Thursday, December 20, 2007


Through my work for Love Without Boundaries, I see pictures of orphaned children in China nearly every day. They are all so precious and since the children in my foster care program are all special needs, they each have overcome great odds to be where they are. Sometimes, though, there is one special child who grabs my heart and causes me to root just a little bit harder for him or her. Currently, that special little one is Nicholas.

Sweet little Nicholas is not yet a year old and he is not destined to live to be very old. He was born with a congenital heart problem that is so severe that it is inoperable. He is in palliative care through LWB and Hope Healing Home in Beijing.

I receive reports on the children every other month and each time, I eagerly open Nicholas' first. He is always smiling. This little boy has such a joy about him. He looks at me though his photo and I can almost imagine him winking at me. His adorable smile seems to say, "Look at me! I have been given another day and I will choose to spend it happily!" He doesn't let his heart condition hold him back from enjoying each day. He has much to complain about, but he chooses not to.

What an inspiration this little boy is to me! He did not have the privileges that I have been be born to parents who had the means to care for be born in a country that would have been able to pay for the health care he needed. He doesn't know what it feels like to take a breath without struggling for it, or what his skin would look like if it wasn't a deathly blue pallor. He will probably never have the strength to run and play like the other children. And yet, little Nicholas' life is so full of joy and purpose. His life speaks volumes to those around him as he teaches us to be thankful for our health, our families, and our material blessings. He teaches us to care for those who have no parents and those who have special needs. I have heard many people ask why a loving God would allow such suffering, but when I see the results, I can see that suffering is never capricious or purposeless. Each time I speak to someone who is assisting a child or person less fortunate, I can't help wondering who is being blessed more...the person being helped, or the person helping. The sparkle in the eyes of the helper, cements the belief that giving brings much more happiness than receiving. We are given the opportunity to live outside of ourselves and GIVE hope and support and I believe that God also gives extra peace and comfort to those who are suffering.

Thankfully, through foster care and a very dear woman who is willing to give her heart to orphans that are dying, little Nicholas DOES know what it feels like to have arms around him. He DOES know what it feels like to have someone love him.

Thank you, Nicholas, for letting your life be an example for the rest of us...for letting your shining eyes tell us of your great spirit and will to live joyfully in the face of incredible odds.

Monday, December 17, 2007


What do Midwesterners do when they get a lot of snow? For those of you who live in warm climates, I thought I'd put a few pictures on the blog. Church was cancelled yesterday and today school is cancelled, so the kids have been having fun in the snow!
First, the men work on the snowblower for hours trying to get it started, and when it does....This is Ryan handling the snow.

Little brother, Jordan, watches Ryan and Daddy from the window. The snow is too deep for Jordan to play in.

The girls played in the big piles of snow that Daddy shoveled after the snowblower quit working AGAIN.
The girls came in all bedraggled and freezing cold... ...and decided to play dress-up instead.
Taylor takes a break in front of the fire...

Thursday, December 13, 2007

Our budding actress

From the day she has been in our arms, SaraGrace has put all of her considerable acting talents to good use. She has always cracked us up. In fact, as I was starting to type this, she stood next to me with notebook and pen and asked me, "What is your name, my dear?" in her most theatrical voice.

The kids have been watching a Little Rascals movie lately (over and over ad nauseum). There is a scene were Alfalfa, Darla (the girl he is 'sweet' on), and an interloper boy are all involved in a talent show. Both boys are trying to impress Darla. Molly loves to sing and I heard her singing the song the other day. It sounded like SaraGrace was also involved so I peeked around the corner. SaraGrace was imitating Darla and Molly was singing to her. They wouldn't do their 'act' while I was watching, so Jillian taped it for me. I uploaded it to YouTube if you want to see it. It's a bit rough--Molly was mumbling the words because she was embarrassed, but SaraGrace's dancing is hysterical. (At least we think so!!)
At least they weren't tobogganing down the stairs on a crib mattress today....

Sunday, December 09, 2007

We have had two birthday's since I last wrote...Little Miss Chloe turned five and a few days later, Jeff turned 48. Since our kids--led by Molly--love the Red Robin jingle (ie: Red Robin....YUM!), we decided to try it out for Chloe's birthday. Grandma and Grandpa joined us and I think everyone had fun. :)

I am trying to adjust to the cold weather and having the kid's inside all day. They have so much energy and sometimes they just need to run. It makes for a very LOUD household on the days that they cannot go outside to blow off steam. Today is one of those days--it's freezing rain outside. Earlier today,they tried riding a crib mattress down the stairs--hmmmmm. I guess sliding down in their sleeping bags lost it's luster from the other day. Thankfully, no one got hurt before I put a stop to it! (I remember as a kid telling myself that someday, when I had kids, I WOULD let them slide down the stairs in sleeping bags...haha)

We are in full swing preparing for Christmas. The kids are soooo excited! SaraGrace wanted to know what the fuss was all about--was it someone's birthday? We said, 'Yes, it's Jesus' birthday!" She looked at me seriously and said, "For real or for fake?"

For real.

Jesus really DID come as a tiny baby--not with trumpets announcing a King. He came quietly and not many knew. But now we know...and we celebrate with grateful hearts.