bottle - which is baba

Yeah apparently, Niba is and older term for Nan-ya-ba (potty)

So we learned he has to go potty, and his foster parents were probably older (grandparents!)

Regardless, this little guy is in undies day and night
and this momma is THRILLED!

Ni Hao Yall