Wednesday, September 17, 2014

Restored hope

The last few days have been hard!
I mean really hard!

Losing hope that my boy will ever make sense of his pain. 

Losing hope that Satan will ever let go of my boy!

Losing hope that my boy will ever know true peace. 

Losing hope that our community will ever work with us as a team
To help us do all we can do!  

Today, I was able to meet with our school district specialists.
I, of course, was nervous that they would shoot down
The strategies that we use at home. 
But thanks to your prayers - 
We are working together for the sake of Elijah!

They understand now why I had to pull him out of public school 
Last year, rather than transferring him to the special ed class
That he is in now. 

They loved the strategies that we have in place, 
And want to use our strategies and our vocabulary!!
They accepted the newest DVD from Dr Karyn Purvis, 
And wanted to learn more about her research! 

We still have a long way to go with my boy,
But working as a team is sooooo important!! 

#1 change in Elijah's schedule is more food.
Which is often his trigger for an episode. 
So, even though he gets a protein filled breakfast at home,
His teacher will also give him some food when he arrives at school. 
Praying this helps his anxiety of not having food,
And building trust with his teacher.

We know that we have a long way to go
And a lot if decisions to be made,
But we also know that 
God has us just where we need to be - 
On our knees before Him, 
As He loves our boy more than we ever will.

Prayers are always welcome as we continue to help 
our son heal.

Monday, September 15, 2014


I find it almost unbelievable that my Elijah turned 7 yesterday!

My little guy who
didn't understand until Saturday
that his birthday was on Sunday.

My little guy who struggles to believe 
that anyone would care enough about him 
to take an entire day to celebrate him.

My little guy who fights for power, 
was able to surrender his fears and anger
for the day,
and allow us to love on him,
and he loved on us.

My little guy who everyday struggles 
with grief and such horrible loss,
that rarely,
do any of us know what to do for him.

My little guy who when he lets down his guard,
gives the biggest, most affectionate hugs!
My little guy who let's out the biggest belly laughs!
And embraces life with joy 
like I have never seen.

My boy who has taught me how to rethink my 
parenting strategies. 
Who has a place so deep in my heart that I hurt
With the pain that haunts him.

My little boy who has changed my life in so many ways,
turned seven years old.
My little boy, who for the first time since being home 
for 3 years
cried out of deep, intense fear, but didn't run away- 
Instead ran to my arms as his safe place. 

My little boy,
who is daily trying to trust mom and dad,
and who one day will understand the love of family. 
Through the healing hand of Jesus Christ
Elijah will understand what an amazing,
incredible boy he is
and how incredibly loved he truly is,
by his family and by our God and Savior. 

Thursday, September 11, 2014

Roller coaster

Ohhh my heart!! 
I don't know if I can handle this! 

While having a wonderful lunch with my friend Beverly,
(one reason why I love when school is in session! 
I get to see my friends!)
I realized that I had missed a call from our adoption agency,
finding myself climbing up another hill on the adoption roller coaster!

I listened to the voicemail 
and there was something they wanted to tell me about our Dossier.
(paperwork that is in China)

My heart dropped!!

And though I thoroughly enjoyed my lunch - 
I was seriously thinking it was going to 
come up
and make another,
not so pleasant appearance. 

After playing phone tag for hours...

We found out that our Dossier
is out of translation!!

This makes us one step closer to our babies!!!

Thank you Jesus!! 

Next step -

Ohhh how I can't wait to hold my babies!!

Tuesday, September 9, 2014

A little boy that changed our life...

We've shared with y'all before how before we even left China
with Hagan and Griggs,
the Lord was already softening our hearts 
to the fact that our daughter was still in China.

We knew that we needed to find her,
and get working to bring her home as soon as possible!

So, of course, I was online looking at beautiful faces of 
soooo many waiting girls.

And we finally, 
through much prayer,
found our Maklayne Faith!

Knowing that we were ONLY going to adopt one child,
because that is what WE told God,
we were all excited to focus on bringing ONLY her home.

And praying for the other kids who's precious faces we 
had seen while searching for Maklayne!

Like this little guy, who caught my heart many months ago!

Little did we know  -
God again had different plans for us!! 

After many, many months went by,
and God working in us like only HE can work.

I was looking at another waiting child list and guess who I saw,
this same little guy! 
Just waiting for his momma!

I was able to get his file,
and read through it! 
Yep, it's him!!
Through many more months of prayer and 
praying with our agency.

Doubting, hoping, doubting, listening  -
 God gave us peace and confirmation over and over again,
that this was our son!

We're incredibly excited to introduce to y'all our son,
Miles John

Saturday, September 6, 2014

We look pretty different...

Looking at us,
it doesn't look like we have a lot in common...
on the outside we look pretty different.

But on the inside,
we both hurt over the loss of family.

My daddy died 18 1/2 years ago.

"Poppy" loved being a grandpa to Brady.
Even though we were thousands of miles away,
he thought of Brady ever minute of every day!
When we visited Poppy and Mimi,
Poppy would always take Brady to the near by pond 
to feed the ducks. 
This was their one-on-one time together.
Brady was only 2 years old when we lost Poppy.

I was 6 months pregnant with Kenzie,
when my daddy suddenly left this earth.

All of kiddos know who "Poppy" is by name.
We all still call him "Poppy".
We talk about how Poppy would give kids "bings" - coins. 

How he would brush my hair every Saturday night 
while we watched Love Boat.
(must be why I still love to have my hair brushed).

How he was a Big Teddy Bear! 
His bark was much worse than his bite!
(though his bark could be pretty loud and strong!) 

We chat about what he would have thought about each one of them.

I know that he would have been proud of every single one of them.

This weekend would have been his birthday. 
Not a day goes by that I don't wish I could introduce my kiddos to my daddy.
and though I miss him with all my heart,
I am thankful that my kids can see that I hurt for what I have lost too -
I can hang on to the good things.
I can get through the hard memories.

My Dad always told me that when God allows us to go through 
hard times,
we need to remember those times -
so when a friend is going through something similar,
we can help them through too. 

This advice has always helped me through hard times.
My daddy is still reminding me 
that I can help my precious kiddos through their hard times. 

Allowing my kiddos to see my hurts,
allows them to hurt too.
It's okay to hurt,
let's just hurt together!

2 Corinthians 1:3-5
Blessed be the God and Father of our Lord Jesus Christ, 
the Father of mercies and God of al comfort,
who comforts us in all our affliction so that we will be able to
comfort those who are in any affliction with the comfort with which we
ourselves are comforted by God.
For just as the sufferings of Christ are ours in abundance,
so also our comfort is abundant through Christ.

Wednesday, September 3, 2014

10 things not to say to an adopted child

10 things not to say to an adopted child or around an adopted child. 

I know that people mean well, and that people are curious.  Please realize that the questions you ask or comments you make can be hurtful to the child from hard places.  Some of the things that are said to us take hours... days... weeks and sometimes years to build trust within our children from hard places.   

1) "Do you know how lucky you are?"

Ohhh!!! How this one brings up hard, hard issues!   
Really, the child that this is being said to has been ripped away from everything he/she has known.  They have been torn away sometimes from their birth mother and/or father, sometimes even their siblings.  International adopted kiddos have lost their "family" too.  Their best friends, every thing familiar to them... and have been given to these strangers who don't speak their language, who smell differently, who fix food differently, and who are trying to teach him/her new things and new ways to act. 
This doesn't sound very "lucky" to me!

We understand what you are saying, but the child does not understand how they are supposed to feel lucky when they have lost everything dear to them.

2) "You are so cute!!! I'm going to take you home with me!" 

Though some kids can handle adults who have fun with this statement, there are many cannot process this in the playful way it is intended.  This statement can be taken two ways...
It can cause the child to lapse into fear. Fear that they will be taken away from their family... again!!!! 
It can hurt the bonding process of the adoptive family and the child.  Bonding and trust are hard to build - and when the child thinks that some other family may take them and that person looks to be a lot more fun than the adoptive family  - this can seriously hurt the bonding process. 

3)  "Are they siblings?"
The first time Jorja and Jailyn heard someone ask me if they were "sisters" and I answered "no", (because I knew that the person was asking if they were biological sisters or not). The girls freaked out - interrupting and yelling at me that they ARE sisters!  
They knew all the facts, they knew that they weren't biological sisters.  
But, they also had bonded and they accept each other as their sister.  We were able to explain the situation to them and they were able to understand and now they answer people, "We are not biological but we are sisters!"
This question can really hurt the bonding and transition to a family when it is brought up over and over again.  

4)  "My kids act the same way!" or "He/She is acting like a normal 4 year old."
Though I understand that all kids have break downs, temper tantrums, can be overly stimulated and so much more... the ability to regulate themselves is completely different.  The reason for the meltdown, temper tantrum and whatever else actually stems from something much deeper than a child not getting a candy bar at the check out counter of the grocery store.   The adoptive parents and the adopted child are both trying to work on building trust with each other.  If an adoptive parent seems to be "giving in" to a child's attics - please understand that this is not what is happening.  Instead, they are trying to calmly and rationally build trust with their child and build compromise within their relationship.
We know that all parenting is hard, but please don't tell adoptive parents that everyone deals with the same issues.

5)  "What does your husband do?"  "How much did they cost?" 
Adoption fees are costly, there is no doubt about that!   But our children are precious and priceless!!! 
If you have a biological child, do you and everyone else complain about the cost of doctor appointments and hospitals?
We don't talk about adoption fee's either!  Unless we are in the middle of adoption, and everyone knows that we are strict with our budget and that we fundraise to pay for the adoption fee's - NOT to buy a child.

6)  "Do you miss your "real" mom?
I am their "real" mom!!! I clothe them, I feed them, I love them, I take care of them, I advocate for them!   We know what you mean, but really???   Do you say this to a child who has a stepmom?  No, you don't.
As a family we discuss our children's birth families.  Each child's story is different and we respect that.  Please help us by being respectful too.

7)  "Be good or you may be sent back"
Yes, we have had people say this to our child/ren.  Needless to say, I wasn't very calm when I overheard this come out of an adults mouth!!!
Please know that many children have already been told that by nannies, foster families, case workers... they do not need to hear this as they try to trust and bond with their adoptive family.

8)  "Didn't your real mom love you?"
Again, all of our children have different stories.  We all make decisions for different reasons.  Please do not judge my children's biological parents, especially when we do not have any documented information to even make an educated guess.
Our children cannot process that.  They have their own insecurities without having anyone question this for them!

9)  "Your new mom and dad are amazing people."
Really???  Sometimes our kiddos don't really think that!!  They get corrected, disciplined and made to eat their vegetables just like any kiddo.  They don't get everything they want ...and believe me, they don't always feel like we are amazing parents.

10)  "Aren't they over all of this yet?"
Though many of our kids had rough transitions, and some of our kiddo's have had easier transitions - none of our kids will get over their pain from their history.
Do you ask this of a mother or father who had to bury her child?
Our children have lost so many people who were dear to them.  They have lost their friends, their family, the only caregivers they have ever known.
We do not expect our children to get over the pain and grief.  We do help them through it.  We try to find every tool available to help them at the same time respecting their history and trying to help them to have a full future.

Thank you for taking the time to read over these requests.  
We truly appreciate it!  
Having a community to assist us is a major blessing! 

Sunday, August 31, 2014

First tooth... gone!

Though Griggs came to us with two missing teeth,
(with only the gap big enough for one tooth).
We have no idea about what happened...
Did they get knocked out?
Did they never grow in to begin with?

But we do know what happened to this one!

While I was taking back to school photos of some of the kids
Elijah pulled it for him!

No worries - it was loose 
and really,
he pulled it on purpose!

Griggsy was so happy to be one of the gang 
and have a tooth come out!

But WOW!!!
When he say his first tooth fairy dollar!!!

Now that's a good deal!!!

Saturday, August 30, 2014

One Love Tee's

We have a few One Love Tee's still available!!

We have cut the cost the cost of each tee to $12 -
$10 for the tee 
and $2 for shipping! 

Thank you for helping us bring our precious daughter home!

These are the sizes we have!

Large  (14-16) - we have 2 available

Large - we have 8 available

Thank you so much for helping us!
Every penny counts to the life of our daughter!

you can donate by using the Paypal button on the right side of our blog,
or you can email me at 
and we can set up a payment that is works for you. 

Friday, August 29, 2014


Thank you!
Thank you! 
Thank you Jesus!!!!

After much drama,
We are sooo incredible thankful to have finally been told
that our adoption paperwork is Logged in to China!!! 

This is a huge step!! 

Still more huge steps to go!!
We're still looking at 4-6 months before we hold our precious daughter

But at least our paperwork is now on the correct continent!!!
And for that we are incredibly grateful!!

Baby girl, 
Momma, Baba and all of your brothers and sisters
can't wait to meet you!!

Got to get a smile on that precious face!! 

Thursday, August 28, 2014

A year ago...

A year ago this week,
Hagan and I rushed to the ER with the encouragement from Hagan's orthopedic doctor.

We had been told before that Hagan's spine was healthy 
and that he did not have compression of the spine,
that is common in Little People with Achondroplasia Dwarfism.

Hagan had begun to show symptoms of compression...

we took him in,
got an MRI and had emergency decompression surgery on August 26, 2013.

What a whirlwind week that was!!!

My heart broke into a million pieces,
as they wheeled him away.
We were still building trust and a bond,
how would he trust me again when I let him
have this surgery and have to recover from this major surgery.

When the doctor came out of the extra long surgery 
with tears in his eyes,
telling me that Hagan is a miracle!
That with the condition his spine was in,
he should not have made it home.

I've always known he was a miracle boy,
but when a surgeon confirms your feelings medically...
it brings this momma to her knees.

Thankful that HE brought my boy home!

Recently we received a report that his hearing is decreasing,
and we are talking another set of tubes 
and hearing aids. 

This broke my heart!!! 
Seriously, like he needs anything else to look different then anyone else.

And then a few days later, 
we had our follow-up appointment with his neurosurgeon...
and the results of his MRI from this summer.

Again, broke my heart!!!

Hagan has pinched nerves all down his lower spine.
 Causing constant, excruciating pain for my boy. 

Seriously, how does - have a smile on his face?
How does he get around?
How does he laugh and sing?
How does he have such a silly personality?
How does he have the energy to do anything -
I would be the biggest whiner e.v.e.r.!!! 

This boy is truly amazing!

He will be getting his second set of tubes in a few weeks,
and next week we meet with another doctor
concerning his spine.
Though we are looking at traveling to another specialist,
one who is more familiar with his wonderful, complex body.

Prayers are muchly appreciated!!!

Wednesday, August 27, 2014

Do we get one or not?

From the day Hagan came home we questioned if we should get a disabled placard for parking.
 As we've learned how wonderfully made Hagsns little body is
the answer was clear. 

Because I can be an airhead and disorganized at times,
Imagine that! Haha!!
I finally went to get the placard.

Thinking I would be excited for this assistance,
But instead,
I was incredibly sad.

My son doesn't see himself as "disabled"!
He can do anything his body allows him to do! 

But as far as walking distances,
That in itself is a chore.

And have you ever walked in a parking lot?
Crazy! Crazy! Right?
Imagine being an independent almost 7 year old 
And not 3 feet tall.
Your mom is constantly stressed that some driver won't see you
and will run you over!
Stress for everyone! 

Personally, I think there should be a special placard for
Any momma with 5 or more kids under the age of 10!! 

Parking lots scare this momma to death!!
Be careful y'all!! 

Tuesday, August 26, 2014

Back to school

How is it that 3 weeks ago 
the kids were crying because they weren't ready
to go back to school,
and momma was soooooo ready for 
them to go to school,
and then 

Hagan's off to kindergarten!

on the first day of school...

Elijah is off to 1st grade

the kids are ready, 

Jailyn is in 3rd grade!

and momma is crying her eyes out!

Goof ball Donovan is off to 3rd grade too!

How they have grown!! 

Jorja is in 4th grade!

I'm so proud of each and everyone of them!!

Conner is a sophomore!

And Kenzie even sent mom a first day of school pic!
She's such a good girl!

Freshman year of college!

Griggs goes to pre-school next week.
I get to hold on to him a little longer!

and Brady starts today...
but I will get a photo of him too! 

Saturday, August 23, 2014

Boys and recyclables!

  With 11 people in our house we usually have 
a pile of recyclable products 
in the corner.
A little trash can is not big enough - 
so there is a pile that gets taken out once a day,
if I'm lucky!

If it is left there too long - 
then my kiddo's 
may just get into it.

that is not a bad thing...

'cause creativity explodes!!

Wednesday, August 20, 2014

your pace or mine?

I'm starting a new exercise program -
and boy do I need it!!

I have been excited to join some friends 
for the 75 miles in 35 days campaign!
Today was day 2,
I went to bed on time,
got up early 
and was ready to go...

out ran Elijah from our room,
"Momma, I get dressed.
I go with you."

Ummmmm - 
so not what I had planned! 

I also knew that if I told him "no" -
then I would have an insecure little boy on my hands all day long,
so I said with a fake smile on my face, 
"okay, get dressed."

It's amazing how God can turn a fake smile into a 
sweet sweet time with my boy!

He was so excited to go with me,
and to my surprise did not move as fast as I hoped!
Usually, I can't keep up with him!

We had a good talk about his new school 
and his new teacher,
we checked out the ants that were crossing the sidewalk,
and chatted about the neighbors dogs too. 
And stopped by the playground and the pond.

As we walked and I encouraged him to catch up -
I had to stop and think... 
maybe it was me who needed to slow down.

I need to take life at his pace -
I need to take his healing at his pace,
not at my pace,
or the pace that I want him too -
or the pace I expect him to heal at.

But to really, slow down and let him lead.

Who knew that though I really wanted to be alone and 
spend time in prayer -
that God had a much more important lesson for me!
And he blessed me with this sweet time with my boy!


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