Friday, August 7, 2009

Happy Gotcha Day, Joey

We received our referral for Shi Wen Bo, our Joey, in April 2006. This was our first look at him. It would be 4 long months before we got to hold him in our arms. We met Joey in a hallway of the Civil Affairs office in Xinjiang Province, NW China on August 7, 2006. He wandered into the hall when we got there and looked so small and lost. He wouldn't look at us and tried so hard not to cry. It was absolutely heartbreaking. He greived and greived and we felt so powerless.
God has brought our family together and He is so good. We watched Joey's heart heal and we watched his ability to trust and love us grow over the next weeks and months. A beautiful thing to see and experience. The joy in his laugh and smile are such a gift.

What a difference a year makes - this is our 12 month post-placement photo.

Just because I find him to be just plain crazy cute...

Ready to love a little brother...

We love you so much JoJo. You are sweet beyond words and you have added so much to our lives these past 3 years.

Wednesday, August 5, 2009


Please go and read Katie's post from yesterday, August 4, 2009. Let us all be moved to action on behalf of the poor and the fatherless.

Wednesday, July 29, 2009

Happy Birthday to Anna...

I am posting this a day late - Anna's birthday was actually yesterday. Hard to believe my little girl is 6! She enjoyed being queen for the day!

Tuesday, July 7, 2009

One Year Ago Today In Ethiopia.....

.....we met our son, Elijah. What a beautiful, indescribable day it was. This is the moment we met him - he is not so sure, but he didn't cry. He came to us and let both of us hold him for a long time the first day and finally fell asleep on my shoulder. So much love and we didn't even know him yet...

Soon after coming home - brothers and best friends - only God could have orchestrated this!

We are learning Eli's large and sunny personality.

Turning 3...

Home 1 year. The time has flown by and it feels like Eli has been home forever. We thank God every day for the blessing of our family that He has sewn together from around the globe. The things we would have missed if we hadn't followed God's leading down this road of adoption...

We are in love with you, our precious boy!

Thursday, July 2, 2009

Part of the family

We have our 12 month post placement visit with our social worker this morning. He has been to our home to visit us, either for homestudy visits or for post placement visits, at least once a year since 2003. I think this qualifies him as part of the family! He does adoption work in his retirement after a career of investigating abuse. He finds this work to be inspiring and enjoyable. With no adoptions on the horizon at this time, we will miss him - he really is a wonderful man.

Friday, June 26, 2009

New tradition

We found this book at the library and had such a fun time reading through it together. It tells traditions from all around the world relating to what kids do when they lose a tooth. We've decided "out with the old and in with the new"! Goodbye toothfairy. We will go the way of the Far East... Since we have 2 little ones from China, we thought it would be an easy, fun way to integrate some Chinese culture into our home.

In China, an upper tooth gets put at the foot of the bed, or placed on the ground (our place of choice) and a lower tooth gets thrown up on the roof. The hope is that the new tooth will grow in toward the direction the old one was thrown!

Now, we wait for someone to lose a tooth.......

Monday, June 22, 2009

Where has the time gone?

June 21 marked 5 years since we first held our sweet Lianna Audrey Wu (Anna) in our arms. What a journey she has taken us on. We are so thankful to God that He has allowed us to be her parents.

This is our first moment with Anna. There were 10 families in our group and we were waiting in a room at the Civil Affairs office in in Nanning, Guangxi Province, China. We could here the babies crying down the hall and there are no words to describe the feelings of those moments. Then, the door opened and the nannies filed in with all the babies in matching orange outfits. Then, it was not only the babies crying...They started calling names and, oh what a feeling. I remember just whispering over and over in her ear that it was going to be ok. She fell asleep on the bus ride to the hotel and woke up subdued but quiet.
This is what we saw by bedtime and for the remainder of the trip. She has such a sunny disposition to this day!
Home almost a year....

Home 2 years with a new brother from China....

Home three years.....

Home four years....kind of a diva by this time...

Loving her little bros....

Home 5 years.....the time has flown by and our little Anna Banana has been such a blessing to us. We love you, Anna!

Get on the Smile Train!

Smile Train is an amazing organization that works in 75 countries with the sole desire to see children receive life changing cleft lip repair surgery. They are very successful as they work to empower local doctors to be able to perform the operations. In the past 10 years, 500,000 children have received surgery at NO cost to them or their families.

Please take 3 minutes to watch the tralier to a documentary made about this organization. It won an Oscar this year and is airing on HBO. The remaining showings are today at 3:15 pm and Wednesday on HBO2 at 9:15 pm

I can't watch or read anything about this subject without tears just dripping off my face. We have a precious son from China with cleft issues and my heart breaks for his first family who had no means to help him and were left with nothing but heart breaking chioces to make for him.

I would encourage everyone to consider giving out of their abundance to change a life FOREVER.

Visit for more information!

Saturday, June 13, 2009

visitors and artwork

We "babysat" for my parent's new puppy for the past week while they were away. The girls were in heaven and were so good about taking care of her all by themselves. Isn't she sweet? Unfortunately, we also found some unwanted visitors this week. Luke was in the bathroom and called to me, "Mom, you gotta come see this awesome thing." When you are 7, tons of things qualify as "awesome" so I took my time going to see this great cause for excitement. (particularly because of his location) AHHHHH...the return of the carpenter ants. It was really kind of cool watching them work, eating at the beam in our bathroom until I thought about the fact that they were EATING AT THE BEAM IN OUR BATHROOM! We had them in the kitchen ceiling this winter. We live at the edge of the woods and they found a warm place to winter. Now I have visions of all the secret places they could be lurking..."Hard to locate" according to the pest control guy. Great.

After I put Joey's pictures up awhile back, Tom and Luke each wanted me to post one of theirs. This is Tom's tree. The picture doesn't do it justice - he is very much a detail person and loves to draw. He passed my skill level years ago. He is a very high energy kid and I love that he can sit and draw for great lengths of time and really works at improving.

And this picture is Luke to a T. He is 7, loves to keep me on my toes regarding what he might say or do at any given time. Notice, if you will, the middle one is picking his nose. The one on the right is also picking the middle one's nose. The one on the left is holding some sort of chain that is attached to the middle one's nose. And, if I may direct your attention to the bottom of the picture. The plants growing are(1)a nose bush (2) a glasses bush (3) a unibrow bush and (4) a moustache bush. The unibrow seems to be a key in most of his artwork. Ah, my Lukey!

Friday, June 12, 2009

Just One Of Those Days

*2 puppies spayed yesterday
*lack of bladder and bowel control carries over to today...x2
*said pups not getting along
*gates up around the house to keep them apart
*6 kids moving said gates to get around
*puppies where they aren't supposed to be
*puppies pooping and peeing some more
*crying toddler
*spilled milk
*and on and on and on...

Is it truly only 10 am?

Thursday, May 28, 2009

Back again....

I have been gone from blog world for a long time. We have been working on finishing our homeschool year and getting all the needed paperwork in place for next year. Then, we can enjoy summer without thinking about any of it!!!

I have to share Joey's picture he drew last night. In case you can't tell, it is a portrait of me. He was so funny. He came and showed it to me and I told him I loved it. He asked me if I wanted to keep it, so of course I said yes. He then proceeded to tell me I had to buy it. He's 4 - what in the world?

I do have to point out that it is the first picture I've seen him draw with a body (note picture below - no body - also me - trust me, those of you who do not know me - I do not have a unibrow, even if he ALWAYS draws me with one!)

I absolutely love to see the creativity in my kids when they draw. I truly cherish the things they give me!

Thursday, April 30, 2009

Has it really been 5 years?

It is hard to believe that 5 years have gone by since we received our referral for our sweet baby girl. She looked so sad and we wanted to board the next plane to China. We feel so very blessed that God chose this precious girl to be our daughter. She is a ray of sunshine every single day. We love you Anna!

We had no idea, 5 years ago, of the journey we had started on, but adoption has taken us down one of the most beautiful roads there is to travel!

Wednesday, April 29, 2009

Joey's observation

Joey and I were getting ready to wake Elijah up from his nap. Eli has a cold and was breathing through his mouth resulting in chapped lips. Joey was quite concerned, telling me, "Look Mom, Eli's lips are getting old."

Tuesday, April 28, 2009

Finally.....Spring is here in the North

This may not seem all that exciting, but we did have snow flurries last week. I am always ready for spring far before it is ready to come to us! I know it has to be here when my pear tree starts to flower!

But, it is also the season for dirty, wet, muddy dogs.........

.....and tadpoles. We always put some in a jar, but never quite succeed in keeping them intil they start swimming around. We have done our research this year and are ready....we'll let you know. My little kids call them "tadapolts" How bad is it that we don't correct them because we think it is so cute? Eventually they figure it out.....kind of sad when that happens.

Boys (and girls at this house) just love frogs. Just as long as they remember to wash their hands before dinner!

And, last but not least, I love when spring finally gets here because I LOVE to mow the lawn...and I LOVE my lawn mower! We mow a few acres and this sweet machine makes it pure pleasure!

Saturday, April 25, 2009

One year ago today....

One year ago today we got the call we'd been waiting for...our referral of our sweet son! As you can imagine, our hearts just melted when we saw his precious face for the first time. We were so excited to find out that there were families traveling to Ethiopia from our adoption agency that very weekend. They graciously said they would love on our son and tell us all about him. I can't imagine a sweeter gift than that for a mother's heart that just instantly longs to be with her child. Jill and Apryl, you will always be a part of our adoption story because of the blessing you gave to us from Ethiopia!

This is our precious boy now. What a crazy amount of joy he has brought to our lives. We love you, Elijah!

Thursday, April 23, 2009

Please tell me someone can relate...

Let me start by saying, I used to be known as an organized person. There are people from my past who might be surprised to know that, try as I might, it just isn't happening anymore. I believe with the addition of each child, I have lost my ability to stay on top of things to a larger and larger degree!
That said.....we ran to town today and this is what my middle son ended up wearing. This was AFTER I sent him back inside to actually get shoes on. I do have a mudroom and a shoe rack. They are told, over and over "if you put your shoes away when you come home, you would be able to find them when it is time to go somewhere". Obviously #1-they do not listen and #2 this get up is perfectly fine to a 7 year old boy.

And, I have to note, better than what he wore (thankfully just around the house) yesterday!

Tuesday, April 21, 2009

Friday, April 17, 2009

Unsafe but sweet

I looked out the window and saw this.... I had to take a picture before I told L it probably wasn't the safest thing to do with his brother. He really is so sweet to him.

Thursday, April 16, 2009

Touching story out of Ethiopia

I felt so blessed to have come across this on a friend's blog. It is well worth the time it takes to watch. As heartbreaking as it can be, I pray my eyes will always be open and that my heart will always be broken.

For more information, visit

Friday, April 10, 2009

Decorating Easter eggs

Every year we try to get together with all the young-ish cousins to decorate Easter eggs. This year, because of sickness and other things, it ended up being just us. My mom came to join the fun (chaos) and was so nice that she boiled all the eggs and brought all sorts of fun things to decorate with.
With 6 kids, each getting 6 eggs to color, that's a lot of egg salad next week! I have to make a map for myself when we hide them - that's a lot of eggs to find and so not fun if we miss one...

Monday, April 6, 2009


This is J today - such a ray of sunshine!

(I haven't quite figured out how to put my pictures where I want them in my post or I would have put this in the previous post.)

Three years ago today

Three years age today we received our referral for our little boy from China. It is hard to believe three years have gone by since we first laid eyes on this picture. We were expecting referrals to come in to our agency in mid to late April and were so surprised to hear from our family coordinater in early April. She shared all of the info she had (name, age, where from) and told us we could pray about whether to request the rest of the info. We had been praying for our son for months - we didn't need any other info to know he was the one God had chosen for our family. What a precious gift! There is no way to explain the feelings as you wait to see a picture of your son, having no idea at all what he will look like, be like, etc. It is thrilling to say the least. This is Shi Wen Bo at 18 months old living in the NW part of China. At the time, we could not imagine surviving the wait to go pick him up. We traveled to Urumqui in Xinjiang Province, China in August, 2006.

We love you so much sweet J. and can't imagine life without you in it!