Showing posts from April, 2013

Goodbye 3. Hello 4.



This week starts two months of remembering and celebrating our children, their birthdays and their homecomings.  Faith is first up to bat. Let the party begin. This year we say good-bye to year 3 and hello to year 4, officially leaving the baby years behind and taking the first steps as a little girl.

Last year I wrote about the bittersweet of Faith's birthday.  I reread that post today and still agree with every word written.  My heart still longs for memories of her birth and the first 14 months of her life.  But I think this year I am beginning to see more and more the purpose and blessing even in the painful parts of her story.  And we have so much to be thankful for!!!

The first 14 months of her life God watched over her and carried her in His protective arms. We prayed that He would hold her until our arms could wrap around her.  It is an incredible story that is for Kevin and I to protect and for Faith to share when she is ready.  I am so thankful that her bir…

love isn't a language

Before we even knew we would ever adopt from China, God allowed our lives to intersect with the Sun family.  They attend our church and after first meeting we immediately became close friends.  They have supported us every step of the way in our wait and after bringing Elie home.  They helped us learn Chinese culture, introduced us to amazing homemade Chinese food and taught us key Mandarin phrases.  They are a gift.

They were such a huge help when we first came home from China.  They made Elie feel at home in a strange new place.  They translated for me and Elie... over and over again.  They loved us.  They made us food.  They prayed for us.  They were foundational in our transition to a family of 6.

This Christmas we had the joy of having them over for dinner.  Their first "American" Christmas dinner.  Grandpa and Grandma had never cooked a turkey and loved learning about all of our traditions.

I think sometimes in America, those of us who have been here for so long fo…

lessons from a deck of trading cards

Therefore, since we have so great a cloud of witnesses surrounding us, let us also lay aside every encumbrance and the sin which so easily entangles us, and let us run with endurance the race that is set before us, fixing our eyes on Jesus, the author and perfecter of faith, who for the joy set before Him endured the cross, despising the shame, and has sat down at the right hand of the throne of God.  Hebrews 12:1-2

Our encumbrances are anything that weighs us down and hinders us in our spiritual lives.  The things, or even people, who cause us to take our eyes off of Jesus and block us from true Freedom.  We become trapped, "entangled", in a sticky net of sin.  Thanks be to  God that when we lift our eyes up and fix them on Him, He WILL lift us out of the net.            "My eyes are ever toward the LORD, for he will pluck my feet out of the net." ~ Psalm 25:15
Parenting is full of challenges.  Daily.  And I often feel like my oldest child is the biggest experiment. …

Lost and Found

Last Saturday our boys marched in the Opening Day Parade for Little League Baseball here in our town.  They are having a blast playing this year... great coaches, great teams, just a lot of fun!  They loved marching in the parade.  I love the fact that at the opening ceremony they sing the National Anthem, they recite a pledge that acknowledges God and they say a prayer in Jesus name.  Kids happy.  Mama happy.  All around a great sport for our family.  

After the opening ceremonies, it was on to a day full of fun.  There was lots of bouncing, obstacle courses, junk food, bating and throwing, balloon animals and face painting.  The weather was gorgeous.  The kids did great.  Elie had no problems keeping up and really enjoyed herself.

All of the games required the kids to be shoeless.  So at the beginning of the day I put Elie's brace in my backpack.  Our last stop was for some awesome face painting.  While I waited for her, I sat my tired body down on a picnic table and got out h…

Shenandoah Valley Discover Museum

Local friends, if you have not tried out the Discover Museum in Winchester yet.... you have to go.  I can't believe it has taken us this long to try it out ourselves.  So. Much. Fun.   We we definitely be heading back for another visit.  Who wants to go?

(the best part, is i did not have to clean this up!! )

Nine Months

On July 16th, we walked into the Child Welfare office and first laid eyes on our daughter.  Exactly nine months later on April 16th, we walked into her elementary school to register her for Kindergarten.

She is so excited and we are excited for her.   She is ready to go.  The emotions ran high in my heart on Tuesday as I thought back to all the past nine months have held for us together.  I stand amazed at the work God has done in my daughter's life.  When we traveled to China, we didn't know if Elie would ever be able to attend school much less be in a regular classroom.

This September she will attend language classes at her elementary school in the morning and then she will be a student in one of the Kindergarten classes in the afternoon.  She is progressing so quickly that she is blowing through her IEP goals at her preschool.  We know there is still a long road ahead, but are stopping for just a moment to celebrate the huge mountain we have already climbed.

A Look at our Baby's World

There were some questions this week with my pregnancy and so the midwife wanted to move up our 20 week ultrasound to make sure every thing was okay.  One of the things mentioned was placenta previa... which no one wants to have, especially a mama who has four little ones to take care of already.  There were many prayers offered this week for the baby and for me.  We appreciate every one.

After a week of so much heartbreak in the world, and many stretching moments in our own household, it was beautiful to experience a moment of extreme joy. Our baby is perfect.  Everything looks great.  We are now 18 weeks and 2 days into this pregnancy.  Daddy thinks the baby looks like a girl.  The children think the baby looks like a baby bear...who is a boy.  We asked the technician not to tell us because, after all, my love language is fun surprises.

This baby is a gift.  Every baby is a gift.  And as I pondered that looking at number 5's picture, I found it very hard for me to believe, that…

Not Today

My heart is heavy and my mind is swirling.  Last night Kevin and I went to see the movie, "Not Today."  The movie is about human trafficking... human slavery... the illegal buying and selling of children... children.... children.  It is not a new idea to us.  Something that we have read many articles/books about, seen many other films, listened to others talk about it.  I have even written about the issue on this blog before.  In fact it is one of the reasons that spurred our desire to adopt a little girl internationally.

No matter how many times I learn about this issue, my stomach twists and my soul screams.  And I pray that feeling never goes away.  I don't ever want to become numb to the horror.  I don't every want to stop asking these questions:  How does a person become so wrapped in evil that they will buy and sell children like animals?  How can they look upon a seven year old little girl and see only something to satisfy their perverted sexual desires?  How…


Yesterday as we drove to Elie's doctors appointment my heart was flooded with emotions.  The last time I have had a really hard cry was back in February.  Those who know me, know I show my emotions and can tear up pretty easily.  During stressful times, a good hard cry always helps me to relieve the stress.  The reality of life came pouring down on me in February and once I started to cry, it was hard to stop.  And then the vomiting came and then that wouldn't stop.  For a season I asked God to help make my emotions strong.  But yesterday driving to Elie's appointment I began to wonder if the floodgates were going to open back up.

We have a local Christian radio station.  It often plays the same 10 songs over and over again and can sometimes be annoying.  But yesterday morning every song spoke right to my heart bringing peace and love from my Heavenly Father. The past few weeks leading up to this appointment my heart wondered if we were looking at surgery right now.  I d…

Her Hips

There were many things we knew about  Eliana before she came to our family and we knew that the possibilities were endless as to what the days ahead would hold for our family.  It was certain that she would need a team of doctors and therapy and tests and medicine.  There were also many things that we did not know.  But really isn't that how it is with any child.  There are no certainties and each day holds new challenges as well as new victories.

We suspected from her brain images in China that she had cerebral palsy.  This was confirmed once we came home.  There are many ways CP can manifest itself in a child.  Elie's stroke left the right side of her body weak, the muscles spastic, the bones shorter.  She is a fighter and we have accomplished mountains of growth since the time we met last July.  Last July.... when she wouldn't/couldn't put her weight on her right leg, when she was barely aware that she had a right hand, when her muscles were so tight that she would…