Wednesday, May 28, 2008

Photos of the kids

The other day, I was out in the yard and noticed a perfect spot for a photo shoot. I don't have that great of a camera, nor have I ever taken any photography classes, but I'm a photographer-wannabe. I called the kids in from playing and asked them to change clothes--they were very good sports about it. (I knew better than to try to get Ryan and Taylor in on this.) Jake woke up already dressed in the 'outfit' so I included him for a few shots, but Jordan was napping and missed out. I doubt he would care about that!

I snagged Taylor to come out and take a picture of Mommy and her girls.

Please continue to keep the Steven Curtis Chapman family in your prayers. Every time I look at my girls, I think of the Chapman's. They need our continued prayers.

Tuesday, May 27, 2008


I will post our Memorial Day pictures...a day to remember those who have gone before us, to fight for our freedoms, and have thankful hearts for those who gave their lives for our country. We walked in our town's parade in honor of my cousin, Jim, who was killed in Iraq 18 months ago.

I haven't had the heart to post since the tragic accident of little Maria Chapman, daughter of Christian singer, Steven Curtis Chapman. Many in the adoption community have been grieving deeping for this family who has championed the cause of so many orphaned children. Our family was a recipient of a generous grant from Shaohannah's Hope when we adopted Jake, and we encourage you to consider making a donation to them in honor of Maria. ( )

For those of you who are grieving with the family and would like to see a recap of Maria's memorial service, you can do so here

Here are some pictures of the kids at the parade--and later at my parents' house.


Wednesday, May 21, 2008

Please pray for the Chapman family

Steven Curtis Chapman's daughter, Maria, was killed in an accident Wednesday afternoon. Her teenage brother accidently hit her as he back his car out of the driveway. The Chapman family has been so passionate about adoption and has set up Shaohannah's Hope to help orphans find families. Maria was adopted from China. The link to the story is here: . I had the privilege of meeting Steven at a concert recently, and he is so kind and down to earth. I cannot imagine the pain the whole family is experiencing right now--so please, please lift them up in prayer.

Monday, May 19, 2008

Newly orphaned children in China

Reports are filtering out of China now about hundreds of newly orphaned children, due to the earthquake. My heart sunk to hear this news. I just cannot imagine how horrible it would be to lose your parents in a terrifying event like that.

Also...lack of food and water is a serious problem. The World Health Organization said that they fear epidemics of disease if survivors are not provided with clean water and food. Many are wanting to help--and I wanted to let you know about some of those opportunities. I am adding some of my pictures of previous trips to China, as well as some photos of our kids while they lived in China--just to give you a feel for the wonderful people there. They are so warm and friendly--my heart just breaks for them now.

Love Without Boundaries is going to be help provide baby formula for those in need, as well as provide housing/or foster care for some of the orphaned children. We are awaiting some more details, but for now, this is a quote from our Director of Operations, Sheri Russon, "Since we know that there are two very real needs in China involving this horrible earthquake--immediate assistance for food and water, as well as a long-term need of help for the children who have now become orphaned--LWB has decided to raise funds to help in both ways. One immediate need that we have been asked to help with is providing baby formula to the regions in need, as many babies currently have no access to the formula they need. We are waiting for more news on how to get the formula to those most in need.

Our long-term project that we are working on will be outside of Chengdu. We are working with a local physician there who has already met with provincial Civil Affairs about setting up a temporary children’s shelter for those children who have either become orphaned or who have not been able to find their parents. Of course we will pray that every child who enters this shelter will eventually be reunited with his or her family, but, if they are not, LWB would like to help them in the long-term by providing shelter and possible future foster homes. Civil Affairs asked us today how many children we feel we can help and house. They are worried that if the project is announced that more children will be sent to us than we can handle. We are waiting on final details for this project and should know soon how many children they expect to send to us."

If you would like to donate to this project, you can go to and there will be a button to donate to the eartquake fund.

Another charity in China, called Half the Sky, is collecting funds to help with water, food, tents, medicine and daily supplies. Here is their information to donate: "If you would like to donate to Half the Sky’s Children’s Earthquake Fund, it would be great if you would do so at Global Giving as (even though they
take 10% for processing and we do not (100% to the kids but at cost to our
programs) it allows HTS staff to focus on relief efforts while keeping our
programs going."

"Whatever you do do for Me." God

Jordan's cool new sunglasses

Little Jordan has always loved to wear sunglasses like his big sisters--but we have a hard time getting them to stay on, since he only has one ear. The other day, I happened to find some really cool ones at a local store for only $3.99! They have a strap that goes around his head and velcro's at the back. This may not seem like a big deal, but I assure you--it is in our family!! Kids love to do things that 'all the other kids are doing' and now Jordan can wear sunglasses like the other kids! Hooray!

JAKE--THE DIAPER SAGA CONTINUES.... Houdini Jr. figured out a way to get his diaper off, despite it being duct-taped on. He now pushes it down until he can wriggle out of it--then chucks it out of his bed. The other morning, I went it to get him and the room reeked--so I knew he had pooped. However, the diaper was nowhere in sight. I lifted him out of bed and was putting a new diaper on him as Jeff walked in to survey the scene of the crime. I glanced up just in time to see him miss stepping on a suspicious looking brown 'stone' lying on the floor. Upon closer inspection, it became obvious that Jake had not only disposed of his diaper, but had hurled its offensive contents across the room. We were unable to find any wet spots in his bed, which seemed strange. And then I knelt down beside his crib to look for the diaper. My knees got wet.

Now I know why some animals eat their young.

Friday, May 16, 2008

Happy 9th Birthday, Jillian!!

How can Jillian be nine years old already?! Didn't we just bring her home from China a week ago? I can't believe it's been over eight years. Sigh.....

She wanted a Hawaiian birthday party and we had lots of Hawaiian-type stuff lying around here, so it was easy and fun to pull together. She had been wanting a Barbie doll cake, so we just made it look more like a hula girl and we were good to go.






Wednesday, May 14, 2008

China Earthquake--update

Some of you have asked about Zoey (thank you!!) and we are relieved to say that she is in an area that was not hard hit. We are still waiting for official news of her orphanage, but do not anticipate that she is in any danger.

Love Without Boundaries is taking donations for earthquake aid if you are wanting to help. The address is: . We have gotten a bit of news on some of our programs in the Chengdu area--and so far, the news is good. News is filtering in slowly, but so far, all reports state that the children are safe. Some orphanages have sustained structural damage and the children are kept outside if the weather permits. Love Without Boundaries will be posting updates on their website as news is received.

My heart breaks for those who have lost loved ones or who are waiting to hear about loved ones. Many prayers going up for all of them.

Monday, May 12, 2008

post-Mother's Day thoughts

Lying in bed last night, I thought back to the years that I was not a mother--and feared that I would never have the privilege. If you have a family member, friend or aquaintence who is longing to have a child, please know what a tough day Mother's Day is for them. Each year, they hope that by next Mother's Day, they will be a Mom. And each year, it passes again, their arms empty and their hearts aching. I encourage you to put your arms around your friend and tell her that you hurt with her and will pray for her. Skip the platitudes, as they normally bring more unintentional hurt, and just let her know you love her.

My thoughts then drifted toward birth mothers--the brave women who bring a child into the world, knowing they cannot raise him/her. Many of these women had the choice to end the child's life, but they decided to travel the road of life and adoption. Many are maligned--not necessarily to their faces--but with thoughtless words by others to the effect of, "I don't know how anyone could give up their own flesh and blood." Many of these precious mother's suffer in silence, not wanting to let people know that they are one of THOSE people who 'gave up' their own flesh and blood. The reality is that THOSE women do what many of us could not--put their child's needs ahead of their own to the point of letting go of them forever. They sacrifice their own needs to be able to give their child a better life. That is something to be admired, not disdained. I have had the privilege of meeting Ryan and Taylor's birthmom's and I so admire their courage and love.

On to happier thoughts...I just want to take the opportunity to praise God that I am mother. For many years, I thought I never be called by the wonderful name, "Mother." Mother's Day morning, my devotional verses for the day were from my life's chapter, Isaiah 54. I love these verses! The chapter starts out talking about the barren woman, and goes on to describe how God will eventually bless her. When God gave these verses to me so many years ago, I had no idea how He would fulfill them. Now, I literally start cracking up when I read them in the NLT translation. It says something like, "now she who was barren has more children than all the other woman." hahahahahaha

My kids were so excited about Mother's Day. I received cute handmade cards, kisses, and loud choruses of, "Happy Mother's Day, Mom!" SaraGrace made a card in church and the kids were supposed to write down what they loved about their mom. SaraGrace's comment was, I love my Mom because "hers my best buddy." Awww.....

Jeff got me a pretty coursage. I tried to keep it out of Jake's clutches but when we got to church, I leaned in too close to him. He reached up and snatched it off my jacket, snapping the stem in the process. Jeff tried valiantly to pin it back on--and it did stay for the remainder of the service--but later fell off in some unknown place in the Meijer parking lot. Oh well....

It was pouring rain yesterday--so sorry--no pictures.

Friday, May 09, 2008

One year ago today....

....we saw baby Jake for the first time! It is hard to believe that a whole year has passed since that momentous day in Guatemala. We are so thankful that God has brought this little guy into our lives. He is such a blessing--despite keeping us VERY busy keeping him out of trouble!








Thursday, May 08, 2008

End of the school year events

The school year is winding down and we've had a few year-end events. First, was our girls' Awana awards night. Awana is a program at our church for children--held every Wednesday night. At the end of the year, the kids receive awards for participating.
Yes, you see one extra cute Chinese girl in the picture(far right)--Molly's best buddy, Shali, at church! And SaraGrace cannot resist mugging for the camera...she's so shy, we're kinda worried....

The second event was Ryan's Agriculture Tech banquet. Jeff and I were cracking up that in less than one week, Ryan was seen wearing a tie, not once, but TWICE. This is the kid who thinks I am making him dress up if he has to wear a polo shirt. But here he was, WILLINGLY wearing a tie twice in one week. First prom, and then the banquet.


And last but not least, our sweet Jillian was baptized on Sunday. We are so happy that she has taken this step to tell those around her that she loves Jesus and wants to follow Him.
We only have a "Before" picture because the camera card was full (argh), but we do have the whole thing on video, thankfully.

Wednesday, May 07, 2008

New pictures of our Zoey girl!

There is a family from our agency who is in China adopting their son from the same orphanage as Zoey. My inbox was full of pictures this morning! What a blessing!! The mom who visited said this about Zoey: "Your little girl is so adorable and precious. Sweetness just radiates from her. Very soft eyes. She watched me, soaking in every word I was saying. She is very alert - immediately ran to get the treats." The mom also spent time praying with her, rubbing her back, and telling her she is loved. is so wonderful to hear any news about her---to know a little of her personality before getting there.

We are still waiting for our approval from USCIS (immigration). We are at a standstill until that one precious piece of paperwork gets to us. We are praying that it will come soon.

The courtyard where the children 'play'