Monday, March 24, 2008

Re-Adoption Day!

Today we went to Court to have the six youngest kids' adoptions recognized in the United States, enabling them to get a US birth certificate. Little Jake came home on a different type of visa, so he still needs more paperwork filed with Immigration before he can become a citizen, rather than a resident alien. The other kids are citizens with no US birth certificates! It's not required to get them birth certificates, but it can save them a lot of headaches later.

We made the mistake of not explaining courtroom protocol before we took the kids to the hearing. What were we thinking?? They had NO CLUE that it was supposed to be very serious and they were embarrassed at being directly addressed by the judge. This combination made for a lot of giggling, acting goofy and twirling around in the swivel chairs. They acted like they had ants in their pants--still probably on a sugar high from all the candy Grandma gave them yesterday. ha. The fact that our hearing coincided with nap time didn't help either.

Thankfully, the judge was very gracious and was obviously enjoying the moment. She asked the kids if they knew what we were doing today...that it was very special. She told them that their names had been written down in China, but now they were going to be written down in a book in the United States. I immediately thought of how God writes our names in His Book of Life when we are adopted into His family.

The judge went one by one with each child, reading the legal words that made everything final, and after each child, we all clapped and cheered. SaraGrace started clapping for herself at the beginning of her turn with the judge. haha (I're all shocked!)

At the end, the judge had a bag of goodies prepared and presented it to each child. It was quite touching. We were utterly shocked to be told that the local bank had given each of them a certificate for $100 to start a bank account! Wow... The bag also contained soft, spongy gavels. Within 2.5 seconds, the kids were konking each other on the head with them. So predictable.

The bailiff handed us a video at the end--they had taped the entire thing for us! It was a truly amazing afternoon--they were definitely happy about doing adoptions. The judge also told Ryan and Taylor that she was one of eight children and that they would come to love having so many siblings someday. It seems like we have had so many doctors, dentists, and others in our lives who are part of large families. It's very encouraging to hear them say how much they love it!

Daddy and Jordan waiting in the hall for our turn in the courtroom

Jake has a rare moment of stillness....

Sweet Zoey Faith

A traveling family was able to visit Zoey Faith's orphanage and take some pictures for us!

Zoey is being shown photos of her new family--in a photo album we sent for her.

We are anxious to go to China to bring her HOME!

Easter Pictures

EASTER AT GRANDMA AND GRANDPA'S HOUSE...Taylor and Aunt Kris get ready to watch the egg hunt

Ryan tapes the event


Grandma and Jillian play with baby Hudson

Saturday, March 22, 2008


We woke up to THIS! ACK! A foot of snow! My girls are looking forward to wearing their fancy Easter dresses and sandals to church tomorrow. Hmmmm....I think they might have to wear boots instead.

Christ's death and resurrection are what this holiday is all about anyway. Sometimes when I do not understand the circumstances in my life, I remember how hopeless these days must have seemed to Jesus' disciples and friends. They surely were grieving and unable to make any sense out of His horrific death. They didn't know that this was THE PLAN...the only way of salvation for all of humanity. In a few days time, the PLAN was revealed and THEN...what JOY they must have felt when they began to realize that His plan was so much bigger than they could ever have imagined! He didn't come just to save a few--but to save all who would respond, for the rest of time.
Thank you, Jesus, for your amazing gift of salvation and for adopting us as daughters and sons of the King of Kings.

Thursday, March 20, 2008

Time for tea

Yesterday, my Mom took my girls and I, along with my sister-in-law, Meredith and her daughter, Maddie, to tea. It was amazing! The girls' plates came and we oohhed and aahhed over how pretty the food looked. Molly has dubbed it 'the bestest tea party EVER.' They are all begging to go again!

Tuesday, March 18, 2008

Meat Pulverizer

Every family has at least one child who can't swallow meat. Some of us have more than one. Despite the fact that Baby Jake only has seven teeth and not a single molar, he can consume a plate of meat in minutes. Jordan on the other hand, chews laboriously with a full set of chompers. Tonight at dinner, I looked over to see that he had deposited several pulverized globs on his plate. Gross. No amount of explaining that he needed to take tiny bites proved helpful, so he posed for a squirrel-cheeked picture and scampered off to play. I DID let him spit the meat out before he ran off!

In other news, Jillian and Molly recently needed to get glasses. Our girls are getting so big! wah....

And last but not least, Ryan thinks it would be a good idea to wear this to prom:

Friday, March 14, 2008

We have enjoyed two spring days in a row--especially today. The kids were able to get out and get some sun on their faces. Hooray!

Now if I can only get Jake and Jordan to stop taking their diapers off during their naps, all will be right with the world. ha! Today, when I went in their room, they were both in Jake's bed. Jake was naked and Jordan had stripped down to his diaper (at least he kept his on this time!). Jake had thrown his dirty diaper over the rail and wiped the rest of what was sticking to his bottom, on his sheets. Gross. He looked up when I entered the room, and flashed me a big grin. Augh...the kid is irresistible! I can't get mad at him! I lifted him up and took him across the room to clean him off and put a new diaper on him. He looked up at me, gave me another mischievous smile, eyes twinkling, and said, 'Ba, ba, bone." (Translation, "Bad to the bone.") Of course, I cracked up even more, while big brother, Jordan, let out his breath in a sigh of relief that Mommy wasn't mad.

In Zoey Faith news, our agency received our approval from China in writing yesterday! Until then, our approval was only verbal. Relief....ahhh.... We sent our paperwork yesterday to USCIS (US Citizenship and Immigration Services). We will be waiting for months for approval from them before our paperwork can go to China.

Tuesday, March 11, 2008

Girlfriend weekend and Steven Curtis Chapman roadie

YEP--We really did get to sit this close to the stage!

Several weeks ago, Steven Curtis Chapman's organization, "Shaohannah's Hope" emailed me about being a volunteer at one of his concerts. They needed adoptive parents to help at the information booths as SCC seeks to share the burden of God's heart for orphaned children. The concert was in a town where we used to live, but hours away from where we are now. I mentioned it to Jeff and he, being a very sweet guy, said, 'Why don't you go? You could spend the weekend with your friends and help out at the concert." WOOHOO!! :)

So, I was able to get away for a few days--all by myself! I saw old friends, went shopping with my girlfriends and had a blast! The 'Girlfriends" attended the concert with me--and we all ended up being able to be volunteers--and get free, matching t-shirts. Sadly, despite taking pictures of other friends, the Girlfriends forgot to get a picture taken with just us. DUH! I do have a few photos to share, though. I also had the fun of spending the evening volunteering with some of the couples who now run the Father's Heart Orphan ministry that Jeff and I were just starting when we had to move away. The families that are running it now are doing a great job and have taken it to levels that we couldn't have. I love how God uses different people to accomplish His purposes! The concert was great--our seats were great (like 30 feet from SCC), and the whole weekend was just a big hug from God. (I should give my friend, Brenda, credit for the great seats because the volunteers are just told they can sit wherever there is an empty spot. She spotted the seats way up in the front and dragged me up there!)

Friends who share the FATHER'S HEART for orphans in distress


I missed my kiddos quite terribly and they missed me. Jeff had them all lined up to welcome me home. It was soooo cute. They each had a sign with one word that they had colored themselves....


Yep, my husband is a great guy, and I am very blessed! He is even remarkably sane after spending three days alone with the kids! I'm told that they only crisis of the weekend was when Jordan wet through his diaper at church and soaked himself and Jeff.

Wednesday, March 05, 2008

Happy 3rd Birthday, Jordan!

Sweet Jordan turned three today. We celebrated a few days early at Grandma and Grandpa's because they and Jeff were going to be out of town today.

I brought his cake mix and frosting home from the grocery story on Saturday (go ahead and snicker that I don't make it all from scratch). When I told him it was his, he wanted to carry it around. It soon went into his already overflowing backpack, where it stayed until Monday when I had to bake it.

When he awoke from his nap, he came down and looked at his cake. His eyes grew round as saucers and he said, 'Mine? My birfday?" When asked what he wanted for presents, he always said, "Cars, cars!"

He got lots of cars--and Hot Wheel tracks--and we are all having fun playing with them. Ryan and Taylor had to put them together, but it's amazing how much fun some cheap plastic tracks and little cars can be!

This morning, he decided to commemorate the day by presenting himself in his birthday suit while still in his crib. Jillian and Molly had gone up to get the boys and came running back shouting, 'Jacob and Jordan are standing in their beds buck naked!" I was on the phone with our social worker about some of our adoption paperwork, so I waved them off. They apparently thought this was a pressing emergency, so they said it louder...and louder. No matter how many times I tell them that when I'm on the phone and wave them off, it means, "GO AWAY," they still don't get it! I soon excused myself from the phone call and went to check on the situation. Sure enough, they were standing in their cribs, naked as jay birds, grinning from ear to ear at their stunning accomplishment. Thankfully, they hadn't relieved themselves anywhere, but they had thrown their diapers over the side of their cribs in an apparent Boston Tea Party show of protest.

Sunday, March 02, 2008

Relaxing on a Sunday Afternoon...

"AAHHHHHH....I have the Sunday paper all to myself..."

"Hey, Jordan, do you see any great bargains?"

"How about this one right here?"